The Year I Turned 27, Part 2

Summary: This is a follow-up to a two-part series. The series is told as personal, multi-genre essay where I compare my personal experiences to varying astrological phenomena (namely the Progressed Lunar Return and the Reverse Nodal Return). For Part Two, I open up commentary on the subject of fate and free will as it pertains to the Reverse Nodal Return. See Part 1 here.

I wanted to be a beautician when I was four. The stereotypical appeal of beautifying something appealed to me — I’d get an excuse to play in hair and scrunch it up, color it, cut it. And I had said as much when the thought came to me, announcing it to my dad while I sat on the living room floor.

“If that’s what you wanna be.” He would say with a non-committal shrug, turning the stereo’s big volume knob with his headphones askew.

The lack of drama the answer provided was satisfying to girl-me, even assumed; I took the phase ‘you can be anything you put your mind to’ quite literal. Had there been any classmate or teacher or random cousin I saw only once a year were waiting in the wings to tell me otherwise, I would insist upon this and then skip away with a big smile on my face. It wouldn’t have made sense, after all, for the adults in my life to tell me such things if it was just empty words.

To get a child to step on the hamster wheel of “What Am I Going To Be When I Grow Up” requires careful conditioning. To get them to believe the idea that a career is the height of aspiration before they can say who they are, or like, spell P-I-Z-Z-A is an act of subversion, and the trick lay in confusing potential for identity.

In this instance of subversion, I changed my mind from beautician to doctor when I was seven thinking it was my idea to do so. Of course I would become a doctor because my guardians say doctors are smart — they say I am smart, too. But they did not say the same thing about being a beautician. Actually, they didn’t say anything about being a beautician. I don’t think they had to: In the lapse of silence where no real logic was provided, girl-me could only use my lack of permanence in yes or no, red or blue. If doctors were smart, then it had to be that beauticians were not.

On the very first page of Google, fate is described as “the development of events beyond a person’s control, regarded as determined by a supernatural power.” Further down, the search term “fate” also pulls up: brands, an anime called Fate/Stay Night, FATE the game, and the city of Fate, TX.

reactions on Twitter: "hank hill king of the hill trying not to laugh" / Twitter
If you live in Fate, TX and go on a date, would you call it a “date with destiny?” / Source (C) Adult Swim.

I find it easier to think of fate as an exercise in surrender. At birth we are christened like trees, vessels of infinite potential with every branch, twig, and leaf available to us. We can be anything we want; the amount of choice is nauseating.

Then you are pruned. The glimpse of every possible life path is brief — fresh from the dark of the womb, who you are born to can cull many wooden limbs. Be born poor or visibly marginalized and already you are condemned. Contract a fatal illness and the branch you climb can collapse. Many trees have wilted to dust before they could even grow their first leaf.

The rest of us clamor up the bark one stumbling, kid-drunk decision at a time. Most trees, with their multi-pronged limbs stretching toward the sky, promise the sun, but never from the same direction. Eventually, we must decide which view of the world we want to take, which branch to climb up next knowing that it will break and that we can’t go back down after. This, I believe, is fate.

Once upon a time I was sixteen and still undecided about my career (a fact that is fine and even perfectly normal for most sixteen-year-olds but was unacceptable to me). I was a few years removed from the death of my father and only months from my grandfather; the single shelter available to me was to take up residency with my older cousin, a choice I didn’t get to have and a choice I’m not sure I would have taken had I been presented with one.

One day, I remember watching a commercial advertising a trade school with a “fantastic opportunity” to become a welder. I knew how much I was enjoying my manufacturing class at school and so I allowed myself, however briefly, the luxury of fantasy. I relished in the abstract, filling in the blanks of what being a welder is like by visualizing the strike of the metal stick and all the sparks that would fly from it.

“I think it’d be fun to weld.” I announced to my older cousin when she strode into the room. She responded, with a wrinkling brow and worried expression, that “welding doesn’t make a lot of money. . . you should get a job where you can use your smarts more.”

I don’t know if I would have developed more interest in welding had my cousin not said that. I could have. I continued to enjoy the practiced art of joining metal for the remainder of the class, my hand a conductor, the metal, my baton. But once I passed with flying colors, I never took a class like that again, nor did I keep “welder” in my mind as a career path I could take.

Sometimes, I wonder. Was it because my cousin’s discouragement of avoiding poor people professions — to avoid my family’s “fate” of being poor — that the branch was clipped before I could grab it? Or was she just another agent acting through fate that was keeping me on a path I could not yet see?

There’s a wildly adorable cartoon series named Scissor Seven out on Netflix right now, a wuxia that delivers with equal parts comedy, action, and tragedy. In the season two finale, the protagonist Seven is locked in a deadly fight with a high ranking assassin, Redtooth. Their paths, in theory, never had to cross: Redtooth didn’t come invading Seven’s home (Chicken Island) because he has it out for Seven, nor was Seven even on his radar — Redtooth was there to get his seal removed from another island member (Chairman Jiang), and Seven was trying to chill out and serve up his delicious beef offal. Priorities, priorities!

Redtooth should have at least tried the offal first. / Image (C) Sharefun Studios.

Their paths cross anyway. Because Chairman Jiang and Redtooth take their fight to the park, and because Seven happens to be there, “circumstance” becomes “fate” when Redtooth starts brutalizing every islander who tries to stand up and fight against him. If Seven doesn’t want his friends to die, then he must intervene.

Seven isn’t the best fighter. This is not to say he’s a “bad” fighter, just one that is less practiced like Redtooth, creating a disparity that he finds himself unable to overcome. His efforts to stand up to Redtooth are met with a swift beating; Redtooth then valiantly holds Seven up by the neck and warns Jiang that if she doesn’t lift the seal he will “suck [Seven] dry of his blood.” Just beyond them, Seven sees his fallen comrades, despair spiraling in his eyes until his subconscious self emerges.

“You’re feeling helpless right now, aren’t you?”

The vision Seven’s mind conjures is another him, his “true” self. This is the Seven that is not a goof-off just trying to serve some beef offal, but the Seven who used to be the world’s most feared assassin before his amnesic spell two years prior.

Seven refutes when his subconscious declares that retrieving him will reinstate Seven’s full capabilities as a fighter (“I don’t want to be an assassin.”) Disappointed, the subconscious says simply that he can’t “because I am you.”

Yet Seven tries to resist again. He wants to know why he can’t just forsake his past and embrace a new future (“don’t I get a chance to choose?”) He, like many of us clamoring up our tree, wants to have some say in the trajectory of his life.

“No one can break away from their past.” The subconscious insists. “No one can break away from their fate.

Seven gives in and embraces his fate with the grin of a devil. / Image (C) Sharefun Studio

Here’s what astrology has to do with fate: The Lunar Nodes are two mathematical points in the sky, a calculation of the Moon’s orbit when it crosses the ecliptic (the 2D plane of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun). The point on the Northern hemisphere (above) becomes the North Node, and the point on the Southern hemisphere (below) becomes the South Node.

The intersection between the ecliptic and the moon’s orbit are the lunar nodes. On average, they make a full orbit around the Earth once every 18.5 and change signs every 18 months. / Image (c) Planetary Dynamics.

And here are some common keywords the astrology community (generally) agree on:

  • North Node Associations: Your present lifetime, future goals, where you desire to grow, unfamiliar territory, insight into soul self
  • South Node Associations: Your previous lifetime(s), familiar talents, “been there, done that,” comfortable but predictable territory, skills you accumulate without much effort

Watching Seven struggle, and then give in, to his fate is how it feels to be pulled compulsively by the nodes, back and forth and back again. It’s more pleasant for him to be ignorant and serve beef offal because the alternative is accepting the tragedy that comes with being a Shadow Killer. But he gives in anyway, a seeming inevitability because who can resist the call when it’s time to jump?

Astrology itself is mythology; metaphor. It has meaning to us because we create meaning for it and get meaning from it. That doesn’t mean you should give in, embrace total fatalism, and blame the bad things you do on a transit or placement without a willingness to examine your own culpability in the matter. I just think it’s funny to laugh at coincidence sometimes. Like it’s weird that I can, if I want to, explain away my cross-country move after high school to go to some hippy-dippy liberal arts college as me “living through my Sagittarius north node.” Or that I can justify my extreme obsession with career as a shadowed manifestation of my “8th house Capricorn stellium.”

All I mean to say is: if astrology is not real, then at least the idea of it is.

If fate is not real, then at least the idea of it is.

The technicalities of a Nodal Return can be explained but are best understood when felt. Think about it. What happened to you when you were eighteen that made you realize you could not undo the way you stumbled forward into adulthood? What moment do you think about taking back before realizing that you can’t imagine life without it?

When I was eighteen, it was the leap of faith to leave home for college. I think we all take those but I only emphasize it here because I felt so laughably unfit to take that leap, having been more of a ghost than a girl as a teenager. I hated being perceived when all I had so often wanted was to just exist inside my head.

My head. It became an endless sprawl of thought subsumed by binge-watching anime and reading fanfiction on the internet late at night. I did this because puberty, duh, but also as a defense mechanism from my older cousin’s abuse. To disappear inside my head was the greatest vanishing act I could perform; it was a feat meant to leave my corporeal form in the living room/bedroom/kitchen/wherever I was getting yelled while my spirit hid behind my soundproof barrier.

The idea of leaving the state once it was presented to me meant that I would have to leave my head. My Gemini South node made me hesitant. What if I couldn’t survive “out there?” So many unknowns in buying plane tickets and taxi rides, in charting land I’d never tread and meeting people I wasn’t sure I wanted to be around. The doubt, at times, was more frightening than the misery — I suppose that was just a consequence of having no self-confidence.

But that is the miracle of the Universe and, to me, of God. Even I, the lamb-legged, confidence lacking girl who was learning to believe what others had said about me more than of myself, had decided that I would go no matter what. And when I had booked that one-way plane ticket to the middle of nowhere, Ohio, my bank account flatlining near zero after I hit purchase, I only now realize that it was always going to happen. The doubt was for nothing.

“The problem is choice.”

In the 2003 movie Matrix: Reloaded, the now-famous scene in which protagonist Neo confronts the maker of the matrix (The Architect) to save his comrades on Zion leaps out as a perfect example of fate, free will, and how much we have of either. As The Architect answers Neo’s probing questions, myriad more versions of him appear around them on old computer monitors. Sometimes, these versions all coalesce into agreement over an answer, no one Neo distinguishable from one another. Other times, they can be seen shouting and twitching and shaking their heads in response — a show of free will.

Then Neo is confronted with a more difficult decision. He is prompted by The Architect to either surrender himself to The Source and save a designated fraction of people on Zion, or he can go back to The Matrix and try to save his lover, Trinity, from dying in combat.

“As you adequately put, the problem is choice.” The Architect goads, watching all the Neos’ expressions turn to steel. “But we already know what you’re going to do, don’t we?”

Neo chooses the left door that leads back to The Matrix. There is not a single version of him that chooses different.

Fatalism is the belief that all our actions are predetermined and there is therefore inevitable. / Image (C) Silver Pictures

When I turned twenty-seven last January, I moved to Seattle. There were a lot of reasons — the scene in Ann Arbor was boring me, I’d probably “find my people” if I go to a city that fits my personality better, my life felt like it was going to waste and the pandemic was triggering an existential crisis — but none on my mind as much as getting my business off the ground.

Long-time readers of this site might recall such a time. Vaingloriously, I had tried to be both an intimacy coach and an MFA student after convincing myself that I still had to work while finishing school. Sure, most students do, but why this instead of a regular job leaves a lot of asking room. Like, why was I forcing myself to pick up extra credentials like a whole ass master’s degree wasn’t enough? Or, why I am I in a business where I pose in lingerie and throw out tips on how to masturbate if I hate making my sexuality public?

If your first nodal return is about stumbling forward toward fate, then the reverse nodal return is tripping backwards into it. For myself, I had tried like a car trapped in mud to keep spin-spin-spinning my wheels toward what I thought would advance my career quicker, fuck all that patience shit. If I could become a renowned author with a successful coaching business by myself, I wouldn’t have to keep grinding my ass off with “nothing” to show for it. Finally, said my ego, I will benefit from my hard work.

The problem is choice.

Fatalism sounds like a tragic word. In The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, fatalism is defined as a “what will be will be” state of mind, a philosophical bent that says with a casual shrug ‘you can’t change what will happen to you.’ To embrace the idea that some higher power beyond us determines what happens next, always — could it be anything else if not tragic?

The Encyclopedia of Ethics resists this take, reframing fatalism as the following:

“Fatalism can be understood as the doctrine that it is a logical or conceptual truth that agents are never free to do other than what they actually do.”

The Encyclopedia of Ethics, entry by John Martin Fischer

It may not seem so at first blush. Look closer: the idea that being fatalistic is not a condemnation of our inability to change what will happen, but a celebration of our will to try, anyway, regardless of whether or not we know we will succeed. And it is not as if we never succeed when you look at the arc of Earth’s history. Who else if not us razes the forests and poisons the ocean? Who, if not us, has turned the proverbial heater up on the world and raised it 2°C over the last century? We are so powerful, scientists have named our current geological era the Anthropocene.

Perhaps the absurdity is knowing that all we do here doesn’t even register as a grain of sand on the universe’s scale. That’s the point: real fatalism is not embracing nothingness as a response to living. Real fatalism is knowing that we get to bask in the glory of our finiteness and still make choices, no matter how insignificant that choice ends up being in the grand sprawl of the cosmos.

A good case study offers up evidence after making claims, so here’s a few of my reverse nodal return/”I climbed the branch” moments:

  1. In May, I signed up to take a teaching course for my graduating residency figuring it’d be good to know the basics (“just in case.”) After I had presented my lesson, my students — three classmates and my professor — told me that I was great teacher with a “natural knack” for assessing student’s needs. It had felt like coming home after a long, long journey.

  2. Over the summer, I was emerging from a dark night of the soul. I destroyed the business like I was trying to set a house on fire, wanting all the rot I had felt to disappear into the smoke. I also updated my websites, my resume; travelled to reconnect with old friends; broke up with my ex; threw out every last app and appliance and one-sided connection I had felt could not come with.

  3. Late August. As all good Seattlites are want to do, I went to down to a lake to swim. My friend would introduce me to her friend who had just moved back after a long stint in California; he approached me from the shore, waving at me in his grey cotton shorts and open-chested hakama. This is now my fiancé’-to-be.

I can say many things about these moments — that they were insightful, moving, a profound reminder from God to be in tune with my own divinity. But even after all this talk of fate and choice, I can only say this: belief begets belief. This does not exclude poor odds and the slew of obstacles we face, only that sometimes the only way to change is to make a choice. It is both that easy and that difficult.

About The Author

Jasmine Lomax (she/her) is a poet, aspiring educator, and events organizer who currently resides in Seattle, Washington. When Jasmine isn’t busy ticking away at the computer, she enjoys reading, swimming, tending to her spiritual studies, and the occasional bout of crying over fictional characters.

The Many Myths of Venus; or, How to Decode Venus Retrograde

Cover art (c) Janet Hill, “Venus in Her Lair”

Summary: This article is a deconstruction of Venus’ 584-day cycle around the Sun as seen from our perspective. In it, I will go over the two distinct phases of Venus (Morning Star and Evening Star), then wrap up with an examination of Venus Rx and how to work through the upcoming transit. For source material, please see footnotes and references section for additional information on this phenomenon.

Because it has been a while since I’ve posted, I thought it would be fun to return with a namesake post, which is to say I haven’t talked about Venus nearly as much as I should be on my blog (you can blame the Saturn Return brainrot I’ve been having for that). I also wanted to take advantage of the timing: Venus ends her 18-month cycle and stations retrograde on December 19th at 26° Capricorn. As with the other inner planet retrogrades, this infrequent transit is prone to cause a bit of a fuss in the astrology community. But is this occasional backstep that our Lady of Love makes in the sky truly one to fear?

Stream Sailor Venus music | Listen to songs, albums, playlists for free on  SoundCloud
I can imagine the heyday Bustle is having with publishing articles on how relationships are going to end, how you might go into bankruptcy, and how nothing will be enjoyable for the next 40 days. / Image (C) Viz Media.

I think instead it’s more useful to reframe Venus retrograde not as a temporary banishment of anything fun or light, but as a time to practice loving yourself through discipline. What I mean by that is, is that it’s important to abstain from a vice, habit, or person that causes you harm. All three, if you find that necessary. And should you remain skeptical, consider Buddha’s fasting, Jesus’ wanderings in the desert, and Inana’s descent into the underworld. In the same 40-day window that Venus finds herself wandering, all have chosen to abandon their worldly wants at the gate in order to turn inward. Isn’t it amazing that we are able to mirror the universe’s rhythm even when we aren’t conscious of it?

Of course, these 40 days are just the end of what I previously mentioned was an 18-month cycle, which is itself part of an 8-year cycle. During Venus’ 18-month journey, the concluding Retrograde phase is an ideal time to practice a form of abstinence; put another way, Venus retrograde is asking us how we can find the source from within. To make the upcoming retrograde easier to process, it might help to first understand how Venus dances in the sky(1).

Venus’ cycle begins at inferior conjunction, the point at which she folds herself in between the Earth and the Sun. In this phase of her journey, she is hidden from view for about two weeks due to the Sun’s rays blotting her out. Thereafter, she then becomes visible in the pre-dawn sky, rising before the Sun as the brilliant morning star. 36 days later — roughly 5 weeks — Venus’ light is at its peak, marking her as the brightest celestial body of the morning.

The obvious draw to make is that this part of Venus’ cycle is named after Lucifer, the Morning Star. In theory, this would solve our association of her to all things indulgent and excessive. After all, is it not Luicifer — often equated in modern pop-culture as Satan — who tries to tempt us into straying from the path by entertaining distraction? Not to mention the timing of her cycles (all multiples of 6) coincide with blanket association of “666” to mean all things devil worship. Clearly the Greeks were like, so ahead of the Bible.

Ol’ homeboy is definitely out here looking familiar . . . / Image (C) Netflix.

We will say here then that it isn’t Lucifer which inspired the traits of Venus but the opposite. Closer examination of Lucifer’s appearance in the Bible confirms this; as it follows in the King James Version, Isaiah 14:12 proclaims:

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

On an allegorical level, the idea of Lucifer the Morning Star rebelling against God and the established order is presumed arrogance on the angel’s part, for they believed they deserved to rule over man. The historical context around this scripture is more straightforward: around 740 B.C., the prophet Isaiah was predicting Babylon’s end at the hands of an invading army for its purported wickedness. These scriptures warn of a city gone astray from its roots, a city whose prosperity would not last for they turned their allegiance away from God. Wouldn’t it be, then, that the Babylonians’ prosperous reign gave too much credence to excess, a notorious “shadow” trait that Venus is known for in astrology?(2)

More recent attempts to decode this Morning Star/Evening Star concept comes from astrologer Michael Meyer. In his series “Venus Morning Star, Venus Evening Star,” he deconstructs Venus’ phases by prescribing some of the above associations to add more layers of meaning. For Lucifer Venus, Meyer describes those born during this phase as “direct and demonstrative with regard to feeling, and they tend to have an open and optimistic approach to life and relationships.” He goes on to suggest that Lucifer Venus types can endure social rejection with more grace (depending on how fresh out of the retrograde phase this Venusian type is), and that it is preferred to “fit in” in order to make it easier to contribute to great social causes. There is good reason to believe that Lucifer’s ability to sweet-talk angels into rebellion with them and rally others around a “good faith” cause is more intimately connected to our Lady of Love than what first seems!

If you want to test out the energy of differing Venus phases, begin documenting some observations of people’s behavior once this Venus Rx ends in January. Do you feel the people around you are more generous with their time or finances? Willing to help you when you need it? In yourself, do you notice it a lot easier to socialize with others?

Hesperus Venus, the Evening Star

Halfway through Venus’ travels in the sky (which is 9 months, or 216 days), she meets up with the Sun again in superior conjunction, thusly granting her maxium distance from the Earth. It is this distance, combined with her hiding behind the Sun’s rays, that Venus keeps hidden for two whole months. Afterwards, she appears once more, this time dressed for us as Hesperus Venus. It should be worth noting here how remarkably symmetrical Venus’ cycle is — compared to her early start in her Lucifer phase, she waits near to the end in her Hesperus phase to peak, her body most brilliant in the sky around day 540 (which is 36 days before the cycle resets again at inferior conjunction). Talk about consistent!

As for the myth: before it was known that Venus the Morning Star and Venus the Evening star were one in the same, the name Hesperus was granted to Evening Venus. Of himself, he is a minor god, oft celebrated by ancient Greek poets and sailors for being “the fairest star in the heavens.” It would seem that, unlike the easy-to-make associations the name “Lucifer” grants us with our modern-day view of Venus, the most interesting thing about “Hesperus” is just the drama of figuring out to which set of gods he was born to, no further depth involved.

(Just kidding. Let’s try again.)

It’d be a better use of time to ignore the direct convention of naming for this second, instead focusing on what happened after the Greeks accepted the Babylonian theory that Venus was just one planet. The deities Eosphoros and Hesperus were combined into Aphrodite, whose tale is most famously documented by the poet Hesiod in his work Theogony: two generations before Zeus’ birth, the titan Ouranos kept his children stuffed inside the earth for he was full of hatred for them. These actions angered Gaia to the point of desiring revenge, and so recruited her son Kronos to castrate his father when he came to lay down with her. The viscera that fell from the sky that night disappeared into the sea, the foam enveloping the gutted pieces until from it emerged the fully-grown Goddess.

Hesiod later notes her afterbirth as follows:

“Her gods and men call Aphrodite, and the foam-born goddess and rich-crowned Cytherea, because she grew amid the foam. . . and with her went Eros, and comely Desire followed her at her birth at the first and as she went into the assembly of the gods. This honor she has from the beginning, and this is the portion allotted to her amongst men and undying gods.”

Theogony, Line 195-205

It seems it was important in this version of Aphrodite’s origin story to emphasize her lustful nature. This makes sense considering Aphrodite’s enduring symbolism; however, our favorite poet Homer would decide not to be outdone by this singular origin story and would instead immortalize an alternative. It goes something like this: Aphrodite is born to Zeus and his mate Dione. Dione herself has a few “claim to fame” moments, most notably in Homer’s epic Illiad for healing Aphrodite after she was wounded by Diomedes at Troy.

Beyond this, we don’t know much about Dione and there isn’t much else that compels this origin story in and of itself. Nonetheless, the introduction of a second origin story made its way down to later Greeks and Romans, where the two tales would confuse future readers as to which one was “real.” Plato’s proposed a fix in his symposium that would distinguish the two: for Hesiod, Aphrodite would be thought of as Aphrodite Urania, for she was born from the heavens and therefore thought to hold a universal love that was all-encompassing. Homer’s Aphrodite then becomes Aphrodite Pandemos (“common Aphrodite”), wherein she becomes affiliated with love of a more primal, tangible nature.

The History of Sleeping Venus by Giorgione and Titian
Even when they realized Venus was one planet, she still has two major origin stories. I don’t think those guys were very good at making up their minds. / Artwork: Sleeping Venus by Giogione and Titian

Let’s assume that Aphrodite Pandemos more aptly fits the Lucifer Venus archetype. That would leave Aphrodite Urania to Hesperus Venus; therefore let us suggest that those born during this part of Venus’ cycle are oriented towards a more introspective and withdrawn nature based on what Aphrodite Urania represents (a detached, spiritual love). This is not to suggest that Evening Star Venus can’t party — she is the host who puts on her silk gown and dazzles, the more analytical and presentation-conscious version of Venus that we associate with the zodiac sign Libra — just that she takes more time in this part of her journey to integrate experiences.

Meyer elaborates on this notion by describing Hesperus Venus as ones who “evaluate and react to situations after they take place. . .[whose] strong sense of values and ideals” temper immediate reactions in favor of judging the situation as objectively as they can. Once they’ve processed what they need to, however, the Hesperus Venusian is described as being intense, for they’ve had time to tease apart their feelings and describe with great accuracy what is in their heart.

For this portion of Venus’ cycle (starting September 2022), see if you notice the behavior of your loved ones change. Does it seem like people prefer to hang out with select loved ones more or hang in smaller groups? Is there more precaution in the things those around you purchase? In yourself, do you feel like you need more time to think about an experience you had before sharing how you feel?

Venus Retrograde, and How to Prepare for the Upcoming Transit in Capricorn

Venus’ intricate back-and-forth dance between us and the Sun can be hard to visualize, so let’s do a quick recap:

  • Venus begins at Inferior Conjunction, triggering her Morning Star phase (Day 0)

  • Venus is the brightest celestial object in the morning (Day 36)

  • Venus comes to Superior Conjunction, triggering the Evening Star phase (Day 288)

  • Venus reaches her furthest distance from the Sun again (Day 504)

  • Venus becomes the brightest celestial object in the evening (Day 540)

Around day 554, Venus stations retrograde, her presence a wink in the sky before she disappears behind the Sun. Partway through, she will meet both us and the Sun again in inferior conjunction, resetting the cycle in the middle of her pause(3).

We can reframe Venus retrograde by looking again at one of the famous 40-day journeys I described at the start, and who better than her Middle Eastern predecesor Inana? Famously captured in the Sumerian poem The Descent of Inana*, the Goddess tasks herself with paying her recently widowed sister Ereshkegal a visit. Her journey (starting at the first gate) goes a little something like this:

Neti, the chief doorman of the underworld, paid attention to the instructions of his mistress. He bolted the seven gates of the underworld. Then he opened each of the doors of the palace Ganzer separately. He said to holy Inana: “Come on, Inana, and enter.”And when Inana entered, the turban, headgear for the open country, was removed from her head. “What is this?” “Be satisfied, Inana, a divine power of the underworld has been fulfilled. Inana, you must not open your mouth against the rites of the underworld.”

The Descent of inana, Lines 123-133

Inana’s descent through the other six gates follows a similar pattern, her every precious item stripped away from her until she is bare before Ereshkegal. She is then imprisoned in the Land of the Dead, left to hang as another corpse in her sister’s collection until her servants (as instructed prior to her descent) go to free her. Of course there is more to this myth, but the core idea is one that makes us blanch: the suggestion of us volunteering to “go to Hell” with little chance of returning doesn’t seem worth it! Why give up our worldly pleasures, our finest goods, to pay respect to a vengeful being with no guarantee of success?

Goddess Ishtar (Inanna), Painting by Zinaida Chernyshova | Artmajeur
I’m glad I don’t have any siblings. God speed to anybody who would go though, I’m cheering for you! / Art: Goddess Ishtar (Inana) by Zinadia Chernyshova

One common interpretation of this myth that stands out to me is the idea of leaving something behind. Material goods are the first to go; physical comfort is not allowed when we turn inwards. Then we are stripped of our vanity, our ego — we feel humiliated as Inana did when all that marked her power was stripped away. What awaits us at the end is our own Ereshkegal; before the object of our judgement we will be naked and prostrating for a mercy that won’t come. Then again, that is the point — we can only reach the heart of our seedy underbelly when we ditch our worldly baggage.

Now, about that upcoming transit . . .some of the first things I think when I hear “Venus Retrograde in Capricorn” are: RE-EXAMINE WHAT YOU VALUE; ARE YOU FEELING NURTURED BY WHAT SURROUNDS YOU; HOW ARE YOU SABOTAGING YOUR PROGRESS; STOP BEING AFRAID OF YOUR WORTH; THE BEST FORM OF SELF-CARE IS SHOWING UP FOR YOURSELF. In this version of our descent, some of the things we must leave behind on our way through the door are things like the compulsive want for luxury goods, the angst of not having the “status” we think our hard work should have brought us by now, and the weight of expectation. When you no longer swallow the “shoulds” of life, either from yourself or from others, you will find pockets of opportunity to make decisions for yourself.

Venus will linger around Pluto once her retrograde begins and (December stay fixed to Hades’ side for about two weeks. The cosmos encourages some much needed purging to be done over the holiday season; throw away old things that take up space and have no value. Question where your trust issues came from and if they’re still helping you. The extended contact of these two planets is ideal for popping that proverbial pimple; healing is impossible if the wound is infected. If you find you need some extra help articulating those wounds, the swift-footed Mercury will join up on December 29th to boost your vocal power. Past the New year, look to the auspicious Venus/Neptune sextile on the 5th and the Venus/Sun conjunction on the 8th for inspiration on how to embrace a more authentic life. Towards the end of Venus’ Rx, there may be a bit of a bucking from the cosmos when Mercury joins the retrograde party on the 14th. This could be a sign you need to unplug or take a breather from your current projects to finish processing the emotional journey you’ve been working on.

On January 29th Venus stations direct at 11°, where she cozies up right next to her lover Mars and her friend The Moon. If this retrograde transit encouraged you to be still with yourself, a fresh burst of energy will motivate you to follow-through on unfinished goals, or even start the ones you were drafting up.

P.S. I want to address one more thing about Venus Rx, and it is this: DO NOT BE AFRAID OF YOUR EX(ES). Yes, it’s possible that they might contact you. But you hear that a lot during Mercury Rx too, don’t you? And even if they do, why do you feel like you have to respond? “Closing the chapter” does not necessarily mean that you must be available to do the labor of “wrapping something up.” Sometimes, the message Venus Rx is trying to send is one you already know.


(1) Just in case a primer is needed: Venus in astrology is about the (material and emotional) things we value, our love language, and vice(s) we struggle to resist. Venus also describes how we go about getting these things – is it with tact and diplomacy, or more direct and unabashed?

(2) Ironically enough, the Babylonians did worship a version of her they called Nana (who, like Venus, was derived from Ishtar) but as Irene Toye says best, “her cult (in Babylon) was generally of a debasing nature…her worship far from elevating.”

(3) For the sake of brevity, I did not include Meyer’s research on Lucifer Venus Rx and Hesperus Venus Rx, but he does note that even within the brief window that Venus retrogrades, there are still distinguishable traits between the two.

About The Author

Jasmine Lomax (she/her) is a freelance content creator, educator, and poet who currently resides in Seattle, Washington. When Jasmine isn’t busy ticking away at the computer, she enjoys reading, swimming, tending to her spiritual studies, and the occasional bout of crying over fictional characters.


Venus’s Descent Into the Underworld on AstroButterfly
Inana’s Descent: A Sumerian Tale of Injustice by Joshua Mark
Venus Morning Star, Evening Star Venus by Michael Meyer
Aphrodite: The True Origins of the Greek Goddess of Love, Sex, and Beauty by Miriam Kamil
The Duality of Aphrodite by Robert Lenardon, Mark Morford, & Michael Sham
Who is Lucifer and What Does his Name Mean? by Philip Kosloski
A Prophecy about Babylon by Ryan Foster

Works Cited

Black, J.A., Cunningham, G., Fluckiger-Hawker, E, Robson, E., and Zólyomi, G., The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature (, Oxford 1998- 

Hesiod. The Homeric Hymns and Homerica with an English Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White. Theogony. Cambridge, MA., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1914.

Warner, Irene Toye. “Ancient History and Worship of the Planet Venus.” Popular Astronomy, vol. 17, 1909, pp. 80–84.

The Year I Turned 27, Part 1

Oh, youth. I remember the sweet, swan-song days of yore — it almost feels like yesterday that my only concerns were somewhere along the lines of being mad at how early I had to get up for school and not wanting to wear that one ugly hand-me-down sweater my mom got at the Mormon-run thrift shop. For somebody who couldn’t even brush my own teeth without being told to because I didn’t understand the merits of a cavity-free mouth, I definitely peaked when I was 9.

Will Smith Reveals Why 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' Character Was Named After  Him - Essence
This is a real-life still of me as a kid being hot shit / Image (c) NBC

Now that I’m the ripe old age of 27, I’m not exactly sure how I’m ever going to capture that vigor again. I’ve been told by the media that I should’ve capitalized on my looks a decade ago when I was at the pinnacle of my youth and that I should think about “settling down” since my “best years” are already behind me. I guess what this means is that I need to learn how to get comfortable with my own mediocrity because it’s all downhill from here. . .

Or something like that.

It’s hard to keep track of what I should and should not be doing at this age since I’m in a weird “in-between” right now. I am no longer young enough to hold capital in industries who love drooling over teenage girls, but not old enough to be told I need to go get some Botox injections before I wrinkle worse than a Shar-pei.  And until I actually turn 30, I can’t even be won over by those little Hallmark cards telling me I should go live it up like an extra in Sex In the City.

The Real Beginning 30th Birthday Card - Greeting Cards - Hallmark
Well I’ll be damned. I guess everything I’ve been doing up to this point is meaningless! Now I have to pressure myself to have a successful 30s or else what the fuck is the point? / Image (c) Hallmark.

All said, I guess that means there’s only one thing left for me to do: bitch about it while getting astrology involved.

First, a Primer

Believe it or not, I didn’t choose to talk about my 27th birthday just because I feel left out of celebrating a big milestone (although I do think it’s totally bogus how Western culture makes you feel like there’s not much left after turning 21).  Nor did I choose to talk about it as an Angel Number or a numerological concept – if I had wanted to do that, I could find a reason to talk about every single year.  

Instead, I want to talk about turning 27 because I think it’s quite magical from a starry-eyed standpoint.

Consider: if you’re at least somewhat familiar with astrology, then you might recognize 27 as being the precursor to the ever-dreaded “Saturn Return.” There’s no doubt that you’re starting to feel Cronus’ breath on your neck as he asks you if you’re finally ready to live up to your worldly duties, tick-tock-tick-tock. You’re on the cusp of self-actualization and you want to be prepared.

So prepare you do. Or don’t. Saturn doesn’t care either way. What I mean by that is Saturn will force your hand toward your duties whether you’re being good about it or not, and you’ll know if you’re not because the things you’ve been getting away with up to this point will fall apart. Steadfast friends will suddenly fall to the wayside, that partner you think is the one will no longer be, the job you’re working at will feel more like a cage – you get the idea. At some point, you’ve got to “adult up” if you don’t want an unhappy Cronus tearing apart your structures.

I don’t care how old he looks, this motherfucker ate his kids without thinking twice and carries a giant sickle at all times. Be careful that you’re not on his list! / image (c) Lucille Turner

But okay. You know that’s still a year or two off. And my preamble into this article was about turning 27, not 30, so what gives?

What gives is that in order to be ready for your Saturn Return, you need to be in the headspace to do it. You have to take what you’ve been learning up to this point if you want to be capable of handling what Saturn throws at you.  

It is based on my observation and experience that you first undergo two things to help you prepare:

  1. Emotional maturation
  2. Understanding what you feel “called” to do (or your Soul Mission)

Today, we’re going to talk about the first one and what astrological phenomenon that correlates to. Enter:

Secondary Progressions and The Progressed Lunar Return

Progressions are just one of many ways we can expand upon astrology’s interpretive power. Though I talk here today about one type, there are other methods of playing with the natal chart to get different results, all of which are based on how one decides to mathematically move (“progress”) the horoscope.

Let’s think about this from a 3D perspective for a second. When we are studying natal charts we are doing so from the Earth’s perspective, and the Earth – that big, blue, beautiful planet of ours – is a sphere. I know, duh. But this is where the zodiac wheel comes into play: we flatten the 12 zodiac constellations into a 360 degree circle and divide them up accordingly. This means that, from the start of one zodiac sign to the next, there are 30 degrees (360 / 12 = 30).  

Still confused? Let’s zoom in a little and use the Sun as an example.   If you were to track the transiting Sun throughout the zodiac, starting at 0 degrees Aries (which is considered the “real” start of the year because of the Spring Equinox) you would notice that it moved about one degree every day. After about 365ish days, you would notice the Sun back roughly in the same spot, 0 degrees Aries. This is astrology in real-time.

Progressions work a little differently here.

In the case of secondary progressions (the type we’re discussing today) the rule of thumb is “one day for a year.” Going back to our lovely little Sun example, that means we would stretch out the progression of the Sun through the zodiac to one degree per year. Put another way, the Sun would take 365 YEARS to make a full rotation around your progressed chart, a fact that sadly none of us will live to see!

The same rule applies to all the other planets based on their rate of movement. As you might imagine, slower moving planets like Jupiter and Saturn would be stretched out to a timeframe so long that, when using this method, we don’t tend to consider them for this type of progression.

So what about what’s left then?

Well, between the luminaries and the inner planets, the VIP of this type of progression is the Moon. In real-time, the moon takes roughly 2 ½ days to go through a zodiac sign so once again we apply the “one day to a year” rule here and stretch it out. Now it takes about 2 ½ to 3 years to make it through a single sign, the likes of which cumulates into your Progressed Lunar Return when it crosses over your natal Moon after ~27 years. Isn’t math fun?

Astrolog chart sphere animation
From the Earth’s perspective – our perspective – the arrangement of the planets can be understood based on which zodiac sign its in and the latitude/longitude of the houses at that exact moment. Any time we start tinkering with our analysis of planetary movement, we’re really just modifying what’s already happening above us! / Image (c) astrolog

Alright, alright.

You’ve endured my primer and toughed out the wibbly-wobbly math. Now you probably want to know why that wibbly-wobbly math even matters and what it says about your emotional maturation.

Here it is:  the Moon in astrology is about security and emotional comforts. She also deals with our base instincts and represents our Mother, both our literal mother and the ways we want to be mothered by others. What a progressed chart then does for you is it helps you articulate those needs as you age; as the progressed Moon travels throughout each sign/house in your chart, it illuminates that part of your life for a good 2-3 years and exposes you to experiences that (hopefully) add understanding to your own innate needs. Eventually, this accumulates into your Progressed Lunar Return.

Think of it like a pilgrimage, or a hero’s journey. Before you leave, you make sure to pack your creature comforts (your natal Moon) so that the trip is easier.  As you travel, however, you encounter things that can expand, challenge, destroy, and renew your idea of “comfort,” forcing you to adapt to different circumstances. Once you’ve returned home (your Progressed Moon travelling back over your natal Moon), you not only have exposed yourself to new things, but you’ve also learned more about what really makes you tick on a primal level. You are more appreciative of those homely comforts and know how to seek them out regardless of where you are in the world.

Then you do it all over again. Your second (and maybe) third go-around will continue to illuminate different parts of your life and ask you to expand your understanding on what makes you feel secure; safe. But it is in that first pilgrimage that you get to experience the world raw and undiluted.

You learn how to mother yourself.

You learn what you need to surround yourself with and what comforts you when you are distressed.

You learn, above all else, what brings you peace.

Coming Home: A Progressed Lunar Return Story

My parents circa 1990

I grew up poor and spoiled. Whenever possible, my father would bring back treats from his day job as a dishwasher; how much of my daughterly affections were given was gauged by what he had in tow. If I saw a white Styrofoam box, I leapt (El Matador enchiladas were my ultimate comfort food). If it were a toy – a remote controlled car or a doll or even a hand-held radio – I would stare from my seat in the old, oval chair and wait. I wanted to know what the occasion was and if I could play with it now or if he was going to make me wait.

My mother, meanwhile, was doling out a constant helping of Whatever-I-Want so long as it was the start of the month. The regularity of her Social Security benefits combined with the fact that she didn’t work meant I could be spoiled at any time. On a perfect day, I would head to Shopko with mom, pick up a new Bratz doll, and then be back in time for dad to come home with something twinkling in his hand, no strings attached. At least none that I could see.

So goes the tale of a girl whose natal moon is in Virgo.

In astrology, Virgo symbolizes service. Service to ourselves, to others, and to the Earth. We are duty-bound creatures who want to care for all living things if we can help them because we are in tune with the rhythm of the soil. That does not, however, mean that that service is all we are, or all we do. It’s important that this placement has the chance to explore our curious impulses without being shamed if we “fall short” the first time. More than that, it’s important that we are shown affection without the caveat of needing to “perform” for that affection. That means love is given not just when we get good grades or do all our chores.

I remember the first time I did not come home from school with good results. I was in 5th grade and our homework assignment was to do a state report – easy enough. I chose New York and, with a little web searching and borrowing of my grandparent’s printer, was able to cobble together a serviceable presentation. What I hadn’t realized was that there were multiple things we were supposed to research about the state; I had only done the bare minimum. The result was a not-so-satisfying D.

Dad was the unhappiest that I had seen him. He overheard what happened while I was talking to mom as we got out of the car. The gift of the day – a white teddy bear with a big, red heart – fell limp in his hand as his shoulders slumped over. Where he was about to greet me with a smile, he frowned, staring at me with disbelief for so long that I wanted to vanish on the spot. I still got the gift, but it was on the condition that I would have to listen to him rant on-and-off about how disappointed he was and that he expected me to do better, be better.

Eventually, I was given a chance to fix the grade in the easiest fashion possible: bring something to the class that comes from the state. Since Coca-Cola was made in New York in the late 19th century, all I had to do was bring in a few 12-packs to appease both my fellow classmates and the teacher. This brought my grade up to a meddling C.

The good news is, is that this particular type of incident didn’t happen again. It didn’t have a chance to; dad passed away part-way through 7th grade. The people I lived with afterwards were not as insistent that the occasional C would spell my doom.

But I was. That day had cemented itself into memory, an instinct I called mine despite it not being born from me. I did not need to be pressured to do good in school because I pressured myself. I could live with a B and make peace with a B- but spirits willing, never a C. A C meant disappointment. A C meant I would not succeed.

It sounds absurd, doesn’t it? Yet this – among other toxic, even abusive conditions – sharpened me into my own worst enemy. Though I summoned the strength of my Virgo moon to work my way to an out-of-state college, I carried in my body these untruths. Anything not up to my own implanted standards sent me into a downward spiral, the likes of which I could only crawl my way back from once I had recognized these beliefs as a foreign object lodged in my cells.

After years of therapy and unlearning, I can now emerge from the other side of my Progressed Lunar Return some the wiser. In order to claim myself again, I was called to cleanse that which Virgo rules: I had let go of the need to equate affection with productivity. I had to (re)learn what love without expectation meant. I want to serve but only when I am called to do so by joy, not exchange.

About the Author

Jasmine Lomax (she/her) is a freelance content creator, educator, and poet who currently resides in Seattle, Washington. When Jasmine isn’t busy ticking away at the computer, she enjoys reading, swimming, tending to her spiritual studies, and the occasional bout of crying over fictional characters

If You Think Capricorns Are Boring, Read This

Cover Art (c) Georges Muchery

Oh, Capricorns. Aren’t they so hardworking? You admire pop astrology’s description of their willpower — they are often portrayed as willing to scale to the top of the mountain and preserve through all storms, so much so that sometimes, you wish you had that kind of work ethic for yourself (because you’re a Gemini and we all know Geminis are lazy, lol)!

Over It GIF - Clueless OverIt EyeRoll - Discover & Share GIFs
If Geminis are rolling their eyes after that stereotype, imagine how tired the Caps of the world are.

Before we progress: There’s full bias here since I roll under the sign of the sea-goat myself. I, as most Caps, are not immune to the ego-stroking flattery that comes when other signs acknowledge our ability to haul ass under trying circumstances. Getting shit done when you’re tired, or you’re full of self-doubt — I like to think it’s a superpower to keep going when you want to give up. And I love that we Capricorns will see a goal we think is worth it and slam our foot on the gas pedal to get it, regardless of whether it’s mastering knitting or climbing up the corporate ladder.

I should also clear the air and say that yes, of course this isn’t just a Capricorn problem. Pop astrology, in order to maintain accessibility, will often dilute all of the zodiac signs individual qualities down to a handful of keywords so that it’s easy to remember which sign represents what. For example, I know that if I took a shot for however many times I saw words like “dreamy, spiritual, and spacey” tied in with Pisces, I’d probably need to be wheeled in to the hospital for alcohol poisoning.

But enough about that, though. Let’s deconstruct this pervasive belief that Capricorns are a drag.

Part 1: Understanding the Cancer/Capricorn Axsis as a Way to See Where the “Boring” Stereotype Comes From

I have noticed a particular lack of interest for Capricorn in the pop astrology realm. Accounts on Instagram will make memes of all the signs, often relegating us to being a “buzzkill,” “workaholic,” or, if they’re feeling nice, “the snarky know-it-all.” Now and again, I’ve encountered a meme where Caps get forgotten altogether — we aren’t even a footnote that gets to be a part of the memery.

Thank Lordt there’s fellow Cap-specific accounts capturing the nuance of our personality.
Credit @capricornmemes_

Look, I get it. The shadow side of our sign can be quite dry. Capricorns who are operating on a lower vibration get so caught up in chasing the paper, they don’t leave a lot of room for things like fun, or relaxation. A “boring” Capricorn is one whose most exciting moment of the day came when they found out they were made Employee of the Month. A “boring” Capricorn thinks having a social life will hinder their goals and may thusly give people the cold shoulder, intimidating people away the same way an iron fortress hovering over a visiting knight does. It can be hard to form a relationship (platonic or romantic) with somebody whose only defining personality trait is that they “work hard.”

Now, I could cue the “not all Capricorns are like that” line because it’s true, we’re not. But I’m not going to throw the low vibrational Caps under the bus like that because — even as “droll” as they can be — I can see where that energy comes from. Low vibrational Capricorns may come off as “boring” to a lot of people, but it’s (usually) not because they want to; rather, they are operating from this “work hard” mentality because they are afraid.

They are afraid because they have seen or experienced what it was like to grow up in poverty.

They are afraid because people and systems they once trusted have betrayed them, people they thought they could rely on.

They are afraid to lack in a world that can and will take from them at a moment’s notice.

To them, working hard and building up a secure financial base is the most surefire mean of “protecting” themselves from outside threats. But where does that energy come from? Where does this “lack” mentality exist in a sign that can appear to others as being so sure-footed and prepared?

It’s important to remember that zodiac signs do not exist in a vacuum. When looking at the 12 constellations on a natal chart wheel, signs make aspects to each other.

Example 1: Pop astrology says Scorpios and Capricorns are compatible because Scorpio (which is two signs away from Capricorn) sextile each other. Sextiles are positive aspects where potential can be unlocked if recognized, thus promising an “easy flow” once understood.

Example 2: Pop astrology says Aries and Capricorn butt heads a lot because they square each other. Squares are tense astrological aspects that are difficult to reconcile because the way each sign wants to achieve something is disagreed upon.

And on it goes. I bring this up because it helps to keep in mind that the signs communicate with each other, sometimes nicely, sometimes not. Which leads me to my next point:

A simplified visual of my examples above. Note the “opposition” aspect between Cancer and Capricorn. Oppositions between signs are the backbone for understanding the foundation of what each zodiac sign desires, and how they go about getting what they want.

Because the zodiac doesn’t operate in a vacuum, it’s easier to understand the “droll” Capricorn when compared to it’s equally negative counterpart, the “weepy” Cancer. On the surface, these lower vibrational manifestations of the two signs can’t seem any more different. What does being a big crybaby have anything to do with a dead-inside office worker?

The keyword when looking at the Cancer/Capricorn opposition is security. Consider: the crab (Cancer’s symbol) protects itself by hiding inside its shell. For a Cancer, security is found from the inside-out. This is why Cancer is also associated with the mother; the mother provides a nurturing, emotionally validating environment for her family to thrive in. When those around her are secure, they in turn make her feel grounded, providing a comfortable environment for her to be vulnerable in. A secure Cancer is one that finds strength in their rawness — a crab that doesn’t have to hide.

For Capricorn, the sea-goat, security is found from the outside-in. Goats climb mountains to avoid would-be predators. Among their own, they brawl frequently, wanting to snuff out weaker links and keep their groups small. To show weakness is not something they are afforded if they want to avoid the rare (but very real) threat of falling off the cliff. And as the opposite to the motherly Cancer, Capricorns earn the title of “The Father of the Zodiac.” The father provides with substance. You know that he loves you because he goes to work every day and busts chops to make sure there’s a roof over your head and food on the table. He provides the physical bedrock for which his family can rest in; only when he knows they are safe and taken care of does he feel like he can show his more tender emotions. Put more simply, a secure Capricorn is one that is happy with the legacy they’ve built — a goat who doesn’t have to keep climbing.

Part 2: What Does a “fun” Capricorn Look Like? Visiting the Myth of Capricornus

So now you understand some of the reasoning behind why Capricorns might come off to others as “boring.” Yet you’re still not convinced that we can be “fun,” either. Seeing as I don’t know you very well, dear reader, I’m going to narrow down the list possible reasons to one of two things:

a) You are newer to astrology and so most of what you encounter is only a surface-level analysis (this isn’t a bad thing, it just means you’re still learning)!


b) You’ve had too many bad experiences with those “boring” Capricorns (which is valid, but casting your personal biases on a whole group of people makes you believe it’s a universal truth when it’s not)!

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reboot as Drama Series in the Works – /Film
Everybody has their hang-ups. I know I’ve met passive-aggressive Cancers who have done me wrong, and super detached Aquarians who strung me along…but I don’t assume all of them do these things, y’know?

Regardless of which school of thought you’re coming from, I’m going to explore what a “fun” Capricorn looks like through the lens of mythology, partly because a mere anecdote lacks persuasion, but also because I think understanding the sign’s history will make you do a double-take when you compare it to current pop astrology meanings.

The constellation Capricornus was first documented in 2nd Century by Greek astronomer Ptolemy. It’s two mythological representations are Amalthea, the foster goat-mother of Zeus, and the Greek god Pan, the so-called patron of shepherds.

In Amalthea, you get the provider. Her legacy is Zeus himself; because she shielded him from danger and kept him nourished while keeping him hidden from Chronos, Zeus was able to forge from her his thunder-shield and the horn of plenty, one of the ultimate symbols for abundance. There’s a reason it’s called a “cornucopia” when something is overflowing!

last unicorn, the - lady amalthea look | LostUnicornIcons | Flickr
Though she is commonly referred to as a goat, some believe Amalthea was a nymph, which would still make sense considering nymphs are minor deities of nature, often associated with a fertile earth.

Then there’s Pan. Half-human, half-goat, Pan is considered a God of the wild, fertility, rustic music, and “improptus.” He was once so taken by a nymph’s beauty that he pursued her despite her feeling from him; by the time he had “caught” her, Zeus had heard her pleas, having turned her into reeds. Angered that he couldn’t have her as he had so desired, he destroyed the reeds, only to later weep at the destruction his anger caused. Pan has also been depicted with Dionysus, the God of wine and revelry.

The Youth of Bacchus 1884 William Adolphe Bouguereau
If you know anything about Dionysus, it’s that he had whole cults devoted to the art of pleasure. Festivals would often take place at night, in private places, and with an abundance of alcohol flowing. And if Pan was apt to hang out with Dionysus…you see what I’m getting at?

In the constellation’s mythos, you can see the duality. When we Caps are called forth to provide, we open our hearts and an abundance of care flows from our horn of plenty. Instinctually, even lower vibrational goats know this; what appears to you as surface-level status chasing could be to them an opportunity to get a raise, which in turn may be to because they want to help a relative make ends meet. Resentment may fester within them, but they know the pain of lacking in our very material, capitalist-driven society, and so they work hard to provide — sometimes at the expense of closing out everybody else to do it.

However, one of the problems Capricorns need to face in order to elevate themselves to a state of “higher” vibration is understanding that it’s okay to let their hair down and take care of themselves, too. Like Pan, a Cap in tune with themselves recognizes their deep-seated desires, letting them connect with each emotion with their whole being.

They let themselves be okay with their anger, feeling it out as it spreads from the coil of their gut.

They let themselves be okay with their happiness, reveling in the joys of life and not being ashamed to hit the dance floor from time to time.

They let themselves be okay with their lust, pursuing that which interests them with a determination more fierce than an Aries and more calculated than a Scorpio.

At the end of the day, you’ll know a “fun” Cap when you see one because they are secure enough to share their “horn of plenty” with others. They ditch their “lack” mentality and switch to one of “abundance,” knowing that even if others take from their cornucopia, there is plenty more where that came from.

Concluding Thoughts

First off, If you’ve got this far in reading my article, bless you.

Second off, if you got this far but still aren’t quite convinced that Capricorns can be “exciting,” I implore you to look at the “sea” part in “sea-goat” as well. Consider that another one of Pan’s most famous myths had him hiding in the Nile from the raging titan Typhon. In order to escape, he turned the lower half of his body into that of a fish. On a more literal level, we can see Pan’s strategic move as very Capricorn — he used rational wit and the resources around him to elude danger.

But if we take a second look, his willingness to temporarily abandon his surefooted goat-legs in favor of a fish tail shows that Capricorns are steeped in spiritual potential as well. There are times where our pragmatic nature cannot surmount a task, and it is in those times that we must remember to dip our feet in the water in order to search beyond ourselves.

A Capricorn firing on all cylinders is rarely surface-deep, and it could just be that they aren’t interested in showing you what hides beneath the water’s surface. It could also just be that you don’t find Capricorns interesting because you don’t want to take the chance to peer deeper — maybe you prefer having an instant connection, or somebody who isn’t bound up in so many layers. That’s okay either way, but just remember: there’s a reason the Devil takes the form of a goat.

Image of "The Tarot of the Devil” 8.5"x11" Watercolor Print
I didn’t touch on this as much because I wanted my analysis of Capricorn to be more literal, but Lucifer himself takes on the form of a goat-man in many popular depictions of him. And in tarot, the Devil — which represents Capricorn — stands for all things hedonistic. How can a sign so “dry” represent the most primal and pleasurable when it’s keenly aware of it’s nature? Credit: Micah Ulrich

Additional Reading and References

About Pan
Capricornus Constellation: Facts & Myths
Reframing Capricorn
Zodiac and the Tarot: Capricorn Relates to The Devil