How Does it Feel to Dare?

Light Bridge for Sagittarius and Sagittarius Rising

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Every human endeavor begins with someone taking a chance. This goes from the simplest gesture of meeting someone to invoking an idea that might change the world, or at least change your life. Even if it’s a small chance, it’s still a chance.

Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

I begin on this theme knowing your reputation for being the most freewheeling sign of the zodiac: the one that roller skates at full speed on greased ice, as Sagittarian Jonathan Cainer once wrote to me when I asked, “How are you doing these days?” Your astrology is all, or at least mostly, about ramping up your creative impulses and your willingness to take chances on yourself — big and meaningful ones, which is right in your nature. This is one of the most Sagittarian years in recent memory. I think you’re going to love this astrology as it develops.

Yet I also know that we’re all human, at a profoundly insecure and unsettling time in history. There are endless reasons to be paranoid, and some of them make sense. I think in this environment that to really step out and be yourself has five times the value that it might have in another time in history, when things are a little more settled and certain options and safety nets are more obvious or dependable. The whole concept of a day job isn’t what it was even a few years ago. These days you have to bring your own sense of certainty, and that takes faith and guts.

Looked at another way, when a person is feeling inspired to do or create something, the least hesitancy can stand in the way. Creative energy is a formidable power, but doubt is toxic. We are almost all conditioned to respect the hesitancy more than our creative drive. We’ve all been warned about failure so many times, usually by people who never tried. And many are conditioned to feel guilt if they do anything at all they really love. Here we are faced with one of the core human dilemmas: to dare, or not to dare?

So when I see how much daring, creative and passionate energy is in your chart — delivered by Jupiter and Uranus in your solar 5th house, fellow fire sign Aries — I know there are two sides to that story.

To take a risk or to hesitate: each of these has a vital sensation. By that, I mean each has a feeling that leads to the action taken, whether that action is movement or stasis. Your astrology on a deeper level this year is about noticing, and understanding, these sensations and learning to differentiate between them.

The focus on your emotions, your security and your environment comes through Pisces, your solar 4th house. Pisces is being activated by Chiron, which is taking you deep into your emotional roots. Pisces is sensitive in any event, and because you share a ruling planet with this sign — and both have a primary orientation that is just slightly off the normal wavelength of the world — this provides you with a contact point. It also provides you with enhanced sensitivity.

Now consider the structure of these events as they develop. In scenario one, Jupiter and Uranus are going to be in Aries (Jupiter for less than a year, Uranus for the next seven years), which will be pumping your creative fire, your initiative and your desire to take real chances — all associated with the 5th house and Aries. Jupiter is all about saying yes and Uranus is quirky, innovative, forward-thinking and inventive. There is speed here, there is luck, and the two will have some multiplying power.

In some ways your life may move faster than you were planning. Your plans and projects may pick you rather than the other way around. You could find yourself involved in a romantic torrent, and/or embarking on a direction that you were not remotely expecting.

Checking one house and sign back — in your 4th house and Pisces — Chiron is arriving with its slow, focused emphasis on full awareness. It’s activating your taproot (the 4th cusp), accessing what for other signs would be considered the Earth, and for you is more about your cosmic origins. Chiron is doing a few things, including making you aware of your environment and extremely sensitive to it. For those who depend on some attribute of Pisces for their security, life can feel like floating on a bubble, or like being in a raft on the open sea. You can do that just fine, as long as you don’t think about it too much.

Pisces is not solid; it tends to ask questions rather than provide answers, and the only real grounding here is being aware of what you’re feeling. Chiron’s presence will exaggerate this by increasing your inner focus. You may wonder whether you are safe in this vast world, and why you should feel safe. Many childhood insecurities are likely to emerge and come up for healing. Both Pisces and the 4th represent the past, where we tend to hold many questions, issues and unresolved material.

With both of these transits happening — Chiron, Jupiter and Uranus in Aries/5th pushing you boldly into the future and taking chances, and Chiron in Pisces/4th orienting you on your sense of safety and the past, we have some tension to consider.

These two transits could support one another well. There is wisdom in insecurity, and it may even be true that discretion is the better part of valor. Pisces is helping you draw on your deepest spiritual substance, while Aries is giving you the passion to express it. Yet looked at another way, you might be hesitating. You might feel compelled to override your fears and plunge ahead into the future. Or, you might pause.

Reality Phobia

T.S. Eliot elegantly summed up the extent to which this hesitation lays hold to the human spirit.

This is a chart for the entry of the Sun into Sagittarius. The chart displays all the major planets and a diversity of minor planets. Check the member's contents page for a glyph key.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair —
[They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”]
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin —
[They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”]
Do I dare —

Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

Basically, his character J. Alfred Prufrock spends so much time hesitating that he’s growing old while he worries. He seems like a hardcore case; a bit later in the poem he asks, “Do I dare to eat a peach?” But I bet you lots of people are wondering that very thing right now.

Now, you would have to read a lot of astrology textbooks before you found one that suggested a Sagittarius would hesitate before eating a peach, but we need to look below the surface. What Eliot is talking about here is Prufrock’s fear of women and of sex; we can be sure he has a female counterpart somewhere in literature who embodies the same principle in women.

Saying he has time to descend the stair means he’s reminding himself that he still has time to avoid going up to the bedroom; he can avoid the intimate encounter. From this core idea, he hesitates about everything else: he wonders whether he’s too old; wonders what others will think of him. In short, Prufrock is struggling under the weight of his inhibitions, basically growing old and dying before he gets to live, or rather, before he gives himself permission to live.

One of the most disturbing characteristics of modern life is our phobia of reality. Oh we are exhibitionists and daredevils and the young ones go out at midnight. But when it comes to making actual contact, or daring to do something real, there is remarkable hesitancy, even repulsion toward having an actual experience, making an actual discovery or doing something authentic.

Pluto in Capricorn: What You Have Going For You

As you may know, Pluto recently spent more than a decade in your sign. That transit ended so recently that it would be worth reviewing those 12 years to understand how Pluto influenced you. You’re likely to have transformed into someone you would have barely recognized back at the beginning of the transit, though the action of Pluto is so gradual that you would have to think back to find the actual points of transition.

This is a special chart for the entry of the Sun into Sagittarius. It shows all of the major and minor planets located in your sign or ascendant at the moment of the Sun's entry. This is taken from what is called a 360-degree sort — a listing, in order, of all the planets and points in the whole zodiac. Information in this chart will be used in the audio presentation. Some of these points are explained in the "planet" section of Small World Stories. Check the member's contents page for that link.

They were there. The best changes may have come as a result of your darker moments, times when you gave up all hope. Then you found something bigger and more powerful than hope or optimism; you found confidence. You found your soul.

Pluto’s transition into Capricorn represents the unstoppable force plunging into a much denser energy field. Pluto, fully charged up with the energy of Sagittarius, is now burrowing and burning through Capricorn — the sign that for you represents your values. This is your old-fashioned side, the one you don’t necessarily talk about or show the world too often. It’s the aspect of yourself that honors tradition, and wants something solid and dependable; something tried and true.

This is one of the more interesting wrinkles in your chart, and again plays on the distinctions between past and future. Your sign is naturally forward- thinking; Capricorn honors the past.

Yet Pluto is changing that in some interesting ways. Pluto is digging deep into the ideas and traditions represented by Capricorn. There is an urgency here to dismantle what is not working, and what no longer serves, and to make room for the unknown and unexplored. Three years of this movement has cleared considerable space within your psyche.

You can think of Pluto’s action here as the initial teardowns before a renovation project. There’s a lot to get out of the way. Non-load-bearing walls might all be removed, and the space opened entirely, so that it can be given a new shape. In many ways whatever reverence you once had for the past is being challenged, and that’s genuinely healthy.

At the same time there are key ways in which your foundations are being strengthened. The core structures of your values system that do support the weight of your life are being strengthened, and you’re finding out what they are. You may be discovering that relatively few of what you thought of as your values really do provide actual support. As you clear the ones you don’t need, you’re discovering that you have more energy and more opportunity to express what’s most meaningful to you.

Fortunately, the transits I described earlier — of Jupiter, Chiron and Uranus — are giving you a lot of energy to experiment and make discoveries. Pluto in Capricorn is providing the basis to discover what really works for you; that is, self-understanding to know what you want.

While we’re down here buzzing around the Capricorn angle of your chart, I have two more points to consider. One involves the role of guilt. There are some people who seem to be afflicted by this more than others, and some a bit less, but as a society we are, unfortunately, stricken. This manifests not so much as remorse for having done the wrong thing, but rather as a state of attack/defense as a result of having been falsely accused. Much data about this resides in Capricorn, the material of which can be passed from generation to generation.

It’s vital that you understand the role of guilt on every level and admit fully how useless and toxic it is. It becomes the medium of exchange in many relationships, which is why relationships can become so miserable. This may take some work, but it will take less if you question, straight away, what the role of guilt is in any emotional crisis you find yourself in. You have the awareness and the spiritual fire power to overcome this, though I would note that it’s not going to happen by denial. Guilt is insidious and requires a disciplined, loving response. Pluto is doing its best to transform anything unhealthy in your relationship to yourself. You can help by making the process fully conscious.

Second, Pluto in Capricorn is about financial self-sufficiency. Like many people, you may be figuring out how ridiculously infested and invested we are with the banking system, with employers whose efforts do not match up with your values, and with dependency on your family, your spouse or your ex.

What happens when we are financially sold-out is that we have to adopt the values of others. These are related in astrology and they are related in real life. Often we are sold-out on the level of values first (usually from our family), and that traps us into a certain financial reality. For you, financial independence means liberating yourself from all of these things. And Pluto’s presence in your 2nd house/Capricorn is making that inevitable. The thing to remember is that this independence involves taking chances and making changes, rather than merely safeguarding what you have, a dilemma you’re facing in other aspects of your life.

Who Your Friends Are

Any discussion of Capricorn points us directly to Saturn, which has recently changed signs to Libra and has been extremely active in that sign. This is your 11th house, which represents your ideals, your vision for your life and your community. The 11th is also about the rewards of your true work; most people are stuck in a job and don’t quite get to the level of their actual profession, but you’re well positioned to actually make the transition. (This relates to Pluto in the 2nd/Capricorn because you can divest yourself of the plans that others had for you, and therefore embark on your own original plans.)

This is a special chart for the entry of the Sun into Sagittarius. It shows all of the major and minor planets close to the Sun on what's called a 90-degree sort. It shows the planets and points conjunct, opposite and square the Sun at the time of the ingress into your sign or ascendant. Information in this chart will be used in the audio presentation. Some of these points are explained in the "planet" section of Small World Stories. Check the member's contents page for that link.

Initially through the early part of this transit, Saturn was challenging Pluto and vice versa — the two were in a square aspect that took about a year to work out. This may have resulted in a conflict that went a little like this: you may have come to the halting conclusion that some of your friends were faking it. As you drill into your depths, work on your self-renovation process and discover what is truly important to you, you’re also discovering what it means to be real.

As Saturn worked its way into Libra last year, you may have noticed a façade falling off of certain people you know, and you got the clue that they were not actually sincere. If this process is working right, you also discovered people who are solid and sincere in who they are and what they’re doing; people whose motives and values you share. It’s probably a smaller circle of friends than you once had, but you know you’re in better hands.

You may have also noticed that some of what you thought of as your old goals were more about people-pleasing than they were about actual achievement. The resulting shakeup may have left you feeling alone in the world, and like you had to make your way in your outer environment, building the road as you drove on it.

Saturn in the 11th is about making your own original way in the world. It’s about finding your niche, your place, your correct role. It’s not a placement that bestows an abundance of choices, but it’s going to narrow your options down to some useful and meaningful ones. While few would say that Saturn bestows a gift for style, Saturn in Libra surely does — particularly a business style.

I would suggest this style involves two things. One is an approach to decision making. You must work with clear criteria and the room for creativity.

Second is building a reputation for fairness. This definitely involves decisions, which need to take everyone’s wellbeing into account; and it involves being able to be clear that your decisions actually represent your values. Indeed, everything you do in public (11th house) must reflect how you feel in your most private depths. You’ve seen what can happen when you don’t honor this, or when you try to fake it. And you’ve seen that it’s worth making the adjustments in your outer life that will help you be fully in integrity with who you truly are.

Meanwhile, be gentle on hypocrites. It’s true that some get off on the power that contradicting their own values can take, and some think you gotta do what you must to make a living, but most are trapped in what they feel is a no-win situation. As a teacher of fairness, you may have the role of showing them that there’s a way we can all win, and we can all act in such a way that takes care of the people around us.

I would remind you how important community is. And I would remind you that community is built on some very basic values — such as we all need to have food, shelter and companionship. Your personal values are at the moment closely related to community values. You can be fairly sure that if something is actually good for you, it’s also good for the people around you. I suggest, however, working in that direction and not the reverse. Start with yourself, discern what supports you and fosters your independence, then trace that into how it supports the mutual interests of those you associate with. This will be a dependable principle to work with.

Sagittarius: the Human Animal

In astrology there are signs that are represented by humans and others that are represented by animals. Sagittarius is the only sign that is represented by a human morphed with an animal — the centaur.

The signs are the oldest layer of mythology represented in astrology. They are the stories told and often forgotten along the foggy ruins of time. The centaur was one of those stories. After a while, the notion of ‘the archer’ came to replace him, and the myth of the first centaur — Chiron — was nearly forgotten. That changed when a small body was discovered in 1977 and its discoverer, Charles Kowal, gave it that name. Then, astrologers went to work resurrecting the old stories of Chiron. He was a mentor to a generation of the classical Greek heroes, the one who taught medicine to the god of medicine, and the one who was wounded on his animal side: his lower half. This is a comment about the human condition. It is our animal side with which we struggle; our non-human attribute.

Chiron embodied another seeming paradox — he was a mortally wounded immortal. This created an extended phase of struggle and suffering, during which he created many of his most useful remedies for disease, in an attempt to heal himself. Because he was a talented physician and surgeon, indeed in the Greek tradition one of the very innovators of the medical arts, he was able to help many people due to his own quest for healing. This is an indicator of how one’s Chiron placement can function as a power wound: an injury around which we gather unusual power and strength.

In the end, the story tells us that Chiron chose to give up his physical immortality and form, and became an ascended master. In the early mythology, he is represented by the constellation Centaurus, which stands at the gate to the galaxy, located in your sign.

As part of that arrangement, Prometheus (who takes the form of the oddly-named planet Uranus) was released from his imprisonment and was free to walk the Earth. Hence the idea, borrowing words from A Course in Miracles, “When I am healed, I am not healed alone.”

In a bit I’ll return to the activity of Chiron in your chart. Before we get to that concluding topic, there are several minor planets closely related to Chiron that are making some moves in Sagittarius, and as such, they will help shape your identity.

The alignment consists of two centaur planets — Hylonome and Pholus — as well as a planet close to Pluto, Ixion. These are set up near another outer planet, Quaoar. The minor planets often reflect and refine the themes of the major ones, and most astrologers would agree that aspects among your well-known planets (Jupiter and Pluto) are guiding you into the role of someone who wants to work for social justice — or is obsessed by the idea. Yet the minor planets tell us how deeply this goes, and how profoundly you’re motivated by empathy for those who are both injured and powerless. Their plight is becoming known, and for you it may be impossible to ignore.

If Sagittarius, with its half-man, half-animal theme, is an image of the human condition, you are particularly drawn to empathize with that condition now. Humans are so contradictory and so caught in who they think they are not. Many play the role of victim. Many are in fact victimized. Others take that as an opportunity to rise above the struggles they face and achieve great things. You recognize some aspect of yourself in all of the struggles currently being dramatized on the world stage. I would remind you that you are experiencing transpersonal material in your astrology: planets that influence many people are influencing you personally.

You may not actually have most of the problems or issues that you see in the world around you, but you’re deeply sensitive to those who do. I suggest that rather than feeling angst, you allow yourself to be drawn closer to the family of mankind, and guide your life day-by-day into participating in increasingly meaningful ways. I would remind you that there’s no way you can turn your back on what you perceive, and there are many ways you will be able to act in service of what you become aware of. Doing so represents values different from those the world typically espouses — which is one of the dominant themes of your astrology in these years of your life.

The one transit that sums up the effects of many of these small worlds currently in Sagittarius is happening down in Pisces, and I would like to conclude this reading on that theme. We’ve covered it a bit earlier; there are some other implications that you may be interested in. Let’s see where we go with this. I will provide some basic review, since with new concepts like this a bit of repetition in a slightly shifted context can help you grasp them.

Your Emotional Environment

Chiron, which has close associations to Sagittarius, is about to become active in your astrology — for this year and for the foreseeable future. After five years in Aquarius, Chiron has been gradually ingressing Pisces and arrived to stay the second week of February. A sign on the mutable cross, Pisces is thus directly related to your sign. For you Pisces is the sign of the deepest emotions, your sense of security and the history of your family. They are all related.

The 4th house takes us to an instinctual level of awareness, below the surface, below the belt, with roots extending deeper than the present moment of time. Pisces, too, is a reference to depth and to the past, and Chiron’s presence focuses awareness on this dimension. Chiron is himself only partly human, as is the ocean of seawater in which those two fish of Pisces live. So we reach the level of pure sensation with this transit. And this sensation is likely to open up access to your deepest emotions, which tap you into a non-human realm. That is why I’m suggesting that as so many opportunities open up in your life, and you have so many peaches to eat, you pay attention to the feeling of hesitancy or bold action.

Chiron in the 4th can stir up one’s deepest insecurities, and when used well, those are a source of power.

The time has arrived when you must live from the inside out. This is not the time to ‘set goals’ but rather to tap into your deepest layers of inner psychic presence and allow yourself to be moved by what you find there. There is a lot; in a sense you are gaining access not only to your own feelings and deeper emotions, but also to the experience of your ancestors.

These ancestors begin with your parents, who had a strong hand in conditioning you to be the person you are. So while you’re exploring your own tendencies to hesitate or to act boldly, look closely at your parents. See if you can draw some lines to how they influenced you, and by that, I mean in your core emotions.

Tune into their feeling of living, too, and see what you observe about your own feeling of living. See if you can notice the dream they are dreaming, that they passed along to you, and notice how it feels to wake up from that dream. Yes — I am suggesting that you wake up from their dream.

One of the biggest, most pervasive and troubling delusions we live with is that we’re really not affected by all the problems and tendencies our parents have. Of course, it’s easy to deny that and keep on plodding through life — or we can get underneath the obvious and figure out what is going on. You can call this the therapy level; the dimension where you unlock your own secrets and process your deepest fears — freeing up energy along the way.

Chiron moving into your 4th house is likely to stir up your fear of endings and of abandonment. And it’s also likely to heighten your sensitivity to the environment — an environment sending signals that the world we live in is in trouble, an outgrowth of humanity’s problems. The idea is not to fix the world, but rather to understand your relationship to your own environment, which is part of the world.

This transit is likely to call attention to your actual, immediate surroundings. What is the condition of your home? Is your physical environment supportive of who you are and what you’re doing? You may make some observations that provoke you to take action; and as you do, two things are likely to happen. One is that you will see more changes you want to make; and the other is that you will be pointed deeper into yourself than you’ve gone in a long time.

It is possible you were inflicted with a wound as a child that is associated with deep, pervasive fears which may be invisible to others. You may have decided that these fears inhibit you, but now I suggest you take a cue from Chiron and use them as a source of power. This is a miracle bestowed by few planets better than Chiron. I cannot really describe how the process works as well as I can describe how it feels, but there is a kind of transmutation involved, where what debilitated you yesterday empowers you today.

For example, you may have been deeply concerned about the frail state of the world, and how delicate the life of every individual — including yourself — really is. But once you really arrive at that point, you may decide you have nothing to lose by experiencing life deeply. There is nowhere else to turn than your own depths, and Chiron is always guiding us toward actual experiences rather than theoretical ones.

This may have lonely moments. But going through this process consciously has a purpose, which is fueling the creative revolution that is about to unfold in your life. And that creative revolution is entirely dependent upon you fully engaging your insecurities and tapping into your deeper levels of feeling, so that you know the sensation of daring, or not.

These feelings are naturally going to provoke your desire to express yourself in some way. And that, too, will be a chance worth taking.

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