2020 has been a year of shadows, commanding us to step up and face our fears, to answer for our past once and for all. We’ve had our share of Tower moments, events both public and private, decrees from the divine to start over and change course. But after Scorpio Season’s alchemical transformation, working through the 8th House mysteries, the shadows have begun to clear. There’s finally a target in sight.
Thanks in part to the North Node in Gemini, duality has been an important part of this year’s lesson. Each passing season seems to emphasize that there are multiple means of expression within one energy, that we often underestimate our capacity to be complex, multifaceted creatures capable of growth and change with each step forward.
And if there’s ever a sign to remind us of this forward trajectory, it would be Sagittarius.
Sagittarius may not be the first sign you think of when it comes to embodying duality — it certainly isn’t as obvious a choice as Gemini or Pisces, but it does occupy the same mutable space. The symbolism of Sagittarius emphasizes its dual nature: represented in Babylon as a cavalry archer, a two-part symbol of both mankind’s expansive nature and its animal origins, it was interpreted in Greece as the centaur, further compounding the two energies into one impossible whole. The centaurs of myth were wild untamed things with a voracious lust for life and a fierce love of their natural born freedom. However, their humanity was not entirely lost: among their numbers were some of mythology’s greatest teachers, healers, and nurses. At its highest expression Sagittarius is a seeker of truth, its arrows ever aimed upwards towards purpose and wisdom. Paired with its influence on the 9th House, Sagittarius becomes a place of boundless potential, shifting perspective, and renewed hope. And if ever we needed some Sagittarian drive, it would be this year of incalculable loss, monetized fear, and undeniable intrigue.
When the Sun crossed the threshold of Sagittarius on November 21st, it seemed a bit subdued: the Moon in Aquarius indicates that our hearts and minds are largely on the state of the world around us, and with Venus’ descent into Scorpio, our sense of love and belonging is distant and contemplative. Sagittarius’ ruler, Jupiter, is still making his way through the rocky, mountainous paths of Capricorn, his sign of fall, unable to lend us the joy and enthusiasm we normally feel for the season. In this moment, Sagittarius’ arrows feel more like an anchor, grounding us in a promise of better things to come if only we endure a bit longer. Days later, the Sun moves into a trine with fellow centaur Chiron, cauterizing wounds we’ve long forgotten. Like its mythological namesake, Chiron has a tendency to sacrifice, turning its generous eye to the illness and suffering of others even when the self is in great pain. With Chiron in Aries, where it’s been since February of 2019, that often means ignoring the wounds we sustain altogether, pressing forward with a militant denial of our own individual needs. But denial is one thing Sagittarius won’t suffer, and in the Sun’s insistent light we see where we’ve refused ourselves the opportunity to heal.
The Full Moon on November 30th brings us the second eclipse in the Gemini Sagittarius cycle, doubling down on our goal of self-examination. Lunar penumbral eclipses occur when the Moon moves into the Earth’s shadow, forcing us to examine how our own shadows — and that of the collective — have guided our behaviour. With the Moon, a classic indicator of the larger population, in outspoken Gemini, we must consider whether our words are reactionary, instinctual, influenced by opinions outside of ourselves, and how we have internalized this influence. In order to best harness this Moon’s capacity for release we need to look to its ruler Mercury — and in the last few degrees of covert Scorpio, the Messenger God most certainly bears secrets. Engaged in a trine with Neptune, itself out of a five month retrograde, Mercury promises that these shadows are clearing, swept away by the ebb and flow of the Piscean tides. But that doesn’t mean that our answers will be laid bare: truth must be sought. Mercury charges into Sagittarius on December 1st as the Sun makes an alliance with determined Mars — we must move forward at all costs. Our shadow can no longer be an obstacle to our progress, and for the rest of the season, we are urged to charge ahead. Take no prisoners.
With this shift in our priorities, a weight is lifted. The anchor that has kept us rooted in so much heavy energy is pulled up and our eyes are turned instead to the horizon, our arrow aimed to the sky. As our personal planets continue to blaze the trail forward, we have no time for despair. Optimism rushes in to fill the gaps left by our dissipating anxiety. By the time the New Moon arrives on December 14th, our reality is transformed: with the Sun, Moon, Mercury, and South Node all in tight conjunction, it’s as if a light is switched on to reveal months of unseen growth. This is the third eclipse in our new cycle, and as a Total Solar Eclipse it brings a rare opportunity to face our shadow head on and release it in full. Just days later, Venus, Queen of Everything We Hold Dear, steps into Sagittarius and brings our heart into alignment with our mind, body, and soul. And with everything finally in place, Chiron stations direct, knitting our wounds back together. It’s worth noting that Chiron remains in Aries for several more years, beginning its flirtation with Taurus in 2026: healing ourselves is the hardest task we ever undertake. We often underestimate how wounds to our ego keep us splintered, disempowered, unable to access our greatest strengths or will. Chiron spends an inordinate amount of time in Aries for precisely this reason: to help us get back on our own feet and realign with our own individual purpose.
But Sagittarius Season has one more charge for us: the ingresses of Saturn and Jupiter into Aquarius.
Saturn has been at the forefront of astrology since it moved into its home sign of Capricorn in 2017. Saturn in Capricorn is a tight fit, constrictive and regimented on the best of days, but with Pluto’s commanding presence already permeating the sign, Capricorn has been downright inhospitable. When Jupiter crossed the threshold at the end of 2019, it had no room to bring its usual gifts. Together, these three planets wreaked havoc on our daily routines, structures of authority, and systems of security as they vied for control, culminating in the Saturn Pluto conjunction and several dalliances between Jupiter and Pluto earlier this year. But on December 17th, Saturn releases its grip on Capricorn and marches proudly into Aquarius, where Jupiter will join just days later. Unlike Capricorn’s grounded, stable Cardinal Earth, Aquarius is Fixed Air, a place of intense intellect and forward thought. It’s often said that Aquarius is for the people, but not of them, concerned with humanity but still somewhat distant from it in order to maintain objectivity. It’s important to remember that in traditional astrology, Aquarius was ruled by Saturn. It may have relinquished its throne to Uranus in modern times, but Saturn remains quite strong under the Water Bearer and easily lends its architectural expertise to building structures of social reform. With Jupiter’s buoyant presence presiding over this inaugural year, it’s important to exercise moderation: stable structures are built with careful planning, and buildings erected in haste rarely stand for long. The work is not yet done: Pluto will continue to topple towers in Capricorn until 2024 and if their Aquarian replacements are not sound, they’ll only be the next to fall. But this kind of strategizing is what Capricorn Season is made of. For now, we focus on Truth, Wisdom, and Happiness. Follow the charge, keep your eye on the target, and may your aim be true.