All About the Capricorn Zodiac Sign: Dates, Personality Traits, and Compatibilities of the Ambitious Sign

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If you were born between the dates of December 22 and January 19, congratulations! You're not just a holiday-season baby; you're a Capricorn, the zodiac sign known for having a hard-working and ambitious personality, and for loving a tradition—but you likely already knew that, you star pupil, you.

Symbolized by the sea goat, a mermaid-esque mythical creature whose top half is a goat and bottom half is a fish tail, Capricorn isn't just a hardcore workhorse (er, goat, rather). The sign is thought to have a tough exterior (fit for navigating earthy terrain) and also a softer interior for handling more fluid and emotional realms.

Experts In This Article

Make no mistake, though: Capricorn is indeed a grounded Earth sign at its core, and its cardinal modality makes the sea-goat a self-starter, too. (As a refresher, cardinal signs are the signs that begin each new season, with Aries starting spring, Cancer leading us into summer, and Capricorn officially kicking off the cold, dark days of winter.) Just a few celebrity Capricorns that embody the sign's go-getter spirit include Martin Luther King, Jr., Betsy Ross, Michelle Obama, Dolly Parton, Diane Sawyer, and Timothée Chalamet.

Whether you're a Capricorn yourself or have a few in your life whom you'd like to better understand, it's worth checking out what astrologers identify below as unique facets of their identity. Ahead, read on to learn more about the determined Capricorn traits that make them unstoppable forces of nature.

Capricorn Dates

If your birthday falls between December 22 to January 19, your sun sign (aka the zodiac sign for which you'd read a horoscope) is in Capricorn. These are the dates when the sun moves through the sign, give or take a day or two in either direction each year.

To be clear, though, that doesn’t mean your only zodiac sign is Capricorn or that you’ll only resonate with Capricorn personality traits. Each of us is a complex, multifaceted person, and in astrology, this is reflected by the breadth and depth of your entire natal chart, which shows where each of the celestial bodies was located when you were born—not just the sun. (Want to find yours? Drop your birth time, date, and location into an online generator like this one.)

For instance, even if your sun sign is in Capricorn, your natal moon or Venus could be in other signs, which will also affect your personality. (So don’t stress if you’re a Capricorn and don’t totally vibe with everything below.) By the same token, your sun might fall in another sign, but you could have your moon in Capricorn… and very much relate to the below.

That said, chances are, you’ll connect with many of the Capricorn personality traits here if any of your “big three” signs (AKA sun, moon, or rising) are in Capricorn, as these are the signs thought to drive the core of your personality in astrology.

Capricorn Personality Traits

Capricorn is often considered the archetypal leader of the zodiac. Of the 12 houses in astrology (which govern particular areas of life), Capricorn is associated with the 10th house, which includes our careers, ambitions, achievements, and authoritative roles.

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.”

“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.” —Elisabeth Grace, astrologer

Astrologer Olga Verk adds that Capricorns feel most comfortable when they have set rules to follow—which makes sense, given that Saturn is considered the taskmaster of the cosmos.

Capricorns also love embracing old traditions and creating new ones around which to deepen connections with friends and family, says astrologer Maria Sofia Marmanides. (You can always count on Capricorns to rally the troops for themed dinner parties at their place.)

To sum it up, here are the key Capricorn personality traits:

  • Hardworking and ambitious
  • Likes to be in charge
  • Enjoys structure, routine, and rules
  • Loves tradition
  • Goal-oriented
  • Pragmatic and practical

What are Capricorn strengths?

Capricorns are the ultimate worker bees—meaning they’re really capable of hustling and can work on a project with razor-sharp focus. “They’re ready to give up a lot in order to achieve their goals,” Verk says. And they always follow through when they’re being relied upon to get something done. (You won’t see a Capricorn talk the talk without walking the walk.)

They also love making their own rules, which means they can thrive in leadership roles—but they’re rarely arrogant. “They tend to stay modest and show their authority by their actions,” says Verk.

Another underrated strength? Their dark sense of humor. “They're going to be capable of very sarcastic comments or biting remarks that make the whole room laugh,” says Marmanides. “That’s because of their ruler Saturn,” she says, “which has a cold, dark edge to it.”

What are Capricorn weaknesses?

Capricorn’s proclivity for perfection can be especially detrimental to their sense of self-worth, says Marmanides. “That cardinal energy is going to make them want to just keep going,” she says. Success is never enough, and their standards can quickly skyrocket to impossible heights as they battle an internal fear of failure and risk alienating others.

For much the same reason, Capricorns can be competitive to a fault. But often, it’s not in a hostile way, says Marmanides; it’s just that Capricorn energy trying to be the best it can be. (After all, Capricorns are their own harshest critics.)

Capricorn is also typically not the best at getting vulnerable… but it’s not because they’re insensitive or all-around tough; it’s because, deep-down, they crave approval and can be insecure, says Verk. “They often try to keep up walls,” she says. But that can keep them from actually getting close to people and receiving the care and intimacy they need, she explains.

They also might struggle with “loosening up and just enjoying life and having fun,” says Verk. After all, Capricorn loves a routine, a plan, and a detailed itinerary—spontaneity isn’t their thing.

Capricorn Likes and Dislikes

What makes a Capricorn happy?

Point-blank, Capricorns like to be in charge. The sign is a natural-born leader, and as such, Capricorns enjoy positions of power in their relationships. And speaking of those relationships… loyalty and dedicated quality time will make a Capricorn feel loved.

Capricorns also tend to be creatures of habit, so they love sticking to their routines and rituals. And they also like reaping the rewards of their hard work whenever possible, whether it’s simple praise from their peers or other tangible winnings.

What annoys a Capricorn?

Capricorns get annoyed when they don’t have power or authority—or when others make an effort to undermine their power. “Public embarrassment or feeling like they're being shamed or being made fun of would be hard for them to take,” says Marmanides, “since so much of what they do is for their status or public perception.”

“Public embarrassment or feeling like they're being shamed or being made fun of would be hard for them to take.” —Maria Sofia Marmanides, astrologer

Because Capricorns value hard work, honesty, and integrity, they also dislike when others drop the ball in regard to their responsibilities. Showing up late, shirking group projects, and acts of deception are all easy ways to get under a Capricorn’s skin.

Capricorn Compatibility With Other Zodiac Signs

While it’s true that Capricorns are generally more compatible with certain zodiac signs than others, it’s worth noting that zodiac compatibility runs far deeper than sun signs alone.

Meaning, it’s not a great idea to assume you’ll be compatible with someone just because their sun sign is said to be compatible with yours, or to do the opposite and rule out dating (or being friends with) someone just because their sun sign is said to be incompatible with yours. Remember the whole natal chart thing? We all contain multitudes (beyond just our sun signs), and determining synastry with someone else would require considering both of your full charts.

That said, if you’re looking for broad-strokes compatibility, read on to learn the zodiac signs with which Capricorns tend to get along best… and the ones with which they might butt heads.

Which zodiac signs are Capricorns most compatible with?

“Because Capricorn is an Earth sign, it’s going to be naturally compatible with the two other Earth signs, Taurus and Virgo,” Grace says, with regard to potential Capricorn soulmates. “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, adds Gracee, which makes sense when you think about it: Things can grow when you bring together Earth and water.

Which zodiac signs are Capricorns least compatible with?

Capricorns may be wise to exercise a bit more caution with fire signs (Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius). “Fire can scorch Earth, and Earth can smother fire,” Grace says. The same goes for air signs (Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius), because air can turn Earth into dust.

Capricorn in Love, Relationships, and Sex

When it comes to romantic relationships, “Capricorn is typically a very sexy, dominant sign,” says Marmanides. “Just like with work, they bring that same level of dedication to their bedroom activities.” That means they tend to take the lead and set their sights on bringing their partner the ultimate pleasure.

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, Capricorns value stability and tradition, and view love as a commitment involving a high level of responsibility.

Capricorn in Work and Career

Hard-working and pragmatic, Capricorns value being able to provide for their family or loved ones, says Marmanides, so they tend to go for financially lucrative and/or highly stable careers.

“Money is always going to be important to them, and they're going to have that mindset of, ‘I want to invest, and I want to build structure,’” says Marmanides, “but they’re not just going to save up a rainy-day fund—they’ll want to do something with their money.”

Unsurprisingly, Capricorns tend to thrive as leaders of a group or in positions of power, where they can put their talents in planning and executing to the best use, adds Marmanides.

If given the opportunity, Capricorn will often absorb the responsibilities of others as their own while they work toward a goal. 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.

What are the best careers for Capricorns?

According to Grace, Capricorns thrive in roles in which they can be a recognized authority in their field or climb the ranks (in a highly visible way) to get to that point, as at big corporations or in government. “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,” she says.

“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

Sea-goats will also excel in jobs that require them to think strategically, build structure, and maintain order, says Verk. That includes administrative personnel, dentistry, law, architecture, and inspecting.

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

What are the worst careers for Capricorns?

Any job that requires Capricorn to deal with their own emotions or others emotions is probably not going to be a great fit, says Marmanides—so you can generally rule out therapy, counseling, teaching, and anything in customer service.

The same goes for any role without a growth trajectory (because Capricorn needs to feel like they’re making progress to be fulfilled) and anything unstable, highly adventurous, or that tends to change depending on the day, like being a firefighter, travel guide, or journalist.

Capricorn in Friendships

Because Capricorns appreciate structure and consistency, they can be incredibly loyal and dependable friends. Their driven nature carries through to their personal relationships.

Like other Earth signs, Capricorns also enjoy the tangible rewards that friendships have to offer, and revel in thoughtful demonstrations of appreciation and gifts. It’s really important for them to feel respected and acknowledged, says Verk. “Show them that you appreciate their hard work, but make sure it’s sincere.”

Capricorns also tend to link up, in particular, with the people who share their high-minded values. Those who are reaching toward similarly big life goals will have greater Capricorn compatibility in the long-term.

Given the sign’s self-starter tendencies, a Capricorn friend is likely the one who operates best in a decision-making role within a group, whether that's choosing the place where everyone meets up for brunch, creating a full weekend-trip itinerary, or mediating conflict whenever it stymies any plans.

Just note: Highly sensitive people may find Capricorn’s blunt feedback and honesty a bit jarring in friendships, says Marmanides. That’s to say, a Capricorn friend “isn’t really the shoulder to cry on or the person to vent to,” says Marmanides. “They’re the one you go to when you’re in need of practical, logical advice.”

Capricorn in Family Dynamics

When it comes to family affairs, Capricorns place great value on traditions. This, coupled with their strong leadership instincts, means that they love being trusted with the role of event-planning, especially in regard to holiday or anniversary festivities.

“Whether it’s creating a new tradition or continuing or reviving an old one, Capricorn is the one that's organizing the holiday gathering and telling everybody what to bring,” says Marmanides.

The competitive nature of Capricorns can make them prone to sibling rivalry, however. Parents of Capricorns can help mitigate this potential by taking care to praise them for their unique qualities and accomplishments.

Advice for Capricorns

Setting several achievable goals will help Capricorns feel competent and able to tap into their task-oriented, disciplined nature. To recenter and reconnect with what matters, they may also want to partake in simple pleasures that connect them to the material world, like cooking, gardening, and reading (they are Earth signs, after all).

Capricorns should also be conscious to practice active listening and ensure they’re giving others space to express themselves and have a say in group tasks, says Grace, as they’ve been known to de-prioritize other peoples’ feelings in favor of efficiency and success. (They hold themselves to a very high standard and expect no less from their peers.)

In that realm, it’s important for Capricorns to pause every now and then to celebrate their wins, rather than constantly charging onto the next thing, says Marmanides. Otherwise, it’s easy for them to run headfirst into burnout.

It’s also worth noting that a Capricorn’s relentless drive to succeed can mask a deeper fear of failure, which can be crippling when it’s surfaced by setbacks along the way. This is why it’s important for Capricorns to surround themselves with a support network of friends and family who can reassure them of their value, and for them to find hobbies or passions outside of work in which they can also grow and achieve success—so that their entire sense of self-worth isn’t wrapped up in a single title, salary, or growth trajectory.

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