If you were to salute a Capricorn on the street, out of the clear blue sky, they'd probably salute back without even thinking about it...

Capricorns are born between December 22 Ė January 20. For those in the Northern Hemisphere, that is the darkest, coldest time of year. As if thatís not bad enough, these unfortunate souls are ruled by Saturn, the most serious, wizened, staunch and even stuffy planet we know of and so aptly personified by that decrepit Father Time seen so often around New Years. No wonder people get drunk on New Years Eve. And as a friend of mine so often remarks to those with a negative spin, "It must suck to be you."

In response, I must admit that, yes, indeed it does. And I can say that with authority because Iím a Capricorn.

The astrological icon for Capricorn is the goat, or more specifically the sea goat. And no doubt the expression "old goat" originated to describe a Capricorn. We are grumpy, mean, serious, taciturn, authoritarian, power hungry, social climbers.

And proud of it, I might add.

We reside in the zodiacal 10th House of community standing and all that hoopla. We like to feel important. We donít necessarily like a lot of attention or fanfare, but we want to be appreciated and respected and we donít mind working hard to get there. After all, goats are known for climbing mountains. (Theyíre also known for eating tin cans and the neighborís tulips, but we wonít go there. Actually, goats are picky eaters. I know because I had one once. Her name was Geraldine and she and my ex didnít get along. Heíd be out there milking her at oídark:30 in 20 below weather and when he was done sheíd look him in the eye and deliberately put her foot in the bucket. We didnít have her for long. Oddly enough, that really was typical Capricorn behaviorÖ.)

If you look in a Capricornís closet, most likely youíll see a lot of black. This isnít because the light is out, but because we like wearing dark colors. I donít know why. Maybe it goes back to being born in the dead of winter, though Iím not sure thatís it, either, because with Christmas and the other holidays around that time youíd think weíd like red and green. Which, actually, I do. But I do wear a lot of black. And look good in it, too, which is kind of scary. Believe me, I get more compliments when I wear black than any other color, and of course that reinforces it. It has other advantages as well. It doesnít show dirt and it hides those extra pounds I put on between Thanksgiving and New Years, though cat hair is another story. Yes, if thereís one thing we are, itís practical. Saturn sees to that.

In case you havenít already guessed, weíre also known for our dark sense of humor. At least we have one, buried though it may be, and we do know how to use it. I canít tell a joke as well as an Aries or Aquarius and the laughs I evoke arenít the hee-haw, knee-slapping kind of wit, but I can make people laugh when they need it most. Like in the middle of a long, dry meeting, at tax time or even a funeral. Those times when you donít know whether to laugh or cry are when Iíll make you laugh. As an Earth sign, Iím more comfortable with cool logic than outward displays of emotions. I have them but donít like to admit it. So when situations get tense, I try to lighten things up.

There have been times when thereís this wet stuff leaking from my eyes and Iíll be accused of crying but Iíll firmly declare that itís my allergies, contact lenses or the jalapeno juice I got on my hands fixing dinner. I was at a farewell luncheon in a Mexican restaurant for someone Iíd worked with for roughly ten years and we became very good friends. A couple of times I could feel it coming on, but when the conversation started getting too sentimental I simply declared to everyone present not to go there and then pretended it was the hot sauce. Since Iím the boss I could do that.

Lots of us are bosses, by the way. We're hardworking, dependable and barring a troublesome ascendant, usually pretty self-motivated as an employee. We also donít mind responsibility, so usually wind up with plenty. We seldom have anything handed to us. Thatís the way it is when youíre ruled by Saturn, but we also have the tenacity and perseverance it takes to wear others down and eventually get where we want to go. And that about sums it up.

Iím not sure this qualifies as a salute, but then there are numerous definitions of "salute," some of which canít be included here. But the fact of the matter is that Capricorns carry more than their share of the weight of the world and do it well, in spite of the creaky joints we inevitably acquire as we age. I guess thatís the price we pay for climbing all those mountains.

So the next time youíre at some festive event, find a Capricorn and give that goat a great, big smile. Better yet, a hug, if you dare. If you donít know where to find one, try that person in the corner working frantically on a laptop, even if itís their daughterís wedding. And if that doesnít work, try that one over there with the Edgar Allen Poe smile. You know, the one over there. The one all dressed in black.

***

Attitude:  Nothing beats the view at the top.

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