Venus in Capricorn — the sign of authority and worldly power — asks, What does feminine power look like?
Capricorn is typically associated with the Patriarch/Father, and gets assigned power-abusing patriarchal qualities — controlling, authoritarian, ruthless. But as an Earth sign, Capricorn is actually feminine. Astrologer David Pond points out, “we don’t know what Capricorn looks like in a non-patriarchal culture.”
The original symbol for Capricorn is the Sea Goat, signifying connection with the waters of consciousness and the waters of emotion. A watery, feminine Capricorn — which is also Capricorn integrated with its opposite sign, Cancer (Water) — is power wedded with the awareness of our inherent relatedness, power wedded with compassion.
I once heard that in an astrological study of the great mystics, Capricorn was the most common sign (pure anecdote, but feels right-on). This is the high expression of Capricorn — mastery. Not in the sense of being “The Master” and lording over the world, but mastering the physical dimension by working with the invisible, inner world of consciousness.
I’ve been revisiting Unplugging the Patriarchy, Lucia René’s fictionalized account of her real-life work to energetically dismantle the systems and structures that have oppressed the planet for thousands of years. I have no idea what Rene’s personal astrology is, but the book is high-vibration Capricorn.
René defines mysticism as “the study of power.” Because power has become conflated with the abuse of power (distorted, patriarchal Capricorn), “the word power has a negative connotation… Power is neither good nor bad; it is simply energy.“
After researching how the systems of patriarchy operate on the physical plane, René and her sister mystics got busy identifying how these forces were operating energetically, and undoing their work. On an energetic level, according to René, the patriarchy is now over. This is why the World Management Team is escalating attacks on humanity: “The global elite is like a cornered animal at this point — flailing about, lashing out at anything, hoping beyond hope that something will turn the tide in its direction.” (René’s March 2011 newsletter)
Our work is to dismantle our “inner patriarchy,” by doing the emotional processing to free ourselves from old programming. And at the root of patriarchal conditioning is FEAR. René ultimately finds — and unplugs — a giant “fear generator” beneath the city of London.
Fear is ruled by Capricorn, and fear is what determines whether the expression of Capricorn is high-vibration, conscious feminine power, or low-vibration, unconscious patriarchal power. Fear is both the mechanism for controlling people, and what motivates the urge to control in the first place.
On a personal level, when I’m feeling fearful and insecure, my behavior becomes controlling. I try to control my environment, including the people around me, until (hopefully) I notice what I’m up to, and turn inward to directly address the feeling itself. The Capricorn part of all of us is learning to master our inner realm rather than trying to make the outer world conform to our ideas of how we think it “should” be. And, we’re learning to surrender to forces beyond our control, to a “higher order” that may appear, to our limited perception, to be totally disordered and out of control.
It is this chaotic nature of feminine power that, René writes, men fear in women and therefore want to control. “To understand male dominance, we must first understand chaos. In the view of the masculine, the feminine is chaotic…. When men encounter female chaos, their immediate response is to bring it under control, but this implies a misunderstanding of chaos. Chaos is actually the ability to surrender and let the Divine rule. Implicit in chaos is Divine Order.“
Council of Grandmothers
The Crone is particularly threatening to the patriarchy because elders are closer to the unpredictable and chaotic Other World. In a culture characterized by control and disconnected from natural processes, aging is feared and reviled, and death is dreaded as The End, instead of understood as a sacred transition into a new life. This is another distortion of Capricorn, which is the sign of elders, old age, maturity and longevity.
Shamanic astrologer Daniel Giamario posits that the original meaning of Capricorn is the Council of 13 Grandmothers, who guide the culture with their wisdom and experience, and determine what’s best for the next several generations, what’s best for the Earth.
While writing this post, I was thrilled to be alerted to an article featuring high-vibration Grandmas exemplifying Capricorn feminine power. Mary Clear, age 56 and grandmother of 10, is one of the founders of “Incredible Edible,” an initiative to make her British town the first in the country that’s self-sufficient in food: “Our thinking was: there’s so much blame in the world — blame local government, blame politicians, blame bankers, blame technology — we thought, let’s just do something positive instead…. It’s a very ambitious aim. But if you don’t aim high, you might as well stay in bed, mightn’t you?” (see Carrots in the Car Park…)
As Pluto the transformer plows through Capricorn (2008-2024), the unsustainable systems are crumbling and “big daddy” is very clearly not taking care of us. The potential of this transit is to burn away in Pluto’s cauldron the patriarchal, dominator model of power (shadow Capricorn) and rebirth a new/ancient model of feminine power. Women are the leaders in this process, and the world needs all of us stepping into our power and moving forward with creating the world we want to live in.
- Emily Trinkaus