It seems only fitting that we should launch the expanded SAI monthly newsletter under the sign of Sagittarius. After all, Sagittarius is the sign of seekers of knowledge and understanding, and astrology is an age old archetypal language through which we’ve attempted to better understand ourselves, others, and our purpose in this lifetime. I happen to have a strong Sagittarian influence in my birth chart, so it’s no mystery as to why I was always fascinated with astrology. I thought it was the secret treasure map that held all the answers to my life, upon discovery of which would tell me everything I would ever need to know so I could finally claim my perfect perfume ad life. What can I say – I was young. After years of study I’m still searching. Maybe it’s a symptom of living in the accelerated age of quick fixes to want simple answers to complex questions, but the seekers feel compelled to continue, perhaps at times seeming the foolish Don Quixotes chasing windmills – each and every journey leading to an experience, which usually opens the door to the next journey. That’s what they mean when they say the journey is the destination. It’s not just a kitschy fortune cookie cliché. For Sagittarians it’s a way of life.
Frequently astrologers have a tendency to reduce everything down to glib labels. While my intent is not to do that, I’d like to highlight some of the most well known qualities of Sagittarius, or those with a strong Sag influence – which could include a number of planets in Sag, Sag Rising, etc. It will be like Letterman’s Top 10 List without the rim shots…
If you want to know if your butt looks big, don’t ask a Sag. In fact, chances are they’ve already told you. They’re not ones to mince words, or take feelings into account before blurting out the obvious truth. It’s the way it is, and they’re just making an astute observation, which may leave them confused as to why others find them tactless, rude, insensitive. It’s not that we don’t want to hear the truth, we just wish sometimes they had a FILTER that the rest of us seem to have – that one might try to find a more considerate way to tell you that boy, your roots are showing and you’re pale, like albino pale and really need to get some sun.
Bigger than Life
Say what you want about them, they’re not small. They’re ebullient, enthusiastic go-getters with a can do / let’s go kind of attitude. They have the zest of many in one, which can be paramount facing seemingly impossible odds. To them, nothing is impossible — the bigger the mountain, the bigger their dream. It was Winston Churchill (Nov. 30th) who said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” In true Jupiterian form, here was a man not only known for his girth, but his resilient determination. His mantra of “Never, never, never give up” is an example of how pivotal his attitude carried a war weary England through World War II. Try preaching hope to a country while the Germans are fire-bombing the holy crumpets out of you.
They want to do it all, which makes them a little hard to keep up with. They have a reputation as the vagabonds of the zodiac – freedom lovers. I’ve heard Sagittarius referred to as the sign of the ‘proverbial bachelor’ (no, George Clooney is not a Sag). It’s not that they’re incapable of committing. It’s just that it cuts down their options and they have to be ready to grab a hold of that brass ring heading their way (because one always is), or head off to the next port of call. People may see them as restless wanderers, gypsies… oh hell, let’s just call them hobos – that makes them sound adorable!
I had a boss who was a Sag, and although he was already very wealthy, he loved to gamble. It’s not about the money; it’s the game. On road trips he always hit the Vegas casinos and would report that he ‘didn’t win anything’, which usually meant nothing worth mentioning. To my recollection, he never ever lost. In fact, I had to explain to him that leaving the casino with more money than you gave them is actually called winning. They may not throw the dice, literally, but they’re risk takers, even if it’s simply their ability to gamble on life. They’re all in, as they say. If they don’t find their luck, that’s OK — they’ll make it. Things somehow seem to go their way, and if they don’t they believe it’s for the best – it just means that something better is coming along, and you know, it usually does.
OK, so now we know they’re hard to pin down. Why? Well, have you seen the globe? It’s like massive and all those different colored shapes represent different countries to explore and cultures to experience. How could you possibly expect them to stay home with you to eat pizza and watch Top Chef? And as well traveled as they might be, they’re always scanning the horizon for the next adventure. You might see all the stamps in their passport – they see all the blank spaces to fill. And don’t think they’re off in search of the perfect tan. Their journeys fulfill their fascination with everything foreign because they’re learning. They learn about people through the experiential examination of cultures – how they eat, live, relate. This can give them exceptional skills in mediation, foreign relations, or in the very least, make them handy travel guides.
One of the reasons they can get away with being the tactless truth tellers that they are is they are fortunate enough to have another tool in their arsenal – humor. I have yet to meet a Sag that doesn’t have a sharp sense of humor. Think of the court jesters. In Shakespeare’s KING LEAR the fool was the only one who could call out the King for the foolishness of his ways, deftly under the guise of witty jabs.
We don’t call them fools anymore, Now we call them satirists, one of the most famous being Mark Twain (Nov. 30th), who’s stories follow colorful and genuine characters through common adventures. His brash and insightful wit made him one of the most beloved icons of American Literature.
But let’s talk about a more current fool, as in the King of Comedy Central. I can’t think of anyone who embodies the modern day jester more than Jon Stewart (Nov. 28th), host of The Daily Show a nightly ‘news’ program in which the jokes seemingly write themselves or as Stewart himself said, “the absurdity of the system provides us the most material.”
Who could forget his 2004 appearance on the now defunct CNN show Crossfire. You may as well Wikipedia the clip, tagged “Sag in Action” in which this jester enters the CNN political court and literally calls out the hosts for their ‘partisan hackery’, amongst other things. You can see more of this here.
What was supposed to be a promotional interview for Stewart’s latest book turned into a frank and opinionated commentary of their show, in which he sincerely begged the co-hosts to ‘stop hurting America’, lecturing them on their failure to rise to the need for intelligent political debate. He was completely commanding and direct. And hysterical. And sexy. Well, it’s true. Or maybe I’m just a sucker for a dark, handsome truth-teller.
I know. We all have knowledge, right? But do we really? Knowledge is defined as the fact or state of knowing. It seems simple enough, but there’s a big difference between learning (a process) and knowing (state of being). That’s like saying going to school leads to education. (Who are we kidding..) Knowledge takes absorption, intent and dedication. What good is the information if it’s data — better ammunition for a Trivial Pursuit match? Education does not guarantee learning, just as there’s a difference between conversation and discourse. Information is just data until it takes form. Sagittarius is less concerned with the information as what you do with it.
But let’s go with a timelier example. Let’s talk about the vast supply of information we’re inundated with via our technological ‘advancements’. We’ve acclimated to a daily flood via the internet, e-mails, blogs, live feeds — but how much of it is valid? Useful? Relevant to our lives? Or worse, accurate. Anyone can put anything on the internet, but that doesn’t mean it’s true. How often do we take the time to investigate, examine, question. And if we go one step further, just because something may be true for someone else, doesn’t mean it’s true for you. There are levels of truth. The sky is blue, grass is green, sure, but I’m talking about a deeper kind of truth, the kind you need to walk thru, not think through.
Sometimes it’s as simple as having the humility to admit that you don’t know as much as you think and that there’s always more to learn. Sometimes it’s good to give ourselves the time and open-mindedness to explore. Or that listening may be just as important as expressing an opinion – an opinion, which by the way might actually be altered after you’ve listened. Sagittarius is the sign of the scholar, who pursues not only the gathering, but the assimilating of information, which can lead to a deeper understanding. If you’re lucky, you might end up with a wisdom that has been hard earned, and actually have something of substance to say, which I find increasingly rare in this age of instant everything. But that’s just my opinion…. And thus we’ve come full circle.