This season’s tarotscopes feature the Fountain Tarot and the Compendium of Constellations.
After so much space for brilliant exploration and discovery of personal magic, after releasing something painful or no longer useful to celebrate our rich inner fire and desire for understanding, we now move into focused, ambitious Capricorn season. A sign of cardinal earth that is usually associated with drive, organization, and goal-setting, Capricorn season can be both busy and prosperous, a time for focusing intentions, setting strong boundaries, and clarifying our ambitions for the new calendar year. Sagittarius may be associated with luck, helping us expand the spaces carved out by Scorpio’s release and transformation, but Capricorn is associated with success, helping us to move intentionally towards our ambitions and working hard for the things we want and need. These signs take all the ideas and magic from Sagittarius and turn them into structured plans, giving that brilliant fire shape and purpose.
With fortitude, grit, and an unwavering focus on goals and plans, Capricorn is a sign of structure, confidence, and initiative. There’s a deep sense of grounded responsibility here, the knowledge that anything can be achieved with enough hard work and determination. Capricorn enjoys patterns and established traditions, knowing what to expect and how things work, and thrives on being able to prioritize what matters and leave the rest behind. During this season, we transform the dreams of our heart into practical, achievable goals, keeping the momentum of Sagittarius season going while focusing and clarifying our intentions even further. Earth may be the slowest-moving element in astrology, but Capricorn season feels like it moves quickly, juggling tasks and assigning responsibilities and moving with purpose and power towards those all-important desires.
Of course, when we spend so much of our efforts and energy focusing on achievements and triumphs, seeking both pleasure and prosperity in the worldly realm, there’s always the potential for a shift in priorities or a trip into temptation. The Devil is our birth card for this season, a challenging archetype of vices, detrimental patterns, and negative behavior. And while it’s easy to see this card as evil or frightening, one that tempts us to indulgence or sin or moving into painful cycles, at its core the Devil is about exploring our relationship to control.
We all have patterns of behavior that we slip into when we aren’t paying attention, habits or tendencies that may not necessarily be good for us but feel comfortable, safe, easy. And while on the surface these routines seem normal, could even look healthy from the outside, deep down we know that for us, certain things can trigger harmful behaviors. A desire to be aware of what we eat shifts into obsessive calorie counting or a need to control every bite; a goal to earn a promotion at work twists into too-long hours or an unhealthy shift in priorities; a crush on someone new spins into non-stop social media stalking or damaging existing friendships. These dreams or goals aren’t necessarily negative on the surface, but when we let them take over, find ourselves sacrificing healthy relationships or patterns or ambitions in order to spend all of our energy in pursuit of something else, they can become destructive or even dangerous.
The Devil isn’t all bad, though — like any archetype in the tarot, it has layers and nuances that can expand our surface understandings and force us to dig deeper. Just as a lack of control in certain areas can lead to negative patterns of behavior, too much control can limit our possibilities, keeping our focus so narrow that we miss opportunities or overlook potential. If your schedule is so rigid that you never meet anyone new in spite of longing for a romantic connection, if your work is taking over to the point that you have no time for the hobbies or self-care rituals that keep you grounded, if your relationship is in such a rut that you find yourself bored or lonely even when you’re with that person you love so much, it may be time to loosen the reins and make some unexpected choices. With reflection and intention, we can allow ourselves a little leeway, shake ourselves out of those established routines and see what happens when we follow our instincts, have some fun, make some messes. Boundaries are important and can keep us safe, but knowing when we’re overdoing it can help us give ourselves a break and make some necessary, healthy shifts that allow us to expand and explore, to see the world through new eyes, to grow in powerful and beautiful ways.
So many of our cards for this month speak to balance and awareness, encouraging us to pay close attention to how we interact with people that we love, the resources at our disposal, the plans we make that may shift or change. There are lot of cups in this season’s readings, slow-moving water that speaks to intuition, connections, emotion, and compassion, indicating that for many of us, this is a time to be kind to ourselves and remember the relationships and communities that keep us grounded. The Devil may push us to our limits, forcing us to acknowledge some of the more complicated or difficult aspects of ourselves, but this archetype also can help us honor exactly who we are, getting to know some of those hidden corners or confront our more destructive tendencies. We can’t overcome things that we aren’t willing to acknowledge, so give yourself space to explore the mental traps or easy patterns that you fall into, especially when things are challenging or stagnant.
In this season of Capricorn, remember the lessons of the Devil, and consider how your relationship with control could use some adjustments. Experienced tarot readers or astrologers can plug the cards I’ve drawn for their sun, moon, and rising signs into the spread below to create a custom reading for this season. Capricorn’s ruling planet is Saturn, connected to discipline and limits, and if you know your Saturn placement you can add that to this spread as well for more detailed insights on your season ahead.
I recently published an essay on tarot and intuition as part of Autostraddle’s Power Issue, along with a gift guide for aspiring witches, and a simple new year’s tarot spread. You can support my ongoing tarot studies, creative work, and publishing dreams at Patreon, and I provide daily card studies and free weekly community readings on my Instagram. I also offer personal, custom readings through my website, along with larger seasonal spreads and writings — and if you’d like me to do a year-ahead spread for your 2020, I have a few more spaces available for these larger readings.
As always with these tarot readings, take what you need and leave what you don’t. Happy Capricorn season!
Eight of cups
You’re someone that isn’t afraid to take risks, who knows how to prioritize yourself and go after what you want. But there may be a relationship, a connection, a dream, or an emotional space that is consuming a lot of your time and energy, pulling you into negative patterns or even causing you to be destructive. The Devil and Capricorn season are all about being aware of your choices, of considering what is driving certain behaviors, and this season you’re being asked to pay close attention to the give and take you experience in relationships.
This is a time to get real about what is working and what isn’t, and to prioritize yourself enough to walk away from relationships, dreams, and situations that are hurting you. I’m not telling you to bail on something that’s hit its first little bump in the road — I’m urging you to be honest with yourself about where your needs aren’t being met, about toxic situations, about places where you’re afraid to be yourself. You are made of fire and magic, have so much courage and independence, but something is dragging you down and it’s time to let it go. Choose yourself, be free, and move in a new direction that speaks to the person you want to be rather than the person you’ve been. It might feel painful for a time but this is a chance to start over in a healthier, more solid place that feels right for you. Move gently, but don’t be afraid to make strong decisions and put yourself first.
You’ve been experiencing some major changes during the last few seasons, with dramatic shifts and permanent transformations. And as you start to adjust to this new world, making yourself comfortable again and figuring out what it is you want to pursue, embrace a spirit of vision and manifestation. You may prefer to have a plan, to know where you’re going, but this is a chance to let your imagination go wild and to listen to your biggest dreams. With so much space to grow, what do you want to pursue? How do you want your life to look? What are you ready to build first?
In addition to pushing us to let our imagination expand without limits, the Magician can also speak to a gathering of resources, an awareness of just how much potential is at our fingertips. You may feel comfortable with Capricorn’s discipline and focus, may prefer making plans and knowing what is around every corner, so use this time of dreaming and vision to also assess what you have immediate access to. Don’t use this assessment as a way to limit your dreams — the whole point of this is to indulge in some fantasies and see where your visions take you — but instead give yourself space to look around and see what you already possess, what you could be taking fuller advantage of. You may surprise yourself with the magic you find you already hold.
Queen of wands
You are someone who is constantly on the move, bubbling with ideas, eager to collaborate, always looking to understand. And in this time of disciplined, grounded earth, you have a chance to let your passions and spirit run wild, to take control of what you want and harness all of your natural creativity and powers of observation into something that matters deeply to you. As quickly as this queen of fire moves, always ready to face a new challenge and prove just how powerful they can be, this card also indicates that this may be a time of independent creation for you. Collaboration is something that you’re so good at, and having several people in the room can both feed your creativity as well as help you to stay focused on the project at hand — but in spite of all of that, make a point to spend some time working on personal projects this season. You may find that you’re able to more fully harness the spirit of Capricorn and combine your natural creativity and drive with this season’s more focused and goal-oriented energy. Trust your instincts, enjoy moving quickly if it feels right, and lean in to this sensation of brilliant manifestation and magic.
Five of coins
After a few seasons of self-reflection and moving through some essential but difficult realizations, you may feel a bit burned out, unsure of what resources you have left or where you need to go next. And in times of scarcity, it can feel impossible to move forward, to be confident in your choices, to heal and look to the future. Be kind to yourself, move gently, and make some space for pampering and comfort. The Devil may make you nervous with all of their controlling energy, but you’re someone that knows how to self-soothe, that is capable of creating a safe space for rest and recovery. Honor your needs this month, listening to your heart and body as you seek out healing, and pay attention to the cycles and routines that you sink into. You are a creature of habit, and while some of your natural patterns may be just what you need in order to find your way back to center, there may be others that lead to more destructive tendencies. Work to keep things in balance, remember your bigger goals, and be kind to yourself. Sometimes the things we want aren’t the things we need.
Ace of cups
You’ve been moving through seasons of deeper awareness, urged to stay focused and conscious of your choices, building foundations for future growth and thoughtfully considering your own progress. It may have felt like the last few months have forced you to move more slowly than you would like, stifling your natural independence and fire a bit — but this season will be a chance for you to open yourself up in new ways and discover a deeper level of understanding within. This is a card of overflowing emotion, a new beginning, finding a connection with someone and being willing to share new pieces of yourself in a more vulnerable and intuitive way.
This has the potential to be a beautiful season of compassion, joy, and connection, but remember the lessons of the Devil, and the tendencies of Capricorn’s energy. How does your natural desire for control impact your relationships with others? Are you willing to be open with yourself, to be truthful and conscious of your choices, or is it easier to push past anything too deep and instead enjoy the rush of movement? Letting others in may not always be the simplest thing for you, but this is a season for awareness, conscious choice, assessing patterns. Pay attention to how you interact with others, how you build relationships, how you treat yourself. If you’re willing to expand and be a little more vulnerable, you may be surprised by the way your relationships blossom.
Four of cups
Someone with your attention to structure and desire to control outcomes may feel right at home in focused, success-driven Capricorn season — but when it comes to relationships and connections, your need to have plans and understand as many details as possible could backfire in ways you haven’t prepared for. This season could bring a sense of stagnation, even boredom, when it comes to the connections you have with others, and this could be in part to the ways that you try to protect yourself, keeping secrets or being unwilling to share important parts of who you are. Controlling emotions can be almost impossible at times, and when you try to put harsh boundaries around your relationships, holding people at arm’s length or dictating when and how you connect with them, you may drive people away or end up feeling isolated. You have people in your life that care about you, that want to support you and share emotions and build rich community, but if you’re too afraid to let anyone see your less-than-perfect aspects you may end up damaging these relationships. This season, set an intention to be thoughtful with your interactions, to be kind to yourself, to be aware of how you treat others when they offer help or guidance or support. What are you really afraid of?
Knight of swords
After a season grounded in contemplation and gratitude, you may be feeling eager to charge forward and embrace some more rapid movement and collaboration. As content as you may feel in certain areas, there may be other places where you have ideas brimming, a desire to question and analyze, a need to understand something on a more intensive level — and this season, you’re urged to do just that. Capricorn is a perfect time to look at goals and ambitions, to see where you’re still craving movement and expansion and make a structured, organized plan on how to make those dreams a reality. This is a chance to follow your truth, to use your skills of perception and your natural ability to create equilibrium to create a life that feels a bit more balanced, that includes more of what you’re looking to understand.
This energy can be intensely quick, and with so much focus on movement and drive, it can be tempting to slip into a kind of fixation around one perspective, to start seeing an idea as the only way forward. If you feel things sliding out of control, or sense yourself getting obsessive, work to find your footing again and slow things down a little. Stay aware of how you’re moving and the choices you’re making, prioritizing truth over speed.
Wheel of Fortune
Themes of power, control, and temptation resonate with Scorpio’s dark intensity and desire to dig deep, so this might be a more comfortable season for you than Sagittarius’ rapid movement and push towards expansion — but just like last season, you may be asked to surrender, to recognize that you cannot be in charge of everything that happens. After the period of stillness that you’ve been enduring, this may be a time for you to consider taking a chance, to embrace movement perhaps in a more unexpected way. You have a tendency to chase after power, to feel the need to control everything, and yet this season, you may find more success if you’re willing to let go a little and see where the universe takes you.
This archetype is connected to karma and luck, but also speaks to personal cycles, a theme that comes up a lot with Capricorn and the Devil. Pay careful attention to your tendencies this season, to the things you fixate on, the habits you fall into, the patterns that you repeat over and over. Where are you being called to change, to give up control, to surrender anew? Where is your need for control holding you back from reaching your full potential?
Six of cups
With your season of exploration and expansion drawing to a close, the patience and wisdom that defined the last few weeks may begin to shift into a desire for deeper, more personal reflection. As you look back on where you started, on the different versions of yourself that have existed over the years, take some time to celebrate just how much you’ve grown and developed. And whether memories of your own history are light and joyful or feel complicated and confusing, holding space for the lessons you’ve learned can help you consider your own future more clearly.
With the Devil bringing elements of control into this season, you’re being invited to consider the relationship you have with your own history, the stories that you tell yourself about who you are and where you came from. How much of your personal story do you share with those in your present life? What do you hold back, protect, avoid? Sometimes it’s easier to look backwards than forwards, to let ourselves linger in memories rather than push ourselves to dream and plan. Give yourself the joy of reflection, but don’t get too lost in the past — there is so much still ahead, so many things to create and imagine. You don’t have to be defined by where you’ve been.
Nine of coins
Happy birthday, Capricorn! As we move into your season, you may find that you have a lot to celebrate, with your long-term goals falling into place and the ambitions that you’ve been working for now sitting within reach. As you head towards the finish line, enjoy the sensation of pride and independence you feel, the acknowledgments of how hard you’ve been pushing and how much effort has gone into your achievements. Even as you celebrate how far you’ve come, resist the temptation to accept full credit for every single thing that’s happened, to let the Devil tell you that you don’t need anyone else’s help in order to reach those lofty ambitions. You may tend to work alone, setting high goals and maintaining even higher standards for yourself, but don’t forget how many people have encouraged and pushed you along the way, offering support and guidance, celebrating your successes and soothing your failures. As you get ready to cross that finish line, honor the life that you’ve created, one that pays tribute to your own personal accomplishments while also making space for the community that’s held and encouraged you. You are a badass, but you are also not alone.
Five of swords
After so much quiet contemplation last season, spending time in reflection and learning to trust your intuition on a deeper level, you may move into Capricorn season feeling a bit restless, even frustrated with your own progress. The end of the year tends to invite a lot of consideration even in the midst of all the travel and parties and expectations — we look back at how far we’ve come while also setting our sights on what’s ahead, and if we aren’t sure what we’ve accomplished or don’t know what we want to pursue, it can feel like we’re simply stalling out. If you find yourself snapping at those around you, lashing out at people who don’t deserve it, or stubbornly fighting for ideas or projects that you don’t even really care about, take a step back and give yourself some space to process. You’re someone that likes to look forward, that wants to know how they’re contributing, that craves the freedom to dream and create — and with all of Capricorn’s control and structure, you may feel smothered or trapped. You don’t have to do things like anyone else, so if the end of the year as a construct doesn’t inspire you, just ignore it and give yourself the time and space you need to clarify your direction. Build your own timeline and create goals that motivate and excite you, and you may find that clarity and inspiration will begin to build again.
King of cups
Your last few seasons have made a lot of space for questions and contemplation, looking back at the progress you’ve made and looking forward at the ideas that are driving you. And as lovely as that all has been, this season may feel more comfortable as you settle back into your watery emotions, letting your intuition take the lead and honoring the connections that help you feel safe and appreciated. You are someone with the powerful potential to lead and inspire, a person that doesn’t hide from their feelings, that honors their wisdom and experience, that trusts their instincts. How can you expand that knowledge and help others learn to do the same? What can you offer those around you, and how are you being invited to give back? Use that natural compassion and empathy, those intuitive skills, and pay attention to the ways that you can utilize your sensitivity to assist the people around you.
With the Devil’s energy at play, however, you also need to exercise caution about how hard you push others or yourself. How much are you trying to control your own emotions, or influence those around you? Consider the boundaries you maintain around your intuition, your feelings, your dreams — you may find yourself moving hard in one direction or the other, even keeping everyone at arm’s length or dumping everything you feel onto those you care about. Keep balance in mind as you move through this season, and stay sensitive to your own ebbs and flows.