Ruler: Saturn

Exalted:  Mars

Detriment: Moon

Fall: Jupiter

Polarity: Feminine/ Negative

Modality: Cardinal

Element: Earth

Body Parts: skin, joints, structure & form, skeletal system, hair, nails, teeth

Nature: cold, dry, with little internal heat

Capricorn represents structure, achievement and the efficient use of resources.

As kids, we’d play Monopoly on Christmas Day or rainy days on holidays.

My Cap Moon Dad would insist on being banker and, somehow, always seemed to have a ready supply of cash.

I’d buy whatever property I landed on, generally lose focus and go bankrupt quite quickly. My Capricorn Sun sister would play the game strategically, aiming for the quality properties and utilities, quietly erecting hotels on each and then waiting for the sting. She’d wait until I’d gone bankrupt so she could buy up my defaulted properties and immediately improve them as well.

Cap Sun and my Aries brother would generally battle it out to the death … or tears – usually when Mr Aries would pick up the board and throw it. Monopoly is now banned at my parents’ home.

Monopoly is the ultimate Capricorn board game.

Every astrologer has a sign (or two, or three) that they find difficult to identify with and difficult to write about. This doesn’t mean that we don’t like that particular sign, (or the people who have placements in that sign) but rather that we find it difficult to understand – usually because of differences within our own chart and with our own motivations.

As much as I love my sister, Capricorn is one of those signs for me. I think it’s because I have a difficult relationship with Saturn (the ruler of Capricorn). I think it’s also because I find it difficult to laugh at Capricorn – and I like to find something to laugh at – or with – in all signs.

Most signs have something in their key descriptive words that are sort of interesting or even slightly glamorous sounding. Cancer is caring and empathetic; Libra social and decorative; and Taurus tactile and musical. Capricorn, though, is ambitious, goal orientated and hardworking – motivated by the attainment of security, stability and societal respect. Positive traits indeed, but difficult to live up to – especially when young…

Mention these motivations to Capricorn and the response is likely to be ‘I am nothing like that, which just goes to show that astrology is a crock of s%^t,’  or, ‘You make me out to be motivated by nothing but work and I am nothing like that, which just goes to show that astrology is a crock of s%^t  ,’ or ‘you make me sound so boring and I am nothing like that, which just goes to show that astrology is a crock of s%^t.’

I also find that most signs have a shadow side that they are secretly willing to admit… and, even more secretly, are proud of. Aquarians like their detached and quirky side, Gemini jokes about duplicity and Scorpio revels in her paranoia and revenge fantasies. Sadge brags of his excesses and Pisces her addictions, but Capricorn has difficulty admitting to her shadow side. Materialistic? Elitist? Social climbing? ‘Not I,’ they will say, ‘I am nothing like that, which just goes to show that astrology is a crock of s%^t.’

Each sign is a function of their ruling sign, and Capricorn’s is Saturn. Saturn represents maturity, mastery, containment, boundaries and restriction.

Saturn structures get stronger as they mature – as experience and wisdom are absorbed and storms weathered and survived.

So too with Capricorn. Capricorn is one sign which really grows into itself – quite possibly one of the reasons that people with Capricorn Ascendants and Suns (or with Saturn in the 1st house) age so well – they literally grow into their own skin. Capricorn careers also tend to peak later, as achievement is based on practicality, prudence and perseverance rather than charisma and light-bulb moments.

As Indiana Jones once said, ‘It’s not the years, but the mileage.’

Although sometimes feeling older than their years and their peers when young, and with a tendency towards gloom, prudence, economy, melancholy and worry, Capricorn tends to “lighten up” with age.

Symbolically, Capricorn is represented by the image of the Sea-Goat, a mythical creature with the body of a mountain goat and the tail of a fish. Where the mountain for Sagittarius is part of the adventure, existing as a challenge to get past, jump off and see what is on the other side; for Capricorn, it isn’t about what is waiting on the other side- it really is all about the Climb.

Capricorn achievement is not of the “look at me” fame and glory nature. It is quieter and more intrinsic. It is about mastery. It is about understanding the gravity and reality of life and confronting issues honestly and with wisdom and integrity.  It is about maturity and becoming an adult.

Capricorn needs to feel that their experience, wisdom and knowledge is appreciated – with or without the supporting feedback. As such, Capricorn does tend to internalise when down and can be prone to depression if she feels that she hasn’t achieved what she thinks she should have achieved.

The danger for Capricorn is when she becomes hooked on social approval or compares herself and her position, salary and achievements to others, and finds herself envious of the apparent ease with which others have accumulated. It is at this point that the shadow of Capricorn comes into play. The concept of “keeping up with the Joneses” is the Capricorn shadow.

Regardless of your Sun sign, we all have Capricorn somewhere in our charts. It’s this part of life that we approach with a Capricorn practicality, and it’s this part of life that is activated for the next month while the Sun is in Capricorn.

I’m a Pisces Rising, so Capricorn rules the 11th house for me – friends, networks, hopes and dreams. I have no planets in Capricorn or the 11th, but the 11th for me is hard work. I have a lot of acquaintances, yet my trusted friends are relatively few – and that’s the way I like it. I don’t like crowds, dread the thought of large social gatherings (but can plaster on the mask and enjoy it when I’m there), and know that no one is going to come along to give me a shortcut to making my dreams come to life.

Wherever Capricorn is in your chart is a place that you need to learn to be “enough” – what other people think matters less than you would imagine.