-by Sophia Surage, student staff
Capricorn: December 22-January 19
Symbol: (Sea) Goat
Body Part: Bones, joints, knees
Planet: Saturn (Planet of limits, obstacles, limitation, restriction, responsibility)
Color: Dark green and brown
Key Phrase: “I use”
Steadiness, determination, decisiveness, and beautiful bone structure are all characteristics commonly associated with Capricorn individuals. Capricorns’ purposeful pursuit of their destiny is no doubt linked to the goat, known to amazingly bound up impassible mountain terrain. Like the goat, Capricorns find footholds in places where no one else thinks they exist. With the planet Saturn as their ruler, Capricorns follow patterns shaped by the Roman god Saturn, who was the overseer of sowing and reaping grain. As self-sufficient planners, Capricorns invest in the future and work hard in the moment in hopes of fostering fruitful outcomes. Capricorns are very caring and nurturing of people they love and ideas that they believe in. With their ruling element as Earth Capricorns tend to be grounded, intense, and dependable. People born under the Capricorn sign can be stubborn in the best and worst of ways. When Capricorn people are determined to accomplish something they allow nothing to hold them back or discourage them. When Capricorns are angry or insecure they can be icy and un-giving like the earth in winter. Capricorns have no time or tolerance for dishonesty and can at times be very pensive and emotional.
Due to their self-sufficiency, independence, compassion, and determination, Capricorns can make fabulous feminist role models. Feminism is not just about being strong and independent, or thinking for one’s self, but involves a delicate balance between being able to charge forward and confront the ugliest of issues while simultaneously being mindful, sensitive, and balanced in one’s approach. Once again drawing from the metaphor of the goat, Feminist Capricorns must use their inner force and will power to charge up a mountain cliff, while delicately avoiding lose footholds that could result in dangerous crumbling rocks and falling down steep slopes. Further, Capricorns are valuable in feminism because they intentionally stray from the set course, in the larger world as well as within the feminist world. Capricorns have a knack for practicing feminism on their own terms while simultaneously engaging in a loving critique of feminism itself.
In her 1990 book Gender Trouble feminist theorist Judith Butler importantly discusses performativity, or the repetitious acting that creates gender identity and makes it appear static or natural. According to Butler gender is a social fiction, but we often except and unquestioningly perform polarized and normative gender roles because they are repeated until the point of seeming natural to us. The discourses that are produced through repeating certain performances and punishing non-normative embodiments and enactments of gender sets the course for further repetition and privileging of performances that are deemed ideal. Feminist Capricorn has the independence and power to bound up cliffs instead of simply following the already carved out course or path. Capricorns can forge their own path, finding footholds where others may not see them because they are distracted by the seemingly static shape of rocks and ledges. The creative and charming life force that Capricorns exhibit forges a new path and Capricorns can believe in an alternative discourse with such enthusiasm and stubbornness that it no one can question its validity. In a world that teaches us not to accept people who are different from that which is “normal” or to even except the idea that there is a such thing as normal, Capricorns are invaluable characters for enacting new ways of being in the world. Hopefully those of us who engage in feminism can model after Capricorn, of course beginning by not imitating step for step but by paying close attention to context and by learning good footing. Hopefully we can learn from Capricorn the bold act of charging forward, finding alternative routes, and believing in them with such determination that they become powerful enough to challenge the dominant social discourse.