Athena's Web Weekly Column

Week of January 4th, - January 10th, 2008

Capricorn 101

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Mountain Goat

Mountain Goat

  The Sea-Goat of Capricorn is born on the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year. Ruled by Saturn, this is one of the toughest, if not the toughest, signs of the zodiac. These are the folks who often have to go it alone. They can become self-made individuals who pull themselves up by their own bootstraps under arduous circumstances.

  Saturn has a few secrets to share about its sign. Since the hours of daylight are so much shorter than those of the night during the advent of winter, it can be easily understood why time can be considered to be so precious. Daylight is limited. Make good use of it, or you may not survive. It's cold out there. One of the many masks Saturn wears (Lord of Karma, Pan, Father Christmas, Headmaster of the School of Hard Knocks, Cronos, the Mountain King, etc.) is that of Father Time together with his sickle. Naturally, this is the month during which our calendar and year (time- January 1st) are born.

  One of the fundamental tenets of astrology is that by observing the archetypal symbols represented by each of the zodiacal signs, we can learn something about the personality and characteristics of the people born during that month.

  The American Mountain Goat's name (Oreamnos Americanus) derives from the Greek roots 'oreas' (mountain nymph) and 'amnos' (lamb); mountain nymph lamb. They are protected from the intense cold of the mountains (part of the realm of Saturn) by their woolly white double coats. The critical fine, dense wool of their undercoat is fully covered by a layer of longer, hollow hairs.

Mountain Goat

Rocky Road

They can withstand temperatures as low as 50 degrees below zero, with wind gusts of up to 100 miles an hour. Both the billies and the nannys have beards with the male beards generally growing a little longer. Both sexes have long black horns that contain yearly growth rings and can reach 15-28 cm in length. In the wild goats can live up to a dozen or more years. Their life span is generally determined by the wearing down of their teeth. Their diet consists of grains and grasses, herbs, sedges, ferns, moss, lichen, twigs and leaves from the few low-growing shrubs and conifers of their high-altitude habitats.

  Capricorns can tend to be loners, ascending to their desolate, mountain peaks either in solitary ventures or together with the herd for added protection. They are the largest mammals found in high-altitudes, which can reach up to 3000 meters or more. Mountain goats usually stay above the tree line, but will vary their range depending on food sources or seasonal migration routes. Their sure-footed abilities under rocky and difficult terrain can help them rest on rocky cliffs predators cannot easily reach. With cloven hooves that can spread apart for greater traction, together with inner pads and dewclaws on the back of their feet they can safely cross steep pitches of 60 degrees or more.

  Naturally, like any of the signs of the zodiac, these traits need to be translated into personality characteristics for those involved. Mother Nature's mountains can become career pinnacles and tenacious areas of life where we must carve out our own niche, often working against the prevailing systems and abrasive elements already out there.

King of the Mountain

King of the Mountain

  Personally though, I must admit to some bias. Dating lady Capricorns can be tough.

  I'm not kissing anyone with a beard.

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