The History of Sagittarius the Archer and the Centaur
This creature was a famed centaur in Greek mythology. They were rude, untrustworthy, cheating, violent, deceptive and they drank too much. But one centaur named Chiron was different. Chiron was educated by the Sun-god Apollo and Diana, Goddess of the Moon and Wild Animals.
Chiron was as kind, gentle, and wise as the other centaurs were mean, fierce, and unthinking. Chiron’s many skills and wisdom became so widely known that children of many a famous king were sent to him to be taught all manner of skills. Among his pupils were the mighty Hercules and Aesculapius, who became so skilled at medicine.
The centaurs began to attack him and Hercules. This was a mistake, for Hercules soon settled matters by killing many of them and driving the rest from the countryside, telling them never to return. Chiron was nearby observing the event, although he has not taken part. Although Hercules knew Chiron, and deeply respected him, he could not recognize his friend from a great distance and accidentally shot him with one of his poisoned arrows. Seeing these events and knowing of his son Hercules’ sadness, Zeus gave the good centaur a resting place among the stars as the constellation Sagittarius, the Archer.
According to another myth, Sagittarius is poised and ready to shoot an arrow through the heart-star of Scorpio if he tried to do any harm to anyone. Others claim that the constellation was invented by the Sumerians, that Nergal (as the supreme god of war) is found on two cuneiform inscriptions.
In the Gilgamech epic, Nergal is one of the “seven gods” to whom one sacrificed sheep and oxen. His name, in Sumerian, means “Lord of the Great Abode”, that is, of the Underworld. Yet there are few stories that provide much of a picture of this god. Hammurabi, the great lawgiver (18 century BC) called him “the fighter without a rival who brought him victory” over those who would resist his laws. He was also seen as the god of plagues, and of destruction.
However to consider Nergal as the prototype of The Archer seems to be stretching the evidence. For whatever reason, when the select group of twelve constellations was codified sometime in the third millennium BC, The Archer was one of them.
- Personality Traits – Do you have the classic personality of a Sagittarius?
- Compatibility – Which other star signs have the personality to make the perfect match to Sagittarius?
- Relationships – Do you suffer the emotional complexities and compatibility issues of love relationships that are typical among Sagittarians?