Home » Mythology » The Solar Myth of Capricorn

The Solar Myth of Capricorn

The  Sun is now over halfway through the cardinal earth sign of Capricorn.  Capricorn is ruled by Saturn and it’s therefore no surprise that those born under this sign can have a serious or even stern quality to them.  Saturn wants us to work hard and be responsible, so hard work is not something Capricorn is afraid of.  

A myth associated with this sign is one of sons fighting and overthrowing fathers.  We begin with the story of Uranus, father of the Titans who became afraid of the strength of his twelve children.  His reaction was to hurl them into the dark abyss immediately after birth and bind them with chains.  Their mother, the earth goddess Gaia protested but Uranus would not relent.

283px-Rubens_saturn

Rubens: Saturn, Jupiter’s father, devours one of his sons, Neptune

Gaia pleaded with her children to rebel against their father, but only Saturn had the courage.  Gaia gave him a sickle knife and Saturn over threw his father by slicing off Uranus’ genitals and claiming the throne – nice, imagine what Christmas was like in their house!  Uranus cursed Saturn with the same fate of being destroyed by his children, but Saturn ignored him, freed his siblings and brought peace to the world. (As an aside, when Saturn threw the sliced off genitals into the sea Aphrodite was born and from the drops of blood emerged the Furies and Meliae.)

Now it would be too simple to end things here, what about that curse?  It came back to haunt him when Saturn was given news of the birth of his first son.  He went to his wife Rhea who handed him his son who Saturn promptly swallowed.  He did this with every child.  Rhea became angry as Gaia had before her and eventually came up with a plan.  When Zeus (or Jupiter to the Romans) was born rather than handing over the baby she wrapped a stone in swaddling cloth and gave this to Saturn instead.  Clearly not the most attentive of fathers, Saturn didn’t notice the difference and swallowed the stone instead.  Rhea hides Zeus and when he is grown he returned to confront and defeat his father, freeing his siblings and claiming rulership of the world.

For Capricorn the fear of failure and being usurped underlies all their drive and hard work.  They want to be in control and hold authority in order to avoid failure.  This can lead to taking on responsibility prematurely and fear and depression if they feel they have failed to meet their goals.  For Capricorn the lesson is that time is on their side.  They must learn to set their own goals and grow into their position and authority.  They need to ensure that they do not find themselves living to other people’s goals and standards, be it their father, boss or any other authority.  Only by dancing to their own tune can they achieve the success they work so hard for.  The aim, be the wise leader and not the dictator.

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