The Pope Blessing The Faithful; Personalized Worship
The purest point in the Sagittarius archetype is the Hierophant from the Major Arcana. The Pope may be a symbol of power and authority in the Catholic tradition, but the focus of this symbol is not who he is but what he is doing. When Catholics line up to receive the Pope’s blessing they often carry their personal sacramentals to be blessed as well. Rosaries, scapulars, saint medals, crucifixes- any number of these personal objects of worship and observance will receive the Pope’s blessing along with their bearer at the altar.
At the culmination of Sagittarius season we see a belief system that combines individual need with cultural tradition in order to provide a personalized practice and an intimate relationship with our Creator. We can operate within the values and traditions of the society we inhabit and relate with efficiency and satisfaction to the supernatural force that supports our individual endeavors within it.
A Fat Boy Mowing The Lawn; Social Respectability
The anaretic degree of Sagittarius season leads us to the result of adherence to social and religious traditions: a young man with ample access to processed food and the luxury of leisure attends to the routine maintenance of his suburban status symbol: the front lawn. Through his service to the community and his own ambition he has attained a certain level of success, and as he completes this ritual his work will inspire appreciation, motivation and perhaps even envy in his peers. He possesses, if nothing else, social respectability.
An Old Bridge Over A Beautiful Stream Is Still In Constant Use; A Beautiful Necessity
Rudhyar presents this as the ideal of natural beauty and human skill in a work that endures for generations, as opposed to untamed wilderness with its hostility to human advancement or the loss of beauty and natural resources by concrete infrastructure. It is an old bridge, the stream is still beautiful despite a constant stream of traffic. He coins the keywords from a architectural book.
In my personal practice this symbol represents the pain associated with a higher level of spiritual attainment and how it may be borne well. In the Dialogue of St. Catherine the Father speaks of Christ as a bridge over the river of temporal life that leads to eternal life in Him, and obedience as the virtue that compels us to travel it so we may “come to our true happiness with the angels”. For me, at least, Christ is the Bridge between Heaven and Earth and a beautiful necessity.
A Sculptor At His Work; Self-Projection Into A Work
As we approach the end of Sagittarius season and the more advanced degrees of the archetype we see the individual capacity to give form to raw materials according to a vision. The mantra of Sagittarius is “I believe” and this system of beliefs apply most often within religious, cultural or societal systems, but the purpose of all of these systems and rituals are to fuel the relative success of an individual in becoming self-actualized. He participates in the collective rites and traditions in order to attain his own personal version of success and progress.
A Flag-Bearer In Battle; Consecration To An Ideal
The notable quality of the flag-bearer is that he is unarmed. He carries the symbol, the idea, and he trusts the soldiers behind him to defend that ideal with their weapons. Rudhyar calls this a noble subservience to collective ideals, and that may be true, but this also refers to a certain level of innocence and trust in the investment of the ideal he bears by armed men willing to give their lives in its service.
A Chubby Boy On A Hobby Horse; Foreshadowing
This symbol holds some unconscious sexual energy, and its expression and release according to the development of the consciousness experiencing it. The boy rides the horse on an imaginary adventure and mimics the movement and rhythm of the basic sexual act. He makes no connection between the two, and cannot, because his development has not advanced to this level, but his play is symbolic of the quest and adventures of man.
A Bluebird Perched On The Gate Of A Cottage; Good Fortune
Bluebirds are symbols of happiness, and here one sits on the boundary between the village and the home. There is a gate that controls who and what may come in and when, but on this line between the external and the internal a spiritual happiness presides. This symbol hints at joy to come for the members of the household and the village that surrounds the cottage.
A Group Of Immigrants As They Fulfill The Requirements Of Entrance Into The New Country; Transition
This moment in the social context of naturalized citizenship also represents a phase of spiritual development where one assimilates and adjusts to the requirements of the next level of activity. There are tests of fitness, an new manner of being to embody, and a liminal moment where one is no longer that but not yet this. It is a phase of transition.
A Chinese Laundry; Self-Containment
This symbol is an important level of development within the Sagittarius archetype, which is appropriate for the 22nd degree because it is a master builder number. Here stands a business successfully run in a foreign land according to one’s original background and culture. They have retained their culture while integrating into the local community in a mutually beneficial way. Where this symbol appears the Adept is challenged to use their personal values as the foundation for a productive relationship with their current environment.
A Child And A Dog Wearing Borrowed Eyeglasses; Learning Through Imitation
Glasses represent a certain level of vision and intellectual development; a level that the child will eventually attain but that is limited for the dog. In this symbol we see the value of imitating that which we observe but do not fully understand or cannot use with mastery. Imitation, make-believe, and the vibration of certain symbolic objects can offer us an introduction to foreign concepts and energies.