If you were born between December 22 and January 19 (AKA smack-dab in the midst of the holiday season), you’re a Capricorn. And just like with every other sign in the zodiac, Capricorn personality traits have their own special flavor.
Sure, your whole birth chart will reveal more nuanced details about what makes you tick, astrologically speaking, but your sun sign (what you consult when you check out your horoscope) can still fill in a lot of the blanks. So whether you’re a Capricorn yourself or there are a few special sea goats in your life you’d like to better understand, it’s worth checking out what astrologers identify below as unique facets of the Capricorn personality. These details—traits, strengths, weaknesses, compatibility with other signs, ideal career paths—are great to bookmark for knowing what really makes this Earth sign happy.
Key Capricorn personality traits
Ruled by the planet Saturn, which represents the limits of space and time, “Capricorn is born with a keen awareness of this Earthly limitation and is thus determined to make things happen during its lifetime,” says astrologer Elisabeth Grace. “They’re known for their serious focus, especially in youth.”
“Capricorn is born with a keen awareness of this earthly limitation and is thus determined to make things happen during its lifetime. They’re known for their serious focus, especially in youth.” —astrologer Elisabeth Grace
Olga Verk, astrologer at Not Retrograde, adds that Capricorns feel most comfortable when they have set rules to follow. This facet helps explain why some Caps often come across as more conservative. That said, Capricorns also have a wine-like quality regarding how they age. “As Capricorns get older, they become much, much lighter in spirit and mind-set,” Grace says.
Capricorn strengths and weaknesses
Capricorns are the ultimate worker bees. They’re ambitious, organized, practical, goal-oriented, and they don’t mind the hustle. “They’re ready to give up a lot in order to achieve that goal,” Verk says. They also love making their own rules, which means they strive to reach high career positions. But, don’t expect a Capricorn to bask in their glory and flaunt their successes. “Instead, they tend to stay modest and show their authority by their actions,” she adds.
Although Capricorn’s strengths often include wild success, their overachieving nature can sometimes unintentionally kneecap others, whom they step over on the journey to reach their own goals, says astrologer Janet Amid. And since Caps occasionally fail to consider the feelings of others in favor of operating in the most efficient and practical way, Grace adds they’re known to rub people the wrong way. They hold themselves up to a very high standard and expect no less from their peers.
In addition to the ambitious Earth signs finding it difficult to be mindful of other people’s feelings, they also often struggle to express their own. “They always try to keep up walls,” Verk says. “It’s hard for them to loosen up and just enjoy life and have fun.”
How to get along with a Capricorn
To get on a Capricorn’s good side, Amid recommends speaking their language and focusing on topics of money, business, work, or achievement. And if you’re an authority figure in a Capricorn’s life, they’ll naturally take a liking to you, Grace says, caveating that they may be secretly plotting how to someday take your job.
It’s also really important for Capricorns to feel respected and acknowledged. “Show them you appreciate their hard work, but make sure it’s sincere,” Verk says. “They seem tough and stubborn on the outside, but they can be very sensitive on the inside.” So make sure you honor a Cap’s boundaries, offer the time they need to open up, and do your best to not break their trust.
What Capricorns need in order to be happy
If there’s one thing Capricorns can’t get enough of it’s the feeling of accomplishment, Grace says. So to keep the Cap in your life happy, remember to give them a high five when they do a good job and do something to celebrate their wins. They thrive from praise because they really value how others see them. “When their image is good, so are they,” Amid says, which explains why upward mobility in their career and general prosperity feel like big aspects of their purpose.
Structure and order also make Capricorns very happy. “This doesn’t always mean stability,” Verk says. “Capricorns can handle a crisis or two, but knowing that there is justice and rules is what gets them through things and makes them feel safe.”
“Capricorn is an Earth sign and is naturally compatible with the two other Earth signs, Taurus and Virgo,” Grace says. “All three share an appreciation for what is practical, useful, and material.”
Pairing a Capricorn with a water sign (Cancer, Scorpio, or Pisces) can make for a productive union, Grace says, which totally makes sense: Things grow when you bring together Earth and water.
With fire signs (Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius), Capricorns should exercise a bit more caution. “Fire can scorch Earth, and Earth can smother fire,” Grace says. The same goes for compatibility with air signs (Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius), because air turns Earth into dust.
To get specific career insights, it’s best to see an astrologer who can take into account your entire natal chart and reference your 10th house, Grace says. But, generally speaking, she notes that Capricorns thrive in roles where they are a recognized authority in their field. Verk adds that they also excel in jobs that require them to think strategically, build structure, and maintain order. That includes administrative personnel, dentistry, law, architecture, or inspecting. Also, careers where they can ascend (think government organizations or big corporations) are great.
“Capricorn is intuitively aligned with ideals of authority and hierarchy, and the security it brings to society’s big structures when a person of integrity is in charge,” Grace says. “Capricorn is drawn to fill that role.”
And, in the absence of hierarchy, Capricorns are also adept at going at it alone, given that they make great entrepreneurs. “Business is where Capricorn thrives,” Grace says. “They know how to deploy resources and plan strategy like nobody’s business.”