Capricorn is a sign of paradoxes. It is the last of the earth signs, and yet it makes its appearance at Winter Solstice, as the fiery Sun is newly rising for the year. In the Northern Hemisphere it is the sign of the deepest winter, and yet the days have already begun to grow longer. It is the sign of initiation into the spiritual life, and yet its concerns are more practical than any other sign. It is focused on the perfection of structure, but only so that it can move beyond that world of form.
The symbol for Capricorn is the mountain goat, with the tail of a fish, another paradox. This shows that the depths of the unconscious are the foundations which Capricorn uses to build its structure, to climb its own particular mountain, to meet its unique challenge. For Capricorn must be rooted in the true depths of motivation in order to build firmly and enduringly.
In Sagittarius we found our truth and validated it through sharing. Now, in Capricorn we must grasp it tightly to our bosoms and act on it. The last nine months have been like a gestation period and now, at the Holiday Season, the baby is born, and we celebrate that birth.
Capricorn is a cardinal, goal-oriented sign. Cardinal signs are doers, and in earth the job is to ground our values, plans and ideals. We need to translate our ideas into achievements.
First, it is essential to clarify our goals—New Year’s Resolutions—and strengthen our intentions. At the same time we notice what is around and within us, and connect with those things which can help us move towards those goals. We take responsibility for our own pathway, and we ACT in an effective manner.
Capricorn needs to achieve, and to be recognized for worthwhile contributions to society. These needs have produced many famous Capricornians. They also have to build carefully, for any missteps will be caught, as in the cases of Woodrow Wilson and Richard Nixon. They can also pick themselves up again and continue the climb, as did Mr. Nixon.
Capricorn absorbs the Sagittarian truths so that they become part and parcel of his/her very being. During Capricorn time these truths can enter us like lightning bolts, so that we can feel in our bones (Capricorn rules bones) what needs to be done. Accompanying this deep absorption of truth is a special awareness of our uniqueness, of our inner authority, of our responsibility, and of our life purpose. We are alone with ourselves as we climb the mountain.
Another paradox: that very aloneness allows Capricorn to open to the voice of spirit, our ultimate companion. Capricorn thus ha a special affinity for divine inspiration. There are many examples of Capricorn devotion to the spiritual life: Paramahansa Yogananda, founder of the Self-Realization Fellowship; Alan Watts, pioneer proponent of Zen Buddhism in the West, Joan of Arc, and Martin Luther King, Jr. are but a few.
Indeed, Capricorn asks us to manifest our ideals in daily life, to involve ourselves fully in the work of humankind in a manner which increases the expression of inner life. It is a time for attending to the work at hand, approaching it with inspiration and love, to honor the best within and around us, and to initiate changes which will enable these elements to become more dominant.
We often resist making these changes because it means going counter to the past, the known, the habitual, against tradition and accepted norms. It is Capricorn’s work to overcome that resistance while in the midst of it, and to help self and others to continue to evolve into the light. The mountain goat is uniquely qualified to climb that mountain.
That very same effort is also the special opportunity of Capricorn time, to penetrate beyond the outer conditions of life and tap into new revelations and spiritual power. And as we become more and more aware of the inner life, we are better able to cooperate with the changes which are unfolding.
We can best tune into the forces of Capricorn by reviewing our good qualities and the good things in our lives, and by expressing gratitude for them. They are the fruits of our light, and that light is meant to shine. Perhaps this is the final paradox, that we can best fulfill our outer social responsibilities by focusing on the light within.