This is a transcript of The Shadow Femme Show podcast. Click here listen to this episode.
You're listening to The Shadow Femme Show, a show in which we ask and answer questions about humans, our feelings, and the ways in which we make meaning.
I'm your host, Sarah, and I'm an astrologer, human design reader, and spiritual communicator.
I'm here with an episode on the archetype of Sagittarius, and you may have noticed that I'm dropping this one a bit late. Sagittarius season started about a week and a half ago, but a bunch of things happened this past month that delayed me recording and releasing this episode. First, my computer mysteriously died, and I shipped it off to get fixed. And the next day, I segued into the week of my 30th birthday, which I had already planned to take off as a sort of mini vacation. And right after that, the lunar eclipse happened, and I was just hit with this wave of exhaustion. And as I was recovering from that, I experienced a flare-up with the chronic jaw tension I've been dealing with, and it got so extreme and painful that I could barely open my mouth—so, obviously, podcast recording kept falling by the wayside...
But most of those things have been resolved by now, sooo here I am, finally sending this episode out into the world!
So here is what I channeled from guides about the archetype of Sagittarius...
Hiiii Sarah's listeners! Welcome to Sagittarius season. We are so excited to talk to you about the archetype of Sagittarius. We are a bit sad because Scorpio season has passed, which is Sarah's birthday season, because it's always nice to celebrate her, but we're looking forward to welcoming you into the energy of Sagittarius, which is always a good time.
Even if you're not a Sagittarius sun, you've got Sagittarius somewhere in your chart, so listen to his episode with that in mind, taking note of where this energy falls in your life. If you're not sure how to decode your chart, by the way, just book a session with Sarah! She'll sort it all out for you :)
Okay, so the Sagittarius archetype...This is a complicated one. Sagittarians get pretty pigeon-holed as just these free-spirited wanderers, and yet there's so much more to them than that. Let's broaden the normal associations of this archetype.
Sagittarius: the Centaur and the Explorer
So Sagittarius is the sign of the archer, the centaur, the half man/half horse galloping forward, bow and arrow in hand, thrusting out into the world, forging forward across the horizon.
This is outward energy. It is broad, vast energy.
It's the type of energy that draws out one's inner explorer. The conqueror, even.
Now we know that "conqueror" is not necessarily a "good" word, and that's because it naturally evokes the image of domination, subjugation, exploitation—and with it, the memory of the Spanish conquistadores.
Now Sarah is actually a descendant of peoples who were quote-unquote "conquered" by these Spanish colonizers, and so, that's not a very fun association, to put it lightly. Sorry to dampen the party, because Sagittarius is a sign that likes to party—we'll get to that part later.
But first, we're gonna leave one foot in Scorpio season for a moment—we'll leave one little centaur hoof over there—meaning that we're going to start off with the more unsavory aspects of this archetype that don't get talked about much, but that deserve to be talked about—and then we will move on to more fun things—we promise.
Sagittarius's Shadow Side: the Conqueror and the Colonizer
So Sagittarius is a sign associated with conquerors and with colonization. We wanted to call that out right away because we think that this doesn't get discussed enough—the shadow side of this archetype.
And so what we mean by all this is that Sagittarius is the sign of the explorer, and historically, "explorer" has been a term that's been used to connote someone who is supposedly brave and daring and who is driven to discover new things, but it turns out that these supposed "new" things are definitely not new to the people who already exist in all these "foreign" lands—these lands that are deemed foreign and undiscovered by those who have the audacity to center their worldview as the only possible version of reality.
And so we would like to call out this energy—a certain preposterous presumption, an arrogant attitude, mixed with a pioneering spirit and external, outward energy, the kind of energy that pierces forward like a spear or arrow.
We would like to draw your attention to the difference between discovery and exploring versus learning and sharing and teaching.
Discovering and exploring other people—other cultures—can actually be a somewhat distancing, dehumanizing, and othering activity/endeavor if one does not do it with a kind of genuine, open curiosity that is the kind of quality that Sagittarius's opposing sign, Gemini, brings in to this mix. A certain openness and equal person-to-person worldview can help temper the enterprising, pioneering spirit of Sagittarius.
Now that we have introduced these heavier themes, let us now bring in some of Sagittarius's brighter, shinier, more positive qualities.
Wherever you have Sagittarius in your chart is where you like to roam free, and this can be a free-range approach of the mind, body, or both. Sagittarius enjoys both mental and physical horizons.
It enjoys entertaining new and thrilling ideas, and more importantly, entire schools of thought or belief systems. There is a certain fervent spirituality to Sagittarius, a constant seeking for something more, some big uniting idea that's always just out of reach.
Sagittarius is a fire sign, and what lights its soul on fire is anything expansive, anything that introduces both wonder and passion into its life, seasoned with a healthy dose of novelty. Sagittarius is all about finding the new and exciting and devoting oneself passionately to said cause—that is, until something else even more passion-inducing comes along.
That is not to say that Sagittarius cannot be devoted in a fixed way. But it is more about the journey than the destination. More about the chase than the conquest itself.
The kind of thing that keeps Sagittarius hooked is the promise of ongoing adventure of some sort. This doesn't necessarily need to be wild or outrageous, but it needs to feel expansive and uncaged-in.
Sagittarius needs room, whether that's room to think, room to move, room to be by oneself, or room to socialize.
Sagittarius gets a reputation for being social, and it can definitely be social. It is also the archetype of monks, hermits, and other devoted religious folk. Why?
Because Sagittarius is a sign that can get passionately lost in a cause.
It is a sign that seeks the meaning behind everything—fire signs like to see past the thing itself and into the essence of it instead—and Sagittarius itself is always looking for the big uniting idea or belief system or school of thought to bring everything together. Hence its association sometimes with religion and even dogma.
But on the other hand, Sagittarius can indeed be social and exploratory in the realm of people and not just religious ideals. Sagittarius does often love a good party, a good vibe, usually one in which they can physically move around whether through dancing or through simply moving around the room.
The Teacher and the Student
So we've talked to you about Sagittarius as conqueror, as explorer, as religious devotee or zealot, and as a traveler, and before we go, we also wanted to mention the Sagittarius archetypes of teacher and student, because these are encompassed within Sagittarius too.
The sign of the centaur is, believe it or not, also a sign that loves the classroom. Now this can mean literally sitting their butt down in a classroom chair, or it can mean that they love constantly learning in classrooms of their own making, whether through only classes, workshops, books, or simply figuring things out themselves, out in the world.
But there is something about Sagittarius that loves the accomplishment of "conquering" new material, and doing so while being part of something that's bigger than themselves, and that often means an institution, and specifically an institution of higher learning.
And as perpetual students of life, they often turn around and transform their learnings into teachings, encouraging and inspiring those who cross their path.
So as we enter Sagittarius season, we want you to ponder those things:
What in you yearns to be a perpetual student? An inspiring teacher?
What horizons does your soul ache to gallop towards?
What are the moments in which you want to get big, spread yourself out, roam more freely, and take up space?
What is that adventuring spirit inside of you? What is it tugging you towards?
Okay, so normally at this point in the episode, I switch over to giving my own thoughts that came up after channeling these messages from my guides, and usually I script out this section—like I take awhile to really think about it and type it out and prepare beforehand.
I do have a lot of thoughts this time. But as I mentioned in the intro of this episode, life has been a bit of a struggle lately. And so I haven't quite had the energy or been in the mood to really type things out neatly. I wonder if that's also just the Sagittarius energy of the season influencing me.
And so I'm going to try something new, where I just kind of riff off of random notes I've taken down over the past several weeks and my notes app on my phone. And we'll see how that goes.
I do have a Sagittarius Mercury, which means I have a propensity to—or maybe a talent depending on how you look at it—to ramble or riff and kind of wander down different pathways. So we're going to try that.
Colonization, Exotification, and Othering
I was really surprised—but also surprised in a good way—at the fact that my guides started off kind of kind of harsh, honestly, like, talking about colonization, I have had thoughts about colonization, and how it relates to Sagittarius. I guess I had had similar thoughts, but I hadn't spelled it out quite like that—like it was so it was so blunt, the way my guides put it.
And first of all, I feel like that's a very Scorpio/Sagittarius vibe: being blunt and cutting to the truth of the matter. And not really caring what people think. Like, I think that's a good combo, actually, of the Scorpio/Sagittarius archetypes.
And yeah, so when when I was channeling that, and that's how it started, like I said, I was surprised in a good way. It made me think of times in my own life, where I'd encountered people—these were actually not Sagittarius Suns; they were people with Sagittarius moons—but in each case, I remember feeling like basically…”colonizing” is a strong word, but I was feeling, like, exoticizing-slash-othering vibes from them, like in the way they treated me and in the things that they would say.
It was definitely an example in my life of the type of Sagittarius energy that, like, on the surface, just seems curious and interested in other cultures. But it's in a way that seems like almost fetishizing, or it's not really seeing the other person that they're engaging with. It's more like, “ooh, that's an exotic thing that I'm fascinated by, let me treat you as this foreign thing,” basically.
And in my case, I'm talking about people who were literally exoticizing me. I'm half white, half Filipino. And I look pretty ethnically ambiguous. And I feel like at different times in my life people have—whether consciously or not—othered me, and maybe they see it as a compliment. Because I think, to white people, “exotic” can be a compliment, but I don't think that it actually is.
Anyway, that's just what it reminded me of straight off the bat. And I like that my guides also made the connection between exploring, which is such a Sagittarius thing—just the concept of exploration, both in the physical realm and in the mental realm as well, and spiritual. But it's true, like “exploring” sounds like a great word on the surface, but actually in the way that it's been used historically, it's like, a euphemism for colonizers. And as many of us have learned, people who are deemed “explorers” from history and “discovers” weren't actually really discovering things. It's like, how can you discover a whole people or continent? Yeah, it's just a very othering thing.
Thanksgiving: Two Ways to Interpret Jupiter
But of course, that makes me think about Thanksgiving, which is a Sagittarius holiday. It falls right at the start of Sagittarius season. And as of right now, I'm recording this on December 1st. So Thanksgiving has already passed, but a lot of thoughts cropped up around these themes on Thanksgiving.
And, well, Jupiter is the ruling planet of Sagittarius. Jupiter is a very gregarious, expansive boisterous planet, and there are many different facets to Jupiter. And I feel like many of those different facets come into play when it comes to the holiday of Thanksgiving.
I think that in Thanksgiving we can see this sort of dual narrative of: some people see it as a holiday associated with things like gratitude, or bounteous plenty, like a harvest, generosity, things like that, which are very much Jupiter things. But also, for lots of people, Thanksgiving is a holiday that's just masking—or representing even—a history of colonization and genocide.
Jupiter as the Amplifier
And Jupiter is generally regarded by a lot of people, I think, especially by people who are more into sort of pop astrology, as just a “good” planet. Well, not just pop astrology, but also in traditional astrology since Jupiter is considered a benefic, meaning that it brings good things, auspicious things, blessings. And that can be true, definitely, to some extent.
But also, you can think of Jupiter in a way as just an amplifier, an amplifier of what's already there. And that's not inherently a good or a bad thing. It can be a good or a bad thing.
Because if you take that sense of amplification and expansion, and you play that out in certain contexts, like when it comes to expansion of an empire, or exploring and conquering the globe, that can lead to some really bad things.
I actually kind of touched on these themes several months ago, in a blog post. Maybe I'll try to link in the show notes when I was talking about Jupiter moving into Pisces, and how I saw like on the internet and on Instagram, and just in Google results, the sort of top ranked SEO results when you type in “Jupiter in Pisces,” which are usually like articles and fashion magazines and things like that, some people were just blanketly praising this as—this transit of Jupiter moving into Pisces—that it would just bring, like, all the good things, and it would just be a universally amazing, wonderful, transcending, great thing.
I wrote about it because I was like, “Yeah, it can bring some good things. And also, there's always a shadow side to every placement and every transit as well.” And in writing that article, I ended up sort of tying in these themes into the concept of American exceptionalism. I'll have to go back and look at it.
This is like, how much I'm winging it right now—I didn't even go and review that article. But again, I'll link it in the show notes. Looking at my notes here, so yeah…
Stampeding into Black Friday
Thanksgiving, definitely a Sagittarius holiday. And after Thanksgiving—and of course, I'm defaulting to talking about American Thanksgiving because that's where I live—but after American Thanksgiving comes Black Friday, and the start of Christmas shopping. I haven't read all of it, but the astrologer Kelly Surtees had a good overview of this connection between Sagittarius and Jupiter and Christmas shopping, things like that. That's just coming to mind right now.
But yeah, Black Friday is also a very Jupiter type of—I don't know if you'd call it a holiday? But I was thinking about the connection between Black Friday and Sagittarius and Jupiter because on Black Friday—you've probably heard those stories of stampedes of customers, and even like people being trampled to death, as people will bust into the stores and rush to buy things. And “stampede” is (morbidly) a Sagittarius word as well, because Sagittarius is represented by the symbol of the Centaur, and it's associated with the chase, the act of seeking, and Jupiterian spending.
Yeah, I'm thinking of like people trying to hunt down the perfect gift. Or I'm thinking of like, you know, I was a child in the 90s, and the toy that everyone wanted to get was Tickle Me Elmo at some point or Beanie Babies, things like that. And I'm just thinking back to the rush of people like running, running into stores trying to seek out this perfect Christmas gift. And in a way, it might have been more about the chase and the act of finding and acquiring it than the actual end result.
I think it's interesting that I'm talking about such a commercial event, Black Friday, when it comes to Sagittarius season, because Sagittarius is also the sign of the wandering traveler or couch surfer. And the person who's just like, I'm just going to take a backpack and go backpack around the world and like, stay in hostels and see the world. And so it's not, by default, a very materialistic sign. But I think that with it being ruled by Jupiter, some materialism and acquisition and consumerism and capitalism can come into play during this season.
Our Modern Jupiterian Festivals
I was browsing the other day for some oracle decks or tarot decks. And I saw on the website Little Red Tarot, which is a popular tarot website, that they were closed in protest of Black Friday, and they said on their website:
“Black Friday is one of capitalism's most sacred festivals.” – Little Red Tarot
And I thought that was such an interesting sentence. I think it's funny to call it a sacred festival. Because yeah, it kind of is.
It's a really cynical way of putting it but it's also true and also I found it interesting because “festival” is such a Jupiter word. Jupiter enjoys revelry, festivals, debauchery, excess. And putting “sacred” in front of it, and then kind of mashing that up against consumerism and capitalism—I just thought that was interesting. And that's the start of Sagittarius season in a nutshell.
Galloping Towards the End of the Year
Because, well, it's sort of crept earlier and earlier, but generally people consider Thanksgiving to be the marker or the start of, “Okay, now we're in Christmas mode. Now we're in consumerism mode from here on out, and we're rushing towards the end of the year.”
And I think that's interesting, because it's like, with the image of the centaur, the galloping centaur, it feels like the year almost picks up speed as we hit Sagittarius season, and people go, “Oh my God, it's already at the end of November, it's already Christmas season or almost December, like where did the year go?” And maybe it's that sort of rushing forward of the Sagittarius energy.
The Significance of Thursday
Before I move on in a second, I also just wanted to go back and mention: Jupiter is the planet that rules Thursday, just the day of the week, Thursday. And Thanksgiving falls on a Thursday.
I find it interesting that it's one of those holidays—it's not like Valentine's or Christmas or New Year's where it's anchored to a particular date, like a certain number, the 14th or the 1st, etc. Instead, it's always the fourth Thursday of November. So therefore it always falls on Jupiter day.
And again, before I move on to a couple other things, I also just wanted to mention: Jupiter, like I said before, is about expansion, and even excess or indulgence. And that can also mean expansion of your waistline. And I feel like the winter holidays, especially in the United States, are just associated with a lot of food and consumption, not just in a food sense, but also, you know, a material sense.
People generally talk about like, “oh, you know, I gained so much weight over the holidays,” and then we kick into Capricorn season and New Year's resolutions and things like that, and people want to suddenly put their nose to the grindstone and work, or work out, and like work off this excess weight.
I think that kind of shows the juxtaposition between the energy of Sagittarius season and energy of Capricorn season.
Giving, Generosity, and Sporty Competition
And so I've already talked about Thanksgiving and Black Friday. And then, you know, capitalism has expanded those days out into “Black Friday weekend,” as well as Cyber Monday, and—I don't know when this first started up, but giving Tuesday comes after all that.
So we have this day, Thursday, where we eat all this food, we have this mashup of, like, “this is a holiday for generosity and gratitude,” but also, it's about the real shadow side of Jupiter, including expansion and colonization. And then we go into a very consumerist type of weekend, which is just kicked off by, “okay, if you if you didn't go and physically rush into the store, you can do it online on Monday.” And then, if you haven't been, you know, run dry from that weekend, and you still have money leftover, and you're feeling generous, like here's Giving Tuesday, which a lot of organizations do, which is this day to solicit donations from people.
And usually, organizations will host contests of some sort. And they'll try to get people rallied up to like, donate as much money as possible. And first of all, I find that interesting, because Sagittarius is a very sporty sign. It does like a bit of competition. But specifically, this day falls on a Tuesday as well, which is the day of the week that is ruled by Mars. And Mars is all about competition, sport, aggression, being better than other people. And so, it brings this game element and this competition into play which, you know, is very Mars. And also pretty Sagittarian as well, and it combines it with a Jupiterian idea of generosity, and like an overflowing wallet, giving from a place of like overflow, and generosity.
I always get spammed with messages from Princeton, where I did my undergraduate degree. I always end up getting emails from their sports departments, because I was an athlete there. And then also I think they also just generally do fundraising for every class of students that's graduated. And on top of that, Princeton has this thing called “Annual Giving,” which sounds really creepy and cult-like, but it's like their yearly ritual to just solicit donations from people.
The Chase, Not the Destination
And so I also wanted to mention that what's interesting about the rush towards Christmas season, for a lot of the Western world, at least, is that it’s something that kicks off in Sagittarius season.
But it doesn't finish in Sagittarius season; it actually finishes in Capricorn season. And earlier, my guides were talking about the concept of the “chase.” I just think it's really fitting that it's in Sagittarius season where we kick off this seeking, for finding presents for people and going out and searching for them and acquiring them. And we don't actually see the payoff during Sagittarius season, meaning that Christmas Eve and Christmas Day fall in Capricorn season.
And a lot of the associations with Sagittarius are just the concept of the journey—the journey, not the destination. I think that's really summed up as well in our consumption habits when it comes to shopping, and then not actually seeing that, quote, unquote, “pay-off” until the following zodiac season.
Consumerism vs. Spirituality
But I just wanted to touch on something I mentioned before, which is this interesting juxtaposition between capitalism or consumerism versus spirituality.
I just think that it's interesting that those couple things are wrapped up in Sagittarius season for a lot of us because again, like I've mentioned, Sagittarius is not usually considered a very materialistic sign. Like my guides said, it's the sign of monks and hermits and people who are devoted to religious movements. And it's a sign that seeks spiritual truth; it seeks transcendence, in a way, and also the unification of spiritual truth into one overarching belief system or school of thought. And so that's not very material at all.
Maybe it indicates that this holiday season—I've been talking so much about just Christmas as if that's the only winter holiday; of course there are many other winter holidays, but I've been talking about it because it's just this ubiquitous thing if you live in the US, and even if you're not religious, like I'm not religious and wasn't raised that way either—but all that is to say that the archetype of Sagittarius might remind us that since this is an archetype that's actually more associated with spirituality than consumerism, and this is therefore a time of year that's associated with those things, Christmas was something that started out as being more spiritual than commercial and has tipped into more and more commercialism.
I'm not about to, like, become a Fox News host and declare some war on Christmas. But I just thought that that was a connection maybe to point out between the archetype of the season and sort of the way it's drifted in American popular culture. And I just think that it's something to think about.
I also was thinking about the fact that, well, I never really use this term, but I've heard people use it—winter time is considered “cuffing season.” I'm sure I'll also touch on this in Capricorn season, but I guess what that means is that the winter holiday is kind of kickoff for some people of this search or this societal expectation that you should find someone to date, or someone to settle down with or form a commitment with or bring to the holiday dinner to show off to your family.
I feel like that applies a little more to Capricorn season because Capricorn is way more about commitment. But like I've been talking about in terms of Christmas gift shopping, I think this concept of searching for someone, searching for someone to lock down, then maybe show off or settle down with—that search definitely corresponds to Sagittarius energy.
The Element of Fire: Purification and Transformation
Lastly, I just wanted to touch on one other thing, which is, as I was helping my girlfriend and her sister cook Thanksgiving dinner last week, I was thinking to myself about the element of fire, as one does when you're an astrology nerd.
And I was doing this as I was cutting up potatoes that were going to be mashed up into mashed potatoes. And I was cutting them up and a piece of potato kind of fell off the cutting board and onto the table.
Usually, I'm a little squeamish about food, even if there's the slightest risk of it being, like, contaminated. Nowadays, during the pandemic, I'll just err on the side of being like, “Oh, we probably shouldn't eat that.”
But you know, of course, with this thing, it's not like it fell on the floor, it fell onto the table. And I was thinking to myself, “Well, yeah, we're also not going to eat this raw, we're going to first boil it, and then mash it up. And then we actually also put it in the oven. So it's going to experience a lot of heat, a lot of fire, and that will kill the bacteria.”
And I was also thinking about the fact that boiling the potatoes softens them so much that it actually makes it feasible for us to mash this hard thing into creamy form. I was thinking about fire and how it has the power to purify, like boiling something to sanitize it and kill the bacteria. And it also has the power to transform. Like it has the power to soften the potatoes enough to mash them up.
I think that, with Sagittarius being a fire sign, the concepts of purity or purification and transformation are pretty relevant, given Sagittarius’s more spiritual and religious bent.
I think fire can be associated with a certain religious zeal as well. I'm thinking of fire and brimstone preachers.
And yeah, I just I went on some other tangent in my mind is I was chopping up the potatoes. And I was also thinking to myself, which I've thought to myself many times before, like, how did people know what to eat? Way back in the day? Like how did they know what was safe to eat and how to cook it?
I assume that early man just did this through all sorts of trial and error and experimentation or observation, like observing other animals. But also I wondered to myself, “I wonder if people used their intuition or if they heard messages coming from their guides,” because I think it might be some combination of the two.
And then I just was thinking about how cooking is kind of like the earliest form of alchemy-slash-magic, and yeah…just going on a whole Sagittarius Mercury tangent.
And now here I am, and I'm looking at the time on my recording and I'm seeing that this is the longest I've ever talked for an episode so far. And I feel like that's appropriate as well for Sag season because it is a very wandering, storytelling, sometimes overly verbose sign. And so here we are. Hopefully you let all those thoughts kind of wash over you, and they sparked some of your own thoughts in return.
Soon enough—and sooner than normal—I'll be back with another episode, because I was a bit late with this one. I'll be back with another episode in time for Capricorn season in a few weeks. And in the meantime, I hope you have a great rest of your Sagittarius season, and happy December.