A demon baby - how cute! How Capricorn!
People born under this western zodiac sign are the hardest to characterize. I ought to know, because I am one.
Keywords used to describe us on cafeastrology.com are tenacious, conservative, resourceful, disciplined, ambitious and prudent, for what it is worth.
The stereotype is that we are all ambitious. I would say that’s half true – like a lot of stereotypes. When I was teaching myself astrology a decade ago, I read about Capricorn having three archetypes – the mountain goat, the Pan goat, and the scapegoat. The mountain goat is the ambitious one in terms of what they want to get out of life. The Pan goat is a lot more laid back and fun-loving. He or she may be a nature-lover, a country gardener and home-crafting type, or simply a partier. The scapegoat archetype seemed to show up most in childhood. Capricorn kids tend to feel victimized by their parents, and girls in particular tend to be victimized by their mothers. Capricorn children grow out of this archetype as they get older, but some of the psychological damage tends to stay with them through adulthood.
(Pan was the goat-footed god of erotic ecstasy who was worshipped in ancient Greece. He was said to love nature and country life and strongly distrust civilized ways and cities. Later Christians may have associated Pan with the Devil.)
Pan was known more for his promiscuity than for anything else. This is key to understanding those who subconsciously personify this god. Tiger Woods has his Sun and Mercury in Capricorn. Brad Pitt falls back on his old love, Jennifer Aniston, when he needs to put wife Angelina Jolie in her place. Brad Pitt has his Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Mars in Capricorn.
A lot of Capricorn men are said to manifest the Pan goat (which may or may not mean acting out the promiscuity), while women are thought to manifest the mountain goat more often, but I have always suspected that could go "either way".
The men work to achieve a certain status at their job or in terms of career, and then they sit back and relax. They are said to be not all that concerned about reaching the top. They may want to focus more on extra-curricular activities, and just maintain the job at a level that pays the bills. Despite stereotypical wisdom, this may be true of a lot of Capricorn women, too. Results of a salary survey that tracked respondents by birth date often report more people working for $35,000 or less born under Capricorn and Aquarius (the Saturn-ruled signs) than other any other zodiac sign.
The ambitious Capricorn archetype is a fairly old one. Caesar Augustus was said to have minted coins which depicted him as having been born a Capricorn because he wanted to send an ambitious, aggressive message. In fact, Augustus was a Libra. (He may have been tapping his unconscious Saturn, because Saturn is exalted in Libra.)
The other stereotype has to do with the dry wit that Capricorn is said to be famous for. A lot of us do have it, in one way or another. Sometimes it’s a quiet or soft wit, and it may only manifest from time to time. Other times it is a distinct talent for sarcasm or bon mots – these are the charismatic Capricorns that tend to have lots of friends, and are often associated with the Pan archetype.
Astrologically, the dry wit is associated with having both the Sun and Mercury in Capricorn (since Mercury is fairly close to the Sun in most nativities, many Capricorn Sun-signs will also have Mercury placed here). One famous Roman Capricorn whose terse wit and wisdom is still widely quoted today was Cicero.
In a modern context, the raunchy Howard Stern has his Sun, Mercury and Venus in Capricorn (this dude is a modern-day Pan if there ever was one), and Michelle Obama, whose mouth has gotten her into trouble on more than one occasion, has a Capricorn Sun and Mercury.
If I was to sum up my Capricorn compatriots quickly, I would say that we are always sizing up people (this makes some of us “natural” astrologers). Defensive. A lot like Scorpio, really. We lighten it up by being funny, and we use that sarcastic, dry, cynical wit if we have it. A Capricorn Sun and Mercury may sound bossy even if the owner isn’t, much like the author of this post.
One shrewd observer remarked that Capricorn women could be bodybuilders if they stayed in shape as they got older. There has to be some truth to this – a lot of Capricorn women are overweight as they get older. Those who do stay in shape often have a noticeable bone structure. Even if they are very thin, they are often medium or large-boned, and able to carry their weight easily. The taller Capricorn women with full breasts look amazing if they can battle the bulge, but a lot of us do end up looking like a Modigliani painting. The effect shows up sometimes with Aquarius women as well – think of Oprah.
One trend I see with many Capricorns that is too common to ignore has to do with how their personality changes over time (Saturn himself was the Greek and Roman god associated with time). When we are young, a lot of us are serious, responsible, sensible types – we understand implicitly that if you give a dance, you’ve got to pay the band. But once we hit forty (or even before then), a lot of us mellow out and become more relaxed. Liberal or conservative, we start to ponder the shades of gray a little more, even if things did seem very black or white to us when we were younger.
Astrologically, this may have to do with the Capricorn Sun progressing into Pisces (something that happens to Capricorns as early as their mid-thirties or as late as their early sixties). Pisces has a watery sensitivity and creative receptivity that feels very foreign to a pure Capricorn type, but we do incorporate the Piscean energy somehow because we don’t have a choice. The ancients may have recognized this by associating Capricorn with the Babylonian god Ea, who is depicted with the tail of a fish!
Weirdly opposite to Aquarius - who are rebellious and free-spirited and “visionary” when younger, but once they hit their thirties, they slowly become quite conservative and traditionalist! Aquarius folks have suns which progress into Aries as they get older, and the blended energy of Saturn (the co-ruler of both Aquarius and Capricorn) and aggressive, leadership-oriented, Mars-like Aries produces a far different outcome.
Everitt, Anthony.Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome’s Greatest Politician, Random House, 2003.
Everitt, Anthony.Augustus: The Life of Rome’s First Emperor,Random House, 2007.
A summary of the salary survey was published in a recent issue ofThe Mountain Astrologer Magazine. When I lay my hands on it, I will update.