Yuletide Super moon, Stars and Stones

Photo by Alexey Chudin on Pexels.com

Today is a new moon in Capricorn. It is also a super moon- the moon at perigee, closest in its orbit to the earth, and at its most powerful even though unseen, while the asteroid Chiron, ‘the wounded healer’ stations direct after being retrograde since July. Symbolically, a time of powerful memories; mending and healing. Christmas time always brings a tallying, a counting of heads and faces round tables, present and past. There are more ghost stories attached to Christmas than to Halloween.

The vein is thin again.

Orion is spectacular right now, striding westwards in the southern sky. It is the season of the brightest stars, as seen in the northern hemisphere. The story of the Star of Bethlehem, or Christmas Star, appears in the nativity story of the Gospel of Matthew chapter 2 where “wise men from the East” are inspired by the star to travel to Jerusalem. These magi were later re-designated kings, but they may well have been astronomers.

Norah Lofts wrote a novel, ‘How Far to Bethlehem?’ published 1965 in which she retells the story.

Melchior had never seen anything like it; the star was so bright, so full of tragedy and glory. He knew at once that it was his task to find the child and warn its parents. But Melchior was old, poor and unwise in the ways of men. Providence took him to the barbarian king, Gaspar, who wanted to know if this great King in the East would be a threat to his empire. It was Balthazar, the escaped slave with a wonderful knowledge of languages, who helped them find their way across hazardous and violent country to Judea. Just as the three men began their journey, a young girl stood bravely before her betrothed husband in Nazareth trying to find the words to tell him that she was pregnant. Not only was the child not his but she had never known a man. How could she make him understand that their destiny was to raise the Christ-child together? 

Astronomers speculate that the Star of Bethlehem may have been a

*supernova

*comet

*triple conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn c 7-5 BC

*conjunction of Jupiter, Regulus (little prince) and Venus (birth).

Read more HERE

We are in the first decan of Capricorn territory, the element of earth. The quality is cardinal. These natives are instigators, initiators and executors; natural born leaders, naturalists and historians. Their drive is to inquire, build, conserve and consolidate.

The first decan of Capricorn is associated in the Tarot with the Two of Pentacles/Coins/Disks-or Stones.

The Illuminati Tarot

The symbolism here is bridge building, or juggling resources.

Vladimir Putin is a Libra subject, but this card has previously shown his ambition to create a new land bridge, joining port to port. He will join a Russian controlled corridor Mariupol all the way to Kaliningrad if only he can. Though it isn’t looking as though he can though he may have another go at taking Odessa, thus land locking Ukraine, hence the recent public display of talks with Lukashenko.

But should he launch a new front in Transnistria come the New Year, this may be the ultimate aim. What if Germany, using Putin’s same arguments, decided it wanted to liberate Kalingrad, and take it back…decided it was still Konigsberg, actually.

In more general terms Capricorn says, what do we mean by homeland?

It is my mother’s birthday today. A true Queen of Pentacles, daughter of Demeter, she wrote this poem:

The Stone People

We are the people and we are the stones

The greater the stones, the higher we stand

We are the stones, our feet in the earth

And under the earth and over the ground

The shape of the stones is the shape of the land

And the shape of the land shapes us

And the shape that we are says who we are

And the shape of the land is us

And the stones where we are is the place where we are

And the place where we are is us

And we are the stones and our bones are the stones

And the stones are us, are us

When we are not here to hold hands in our ring

To talk and plan as we must

You can hear the beat of our stony feet

In the circles that stand for us

-Margaret Whyte

from ‘Mrs Noah Lives In The Real World.’

People of the stones. Our natal, native, physically formative patch of ground can be identified thousands of years after our death by the mineral profile of our teeth.

Castlerigg, Cumbria, UK, via Wiki

The lucky stone particularly associated with this time of year is the Moss Agate. It is not a true agate, as it is not banded, but is counted in this family and considered a semi-precious crystal. It’s made of silicon dioxide and chalcedony. The hue comes from emerald ore and a minute quantity of metallic particles, such as iron or chrome.

In superstitious or magical terms it stands for Earth itself and the element of water on Earth. It is said to be a wealth attractor; to soothe anger and calm grief, and to protect against atmospheric pollutants.

Season’s Greetings. I’ll leave you with We Three Kings…wait for the bagpipes-are they Northumbrian pipes-or Persian?

Songs of Solstice; Capricorn climbing, the mountain goat and the Gate of the Gods

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Yesterday we entered we enter the zodiac territory of Capricorn on the day of the winter solstice. But what is the story behind the zodiac sign of Capricorn the Cosmic Sea-Goat?

 

Traditional associations

Symbol:

Date of Birth: 21 Dec to 20 January approx

Ruling planet: Saturn

Lucky Day: Saturday    Lucky Numbers: 2 and 8

Element: Earth

Quality: Cardinal (the start of the season of winter) Is receptive but equally an initiator.

Key phrase:  I build, I use

Body:  Skin, knees, skeletal system

Birth Stone:  Red Garnet and Black Onyx

Colour:  Deep red

Herbs/Flowers: Wintergreen, Ivy, Carnation

Tarot card:  The Devil (Pan/Nature, Mystery, Fascination, Obsession, Entrapment) This card paints him as rather a seductive, beguiling beast. One can appreciate the artist’s take on this. The Devil is also the angel of the Morning Star, fallen or not. And if he is hideous and stinky, who is going to let him anywhere near them? Whom shall he snare? Who is going to fall for his tricks?

From The Gilded Tarot Royale, Ciro Marchetti

The Major Arcana Tarot card representing Capricorn is Number 15, The Devil, representing all of animal nature and natural drives and charisma on the positive side, and fear, addiction, obsession and entrapment on the negative side.

Capricorn must and will have its autonomy. It will rather do without than find itself in dependency on another, at the cost of its dignity, and integrity of personal sovereignty.

Other Tarot cards associated with Capricorn are The Ace, the Queen of Pentacles, and the 2, 3 and 4 of Pentacles.

Psalm 46: 10 says “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted in the Earth.”

Capricorn says all living things are God, including dung beetles, and any creature we don’t like. All living things, all Life, is exalted in the Earth.

From the Legacy of The Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

Astronomy

The constellation of Capricornus from which the sun sign gets its name is located in an area of sky known as The Sea or The Water, containing other water-related constellations including Aquarius, Pisces and the River, Eridanus.

Wiki

Like other constellations of the astrological zodiac, Capricorn was first catalogued by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the 2nd century.

Capricorn means Horn of the Goat from the Latin Capri cornus. “Capri” = goat, “Cornus” = horn. You can- with just a bit of a stretch- imagine the constellation as a goat’s face, looking at you with horns either side of its head.

Capricornus is the smallest constellation in the zodiac, with no first magnitude stars. Even so, the brightest star, Delta Capricorni A, is a white giant with a luminosity 8.5 times that of the Sun.

Capricornus has three stars with known planets and contains a Messier object, Messier 30, a globular cluster 28,000 light years distant and about 90 light years across in size. This cluster is approaching us at the speed of 181.9 km/s, and was one of the first deep sky objects discovered by Charles Messier in 1764.

There are five meteor showers associated with Capricornus: the Alpha Capricornids, the Chi Capricornids, the Sigma Capricornids, the Tau Capricornids and the Capricorniden-Sagittarids.

Neptune in Capricorn

The planet Neptune was discovered in the constellation Capricornus, near Deneb Algedi, the brightest star in the tail of the goat, on September 23, 1846.

This illustrates a powerful mythic connection between earth sign Capricorn and the deep water sign of Pisces the Fishes. This connection is many ages old and goes back to the Babylonians 21 centuries BC. We shall explore this connection more closely in a moment.

How did the ancients know? How could they have known, to have come up with the story of the Sea-Goat? So far as we aware, they could not have known about Neptune to have made any such connection. And yet they did, as we shall see.

Natural History

Though Capricornus is the second faintest constellation in the sky after Cancer, its story lineage is very ancient indeed. Mountain Goats, the ibex, were depicted in Ice Age paintings.

The European ibex male starts fighting for territory and mating in December, and in modern astrology, as distinct from modern astronomy, Capricorn’s rule begins today at the solstice, although meteorological winter starts 1 December.

Capricorn the constellation itself is actually overhead nowadays during Aquarius, due to the wobble of the Earth, an effect known as precession, but the sun sign named after Capricornus retains the dates accorded to it by Ptolemy.

Mythology

Capricorn is commonly represented in the form of a sea-goat: a mythical creature half goat, half-fish. This creature is Pricus, another son of Cronos (Time) king of the mer-goats of Greek myth. (Presumably this makes Capricorn a brother of Zeus.)

The story of Pricus the Sea-Goat comes from an evolution story far older than the mythos of ancient Greece.  Before 1000 BC the Sumerians knew Capricorn as the goat-fish, or SUHUR-MASH-HA.

The children of Pricus left the sea to dwell on mountains, leaving him alone in the oceans with no-one to talk to any more. And Pricus was a great teacher.

He was very lonely now, all the young ones gone. Zeus placed him in the Sea of the Stars so that he could see his children again, and they could look up from the mountain sides and still see him, and remember where they first came from. Out of the sea, like us, and everything else that now lives on land.

Later myths centre on stories of sun gods nursed by a she-goat, one of the best known of which is the story of the baby Zeus. whose mother Rhea hid him from his murderous father Cronos. They took refuge in a mountain cave where he was nursed by the she-goat Amalthea

Another story talks about the forest deity Pan, who has the legs and horns of a goat, like Krotos, his son, a great archer and devotee of the Muses, who is identified with the neighbouring constellation Sagittarius in an alternative version of the Chiron legend.

Pan, so the legend said, was placed in the sky by Zeus in gratitude after he came to the rescue of other gods after an epic battle with the Titans, when they were fleeing the monster Typhon, son of the Titan Tartarus and Earth.

Typhon was truly fearsome, a fire-breathing creature, higher than mountains and with dragons’ heads instead of fingers. The Olympian gods disguised themselves as they fled in terror: Zeus disguised as a ram – Hera, as a white cow, and Pan as a goat (another version of the myth suggests Bacchus/Dionysus).

Source: Wiki Fandom

Horrors! Typhon caught Zeus and dismembered him, thinking perhaps to enjoy a rare treat of Jupiter-sized lamb chops for tea. Bbut then Pan played such a weird sound on his pan pipes, he terrified Typhon, who panicked just long enough for Hermes to swoop down and snatch up all the bits of Zeus and put him back together.

In gratitude, Zeus transferred Pan to a luxury pad in the heavens as Capricornus, and later, finally managed to trick Typhon, trapping and imprisoning trap him in Tartarus or beneath Mount Etna where he still grumbles to this day, swearing to get even, or starts roaring and shooting out flames in his furious efforts to escape.

This from Pindar, Greek lyric poet….

among them is he who lies in dread Tartarus, that enemy of the gods, Typhon with his hundred heads. Once the famous Cilician cave nurtured him, but now the sea-girt cliffs above Cumae, and Sicily too, lie heavy on his shaggy chest. And the pillar of the sky holds him down, snow-covered Aetna, year-round nurse of bitter frost, from whose inmost caves belch forth the purest streams of unapproachable fire. In the daytime her rivers roll out a fiery flood of smoke, while in the darkness of night the crimson flame hurls rocks down to the deep plain of the sea with a crashing roar. That monster shoots up the most terrible jets of fire; it is a marvellous wonder to see, and a marvel even to hear about when men are present. Such a creature is bound beneath the dark and leafy heights of Aetna and beneath the plain, and his bed scratches and goads the whole length of his back stretched out against it

Neo-Platonism

Another legend says that while the souls of those about to be born descend to Earth through the constellation of Cancer, via the Beehive Cluster, the souls of the dead return to the cosmic seas from whence they came, ascending again through the stars of Capricorn – The Gate of the Gods. I am told this idea also features in Serbian mythology.

Astrology

Capricorn is a cardinal earth sign, ruled by the planet Saturn, stern planet of self-reliance, self-discipline, duty, responsibility, conservation, patience, limitations and restrictions. Cardinal signs usher in a new season. Aries ushers in the spring, Cancer the summer, Libra the autumn and Capricorn is the usher of winter.

The Capricorn Archetype

All the zodiac signs represent archetypes, meaning something that is considered to be a perfect or typical example of a particular kind of person or thing.

The zodiac signs paint a ‘typical’ portrait of a person born at a particular time of year, in a particular season. A baby born in summer arrives into a different physical environment from a winter baby; with differences of temperature, hours of daylight, maternal diet during pregnancy and so on, with potentially different effects.

The archetype of Capricorn is the Ruler, the Wise Elder, Protector, Organizer and Provider.

The story of Capricorn, as mentioned earlier, was first inspired by the tough but agile mountain ibex. December and January is mating season, when the male ibex fights for territory.

Photo by Anna Perkas on Pexels.com

Capricorn is a worker and a fighter with the strength, intelligence, stamina and determination to overcome hardships and master its environment.

Capricorn is a pragmatist with strong ethics. Capricorn is not sentimental, but all the same, Capricorn is a rock for the people in their lives. They may wear a serious face, but they will do what it takes to care for their loved ones, and will work longer and harder to do this than almost any other zodiac sign. These people express their devotion through deeds, not words, practical action. They will be the person who builds a fire for others to warm their hands at.

The court card of Capricorn is the Queen of Pentacles. The King of Pentacles may also be used to represent a Capricorn native, male or female, in a reading

The Touchstone Tarot, Kat Black

Card Meanings: queen of earth, earth mother, a wise woman, hedge witch, a vet, conservationist, farmer, ecologist, financial, business woman, Gaia, Demeter, a practical woman, grounded, wise,  instinctive, knowledgeable, prudent

She will put the food on the table. She will make things beautiful. When she finds a mess, she will clear it up. Help her or don’t help her. But don’t get in her way.

Venus retrograde in Capricorn

Venus, planet of love, beauty, luxury and therefore finance- and also vulcanicity is retrograde in Capricorn at the moment, 19- 29 December.

It is not only Mars who can wage war. Oh no. Basalt planet Venus is Aphrodite, the deity and genius loci of Sicily, home of Etna. Not for nothing was she married to the smith of the Gods, Vulcan or Hephaestus…even if she did cheat on him with Mars/Ares.

Here then in astrological terms is volcanic activity here on Capricornian Earth, and this year it is happening in Capricorn season, literal or metaphorical. Here is vulcanicity. La Palma. Mount Semeru.

Here in human dealings this month is an undercurrent of beauty on the back foot, or beauty demanding its dues. Shall it smoulder or shall it erupt this month?

“For beauty, we will pay. “- Kraftwerk, The Model.

Capricorn can seem almost superhuman, like Duracell bunny-goats, virtually tireless. This persistence, this determination ensures their ultimate success at anything that demands their attention or they find worthy of their interest.

They are not do-gooders but they are very conscious of their obligations to others, quick to pay their debts and if someone does them a favour, they will not rest until it is returned, as a matter of personal dignity and to safeguard their space, freedom and autonomy as much as anything else.

Capricorn

But of course there is no such thing in reality as THE Capricorn personality. You are a unique individual. Your zodiac sign (sun sign) is a major keynote, but it is nothing like the full picture in real life – or in astrology.  There are many other factors in play; your rising sign, your Moon sign, the planets in your houses, your decan and the degree of the actual day you were born. So for one thing, if you don’t feel like a ‘typical’ Capricorn, perhaps you are a second or third decan Capricorn, rather than a ‘most typical’ first decan Capricorn.

What are the decans?

The Zodiac is a belt of sky tracking the path of the sun across the sky over the course of the year. We call this pathway of the sun ‘the ecliptic,’ and the zodiac belt shares this same pathway. The paths of the Moon and visible planets are all contained within the belt of the zodiac. Each zodiac sign represents a 30 degree section of this belt. Each sign is then sub-divided into three blocks of ten degrees, equalling about ten days in length, with slight variations.

This gives us the zodiac decans, from the Latin meaning ten. They are sometimes nicknamed ‘the thirty- six faces of astrology,’ because they add more human faces to the story. The decans break down the story of each zodiac sign into three, more in-depth chapters, affording extra insight into your sign, and what it means in real life.

First Decan Capricorn

Capricorn-Capricorn

Dates: 22 December-31 December

Planetary rulers: Saturn-Saturn

Tarot card: Two Pentacles

From The Gilded Tarot

Card meanings:  juggling of finances, putting eggs in different baskets, being in two places at once, juggling jobs and responsibilities, or two jobs, commuting, relocation, infinity, the ever changing balance

This Capricorn decan does not suffer fools gladly. This is a serious, profound and powerfully minded individual. Many people want to know them, and they are people people, yet they are cautious and have few truly intimate friends. But those friends are true and lasting, while many others come and go.

They have a dry, wry, droll sense of humour, a keen sense of the ridiculous, and a sense of fun, but others who are less confident can feel intimidated by their intelligence. They have gravitas with a natural personality authority which some may find challenging. This decan will not be pushed around, any more than the mountain ibex doing battle on the side of the mountain is ready to give way to its rival without a fierce fight.

This decan dislikes whatever it considers cheap and easy sentiment, but is utterly devoted in a pragmatic, non-demonstrative way, to those they love and will show it in their deeds, whether or not they say it with words, seemingly so fearless, whether they really are afraid or not, and so sure of foot on the rockiest of mountain slopes.

Famous first decan Capricorns in history:  Johannes Kepler, Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, Ava Gardner, Woodrow Wilson, Mao Tse-Tung

Second Decan

Capricorn-Taurus

Dates:  1 January-10 January

Planetary rulers: Saturn-Venus

Tarot card: Three Pentacles

From The Gilded Tarot

Card Meanings: skill, study, patience, taking care, taking pride in your work, arts, crafts, beauty, heritage, architecture, cooperation, teamwork

This decan is also a serious individual but somewhat less forthright in manner, more easygoing and ruled by Venus, cheerful, agreeable and with softer edges all round. This decan in general is the most artistic or musical Capricorn, though again, the style is low key. This person is usually considered highly trustworthy, and generally deserves that reputation, while they themselves are cautious of trusting others. They crave beautiful surroundings and creature comforts. (Well, who doesn’t?) Their physical appearance matters to them a great deal, from which we can see an added tragedy for some of the famous subjects of this decan.

Famous Second Decan Capricorn subjects: Joan of Arc, Louis Braille, Elvis Presley, Richard Nixon, Michael Schumacher, Stephen Hawking

Third Decan Capricorn

Capricorn-Virgo

Dates: 11 January-19 January

Planetary ruler: Saturn-Mercury

Tarot card-Four of Pentacles

From The Gilded Tarot

Card Meanings: thrift, prudence, saving money, holding on to money, hoarding, investing, saving, preserving, conserving resources, damage limitation, self- protection, the need for order, stability and freedom from worry

This decan, ruled by Mercury, is something of a perfectionist; curious, analytical, rational and intellectual, somewhat changeable. Saturn’s overarching influence will tend to make this Mercurial Capricorn more practical and cautious than Mercury subjects of the other zodiac signs, but they may not need to work so much as the other Capricorn decans to get where they need to be, helped by that agile Mercury influence, balanced by the conscientiousness of Virgo. They drive themselves very hard and can get bogged down, obsessing  over detail in

They are deep, serious, and thoughtful, but are quick witted and up for fun, and may be happiest with a lively, interesting partner, who can help them take their mind off their own preoccupations and lift their mood when they walk in after a hard day.

Famous Decan 3 Capricorn subjects: Martin Luther King Junior, Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin, Aristotle, Kevin Costner

Many Happy Returns, dear Capricorn. This video makes me think of you.

 

Juggling With The Two of Pentacles

Photo by Lina Kivaka on Pexels.com

The Two of Pentacles is the minor arcana Tarot card associated with the first Decan of Capricorn according to Western (Tropical) astrology. The first Decan of Capricorn runs 21 December-31 December.

And as we enter the first Decan of Capricorn….Kent is the seething focus of national attention in the UK. We have a new crisis of the Medway, but this time it is not a hostile foreign maritime engagement as such, or not directly. It is not the Dutch, but the now swiftly accelerating misery of the new strain of coronavirus.

Plus, for good measure, there has been -still is- a 48 hour blockade by France, more than 600 lorries queuing on the M20, trapping unfortunate drivers, unable to get home via the ferry to France or going through the Channel Tunnel. This, ostensibly, in an effort by France to prevent or minimize the arrival of the new coronavirus strain. This seems an understandable response to such a threat, but many of those trapped are EU nationals, and the new strain is already in Europe. This new strain, which was identified in September, has apparently been identified in Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands- and also Australia.

17:22 today: Source Highways England

This is being resolved apparently, as I am typing this, or so Il Matrimonio informs me, shouting through from the other room, watching the News on the wretched shrieking box.

And all this with less than ten days to go until the end of the Brexit Transition period 31 December. There is speculation that if a Deal is managed…and the signs suggest a further UK compromise is on the table, to the great relief of many, and the huge misgivings and disappointment of many others…then Parliament may be recalled to vote on such a Deal on 30 December.

So. A prudent and timely precaution or a politically driven act of aggression?

Covid or Brexit?

Dover, ah, Dover. Topped with its castle founded in the 11th century. So much history here, defining moments, witnessed by this giant stone sentinel overlooking -guarding -the shortest sea crossing, those mere twenty one miles, between England and the Continent.

Wiki Dover Castle

Today, as we enter the first Decan of the zodiac sign of Capricorn, ruled by Saturn, the ultimate planet of material power, restriction, rules and the bottom line, you can see it for yourself.

It is all suggested here in this card.

Tweeted Today

“Entering 1st decan Capricorn, cardinal earth, the minor #Tarot card is 2 Pentacles. A card of commuting or coping- just about. A need to take stock, simplify, rationalize before we ‘drop the ball.’ Tricky balancing act, little spare or slack in the system. IMG Gilded Tarot Royale”

From The Gilded Tarot Royale

Traditional meanings for this card: ambition, determination, keeping one’s own counsel, a difficult juggling act, running to keep up, commuting, managing material affairs, embarrassment, moving money between accounts, just getting by, robbing Peter to pay Paul, a need to rationalize and simplify.

This is not what you would call a BAD card. Not by any means. But it’s not an easy or sustainable situation either. Study the image, think of coronavirus and if you are in the UK, the imminent end of the Brexit Transition period, and the challenges are manifestly symbolized and reflected in this imagery.

Here is a negotiation, a juggling act of competing interests. The Pentacles themselves represent territory, money, goods, and the movement of goods.

Here is fishing. Note the dolphin. Just wait till the next super trawler comes along and swoops it up as ‘side-catch’. Let’s hope there’s good news there.

My cards have always shown me that Brexit would happen, and there were times, this seemed in real doubt, but also they never shown me a consistently, strong signal for a No Deal (WTO) Brexit. Nor have they shown A DEAL from which I could only conclude it will be a scenario of SOME DEAL.

But, since 2016 I have consistently been shown a picture of onward forward progress over the coming decade via a new era of UK independence, as shown by the maritime card, the Six of Swords. It may or may not seem like a ‘fudge.’

But this ‘ship’ The Britannia IS inexorably pulling away from the EU berth. We have a very long and complicated relationship. It will always be complicated. The history of the British Isles, its unique melting-pot of the many peoples, and the many waves of invasions that forged it, is the reason why. We are too near, but not near enough. Too far away, but not far enough.

Here in the Two of Pentacles, earthy though it is, we are shown a coastline, ie, a natural border. We see the figure, claiming ownership of territorial waters, a mercantile vessel in the near distance.

The Two of Pentacles is talking here in real time, but also acting in character right here in its designated astrological time slot.

Here is synchronicity of Tarot imagery, working in real time again.

Take care. Stay safe.

Till next time 🙂

Capricorn the Cosmic Sea Goat, Warrior Ibex and the Gate of the Gods

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Common associations

Symbol:

Date of Birth: 21 Dec to 20 January

Ruling planet: Saturn

Lucky Day: Saturday    Lucky Numbers 2 and 8

Energy: Yin

Element: Earth

Quality: Cardinal (the start of the season of winter)

Key phrase:  I build, I use

Body:  Skin, knees, skeletal system

Birth Stone:  Red Garnet and Black Onyx

Colour:  Deep red

Herbs/Flowers: Wintergreen, Ivy, Carnation

Tarot card:  The Devil (Pan/Nature, Earth, Will-Power, Determination, Mystery, Fascination, Charisma, Need, Hunger, Entrapment)

The Devil from The Gilded Tarot

The Astronomy

Wiki Capricorn: The Gate of The Gods

Capricornus is thought to be the oldest recognized constellation, just as its subjects are known for being born as old souls, wise beyond their years. Its name is Latin for ‘horned goat’ or ‘having horns like a goat’s,’ and it is commonly represented in the form of a sea-goat: a mythical creature half-goat, half-fish, Pricus, the son of Chronos (Time.)

The constellation of Capricornus from which the zodiac sign gets its name is located in an area of sky known as ‘The Sea’ or ‘The Water’, containing other water-related constellations including Aquarius, Pisces and Eridanus, the Celestial River, which is the sixth largest of the 88 modern listed constellations.

Capricornus is best seen in the northern hemisphere in the southern sky, early evenings in September. Capricornus is the smallest constellation in the zodiac, with no first magnitude stars. Not easy to find, you will need clear skies. Even so, its brightest star, The Tail of the Goat, or Deneb Algedi (Delta Capricorni A) is a white giant with a luminosity 8.5 times that of our Sun.

Capricornus has three stars with known planets, and contains a Messier object, Messier 30, a globular cluster 28,000 light years distant and about 90 light years across in size. This cluster is approaching us at the speed of 181.9 km/s and was one of the first deep sky objects discovered by Charles Messier in 1764.

Five meteor showers are associated with Capricornus: the Alpha Capricornids, the Chi Capricornids, the Sigma Capricornids, the Tau Capricornids, and the Capricorniden-Sagittarids.

The planet Neptune was discovered in the constellation Capricornus, near Deneb Algedi, the brightest star in the tail of the goat, on September 23, 1846.

Neptune is not visible to the naked eye. Galileo saw it first, in 1612 -13 but he mistook it for a fixed star as it was retrograde at the time of viewing. Read more about Neptune and its discovery here

By Justin Cowart – https://www.flickr.com/photos/132160802@N06/29347980845/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=82476611

It is curious that this Neptune connection was so recently discovered, in the face of an existing ancient mythic connection between Capricorn the Sea-Goat and Pisces the Fishes.

History and Mythology

Even though Capricornus is the second faintest constellation in the sky, the faintest after Cancer, its imagery is very ancient indeed, associated with myths that go back to the 21st century BC and which centre on various sun gods supposedly nursed by a she-goat.

Goats, and their relatives, ibex, were the inspiration, as depicted in Ice Age paintings.,

In the early Bronze Age, the arrival overhead of the constellation Capricornus coincided with the winter solstice and, in modern astrology (as distinct from astronomy) we enter the zodiac sign of Capricorn’s rule on the turning point of the winter solstice.

Male ibex start fighting and mating during early winter, December and January, coinciding with the dates first ascribed to Capricorn. The constellation of Capricorn itself is no longer overhead at the time of the winter solstice due to the wobble of the earth, an effect known as precession,and now appears overhead in late January, during the dates of the next zodiac sign, Aquarius.

The Sumerians

Before 1000 BC the Sumerians knew Capricorn as the goat-fish, or SUHUR-MASH-HA. There appears to be a connection between Capricorn as a seagoat and Enki, the Sumerian god of wisdom and waters,  who also had the head and upper body of a goat and the lower body and tail of a fish. Enki, Later known as Ea in Akkadian and Babylonian mythology, was the god of intelligence (literally ‘ear’), creation, crafts; magic; water, seawater and lake water.

The Greeks

Pricus was king of the mer-goats in a Greek evolution myth. The children of Pricus left the sea to dwell on the mountains, leaving him alone in the oceans, very sad and alone with no-one to care for or teach any more- and Pricus was a great teacher.

Zeus placed him in the Sea of the Stars so that he could see his children again, and they could look up and see him.

But the constellation is nowadays more widely associated with two mythical creatures from Greek legends: the deity Pan, and the she-goat Amalthea who suckled the baby Zeus, although these legends, like the other Greek legends, came in turn from far more ancient stories.

Photo by Niklas Jeromin on Pexels.com
Pan-Bacchus, a set of pipes, and the terrible Typhon

Pan, so the legend said, was placed in the sky by Zeus in gratitude after he came to the rescue of the Olympian gods when they sought refuge in Egypt after an epic battle with the monster Typhon, son of the Titan Tartarus and Earth.

Typhon wanted revenge on the Olympic gods because they had overthrown his own race, the Titans who had ruled before Zeus defeated them, and he was one terrifying adversary, a fearsome fire-breathing creature, higher than mountains and with dragons’ heads instead of fingers. He had the gods of Olympia on the run, and they tried to escape by adopting various disguises: Zeus, a ram – Hera, a white cow, and Bacchus (or another version of the myth suggests Pan)- a goat.

Zeus had the unpleasant experience of being caught and dismembered by Typhon, who was presumably not fooled by the ram disguise, or otherwise had worked up an appetite, with all that raging, and just fancied lamb chops for tea.

Happily for Zeus, Bacchus/Pan played a sound on his pipes, ‘panikos’  -from which we get the word ‘panic’ – and this earsplitting sound disorientated or ‘panicked’ Typhon long enough for an agile Hermes to collect the limbs and restore Zeus to life, and he was so grateful not to be served up with mint sauce that he raised Bacchus/Pan to the heavens as the constellation Capricornus.

And so, thanks to the magic of the pan-pipes, Zeus lived to fight another day. He eventually managed to trick Typhon, and trapped him beneath Mount Etna…though he still tries to escape.

The Gate of The Gods

Neo-Platonic/Chaldean philosophy said that while the souls of those about to be born descended to Earth through the constellation of Cancer, the gate of the summer solstice, arriving through M44, the star cluster known as the Beehive Cluster, the souls of the newly dead return to the cosmic sea, ascending through the Gate of the Gods, the star-gate of Capricorn.

Beehive Cluster

The Astrology

There is no such thing in reality as THE Capricorn personality and the same goes for all the zodiac sun signs. Your sun sign is an archetype, a keynote but of course it is not and never could be the whole story.

The archetype of Capricorn, the tenth sign of the zodiac, and the House ruling material affairs, is shrewd, wise, even Gnostic. They are profound thinkers, deeply inquiring, and with a wry sense of humour, self-reliant, stoic in the face of adversity, hard-working, determined and resilient.

They have high standards, and expect much of themselves but also others, which, depending on other aspects of their astrological portrait, can make them stern, demanding or even overbearing task-masters, holding others to their own very high standards of conduct, or their own preferred way of doing things.

They are sometimes accused of dourness, lacking a sense of humour but this is absolutely not the case. It is just that they are choosy of their company. Capricorn has a dry wit, a keen sense of the absurd, and loves a good joke.

Conversely, the Saturn influence can make them seem somewhat downbeat, cynical and suspicious, seeing traps and problems everywhere, quick to issue corrections, or to douche cold water, viewing the enthusiasm of others as ill advised or naïve.

Capricorn is no-one’s fool. Capricorn carries its own weight, and very often the weight of others too.

But however far it climbs, Capricorn is dignified, canny, circumspect, proud but not vainglorious. Capricorn climbs the mountain to see the world. It does not climb so that the world will see Capricorn.  

However many are watching.

“Duties are what make life most worth the living. Lacking them, you are not necessary to anyone. And this would be like living in an empty space. Or not being alive at all.”- Marlene Dietrich, born Dec 27, 1901

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