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Symbol: A49_249.gif

Element: Air

Quality: Fixed

Polarity: Yang/masculine

Ruling Planet: modern Uranus, traditionally Saturn

Tarot Key: The Star

Sun in Aquarius: from around the 20th January to the 19th February

Time of Year:mid-winter[2] cold, snow and ice, but with longer days, tree sap begins to rise

Cultural: Candlemass, shrovetide

Physical body: lower leg, ankles

Star constellation: Aquarius

Mythology of the star constellation

The constellation shows a man pouring water from a jug. The Greek astrological poet Manilius, writing in the first century AD (Astronomica 5:487) described Aquarius as Ganymede, a beautiful boy whom even Jupiter found attractive. In the form of an eagle (memorialized by the nearby constellation of Aquila,) Jupiter abducted Ganymede to Mount Olympus and appointed him cup bearer to the gods. This myth belies the significance of Aquarius to the Babylonians, who named the constellation Gula, The Great One, and associated his water vases with the rains that caused the annual flooding of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and the irrigation of agricultural fields. Similarly, Aquarius may also have been associated with the ancient Egyptian Nile River god Hapi. Early Christians saw Aquarius as John the Baptist. Throughout early western astrology, the association of this constellation with a water vase or urn is unsurprising, as the Aquarid meteor shower could appear to an imaginative viewer as a man pouring water from a vase. Although the month of Aquarius is a period of extreme cold in northern climates, in the Mediterranean and Near East regions where astrology first evolved, winter is the rainy season. The sun in the sign of Aquarius as a time of winter rain further suggests that the water in the vase of the Water-Carrier portends the late winter rain.


Aquarius is the eleventh Sign of the Zodiac. As an air sign, its approach to life is primarily mental, even intellectual. As a fixed sign, Aquarius further represents the individual who remains fixed in his ideas, whether or not they are popular, conventional, or widely accepted. The traditional ruler Saturn can give Aquarius a morose disposition, but its association with Uranus probably accounts for the Aquarian reputation for eccentricity, a futuristic or scientific view of life, and innovative thinking.

Because of modern western astrology’s correlation of houses and signs, Aquarius has become linked to the House Eleven association with friendship; and by extension, with groups and organizations. Because it is an air sign, however, Aquarius is not particularly interested in the emotional commitment of close friendships of the “best friend” (and watery) variety. A sun-Aquarian is stereotypically the person with many acquaintances but few very close friends— by choice.

In combining the futuristic, iconoclastic nature of Uranus with the mental quality of an air sign, individuals with a strong emphasis on Aquarius in their natal chart are often interested in the greater good of society. They can picture a fairer society without the existing hierarchies, in which every person can follow their own interests as long as they don't infringe on the rights of others: personal freedom and independence are highly valued. Although they have a highly developed sense of their own individuality and uniqueness, they need like-minded individuals to help them pursue and realize their interests and ideas. Examples are sun-sign Aquarians and US presidents Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Without this vision of a greater good, expressed through a community of people with shared goals, Aquarius individuals will sometimes settle for merely being eccentric or off-beat.

Perhaps because several noted scientists and inventors (such as Charles Darwin and Thomas A. Edison) had Aquarius suns, Aquarius became noted as the sign for scientists and inventors. However, a scan of notable scientists and engineers indicates that many have their suns in other signs.

Planets and axes in Aquarius take on some of the typical qualities associated with this sign such as originality, love of freedom and of experimentation.

The Sun is in detriment in Aquarius. Both Aquarius and its opposite sign Leo share a social orientation, but whereas Leo longs to stand out from the crowd, if not lead it or receive its praise; Aquarius longs to stand apart from the crowd. When an Aquarian ego is threatened, the person is likely to absent himself from a stressful situation. Mental agility is a trait common to Aquarius and the other air signs Gemini and Libra: Gemini can assimilate many different ideas and has the ability to view things from another person's perspective. Libra strives to find the common denominator linking different perspectives and Aquarius has the ability to view things from a completely new and unconventional perspective. Some modern astrologers claim that Mercury is exalted in Aquarius, although Virgo is the traditional sign of Mercury’s exaltation. From the two signs that stand in square to it Aquarius can learn the value of commitment (Taurus) and profundity (Scorpio).

Due to the precession of the equinoxes, most people with planets in Aquarius in the tropical zodiac of western astrology would find that their planets had shifted backwards 23.5 degrees into Capricorn in a Sidereal zodiac, which is the kind used in Vedic (Hindu) astrology. Similarly, sun-sign Pisces might learn that they are considered to be Aquarians in a Vedic chart. Khumba, the Vedic name for this sign, is not notably different from the western descriptions of astrology, with the exception that the sign ruler remains as Saturn.

Similarly, because few horary astrologers use the modern planet Uranus, Saturn remains the Ruler of Aquarius in horary astrology.

The sign of Aquarius in the view of Johfra Bosschart

See also



  1. From Liber Astronomicus by Guido Bonatus, 1491.
  2. At typical northern latitudes in temperate climates.