In January …
Because Earth orbits around the Sun in a plane – we call that the Zodiacal Belt or band each month (more or less) we cannot see the part of the Sky that is hidden by the bright light of the Sun. I’ve been arguing that the Zodiacal Band is humankind’s first useful calendar. Like any calendar, it predicts the future. So for instance, when the Sun is in Sagittarius we cannot see Sagittarius. That’s a good prediction and I would hold to it anytime!
In January, the Sun is slowly shifting on the ecliptic from Sagittarius to Capricornus. Please note astronomical nomenclature refers to it as Capricornus and not Capricorn (which is used by the other people who deal with the belief system).
What you can’t see:
- Sagittarius (Sun in Sagittarius from December 18 to January 19) and
- Capricornus (Sun in Capricornus from January 20 to February 15)
Sagittarius‘ oldest attestation is from the Euphrates, which preceded the Greek centaur Chiron but the first recorded classic figuring was of Erathostenes, who describes it as a Satyr. Cuneiform inscriptions designate Sagittarius as the Strong One, the Giant King of War, the Illuminator of the Great City, personifying the archer god of war, Nergar, or Nerigal. The bow seems to be the overarching theme coming from the civilisations of the old Middle East. Indians called it Dhanus, Dhanu in Sanskrit where it was a lion’s tail. In ancient Arabia, it was a lunar station as well as bearing relics of even older asterisms: the westernmost stars were The Going Ostriches and the easternmost were The Returning Ostriches passing from and to the celestial river, the Milky Way and their Keeper. A Temple in China, or a Tiger. It was for Greeks the temple of Jupiter, from where the planet appeared at creation, and the domicile of Diana, the hunting goddess. (Allen (1963), Star Names and their Meanings)