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Peak Capricorn

There are six planets in Capricorn in the lead up to the New Moon in Capricorn – the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Saturn and Pluto – which perfects at 1:17 pm, Wednesday Jan 17 AEDT. To celebrate this I am going to post some vignettes on the sign, beginning with this excerpt from the Capricorn Chapter of my book Signs of the Zodiac: Clothing of the Self. 
Capricorn is an earth sign, and its animal is the mountain climbing goat. Correspondingly, Capricorn has a natural spiritual affinity with mountains, and also deserts, places of harsh magnificence, where, far from the madding crowd, silence speaks and eternal verities are heard. Is it mere coincidence that all three monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, had their birth in the deserts of the Middle East? 
And to me, both Australia and India in their very different ways, evoke something of the essence of Capricorn. Federated as a nation under the sign of Capricorn, [1-1-1901], Australia is geologically the oldest continent, much of it arid desert, yet possessed of a timeless presence nourishing to the soul, whilst India is home both to the highest mountains in the world and to the heights of consciousness. [Interestingly, the very shape of India looks like the glyph for Capricorn J.]
From ancient times the Himalayas have acted as a magnet for spiritual aspirants.The influential spiritual master Yogananda recounts in Autobiography of a Yogi how as a youth he attempted to leave home “hoping to find amidst the himalayan snows, the master whose face often appeared to me in visions.” Ramana Maharshi too left home without his parent’s permission to find his way to the holy mountain of Arunachala, where he spent several years in silent Self-absorption. His love for the mountain, which Hindus regard as a manifestation of Shiva, was so great that from the day he arrived in 1896 until his death in 1950 he could never be persuaded to go more than two miles away from its base.
On a more worldly level also, Capricorns are great mountain climbers who work long and hard to get to the top of their chosen field of endeavour, whether that be science, e.g. physicist Isaac Newton, astronomer Johannes Kepler, medical researcher Louis Pasteur and Stephen Hawking, leading contemporary physicist and author of the best selling A Brief History of Time; or politics, for example, conservative political theorist, Edmund Burke; former Pakistani President Nawaz Sharif; and former Australian Prime Ministers John Curtin and Paul Keating; business, e.g. Conrad Hilton, Howard Hughes, Aristotle Onassis and Australian magazine editor Ita Buttrose; sport, e.g. golfer Tiger Woods and boxer Muhammed Ali and his opponents Joe Frazier and George Foreman; or the arts, e.g. the ‘Mozart of Madras’, Bollywood composer A.R. Rahman, jazz/rock guitarist John McLaughlin, session guitarists Bruce Scofield and Adrian Belew, music producer Phil Spector, folk singer and political activist Joan Baez, country singer Dolly Parton, rap singer Grandmaster Flask, cabaret singer Shirley Bassey, rock singers Janis Joplin, Patti Smith, Annie Lennox, Marianne Faithful, Rod Stewart and David Bowie [who has Neptune conjunct his Libran ascendant, hence his chameleon persona]; cinema actors Marlene Dietrich, Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart, Diane Keaton, Kevin Costner, Mel Gibson and Denzel Washington; film producer Ismail Merchant; painters Paul Cezanne and Henri Matisse; writers Edgar Allan Poe, Anton Chekhov, Rudyard Kipling, Isaac Asimov, Simone de Beauvoir, J.R Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings, poet Robert Bly and Henry Miller, author of Tropic of Capricorn who embodied the lusty, Pan the goat god worshipping side of Capricorn, as did Elvis Presley and Australia’s first rock star Johnny O’Keefe.

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