Identity

Capricorns Are Self-Righteous Wet Blankets Obsessed with Wack 'Rules'

Capricorns are so buttoned-up that they'll go in for a formal handshake when meeting a literal baby.
August 22, 2018, 3:49pm
Illustration by Asli Yazan

Astro Roast is a column in which astrologer Danny Larkin drags each sign, but affectionately!!

Capricorn is ruled by the planet Saturn, and in alchemical manuscripts, Saturn is depicted as an old man with a peg leg. He moves slowly; Saturn is actually the slowest of all the viable planets in the sky. In that vein, Capricorns have the ability to see the long game and appreciate the slow accumulation of success built by consistent effort. But Caps can get so caught up in work that they lose sight of what’s really important.

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Most Capricorns enjoy strange rituals regarding their to-do lists and get such a thrill each time they cross something off that it’s basically their kink. Don’t even bother trying to tell a Capricorn they work too much—they’ll take it as a compliment on their strength and an opportunity to reflect on how weak and lazy everyone else is! This "I’m a formidable workhorse" schtick has its downsides: Capricorns take on too much responsibility and overburden themselves. Many Caps go into overdrive when focused on a task, only to end up burned out, melancholic, and deeply resentful that others aren’t pulling their weight. Capricorns suffer from the delusion that they can function on less sleep than everyone else and that no one can work as hard as they can. The truth is, Caps suck at delegating and asking for help.

Because Capricorns are so self-reliant, they’re finicky about their resources and can become miserly spendthrifts. They book cheap flights with long layovers and circuitous paths to save…what, $20? They order dishes they hate at restaurants to save a single buck. They waste an hour yelling at customer service over a small charge that they don’t get refunded anyway, because they’re being a horrible tyrant about how right they are, and that never works. These habits put Capricorns—and everyone around them—in a foul mood. That British expression "penny-wise and pound-foolish" was probably coined by someone exhausted with a Capricorn.

Capricorns must realize that instead of focusing on petty resentments, they should be mindful of their unhealthy social patterns. Since Capricorns think they have their shit together more than anyone else, they can be unforgiving when others make mistakes, and often end up bearing grudges. They resent their significant others, family members, and friends for messing up and leaning on them when it comes to "adulting"—Caps will help get your finances in order after you naively invested in a pyramid scheme, or help you sort things out after you foolishly thought you could move all your furniture to your new apartment without hiring any help. People lean on the reliable Capricorn in their lives instead of learning how to fix things on their own, and when Caps swoop in to save the day every single time, they create codependent relationships. This exacerbates the cycle of unfair labor division, and Capricorns’ grudges get worse and worse.

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Capricorns seem to abide by their own set of rules for socializing with colleagues, friends, and family—their hang-ups around decorum and etiquette can seem straight out of the 19th century. For example, many Capricorns would be loathe to share personal details with their coworkers, even if they’re out at a happy hour or the information might actually improve their relationship! They are the type to leave their business card with your doorman if you aren’t home, or go in for a formal handshake when they’re meeting a literal baby. Caps can be so buttoned-up that their friends roll their eyes.

With all their passion for drudgery and toil, you’d think that Capricorns would be the stars of every workplace. It’s not quite that simple: Caps hate having subordinates and assistants. Capricorn gets fed up fast, deciding to just do whatever the tasks are by themselves. Many Capricorns could actually leave the office earlier or take a real lunch break if they were better at delegating or accept the fact that some problems just can’t be fixed. But Capricorns are the type to go all-in as if they’ve been assigned to Mission: Impossible. They pour their energy into all-consuming black holes, convinced that their magic touch can reverse space-time. As you can imagine, this doesn’t end well.

Relationships can be hard for Capricorns, since love is about play and not work. It can be hard for Caps to slow down for a day at the beach, and they get way too bossy with their significant others. They become obsessed with their partner’s career, turning romantic dinner dates into stuffy executive coaching sessions where they overanalyze their lover’s work habits and push them to develop a five-year plan. Capricorns can be too judgemental of their suitors, imagining red flags everywhere and ultimately ending up with the nagging feeling that their prospect just doesn’t have their shit together. They can be so enticed by a date that’s rich or successful that they completely ignore the fact that they have no emotional connection or shared interests. I can make this work, since their money seems worth it, Capricorns think, without realizing that that in itself is a real red flag.

As an earth sign, Capricorn is probably the most grounded sign of the zodiac. But life is about so much more than balancing your checkbook, landing a rich spouse, and getting promoted. All of Capricorn’s earthiness can be their downfall, and many Caps need to get in touch with what really makes them happy.

Capricorn season coincides with Christmas and the start of winter, when people put a preposterous amount of work into creating artificial cheer during the darkest time of the year. The Christmas tree is actually emblematic of Capricorn in so many ways, since it requires an absurd level of effort, when you think about it: Chopping down a tree that’s just livin’ its life, hauling it back to the house, rearranging the entire living room to set it up, stringing it with lights and ornaments, watering it, spending a million dollars on gifts to array beneath it…then, suddenly, Christmas is over. If only people worked that hard year-round, Capricorn thinks. But people put in the effort because of their love for family and friends—this is an important lesson for Capricorns. Hard work for the sake of hard work isn’t actually a virtue; working hard to brighten the lives of those we love is the only drudgery worth enduring.