Sagittarius - Expansion and Truth

by Guru Rattana, Ph.D. - Issue #199, December 14, 2012
Planetary Alignments
Sagittarius Evolutionary, Developmental Stages and Themes - Summary

The lessons, challenges, and dilemmas of the Sagittarius archetype are relevant to all of us on a spiritual path. The third and last fire sign addresses issues that we face, related to how to live in physical reality and 'to be spiritual' at the same time.

The Sagittarian Centaur captures the essence of the human/spiritual dynamic. The upper half of a human body - with bow drawn and arrow directed toward the infinite sky - is fused from the navel to the body of a horse. The Archer represents the upper chakras, the male polarity, the mind, mental focus and intention, our spiritual quest to become conscious, and our desire to experience non-physical reality while living in the physical world.

The horse connects us with the Earth, our primal instincts, and our physical body, and symbolizes the necessity to establish a relationship with all of the above. The Centaur's horse represents the many facets of the feminine polarity - our body, feelings, emotions, Mother Earth, lower chakras, our humanness, and our ability to live and manifest in the physical world.

As I have explained in depth in my latest book The Gift of Womanhood, the feminine has been systemically extracted from what most religions consider sacred. For millennia, most spiritual paths have defined the upper chakras as good and the lower chakras as bad. The overriding spiritual goal has been to escape physical reality. Glorifying a male God and mental qualities has been accompanied by distain for our bodies, material pleasures, and physical existence. The patriarchal political/economic system directs us to conquer and exploit, instead of honor Nature and all life.

The message and result are shame and guilt around our humanness and sexuality, denial of our emotions, suppression of our feelings, and depreciation of the role and value of women. This incomplete belief system has:

  1. created deep wounds and pain in the psyche of both men and women,
  2. prevented both genders from attaining wholeness and happiness,
  3. disconnected us from the flowing feminine polarity and Mother Earth, and
  4. resulted in the justified destruction of the Earth's resources.

Collective systems built around the tenet that the Earth, women, and our bodies are exploitable objects to be used and abused, create existential stress, and destroy our mental and physical health. We are finally at a stage in our evolution that we recognize the need for institutions that promote self-value, compassion, love, and inner and outer peace.

Sagittarius Lessons

The Sagittarius archetype is about our human search for meaning, truth, freedom, and ultimately our personal connection with Spirit. The Archer's path reminds us of the fact, that what we see is only a very limited and superficial representation of what is actually happening. We live from only a fragment of our potential. Under the Sagittarius influence, we are driven by a deep soul urge to become more conscious, so that we can awaken to an expanded reality, experience a richer, more meaningful life, and relate to our soul.

Sagittarius and its ruler, or guardian planet, Jupiter, are both naturally optimistic, positive, and driven to expand our horizons. "There is always more", and "Let's go for it!" are apt mottos for this pair. The down side of this upbeat attitude is that in our unconscious state, our naïveté and gullibility set us up to be easy prey of unscrupulous predators, and exploitative systems, which profit from our innocent and trusting attitude. We must learn to differentiate between what is dishonest, illusive, and wishful thinking and what is realistic, honest, true, and within our scope of attainment.

Like the other fire signs, Sagittarius is enthusiastic about life. The Aries' quest is to experience the Self. Leo is driven to unleash its creativity. Archer's self-absorption is directed to find its mission, to live on purpose, to explore new vistas, to uncover what appears to be hiding (but is obvious when we wake-up), and to search for meaning in life. The Archer is always available to explore opportunities and to learn new things.

Defining Truth - Another Strategy

Attempts to define the concept of 'truth' can lead us into intellectual opinions that don't help us much. In fact, when our dualistic mind cannot let go into the space of our neutral channel, its tenacious analytical process distances us from the very mechanisms that make it possible to intuitively know, and instinctively feel, what is right. A more useful strategy, and a cornerstone of our spiritual training, is to monitor:

  1. what feels good,
  2. what works,
  3. what causes pain and stress,
  4. what creates peace and pleasure, and
  5. what transcends our conditioning and stories.

This requires being able to let go of our obsessive need to control, and to relax into feeling awareness.

It is part of the human condition that the information we receive is filtered through our personal lenses. Our human glasses are clouded with beliefs, opinions, and various forms of illusions, which naturally create untruths, distorted perspectives and lies. In lower consciousness, our dual mind is unable to compute 'the truth', and our thoughts speak falsehoods. We expand fantasies, and concoct stories, in an attempt to satisfy our emotional needs and to justify our self-interest.

It is an on-going process to increase our capacity to perceive the truth. To be able to access what is 'true', we must transcend personal convictions about what we think is real and true. We must free our mind of dogmas and believe systems, that have been imposed and blindly accepted. As we achieve a state of non-attachment, which is available in our neutral mind (peace channel), we increase our receptivity to unfiltered information, divine inspiration, and universal knowledge.

Expansion and Freedom

Expansion is the domain of Sagittarius and Jupiter. Some of the ways we expand include:

  1. acquisition of knowledge (reading, studying, higher education),
  2. traveling and being exposed to cultures and belief systems other than our own,
  3. doing things that take courage, and push us to go beyond our current limits (i.e. climbing mountains, running marathons, deep sea and sky diving), and
  4. pursuing a spiritual path and awakening our higher mind.

Exploration, search, and quest are key words that direct us to enter new territory and to experience what is unknown to us.

Inappropriate expansion can express as:

  1. the megalomaniac, who desires, and justifies, unlimited power and feels that it is his/her birthright to control others,
  2. the moralistic and righteous preacher/guru/teacher, who feels that it is his/her calling to tell others what they should believe, and how to live their lives,
  3. the egomaniac, who insists on proving him/herself all-knowing and right, and
  4. the spoiled brat who feels entitled to whatever he/she wants without effort or gratitude.

Unrestricted freedom is a fantasy. The Universe and physical reality are governed by laws that, in our naïveté we may consider restrictive. However, the limits and boundaries determined by higher laws actually make it possible to achieve freedom. Without structure there would be chaos. There is no freedom in the trauma of inner and outer conflict.

There is always a dynamic balance between ease and freedom, and between limits and restrictions. Maturity for the Archer comes when we find the middle road between extravagance and lack.

Below we examine the Archer's path to maturity and consciousness:

[1] Innocence and Naïveté - Illusions

The innocent Archer experiences unbridled freedom, and has no concept of subjugation or confinement. On the contrary, we feel that we can be in charge of our life, and even control our environment and outcomes. We feel free to be spontaneously expressive. We experience no shame, reserve, or fear. We believe that everything is possible, resources are readily accessible, and life is easy and exciting.

In our naïve state we think physical reality is Nirvana.

[2] Wake up and Pain - Circumstances

Like every archetype, Sagittarius must go through the process of loss of innocence, so that it can mature into adulthood.

Some of the painful facts the Archer must confront and figure out how to deal with include:

  1. limited availability of resources,
  2. restricted access to opportunities, which can be due to poverty, racism, sexism, and
  3. lack of exposure and experience.

Confronted by physical limitations, we find out that substantial effort is required to acquire what we took for granted as our birthright.

However, physical constraints are only one way that our freedom and well-being are restricted. If we focus only on the external (family, culture, political, economic, and social) dynamics, which are very real, we can get caught in the trap of victimization.

Growing up demands that we examine, recognize, and change our mental attitudes and emotional programs. We must examine how our beliefs limit what is possible for us to achieve and manifest. Our narrow-mindedness may restrict our freedom and confine us to a very small box. Attitudes of entitlement, and laziness, may prevent us from taking the action necessary to make things happen. We may:

  1. dissipate our energy through lack of boundaries,
  2. waste our energy and resources through lack of restraint, extravagance, and indulgence, or
  3. lose (never cultivate) focus and discipline, and instead indulge in escapism and addictions.

Sagittarius has a tendency to get carried away by promises and possibilities. Without the capacity to discriminate, we open ourselves to various forms of abuse, fraud, and disillusionment, including the following:

Motivational Hype
We buy into (and invest precious time and money in) aggressive motivational programs that create stress instead of peace, disregard our natural protective instincts, overemphasize doing without proper evaluation of the consequences, and override intuitive messages with empty and bombastic affirmations.

Spiritual Naïveté
The Archer's naïveté also manifests as fanaticism, and blind faith, in religious beliefs and spiritual dogmas. We submit to authorities, and too easily believe and do what we are told.

Financial Fraud
The naïve Archer engages in speculation, and is easily persuaded 'to see the positive side' and 'to go for success'. We fall for arguments that deny, and exclude, the risks involved. We believe lies that are concocted to steal the money of the naïve victims. We ignore warnings, and fail to investigate the reality of what is being presented. Without caution, we jump on the band wagon before knowing what we are committing to.

[3] Accepting the Evolutionary Nature of the Human Journey - Effort and Lessons

In our naïve state, we have no inner foundation, or experience, to support what we believe. We don't even really know what we believe. Our beliefs reflect only what we have been told, cultural programming, opinions, and hopefully, what seems right.

Our lack of depth, inner connection, and substantiated experience leave us defenseless, with no basis for discrimination about what is true/real or not. Effort and life experience are required to be able to interpret, discriminate, and decide for ourselves. Our goal is not to argue and win over our point of view. Our goal is to have a point of view that works for us so that we can direct our own path, make our own choices, and not fall prey to arguments by those who want to control and indoctrinate us with their ideology. When we have self-generated reasons for what we believe and why, we can avoid traps, and are able to defend, speak up, and protect ourselves when necessary.

When we lack internally processed convictions and soul-generated motivations, we expose ourselves to manipulation and victimization. We are easy prey to grandiose ideas and easily convinced to invest time and money in risky or dishonest projects and products. We can fall for 'get rich quick' schemes, and promises of financial success. We don't question seemingly legitimate arguments like - 'Take a leap of faith', 'Think out of the box', 'Go for it', or 'This is the best time to take advantage of a great opportunity'. We are too easily tempted by inviting promises that could possibly be true, but with no way of proving if they are valid or scandalous. We don't take the time to investigate and instead act impulsively.

I am starting to feel you squirm. 'She is talking about me. I was such a fool'. Actually many of us played the role of fool while Pluto was in Sagittarius, from the end of 1995 through September 2008. The good news is that Pluto is now in Capricorn, where it stays through 2024. Pluto defines collective themes that influence us all. Pluto in Capricorn exposes corruption and demands accountability. Many of those who were in exploiter roles are being caught and put in jail. Those who were exploited now have a chance to make more responsible decisions concerning their resources, and how they manifest and earn a living.

So where do we start, and how do we proceed to cultivate an internal basis for realism and accountability? First we have to get real about 'just be positive'. Being positive is definitely better than being negative, but being superficially positive, over-optimistic, and indulging in wishful thinking can cover up a sense of insecurity and an inability to get real. Distorting the facts, focusing on possibilities without the challenges, and claiming that one deserves the best, can be attempts to justify doing something stupid.

Giddy excitement usually covers up the lack of real connection to what it takes to make things happen - patience, hard work, and willingness to participate in the unfolding process of manifestation. We don't achieve results with declaratory affirmations. We achieve our potential and creative results with effort over time.

The fire signs have a tendency to be manic-depressive, depending upon where they are at on a pendulum, that swings between delusions of quick success, and disappointment over the failure to achieve fast and easy results. We find balance only when we have the capacity to experience the truth of polarities, instead of swinging from one extreme to another.

[4] Ego Definition, Separation and Individualization - Empowering Self

It is a sign of lack of inner connection with our own truth, when we accept imposed dogmas and adopt principles to compensate for feeling inferior and insecure. In our naïve state, we can be easily overwhelmed by others' opinions, and succumb to the way they (and we) want things to be. Our individualization process includes learning to discriminate, and taking the time to check out the validity and sincerity of 'quick fix' opportunities and 'Do it NOW' proposals. Like the other fire signs, Sagittarius can overreact and get burnt in the process. We empower ourselves as we learn to not be easily swayed by grandiose, extravagant, and overly optimistic promises.

Reclaiming back our life from external authorities, and our own dysfunctional programming, happens as we understand, accept, and learn the lessons that we came here to learn. One of the valuable ways we can use astrology is to identify karmic lessons, and quit projecting blame on others for playing 'the bad guy', in the life dramas that oblige us to mature and empower ourselves.

Our goal is not to be right. Our goal is to separate our identity from our own, and others', beliefs and opinions. Our goal is to be comfortable with ourselves, and not have our self-value dependent upon the shared beliefs of others. As we gain a sense of self-defined boundaries and self-reliance, we can protect ourselves from manipulation. We can use the qualities of acceptance and openness to liberate us from expectations and disappointments.

Belief may be a good start to point us in the right direction, but belief alone is not sufficient for self-realization. Our encounters with life make it possible to witness if what we believe/hope is true. We must make our personal experience, not someone else's ideas, the foundation for our beliefs. When we don't take others' opinions personally, or feel the need to agree with others just to make us and them feel comfortable, we know that we have made progress in connecting to our own truth.

Regaining control may involve 'training wheels' of skepticism and defensiveness, but the real job is about getting in touch with our own truth, and sticking with it. This requires being honest about what we like, what makes us happy, and what gives us a sense of meaning and purpose. Individually, we are the only one who can listen to our heart, trust our intuition and instincts, and take responsibility for our choices.

It is easier to clearly express ourselves, to be heard, and to be respected, when we are clear about our motivations, and are able to speak and act with integrity and self-honesty. To do so, we have to be comfortable having our own position, desires, and way of doing things. The reality is that everyone has their own path and defines their own truth. The more we accept differences as the way things are, the easier it is to be at peace with ourselves and compassionate with others.

Expansion and Self-Empowerment
Expansion is a major theme in or self-empowerment process. Self-confidence and self-loyalty come from inner authority, which makes it possible to determine, and explore, possibilities that are appropriate for us at any given time. We increase our capacity to handle more when we carry less fear and shame. Inner freedom, honesty and authenticity give us more control over our expansion process.

Overcoming fear requires getting in touch with our intuition and instincts, and trusting them. Honoring our feelings liberates emotional energy from being bound up in fear, and allows it to express as messages from our soul - our inner guidance system. Conditioned fear blocks expansion, while realistic fear warns us to avoid projects that can get out of hand, become unmanageable, and get us into trouble.

We can dare to think bigger when our inner guidance system is in place, when we trust and follow it, and when we allow it to keep us within realistic limits. As we connect to our own truth, we can monitor our direction and expansion. Realistic limits serve as boundaries, that protect us from excessive indulgence, being used, and gullibility.

The reality is that human life is experienced by trial and error. We figure out what works by experimentation. Unfortunately, experiments that direct us not to pursue a particular path, or direction in life, have been categorized as 'failure'. Learning is not failure. To grow and learn we have to give ourselves permission to experiment, to test the limits, to define boundaries, i.e. to understand what works and what does not work. It is easier to have courage, and the willingness to explore new horizons, when we define 'failure' as an experiment that helped us learn important lessons, and gave us information to go in another direction.

[5] Developing Awareness and Consciousness - Higher Perspective

The ultimate goal of every archetype, is to lead us through a process that expands and elevates our consciousness. The Archer seeks clarity, honesty, restraint, and a higher perspective.

The Sagittarian goal is to free ourselves from the bondage of limiting belief systems, so that we can enjoy living according to higher universal laws. Our neutral, unattached perspective offers us a cleaner window to view, experience, and understand the hidden meanings in life.

We must acquire the ability to transcend conditioning, in order to access deeper meaning. We must let go of shame, fear, sin, and dogmatic bondage, to more freely enjoy our human experiences. We must connect to our natural instincts to be able to transcend manipulations of belief systems, and mental control by outside authorities.

A key component of the Archer's path is to recognize limitations, and to make adjustments. When reality fails to respond to promises, optimistic projections, ungrounded intentions, and unrealistic goals, a good dose of honesty, humility, realism, and the ability to let go is required. Fortunately, Sagittarius is a mutable sign, which makes it inherently flowing and adaptable.

When arrogance, abuse, distortion of facts, and dishonesty are exposed, along with their humiliating consequences and drama, we need to examine our boundaries, values, and intentions.

When our life is out of balance, we must search under the surface and uncover our motives. It is fine to want to live a life of ease, but physical reality requires realism. Spiritual reality directs us to choose service over self-indulgence, superficiality, and immediate gratification. The quest for prosperity and freedom must be accompanied, and supported, by higher ideals.

Spiritual beliefs, instead of acting as guidelines, can become uncompromising positions, and absolute dogmas that restrict rather than liberate. As we gain spiritual maturity, we recognize religious and spiritual manipulations that serve those in power, and their financial and egotistical interests. This includes exposing fanatical belief systems that legitimize the degradation and abuse of women, support racism, foster cultural and ethnic superiority, deny human rights, and validate any form of exploitation.

Rigid convictions, blind faith, and unwarranted optimism stifle instead of liberate our mind. We attain spiritual freedom through neutrality and non-attachment. When we free ourselves from the stranglehold of confining dogmas, we make room for higher awareness and divine inspiration.

Illusions and a Higher Perspective
Some of the classic illusions that we succumb to on a spiritual path include the ideas that:

  1. we will be able to escape from life's challenges,
  2. everything we want will fall in our lap without physical effort, and
  3. doing prosperity meditations will automatically make us prosperous.

Through experience we learn that:

  1. There is no escape from the lessons we must learn, although we can certainly upgrade the way we handle our tests and attract from a higher vibration.
  2. Real life interaction with physical reality is required to make things happen.
  3. If we want to benefit from prosperity meditations, we'd better be grounded and home in our bodies when opportunities arrive. We must actively respond to leads and fully participate in physical manifestation. There are no free lunches, and someone else may eat your lunch if you are giving away your vibrations and lack energetic boundaries.

Those on a spiritual path often express the desire to be free to focus on their practices without the interference of material obligations, and we go into 'holy' denial about fear and shame-based inhibitions. However, living in the material world, releasing our past, and transcending our conditioning is part of our spiritual path. Understandably, this often painful and embarrassing process is not the most favorite aspect of our spiritual journey. As uncomfortable as the healing process may be, it awakens us to our soul power, helps us experience the pleasure of being in a human body, and delivers us to a deep emotional satisfaction, freedom, and peace.

Saturn in Scorpio from October 6th, 2012 through September 17th, 2015 (Saturn is retrograde in Sagittarius from December 24th, 2014 through June 14th, 2015), guarantees that we will not escape this liberating, cleaning process. Don't resist. There is Light at the end of the tunnel. Sustained effort is rewarded.

[6] New Territory and an Expanded Reality - Spiritual Connection

Belief and Authority
What do we believe? What/who is our authority? Do we believe the words of someone who is considered to be an expert, guru, or leader? Do we think that because some technique, or system, has made someone else successful, that it will automatically work for us? Do we adhere to a belief system because it has been accepted for many generations over millennia? Do we trust what is found in religious books or spiritual texts, even if we don't understand what it means?

Skeptics and scientists insist on verification through observation, analysis, and reason. But 3D techniques don't help us verify non-physical reality. In the spiritual realm, we must have a goal, a standard, or a vision, which we feel will bring us peace, help us experience love, and make this world a better place. We must do our best to live by this idea that we have chosen to be of highest value. Of what use are lofty ideals if we do not choose, or are unable to pursue, this experience for ourselves?

Pontification, preaching, motivating, and convincing give little or even negative results. We can momentarily be moved by inspiring ideas, but we can just as easily be drawn in the less desirable directions. The impact does not last if the 'speech or sermon' does not give us an inner experience, and feeling, that is powerful enough to shift our consciousness, upgrade our energy, make it possible to transcend old patterns and ways of thinking, and move us to live life differently.

Initiations that promise spiritual advancement are a common trap. Initiations can serve as starting points or jump starts that help us recognize new possibilities, change direction, and move forward. However, the buzz may not last very long unless we do the inner work to maintain the high frequency energy. Without our personal participation, we become dependent upon continual input, and may even follow the master around to get injected with the vibe.

Energetically Available
We humans naturally search for some form of security that can calm our inner anxiety. We need a way to be comforted as we face the trials of life. Faith is required when we could give up hope of a better day. Trusting the mysterious Universe facilitates our connection, as we face our daily struggles and physical limitations.

Realizing that the original meaning is hidden in spiritual writings, can help us transcend dogma and distorted interpretations. The basic solution, however, is not interpreting the encoded messages, but to become conscious enough to have the same experiences that the mystics were talking about. Awakening our higher mind, and reconnecting with our natural instincts, make it possible to tap into higher wisdom, and to feel the elevated experience of oneness. We become energetically available to receive insights about who we are, and life on planet Earth, and to experience our connection with nature and natural forces.

When our subtle bodies and mind vibrate at a high enough frequency, our desire for inner peace is so compelling that we are able to reorient our life in profound ways. We are able to achieve our goal of spiritual connection and Divine Love. We are able to forgive, to disengage from our stories, to detach from our conditioning, to release from the past, and to direct our life from higher ground. When we are energetically available, we become conscious of another way of living and being.

[7] Work is Worship and Life Is Sacred - Mission and Destiny

Sagittarius pursues paths that involve exploration and pushing the limits, which can include mountain climbing (for a truly peak experience), deep sea and sky diving, and traveling to remote places. The Archer wants to disseminate knowledge and may be a publisher, writer or teacher. The Archer enjoys promoting, sharing, and conveying messages to a broad audience.

Sagittarius can become a well-known author, spiritual or religious authority, or public figure whose wisdom appeals to a public audience. He/she may introduce new ideas, meanings, and views that expand the collective consciousness and introduce a new of thinking or being.

The Archer may choose a career in education, be it teacher, administrator, or the designer of curricula, or he/she may choose a profession that delves into the meaning of human existence, and helps raise the collective consciousness to embrace cultural diversity, tolerance, and service.

The Archer is always a student and may one day be a 'guru'. Whatever our path, we may become modern mystics who inspire by our clarity, transform through compassion, elevate through consciousness, and stimulate self-love through non-judgment.

Guru Rattana Online
Kundalini Yoga - Archer Pose

Sadhana is an example of spiritual dedication. Years ago when I first discovered Kundalini Yoga, started my daily practice, and attended as many White Tantric courses, Solstice Celebrations, Ladies Camps, and Yogi Bhajan courses that I could, I remember thinking that if I diligently practiced the technology I would be led in the right direction. I trusted the technology, and knew that if I committed to a serious practice, it would deliver me to my destiny. I did not know what that destiny was, but I trusted that I had one. We all have a destiny path! We can't know the precise outcome of our journey, but we can aim our arrow toward the truth, keep our focus, and maintain our commitment.

The perfect exercise that builds both mental focus and connects us to our body and Mother Earth is Archer Pose. Start with your left leg in front, knee bent with the thigh as close to parallel to the ground as possible. Right leg is extended straight behind. Plant both feet firmly into the ground (floor) and feel that you are connecting with Mother Earth.

Extend left arm out in front parallel to the floor, as if holding a bow. Pull the right arm back, bending the elbow, so that the hand is near the armpit, as if pulling an arrow. A stretch should be felt across the chest and heart and in the navel. Eyes are open looking at the thumb and beyond. Focus straight ahead into Infinity. Hold the position steady with long deep breathing or breath of fire.

Start with 1-2 minutes and work up to 5-11 minutes on each side. Be sure to press your feet into the ground, keep the knee of the back leg straight, and position your head over your tail bone, i.e. don't lean forward.

Archer can be done as a warm up before a Kundalini Yoga kriya or before or after meditation.

Sagittarius Classes - Guru Rattana Online

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References and Footnotes

"Sagittarius New Moon- December 13", Austin, Stephanie, The Mountain Astrologer, Issue #164, Dec/Jan 2013, p. 93.

"Neptune, the 12th House and Pisces", Fernandez, Maurice, Trafford Publishing, 2004.


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