The Sun enters Aquarius in mid-winter (in the Northern Hemisphere). Much of the world's population faces cold weather and long nights at this time of the year. This is a perfect opportunity to step back from the daily grind and take a larger view of life. Aquarius wants to understand the big social patterns that define the culture so that it can be reformed and modernized.
After Capricorn (a practical earth sign) turns its ambition into form and structure, Aquarius comes along to change it. Airy Aquarius opens the doors and windows, breaks down the barriers and fights for the equality of all living things. Hierarchy is reshaped into a collective crystal where all are one, yet each is different. This combination of concern for the group with total commitment to the rights of the individual is essential to the nature of Aquarius.
The Not So Wet Water Bearer
It's natural to think of the Water Bearer as a water sign, but it's not. It's an air, or mental, sign that is primarily concerned with ideas and concepts. The Water Bearer symbol represents the human mind that elevates us above our emotions (water). Aquarius, in fact, often uses intellect to distance itself from feelings.
Aquarius is also a fixed sign because it occupies the middle of a season. Fixed signs (Taurus, Leo and Scorpio are the others) are basically resistant to change, except on their own terms. Aquarius, as a detached air sign, may be the most open to change of this group.
Between the Ideal and the Real
Aquarius' inspired idealism is sometimes more conceptual than concrete. Airy Aquarius can find it more comfortable to believe in people collectively, than get close to them individually. It's hard to be intimate (it's so messy) when your standards are so high. The gap between the ideal and the real can be painful for some Aquarians, making intimate relationships difficult.
Aquarius needs space and freedom. Sloppy sentimentality and overly emotional situations feel uncomfortable. Perhaps it's that Aquarius expects so much from him or herself. Getting close means exposing flaws and fears, making one feel far from ideal.
The challenge for many Aquarians (or those with personal planets in this sign) is to keep the connection between mind and heart open, and to accept the tender vulnerability of human feelings.
The Human Revolution
The key, or ruling, planet of Aquarius is Uranus, a symbol of radicalism and liberty. Aquarians often consider themselves to be above the rules that govern the rest of us. These frequently exceptional people need freedom and often excel in circumstances of their own making.
This time of year, then, is one in which we all have a chance to see ourselves in a new light. It's the month when the wild and crazy may begin to appear possible and real. We are also reminded of the bond that connects all human beings, yet honors the uniqueness of each individual, making new forms of relationship possible.
In this burgeoning Age of Aquarius we are called upon to recognize that we are more than organic beings bound up by a past filled with old values, memories and wounds. We are, rather, visitors from the future in the process of creating ourselves with our every thought and word. As we free ourselves from physical labor and connect our minds with new technologies, we are no longer bound by traditional ideas of order. We become fully human and free to love without fear or possessiveness.
Aquarian innovators include artists Eduoard Manet, the founder of Impressionism, and action painter Jackson Pollack. The struggle for freedom has been waged in different ways by Aquarians Jackie Robinson, Rosa Parks, Angela Davis, Oprah Winfrey, Ayn Rand and Betty Friedan.
Aquarius writer Jules Verne was a true visionary, while the visions of Yoko Ono and Alice Cooper are, perhaps, more bizarre than revolutionary. Ernie Kovacs, Matt Groening, Ellen DeGeneres, John Belushi and Chris Rock have all used comedy to shake the system. Bob Marley used music, as have Aquarians Peter Gabriel, Sarah McLachlan, Garth Brooks and Sheryl Crow.
Paul Newman has played so many rebellious young men with his cool Aquarius blue eyes. John Travolta, Bridget Fonda, Minnie Driver, Jennifer Aniston, Rene Russo, Christian Bale, James Spader, Seth Green, Joe Pesci, Geena Davis and Christina Ricci are other successful Aquarius actors.