Capricorn: Sign of the Winter Solstice

capricorno59.jpgOne of the four most significant phenomena of the year occurs just a few days before Christmas. It is the magical moment of the Winter Solstice, when daylight is at its minimum in our Northern temperate region. Primitive man was terrified that the warm sun, the spring and summer would never return. It is the initial phase of the tenth zodiac sign, Capricorn, named after the mythical animal that symbolises it, a goat with the tail of a dolphin. This is the third Earth sign, preceded by Taurus and Virgo. It is also defined as 'cardinal' as it marks the beginning of a new season, in this case winter. It is commonly regarded as the sign of ambition and describes a complex and saturnine personality, so defined by the planet that rules the sign, Saturn.

Astrology is a discipline tied to the seasons and teaches that each individual draws characteristics from the period into which they were born. The cold winter between December and January suggests a closed, prickly nature, who does not take others into their confidence easily, and stimulated by the rigours of the climate to face continual hardship and difficulties, tempering a strong and decisive character. The 'goatish' side of the sign highlights their robustness, along with an apparent impoliteness, which is really a question of sobriety and getting down to the essentials, the capacity to make do with the basics in life, seeing to their inner development and their need for security.
Capricorn, the first sign of winter, highlights a difficult path that bears fruit in time, the consequence of constant and well administrated effort. The presence of Christmas in this sign is not by chance, and in effect, the exact historical date of birth of Jesus is not known. It was made to coincide with the winter solstice because it substituted the ancient winter celebration of 'Sol Invictus', the regretting of the sun becoming more 'mean' or weaker in this period, in a rite that favoured its reconciliation with humanity. It was the time of the Roman Saturnalia, energetic and bloody, a celebration directed at paying homage to Saturn-Chronos, the god of time and destiny, or Fate.
Those born in this period between December and January carry all these characteristics, that cannot feed springtime hopes or summer euphoria but simply be aware of the cold and snow, facing difficulties with courage but often without being able to gather the positive sides of life. Saturnian and Capricornian sadness is proverbial in astrology, a synonym of their capacity for resistance, of intelligence streaked with defensiveness, inborn reserve and foresight. Appearances do not particularly interest this sign, which from childhood onwards searches for protection, warmth, security and substance. They are born into a difficult period and learn immediately that they have to wait before reaching their basic objectives in life. Years or decades, it doesn't matter...