Sunday, December 21, 2008

Music for Sagittarius

Having touched on the astronomy of Sagittarius last Sunday, here's my final chance to say something astrological about the Archer, before the "sun... to the Goat is run," as John Donne says. (The goat is Capricorn, the sign which the sun is just about to enter.)

Here's my take on Sagittarius: the qualities associated with the zodiac sign are much like Handel's Messiah. Handel wasn't a Sag himself, but his oratorio expresses the expansive energy of the season. (Though Handel originally composed it for Lent, it fits Advent a whole bunch better, as people recognized.)

Here's the gist of it:
Let's get together a whole bunch of people to have a jolly time, infused with hope for the future regarding Big Important Things, like salvation from sin or global warming. And to drink warm drinks. Hallelujah!

Other Sag music would be Gustav Holt's "Jupiter" section of "The Planets," with its energizing euphonium. Warm, brassy Jupiter, bearer of good things (like Saint Nick), rules Sagittarius.

Or the "Ode to Joy" from Symphony No. 9, by Beethoven (who was a Sag--born Dec. 16, 1770--though an uncharacteristically grumpy one; but then, he had other things going on). He wrote this choral work to the poem by Friedrich Schiller:

Joy, beautiful spark of God
Daughter of Elysium,
We enter drunk with fire,
Heavenly one, your sanctuary!

(Sagittarius is a mutable fire sign.)

If you can't quite bring that piece of music to mind, here's a performance of it by Beaker, my favorite Muppet.
He embodies another aspect of Sagittarius: the way all that booming good cheer and jollity can make some of us anxious and agitated, actually increasing our feelings of worthlessness and decreasing our interest in pleasure: i.e., all the stuff that has people singing the blues in December.

[Sorry, I don't know who to credit for the wonderful image at the top of this post.]

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