Astrology

Here’s What Makes an Uber-Ambitious Capricorn Personality Tick

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If you were born between December 22 and January 19 (aka smack-dab in the midst of the holiday season), you’re a Capricorn. And just like with every other sign in the zodiac, Capricorn personality traits have their own special flavor.

Sure, your whole natal chart (which you can find by inputting your birth time, date, and location to an online generator like this one) will reveal more nuanced details about what makes you tick, astrologically speaking, but your sun sign (aka what you consult when you check your horoscope) can typically fill in a lot of the blanks. So, whether you're a Capricorn yourself or there are a few special sea goats in your life whom you'd like to better understand, it's worth checking out what astrologers identify below as unique facets of the Capricorn personality. These details—traits, strengths, weaknesses, compatibility with other signs in love and friendship, ideal career paths, and beyond—are great to bookmark for knowing what really makes this Earth sign thrive.

Key Capricorn personality traits

"Ruled by the planet Saturn, which represents the limits of space and time, Capricorns are born with a keen awareness of this Earthly limitation and are thus determined to make things happen during their lifetime," says astrologer Elisabeth Grace. "They’re known for their serious focus, especially in youth."

"Capricorns are determined to make things happen during their lifetime. They’re known for their serious focus, especially in youth." —astrologer Elisabeth Grace

Olga Verk, astrologer at Not Retrograde, adds that Capricorns feel most comfortable when they have set rules to follow—which makes sense, given their planetary ruler, Saturn, is considered the stringent taskmaster of the cosmos. "Saturn reflects our perceived limitations, authority figures, commitments, responsibilities, structure, and hard work," astrologer Rachel Lang previously told Well+Good.

This facet helps explain why some Caps often come across more conservative. That said, Capricorns are also something like a fine wine. “As they get older, they become much, much lighter in spirit and mindset,” Grace says.

Capricorn strengths

Capricorns are the ultimate worker bees; they’re ambitious, organized, practical, goal-oriented, and they don’t mind the hustle. “They’re ready to give up a lot in order to achieve that goal,” Verk says. They also love making their own rules, which means they strive to reach high career positions. But don’t expect a Capricorn to bask in their glory and flaunt their successes. “Instead, they tend to stay modest and show their authority by their actions,” Verk adds.

That said, while not boastful, Capricorns do thrive as leaders of a group or in positions of power, where they can put their top talents at planning and executing to their best use. In fact, if given the opportunity to, they'll often absorb the responsibilities of others as their own while they work toward a goal with a can-do attitude. In turn, they also tend to lift up the people around them, with the aim of helping them achieve their goals to the same extent as they pursue their own.

Capricorn weaknesses

Although Capricorn’s strengths often include wild success, their overachieving nature can sometimes unintentionally compromise those whom they step over on the journey to reach their own goals, says astrologer Janet Amid. And since Caps occasionally fail to consider the feelings of others in favor of operating as efficiently as possible, Grace adds that they're known to rub people the wrong way. They hold themselves up to a very high standard and expect no less from their peers.

In addition to finding it difficult to be mindful of other people's feelings, Capricorns may also struggle to express their own. “They always try to keep up walls,” Verk says. “It’s hard for them to loosen up and just enjoy life and have fun.” (Though when they are able to let loose a bit, they could reveal a gentler, caring side beneath all the rigor.)

It's worth noting that Capricorns' relentless drive to succeed can mask a deeper fear of failure, which can be crippling when it's surfaced by setbacks along the way. And like other Earth signs, Caps tend to measure success in terms of materiality, turning to tangible awards, recognitions, or material comforts to find assurance of their status—which can, of course, be stressful, if not limiting.

How to get along with a Capricorn

To get on a Capricorn’s good side, Amid recommends speaking their language and focusing on topics of money, business, work, or achievement. And if you’re an authority figure in a Capricorn’s life, they’ll naturally take a liking to you, Grace says, caveating that they may be secretly plotting how to someday take your job.

It’s also really important for Capricorns to feel respected and acknowledged. “Show them that you appreciate their hard work, but make sure it’s sincere,” Verk says. “While they seem tough and stubborn on the outside, they can be very sensitive on the inside.” So, make sure you honor a Cap’s boundaries, offer them the time that they need to open up, and do your best not to break their trust.

How a Capricorn approaches friendships and family

Because Capricorns appreciate repeating structures and consistency, they're incredibly loyal and dependable friends and family members. Their driven nature carries through to their personal and emotional relationships—and this is particularly the case for anyone with a Capricorn moon sign, too—meaning that a Cap is the friend you can count on never to break a promise (and they'll hope for the same from you in return).

Like other Earth signs, Capricorns also enjoy the tangible rewards that friendships have to offer, and revel in thoughtful demonstrations of appreciation and gifts. They also tend to link up, in particular, with the people who share their same high-minded values and who are reaching toward similar life goals.

Given Cap's reputation for being a self-starter—it's a cardinal sign, after all—a Capricorn friend is likely the one who operates best in a decision-making role, whether that's choosing the place where you all meet up for brunch, creating a full weekend-trip itinerary, or mediating conflict whenever it stymies any plans.

What a Capricorn needs in order to be happy

If there’s one thing that Capricorns can’t get enough of, it’s the feeling of accomplishment, Grace says. To keep the Cap in your life happy, remember to give them a high-five when they do a good job and do something to celebrate all their wins. They thrive from praise because they really value how others see them. “When their image is good, so are they,” Amid says, which explains why upward mobility in their career and general prosperity feel like big aspects of their purpose.

Structure and order also make Capricorns very happy. “This doesn’t always mean stability,” Verk says. “Capricorns can handle a crisis or two, but knowing that justice and rules are in place is what gets them through things and makes them feel safe.”

Capricorn compatibility in love and relationships

“Capricorn is an Earth sign and is naturally compatible with the two other Earth signs, Taurus and Virgo,” Grace says. “All three share an appreciation for what is practical, useful, and material.” Pairing a Capricorn with a water sign (Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces) can also make for a productive union, Grace says, which totally makes sense: Things grow when you bring together Earth and water.

With fire signs (Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius), though, Capricorns may be wise to exercise a bit more caution. “Fire can scorch Earth, and Earth can smother fire,” Grace says. The same goes for compatibility with air signs (Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius), because air turns Earth into dust. That said, since a person's moon sign, rising sign, and more, also play heavily into compatibility (meaning it's not advised to assign star-crossed matches based on sun sign alone), it's important to consider other placement's in a person's chart.

In any relationship, however, Capricorns may be slower to fall in love, both because expressing their feelings isn't necessarily a natural inclination and also because they want to be sure that any partnership they're getting into actually warrants an emotional investment. In keeping with the symbolism of their ruling planet, taskmaster Saturn, they value stability and tradition and view love as a commitment involving a high level of responsibility.

When it comes to sexual relationships, they tend to be big on physicality and taking the lead. This can make Caps intense in the bedroom, but also great lovers who set their sights on bringing their partner the ultimate pleasure and satisfaction.

Capricorn-approved careers

To get specific career insights, it’s best to see an astrologer who can take into account your entire natal chart and reference your 10th house, Grace says. But generally speaking, she notes that Capricorns thrive in roles in which they're a recognized authority in their field. Verk adds that they also excel in jobs that require them to think strategically, build structure, and maintain order. That includes administrative personnel, dentistry, law, architecture, or inspecting. Also, careers where they can ascend in a highly visible way (think government organizations or big corporations) are particularly great.

“Capricorn is intuitively aligned with ideals of authority and hierarchy, and the security it brings to society's big structures when a person of integrity is in charge,” Grace says. “Capricorn is drawn to fill that role.”

And, in the absence of hierarchy, Capricorns are also adept at going it alone, given that they make great entrepreneurs. “Business is where Capricorn thrives," Grace says. “They know how to deploy resources and plan strategy like nobody's business."

Additional general advice for Capricorns

Setting several achievable goals will help Capricorns feel competent and able to tap into their task-oriented and disciplined nature. To recenter and reconnect with what matters, Caps, like other Earth signs, should partake in simple pleasure like cooking, gardening, and reading, astrologer Carolyne Faulkner previously told Well+Good.

Caps should also be extra-conscious of practicing active listening to ensure they're giving others space to express themselves and taking those feelings into account as much as possible. Finding a mentee whom they can support in their life and career goals will also be deeply fulfilling, as Capricorns really love being able to catapult others to success with the same passion and pragmatism as they do themselves.

Originally published September 10, 2019.

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