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Capricorn and Capricorn Rising: You Are What You Believe

SINCE YOU’RE A Capricorn, let’s start with career. Originally I saved this part for last, in part because the whole year’s events lead up to it; chronologically it comes last, but professional developments always take time to take hold, and to have meaningful results. These are usually mingled intimately with personal growth; and that is the seemingly deeper theme of your charts.


What is interesting about the professional angle of your chart is that it has so little to do with all the conventional descriptions of Capricorn. Reading through this essay, that theme comes up over and over again. Could astrologers have this sign all wrong? Conventional wisdom would hold that you’re supposed to want authority, power and worldly involvement. In my reading of your chart, Libra in your career house says you need to do something that is beautiful and just. You would be the best judge of this. Humans are complex creatures with many levels of motives.

We are told things about ourselves that are not true, before our egos are fully formed. In particular the issue of what we are to do with our lives is frequently co-opted by many different forces. Just about all of them say you have to do something allegedly practical rather than something that you love; rather than something that you feel is actually worth the devotion of your soul and your precious mind. That would be represented by Libra.

Your sign is ruled by Saturn, as you know. What most people don’t know is Saturn’s vital connection to Libra: it’s exalted in that sign, which is another way of saying very strong affinity or identification. This speaks of your 10th house or true life’s work. The thing about the 10th house is that very few people actually ever get there. Most of us spend our working lives in the 6th house, as functionaries. If I had to take a whirl at summing up your astrology for the year in one sentence, it would be: figure out what you came here to do.

In late October, Saturn makes its way into your 10th house, and this will point to some obvious facts about who you are and what you want out of life. You will be able to orient your true direction. What’s interesting is that, as you’ve no doubt heard, Pluto has begun its long trip across your sign, which is the ultimate symbol of coming to terms with who you are. And when Saturn makes it to your 10th house, the two will form a square: one of the most palpable aspects, the one that says, “Something happens.”

That something may be in the form of a crisis, which could feel like this: you are figuring out who you are and what you want, and then Saturn shows up and says: now, do it. But there are likely to be obstacles, such as the usual ones the world throws in our path, and the usual ones we evoke all by ourselves with our endless self-doubt. Saturn will be challenging you to get a grip on who you are, and live that truth.

You can get ahead of this transit. Here is how: Saturn’s current trip across your 9th solar house is about clearing out the petty psychology of one of your parents, probably your mother. Now would be a good time to reckon the plans that she had for you, and the plans that you had for you. Which, in truth, came to fruition? If this transit is working, you’re likely to see all the ways in which her limited worldview in essence forced you to give up your much more egalitarian, justice-oriented one. You need, I would propose, to challenge these ideas one at a time, which is another way of saying be directly honest with yourself about what happened.

Who knows, maybe you wanted to be a rock star, and you became one. I think there is more to the story.

Pluto in Your Sign

Pluto worked its way into Capricorn through 2008, and is now there to stay until 2023, when it begins its transition into Aquarius. Pluto is usually described as an impersonal kind of thing, but anyone who has ever consciously experienced a Pluto transit knows this simply is not true. Pluto entering your birth sign makes it distinctly real to you; in a way you are becoming the embodiment of this energy. There are several ways to describe this. Compelling. Intense. Charismatic. Brutally honest, uncompromisingly real, determined, potent, raging with single-minded intent: you may experience one or more on any given day.

It would probably help if I mentioned that our notion of Pluto has come a long way since getting its initial prescribed role as Shiva the Destroyer or the god of death. Astrology has a hard time with new planets. Pluto was discovered in 1930 and the way it was dealt with was by ignoring it. It took more than 40 years for a book to come out in the English language: Pluto: the Evolutionary Journey of the Soul by Jeff Green. This made an excellent starting point, because Green defined Pluto as a spiritual influence, something that carries the energy of soul. To most people raised in Western society, the notion of soul is no more discernable than someone who is not a musician being able to tell the difference between C and C-sharp by ear. They sound about the same, unless you’ve either got perfect pitch or training and experience. Tuning into Pluto at least helped astrology get this particular distinction.

Soul exists, and Pluto is in your sign to teach you that your soul exists. When we learn to identify with this quality of consciousness, and to distinguish it from that other thing commonly called ego, many facts can come into focus, such as your life’s purpose. Some things become tolerable that were not before (struggles, delays or relationships that are in tune with your soul); other things become much less tolerable (not living your deeper truth, people who lie to themselves, doing things for ulterior motives). Soul awareness can also do more than most anything to help you see the trajectory of your life. Sometimes we recognize that despite having been seemingly clueless, we really did know what we want.

Pluto’s energy is also about liberation from the tight constraints of what we think of as sanity. He can incarnate as the great Dionysus, the god of grapes, wine, revelry and divine madness; of the transcendence of consciousness. His temple was sometimes decorated with erect penises around the outside, so we have the image of male fertility. In our era he shows up as Jim Morrison or Mick Jagger.

Yet in our puritanical culture, we think of passion and celebration as anti-spiritual; revelry is for Saturday night and spiritual is for Sunday morning. But we don’t see how much damage this split does to us. Think of the revelry aspect of Pluto as an extension of the soul aspect, or vice versa; the two are not just related, but inseparable.

Then there is the lord of death aspect, which we can think of in psychological terms as transformation and rebirth. Pluto spurs the shedding of old forms so that the new ones can take shape. Pluto’s movements come with what is sometimes called ego-death, which is related to the first two ideas because they both imply the same concept: you let go of the stodgy, creaky idea of what it means to be human and transcend to a new level of awareness.

Where all three of these aspects meet is conscious sexuality. Pluto has a lot of information about that in your life, as you may be discovering. One thing Pluto will allow you to do is to identify as a sexual person without apology. Very few people actually do this: it’s scary, taboo and most of all, a testament to our creative power.

Faith in the Unseen

Your reserved nature conceals a depth of faith in the unseen world that few would suspect you possess. You, of course, more than suspect its existence; you have grown into an intimate relationship with your faith during an extended phase of your life, and you are finally beginning to see the tangible rewards of practicing this faith as a kind of mental yoga.

To do this, you’ve had to exceed something within yourself on a nearly daily basis. You’ve had to do something that is difficult, even verging on impossible, for most humans: stretch what you believe. Belief is one of those small things that tend to rule the world. I think we know this, and that’s why we are so reticent to exceed what we perceive as consensus reality — reality based on what everyone else supposedly believes. If we experiment with our beliefs, we undermine the structure of reality. So it’s considered best to keep them subdued.

The practicality that has always been part of your nature, and always will be, is a useful tool — to a point, if used well. Practical draws its meaning from being responsive to the current conditions of existence, including beliefs about what is possible. Rigid constructs of what is useful or possible can and almost always do function as an obstruction to creativity and freedom. They become what is known as personality armoring that you are fast discovering is too heavy to carry around. Nearly every bit of this armoring comprises some aspect of what you have learned or gathered in the past, much of it wrong, and which has attached itself to your personality shell.

For all of us, Pluto in Capricorn carries significant meaning, and it’s shaping the world we see around us. For you, it’s distinctly personal, now moving straight ahead through your 1st solar house. Put the simplest way I can, Pluto in Capricorn is about adjusting your exterior reality of ‘self’ — your style of movement, your language, your habits and your ideas about what is useful — based on one thing, the deeper truth that is very much alive and emanating from what may still be an unfamiliar place in you.

This capacity to respond to your inner awareness and adjust your thought process and how you express yourself, in one gesture, is a true expression of your capacity for growth. Yet this is growth on the scale of self-reinvention, or the sense of being reinvented by an influence you don’t necessarily understand.

Faith is something that most people take on faith. You are basing your faith on being an eyewitness to your own life, and using faith as fuel for a journey. In the rebirth you’re going through, it is a vital force, as compelling as a blowtorch or a chisel, only subtler and guided by the most dependable level of the mind: clear intuition.

It would be reasonable to say you are becoming a ‘different person’ under the influence of Pluto in your birth sign. What is really happening is that you are now integrating the deeper levels of your being into the outer ones, and in the process, many outer layers of your personality are ready to fall away like a dry scab that has served its purpose. I suggest you let this happen, and not be afraid to be different than you were yesterday every single day of your life. The true metamorphosis has already occurred; what you are experiencing are the effects of a process with substantial momentum, guided by actual intelligence.

What remains is the typically slow human process of catching up fully with what you have already learned; noticing what you know and what you have become, and allowing that to really be who you are. Often this kind of acknowledgment is a matter of honesty. We all know how much information we have that we don’t acknowledge, much less put to use, and many know that self-deception is involved. To be honest is, first, to be honest with yourself about who you are, and this has become all but inevitable.

This has impact, and I also know that it can have mixed results in the world, at least for a while, and it comes with no guarantee of success. A depth of self-honesty is often threatening to others, who refuse to look at or see themselves as anything more than an image. But it’s not just your image that others are perceiving; they are feeling who you actually are, and your impact on others is something that you need to study as a conscious process; that impact is profound, and it’s reaching those around you in a way that you would never have anticipated.

Pluto, from Sagittarius to Capricorn

In the final years of Pluto in Sagittarius, particularly as Pluto crossed the Galactic Core in 2007, it became increasingly difficult to maintain the façade of someone, all of whose beliefs must be supported by facts or have the precedent of the past. This is one of the least stable positions imaginable for a person of intellectual integrity, yet it seems the influence was so powerful you got the point, and you are carrying it forward as a sense of mission.

Spiritual growth often comes at a price, and the price of this was a long journey through the deepest unknown part of you. If you consider who you were in the mid-1990s and who you are today and remember how much you went through in between, you will get a better picture of this journey, which took you deeper into yourself than you’ve been in just about any other phase of your life.

This depth of self-experience is the source of your confidence and determination right now. You are at the beginning of something and that can come with a burst of energy: if your astrology means anything, clearly it has.

You have lived in a prolonged state of psychological dissonance that is only beginning to resolve itself. Dissonance is the opposite of resonance; it’s as if two major parts of your psyche have not been in harmony.

To some extent recent developments have worked to inform you how far you have come, and how much that may distinguish you from those around you. Indeed, over the long years that your mind has opened, and your spiritual eyes have learned to focus on what is important, our culture has grown increasingly narrow, and fearful of the true depth of human nature. As you have embraced possibilities beyond what you were willing to admit when you were younger, the field of potential around you has become more difficult to cultivate.

There have been some profoundly isolating moments along the way, which have taught you a lot about yourself. There have perhaps been isolated years or a lurking sense that you would never make contact with the world in a way that, for so long, had been so natural to you.

Now the time has arrived to use what you have learned. Think of it as a process of ensoulment. The word ‘soul’ may be controversial, but let’s assume, for the sake of this discussion, that there is an attribute of yourself who is familiar, and an attribute of yourself that is deeper in, also perhaps familiar, who is trying to push his or her way into your awareness. And this is the clearest way to describe what is happening to you right now. What you are experiencing is not about believing anything per se, but about the results of what you have learned.

I also would caution you about assuming how far you have come. Before a new Pluto transit it’s unwise to assume you have learned or experienced everything on the theme of that transit. You are about to be taken on a long and potentially unguided tour of all (else) that you believe that you didn’t know you believed; of every concept of existence and your own identity (the same thing) that came from the past, that is, from your parents or their ancestors, that you have not dismantled and questioned. Generally, we meet Pluto on the level of being backed against a wall, and that wall is the necessity to change. We also have the option to act on Pluto’s teachings when we actually have options from which we can choose.

Pluto enters your sign having come through an initiation of its own: the crossing over the Galactic Core, and thus vibrating with an unusual and difficult-to-grasp kind of energy. The closest word in English for this is ‘spiritual’ energy, though when you move that into Capricorn there are a few potential manifestations, one of which is like taking the idea of God and putting it in the form of a church. It can be reduced to dogma, concepts or inflexible ideas that tend to serve their own purpose rather than some larger one.

Your most immediate learning task is to focus on that larger meaning. As an individual, this will cause you to constantly re-evaluate your conception of yourself and of your personal reality, and look for the bigger contexts. You will be called upon to make changes to the structure of your life, but more meaningfully, to the structure of your mind and your sense of identity.

As for Your Life in the World

Reading this over, I can see that I’ve been taking your astrology on a deeply internal or personal level, and this really is true, for most of the year there is a sudden — a very sudden — shift and so much seems to catch up with you. I’ll come to that in a moment. The thing to remember is that when you change, you have more impact on the world than anything else you might do: to change, to shift your perspective, to become yourself, is the ultimate form of action, and there will be many results.

Yet there is something that remains profoundly introspective about your charts, even as you dance with your circumstances.

Let’s cover three more houses of your chart that emphasize this point but which have more tangible metaphors for the kind of revolution you’re experiencing. What is interesting is how they all challenge the traditional delineations of Capricorn in ways I think you will agree are refreshing.

One of these involves money, in your 2nd house of values and resources. It’s interesting that Capricorn is considered a sign associated with unbridled worldly ambition; your Aquarius 2nd house says you are driven by humanitarian values that make UNICEF seem like Nestle. And this house is loaded, both at the outset of the year and through the year. I believe that Capricorn is the root of revolutions, and your Aquarius placement is the key to this.

You are a kind of inventor, and I suggest that you put your considerable mental prowess to work inventing things that benefit humanity, and yourself, in the midst of our economic downturn. There is something here about to come into focus, and your own fortunes would seem to be on the rise, despite what you may see going on around you.

Next from the Unknown Capricorn files is Pisces in the 3rd house: you have an incredible imagination. Uranus in this house is pushing you to express yourself, and while you may feel like you’re getting resistance in the world or in yourself, you have the power of Pluto working for you.

The moral of the story is, very simply, this: Pluto in Capricorn is allowing you to push through the aspects of your nature that would have, in the past, prevented you from expressing how radical and imaginative you are. You can blast away at any aspect of your nature that would lead you to feel like something is not worth an investment: it’s one thing to be economical and another thing to pinch pennies out of habit. Your charts speak of some significant financial potentials this year, but you won’t get there if you are not willing to take at least a modest chance, assuming it’s in accord with your values. Taking a chance means taking a chance that you will lose, or that you will gain. You need to be directly willing to do both.

One Response to “Capricorn and Capricorn Rising: You Are What You Believe”

  1. Sharon Garrett Says:

    Your assessment spoke to me in a very personal way. My previous way of life and how I saw myself died in the preceding 3 years. I sense a new beginning and want to contribute to the revolutionary changes that will be required for all of us to heal and succeed. I daily attempt to figure out what I am suppose to do. No answer yet but at least I know now I am on the right tract.