Ruled by Saturn
or Cronos, the lord of Time, Capricorn represents the Old giving
birth to the New. All things come to an end, but, within the very
process of endings, lie the seeds of new beginnings.
may seem hard, severe, worn by the passing of time and the awareness
of the limitations of earthly life. We meet her often in our fairy
stories and myths as the hag. The old woman, the loathly lady, the
witch. Sometimes she appears in her male form as the frog.
Hard and frightening
though she may seem to us, it is she who transforms winter into
spring. The hag becomes the beautiful young maiden and the frog
turns into the handsome young prince. Her inner wealth is such that
it can break out as the shoot from the protecting seed or the chick
from the limitations of the egg.
half goat, she unites the strength of earth with the fluid feelings
of water, the goat's horn, the "capricornus" being the
original horn of plenty or cornucopia. In Italy there is a custom
where an old woman arrives on January 6th, bearing gifts for children.
January 6th is the day of Epiphany, which means the revelation of
Christ or the New Light.
The old fire
glows warm in her belly though the earth is cold. From this old
fire is born the new sun at the time of the winter solstice. The
old sun is dying, his flames have burned low. From the embers will
come the spark that ignites the cycle of life again.
This is a time
of outer hardship. Nature has gone deep, the skies are closed and
the toil of earth is heavy. And yet oh wait, for, just as the hard
shell of the nut contains the life of the seed, so, through the
mists of winter, come the first rays of light that will so inspire
mankind to express his hope, his faith in life, through song and
music; art of every kind is born, kindled by the touch of this Olympic
flame deep in the winter recesses of the human soul.
death of the old year which dies to make place for the new. When
the "Time" is right, the "Reaper" comes to cut
away the old, not for self-gain of any kind, but for the renewal
of life itself. She does what she has to do, what is necessary,
but where she takes she gives in return, and her gifts are precious
for they contain the magic of transformation. And so it is that,
as the prince in the old stories overcomes his fear of death and
embraces the hag, she transforms herself into the lovely young maid.
the wonderful old lady of winter, of the shadows, of endings and
of beginnings. She lives within us all and the role she plays is
essential to the natural movements of life itself. We need to know
her and to learn to love her in order to become participants in
the miracle that she alone can bring about. The miracle of beginnings
that are born of endings, of new life that is born from the death
of the old.