The Liberation of Sagittarius

That Astrologer, Fairlie Theta
3 min readDec 11, 2021
Guido Crepax

Sagittarius teaches us about truth. Its arrow aims at wisdom. It has no fear that the arrow will miss its target — it has only faith in the path ahead.

Like its predecessor Scorpio, Sagittarius is associated with a variety of symbols. Its glyph is clearly evocative of its title, the Archer, consisting of a cross terminating in a skyward-pointing arrow. But what takes aim isn’t quite as clear. From culture to culture, artist to artist, Sagittarius is depicted with varying degrees of humanity. Sometimes the archer is wholly human, sometimes clearly mythical.

Fantasia, 1940

But in the archetypal spectrum that is the zodiac, what can we infer about the sign and its placement from these symbolic discrepancies?

Many of us are familiar with Sagittarius as the centaur. Half man half horse, the centaur is certainly befitting of Sagittarius’ bicorporeality, a trait shared by Gemini and Virgo. But if we travel farther back into the fertile crescent of Sumeria, we find two very different bodies at work. The Archer of Babylon was also equal parts man and horse, but as the cavalry soldier.

The cavalry archer places his faith in a king. His courage is born of the solidarity he shares with his fellow soldiers, trust in his king, and a willingness to die for what he believes. Sagittarius’ lower expression may manifest as zealotry, faith turned to unquestioning devotion. Here Sagittarius becomes the Crusader, the Mercenary. Its truth is borrowed. Its will is loaned.

It’s easy to see how Sagittarius became the centaur — comprised of those same two bestial elements, it merged horse and rider into one individual entity. But the centaurs of myth were wild and untamed things. Although their numbers include some of the most beloved teachers and healers in mythology, their wisdom was derived from keen observation of the natural world. They may appear half human but the centaurs were primal creatures and followed their instincts. They may befriend gods and heroes, but they remained sovereign. Their truth is their own, their will is free.

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That Astrologer, Fairlie Theta

Fairlie Theta is a professional astrologer and a lifelong student of esoterica, marrying symbolism, semiotics, and psychology || See more at ThatAstrologer.com