Tuesday, January 1, 2013
It is interesting to delve into the etymology of Words. Etymology
describes the root elements which make up the words we use in
our everyday language.
Capricorn and Cornucopia are two words which are discussed in
this article. So, let us take a look at the root elements which give
meaning to these two words.
Capricorn (Latin Capricornus) is derived from the roots caper
which means "goat", and cornu which means "horn".Therefore,
Capricorn means "Goat's Horn". Mythologically, this is the horn
of the she-goat Amalthea who nurtured the infant Zeus.
Cornucopia is derived from the roots cornu which means "horn",
and copia / copiae which means "plenty", or "abundance".
Therefore, Cornucopia means "Horn of Plenty". And, although
we may picture the Horn of Plenty overflowing with all of the
fruits, vegetables and grains we require for our physical
sustenance, it also has a higher spiritual significance.
Esoterically, the words plenty and abundance associated with
the Cornucopia pertain to the universal plenitude available to
us which empowers us to expand our higher consciousness and
The Cornucopia, or "Horn of Plenty", is how the ancients "pictured"
the star formation of the constellation which is known to us today
Capricorn (December 21 - January 20):
We celebrate the start of winter in the northern hemisphere with
the Winter Solstice. This is the day which has the shortest
amount of daylight. It is also the first day in which the Sun makes
its annual appearance in the sign of Capricorn.
The Winter Solstice is that moment when the Sun "stands still"
in the southern sky, turns around, and begins its journey back
to its northern extreme; bringing the season of spring, and then
summer, back to the northern hemisphere.
This point where the Sun "stands still" and reverses its course
is represented in mythology by either a gate, a wall, or a rope
which the Sun is forbidden to pass. This gate, wall and rope is,
of course, the Tropic of Capricorn in the south and the Tropic of
Cancer in the north. The Tropic of Capricorn is where the
constellation of Capricorn is located, and the Tropic of Cancer is
where the constellation of Cancer is located. These two
constellations are the limits of the Sun's annual journey from
north to south.
Up until the Time when the Sun enters the constellation of
Capricorn, the Moon has been Mistress of the Heavens since the
Autumn Equinox. With the entrance of the Sun into Capricorn, the
Sun will now begin to slowly gain on the Moon and will eventually
overtake it and become Master or the Heavens at the Spring
Equinox. This is the annual "dance" between the Sun and the
Moon; the Silver and the Gold; the cosmic masculine and the
As the entrance of the Sun into the constellation of Capricorn
signifies the moment when the Sun begins to wrest control of
the heavens, it is therefore the moment of the birth, or re-birth,
of the Sun. Mythologically, Symbolically and metaphysically the
cosmic Sun is representative of the earthly Son; which is further
representative of the individual Self.
Therefore, the birth of the heavenly Sun at the cusp of Capricorn
coincides, Symbolically, with the religious celebrations of the
"birth of the Son" on earth.
The birth of the new year also occurs within the sign of Capricorn.
This is the time when many of us celebrate the birth of the new
year by way of making our "new year's resolutions"; some of
which are actually kept.
But, on a much higher mental and spiritual plane, solar rebirth is
Symbolic of Self Initiation. Over the past year we have gained
new experiences and learned new Lessons. Did we learn from
them? Did we even recognize them? Are we going to rid ourselves
of all that is superfluous and irrelevant, take the Lessons and
experiences of our past twelve months, and Initiate ourselves into
an elevated level of consciousness? Or, will we simply be content
to be re-born into our same old self and live our same old life over,
and over, and over again?
Capricorn is ruled by Saturn: The Teacher. Either we take the
experiences and Lessons of our past twelve months and use them
as a springboard to learn, grow, expand and elevate our
consciousness under the tutorship of Saturn - The Mentor. Or,
we Ignore the Lessons and experiences of the past twelve months
and keep taking the same test over and over under the strict
disciplinary eyes of Saturn - The Teacher of Hard Lessons.
Sea Goat / Goat Fish:
Astrologically, the constellation of Capricorn is associated with
a powerful, mythological archetype called the Sea Goat.
But, what is a Sea Goat? And, how did this ancient archetype,
or Image, obtain its Symbolism?
The upper portion of the Sea Goat contains the forelegs,chest,
head and horns of a mountain goat. Its lower portion contains the
rear-half and tail portion of a fish.
The head, or skull, is a Symbol for the mind which is the domain
of logic, reason and consciousness...all that is rational. The fact
that the sure-footed mountain goat occupies the highest mountain
peaks is, therefore, Symbolic of the pursuit of higher
consciousness by the mind. And, as the mountain goat is
sure-footed, this is Symbolic of a pursuit that is that is borne upon
the feet of confidence, assuredness, steadfastness and Awareness.
It is important to keep in mind that mountain peaks are the
highest points in the physical realm. They represent the
Borders Between Realms where the earth below (lower
consciousness) comes into contact with the heavens above (higher
consciousness). In mythology,mountain peaks are the domains of
gods, sages and mystics.
The depths of the ocean is the domain of the fish. Symbolically,
the ocean represents the Subconscious. The Subconscious is
the realm of intuition, insight and inner knowing (Gnosis). the
Subconscious represents all that is mysterious.
The Sea Goat, therefore, Symbolizes the evolved individual who
has mastered both reason and intuition; consciousness and
Subconsciousness; the rational and the mysterious.
The Cusp of Capricorn:
The cusp of Capricorn is located at the highest point, the
mid-heaven, of the astrological chart. This highest point, the
mid-heaven is a further allusion to the mountain peak which the
higher consciousness (higher mind) aspires to ascend and
conquer. However, the mid-heaven cannot be conquered by
either the conscious mind or the Subconscious mind alone.
It can only be conquered by the dual effort of both; by the
highly evolved Sea Goat.
When we look at the astrological chart we notice that Capricorn
is opposite Cancer. Cancer is ruled by the Moon and is the sign
or intuition and inner knowing (Gnosis).
Just prior to Cancer is the sign of Gemini. It is a dual sign and
is ruled by Mercury. It is the sign of logic, communication and
reason. Proper reason requires that we are able to understand
both sides of an issue; this is the duality of Gemini.
In the lower portion of the astrological chart reason and intuition
are separated and defined by two different signs: Gemini and
Cancer. However, here at the opposite side of the astrological
chart, at the midheaven and the cusp Capricorn, the well evolved
individual has united the Lessons learned from the signs of
Gemini and Cancer. And instead of experiencing their Incarnation
from solely a rational or intuitive point of view, solely from a
masculine or feminine point of view, this individual now becomes
the Sea Goat and understands the complimentary aspects of
reason and intuition, the masculine and the feminine, and applies
this Union of Duality to ascend to the highest peak of illumination
available in the earthly realm.
This is Capricorn. This is the Sea Goat, This is the mid-heaven.
This is the Winter Solstice. This is the rebirth of the Sun...the
Son...the Self into a higher realm by way of Self-Initiation.
Taurus: The Bull. Firm and solid ground which can support the
heaviest beast or the largest structure. The heavy and slow moving
bull seeks minimal risk and maximum security. The bull cannot
easily be persuaded, tempted, intimidated or rushed.
Virgo: Agricultural ground. Fertile land. Harvesting. Sorting and
selecting the best grins, finest seeds and nutritious plants. The
sign of the fertile corn and wheat goddesses of mythology.
Gardens, meadows, agriculture and nourishing plants.
Capricorn: Mountain peaks. Higher aspirations. Mountain tops
are the "Borders Between Realms" where the consciousness
of the earth below comes into contact with the higher
consciousness, or enlightenment, of the heavens above; the
domain of gods, sages, mystics and the Sea Goat.
"Cornucopia - Symbol For Abundance";
"The Goat and the Goat's Horn - Symbolism and Mythology";
"Borders Between Realms";
"Statues, Images and Idols"
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© copyright Joseph Panek 2013