If I had to attribute one swamsha to “success” it would probably be Sagittarius Swamsha. However, this wouldn’t be completely accurate, as success is measured differently, and all swamshas are capable of success. Ironically, Sage Jaimini focuses on failures or accidents (“falling from a height”), but let me elaborate on what I’ve seen from this swamsha.
In Sagittarius – while proceeding, a fall from a vehicle and a height.
Dhanuramse kramaaducchaat patanam vaahanaadapi. BPHS, Effects of Karakamsa, 6
In order to fall, you have to climb high. In order to climb high, you have to start low. This ability to climb out of a low place and aim high is one of the trademarks of this swamsha.
The soul fulfillment for Sagittarius svamsa is in the never-ending quest of aiming higher. Just like the idiom of “getting back on the horse” the life of Sagittarius swamsha is one of confronting failure and trying again. It is seeing how far their beliefs will take them, and experiencing the fall that inevitably happens when one is brave enough to pursue great heights.
I often see Sag svamsa experience new chapters of their lives beginning on one huge leap of faith. When directing their life, the logistics and details of a situation are usually not a consideration but rather, they feel their commitment and conviction will see them through.
“A fall from a high place.”
In Sagittarius Navamsa there is a fall from one’s regular course and height as well as from a vehicle.
-Jaimini, translated by Ernst Wilhelm
It is thought that this swamsha gives death or injury from falls, but I’ve looked at numerous charts of people who died from a fall and none were sag svamsa. If you have this swamsha, I hope that puts you at ease. This is definitely a sutra that is far more metaphoric than literal.
So what DOES it mean?
Unsustainable growth is something that comes to mind when I think of Sagittarius swamsha. Their lives are marked by one or more big “resets” caused by maxing out their luck, or just reaching a point where they’ve hit the ceiling. Things like bankruptcy, having to start from the bottom again, dwindling popularity, or a break in career are the types of “falls” I see the most. Their falls are usually not due to a scandal, but it isn’t out of the question. I should also note, that this is the swamsha I see the most for people who have large followings on social media. This makes sense to me, as it is less likely people will be relevant on social media when they are old, so they will experience that “fall” from popularity at some point.
Besides the rise and fall in external matters, there was another type of “rise and fall” that came to mind upon reading this sutra. That is – mood issues characterized by dramatic highs and lows. I began looking at charts of people I knew with this, and it proved to be true…nearly every time. Not chronically depressed people, not angry people, just people who often lived in a state of excitement, but when that excitement could not be sustained, their mood would plummet dramatically until the next swing of enthusiasm. It is not something that is obvious from a casual relationship with the person.
Examples of Sagittarius Swamsha
Perhaps the best example we have for Sagittarius Swamsha is the life of Scott Fitzgerald, who passionately pursued his writing career and once he broke into it, quickly became a household name. Besides being a novelist, he became a celebrity amongst New York socialites and an icon of the jazz age. But eventually, his reputation declined, and his wealth turned into debt, and his early departure at 44 was at a low point. Quite amazingly, a major theme of his most popular works was the secret misery or flaws (the falls) of living the “high life.” We saw this in The Beautiful and the Damned, and The Great Gatsby.
Even Marilyn Monroe experienced a relatively early career decline – her last movie was meant to draw back her popularity. But, for Marilyn I think the “fall” has more to do with her mood disorders (going back and forth between highs and lows) and the tragic end to an otherwise remarkable life.
I once saw Barack Obama listed as a Sag swamsha, which surprised me so I looked up his chart. Obama is only a Sag swamsha if you include Rahu as a planet in the karakaka system, (I do not, but some people do). Otherwise, he is a Leo svamsa. I think Leo svamsa makes more sense for him.
Donald Trump, on the other hand, IS a Sag swamsha, and I don’t think it can be argued he had a major “fall” from his popularity, both prior to running for presidency and afterwards. I suspect he’s had many other falls in life in his dealings with others (bankruptcy’s, failed projects, etc). Serving as President and not getting re-elected for a second term is considering an embarrassing fall/failure.
Steve jobs is another Sagittarius swamsha. The fact that Steve Jobs was fired from the company he started (apple), and experienced a ton of public embarrassment is a perfect example of this swamsha. He even commented on how it gave him the ability to be a beginner again, to experience a fresh start. Falling from a high position in ones career and having to start over again is one of the themese of Sagittarius swamsha.
Celebrities are not always the best examples, because most people are living more mundane lives. But overall, Sag svamsas have some strong core beliefs about life and are learning how far their vision will take them. They are good at gaining popularity with the public, since from a high place they are able to be “seen” by others. Since they are balancing that Gemini-Sag axis, their lives are usually examples of what belief combined with trial and error can do for them.
If this is your swamsha, any failure you experience is meant to push you towards pursuits that align with who you are, and not just climbing any ladder for the sake of climbing. As soon as you drift from your true desires and get caught up in proving yourself, things will begin to crash.