Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Capricorn Considered

In his book, Astrology published 1964, Louis MacNeice, not an astrologer, but a poet and scholar, gathered together much of interest from a variety of sources, ancient and modern. On zodiac sign Capricorn, through which the Sun now travels, he wrote the paragraphs below, quoting from some professional astrologers whose works may now be less known by the average astrology fan - some related links are added at the end of this excerpt.
(Illustrations here were added by me.)

Capricorn the Goat
December 22 to January 20

A cardinal, earthy sign; also an equinoctial sign, the equinox of course being the winter one. So Capricorn's ruler, predictably, is frosty old Saturn. "One does not invite to dinner on the same evening Leo and Capricorn"; so writes Gleadow. With this sign one is (in western Europe) at the midnight of the year, so no wonder Morrish makes this the stage for "control of the mind". Tucker says that if Capricorn is your Sun-sign you should avoid alcohol in any form, if it is rising you will be inclined to be very pessimistic, and if you have Moon in Capricorn you will be very disagreeable if you don't exercise control - witness Napoleon.

 Capricorn by Erté
In the mid-19th century, when astrology was getting more mixed up with biblical symbolism, Frances Rolleston (author of an odd book called Mazzaroth, the Hebrew name for the Zodiac) equated Capricorn with the kid of sacrifice. But then she had already equated Aries (of all the signs!) with the lamb of innocence and meekness. From more orthodox angles A.J. Pearce ascribed to this sign a "disposition subtle, collected, calm, witty, and yet melancholy" and Ingrid Lind speaks of "action allied with common sense." through the ages Capricorn has been more often than not represented as a goat with a fish tail: Varley comments that while some Capricorn people look like goats, others look like fish. Symbolically, however, we can go deeper - or higher - than that: This is a fish with ambition that would like to clamber up the mountains.

Barbault stresses the opposition - and complementary relationship - of Capricorn and Cancer: Cancer is to Capricorn what the mother is to the father, the base to the summit, etc. In Capricorn we are getting away from matter (compare Morrish). Collectivization is coming in and the state or religious conscience may take over. Saturn is casting a chill or a shadow and yet he may be a liberator. If Saturn the ruler is actually in this sign, then everything is cut to the bone: You get people like Kant and Mallarmé. Among other Capricorn types Barbault instances Queen Elizabeth II (Capricorn rising and in sextile to Saturn, so strongly Saturnian), the stolid Marshal Joffre (both Sun-sign and ascendant), Kepler (of whom more later), Pasteur, Woodrow Wilson, and, above all, Stalin. The last named had his Sun in Capricorn, in aspect with all the slow-moving planets, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Get the idea?

 Capricorn by David Palladini

Capricorn people are thought to be born traditionalists, yet they are not so much disciplinarians as diplomats. They like traditional ceremonies, religious or civil, and are upset if they are dressed wrongly for the occasion. It is also conceded that many of them are religious in deeper sense; this might provide a bridge from traditional astrology to Morrish's astro-psychology. For Morrish, Capricorn is the gate to the spiritual life just as Cancer was the gate to "form-life." We are now getting into yoga (under Capricorn, like a yogi, one practices control) and are on the brink of spiritual rebirth, which for Morrish is represented by the next sign, the last but one in the Zodiac.

Astrologers mentioned:
André Barbault
W.J. Tucker
Frances Rolleston
A.J. Pearce
John Varley
Morrish (L. Furze-Morrish?)
Ingrid Lind
Rupert Gleadow

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