What do you strive for? What are you willing to sacrifice to attain it? What would be enough? And what is really driving you? These questions come into focus with the Full Moon in Capricorn.
Each of us has work to do during our time on Earth and it matters that we do it. Why? Because what else are we going to do? It is infinitely more satisfying to actually do the thing you long to accomplish than to wish for it. Though your work may be born of inspiration and natural talent, it is still work. It takes time, effort, and persistence to fully realize your gift. You will have to face your doubts and fears, your resistance and laziness, self-sabotage, the indifference and interference of others, and inevitable setbacks. Capricorn and its ruler Saturn are the astrological energies that help us both to set our sights on the goals that matter most and keep us putting one foot in front of the other until we attain them.
But, alas! How easy it is to clamp down, to fixate on the goal, forgetting that life is lived in the journey. If you do not enjoy it now, watch out: you may not be here tomorrow. Whatever our work on Earth may be, our body-bound egos are all heading to the same terminus. Saturn is the planet of death, just as much as it is the planet of work. And death does have a way of putting things in perspective.
Do your work and enjoy your life. The balance is not always easy. It is natural to feel these are two entirely different modes: work vs. play. This is part of the Cosmic Joke, which goes something like this: “duality walked into a bar… and realized it itself was the bar”. Alan Watts– himself a Capricorn– put it brilliantly when he said that the secret of life is “to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now, and instead of calling it work, realize it is play.” Poof! Polarities unite– realization occurs.
This brings me to Capricorn’s polar opposite, the sign of Cancer. To really understand any sign of the zodiac, we need to take its opposite into account. In fact, I no longer think of the signs as separate individuals. I think of “Cancer-Capricorn”, rather than “Cancer and Capricorn”. What is the main lesson of the Cancer-Capricorn axis? You have work to do and you are already enough.
What is it that causes us to clamp down, to snuff out the joy, to isolate and overexert ourselves, to plow forward in a linear fashion as if life were a race? Isn’t it the sense that we are lacking? That we are flawed and unworthy of love? This delusion arises from not getting the Cosmic Joke. If you approach your work and life itself as a race, if you are only ever satisfied in the brief afterglow of accomplishment, if you are so busy trying to get to the top of the mountain that you miss the beautiful sights along the path, then you can be sure that there is some deep emotional hurt pushing you from behind. This is Cancer’s domain (and the Moon’s, too).
We all need love. We are all worthy of it and deserve it for free, no strings attached. As the astrological symbols of the Great Mother, Cancer and the Moon point the way toward Unconditional Love. Boundless Love is a vast inner ocean, just waiting for you to dive in. To whatever extent you feel disconnected from the inner source of Love– the Mother– to that extent you will drive yourself mercilessly to accomplish. Capricorn’s project is often likened to climbing a mountain, and I can’t help but observe the phenomenon of extreme mountaineers, who seem almost by definition to be running from some deep emotional pain. Who’s got time for “mommy didn’t love me” when they’re hanging from a 2,000 ft cliff by one finger?
As with all things perfection is found in the balance. We do not say, “f**k it, I’m enough”, and float away into amniotic bliss, never again to strive in this world. No– we realize how deeply enough, how deeply perfect, how loved we already are. We realize that we ourselves are that Love and its Source. How could we be anything but perfect?
And then we get on with our work. We pursue our mission. The work gets done and we experience the satisfaction of effort and the fulfillment of accomplishment, which are their own rewards. They are integral to the dynamism of Life, part of the whole equation, but they are no substitute for Love. They cannot nourish you from within like the Mother can. And here’s an amazing fact: when you realize all of this and allow yourself to tap into that Universal Love and to let the Cosmic Mother take control… you accomplish so much more!
Love yourself. Forgive yourself. Take a rest and feel what you need to feel. Then keep on truckin’. That’s the Cancer-Capricorn recipe.
Alex Stein sees the world as a tapestry of vibration, and he loves discovering magic formulas to transmute discord into harmony, open the heart, and stay awake. This vision guides his professional work as an astrologer, composer, and alchemical coach. Alex is pursuing a PhD in East-West Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, cooking up a vision of 21st Century Alchemy from his studies and experiences with Tantra, Western esotericism, archetypal psychology, astrology, and psychedelic practice.
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