Twelve Phases of Human Experience
SAGITTARIUS - Page 2 of 3
In ancient symbolism we see Sagittarius represented by the Centaur, the mythical creature, half-horse and half-man, shooting his arrows heavenward. To say that the symbol describes a struggle between the human and animal natures is to say little for the struggle between opposite energies goes on through the entire Zodiac. The real significance of the symbol is deeper and more precise. In every land, the horse represents virile power; but power of a special kind, power with which man can identify himself, which he can mount and with the help of which he can expand his range of activity. This he cannot do with the Bulls power, for the latter is unconscious, untamable, pure instinct the power of cosmic Desire which man can kill by the sword (bull fights), but never consciously use for his own development. Taurus is therefore cosmic sex-power. Man is its tool, until he kills it by asceticism (the Buddha-symbol of energy overcoming).
Not so with the Sagittarius type of sex. That kind of power can be tamed and used. It becomes then symbolized by the Horse. Drinking the mare's milk gives great vitality and is used for that purpose in Russia and Asia. Identifying oneself with the stallion's power is a world-wide symbol of becoming recharged with power for use whether it be destructive use (Genghis Khan's"Golden Hordes" riding on their fierce Mogul horses) or constructive use. The Sagittarius type therefore has become identified with power power that burns in the "groins" and is centered, in Yoga, in the region of the solar plexus; a fact which the psychoanalyst also recognizes as he interprets dreams of horses of various colors. Half of Sagittarius is "power"; the other half is "he who uses power" that is, the conscious mind of man. A third attribute (bow and arrows) refers to direction and purpose. The Centaur shoots upward at a 45° angle, symbol of the maximum mobilization of energies.
The centaurs were sons of Gaia, the Earth. In other words, they were the products of an identification with the energies of that greater organism, the planet. In Sagittarius, man having identified himself with the power generated by society and by the complex interchange between human beings (sex, business, commerce, art, propaganda, etc.) has become "powerful." His problem is how to direct it in the proper channels. The Sagittarian's problem does not refer essentially to a struggle between two natures; it deals with a choice of directions for the power which has been built in within his "groins." And the Centaur symbolism indicates what the correct direction is, by the angle at which the Centaur shoots his arrows.
The Sagittarius type is occupied mainly with "working efficiency" and direction. He is the typical manager of power; the "man-agent" of power. For the manager is the person who directs and organizes the release of power for maximum efficiency and minimum waste; also for greatest speed and greatest reach. On the other hand, the typical "executive" is developed essentially in Capricorn, because the executive is the symbol of the working, organization as a whole, in its relation to society as a whole. He is the center and symbol of the State. Sagittarius is the Prime Minister; Capricorn, the King or Emperor and Aquarius, the Reformer.
The Sagittarian mentality is a very coherent and cohesive kind of mentality thus its stubborn and unyielding quality. It sees everything in terms of "schedule of operation" or law. It is also, at another level, completely obsessed by ethics; but ethics as a working system of human relationship and not as an idealist's dream. The Sagittarian is not primarily an idealist. He wants to extend that which is; to organize it and make it work by finding all possible connections between every part of the whole and by seeing them operate properly. He is interpreter, rather than inventor of new goals. He codifies. He finds new meanings, new dimensions of thinking. He clears up obscure points. He pierces through veil after veil. But he does not lose himself, like the Scorpio and even more the Aquarius type, into wild identifications with boundless energies or mystical realizations. He never surrenders the sense of boundaries, of form, of a definite rhythm of operation. He is not Eagle, but Horse. His power stems from the reality of the known and the experienced. He may shoot arrows at the stars, but his feet remain on the earth, which he loves because it is the source of his power.
It is the source of his power; but he is not bound to it. He uses it. He manages its power. He treats it well, just as a Mogul warrior or a nomad treats well his horses; merely because he knows he is dependent upon it for maximum efficiency, in fact for his very life. Therefore the Sagittarian is keen on exercising his body and muscles, on feeling the soil under his feet; keen also on working with people, in getting the feel of society; despondent and fretful if alone, or (in the less mental type) if confined in a narrow environment. He needs open space, large rooms. He loves to organize other people's lives with often unpleasant results! He loves to handle power and to speed.
In modern life the automobile and the tank are taking the place of the horse. What is the source of their power? Oil deep in the "bowels of the earth." And so leaders like Churchill and General de Gaulle who were the first to recognize the value of the tank in modern warfare are Sagittarians; and so the birth-chart of the United States, the land of the automobiles, outdoors and sports, has most likely Sagittarius rising.
By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1943 by David McKay Company
and Copyright © 1970 by Dane Rudhyar
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