Step One: Physical Man
December 21st to January 1st
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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
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
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.