The Cancer - Capricorn Polarity

The Seagoat

Credit: Willie Schumann / EyeEm / Getty Images.

Cancer and Capricorn are opposites on the Zodiac wheel, making them a pair to ponder. They swing on poles of emotional and earthly intelligence, and homey vs. worldly centers of gravity. 

Cancer and Capricorn are a polarity, so there's a familiar resonance, along with the total opposite experience of these signs. 

If you have big energies in one of these two Zodiac signs, the other side may seem out of your depth (or scope). Like me, I'm a Cancer, and find the traits of Capricorn wholly at odds with my nature. 

And yet, I can see how cultivating them, in my own Moonchild way, makes me feel more whole. Though I must admit, Capricorn is the most enigmatic to me, and living into its mystery coincides now with Pluto's transit (to 2024). Pluto is the planet of getting to the true authentic core, and the one that reveals.  So I'm seeing Pluto in Capricorn as a time when the deeper -- and timeless -- meaning of this sign will emerge. 

On the surface, we talk about Capricorn being a go-getter, climbing the social or corporate ladder like its modern totem, the mountain goat. And yet, in the chimeric creature, the Seagoat, an older Capricorn totem, we see the affinity of this earth sign for the watery depths. 

This is a totem that embodies both Cancer, with its oceanic origins and depths, and the climbing goat of Capricorn. To climb high and seize the day Capricorn style, you need to know where you've been, and Cancer's milieu is the emotional terrain of the past.

Anchors and Origins

Speaking of the loamy sea, Cancer is a sign of seeking a safe harbor, or putting down an anchor in the imperiled sea (of the psyche). Cancer yearns for home, and may feel like an exile, and always have a touch of homesickness. 

The looney Moon-ruled Cancer finds its strength when it establishes a strong shell of protection, for all that's churning within. The Crab's gifts come from its emotional potency, that has to be shielded from being pulled too much outside into external concerns.

Cancer needs a cloistered space, to know its own true color and dimension. And to be self-contained, with strong boundaries that don't leak all over the place. And from the Capricorn side, we can draw in the urge to shield and be discriminating with the company we keep. From that confident place, Cancer can move out into the world, and feel authentic, like they're bringing some of that inner depth to what they do or in relating.

The striving Capricorn needs a strong emotional wellspring, otherwise as Per Gullfoss writes in Spiritual Astrology, he collapses back unto himself, "caught in the inner darkness and lead-filled chambers of the personality." 

Gullfoss notes "Capricorn energy needs to move in both directions at the same time. As branches stretch toward the sky, roots go deeper into the ground." And later, he writes, "It's the ability to stay at the energetic top at the same time as one goes deep down in the valley that gives the rich understanding and satisfaction that Capricorn strives for." 

This brings to mind too, the roots of the great tree, like the Live Oak, that are as massive as the branches, but underground. They absorb the nourishment from subterranean aquifers, just as we need that emotional sustenance, to feel secure. 

In Capricorn, we find a sign that's keenly aware of time, and that's part of its mystery. What could be reclaimed here is the wisdom of being creators in this material plane, over eons. And the instinct that we are a continuation of our ancestors, and the ones who come after us. 

Blood and Soil 

With Cancer and Capricorn, the kinship of blood ties is keenly experienced, but in what ways?  

I found an insightful interpretation in an article from the Sher Institute of Astrology and Metaphysics, on Cancer: "The primal blood connection of ancestry and DNA whisper their secrets to her." 

With Capricorn, that becomes a responsibility or responsiveness to the extended clan. 

On Capricorn, from the Sher Institute article: "The world at large is her family.  She remembers the secrets of life and death whispered to her through the blood magic of feminine creation, though they take a less personal meaning now. What was once subjective and emotional is now pure earthly power, and the earth may be our giver of life but she is also takes it away. One cannot escape gravity and time. Capricorn comprehends and values the magic of time cycles."

Since we evolved with the Earth herself in specific landscapes, we see how Capricorn (and the Pluto transit) reveals the power of inheritances, tradition and sense of place.  It seems we are at a crossroads, where we can regrow roots, as an alternative to being rootless. 

Capricorn then, with Saturn as its ruler, knows that strong boundaries conserve the unique expression that has organically evolved over time. It's the recognition of being a guardian of the legacy of the ancestors, and the inheritance of the descendent. 

More on The Cancer - Capricorn Polarity 

  • Cancer is the first sign of Summer, while Capricorn ushers in Winter -- both are Solstice points. 
  • Cancer is the Mother, while Capricorn is the Crone or elder. Cancer prepares to give birth, and provide a nurturing environment. Capricorn lives with the specter of death, and knows that "Winter is coming," and prepares for it.
  • Cancer has been likened to loving like a child, or unconditional love, while Capricorn's love has conditions and expectations. Cancers reach out to the vulnerable, and fall into habits of dependency themselves. Capricorn is a teacher of self-sufficiency, and models that.
  • Some Cancer-Capricorn pairs fall into playing the roles of parent and child. And seeing the wisdom of both is part of this polarity, too..