The Sun enters Sagittarius, and Sagittarius I The Poisoned Arrow, at 9:34 pm EST on 21 November 2021. Ruled by Jupiter and administered by Mercury, it’s a place where the Sun is peregrine and not particularly well-placed. The Tarot aligns with this decan at the 8 of wands — eight living shafts of wood thrusting ground-ward like fired arrows finally hitting their targets. It’s that energy, of the thing launched but unable to be recalled, that captures the nature of the ten days ahead of us.
Austin Coppock titled this decan The Poisoned Arrow, but the ancient Greeks called it the time or season of the Loimos — that is, the plague-spirits or pestilence-sprites that brought illness in the form of colds, fevers, body aches and pains, stuffed-up noses and creaking joints. In a world without antibiotics, the season of the Loimos was likely a reminder that our bodies and their various fluids are up against some challenging riptides generated in the natural world, and some magical or religious or spiritual protection against such powers was both needful and welcome. The Loimos were not so much worshiped as propitiated and placated and appeased: the goal was not to adore them, but to encourage their swift departure.
In a time of plague, there’s likely a similar desire to keep the forces of pestilence far from our front doors.
Not insignificantly, the first decan of Sagittarius is ruled by Mercury, the lord of expertise. While Mercury is normally in detriment in Sagittarius, here they have some dignity, a kind of honor called “in the chariot”. Though a planet like Mercury would normally be at a disadvantage in this place of big ideas and deep wisdom, here in the first decan they exercise a kind of communicative and communicable intelligence that reminds us how to solve problems quickly. The poisoned arrow, in an age when both vaccination and the anti-vaxx crowd occupy a good deal of attention, seems related to Paracelsus’s dictum of medicine that “all medicine is poison, and it is the dose that makes the medicine into poison.” The flying arrows of the 8 of Wands in the Tarot deck are related to the insight that dosage and concentration turns medicine into lethal substance; and it is lethal substance that becomes appropriate remedy when paired with proper care and wisdom. Jupiter in Sagittarius is a kind of priesthood of that wisdom, and Mercury in that priesthood carries that wisdom into the realm of ordinary expertise. The separating square between Jupiter and Mercury ends on 25 November, when Mercury enters this realm and follows the Sun — but it comes with a conjunction to the South Node, a warning that medicines are neither all placebos nor panaceas. They do not cure everything, but neither do they cure nothing. Appropriate caution is warranted.
The Ascendant is in Leo, which the Sun trines from Sagittarius, making this a more favorable chart for the next ten days than we’ve seen in previous months; however, the Sun is conjunct the South Node, and the Moon in only slightly past her eclipse on the 19th of November — in the Seventh Mansion, “the Forearm”, a position indicating that the will of the gods shall be done. Appropriate action was taken at the eclipse by the powers that be, and now the consequences of that must begin to unfold. Overall, this is a Night Chart, giving the Moon, Venus and Mars a special prominence, though only the Moon take full advantage of that.
The Imum Coeli, in the last degrees of Libra and the third house, points to a mix of geniality and argument over family Thanksgiving tables this week in the US. The decan here, The Gyroscope, advises you to keep spinning and avoid falling over, even if ugly subjects rear their heads. Take the high road wherever possible and you’ll come through it looking gracious and savvy.
In the fourth house, Mars holds the middle decan of Scorpio, The Alchemical Apparatus for Double Distillation, with a approaching sextile from Venus holding its effects through the end of the month. Favorable for romantic relationships, new friendships and sensual equality, this pattern still requires people in it —such as a friendly Thanksgiving dinner with the extended clans of chosen family (as well as family get togethers where you feel you can be yourself). Mercury’s square to Jupiter is passing away, but there may be a lingering reluctance to engage in heavy intellectual pursuits or public engagement with politics. However, it is a good time to open up to family about who you are and what you think, though you may find this requires a difficult kind of unhappy recollection of past troubles.
The Sun in the fifth house, conjunct the South Node, may bring an unusual lightness. There’s a focus on children if you have them, or on hobbies and entertainments if you don’t. The South Node may make you feel like this season doesn’t bring as much happiness as prior years, and you should allow additional time when traveling for holiday get-togethers. There’s also likely to be less willingness to work, either for an employer, or on the projects that you know need doing but that you don’t enjoy.
Venus in the sixth house in Capricorn sends back her rays to Mars, but Mars projects a little ambition forward to urge you to work on health matters. Robert Hand in Planets in Transit regards the sixth house as inimical to Venus’s indulgence — but it’s just as likely that Venus helps you get back on your exercise routine (even if she doesn’t help with maintaining your diet through the holidays), and gifts you with an easy time at work. Her current decan The Pyramid does warn you that you should take care to know your place in the hierarchy of your workplace or community: generosity, compassion and most of all forbearance will get you farther than an imperious “Do you know who I am??”
Saturn and Jupiter hold the angle of the seventh house in Aquarius. Jupiter is more poorly placed than normal here, while Saturn is even more strong than usual in this placement. With Mars and Mercury in the square of Scorpio, and Uranus in the square of Taurus, this puts enormous pressure on individuals to … conform… bow to the will of… accept the consensus of… Others. The limits that others place upon us are the big challenge of the next ten days, and will set substantial boundaries about how we can behave and what we can do.
Neptune’s retrograde presence in the eighth house in Pisces (in the decan called The Cup of Blood) appears to be doing his best to soak the bonds of normal obligations in something like vinegar or other weak acids — the dissolution of your commitments and requirements, if not strongly held, are easily undone in this environment. Norms we may have grown used to, like masks and social distancing, are likely to be loosely held during the next ten days. It doesn’t mean that the urgency of using these things has passed, necessarily — just that they seem less important. Medical misinformation continues to divide and separate us from one another and from our mutual imperatives.
The Midheaven is off the angle, indicating that career topics are strongly connected to writing, to learning, and to travel in the next ten days. The decan here, The Burning Rose, indicates a passion project at work, or maybe the first steps toward entrepreneurial endeavors. Mars inconjunct to the sign as a whole suggests that this is not a “quit your job and start a business today” situation; but the trine to Venus as the decan administrator indicates that writing a one-page outline of a business plan would not be out of line. It’s also a good time to ask if your employer would consider making a tuition payment for a workshop, conference, or certification for your future education.
Uranus in Taurus, also retrograde in the tenth house, casts his own turbulent rays in opposition to Mars and Mercury, and receives theirs in turn, as well as the side-eye from Jupiter and Saturn. Thus helping to put pressure on Leo to make changes to career and relationship to others at home and in the world, he promises revolt against the old order in the workplace — either through abandonment or re-organization of workplace priorities. If you’re a boss, manager, or supervisor, you need to shake things up in a serious way even to your own discomfiture; if you’re employed but with little power, it’s time to consider what you believe is worth doing, and what fair compensation looks like.
In the eleventh house, The Moon has run from its November 16 eclipse in the Fifth Mansion “The White Spot” to “The Forearm” of the Seventh Mansion. Recent conflict with friends may be at least temporarily resolved, and there is greater opportunity to meet with friends and develop closer connections with acquaintances and colleagues. The North Node warns us that the temptation is to overdo these reconnections, even as the Sun’s presence in opposition reminds us that there is still work to do and not to accept every invitation to recreation and celebration. The consequences of reconnection must play out —but a kind and forgiving attitude still benefits us all.
Horoscopes by Rising Sign
Horoscopes of Decan I of any sign are free to the public; Decans II and III are available to the $3/month tier and above on Patreon.
Leo: Sun is trine from Sagittarius but peregrine and succedent. Poor kitten — you’re going to feel like everything and everyone is ganging up on you, from end-of-year reorganizations at work, to difficulties with significant others, to challenges from both parents and children. It’s likely to be a hard time at the Thanksgiving table. However, you can count on sympathetic friends through the holidays (though you should probably avoid a third slice of pie). If you’re in a management position or need to hire contractors to deal with parts of your life, you’re in a good position to get the best work out of them — as long as you know your place in the grand scheme of things, and bid fairly for the service you want.
Virgo: Mercury is sextile, angular, and in-sect, but peregrine. Financial questions become centrally important, but conflicts and communication with extended family, concerns about travel and unwelcome obligations lead you to desire solitude during upcoming holidays. Consider reaching out to friends and ask to participate in someone else’s thanksgiving; be a part of someone else’s event if you can. However, you may need to think about your finances as they relate to the family that you avoid: are they responsible for your living situation, for your entertainments? Would avoiding the holidays cut you off from your children? Similarly, will inviting yourself to holiday celebrations put new work obligations on you? These are things worth sorting out ahead of time.
Libra: Venus is square, in her chariot but succedent and out of sect. There will be conflicts between family obligations and work obligations, but you are capable of delegating and wrapping up most of the job concerns cleanly. Your real joys will come in the context of familial occasions — even if you don’t like your family very much. Just don’t overdo it with your own entertainment at a sister’s or cousin’s expense. This may require you to ask your partner to hold back on the cold shoulder treatment, and seek a gentler way to disengage. Conflict over money may begin when something breaks in your house; communicate about what you really need rather than letting the issue come to a fever pitch. It’s a great time to approach a boss or supervisor about paying for a certification you may need.
Scorpio: Ruling Mars is present and angular but out of sect. You may find yourself playing head of household this week or so: possibly as a turkey roasts in the oven or guests gather on your front porch. With your life on display to all and sundry, you may have a hard time controlling either your temper or your anxiety— and finding solo time will feel good but also bring unexpected connections with either siblings or the extended hassle of cousins who seek your company. Be the good host wherever you can, but remember to keep your own wits about you — it’s easy to make big promises at a time when your stress is heightened but your defenses are lowered through alcohol or other materials. Where necessary, be sure to define off-limit places like your bedroom or your office or workspace, but don’t be too upset if those boundaries are violated: try to remember that people can be well-intentioned but forgetful.
Sagittarius: Jupiter is sextile and angular but peregrine and out of sect. You likely feel diminished and held back from hobbies and friends; work feels concrete and necessary and the only way to build income, but it’s hard to muster the creative habit right now — remember to spend some energy on networking and finding your team if you’re not participating in the Great Resignation. Solo time is where things are likely to go wrong, so remember to use your alone time well; use a journal or diary to keep track of both goals and achievements. You may feel standoffish even from your closest friends, but you also have a hunger to to oblige them with access to your services and assistance. .
Capricorn: Saturn is angular, in-sect, and in a sign it rules but inconjunct. Pluto is present. The next ten days are likely to feel like a daily grind of challenges, but the good news is that you can put a creative spin on all of them and bring about some positive results — provided that you have a good balance of fun and grind in place. It’s a good time to invite a small group of friends to your home, but try to do something fun and collaborative rather than aggressive or competitive… the contest will show up regardless, so make a point to downplay that aspect. You and your partner may have a bit of a contest of you own about finances and funds: be clear about what you actually have, and what you can afford to release to their use… and point out what sort of financial challenges they may have to face soon, other than whatever extravagance they’re trying to plan for. Your practical viewpoint may help save for a rainy day what’s actually needed for the storm front. Be aware that many of your daily actions have a tendency to pile up into difficult consequences for someone, possibly yourself — try not to be too self-critical when it’s you, but act with sympathy when it hits others.
Aquarius: Ruling Saturn is present and angular and in-sect. You probably don’t see eye to eye with a partner (business or romantic) right now, and it’s bringing a variety of troubles to relationship questions. There’s a degree to which you should take charge… and a degree to which you should delegate responsibility and let it go. The sovereign can’t afford to micromanage, and neither should you. What you can control is how you spend your days, and being appropriately creative, or thinking about aesthetics, carries more weight than just “get it done”. Have you had enough time with friends of late? A boss may be yelling at you about some late project or another, or just busting your trust in them without cause… prioritizing something other than work is a great way of showing an alleged superior that they need you more than you need them. Providing that clarity is useful right now.
Pisces: Jupiter is angular but peregrine and out of sect. Neptune is present. You’re likely to find duties and responsibilities slipping from your grasp, and your ability to control the resources of spouse or business partner loosening. This isn’t entirely bad, unless you have some legal liability for doing so — but you may want to sit down with your partner, just the two of you, and own up to the problem sooner rather than later. You may find yourself formally shut out, or that the person takes the reins of their own destiny much tighter, but ultimately that will be beneficial to both of you. You’re allowed to wear the crown in the relationship, but remember that Presidents and Kings rarely carry their own wallets — some things are best left to their professional staff. Are you pulling your weight, speaking of which, at household tasks? Is your partner? Might want to bring that to their attention if not… or to your own if they’re shouldering most of the work.
Aries: Mars is angular and in a sign it rules, but out of sect and inconjunct. Learning and travel occupy your attention, likely career-related. You’ll learn best and have the most fun while learning from someone who lives near you, or a family member — pottery or astrology, just remember that what goes around comes back around sooner or later. Some resources are not under your control and never will be; and you have obligations in the world that you’re not fulfilling. But if you took the time to address those responsibilities, you’d find that life would run a lot smoother. There’s a lot of weight above you in the organization where you work or which holds your attention — you’re going to have to find some ways of addressing your superiors, and getting the lower layers of the organization below you to function, despite not having everything you need to do the job. You can also choose to walk away, of course… but your skill-set is likely to find you right back in the same predicament, at least for the moment.
Taurus: Venus is trine but succedent, peregrine and out of sect. Uranus is present. A focus on your public reputation is necessary and beneficial, but you may find that you’re having trouble imagining who you want to be and who you want to be seen as. Some hauteur still clusters around you, but the standoffishness will be seen as a reluctance to participate. A petition to the right people may bring in more cash, but a romantic partner may themselves be strapped to be the source of funding; there’s already a lot that has to go to household management, and you can fight about that.. but the real source of money has to be an employer or your own business (or helping a partner land a better job than they’ve currently got). You have your own learning and travel to do, and that may require bringing together some disparate threads to create the sort of life you want to have professionally.
Gemini: Mercury is angular and in-sect but inconjunct and peregrine. Of course you want it all! And it’s an easy time to get it, despite the recent eclipse — you’ll just have to be prepared to wait for the deliveries to trickle in, as the supply lines become untangled. But chances are that your statistically significant others can’t deliver all that you want or all that you believe you’re promised. You’ll have to petition a wider circle of friends for the freight fees; and you’ll have to put your signature and seal to the requests; this isn’t something you can afford to hint at. Read up on the difference between ask and guess culture, and see what it is that you need to change. In this age of remote work, chances are a lot of household management tasks have fallen to you, and one thing you have to ask for is what your partner’s jobs are in this environment; “bringing home the bacon” is an answer, but maybe not a sufficient one depending on what they do for a living, and you should perhaps ask for more. There are also resources for learning and insight within you that you haven’t tapped yet, and you should be defining the next steps in your whole career through some intimate conversations with friends and close allies.
Cancer: Moon is succedent, in-sect, and in the 5th mansion (favorable) but peregrine and inconjunct. The next ten days may feel somewhat lonely, even if you’re among friends. There will be a hunger to have deeper and stronger connection to others outside your immediate circle, but you may find that the people you’re hanging out with just don’t want to go that deep. Possibly they’re lonely, themselves, and possibly they’re sensing your neediness and wanting to keep up their boundaries. Do not take it personally — it isn’t that they don’t love you at all, it’s that this is a bigger commitment than they’re prepared to keep right now. Try to accept that fun and lighthearted gatherings are also a form of intimacy, and allow that lightheartedness to go deeper on its own without pushing it. The time after November 25 is likely to be a heavy work-period, but it’s also likely to be enjoyable and challenge your intellect and creativity in favorable ways. A conversation with a spouse, significant other, or business partner about shared obligations is probably coming soon, but again… you don’t have to force it. Let it rise to the surface in the ordinary course of things.
have a Patreon account for those who want to support this column as it approaches the midpoint of its third year (I began with Leo I in 2019 ). We’re currently doing a decan walk through some Tarot, astrology, mythology, and magic. If you don’t want to become a regular patron, you can also buy me a Ko-fi in $3 increments, and any column I write after receiving a Ko-Fi donation will be open to the public. You can also schedule an appointment with me using Accuity Scheduling, for a natal or solar return consultation.
I use iPhemeris for my charting software, and screenshot it to make charts. I want to thank the team that develops iPhemeris for the addition of Terms and Decans to their charts, appearing here for the first time! I use Hugh Tran‘s Physis typeface to craft logos for this blog, as well.
I use Christopher Warnock‘s The Mansions of the Moon as the basis of my Moon placement delineations, and Austin Coppock‘s 36 Faces as the basis of much of my planetary delineations. Neither gentleman endorses me. My own book, A Full Volume of Splendour and Starlight, is now available as PDF download from my Etsy website, as is my Almanac for 2021. I follow T.Susan Chang and the Reverend Erik Arneson for insight into Tarot. Any errors in these columns are my own.
If you’d like to schedule a consultation with me, you can find additional information on the Services and Classes page.
If you want to read some of my other astrologically-oriented poetry, “A Full Volume of Splendour and Starlight” contains these smaller collections:
- To the Mansions of the Moon is a collection of hymns to the angels of the Mansions
- For the Behenian Stars is a collection of hymns to the first/brightest sixteen stars.
- The Sun’s Paces are hymns to the thirty-six Hellenistic-era deities and ascended souls of the Greco-Egyptian Decans-calendar.
- Festae, hymns to some of the older Roman gods and spirits.