Happy Winter Solstice to all in the Northern Hemisphere (and Summer Solstice to our friends in the Southern). In the very wee hours of the night here in the Pacific time zone we slipped into the month of Capricorn, and thus turning the wheel of the year.
What does that mean -- turning the wheel? Well, Winter Solstice is considered one of the sacred 4 Quarter Days that make up the natural calendar. The others are Summer Solstice of course, and the Vernal and Autumnal Equinoxes. Each time one of these days occurs, the calendar turns another season (or mid-season, depending on your tradition's perspective).
On an astrological chart, the natural house of Capricorn is the 10th house -- right up at the top of the wheel, the last of the Quarter Days to be reached before the year and the astro chart starts over. That's fitting place, for Capricorn is the ultimate ambition machine, always driven to reach the heights as if that is some biological imperative. Fittingly, the astro-symbol of Capricorn is the goat.
But not just any goat. Definitely not Billy, and not really even a mountain goat.
It's the sea goat that is the oddly delightful symbol of Capricorn. As a mythical creature, the sea goat reflect both the driving ambition to achieve that is central to the Capricorn's nature, and the intuitive connection to the depths of being and soul, that is rarely recognized as Capricornian qualities -- unless you are a Cap yourself and know there's a lot going on under the surface all the time.
Other traits of the Capricorn that are well illustrated by the sea goat include:
using personal authority or naturally being seen as an authority
tending to see patterns in diversity
being cautious and respectful (the apolitical form of being conservative)
observing one's duty and expecting to pay dues
taking the prudent or patience course of action
sometimes mistakenly viewed as narrow-minded or conventional
good at holding boundaries and secrets
first impulses may lean towards the pessimistic
resists others' call for change, but willing to change self
showing resilience and discipline especially when challenged
shrewd minded and strategic, both wise and practical
No one is pure Capricorn, though. Few have the Moon or Ascendant in Cap, and all will inevitably have major planets in dramatically different signs to give variety and flexibility to the stereotypically unemotional and sometimes control freak Capricorn nature.
To know a Capricorn really well takes years, patience, and determination to dive with them deep into the depth of their soul and show appreciation for what they tend to keep out of the spotlight.
For this reason, the sea goat symbol is more than perfect to represent the Capricorn. It is more than 4000 years old, going back to ancient Sumaria and their god of primordial waters, Enki, who brought balance and responsibility to the cultivation of civilization and the arts of healing. Astrologically, the ancient sea goat rules the house of highest aspirations and career or public reputation.
Capricorn is also traditionally associated with authoritarian father energy as the parent that used to be the only one allowed to have ambition and public fame. Modern astrologers tend to be less gender biased, viewing the 10th house as potentially influenced by the disciplined and teacherly mother energy with strong ambitions for her children as well.
So, the Sun entered the sign of the Sea Goat early this morning, bringing attention to thoughts of what we ultimately want from our lives, just a couple days after Mercury went retrograde. As a result, we are more than usually prompted to spend some time reflecting on how our lives are working. And how we will re-envision, readjust, reframe, and recommit to our goals and dreams -- and yes, ambitions.
This week and next are perfect for doing a life or career review. Ask what you can do differently next year to create more balance, take more responsibility, and climb to greater heights or connect with the deeper levels of our own soul.
Then do a re-commitment ritual for yourself, in honor of the Solstice season, and the turning of the wheel.