Chapter 4: The Mountain Goat and You
A few years ago, I took my granddaughter to the zoo and we spent a good amount of time captivated by the mountain goat exhibit. It was an elaborate one, with the centerpiece being a mountain that you would more likely expect to encounter in nature than in a created environment. And the goats! Up they climbed, one after another. And down they went after summiting, only to turn around, set their eyes on the peak, and start the ascent once more, step after step. It was mesmerizing.
Now, these were mountain goats. Nothing materialized at the summit except the accomplishment of reaching it. But not for nothing are they the symbol representing the sign of Capricorn: they are the embodiment of the focused, determined, goal-oriented, practical energy of that sign. Of course, when we humans are in “Capricorn Mode” (as we certainly are these days with Saturn and Pluto already each operating powerfully in that sign and Jupiter about to join them in December), the responsibility to accomplish something in a Capricorn way gets added to the energetic imperative.
But where are we supposed to direct all this Capricorn power to route out blockages and wounds and create firm structures and foundations? The answer lies in the house of your natal chart where Saturn and Pluto will meet up at approximately 22° of that sign come January. And the effects of these planets will continue to influence the themes associated with that house for months and even years to come, so you have plenty of time to do the work.
Finding the piece of real estate:
1. If you don’t have a copy of your chart, create one on any one of the free websites out on the internet. You will need the DATE-TIME-PLACE of your birth. You can’t know how the houses are placed without the TIME. Here is a website to create your own free birth chart that I sometimes use:
Click here for www.Astro.com (which leads to Astrodienst). Click on “Free horoscopes” near the top of the home page and then select Natal Chart, Ascendant.
2. Each sign is 30°. This is the symbol for the sign of Capricorn: . Look for where approximately 21-23° of Capricorn is located. In the example above, it is in the 4th House, as identified in the innermost ring of the chart, which starts at 19 degrees 32 minutes of Capricorn, and includes the remaining 10+ degrees of that sign (and ends at 22 degrees 52 minutes of Aquarius: ).
3. NOTE: If your calculations lead to an overlap of two houses, the one with the highest number gets priority.
Find that piece of the astrological landscape in your own chart, examine what needs to be done, roll up your sleeves and get to work. To get you started, what follows is a list of the houses and the areas of life experience they represent, along with examples of the kinds of questions that might help you make the most of this opportunity.
Blessings on your way,
Your personality. Your identity. How you interact with the world and the people in it. Your sense of autonomy and authority over your own life.
Do you have a clear understanding of your core nature? Are you being true to it and supporting it without interfering with others’ rights to do the same thing for themselves or are there blockages or behaviors that stand in the way of being all you can become? If so, what are you doing about it? Are you asserting yourself in pursuit of your goals?
Values (not only material) and priorities. Self-esteem. Security needs. Money and other material resources. Resource management.
What is important to you? Do you value yourself and provide what you need in order to grow and thrive and make the most out of your life? Do you use your resources (not only material…things like energy, and time, and commitment) in support of what you value? How is your relationship with money? Do you feel secure materially? Is money too important?
Intellect and communication. Information-gathering. Early education. Siblings. The local environment or neighborhood and the people in it. Short-distance trips.
Do you communicate effectively, with sensitivity to your audience? Are you a good listener? Are you too pushy with your ideas or do you talk too much? How’s your focus and concentration? Do you get lost in the accumulation of trivial or irrelevant information at the expense of acquiring knowledge that could be relevant to your life and goals? Is there a book or article you should be working on? Do you “buzz around” in lots of relatively meaningless activities that get in the way of true forward motion? How’s your relationship with your siblings?
Home: literally your house; psychologically, your sense of being grounded and emotionally secure. Early childhood environment and the domestic environment you create as an adult. The nurturing parent (regardless of gender.) Your roots and ancestry.
Are there family-of-origin issues that still need to be addressed? Have you been able to establish your own independence without abandoning where you came from? Have you found your “true family” (even if it’s not your biological one.) Do you feel emotionally secure? Do you feel comfortable in your home? Is it in good condition, or are repairs needed? (Literally, the condition of the house or apartment you live in can be symbolic of the deeper dimensions and themes of this part of the chart.)
Creative self-expression. Your children. Love affairs (that first great “three months” part.) Recreation and pleasure. Risk-taking.
Do you feel alive in your own life and enthusiastic about living it? Is there something within you that needs to be expressed? What is it and how can you bring it forth? Do you make time for things you enjoy? How is your relationship with your children? Are there issues or responsibilities that need to be addressed? Do you have an issue with risk: physical, emotional, or material (i.e. money)? How's your love-life?
Work (the day-to-day of it and how you do it.) Service to others. Duties. Health. Habits and routines. Pets. Mentoring: receiving and giving it.
Do you like the nature of the work you do, including the environment and the people in it? Are you taking good care of yourself (healthy diet, exercise, getting enough rest)? Do you serve the needs of others at the expense of what you need in order to thrive? Do you have escapist, self-indulgent, or self-depleting behaviors that require self-discipline? Is there someone whom you could mentor… do you need a mentor for needed skills yourself?
Partnership (relationships characterized by commitment and equal voice for both partners) - personal and professional and any other kind you can think of, including “best friends.” The qualities you seek in a partner. Compromise and recognition of the other person’s point of view.
How’s your relationship with your partner (or “BFF”)? Are things between you out of balance: are you “losing” yourself and your voice in this relationship…or do you have an upper hand? Are you burying or ignoring something in the relationship that needs attention? If you are not in a partnership, do you want one? If so, what will you do about it?
Transformation, and empowerment. Healing wounds. Issues of trust and betrayal. Support from others. Deep, bonding sexuality. The occult. Shamanic processes. Psychic experiences.
Does something buried need to be brought to light and confronted? Is there a buried wound that could be healed? Are there trust issues to be dealt with? Have you claimed the legitimate power needed to live your life to its fullest potential? Does something need to “die” in your life (not necessarily literally) in order for you to grow and move forward? Do you trust your gut?
The quest for meaning. Philosophy. Law. Ethics. Higher education. Organized religion. Long-distance travel.
What do you believe in? Are your beliefs outdated or too narrow? How can you expand your horizons (your view of the world and your place in it.) Do you need to investigate new ways of thinking and explore others’ points of view? How should you go about it? Are you finished with your education? Are there legal matters requiring attention?
Your goals and life direction. Your “mission,” what you are here to contribute to the world. Career. Your public role and “appearance:” how you look to people who don’t know you personally.
Are you taking authority and responsibility for your life and where it’s heading? Does that direction reflect the authenticity of who you are? Do you have an unfulfilled “mission”? If so, what is it and what can you do to make it happen? Are you in the right career? Should you be doing something out in the public?
Social consciousness. Harvest (rewards for your efforts.) Your hopes, dreams and wishes for the future. Groups. Friends and allies (i.e. relationships founded on common interests and experience, sociability, or situations such as the workplace, or joint initiatives, not close “best friends.”)
Is there a social or humanitarian initiative you should get involved in? What is it, and how can you go about fulfilling it? Have you received the rewards due you for your efforts? If not, is there something you should do about it? What are your hopes for the future? Do your friendships and the groups you belong to align with who you are and what interests you? Is there a group you’ve been thinking of joining?
Spirituality (direct contact with the Divine) and higher levels of consciousness. The unconscious and what is hidden there. Unrecognized strengths and assets. Intuitive and psychic experience. Compassionate action. Involvement with those who are set apart or isolated (prisons, hospitals, etc.) Time alone.
Do you make room in your life for quiet time alone that will help you get in touch with your intuitive guidance, inner wisdom, and connection to Spirit? Are there “buried treasures” in yourself that are waiting to be discovered? What is your gut trying to tell you? Do you follow it? Are you confusing reality with your own fears or desires? Are you drifting, avoiding something that needs action or attention? Are you feeling depressed or hopeless? If so, what are you doing about it?