In Harry Potter there’s Divination, astronomy and prophecies – all used to make sense of the mysteries of the universe and the great beyond. But what about astrology? It’s barely mentioned… but do any of our favourite characters happen to display personality traits that are unique to their star sign?
Well, we thought it would be fun to find out! As it is Capricorn season, we’re starting with the surly Head of Slytherin, Snape. Of course, any similarities may be a total coincidence. Or they might not! We'll leave that up to you to decide. Why not share this with your Capricorn friends and see what they think?
According to horoscope experts, Capricorns are one of the ‘Earth signs’, but how does that apply to our haughty Head of Slytherin? You’d hardly call Snape’s personality ‘earthy’, but thankfully, that’s not what we mean.
As Earth signs, Capricorns are known to be rather astute and determined. They know what they want, and they go for it. Looking back, Snape showed flashes of this characteristic throughout the story, especially when it came to wanting the Defence Against the Dark Arts post. Dumbledore refused to give him the job year after year. But Snape would not let that deter him. He kept his hat in the ring – acting as a substitute when Lupin was indisposed and finally achieving his goal in the Half-Blood Prince. Whether he was a good Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher (with his unique treatment of those who did not belong to his house) is another question – but you can’t fault his ambition.
As for his shrewdness? Behind his scornful stare and snarling sneer, Snape could be rather perceptive. It was he who figured out what Quirrell was up to. He who tracked Sirius and Lupin to the Shrieking Shack. And he always seemed to have a sixth sense for when Harry, Ron and Hermione were getting up to mischief… It was just a shame Snape had to mix his shrewdness with rudeness!
According to the astrologer, Joanna Martine Woolfolk, Capricorns are notable for their practical intelligence and hardworking natures – and although Snape was crochety, he was also smart and driven.
Alongside his responsibility as Head of Slytherin house, he was also Potions Master and spy extraordinaire for Dumbledore. Need further proof? Well, just think about his time at school when he created his entire Half-Blood Prince identity. Not only did he figure out how to tweak potion recipes to make them more potent, but he managed to create his own spells from scratch. Granted, some of those spells were violent and destructive, but it’s still impressive and a sign of a brilliant (if morally grey) mind.
One trait shared by Capricorns is their independence – they don’t need to rely on anyone but themselves. When you look at their other personality traits such as practicality and responsibility this makes a lot of sense, they have the skills to be successful on their own. And this independence was reflected in the surly Potions Master too. He was a bit of a lone wolf – he had to be. If your life is full of spying and secrets, then trusting others becomes a matter of life and death. It’s much easier to put your faith in yourself.
Being a skilled Occlumens helped, as Snape could keep his mind locked away from prying eyes. There was nobody who could break in there and see his deepest fears… except the time that Harry did. But on the whole, Snape was an island – fiercely independent, self-sufficient and rather mysterious.
Snape was not the sort of person to forgive and forget quickly. Like other Capricorns, if Snape felt mocked or undermined, he held onto that grudge tighter than a Niffler grasping a Galleon. The fact he hated Harry on sight was because of the years-long simmering loathing he felt for James Potter and friends. And to be fair to Snape, they weren’t exactly kind to him. They did magically hoist him up by his ankles, call him names like ‘Snivellus’ and humiliate him in front of the school and the witch he fancied. We can understand why that particular feud was hard for Snape to let go of.
However, that did not give Snape free reign to be as awful as possible to Harry. He was the grown-up and should have been able to separate the Harry in front of him from the memory of James. Yet, he didn’t. He allowed those wounds to fester and influence his behaviour – upholding that decades long resentment… which can be quite a classic Capricorn thing to do.
If there is one thing you can pride a Capricorn on, it’s their loyalty to their small but carefully chosen group of friends. They would do anything for them, yet can we really call Snape loyal? Well, on the surface Snape might seem rather untrustworthy – playing the double-agent, switching sides as he pleased, his fondness for Dark magic and his general ‘don’t come anywhere near me’ vibe. But like other Capricorns, we think that if you look beneath the surface, you’ll find plenty of examples of Snape’s loyalty. The biggest one? Two words: Lily Potter.
Snape’s love for Lily was unending – even in death (his Patronus truly showed that). And that infatuation, despite a few early wobbles, demonstrated Snape’s ability to be loyal. Not only did Snape risk his life on a daily basis by turning against Lord Voldemort, but he protected Harry despite his hatred for him (and the father he so resembled). Even Dumbledore grew to trust him because of this love. While Capricorns can be stubborn or sometimes lofty, just like Severus Snape, it is the loyalty and that staunchly resolute nature that shines through.