In the late summer of 1997 two great bearers of Light made their transitions from our world. In the early morning hours of Sunday, August 31, in Paris, Diana, Princess of Wales, released her physical body and found the peace that she had not found in the adult years of her earthly sojourn. Five days later, Mother Teresa did the same, ending her saintly incarnation of ministering to the dying and the helpless in Calcutta, India. Although one was a celebrated royal in her thirties and the other, an elderly Catholic nun in her eighties, both had attained international renown.
What message did the Universe want us to receive from the almost simultaneous departures of these two exceptional souls? In large part, this message was one of inspiration, for both of these beings were great uplifters of human consciousness. In their own individual ways and arenas of service, they both held their torches of illumination so that we could be made more aware of the all-too-often human conditions of suffering and pain. They both attempted to teach us that a primal part of our responsibility in being human lies in helping to alleviate the miseries of our brothers and sisters.
Both Princess Diana and Mother Teresa had the sign of SAGITTARIUS RISING (or “ascending”) on the eastern horizon when they were born. The rising sign, according to esoteric teachings, indicates the path of the soul. Sagittarius is the Centaur-Archer, half human, half animal, aiming an arrow at that which will help uplift us from this conflicting and ironic condition. The Centaur teaches us that we also live in animal bodies, but are something more than animals. We are Divine Spirits temporarily housed in mortal flesh while progressing upward, like the Centaur’s arrow, toward our true Home.
The experience of Sagittarius is the treading of the pathways of the earthbound world to seek and share the Light and Love of Divinity. Sagittarius, having been reborn as a result of the trials and testing in Scorpio, is the first intuitively aware sign. Instead of journeying into more peaceful and blissful realms, the Sagittarian purposefully remains in this world of conflict in order to help others who are struggling. Sagittarius is the spiritual warrior, using the strength of intuitive insight to pierce through the fog of astral energies and thus illuminate pathways to higher consciousness.
The ruler of Sagittarius has traditionally been perceived as Jupiter. From the perspective of the soul, however, the true ruler is the Earth. The Earth is always 180 degrees from the Sun in an astrological chart. The Tibetan Master, Djwhal Khul, said that the Earth is the place where sorrow is released and pain, purified. From the viewpoint of the great Cosmic Beings, the Earth is a kind of purgatory, a schoolhouse where souls can learn to love in a Divine way and spread the Light that will save the planet from perpetual darkness. Our Earth is a like a spaceship, progressing through the various realms of the universe. The entire human family is travelling on this spaceship. Sagittarius teaches us that no matter what our race, culture, religion, or status in life, by virtue of being incarnated in this time and place, we are all enduring the human condition. Through our pain we learn of our ultimately Divine essence; we develop greater compassion for others who are suffering. In this way, our lower selves become purged as we reach up toward greater realms and channel the Energy that will heal, and make healers of, others.
The placement of the Earth in a Sagittarius-ascending chart shows where this spiritual journey takes place, that is, where the Sagittarius-rising person must walk the plains of the Earth, intermingle with other souls, and thus adapt to the conditions found there. Princess Diana had her Earth in the sign of Capricorn in the first house of true beingness. Capricorn is the sign of the public and of high positions of power. Thus Diana found herself in the limelight dealing with authoritarian figures. She was forced to adapt to a life of high expectations, where the eyes of the public were always upon her. Her spiritual task was to personify the power that was in her midst, imbue this power with Love, then to use this power to be an example of a humanitarian warrior and teacher.
In Mother Teresa’s chart the Earth was in Pisces, the sign of the often-shunned, suffering members of Humanity. Her Earth was in the second house of stewardship, that is, the wise use of earthly resources to help realize the Divine Plan on the physical plane. She stated that she was but “a pencil in God’s hand.” Accordingly, Mother Teresa’s task was to adapt to living in the impoverished environment of those of all faiths whom no one else would help. She served and comforted them through the institution of the church, also ruled by Pisces.
Another great inspirer who had Sagittarius rising was Eleanor Roosevelt. Mrs. Roosevelt was the first wife of a U.S. president who endured criticism for promoting humanitarian causes which were not the same as her husband’s. She travelled across America during the Great Depression of the 1930’s presenting new government programs and inspiring the impoverished not to give up hope. During World War II she visited war-stricken victims in Europe to support them and bring the attention of the world to the affliction and pain that fighting can wreak upon Humanity.
With the Earth in the example-setting sign of Aries in the fifth house of heart-centered expression, Eleanor Roosevelt embodied the lesson of expressing and exposing one’s true heart, even at the risk of unpopularity. Having been relatively plain-looking and unglamorous since childhood, she was forced to act solely on her own behalf and to work within an Aries context of being a pioneer, standing up for principles and setting precedents. She blazed the trail for women to take leadership roles in the worldwide improvement of human conditions by being the only woman in the first American delegation to the United Nations and, later, the Chair of the Commission on the Status of Women under U.S. President Kennedy.
In her work with the United Nations, she forged the idea of the Peace Corps in which American youth could be exposed to and serve the various cultures of the world in the context of these cultures’ native views which may not have been the same as American views. She was Chair of the U.N. Human Rights Commission and helped to draft a universal declaration of human rights. Perhaps her greatest offering was to spotlight the overwhelming need to first provide the people of the world with food, shelter, and clothing without imposing any political agendas on them. With the fifth house of a chart corresponding to the Sun-ruled sign of Leo, and thus to stardom, Eleanor Roosevelt’s Earth in the fifth house is proven by the fact that her modern-day followers still look to her as a brilliant, guiding light, illustrating the enormous impact that women can make on this world.
These three noble individuals fulfilled their Sagittarian ascendants by seeking to ease the miseries of all humans, not because they were of particular religious sects, races, or nationalities, but simply because they were human. Mother Teresa ministered as a devout Catholic in a country that was not her native one, to those who were not Christian. Princess Diana travelled from her homeland to express the need for all of us to care for those of other cultures and nationalities who are in pain and suffering. Eleanor Roosevelt rose above politics and fought for international recognition of basic rights of all humans, regardless of the nationalistic orientations of their governments. She believed in cultivating a mind that is “open like a window to currents of air and to light from all sides,” a lucid description of Sagittarius-rising consciousness.
All of these women, in true Sagittarian fashion, gave the world hope, courage, and inspiration. They embroiled themselves in some of the most distasteful aspects of human life so that they could infuse these with Light and Love and inspire others to do the same. They brought our attention to physical and emotional realities that must be eradicated in order for the whole of Humanity to evolve and showed us that the healing of the planet must begin with those who most cry out for help.
These three Sagittarian ascendants have now continued their journeys to engage in even greater Work. Having transcended our world, however, these true bearers of Light, through our memory of their examples, continue to bestow their blessings of inspiration and wisdom upon us.