Zodiac - Aquarius
The Astronomy of Aquarius
Aquarius is one of 12 constellations that lie on the ecliptic, known jointly as the Zodiac. It is located between Capricorn and Pisces on the ecliptic, and is also bounded to the north and south by Aquila, Cetus, Pegasus and Delphinus
It has a Right Ascension (RA) of 22 hours, and a Declination (Dec) of -10 degrees. (RA is the sky's equivalent of Longtitude, and Dec is equivalent to Latitude).
It is most visible in the Summer, particularly during August which is when it is at it's highest in the sky, and is one of a group of constellations all with a watery theme, including Capricorn (Sea Goat), Cetus ( Sea Monster), Delphinus (Dolphin), Eridanus (River), Hydra (Sea Serpent), Pisces (Fishes), and Piscis Austrinus (Southern Fish).
It can be found just above the southern horizon, almost directly opposite the Plough (aka the Big Dipper, or Ursa Major), but contains no major stars or patterns to identify it with.
Every July there is a meteor shower that originates in the direction of Aquarius, called the Delta Aquarids, which usually has it's peak around the 28th July.
The Helix Nebula is one of the largest in the sky with an apparent width of almost half that of the moon, and is ideally seen with good binoculars or a low power telescope.
The Mythology of Aquarius
Aquarius is the sign of the water bearer, and is typically depicted as a young man pouring water (or sometimes the nectar of the gods). Who is the youth? There are several different stories, any of which could have been the orginal inspiration for the constellation.
The most common version is that the youth is Ganymede, the son of King Tros (from Troy). It is said that Zeus became infatuated with Ganymede, who was considered the most beautiful boy alive at the time, and while Ganymede was watching over his father's sheep on Mount Ida, Zeus took the form of an eagle and swept down to carry Ganymede off to Olympus.
An alternative version of this is that Zeus sent an eagle to capture Ganymede, and that this is the eagle that was immortalised as the adjacent constellation of Aquila.
Yet another version has it that Ganymede was originally carried off by the goddess of the dawn, Eos, who had a passion for good looking youths. Later, he was taken from her by Zeus.
All of the above versions finish with Ganymede being made wine waiter to all of the gods with a bowl that was able to dispense nectar indefinately, in order to upset Zeus's wife Hera.
As there is some evidence that the constellation pre-dates Greek civilisation, it is possible that all of the above was 'invented' to replace an earlier myth, where the water pourer was actually the source of (and god of) the Nile.
One more myth was produced by the Romans. Germanicus Caeser identified the constellation with the son of Prometheus, Deucalion, who was one of the few to escape a great flood, along with his wife Pyrrha and one other human - a wise man who lived on the top of a mountain. This person told Deucalion how to repopulate the world by throwing stones to create men and women.
The Euphratean's instead have the tale of how the god EA saved Pirnapishtim and his family from a world wide flood, along with the seed of every other living thing, from which Pirnapishtim rebuilt the world.
The Astrology of Aquarius
Ruling planet is Uranus
Traditional Aquarian Qualities: Friendly and humanitarian, innovative, tolerant, genial, honest and loyal, sociable, intelligent, original, inventive, independent and intellectual
The Sun enters the Zodiacal Sign of Aquarius around January 21st, but it does not come into full power until about January 27th. People born between January 21st - 27th are also influenced to some extent by Capricorn, from the 27th onwards Aquarius is in full strength until February 20th. Over the following seven days Aquarius gradually loses its strength on account of becoming overlapped by the incoming sign Pisces. This should be taken into account when character and fortune are being estimated. Aquarius is an Air sign and it is positive in magnetism and is ruled by the planets Saturn and Uranus. In Greek mythology Aquarius is often associated with the mythological figure of Odysseus. Aquarius is symbolized by a man holding a pitcher of water which he pours upon the ground. Aquarius is the Water Bearer, symbolically and eternally giving life and spiritual nourishment to the world. By washing away the past, the water from the vessel leaves room for a fresh, new beginning. The sign of Aquarius is forward-looking, growth-oriented and concerned with equality and individual freedom. Aquarius seeks to dispense its knowledge, and its vision of equality and individuality to all. The glyph for Aquarius depicts the water from the water bearer's vessel as a symbol of open-ended spiritual energy.
Aquarian Characteristics: Subjects of Aquarius are very shrewd judges of human nature and are acutely sensitive to external influences and impressions, they are equipped with an ability to immediately detect the magnetic aura of the people and places that they come into contact with. They seek truth and beauty and are generally idealistic, generous and humane and are always prompt to relieve the distress and wants of others. As strong champions of progress they often wish to rid the world of all that they deem corrupt, evil and onerous, that includes anything that may have becomes sanctified by age or custom (such as the wearing of wigs in high court) and replace it with something more practical to the requirements and interests of humanity. They have very good reasoning abilities that compliment their intuition and debate all that concerns them in a logical fashion. Their opinion once made is often concrete . Aquarians basically possess strong and attractive personalities, they have excellent social abilities, they are cheerful, usually popular and make reliable friends. They can be either shy, sensitive, gentle and patient individuals and others can be lively and exhibitionist, sometimes hiding the considerable depths of their character under a cloak of frivolity. In their particular ways both types are strong willed and forceful with strong convictions, though if evidence reveals that they are incorrect they are usually honest enough to change their opinions, however firmly held, albeit that proof is demonstrated fully and satisfactorily first. They have a breadth of vision and can see both perspectives of an argument, hence they are unprejudiced and tolerant of other points of view. They have the ability to view the validity of an argument, even if they do not accept it themselves and are prepared to learn from everyone. They respond to and deeply appreciate the affection of others and respond to the slightest display of friendship. They are humane, frank, serious minded, genial, refined, sometimes ethereal, and sometimes idealistic in a sensible and practical way. Aquarians are usually intellectually strong, quick, active and persevering without being self-assertive, and express themselves concisely and clearly in a logical sense with reason, moderation and sometimes, a dry humor. Many are strongly imaginative and combined with their intuition they can have fine talents or even incipient genius lying latent in their subconscious. Their philosophical and spiritual mind set may prove problematical in that by spending too much time contemplating abstractions they may miss or avoid the reality of life. It may also assist those who have scientific leanings to embark on scientific research that could fulfill their philanthropic ideals for the benefit of humanity. Once inspired they become obsessed with their goal, they are capable of such intense devotion that it may result in exhaustion and even injure their health. Aquarians need to spend some time alone, where they can simply just be. They seldom follow the crowd and often set off alone to some location of personal interest even in company. They are fiercely independent and dislike interference by others, however helpfully intended, and will accept it only on their own terms. They are liable to fanatical eccentricity, an inclination to retreat from life and society, wayward egotism, excessive detachment and a tendency to be extremely dogmatic in their opinions. They may be secretive and cunning or express a lack of integrity in broken promises. Their feelings can be hurt quite easily, slights and injuries can be nursed and brooded upon for a great length of time. They may conceal a searing anger and resentment, display rudeness or maintain a tense, threatening silence that eventually erupts into an explosive temper. Aquarians have a natural sense of duty and purpose and once aligned with right understanding and a healthy self-esteem, their brilliant mind and peaceful nature can lead to a life where the strengths and weaknesses of all are honored in the spirit of dignified service to humanity.
Professions and Occupations: Aquarian have a desire to help humanity, a feeling of unity with nature and a desire for knowledge and truth, this makes them admirable scientists, especially astronomers and natural historians. Subjects of Aquarius are usually happy and successful in any type of scientific research. They may excel in photography, radiography, electronics, engineering and anything connected with the electrical and radio industries, aviation and everything technical. Their progressive tendencies can be expressed in writing, especially poetry, and broadcasting, or as social workers, psychologists and teachers. They can become talented in drama as they are gifted entertainers and make good character actors (having an ability to mimic) artists and musicians. The more psychic among them possess healing gifts, especially in curing the mentally sick. Aquarians work best in group projects, provided that they are recognized as having a leading part.
Psychology: Aquarius is ruled by Saturn, he expresses his male side through fixed Air in the Sign of Aquarius showing a practical and serious course through life. Saturn is the lord of the 1st house and the 12th house, consequently Aquarians have a humble nature and weak self-image, one that feels the work involved with maintaining a positive outlook. This can also give them a sense that they owe a debt to the world. Aquarians are naturally able to see others strengths, but may overlook their own. They will naturally work hard to advance the universal principles of brotherhood and fairness due to this self-negating mind set, however, subjects of Aquarius should be careful not to allow their natural humility to fall into masochistic servitude. In the un evolved Aquarian, this cycle of suffering becomes a way to avoid self-reflection, they take on quite a martyr complex, leading to much bitterness. Aquarians are naturally aligned with causes and ideas much bigger than themselves but their selfless mind set can place Aquarians in relationships where they are not equal to their partners, but are serving them. This tendency can easily turn into a subservience, where they are not respected or loved in return, due to feelings of unworthiness. This is the result of Saturn and the Moon as 6th lord conditioning the mind to suffering and service. The influence of the Sun will attempt to rescue them, however by relying too heavily on others for confidence, both in romantic relationships and public life, they will often lack power in relationships, accepting a servile role in them. They are sometimes disappointed emotionally because their own high personal ideals cause them to demand more of others than is reasonable.
Relationships: Subjects of Aquarius do not make friends easily as sometimes they appear to condescend and take too little trouble to cultivate the acquaintance of people who do not particularly appeal to them. They do not give themselves easily, perhaps because their judgment of human nature is acute and for that they are sometimes considered cold. However, if they decide that someone is worthy of their friendship or love, they become tenacious friends or lovers, ready to sacrifice everything for their partners and be faithful to them for life. They can be romantic and idealistic and foolishly place the object of their affection upon a pedestal, which when human frailties become apparent can lead to disappointment, disillusionment and unhappiness. Their sudden moods and caprices are a likely cause of pain and confusion to friends and partners, however they are usually loyal and faithful. The most harmonious and well suited marriages are formed with those born between May - 21 and June - 21 or September - 21 and October - 21.
Possible Health Concerns. Aquarius reputedly governs the legs from the knees to the ankles and the circulation of blood also comes under this sign. Subjects of Aquarius are susceptible to ailments particularly in the legs and ankles, such as sprains, fractures and cramps, and are also liable to spasmodic and nervous complaints. Under the Influence of uranus there is also the possibility of electric shock. Aquarians may suffer with wind, catarrh, diarrhea, goiter and delirium tremens, it is important for Aquarians to be careful with their alcohol consumption.
Potential problems and suggested solutions: All Air signs have unique traits to their personalities, when these traits are suppressed, or unrealized, problems will arise. By examining the problem we can assess the proper solution according to the Air signs unique characteristics. Aquarians who find themselves on the receiving end of negatives will find greater peace when they express the positive. Try accepting people simply in the way they are without finding too much fault in them. In doing so you may find that others accept you more easily for who you are. If you let down the mental guard that you keep on your emotions you may find yourself becoming the person that you long to be, yourself. Use your positive aspects in teamwork and group effort rather than trying to be single minded and solitary, no great orchestra functions with a collection of solo musicians. By repressing your emotions you drive the unrest deep inside where it can crystallize and cause blockages and eventually cost you in terms of health. Express your feelings correctly and with tact.
The Star-stone for Aquarius is the beautiful Turquoise. The name comes from the French "turquoise", which means Turkey as in the original localities in Persia (today Iran). Turquoise has been used and coveted since before 4000 BC. It can be pure in color or may contain secondary minerals. If the matrix forms a pattern of interlocking polygons it is called spider-web turquoise.
Famous Aquarians include Germaine Greer, Bob Marley, Charles Darwin, Oliver Reed, Wolfgang Mozart and Abraham Lincoln.