There’s big energy on the move. In mid-March, Mars ingresses into Capricorn, joining Saturn in the Goat’s sign. The copresence of these two planets in this sign will not go unnoticed, and Mars’ two-month transit will only invigorate the already heavy tenor.
Capricorn is an earth sign, and perhaps more accurately, an earthmover. Capricorn’s strengths are self-discipline and an iron will. It chooses a mountain and has all the endurance and single-mindedness to ascend it. Its shadow qualities are loneliness and blind ambition. Capricorn feels like the archetype of the father: at its best it validates and governs for the good of all, at its worst it is tyrannical or absent. In many ways, Saturn also signifies Capricornian themes, teaching through limitation and restriction. Mars on the other hand, reaches out for what we want. His gift is to fight for what is right, to invigorate the body into action, to strengthen the literal and metaphorical muscles of our self-efficacy.
In traditional astrology, Mars and Saturn are considered malefic planets because they tend to create problems. In contemporary times, we may prefer to think of them more positively as growing edges or lessons, but nonetheless they are associated with a certain level of difficulty and effort. When it comes to Capricorn, both Saturn and Mars have a lot of power. Use the energy of both to accomplish tasks, and you are an unstoppable force. Resist them and get that force turned against you. To learn to ride this energy, rather than be trampled by it, is the task of March 16 through May 16.
Where in your life might you encounter this force? First you’ll need to know where Capricorn falls in your personal birth chart. To find out, you’ll need to look up the chart using your birth date, location, and exact time (many websites will do this for you, astro.com is my favorite).
If Capricorn was rising when you were born, then your rising sign (also called the ascendant) is Capricorn, and that energy rules the first house. The rest of the signs line up to fill the rest of the houses in zodiacal order. Your rising sign has nothing to do with your sun sign. When people ask what your sign is, they mean which sign was the Sun in (in the tropical zodiac) when you were born. I was born in September with my Sun in Virgo, but Aquarius was rising at 5:51pm in Woodland, CA where I was born, so my rising sign is Aquarius and Capricorn rules my twelfth house.
I have covered a lot of information in a very cursory way with the goal of providing something like a horoscope at the end of the column, but also to illuminate how horoscopes are written and how they are meant to be read. Horoscopes, when they are written by astrologers, reference activity happening in certain houses. The houses are set by the rising sign, which means that for the most part, we should be reading the horoscope for our rising sign, rather than our sun sign. Though I am a Virgo sun, when I read horoscopes, I always read the one for Aquarius, because that is my rising sign. You will need to look at your birth chart and figure out your rising sign to read my horoscopes.
Aries rising – Mars in Capricorn gives energy to your career, to making decisions about where to channel your energy and what steps to take to ensure long-term fulfillment therein.
Taurus rising – Capricorn falls in the house of your travels, studies, and divine inspiration. Will its energy enable you to plan out your next adventure, or finish the semester with an admirable work ethic?
Gemini rising – The house of your secrets and intimacies is highlighted now. It might be time to expose your authentic self, or to make sure your close connections with others are built on personal integrity.
Cancer rising – Which relationships are fulfilling to you? It may be time to either invest more energy into some, or to cut ties where they have become exhausting.
Leo rising – How is your daily life? Do you need to change your job, your diet, your sleep schedule? Mars will bring all the stamina to change your daily routine or to double down on it.
Virgo rising – Are you expressing yourself with integrity? It’s time to take your creative work more seriously. Mars can bring the strength to see projects through.
Libra rising – How strong is your personal foundation? Issues in feeling grounded may arise, but they are pushing towards a stronger sense of rootedness.
Scorpio rising – Time management and communication are under review. You can accomplish everything you need to do if you know how to pace yourself.
Sagittarius rising – Capricorn falls in the house of your personal resources. Make sure all of your finances are in order, but also it may be time to get rid of things you don’t need anymore.
Capricorn rising – Is the way you are approaching the world true to who you are? A metaphorical face life may be in order.
Aquarius rising – Capricorn falls in the house of solitude and spirituality, so if you’re feeling a pull towards solitude and quiet reflection, it is best that you heed it.
Pisces rising – Be the change you wish to see in your community, the change will necessarily involve some hard work, but when a deeper feeling of connectedness is at stake it’ll be worth all the effort.
Whitney Will is a Carbondale native and student astrologer who holds a BA in the History of Math.