Capricorn, the Mountain Goat
So here we are, our first bulletin for the year 2012, the month of January and the sign of Capricorn. Hmmmm…. What to talk about? Some of you may recall in last January’s ChatterLog, we referred to Capricorn as the Sea-Goat, which it is, because in Ancient times Capricorn was depicted with the head and body of a goat, and the tail of a fish. And don’t forget last month, we had Sagittarius, the Centaur, with the head and shoulders of a man coupled with the body and legs of a horse. The origin of Capricorn as the Sea-Goat, or Goat-Fish dates back to the Babylonian times when the amphibious God Oannes, or “The Antelope of the Subterranean Ocean” would emerge from the sea to teach the lawless people insight into letters, science and art, in essence to teach man the “art of civilization” and then at night, he would return once more to the ocean depths to rest. Interesting stuff, and from there the amphibious Capricorn evolved into our resilient Mountain-Goat, because they have the ability to cling to the side of the cliffs and climb to the craggy mountaintops!
Two years ago we talked about Capricorn’s association with “structure” so if you see a big bridge, building or edifice, chances are it was built by and/or named after a Capricorn. Their position in society is of great importance to them, but if you get in their way, don’t expect a warm, fuzzy hug, that’s not who they are. It is noticeably cold at this time of year because it is after all, the season of Winter – so then why expect this sign to be anything other than cool and reserved? Capricorn says, “I use, I use anything and anyone around me to survive.” And they do. It’s nothing personal – it’s just what they do. They need that control for their physical survival, never mind the cost. Think of Alice in Wonderland and the Queen of Hearts who repeatedly cried, “Off with their heads” and you get the general idea!
John Tenniel’s illustration of The Queen of Hearts from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland
So based on this cool Capricorn characteristic and the time and season of year, our theme for this month is simply “Cold.” We’ll deal with “Hot” when we get to the Fire sign of Aries! Opposite Capricorn we have the Watery sign of Cancer, whose emotions flow and run as deep as the ocean itself, but with Capricorn, the Water (and therefore the emotions as well) has been cooled down and literally frozen – the emotions are now crystallized. With Cancer, think of a waterfall, and with Capricorn, think of a glacier! The Watery Cancer will weep for weeks and cry buckets of tears but the Capricorn works hard to “keep their cool” at all costs! If they allow you to see their emotions, then they have lost that precious control, and for them that means they have potentially lost the battle, perhaps the war.
Glacier Bay, Alaska © Randy Boverman
If we look at a globe or world map, there are five major circles of latitude, including the two Arctic Circles, the Equator and the two Tropics, that of Cancer and Capricorn. These two Tropics are also connected with our two Solstices, Summer and Winter, and what are known as the Northern and Southern Lights. The Winter Solstice in December marks the shortest day of the year as we enter into the sign of Capricorn. Interesting to note that while the Northern Lights are known as the Aurora Borealis, the Southern Lights are known as the Aurora Australis. You’ll notice in the southern hemisphere that the Tropic of Capricorn runs right through the continent of Australia, so surprise, surprise, this is where we get the name. My sister is a Capricorn, and she has always had a thing about Australia – now we know why!
Illustration Showing The Tropic of Capricorn
All signs of the zodiac without exception have both pros and cons to them, and it is up to us to find a balance between those. Sure, a Leo may be considered selfish, but they also have the biggest heart of all the signs. A Cancer can be moody, but they are some of the best listeners. So what about our Capricorn, the Goat, the sign who is so determined to survive, they will hang on to the side of a cliff, or mountain, if they have to. The Capricorn is a very driven and ambitious sign, they don’t just want to work like the other Earth signs, Taurus and Virgo; these guys want to leave a legacy behind them and to be recognized for what they have done.
Capricorn, The Mountain Goat
As I mentioned, Capricorn is a very dedicated sign, so whatever they dedicate their lives to, you can be sure they make their mark in their profession of choice. We find many politicians in this group, so here are a few familiar, and very driven examples of shall we say, “notable” political leaders – starting with African-American Civil Rights Leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Humanitarian Albert Schweitzer, British Prime Ministers William Gladstone and David Lloyd George, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, and how about former U.S. President Richard Nixon, Chairman of the Communist Party of China Mao Tse Tung and Soviet Dictator Joseph Stalin. A pretty “driven” group, wouldn’t you say?
And then we have what I like to call some of those “heavyweight Capricorn actors.” I use the term “heavyweight” because when you look at this group, that’s what they are! Consider all of the contributions they have given us – and these are just the politicians and actors! But it is also a perfect word to describe these people because Saturn, the ruling planet of Capricorn is by nature heavy, and their metal is lead, the heaviest of all the metals. Let’s start with Humphrey Bogart who gave us such classics as Casablanca with Ingrid Bergman, Key Largo with Lauren Bacall, and The African Queen with Katherine Hepburn, to name but a few of his fine films and female collaborations, followed by one of Hollywood’s greatest leading men Cary Grant, now who doesn’t love Cary Grant and movies like Arsenic and Old Lace, Bringing up Baby and The Philadelphia Story with Katherine Hepburn, To Catch a Thief with Grace Kelly (classic and classy!), An Affair to Remember with Deborah Kerr, and North by Northwest with Eva Marie Saint.
And then we have the voice of Darth Vader himself, James Earl Jones, Sir Anthony Hopkins who delivered the chilling Hannibal Lecter, followed by Richard Widmark, Robert Stack, and one of my personal favorites, Denzel Washington in such movies as Glory, Mississippi Masala (loved that movie!), Philadelphia, and Training Day, which was the one he won his Oscar for, but it really should have been for his portrayal of Malcolm X, and like him or not, I’m including Mel Gibson who brought us Braveheart, Mad Max and the Lethal Weapon series, along with Val Kilmer, Kevin Costner, Lloyd Bridges, and actresses Marlene Dietrich, Ava Gardner, Faye Dunaway, Diane Keaton, Dyan Cannon, Susan Lucci, Sissy Spacek, and entertainers Sophie Tucker, Ethel Merman and Gypsy Rose Lee! Phew!
And as usual, we wish all the Capricorns Happy Birthday this month!