Working Pets of the World, Unite — It’s Capricorn Season
Give them structure or give them...more structure!
Your pet wants you to read our newsletter. (Then give them a treat.)
Friends, we’ve made it to the end of the year and the darkest day in the solar calendar. Of course, when I say “friends,” I mean colleagues, and when I say “we made it,” I mean the work has just begun. Welcome to Capricorn season! As the sun enters the earthy sign of the sea goat, might we extend a formal welcome to our highly esteemed corporate cats, Scrooge McDucks, GOATs, and Doggy Partons.
Like the mountain goat with its sights set on the tip of the treacherous peak, Capricorn represents the archetypal slog up the mountain. We’re talking the long game here, a reward projected far out into the future. Ruled by Saturn, the Lord of Winter, Capricorns are the masters of integrity, solitude, and grit. Born when the bounty of the summer is a distant memory, this sign has the ability to thrive in inhospitable climates and possesses a pragmatic understanding of life’s hard lessons.
A pet born between December 22 and January 19 will want to earn their treats and will thrive on challenging games of adversity. Finding deep satisfaction in the dogged (pun intended, if just to crack a smile from a Cap) pursuit of a goal, Capricorn rules the domain of animals in the workforce. Animals have been set to work since the first domesticated dogs over 20,000 years ago, and since then, our need for beasts of burden has multiplied: camels, donkeys, and horses enabled long-distance travel; canaries detected carbon monoxide in coal mines; oxen plowed our fields, carrier pigeons delivered messages; rats sniffed land mines. Of course, there are countless service animals.
As one of the most maligned and misunderstood signs in the zodiac, Capricorns are often associated with ossified systems of control, corporate overlords, and the ruthless pursuit of power. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, one of the richest men in the world, is indeed a Capricorn. While he might fraternize with dogs of the robot variety, he has shared pics of his real dog, Luna, on social media. Billionaire Bezos immortalized Luna in a cryptocurrency coin, the Luna Inu, earlier this year. While Luna may not be the first canine-themed coin in the crypto wallet, she is certainly the first to fund a dog shelter.
Yes, a Capricorn is interested in structure, but this does not mean they are fated to a life dedicated to the systems and rules prescribed by society. Their gift is to see the world as it truly is. As such, they can be powerful revolutionaries and advocates for the marginalized and disenfranchised. Look no further than Martin Luther King, Jr. for proof. King’s legacy extends beyond the civil rights and anti-war movements as an enduring inspiration for animal rights activism through his principles of nonviolent action, the courage to speak up in the face of injustice, and the transformational power of love. A particularly powerful moment is captured in this 1964 photograph of King in the back of a paddy wagon with a German Shepherd police dog. The dog was put in the car with King in an attempt to intimidate him. Instead, they became fast friends.
The love of a Capricorn animal will not necessarily be expressed as cuddly affection; rather, it will manifest in unfaltering dedication as a loyal protector and companion. Think of Capitan, the dog who stood vigil at his dad’s grave for seven years, or Bobbie the Wonder Dog, the Scotch Collie / English Shepherd who traveled 3,000 miles alone to be reunited with his family in 1924. Capricorn pets respect clear boundaries, enjoy a routine, and are some of the most well-mannered pets of the zodiac. These dogs are the perfect companion for long-distance runners and mountain hikers. If they are digging a hole, it will be the deepest.
These adult-like children of the zodiac tend to age in reverse and are the kinds of people who could identify as “old souls.” Nineteen-year-old environmental activist Greta Thunberg is the best example of this. Thunberg is a committed vegan who has spoken out about industrialized farming and the deep capacity of animals to feel pain and love. At age 16, she sternly scolded UN leaders on the issue of climate change, demonstrating Capricorn’s gift for an economy of words and the courage to speak truth to power.
Symbolized by the sea goat, this sign combines steadfast earthiness with a melancholic watery depth, the wellspring of their profound creative capacity and emotional resilience. Capricorns are oriented to grappling with darker, existential themes. It is the domain of Edgar Ellen Poe’s macabre tales of horror and death, the nightmarish and cryptic realms of David Lynch’s films, and the heroic battle between good and evil in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.
Other creative cosmic compatriots include the late, great animal-lover Betty White and musicians Janis Joplin, FKA Twigs, Aaliyah, Marianne Faithfull, and Patti Smith. Life-long cat devotee Smith is the embodiment of severe Saturnian presentation; the godmother of punk rock demonstrates Capricorn’s ability to age with style, grace, and vigor. Her deep connection with her feline friends is captured in the documentary Patti Smith: Dream of Life (2008), in which she sings to one of her cats. Earlier this year, she told The Guardian that she organizes her routine around her 21-year-old cat, Cairo, who is featured on the back of her most recent book.
Of course, not all Capricorns are monochrome misanthropes clad in minimal Japanese couture. Be it Elvis Presley’s gaudy jumpsuits and coiffed pompadour, David Bowie’s gender-bending sartorial presentation, or Dolly Parton, the “Backwoods Barbie” herself, the theme is consistency and an enduring legacy. We see Capricorn’s persistence and never-ending drive manifest in Palton’s unfaltering characterization of the bedazzled Southern Belle and the mythos of the self-made American dream.
Putting the “business” in showbiz, Parton has incorporated her love for dogs into her empire, extending her love of wigs to the pets space. Parton launched her sassy line of pet apparel, Doggy Parton, earlier this year. The line is modeled by her beloved dog, Billy the Kid, a.k.a. her “dog-god.” Billy is also the inspiration behind one of Parton’s children’s book Billy the Kid Makes it Big.
Capricorn teaches us the power of acknowledging our deepest ambitions, of defining a goal, and working steadfastly toward it. In this way, Capricorns are dual citizens of the future and the past. In a culture of immediacy, convenience, and supple skin, they can teach us to cultivate a reverence for the wisdom time bestows, a respect for aging, and the lessons and traditions of the past. For all their miserly Dickensian associations, Capricorns contain the antidote to capitalism’s growth fetish — the pleasure of delayed gratification and doing more with less. In the words of the punk-poet laureate Smith, “If you don’t have what you need, just rock with what you’ve got!”
Let those ears flap in the wind and live your life with abandon during the season of the literal horse girl.
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Alea is an astrologer, DJ, and writer from New Zealand who is currently based in Portland, OR. Her music shows and interviews can be found on NTS Radio at Lucifer Over Los Angeles, and her writing is featured in Butch is Not a Dirty Word and The Spinoff among others.