Capricorn is one of the “parental” signs, playing patriarch to Cancer’s nurturing matriarch. In counterpoint to Cancer’s emphasis on the nurturing of a single, family unit, Capricorn is a worldly sign, determined to enlarge its sphere of influence well beyond the boundaries of one small household. A couple that enters into a Capricorn marriage will never feel as if they are reaching their potential until they have reached a position of philanthropic influence. Capricorn is not satisfied with building one family, but it rather likes the idea of building a family name—a dynasty of influence and achievement that will outlast any single nuclear family unit.You may not perpetuate a political dynasty, like George H. W. and Barbara Bush. Few are in a financial position to create charitable foundations on the scale of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. You may not adopt children, like Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. But if you marry with the Sun in Capricorn, you will find a way to build your legacy.
My mother’s sister and her husband were married on Christmas Day. They didn’t leave a lot of money behind when they died, and they didn’t have names you would recognize, yet they left a legacy of caring and philanthropy that influenced a wide community. Theirs was a two-career marriage well before that concept was popular, and my aunt, a banker, received a promotion to branch manager and vice president in an era when women rarely attained such influential positions. But they were compassionate, generous people whose two children often found themselves sharing their bunk beds with disadvantaged waifs, and my aunt was closely involved with a charitable organization that helped women escape from domestic violence. I benefited personally from their generosity. After my father died suddenly, we moved across country and lived for several years with my aunt, uncle, and cousins. Until they died, I considered them my “second parents.”
The Capricorn Season
The Sun is in Capricorn from the winter solstice (December 21) through late January—the coldest and least hospitable weather of the year. On the other hand, with its many national holidays and vacations from school and work, it’s a rather convenient time to marry. Cozy nuptials next to the familial hearth, a church decked with swags of evergreen and lit with candles, a quiet blanket of snow outside . . . sort of romantic, really, as long as you don’t pine for a sleeveless gown and an outdoor wedding.
January is named for the Roman god Janus, the ruler of doorways and thresholds, including the threshold between the old year and the new. Janus symbolized change and transition and was worshiped at harvest and planting seasons, as well as beginnings—such as marriage.
Astrologically, the Capricorn season has worldly and practical connotations that don’t exactly jibe with modern notions of romantic love and “happily ever after.” Capricorn, ruled by stern Saturn, is considered a symbol of tough pragmatism and ambition, of grownups with real-world concerns. Like Scrooge, Capricorn’s story is one of balancing worldly ambition with the tender world of the heart, home, and family. When you walk down the aisle during the Capricorn season, you may be dearly in love—but what will keep you together is what you build together.
How It Begins: The Capricorn Wedding
Serious and conservative, Capricorn wants a tasteful wedding. Money can be spent, but it should reflect an appreciation for quality and functionality. The venue will be chosen primarily for practical reasons (a friend claims her husband chose late December for their wedding because the church would already be decorated for Christmas—thus saving money on flowers!), and perhaps with a nod to tradition, such as the family manse or church.
Capricorn is not known for wild partying, but it is an earth sign after all, and it enjoys earthly pleasures like good food and good liquor. That’s good liquor, mind you. And quality food. A buffet-style reception will earn you a sniff and a raised eyebrow from your patron sign: as far as Capricorn is considered, one sits at dinner and is served one’s meal—preferably on good china. Capricorn has a deep respect for history, so invite traditional touches into your ceremony: the grandmother’s ring, the “giving away” of the bride. The vows and service will be dignified; customization will be minimal. Classical music is favored over rehashed folk tunes.
Dignified, subdued shades such as forest green, black, charcoal gray, or indigo blue are the best choices for a Capricorn wedding. The Capricorn bride is one of the few who will almost never drape her long-suffering bridesmaids in boatloads of tulle and pastel ruffles; this will be an elegant production with simple, classic designs and muted shades.
Flowers that signify tradition are Capricorn’s favorites—chrysanthemum, rose, and for a Christmastime wedding, poinsettia and holly. Visualize a dignified candlelight ceremony in the family church, the wedding party in dignified shades of tailored gray and bright red poinsettias everywhere, and a string quartet for accompaniment.
The Care and Feeding of Your Capricorn Marriage
The Purpose of a Capricorn Marriage
The couple that marries when the Sun is in Capricorn feels an evolutionary urge to build. You’ll always be at your best, as a couple, when you’re drafting long-range goals and building structures that provide inspiration and sustenance for the largest possible number of people. Not content with raising just one small family, you are determined to contribute to the betterment of all of society—and working together, you have the opportunity to make a greater contribution than either of you could make separately. In a word: direction. If you don’t have a long-range plan to keep you moving forward, it’s hard for you to feel really alive. You measure your happiness and progress in tangible results. This is not to imply that worldly achievement is more important to you than things of the heart, only to point out that you have a hard time knowing how you fit into the social fabric unless you are fulfilling some practical purpose.
So you need goals, objectively measured in outlines and lists, day planners and wall calendars. You need to have the sense of having built something together, and you need recognition, whether it’s in the form of awards or simply a fiftieth wedding anniversary party where friends and family warmly celebrate your lives together. Most of all, you wish to leave a legacy—a body of work, and a spirit of charitable involvement and giving.
Sources of Friction
Imagine you’ve come home at the end of a long day amongst the wild and uncivilized elements of the world. You’re bone tired and a bit stressed out. It’s dark and drizzling, cold and nasty. All you want to do is get home and sit in front of a roaring fire with a nice bowl of soup.
But as you pull into your driveway, you notice there isn’t a single light burning inside the house. You dash through the rain, trip over a plant, fumble to find your key in the dark. You let yourself in and find no one else is home yet, and the cat begins hollering for some kibble. You feed the cat and rifle through the pantry for a can of soup, but as usual, no one has had time to go to the store—or to split firewood. You settle for a cold cheese sandwich in front of the wall heater . . . but it’s not quite the same.
A well-tended home shouldn’t be a luxury, but when everyone is consumed with the work of the outside world, the domestic community can suffer. And a marriage and home that are neglected for too long can leave you both brittle and out of sorts. The primary challenge of the Capricorn marriage is to balance outward achievement with inner contentment—and the demands of the outside world with the needs of a home and family.
The Capricorn Marriage Style
The Face You Show the World
The face you show the world is as serious, professional, and trustworthy as Walter Cronkite in a pinstripe suit. Perhaps you both grew up as oldest children, looking after your youngest siblings or, perhaps, your immature and scattered parents. It’s not coincidence that has drawn you toward your Capricorn marriage, but a deeply ingrained sense of responsibility and practical purpose!
What You Own
Mastering earthly existence is at the top of Capricorn’s job description, and money and possessions are important earthly resources. As a team, you have a genius for transforming talents and raw materials into money; you are innovative and can see opportunities others don’t.
You will probably do exceptionally well in building up whatever you consider to be a fortune—and that will likely set you apart from a lot of the other people in your lives. Your tendency may be to feel uncomfortable about this and go out of your way to downplay your good fortune. But better still is to share your genius with others, and to try to help them see opportunities for using their own skills and resources to their best advantage.
How You Communicate
Your idea of communication is not confined to talking—while you may well have plenty to say to each other, the lion’s share of your communication takes place on an entirely different plane. In fact, your most profound communication takes place on an intuitive, spiritual level. If other parts of your marriage are floundering, however, you can easily slip into patterns of denial and avoid discussing problems until it’s too late to solve them.
You may share a love of artistic expression such as music, poetry, art, or writing, and these are vital forms of communication between you. Those who see only your pragmatic, businesslike sides are surprised to find gentleness and a hint of fantasy in your words and ideas.
How You Live
Very likely you do a great deal of your work at home, and it’s possible too that the work you do is connected in some way to domestic issues—construction, interior design, women’s concerns. Your home is designed not for comfort, but for speed: you might as well put a revolving door at the entryway, because you both operate in perpetual overdrive.
Red is a particularly good color choice for your home; paint a wall crimson, or invest in a red slipcover for your sofa. Red’s warmth and vibrancy are stimulating and cheerful and will help perk you up after long days fighting the battles of the outside world. If at all practical, choose a home with a working fireplace or wood stove; failing that, fill your home with candles and lanterns. Because they get the most use, the coziest rooms of your house will likely be your home offices. And your kitchen will be outfitted with a great cooktop and premium-quality knives—all of which rarely get used!
Your Children and Creative Spirit
For many Capricorn marriages, children are invited into the family simply out of traditional expectation, to perpetuate the family line, and for practical reasons, such as to help farm the land or run the family restaurant. It’s not that you don’t love your children; in fact, they probably give you great pleasure. You must resist the inclination to spoil them, and to protect them from facing the overwhelming difficulties you overcame in your own backgrounds. Remember, though, that these struggles allowed you to test your mettle and overcome adversity, which gave you confidence. The worst potential combination of Capricorn-style parenting is a combination of overprotection and ambition— pushing your children into roles that your parenting has not given them the confidence to perform well.
You enjoy your pleasures and recreation, and non-work hours—though few—are full of music, relaxed dinner parties, and leisurely games of golf, tennis, or cards. Creative expression, and friends who are merry and playful, provide pure pleasure and a welcome diversion from your worldly ambitions.
Your Work, Health, and Daily Routine
The Capricorn marriage is often surprisingly traditional, with the male partner pursuing a career and the female partner monitoring home base. But whether or not you both pursue high-powered jobs for money, you are both sure to be incredibly busy. Your phone rings off the hook, people come and go at all hours, you travel, you write, and you’re hardly ever at rest.
All this commotion, if not balanced by plenty of outdoor exercise and the occasional moratorium on communication, can fry your delicate nervous systems to a crisp. You are especially vulnerable to nervous stomachs and skin rashes, and when your bodies start sending you these unpleasant signals, it is time to take a break. A simple fifteen-minute bike ride in the middle of the day—not an indoor bike, either; you need fresh air and sunshine—will help give you a periodic boost of energy as well as keep you healthy.
Your Friends and Foes
Those you bring close into your fold are gentle, home-loving types. You spend long, happy hours at their big dining tables, eating delicious home-cooked food and admiring their children’s artwork. They, in turn, rely on your sage advice and your practical, real-world acumen to help them cope with an overwhelming world.
The people who are most troublesome for your marriage are needy, clinging, and emotionally demanding. They sulk when you don’t return their phone calls quickly enough, accuse you of looking down on them because they aren’t as successful as you are, and feel that feeding you the occasional pot roast gives them the right to tell you everything that’s wrong with your life. I need hardly advise practical folks like you to run from these so-called “friends” as fast and as far as you can!
What You Share
You may behave a little formally with one another in public, but the intimate side of your marriage is surprisingly passionate. You enjoy each other, physically, mentally, and spiritually. This warm intimacy extends to sharing your combined resources; you are supportive of one another’s goals and, together, are generous and warm-hearted when those you love are in need.
Romantic gestures, and the nurturing of a grand romantic narrative about your relationship, are important for keeping your marriage affectionate and lively. My uncle, a notorious curmudgeon, nevertheless kept a Christmas Eve ritual of shopping for his wife’s anniversary present. He nearly always gave her some expensive but practical item she’d been longing for, but I always thought the really romantic gesture was his willingness to fight the crowds at the shopping mall on Christmas Eve, just to remember his wife on their wedding anniversary.
What You Believe
If you belong to a church, it’s probably because everyone in your family has always belonged to it. Left to your own devices, you probably pursue more earthy spiritual observances, such as meditating on a mountaintop or while washing the kitchen floor.
Your beliefs are a fundamental component of your day-to-day lives together, but you feel strongly that treating people kindly in the here-and-now is much more meaningful than relying solely on rewards in the hereafter. You are critical thinkers, and any religion must satisfy your intellectual scrutiny or encourage deep and humble commitment to good and practical works.
Your Contribution to the World
Your careers are the glue that holds your marriage together. Here you are a smoothly functioning dynamic duo, comfortable in the public eye and unreservedly supportive of one another’s goals. Usually one of you is the more “public” face of the relationship, but you both know that one partner’s success is shared equally by the two of you.
The perfect example of this phenomenon is the Capricorn marriage of George H. W. and Barbara Bush. It’s a union that has stood the test of time and had an important influence on two American presidencies. By all accounts, Barbara Bush, while wearing the public face of the “woman behind the man,” is the true spine behind the ascendancy of the Bush dynasty.
Your Place in Society
You are at ease among social groups comprising intense, passionate people of great conviction. Their careers often bring them in contact on a regular basis with the grittier sides of life—CIA operatives, police, detectives, psychologists, surgeons. As a couple, you dislike idle chitchat, and your idea of a great party features strenuous arguments that devolve quickly into lusty shouting around the dinner table.
Your entire view of the future is based on the fact that mortality is ever-present in the forefront of the Capricorn consciousness. It’s likely that early trauma, such as the illness or death of someone close to you, has imprinted you with a keen appreciation for the transitory nature of life. Consequently, you have faith in your ability to survive. You live your lives as though there were no tomorrow, while at the same time you appreciate every moment you have.
Your Private Sanctuary
To the world where you spend so much of your time and energy, you appear wise but perhaps a bit serious, and it’s common for friends and family to urge you to slow down and enjoy life a bit more. But when no one else is around, you’re actually funny, lively, optimistic, and philosophically engaged. You’re readers and thinkers. You fantasize about being the King and Queen of everything. You go to the circus, speak in foreign languages, and dream big dreams you would be embarrassed to share in public, for fear (out of very normal Capricorn caution) that they will never come true. For similar reasons, joy, eagerness, and optimism are emotions you keep strictly under wraps.
There is also a religious side to your relationship that doesn’t tend to express itself in allegiance to a denomination or to churchgoing, but which borrows from many faiths and includes a love of ritual and ceremony. Your work in the world is deeply influenced by your respect for religious beliefs and cultural differences, whether or not you belong to a church or espouse religious dogma in public.
From Star Guide to Weddings, by April Elliott Kent