Sagittarius Zodiac Sign

Stefan Stenudd

Stefan Stenudd

About Me

I'm a Swedish writer and astrologer. I'm also an historian of ideas, researching the thought patterns in creation myths. My personal website:



Tarot Meaning
Tarot Meaning

Try the old Tarot deck of cards with a free online divination. How to use the Tarot and what each card means.

I Ching Online
I Ching Online

Try the ancient Chinese divination online for free. The 64 hexagrams of I Ching, The Book of Change, and what they mean in divination.

Books by Stefan Stenudd:

Tarot Unfolded, by Stefan Stenudd.

Tarot Unfolded

This book presents an imaginative method of reading the divination cards, which is the most appropriate for the Tarot, since it consists of symbolic images. Several spreads are introduced, as well as the meanings of all the 78 cards and their pictures. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

Cosmos of the Ancients, by Stefan Stenudd.

Cosmos of the Ancients

All the philosophers of Ancient Greece and what they thought about cosmology, myth, religion and the gods. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

Life Energy Encyclopedia, by Stefan Stenudd.

Life Energy Encyclopedia

Qi (chi), prana, pneuma, spiritus, and all the other life force concepts around the world explained and compared. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

The Sagittarius Symbol

The Sagittarius symbol.

Its Origin and Meaning in Astrology

The above image is the established symbol (also called glyph) for the Zodiac sign Sagittarius, the Archer. It's a simplified drawing of a bow and arrow. Both the Zodiac sign and its symbol have been along for ages.

     The Zodiac division of the ecliptic into twelve parts, each assigned a Zodiac sign, is probably of Babylonian (Mesopotamia) origin. They were very early with astrology, mapping the sky and noting planetary movements thousands of years ago. The Zodiac very much like the one we know today, might have emerged in Mesopotamia around 1000 BC, but Babylonian astrology is probably far older than that.

     The Babylonians connected this Zodiac sign and the constellation to something quite similar to the Archer: the soldier. That's what they called the sign. To the Babylonians as well as later cultures, an archer would mostly be one of war. They may have gotten the connection from the shape of the constellation in the sky, although that's rather vague.

     The constellation of Sagittarius is possible to see as a picture of an archer, if the right stars are connected with lines. There's something that could be the suggestion of a bow and a body behind it. Still, other things could just as easily be imagined. Through history, though, the image of the archer has been related to this constellation. Several of the Zodiac constellations are at least equally vague in depicting their Zodiac sign. Here's the constellation Sagittarius:

The Sagittarius constellation.

     You might see or not that the formation of the stars suggest the shape of a bow and somebody holding it. But only when the image of the archer is added, this becomes clear.

     Below is an antique illustration of the same constellation, where the figure of a centaur archer has been added. It's from a 17th century book: Firmamentum sobiescianum, by Johannes Hevelius, 1690.

The Sagittarius constellation, 1690.

     Below is an ink version of the symbol for Sagittarius, which I did a number of years back in an experiment of using Japanese ink calligraphy (shodo) for old European astrology symbols. I've used these pictures on my astrology websites, mainly for fun and for the odd graphic effect, and I've seen them copied all over the Internet. I'm fine with that, although I think it wouldn't hurt if the source was mentioned. Well, what to do?

     Anyway, here's that ink again, this time in the original black and white (click on the image to see a bigger version):

The Sagittarius symbol in ink, by Stefan Stenudd.

Sagittarius the Sign

As for the picture commonly used to represent the Sagittarius Zodiac sign, it's been an image of an archer for as long as that has been its name - surely longer than the symbol described above has existed. Not just any archer, though, but a centaur, a man with the body of a horse. That mythological creature has been connected to the Zodiac sign and the constellation since the days of Ancient Greece. Below is one typical example, where the stars of the constellation Sagittarius have also been marked. It's an illustration from Poeticon astronomicon, a 1482 book by Hyginus.

Sagittarius, illustration from a 1482 edition of a book by Hyginus.

     And here's a statue by Antonio Canova (early 19th century), where Theseus battles a centaur:

Theseus and the centaur.

     For the header of this website, I simply used the image of an arrow - in this case a small accessory instead of a proper warrior's arrow. Its shape is such that it's obvious how the symbol for Sagittarius is composed. The background is a galaxy in outer space, as a reminder of the Sagittarius trait of always wanting to go far, far away.

An arrow and the shadow of the Sagittarius symbol beside it.

Zodiac Sign Symbols

Here are the symbols (glyphs) of all the twelve Zodiac signs, and links to pages telling more about each Zodiac sign symbol.

Aries symbol (glyph).Aries symbol
Taurus symbol (glyph).Taurus symbol
Gemini symbol (glyph).Gemini symbol
Cancer symbol (glyph).Cancer symbol
Leo symbol (glyph).Leo symbol
Virgo symbol (glyph).Virgo symbol
Libra symbol (glyph).Libra symbol
Scorpio symbol (glyph).Scorpio symbol
Sagittarius symbol (glyph).Sagittarius symbol
Capricorn symbol (glyph).Capricorn symbol
Aquarius symbol (glyph).Aquarius symbol
Pisces symbol (glyph).Pisces symbol

© Stefan Stenudd

My Astrology Book

Your Health in Your Horoscope, by Stefan Stenudd.

Your Health in Your Horoscope

This book explains what your horoscope says about your health, according to the old tradition of medical astrology. You learn what the Zodiac signs, the planets, and the other ingredients of the horoscope reveal about many health issues and different types of illnesses. Also, celebrity horoscope charts are used to show how a health reading is made. Click the image to see the book (and Kindle ebook) at Amazon.