Capricorn 2012

"Lost am I in light supernal and on that light I turn my back."


"... the triumphant initiate, the "unicorn of God," the symbol of the unicorn,
with its one horn out-thrust like a single spear upon his brow
instead of the two horns of the scavenging goat."[1]

Capricorn the Unicorn
Capricorn the Sea-Goat: Varuna and Neptune, the Sea Gods
Saturn, Structure and Destruction
Venus and Intelligent Love
Capricorn: Magic and Mystery
J.R.R. Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings: A Movie for the Masses
Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh

Capricorn the Unicorn

Last year's newsletter on Capricorn covers a little more about the Unicorn, its symbolism and relation to the Lion (Leo).[2] The unicorn is sometimes depicted with a goat's beard, perhaps symbolic of the wisdom accrued by the goat on its transformational journey to the mountain top.

The unicorn has always been a symbol of spiritual purity and grace; in ancient myths it could only be captured by a virgin, alluding to the relationship of Capricorn to another earth sign, Virgo.

The single horn was believed to transform poisoned water and to heal. Until the nineteenth century, belief in unicorns was widespread among historians, alchemists, writers, poets, naturalists, physicians and theologians.[3] The unicorn is also a symbol of transformation from the centaur in Sagittarius, the previous sign to Capricorn.

unicornraphael.jpgunicorn dali.jpg
Lady with a Unicorn (Raphael)                    The Agony of Love (Dali)

Capricorn is said to be the most mysterious of all the zodiac signs, connected to the Mystery of Makara, the crocodiles, the mystery of the human soul and the forms it creates and inhabits. The three animals of Capricorn, the goat, crocodile and unicorn represent these forms and their development over an immense period of time - the physical (goat/earth), astral (crocodile/water) and the higher mental realm, seat of the soul (unicorn). The watery symbolism of Capricorn is also expressed in the goat with a tail of a fish.

Capricorn is a sign of achievement, materially or spiritually. Once the mountain top of Capricorn has been reached, the summit conquered, Everest climbed, then no further ascent is possible in any life. Hence Capricorn is a sign of conclusion and holds the seeds of death that finally takes place in Pisces, another sign of death and completion. Like Pisces, Capricorn used to be the last sign of the zodiac in ancient times when there were only ten signs.

This striving for the apex is why Capricorn is a sign of perfection and perhaps its connection to perfectionist Virgo. It is the tenth sign and the number 10 is a sign of perfection, of the unification of the masculine 1 and the feminine 0.

Capricorn the Sea-Goat: Varuna and Neptune, the Sea Gods

In ancient days the “Cave of Mithras” was the birthplace of the Sun at the Winter Solstice in the sign of the Sea-Goat; this cave was continued as the symbolic birthplace of the Christ.

The Sumero-Babylonian god Ea had the head and upper body of a goat with the lower body of a fish, as represented today in the Capricorn glyph. Ea was connected with work, wisdom and the instruction of mankind. Pan the deva entity of nature is identified with earthy Capricorn, a sign which has the ability to bring spirit into matter, hence its association with earth magic and magic in general.

In ancient legend, Pan was being pursued and leapt into the Nile trying to turn himself into a fish to escape, only achieving half his transformation. Other names for the sea-goat were, 'The Antelope of the Subterranean Ocean', 'He of the vast intellect', 'Lord of the Sacred Eye', 'God of Wisdom'. Capricorn the sea-goat is also ‘Makara’, the Sanskrit word for Capricorn:

“…the true esoteric sense of the word "Makara", does not mean "crocodile", in truth, at all, even when it is compared with the animal depicted on the Hindu Zodiac.  For it has the head and the fore-legs of an antelope and the body and tail of a fish. Hence the tenth sign of the Zodiac has been taken variously to mean a shark, a dolphin, etc; as it is the vahan of Varuna, the Ocean God … The dolphin was the vehicle of Poseidon-Neptune with the Greeks, and one with him, esoterically.

makara goat.jpg
Water spout of a goat's head protruding from the mouth of Makara.

... The Dolphin … was placed for his service by Poseidon among the constellations, and became with the Greeks, Capricornus, the goat, whose hind part is that of a dolphin, thus shown identical with Makara, whose head is also that of an antelope and the body and tail those of a fish. This is why the sign of the Makara was borne on the banner of Kama deva, the Hindu god of love, identified …with Agni (the fire-god), the son of Lakshmi… Lakshmi and Venus are one, and Amphitrite is the early form of Venus.[4]

The tenth sign Capricorn is associated with the number 5, of manas, mind, Venus. The geometric solid, the dodecahedron, is composed of twelve pentagrams, to which the following mysterious and cryptic passage refers:

“Neptune ... converts into a sphere the dodecagonal pyramid, "and paints its gate with many colours." He has FIVE androgyne ministers - he is Makara, the Leviathan.”[5]


Saturn, Structure and Destruction

This relative perfection discussed earlier, is reflected in the fact that Capricorn is a sign of initiation. It is ruled by Saturn at the personality and soul levels, Saturn who imposes his mental discipline upon astrally polarised humanity.

It is this mental discipline that leads eventually to being 'qualified' as a candidate for initiation; where the rod of initiation is applied by the Master or Hierophant to the prepared vehicles (mental, astral or physical bodies), and the disciple is realigned, re-tuned or 'amped up' to these higher frequencies. Often it can take a lifetime or two to ground and hold these forces without reverting to the old energetic patterns.

Initiation Well in Portugal.

Capricorn is a sign of death and a sign of life, of construction and destruction. The construction comes about through the ability of the Saturnian mind to build structures of thought upon the mental plane. This is why Capricorns are such good organisers and leaders.

Yet these constructs of thought are temporary structures through which we understand the world, according to our way of being informed and its interpretation at any given time - a 'relative reality'.

At some point that structure will have served its purpose, out-lived its life and the adamantine forces of crystallisation will set in. This is where Capricorn brings about its own destruction and it is Saturn's connection to the first ray of will or power that brings it on.

Form, that which is tangible and concrete, a product of a constant manifesting process, undergoes eventual destruction prior to the liberation of the life essence; then a rebuilding takes place for new forms that the life will occupy - new thoughtforms, new bodies for incarnation, new civilisations - they all have their rhythms of destruction, construction, destruction ...


Venus and Intelligent Love

The mental discipline of Capricorn is also connected to Venus, its third or hierarchical ruler, that relates Capricorn to the highest possible human achievement, intelligent love.

Venus in exoteric astrology is the goddess of love, yet this is the more astralised version of love that Humanity can grasp in this cycle. As the soul ruler of mentally polarised Gemini, Venus harmonises the pairs of opposites upon the mental plane, creating beauty and harmony.

In esoteric astrology, Venus is also the ruler of the fifth ray of Science or intellect. Venus is also the soul or higher self to our Earth. In the human microcosm, the soul or causal body, resides upon the higher mental plane.

Sophia—the Wisdom of the Almighty1932.jpg
Sophia: The Wisdom of the Almighty (Nicholas Roerich 1932)

Venus is a fiery planet and the realm of mind is the place of fire. Perhaps this why Nicholas Roerich depicts Sophia, the goddess of wisdom with so many flames.

When the rulerships of the various signs by Venus is considered, it relates four signs: Capricorn, Gemini, Taurus and Libra (ruling the latter two from the personality level.) The Master DK tells us that,

"... these four constellations—Taurus, Gemini, Libra and Capricorn—constitute a potent quaternary of energies and between them produce those conditions and situations which will enable the initiate to demonstrate his readiness and capacity for initiation. They are called the "Guardians of the Four Secrets.

Taurus—Guards the secret of light and confers illumination upon the initiate.

Gemini—Guards the mystery or secret of duality and presents the initiate with a word which leads to the fusion of the greater pairs of opposites.

Libra—Guards the secret of balance, of equilibrium and finally speaks the word which releases the initiate from the power of the Lords of Karma.

Capricorn—Guards the secret of the soul itself and this it reveals to the initiate at the time of the third initiation. This is sometimes called the "secret of the hidden glory."[6]

Capricorn is a sign that represents an Herculean struggle between the forces of light and darkness - on the road to initiation, represented by Mars' exaltation here. Indeed, Mars and the Moon are said to create a 'fearful conflict' at the third initiation, the truly archetypal initiation of Capricorn, the Transfiguration, the ultimate triumph of the mental body over denser matter. Hence the Capricornian initiate is able to move between heaven and hell and 'raise the dead to life', bringing universal brotherhood into expression upon the physical plane.

blake Last_Circle_of_Hell.jpg
The Last Circle of Hell (William Blake)

The Moon 'falls' in Capricorn and, as a symbol of the form nature, represents the conscious path-walker achieving freedom from the allure of matter. For those who have not yet 'reversed the wheel' to tread the Way, the Moon here can be the 'ultimate Nazi'.[7] Capricorn is a sign of extremes, expressing best and worst human attributes, one being the Sun God born at the winter solstice in Capricorn:

"Christ was born in Capricorn, fulfilled the law under Saturn, initiated the era of intelligent brotherhood under Venus and is the perfect example of the Capricornian initiate who becomes the world Server in Aquarius, and the world Saviour in Pisces, thus completing the round of the zodiac and able to say triumphantly in Pisces "It is finished.""[8]

This phrase, "... initiated the era of intelligent brotherhood under Venus", concerns the merging of mind and heart in the 'Christed' initiate who has achieved the 'transfiguration' and demonstrates brotherhood through the principles of true sharing.

Or, Capricorn can be hard-nosed, 'materialistic, cruel, proud, selfishly ambitious and egotistical'. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch with Sun in Capricorn might be one example. This kind of Capricorn can certainly be somebody on the mutable cross stage of experience but can likewise apply even to one who has 'reversed the wheel' and is undergoing that series of incarnations that lead back to source.

initiation nflorence.jpg
Initiation (N. Florence)

Capricorn: Magic and Mystery

Capricorn is a sign of the mysteries of Makara, the Unicorn and Initiation. It is the mystery of the spiritual light that has penetrated deep into the earth, that lies fallow, waiting to be bidden forth from the silence and darkness of the winter solstice in Capricorn.

Magic is the manifestation of ideas into form which Capricorn is well equipped to do because of its earthy practical nature, but also because of the presence of the seventh ray of ceremonial magic, one of the major rays that passes through this sign.

The seventh ray is associated with geometry and the archetypal thoughtforms that exist upon the mental plane are geometrical blueprints that eventually precipitate onto the physical plane.


        (Note the geometry of the 10-pointed star.)     

As ruler of the seventh ray (the amethyst or violet ray), Uranus is intimately involved. Uranus rules the sacral centre which is connected to sex, but primarily to the sacral centre's capacity for the manifestation of ideas that emanate from the mind via the throat centre. Hence the close link between the sacral and throat centres, between procreativity and creativity.

It is said that the glyph for Capricorn has never been drawn properly because to do so would draw down energy with which the person is 'ill-equipped to deal'. Hence the danger for Capricorn of falling into some of the seventh ray glamours:

"The glamour of magical work.
The glamour of the relation of the opposites.
The glamour of the subterranean powers.
The glamour of that which brings together.
The glamour of the physical body.
The glamour of the mysterious and the secret.
The glamour of sex magic.
The glamour of the emerging manifested forces."[9]

J.R.R. Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings

Tolkien was a professor of English at Oxford University who had the Sun and Mercury in Capricorn and wrote upon many themes of mystery and magic.


Despite his earthy Capricorn, Tolkien was a very 'watery' individual. His Moon was in watery Pisces square to Neptune, lord of the oceans and that sign. This aspect is a classical 'mystic' pattern and goes a long way to describing Tolkien's artistic sensitivity, imagination and impressionability. (Also, see Capricorn and its relation to water in the earlier section, Capricorn the Sea-Goat: Varuna and Neptune, the Sea Gods)

Pluto is closely conjunct Tolkien's Neptune (hence his Pisces Moon was square to both), and has great penetrating power to probe the unconscious and hidden realms.

J.R.R. Tolkien

Neptune is the esoteric ruler of his Leo rising sign, his soul purpose for that incarnation. It is interesting to note that Tolkien shares this Leo rising quality with that of Leo Sun, J.K. Rowling, creator of the Harry Potter books, produced as movies at the same time as the Lord of the Rings movies. All stories involve much mystery and magic, as well as events that occurred in Earth's ancient past.

Hence this Moon square Neptune aspect is very powerful. Mercury, planet of communication and writing, also makes an exact sextile aspect to Tolkien's Moon, effortlessly bringing the imagination of Pisces into a suitable form created by Mercury in Capricorn. Mercury 'clothes' imaginative ideas in language. Languages and their etymologies were one of Tolkien's favorite areas of study. Mercury is also in a very tight square to Saturn in Libra, giving Tolkien the mental tension, aesthetics and sense of balance to polish and manifest his creation.

But Moon square Neptune was not the only 'psychic sensitivity' Tolkien possessed. Perhaps, being a no-nonsense 'practical Capricorn', he was an 'unconscious psychic', as he also had a water grand trine in his chart - between Jupiter in Pisces, Mars in Scorpio and the Earth in Cancer. Water grand trines are relatively rare and have a great capacity to delve into the past and the future. A good example of a water grand trine is Nostradamus, affording him spectacular visions of the future. (Like Tolkien, Nostradamus also had Sun and Mercury in Capricorn!)

Through this latent or unconscious psychism, it is quite possible Tolkien tapped into Humanity's racial memory when telling his story. The Lord of the Rings is an Atlantean tale, descriptive of its war (immortalised in the Hindu epic, The Mahabharata), complete with sorcerers, exotic monsters, dwarves, trolls and orcs, goblins the faery folk elves (the daeva kingdom), ghosts and ring-wraiths, black and white magic.

Tolkien was a member of a group of close friends called The Inklings, composed of C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams and Owen Barfield. His close friend C.S. Lewis was creator of The Chronicles of Narnia. The former three were writers of fantasy, theology and philosophy. Barfield had a strong esoteric influence on all three writers as he explored the ideas of philosophy, reincarnation, the evolution of consciousness, theosophy and anthroposophy.


Tolkien was a devout Catholic (at least outwardly) and one Christian academic comments:

"Tolkien was caught on the cusp that joins two worlds: the traditional Christian world of angels and demons and dream-visions wherein the natural and the supernatural were inextricably interwoven, and the modern world where space and time have been radically relativized by scientific discovery, psychological exploration, and imaginative invention ...

What comes as a genuine shock is the news that Tolkien's mind and work were marked by the fictional dream-journeys of George Du Maurier, by the psychic experiences of Charlotte Moberly and Eleanor Jourdain, by the time-travel fantasies of H. G. Wells, and especially by the notion of J. W. Dunne that all temporal events are simultaneous. Dunne held that time is no less constant than space, and that by certain habits of mind we can move backward and forward over time as we traverse space, even experiencing events that have not yet happened...

Yeats and Steiner, Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, Madame Blavatsky and Annie Besant, the theosophists and anthroposophists and seancers all practiced a gnostic neo-Platonism which sought to overcome the mortal limits of time-bound flesh by human imagination alone. ...."[10]

It is no surprise to read these description when one consults Tolkien's chart, with his Moon trine Uranus, indicating that he had probably 'brought in with him' esoteric knowledge from other lives and was very comfortable with all these kinds of ideas. Moon-Uranus is another highly creative aspect in his horoscope that gives order to his impressionable Neptunian side.

gandalf.jpg Saruman.jpg 
Gandalf and Saruman (Ian McKellen and Christopher Lee)

Tolkien's characters draw deeply upon the esoteric. Gandalf is a magician who is neither human nor hobbit - he is one of the Masters who guide 'Hobbit Humanity', who set forth from their small world on their spiritual quest with the Ring. His dark adversary is Saruman, a name that is virtually an anagram of an infamous Atlantean sorcerer, Asuramaya. Tolkien himself said of Gandalf,

"I would venture to say that he was an incarnate 'angel'.... with the other Istari, wizards, 'those who know', an emissary from the Lords of the West, sent to Middle-earth as the great crisis of Sauron loomed on the horizon. By 'incarnate' I meant they were embodied in physical bodies capable of pain and weariness ...

The Istari

Why they should take such a form is bound up with the 'mythology' of the 'angelic' Powers of the world of this fable. At this point in the fabulous history the purpose was precisely to limit and hinder their exhibition of 'power' on the physical plane, so that they would do what they were primarily sent for: train, advise, instruct, arouse the hearts and minds of those threatened by Sauron ... Gandalf really 'died' and was changed ... 'I am Gandalf the White, who has returned from death."[11]  

This latter transformation from 'Gandalf the Grey' to 'Gandalf the White' may very well describe the 4th and 5th initiations. 'The Istari' are described:

"... an Elvish term denoting an order or brotherhood of wizards. Such wizards are Maiar spirits older than Middle Earth itself, who have been sent by the Valar, the oldest and greatest beings of all, out of the Undying Lands into the mortal world to guide the Free Peoples of Middle-Earth ... They have come secretly ... As one of the Istari, Gandalf is able to wield potent magic ..."[12]

'Istari' has a very close connection to the word 'Ishtar', an ancient name for Venus in the Chaldean and Assyrian traditions. As stated earlier, Venus (hierarchical ruler of Capricorn) is the higher self to Earth. The Great White Lodge on Sirius works through Venus to the Great White Lodge on Earth. Hence Tolkien's 'Istari's' are most certainly those emissaries.


Note some of the terms in the previous quoted passage. 'Middle Earth' could certainly be construed as the 'middle rootrace' of Atlantis, between the Lemurian rootrace and this Aryan rootrace. 'Maiar' is connected to 'maya', whilst 'Valar' is 'valour'. The 'Undying Lands' can be interpreted as a kind of Shangri La or Shamballa. Gollum is of course symbolic of the Human Dweller,

"Gollum was once a hobbit who became corrupted by the One Ring. His life was extended far beyond its natural limits by the effects of possessing the Ring, which he frequently referred to as "my precious" and "my birthday present". After having it stolen by Bilbo Baggins, Gollum slavishly pursued it for the rest of his life.

gollum.jpglordrings ring.jpg
                 'My precious!'                   '
One Ring to rule them bring them all'.

During his centuries under the Ring's influence, Gollum came to love and hate the Ring, just as he loved and hated himself. Throughout the story, Gollum is seen communing with his ego, torn between his lust for the Ring and his desire to be free of it."[13]

Gollum is a dark Capricorn archetype, almost hopelessly unredeemed, not unlike Scrooge from Dicken's tale of Christmas and Capricorn, obsessed with owning an object of beauty and power. The quest for the One Ring is the Capricornian battle between the forces of light and dark, symbolised by the Hobbits venturing into the Land of Mordor to confront the dark lord Saruman,

"Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie."

Tolkien wrote The Lord of the Rings between 1937 and 1949, much of it during the dark period of World War II, esoterically regarded as a recapitulation of the ancient Atlantean conflict described earlier. This was no doubt a catalyst for Tolkien that enabled him to access a gateway into the past history of humanity. The timing of the correspondences between WWII and the Atlantean conflict are amazing.

In 1939 at the outbreak of the war, transiting Jupiter and the progressed Sun simultaneously entered Pisces, directly conjoining Tolkien's Moon in Pisces, triggering his natal Moon square Neptune aspect, drawing Tolkien deeper into his imagination and perhaps some (albeit unconscious) 'psychic downloads'. From 1942 to 1944, transiting Uranus was activating Neptune at the other end of the Moon-Neptune equation.

The Lord of the Rings: A Movie for the Masses

If the concept of materialisation and (movie) magic is examined further in relation to Capricorn, we see that The Lord of the Rings was birthed primarily by two people - the director Peter Jackson and his script-writer wife Fran Walsh, both with strong Capricorn placements in their horoscopes.

LordRings movie.jpg

Both Jackson and Walsh are New Zealanders, where most of the film and revolutionary special-effects were created. (There are many hobbits and strange folk who live in this country, LOL!)

Tolkien, Jackson and Walsh.

The tri-wheel here shows very clearly the amazing synastry between these three individuals. Jackson is a Sun-Neptune in Scorpio, reflecting his visionary artistic film-making capacities. Walsh's Neptune sits on Jackson's Sun, both planets sit on Tolkien's Uranus, one of his prime sources of inspiration.

Walsh's Mercury in late Sagittarius conjunct Saturn in early Capricorn, both sit precisely on Tolkien's all-powerful Mercury in Capricorn! This extraordinary synastry underlines the fact that Walsh was the major candidate for this epic job, as she was completely upon Tolkien's wave-length.

Fran Walsh and Peter Jackson

Likewise, Walsh's Uranus, sits directly on Tolkien's Leo ascendant. (Philippa Boyens was the third script-writer of the team, but unfortunately there is no data available for her.)

Walsh also has the Sun in Capricorn (!) and possibly the Moon (birthtime unknown), whilst Jackson was born on the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in late Capricorn. Hence Tolkien, the manifester of mystery and magic, had his work done great justice by two fellow Capricornian manifestors!

The Lord of the Rings was also an extraordinary business coup and greatly impressed movie moguls in Hollywood with its scope and vision of making three movies at once. Very shrewd Capricorn!

The influences of the seventh ray with Capricorn seem to have been very much to the fore. The organisational effort to co-ordinate casts of thousands, special effects, finances, actors, wardrobes etc. is truly awesome. When one sits through the many minutes of credits at the end of these kind of movies, there is an appreciation for the Herculean labour that was accomplished - a truly Aquarian group co-operative endeavour!

Phillip Lindsay © 2012.


[1] Esoteric Astrology, Alice A. Bailey. P.154.
[2] See here.
[3] Wikipedia.
[4] The Secret Doctrine II, H.P. Blavatsky. p.577-8.
[5] The Secret Doctrine II, H.P. Blavatsky. p.577.
[6] Esoteric Astrology, Alice A. Bailey. P.164-5.
[7] See Nazi Germany: An Astro-Historical Analysis, Phillip Lindsay.Here or in The Destiny of the Races and Nations.
[8] Esoteric Astrology, Alice A. Bailey. P.168.
[9] Glamour: A World Problem, Alice A. Bailey. p.123.
[10] Dr. Ralph Wood: "Professor of English at Baylor University, is a Tolkien expert and has studied Christian literary classics and the       Inklings .... He taught for 26 years at Wake Forest University, where he won awards for distinguished teaching. His publications    include "Traveling the One Road: The Lord of the Rings as a 'Pre-Christian' Classic.
[11] The Letters of J. R. R Tolkien, Humphrey Carpenter, editor  (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1981), page 202.
[12] Jude Fisher, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Visual Companion (Boston: New York, 2001), page 55, 57.
[13] Wikipedia.