Capricorn Goddesses: The Spinning Wheel

“Threads of Destiny are Spun by Choices and Deeds”

Julie Loar, Goddesses for Every Day

Capricorn anchors the Winter Solstice and combines the principles of Cardinal Earth.  In Capricorn matter organizes itself into perfect forms.  In astrology Capricorn represents the crystallization of matter into the Father principle and is the opposite sign to Cancer, who holds the energy of the Mother.  Capricorn’s energy is governing and conserving, focused on achievement, integrity, recognition and responsibility.  Capricorns are fueled by tremendous ambition, and their lessons stem from learning the underlying motives, which propel their drive to climb.  Capricorn is the tenth sign and represents the stage of the spiritual journey where our aspiration turns to the cold, clear mountain air of our spiritual nature.  Capricorn represents the principle of ambition, whether it is directed outwardly in the world of accomplishment or turned inward toward the spiritual path.  The theme of the Capricorn goddess reveals the threads of our destinies that are spun by choices and deeds.  

The Goddess Sign for Capricorn is the Spinning Wheel, representing the Crone goddesses who are weavers of Fate and represent the dark time of the year and the wisdom time of life.  Spinning, weaving and looms are the province of wise elder goddesses who pronounce destiny, measuring and cutting the threads of our lives.  The triple aspect of goddesses of fate is often seen first spinning the thread of a life, then measuring how long the life will be, and finally cutting the thread and ending the life at the appointed time.  While Scorpio spins the threads out of the substance of the goddess’s belly, it is in Capricorn, the sign of form, that the threads take shape and are woven into the tapestries of our lives.  Mountains are symbols of this process in all spiritual traditions, so Capricorn has usually been symbolized by a Mountain Goat with the tail of a fish or dolphin.  Ancient mountain goddesses are included in Capricorn along with goddesses who embody structure, organization, time or duration, as in measuring the thread of Fate, endings, the dark of winter and the wisdom of old age.

Chin Nu is a Chinese goddess of spinners and weavers.  She is the daughter of the Jade Emperor.  Although a goddess, she visited Earth and a human man stole her clothes, caused her to remain, and convinced her to marry him.  When she eventually returned to the sky her husband longed for her and followed her to the sky.  Her father gave them each a star, but they were on opposite sides of heaven.  So, her father built a bridge between the two stars, and once a year flocks of magpies bring twigs for the bridge so the lovers can cross the sky and spend one night together.  Ariadne is an ancient goddess from Crete, which preceded Greece by thousands of years, who is a goddess of fate and weaving.  She aided the hero Theseus in the Cretan labyrinth, where the bull monster hid, by giving him a ball of her thread so he could find his way out. 

Chomolunga is the Buddhist goddess whose body is the great mountain we call Everest, while Konohana Sakuya Hime is the Shinto goddess of Japan who is the goddess of mount Fuji.  Jord is a Norse goddess who was worshipped on mountaintops where she mated with the sky to bring heaven to earth.  

Hekate is an ancient goddess of the people who preceded the Greeks.  She was the daughter of two Titans who both represented the principle of scintillating light.  Hekate has dominion over crossroads, especially where three roads converge.  She is also believed to be a guardian of the Gates of Immortality.  Hekate is a master of time, and is often depicted as having three faces, each one looking in a different direction:  past, present and future.  

Holda is a Germanic or Teutonic goddess who is like a female Santa Claus.  In Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Holda flies through the night in a magical carriage on December 24, bringing gifts and spreading boundless joy.  She dresses in red and white with a cape made from goose feathers and decides who is worthy to receive her gifts.   La Befana is the Italian Lady of the Twelfth Night, January 6, and the Feast of the Epiphany.  She visits every child in Italy on the night of January 5, filling stockings with candy.  Juno Lucina is called Mother Light.  She is a Roman goddess who bestows the gifts of vision and enlightenment.  Her festival was celebrated at winter solstice with torches and bonfires.  She acted as the midwife for the annual rebirth of the light.  Juno Lucina also opened the eyes of newborn children as they emerged from the darkness of the womb.  

The Zorya are three Slavic goddesses honored mostly in Russia.  They express the triple aspect of the goddess—maiden, mother and crone, or elder.  The Zorya are responsible for morning, noon and night respectively.  Zorya means “star” in Russian.  The three are guardians of life and time and keep charge over a giant doomsday hound that is chained to the North Pole.  The dog constantly pursues the constellation of Ursa Minor, the Little Bear, as it circles around the vault of heaven.  

Kali Ma is the beloved Hindu goddess of India who holds the energy of the Dark Mother, or the destroying crone.  It is her role to eliminate what needs to be removed in order to make room for what needs to be created or brought into expression. Kali also has a Triple Goddess aspect in which she mates with the three gods of the Hindu pantheon:  Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.  

The New Year begins with the Capricorn goddess White Tara, and her day is January 1. In bold contrast to the transforming energy of death and release embodied by Kali, White Tara is a divine manifestation that “brings forth life.”  Her destiny is to manifest the supreme bodhi, the spirit of enlightenment in the consciousness of humanity.  In Japan, temple bells are rung 108 times in her honor at midnight on New Year’s Eve to help counteract humanity’s sins.  As the wheel of the year turns, and we slowly move out of darkness into light in the northern hemisphere, we can take time to reflect on the lessons of experience this year has offered.  We can also decide to leave outworn forms behind and bravely focus on what we long to bring into being in the New Year.  

Based on and excerpts from Goddesses for Every Day © 2010 by Julie Loar.   Printed with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA