December 3 to 10, 2015 Visible planets: Morning: Venus, Mars Evening: Saturn
This week I wanted to write about the history of Santa Claus, from his Mediterranean origins as Saint Nicholas in the 3rd century A.D. to our 21st century now, but I find myself impelled to write about something else: the positive and negative, good and evil, dark and light polarity of the Sagittarius archetype, aka the Archer. And dare I say it? Aka the shooter.
Ironically, the Archer and Santa have a lot in common. Coincidence or synchronicity, fate or destiny, holidays taking place during any particular zodiac month and sign, as well as the icons that represent them, support, resonate and emanate the archetypal energies of the zodiac sign in orb at any particular point in time. In the quest to understand the cosmic science of astrology, we first learn the twelve signs of the zodiac. Then we observe and correlate celestial phenomena and earthly events as they evolve against the backdrop of that zodiac in the constellations of our ever-revolving, starry night sky.
Seasonal energies express themselves via changing weather patterns, changing light and, as funny as it seems, seasonal holidays. As creatures of habit and beings of light we experience and intuit those seasonal cycles and energies, establish habitual feelings and behaviors, traditions and celebrations born of starlight, the starlight of the seasonal stars above us. Celestial, heavenly starlight.
Fast forward to the holidays. The season of largesse and grandeur, giving and receiving (spend, travel, indulge, party) opening your heart and sharing the holiday spirit with people you love and know, people you don’t know and even people you may not particularly like…it’s all about peace on Earth, good will to all.
Sagittarius is doing things in a big way. Just like Santa. Wild sleigh rides, reindeer and a big bag of toys, all around the globe, delivering presents to every good boy and girl on the planet. He exhibits Sag qualities: large and robust, a true sense of abandon, willing to risk it all for a worthy cause, positive, enthusiastic, no fear…spreading joy and generosity, making children happy. A true philanthropist. Santa Claus is a popular, pop icon of the jolly-good side of Sagittarius.
But Sagittarius is also where we cultivate our belief systems, our understanding of the cosmos, our origins, creation stories, philosophies, politics and religion. It is the natural world in total, the ever-expanding Universe, the numinous and divine; supernatural beings, angels, devils, demons, gods and goddesses. Sagittarius is the spiritual realm, the higher self, higher knowledge, world travel and foreign culture; the adventurer, the explorer, the one who discovers. Sagittarius is the seeker and the quest, the ever-glimmering horizon and the yearning to know what lies beyond.
And as Sagittarius is characterized by The Archer, the bowman, the one who points his arrow toward the stars, Sagittarius is the iconic spiritual warrior, the bodhisattva, the crusader, the one willing to fight and die for right. For what he believes is right. And this is where Sagittarius gets in trouble, loses balance and goes to extremes – fighting, dying and killing for one’s beliefs. The art of war fueled by the passionate fire of the righteous. It is here we see the dark side of the Sagittarius Sun.
Santa is the jolly side of Sagittarius. And dare I say it? The radical Islamic terrorist group ISIS is an example of the very, very un-jolly side, the dark side, the extreme evil side of Sagittarius.
The synchronicity of astrological and seasonal archetypes, as well as their symbols and icons, continues to intrigue and amaze me. When I was looking for images online to use in my column prior to writing this intro, I googled “the Archer” and was astounded by what popped up. Apparently there is an animated TV series with a protagonist by the name of Sterling Archer that revolves around an international spy agency called ISIS, the International Secret Intelligence Service, and the lives of its employees. I’m posting a few of the icons. The irony is obvious. According to the website, the ISIS logo and organization for the pop series has been disbanded, due to obvious reasons. (The “Archer” series was created and aired in 2009, before the current Islamic Isis organization emerged in the Western world.)
I am deeply saddened, stunned, disturbed and literally brought to my knees by the recent and tragic mass shooting in San Bernardino, CA by two religious zealots who were – dare I say it – radical Islamic terrorists. The very dark side of the Sagittarian archetype. Killing innocent people. For what? I don’t know what more to say…
Aries (Mar. 20-Apr. 19) The waning Moon is a perfect time to prepare for the hustle-bustle, New Moon energy of the holidays. Whatever you do and wherever go, do not rush. Impatient Mars in normally serene Libra squares Pluto and opposes Uranus this week, challenging tempers and tempting fate. Be extra calm and careful, take your time even when you think you don’t have enough of it.
Taurus (Apr. 19-May 20) Hustle-bustle Mars in relationship oriented Libra squares Pluto and opposes fast-acting Uranus in impatient Aries this week, so be forewarned. You or others may be tempted to force issues or bring up long-buried memories of misdeeds and wrongdoing, causing upset and potential harm. Better to focus on the present and use your energy to get things done. No question, there is plenty to do. Move and groove.
Gemini (May 20-June 20) With the Sun strongly committed to the uplifting, philanthropic ethos of Sagittarius, you are no doubt dealing with partners, people and issues of all sizes and stripes in the world outside your door. Others look to you for assistance and guidance, support and understanding. Focus on positive solutions and the liberation of honesty, creative change and new life behaviors.
Cancer (June 20-July 22) You may get caught up in the turbulence of other people’s problems or family of origin issues as hot-flash Mars, suspicious Pluto and fast-acting Uranus dance in a triangle of you, me and them. The function here is positive, habit-breaking change and new life. Addiction, jealousy or emotional wounding may be powerful themes in the week. Focus on healthy boundaries, cultivate patience and trust the Universe.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 22) The holiday season and Sagittarius zodiac month are traditionally a time of uplifting spirit and happy-feeling vibrations for the Lion. This year, however, you may feel less enthusiastic and more realistic than in the past. Happily immune and impervious to the hype and promotion of Christmas spending, you can now utilize self-referral and follow your heart. Authentic giving feels just right.
Virgo (Aug. 22-Sep. 22) With Jupiter happy in virtuous Virgo, you may feel encouraged to see more, do more and even spend more than usual this holiday season. And that’s all fine and dandy, as long as you don’t forget to balance your checkbook and stay in the happy zone when it comes to giving. Keep track of what you spend and maintain healthy emotional, physical and financial boundaries. That said, it’s all-good!
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 22) You may feel a bit rundown and ramshackled this week, wanting to rest and relax but unable to do so. Partners, mates and people in general want your time and attention, the holidays beckon and there is much to do! Take a deep breath each morning and find the quiet, calm space you need to recharge and regenerate sometime during the day or night. Otherwise you will certainly explode. Good luck!
Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 21) As the Moon wanes toward its Dec. 11th New Moon lunation, the night sky sparkles with starlight. And there is no better tonic for stress and worry than the vast canopy of deep space. Indulge yourself in a little cosmic medicine and check out the glitter and glow. Meanwhile, trust your angels to guide you through the twists and turns of 21st century life on Earth. Refrain from toxic words and poison potions. Breathe deep.
Sagittarius (Nov. 21-Dec. 20) A waning Saturn [in Sag] square to Neptune [in Pisces] favors more diligence in discerning fact from both fallacy and fantasy. You may find the world highly toxic and unbelievably apocalyptic. It can certainly feel like Armageddon or the End Times, but truth is, it’s actually just another day in the Milky Way. Find the higher perspective and remember you don’t have to [can’t] go to Mars to get it. Be here now.
Capricorn (Dec. 20-Jan. 19) The ongoing, long-term transit of Pluto in Capricorn comes into focus this week as a square from hot-button Mars opens the door to what lies hidden beneath layers of conditioning, programming and experience. This translates as a potentially life-changing week for you, a checkpoint of status and progress regarding your personal spiritual condition, most important relationships, career and family life. Be cool.
Aquarius (Jan. 19-Feb. 18) A red-hot Mars square in peace-loving Libra to seething Pluto in controlling Capricorn and later week opposition to freedom-loving Uranus in courageous Aries puts you in the position of peace-maker and task-master. You see the beauty and ultimate strength of goodness in the face of evil, but also understand the seductive power of fear, suspicion and hate. Galvanize courage, think different and explore new directions.
Pisces (Feb. 18-Mar. 20) The waning square of Saturn in Sag to Neptune in Pisces, combined with a later week Chiron lunar square translates as a dynamic challenge to re-evaluate your most fundamental beliefs. Predominant Judeo-Christian ethics condition us to accept victim-savior archetypes and preach redemption via man-made religion. The Aquarian Age opens individual hearts to the Divine Heart. One love, one heart.
Cynthia is a third generation astrologer living on a high mountain mesa 40 miles west of Telluride. Visit her website @ www.alacazem.com
Cynthia Hansen Zehm
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