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Ask A Sagittarius: Why Is Everything About You A Paradox?

Astrology

We speak to two Sags about their Sun sign traits

As Tina Turner (Sag Supreme) might have sung, "Sagittarians are the best, better than all the rest." Sagittarius might be too impulsive and expressive to save the best for last, but I'm not! With Sagittarius season winding down to a close, and before we welcome the Sun in Capricorn and winter solstice, I'm happy to present you with another installment of astro-interviews with people who exhibit the ultimate Sagittarius traits.


This time, I have called in two fire artists, JB Brager and Ivoire Foreman. What strikes me about these two — besides their powerful, candid art — is the playful nature that shines through both interviews. It's often the case that Sagittarius people find it hard to fully identify with popular interpretations of their nature. Can a Sagittarius really be "good time Charlie" if they're sober or — god forbid — a homebody? How can a Sagittarius be an eternal student and always on the road when studies require discipline and dedication? Yet, when they are brought together, or side-by-side as the case may be, it's not hard to see the patterns: a penchant for taking risks, a verbosity that somehow escapes feeling heavy, a reverence for community building, an inability to resist making a dad joke when (and, also when not) applicable. Sagittarians are people who are open, to a point. To get past their philosophies and toward their heart, you have to earn their trust.

I'm grateful to JB and Ivoire for letting me get a little deeper with them and letting me share that depth with you. Ahead, their responses.

JB BRAGER

Sagittarius people are considered the philosophers of the zodiac, free-thinking when they're expansive and zealots when they contract. Was there a point in your life when you felt pushed to radically shift your beliefs about yourself? What prompted that push, and how did you respond to it?
In 2018, in the armpit of my Saturn Return, I was on the job market after finishing my Ph.D. and ended up leaving academia. And, also, getting divorced from my partner. In my relationship and in my career path, I had backed myself into a corner and really convinced myself that the track I was on was the only possible track, and that, if I wasn't happy or if it wasn't working out, it was because I needed to commit more, do better, grind harder. Having closed so many doors for myself, at a certain point I just shut down. People talk a lot about letting go of what no longer serves you, but it was a real moment of clinging to the anchor as it dropped, and I drowned. Ways that I snapped out of it included time, traveling a lot (especially to visit friends), therapy, throwing myself into creative projects, coming home from Los Angeles with a teeny tiny dog... I had friends that let me weep in their guest room, friends that toured me around their city while I continued to mostly weep, that took me camping in a place where I had no phone service, by which point there was less weeping. I spent a lot of time thinking about how I want to feel and how I want to live rather than what I want my life to look like. I've found that if I create too narrow of a vision, I become tyrannical with myself.

Speaking of radical shifts, lots of write-ups describe Sags as world travelers, and that may be true. What is also true is that Sagittarians are travelers of the mind, seeking to grow and heal (they follow the immersive self-destruction of Scorpio on the wheel, after all). If you could hand down a self-healing tool to a Sagittarius at the cusp of their Saturn return, what would it be?
This might be cheating, but last year on my birthday, you wrote to me, "You have space and time, and the whole fucking world is out there for you, but you will return with a rose in your teeth." Honestly, the only translation of this that is coming to mind is, "Ride the wave, bro." Which is horrible, but what can you do? That's my advice. My other advice to everyone is to invest in community and collaboration over anything else because that's what will save your life and also make it worth living.

Have you noticed yourself becoming MORE Sagittarian as you've gotten older? Or, have you always identified fully with your Sun sign?
For a long time, other folks in my life associated me heavily with my Capricorn rising, I think because I work a lot. Which is ironic, because my mother had my birth time off by an hour, and I'm actually an Aquarius Rising. I'm fairly sure I identify with my Sagittarius Sun because I see myself in Sagittarius meme culture — so I don't know if I've become more of a Sagittarius or if there are just more memes now.

Some things that I have been told are Sag qualities include: my refusal to recognize that there is a finite amount of time (time is fiction) and money (money is fake), that I don't understand why people are insulted or think I'm argumentative, that I am very drawn to new adventures or new opportunities, that I instantly become an expert in whatever topic arises in conversation, and I have like ten thousand interests and refuse to pick any one thing. Also, I have committed my entire life to being in school forever, which I guess is also a Sag thing? I'm not sure. My reference points are: you, Wikipedia, and Sagittarius memes.

If you had to choose the best or worst Sagittarius representation in popular media, who would you choose?
There are a lot of pretty great Sagittarius celebrities. Like, I am proud to be associated (vaguely by no one) with fellow Sag divas Bette Midler, Tina Turner, Janelle Monae, Sarah Paulson, Britney Spears, Eugene Levy, and Jane Fonda. I can't stand Scarlett Johansson — I think her politics are garbage, and she seems to have no ability to be self-reflective. Jack Halberstam is also a Sagittarius that I don't identify with.

Sagittarius people are sometimes regarded as know-it-alls. How easy is it for you to admit you're wrong in an argument? Are you a "devil's advocate" kind of Sag or a "keep my mouth shut and keep out of it" kind of Sag?
I think I am getting better as I get older at admitting that I'm wrong—partly to preserve relationships and partly because I try to model to my students how to be good citizens in a learning community. That said, when I have something to say, it's going to come out of my mouth; I have no ability to stop it. If I plug my mouth hole, it comes out of other holes (OK, maybe don't use that part.) *Reader, I had to use that part*

What brilliant Sagittarius things are you working on now?
I'm working with incredible colleagues and students at my school to decenter whiteness and diversify the humanities curriculum at a high school level and also being a teacher which takes up most of my time in ever-varied ways. The most confusing question I get when I tell people I'm a teacher is, "Do you have to go every day?" I'm finishing up a round of fundraising via T-shirt sales for the Third Wave Fund Sex Worker Giving Circle; if anyone is interested in the shirts they're on my Instagram. I'm a founding editorial collective member of Pinko, a gay communist magazine — our first issue came out recently, and we're already deep into planning for the next issue. I'm also currently working on a couple different mini-comics which will come out this summer hopefully — one that I'm really excited about on decolonization, it's an educational comic aimed primarily at a high school audience. Other than that, trying to say no more? Unless it's something really cool.

JB Brager is a history teacher, comics artist, Pinko magazine collective member, currently living on Lenapehoking, Brooklyn. They are a Sagittarius sun, Aquarius rising, Aries moon, and have a Ph.D. in gender studies. They identify as a late bloomer. They are on Instagram and Twitter @jbbrager, and you can support their ongoing projects here.

Ivoire Foreman

Sagittarius people are considered the philosophers of the zodiac, free-thinking when they're expansive and zealots when they contract. Was there a point in your life when you felt pushed to radically shift your beliefs about yourself? What prompted that push and how did you respond to it?
I finished undergrad with a BFA in fine art in 2007. I moved to Minneapolis and got a job roasting coffee at an up-and-booming roaster right as the recession began. I spent eight years roasting coffee, which is an amazing craft, potentially exciting and possibly fulfilling. I had a career, with a 401k, benefits, FSA, and holiday parties were the JAM! Minneapolis was an ideal bubble for a Trans person to live and work.

In August of 2015, I left my job and Minneapolis, moved to New York to attend graduate school for my MFA. I thought I was just gonna settle; I think eight years of chill and the fact that a lot of my peers were settling down, and that I had a stable job over time… I thought that was the reasonable thing to do. I never truly felt like a coffee roaster. I was a full-time artist who roasted coffee, and, at some point, it was not sustainable. So, I left.

I responded to the transition kicking and screaming; I don't think you can truly understand New York until you are here… I equate it to when video games first came out, before the internet, and you had to try over and over, ask your friends or find chat codes in a magazine? That is New York, or the one I live in… After I figured out WTF a borough is (just a city but not), streets vs avenues (one avenue is longer than two city blocks), I found I was still flying by the seat of my pants, but no longer faking it. The reality is, this place is full of millions of people who appear to be all doing something ahhhmazing always. But, on the real, NYC be Netflix and chill. So, I stay, cultivating crews into community, not sure if I am making it.

Sagittarians are travelers of the mind, seeking to grow and heal. If you could hand down a self-healing tool to a Sagittarius at the cusp of their Saturn return, what would it be?
I think that the best self-care advice I can offer is, try to create a world in which your future self is always very much in love with your past self. YOLO!!!!! But, be safe. But, seriously, YOLO!!! If you can, stop saying yes to things you do not want to do. Write your feelings down.

If you can, try. Always try. When possible, aim for no regrets. Find something, anything, you like to do with your body. Throw yourself into love over and over and over. Try polyamory.

Have you noticed yourself becoming MORE Sagittarian as you've gotten older? Or, have you always identified fully with your Sun sign?
I don't really know what it means to be a Sagittarian; like when I told my spouse that I was doing this, they said, "You don't know shit about being a Sagittarian." As I get older, I find that my filter is gone. I'm still a weird rebel loner with a bunch of friends, always excited for adventure, any adventure. And, I think I will always need more Space, both physical and emotional. Every time I say things like this to my friends who "Know," they say, "That's so Sag"... so... 42.

If you had to choose the worst Sagittarius representation in popular media, who would you choose?
Walt Disney. Fuck that guy.

Sagittarius people are sometimes regarded as know-it-alls. How easy is it for you to admit you're wrong in an argument?
It depends on how right I think I am. I think the "know-it-all" in me shows prominently in the fact that I'm an "actually..." kid. I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut if people are saying things — especially words — wrong. Like, how most people say "jealous" when they really mean "envious."

Jealous= I am afraid you will take what I have.

Envy= I want what you have.

Me= I can't help it.

What brilliant Sagittarius things are you working on now?
I just got married, and I'm still pretty excited and floating on the magical-ness of that. I'm pretty much spending all of my free time working on sculptures and other visuals for my first solo art show! I don't want to go into too much detail because, every time I attempt to articulate what I'm doing, I start doing something completely different. Imagine run on sculptural sentences with toys.

I was busy thinking 'bout toys
Opening January 18, 6-10pm
178 Walworth street
Brooklyn New York

Ivoire is a Black trans artist, maker, do-it-all, know-it-all. Southwestern roots. Lives and works in Brooklyn.

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