JANUARY/FEBRUARY - Though the days are technically growing longer from winter Solstice to Spring Equinox, mid-winter is still the meanest, coldest time of year. The sun goes into Aquarius and disappears behind thick woolen blankets of clouds, the kind that drop sheets of snow in deep drifts that grow higher by the day. Outside, scavengers are frail and willowy under a thick coat of fur. Desperate, they stalk through the branches to pull at the carrion, strip bark off of trees, and chew resinous needles. The ground is frozen deep through the knotted roots of naked trees, through to the bottom of lakes and forest ponds. Wind moans and snakes powder across the surface of the ground with each howling breath.
For our ancestors who lived off the land, surviving was its most difficult. Isolated, unable to travel due to dangerous weather, they were trapped wherever they had settled. With dwindling firewood and food, families were tired, cold, depressed, and hungry. To pass the time, they had hobbies, and they had each other. Families would talking and share ideas. Weaving new clothes and blankets, fixing broken farm equipment, and tinkering with new inventions could pass the time inside. Aside from cold and hunger, the biggest obstacle to face was boredom. So they did all they could to entertain their busy minds while also taking care of each other.
Pagans celebrated Imbolc with the lighting of candles and cleaning of the house. They welcomed the earliest spring lambs and prayed for the sun to overcome this long period of darkness, hoping it would find its way to spring soon. Many Germanic cultures associated this time of year with horning (deer shedding their antlers), winter, tanning hides, and candlelight. The West Frisian Calendar saw this as the "unclean" month, likely because of the state of the house with everyone in it most of the time.
This Sign's symbol has a long history, beginning in Babylonian astrology. Aquarius was called “The Great One”, representing the God Ea's human form. He is depicted as a man surrounded by the floods he brought to the Tigris and Euphrates rivers from the underwater realm he hailed from. In Egyptian astrology this sign was referred to as The Water Man and likewise was associated with the yearly flooding of the Nile River. But in Greece, the symbol was changed to a vase pouring water, and the Latin word given to it - “aquarius” - just means “water”. It was Ptolemy’s who changed it back, combining the old and new symbols to create the modern one we have today, of a man pouring water out of a vase, aptly named the Water Bearer.
Ea was a highly sexual and aggressive male god, often associated with wisdom, magic, and incarnations. He created and protected humanity benevolently, even bringing civilization to the fertile crescent by flooding the land with the fresh waters of the abzu. Conceptually, our image of the Water Bearer pouring out the live-giving waters for mankind is similar to others myths of the gods giving humanity intelligence and civility. Which is fitting for the Sign most associated with humanitarianism, the blending of science and spirituality, and the desire to move humanity forward into the future.
The glyph used for Aquarius is two wavy horizontal lines, one on top of the other. This symbolizes the waves of water being poured from the pitcher he holds, which descends down to humanity. In medieval medical astrology this Sign is also said to rule the ankles; the glyph also represents the feet in motion.
Aquarius is a mixture of the Fixed Quality and the Air Element, which means that they build and create both mentally and socially. That is why this Sign is associated with invention (using the mind to dream up new possibilities) and friendship (building social relationships with other people). This combination is also what makes both men and women this Sign so masculine, which we will be talking about throughout this article.
The first thing you notice when you meet an Aquarius is that they stand out. Which is nice way of saying that they're really fucking weird, with their alternative style, radical beliefs, and unusual lifestyle choices. Nothing about them fits in with any one group. They combine a love of science and technology with high-minded philosophy, pop culture, and New Age spirituality, fusing all of it together into their own creation. They belong to groups that advocate intellectualism, creative expression, personal freedom, and changing society. So they usually hang out with goths, punks, nerds, artists, witches, and hippies, and become one of them in the process. Aquarius gets a varied array of reactions from people for being so confidently different, from jealous admiration to outright hatred. But they don't care. They just keep doing their own thing.
The second thing you notice about Aquarius is how easy it is to like them. Unlike other Signs, who wade into groups shy and afraid, Water Bearers walk confidently into a party and immediately make themselves the center of attention. Naturally extroverted, they require a lot of mental and social stimulation in order to be happy. So don't be surprised if you see them bounce from one conversation to another, chatting with friends and soon-to-be-friends about every topic under the sun. Aquarians are one of the easiest Signs to talk to because they have such a sincere interest in other people's passions. That, along with their open mind, courteous social graces, and acceptance of all kinds of people, is why Aquarians are beloved by everybody.
Get to know them any better than that, however, and you can see that while Aquarius' love and altruism is given out to the whole wide world - to people in their community, their society, their culture, and abroad - that leaves very little for the people close to them. At times Aquarians can seem cold, distant, and even borderline cruel, their rudeness punctuated by explosive emotional outbursts. I once met an Aquarius who passionately worked all hours of the day and night, trying to help people solve their marital problems so they could have better relationships with each other. But at home he would scream and put down his own wife, threatening to leave her if she took her children's side over his. As genius as he was at helping other people in his exterior life, his relationships with those close to home were haggard with abuse.
The Aquarian mind is made to invent, to problem solve. And true to their humanitarian nature, they all want to save the world in one specific way or another. But they fulfill their purpose in a logical, intellectual way, not a kind, compassionate, emotional way. They get trapped in their own intellectual superiority complex and the belief that they are better, more powerful, than other people. They see people as sequences of data, as numbers, as issues that need be resolved with certain actions, instead of sensitive, emotional beings that needs to be cared for, listened to, respected, and comforted. Aquarians have all the tools they need in order to change their perception of people. They just need to be wise enough to know that they are not, in fact, god-like in their infallible logic, and that they do, in fact, need to mature in order to have better relationships with others.
I mentioned in my Virgo article how our culture raises us to believe that certain things in the world are just "how things are". And how many Signs (the Earth Signs) grow up never questioning the status quo. Aquarius is not one of them. Of all the Signs, Aquarius is the least likely to listen to the rules and walk obediently with their head down. However, as enlightened, forward thinking, and rebellious as they may be, nobody is completely immune to what our culture teaches us. And for Aquarius, they fall into the trap of believing masculine qualities to be bright and powerful and positive, and feminine ones to be weak, annoying, and negative.
Whether the Aquarius child is a boy or a girl, they are always closer to their father than their mother. They see their mother as emotionally overbearing, dramatic, worrying, or "needy", which stresses the child out and keeps them from expressing their emotions. They are much more comfortable with their father's more rational, dispassionate, and unemotional approach to problem solving, as it is so much like their own. Combine these things with many sudden changes that uproots their home life and makes their family unstable, and you get a child that grows up not letting themselves get too close to any one person.
Seeing the difference between their mother and father, and absorbing different messages about men and women growing up, Aquarians learn to identify more with male role models and masculine qualities, and find boys easier to get along with and understand. They are drawn to masculine power, authority, sexuality, intelligence, and rationality, and are put off by feminine weakness, vanity, irrationality, bitchiness, and drama. Aquarius girls especially think that their tomboyish-nature makes them better than other girls, because they are not vain, shallow, catty, emotional, or irrational like they are.
As they reach young adulthood, Aquarians leave high school with plenty of friends and high hopes for the future. But while they may already think themselves more mature and more aware of the truths of this world, as they find out, they still have many qualities they need to work on if they are to evolve into a better person. And that includes adopting all of those feminine qualities they thought they were better than before.
Every Aquarius has their loner moments, for sure. But more often than not they prefer to dissolve into a larger group of people, becoming a part of something greater than their individual selves. Like Gemini, they have a large number of platonic friends and loosely-connected associates, going for quantity over quality to keep themselves interested. Always the entertainer, people are drawn to Aquarian energy for how fun and funny they can be. To their friends, they offer intellectual conversation, shared interests, big ideas, kindness, and acceptance to anybody who comes their way. It's no wonder they become so popular!
But as friendly and outgoing as they may be, they lack that comforting warmth that is found in other kinds of friends. An Aquarius will help you solve your problems and support you as you go through life's ups and downs. You can hang out with them at parties, get hammered, and talk deep into the night about all your thoughts and ideas. But you don't go to them when you need a shoulder to cry on. The fact that they do not let their friendships becomes more personal is what keeps them from having deeper connections to the ones they love. And that fact bleeds into their romantic and sexual partnerships as well.
In love and in sex, Aquarius need a partner who treats them like an equal. They want respect, understanding, and moral support, and to be left alone to live an unrestrained life. They have absolutely no tolerance for jealousy or possessiveness, and will stubbornly rebel against a partner who tries to smother them with emotional demands. They are most attracted to people who double down on being open-minded and sexually adventurous. Monogamy, to an Aquarius, is outdated. This is a Sign who can totally do polygamy and open relationships, as they do not get emotionally involved or attached to people, and easily jump from one sexual fling to another. This may seem to them a symptom of their revolutionary ideas on sex and relationships. But in reality, it is a symptom of the fear of intimacy that keeps them from getting too close to any one person.
Aquarians lack a fundamental understanding of human emotions, how they work, how to express them in a healthy way, and why they are important, because they have an inbred aversion to emotions and emotional expression. Unable to properly communicate their feelings to others, the pressure inside them builds and builds, until it erupts in random emotional flare-ups that come out of nowhere, over minor, trivial things. This creates instability within the home and relationship, which breeds fear and erodes trust. Couple that with their indifference to the feelings of others and frequent sexual infidelity, and it is no surprise why their relationships either stay safe and shallow or end on bad terms.
In order to remedy these problems, Aquarians need to learn how to cut back on their masculine rationality and add more femininity to their character. Despite what our culture might teach them about women being bitchy, irrational, unreasonable, virginal, vain, obedient, and so on, Aquarius is more than capable of rebelling against those stereotypes. Femininity is about being nice, polite, beautiful, harmonious, cooperative, considerate, and selfless. It is about forming happier, healthier relationships with one another, strengthening human bonds and becoming closer to those you love. Becoming more feminine means getting more in touch with your own feelings and the feelings of those around you.
Their close relationships with others suffer because they lack sensitivity, empathy, compassion, warmth, and tenderness. And they relationship with themselves suffers as well, as they do not accept their feelings as real and valid and worthy of expression. But Aquarians eventually find that many of the qualities that make them such great friends (kindness, acceptance, being so relationship-oriented) are feminine ones that they can build off of. More than anything, what helps the most is a partner who can be their emotional leader, helping to guide them to get in touch with how they feels and ease them into becoming more feminine. With the right person, Aquarius can learn not to fear intimacy and vulnerability. And instead, can learn how to listen, think, act, and touch people in a more loving way.
There is a little bit of Capricorn left in Aquarius' heart, deep down inside, that motivates them to work hard and achieve meaning in their career. From a very young age Aquarians are drawn to the very masculine world of power, influence, achievement, fame, and self-actualization. Public recognition feeds their self-worth and self-esteem, making them feel as though they are actually making a difference in somebody's life. They also need constant validation from their peers, to be loved and accepted the way they are, and to belong to something greater than themselves. For many, their self-respect is closely tied to what they make and do. And their career is how they build it up!
Every Water Bearer has big, futuristic ideas of ways to solve problems faced by millions around the world, lifting the masses out of poverty with education and invention, changing government policies to promote equality, and testing the limits of mankind. The most fulfilling work lets them do all of that, while working in a group of like-minded individuals.
The Aquarius employee or coworker does best when you give them the freedom to take an idea and run with it. Their mind is a machine made to turn out creative solutions, invent different ways of doing things, and network with people to discover the possibilities. If you have an Aquarius working for you, give them their own personal space and time alone, but then let them come out and join a crowd of others to bounce ideas off of. In no time, they will become one of your most popular and likeable workers - just don't get too pushy or controlling, or their rebelliousness will push back just as hard!
An Aquarius boss possesses an amicable amount of fair judgement and diplomacy, managing the workplace with flair and an impartial attitude. They are entertaining and accepting of all their workers, listening to everyone's ideas and considering everyone's point of view. Things only get difficult when their fondness for spontaneity starts to shake things up, throwing the whole office into chaos. This can be frustrating for the people that have to deal with it directly. Hopefully, this boss will keep their disruptions isolated to their own section of work, without it spilling out into other people's lives. If not, things can get very frustrating, very quickly.
That is the biggest thing inhibiting Aquarius' success: their propensity toward spontaneous change. Few are more committed and hard working than an Aquarius with a dream. But few are more likely to ditch it all and suddenly change course halfway through, either. It may be due to a sudden squirt of stubborn rebelliousness, or it may be that a new ideas has struck them and inspired them to work on something else entirely. Whatever it is, the out-of-the-blue change completely derails them from achieving their long-term goals. Aquarius needs to work on curbing those disruptions, perhaps by picking a flexible industry that allows for frequent changes.
I haven't had the best of luck with Aquarius friends. I've been friends with two different male Aquarians, both with Sagittarius Moons, both whom had/have terrible relationships with Virgo girls I did not like very much. The first one was caught between a 1st House Aquarius stellium and a 12th House Capricorn one, wanting and needing individual freedom but also being loyally bound to his high school sweetie. Occasionally questioning his happiness in his relationship, an unable to discern his own feelings for himself he would seek out the comfort of a female friend for advice. And the midsts of a heartfelt conversation, proceed to use his vulnerability as a gateway to sexual favours. This fed his girlfriend's insecurity around other women, and as her jealousy, insecurity, and possessiveness grew, it strangled his social life, which made him unhappier, and the whole cycle continued on ad nauseum.
The second friend of mine has his Sun, Venus, and Jupiter in Aquarius across his 4th and 5th Houses. We immediately hit it off as soon as we met, and I introduced him to my whole group of friends the very next weekend. Things started out great - he was funny, we had great conversations, everybody caught onto his energy and enthusiasm, and I felt great for being the friend that brought him there. But started going south when he got introduced through the grapevine to my ex-boyfriend's girlfriend, sparking a three-year dramafest that successfully end his-and-I's friendship. He did eventually get out of it and leave it all behind, and we became friends again. But the following relationship wasn't any better, so while we are still technically friends, we haven't been as close.
Both of these men were fantastic friends. They were the kinds of people you would hope would show up to the party, because things were always more fun with them there. But as soon as they started to open up to a close friend, making the friendship more intimate and emotionally connected, the overwhelming tsunami of feelings overwhelmed them to the point of careless stupidity. I definitely think there is a thing about Aquarians falling for the people they open up to, like they can't tell the difference between intimacy in friendship and sexual attraction. But I know it's not always their fault. When you try to exercise your emotional muscles for the first time, not knowing how to recognize or handle your feelings, you are bound to make mistakes. That is the reason it it all the more important for you to follow the advice I've outlined here, and make yourself more emotionally intelligent.
THE Aquarius TRANSFORMATION
Each Sign matures to become the next one in the cycle. An Aquarius grows and matures to become more Piscean, turning from a hyper-masculine personality into a hyper-feminine one. That cold rationality dissipates into warm waters of emotional depth, compassion, sincerity, and boundless empathy. They become more beautiful, more harmonious, and more sensitive to the undercurrents of emotional energy that surrounds them. Aquarius' empathy is large and far-reaching, stretching out too the impoverished, the hungry, and the uneducated, but they struggle to be kind to those sitting right next to them in bed. They turn into Pisces when their love and compassion has no boundaries, and they are as sensitive to their spouse and children's feelings as they are to shelter animals, the homeless, and all those poor villages overseas.