On December 21st, the Sun moved into tenacious, determined Capricorn. As an earth sign and with the goat as its archetype, Capricorn portrays the enduring and irrepressible spirit of nature. In ancient times the goat was a symbol of courage, of high aspirations and a surefootedness that enabled them to climb higher than any other animal. Goats can survive anywhere and on even the scarcest of vegetation. They are true survivors and can endure short term sacrifices and harsh conditions. The feature of the goat deserves special attention in our understanding of this sign. The name 'Capricorn' comes from the Latin caper (“goat”) and cornu (“horn”), literally “the Goat's horn”. In the ancient world horns were symbols of royalty, strength and power, as well as fertility and abundance. The goat's horn thus stands as a representation of the elemental energies of the earth.
Capricorn, being a Cardinal sign, initiates and begins the winter season, a time of scarcity and survival. This energy has to be smart, but also practical. It is earth energy and accomplishes by actions, not words. It has the patience of “time” itself and understands the natural order. We could never have the new life of spring, without the death of winter. All are part of the natural order and Capricorn rules the natural order of life itself. We are all marched through a process where we reassess our goals, do closure and manifest our hard worked plans. With its ruling planet Saturn, this sign is associated with structure, priorities, results, endurance, pragmatism, obligation, duty and authority. To most of us, this is a rather formidable list. Capricorn, as a force in our lives, has a reputation for being demanding and lacking in humor, but few of us appreciate Capricorn for being a teacher of valuable lessons which enable us to achieve and progress. Saturn and Capricorn also provide the structure, stamina and endurance that enable us to pursue a dream to its manifest conclusion, but this ability is acquired piece by piece. Saturn has an agenda; to lead us into the experiences that force us to reckon with the necessities and realities of life. His purpose is to challenge us to grow. Saturn, along with Capricorn forms a hierarchical puzzle; each brick of achievement is balanced upon the layers below it. Later lessons are built upon the foundation of previous ones. If we have not done our homework, we can become lost or mislead when faced with the tests of later learning. The maturation process requires that we have enough of what we need to progress, but sometimes the experience of doing without for a time can strengthen us. We see this when a pruned back tree springs back with stronger or when we build up our muscles through vigorous exercise. Saturn can force us to work harder than usual at something so that we become stronger in that area. The natal house where Saturn resides is often the area where we feel the weakest, yet it’s often where we excel the farthest because we've worked so hard to compensate.