— Francis Bacon (Sun ☉and Mercury ☿ in Aquarius ♒)
The U.S. has recently been buzzing with the second inauguration of President Barack Obama. As president, it’s only natural that not everyone approves of his methods. Yet, The 44th president of the U.S. is undoubtedly progressive. Rewinding further, the futuristic and humanitarian ideals of Thomas Edison and Abraham Lincoln come to mind. Can you see the repeating themes? Obama is a Leo with his ascendant in Aquarius, while Lincoln and Edison were both born with their Suns placed in the sign of the Waterbearer.
Our Sun made the shift from structured and reserved Capricorn to airy and innovative Aquarius on January 19th, at 3:51 CDT. As the last of the intellectual and idealistic air signs, Aquarius is characterized by the keywords, “I Know”. Oftentimes, you can distinguish an Aquarian by their pride of knowledge, individualistic streak and their progressive ideals.
As I’ve always said and many astrologers know, adjacent signs help to counterbalance the excesses of one another. Earthy and realistic Capricorn is often linked with longevity, tangible results and tradition. Eccentric, individualistic and intellectual Aquarius is where existing structures begin to resonate with the call to innovation. If Capricorn is where we establish boundaries in which to rule the world, Aquarius is where we aspire to change it.
“The Aquarian spirit is often characterised by progressive thinking because of their ability to lie comfortably at odds with the norm. On a baser level however, it can lead to a stubborn and rigid maintenance of personal opinion that resists the benefits of learning from others. As a fixed sign, Aquarius offers stability and resistance, but problems can arise wherever wilfulness overrides the basic instinct towards humanitarian service, leading to inflexibility and repression of the spirit. When rightfully employed as a vehicle for free-flowing thought, the principle of fixity applied to air can result in marked powers of concentration and application, and an uncompromising response to mental challenge” .
Aquarius Myths – Prometheus and Ganymede
The myth of Prometheus helps to further illuminate the essence of the zodiac’s 11th sign. In Greek mythology, you might know that daring Prometheus stole fire from the gods and returned it to humanity. Unfortunately, Zeus chained Prometheus to a rock for his defiance and sent an eagle to devour his liver each day after it regenerated by night.
“The noble impulse is the brightest face of the sign – a selfless impulse, from which Prometheus can expect no personal gain. His gift was given because he saw the potential of the as yet undeveloped human race, and because he felt it unfair that their own potential divinity should be withheld from them. His payment is also important to the psychology of the sign, for it implies that the gift of fire – whether we interpret it as knowledge, creative power, recognition of godhood – costs dear” .
Another myth surrounding Aquarius surrounds Ganymede. In the form of an eagle, Zeus abducted Ganymede while he was tending sheep and made him an immortal cup-bearer of the gods. The position of cup-bearer alludes to the altruistic qualities that many Waterbearers possess. The story goes that when Ganymede had finally had enough, he emptied out all of the beverages of the gods that caused rain for days and a great flood. Later, Zeus recognized the hardship he had caused young Ganymede and put his likeness in the sky as the constellation of Aquarius.
Aquarius ♑, Saturn ♄, Uranus ♅ and House XI – Stability and Innovation
While Aquarius is often associated with eccentric and rebellious energy, the sign shares a few commonalities with Capricorn in that both signs can tend towards rigidity and reservation in some areas. The 10th and 11th zodiac signs are known for their detached and scientific natures, which has a lot to do with the fact that Saturn traditionally ruled these two signs when it was known as the end of the solar system. The reserved nature of Aquarius and Capricorn are oftentimes most apparent when it comes to the realm of emotions. Many astrology books speak of the infamous Aquarian detachment. Some say that the moon (indicative of one’s emotions) placed in Aquarius or Capricorn makes expressing and connecting with one’s own emotional nature more difficult than other placements. The fact is that Aquarians are far from unfeeling. From what I’ve seen they can sometimes identify so strongly with logic and reason and their sense of the world at large that they might become a bit impersonal.
“Saturn’s traditional rulership of Aquarius further colours this sign with the qualities of detachment, objectivity and restraint. In astrological philosophy, the Sun and Saturn are conceived as enemies, neither able to express itself fully within the other’s sign of dignity. The Sun craves attention and when the planetary energies are drawn though the Sun it centres them firmly upon the self. Hence the Sun is said to be ‘in detriment’ in Aquarius, where the personal ego is subjugated in favour of egalitarian concepts and far-ranging humanitarian concerns. The Aquarian perspective is drawn from a broad angle, and places the vision of the wider perspective above that which it sees from a position of self interest. The spirit of Aquarius is to look beyond the immediate and self-centred, to nurture the interests of progress for collective society and humanity as a whole” .
Modern astrology associates Aquarius with the planet, Uranus. After it’s discovery, Uranus became a symbol for things such as freedom, progressiveness, originality, innovation, eccentricity, technology, and enlightenment. The introduction of Uranus to Aquarius brought the idea of the rebel. Where we find Uranus in the birth chart is often where we might find something shocking or unconventional which suddenly appears. You might experience an electrical surge of creative energy as Uranus contacts Venus in your chart, like I did last year, or meet a new and unusual person out of the blue.
“But sure as Uranus was cut down by Saturn, so must our lofty ideals inevitably fall to Saturn’s limits. That’s how it ended for Prometheus too. He was punished and bound to a rock as birds pecked his liver. The rock is Saturn, the hard reality of this house. Here is the establishment—the group that disapproves. Uranus may inspire us to breakthroughs, but Saturn resists change or co-opts it. The tension between these two planets suggests our experience in this house will have its ups and downs. At times our progressive and unorthodox inclinations will find the utopia of likeminded community that Rudhyar celebrated. Other times we’ll be the oddball surrounded by a forbidding Saturn crowd” .
This message asserts the fact that the evolved Aquarian balances the forces of both Saturn and Uranus to improve upon existing structures with respect for truth and tradition. In this way, you could say that Aquarius is just as fixed in his nature as the other three fixed signs despite being of the intangible air element.
“…Fixed signs aren’t adaptable; they don’t adjust easily to other people. They have their own world, their own values. They don’t like being pushed. That reforming instinct in Aquarius simply doesn’t apply when you try to reform him. You’ve got to have a good deal of your own detachment, and some source of creative life of your own, if you want to make a relationship work with an Aquarian” .
Aquarius and House XI – Hopes, Friends, Wishes
House XI in a natal chart represents the ideals of Aquarius. The simplistic interpretation is that House XI is the house of friends (How I value my Aquarian friends!), hopes, and wishes. It was astrologer Dane Rudhyr that believed ‘Banding together with friends, with companions fired by a similar yearning for vision and creative social or religious change,’ Was more vital than good fortune. Traditionally, it was considered a very fortunate house to have planets in. Yet, this house represents so much more to me as I was born with Sun and Mercury placed there. For me, the 11th house represents my desire to be a part of positive change in the world. I would never be fulfilled standing idly in a daily routine that keeps me disconnected from the world at large.
“When planets transit or progress through the 11th, people often feel the urge to take their interests, gifts or skills into a larger world. Whatever sandbox they’ve been playing in is no longer big enough. They need to see a new reflection of themselves. With 11th house transits, we grow bold enough to enter a new field or widen the circle we’re already in. Something may happen to us that radically shifts our priorities. We may indeed meet fortunate allies and benefactors. Or we may encounter resistance—especially from the group we might be leaving behind” .
In addition, House XI represents politics, groups, and organizations that allow us to connect with like-minded souls. For these reasons, it is so important for Aquarians to connect with a cause they believe in in order to evolve. At heart, they are often brilliant social idealists.
“We’re told that the 11th symbolizes the social codes that bind a society and the revolutionary zeal that breaks it apart. It rules both astrologers and the legislators who would outlaw them. It describes what we have in common and what makes us different. It’s a future-oriented house, but its social web is often sticky with the past” .
Aquarius ♑ vs. Leo ♌ – Eros & Agape
My favorite description of the Aquarius-Leo polarity comes from when astrologer Elsa P. explains that Leo is Eros or romantic love and Aquarius is Agape or selfless love. I wrote a paper about these Greek stages of Love as a freshman in college and I think that these associations beautifully describe the nature of these opposite signs. Leo often thrives on romance and personal creativity/expression. Aquarius represents the transformation of the personal into the impersonal in order to benefit the world at large. Aquarius provides the sense that we are all in this life together, which is fitting for the sign of the humanitarian.
“And what about the individual Aquarian? Well, typically, he encompasses these two extremes – genuine love and concern for the welfare of the group, and personal intellectual bigotry. His ideals and his true sense of democracy are immediately noticeable. Even the non-political Aquarian who lives an ordinary life and doesn’t concern himself with movements, will often be found defending the underdog in his business. His ideals often make Aquarius stand out by a head above the crowd. He thinks about other people, about their needs and potential. Or maybe we should say he truly thinks – a rare commodity in an age of slogans and opinions” .
Sun☉ Mercury in House XI – Innate Eccentricity
I’m a Taurus, and I’ve strangely always felt very Aquarian my whole life. It’s a perfect example of why a whole natal chart is best taken into context for an accurate picture. The placement of my Taurus Sun-Mercury conjunction in progressive House XI and north node in Aquarius probably has a lot to do with that. I deeply connect with intellectuals. My field of study is digital technology. I feel very strongly about being socially responsible and involving myself in social issues. I want to change the world. However, it’s often important for people with strong Aquarius to tether their social ideals and hopes with realistic expectations.
“The tendency towards ‘detachment’ runs like a thread through many of this sign’s notable characteristics. On the one hand it gives a remarkable capacity for self-recognition and a crystal-clear reception of universal intelligence. At a spiritual level, it allows pure vision and penetrating perception. On the other, such self-reliant understanding inclines the Aquarian away from the impressions of others, often making them often appear to be a little ‘different’ and apart from their community” .
I’ve always felt different than other people, even weirder. Yet, I wouldn’t have it any other way! The ideals of astrological Uranus are reflective of my personal brand. I am a bit eccentric and I am drawn to that trait in others. Sometimes 11th house people have deeply rooted themes surrounding their early experiences within group settings. In extreme cases, it could even relate to social rejection. I never really viewed myself as a social outcast but I did always feel a little detached from the warm, sociable ocean. It was like I witnessed my early life, but I never fully engaged myself socially as much as I would have liked too for a number of reasons. It’s not even that I really craved a sense of acceptance or intimacy that no one would give to me. It was just how I felt. In contrast, it is imperative for me to maintain a certain sense of freedom and I deeply value my friendships. I truly do strive to be an exceptional friend.
“So Aquarius, man or woman, can be a wonderful friend in all the senses of the word. He is loyal and honourable, and is capable of much self-sacrifice; he cares about other people, and so long as you don’t expect him to participate in your emotional scenes, he’s a wonderful listener and a careful, objective advisor. No friend could be more friendly or tolerant, or understanding. In marriage or a love relationship, this quality of detached and undemanding friendship is often a true blessing. It means you can have your own ideas, think your own thoughts, discuss things, have companionship and camaraderie without the clutter of an expectation of roles, or a lot of emotional possessiveness.” 
Later on as I learned of astrology I began to understand the fulfillment that I derived from belonging to a group of individuals upholding the same ideals, whether I was at track meets with team members, getting together with co-workers, or connecting with other astrologers.
Famous Aquarians ♒ via CafeAstrology
Richard Dean Anderson (Sun and Venus in Aquarius), Jennifer Aniston (Sun and Mercury in Aquarius), Nick Carter (Sun and Mercury in Aquarius), Geena Davis, Ellen DeGeneres (Sun and Venus in Aquarius), Matt Dillon (Sun, Mercury, and Mars in Aquarius), Paris Hilton (Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Aquarius), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Aquarius), Jack Nicklaus, Tom Selleck, Jerry Springer (Sun and Mercury in Aquarius), Rob Thomas (Sun, Moon, and Mercury in Aquarius), Justin Timberlake (Sun and Mars in Aquarius), Vanna White (Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Aquarius), Oprah Winfrey (Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Aquarius), Virginia Woolf (Sun and Mercury in Aquarius)
David Bazan was born on January 22, 1976 under the fixed Air sign of Aquarius ♒.