Twelve Phases of Human Experience
SAGITTARIUS - Page 3 of 3
At a higher level, we find Sagittarius associated with religion; but only with organized religion and rituals. Religion, as an organized social force, is born of the individual's yearning for psychic identification with the wholeness of the community's life. It is a communal enterprise, powered by men's yearning to feel collectively united. Priests and theocratic rulers are the managers of that communal energy. The Prophet gives form to it. He creates "images of salvation" symbols of unification. He projects himself as such a symbol. He becomes a mythical Personage, a Solar Hero. He is the soul of the community. He is humanity condensed into One Perfect Man; the projection of the very Fatherhood of God.
As to the philosopher and metaphysician — also a product of Sagittarian activity — such a one is he who establishes workable order in the midst of the bewildering complexity of social and natural phenomena. He does this by recognizing all sorts of hidden connections and correlations between events; by interpreting and formulating generalizations in terms of laws. He travels in the "realm of Ideas." But he travels with the use of the power he released by identifying himself with the need of his group. Nothing has more significance to the higher type of Sagittarian than the "need of the times" the need of the community to which he belongs. To realize that need and to become identified with it are the very sources of his power as a thinker, seer and formulator. He is that need having taken form and name. He is interpreter, reader of omens and "signs of the times," planner, prophet and seer. But what he "sees" is what there is a social need for him to see. He is the servant of the community.
On the negative side of the picture we find the Sagittarian as a fanatic and as a Puritan (and the Puritan background of the American tradition again stresses a Sagittarian Ascendant for the United States). Just because the personalizing energy of the Day-force is at its lowest ebb in Sagittarius, the native of that sign has very little regard for individuals. He willingly sacrifices anything personal and individualistic to the altar of the "good of the community." The Spanish Inquisition is a typical Sagittarian product (Spain is ruled by Sagittarius), for it tortured the individual personality to save the soul. It sacrificed the near to the far. Scorpio's frustrations may also lead to Sagittarian fanaticism, which then becomes more violent and cruel through sadistic features. The community accordingly has not only the right to save itself at the cost of its individuals' sufferings and deaths; the man who claims the right to manage that religious-social power finds a perverse exaltation in the torture. Thus personal asceticism (deliberate or enforced) leads to cruelty.
The Sagittarian has so vague an objective and positive sense of individualism, and on the other hand such an overwhelming social sense, that he has at times to resort to subconscious subterfuges and to the thrill of violence in order to get back a feeling of his own personality. In fact he does this rather often as a rule, especially as the chaos of medieval and modern society fills him with destructive energies. Thus the Sagittarian may seem on the surface to be a boisterous individual and an arrogant personality. This, again, is due to his very surrender to non-individualistic forces. The Day-force at its lowest point of power has to strain itself in order to give to itself the illusion of strength. It needs "strong meat" to be aroused, and when aroused it acts at times in archaic and compulsive ways which are just as unpleasant as the negative Scorpio traits, and perhaps more dangerous because more sharpened by intellectual mechanisms. Then Jupiterian compassion becomes more or less unconscious sadism.
Sagittarius is the prelude to Christmas. As the snow, it absorbs all littleness into the vast womb of silence from which the new birth of the Day-force will emerge. The mind that binds all life into patterns of cosmic relationships has become a "mother of the Living God." The Sagittarian has all the heroisms, the self-abnegation and the loving tyranny of mothers. He closes an era and opens another. He is pregnant with divinity.
By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1943 by David McKay Company
and Copyright © 1970 by Dane Rudhyar
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