As the year comes to a close Sagittarius steps into the spotlight and shines. This is the season of the hunter, the archer, and there is no better image to represent Sagittarius — the earthbound adventurer. They seek spirituality and new ideas but don’t be confused, Sagittarians are not flighty mystics with their heads in the clouds.
They are curious philosophers who love to learn, always adding mental arrows and keeping them sharp. Because, as every Sagittarius knows, gathering knowledge is only half the fun, and there’s no sense collecting arrows unless you plan to use them.
Sagittarius is often portrayed as a centaur, the preeminent archer. With the lower body of a horse and the upper body of a human, the centaur has four feet on the ground while its bow is aimed at the heavens. Sagittarius’ glyph, an upward arrow still firmly lodged in the earth, reflects this duality well — Sagittarians are creative thinkers with a good grasp on reality.
Many mythological hunters have a close kinship with Sagittarius, most notably Diana, Goddess of the Hunt. Though their element is fire, they have symbolic ties to the earth, deer and other small animals of the woods. Unlike the fiery, passionate signs of the summer or autumn, Sagittarius’ fire represents enlightenment and elevation. They hunt for wisdom in all different forms, and many Sagittarians turn to Eastern religions for the answers they seek. It’s said that Sagittarians are among the most interesting signs in the zodiac, probably because they spend so much time traveling the world and learning new things.
But it’s not all adventure and insights. Like all intelligent creatures, Sagittarius grows bored easily in an unchanging routine and are highly distractible. While they set lofty goals and are described as trailblazers, follow through can be a problem. And though their honesty is a virtue in most regards, Sagittarians can be blunt and while it’s not their aim to hurt, more sensitive folks will find this direct approach off-putting.
Pass The Luck
Sagittarians have a knack for getting it right and supposedly the archer is the luckiest sign of the zodiac. It’s fitting that the herb paired with Sagittarius is the aniseed, an ingredient in many luck potions and a talisman of luck all by itself in some practices. Since this is the season of giving, I thought it would be nice for you Sagittarians to share some of your good fortune with your loved ones.
What you will need:
- Aniseed (you can use the whole pod or just the seeds if you wish)
- Dried sage
- Blue carnations
- A picture of your target and a taglock for them
- A taglock for yourself
- A green candle
- A small bottle
To begin, pluck the carnations and arrange the petals in two circles, one within the other like an archer’s target. If you can do so safely, this circle should go on the floor so that you have plenty of room to look down onto it. Next, place your green candle in the center of the circle and prop your target’s photo against it.
Now sprinkle the sage on the petals in the outer circle and place the aniseed on the petals in the inner circle. Light the green candle, take a deep breath and stand so that you are looking down onto your target. Take a moment to focus on the person you wish to pass on some of your luck to and especially why they could use it. Hold both taglocks in your right hand.
Recite this incantation:
“A lucky friend you have in me
A slice of fortune I slide to thee
Now you can choose more easily
All lucky paths
So mote it be”
You may repeat this as many times as you wish until you feel you’ve got your rhythm. Imagine that as you’re standing over this circle, you are actually siphoning some of your luck into the target, and how it will positively affect them!
When you’re finished, collect a few petals, aniseed, sage, and add it to your right hand with the taglocks. Hold this hand over the green candle, then blow it out repeating the spell once more. Let the smoke waft over your hand for a moment or two.
When you are finished, you may discard the circles but place the petals you held in your hand along with the taglocks and herbs someplace where the petals can completely dry out, mingling with the herbs and taglocks as they do. It may take a few days, but make sure there is no residual moisture, then add this small batch of ingredients to the bottle and seal tightly. Now you can give this to your friend, and make sure to let them know it’s their new lucky charm and to keep it close!
I grew up in Arizona, where Navajo blankets and Tohono O’odham baskets are for sale everywhere. They are sold as works of art, and you’ll be hard-pressed to step into any home in Arizona without seeing at least one example of these gorgeous pieces. I was particularly taken with the Zuni fetishes — small animal figurines that are sold to the public in a non-religious context. To the best of my knowledge, these animals represent different regions and act as guardians of those regions. They are traditionally hunters: Bears, wolves, eagles, etc. While the idea of an animal guardian is not specific to the Zuni, they were the inspiration for your next magical project, Sagittarius: A guardian for your altar.
What you will need:
- Materials for making your guardian (described below)
- Three white candles
- Gathered sticks, rocks, and leaves
- Topaz (optional)
- A small offering bowl with water
- Raisins, or a small piece of fruit
Horses, in particular, are sacred to Sagittarius, though the stag and other small, hunted animals can be as well. So the choice is yours; any woodland creature that has symbolic meaning to you will be perfect.
Once you pick your animal, you must create it! You can use natural elements like wood or mud, or if you prefer, you can splurge on some sculptor’s clay from your local craft shop. Make sure your space is cleansed and has good vibes before you get down to work. Feel free to add protective and strengthening elements to your guardian, like a little salt or oak (the tree associated with your sign). Much like a poppet, the more symbolic the guardian is to you the better. If you don’t feel comfortable creating this guardian from scratch, there are about a thousand and one shops online where you can purchase small animal figurines. While I think it’s more fitting to be the creator of the guardian, there are certainly no rules saying that you must. Jus make sure that you feel connected to it.
When your guardian is complete, it’s time to begin the welcoming ceremony where you will bring it to life. Take your sticks, leaves, and rocks and arrange them in front of you in the shape of a triangle — the alchemical symbol for fire. Light your favorite incense and add a piece of topaz to the top of the triangle. Since it’s Sagittarius’ birthstone, you may have some on hand, but if not, you may skip this step. Add a white candle to each point of the triangle and light it. Place your guardian within the triangle and center yourself. When you are ready, hold your hands out (palms up), and recite these lines:
“I ask nothing but protection
And in exchange, you have a home
Where nothing bad befalls you
And you are not alone
Guard me as I work
And guide me when I’m wrong
Help this gentle archer stay
Humble, true, and strong”
Now lay your offerings of water and fruit within the triangle, blow out the candles, and leave this to sit overnight. Before you go to sleep, imagine you are walking through a forest and you see your guardian as a real animal. You may repeat the lines above, or ask it to help you in your own way. The animal will turn and lead you somewhere into the forest, but it’s up to you to determine if where you go means it has agreed to be your friend or not. If not, repeat the ceremony with different offerings or perhaps different materials in your triangle (more colorful leaves or rocks, sticks from different trees, etc). If you feel the answer is yes, in the morning you may place your guardian on your altar and discard the rest of the materials.
Now that your altar has a guardian, remember to bring it small offerings (souvenirs from your adventures will be especially appreciated) before you begin altar work and express gratitude when your work is finished!
No matter what holiday you celebrate at this time of year, I hope you’re surrounded by loved ones and you can create some good memories. May your aim be true and your travels be safe. Happy birthday, Sagittarius!