Capricorn Personality Traits: Everything You Need to Know

From love to money, let’s get to business with the sea-goat!
A Capricorn striding through the snow
Illustration: REESA

Capricorn may be one of the most misunderstood zodiac signs! Capricorn can be so stoic, yet throws the best parties. We guess that’s what happens when you’re born around the new year: The calendar changing is your memento mori, and you figure out how to have rad new year celebrations. This year, Capricorn season runs from December 21, 2023, to January 20, 2024, and if you have your sun, moon, rising, or any other placement in Capricorn (which we also refer to as the sea-goat in this article), or are interested in someone who does, this article may help you understand their personality on a deeper level.


How to spot a Capricorn

Capricorn is symbolized by a mythical creature, a goat with a fishtail—business in the front and a party in the back, more or less. And Capricorns are much like this. Your first impression may be that they’re level-headed, hard-working, down-to-earth people, but get to know them better, and a party animal may be let loose. If you have mistaken Capricorn as a stuffy, uptight workaholic (which, OK, but we all have bad days), please consider David Bowie, who may be one of the most otherworldly artists of our time, or Dolly Parton, who is a rhinestone musical idol. Many Capricorns are extremely creative and artistic, and while some are very obvious about it with their style and dress, others fly beneath the radar until you get to know them better.

Capricorn’s association with goats, who famously scale mountains despite the precarity, has lent a great deal of metaphorical meaning to the industrious, determined, and pinnacle-seeking side of Capricorn. You might be able to guess that someone is a Capricorn because they speak so passionately about their life’s mission (or, if they're currently lacking one, they may be the one fretting about not having a so-called “mountain to climb”!). Wherever Capricorn is in life, they’re always seeking to go higher—which is often the advice they’ll give when you need direction. Just look at Capricorn Michele Obama: She told us that “when they go low, we go high.” The top is where it’s at for Capricorn, whether that’s regarding taking the high road, career success, being an authority, or simply keeping one's face to the stars rather than the ground. 


If you’re working hard to reach “the top,” whether that’s in your career or any personal goal, you’re likely to run into other Capricorns on your way. Their grit, determination, and wisdom will inspire you as you embark on your journey alongside them.

Capricorn and style

Capricorns love designer labels, although there are a few sea-goats out there who refuse to admit it because being avant-garde is more important. For others, being practical and frugal is more important to them than style. Now, being frugal does not mean cheap: A Capricorn will buy an article of clothing in the best fabric possible, perhaps spending quite a bit of money to do so, but will wear the piece to bits and get it repaired when need be. 

They would rather have one luxurious shirt than five poorly made. It’s quality over quantity for the Capricorn, and this is true for most things in life, not just fashion. They enjoy getting pieces tailored and may pick up sewing themselves as it's such a practical skill (two of their favorite words, “practical” and “skill”). 

Capricorns and communication

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Capricorns can be quite dry, and discussions you have with them may be very straightforward and direct. Don’t be offended if they text you back in a manner that seems short or lacks emojis—and don’t be afraid to ask for more information or context if you need it. Communication is a two-way street, and while Capricorns can be intimidating—perhaps thanks to taskmaster Saturn being their planetary ruler—they will respect anyone who makes their needs known!


Capricorns are often logical, and the sea-goat thrives when there are clear boundaries. But, there’s also a very poetic and philosophical side to Capricorn, which you may become acquainted with if the two of you have time to really sink into a discussion. Their sense of humor and pieces of wisdom can make conversations about the most boring topics bubbly and insightful. A Capricorn can pepper necessary discussions about the gravest, most unsavory topics with comedic breaks and empathetic wisdom.

Capricorns are funny

Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, the planet of responsibility and maturity, so Capricorns can be quite serious! But, they have a silly side, too, and are often great comedians, for example Jim Carey or Tracey Ullman. Pagliacci may have been a Capricorn: A man goes to the doctor and complains of sadness. The doctor knows laughter is the best medicine, and tells the man, “Pagliacci is in town, go see him!” And the man replies, “But doctor, I am Pagliacci.” 

Who will cheer up Capricorn when Capricorn is the clown? Or for that matter, who will provide for Capricorn if Capricorn is the provider? Capricorn has many responsibilities to shoulder, so yes, they are quite serious. Their humor is often deadpan, ironic, sardonic, or blue. They can be great at impressions or at coming up with wacky characters, too. 


Capricorns and leadership

Capricorn is a cardinal sign, meaning they are the first sign of their season, in this case, winter. Being a cardinal sign means they often end up in leadership positions. Capricorns are very focused on building a future for themselves and leaving a great legacy behind them, and doing this requires them to be directors, delegators, and leaders. Sometimes they may be quite bossy, especially when they are still green and are learning how to lead in the real world. If you find a Capricorn is being bossy with you, remind them while you appreciate their drive, you don’t need their direction. If Capricorn is your boss, communicate with them about what your shared goals are and explain to them what kind of leadership style will help you get where you both want to end up.

Capricorns and their emotions

Capricorn’s fish tail represents emotional depth, while the goat’s head and front legs symbolize grit, forward momentum, and grounded clarity. They are not unemotional; their feelings run very deep. However, some Capricorns may be cautious of expressing how they feel, and thus feel uncomfortable with other people’s emotions, due to past experiences. There are still many evolved Capricorns who are brave in the face of their or others’ intense feelings, and simply have a calm, receptive way of expressing or holding space for others that doesn’t involve big fanfare. They may feel they have to seem tough, which is a sensibility they might adopt in the fashion they wear or the aesthetic they present themselves with. The immature Capricorn may have a foolish notion that their feelings will be their undoing; however, the wise Capricorn knows that their emotions are keys to doors of actualization. 

Capricorn’s daily routine

Naturally, this will be the longest section of our article, as Capricorns are very busy, and one of the lessons they have in life is to stop trying to juggle a million tasks and to focus on one thing at a time. Their breaks from work can entail shuffling onto the next responsibility, instead of actually taking a break. They often have many pots on the stove as they manage multiple duties at once. At some point, though, Capricorn learns how to make time during a busy day to have a meal while sitting down, or how the quality of their work and lifestyle improves when they have time to chill and read a book.

A Capricorn’s daily schedule is not as rigid as you’d imagine. They have their routines, but they are not always identical every day! Capricorn wants to have authority over what they’re doing, so their schedule can vary depending on whatever needs to happen in that moment. They’re good at prioritizing. If something is urgent, they’ll quickly and flexibly rearrange their day to take care of the most important task. They likely have a contingency plan worked into their current plan to allow for flexibility and ultimate success.


In the morning, Capricorn wakes up already knowing what they’re supposed to be doing that day. They have a plan, which they’ve known about far in advance. They have a balanced assessment of what needs to happen in the day, but they could always be tempted to do more than necessary.

If they don’t have any sufficient distractions or friends calling them for dates, then by noon they’ll have already planned out the next two years of their life. Or maybe they’re just waking up from having stayed up into the wee hours of the morning! In that case, they might need some reassurance that getting sleep indeed wasn’t a waste of time.  

In the evening, you can find them switching into their second life, blowing off steam and decompressing. Maybe they’re swapping their role as a high-power corporate employee to a chill mom with a glass of wine. They go from using their brain all day to needing to do something mindless or simple to counteract it.

Capricorns are results-oriented, and fitness programs with detailed steps may be attractive to them. They like to track their progress and can find that their daily tasks take them to new and unexpected places. For example, they may start their training focusing on flexibility but end up focusing more on building strength instead. Variety is important in their routine to keep them interested and not feel like taking care of themselves is a boring chore.


Exercising with a buddy may be helpful, and they can definitely be influenced by their workout buddy. Capricorn can be solitary in many ways, but a midday hike may be more gratifying with a friend. Being able to talk, read, or send emails during their fitness routine could be part of their typical multitasking.

Breathing is a part of Capricorn’s approach to wellness and health. Through breathwork, they learn how to move through their deep emotions. They also can enjoy yoga or other forms of movement where breathing is central to the ritual. 

Capricorns are very busy: They are running around town taking care of errands, making calls, and practicing how a negotiation will go in their minds before the conversation takes place. A meditation practice can be very supportive for Capricorn, whose body and mind are often so busy! 

Some say Capricorns age in reverse

Time bends for no one, but an old legend about Capricorn—ruled by the planet of time, Saturn—is that they become more carefree and playful as they get older. They may have had so many responsibilities as children that by the time they grow up, they’re eager to enjoy life in a way they hadn’t been able to. Or for some other Capricorns, maybe it’s possible that they are “late bloomers,” having needed more time to marinate and fully step into themselves. Being responsible as they are, some Capricorns may avoid early aging by being cautiously devoted to their health. Or investing in Botox. 

Capricorns and school

Yes, Capricorns love learning, and their education never ends. They enjoy being an apprentice. They go through life often having to be in charge, and a classroom might be one place where they can sit back and receive direction rather than be the one giving it. It’s a welcome break! They enjoy classes where they learn formulas and systems, where investigations are made, or where deep analysis is done: they are often fantastic at observing patterns. They also enjoy making lists, checking items off of lists, making observations, and writing equations. This can make them great to work with on research projects—just be sure to do your part. Don’t expect Capricorn to do everything for you just because they are capable. 

Capricorns and work

A prime motivator in Capricorn’s life is building for the future, and long hours may very well be part of that process. But that doesn’t mean they can’t learn to lead a more balanced life—and they would be wise to notice when they are working as a way to escape their everyday problems. 

Their work can require them to wear many different hats, which can easily sneak its way into their private life. This can serve as an unexpected advantage. Capricorns enjoy having friendships and positive relationships with their colleagues, which grants them more respect and a gentle authority in their line of work.


Capricorns love to have a purpose. They have their sights set on it, and they are happy to toil away. Others may jealously perceive this sort of industriousness as “workaholism,” but Capricorn ultimately finds peace and meaning through their vocational calling, which isn’t always their day job, either.

Capricorn and art

Capricorns love to make and to collect art. Being an earth sign, Capricorn is connected with the material world and all of the sensuous wonderful things it has to offer: Art is arguably the ultimate product! Art in all shapes and forms is one of Capricorn's favorite pastimes.

They can be painfully aware of the financial side of art. According to an interview with Madonna, Capricorn painter Jean-Michel Basquiat asked her for his painting back after they broke up because he was worried that she would sell it. Another downtown New York City Capricorn was Taylor Mead, who was called “the first underground movie star” by Village Voice film critic J. Hoberman. Many a Capricorn may have to decide in their lives if they will stay underground or take it mainstream (or, as people say, “sell out”)—it's a question that weighs heavily on the mind of the sea-goat.

The sea-goat experiences the deep sea depths and mountain peak highs of life. Art can be an outlet for their pain or an avenue to holistically understand their senses. Sculptor Louise Bourgeois began making art about family after her mother’s death. She says the spider, one of her most recognizable motifs, is “an ode to her mother.”


Edgar Allen Poe was a Capricorn, one of the grandfathers of goth, famous for his atmospheric and macabre short stories. While many Capricorns' favorite color is black, we can’t ignore the other side of the sea-goat, which embraces the full spectrum of color. Painter Henri Matisse was famous for his use of color: he’s quoted as saying, “With color one obtains an energy that seems to stem from witchcraft.” 

J.R.R. Tolkien was a Capricorn and built a world many of us love to escape to in his high fantasy works, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. In true Capricorn fashion, this creation wasn’t based on something meaningless and spun from thin air, but was strongly influenced by his background as a linguist. 

Capricorn and their spending

We typically think of Capricorns as being cautious and frugal. However, the truth is that they can be big risk takers when it comes to building wealth and spending their money. The goat scaling the side of the mountain isn’t afraid of heights, and Capricorn knows that there are perils to encounter in order to attain wealth. But they somehow graciously achieve it. Even if they are taking a calculated risk, they have won the trust of others, making them easy to win over investors, scholarships, and grants. 

Many Capricorns dream of having enough disposable income to do something “interesting” with it. Ask a Capricorn what they would do with a large sum of money, and they’ll have a business plan which solves a societal issue and keeps them and their family safe from financial precarity as well. 


Your Capricorn friend may have been the first to explore crypto in your friend group—or at least they have formed a thoughtful opinion on it! Maybe they’re disappointed that they didn’t buy bitcoin at the right time. Or maybe they think crypto is dumb and fake, skeptical to believe the hype.

Capricorn at home and with family

Capricorn’s life can be busy, so they want their home to be somewhere calm that they can recharge. There, they can find more energy to wake up the next day and win again. You can always find Capricorn in a power place—the position in the room that has the most power, according to feng shui. They like to decorate their home as simply but elegantly as possible. They can have a knack for candles. 

Their dream house would have a fire pit or fireplace. A floor heating system would be nice. Their home is warm and glowing featuring a centerpiece that everyone can gather around on dark winter nights to share stories about where and when it all began. Without a fireplace, a warm table with hot food on it is good enough. They want to talk about the genesis of family relationships, immigration stories, and learn about what they were like as babies, too. 

Capricorn has a reputation for being the responsible one, which likely began in a family dynamic. Depending on the family relationship, Capricorn’s “responsible” role can play out in different scenarios. Maybe they’re the responsible sibling that always did good—or maybe they’re the responsible scapegoat, at the end of a pointed finger! Ultimately they want their family to exist as a unified unit, no matter how divided or conflicted it may appear.


How Capricorns have fun

Capricorns are very sensual people, and they enjoy unwinding by listening to great music, eating delicious food, getting massages, viewing beautify art, or simply taking a stroll with someone they love. Capricorns love to feel good!

Capricorn is associated with The Devil card in the tarot, and while Capricorn may have a reputation for being a hardworking goody-two-shoes, they absolutely have an impish side that enjoys a night of debauchery. They have their virtues, but they’re familiar with vices too.

Their hobbies might include going to night clubs with live music, collecting folk art, browsing the aisles of luxury department stores (just to look at how much they’re selling things for these days), and indulging in the material world. When a Capricorn loves sex, it hits different than when any other sign loves sex! It’s another one of life’s simple pleasures that Capricorn can make into a pastime.

Capricorn and friendship

Capricorn may develop quite intense friendships over the course of their life. Many Capricorns have what it takes to be a lifelong friend. They can be loyal, honest, and trustworthy. They are sincere when it comes to friendship, and this can result in long, sustained friendships. They look for privacy and discretion from their friends. They are skeptical of those who gossip or speak poorly of others in their presence—so mind your manners!

The immature Capricorn may burn bridges quite quickly with friends who don’t abide by their very rigid ideas of what works for them and what doesn’t. However, with time, a mature Capricorn may learn to accept people for who they are, rather than burn a bridge. The same faces in a Capricorn’s life can take many different meanings: they may be able to transform the friendship from one that was very close to perhaps a little more distant, or they may later in life become much closer with someone they knew as a child.


Capricorns love an inside joke and sharing secret codes or languages with their friends. This can manifest as their interest in clubs and communities where there are initiation practices, like Greek life. A community or collective where people seem to know something that everyone else doesn’t attracts Capricorn.

Who Capricorn is attracted to

Emotional intelligence is of prime importance to Capricorn. They know that it’s a rough world out there, and they won’t be so interested in people who seem too detached. They can feel aloof enough on their own, and they often desire relationships with extra openness, warmth, and sentiment to set them right. A sensitive, open-hearted person helps Capricorn remember the most important thing in the world: love!

Caring, perhaps even maternal, are qualities that draw them to a person. Would you rescue a baby animal you found in the woods? Can you whip together a meal from random ingredients in a pantry? Are you a safe person to share fears and big dreams with? If so, Capricorn may be interested!

Creative types who are not afraid to express how they’re feeling, who can make their emotional and sensual experiences into something beautiful, sincerely interest Capricorn! If you’re not too insecure to expose yourself psychologically for the sake of art, Capricorn is likely into that quality—it’s likely a turn on.

Dating a Capricorn

They don’t like to rush, but they also really don’t like to wait around for people: know what you want, and don’t be weird about jumping into something too quickly! While it’s a red flag for any zodiac sign to run into a relationship head first, it’s especially alarming when Capricorn does it, as they typically move at a slow, steady, deliberate pace with most things in their life. Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, the planet of time, and they like to take theirs!


Some Capricorns are very happy to date multiple people and to explore different desires and fantasies. Some Capricorns can have a very one-track mind, and if they have a crush on someone, it can be hard for them to have eyes for anyone else! It depends on what stage of life they’re at, though, and what they’re looking for in a relationship. 

They can be a little old fashioned in some ways. It’s possible that they feel disenchanted by dating apps, wishing they were born in a different era, while others are excited to have easier access to sex. Capricorn can be really into sex when they feel like they can let their guard down, so much that it’s one of their common pasttimes.

Their greatest qualities as a lover are their patience, kindness, and reliability. They are also very happy when their partner looks and smells their best. But please, don’t try to look or smell like anyone but yourself if you’re trying to impress Capricorn. Being phony is a turn-off, and if they’re into you, you shouldn’t second guess yourself.

Getting cut off by a Capricorn

Capricorns aren’t typically ones to ghost, as they regard themselves as being responsible and honest. However, if an encounter or relationship becomes too overwhelming or crosses a boundary for them, they can cut off communication quite abruptly, as any zodiac sign might. There are times when it’s appropriate to cease communication, but there might be times when they (or any zodiac sign!) are being reactive, and they might feel that by shutting someone out, they are defending themselves. But being so defensive may find them missing out on great opportunities to work through interpersonal issues.

If you’ve been cut off by a Capricorn, there’s a chance that they did not have time for your foolishness. They have responsibilities to take care of and sometimes frivolous relationships are not one of them. They may have felt like you wasted their time.

Capricorn and travel

Capricorn’s adventurous nature is often channeled through their creative practice and their investment choices, less so by actually traveling—but they do enjoy a jaunt! When they travel, Capricorns keep a detailed itinerary. They like to know where they are going, when they will be there, who will be there, what the hotel is like, and if there will be wi-fi. They can be nervous when traveling, and having things under their control can help them feel more grounded. To let loose when they travel, Capricorns would be wise to have a travel guide or find someone else they trust who can lead the way. Capricorns like to manage everything, but when you’re going somewhere you’ve never been, there’s only so much that can be managed! 

Capricorns like to stay busy when they travel, so it’s ideal for them to go someplace where they can enjoy their favorite activities, or where they can walk around, talk to friends or locals, shop, and sample food. A local cooking class or workshop could be an interesting tourist activity for Capricorn—they like to get involved when they travel! They can sit on a secluded beach for about three days before they will be desperate for a little variety in food, company, scenery, or wi-fi to check in with work and the world. This is a big claim to make for a zodiac that often moans about wishing they could be alone on a mountain top, meditating under the sun, with no responsibilities to haunt them—and sure, there are probably a lot of Capricorns out there who would love a few weeks away from everyone, doing something very simple and just enjoying the elements. However, the typical Capricorn will want to know what new shops we can stroll by before dinner.

Capricorn and spirituality

Being ruled by the planet of time and space, Saturn, Capricorn knows about life’s limits. This is what gives them their spiritual wisdom, which they’ve likely had from a young age. They are not unfamiliar with mortality. Their experiences and insights about life’s endings can make them fascinated with the eternal or immortal. Religion and spirituality can be a way that Capricorn finds refuge and freedom. They can have great hope that they are a part of something much larger than themselves, and they find immense joy and independence when they can explore their beliefs or be charitable through volunteer work.