The Decans of Capricorn

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This year we enter the zodiac territory of Capricorn on the day of the winter solstice, Tuesday 21 December 2021 and stay there until 20 January 2022.

The zodiac sign of Capricorn is named after the constellation. 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 on either side of its head.

The constellation of Capricorn
The constellation of Capricorn, Wiki Public Domain

Capricorn is the tenth sign of the zodiac and rules the tenth House, representing the concepts of career, professional achievement, reputation, status, and inheritance.

Planetary Aspects: Saturn

Capricorn is a cardinal earth sign, ruled by the planet Saturn, a 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.

Capricorn in the Tarot

The Major Arcana Tarot card representing Capricorn is Number 15, The Devil, representing desire, animal passion, charisma, and temptation on the positive side, and fear, addiction, obsession, and entrapment on the negative side.

Capricorn must and will have its independence.

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

The Devil tarot card Rider-Waite

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 in temperature, hours of daylight, maternal diet during pregnancy, and so on, with potentially different effects on the baby’s makeup and constitution.

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

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

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, although in a reading the King of Pentacles may also be used to represent a Capricorn native, whether male or female.

Queen of pentacles Rider Waite tarot

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

Capricorn can sometimes seem almost superhuman, virtually tireless. These qualities ensure their ultimate success at anything they decide is truly worthy of their interest and attention.

The natives of Capricorn are not usually do-gooders as such. That is not their style. But they are kindly, although reserved, and very conscious of their obligations to others. They are very quick to pay their debts and if someone does them a favor, they will not rest until it is returned, as a matter of personal dignity as much as anything else.

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.

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 the sky we see from earth, 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 within the belt of the zodiac.

The Greeks divided this belt into twelve sections, choosing twelve for ease of arithmetic, and named them after some of the constellations found touching or crossing this same pathway.  There are more than twelve constellations, both above the ecliptic and below it, for example, Ophiuchus, but the zodiac signs, as formalized by Eudoxus of Cnidus and Ptolemy of Alexandria get their name from just twelve, roughly corresponding to the star constellations: Aries, Taurus, Gemini Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. Aries is the first zodiac sign, representing the spring or vernal equinox.

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 for you in real life.

First Decan Capricorn

Capricorn-Capricorn

Dates: 22 December-31 December

Planetary rulers: Saturn-Saturn

Tarot card: Two of Pentacles

2 of pentacles Rider Waite 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 with few real friends, but those friends are true and lasting.

They have a dry, wry, droll sense of humor, 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 all the same is utterly devoted in a pragmatic, non-demonstrative way, to those they love.

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 of Pentacles

3 of pentacles Rider Waite 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 easy-going and ruled by Venus, cheerful, agreeable, and with softer edges all around. 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 enjoy beautiful surroundings and creature comforts. 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

4 of pentacles Rider Waite 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

The Cusps of Capricorn

22 December-December 25

This is Capricorn with a Sagittarian quality, stern in decisions but with a lively curiosity about the wider world and essentially sympathetic nature. This subject is thorough and persistent but faces a challenging destiny. They are likely to meet many obstacles but should have the strength to overcome them. This Capricorn is deeply intuitive, and progressive in outlook, always learning and developing.

16 January–January 19

This is Capricorn with Aquarian tendencies, ruled by Saturn and rebellious Uranus.  This subject has an understanding of Mankind and is clever and intuitive and a loyal friend. When things are good, they are very good but when they go wrong, it seems that lots of things go wrong. They do well working for humanitarian organizations and in dealing with the public, or in fine arts or auction houses.

Many Happy Returns, Capricorn. 2022 looks like an interesting and possibly even a game-changing, momentous year for you, bringing changes in your work situation, and these are changes for the better. Your best efforts will finally pay off, this year, keep at it. Work hard, stay curious, and be alert to signs and opportunities. Be ready to finally let go of people, places, habits, and situations that may be doing you little good or are actually holding you back. Lucky Jupiter, the planet of progress is on your side this coming year.

Katie-Ellen Hazeldine

Katie-Ellen Hazeldine, BA Hons, Cert Ed, is an intuitive Tarot reader, consultant, and variously published writer in the UK. She has been reading the Tarot professionally since 2006 and has been featured for this work in “Fate and Fortune” magazine. Katie-Ellen Hazeldine Website | Twitter
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