“It is only the gay and innocent and heartless who can fly. ” “What is gay and innocent and heartless? I do wish I were gay and innocent and heartless.”
That wistful complaint from James M. Barrie’s Peter Pan might well be spoken by a Capricorn who envies the Aries ability to fly happily through life, with free and careless style. However, the Goat needn’t envy the Ram’s flair for being heartless, because it’s synonymous with selfishness, a quality not at all exclusive with Aries. Capricorns possess more than their fair share of it.
Aries selfishness is the result of the Ram’s thoughtless and often infantile desires. What Aries wants, one way or another, Aries gets, when he – or she has learned to curb that Mars enthusiasm and not forge ahead too quickly. Capricorn selfishness is motivated by the Goat’s determination not to look back to see who slipped and fell behind, lest it delay his (or her) own personal appointment with destiny. Still, selfish is selfish, whatever the basis or the cause, and they’re both guilty of it rather frequently.
As for the other two requirements for flying – gaiety and innocence – the Goat has every reason to envy the Ram. Gaiety is not a word one ordinarily associates with Saturn-ruled people. Try applying it to Capricorns Humphrey Bogart, Edgar Allen Poe, Joan of Arc or Howard Hughes. Bogart gaily pulling out his revolver. Poe gaily “quoting” the Raven. Joan of Arc gaily leading the Armies of France against England. Howard Hughes – well, Howard Hughes gaily doing anything. Or even his identical twin brother, Robard Hughes. (If he should happen to have one – just fantasizing, you know.) Nor is innocence a Capricorn quality. Cappies are never innocent, not even as tiny babes, toddlers and children. The entire bunch of them, whether clad in pink or blue booties, were each and every one born a little old man, or a little old woman, with an in- grained and very “grainy” sense of both wisdom and patience, not normally acquired until near or past the century mark, chronologically speaking.
And so, you see, there’s small chance that the Goat will fly through life with the naive gaiety and innocent guilelessness of the Ram, until well past what is fallaciously called “middle age” (since it’s really quite young in a life expectancy span of three to five hundred years, attainable even now, for those who properly seek it). Then the Capricorn “reverse aging” process will begin, bringing on spurts of total abandon that can sometimes cause the Goat to even soar high above the Ram. That’s why Aries people usually feel more comfortable around older Goats. The younger ones make them nervous.
Aries reasons for forming any kind of human relationship or association are always impulsive and idealistic, governed by the emotions. Capricorns have more practical motivations. Although Goats quite understandably resent the astrological implication that many of them are inclined to “marry up the social or financial ladder,” it’s nevertheless more often true of Cappy than of Aries. It’s not that Capricorns are cold and calculating. After all, they’re just thinking of those yet-to-be-born youngsters. Not only are they going to wear shoes, they’re going to wear good shoes, because a podiatrist is frightfully expensive. And they’re certainly not going to suffer (the children, not the podiatrists) in the future for any romantic flings of the present. This is why Cappy is often horrified to hear about a couple of friends, living in unwedded bliss, who plan to give up their jobs and bike across Europe for a year or so. It isn’t the lack of the marriage certificate alone that disturbs the Goat. What if she should get pregnant over there? And if he gives up a perfectly good job, how will they ever afford to get the children’s teeth straightened?
Now, this may shock a few of the Cappies reading it, right down to the toes of their sensible boots, but we’re into the Aquarian Age, my dears, and the girl and her beau in our example are experimenting with a trial marriage. You see, they aren’t planning to have any children with crooked teeth or toes, until they’re sure they can stand each other long enough to raise a family with some sense of permanency. If it doesn’t work out, they’ll part as friends (usually) much sadder, but also considerably wiser.
The typical Aries reaction to such an arrangement is rather touchingly sentimental and romantically hopeful. If the two of them really love each other, thinks the Ram, then they should know it’s going to be forever, so why not marry in the beginning?
The typical Capricorn reaction to the same situation is also rather touchingly sentimental and romantically hopeful. The Goat girl echoes the girl Ram’s question. If the two of them really love each other, they should know it’s going to be forever, so why not marry in the beginning? So far, the Goat and the Ram are walking the same path. Then Mars and Saturn part company. Abruptly.
After due deliberation, and careful reflection – and after the initial shock has passed – Cappy will give the issue thoughtful Saturnine consideration, and finally decide that the arrangement makes good sense after all. (Since the Goat is a confirmed realist, Capricorn morality is very closely interwoven with Capricorn practicality.)
All right, forget about the orange blossoms and the moral issue, but still Capricorn wonders, “who’s going to pay the rent?” Probably the girl. Her lover, you see, yearns to become a poet, so she may have to support them both for a while. Aries finds nothing at all wrong with that. Not so Cappy. Capricorn’s advice to the girl then, would be: “Tell him to forget the limericks and earn some bread, or bid him one of those friendly farewells, with no regrets.”
Capricorns are always hurt when Aries people accuse them of being ambitious. They think no one knows it. Who, them? Ambitious? Yes, them – ambitious. There are other Saturnine traits that Goats are a little slow to recognize in themselves, like those periodic binges of gloomy pessimism, their hankering to grab the top rung of the social ladder, their reluctance to defy the Establishment – and their often blind obeisance to tradition, family, law and order and all forms of authority. (Goat J. Edgar Hoover was just doing his Saturn thing.)
Rams are ambitious, too, but quite open about it. Instead of pessimism, they have periodic binges of downright foolish optimism. Most Aries wouldn’t know a social ladder from a tall shutter, they delight in defying the Establishment, they feel no obligation whatsoever to respect any sort of authority – and their blind obeisance is paid, for the most part, to themselves, to their own ideas and desires.
As an Aries myself, I make the following confession most reluctantly. But if it will help make the vibration between these two Sun Signs more clear, well … all right. My daughter, Jill (a Capricorn), was wiser than her mother from the very day she was born. Not only wiser, but calmer, more practical, more sensible – and exasperatingly always right. Did I mention more cautious? Also more cautious.
I began rather early taking Jill along with me when I was Christmas shopping, knowing she would make sure I didn’t lose my money, my pocketbook, my packages – or my head. We started this little holiday tradition when Cappy was only eight years old. It was humiliating. But it never failed to work.
Before I started taking her along, there was never a Christmas I didn’t leave my shopping money – or half a dozen gifts – on a counter somewhere on the first floor of Macy’s or Gimbel’s only realizing it when I was on a crowded elevator, on the way to the twelfth floor. After a while, I decided I was really overworking St. Anthony (finder of lost articles) and drafted my tiny Goat into duty as chaperone. I pass this along to Aries parents of Capricorn youngsters everywhere, as sort of a Noel gift … for all seasons.
Bobbs Pinkerton, the warm and wise Capricorn editor of my first book, Sun Signs, once swore to me that she wasn’t a typical Goat Girl because she adores (she claimed) bright colors. “Mad about them,” I believe, was the way she put it. (Astrologically very doubtful, although she does have a Sagittarius Moon, and quite probably wants to be mad about them.) So we made a bet – naturally, a small one, since Capricorns don’t wager with much largesse – and went through her closets.
We found nothing but black (with a few stingy white trims) navy blue, dark green, and brown. Finally, she triumphantly pulled out of the very back of the closet a wild, canary yellow jumpsuit, carefully wrapped in tissue and strongly smelling of moth balls. I gave her my most direct Mars look, and she owned up, blushing, “Well, I only wear it at home, but it was such a bargain.” Being a typically honest Goat, she knew the fourteen cents she bet me was rightfully mine, and promptly paid it.
Capricorns have this truly marvelous ability to face the facts dispassionately, curb their faults and make the very best of their virtues. It wouldn’t hurt most Rams to imitate them. Speaking of jumpsuits and such, Cappy Bobbs claims she has an eighty-year-old Capricorn neighbor who wears mini-skirts with demure high-necked, long-sleeved blouses. “Well,” she says, “I figure it this way. The legs are the last to go.”
So it’s a mistake to think of all Goats as Grandma Moses or Whistler’s Mother. The male Capricorns are not always as prim and proper as you might think either. Not being burdened with excess baggage of Aries idealism, they can shock a Ram with all sorts of unexpected propositions and behavior – in private.
However, in the final analysis, the Capricorn mind runs in rather conservative grooves, at least publicly. Aries is frequently accusing Capricorn of a lack of sympathy; yet the Goat is not without tender concern and compassion for those he (or she) thinks are genuinely worth it. Cooperation can mean undreamed-of success between the Ram and the Goat, when they mutually aim their horns against prejudice and falsehood, instead of toward each other.
Picture the shy but sturdy and sure-footed mountain goat, stepping carefully from crag to crag, with confidence and determination . . . managing to find sufficient nourishment in patches of sparse grass, even swallowing cardboard and munching on tin cans when it’s necessary. Nothing is permitted to delay his slow yet steady progress to the beckoning pinnacle of truth, wisdom and justice.
Now picture the rocky mountain ram, who requires a diet of richer grass.
Unlike the goat, the ram finds it impossible to calmly digest the rusty nails of-criticism and the broken glass of disappointment… and often misjudges the distance, in leaping between the crags, causing him to fall, and smash his horns. Because the dreamer’s vision distracts him on Nature’s rocky path, the bighorn ram takes some unscheduled detours along the way.
That’s the basic difference between Capricorn and Aries men, women and children. Both Sun Signs are tough climbers. But the Goat’s final destination is the very top of the mountain, the only place where he (or she) feels really secure. To the rare, more gregarious Ram, who makes it up that high, the top of the mountain is a lonely spot, with no more challenges – and what is Life without the thrill of danger? For Capricorn – peaceful. For Aries – boring.
Love Signs by Linda Goodman