Capricorn New Moon: Three Kings

It’s a chilly Saturday morning in 1988, about 6:30 am Pacific time, and I’m sitting at the dinette table in my tiny apartment, watching the weak late winter sun struggle to rise. I’m on the phone to an east coast hotel, employing every tool in my arsenal—begging, wheedling, flirting, and tears—to persuade the reservations manager to find a vacant room for an upcoming conference.

Part of my job as an administrative assistant for a monolithic water wholesaler involves making travel reservations for a demanding, 50-member board of directors. The conference hotel has been sold out for months, and one director, who has just decided he will attend, doesn’t understand why booking his reservation might be difficult if not impossible.

My immediate boss, the elegant but formidable Executive Secretary to the Board, would be even less understanding. If I show up on Monday without securing the impossible hotel reservation, she will indicate—through pursed lips and icy demeanor—her extreme disappointment. If I try to explain, as I have in the past, that I have tried everything and that it is not my fault the director didn’t plan ahead, her voice will get even quieter and more deadly: “It is ALWAYS your responsibility to make sure our directors have what they need,” she will say. “Do not blame your failure on them.”

For all intents and purposes, I work for the Devil Who Wore Prada. And so, I’m working early on a Saturday morning to do the impossible—because she expects results, because I refuse to be defeated, and because in my heart of hearts, I know she’s right.

In 1988, a pitiless triumvirate of Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune were transiting arm-and-arm through Capricorn, a sign that symbolizes responsibility, authority, and the refusal to take no for an answer. Not surprisingly, my boss was born with the Sun in that sign (the sign of my natal Saturn). From her, I learned that achieving an outcome was always my responsibility. My job was to get results, and anything short of that was my failure. Fairness had nothing to do with it; I must never make excuses or attempt to shift the blame. This was harsh tutelage, and I escaped the job as soon as I could; yet it provided some of the most valuable training of my life.

Karen was one of three Sun Sign Capricorns—let’s call them the Three Kings, since each brought me an invaluable gift—who have had the greatest impact on my professional life. Another was my high school music teacher, who taught me that my fanatical work ethic was something to be respected and rewarded. But I also learned from Tom that hard work must be tempered with compassion. He has often said that the most important lesson he learned as a teacher was that “kids won’t care what you know, unless they know that you care.” He pushed us hard and let us know that he expected excellence from us, and we did our best to meet those expectations—because he also showed us that he genuinely enjoyed, loved, and believed in us.

The third Capricorn who influenced me most was my father, more by genetics than by example, since he died when I was very young. He was a farmer who worked long, hard hours and took extra jobs to keep food on the table for his family. Like dad, each of his surviving children works feverishly hard, prefers self-employment, and loathes being told what to do. I doubt that’s a coincidence.

Scrappy independence, an obsessive work ethic tempered with humanity, and a complete refusal to admit defeat or to shift blame for failure: this is the legacy of the important Capricorns in my life. Their lessons helped me grapple with my ambitions as a professional musician, climb to the upper echelon of the administrative ladder at the water agency before my first Saturn return, and have the confidence to leave a high-paying job to become a professional astrologer at the age of thirty. Their voices in the back of my mind pushed me to return to school in my late thirties to finish my college degree, to found my website, write three books under tight deadlines, and  persevere in a challenging career for nearly three decades.

At this New Moon, six planets are transiting through Capricorn, including, once again, its ruling planet, Saturn. That’s a lot of planetary energy in one not-exactly-easygoing sign. But to me, Capricorn represents the flinty, determined, compassionate, driven voices that were part of every good thing I’ve ever accomplished in my life. From Capricorn, I learned to step up and take responsibility; learned poise and accountability; learned, when the time came, to be a leader.

We live in tough times, and there is a lot wrong with the world that is unfair and isn’t our fault. But Capricorn taught me this, and some days it makes me angry as a hornet: Just because something happens that is unfair or isn’t our fault doesn’t absolve us from our responsibility to try to achieve the life that we want. Whenever someone tells me about their problems and rattle off a long list of reasons why overcoming them is impossible, I know I’m hearing the self-imposed limitations of their Saturn. And the Capricorn Three Kings rise up in me to tell them, “Start focusing on what will work instead of what won’t work. Take back your life.”

On the day three years ago when transiting Saturn crossed the threshold of my first house, a tiny voice inside my head said, “If you don’t like your life, it’s up to you to change it into something you do like. Nobody else is going to do it for you.” I recognized that voice; it was a blend of those three dear Capricorn kings, reminding me that there is always a constructive way to respond to the world, things that can be done with the resources available to me to make my life better. I won’t say the past few years have been easy, any more than working for those demanding directors was easy—but I can say it’s been one of the most rewarding periods of my life.

The tough voice of Capricorn dominates this New Moon cycle, and I am deeply grateful for it. We focus so much on Capricorn’s toughness that we overlook its message of empowerment—that we are the authors of our lives, writing each chapter in real time through our decisions and choices. Yours is a story only you can write, and it’s one that the world is waiting to read. Make it the best one you can.

© 2018 April Elliott Kent

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13 Responses
  • Trish
    January 16, 2018

    OMG, This is the best advice on this coming moon that I have seen. You really nail it. maybe because I am A Capricorn, married to a Capricorn with lots of earth based grandchildren. My child is an Adult LEO. He is another story. But famous and in the spotlight which is where he shines. Empowerment is the buzz word or maybe it is THE word.

    • Bernard Charles
      January 16, 2018

      Trish. I’m right there with you, not married tho but I do have this overwhelming desire to feel strong and open to some hearty empowerment oats. My grandmother was a Leo. My moon sign is Cappy. I think we tend to be a little abrasive toward the sparkle, but the glam is just as fulfilling. Self-care this week!

  • Melanie
    January 16, 2018

    Great post! It’s high time that the positive sides of Saturn and Capricorn were highlighted.

    And I really like the new look of your website, especially the typeface!

  • Vicki
    January 16, 2018

    I love this perspective. I have natal Saturn in Cap and according to Donna Cunningham’s too, I have off-the-charts Saturn (she says a score of 40 or above is off-the-charts, mine was 70). A few weeks ago, when Saturn entered Capricorn, it was like a light switch turning on, moving me out of a depressive malaise I’d been in. I feel sharp and committed and able to take action. Saturn has been good to me, so I should probably stop complaining about Capricorn suns I have known and been bossed around by. They taught me well.

    • Carla
      February 3, 2018

      I know a Cappy who manged one of my hair studios and she was without a doubt the friendliest sweetest most positive person I’ve ever been around …a contagious smile . Another was well studied and enthusiastic about the belief system she knew to be true , and she set a prime example of it and focused on its most profound principles. Very influential , and far – reaching .

  • Fatima
    January 16, 2018

    I am surrounded by MANY Cappies in my family, but compassion is one word I cannot relate with them. Great post, otherwise!

  • Laura
    January 16, 2018

    I really enjoyed your article. It made me think and remember the people who had belief in me during my formative years and as I entered the workplace. It was Taureans who figured largely and with my Saturn in the sign of the bull, your article has helped me make a connection that I’ve never thought of before. That these people turn up to show you now to understand, nourish and develop the best qualities of your Saturn.

  • Faith
    January 16, 2018

    Fabulous, very helpful post, thank you, April. And your new site is GIRGEOUS!!!

  • Ann Raabe
    January 16, 2018

    I do not know much about astrology, BUT, always read what you have to say around new and full moons, and dare I say, I’ve gone online to “find out” what the pundits predict for 2018. Much of it is rather dire, hand-wringing, and self absolving, with a nuanced message of “things are out of control”. Aren’t they always, when one is looking outside of oneself into the popular culture? Why are “they” always the litmus test of each one of “us”? I understand the reasoning, but it undermines the power of self-determination. Your post is very empowering to the individual to take responsibility.
    April, Thank You for this!
    I imagine your father, from his view, is slapping his overall-clad thigh and laughing,
    “that’s my gal!”

  • Sherie
    January 16, 2018

    My sun and moon are nearly conjunct in Capricorn -was born at a new moon, not quite void of course. My rising sign is Aquarius. It is as if all 3 of your Capricorn kings live in me, simultaneously, with an aging, maverick explorer turning around to thumb a nose at them. Every thing is always my responsibility and I am always wrong, or always right, and I can never ever work hard enough or fast enough to get it all done. . If there are minutes left, or one person still in line, there is still work to be done. I volunteer at my job for more hours than I get paid for. I am always a bit too far out there to be the trusted CEO in anything, even if I’m the one that started it. Once a system is in place, or has become entrenched and mired in How It Is Done, oh man….I gotta go.

    But. And.
    This is good astrology right now. I have been at that ‘gotta go’ spot for awhile, yet I commited to another year contract because of a project that presented itself last spring that is important to where I work. Sheesh. It really needs done, and it is set up that I need to do it. Also, my hubby feels betrayed when I don’t earn a regular paycheck, no matter how small. So leaving last spring was ‘no go’.
    However, I am so done it hurts, and all of creation says now is the time to make a push for ME. This is the year to pull all the rambling bits together and generate something worth moving on to. My second Saturn Return looms, getting a 3rd one might not be in my stars. Now Is THE Time.
    I want to have fun, be deep and lighthearted, a saucy, decently funded, old lady – not a homeless bag lady.
    Time to make the baglady no longer be an option.

    • Carla
      February 3, 2018

      You right ❣️

  • Chea Maria
    January 17, 2018

    April, this post and your astrological insight are invaluable to me right now. Thank you sooooooo much for all the work you do and your generous heart that freely shares it.

  • Marta
    January 20, 2018

    Thank you April. I was born in 1988, the very year you write about, therefore I have just experienced my Saturn return in Capricorn (my natal Neptune and Moon, though not Uranus, are in this sign too). With the focus on commitment and accountability, I’m trying to learn to incorporate the Capricorn lessons into my airy-fairy, snowflakey nature, as nearly all the rest of my natal planets are in Gemini. I’m going through the most difficult time in my life so far, but actually liking it and seeing that hard work, effort and sacrifice do pay off – although I could do with a little more walks, coffee shops, pointless yet reassuring small talk, The Guardian articles and other Gemini pleasures that keep me going. Thank you for your brilliant take on what it means to embrace the Capricorn values.