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Dolly Parton and the Capricornian Virtue of Doing the Right Thing

In The Book of Earth: Making It Real, Steven Forrest tells us the Taurus energy is designed to bring us into communion with the life force of the Universe so that something great can be built from its source. Virgo energy helps us develop the skills to build and invent and create this great work – and to share it with those who follow. Capricorn energy, then, carries this process to completion. Capricorns, Forrest believes, are here to create great works. They have the sterling “winter” virtues of patience, focus, and commitment to survival. They have the integrity and inner fortitude to climb difficult mountains, do hard things, and build something of lasting value. However, they need to always be wary of the mountains they climb, making certain that the mountain is worth climbing. Staying in touch with the vital Taurus impulse for what is good and real and true will guide them and help them to course-correct when necessary.

While we tend to think of the archetypal Capricorn as a suited-up CEO, Capricorns can flourish in any field of endeavor, including entertainment. Dolly Parton, apparently so light and sunny and effervescent, has at her core very solid earth energy. With her Virgo Ascendant and Moon, she early learned to “craft” an image with wigs, make-up, and styles which has changed very little over the years and continues to delight audiences. But with her Sun, Venus, and Mercury in Capricorn in the 5th house, we can see her determination to create a great work – which has been a decades-long career as a singer/songwriter, performer, and public benefactor.

But all this did not happen overnight. She grew up with nothing and had to make her way as a “girl singer” who humbly accepted a place on the Porter Waggoner show. Even though it was her bursting with creativity 5th house that fueled the success of the show, she had to bide her time until she could break out on her own. Porter Waggoner made it very difficult for her – you can see the Mars (aggressive) Saturn (older man) opposition to her shining Capricorn planets – but she held to her path and paid what price she had to in order to build a career which was her own.

And just as Capricorn is rewarded for its patience over time, the song Dolly wrote to Porter as she asked him to let her go, “I Will Always Love You,” became a mega-hit when Whitney Houston recorded it years later. An interesting twist connected with this song is that some time earlier, Elvis Presley wanted to record it, but insisted that Dolly sell him the song. She longed to have her song recorded by “the King” but knew in her heart that she could never let one of her songs go. Forrest tells us that Capricorns are here to learn that life’s most important decisions must be made from the heart. If she hadn’t listened to the inner wisdom that her songs should not be sold away, all the glory – and the multi-millions – would have gone to Elvis instead of Dolly once the song became a platinum hit a decade later.

Capricorns also have within them a longing to do the right thing, Forrest writes. If they lose that north star of their inner sense of what they must do, they can become a fallen Capricorn like Richard Nixon after Watergate or Al Capone after he was caught on tax evasion. Dolly has carried with her a love for her home in the hills in Tennessee, where people lived a hard-scrabble life. Once she had wealth, she built the theme park Dollywood near her home, providing employment and tourist income for the people of the area. Because her father never learned to read, Dolly followed her belief that every child should had the opportunity to read and set up The Imagination Library with the mission of providing free books to children at all ages of their development. Dolly even took an uncharacteristic public stand during the pandemic, when she donated $1 million dollars to Vanderbilt University for the development of a Covid vaccine.

Forrest also identifies Capricorns as those who need their solitude and opportunities to recharge. The sign is opposite Moon-ruled Cancer, reminding Capricorns that nurturing and self-care are essential to those who spend so much of their energy producing for others and the world around them. Dolly Parton, though an extremely recognizable public figure, has learned how to guard her privacy. We know little about her husband or her family life, and she even has multiple homes she moves among – so no one is quite sure where she is at any given time. Keeping one’s solitude guarded helps the Capricorn avoid distraction and stay on the path of his or her true mission.

In studying the earth signs, Steven Forrest reminds us that “Behind the world we see, there is another world, far vaster – and far closer in its nature to what we might call Ultimate Truth.” In the energies and archetypes of Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn are our connections to these higher realms, and in them rest the hope of bringing Spirit’s sacred gifts to earth.


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