Capricorn has a confused association with two distinct mythological figures.
Aegipan, son of Zeus and the nymph Aex, assisted Hermes with the recovery of Zeus’s
sinews from Typhon and then transformed himself into a goat-fish in order to escape.
In gratitude, Zeus is said to have turned him into the constellation Capricorn. A more
complex mythological association is the goat who suckled the newborn Zeus—usually
said to be owned by the nymph Amalthea, though in other versions identified as
her—and was later transformed into the star Capella. Zeus broke off the horn of the
goat and gave it to Amalthea, promising her that she would be able to obtain anything
she wished from the horn. This is the origin of the famous cornucopia, or horn
of plenty. It was later given to the river god Achelous, who used it to replace his broken
horn. Hence, Achelous became, in a sense, a blended goat and marine creature,
the very image of Capricorn.
Of all the signs of the zodiac, Capricorn has the most distant relationship with
its mythology. Through its association with big business, Capricorn has a certain natural
connection with wealth, but it is wealth gained through work and wisdom rather
than the “instant” wealth of the horn of plenty. Like the mountain goat, Capricorn’s
sometime symbol, Capricorns strive to climb to the top of mountains, but in a practical,
cautious, self-sufficient, step-by-step manner. Capricorns are known as planners
and organizers, capable of infinite patience. They tend to be reserved, conservative,
sober, and highly motivated. Typically, they view pleasure-seeking as an idle waste of
time. Capricorns can be intensely loyal and will go out of their way to repay a kindness.
Few astrologers have pointed out that this sign’s fish tail (indicating water, the
symbol of emotion) indicates that there is a highly sensitive side to Capricorns, which
is hidden underneath their reserved exterior.
The sign that the Sun was in at birth is usually the single most important influence
on a native’s personality. Thus, when people say they are a certain sign, they are
almost always referring to their sun sign. There is a wealth of information available on
the characteristics of the zodiacal signs—so much that one book would not be able to
contain it all. Sun-sign astrology, which is the kind of astrology found in newspaper
columns and popular magazines, has the advantage of simplicity. But this simplicity is
purchased at the price of ignoring other astrological influences, such as one’s Moon
sign, rising sign, etc. These other influences can substantially modify a person’s basic
sun sign traits. As a consequence, it is the rare individual who is completely typical of
her or his sign. The reader should bear this caveat in mind when perusing the following
series of sun sign interpretations.
One traditional way in which astrologers condense information is by summarizing
sign and planet traits in lists of words and short phrases called keywords or key
phrases. The following Capricorn key words are drawn from Manly P. Hall’s Astrological
Emotional key words: “Inhibited, feelings are often turned upon native
himself resulting in self-pity, unforgiving, cold, irritable, timid in
action, the mind rules the heart too completely.”
Mental key words: “Powerful, concentrative, laborious, forceful, cautious,
economical, conservative, thrifty, scrupulous, trustworthy,
detailed thinkers, fatalistic, stubborn, domineering, good friends and
bad enemies, brooding, egotistic.”
At present, there are various astrology report programs that contain interpretations
of each of the 12 sun signs. A selection of these for Sun in Capricorn has been
Extremely serious and mature, you are capable of accepting responsibilities
and do so willingly. Others expect you to be dutiful as a matter of
course. You may get angry when people are rewarded after not having
worked nearly as hard as you have. Goal-oriented and an achiever, you
are justifiably proud of the tangible results of your efforts. You are not a
fast worker, but you are thorough, and you are known for being unusually
persistent, tireless and tenacious in reaching your goals. When
you’re working, you tend to have a kind of tunnel vision that allows
you to block out extraneous matters that would distract others. Your
power to concentrate totally on the matter at hand enables you to be
practical and efficient at managing and structuring complex, ongoing
Serious, disciplined, and quietly ambitious, you are driven to prove
yourself and to achieve material accomplishments and success. Your
work, your position in the world, and your contributions to society are
very important to you. You will persevere through enormous hardship
and frustration in order to reach a goal you have set for yourself, and
you often sacrifice much in the area of personal relationships and home
life in order to do so.
You have a thoughtful, quiet, and self-contained disposition and do not
readily show your inner feelings and needs. You seem to be always in
control, capable, efficient, and strong. You are often the person in the
family or group who is given more responsibility (and more work) than
the others. You are highly conscientious and even as a child you possessed
great maturity, soberness, and worldly wisdom.
You are basically a pragmatic realist, and though you may have all sorts
of dreams, ideals and colorful theories, you feel that the ultimate test of
a concept is its practical usefulness. You have an innate shrewdness and
business sense, and there is a bit of the cynic in you as well.
You are clear-headed, detached and objective, and are not swayed by
emotional dramatics. Often you are authoritarian—strictly fair, but
without mercy. You have a great respect for tradition and even if you do
not agree with certain laws, you will abide by them or work to change
them, but never flagrantly disregard them. Careful and conservative,
you play by the rules.
You are subtle, understated, quiet, deep, not easy to know intimately,
and never superficial. You are a modest person and sometimes overly
self-critical. Giving yourself (and others) permission to feel, to play, to
be spontaneous and silly, and to be weak and vulnerable sometimes,
isn’t easy for you.
Your strong points are your depth and thoroughness, patience, tenacity,
and faithfulness. Your faults are a tendency to be rigid and inflexible,
and too serious. (From “Merlin,” by Gina Ronco and Agnes Nightingale.
Courtesy of Cosmic Patterns [http://cosmic.patterns.com].)
Tell the truth about Capricorn and you start sounding like a voice out
of the Boy Scout Handbook. Here are the key concepts: integrity, character,
morality, a sense of personal honor. Those are the Sea-Goat’s
evolutionary themes. They all boil down to the capacity of will to dominate
every other aspect of our natures, including emotion.
The Capricornian part of you needs to begin by asking itself one critical
question: In the part of my life touched by the Sea-Goat, what is
the highest truth I know? The rest is simple … at least simple to understand.
Just live it. Keep a stiff upper lip, and do what’s right. But be careful. There’s nothing wrong with expressing feelings as long as
they’re not doing your decision-making for you. If you’re tempted to do
something wicked, don’t be afraid to mention it. Otherwise, half the
world will think you’re a saint while the other half thinks you’re a
pompous ass. And neither half will get within a light-year of your
With your Sun in Capricorn, you feed your elemental vitality through
one all-consuming activity: the accomplishment of Great Works. They
may be public—like building a career that reflects the best of what you
are—or they may be private, like quietly doing what’s right for yourself
regardless of social or practical pressures.
Capricorn is the sign of the Hermit, and accordingly, there is a theme of
solitude in your life. That doesn’t mean loneliness. The Sea-goat’s solitude
has more to do with self-sufficiency and privacy. It’s certainly
healthy for you to love; it’s neediness on your part that leads inevitably
toward frustrating emotional isolation. You’re a survivor, an endurer.
Those are fine qualities, and when life is hard, you’ll shine. Careful you
don’t use them inappropriately: when you’re sad or frightened, express
it. Otherwise, you put yourself in pointless emotional exile.