Capricorn is the sign of the Sea Goat (or just the Goat) and lasts from December 22 to January 22. The ruling element for Capricorn is Earth. Earth lends a very practical, stoic quality to Capricorns. Capricorn also rules work and reputation. Capricorns, like the goats themselves, are steadfast. Like goats climbing--actually, forget climbing, have you ever seen rams lock horns?--on an almost perfectly vertical mountain, full of sharp rocks and sheer cliffs, they can accomplish what is seemingly impossible with focus and grace.
Earth adjectives such as stony and steely are apt for Capricorn energy. Capricorn energy is taciturn and stoic. However, Capricorns can be quite intense. Like other earth signs, they are boulders. They hunker down into an idea or a goal and they shall not be moved. Their strength is a quiet, plodding strength, but underneath the solid exterior can be seething, swirling magma. Capricorns are good at keeping their cool and not blowing their tops--I apologize for the cliches--but unless the Capricorns can find an outlet, their repression and workaholism can eat them alive.
Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, the planet of limitations. Saturn is the archetype of Father Time, and he loves to give challenges. Capricorns, because of this, may seem prone to melancholy and pessimism. However, Saturn is also the planet of wisdom, and Capricorn energy can be radiate knowledge and serenity, like Yoda. Many images depict the Goat, Capricorn's symbol, as a Sea Goat, with a goat upper body and a fish tail. The Capricorn personality can adapt to rather sticky situations, such as being a goat in the water, or a fish on a mountain. This is because Saturn is in Capricorn's corner, helping them through these challenges. Capricorns are adept at handling emergencies and inconveniences.
I must confess that whenever I think of Capricorns, I think of Rob Zombie. Rob Zombie is a Capricorn, and, according to Sean Yseult's I'm In the Band, has a piercing focus and willingness, if the brick wall in front of him is miles long and miles high, to bang his head against it until he finds a weak spot. Though it may take a while, Capricorns have the practical knowledge, diligence, and instincts to be successful. Their greatest gifts, though, is having belief in their visions, even if they don't have faith in themselves, and their refusal to give up.
Another quintessential embodiment of Capricorn energy is Hephaestus, the Greek god of the foundry and lightning bolts (he was known as Vulcan in Rome.) Hephaestus was lame, homely, and frequently cuckholded by his wife, Aphrodite, to absolutely nobody's surprise. He was mocked and ridiculed by his comlier cohorts on Mount Olympus. And yet, when it came to his skill, nobody dared disparage him. He could make anything--Zeus's thunder, Achilles' armor, Artemis' arrows, and even Pandora, the perfect human. The main focus of his life was trying to prove himself, to earn respect. This is the main idea of Capricorn energy: having a good reputation, in spite of any defects one may perceive oneself to have (Kaldera 43-48).
Capricorns are little lambs when you get them in the right mood. A perfect, in the light Capricorn would probably, in my opinion, be voice actor Brad Swaile, who is sweet, gentle, and as happy as a little kid on a sunny mountain top of clover.
The Shadow side of Capricorns are indicated by a lack of humor. The really scary side of Capricorn is a hard, cold, human being, with no imagination, only ambition, like the antagonists in Charles Dickens' Hard Times. They can also be extremely stern and authoritarian. Also, the Shadow Capricorn can be unwilling to buck authority or convention. They would rather move up the ranks themselves, and then make changes, rather than go toe-to-toe with someone with more power (Kaldera 47). That might keep them from reaching their goals, and might tarnish their reputation.
Questions for consideration, to unleash healthy Capricorn energy:
1) What good, if any, have you received from the challenges in your life?
2) How are you specially adapted to challenges? What tools do you have in your arsenal against the inconveniences and emergencies of everyday life?
3) Where do you feel least comfortable nonconforming? Most comfortable? Has this conforming served you? Why or why not? In what ways can you buck authority?
Source: Kaldera, Raven. Mythastrology: Exploring Planets and Pantheons. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 2004.