By Brandon Alter:
Remember that iconic scene in Moonstruck? You know the one; where Nicolas Cage‘s character tells Cher’s character that he’s in love with her and she slaps him—twice—hard. And then she says her classic line: "Snap out of it!" Well, that is essentially the energy of Capricorn Season. It’s a hard slap across the face from someone who actually loves you very much. It’s time to snap out of whatever magical thinking you’ve been living in and face reality.
Because the Zodiac is a progression, Capricorn energy is the natural response to Sagittarius Season. If Sagittarius is a string of holiday parties, Capricorn is going back to work. If Sagittarius is traveling the world, Capricorn is coming back home. Capricorn may not win any popularity contests, but it is the crucial energy of sobering up and getting on with it. It’s the morning after all the fun has been had and the necessary evil of splashing cold water on your face. It’s looking at your bank account after all your holiday spending, instead of pretending you don’t know what’s in there. Where Sagittarius seeks the truth, Capricorn distills the truth into something we can use. Capricorn puts all the flowery philosophy into practice; and this, my friends, is where our true power lies.
For those of you who haven’t seen Moonstruck (what is wrong with you?!), Cher’s character and Nicolas Cage‘s character end up together. So we’re not being asked to snap out of the dream. The dream is viable, it wants to come true. We are being asked to snap out of how scared we are to commit 100% to it. Capricorn is the ultimate adult of the Zodiac. And wherever Capricorn falls in your birth chart is where you are being tasked to grow all the way up, so that you can follow through on what your soul came here to do. This is the season of the long game. Consider Cher’s career of six decades, that’s the power of Capricorn. It’s about slow growth based on consistent activity.
We must all channel our inner Capricorn and become fiercely self-reliant, ready to do the hard work that will bring us rewards five, ten, even fifty years from now.
The New Moon in Capricorn falls on Christmas, which might lend an air of seriousness to our family gatherings. They say the moon is in its detriment in Capricorn. It’s opposite sign, Cancer, is where the moon feels most at home, in the vast oceanic waters of mysticism and emotion. Capricorn, on the other hand, seeks structure and containment. Therefore the moon’s vibe can be austere, controlling, even seemingly insensitive when here. But the truth is: a Capricorn moon is deeply sensitive (I should know, I am one), it just doesn’t show it. It’s serious and withholding because it cares so damn much.
Cher, who in real life has a Capricorn moon, doesn’t slap Nicolas Cage because she doesn’t love him; she slaps him twice—real hard—because she is scared by the depth of her feelings for him. She can’t control her heart, and so she tries to control what her heart is attracted to. This metaphor, which you can see I am clearly sticking with, is actually a useful way to think about our relationship between our hearts and our dreams. The energy of this moon (and frankly this whole next season) wants us to snap out of our immature relationship with our dreams. We must stop being scared of them and start to take responsibility for how we will actually bring them, bit by bit, into this world.
New Moons occur once a month when the Sun and the Moon occupy the same spot in the sky. This New Moon happens to be a saucy three-way because Jupiter is also hanging out one degree away. Jupiter is the ruling planet of Sagittarius, a benevolent and expansive character who casts a lucky spell on everything he touches. This means whatever you truly commit to under this New Moon will be graced with Jupiter’s blessing—so commit, gurl, with your whole damn heart. But don’t expect to reap rewards any time soon. This is your life’s work we are talking about, so prepare to spend your whole life building it.
Every six months, when the Sun enters into the terrain of either the North or South Node, we come into Eclipse Season. I would be doing ya’ll a disservice if I didn’t mention that this isn’t just a New Moon in Capricorn, it’s a Solar Eclipse.
Eclipse energy is a cosmic course corrector. It’s intense, often emotional, as it shakes the etch-a-sketch of our lives and give us the clean slate we need to move ahead.
Have you ever watched a movie in the theaters all the way to the end of the credits? And then there’s that moment when the lights get switched on, and you’re immediately plunged into the bright light of reality? Eclipses can feel like that. It can feel like the rug being pulled out from under you. But it can also feel like a stork dropping a baby on your front doorstep. Eclipses bring gifts and dispel curses, but rarely in a subtle way.
Capricorn is an Earth sign, to be sure, but it is the last Earth sign in the Zodiac that gives it a cosmic significance. Consider that the symbol for Capricorn is the sea-goat, a mythical creature that is half-goat, half-fish—picture a goat with a mermaid’s tail and you’ve got it. This being can swim down to the depths of the ocean and also scale the craggiest mountain. Capricorn energy is deep, gurl. It’s the ability to mine your own depths and then run them up the tallest flagpole. If Capricorn seems terrestrial it’s only because their hidden depths are just that—hidden.
Recently, I’ve been thinking of the coastline as poetic metaphor for Capricorn energy, especially dramatic rocky shorelines such as the Cliffs of Dover or Big Sur or the Napali Coast in Kauai. A coastline doesn’t just happen; it’s sculpted over eons. It's an intense meeting place for the elements of Earth and Water, each crashing wave as important as the one before it. When you meditate on these wonders of the world, you start to understand what ambition and commitment really looks like, and you also might understand that our life’s work is part of a much greater coastline. We are each but one wave, but without our relentless crashing upon the shore, change would never come.