Sagittarius (♐, and Latin for Archer) is a constellation of the zodiac, commonly depicted as a centaur drawing a bow. Sagittarius lies between Scorpio to the west and Capricorn to the east. Its brighter stars form an easily recognizable teapot shape.
Sagittarius has the rough appearance of a stick-figure archer drawing its bow, and when including the fainter stars, appears to have a horse-like body. The greeks identified such a figure as a centaur, wheras earlier cultures, such as the Babylonians, identified it as the god Pabilsag (which also had wings and a lion's head).
In Greek mythology, Sagittarius was sometimes identified as Chiron, aiming his bow at the Scorpion, although the more usual identification of Chiron was with the constellation Centaurus. The constellation Sagitta was sometimes considered to be an arrow fired by Sagittarius.
Other early identifications include that of a rattle, which the constellation's brightest stars considered together vaguely resemble. As such, together with other constellations in the Zodiac sign of Sagittarius (specifically, Cygnus, Lyra, and Aquila), may be a significant part of the origin of the myth of the Stymphalian Birds, one of The Twelve Labors of Heracles.
The astrological sign Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21) is associated with the constellation.
In some cosmologies, Sagittarius is associated with the classical element Fire, and thus called a Fire Sign (with Aries and Leo). It is also one of the four Mutable signs (along with Gemini, Virgo, and Pisces). Its polar opposite is Gemini. Each astrological sign is assigned a part of the body, viewed as the seat of its power. Sagittarius rules the hips and thighs. Its ruling planet is Jupiter. The symbol for Sagittarius is the centaur. Sagittarian qualities include an unshakeable devotion to the concept and practice of truth, a hearty sense of adventure, a love of variety and difference, an affable extroverted nature, and a drive to explore.
- Wikipedia (2005). Sagittarius. Retrieved March 1, 2005
- This page was originally sourced from Thelemapedia. Retrieved May 2009.