Ruler - Jupiter
¦ Zodiac Sign - Sagittarius
¦ Element - Fire
¦ Mode - Mutable
is the heavenly Archer. He stands with his bow drawn back, his arrow pointing directly at Antares, the bright red star we met in Scorpio, which is placed at the very heart of the Scorpion. Controversy and doubt have surrounded this constellation since antiquity and still remains. Is the Archer Crotus, the Horseman who lived on Mount Helicon, or Chiron, the Centaur, who was a philosopher, healer and teacher to many of the Heroes of ancient Greece?
There are in fact two constellations referred to as the Archer. They are Sagittarius
and Centaurus. These two Archers have confused the stories about the celestial archer for thousands of years. The constellation of Centaurus can only be seen in its entirety in Southern Skies and not totally visible to Mediterranean sky gazers.
Whatever the true origins of Sagittarius
, this sign has come to embody the attributes of both the hunter and of Chiron, the Centaur.
It was the Romans who first named the constellation Sagittarius
. Sagitta is Latin for arrow.
A star map shows that Sagittarius
lies for most part within the Milky Way, a place from which souls descended down to earth. Ancient Astrologers were aware that the Milky Way was in fact a collection of millions of stars spinning around a central point, like a giant disc. They proclaimed that the bow of the Archer pointed to its centre. It has taken until the 20th Century and the advent of modern science to verify what the ancients knew. Something that has been born out time and time again.
So who is the Archer personified in the constellation of Sagittarius
The Archer of the heavens is seen as half man, half horse a Centaur. In this case not just any Centaur, by Chiron.
Centaurs were typically a rowdy bunch, very much into heavy drinking, wild parties and fighting. They were also given to uncontrollable sexual urges. I guess you could call them the football hooligans of the ancient world. Chiron could not be classed in this mould. Chiron was a philosopher, teacher and healer. Chiron was also divine and as such was immortal. It is he who has been accredited with teaching many of the heroes the art of battle. Heroes like Hercules, Achilles and Jason. In fact, it was said that he invented the constellation of the Archer in order to guide the Argonauts on their journey in search for the Golden Fleece. Chiron was a gentle and wise teacher. He was also versed in the arts of medicine and healing and is said to have tutored Asclepius, the first doctor.
Chirons tale is one of the most powerful in Greek mythology and one of my personal favourites. It is said that Hercules visited his friend and mentor in his cave. They shared a drink while Hercules and told him of his adventures. The other Centaurs smelt the wine and gate crashed the party. Hercules picked up his bow and arrows, dipped in the poison from the Hydra he had just slain as one of his epic labours. He killed the Centaurs, but in the confusion Chiron was injured, some say in his knee others in his ankle. Being immortal he could not die, but had to endure insufferable pain. Despite all his knowledge of medicines he could not cure himself. Thus, he was doomed to suffer for eternity, that is until he gave up his immortal life for Prometheus. He was allowed to die and as a reward was placed in the heavens as the Archer.
The second part of this wonderful story is that of Prometheus. Prometheus was a Titan, one of the race overthrown by Zeus. Prometheus (which means foresight) had the gift of prophecy and also a deep sympathy for mankind. He stole a flame from the heavenly forge of the gods, which represented enlightenment, hid it in a hollowed out funnel stalk and carried it down to earth.
Zeus was outraged by the theft, so set out to annihilate mankind by sending forth a flood (a great earth wide flood is depicted in the mythology of every nation on earth, even in the Bible). Just as the Bible has the story of an Ark so to does Greek mythology. Prometheus warned his son, who built an ark and went on board with his wife. The flood lasted for 9 days and nights, but on the tenth day the rain ceased and Deucalion (Prometheus son) made a sacrifice to Zeus. Zeus was touched by his piety and granted his request to renew the human race. This is part of the great Deucalion Flood story of Greek mythology.
Prometheus did not get off so lightly though. Zeus seized Prometheus and bound him in chains that were unbreakable, to a large rock.
Zeus sent down his eagle each day to peck out Prometheus liver, but each day it renewed itself. This torture went on for 30 years.
It is at this point that the story of Chiron and Prometheus intersect. Chiron was immortal, so therefore could not be spared his suffering. He went to Zeus and offered his immortality (and therefore his status as a god) on condition that it was given to Prometheus. Zeus sent Hercules to unchain Prometheus, who was then made an immortal god and Chiron was released from his eternal suffering. Mankind forever was the benefactor of the wisdom and enlightenment Prometheus suffered so much to bring to us all.
Therefore, Sagittarian energy is one of knowledge, wisdom and learning at the expense of all else. Chiron gave his life to spare Prometheus. Prometheus endured 30 years of torture, in order that mankind could be more than beasts. Sagittarian energy is one of sacrifice to acquire something of greater value.
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