CAPRICORN

The Goat

(Dec 22 - Jan 20)

Middle Age

"I sustain"

The phase of life that we call "Middle Age" is a precarious moment, for these people are often regarded as "out of date", and too "set in their ways" to keep pace with the ever changing "progress" that youngsters seem to hold in such esteem. It is sometimes forgotten that they still have the same feelings and intelligence, and were once as vigorous and youthful as those around them. They have worked hard, gained much wisdom, and have earned the right to respect.

When a person reaches this stage it is normally when they are at the pinnacle of their career and fast moving towards retirement. It's a time of great sensitivity and insecurity for, in a sense, there is nowhere else to go but down the ladder. Experience is one thing, but the energy to sustain their position forever is another, especially with so many young, ambitious rivals waiting to take their place.

Things are not as easy as they used to be, for a person of this age can also still face heavy responsibilities. There may be the continued financial burdens of a family, a mortgage to pay, and perhaps children going through university with the ensuing costs. The pressures of the long haul of parenthood can sometimes seem never ending, and it becomes very important to ensure that their offspring can appreciate the value of money, and take proper responsibility for themselves, for they can't be looked after forever.

With great effort these people have climbed the mountain of life, only to look around at a seemingly discordant, irresponsible world, eager to drag them down and oust them from their position if they take a wrong step forward. It is a frustrating time, with strong feelings of isolation and wariness of change yet, with this in mind, they must find the courage to turn and face an uncertain future.

The Planet that governs this sign is Saturn, and the element associated is Earth. Saturn links closely with patience, duty and responsibility, realising the importance of correct ethics and secure foundations, whilst the element Earth strengthens this with its solid stable nature. The combination of the two could seem, on the surface, to be deeply solemn, over burdened, and rooted almost exclusively in the mundane world. But therein lies the error of looking only at first impressions.

Capricorn has to deal with the reality that nothing lasts forever. They are caught in the cleft stick of restless insecurity, for they are aware that they must at sometime sacrifice the safety of their hard earned achievements for the less tangible peace of a later season, but they are not quite ready to let go of all they hold dear without ensuring that there is something better to take its place.They must deal with a changing world, yet are fearful of their position lest they sink into the oblivion of old age and get forgotten. Their reputation, therefore, becomes extremely important to them, for they need to be recognised , and above all respected, for their worth.

They are also very aware that there is the promise of a far greater life than their own personal existence, but equally appreciate that they are nevertheless harnessed to the material reality of the everyday world, and realise in their wisdom, that they can't pursue one to the detriment of the other.

The apparent somber outlook is a sad misrepresentation of the inner being, for the demanding spiritual energy, so recently awakened in the Sagittarius days of adulthood, burns even more fiercely and urgent in the Capricorn heart, yet is forced by circumstance to remain firmly aligned with the mundane difficulties of earthly existence.

The normal symbol associated with this sign is the Mountain Goat; a solitary, yet active creature, not content to remain at the lower levels of lush green pastures, but struggles to climb the more difficult terrain in order to feed on the sparse growth of the mountainside. It lives a precarious and dangerous existence, striving and fleet of foot, yet takes care to place each step in a position of safety to ensure it does not slip from the barren crags and topple to the distant land below.

The second symbol is the Goat with the tail of a fish, portraying the same earthy animal striving to transform the lower aspects of itself in order to swim in the spiritual waters of initiation. Both aspects of the Goat symbolise the element of sacrifice that applies to this sign for, it is only through the willingness to let go the material concerns of the world, that we can reach the higher realms of ourselves.

And so all this applies to those of pure Capricorn attitude. They are strongly ambitious to reach the heights in anything they do and, if necessary, are prepared to sacrifice what they perceive as their comforts in order to attain this. They are active, sensitive, spiritual beings, striving to retain their position in a material world, yet at the same time driven by the relentless call of the soul.

Capricorn is ambitious to reach the top and stay there, yet lives in continued frustration, for they know that inevitable change will mean the end of their secure earthly role. It is an extremely dangerous position and they have to look both ways at all times to ensure their safety.

They must look forwards for they can't go back, yet the past holds the secrets of experience that secures their position. And so they find themselves in the position of Janus, or sleuths of the zodiac, living by the traditions of their forefathers, yet sardonically following a trail of success, and cleverly anticipating what others will do, whilst carefully preparing their next move forward.

This is one of the most undermined of signs, and it is a sad fact that Capricorn is often made the "scape goat" for other people's inadequacies, for they have been accused of being cool, cunning and manipulative but , if this sometimes seems true, it is simply because they are born to confront the ways of the world, and have learned to action accordingly.

And yet, in truth, they are one of the most caring of types - the eternal parent, extremely diplomatic and protective, with a deep inner warmth, and an often unnoticed wry sense or humour. They are governed by conscience, and can suffer greatly from guilt, for they believe in protocol and normally follow a strategy that demands caution, and a duty to live by the rules of society.

They are exceptionally hard workers, practical, ambitious, committed, and striving, and their particular talents make them well suited to careers as detectives, politicians, business organisers, intelligence workers, spys, financial advisors, and anything of an investigative nature with scope for success. They also make excellent teachers by example, parents, chess players, and have even been found amongst the cleverest criminal minds.

The Element Earth linked with this sign can be likened to the baron December ground, but also to the beauty of an icy mountain peak that rises lonely and clear cut, proud and stable, against the frozen winter skies.

As if in response to the phase associated with nature, and to the stark beauty of the cold bleakness that engulfs the land in the first month of winter, so the Capricorn personality stands erect and infinitely strong amid the darkness and earthly trappings of their own uncertainty.

And yet, inspite of this, they also know, with a secret, wry understanding that, just for the moment, they are the ones that hold the eternal power to sustain and control the earthly world and, just as the trees hold the sap in their roots through the dark winter months, they too conserve, with certainty and care, the life of a richer future.

For these protective and earthy people are the Master Chess players in this game of life; the Initiated Guardians of the physical plane, and the Spiritual conscience and backbone of a growing civilisation.

Bottom Image(see owl credits) | Star image © Cosmic Images | Middle age spread © Tom Matthews :

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All writings © J.Shell 1981 - 2005 (unless otherwise stated). All rights reserved.