Home News Sagittarius zodiac sign explained: Dates, compatibility, personality

Sagittarius zodiac sign explained: Dates, compatibility, personality

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Arrows to the sky and caution to the wind, Sagittarius season is upon us.

After the subterranean cavern of fear and feeling that is Scorpio season, the bright, breezy energy of Sagittarius is a welcome respite, the psychic equivalent of a Mentos commercial. Ruling the skies from Nov. 22 to Dec. 21, Sagittarius energy is relentlessly optimistic. 

Bridging the seasonal gap between fall and winter, Sagittarius is a mutable sign, one that not only heralds change but actively craves it. There’s inherent shoulder-shrugging ease to mutable signs, and no one knows how to let the good times roll and the bad things roll off the back quite like a dice-throwing, pleasure-seeking, travel-loving Sag. 

As a fire sign, Sagittarius is associated with action and momentum, moving through the world with quick and hungry energy, spurred by the rugged pursuit of truth and knowledge.  

Planetary ruler: Jupiter

Ruled by Jupiter, the planet of luck and levity, Sagittarians are buoyant, thrill-driven folk who do not sip gingerly from the cup of life but instead chug heartily from it, slam their hands down and demand another. 

The modality of this planet is abundance, and it imbues Sagittarius with the belief that there can always be more — and there will always be enough. If the rest of the chart is well aspected, luck seems to always be on the side of a Sagittarius, and — should things take an inevitable downturn — they trust intrinsically that good times are just around the corner. 

Mythology 

The sign of Sagittarius is represented by a centaur with an arrow drawn towards the heavens, representative of the loftier Sagittarian pursuits of intellect and spirituality. The centaur in mythology is a creature of literal and metaphorical duality: half man and half horse, they were thought to be equal parts rabble-rousing hedonist and philosophical sage. The vying identities are often present in those born under the sign of Sagittarius as they tend to oscillate between deep thought and reckless action. Chiron, the inspiration for the Sagittarius constellation, was a skilled healer, regarded as the most evolved of the centaurs and the most altruistic. He offered to forsake his own immortality in order to free fire-stealing, human-loving Prometheus from an eternity of having his liver eaten and regenerated. That kind of big picture, humanity-serving, ascending to your very best celestial self is the Sagittarius spirit at its most beautiful. 

Charms/strengths

At its best and brightest, Sagittarian energy is expansive, curious and enthusiastic, the exclamation point of the zodiac. Archers live to learn through travel, conversation and profound and profoundly unusual experiences. Positivity equals power for these people, and it’s hard to knock or keep them down. These folks don’t wallow — they forge ahead, smiling warm and defiant into the face of twisting fates. That attitude operates like a kind of contagion, galvanizing others into believing that anything can be overcome and what can be dreamt can be done. This persuasion through positivity is one of the finer qualities of the archer.

Sagittarius values freedom above all else, and natives tend to resist commitment and the constraints of tradition. Believing that the best of life is found on its boundary lines and in the space between strangers, this lot can’t abide prolonged stillness or silence. A direct and gregarious sense of humor and penchant for storytelling make Sagittarius folks hard to hate. Confident and quick with a joke, if the swashbuckling sign were a fictional character, it would undoubtedly be Kurt Russell in the titular role of Captain Ron. 

With luck on their side, Sagittarius tends to take misses in stride, viewing failure as a lesson learned rather than a wound incurred. You want to talk about resilience in the face of distress and joy as vengeance? Look no further than Sagittarius survivors club Tina Turner and Britney “I’ll be over here petting puppies and celebrating my abs” Spears. 

Count Tina Turner as a legendary member of the Sagittarius survivors club.
Count Tina Turner as a legendary member of the Sagittarius survivors club.
Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Challenges/weaknesses 

The shadow side of Sagittarian enthusiasm is a propensity to spread energies in too many directions and lose interest. Quick to start and quick to lose steam are two impulses to be aware of.  

While archers intrinsically seek connection and make for excellent conversationalists, their rash and bold approach to speaking can be jarring, spitting out words that are better left swallowed. Along those same lines, there is a tendency among Sag natives to use the truth as a blunt force object. These folks have strongly held beliefs and opinions and are prone to preaching, a quality that can exhaust those closest to them. Delivery is thus an art to be mastered. Remember, archers, it is not enough to be right — you must also be reasonable. 

Sag’s signature free-wheeling energy is invigorating and great to have at a tailgate party. Yet, gone unchecked, the fun and noncommittal nature of Sagittarius can devolve into aimless arrogance. Likewise, their perennial optimism can give rise to delusion and or a serious case of overpromising and underdelivering. 

Blessed by the benefic planet Jupiter, Sagittarians run the risk of taking their good fortune for granted. Luck is not a gift to be wasted, and sometimes Sagittarius does just that through procrastination. 

Amid their natural inclination toward expansion lies the potential for Sag to get a bit too big for their own proverbial britches. A metaphor for this pitfall can be found in the form of the fearless, ruthless Willy Wonka character and champion gum-chewer Violet Beauregarde, who was ultimately brought down and cast out by her own appetite for more.  

Tarot 

In the Major Arcana of the Tarot, Sagittarius is represented by the Temperance card. The card depicts a red-winged angel wearing robes emblazoned with the symbol for fire. She stands with one foot in moving water and the other on river stones, emblematic of the Sagittarian struggle to balance groundedness with a perpetual step into the unknown. The angel pours liquid between two golden goblets, effectively marrying their contents to create something more powerful. That mixing, or tempering, reflects Sagittarius energy at its highest expression, the combination of intellect and emotion.

Ninth House 

In astrology, Sagittarius rules the ninth house of philosophy. The energy of this house is exploratory, taking on the shape of an ordained quest. It is marked by the search for meaning and knowledge through travel, experience, higher education and human interaction. How do we relate to others and experience expansion? Seeking, understanding and bowing to that which is greater than us is the key lesson of the ninth house. 

As unwed, unabashed pansexual Sagittairus poet Emily Dickinson writes: 

“Wild nights — Wild nights!

Were I with thee

Wild nights should be

Our luxury!

Futile — the winds —

To a Heart in port —

Done with the Compass —

Done with the Chart!”

In those lines, the nature-rhapsodizing, middle-part-rocking Dickinson encapsulates Sagittarius and ninth house energy as the urgent and ardent impulse to go off script and to the very edge of the map. Born to be wild baby, forward is their only direction and expansion their highest desire. 

Body 

In terms of the physical body, Sagittarius rules the thighs, hips, liver and sciatic nerve — essentially everything below the belt. That distinction is fitting as Sagittarius feels most like themselves when on the move, striding toward the high shine of the next horizon. Que “Rambling Man,” performed by fellow Sagittarius and Cher’s best-looking ex-husband, Gregg Allman. The concentration of vitality in the lower body lends Sagittarius a natural athleticism. Because these folks are hardwired to go too far, they risk injury through speed and carelessness. They are better served by slowing down. 

Cher's ex-husband Gregg Allman had some serious Sagittarius vitality.
Cher’s ex-husband Gregg Allman had some serious Sagittarius vitality.
Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Compatibility

True astrological compatibility is nuanced and determined by a cross-examination of birth charts and the artform of synastry, but for our general purposes it’s safe to say the following signs stand a good chance of going the distance: 

Fellow fire sign Leo makes for a great match for Sag who will appreciate that lions are always on the lookout for a good time and a shared stage. Troubles come from talking over each other and never really hearing one another. While there is a danger of burnout, both signs prefer the wake of ashes to an unlit match. Cue Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Let Me Stand Next to Your Fire.”

Sagittarius and Gemini sit opposite each other on the zodiac wheel, a dynamic immortalized by Gemini Paula Abdul and suspected Sagittarius DJ Scat Cat in the seminal classic “Opposites Attract.” Airy Gemini oxygenates fiery Sagittarius, and the results are nothing if not combustible. Both signs fear boredom and find in one another the cerebral spark necessary to keep it interesting. 

In Aries, Sagittarius finds freedom and a comrade in poor impulse control. This union is marked by hot sex and cold shoulders. Case in point: the legendary liaison between Sagittarius Jane Birkin and Aries Serge Gainsbourg. Those two crazy kids had so much carnal chemistry that their breathy duet “Je T’Aime . . . Moi Non Plus” was condemned by the Vatican and banned by the BBC. 

Swagger 

Sagittarius brings serious freewheeling rock ‘n’ roll energy and it’s thus no surprise that some of the best to ever wear leather and slink across a stage have fallen under the constellation of the archer. Here’s looking at you, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards, Ozzy Osbourne,  Frank Zappa, Nikki Sixx, Billy Idol and young gun Miley Cyrus. Big d–k energy for days and swagger for miles with this lot.

Speaking of swinging swagger, in her TEDx Talk titled “Life’s Third Act,” Sagittarius firebrand Jane Fonda describes the energy of her sign at its most actualized. “Entropy means that everything in the world — everything — is in a state of decline and decay — the arch. There’s only one exception to this universal law, and that is the human spirit, which can continue to evolve upwards, the staircase, bringing us into wholeness, authenticity, and wisdom.”  

As the trailblazer of the zodiac, Sagittarius leads us beyond the arch, onward, upward and ever forward, encouraging us to seek the strange, welcome the new and, always, shoot our shot.

Recommended Listening: 

“Starships,” Nicki Minaj 

“Luck Be a Lady,” Frank Sinatra 

“Young Forever,” Jay-Z

“Break My Stride,” Matthew Wilder

“Midnight Sky,” Miley Cyrus 

“Tumbling Dice,” Rolling Stones 


Astrologer Reda Wigle researches and irreverently reports back on planetary configurations and their effect on each zodiac sign. Her horoscopes integrate history, poetry, pop culture and personal experience. She is also an accomplished writer who has profiled a variety of artists and performers, as well as extensively chronicled her experiences while traveling. Among the many intriguing topics she has tackled are cemetery etiquette, her love for dive bars, Cuban Airbnbs, a “girls guide” to strip clubs and the “weirdest” foods available abroad.



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