Stick Your Head Out of the Car Window — It’s Sagittarius Season
Let those ears flap in the wind and live your life with abandon during the season of the literal horse girl.
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To understand the Sagittarius, look no further than the exuberant joy of a dog with their head thrust from the window of a speeding car. Tongue out, ears flapping, they display the almost comical canine ecstasy of their total immersion in the sights and smells hurtling by. Yes, it’s reckless, it’s dangerous, it’s life, damn it; let’s live!
Symbolized by the archer, a centaur with the upper body of a human and the lower body of a horse, Sagittarius is the literal horse girl of the zodiac. And, like the centaur’s arrow flying to lands unknown, they are on a quest for knowledge and experience outside of their present understanding. Scorpio season may have handed us the truth, but what does it all mean? Of course, we don’t need to ask the Sagittarius; they are already one hour deep into their treatise on the matter.
Sure, December 25 falls in Capricorn season, but Sagittarius presides over the holiday season. It is also an accepted fact that Santa Claus is a Sagittarius (jovial, generous, drawn to cloven-footed animals, travels the world, the ample physique of enthusiastic cookie consumption). Why not celebrate the season of the armchair philosopher, barstool preacher, and wayfaring stranger by exploring the Sagitarrian spirit behind the fervor of millions of Swifties who recently crashed Ticketmaster in a Hunger Games-style race for Taylor Swift tickets? But first, back to centaurs.
The mythical centaur is known for both its violent rabble-rousing and sage intelligence. As the resident party animal, Sagittarius blends the wild Dionysian elements of nature with that which is erudite and cultured. This union of instinct and intellect emerges as an embodied physicality (and often particularly long or strong legs and an unashamed appreciation for slacklining), which balances out their cerebral pontifications.
Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter, the king of the gods and the planet of yes (nos will be issued in Capricorn season). Jupiter can also signify where an unconscious desire for more can manifest in excess, hubris, and fanaticism. The creative vigor of this fire sign is related to their ability to stretch the mind, to imagine new possibilities, and even worlds. Steven Spielberg, Walt Disney, and C.S. Lewis are all examples of Sagittarian world-builders who are known for their work featuring talking animals, gargantuan sharks, dinosaurs, alien visitors, and Mickey, the most famous mouse in the world.
Sagittarius season arrives as the sun makes its final descent to the shortest day of the year at the winter solstice. Like Virgil to Dante, the buoyant optimism of this fire sign is here to light our way through the darkest nights of winter (or the nine circles of hell and the seven terraces of purgatory, a.k.a. seasonal affective disorder). Straddling the existential void between the nihilistic qualities of darkness and the redemptive turn toward the light, a Sag knows that the only route to the celestial spheres of heaven (or the light of the summer sun) is up.
These self-satirizing satyrs are known for their tactless honesty and tendency toward inappropriate laughter in moments of grave solemness. For example, comedian Sag Jon Stewart takes full advantage of the jester-like qualities of his sign. Stewart’s career reflects the passionate Sagittarian search to understand and share knowledge through his political and social commentary on The Daily Show and The Problem With Jon Stewart.
Known for implementing a dogs-in-the-office policy at The Daily Show, Stewart has since devoted his time to caring for neglected animals with his wife, Tracey, a vocal animal rights activist and author. This year, the Stewarts founded Hockhockson Farm Foundation shelter — a home to pigs, a bull, sheep, goats, and horses — adding to the family’s already sizable herd of rescue animals.
Fellow home-zoo-inclined Sag, Miley Cyrus is a loving mother of horses, pigs, dogs, cats, and fish. In fact, she dedicated the experimental album Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz to her dog Floyd after he died, expressing profound loss at his passing. Demonstrating the Sagittarius characteristic of disregard for minutia in the search for higher wisdom, Cyrus reflected on Instagram: “Waking up surrounded by animals is my favorite way to start a morning...The best part about animals is that they are careless about the details. They live by the golden rule...Love & Be Loved. Nothing in between.”
The inflationary aspect of Jupiter can be observed in the hyperbolic — veering into camp — presentation of female sexuality by fellow centaurs Anna Nicole Smith, Christina Aguilera, Nikki Minaj, and Britney Spears. Spears welcomed a new puppy and kitten into her home this year, pronouncing her love for the animals on Instagram in a characteristically verbose, stream-of-consciousness-punctuation-laden post. Recently celebrating the first anniversary of her conservatorship termination, the profound injustice prompting the #FreeBritney rallying cry takes on further significance when considering this sign’s deep orientation toward freedom.
Look to the staunch fan-based devotion of the Britney Army, the Swifties, and perhaps most notoriously, Nikki Minaj’s Barbs, for a demonstration of the evangelical leanings of this fire sign. Considering the stratospheric success of her recently-dropped album, Midnights, (and the nod to her rebellious Sagittarian spirit in her current hit “Anti-Hero”), it would be a mistake not to mention Swift and her three famous felines, Meredith Gray, Olivia Benson, and Benjamin Button.
Swift met and fell in love with her youngest cat, Benjamin Button, while filming the music video for “Me” (immortalized in this heart-warming behind-the-scenes video), which also features Olivia and Meredith. If her appearance in the uncanny valley-style, cat-drag madness that was the movie Cats (2019) didn’t prove it, Swift is a well-known obsessive cat lady. And like we would expect of any wandering Sag, Swift’s feline squad also shares in her jet-setting superstar lifestyle, popping up beachside in Malibu, with Paula Abdul at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards, and on the streets of New York.
Just like Swift’s “itty bitty pretty kitty committee,” a Sagittarian pet with a passport will be your jolly co-conspirator; just don’t smother them or expect them to go alone with a mundane routine. Bouncing with boisterous enthusiasm, these animals need the stimulation of new faces and places and are enlivened by risk-taking adventures and off-track exploration.
Because of its big-picture global orientation, Sag animals and humans alike may need to be reminded of simple self-care. Sometimes, they just need to eat a meal (or stop eating — moderation is not in their vocab). This sign’s association with the hips and thighs means these pets can be more prone to sciatica or hip issues, and they share the title of the most accident-prone sign in the zodiac (joined by the zealous Aries). Movement and games, particularly those that engage the brain and body, are essential for counteracting the ol’ Sagittarian restlessness. Like their human counterparts, they need to go outside and remember they are one small part of an endless universe.
While Sagittarius has a reputation for faith-based sermonizing, we all have skin in the game here. All the things we desire, all the things we fear, all the things we love are rooted in faith and belief in something. This season invites us to be intrepid explorers in our own lives, to eat, drink, and be merry, to laugh at our own jokes, and to find the audacity to believe that life has meaning and is moving somewhere. So, let’s thrust our heads out the window and take the world in.
Pack your black lingerie, Persephone; we’re off to the underworld.
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Alea is an astrologer, DJ, and writer from New Zealand who is currently based in Portland, OR. Her music shows and interviews can be found on NTS Radio at Lucifer Over Los Angeles, and her writing is featured in Butch is Not a Dirty Word and The Spinoff among others.