Astrology Secrets Revealed by ERIC FRANCIS

Cutting-Edge Capricorn


June 3, 2005


Hey Eric,


I Object, Your Honor! :-) As a Capricorn myself, I thoroughly object to the notation on the Ruler Chart in your answer on Cainer's site last week. You say, "Capricorn - Saturn - Modern Ruler, None (Modern? Capricorn?)"


What is it with all you astrologer types who knock us poor Capricorns as stuck-in-the-mud-traditional types -- :-P I know many old-fashioned people and most of them are certainly NOT Capricorns. In fact the Capris, to a person, are mostly just termed 'eccentric' by everyone who knows them. And they are more 'progressive' in their thinking than the Libras, Arians, Scorpios, Sadges, Leos that I seem to attract in droves.


In ancient India when the Puranas (ancient Vedic texts) were first written, they were called Purana coz it meant 'modern'. Today that word (and the texts) literally means old, even ancient. So, for all you know we may be cutting edge and everyone is just looking at it the wrong way. What do you mean by 'modern', anyway? And why oh why are we so slandered? :-P



(from a 'modern' sea-goat)



Dear Sea-Goat,


Ah yes, just like a true Capricorn: a little formal, willing to assert yourself, quite intelligent, and witty enough to get everyone with a brain laughing.


I was counting on that Cap sense of humor of yours to pick up the fact that I was, in part, poking fun at the traditional qualities of the 10th sign of the zodiac.


However, as I am a practicing Capricologist, with many years of experience and a fine collection of Capricorn charts and interesting people in my life who prove astrology is real, please note that I did not say, "stick in the mud." Or "boring." Or "old fashioned."


No, no, no.


First, a technical clarification: a modern planet means since a planet discovered the dawn of science. The opposite concept is traditional planet. The first modern planet was Uranus, discovered in 1781. Astrology generally refers to Uranus, Neptune and Pluto as the modern planets. I would also include Chiron, and at the moment, there is good work being done on many new planetary discoveries, such as Sedna and Varuna. But technically, as a term of art, the strict answer is: modern planet = Uranus, Pluto, and Neptune.


Now, back to Capricorn.


Have you ever met an actual goat? Of course you have. Have you ever met a boring goat? I doubt it. They are some of the most alive critters you'll find around a farm. Anyone who will stroll up to you and eat your jacket, or whack your leg with their head to get your attention, is having a good time.


However, we can't avoid the fact that Capricorn is the sign of tradition. And tradition is an interesting thing. It is a living thing. One of my teachers, a radical rabbi named Arthur Joseph Kushner, once gave me a little talk on the subject. He said, basically, that if a tradition does not change, it is dead. Capricorn, being very much alive, is the sign of the LIVING TRADITION.


And with the addition of modern planets and modern rulers, the tradition of astrology is changing, it is growing, and it's demonstrating to the world that it's not stuck in old-timey, spooky Medieval thinking, but rather that it can adapt and develop. And these adaptations are all subtle acts of revolution.


Richard Tarnas, author of "Prometheus the Awakener" (the best book on Uranus), notes that Uranus is considered the planet of revolution; but in mythology, he was the Greek sky-god who was overthrown by Saturn (the ruler of Capricorn). Saturn gets none too little credit for its ability to bring change to the world. But plenty of change it brings.


But the kind of change that Saturn, or by extension Capricorn, inaugurates has a lot to do with understanding the foundations of history. You were born Jan. 3, the same day as J.R.R. Tolkien. This is a Capricorn writer who was so in touch with history and the pre-historical past that he wrote an entire mythology as a gift to England, which he felt needed a set of national and cultural myths it could call its own. Like any good mythmaker, he worked with existing stories but approached them with a fresh point of view. He presented ancient stories to the contemporary world, and he certainly rang a bell.


Tolkien approaches the past, and relates the past and to the past -- whether it happened or not -- as if it was real and as if he were there. His history in "The Silmarillion" goes back to the beginning of time and proceeds to the end of the Third Age, when "The Lord of the Rings" begins. These renditions of history are directly applicable to the times in which we live. They are ancient, but distinctly modern in a very old way. Welcome to Capricorn.


I have a friend and accomplice also born Jan. 3, named Steve Bergstein. He is a civil rights lawyer, which means that he has to take the oldest principles of law, understand them, and apply them to modern times. He has to explain why the tradition is applicable now, or how we apply things that happen now to the concept of tradition. He is extraordinarily young to be arguing before federal appellate panels, but his proper, formal exterior, his polite and retreating demeanor, and his ability to function a little like an encyclopedia get him pretty far. He wins cases on constitutional grounds long considered to be useless. And he seems boring -- until you find out what an opinionated maverick he is.


I have another very good friend in New York named Christopher McGregor, who has both a Capricorn Sun and Moon (as do you). Chris, after doing a number of other kinds of work (including being an excellent auto mechanic and litigating many constitutional cases against the government, as he is a self-trained lawyer and legal historian), has found a true calling in handling extremely complex title searches involving antique deeds.


Antique deeds?


These are deeds for often extremely expensive properties that describe where the property is by saying it goes fifty paces from the old oak tree, up to the property line of old man Steadfedbetter, then proceeds ten links of chain down the hill to the pile of rocks by the creek. The chain of title needs to be reassembled, verified, and brought up to the present day, so it will stand up in court or with a title insurance company. He can put these ancient things back together and find the property on the ground like nobody else. Chris is rather frightening to those who perpetuate fraud by raising clouds of confusion created by the language in these documents, which can date back to land grants in the 17th century.


The thing about Chris is that he's a revolutionary -- one of the most honest to God true ones that I know (he refers to himself as a nonviolent revelationary).

A man I did not know, the beloved Che Guevara, was another master of both tradition and revolution, and he had the Capricorn Moon. Che was scholarly, intelligent, trained as a doctor, formal in his appearance, loyal to the last day of his life, and the engineer of the Cuban revolution.


Capricorn is a very interesting mix of energies. And in a most bizarre way, the essence of the idea of modern.

Objection sustained.


Next case.