Subterranean Soul

Book of Your Life for Capricorn | By Eric Francis Coppolino

Download US Letter PDF | A4 PDF | About the House Systems Used in Your Reading

First a word of introduction. Capricorn is one of the four signs on the cardinal cross, the others being Aries, Cancer and Libra. The cardinal signs are like the primary orientation points of society. In a sense, what happens to the cardinal signs happens to everyone. And in this respect, you are someone who is more connected to the wider flow of the human experience than you might otherwise be.

Sign Art by Lizanne E. Webb.

Even if you’re not an official leader, or into politics, you are connected (often rather consciously) to aspects of life that extend far beyond yourself. This connection sometimes comes bursting into your life when you’re not vaguely interested. Sometimes you feel it as a direct calling, and you may or may not know what to do with that.

The first degrees of Capricorn are sensitive, both for you personally and for our entire society. Indeed this is true of the entire sign Capricorn. This year — that is, all of 2017 — is a final year of preparation for influential cosmic activity shifting into your sign, and occurring in your sign. Most of this reading is designed to prepare you for that process. One main event is your ruling planet Saturn making its way into Capricorn in late December 2017.

This is the warm-up to a series of events that will take us into the next decade, including a stunning alignment in January 2020 (consisting of the Sun, Mercury, Ceres, Saturn and Pluto on Jan. 12, 2020). Then there is the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction of Dec. 21, 2021, in Aquarius.

Even though this conjunction — one of the most noteworthy of our long era — takes place in Aquarius, it’s still a profound part of your life story, as Aquarius (the other Saturn-ruled sign) is about the values that you embody.

I am therefore looking at the transits of 2017 as preparation for these much larger transits. Even if we were only looking at the return of Saturn to your sign, that would be plenty to prepare for. Yet there is much, much more. Pluto’s transit through your sign, happening since 2008, is not exactly news, though it’s not exactly over. In fact it’s so far from over that you could say the more important leg of the trip — the second half — is calling for preparation, and is serving as such for world-changing astrology that happens at the end of the decade.

Therefore if I seem like I’m treating Pluto in Capricorn as something new, you know why. In its current context, it is indeed a new experience. There are many more; there’s rather incredible activity in your fellow cardinal sign Aries (which describes your quest for self and your current issues around family, home and security). I’ll be describing these in detail in the forthcoming sections.

As you read, keep in mind that in the background of this all is the conjunction of Uranus and Eris, in Aries. It would be worth your while to understand what this is about. The essence is the way that the digital realm has collided with consciousness and is resulting in an impressive degree of chaos.

In such tumultuous and complex times, it’s always tempting to retreat into simplistic ideas and fundamentalist beliefs. I don’t know exactly where you will find your answers, though I’m pretty sure you won’t find them there.

The Rare Occasion of Pluto in Capricorn

It seems to be in the nature of humans to get crusty as they get older. You can see this in many 70-year-olds, and also in many 20-year-olds. Somewhere word got out that one of the most important life goals is becoming set in one’s ways. It’s not a helpful goal, and it’s not happening to you. Plenty else is, and none of it is facilitating being plastered over with your own history. In fact that’s the very thing you’re being liberated from, and it’s not easy.

Not everyone gets to have Pluto come through their birth sign or rising sign during their lifetime. We all have Pluto transits, though they can be anywhere in one’s chart. Pluto has now made it halfway across Capricorn, and if you’re looking for some information about why your life has been the way it is, and has developed into what you’re currently living out, understanding this transit will provide you with much useful information.

The sudden, wrenching changes, any feeling of instability that you’re experiencing, the pressure to grow and grow constantly, are all described by Pluto. The most famous book on this topic has in its title “the evolutionary journey of the soul,” and though the book does not do its own title justice, the central idea is correct.

Pluto has been cracking open the surface of your life, though it’s felt like earthquakes at times; and these fissures open into deep spaces. They reveal another dimension, and if you peer in, you can behold something that might seem incredible and way beyond how you think of yourself. Yet you know you contain what you perceive. This, too, is in motion and no easier to comprehend. Indeed, it would seem that all the usual concepts of rational understanding, of belief, or of explanation, fall short of describing or accounting for what you’ve discovered is possible.

Let’s work with the two levels that are described by your current astrology. These are indicated by your sign, Capricorn, and your immediately prior sign, Sagittarius. Think of them as concentric layers of who you are, with Capricorn surrounding the deeper core of Sagittarius. One is an earthy sign, and the other is a fiery sign. Think of the earthy stratum as containing and concealing the fiery core of who you are.

Capricorn: Of Structure and Change

Capricorn is stable, in the sense that the Earth itself is stable. It may seem that way, but the surface of our planet is in constant motion. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that there are about 50 detectable earthquakes a day, which comes out to nearly 20,000 a year. If you count the ones that go undetected, the number is higher than a million annually.

Tectonic plates press up against one another, giving the illusion of stability; then the pressure gets to be too much and they slip a few feet, and everything moves and shakes. Still, if you drive across the countryside and survey the landscape, everything seems to be standing still. It is, most times, most places (if you don’t count the movement of the planet, the solar system and the galaxy). In reality, there is constant vibration that is sometimes thunderous.

It’s easy for you to fall for the illusion that your life is like that unmoving landscape, and to present this to others as the image of who you are. That is to say, it’s in your nature to present yourself as a solid, stable and secure person.

However, this has been challenging with Pluto in your sign. Pluto is the very antithesis of all that Capricorn represents. Capricorn, like its ruling planet Saturn, is the immovable object. Pluto is the unstoppable force. Yet there is some compatibility of needs. The stability of Capricorn needs to be shaken up, lest it fossilize or calcify.

Pluto has already compelled you to make many changes to the structure of your life, whether this has involved your previously most stable relationships, your home, your profession or, most of all, what you thought was the trajectory of your existence.

When we move your charts up to 2017, a few things become apparent. One is that this process is still in full force, and that you’ll encounter some peak experiences of growth and self-discovery. By peak I really mean personal breakthroughs on a level you’ve never experienced. This is indicated by a subtle factor: in the conjunction of Pluto and asteroid Icarus in the most recent Capricorn solstice chart. Pluto gives the depth and the power of change; Icarus describes the craving to do this in big ways. That’s the thing about Icarus: it makes one want that experience of peaking, and its expression is often dramatic.

Here’s the thing: Capricorn is like the surface. It’s more about your personality than what you really are. As a personality factor, it would be impressive (and often still is), were Pluto not in your sign revealing something deeper. The real changes from Pluto happen when you open up and something else is revealed.

One thing to remember is that your integrity is not linked to your being unchanging. In fact, your integrity is about your ability to change in helpful ways, and not to resist what you need the most. As well, you must be honest with yourself and with others about your uncertainty. It’s all too tempting, in times of profound change, to attempt to cling to some form of fundamentalism or false security.

It’s easy to go retro and wish things were the way they used to be. Nostalgia, one of the most popular sports of our era, is not a form of progress. Many people are responding to Pluto in Capricorn by grasping onto the past. My take on why we live in such reactionary times involves the depth of changes that people are being summoned to confront. The integrity loss here is about not honestly addressing the needs, and the unique opportunities, of our actual moment. It’s also potentially about a reconstruction of history rather than getting underneath what happened and resolving any pain that you’re carrying from the past.

Along these lines is one other significant risk of Pluto in Capricorn, and many related transits: that of making changes only on the personality level. Though Pluto would seem to inevitably go deeper, it’s possible to be moving around the more superficial elements of personality and lifestyle rather than doing the deeper work.

We can, at least, admit that the kinds of effort and progress Pluto is demanding you exert can be lonely, the process can be exhausting, and it can always seem that there is more work to do. Here close to the midpoint of Pluto’s journey through Capricorn (the process is half complete), I would offer that while Pluto transits can be difficult, we miss them when they’re gone. Pluto provides drive on a deep level that really can motivate you, if you allow yourself to move.

The Fiery Dimension: Sagittarius

The deeper level of what’s going on in your chart is revealed in two fire signs, Sagittarius and Aries. Let’s look at Sagittarius in this section: As the sign right before yours, Sagittarius is your 12th house. This works if you’re Capricorn rising (we can safely count all of Sagittarius as your 12th). If you have a Capricorn Sun, then Sagittarius is your solar 12th house.

This is no ordinary sign to have on the 12th house. In any chart, the 12th house is the hidden dimension. You could ascribe to the 12th everything that is veiled from view, though in general it includes the distant past and the affairs of your ancestors; what you know about yourself and do not reveal; everything that you consider taboo; what is revealed through dreams, meditation and experiences on entheogenic drugs (previously called hallucinogens).

The 12th is out of reach till we access it through some unusual experience, or when things get intense and there is some bleed-through onto the personality level.

Now, you have a particularly incredible 12th house. The reason is because two elements that point to the center of the universe are in Sagittarius. One of them is the core of our local galaxy, the Milky Way. The core of our galaxy of 300 million suns is right in your 12th house.

Then there’s a point that is the core of our galactic supercluster, known as Laniakea, at the heart of which is the Great Attractor. Our modestly sized galaxy is one of about 100,000 being drawn toward some huge, mysterious thing. And this thing and much that it’s “attracting” are in your 12th house.

Everyone’s 12th house feels deep and strange and mysterious. But most of the time you might follow that feeling and end up on the astral plane, where nothing of much relevance is going on. In your chart, the 12th is a portal to the entire cosmos.

Two things are activating this right now. One is that Pluto is doing its best to crack open your personality shell and reveal what you have deeper inside you — and you now have a clue what that is. Second, there are slow-moving planets collected around the Galactic Core’s position in Sagittarius. One by one, each of these planets — representing some deep spiritual material in your life — works its way over the core; each of these processes is an initiation.

In essence, whatever that planet represents is encountering the Galactic Core and the spiritual source that it represents. Each will then, in its turn, enter your sign and take up residency in your psyche on a more overt and conscious level.

It’s true that Sagittarius exists somewhere in everyone’s chart. To some extent, these transits count for everyone. However, with the Galactic Core (GC) so close to your sign, and as such a prominent feature right below the level of awareness, the GC can function as a blind spot, which is particularly true for you with it late in your 12th house. Then these slow-moving planets, when done with this transition, immediately enter your sign and become your spiritual property.

There are many terms to explain this, such as integrating shadow material. Yet using astrology as a metaphor, think of it this way: Right below the surface of who you are is a profound cosmic fire burning. As planets and points gradually go over the core of this fire, they are transformed, as are you. The more consciously you go through their transits over the core, the more benefit and the less crisis you’ll experience. Therefore, it would make sense to know what’s going on with transits to this point. There are many; I will give you a few of the more standout ones.

Saturn — Particularly salient as your traditional ruling planet (that is, the planet associated with your sign back to antiquity), this is perhaps the deepest description of the change you’re undergoing. You’re being asked to submit your will, your ideas about yourself, and your ego structure to your highest calling. The Galactic Core is our spiritual homing center, which radiates out into our local universe (meaning your life and your awareness).

Your quest with Saturn is to use your power and authority for peaceful purposes. You must understand your own influence, and work from a balance of formal and informal authority. For most people, authority is about the lingering or overt influences of their parents, spouse or partner, and their children. Children are not usually seen as authority figures; however, they often come with the sensation of guilt and obligation and can indeed have a way of taking charge of one’s life. It’s also about setting boundaries; which is to say, the terms of your existence to which you hold yourself and others.

The first question is, are you negotiable in all of this? Do you account for the space you need, providing for change, growth and progress? Do your boundaries (including your beliefs) move when necessary? Are your beliefs subject to evolution and to change? Consider investigating the extent to which you impose your beliefs on others, and to which others did that to you. It’s time to update your files.

Experiencing this transit may feel like having your whole being held to the cosmic fire. People do spiritual training for many years, and travel to remote places of the Earth, just to have an opportunity to experience an initiation like this.

Saturn arrives in Capricorn on Dec. 19, 2017.

Achilles — This unusual asteroid, with a 12-year orbit, describes issues of confidence. In particular, I’ve seen that Achilles speaks to the false lack of confidence in women. I know that the term “false confidence” is more often used than “false lack of confidence,” which you don’t usually hear. However, there are many people whose confidence level is considerably below what they have earned through their experiences and natural talent.

The other side of this is worth considering, which is the problem of false confidence. Any situation that might call for puffing up your sense of your own abilities would be better addressed with a beginner’s-mind approach. Be mindful about confidence that seems to emanate from your feet, which can mean the shoes you’re wearing. Bring your confidence center up to your heart and solar plexus rather than having it so far below your center of gravity.

It’s also helpful to say the words, “I don’t know,” or better, “I don’t know, and I really want to find out.” In case you’re wondering, nobody will think of you as stupid. Indeed, saying, “I don’t know” is nearly heroic these days.

Achilles transiting over the Galactic Core is about finding your true confidence through your connection to source. It’s about having an understanding that your inner source can compensate for your weaknesses or debilities, and that these can be healed. One specific issue with Achilles is what a person’s mother did to them that led them to lack confidence where they really need it, and deserve to have it. We must all learn how not to do this to others.

Make it your business to be a teacher of authentic confidence in others, particularly by offering experience and encouragement and being a solid example of how to deal with one’s weaknesses and liabilities.

Achilles arrives in Capricorn on Feb. 1, 2017.

Ixion — Speaking to some of the most profound issues of our day, Ixion is about how we make determinations between right and wrong. A Pluto-like body orbiting our Sun, Ixion represents the tendency in humanity to suspend all moral judgment. Ixion is not about immorality, it’s about amorality; which is to say, the abandonment of ethical structure, which we see so often today.

Ixion conjunct the Galactic Core strives to take morality beyond the level of culturally mandated rules and structures, and bring it to the level of a genuine inner compass, one that can also guide society.

It’s not enough to give yourself a pass where there’s an ethical question. Rather, you must use a combination of inner knowingness and careful review. As a general guide, one might say that anything involving deception is probably wrong; otherwise, what is the need to lie? Yet that in itself is not the core issue; rather, at the center is how one got into that position and what one is going to do about it.

Ixion raises the question of what is called the “social contract.” Though the term is often used, its true meaning comes back to the statement, “I agree not to kill you.” People kill one another in many seemingly subtle ways; for example, through the conduct of the corporations they work for; their driving habits (sometimes not so subtle, but risky); their sexual conduct (including rape, which is a form of attempted soul murder); and whether they acknowledge the existence and vitality of others. With Ixion about to make a long series of conjunctions to the Galactic Core, this branch of ethics is up for deep review.

Since the GC can influence matters on a broad scale, we have the conduct of our society to question as well. Why is killing glorified? Why is murder one of the few things that gets anyone’s attention — except when it’s conducted against an entire society? We have a necessary reckoning here.

Ixion arrives in Capricorn on March 1, 2020, during the massive Capricorn alignment (see below for more details).

Pholus — Pholus is now exactly conjunct the Galactic Core. Over the next year, it will transit into Capricorn. The second centaur planet, Pholus addresses the issue of how people and events go out of control. A centaur’s main property is that it crosses the orbits of other planets. Pholus crosses the path of Uranus, bridging the orbits of Saturn and Neptune. Pholus is the energy of the release that cannot be re-contained.

We live in a society that specializes in creating things that it cannot control, such as nuclear power plants, toxic emissions that spread through the entire food chain, and our epidemic of anger. So in some ways we live in an age of Pholus, from the most public matters to the most private.

One of its manifestations is “the small cause with a big effect,” first described by the German authors von Heeren and Koch. Those small causes can include decisions one did not know would have such impact, the effects of homeopathy (a dose of nothing much having a profound influence), dioxins (dangerous at the parts-per-trillion level) or values and data passed down to us from recent ancestors (such as grandparents and great-grandparents).

In its household manifestation, Pholus often relates to matters surrounding alcohol. This includes anything from controlling its use, to what happens under its influence, to alcoholism passed through the generations. Alcohol is a much larger issue than anyone not in recovery is likely to admit, though some people do see the issue for what it is.

Pholus arrives in Capricorn on Jan. 20, 2018.

Quaoar — How did you get here? What is your story of your origins? What story did your family tell you about who you are and how you got here? And how do you handle the difference? Yes, these are questions that would make excellent themes in a science fiction trilogy. And they are also actual human questions that we all must ask at some point, or that show up demanding an answer.

Quaoar has been making its way back and forth across the Galactic Core for the past three years, and is now imminently arriving in your sign. You may find that the question of who you are and where you came from becomes especially significant. Many different forms of life arrive on Earth and take human form. The question of your origins can open up into some interesting spaces. Is your soul human? Is your soul extraterrestrial, meaning having its origins on some other star system or galaxy? Are you an elemental; that is, are you something like a water sprite, fire sprite or diva who has slipped into human form?

One last thought about Quaoar: Its conjunction to the Core and its entry into Capricorn offer a pressing question: when will we see that all of life is one family, closely related, interdependent and from the same cosmic source? As Quaoar begins its journey across your sign, you can become the embodiment of this idea, in essence a force of nature who focuses your extended spiritual family into something tangible and helpful to many.

Quaoar arrives in Capricorn in late January 2017.

Summing Up: Capricorn and Sagittarius

So far I’ve described a psychic structure that involves two layers of your being: the outer layer, which is illustrated by Capricorn, and what is going on beneath the surface, in Sagittarius. Pluto in Capricorn would give you plenty to occupy yourself with, in terms of a growth agenda. Yet that’s just a small part of the story and is, in a sense, what is giving you access to the deeper experiences you’re having.

The changes you’re making to the structure of your life, changes to your personality, and your sense of “grow or die,” are all related to Pluto. What you are really reaching for is the direct experience of what’s happening around the Galactic Core, just below the level of consciousness. Your objective is to bring awareness to those deeper experiences, and to allow them up to the surface of your reality.

Think of the Galactic Core as being the indwelling essence of God, which is feminine. This is referenced in the religious texts many ways: as the Holy Spirit from the Christian tradition, as Shekhinah from the Islamic and Jewish traditions, and as others. Remember that these descriptions are approximate; they sketch something rather than give a direct experience. Just know that you’re involved in a long process of accessing and learning how to work with your indwelling divine essence. You can safely take this as a prime directive or central theme of your current life — and potentially of this whole lifetime.

A few days ago, an astrologer named Zayna was researching the Galactic Core, and she found this passage from the 2008 Planet Waves Annual Edition, called The Spiral Door. I think it serves as an excellent summary of your astrology eight years on.

We fall for a lot of belief bullshit. We pile a lot of beliefs onto this whole strange space odyssey we are on, out on the edge of a galaxy getting vacuumed down a vortex 200 million light years away (Great Attractor) with very little solid information about how we got here. The mystery is held in Sagittarius, and so too is the shadow baggage that becomes religion, indoctrination and phony worldviews that are enforced at the point of a machine gun.

Yet the vision factor of Sagittarius is what we need to preserve as Pluto makes its way across Capricorn. As the structures of the world are taken apart, we need to put them back together with a plan; or at least a plan for how we are going to relate to the scheme of things. As I have suggested many times, we are about to witness and participate in change on a scale we never imagined possible — but we need to start imagining.

The Sagittarius-Capricorn (Galactic Center) line is the place where we work that border between the vision and the reality of something.

Uranus Conjunct Eris is a Not a Security Blanket

The sign Aries is associated with self-definition, self-discovery and, generally, the impulse to be you. The Capricorn solar chart, or Cap rising whole-sign chart, places Aries in an odd position: in your 4th house of security and family.

Aries is the sign that represents taking the initiative of who you want to become. It also represents initiative in any other form. The 4th house is where people seek the shelter of things that are well known; life as defined by one’s family; and the expression of the desire for security.

Can you see the paradox inherent in this setup? Aries wants to break out and be original. The 4th house is about staying in one’s shell, staying safe, being in retreat and essentially being a private person. Yet you’re not really a private person; you’re connected to everyone and everything, and you aspire to great things. And to accomplish any of those things, you must boldly be who you are, which means coming out of your shell.

The true nature of this paradox is that you have a tendency to allow your family, particularly your parents, to define who you are. Or rather, this chart setup describes the instinct to mold who you are to the requirements and specifications of your family. This can include expectations of long-dead ancestors that were passed down through your family of origin and its customs. Often that included the demand not to be so individualistic.

I just clicked on someone’s Facebook timeline, and they had a meme up which said, “The past is a place of reference, not a place of residence.” The scenario that I am describing is essentially living in, or clinging to, a concept of yourself that not only resides in the past but which is defined by a set of expectations, yours or those of others, that no longer apply to you.

For the past five years, the planet Uranus has been in Aries, essentially blowing this to bits. Uranus is the most restless and revolutionary planet. It’s the ultimate archetype of disruption. And to the extent that you’ve tried to cling to any notion of yourself from the past, the result has been stressful. In fact if you’ve experienced any meltdowns related to “who you are” and “your family,” you now have a working metaphor to understand them.

By far the pressure to change is more potent than anything that might incline you to stay in your shell. The added impact of Pluto through your sign (combined with the series of Uranus-Pluto squares from 2011 through 2014) is making it inevitable that you break free from previous definitions of yourself — from your family or from whatever source — yet you are somewhat stubborn and you do tend to cling to the past. This is, by the way, a tendency affirmed by the inherent past-orientation of Capricorn, and having Aries in a house inherently associated with the past and seeking security there.

There is no point clinging. There is no point resisting who you are becoming. It’s long past time to cut the apron strings — no matter whom they are attached to. The ongoing conjunction of Uranus and Eris in your 4th house has raised this to anything from a constant drive to a fevered pitch to moments when you’re utterly frantic to bust into who you are and be who you are.

The thing is, your future self is not as easy to perceive as your past self. Every transit I’ve described above adds up to you developing in ways that you simply cannot predict, and which therefore amount to a daunting unknown. In order to face who you are becoming, you must face that unknown.

Other aspects, including a collection of planets in your 3rd solar house and Pisces — your mental sphere, where you form and communicate ideas — describe the potential for you to get into spaces where you don’t feel clear no matter how hard you might try. This is not any kind of passive confusion or light fog. It’s a real confrontation with the unknown. The only way to work with this is to release yourself to that vast and nameless place in you without boundaries or borders. You would, of necessity, stop needing to control the future, whether by dictum or expectation. Neither will work, and I suggest you make friends with the fact that uncertainty is your best friend.

This is part of a much larger project, a lifelong one, of opening up your viewpoint. Every transit you’re experiencing is guiding or insisting that you be more broad-minded. Where you get caught is the details. You seem to appreciate things in principle, and then pull back when you don’t have every last fact, figure and expectation accounted for. This is not a path to the future, though you have some excellent openings. In other words, everything about your astrology is pointing you toward horizons you could have barely anticipated. Yet to get there will involve having the courage to face what you do not know and what cannot be known until you consciously open up and explore.

It also involves the courage not to worry what other people think. This is nothing more than a trap. If you’re worried about your reputation, this is merely another way of assigning power over yourself to others. You cannot control what anyone thinks, and no matter how pure, sinister, friendly, loving, raunchy, talented or slothy you might be, people will think what they want. What they might think is not your business.

If you are experiencing approach-avoid tendencies, this suggests you’re dealing with guilt in some form. Approach-avoid is when you want to do something, but then back off when you have the opportunity.

In case that’s happening, here are some ideas that might help. They are from an article I wrote in 2001 or so, back in the early days of Planet Waves. This passage is co-written with my mentor Joseph Trusso, who was trained by Fritz and Laura.

Fritz and Laura Perls, early pioneers of Gestalt Therapy, taught that guilt is resentment turned against itself. Generally speaking, children, being the powerful yet powerless little critters they are, take upon themselves the notion of “fault and blame.” They cannot imagine adults (who are personifications of the gods and goddesses) making an error. If they do, it’s still the “fault” of the child. “If only I would’ve done this or that, daddy wouldn’t hit me.” “If I was more quiet, mommy wouldn’t drink.” And so on. Since they are at “fault,” they are “guilty,” and since they cannot rage against the adults very successfully or have a real impact on the direction of events, they turn the resentment at being pruned, modified, corrected, disciplined, strongly directed, or dictated to, back at themselves.

That is guilt. It’s fair to say that our lives, so often filled with the idea that we cannot influence the direction of events, so often caught in the web of control, of bosses, of taxes, of children, and yes, of our sexual relationships, are often holographic copies of these original crushing relationships with parents and teachers. Yet as adults, the programming, the patterns, are contained within us. They are internalized. Check it out: do we have especially creative jobs? Dare we say what we feel, go where we want, be who we are, or have sex with who we desire? Or are we pruned, modified, dictated to, and denied out of existence by our own self-control?

Yes, it’s true: you strive to be the master of self-control. During certain times in one’s spiritual growth, that’s a necessary skill to develop and to use. But then at a certain point a higher principle must take over; you’re at that point now. And that point will lead you forward rather than leaving you in what seems to be the same place.

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