Saturn in Capricorn – Success and Failure

Those making New Year’s resolutions may have more success this year as Saturn has just entered Capricorn, the sign it rules. Saturn and Capricorn are disciplined and employ authority, rules, structure and caution to sustain that discipline. Think of driving a car on the highway versus driving a car in one of those amusement park rides – it’s much easier to drive when there’s a track or guardrails. In the free open space of the highway, discipline is much more difficult to maintain.

Saturn in Capricorn will provide some guardrails for those resolutions this year. From my membership at the gym, I’ve learned the “New Year’s Resolution” folks last a month, maybe two, on average. That means few make it past mutable, nebulous Pisces in March.

According to this Huffington Post article, only eight percent of people keep a New Year’s resolution. Statistics Brain has it at nine percent with healthy eating as the top resolution.

So why do we continue to make resolutions when faced with a failure rate of over 90%?

Success, success, Failure and failure

Success and failure in their original meanings regard the outcome of an action, such as fixing a mechanical instrument. It’s fixed or not fixed – success or failure. According to, the more modern meaning of success as a state of being appears to be a 20th century invention.

Our dualistic thinking requires an opposite for success which is failure. In today’s parlance, to be a failure is to be “a loser.” The successful are “winners” and the failures are “losers.” Our current American president is a very strong embodiment of this duality with his single-minded focus on “winning.”

Saturn in Capricorn is going to challenge our beliefs concerning success and failure. Capricorn’s worst traits – calculation, meanness, lack of imagination and excessive ambition – arise from the feelings of failure and compulsion for success. Capricorn as mountain goat must climb ever upwards. As sea-goat, its original glyph, it has the tail of a fish. We hear it’s lonely at the top so the sea-goat eventually looks toward the water, true emotional connection with others rather than structural connection, in older age.


While each sign has a compulsion toward its representative energy (the Aries must lead, the Taurus must collect, etc.), there is learning as part of those energies.

According to Psychology Today, success is also tied to feelings of worthiness:

Our successes are important to us for deep psychological reasons. From the vantage point of the unconscious mind, they stand for more than mere outside achievements. They stand as evidence of our potency, competency, and capability. They serve as reassurances that we have The Right Stuff—the psychological resources to make it in this world. They tell us that we are safe, that we can survive.

Deeper still—from a psychoanalytic view—our successes are linked to an essential belief in our own goodness. To the unconscious mind, being successful means being good. And being good means being worthy—worthy to exist, worthy to keep on living, worthy to be kept around. At the deepest level, still, being good means that we are worthy of being loved. And being loved ultimately is what matters to us most.

Capricorn, then, must be a success to feel worthy and is drawn to what is traditionally deemed successful (business, government, authority). Success for Capricorn must be social, not personal; this sign represents then our social consciousness and how we fit into the world around us. In the horoscope, it’s represented by the 10th house and can indicate the career chosen.


While not all of us have the planet Saturn or sign Capricorn prominent in our horoscopes, we all have the planet and sign somewhere in the wheel called the horoscope. The horoscope is, dear readers, a mandala in which we are all truly the same.

Even those not openly drawn to authority may be unconsciously drawn to social acceptance. For example, have you ever disliked a book/film/music only to be told that it’s a classic or that the critics loved it? Another way I see unconscious Saturn is the person who is laughed at for his/her endeavors until those same endeavors are recognized by a larger social group. This, to me, is very common. We don’t trust our own ability to assess until some critical mass is in support.

As Pluto has been transiting Capricorn since 2007 and represents an evolution of that energy, I’ve been writing a lot about authority. We are hard-wired to obey authority yet at the same time our ability to see the humans behind the authority is greater than ever which is creating a schism in our response. Like teenagers, we want freedom but still, secretly, desire some parental guidance.

Failure as part of success

While we’re experiencing a great deal of Capricorn energy right now, and there’s more to come, what we are moving toward is Aquarius. In 2024, Pluto will start transiting that sign.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Uranus and Neptune were transiting Aquarius, the fixed air sign associated with ideas, revolution, genius and technology. This was the initial rise of technology that is creating some unique challenges for the Capricorn social system today. We have an American president who uses the 140-character Twitter mechanism to communicate to the world.

Technology arose from entrepreneurship. The entrepreneur is not a rule follower waiting to discover what position he/she will have in the new reorganization; the entrepreneur is guiding his/her own process of invention and success. It’s Capricorn in its self-reliance but Aquarian in social networking needed for accomplishment.

One of the best learnings I’ve personally received from entrepreneurs is that failure is part of the process. Failure is not the end point where one gives up the goal.

Failure as part of success is an evolution in Capricorn energy. The climb is not necessarily up but can span in many directions. Entrepreneurial success today still looks to “monetize” in the Capricorn sense of the word which needs tangible outcome. Yet, these are the seeds for future growth of the Aquarian energy which seeks ultimately to have a more perfect, rational society.

Communes are an Aquarian ideal. Our planet developed that into Communism which can’t be imposed by authoritarian rules but by shared agreement. Government and commune are mutually exclusive.

I’m expecting that when we reach the Aquarian transit of Pluto, countries will be thinking more as a whole. The challenge then will be about inclusion (Aquarian brotherhood) and how to deal with the imperfections of the perfect society.

New Year’s Resolution

This year as you face your New Year’s resolution, think of it in the entrepreneurial sense. Saturn in Capricorn can provide the extra disciple needed to push through the first temptation to abandon the resolution. Saturn might also get nasty and tell you how bad you are for not going to the gym every week since you are spending a lot of money on membership (based on a true story).

Like a good entrepreneur, push past the failure. Make Saturn in Capricorn your friend.

Related posts:

Saturn in Capricorn: End Goal Personal Responsibility

Three Capricorns in Ebbing, Missouri

Pluto in Capricorn blogs


About ohioastrology

I'm just another soul trying to make sense of the world. As I've grown, so has my understanding of astrology. I'd like to communicate that astrology is not occult and not fortune-telling but that it is a fluid, creative description of the life we choose to live.
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