You can practically hear the “Age of Aquarius” refrain being transmitted to us from the distant universe of Broadway musicals past — or is it merely a future we have yet to encounter?
In a departure from tradition-oriented Capricorn, Aquarius is categorically fixated on all things “future”: technology, innovation, invention, reinvention, revolution, and progressive, humanitarian values. If Capricorn is about building things that last and drawing on the amassed expertise of everything that’s worked for us thus far (you know, “tradition”), Aquarius is about thoughtfully subverting the photorealism you learned in art school in order to take your work in a more avant-garde direction, or dispense with the notion that “tradition is always best.”
In this sense, this time of year marks a collective shift in our work ethic (and I say “work ethic” because traditionally, Capricorn and Aquarius are both ruled by Saturn). It’s the difference between having your nose to the grindstone and giving yourself permission to play, invent, and get weird in your approach.
It’s also a time to set aside our personal hustle — the obsessive ladder-climbing of Capricorn — in favor of group hustle. Protests certainly count, but so do any and all things done for the benefit of the greater good.
If its opposite sign, Leo, is associated with royalty, Aquarius is democracy. If Leo is the center of the universe, Aquarius is on the fringes. Leo is about self-expression; Aquarius is about building a society where everyone’s individual self-expression is tolerated and encouraged. The sign immediately before it, Capricorn, builds an established order that’s grounded in reality. Aquarius can’t help but reach for something a little more utopian than whatever we’ve been dealt.
Speaking of weird, no one flies a freak flag quite the way Aquarius does. Ever the iconoclast of the zodiac, the water bearer is essentially a community-oriented figure who probably spends their long trips to and from the river smirking at the rest of the sheeple back home in the village. That’s mostly a joke, but it’s important to take into account that Aquarius spends a good deal of its time in isolation, even if it’s always in service of the larger community. That’s not to say Aquarius is antisocial or doesn’t love a party — indeed, you probably know one or two IRL enablers who are forever filling your cup with something other than water. But Aquarius knows how to disengage from other people’s drama, preferring to dream up schemes for the advancement of humanity from its own highly idiosyncratic corner.
Yes, true, Aquarius can be completely out of everyone’s league when it comes to its own lightning-bolt individuality. The shadow side of Aquarius is “shock value for its own sake” and a know-it-all contrarian mentality (essentially a mix of radical Uranus and authoritative Saturn). That’s why the community, groups, and humanitarian efforts it’s a part of provide a meaningful context for its maverick ways. Without these, the water bearer would be just another head case with a jug.
The detachment of the water bearer is also somewhat emotional in nature (which isn’t the same thing as saying Aquarius is UN-emotional). It’s a common mistake to assume that Aquarius is a water sign, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The water bearer likes to supply the water without getting wet. Unlike Pisces, the next sign in the zodiac, Aquarius is that person who hangs out at the pool for hours but never dives in. Too cool for school (or messy feelings), this highly intellectual and logical air sign is much more comfortable in its scientific approach to the world. That’s not to say we’re dealing with Spock here — just that we’re dealing with someone who’s a bit more “head” than “heart” (and, at the very least, is good at pretending not to care).
Aquarius energy is certainly “never answers their texts” energy, but it’s also “legitimately doesn’t see the problem with that” energy. Freedom is tantamount to the Aquarian archetype, and there’s a good lesson in that somewhere for the rest of us. Sometimes, keeping each other on a long leash is what gives us all the ability to be our weirdass selves. And what could be more revolutionary than that?
Art: @liquid_pink on IG