Sagittarius is the 9th Sign of the Zodiac and Mutable Fire. This is the first of what Jeff Hinshaw calls the cosmic signs. Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces are all concerned with the universal and communal aspects of life. They transcend the personal and interpersonal to deal with the cosmic. Sagittarius' role is that of storyteller. It is through the myths and rituals of this sign that we can align with something much bigger than ourselves in the subsequent signs.
As I mentioned before, Sagittarius is the storyteller of the Zodiac. Archetypally, we are facing our fear of death in this sign. Moving through Scorpio forced us to face our fears and watch the whole world descend into decay and darkness. Humxnity requires hope and faith, something to believe in. This is where Sagittarius comes in. Our belief systems and rituals, our religions and ideologies, all of them serve one main purpose: to give us a reason to continue living even in the face of traumatic and terrifying experiences. This is the work of Sagittarius, the eternal optimist. This is the work of Sagittarius, the gifted storyteller and mythmaker.
As the centaur, Sagittarius reveals our ability to have one foot in the primal earth and one foot in the celestial divine. The centaur is an archer, aiming their arrow up to the stars. This striving for connection with something greater than us is archetypal energy of Sagittarius. We can contextualize any experience we have with a belief in divine. We can keep the faith and make it past any obstacle with a connection to spirit. Sagittarius wants to know god, the universe, source, or any other word you might use for universal divinity. It is the dream that something better lies just over the horizon and all we have to do is get there. That faith is an essential part of dealing with a life that includes so much chaos and pain. Sagittarius is the transition and support system into the barrenness of winter. It is the thing that gets us through.
Planets in Sagittarius are imaginative, transformative, and deeply desire experiences they can learn from. Take a moment and look at your chart: Where is Sagittarius' influence present? Perhaps it is your Sun sign, or your Moon. Maybe you have another planet or two, or at least it rules one of your houses. (If you don't know your birth chart, you can find it quickly here or here. I also offer birth chart readings if you want more detail!). If Sagittarius is nowhere in your chart, not even ruling a house, then it is an intercepted sign and you will have to access it through deeper digging and learning to work with the sign that comes before it, Scorpio. That's my situation so I'd love to connect and talk more about intercepted Sag (and Gemini since interceptions happen in polarities).
The Tarot cards associated with Sagittarius are multi-faceted and show all the variety of this sign. The angel of Temperance is another way to show the two-fold nature of the centaur sign. With one foot in water and one on the earth, with the triangle inside the square on their dress, with the being itself existing neither fully of the earth or the heavens, we see the spiritual duality of Sagittarius. Temperance reminds us that we are divine incarnate. The lesson of Sagittarius is that while the physical is always seeking the spiritual, the spiritual is always seeking the physical as well. The Wheel of Fortune (associated with Sagitarrius' planetary ally Jupiter) reminds us that there is a universality to this sign. Sag is the first sign that connects us to the cosmic side of life. In the same way, the Wheel is the first card that truly reveals the Universe. In a sense, it offers a peek at what is behind the veil in the High Priestess card. In the Wheel, we also find soul-centered Sagittarius' lack of attachment to passing events. To truly remain centered we are asked to be present, not caught up anything that we know will not last.
The Court card for Sagittarius (that I use) is the Knight of Wands. This card reveals the passionate impulse in this archetype to teacha and spread knowledge. The Knight cares deeply about something and wants the whole world to know about it. The horse bucks and together they speed off to share their message with everyone they meet. This is archetypal Sagittarius as a teacher, a wise person, or an evangalist. However, it is always good to remember that this combination of Air and Fire means burnout is always a possibility. If the Air blows too hard (too much effort is exerted), then the Fire may burn out (interest wanes). Balance, a quality of Sagittarius' polar sign Gemini, is required to keep it burning.
The 3 Minor Arcana of Sagittarius tell this story of burnout - or at least that's one way to look at them. The 8 of Wands, astrologically Mercury in Sagittarius, is about passionate expression and movement. Ideas come from out of the blue, revelations strike down, and you must get them out right away. This is inspired Sagittarius. The 9 of Wands shows the effort it takes to maintain creative energy (or any task). Focusing on something bigger than yourself, being a vessel for greater work and messages, it is no easy task. This card is Jupiter in Sagittarius and while the planet is in its rulership, the true message is one of perseverance and not pure, happy-go-lucky expansion. The 10 of Wands reveals a need to lay down burdens. It invites us to ask for help, to be open to assistance, to recognize our need for rest. As Saturn in Sagittarius, this is a reminder of what our limits really are. We can dream a big dream, but we will definitely need support to make it happen. With the small village in the background, we are reminded that Sagittarius' work is communal work. We must be working for the whole to feel satisfied and fulfilled.
Sagittarius gets off to a quick and busy start. After the Sun moves in on the 22nd, multiple shifts occur in quick succession. On the 25th, Venus enters Capricorn, grounding down and seeking practicality in its environment. This is a great time to meet your own needs and seek out security. On the 26th, we have a Sagittarius New Moon. The start of the Sagittarius Lunar Cycle is a time for storytelling and reimagining the life that we are living. The next day Neptune stations Direct. This is the return of the Neptunian tide, an invitation to submerge ourselves in the unconscious fully and spend more time pursuing the spiritual truths that have become visible during the retrograde.
Moving into December, Jupiter will be shifting into Capricorn on the 2nd. This changing of signs is a once a year occurrence and always a big deal. We are being invited to center structure and foundation for the next 12 months. On the 4th there is a 1st Quarter Moon in Pisces, moving the cycle along into dreams of the collective and compassionate action. On December 9th, Mercury finally emerges from its 2-month journey through Scorpio and enters Sagittarius. Here, Mercury is considered to be in "detriment", but only because its thoughts and expressions are ephemeral and abstract. This is the time for ingenious ideas and experimentation with new identities.
December 12th brings us the Gemini Full Moon and peak of the Sag lunar cycle. This is a time for viewing the world as a mirror and using myths/stories that exist outside of us as entry points into our personal experience. Go see a movie or play, read a book, listen to an album, immerse yourself (and find yourself) in someone else's world. There are no major events between the Full Moon and the Last Quarter Moon in Virgo on the 18th. This is the final turn of the Lunar cycle inviting us to categorize and define our new self-understanding and logs our personal myths away for future use. On the last day of Sagittarius, December 20th (my birthday), Venus moves into Aquarius. It's now a whole sign ahead of the Sun and seeking out ideological comfort. Be an idealist, call in your absolute best life.
This spread is designed for Sagittarius Season. You can use your favorite Tarot or Oracle deck (or combine a few decks). Take a few deep breaths before laying out the cards and ask your higher self to speak to you through this spread. Really sit with the imagery of the cards when you have laid out the spread and let it speak to you. Then take some time to reflect on what the cards mean to you. Return to this spread throughout the season and especially at the end to see how these lessons have played out.