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Everything You Need to Know About the Capricorn Personality

Capricorns are responsible, upstanding citizens of the zodiac—a reputation they’ve spent years building and guarding. But there’s more to you goats than just the poise and professionalism we all see, and since you’re organizational nerds, we put together a handy guide to everything you need to know about being a Capricorn. Feel free to file this in your records. We’re sure you have a special folder for this.

Your sun sign: Capricorn.

Your element: Earth. Earth signs are practical, patient and grounded. They tend to be concerned with how to make ideas work within the constraints of space and time, and as such, are often very materially successful.

Your quality: Cardinal. Cardinal signs deal with problems through action. They are the leaders and first movers who set plans into motion, and it can be difficult for them to really sit with and contemplate an issue without launching into solution mode. But if you want something done, give it to a cardinal sign. 

Your ruling planet: Saturn. Saturn is a challenging planet with a reputation for being a taskmaster (just ask anyone who’s gone through their Saturn return). His influence constricts rather than expands, and he asks us to do more with less. But if you can meet his high standards, the rewards are enormous.

Your symbol: The sea goat. The goat climbs and climbs, even under freezing, inclement conditions (snowy mountains are not ideal for a leisurely stroll). But in doing so, the goat achieves the highest heights and breathes the rarefied air of winners. However, that lonely ascent comes with some deep internal emotional sensitivity, and that’s where the fishtail comes in. Capricorn’s symbol contemplates the dichotomy between the cold pursuit of victory and a deeply emotional interior life.

Your “one-word” mantra: “Play.” All work and no play is never a sustainable business strategy, even for the industrious Capricorn. (See every sign’s one-word mantra.)

Best traits: Capricorns are not only among the most ambitious signs in the zodiac, but they also value integrity and tend to conduct themselves with professionalism and consistency. Capricorns are competitive and love to win, but they also want it to be earned and respected. Likewise, they appreciate excellence wherever they find it and can be among the most supportive in the zodiac. 

Worst traits: The competitive nature of a Capricorn can translate into some cutthroat tactics. That ambition operates from a place of protectiveness—if they make themselves perfect, then they’ll be beyond reproach. But cooperation and collaboration are a huge ingredient to success, and they can lose out on meaningful relationships by seeing enemies among potential allies.

Best careers: Capricorns are the zodiac’s managers, CEOs and leaders. Their talent is in wrangling the messiest of operations into profitable, smooth-running machines. They tend to build structures that last, with the understanding that even the best ideas are meaningless if they cannot be implemented in a sustainable way. One of the keys to effective leadership is demonstrating the values they wish to impart, and Capricorns live up to the high standards they enforce.

As a friend: Capricorns will run the most boring of errands with you. When they care about someone, they tend to be invested in their long-term well-being, and, selfishly, they want their friends to be operating at their level. So that means they not only champion your big wins, like starting a business, but they will also “yas queen” you for getting more than seven hours of sleep every day for a week.

As a parent: Capricorn parents can be stern and exacting with their children, demanding a lot of structure and achievement (kids of Capricorns might have the cleanest rooms in the zodiac). But while they tend to demand a lot, they will be expressive and forthcoming with praise when it’s earned. Above all, a Capricorn parent is consistent and trustworthy, and even if they don’t play the “my kid is my BFF” game, they tend to sustain stable and healthy relationships with their offspring.

As a partner: The OG power couple was probably a pair of goats in love. In public, Capricorns like to celebrate their partner’s every achievement, and they tend to be true teammates in love and life. In private, when they relax their guard, they can be incredibly sweet and nurturing, often assuming a caretaker role. They love tradition and rituals—so don’t expect an anniversary to pass without its proper acknowledgement—but can become predictable over time without an effort to also try new things.

Secret traits no one realizes: While Capricorns seem cold and unemotional, when they are truly invested in a friend or a partner, they can be incredibly sensitive. Capricorns take life so seriously only because they care, they really care! They are among the least likely to blurt out something biting or cruel (even if it’s true) because they intimately understand the stakes of getting your feelings hurt. Remember the sea goat’s watery tail—there’s an ocean of emotional intelligence under that dry, polished demeanor.

Kiki O’Keeffe is an astrology writer in Brooklyn. You can sign up for her newsletter, Don't Believe in Astrology, or follow her on Twitter @alexkiki.

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