THE SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC

CAPRICORN

People born from December 23 to January 21, or those who have the sign Capricorn rising at birth (which can be ascertained only through a knowledge of the hour of birth), will come under the dominion of the earthy, cardinal, conservative sign Capricorn, symbolized by the Goat. Capricorn is a very uncompromising sign. It is ruled by Saturn, and Mars is exalted in it. It is an earthy element, but it is active because it is a cardinal sign. The essential idea of earth is one of passivity and repose; for earth to be active is completely out of character. Earth in activity is not a symbol of fertility, of solidity, of ease, but of destruction. Consider how even nature, as known to the uninitiated, confirms this view. Active earth means the avalanche or the earthquake. The idea is a synonym for destruction. It is not surprising, therefore, that the Tarot card attributed to this sign should be called "The Devil." We see, therefore, that earth itself in this sign is traitor to its own nature.

Saturn is a superb planet when he receives help from forces that transmute the gross into the subtle, but without such assistance he represents all that clogs and weighs down humanity. Unhelped, he stands at his very best only for common sense. The sign is overbalanced upon the side of severity. Also, there is little to lift it from the material plane. {147}

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

As a general rule, the skull of the Capricorn native is long rather than broad, but this trait may easily be modified by planetary influence. The presence of the Sun or Jupiter in the Ascendant would unquestionably broaden both cranium and features. The forehead is high, the eyes rather small and piercing, the nose long and bony, the mouth thin and closely compressed. The bony structure is prominent. The native is probably about the average height and is inclined to be lanky and angular. The bones are big and the limbs rather disproportionately long. There is usually a lack of gracefulness in the whole presence. The hands and feet in particular are likely to be ungainly. The figure is spare and sinewy, rather than muscular. Women with this sign rising are often troubled with superfluous hair.

The expression is intense, with something of bitterness or sadness. Very often the complexion is actually leaden. There is often little flesh on the face and wrinkles appear early in life. Joviality is conspicuously absent; Sometimes we find a settled melancholy or gloom in the appearance.

The degraded type characteristic of this sign exaggerates all these features in the worst way. The body is frequently small and possibly deformed, though occasionally still possessing the characteristic strength and endurance. In such cases we usually discover an element of nervous timidity, superadded to the bitterness or gloom.

The greatest possible difficulty arises in judging specimens of this rising sign from appearance, because {148} earth, even in its most active form, is easily molded. In fact, its great fluidity in this nascent condition seems to permit the planets to affect it very strongly, very much as arsenic will not combine in the ordinary way with hydrogen, but will do so with nascent hydrogen. The most extreme departures from type are therefore seen quite frequently.

Some points of the type will remain pretty constant even under adverse conditions. An intense, erratic agility, very easy to distinguish from the swift and direct activity of Sagittarius, characterizes the bodily motioning. Nothing seems to destroy the power of endurance and the general impression of resolution.

To show how extremely this type may be modified, let us look for a moment at the horoscope of Nell Gwyn who had Capricorn on the Ascendant. Here we have Venus rising in Aquarius, squared by Jupiter, who in his turn has the Moon trine, this luminary being in Cancer. It is clear how this combination must soften the natural asperity and ruggedness of Capricorn, for Jupiter and the Moon in watery signs will both tend to plumpness. Again, Saturn is in the airy sign of Gemini, which will modify the skeleton and reduce the height, especially as it is in trine to a rising Sun. Again, Mars is in Pisces trine to both Jupiter and the Moon, so that the muscles assume the most gracious possible form. All these dispositions, so utterly contrary to the original indication, suffice to overwhelm it entirely.

In the case of Gladstone, the Sun on the cusp of the Ascendant in exact conjunction with Mercury is quite sufficient to broaden and dignify the type, which is given {149} a certain grace by the trine of Venus and Jupiter, this also counteracting any tendency to excessive leanness. It is, however, easy to see the rugged characteristics of Capricorn underlying the more pleasing planetary modifications.

It is of the utmost importance that the student of astrology should study many examples of a rising Capricorn, so that he may learn to recognize the underlying characteristics in spite of any of the planetary modifications which are often the most notable features in this type.

One of the most hard-bitted types in the zodiac is presented by Capricorn. The capacity of the native for work is inexhaustible. His muscles are of steel. He is exempt from that growing menace of all civilized people -- nerves. His sense never fail; at eighty his eyesight is apt to be as keen and clear and piercing as it was at twenty; his hearing will usually be as acute as ever. Capricorn rules the bones and sinews, together with that principle in the muscles which hardens them. Capricorn also rules the knees, and, sympathetically, the head, stomach and kidneys, and the ovaries (in the case of a woman); rheumatism of the joints is one of its greatest dangers. A much afflicted Saturn in the nativity is likely to cause deformity in the skeleton; many hunchbacks have this sign rising. One may also class under this sign diseases involving spasm, such as cramp and infantile paralysis; indeed, all forms of paralysis which are not nervous in origin may also be classed here. It is interesting to note that nervous troubles in the native of any other sign rarely culminate in paralysis, unless Capricorn or its ruler be afflicted by directions or transits. {150}

There is danger among the lower types of Capricorn of great intemperance and many drunkards are found among its natives. In a large measure, the melancholy of Saturn in this sign is a motive for alcoholic excess.

MORAL CHARACTERISTICS

The mind of Capricorn is very conservative. It runs in grooves and, though constantly in action, seldom moves out of the beaten path. His idea seems to be one which is perfectly true in a vast spiritual sense, but by no means so if we are reckoning time in terms of ordinary centuries. This idea is that the order of the Universe is immutable and eternal. He lives in the present, yet he acts in many respects like the native of Cancer who founds his basic ideas upon antiquity. Capricorn knows that to acquire any new aptitude is very difficult, that it is much easier to proceed within existing forms than to invent new ones, that it is much simpler to appeal to authority than to prove your proposition by the exercise of reason.

The energy of the native of Capricorn is very great, but he is not going to waste any of it, for the Saturnian influence makes him a miser of time. It is much less trouble for him to work within the limitation of his environment than to seek to change or transcend it. He is intensely ambitious. He must ever be climbing, but he is going to do so in the conventional way. He knows how much disorder and confusion are caused by even small breaches of routine. He is meticulous in observation of outward form. Suppose he is in a business office. He will not seek promotion by upsetting the ideas of everybody in the place. He is the man who is never a minute late in fifty {151} years, who never makes an error of a single cent in an account, who is always there when he is wanted, with the precise piece of information required. He believes that diligence, probity and accuracy are the essentials of business. He wishes his employer to feel that he is a perfect machine, absolutely reliable in every respect, to be trusted never to run off the rails. One always finds him steady and industrious, every capacity in him bent inexorably to the task in hand.

He proceeds assiduously with his appointed task; he never considers what may be the goal for he imagines that the goal must be the logical consequence of the steps to it. He seems to forget that life is full of chances and adventures and any such incidents are intensely resented by him.

His thought lacks consideration of those interferences from other planes which lend diversity to life. The mind of the average German professor is usually of this type. He sees a theory and becomes completely obsessed by it; even really eminent men like Max Muller and Ernst Haeckel share this tendency to walk in blinders. With lesser men, the most absurd conclusions are maintained with bitter obstinacy. One need only instance Freud with his theory of the influence of the sex instinct upon dreams, a theory which he has carried to such an extreme.

This limited viewpoint, combined with extreme determination to get on, is of the greatest use to the Capricorn native in his chosen career. One is constantly reminded of his magical image of Totem, the Goat. See how surefooted is the ibex as he leaps from crag to crag and on what sparse grass he manages to find nourishment. In {152} just the same way, the native of Capricorn, contented with far less than any other type in the zodiac, goes through his life. He has little of the dreamer's vision to distract him; pleasures do not appeal to him as they do to most people. Even the idea of reward is not strongly implanted in the majority of people born with this sign rising. Their own groove of work seems to them an appointed thing. They do not complain, but pursue their path with matchless perseverance.

It is rare indeed to find imagination illuminating the path of the pure Capricorn type. Self-centered and complete in his own channel, he never seeks to overflow his banks, or even to perceive the possibility that those banks do not really exist. One might think "a priori" that certain pursuits at least could not, by any possibility, be followed by persons who lacked imagination, but it is not so. Consider the case of Swami Vivekananda, whose chosen path was that of saintship, the most dangerous of all the roads that the feet of man may tread. Yet in spite of his amazing scholarship, in spite of his extraordinary attainment of those things which he had set out to seek, we find in him few original tendencies. His teachings added no new feature; he is a perfect classic, but he said nothing that the Seven Rishis had not said before him. In Pope Alexander VI we find an extraordinary, narrow ambition carried out without scruple.

He did not even bother himself too seriously about new methods of poisoning, but rather clung to the conventional procedure of antiquity. In the career of Gladstone we find a similar instance. In his youth he was called "the hope of the stern unbending Tories," and although he found it convenient {153} to his ambition to label himself Liberal, a stern, unbending Tory he always remained.

Another great statesman, Mazarin, also had this sign rising. We find precisely the same quality. Mazarin did nothing that Richelieu would not have done, but Richelieu would have done it a great deal better. The Italian could not perceive that the times were changing. He could not understand why the old methods would no longer work, and therefore, despite his extraordinary cleverness, he came near to wrecking the monarchy which it was his object to sustain; indeed, his policy did prepare the ground for the seeds of the Revolution, which were to bring forth their red harvest, a little more than a century, after his death.

Even in such spiritual matters as music and art, the Capricorn native seems to be unable to get beyond comparatively narrow barriers. Schumann, for example, although his Saturn is conjoined with Neptune, and although Uranus is on the Midheaven, confined himself to practically one branch of music. Turner, with the Moon rising, sextile to Mercury and trine to Uranus, as well as trine to Saturn, a combination of stupendous power, although possessing in such full measure the great qualities of imagination and color, does not seem to have had much versatility. Great as he is, in his own line, it would be stupid to compare him with Velasquez. All this proves that Capricorn rising is the sign of the specialist.

It is a singular defect in the native of this sign that he does not push obstacles aside like Taurus, slay them in battle like Leo, destroy them utterly like Scorpio, or turn them to his own advantage like Libra. He merely {154} leaps over them, and it is this detachment that makes him unsympathetic.

In dealing with money, this native is scrupulously faithful, but his lack of imagination makes him "penny wise and pound foolish." He is the best man in the world to intrust with money for safe investment; he will handle it carefully and intelligently; he will render an account of it to the last cent; but he will be too cautious to make big coups with it. Unless the Capricorn native be uplifted by good dignities, these qualities are apt to degenerate into penuriousness. Mazarin is a notorious example. In emergency, where loyalty and devotion were more necessary to him than anything else in the world, he would disgust his followers by giving them insignificant rewards for great services done. He was constantly making people draw comparisons between himself and his predecessor. Richelieu, they would say, was terrible, perhaps even hateful, but as for Mazarin, he was contemptible. During his ministry he stole some forty million dollars, which was a large sum for those times. Yet, ambitious as he was and greedy of power, he never used the money to get it. He was always trying to make one crown do the work of ten.

In speech and in writing, the native of this sign will be direct, sometimes eloquent, but there will be no originality either in matter or in style. This tends to be dry, but is sometimes very ornate and elaborate in a conventional way. This native is very fond of allusion; he interlards both speech and writing with classical phrases and artificial images or metaphors, or rococo effervescence, which has in it very little of spontaneous growth. The style, even when most impassioned, is academically perfect. Gladstone {155} and Macaulay are good examples of this kind of expression at its best. There is always a certain aridity which does not make for permanence; one always gets the effect of artificiality and strain. It is too painfully clear that the native has said exactly what he meant to say, whereas the Scriptural injunction is "take no thought how or what ye shall speak, for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak, for it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you." In modern language, the native lacks inspiration. The native never loses consciousness of himself as distinguished from other people. He does not understand that he can only realize himself by losing himself in the beloved. It is this quality which the mystic instinctively recognizes as the supreme evil.

Capricorn is rather domesticated than otherwise; being born into a family, it does not strike him to leave it. Whatever rules happen to be current, he accepts as part of the natural order of things and he works within those limits. He may be harsh and uncongenial, but there is in him no tendency to break up an existing situation.

In love, the native is very self-centered, not understanding that this sentiment must be mutual. He does not feel even true jealousy -- he is not wounded by infidelity; he is merely robbed. He is quick and unrestrained in appetite, with little appreciation of delicacy. It is almost safe to say that one never finds real sexual perversion or inversion with this sign. If degeneracy exists, it is purely animal. Where good planetary influences exist, the rule is that the native becomes the conventional, domesticated citizen.

Capricorn is overbearing, and often tyrannical in his {156} treatment of children. He is not actively or consciously cruel; he is merely cold and unsympathetic. The individuality of the child is offensive to the parent, who makes rules which may perhaps be in accordance with righteousness or good discipline, but which are so rigid that only the most poor-spirited children can conform to them without suffering.

This native is severe in dealing with inferiors. He may be just and exact in paying the agreed wage, but he is not generous. As a business partner, Capricorn is reliable but unsympathetic. He is apt to be grasping and tyrannical. He understand this and usually prefers to work alone. Capricorn is so materialistic that problems of the subconscious mind disturb the native little. He always takes life seriously, and he takes things as they are, or rather as they appear at first sight. This sign does not possess the imagination required for great scientific discovery, but the native has at least one quality profoundly necessary to all research, the quality of patience. A chemist with this sign rising might continue for half a century in working out the compounds of one substance. In a subordinate position, he makes a perfect laboratory assistant. He is unsurpassed, whenever attention to detail, untiring perseverance and rigid accuracy are the principal essentials; but, if he once happens to leave the track, he has no means of readjusting his position.

India is under Capricorn, and it is doubtful whether India has ever produced anything original. The Taj Mahal was designed by an Italian. Nearly all of the great Indian masterpieces are due to persons of Chinese influence. You can give a suit of clothes to an Indian {157} tailor and he will copy it so exactly that it cannot be told from the original. If the seat of the trousers happens to be patched, he reproduces the patch with the most scrupulous fidelity. An Indian cook learns one way of cooking potatoes. Tell him that you want a change and show him a new way. He learns it and goes on with the new way, night after night. You can proceed to teach him forty ways, but all he will do is to follow the way that you taught him last, so that a new order must be given every night if your are to have variety in diet. Characteristic of this sign, too, is the patient, laborious, uncomplaining life of the average native. His caste system is entirely rigid, giving no scope for ambition, save in the peculiar trade or profession into which the man happens to be born.

Capricorn is intensely solitary and almost incapable of building up a lasting friendship. This native does not react strongly against constraint in the ordinary sense. He takes it as natural, part of the condition in which he exists. We see this again in the character of the population of the Indian peninsula. Again and again, they have been conquered, from the time of Alexander the Great to that of Clive, but there is that singular quality that the submission itself is a mode of victory; it is not too much to say that the Indian has imposed the caste system upon all his conquerors. It is impossible to turn him from his traditional groove of thought, and the attempt to hurry a Hindu has proved fatal to many a Sahib. It is the apotheosis of passive resistance. Capricorn children are inclined to be very old for their age, and too serious in temperament. They are very self-conscious, introspective and fearful. They should never be told stories that would have a tendency to implant {158} fear in their natures, and they should be given a great deal of praise and affection. They are inclined to be solitary and to have very few friends of their own age. They are not only industrious in their school work, but delight in helping out at home by running errands or in serving their elders. It would be advisable to give them a college education if possible, or to encourage them to obtain one, even if they have to work their way through college. One of the advantages of a college education for these children is the close contact with other young people of their own generation, which will help them to overcome their shyness and self-consciousness. Their education should be along practical lines, rather than the purely academic.

People born from the 21st of April to the 22nd of May, when the Sun is in the earthy, practical sign Taurus, and from the 24th of August to the 24th of September, when the Sun is in the intellectual sign Virgo, are naturally sympathetic and helpful to those born under Capricorn; because their characteristics are complementary, they are good partners for the Capricorn-born, matrimonially and otherwise. If too intimately associated with those born from March 22nd to April 21st (Aries), 22nd of June to 24th of July (Cancer), and 24th of September to 24th of October (Libra), Capricorn natives will need to avoid being too self-centered and too morbid. Such an intimacy might result in the native of Capricorn becoming too introspective and selfconscious. For this reason, people born under Aries, Cancer and Libra would not make the most sympathetic or helpful partners, either matrimonially or in a business way.

A period of about seven days -- January 21 to January {159} 28 -- when the vibrations of Capricorn are merging into those of Aquarius, and Aquarius still retaining some of Capricorn, is known as the cusp. People born between these dates will partake of the personal, conventional Capricorn and the humanitarian, impersonal Aquarius, or a combination of the two. As Mercury, ruling the mentality, and Venus, the love nature, are so close to the Sun, they too may partake of some of the qualities of the adjoining signs of Capricorn. This may account for some of the complex personalities so difficult of comprehension.

With this sign also, these deductions are drawn from the position of the Sun or Ascendant, therefore it is probable that among the best friends of a Capricorn native, or those with whom he is uncongenial, will be found some who were not born at the times mentioned. The individual horoscopes must be consulted to ascertain how the stars combine with those of the Capricorn-born, and thus determine what effect the combinations of influences have upon each other.

These indications are only general, and will not cover all the characteristics of an individual as he knows himself, since those born under the sign Capricorn are subject to modifications by the planets. A detailed statement or horoscope must be made to discover the whole truth. {160}

 

Previous | Index | Next

Astrology: Your Place in the Stars | Foreword | Zodiacal Signs, Planets and their Symbols | The Signs of the Zodiac | Aries | Taurus | Gemini | Cancer | Leo | Virgo | Libra | Scorpio | Sagittarius | Capricorn | Aquarius | Pisces | The Planets | The Sun | The Moon | Mercury | Venus | Mars | Jupiter | Saturn | Uranus | Neptune | Influence of Neptune on the Individual | Table of Ascendants | How to Cast a Horoscope | Horary Astrology | Description of the Twelve Houses | Free Will versus Destiny