Week 44  -  10.28.12 - 11.03.12  –  Capricorn

Materials:   Copper, Sterling Silver

Ring Dimensions:   .940” H x 1.00” W x .934” D

The constellation Capricornus is often called Capricorn, especially when referring to the corresponding astrological sign. Capricornus is Latin for ‘horned male goat’ or ‘goat horn’, and it is commonly represented in the form of a sea-goat (a mythical creature that is half goat, half fish). The constellation is located in an area of sky called the ‘Sea’ or the ‘Water’, consisting of many water-related constellations such as Aquarius, Pisces and Eridanus. It is the second faintest constellation in the zodiac, after Cancer, and it is the smallest constellation in the zodiac. Several galaxies and star clusters are contained within Capricornus. One galaxy group located in Capricornus is HCG 87, a group of at least three galaxies located 400 million light-years from Earth. HCG 87 contains a large elliptical galaxy, a face-on spiral galaxy, and an edge-on spiral galaxy. The face-on spiral galaxy is experiencing an abnormally high rate of star formation, indicating that it is interacting with one or both members of the group. The large elliptical galaxy and the edge-on spiral galaxy are connected by a stream of stars and dust that indicates that they are also interacting. Astronomers predict that the three galaxies may merge millions of years in the future to form a giant elliptical galaxy.

Those personalities born between December 22nd and January 20th are in the tenth sign of the zodiac. This cardinal, earth sign possesses a potent combination of patience, practicality, and ambition. However, they also bring great expectations for themselves and the rewards that their efforts deserve. Persistent and self-sufficient, they favor a technique-based approach to challenges and are not prone to hair-trigger responses. This can lead to the Capricorn traits of indecision and over-analysis. They may sense that they have the ability to scale any peak, if only the right mountain path could be determined. Capricorn likely exhibits a characteristic wisdom beyond their years and they are probably not known for confiding their emotions with others. Despite this, they are loyal to family and their inner circle of friends. Contrary to popular perception, they may be outwardly easy going and relaxed but people would be surprised at the strength of their underlying ambition and tenacity. Traditionally, many Capricorn keep to themselves and, as a child, they may have been reserved, studious, and liked by teachers. They are usually conservative and believe in the power of the past and in respecting tradition. Some Capricorn personalities find an interest in history and strategies, drawing them to military studies, esoterica, or even the occult. They are also likely to have disdain for forms of modern art and construction and much prefer renaissance and gothic creations. Capricorn traits combine to produce greater chances of success in later years than in youth. On the negative side, they can be stubborn and set in their ways, with a tendency to suppress emotions. Perfectionism may also lead to procrastination and Hamlet-style bouts of melancholy engendered by their perceived lack of progress.

Capricornus is an unlikely looking creature with the head and forelegs of a goat and the tail of a fish. The constellation evidently originated with the Sumerians and Babylonians, who had a fondness for amphibious creatures. The ancient Sumerians called it SUHUR-MASH-HA (the goat-fish). The Greeks, who named it Aegoceros (goat-horned), identified the constellation with Pan, god of the countryside, who had the horns and legs of a goat. Pan, a playful creature of uncertain parentage, spent much of his time chasing females or sleeping it off with a siesta. He could frighten people with his loud shout, which is the origin of the word ’panic’. One of his offspring was Crotus, identified with the constellation Sagittarius. Pan’s attempted seduction of the nymph Syrinx failed when she turned herself into a handful of reeds. As he clutched the reeds, the wind blew through them, creating an enchanting sound. Pan selected reeds of different lengths and stuck them together with wax to form the famous ‘Pipes of Pan’, also called the ‘Syrinx’. Pan came to the rescue of the gods on two separate occasions. During the battle of the gods and the Titans, Pan blew a conch shell to help put the enemy to flight. On a later occasion, Pan shouted a warning to the gods that the monster Typhon was approaching, which was sent by Mother Earth (Gaia). At Pan’s suggestion the gods disguised themselves as animals to elude the monster. Pan himself took refuge in a river, turning the lower part of his body into a fish. Zeus grappled with Typhon, but the monster pulled out the sinews from Zeus’s hands and feet, leaving the god crippled. Hermes and Pan replaced the sinews, allowing Zeus to resume his pursuit of Typhon. Zeus cut down the monster with thunderbolts and finally buried him under Mount Etna in Sicily, which is said to still belch fire from the monster’s breath. In gratitude for these services, Zeus placed the image of Pan in the sky as the constellation Capricornus.