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Capricorn

On the Ordinary Wheel

December 21st to January 20th

And the word said: Let ambition rule and let the door stand wide

Decanates

First decan          Mercury           December 21st to January 1st

Second decan      Venus              January 1st to 10th

Third decan         Saturn             January 10th to 20th

 

Please read the prefatory material before investigating your own Decanate Stage, as proper assignment is required. i.e., your birth date does not indicate the stage of development, rather, you must employ a subjective recognition of the state of consciousness (point of advance along the Path of Initiation) which you, or another, has achieved.

See this note on determining the decanate.

Step One: Physical Man

December 21st to January 1st

Mercury

On the Ordinary Wheel the sign of Capricorn is entered via Mercury in the first decan, Venus in the second and Saturn in the last decan. In the sign of the Goat, Mercury leads physical man deep into the dark cave of materialism and animal desire. Here the Goat is the incarnated soul as the greedy seeker after the satisfaction of desire.

At the early point in the soul's career its light is insufficient to illuminate the darkness, and the materialist aspect of Capricorn dominates in the life of the earthbound soul. Mercury ruling the physical decan is man with his feet upon the earth running free to climb the heights of worldly ambition. The Goat makes its way through arid lands in search of food and water, led by the "need for green". (EA, p. 157)

Proceeding clockwise on the Wheel of Illusion the superficial and airy nature of the undeveloped Aquarian deepens gradually into the concrete and rocky nature of Capricorn. Mercury as the ruler of the first decan indicates that the line of least resistance for the incarnated soul is conflict and struggle. Initially this leads through the conflict of choice to deeper concretion and immersion in matter or form.

The Mercury decan is the most earthly and dense point of concrete materialization of which the human soul is capable. Mercury leads the soul through the process of repeated incarnations into the tomb of matter in order to unfold its inherent ability to gain knowledge and eventual mastery over the material world. In this way the incarnated human soul learns and eventually demonstrates the control and intelligent use of the physical body for practical and constructive purposes. Identification with the material processes of the form side of life is at first the dominant factor in the life of the soul. After passing through the experiences of innumerable vicissitudes, the Capricornian eventually develops the sure-footedness of the Goat that is the totem of this sign.

In the physical decan of Capricorn Mercury expresses through every variety and shape of body. Well-equipped Capricornians are known for their lively beauty, attractiveness, clear sparkling eyes and lovely fair hair, soft and curling. They possess a storehouse of sheer stamina, and move or run with incredible strength and endurance.

In the recessive type however the situation is the reverse, and in sharp contrast the Goat is excessively lean or sleek, awkward, uncoordinated, physically asymmetrical and not at all sure-footed, balanced or graceful. The extremities—such as hands, fingers, feet, toes, arms or legs—are often ungainly and may demonstrate deformity of the skeletal structure. In all likelihood the structure of the skeleton in some way draws attention and may well be somehow disproportionate. The male in this decan often has a long face with a retreating chin, leaden looks, sparse beard and black hair.

In this decan the great fluidity of Mercury frequently leads to the most extreme or radical departures from the cardinal type. If degeneracy exists, it is of a purely animal nature. True to Mercury's rulership, bodily movement is characterized by an inherent nervous timidity, an intense, erratic agility. The physical body even if awkward, clumsy, ungraceful, imbalanced, degraded, deformed or afflicted, is in most cases still amazingly strong and capable of hard work and has a high level of endurance.

Mercury's rulership combined with the influence of Saturn and the fundamentally hard or concrete nature of Capricorn itself gives the impression of tremendous resoluteness as well as a solid constitution. Certainly the rulership of Mercury indicates that the Goat is subjected to many vicissitudes through the extreme tests and conflicts of physical existence, although finally nothing can defeat its powers of endurance or firm resolve to climb the ladder of life.

Initially the Goat experiences great highs and lows climbing the hills and valleys of existence, and finds it difficult to trust that it will find firm footing. They cannot trust the physical processes of life or the physical environment which fluctuates and changes unpredictably.

The Self at this stage identifies itself as the lower physical form and is totally immersed in and identified with the constant changes of state which the form undergoes. There is no serene acceptance of conditions, as equilibrium and balance have not been achieved. A constant state of agitation, dissonance and lack of grace seem to prevent the attainment of a state of physical equilibrium. In fact though, it is through the forcing process of continual adjustment that a sense of confidence and self-composure is learned. In time and through the processes of constant adversity, rapid physical growth, development and unfoldment occur.

For the unevolved type, life is lived in a state of constant awareness of unpredictable danger since it is difficult to see or think clearly. This Mercurial type is inept at handling practical matters and unable to think with sufficient realism to deal with them. The Goat in the emotional decan has yet to develop a willingness to come to terms with the legitimate demands of practical life on the physical plane.

At first all of the conflicts are outer ones dealing with unfortunate circumstances and a challenging physical environment which is not conducive to self-expression, so there is a constant battle with physical conditions. Feeling helpless, tired, exhausted, defeated, pathetic and pessimistic, the unevolved Goat fears and expects the worst everywhere at all times. Life is a perpetual state of chaos, worry, gloomy discontent, torment and trouble. Their lives are overwhelmed by so much hardship, unfairness, stress, strain, conflict and struggle that it seems as though they never have moments of joy, happiness or peace.

The influence of Mercury in the physical decan explains why Capricornians can be surprisingly and spontaneously witty and subtle despite their quiet, reserved outer persona. It also explains the occasional unexpected bouts of irresponsible and erratic behavior. They have a great respect for authority, however if they reach high rank they may not be willing to listen to other opinions on matters for which they are directly responsible.

As the ranking authority figure in a given situation, they expect their underlings to be as self-disciplined as they are themselves, and to perform every given task precisely as instructed and to the highest standard. They are nevertheless fair and just as well as demanding. Among their equals they are not always the most pleasant of co-workers or professional associates, for they are reserved and extremely conservative, valuing tradition more than innovation.

Under Saturn there is also a tendency to humorlessness, pessimism, melancholy and unhappiness that Capricornians are unable to keep to themselves, especially if it involves an incident of personal failure. Taken to the extreme, this recessive Saturnian mental trait can lead to depression and the most wretched kind of misery, alternating with ecstatic happiness, the sources of which are deeply buried in the subconsciousness.

Through the process of meeting these challenges the Capricorn personality gains great strength and develops wonderful talents including musical and literary abilities, a love of color and contrast, a strong sense of drama, a keen sense of timing, impeccable rhythm, an ability to amuse, teach, direct, lead, delight and entertain.

The mature emotional type is trusting and accepting of conditions upon the physical plane and begins to control them consciously. At the advanced personality stage a natural spontaneity and improvisation develop. The Capricornian is ever urged forward by a growing love of beauty and the wish to create and express it. This is a constructive building process which serves to unfold, develop, actualize and refine any latent artistic and aesthetic sensibilities.

 

Step Two: Emotional Man

January 1st to 10th

Venus

From the subjective psychological point of view, the process of the central decan draws the individual towards the establishment of a code of values by which to live in the material world. In the early period of emotional growth the Goat most aptly displays the force of blind human greed, stinginess and ignorance.

Eventually the Capricornian develops a potent desire for knowledge and experience which leads to a pronounced and at times abnormal material activity. The enhancement of Venus stimulates the Goat's longing for personal control and ownership over the world of material things as a means for the attainment of security and independence. The attractive lure of material objects waxes increasingly and "love is fallen and blinded when desire is rampant". (EA, p. 171) They turn their backs with scorn upon poverty and failure, and upon those they have left behind.

At this point in the life-career the implications of wrong emphasis are not understood. They commonly hold distorted views of truth and exhibit great capacity to misunderstand, rationalize and destroy. Despite the influence of Venus, they have not yet developed enough love to build lasting friendships with others.

The recessive emotional features of the Capricornian in this decan reveal some of the worst sides of human nature. They can be hard, over-indulgent, materialistic, cruel and selfishly ambitious. They are devotees of the cult of personality. An absurd reverence for superiors can compel the Goat to cringe before others in servile ways. The emotional expression can be yielding, ignoble and pliant in the most undesirable manner. The emotionally polarized Capricorn grovels before persons of superior religious rank, political power, social position or wealth.

Attempting to arrogantly control other people's lives and stand where they have not earned the right to stand, the Goat blindly and venerably conforms to the antiquated rites and practices of orthodox customs and outworn conventions, strictly observing the etiquette of the past and of those he considers to be his elders and betters. Classifying and enforcing rigid social or religious boundaries may be excessively cumbersome and inconvenient to others, but offers the fearful Goat a definite form of personal emotional security.

The young Capricornian in the emotional decan evolves and learns through developing a standard of definition for what is allowable in the conduct of private affairs, public engagements or social functions. It is a real affliction for the Goat to appear at a function inappropriately dressed. They will meticulously prepare for special occasions, inclining to designer fashion if their means will allow, and will make a brave show even at considerable expense, sacrifice and personal discomfort.

Much value and importance is placed upon the external appearances cultivated by people of superior social position. They always remember to observe special dates and anniversaries and make much of special occasions of family or social re-union. To venture outside of their social class or caste is regarded as a perilous adventure resulting in emotional suffering, pain or hardship of some kind. The Goat will never voluntarily step backward upon the social ladder, but climbs upwards by alternating security and ambition. The desire to be seen and known based upon status, wealth and rank is the great motivating force. Worshipping at the shrine of popular success, they have turned their backs upon failure, poverty and obscurity. It is an embarrassment for them to being seen in public to associate with inferiors.

The task of the Goat is to attract and use people and material objects that fulfil all manner of personal desire. Venus intensifies the power to isolate so that relationships are formed and utilized for practical ends, financial reasons and solely materialistic objectives. The Capricornian remains perfectly willing to exploit the worst vices of other people to earn a comfortable income.

In the recessive emotional type, ambition is used unscrupulously as a tool to manipulate those less fortunate than themselves. It is important to appreciate that the ordinary playground of the senses does not appeal to the Goat as it does to other sign types. Even the idea of reward is not strongly implanted as there is little or nothing of the dreamer's vision to distract them from that which they physically desire. Excessively self-centered, they feel complete within their own narrow field or environment, and are definitely not magnetically attractive or emotionally inspirational; therefore solitude seems to be their lot in life.

Their own specialized path of work seems to them almost predestined, and although it would seem a life of uncongenial slavery to others, to them it is fulfilling enough in and of itself. Shy, introspective, insecure and fearful, they can be the absolute embodiment of passive resistance. Even in limited situations or rigid circumstances that allow no scope for ambition they will work patiently, laboriously and without complaint. Venus inspires the submission to work within the natural constraints of ordinary conditions, and this ability in itself constitutes a definite form of spiritual victory.

On the negative side, under Venus the emotionally polarized Capricornian is often uncomfortable, ill at ease and quite unhappy in their personal relationships. They treat casual acquaintances with diplomacy, tact and above all, reticence. They make few good friends but are intensely loyal to those with whom they do form friendships; yet at the same time they can turn into bitter and powerful enemies.

They sometimes almost seem to dislike the opposite sex, and test the waters of affection extremely cautiously before judging the temperature quite right for marriage. Once married however, they are faithful, although inclined to jealousy and possessive ownership. Most Capricornians seek lasting unions and thus marry for life.

At the high water mark of emotional development the mature Goat displays an intense desire to influence other people in a variety of positive, constructive and helpful ways. Their natural tendency is to manage, mother, entertain, sell, rule, direct, protect, persuade and convert. They have great adaptability and desire for advancement, along with the persistent feeling that they must develop into something.

The mature emotional type strives with personal integrity and respect for the rights of others to have economic and material security and independence. They desire to demonstrate that they are responsible and so struggle to fulfil some obligation, take care of some property or attain to some visible or high-profile accomplishment. They exhibit a growing sensitivity along with a desire to be loved, recognized and appreciated. They do feel that the world owes them something in return for what they have given.

Mature Capricorns love everything to be in perfect working order and are sensible, neat and methodical in their work, managing and organizing everything with precision. They make use of everything they hear and see, are adept at finding practical solutions to problems and are good troubleshooters in difficult situations. In business they become tough negotiators driving hard but not unfair deals, and expect the letter of the law or the clauses of the contract to be followed without exception exactly as stipulated. A deal is a deal, a rule a rule and an order is an order.

 

Step Three: Mental Man

January 10th to 20th

Saturn

Saturn in the third decan confines the soul within the depths of matter, producing a hardening and crystallization of the personality nature. The growth and development of the mental body is strengthened through the constant opposition and resistance that Saturn provides in the material world.

Mental development is not possible without obstacles to overcome or puzzling problems to solve. A new mental aptitude is slowly developed and brought to the forefront with great pain and difficulty. There is a natural inclination to be attached to old customs and traditions. The value of the conventional and established outward form is insisted upon ad nauseam.

Under Saturn in the mental decan the occupations can include most professions that have to do with math or money; however many are strongly attracted to art, literature, engineering, the military, medicine, science, drama, dance or music. They can excel in the arts, culture and entertainment, but are equally likely to become doctors, economists, financiers, bankers, speculators, contractors, managers or real estate brokers.

They seem to especially excel as bureaucrats, particularly where projects demanding long-term work and planning are concerned; and their skill in debate and their love of dialectic makes them good politicians. They are excellent teachers, patient but demanding, and perform well especially as principals of schools, administrators in educational establishments or corporate executives with the authority to manage and organize without the necessity of too much intimacy with others.

The exoteric process of this decan at the apex of the third step produces powerful and authoritative minds attached to old and conservative methods and ideas, and opposed to innovation for fear of failure and disappointment. The most absurd conclusions can be maintained with bitter obstinacy.

The third decan type is steady, industrious, diligent and accurate, yet the mind runs in narrow grooves never leaving the well-beaten path or running off the rails. The mental viewpoint although rigid and limited, manifests determination to persist to the extreme. The recessive Saturnian type walks around with blinders on and is most unforgiving towards those who disagree with their opinion, thus evoking fear and hatred in others. They commonly have a markedly harsh and uncongenial manner, easily hold grudges and can exhibit brutality. Usually they completely lack personal charm. As well, they severely dislike personal criticism or opposition and are really quite pitiless. In this decan the criteria of knowledge are stern and severe, allowing no room for flexibility or deviation from the established norm.

Saturnian minds gain material adeptness and physical expertise by way of manipulation and control. Due to the inherently manipulative nature, the mature Capricornian in this decan is not above deception and is willing to take advantage of less fortunate people.

In the early stages of mental growth Capricornians are realists with rational, practical aims and objectives, and do not possess a dreamer's vision. They are exclusively occupied with an exceedingly limited material outlook. These personalities deeply immersed in matter, work within the given limitations of the physical environment and are meticulous in their observation of the form side of life.

Here the soul eventually demonstrates a matchless perseverance in logistical form control and timing. Mental expression and communication never exceeds beyond degeneration into the trite and the popular, taking shape most readily in the maxim, the axiomatic phrase and the commonplace observation. Initially the mind has few original tendencies. Imagination and inspiration are lacking to such a degree that their calculated mental detachment makes them appear unsympathetic and cold.

In speech, the expression, though direct and sometimes eloquent, is very flat, dry and conventional. When mentally polarized they seem never to be able to lose sight of themselves and always display a certain aridity and a painful self-centeredness which prevents good performance or natural fluency. The characteristic writing style is either exceedingly terse, pithy, sententious and laconic, or on the other hand overly ornate, sonorous, stately, high-sounding, weighty, impressive, rolling into long paragraphs. In the latter case, metaphor and over-elaboration of rhythmic phrase frequently veil or obscure rather than actually revealing meaning.

The advanced mentally polarized Capricornian is lucid, resourceful and determined, setting high standards for themselves and others. They strive always for ethical behavior and for honest self appraisal. They respect discipline from above and demand it from those below them.

In their methodical, tough, stubborn, unyielding Saturnian way they persist against personal hardship, placing their families and their work before their own needs and welfare in order to reach their objectives long after others have given up and fallen by the wayside. In fact when practical ability allied with the drive of ambition are required to make an enterprise succeed, they are the people to hire. They plan carefully to fulfil their ambitions, which usually include increasing their financial resources.

They are economical without meanness and are able to achieve great results with minimum effort and expense. Because of their executive organizational abilities they are able to work on several projects simultaneously. Saturn fosters a matchless mental perseverance. A limited viewpoint combined with an extreme determination to achieve is a tremendous asset in the soul's chosen field of specialized work.

Eventually Saturn does serve to produce an original and unique individual character, but at the third step the Capricornian is yet held captive, immersed within the form nature, remaining deeply imbedded in substance, dense, concrete and materialistic in expression.

The Goat has not yet merged into the Unicorn and aimed one-pointedly towards victory. In this decan personality crystallization will reach the desired degree of density and hardness at which it can be easily shattered by the soul. Then the Capricorn personality consciously chooses to bring about its own destruction. Eventually there is full realization that progress has become impossible under the existing forms of control.

The advanced Saturnian type is then forced by the soul to descend into the valley of pain, despair and death before a new attempt to climb to the mountaintop begins. Again and again, lifetime after lifetime, a high degree of material acquisition is achieved only to undergo a process of destruction and loss, in order to successively release the indwelling life from bondage and captivity. Only in this manner can the soul proceed to build and rebuild newer and more adequate vehicles of personality manifestation.

The intellect of the advanced type becomes increasingly subtle, the mind exhaustively exploring all possibilities through deep, profound thought before deciding on a 'safe' alternative. The Capricornian has a good memory and an insatiable desire for knowledge which leads to a methodical exploration of a field of study. They are rational, logical and clear-headed and have good concentration. They delight in debate in which they can show off their cleverness by luring their adversaries into traps and confounding them with logic.

The advanced thinker in this decan has a natural and abiding interest in the occult and especially in the astrological sciences.

 

 

 

 

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