Capricorn: Your Ultimate Guide To Understanding The Zodiac Sign

If you've ever met an extremely passionate and driven person who is always looking for the next big challenge to tackle, you've likely met a Capricorn. If this sounds familiar and you were born between December 22 and January 19, it's because this is, in fact, your zodiac sign — congrats!

This star sign, which is represented by a goat sporting a fishtail, is beautifully complex. The goat is a testament to the fact that Capricorns are tenacious, down-to-earth, and very hard-working people. They're passionate about their life's purpose and are always aiming to move forward and scale higher mountains. The fishtail, on the other hand, hints at Capricorn's more playful side. Caps are known for being incredibly creative, and many famous artists like David Bowie and Dolly Parton are a testament to that.

Because this star sign is symbolized by the sea goat, it should come as no surprise that Capricorns tend to have two conflicting personalities. While they can have a competitive, enthusiastic, and tenacious side, Capricorns can also struggle with negativity. They tend to focus on small, sometimes insignificant difficulties instead of seeing solutions. This can lead to seeing obstacles instead of opportunities when it comes to pursuing their goals. Yup, Capricorns can be quite the paradox. Read on for everything you need to know about this star sign — it might help you to understand yourself or that special someone in your life much better. Let's dive in!

Capricorn is an earth sign

You know that friend who always manages to keep your feet firmly on the ground? The one who is super loyal, reliable, and annoyingly sensible? Yeah, they might be a Capricorn. Caps have these traits because their natural element is earth. This means that their energy tends to lean toward being heavy and super grounded. This is why Capricorns are often really good at providing others with structure in their lives while at the same time appearing not to need help from anyone else — earth signs are known for being self-sufficient and very in touch with the physical world. They also have a good mind-body connection and can experience physical pleasure quite intensely.

Of all the other zodiac signs that have earth as their element, Capricorn is often described as being the wisest and oldest (quite the compliment!). Because they tend to be more focused on the physical world, some Capricorns might appear cold and detached — they can be laser-focused on the task at hand, not allowing any distractions or emotions to get in the way of them accomplishing their goals — but you'd best believe there's much more under the surface.

Capricorn's ruling planet is Saturn

Each zodiac sign is ruled by a planet, and Capricorn takes orders from Saturn, so to speak. Saturn is seen as authoritative and stern. Also known by the name Cronus in Greek mythology (which translates to "Father Time"), Saturn has many characteristics attributed to it, and the zodiac recognizes this planet as its karmic taskmaster.

It should come as no surprise, then, that many Capricorns often feel like the universe is out to get them. If you're a Capricorn and feel like bad luck's followed you around all your life, you now know why. Many Caps wonder whether they've perhaps committed some serious sins in their past life and are now atoning for it. While we can't give you any clarity on that, we can tell you that Capricorns' seemingly endless trials are the reason they are often dubbed as incredibly patient.

The good news is that Capricorn's luck eventually turns — the zodiac recognizes that Saturn does not deny this star sign its dues, even though their reward might take a while to arrive. Many Capricorns experience various challenges and trials while they're young, but thanks to Saturn being besties with Venus, which is the planet of beauty and wealth, Capricorns eventually get their place in the sun. Thanks to their patience and hard work, many Caps end up being financially successful. They also have a tendency to appear like they're aging in reverse, and have a rare artistic flair.

Capricorn is a cardinal sign

Alongside Cancer, Libra, and Aries, Capricorn is a cardinal sign, which means it falls at the beginning of a new season. Capricorn ushers in winter (in the Northern Hemisphere), and this is reflected in many Capricorns' personalities. As we already noted, Caps are wonderfully complex, but can also appear pretty cold sometimes. While they can be maddeningly realistic, they also have a knack for providing comfort to those around them. They're pretty much the equivalent of hot chocolate on a snowy day. As Capricorn season continues, the days start to get longer, bringing with them hope and cheer. Many Capricorns' personalities reflect this.

Since cardinal signs usher in new seasons, it should come as no surprise that those born with these signs go on to become leaders in their field. This is especially true for Capricorns, who are hellbent on reaching big goals, dreaming impossible dreams, and leaving behind a legacy. In order to achieve these goals, Capricorns often have to lead, direct, and delegate. This is likely why Caps are known for being a little bossy.

Capricorns can thrive in almost any career

There's no denying that Capricorns are super driven, and this star sign can thrive in almost any career, perhaps due to the fact that they are so incredibly driven. Caps can literally be anything they want to be — from film producers to stockbrokers, financial planners, entrepreneurs, doctors, and CEOs, the world is their oyster. Some even say that Capricorns do incredibly well in positions of power and therefore make for great presidents. They really can do it all!

Capricorns are naturally career-focused, and they will do whatever it takes to get the job done, author and humanistic astrologer Jessica Lanyadoo told Women's Health. She adds that they have a tendency to want those around them to do the same. "They don't do well when they feel like they're the only ones pulling their weight. Capricorns don't suffer fools lightly, and they have a hard time when they feel like they're being mismanaged," Lanyadoo explains. She adds that most Capricorns thrive in work environments where they feel like they are fulfilling a purpose. "In terms of what kind of career that goes for, often it's a career where they need to be coaching or building something up," Lanyadoo elaborates. "There needs to be a sense of 'I have finite tasks that I need to get done, but there's a big picture goal I'm constantly striving for.'"

Capricorns are workaholics

At this stage, finding out that Capricorns tend to be total workaholics shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. Capricorn is among the most hard-working of all the zodiac signs. Caps want to succeed in their careers, and they know that hard work is the only way to get to the top. You'll often find them pulling all-nighters to get the job done, and they might come across as super serious because of how laser-focused they are on their goals.

When a Capricorn is assigned a certain task, they will go out of their way to do it well. In some cases, Capricorns might expect their co-workers to meet the same high standards they set for themselves, which doesn't always sit well with those who work alongside them. Capricorns are, however, excellent people to have in your corner when you really need to get sh*t done. Because they understand and appreciate the value of hard work, many Caps set out to provide others with opportunities once they reach the top. So, bear with that Capricorn colleague of yours — they might just put in a good word for you when you're up for a promotion next.

Capricorns have grit and resilience

Just as the goat in their star sign scales steep mountains and challenging terrains, Capricorns possess unmatched grit and resilience. They love mapping out the path to their goals, and then they stick to it, no matter what. Capricorns aren't rattled by how long it takes to reach their goals — they can be pretty patient, as long as they know they're on their way to where they want to be.

It's not surprising that Capricorns can be overachievers, but they're so much more than that: Caps are practical, tenacious, and super sensitive, with a can-do attitude that often makes their success appear effortless. Spoiler alert: It's not. Capricorn's relentless work ethic is what gets them to the top. Caps are known for being able to balance work and their personal lives pretty well, and because they have nerves of steel, they often find themselves in leadership positions. Capricorns have a strong need to be independent but at the same time want to be able to provide for others. In the workplace, they might expect a lot from their employees and co-workers, but they will also give back generously to those people in return.

Capricorns have excellent taste

If your best friend always outdresses you, has a knack for picking out the best music and art, and they're a Capricorn, you shouldn't feel bad. The universe simply favored them with impeccable taste.

Capricorn's taste is usually elegant without being flashy, and yet they always manage to draw attention when they walk into a room. They have a gift for looking incredibly put together without making it look like they're trying too hard. Capricorns aren't very into accessories, but you can bet that when they do decide to accessorize, it'll be super laid back, yet elegant. They tend to favor jewelry that has sentimental value instead of splurging on expensive pieces they'll likely never wear.

Even though they have good taste, some Caps prefer not to fuss too much about what they wear (they have other things to worry about, like getting that promotion), and they will often opt for clothes that are super comfortable or more traditional. Capricorns might favor browns, grays, khakis, charcoal, and black — and most of them pull it off effortlessly.

Capricorns can be very guarded but are actually softies

Capricorns can sometimes have very contradictory personalities and character traits, which can be incredibly confusing for those close to them. It might appear to all the world as if Capricorns are super confident and even cold or unapproachable, but on the inside, they are super sensitive souls who care deeply about the people in their lives. Capricorns often hide their softer side — chances are you'll never see them cry (unless they completely trust you), and they're very unlikely to ask for help or share their burdens.

Capricorns are excellent listeners and can be great friends in times of need. Many find that sharing their troubles with a Capricorn makes them feel loads better. Even though Caps have a soft side, they are by no means a pushover. They have the eerie ability to sense when people are being dishonest or shady, and flattery won't get you anywhere with this star sign. Many speculate that Capricorns are mind readers who can see right through people (this will also explain why they are so good in a crisis). So, if the Capricorn in your life often appears to be cold and distant, just know that they're really one big softie on the inside. Be kind to them, and make sure to check in with how they're doing every once in a while.

A Capricorn's ambition can be their best and worst personality trait

When it comes to ambition, Capricorns have bucketloads, and depending on their personality, this can be their best or worst trait. On one hand, their ambition ensures that they are consistent and hardworking while exuding professionalism. While they very much enjoy the occasional win, Capricorns also believe that rewards should be earned. Because they hold themselves to such high standards, Capricorns truly appreciate others who work just as hard as they do. They will be supportive and help their peers reach the finish line because they understand the value people find in reaching their goals. In fact, Capricorn is often said to be one of the zodiac's most supportive signs.

On the flip side, Capricorn's ambition can also lead them down a darker path. Some Caps' ambition gets the best of them, and they can become incredibly ruthless when it comes to the tactics they use to reach their end goal. Because Capricorns are sensitive, some of them might see perfection as a way to protect themselves from the onslaughts of the world. What they don't realize is that tackling all their goals alone means that they are more likely to fail. Because of their ruthlessness, they might push people away and end up completely alone, and even achieving so-called perfection won't remedy the loneliness that ensues.

Capricorns are caring friends, parents, and partners

If there's one thing you need to know about Capricorns, it's this: they are incredibly loyal, and you can thank your lucky stars they chose you as a friend or partner. Capricorns are super reliable, which makes them great friends, parents, and partners.

Being in a romantic relationship with a Capricorn means that you'll regularly be hyped up, encouraged, and showered with some good ol' love. Caps like to nurture and take care of their partners, and they're very much into celebrating anniversaries and other relationship milestones, so you better put those in your calendar. As friends, Capricorns are literally the G.O.A.T. They'll accompany you on the most boring of outings (need to stand in a queue at the bank? Cap's got your back!), and they'll always encourage you to reach for your dreams and goals. Capricorns tend to want their friends and partners to share their ambition and tenacity, so they'll often encourage those closest to them to go harder, do more, and reach for the stars. You can expect your Capricorn friend to celebrate you like crazy any time you have a win (big or small). Basically, having a Cap for a friend is like having your own personal cheerleader following you around.

When it comes to parenting, Capricorns are super strict but also incredibly encouraging and supportive. They will give their kids a gentle push to try new things and celebrate them when they achieve success. They're not "friends" with their kids, but instead cultivate a stable, strong, and safe relationship.

Capricorns only get better with age

We've already revealed that Capricorns tend to deal with plenty of trials early in their lives, but their reward is oh-so-sweet. Speaking to Women's Health, senior astrologer and author Narayana Montúfar explained that Capricorns keep changing for the better as they get older. This zodiac sign is pretty complicated, so for many Caps, it takes a while to figure out who they are, what they want, and where they fit into the world. "While some natives from this sign might take a long time to figure out their place in society, once they do, they stick to it and begin taking quantum leaps," Montúfar says.

Many Capricorns are late bloomers, so it's no wonder many say Caps age in reverse! With Saturn being the planet of time, this kind of makes sense. Capricorns tend to take on many responsibilities when they're younger, and as they grow older, they crave the freedom and playfulness they didn't afford their younger selves. All in all, you can expect Capricorns to become more vibrant, interesting, and fun as they age — just like a good bottle of wine.

Capricorns can be quite hilarious when they want to be

We get it: Capricorns can be super serious, but this zodiac sign can make you laugh until your stomach hurts if they really want to. Caps can get quite a kick out of making other people laugh and sometimes go on to pursue careers as comedians — great examples are stars like Tracey Ullman and Jim Carey, who are both Capricorns.

While their silly side isn't always apparent, it definitely comes out to play every now and then. Because they are naturally very serious, Capricorns tend to have a very unique sense of humor. The jokes they make can sometimes be very cynical, deadpan, ironic, or even sad. Aside from being jokesters, Capricorns are also good at creating characters and doing impressions of others. For this reason, the Capricorn in your life might enjoy taking part in community theater or improv classes.

Capricorns can be incredibly entertaining, but it's also important to go to some trouble to make them laugh every once in a while. They might not always show it, but they sometimes need others to cheer them up for a change, so make sure you regularly check in with your Capricorn friends.

Capricorn connects the best with other earth signs

When it comes to connecting with other people, Capricorns are often drawn to other earth signs, like Taurus and Virgo. Virgo shares Capricorn's drive and ambition when it comes to their careers, which makes them a great match. Earth signs share a mutual desire for commitment and despise pretenders. They like to keep things real, which can make them great partners.

That's not to say that Capricorns can't be in successful relationships with other zodiac signs. Water signs (Cancer, Pisces, and Scorpio) tend to lend their emotional energy and intuition to Caps. While this can be a good thing, these signs can sometimes be a tad too much for the very serious and cool-as-a-cucumber Capricorn. Cancer's caring personality, however, can serve as a great refuge for Caps, allowing them to open up and share their burdens.

Pisces, on the other hand, can encourage Capricorn to open themselves up to the mysteries and fantasies of the world, while Scorpio can identify with Capricorn's need to be disciplined and focused. It's worth noting, however, that Scorpios tend to be incredibly passionate and are sometimes drawn to the dark side. Should the relationship turn sour, it can have devastating consequences and quickly turn former lovers into sworn enemies. Two Capricorns can be pretty compatible in a relationship because both parties have the same drive. The only issue that might pop up is deciding who gets to be in control.

Capricorns are incredibly realistic and sometimes pessimistic

If there's one thing that can be both admirable and infuriating about Capricorns, it's their seriousness. They can be real party poopers (sorry Caps!), and shy away from trying unexpected things.

Now, it's important to note that Capricorns usually aren't intentionally trying to spoil the fun — they just can't help but remain realistic, no matter what. This bleeds into other areas of their lives as well. If you bring your brand-new business plan to your Capricorn friend, chances are they will immediately be able to point out all the flaws. Usually, this is their way of trying to help you to reach your dream — they don't want you to be unprepared for the things that might go wrong. This can be pretty hurtful unless they also offer words of encouragement along with constructive criticism.

Because their whole being is rooted in realism, many Capricorns lean toward being pessimists. Some Caps can get completely sucked into the doom and gloom and turn into people who don't see the bright side to anything. Needless to say, they can be incredibly exhausting to be around. In some cases, Capricorns who feel unaccomplished and unfulfilled in their own lives will lash out by making others' lives miserable. You'll spot them easily: They are always negative and complain about everything. This isn't a common occurrence, but if you're a Capricorn who tends to always see the dark side, see this as a sign to lighten up a bit.

Capricorns are patient with the big things but impatient with the smaller things in life

Capricorns might be incredibly tenacious when it comes to pursuing their goals, but they're in no rush to be in the spotlight. They're usually pretty content to play the long game instead of starting a scuffle with those who stand in their way.

Because Capricorn is associated with winter, people born under this zodiac sign tend to have unmatched endurance and patience, senior astrologer and author Narayana Montúfar tells Women's Health. She adds that Caps don't give up when the going gets tough, and they don't shy away from sacrifice. They understand that reaching an ambitious goal takes blood, sweat, and tears. They are not, however, eternally patient in all circumstances. "Capricorn is deeply impatient day to day with small things, but very patient with the big picture, long-term goals," humanistic astrologer and author Jessica Lanyadoo explains.

So while the Capricorn in your life might seem to have endless patience when it comes to getting that promotion or closing that big deal, it's likely they get pretty irritated when their computer freezes or they realize they're out of milk when they're making their morning coffee. Again, they're pretty complicated, but we love them all the same.