Capricorn is a serious and pragmatic sign. This sign is the goat, the climber. Capricorn navigates the mountains with a sure-footed grace. She is not a very fun sign, but she gets the job done. After the joyful exuberance of Sagittarius, the party is over, and it is time to get back to work with Capricorn. This article will talk about Capricorn, its astrological associations, and how to interpret this sign in a Nativity Chart.
Capricorn by Season
In the Northern Hemisphere, the Sun enters the sign of Capricorn at the Winter Solstice, the coldest and darkest part of the year. Because Capricorn is the sign that begins Winter, it is the Cardinal Sign of the season.
The dates for when the Sun is in Capricorn are approximately December 21 to January 19. The exact dates vary a little from year to year, so if you were born near the beginning or end of the sign, you may want to get a Nativity Chart cast to know for sure. With your date, time, and place of birth, you can get it cast for free at Astrolabe.
In the Southern Hemisphere, of course, this time period is the Summer Solstice, but the astrological associations of the signs in the Tropical Zodiac are largely consistent with the seasons in the Northern Hemisphere.
The harvest has long past, nothing is growing, and now it is time to live on what has been preserved. In Modern times, in much of the developed world, most of us have food available to us year-round. For most of our history, however, people have had to struggle during the winter to find food and to survive. At the very beginning of winter, it was important to ration one’s food, because it had to last at least two or three more months.
Yet, even though it is the coldest and darkest part of the year, Capricorn also marks the turning point. Form the Solstice onward, every day will be a little longer. Despite the stern and severe nature of Capricorn, it is also a sign of hope.
There are Midwinter celebrations throughout history and all over the world. Many of them honor the return of Light during the darkest part of the year. Below are some of these holidays.
- Christianity – Christmas, December 25. Traditionally this is the first day, and the celebration is 12 days long, ending in Epiphany on January 6
- Filianism – Nativity, December 25 to January 6
- Popular culture – New Year’s Day, January 1
- Celtic tradition – Yule
- Roman tradition – Saturnalia
Capricorn by Element
Capricorn is an Earth Sign. As such, it is practical and sensible. Earth is the most tangible of the elements and represents stability. As a Cardinal Sign, Capricorn is the most ambitious and pragmatic of the Earth Signs. She will do what it takes to accomplish her goals and to survive. Capricorn knows how to navigate the physical world.
Capricorn’s Dignities and Debilities
Signs are friendly to some planets and hostile to others. A planet’s comfort level and ability to operate in the various signs are known as her essential dignities and debilities. Here are the planets that are dignified and debilitated in Capricorn.
Ruler – Saturn
The ruler of Capricorn is Saturn. Saturn is known as the Greater Malefic and is the planet of hardship, but also of discipline and hard work. Capricorn is Saturn’s Night House, and Saturn is a Day planet. Saturn is still strong in Capricorn, but not as strong as in she is in her Day House.
Exaltation – Mars
Mars is exalted in Capricorn. This is because Capricorn supports the principles of Mars, which are action and the exercise of one’s Free Will. In Capricorn, Mars is able to function well and can accomplish a great deal.
All three signs of an Element are ruled by their Triplicity Rulers. In the Dorothean system, the rulers of Earth are Venus by day, the Moon by night, and Mars is the participating ruler. William Lilly also assigns Venus to Earth by day and the Moon by night. In his system, however, there is no participating ruler.
Detriment – The Moon
The Moon has difficulty operating in Capricorn. Capricorn is at the darkest part of the year when life is mostly dormant. The Moon is Lesser Light and the sustainer and nurturer of life. Yet, this is also when Light starts to return, so even though she is in detriment, the Moon does have some dignity in this sign as well.
Fall – Jupiter
Jupiter is the planet of harmony, abundance, and generosity. As such, she has a tough time operating in the sign of prudence and severity.
In addition to the planets that have dignity in a sign in its entirety, there are planets that rule specific degrees of each sign. These are known as the planet’s terms or bounds. There are two main systems of the division of the terms, Egyptian and Chaldean.
Egyptian Terms for Capricorn
0 – 7 Mercury
7 – 14 Jupiter
14 – 22 Venus
22 – 26 Saturn
26 – 30 Mars
Chaldean Terms for Capricorn
0 – 6 Venus
6 – 12 Mercury
12 – 19 Jupiter
19 – 25 Mars
25 – 30 Saturn
Each sign is divided into three parts, known as face or decantes. Each face has a separate ruler. The faces of Capricorn and their rulers are:
0 – 10 Jupiter
10 – 20 Mars
20 – 30 Sun
Capricorn and the Body
The knees, bones, and teeth are all ruled by Capricorn. This means that if Capricorn is prominent in your chart, you have to take special care of these areas because they are prone to illness and injury. This is also the case if you have a Leo Ascendant because in that case, Capricorn governs your 6th House of injury and illness.
If either your Saturn or Mars is in Capricorn, you need to take injuries or disease to your knees, bones, or teeth very seriously. This is because the strong parts of your chart are the most dangerous. If you have a Gemini Ascendant, you also must be careful, because Capricorn rules your 8th House of Death.
Capricorn in a Nativity Chart
When reading a Nativity Chart, most astrologers look first to the placements of the Sun, Moon, and Ascendant, which is also known as the Rising Sign. You can learn these by getting a Nativity Chart report from an astrologer, or by getting a computerized report for free from Astrolabe. Below are brief descriptions of how to interpret a Capricorn Sun, Moon, and Ascendant.
As one can probably imagine, the Sun struggles a bit in Capricorn. This is the time of year with the least amount of Sunlight, and Capricorn is a Night Sign. With a Capricorn Sun, the image of mountain climbing is very appropriate, as the Sun is slowly getting stronger and higher during the time period of its sojourn through this sign.
Capricorn Sun by Day
If you were born during the day, you will express your Capricorn nature in your work or career. This is Capricorn at its most hardworking and most ambitious. You are a shrewd business person, and you will do well for yourself with respect to status and your public reputation. Even so, it might be hard for you to enjoy the fruits of your labor, and you might have a bit of a miserly streak to you. Despite your success, you will be humble, and you may suffer from a lack of self-confidence.
Capricorn Sun by Night
If you were born at night, the ambitious side of your nature will be a little more hidden. You will need to be careful to avoid depression and melancholy. At night, the ambition of Capricorn is softened somewhat, and that energy expresses itself in creating safety and comfort for yourself and those you love. It will be important for you to get at least some sunlight, especially during the Fall and Winter months, in order to keep up your energy level and not fall into despair.
The Moon in Capricorn is complicated. Capricorn is a Night Sign, and so it is friendly to the Moon in that respect. On the other hand, the Moon is also in detriment in Capricorn, which weakens her. A Capricorn Moon often expresses itself as a little cold but nurturing in a very practical way.
Capricorn Moon by Day
If you were born by day, your Capricorn Moon will be more hidden. Your Sun Sign will be much more prominent. There will be a quiet practicality to you even if you have one of the more flighty Sun signs. You will do things for others in small, quiet ways. Because of this, your efforts on their behalf may go unnoticed. You may feel unappreciated and unloved because of this.
Capricorn Moon by Night
A Capricorn Moon is strongest by night. You will still suffer a bit from appearing cold and undemonstrative, but you really do care for others in your own way. You pay more attention to their physical needs than their emotional ones. You can also seem a bit severe. You have a sense that life is hard, but you will also do what needs to be done to survive and tend to the needs of those you love.
If you have a Capricorn Ascendant, you will seem a bit strict and severe to those who do not know you well. There is a serious quality to your demeanor, and you have a great deal of gravitas in your manner. You may suffer a bit from shyness and self-consciousness. You are responsible and hardworking. It may be hard for people to get to know you, but you will help your friends and family in practical ways.
Saturn is the Ruler of your Ascendant, and so, this planet is extremely important to you. Someone with a Capricorn Ascendant often has a sharp, handsome, and stern appearance.
Using Whole Sign Houses, your Ascendant will determine which planet and sign rule all aspects of your life.
Home – Aries
If Capricorn is your Ascendant, Aries is your 4th House. Because Aries is ruled by Mars, it could mean that your home and your tradition are a source of turbulence and discord. It could also mean that you are fiercely protective of your home and that it is a source of energy for you. Most likely, it means a little of both. A lot will depend on the position and condition of Mars in your chart. You are extremely proud of your tradition, even if it may be a source of conflict for you.
Partnership – Cancer
Cancer is the sign that governs your 7th House if you have a Capricorn Ascendant. The 7th House, which is the House that governs partnerships of all kinds is always the opposite sign of the Ascendant. You need someone who is soft and nurturing. A perfect partner for you is a person who has a love of home and hearth. You are also very devoted to and fiercely protective of your partner.
Career and Public Reputation – Libra
With a Capricorn Ascendant, your 10th House is Libra, which is ruled by Venus. Even though you can be very shy in normal social situations, you have a charm and magnetism when it comes to being in public or in front of a crowd. You seek balance in your public life, and you have a reputation for being fair.