The sea goat, not the billy goat, is the true symbol of Capricorn, which rules the tenth house of astrology. This house is defined by the Midheaven, the highest point of the horoscope, representing the highest aspirations and therefore your vocation.
Not a marine mammal, the sea goat, better described as a goat fish, is a mythical creature with the head and upper body of a goat, and the lower body and tail of a fish. The sea goat symbol goes back over 4000 years, when it represented the Sumerian primordial god of waters, Enki. According to legend (similar to the Garden of Eden story of the Bible) at one time “there was not fear, no terror”, and men lived in harmony. When mankind was thrust out of this paradise, at a time of crisis, Enki came out of the sea, and gave humanity the skills of civilization; teaching about cultivation, irrigation, (he was the god of sweet spring water as well.) granaries, and medicine. Never a trickster god, he represented balance and responsibility.
The fish part of this symbol represents passion, spirituality, intuition, connection with soul, – the deepest depths of our being. The goat symbol represents intelligence, curiosity, ambition, but also steadiness, and ability to thrive in inhospitable environments. The goat climbs the highest mountains carefully, step by step, ever seeking higher vistas.
This fused symbol of the fish and the goat, the sea goat, presents the dual nature of Capricorn, all humans, and also of vocation. We are spiritual beings having an earthly experience, and so the challenge of vocation is to integrate our deepest essence, which is our feeling soul, into the hard dry landscape of this earth – and thrive.
The sea goat symbol teaches us that we can only fulfill our highest aspirations by learning to express from the depths of our soul. The fused nature of this symbol tells us that this is possible. You can find a way to integrate your essence with the world as you “grow up”. You can find that which theologian Frederick Buerchner described as “the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.


Astrological tip: In any vocational horoscope analysis, pay attention, not only to the ruler of the 10th house, but the ruler of the 4th house, and Moon as well.

Enki, the primordial god, also is said to have interceded on behalf of mankind prior to the Great Flood, thereby saving humanity, again. (He believed that humanity had the ability to control population and behave responsibly to the rest of creation) In past times, many believed that answering the call to their vocation meant the salvation of the world. (salvation in ancient Greek and Hebrew meant, respectively “healing”, and “bringing into a spacious place”, implying freedom, and deliverance from danger.)
How can anyone save the world by following their vocation? By meeting the world’s greatest hunger. Right now there is a disease called colony collapse disorder which is decimating the world’s honeybees, and threatening the pollination of fruit, nut, and vegetable crops. Right now, people are being called to new activities to address this problem, whether by pollinating crops by hand, as is being done in China, or by studying the causes of and cures for this problem, as is being done by scientists across the world.
Vocation is about finding a need and fulfilling it. The sea goat symbol teaches us that vocation starts in the darkest depths, not only of our soul, but of the world as well, and involves a gradual slow climb upward to the light. We must not only find our deepest passion, but also our deepest hunger to grow, and therein we can create deep gladness in the world.
Your vocation defines your unique function in your slice of the world, whether that is your family, community, company, or country. It ‘s the role you play in your work, in your family, in meeting civic duties such as jury duty. Humans are intensely social creatures; society a woven fabric of humanity. That fabric is torn, just a little, every time someone is not in their right place, and that in turn, makes the world just a little more mean. Knowing your vocation is like having your own personal North Star, guiding you in all your life decisions to being in just the right place at the right time. So as to live your deepest gladness.
Find out more about the difference between Jobs, Career, and Vocation or“Vocation thru youth, midlife, retirement and old age – the Progressed Midheaven “ or if you are new to check out all our resources on Vocational astrology introduces the vocational process to others and links to articles on the second house, and the sixth house.