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Sagittarius, by Johfra Bosschart

Johfra Bosschart Sagittarius

Sagittarius by Johfra, pg. 158 in your handmade, fine art book You and the Universe



         Derivative of the Latin “sagitta” or arrow, Sagittarius is the ninth sign in Johfra Bosschart’s Zodiac Series. Sagittarius is the centaur, half-man half beast, his hooves planted firmly in the earth, his sagitta pointed heavenwards. The arrow symbolizes Sagittarius’ attempt to master his lower nature and become identified with his higher self. Sagittarians are the truth-seekers of the zodiac, sometimes disregarding the feelings of those around them in their compulsive search for truth. Freedom is also their goal, for like the horse they love to travel and don’t want to be fenced in. Sagittarius is a mutable fire sign, ruling the liver, hips and thighs in the human body; its keyword is "I perceive." Sagittarians are friendly, extroverted, gregarious, love sports and gambling, and are the priests, philosophers, story tellers, teachers, salesmen and con-men of the zodiac. There are two types of Sagittarians: one is focused on spiritual or religious concerns, understanding, the higher mind and abundance; the other is more identified with his equine nature, travels physically rather than mentally or inwardly, tends to waste and extravagance as opposed to material abundance, and is a wanderer and dilettante. These are all attributes of the ninth house of which Sagittarius, being the ninth sign, is the natural ruler.

         In Johfra’s painting the Sagittarius centaur is receiving inspiration from Zeus, king of the gods, who as the Roman Jupiter is planet ruler of the sign Sagittarius. Jupiter’s bird is the eagle which we see on his right, and his “in”-“spiration” manifests as a multitude of spirits in the clouds descending to earth where receptive beings can benefit from his messages. It’s unclear what the ram’s pelt over the centaur’s left arm symbolizes, but it's probably either something he wears or an allusion to the Golden Fleece acquired by Jason who was reared and tutored by the centaur-teacher Chiron.

         In the right foreground there appears to be a depiction of Diogenes seeking an honest man. Diogenes of Sinope (412-323 BCE) made a virtue out of poverty, believing that virtue in general was revealed through one’s actions rather than through words or theory. Notorious for carrying a lamp in the daytime and claiming he was looking for an honest man, Diogenes might have had to look no further than the nearest honest-to-a-fault Sagittarian. I say “might have had to look,” for Sagittarians are great story-tellers, and embroider the truth by expanding it into a story more to their liking until it may differ considerably from what actually is or did occur.

         Below Diogenes is a unicorn, symbol of grace and purity. Part horse and part goat or stag, the virgin maiden who can capture it by having it lay its head in her lap supposedly issued from the constellation Sagittarius. Ten Naiads, or fresh-water nymphs, can be seen playing around the unicorn and the rock upon which the centaur stands. Against the lower face of that rock is a small altar topped by a semicircle containing Jupiter's planetary symbol: the crescent of personality buoyed up by the cross of matter.


Links to all 12 of Johfra Bosschart's Zodiac Series posters:







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Pages 2-3 from your astrology reading in a fine art, personalized astrology book: You and the Universe








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© Carl Woebcke, Sagittarius, by Johfra Bosschart, 1991-2017. All rights reserved.