3° Sagittarius brings us Two Men Playing Chess. Seems simple enough. And yet what we are seeing is the most transcendent ritualization thus far in these symbols of conflict or war. It all comes down to strategy and certain manipulation. Wars are first played out in war rooms with pieces moved along a board. Here, through the movement of six chess pieces, we see, as the Bhagavad Gita portrays, that this is also a ritualization of the “battle within” between light and dark forces with the ultimate goal being to check(mate) the ego as represented by the king piece. Civilization depends on the transmutation of raw aggression into sport and game; and chess is, historically, the most cerebral of them all. Simple on the surface, but requiring great complexity beneath it. Gemini, Sagittarius’ so-called opposite, rules this symbol in a twelve-fold sequence and the duality of light and dark, black and white, win and lose are endemic; Sagittarius takes Gemini’s duality and blends them into a third way. In chess one must be equally on the offense as on the defense—too much of either will get the player into trouble. While Gemini represents the lower mind, the bird or lizard brain—the hardware for survival—Sagittarius is the higher mind and third eye. In chess one must think several moves ahead, not only from the objective point of view, but also anticipating what the opponents next many moves would be. Two think out of two heads simultaneously into one vision of what lies ahead. Sagittarius is the archer; unlike his two fellow fire signs Aries and Leo, emblemized by the warrior spear of Mars and the divine sword of the Lion king, respectively, the archer, in warfare affects outcomes from a longrange perspective, shooting far to make his kill or hit his mark. Sagittarius is about seeing with a full range perspective and making moves close at hand to affect that end.
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