The Sun enters Sagittarius on the evening of November 21st, and rises in the first decan of the Archer’s sign on the 22nd. The first decan of Sagittarius is historically represented with images of speed and mobility. According to the Yavanajataka, in this decan we see “A man whose bow is drawn and whose speed is as violent as a horse’s.” Centaurs gallop through this decan, arrows fly through it, and chariots speed across it.
Yet speed is of no use without a destination, and the swift flight of the arrow has no value without a target to strike. Thus the mighty horses, fearsome chariots and piercing arrows found in this face require a meaningful goal, a place worth travelling to, a bullseye worth hitting. It must therefore also be a place of swift revelation and target acquisition. As I wrote in 36 Faces:
The essence of this decan entails the swift emergence of a motivating vision and the attainment of a vehicle to move one toward the pictured goal. The necessary movement may be of a mental, spiritual or physical nature, and the vehicle must therefore be suited to the realm.
Though the first decan of Sagittarius is explicitly connected with speed, the celestial events which take place this year signify very much the opposite.
Mercury spends this 10 days slowing in preparation for it’s December 2nd retrograde station. Not only does Mercury’s apparent motion slow, the normally swift planet also spends the decan in conjunction with Saturn, the planet explicitly associated with leaden immobility.
Thus Mercury flies forward, only to run into a barrier, a psychic wall. The swift revelations which come this year may thus be images of obstacles and impediments rather than open highways. While frustrating the desire for swift progress, a blockade-vision is itself a blessing, as to see a limitation clearly is to be half-way to overcoming it. As awareness surrounds and penetrates blockages, it digests them.
And there is plenty to digest. We are now less than one month away from Saturn’s exit from Sagittarius. The leaden planet has been in the Archer’s sign for almost three years, and Mercury’s upcoming station atop it is nothing if not an opportunity to reflect on the challenges which it issued over that time period, how we’ve answered them, and what we’ve learned in the process.So let us pace the wall and contemplate it, mapping its boundary and surveying it for cracks.
Neptune Stations Direct
The first celestial event of note occuring during this span of days is Neptune’s direct station in Pisces on the 22nd, which brings an end to its annual four month retrograde period. Though it is not the most dramatic influence, some will hear the roar of a distant sea, and feel the tides of imagination start to surge forward again.
Mercury Trine Uranus
But before making conjunction with Saturn, Mercury trines Uranus first, on the 25th. This aspect brings swift realization and revelation. If Mercury is the light-bulb, then it is Uranus which provides a surge of invisible current to power it. The intensity of Uranus’ charge may well blow out fragile fuses, but not before a moment of brilliance. During the surrounding days, look for disruptions to normal pathways to reveal alternate routes.
Mercury Conjunct Saturn
After trining disruptive and liberating Uranus, Mercury conjoins oppressive Saturn. The conjunction is perfect on November 27th, but will be active well into December. Obstacles and barriers appear, daunting us with their sheer mass. Mercury’s conjunction with Saturn turns the mind toward obstacles and set-backs. Though the vision of the barrier may at first appear daunting, Mercury leads us to gaze upon it with good reason. In order to breach the wall, we must stare at it long enough for our anxiety about it to subside. We must become calm to accurately assess the nature of the barrier.
So let us lay patient siege to the the walls of our limitations. Though tall, they can be scaled. Though thick, their cracks can be exploited. Though heavy, they can be tunneled under. Only a fool charges them, and we are not fools. So let us camp and observe, for within that fortress resides a spark of our potential, kidnapped and held hostage. But thick walls lie between us and that longed-for reunion, so dig in, and prepare for a month-long campaign.
Venus Enters Sagittarius
On the very last day that the Sun is in the first decan of Sagittarius, December 1st, Venus strides into the Archer’s sign, trading the gothic stylings of Scorpio for a huntress’ cap and bow. It is not beasts she hunts in Sagittarius, though, but excitement and glory. Venus in Sagittarius revels in epic tones, the spectacle of suprahuman excellence and action-packed aesthetics. Her ride through the sign wakes sleeping spirits and kindles their fire. Venus’ ingress into the Archer’s sign brings the number of planets in Sagittarius up to four, tipping the elemental balance even more strongly toward fire. Venus will be in Sagittarius until December 24th, when she enters Capricorn.
Mars Opposite Uranus
Also waiting for us on the last day of the decan, December 1st, is Mars in Libra’s exact opposition with Uranus in Aries. Although it is not exact until the 1st, it is active for several days previous, especially on the 30th.
While Mercury absorbs the electricity which Uranus emanates like a lightbulb eats current, Uranus’ spark has a more explosive effect on Mars, whose stores of gunpowder and gasoline are vulnerable to such voltage. The power surges catalyzed by Mars’ opposition with Uranus facilitate moments of empowerment, as well as explosive freak-outs. Avoid incendiary topics unless you want a fire storm.
By the time the Sun rolls clear of the first decan of Sagittarius on December 1st, everything will be in place for 2017’s final month. That month, though as full of configurations as any other, nonetheless shines the spotlight on Saturn, whose conjunction with Mercury provides the defining note of December’s Mercury retrograde, and whose entrance into Capricorn on the 19th marks the end of a short era. Though events and emotions may tempt us to race or flee, the way through this period of time is not a route, but a tempo — slow and steady. Let the modest, enduring tortoise be your pace car.