I'm a Swedish writer and astrologer. I'm also an historian of ideas, researching the thought patterns in creation myths. Here's my personal website: stenudd.com
Books by Stefan Stenudd:
This book presents an imaginative reading of the divination cards, which is the most appropriate for the Tarot, consisting of symbolic images. Several spreads are introduced, as well as the meanings of all the 78 cards and their pictures. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.
The philosophers of Ancient Greece and what they thought about cosmology, myth, religion and the gods. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.
Qi (chi), prana, spirit, and all the other life forces around the world explained and compared. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.
Try the old deck of Tarot cards for free divination online. How to use the Tarot and what each card means.
Try the ancient Chinese divination online for free. The 64 hexagrams of I Ching, The Book of Change, and what they mean in divination.
The Capricorn Symbol
Its meaning and origin
The above image is the established symbol (also called glyph) for the Zodiac sign Capricorn, the Goat. It's a simplified drawing of a sea-goat, the mythological animal - half goat, half fish - originally associated with the sign. The horned head is implied to the left, and the curved fish tail to the right. Both the Zodiac sign and its symbol have been along for ages.
The Zodiac division of the ecliptic into twelve parts, each assigned a Zodiac sign, is probably of Babylonian (Mesopotamia) origin. They were very early with astrology, mapping the sky and noting planetary movements thousands of years ago. The Zodiac very much like the one we know today, might have emerged in Mesopotamia around 1000 BC, but Babylonian astrology is probably far older than that.
Already the Babylonians connected this Zodiac sign and the constellation with the mythological animal, sort of a mermaid goat. They called it the Goat-Fish. The reason for this is hidden in history. It's not likely to have anything to do with the constellation in the sky, which doesn't suggest such a creature even in the wildest imagination.
The constellation is usually called Capricornus, in proper Latin. It means "goat horn" or "horned goat," not necessarily a sea-goat. No matter how the stars in the constellation are connected with lines, it's hard to see the goat. Several of the Zodiac constellations are equally vague in depicting their Zodiac sign. Here's the constellation Capricornus:
Below is an antique illustration of the same constellation, where the figure of a sea-goat has been added. It's from a 17th century book: Firmamentum sobiescianum, by Johannes Hevelius, 1690.
Anyway, here's that ink again, this time in the original black and white (click on the image to see a bigger version):
Capricorn the SignAs for the picture commonly used to represent the Capricorn Zodiac sign, it's been an image of the mythological creature the sea-goat since the days of old Babylonia, at least - surely much longer than the symbol described above has existed. Below is one typical example of the creature and its fish tail in a knot, where the stars of the constellation Capricorn have also been marked, though not with unquestionable astronomical accuracy. It's an illustration from Poeticon astronomicon, a 1482 book by Hyginus.