SAGITTARIUS - The Archer
(November 23 - December 21)
Sagittarius by KAGAYA
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of Sagittarius (the Archer), depicts a creature called a
Centaur, which has the body and head of a man and the
hindquarters of a horse. He is named after Cheiron, the leader
of the centaurs and the most famous among them.
He was semi-divine (a demi-god), as he was the son of the sea
god Poseidon. He was taught by god Apollo and his sister,
goddess Artemis, and from them he learned both wisdom and
spirituality, as well as how to hunt masterfully.
He dwelt in a cave high up in the rocky, snowy sides of Mount
Pelion. He was the oldest and wisest of all the centaurs and
very strong. In fact, he was so famous, that many kings had
trusted their sons and heirs to tutor under Cheiron.
Among the most famous of his students were Hercules, and Jason,
who grew up to became the leader of the Argonauts.
Popular mythology tells us that the centaur Cheiron was destined
to suffer a gruesome death: When Hercules was returning home to
Tiryns after killing the Erymanthian Boar, one of his twelve
labors, he had a violent encounter with some drunken centaurs,
who stupidly (and fatally for them) attacked the hero.
Hercules managed to kill many of his attackers, and drove them
away near the place where Cheiron lived. By accident, however,
one of the poisonous arrows that Hercules used to defend himself
from his attackers, went astray and hit his old teacher.
Cheiron, being semi-divine, would not die, having to suffer an
excruciating pain, because of the poison. He was in such an
agony, that Zeus himself felt sorry for the poor centaur and
permitted him to give up his divine status and offer it to the
Titan called Prometheus, the creator of the human race.
Prometheus was chained to a rock and daily an eagle would devour
his liver. When Cheiron finally was let to die, relieved from
the intolerable pain that was inflicted on him from the wound,
Prometheus attained immortality.
In gratitude for the Centaur king's countless contributions to
the ancient Greeks, Zeus placed his image in the sky, as the
constellation Sagittarius, the Archer.