Sagittarian Animal Totems and Archetypes

The Sun enters Sagittarius at 15.25 Hrs today.  This is the seventh in the series where I look at some of the animal totems and Archetypes for the various signs. Do you, or someone close to you, have Sun, Ascendant or Moon in Sagittarius?


Of course the horse is the traditional animal associated with Sagittarius, its symbol being half-man and half-horse.  In the Native American tradition, the characteristics of travel and freedom match up to the astrological qualities of this sign.

Ted Andrews writes:  “Horses are symbols of freedom – oftentimes without the proper restraints. Horse people in Chinese astrology are friendly and adventurous…Horse brings with it new journeys.  It will teach you how to ride into new directions to awaken and discover your own freedom and power”.

Jamie Sams and David Carson emphasize Power, for Horse: “In allowing all pathways to have equal validity, you will see the power and the glory of the unified family of humanity.  This is the gift of the Rainbow Warrior or Warrioress.”  Sagittarius represents the global vision and universality, and in Esoteric Astrology it rules the Earth.

Famous Example: Martin Clunes, who breeds horses and presented a TV programme “Heavy Horsepower”

Specific Breeds

Although I have been working with animal totems for many years, it is only in the last few years my researches have been trying to refine information down to actual breeds of, in this case, horses.  Martin Clunes is reported to have 12 horses, ranging from Shetlands to Clydesdales.  The programme also featured Percherons – a heavy horse of French origin.  “There is something about a heavy horse’s honesty, stoicism, size and reliability that just gets to me” Martin Clunes is quoted as saying. Certainly large horses would be most associated with Sagittarius, with this sign ruled by Jupiter and expanding all that it touches.  Recent canvassing of Sagittarian opinion also brought up the Shire Horse as a significant association, and also the Arab and Camargue breeds.

Big Dogs

Dogs generally come under the banner of Mars and Aries, but the larger dogs are associated with Sagittarius, with some exceptions such as the Rottweiler (Scorpio) and the Alsatian (Capricorn).

Jamie Sams and David Carson associate the quality of Loyalty as being uppermost with dogs:

“Reclaim the power of loyalty to self and self truths.  Become like Dog – your own best friend.”

I would also posit that Trust is an important feature and requirement in connection with dogs.  Trust in life is a Sagittarian quality.

Specific Breeds

So we have Great Danes, and Doberman Pinschers for Sagittarius.  The large fluffy variety such as Pyrenean Mountain Dogs are more Piscean.


In the Native American tradition, Rabbit represents fear, but in my own research I would bring out other qualities.  A cheerful bounce in their gait connects them with Sagittarius, I feel.  >(;-B

Ted Andrews points out:

“The rabbit is known for its…ability to  make great leaps and hops….and individuals with this totem find that their endeavours do so as well” (sounds like Sagittarius!)


Here is another jumping/bouncing animal, and the Wallaby of course is akin to the kangaroo.  Saggies tend to bounce back easily, if they are knocked down.  They are prone to exuberant comic book/cartoon expletives such as “Gadzooks!” and “Jumping Jupiter!” and onomatopoeic words and phrases.  “BOING!” is a favourite with Sagittarians.


The brightly coloured Ladybird is a favourite with Sagittarians.

Bird Totems


The Robin is a harbinger of the Christmas season and stalwart of the Christmas card – cheery red among the gloom of winter.  This may be symbolic as much as real, for it is listed as a Springtime bird.  It is also a bird that in popular lore represents ancestors coming to visit us.  In a U.K. nationwide survey early this year, the Robins came out as the most popular bird, and they are trying to institute it as the National bird.

Andrea Wansbury equates Robin with Protection and Guardianship (a Sagittarian and Jupiterian quality): “A robin is asking, do you still look to other people to protect you and look after you, just as a child looks to an adult for protection?  Or are you being overprotective towards someone?”

Ted Andrews emphasizes the spread of new growth (another expansive Sagittarian theme): “The song of the robin is a cheery, rolling trill…for anyone with this bird as its totem. It reflects a need to sing your own song forth if you wish new growth.”

Bird of Paradise

The gaudy and exotic Bird of Paradise came up recently in my surveys of Sagittarians, whereas this unusual bird did not figure with any other sign!

Nicholas J. Saunders provides some information about this bird: “It is the female that chooses which she breeds with.  By choosing the gaudiest male, she is more likely to have gaudy male offspring, which in turn will tend to be chosen by other females.  In this way she increases her chances of passing on her genes, via her male offspring.  At the same time, the species as a whole becomes more and more exotic.”  Very Sagittarian.

Mythological Figures


In Greek mythology, the Centaurs were a group of half horse, half human beasts.

from Nicholas Saunders: “The Centaurs inhabited the wild Thessalonian countryside and were said to join the power and speed of the horse with the intelligence and emotion of humans”


The most esteemed Centaur in astrological usage is Chiron, and is the name of an Asteroid which has come to symbolize “The Wounded Healer” because Chiron in the mythological fable had the gift of healing others, but could not heal himself.  Astrologically in the birth chart it has come to represent where we have a wound (often carried forward from past lives), and where we work towards healing and come to teach healing for those who have suffered the same wound.  It is still a matter of conjecture which zodiac sign is ruled by Chiron, some say Sagittarius, but a strong contingent say Virgo, which is a sign naturally affiliated with health, hygiene and safety issues (see “The Radical Virgo” blog, by Joyce Mason).  The method of healing is coloured by the sign in which your Chiron is placed, thus for instance if your Chiron is in Sagittarius you heal via philosophy and positive thought.

Unicorn and Pegasus

According to Diana Cooper:

“Unicorns are pure white seventh dimensional horses who have returned to Earth for the first time since Atlantis to help us with our ascension…

They have spiraling horns of light which radiate from their foreheads, through which they give healing, joy and enlightenment. The light of a unicorn is so powerful that it enters you gradually, in waves, only ever as much as you can cope with at any time.”

I personally do not have any experience of Unicorns, but know of people who have vivid dreams, visions and meditations where they appear.



According to Caroline Myss, the Storyteller “relays wisdom and foolishness, mistakes and successes, fact and fiction on a plane that’s often heightened beyond ordinary awareness, including a metaphorical level of teaching.”

I am sure that Scheherazade, spinner of “The 1001 Tales of the Arabian Nights”, was a Sagittarian!  Sagittarians like to embroider and exaggerate the truth.

Famous Examples: Jane Austen, Edna o’ Brien, Joanna Trollope


Famous Example: Alain de Botton

Let’s face it, to carve out a profession as a Philosopher is a rare thing, but Alain de Botton has managed to do it in this modern day.  He has followed his Soul’s path and made it his career.  His birthday is 20th December (Sun at 28 degrees Sagittarius).


Sagittarius is known for its humour, and the Clown is an old Archetype, and professes comedy but sometimes sheds a tear.  People often wonder why Sagittarians are not always jolly – often they will have some planets of their neighbouring sign Capricorn in their chart, so are no strangers to depression.  There are people who have a phobia of Clowns – this can be a past-life association or childhood trauma, and can be seen in the chart in a difficult aspect to jolly Jupiter.

Famous Examples: Miranda Hart, Christopher Biggins, Billy Connolly and Martin Clunes

New Archetype – The Spiritual Seeker

In her book “Archetypes” Caroline Myss identifies the Spiritual Seeker as one of her new Archetypes for the 21st Century.

Characteristics of the Spiritual Seeker are very Sagittarian and include:

  • “trusts intuition unconditionally
  • searches for the true meaning and purpose of her life”

She points out that the Spiritual Seeker is a Seeker and not a Finder.  This resonates with the esoteric seed thought for Sagittarius in the Alice Bailey teachings:

“I see the goal.  I reach that goal and then I see another.”  The Sagittarian archer needs an endless supply of arrows.

Caroline is herself a Sagittarian, with a good few planets in that sign.  In “Archetypes” she stresses that the real goal is Truth, and becoming comfortable with the Truth.

There are other aspects of the Spiritual Seeker which are more of a Piscean nature, however.



“Medicine Cards” by Jamie Sams and David Carson

“Archetypes” and “Archetype Cards” by Caroline Myss

 “Animal Speak” by Ted Andrews

“Animal Spirits” by Nicholas J. Saunders

“Birds Divine Messengers” by Andrea Wansbury


Strictly Come Dancing – Extra

Anita Rani

At long last Anita Rani’s birth date has appeared on the internet.  She is a strong contender in the competition Strictly Come Dancing, and has impressed me from the beginning.  Around the first week of the competition, her “Who Do you Think You Are?” was broadcast, and her emotional intelligence really struck me from that programme, much of which was filmed in India.  She has done consistently well on this series of Strictly Come Dancing, too.  Now having the luxury of looking at her birth chart, I can see what is impressive in her astrological make up.   Her Sun is in Scorpio, a sign of great depth, and her Mercury trines Jupiter giving her mental breadth to match.  But the most striking feature of her chart is an exact conjunction between her Pluto (ruler of Scorpio) and North Node (karmic mission), increasing the profound nature of her life purpose.  And then this exact conjunction is enhanced by an excellent exact sextile from the spiritual planet Neptune.  Last night she danced the Paso Doble to traditional flamenco music, with such intensity and concentration, and her sense of drama was praised to the hilt by Craig Revel Horwood. Neptune is currently creating a Grand Trine with her natal Mercury and Jupiter, bringing her sense of inspiration to a peak.  But she also has transiting Pluto squaring her natal North Node/Pluto.  Moving to the end of the contest, she has Saturn sextile her natal Venus (controlled artistry) but the Pluto square moves to being exact.  She may be facing a difficult time in her life, which may unsettle her concentration for dancing.  If she wins under that square transit, she can conquer anything in her life – she does have a very strong chart.

Partnered with Gleb Savchenko

Gleb Savchenko is the new heart throb in town, and clearly works well with Anita.  He has the Moon and Chiron conjunct his North Node, so has a poignant understanding of women.  He also has a conjunction of Jupiter and Neptune, which is about transcendence – he may or may not have explored that potential in his life.  His sensuality and appeal is shown by Venus sextile Mars.  His Mars loosely conjuncts Uranus, some electrical energy, but not too much.  He may have some mental tension, through Mercury square Chiron and Uranus opposing Chiron in his chart.  In their chemistry, they have a near perfect mental rapport with their Mercuries sextile with each other, and also Gleb’s Mercury sextile Anita’s Jupiter.  He brings out the best in her, with his Jupiter trine her natal Chiron.  His Uranus sextiles her Venus, which creates excitement, and on a more stabilizing note, his Neptune (inspiration) trines her Saturn (self-discipline).  He provides the inspiration, and she translates it into practical action.  He has mixed transits at the moment, so may not be working to his full capacity (though it is hard to see how he could be doing better).  At the time of the final his transits are still mixed, but Jupiter is close to being on his Sun (a triumph).   I intend to review all the charts again when the exact date of the final programme is announced.


The Sun enters Sagittarius today, and the intensity of Scorpio may feel lifted.  You may feel the benefit, in terms of a lightening of mood and outlook, and a greater ability to look forward to the future.  You may have a moment today where you sense this, or something triggers it, such as a quip from your favourite comedian.

Tomorrow, Venus opposes Uranus, bringing the quality of the unusual to your social transactions.  You may meet a confrontational character, or a blast from the past, or an aspect of your future self.  You won’t miss that moment, as it should be highly arresting!

Tuesday’s (24th) aspect is Mars trine Saturn, and after having been blown about by the winds lately, both physical and metaphorical, it is time for some reconstruction, repair, and attending to the foundation of things.  Make some moves, however small, in your intended direction.  Bear in mind that your gestures may be overtaken by other events later in the week (in other words don’t expect too much), but it is still significant to make that step forward on Tuesday.  Signal to the Universe that your will is as important as any other.

There is a lot happening on Wednesday (25th), and much may still be achieved, but bear in mind that there are hidden agendas at work which may manifest on Thursday, so batten down your hatches and close any perceivable loopholes, while you work.  First Mercury conjuncts Saturn, so for some concentration and focus will work, but others may be depressed by a lack of progress, or the incessant stream of negative news in the media (you may be compelled to switch it off).  One of these manifestations is likely to be George Osborne’s Autumn Statement and spending review, setting out more austerity cuts.

The next aspect is Mercury square Neptune, focussing on the deceptive nature of news (the Saturn conjunct Mercury focusses on its economy and depressing nature).  Take nothing at face value!

There is some rallying round later, with Mercury sextile Mars, and possibly some combative words.  In politics, a backlash is certain, but in your own life, you may need to pick yourself up with a pep talk, or instill courage into someone else.

The tension builds gradually up to a Full Moon in Gemini on Wednesday night.  There may be a war of words, which it is tempting to engage with, though a meditation in advance may determine whether it is nobler to stay quiet.  The U.N. are considering united action against ISIS (now being called Daesh) in Syria, but there are still some dissenting voices trying to hold back.  This situation may reach a crucial point on Wednesday evening and on Thursday.

Wednesday may be emotionally exhausting, but Thursday is the biggest day this week, with a square between Saturn and Neptune – the most important challenge since the final Uranus-Pluto square on 17th March.  Saturn represents the frustration of inaction and Neptune oversensitivity which can also result in paralysis.  This square has been stealing on us for a while, and so you will not be surprised by it, as you will have felt in some area or areas of your life an inability to proceed, which peaks at this time.  But there are hidden agendas which may now emerge: the factors and causes which you may not have suspected, but which have contributed to the current state of affairs, like a slow pollution which has gone unnoticed.  The good thing is that it is now coming to the surface and can be seen, so you can deal with the problem from a more enlightened viewpoint.  Such world problems which are now coming into clearer focus are the plight of the refugees (Saturn and Neptune represent borders, from the point of view of tightening and relaxing them, so two principles at loggerheads), the threat posed by the over-use of antibiotics (Neptune rules drugs), and the fear and paranoia surrounding the possibility of further terrorist attacks (Neptune represents paranoia, and here it is combined with fear from Saturn).  There is a new report of Paris protecting its water supply in the wake of the attacks, and adversely aspected Neptune also represents pollution of water.

All that is thoroughly depressing, but as I have said, we have seen most of it coming, and the peak of the square exposes the worst so that we can move forward with more information and enlightenment based on the bigger picture.  Our worst enemy is our own fear, and in this regard Saturn-Neptune plays into that, but it is not as extreme as the Uranus-Pluto squares we have faced in recent times.  Concentrating on seeking out the truth and correct information, seeing through the illusions of our times, and really looking at what we are dealing with, will take us far this week.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – look to the future
  • Tomorrow – social surprises
  • Tuesday – construction
  • Wednesday – busy and complex day
  • Thursday – looking at reality