The Sun enters Sagittarius I, The Poisoned Arrow (as Austin Coppock named it) on 22 November 2023 at 9:03 am EST. For T. Susan Chang, in her work she’s noted the relationships of this decan to the Eight of Wands, a card she called Express Delivery! —reflecting the Golden Dawn’s name, The Lord of Swiftness.
The list in 36 Airs of the Zodiac gives this decan to the Loimos, a class of spirits associated with fevers and sicknesses. It seems that this was a season for propitiation and apotropaic rituals designed to drive off the evils of disease and infection. This might have included the manufacture of infusions and tisanes and syrups, similar to modern recipes for Fire Cider or Four Thieves Vinegar. My friend Irene Glasse swears by garlic-infused honey as her personal go-to remedy for colds and winter blues. I found I didn’t use my last batch that much, owing to increasing bad reactions to plants in the allium family like onions, garlic, scallions, and leeks. My doctor says it’s maybe age-related, since many men can’t tolerate these plants as much in their diet after age 50.
Therein lies some of the reason why the first decan of Sagittarius belongs to Mercury’s administration. Jupiter-ruled signs are often indicators of big thinkers and high-flying ideals; Mercury, despite being in detriment in Sagittarius, has to be detail-oriented. Andrew can eat copious quantities of cinnamon and ginger but balks at garlic; Tonya revels in onion-based soups and garlicky bread but spurns all animal protein; Myrna enjoys sugar but not gluten; Carl disdains sugar but thrives on red meat. At this time of year, we often find ourselves thinking through the challenges of preparing meals for holiday parties, or even our own contributed dish to a potluck… and the Loimos are there, too, raising their spirit-eyebrows at too many Christmas cookies, or so many dishes of mashed potatoes, or salsas rich with cilantro or cakes plump with butter and eggs. Food intolerances are real, and yet a complex navigational hazard at holidays for baker and chef and eater alike — is the poisoned arrow in the food itself, or in the grimace Aunt Shira throws your way when you refuse her lasagna? The foods we refuse are rich in micronutrients too — what are we missing, when we refuse to take full part in hospitality? Is it the selenium, or the blessing of our ancestors? To our prescientific forebears, physical disease and psychic or spiritual miasma led to the same result: illness, poor health, and ultimately death.
The four dodeks of Sagittarius I are Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces — mimicking the hunter at his blind, searching for quarry suitable for the holiday feast. Full of fire and alcohol, he sets out for the forest, eager for the hunt; as night falls he is cold and dispirited and without success; he shivers in the darkness and huddles in his gear against the cold. In the morning, the bright clean air awakes his senses and gives him renewed vigor, and he shoots! Then comes the cold wet work of stripping the carcass of useful meat, and dragging the fruits of victory home.
We’re looking at a day chart in the shadowed half of the year. with the Sun above the horizon in the first house. However, only the night-sect planets are above the horizon; and with the exception of the Moon, it’s the day-sect planets below the horizon, along with the Upstarts — Uranus, Pluto and Neptune. The result is going to be a period in which the leaders are both directing, and following, the silent majority; presidents and kings aren’t doing anything without the support of the people who put them in their roles, but the noise from more restless parts of the crowd will suggest that they’re out of step and out of touch with reality. Don’t believe all that you hear in the next ten days.
A number of planets are substantially stronger than usual in this chart. Mars and Venus are both domiciled in signs that they rule, with Venus making alliances with her friends and acquaintances, and creating new growth in legislatures as she hammers out unusual agreements between normally unyielding foes. Mars, meanwhile, gathers bright and sharp objects of considerable danger in Scorpio III, and makes long-term plans for violence. Teddy Roosevelt wrote that the president should speak softly and carry a big stick; that’s the public story of the next ten days, but the stick may be needed sooner rather than later.
Sun and Mercury are both in the first house, promising sunnier days for individuals and a chance for your voice to catch up with your vision. Chances are you’ll be telling a lot of people to relax and not let the stress of the holidays get to them; have you thought about taking your own advice? Sagittarius I has a tendency to become self-indulgent: with the holidays approaching, I need to take care of myself now, because the rest of the month I have to think about presents and caretaking others. Be wary of that impulse this year. If your indulgence spills out to the benefit of your family, that’s OK — but be picky about big-ticket items and check yourself before carving out a long-winded justification for your largest purchases being “for both of us/all of us, really!”
Pluto in the second house promises a financially explosive holiday season that’s likely to do a number on your wallet. Square to the nodes and to Venus, he seems to suggest that your list of gift-recipients is likely to be longer than usual, and pricier than usual…. and that self-indulgence is a peskier, hardier weed to pull than usual. Make reasonable wish lists for others, and trade wish lists with others in your circle.
Saturn in the fourth house remains committed to this difficult bit, that people in your household and family are unlikely to be as up-front about what they want, and who they want it from, as anyone would like. You may have read that piece online about the difference between ask and guess culture; but the worst-case scenario is being in an ask relationship with someone but where it’s not OK to say no. With both Neptune and the Moon in Pisces, there’s some of that tumult promised here — if a loved one told you what they wanted for a winter gift, that’s kind of what they’re expecting to receive. Don’t be arbitrary about this, and be honest about unpleasant truths.
North Node, and Imum Coeli and Lot of Fortune are all in Aries III — the home of Eros in the Greco-Egyptian calendar I use… suggesting that the time with your pastimes and hobbies and entertainments that you want, is also available, and also delivers contentment. That is, your leisure activities actually deliver leisure and rest. That’s unusual, and it argues for a greater attention to self-care in the next ten days. Just be alert; the square with Pluto means that self-care and self-indulgence aren’t the same thing at all… and you can run up a substantial bill if you mistake one for the other.
Jupiter and Uranus in the sixth house are both retrograde, suggesting that daily labors will be harder and more tedious, and more prone to fits of both anger and sudden changes in both expectations and results. Make an effort to stay attentive to changes in health and well-being, and be cautious when symptoms of illness present themselves. If you’re delaying getting the next vaccine in the COVID series, or a flu shot, this might be the right ten days to do it in.
Horoscopes by Rising Sign
Decan I of any sign (usually covering the 21st of the month to the first of the following month) is free to all visitors; Decan II is only available to Patreon and Ko-Fi.com subscribers; and Decan III is available to Patreon, Ko-Fi, and MailChimp subscribers.
Sagittarius: Your ability to sing the stories of your people — and yourself — is more pronounced this week, as long as you don’t rush it: breathe in, take your pause, and then invoke Muses as you begin. Friends want to hear from you and respect what you say; just don’t go on too long. People like their stories short. A financial opportunity comes your way but cuts into both social time and leisure. Cold shoulders and heated loneliness may be a part of holiday traditions; get out for a brisk walk from time to time to clear the air… and leave the rougher conversations behind.
Capricorn: Financial matters may heat up for you, but you can probably stay in the kitchen as long as you keep the emotional pot from boiling over. If you have kids of your own (or projects so important you think of them as your ‘little ones’), then tending to that family is going to be a heartfelt focus in the next ten days. But your best buddies at work could use a little tenderness too, and some leadership from your corner. A spouse or significant other will go through some of their own familial trouble this week, too — help them conjure up the storm they need to get through the difficulties.
Aquarius: The drama is likely to arise among siblings this week for you, but (particularly the younger ones) all of them might be looking at your wallet or car with hungry eyes. Plan on helping them by being the getaway vehicle for the late-o’clock munchies. If need be, buy the family-sized pack of Oreos… but draw the line at booze, smoke, or similar ingestibles. Remember all those signs about you must be this tall for this ride? at amusement parks? Sometimes age has privileges and rights, and sometimes responsibilities… this week it’s both, and if your cousins need an altered head to get through dinner with the family. they have to pay their own way.
Pisces: hosting family for thanksgiving dinner? Or bundling everyone off to grandma’s house? The trip is going to take longer than expected for everyone, and you can count on nigh-delusional conversations where both sides don’t even agree on facts, much less policy. Discourage conflict by bringing the kids to the adult table, and making the kids’ usual place an art station. Delay contentions with surprise raffles, discussion of who hosts Pesach or Easter this year, or bring prayer to the table with Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Address. You may be on the hook for post-festivities work hours, but make your own boundaries clear and stick to them.
Aries: You have an unusual freedom to act this coming week, in ways that allow you to work with your strengths, invigorate your desires, play (that’s a verb all by itself), and enjoy yourself. Might it cost too much money? Yes. Will there be times when you feel stressed and over-scheduled? Also yes. Will you have to make “I’m a big boy and I wear the pants” choices at work when your boss passes the buck on a big decision? Also yes. But your partners are likely to look out for your best interests and can run interference where needed with you friends… and make sure you look your best.
Taurus: Some gritted teeth and frustrated ambitions in the next ten days — but remember the Buddhist aphorism that pain may be unavoidable but suffering is optional. Find your own ways to enjoy yourself; drink deeply from the carton of the milk of happiness where you can. You may be limited in your ability to engage with friends (and they may be off on whackadoodle adventures anyway), but your own ability to practice your natural charm-based diplomacy on a day-to-day basis. You won’t see the results immediately, but you can feel them if you take the time to honor each encounter with an acquaintance as a gift.
Gemini: Relatively private matters may be thrust into the public eye. Even if you work at home, enthusiasm for information-gathering may be sticking sensors where they don’t belong. A balanced relationship to leisure is found in the company of friends, but the event isn’t likely to last as long as you like. Even so, friendships may last a long time in the bonds forged over a shared coffee. An employee may get out of hand or do you unexpected injury — head the problem off by recognizing and honoring good work. Rely on a spouse or partner to say things that must be said; but recognize that you’re making them the herald of your own ideas — and you should talk to them about how they feel about that message, before and after.
Cancer: You have responsibilities these next ten days, but a good many of them will be connected with end-of-semester issues or travel plans — and all the plans you make, may not be sufficiently grounded in reality to assure a good outcome. Be prepared to roll with sudden shifts in expectations, and renegotiate schedules or deadlines that don’t work for you. Things are more fluid than they should be, but you have the professional skills to get what you want. Though routine plans may need to be overhauled, a ‘special event’ for your friends is likely to be appreciated. If you’re partnered, don’t let them spend their off-work time glued to the computer… or to the kitchen.
Leo: Travel plans are likely to bring a leisurely trip on the highways and by-ways. You’re not likely to get *stuck* exactly, but you are likely to face a lot of twist and turns over late November and early December; your sex life, and your life as a raconteur and bon-vivant, has the potential to go through some frequent realignments. There are some neighborly, or familial, matters, that require your most diplomatic intervention — but in many ways it’s not a season for getting tied down or allowing yourself to be grounded. Let your responsibilities remain fluid even if they’re wide-ranging.
Virgo: Professional matters are at the forefront of your next ten days, but it will be hard to square your business role with your position in your household. Delegate what you can, recognize what only you can do — and acknowledge that some things are going to be left undone for reasons beyond your control. Get fair market value for your labor, even from friends, but do exquisite work for them, above and beyond the call of duty. Family matters will be wriggly and snuggly and subject to unexpected changes; support your partner in every part of it, and be generous in assuming responsibility for things that are not normally your concern.
Libra: Do you know how beautiful your friends are? This is a great week to acknowledge and celebrate that fact — and to praise both how fashionable and stylish they are, and how deep their inner beauty goes. Shine on them your love, and communicate your admiration for their thoughtfulness and care. Acknowledging your own beauty is good too: dress up for everything, and put on a show, both for yourself and others. You’ll be in a position to acknowledge others better, if you can demonstrate that you know what you’re talking about … and Venus is giving you plenty of opportunities to be glamorous in front of your allies this time around. However, be more cautious about money than usual; if you’re a rider, maybe give the horse a break
Scorpio: Horse riders tell you to get back on the horse quick if you fall. But, if ever there were a week to stay off the horse after getting thrown… this is it. Put down the sharp tools and go talk with the cousins in the living room. Find a comfy chair, one of grandma’s quilts, and a good book. The harder advice is to bite your tongue at someone else’s house when “Aunt Fran” (F.R.A.N — Friend, Relative, Associate, Neighbor) says something racist or insensitive; make clear you won’t come again if she’s invited, after the fact… but you won’t win any points from your host… they have to live with this person after you’re gone, and your righteous anger will cost them dearly. Instead, focus on those peer-to-peer relationships which is where the fire in your life happens anyway — and focus on building up their material comforts when Fran finally leaves. You’ll be thanked for creating ease at the dinner table… and afterward, and both matter more than whether the auntie gets her comeuppance.
I have a Patreon account for those who want to support this column as it continues its third year. Those funds support artists, artisans and thinkers that I regard as contributing to the well-being of the world. You can also buy me a Ko-fi in $3 increments; any column I write after receiving a Ko-Fi donation will be open to the public). .
If you want to read some of my astrologically-oriented poetry, the largest collection is called A Full Volume of Splendor and Starlight, available through my Etsy shop, and containing poems and hymns to the planets, constellations, decan deities, and Moon Mansion angels. While not astrological, Festae contains hymns to some of the older Roman gods and spirits from the calendar created by Numa Pompilius, the second ancient King of Rome.
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. I also 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 for much of my planetary delineations. Neither gentleman endorses me.