An arrow is a pointed projectile that is shot with a bow and penetrates a distant target. Sagitta is the constellation of the arrow, and Sagittarius is the constellation of the bow or Archer. The constellation of Aquila separates these two constellations. The English word arrow (constellation Sagitta) is confounded with the archer (Sagittarius) and cognate with Latin arcus, ‘bow, arch’. Sagitta, the constellation of the arrow, is also confounded with the word Sagittarius, the archer, or ‘arrow shooter’.
The word sagax of ‘sagax ictus‘ should belong to the constellation of Sagittarius (rather than Sagitta), the Archer, from Latin sagire, to seek, ‘seek to know’. The keywords for Sagittarius is ‘I seek’. Latin sagax comes from the Indo-European root *sag– ‘To seek out’. Derivatives: seek, beseech, sake¹, forsake, ramshackle, ransack, presage, (these words from Latin sagire, to perceive, ‘seek to know’), sagacious (from Latin sagax, ‘of keen perception’), exegesis, hegemony (from Greek hegeisthai, to lead < ‘to track down’), sic2 (to set upon; attack, usually used as a command to a dog).
The diversion into entomology eventually connects to the roots of archetype in this constellation and zodiac sign. Jupiter rules this constellation, but it also was the domicile, or under the protection of Artemis/Diana the huntress who is often portrayed with a bow and arrow. In Greek mythology Artemis/Diana sicced a pack of dogs on Actaeon .
The Greeks called this constellation Toxeutes, the Archer, from Toxon, bow. Modern archers are known as toxophilites or ‘bow lovers’, toxophily is the sport of archery. The word Taxus, the yew genus and the Latin word for yew, is of the same origin as Greek toxon, bow. In Europe bows were mostly made from yew, and English bows in particular were invariably cut from yew trees. Greek toxicon, neuter of the adjective toxicos, means ‘arrow poison’ and poisons smeared on arrows were fired from bows (toxa or toxon) derived from the yew-tree. Our verb intoxicate originally meant ‘to poison’. The 17th century herbalist Nicolas Culpepper said of Yew toxins: “it is the most active vegetable poison known in the whole world, for in a small dose it instantly induces death”.
Sagittarius isalso seen as a centaur, particularly Chiron. Chiron, an immortal being received an incurable wound from a poisoned weapon and suffered in agony. Here is one connection with poison. Eventually Chiron was healed through a swap with Prometheus. Prometheus was bound by a rock as punishment from Zeus for mocking him. Every day a huge bird known as a griffin would peck at his liver, which would grow back every night causing him continual torture. Zeus decreed that Prometheus could be released if an immortal agreed to take his place thus, releasing his immortality. Hercules pleaded Chiron’s case and Zeus eventually agreed to the exchange. Prometheus was freed. Chiron took his place and died after 9 days. Zeus immortalized him as the constellation Centaurus.
This constellation also had the titles Crotus (Krotos), and Croton: Krotos was a rustic spirit or satyr who consorted with the Muses on Mount Helikon. The Muses were the nine daughters of Mnemosyne and Zeus, each of whom presided over a different art or science. Krotos was a great hunter and, according to some, the inventor of the hunting bow and the rhythmic beat which accompanied music. According to one version, the Muses rewarded him with a place among the stars as the constellation Sagittarius.
Sagittarius is one of the constellations of the zodiac. It is one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd-century astronomer Ptolemy and remains one of the 88 modern constellations. Its name is Latin for the archer, and its symbol is (Unicode U+2650 ♐), a stylized arrow. Sagittarius is commonly represented as a centaur pulling-back a bow. It lies between Scorpius and Ophiuchus to the west and Capricornus to the east.
Sagittarius is the mutable fire sign, the spark that appears and then disappears far away at the speed of light. Sagittarius is as difficult to contain as flames in the wind. It will never remain where it appeared. It’ is considered, among others, the archetype of is the archetype of exploration, inspiration, and the scholarly pursuit of laws and principles. Through a broad-minded quest for truth, Sagittarius brings vision into the world. The explorer, constantly searching for new worlds, never settling, never at peace. But without this unattached adventurer, we would remain forever at the spot where we were born, doing nothing but reproducing right there. It’s what makes us go on.
Sagittarius is the archetype of the philosopher and our journey in meaning. It is the archetype of scholarship and truth seeking and of the teacher and mentor. We can see these things in it’s association with Chiron, who was many of these things. The identification of Saggitarius with Chiron also points us to an archetype of identity. The half beast, half man that is Chiron parallels both the the lower and higher natures we all harbor within us. And the eternal wound cured only by a death in sacrifice parallels our seeking for a higher realm than the suffering of eathly matter,
The Sagittarius archetype’s straightforward approach to life and adventurous idealism provides the impetus in people to travel, mentally and physically. Sagittarius governs the expansion of cultural boundaries through the mythic quest for truth and the act of bringing vision into the world to inspire, uplift, and evolve consciousness, cultures, and civilization.
Jupiter and Sagittarius symbolize the experience of being uplifted and charged with meaning and vision. Open-minded Sagittarius inspires you to seek your essence, penetrate consciousness, and reflect vitality. It is the sign of the High Priest/Priestess and the teacher, imparting wisdom to mankind. Sagittarians are adventurous freedom-lovers who enjoy sports, growth, and foreign lands.
The key word Idealistic appears on both the light and dark sides of Sagittarius. There is a dramatic difference between being faithful and confident and acting like God is guiding your vessel of self-righteous indignation.
The spiritual principle of Sagittarius is divine inspiration, cultivating an inward conversation with eternal being as your source of spiritual knowledge. Faith emerges when you know in your heart that things will work out just as they need to according to the divine plan. Spiritual faith is the transcendent realization that eternal being is operating through every person, place, or thing and that whatever happens can serve the divine heart of life. People with planets in Sagittarius are in touch with the certainty that spirit is directing and that there is purpose behind every experience.
Accepting faith also means that you are a receiver tuned to the channel of universal mind. The art of reiki healing involves the flow of universal life force, but there is another term from Japan that needs to be introduced called reikan, or divine inspiration. The experience of reikan is like having eternal being doing reiki to your brain, opening you to universal truth.