Capricorn Symbolism and Mythology Explained

Capricorn is considered to be the tenth sign of the Zodiac. It gets its name from the constellation Capricornus. It’s also known as «the goat», which is the shape that the constellation takes.

In Greek mythology this goat is named Amalthea. This was the legendary goat that nursed Zeus when he was a baby. Apparently Zeus’ father Cronus tried to eat him when he was a baby. Since Cronus had eaten all of his other children when they were born, Zeus’ mother was prepared. (There really were some dysfunctional families like in these old Greek legends, isn’t there?)

When Cronus asked to see his son, Rhea his mother instead bundled up a rock and gave that to him instead. Then she quickly passed the babe to Amalthea who then hurried him off to a cave to raise. Amalthea was smart, loving and kind. Her name in Greek means «tender goddess». When the baby Zeus would cry, Amalthea would gather people outside her cave to sing, dance and shout…all to prevent Cronus from hearing the crying infant.

How exactly the goat nourished the baby isn’t clear. Some accounts say that the goat broke off one of her horns for Zeus, and that it magically nourished the baby until he no longer needed it. It was called the horn of plenty. However, other accounts say that it was Zeus himself who broke off the horn and then presented it to the goat as a way to supply her with all she would ever need. Again, it was known as the horn of plenty, or «cornucopia».

The «element» that Capricorn belongs to is «earth» while its quality is considered to be «cardinal». This gives Capricorns a strong ability to initiate change in their life, as well as keeping them rooted in the environment and concerned with their personal possessions.

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