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Brooklyn Magazine: Whiskey, Jazz, Archery and World Travel at Home: How to Do Sagittarius Season in Brooklyn

In the News

Paula Henderson

Published in Brooklyn Magazine

As 2023 draws to a close and we enter Sagittarius season (November 23 to December 22), one of my observations about the past year is that there has been an explosion of interest in astrology in mainstream culture. This is simultaneously thrilling and daunting as an ocean of knowledge on the subject is disseminated in ways which are far reaching, but at times seem haphazard. Boiled down stereotypes of the Zodiac signs are everywhere (even on subway ads), and there is a whole lot of talk about the annual Gemini full moon which occurs during the Sun’s transit of Sagittarius being squared by Saturn in Pisces.

Pardon me if you’re caught up, but for those wondering what that all means, I’d like — under said full moon in Gemini — to enlarge a little on the reason for the season before sprinkling a handful of suggestions on how best to experience Sagittarus season in Brooklyn.

Sagittarius is the ninth sign of the Zodiac and is symbolized by a glyph that looks like an arrow, the archer, or a centaur drawing an arrow back into the quiver of a bow. Of all the Zodiac signs, Sagittarius to me seems the most complex in meaning and interpretation, and for this reason I personally like to call it Multifarious Sagittarius.

The sign and personality of those with a birthday during the last week of November or first three weeks of December (happy solar return to you!), are associated with knowledge, justice, adventure, humor, celebration, generosity, gratitude, charity, excess (spend, eat, drink, be merry), disregard for consequences of excess, optimism, opportunity, experience, higher learning, travel beyond the horizon and other cultures. Fun. The holidays. Spirituality. Philosophy. Faith. Good fortune. Blessings. And more! The very idea of more is core.

Sagittarius is a lot.

Ruled by Jupiter, the largest and gassiest planet in our solar system, Sagittarian natives often have a “larger than life” quality, always motivated by a hunger for knowledge, the kind gained through experience, adventure and travel. There is a joie de vivre in the air during Sagittarius time as we all bounce back from Scorpio season which reminds us, often not gently, that everything dies and it’s about to be cold.

Sagittarius is a fire sign and for those of us lucky enough to be housed, the heat is on. Daylight savings are behind us and party lights illuminate our afternoon twilights and early evening adjustment to the lengthening nights as the solstice approaches to ring in the harsher realities of Capricorn times. So we celebrate. We laugh to make the best of where we find ourselves. We have faith that when we overdo it now, we’ll rein ourselves in after the holidays. And we somehow (probably at least through social media) feel connected to and curious about far off lands.

When I attempt to summarize all this, I think of enlightenment. I think the archer’s arrow points us in the right direction as we seek enlightenment. The term covers a lot of Sagittarian themes.  There’s a song I love by Sun Ra song entitled “Enlightenment.” The sound of joy is enlightenment.

Get spiritually jazzyIf you’d like to connect with Sun Ra’s legacy of spiritual jazz, there’s a chance to enjoy a concert by long time Sun Ra Arkestra trumpet player Ahmed Abdullah on Thursday December 14  at The Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew at 520 Clinton Avenue in Clinton Hill.  The concert is free with RSVP, but making a donation to organizers Blank Forms would be the generous and Sagittarian thing to do.

Get worldly with whiskyIf foreign food is not your jam but you love a tipple, descend upon the Weylin Hotel at the old Williamsburg Savings Bank headquarters on Broadway, December 9. Here, Whiskies of the World will be celebrated and elevated by opportunities to partake of higher learning in masterclasses presented by world renowned whisky gurus. Broaden your palate by sampling over 200 whiskies, including prestigious single malts, scotch and bourbon as well as offerings from emerging craft and small batch distilleries. A percentage of ticket proceeds will benefit the Whisky Education Foundation. Charity and higher learning: Perhaps this is a great scenario in which to lean into the aforementioned cautionary Saturn square to keep yourself from overdoing it.

Shop til you drop at a FAD pop upDuring Sagittarius season, every day is Giving Tuesday as we become preoccupied with the pursuit of perfect gifts for our loved ones and Secret Santa cohorts. FAD Markets makes it easy to gift the wares of local Brooklyn designers and artists. Weekend warriors can stop by The Invisible Dog gallery in Boerum Hill the first three weekends in December from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. where the creations of a rotating cast of local makers will be on sale alongside artisanal foods, furnishings and more.

FAD Market is also hosting a holiday pop up at Time Out Market at Empire Stores in Dumbo where you can shop Monday through Friday from noon till 6 (opens 11 on the weekends). Here you’ll find a more intimate curated shopping event, and if you can’t get enough international action, higher learning and extra eating, you can learn how to make an egg roll at  The Rogue Panda’s Egg Roll Making Workshop on Monday December 11.

Shoot off an arrowI think it’s always fun to take the symbolism of the Zodiac signs very literally, so if you’ve ever been even mildly curious, Sagittarius season is a fine time to try archery.  Gotham Archery at 480 Baltic Street, Gowanus offers an introductory archery class where you can  learn the basics of archery from certified instructors in a safe and fun environment. And if you’re a seasoned archer, you can rent a lane for up to four hours at $18 an hour. A Gotham Archery gift card could be the perfect stocking stuffer for someone who has everything.

Or channel your inner-Artemis and consider a visit to Wild Captives in Industry City, the nation’s first female- and LGBTQ-owned archery studio where all are encouraged to “be their own superhero.” The Wild Captives studio in Sunset Park offers empowering and fun hour-long introduction to archery classes every weekend for $45 per person. And more.

Flirt with philanthropyPhilanthropy is very much in the spirit of Sagittarius and has, for the past 15 years, reimagined philanthropy to bring Brooklynites, Brooklyn backers, businesses and broader believers in equity and justice to make Brooklyn a beacon for the world. The offers a world of resources and suggests ways we can give back to the borough we love.  With information about the communities where we live, resources to connect Brooklyn businesses with backers, and suggestions as to where we can volunteer to be of service throughout the borough, this is a great avenue to explore for  those of us who sometimes feel helpless as to how we can help. BKO also has a juicy calendar listing free community events across the borough.

Visit a micro country within Kings CountyOf course we are all proud of the multi-cultural diversity of Brooklyn, and if jetsetting to discover the mysteries which lay beyond the horizon isn’t in your immediate future, Brooklyn is the place to roam the world without wings. This is a great time to respectfully visit our neighbors in Little Haiti in Flatbush, Little Pakistan on Ocean Avenue in Kensington, Little Odessa on Brighton Beach Avenue, Little Yemen and Little Palestine in Bay Ridge and/or Little Poland in Greenpoint. Visit Sunset Park on Eighth Avenue for our borough’s Little Chinatown. I could fill five pages writing about the wonders each of these neighborhoods has to offer; instead I urge you to embrace the spirit of adventure and go exploring.

Know Brooklyn Sagittarians of noteYassin Bey, Jay-Z, Marisa Tomei and Steve Buscemi are all Brooklyn natives born during Sagittarius season. We’re sure they’d all love an unannounced visit from you.

Listen to a Sagittarius themed Zodiac Soundtrack and talk to me about what this Sagittarius season means for youAs always, I’m happy to answer your Zodiac themed questions in the Brooklyn Magazine IG stories — just drop a line to my Zodiac Mailbag. I’m also available for astrology consultations in Brooklyn or online.  You can book yours here.  And please do enjoy Multifarious Sagittarius, my Zodiac Soundtrack for the season.