©2003-5 by Diana Stone

The Sun normally transits the sign Capricorn from December 22 to January 19. You may think that this does not apply to you. “I’m not a Capricorn.” Don’t be so sure! What you mean is that your Sun Sign is not Capricorn. The rising sign is a place in your horoscope that is calculated from your birth TIME. Capricorn is the rising sign approximately two hours EVERY DAY. That stamps you with the sign of the goat also. That’s not all. The planet Saturn will carry the themes of Capricorn into your horoscope if it is strategically placed; i.e., close to your Sun, Moon or rising sign. This all goes to say that a professional astrologer must analyze the complexities of the entire chart to identify any particular theme. See if this describes anyone YOU know.

You don’t have to be an astrologer, however, to recognize some of the psychological patterns typical of a sign. One Capricorn theme, certainly not the only one, I call the Parent pattern. As is the case with almost all the patterns, this one begins in childhood. The early environment is such that the child becomes the Little Adult; he or she doesn’t really get to be a kid. The early parental influences are such that the child makes a psychological decision: “In order to survive I must be responsible for myself.” The Capricorn themes become translated into a subconscious pattern that will be acted out in adult life. It screens out assistance and intimacy with others

So what are the behaviors and life experiences that are driven by the hidden subconscious decision made as a child? The individual plays the role of the giving, responsibility-taking Parent. The role of the spontaneous Child that receives from others is avoided because of the childhood decision that this is a position of vulnerability. Typically, the Parent person marries the psychological Child to balance out the archetype. The partner then carries the themes of immaturity, irresponsibility and neediness. Of course, this drives the responsibility-oriented Capricorn-type person up the wall.

This pattern is not limited in its expression to only committed relationships. The Parent can be found on the job. They are good in leadership positions or running their own business. They may be very critical and complain that their employees are helpless children, however. In friendship relationships, they must do more for you than you do for them. They may feel very uncomfortable if someone surprises them with a gift for no apparent reason. They often have trouble asking for help, and if they do, they insist on paying.

Capricorn is a sign oriented toward work and career. It can be ambitious and driven. The aspirations and early childhood role modeling often produce the workaholic. One message commonly given to kids with Capricorn as the rising sign particularly is that nothing is quite good enough. There can be very heavy critical messages. The pattern of conditional acceptance lies with this tenth sign of the zodiac. Love and approval hangs on performance and the contract is good for one day. You must start all over tomorrow. It embraces outer appearances. Personal feelings and desires play second fiddle to what the neighbors will think.

Capricorn is where we find feelings of guilt, fear and depression. There can be a pessimistic turn of mind. The emotions are regarded as interfering with the business at hand. Repression of the emotions may lead to depression, the negative side of Capricorn.



Capricorn is the sign that describes our relationship to the physical, material world at large. Our most important consideration in that regard is survival and everything necessary to physically survive. In Western countries this may expand to a job, money, a car or a power wardrobe. If the child has a childhood that is abusive or otherwise troubled, he or she may project this experience onto the world at large and see life as all-powerful and hostile over which they have little control. On the other hand, if the child’s early security needs are met we are more likely see the powerful, responsible leader who is interested in everyone being safe and willing to work in that direction. It is associated with people in the professions.

Capricorn also relates to the natural laws of the physical world, or nature. No matter how powerful we are, we will not stop the earth from spinning on its axis. We will always be outclassed by nature. The natural laws are translated into the laws of the land in every culture. This establishes the judiciary where you will find many Goats sitting on the high bench. The most successful Capricorns do not buck the system that is more powerful than they. They learn the rules of the game and this provides adequate latitude for the expression of their best traits.

How any individual relates to the powerful forces over which we have no control will depend on the early influence of the family. If the child experiences abuse and powerlessness, this is projected onto life itself. The world then appears dangerous and threatening producing a personality driven by fears. As a result there may be career problems and trouble with authoritarian types.



Capricorn is a conservative sign. It is about tradition and basic values. It relates to the past and what needs to be preserved from the past, hence their tendency to favor the status quo and resist change. Careers that resonate with this theme are archeologists, historians, antique dealers and genealogists. In the soul of many Capricorns is a yearning to return to past times and for things to “be like they used to be.”

Control is a major theme here. It is expressed in different forms. They may exhibit controlling behaviors or repress the emotions. They themselves are sometimes the ones controlled by other people and circumstances. Their inclination to be in control is fundamentally based on a strong need for security for the self and also others. There is an inner feeling that it is safer with them in charge. This can be overdone, of course.

If your Capricorn friends can let go of total control, accept help, honor the emotional issues in life and do not work themselves to death, you will have people who will always be there to help with no strings attached, do what they say and preserve traditions that create stability in your circle and in the world. They often have a wonderfully sophisticated dry wit and will never embarrass you in public.


This series on the twelve signs of the zodiac is adapted from Diana's column at The MetaArts. To download a copy of all twelve signs in handy booklet form, click here for a Word for Windows document or here for a PDF document. Diana also publishes a free online newsletter. If you'd like more of her wit and wisdom to appear in your mailbox from time to time, sign up here.



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