Everything You Need to Know About the Capricorn Personality

An earth sign that’s practical, patient, grounded and action oriented

Collage of Capricorn celebrities including Dolly Parton, Kate Middleton, Denzel Washington, Michelle Obama on a pink background.
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Capricorns (December 22 to January 19) 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.

First, an overview. This zodiac’s sun sign is Capricorn (for newbies, being a “Capricorn” refers to your sun sign), and its element is earth. Earth signs are practical, patient and grounded (unlike some other zodiacs we know). 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.

Capricorn’s modality is cardinal. These 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—it’s never “OnlyPlans” with them.

This sign is ruled by Saturn, 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.

Symbolized by the sea goat, Capricorns have all the grit and determination characteristic of this avatar. 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. But don’t forget that Capricorn’s aren’t just any goats—they’re goats of the sea! There’s a fluidity, creativity and flow to their actions that often gets overlooked. Being successful starts with having big dreams, and Capricorns aren’t afraid to tap into their more vulnerable side to get what they want.

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What Are Capricorn’s Best Traits?

Capricorns are not only among the most ambitious signs in the zodiac (fitting that their key phrase is, “I use”), 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. While they are incredibly hard workers, Capricorns should also let it loose, too. In fact, the one-word mantra the goat needs to keep in mind is “play.” All work and no play is never a sustainable business strategy, even for this industrious sign. And when a Capricorn has fun, we all have fun.

What Are Capricorn’s 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.

Who Is a Capricorn Compatible With?

When it comes to romance, Capricorn is most compatible with Virgo, Taurus and Scorpio—in that order.

“Virgo is to Capricorn as peanut butter is to jelly,” says Charlotte Kirsten, an astrologer and founder of spiritual wellness brand Typically Topical. “Practical, stable and grounded, these hard-working and driven earth signs can perfectly complement each other’s energy. Neither will likely let their guard down easily but that makes the romantic union all the sweeter for the high-standard Virgo and equally ambitious Capricorn.” She further notes that what ultimately pulls these two signs together is their shared forward-thinking and extreme dedication to their goals. Both favor a realistic, determined approach to life. “From the moment they meet they’ll have an instant connection, one based on trust, respect and a deep unwavering loyalty. True energetic powerhouses.”

Taurus is also a great match because of its tendency to be what Kirsten calls “the self-starters of the zodiac.” That’s music to Capricorn’s ears. As for Scorpio, though it may seem unlikely at first, Kirsten says that the sign’s ability to understand Capricorn’s deep and buried emotions turn them into an ideal pair. “Scorpio builds deep, intense and soulful relationships with those around them. They’re quick to pour their emotional self into a connection, breaking down the barriers that prevent each other’s most vulnerable side from making an entrance. They’re no strangers to hard work, open communication and spontaneity; traits that Capricorn also shares when nurtured in the right environment. Once they’ve found their cosmic match, they’ll do anything to keep the blossoming love alive.”

Who Is a Capricorn Incompatible With?

If you’ve heard that Capricorn (the divine masculine) and Cancer (the divine feminine) are astrology’s true power couple, think again. Kirsten debunks this myth, explaining that the signs’ emotional differences are often what are overlooked but lead to sure trouble. “While the sea goat loves pragmatism, directness and unfiltered self-expression, Cancer craves emotional intimacy, empathy and sensitivity.”

Other signs to steer clear of: Aries and Libra. The former is bold, brazen and hot-headed, which steps on Capricorn’s cautious toes. Kirsten says that Aries’ impulsiveness and assertiveness butt heads with Capricorn’s tendency to think things through. That, plus both signs’ competitive and strong-willed streaks, lead to power struggles. Meanwhile, peace-seeking Libra often falls into people-pleasing tendencies with headstrong Capricorn.

Capricorn Celebrities

Too many associate Capricorn with “corporate”—and yes, famous Cappy Dolly Parton is the CEO of pop music—but there’s much more to Capricorn than the uptight business type cliché. Capricorns aren’t just goats, they’re sea goats—don’t forget this mystical quality! There are Capricorn rock stars David Bowie, Patti Smith and Dave Grohl; there are the timeless ingénue Capricorns who have stolen our hearts across multiple generations from Betty White (RIP) to Diane Keaton to Zooey Deschanel (who is a triple Capricorn—sun, moon, and rising!) to Florence Pugh (with her shapeshifting style and iconic Instagram cooking videos); there’s Andy Kaufman and Jim Carrey who represent the dark Capricorn sense of humor; the incomparable Martin Luther King, beyond-her-years Greta Thunberg, and powerhouse Michelle Obama who represent Capricorn’s dedication to progress and change; Capricorn actors like Timothée Chalamet, Denzel Washington and Jeremy Strong, who take their job extremely seriously; and filmmakers like David Lynch, Hayao Miyazaki and Lilly Wachowski who make the creation of infinite cinematic worlds seem effortless. Capricorns really can do it all!

What Are the Best Careers for Capricorn?

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.

How Is Capricorn 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.

How Is Capricorn 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.

How Is Capricorn 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.

What Are Capricorn’s Hidden Traits?

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.

Capricorn at a Glance in 2023

Capricorns are known for being excellent leaders, but they’ve been through the ringer over the past few years hitting constant roadblocks on their path to success. Capricorn’s ruling planet Saturn finally left their finance sector on March 7th putting an end to a three-year spell of tight budgets and difficult bouts of low self esteem. Just a few weeks later on March 25th, life-changing Pluto shifted into that same financial sector allowing Capricorns to feel more empowered around money matters. Meanwhile, eclipses in their home and career sectors (April 20 and October 14 respectively) are bringing major beginnings and endings to both their public and private life. Life is moving rapidly for Capricorns as they come into their power!

While their career and earning power is taking off, Capricorns are also very focused on restructuring their schedule and daily routine. Saturn is now traveling through Pisces and their third house of communication and immediate environment. This influence has Capricorns getting serious about who they allow in their inner circle. Their usual “the more the merrier” attitude shifts, and they may leave an annoying group chat or quit a draining friend’s bridal party in order to focus more on themselves.

Though Capricorn may be making cuts to their social circle, that doesn’t mean they won’t be having fun. Quite the opposite actually. Expansion planet Jupiter enters their pleasure sector on May 16th and remains there until May 2024. This transit allows Capricorn to make more space in their life for dating, creativity or stating a family. For Capricorns who are already parents, this is a period of huge growth for their children and plenty of opportunity for quality time. Overall, 2023 for Capricorns is about quality over quantity and learning that less really is more.



Jaime Wright is an astrologer and writer based in NYC. She has been writing PureWow’s weekly and monthly horoscope columns since 2019, and also authors the cult favorite...

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