One thing I don’t hear discussed very much is the connection between the signs through a sense of evolution. There’s a balance and equilibrium that seems to swing the pendulum back as we move into the next character of the celestial archetypes. For Sagittarius, we wandered the world with a boundless enthusiasm and need for adventure. Now the ship has pulled into port, the well traveled and learned traveler returns ‘home’ to imagine, what next..? With all that he has learned and accomplished, how can they convert this wisdom into something tangible, and lasting?.. And thus the baton is passed on to Capricorn.
By nature they’re more subdued, conservative, reserved and serious. They have a maturity to them, regardless of their age. I think of Capricorns as the ‘old soul’ types. As children they can be little adults, who prefer to converse with grownups than play those silly children’s games. Sometimes they’re just born that way, or as a product of a challenging home situation – poverty, an early death in the family, a strict or ill parent, or the like. Situations like this can force a child to take on adult-like duties at an early age, or give them the feeling of a burden to carry or overcome. This is a sign of responsibility. Other than an Aries, I don’t know any other sign to be so determinedly self-sufficient. But there’s a difference. Aries does alone because it wants to – Capricorn does alone because it feels it must – that it can’t depend on others. And yet, there is a sense of mission – not only do they want to accomplish much in their lifetime, they do. Rarely will you find a more impressive list of credits – top of their class, scholarship winners, the natural born leaders.
This is the sign of Cardinal Earth. Cardinal signs are the initiators – they know how to begin – to make something out of nothing. Add to that the element of Earth (for substance) and you have natural born entrepreneurs. Maybe it’s their self-sufficiency or need for strong footing that drive them, I don’t know. But they are driven none the less and have a keen sense of efficiency and practicality which make them tailor made leadership positions. I don’t care if it’s student government or a Fortune 500 organization – they’ll have a corner office. More often than not they’ll start their own enterprise. But their success comes not only from being hard working, but prudent. Their motivation is not only success, but lasting success – security. To say this is an impressive club of membership is an understatement. I’d hate to throw down resumes in this pool…
Helena Rubenstein (December 25th), a Polish immigrant who started out by selling her homemade hand cream eventually became one of the first and wealthiest cosmetics industrialist. She was frugal with money earned from a salon she opened, eventually starting her own business in 1908 with $100,000. Mind you, this was at a time when women weren’t allowed to even vote, much less borrow money from banks. Every penny was her own and hard earned. Talk about creating something out of nothing. She was quoted as saying, “There are no ugly women, only lazy ones.” (Translation – work what you’ve got, girls.)
Howard Hughes (December 24th) didn’t exactly start from scratch. He came from a wealthy Texan family and at age 19 inherited $650,000. But on his own he became an extremely successful industrialist, film producer, real estate developer and aviator who set three world air speed records in the 1930’s. For years, he was in control of TWA and Hughes Tool Corporation which in the 1950’s was the largest supplier of electrical weaponry systems to the US Air Force and Navy. Upon his death he left an estate worth $2.5 billion.
Conrad Hilton’s first job was working in his father’s general store. When he was 32 he bought a 40 room hotel in Cisco, Texas and built it into the massive worldwide hotel chain we know today. One man, in one lifetime. We’re talking real hotels here – not Monopoly hotels. He left the bulk of estate to the Conrad Hilton Foundation, which as of today has assets of $3.4 billion.
Aristotle Onassis (January 15th) came from a wealthy family who lost their fortune and fled to Greece in World War I. He moved to Buenos Aires with $60 in his pocket and began his first job working for the phone company. He eventually because one of the most successful shipping tycoons of the world.
Capricorn is the sign of substance, but with that comes some pretty high standards, for themselves and others. They may be accused of being workaholics, but for them, it’s not ‘work’. They may do it because they love it, or because they have a personal plan to fulfill, or perhaps just because they must. It’s what they do, but they continue on with their work of choice until they achieve something only time can give them – mastery. They set their goals high, often early in life, and map out their plan for success. Muhammad Ali (January 17th) referred to himself as “The Greatest” not as a nickname, or a reality TV trademark — He told us where he was going when he made it his mission to defeat Joe Frazer who at the time was undisputed heavyweight champion (another Capricorn – January 12th). In their historic 1971 ‘Fight of the Century’ this clash of titans (not surprisingly) went the distance — an unrelenting and grueling 15 rounds. Though it was Ali’s first professional loss (what he considered a crushing blow), he earned incredible respect for his legendary endurance. When you’re a Capricorn, you don’t always have to win to win.
Looking over a list of Capricorn actors, it’s clear they’re well respected in their field for their professionalism and excellence – Ben Kingsley, Denzel Washington, Anthony Hopkins. James Earl Jones once suffered from a severe childhood stutter, and was considered functionally mute for 8 years. Today his deep, resonate voice is as impressive as his stage presence. Frequently Capricorn performers are discrete and private. They let their work speak for itself and enjoy long careers as the reward for their dedication. And work they do. A lot. Capricorns don’t know how not to work. This probably has to do with Capricorn’s ruling planet, which is Saturn. Saturn is not a popular planet. Its lessons are of structure, restriction, rules – lessons that are learned over time, or hard labor. In short, these are the lessons that are earned. If you’re looking for the Super Lotto Big Win, you’ve come to the wrong planet. OK, so again, not flashy, but they have quality over quantity – substance. These are not your trendy, Lady Gaga types.
One of the most lovely qualities of the sign, and easily overlooked is the selfless legacy they can leave. It’s not always about money or institutions. Sometimes it’s a change in the course of human events. As influential as they are, you might be surprised to find a number of humble heroes born under this sign. Joan of Arc (January 15th) was a simple French peasant girl with no military training or aspirations when her leadership led the French to miraculous victories in the 100 Years War, paving the way for the coronation of King Charles VII. Albert Schweitzer (January 14th) was a German humanitarian, philosopher, physician, missionary and Nobel Peace Prize recipient who funneled his high ideals into the reverence for life. He was once referred to as “the world’s greatest living nonpolitical person.” And then there was a preacher named Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15th) who needs no introduction. I was born post-civil rights movement, so it’s difficult for me to even imagine the mountain of bigotry and oppression faced by people of color back then. His galvanizing leadership and dedication to the non-violent fight against oppression forever changed history. Who in 1960 would have imagined we’d have an African American President in 50 years. That’s the thing about Capricorns – they can change the world. It may take time, so sometimes you may not even see it happening, but they do, because they continue until they fulfill their mission, or will die trying.
I can’t help but feel I’ve short shrifted this sign. It’s possible I’ll feel that way with all of the signs, but I have a particular fondness for the underappreciated goat. Of course the charming Libras will win you over, those flashy Leos will captivate a room, but the unassuming Capricorns will sit quietly in the corner, observing. If you’re lucky, you’ll decide to sit next to one, and find yourself rapt in conversation. Whenever I try to encapsulate them in one word, the one that always comes up is intriguing. Not a common word and I don’t think I’ve ever heard it associated with Capricorn. It’s more from personal observation. For the Capricorns I’ve encountered I’ve sensed a richness, a depth and yet a simplicity that’s almost intimidating. It’s as if you instantly know how much time you’d have to invest to fully understand them -to peer into the wisdom of their lives which seems to have an elegant and weathered patina. And yet, you hesitate to crack the spine of that richly labored tome. It would be a shame if you don’t intend to read the entire masterpiece. It’s daunting, tantalizing, inspiring and still unapproachable. How many of us have the endurance to step up to these mountain climbers, to have a fraction of their commitment and vision? And yet with all they’ve accomplished, experienced and sometimes survived, they have another mysterious quality to them—a humility that seems strangely inappropriate. It’s as if they understand that despite all they’ve achieved, it’s far less than they’d planned or hoped. There’s still so much more to do, more than they could in their lifetime. So all that they’ve done becomes an ennobled legacy and a challenge for the hand outstretched to grasp the baton and carry on…