If you squeezed all the planets into a garlic press through the sign of Aquarius, you would get a puree of Aquariana. What would that look and taste like? It’s a concentration of energy for those rare folk that tend to be all in solidarity with each other that they are individuals, yet with an acute social conscience that keeps them in groups posing as the everyman or woman. They had this awareness long before wokeist millennials started to trend on Twitter. Aquarians are often in the vanguard and yet they leave a taste in the mouth that’s hard to pin down. This flavour of Aquarius is what is happening now in late January/early February of 2021. We are experiencing this download of quirkiness.
This is due to a pile-up of planets – the Sun, the Moon, from Feb 11th-13th , Mercury, Saturn and Jupiter all in the sign of Aquarius. The Saturn-Jupiter conjunction kicked off the Aquarius vibe last year on Dec 21st in a beautiful conjunction visible for all to see at zero° of Aquarius. By February 8th this squares Uranus and Mars in Taurus, so some sparks might fly.
To add strategic wisdom to this ‘conference of the birds’ in the sky is asteroid Pallas- also in Aquarius- that makes a solid gathering in this oddball midwinter sign that takes fixity to the nth degree. And as if that were not enough, Venus enters Aquarius on February 2nd. Even Venus thinks outside the box while in Aquarius, so get ready to be jolted. If you have any planets in Aquarius or it is on an angle in your chart, this will strike you strongly, but it may also affect you if you have planets in other fixed signs that either oppose or square to Aquarius so that’s Taurus, where Uranus is, Leo and Scorpio. It is best to be open the portal to all things Aquarian during this time. We might learn something new.
We love the Aquarians for their independent nature and the length and breadth of their thinking. They are not like regular folk but tend to be smarter, more ahead of the game. It is a fixed Air sign, so they are not so flexible, but the element of air travels in currents and flows like water as in the Tarot image of the Star, a water bearer who pours a rain of stars from heaven. This connects them to outer space and dimensional realms.
Aquarians are nothing if not a diverse bunch: they are known for zoology Desmond Morris, (Jan 25th); their outspoken views Germaine Greer, (Jan 29th); their scientific expertise flavoured by mysticism, Emmanuel Swedenborg, (Jan 29th); quirkiness and eccentricity, William Burroughs, (Feb 5th); their revolutionary spirit and message of unity, Bob Marley, (Feb 9th); being astronomer-astrologers who turn the world upside down Galileo, (Feb 16th; Copernicus (Feb 19th); and as ‘the fathers of science fiction’ Jules Verne, (Feb 8th, 1828).
I always remember also that one Aquarian quality is that they will talk to anybody and everybody irrespective of their social origins as with British film-maker Derek Jarman (Jan 31st, 1942). I almost made it his film team- he offered me a job on the spot having only me the same day. He was making the lyric film The Angelic Conversation (1985) and needed a driver. They are enablers of possibilities. So they exemplify a kind democratic spirit while paradoxically also being snobs – each zodiac has a shadow after all, in this case Leo, their opposite sign. It is a full and brimming heart they keep at arm’s length preferring solitude or friendships: marriage is not exactly their style.
They are the kind of people who embrace the dystopia and yet could applaud censorship of others, perhaps thinking that censorship will never apply to them? Until the jack boot squashes them in turn. The line from Orwell’s Animal Farm comes to mind where the pigs on the farm say: All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others. Utopias often contain a good deal of hypocrisy which Uranian characters are good at spotting. Jarman was also an activist for gay rights as is Peter Tatchell (Jan 25th) another strong Aquarian, so human rights tends to be high on their very busy agendas.
They are said to like cold, hard facts and be unemotional, especially if you have Moon in Aquarius. But this I feel is to malign this placement. It does not make them autistic or lacking in emotional intelligence as it can be mellowed out by other placements. Moon or Ascendant in Aquarius is philosophical and able to see patterns across time. They see the need for levels of detachment and self-observation practice in human life as recommended by Buddhists and meditators. The storm of emotions can entangle us into a vortex of attachments and increase confusion and suffering. Moon in Aquarius just says ‘Stop. let’s think about it first; let’s ask what does all this mean?’ There is this outer planet energy to Aquarians -not just a bird’s eye view of everything but an intergalactic perspective wholly unrooted to the Earth and just beyond ordinary concerns; and this can make them seem unhuman in their humanity. They love the idea of people more than the people themselves.
It may also make the native of Aquarius somewhat avant-garde and fun to watch as you don’t know what they will do or say next as Aquarius, at least in modern astrology, is ruled by Uranus. So we’d also expect them to be a tad revolutionary, or have a spark of breakthrough energy zapped with electricity, or at the very least to be unpredictable. Many of them do have these qualities and this period end of January early February is a zeitgeist as outer and inner planets congregate around the middling degrees of the zodiac sign. This is asking us: where do we need intelligence, humanity, universal principles, friendship and common ideals in our lives? This is a great time to think (and rethink, since Mercury retrogrades here from Jan 30th) about these values perhaps coming to some startling new conclusions.
TRIPLE WHAMMY: SUN-MOON & ASCENDANT AQUARIANS
So in search of the purest rarest form of Aquarius, I found two examples who are more Aquarian than thou from whom we can learn to stand out from the crowd yet still be just ever so ordinary. The triangulation of the Sun, Moon, and Ascendant is super important in astrology as it outlines the body, heart and soul purpose of the person. So imagine having all three in the same sign? This gives his heavy concentration of the new-fangled and progressive quirks.
Before Burroughs came along there was a very distinctive writer of Dutch origin but living in France- Joris Karl Huysmans, born February 5th, 1859. He has this triangulation of Sun, Moon, and Ascendant in Aquarius. He also had a grand water trine of Saturn in Pisces, Jupiter in Cancer and Chiron is Scorpio.
He wrote a singular book called ‘Against Nature (1884) or ‘Against the Grain’. It describes a character Des Esseintes, a scholarly hedonist and experimenter with his own self development. Here’s what a contemporary critic said: “What makes M. Huysmans’ books so valuable to us is that, in studying himself, he has discovered some of the traits — and the most disquieting ones — of contemporary sensibility.” In other words within the individual lies the universal, which is fodder for the Utopians, and so very Aquarian. Des Esseintes in this novel has tastes so refined and rare he can find no fellow human his equal to share them. This book inspired Oscar Wilde to cultivate himself to being the rarest orchid and stand out from the crowd. The book establishes an attitude so ideal, so out of reach of ordinary people, it is set determinedly against anything natural- hence the title.
Some people joke the Aquarian is an Aqueerian, as that is the Uranian stamp of uniqueness and originality but astrology is not that tidy- queerness can be found in any sign or combination and Aquarius does not hold the monopoly in that domain. However, I did find it neat that the one person who is a triple Aquarius – Sun, Moon and Ascendant, who has this concentrated Aquarian pill, was Havelock Ellis. His Chiron and Mercury were both also in Aquarius. Ellis was the unconventional author and doctor who wrote about sexuality in all its forms as natural and was the first to use healthy people as cases even though sex was still psycho-pathologised. His work was controversial in 1897 when homosexuality was still classed as a ‘perversion’ and as ‘inversion’, but ask anyone who has Venus in Aquarius how much naughtiness and kink they can tolerate? Or those with Venus in Scorpio even, more tightly controlled? Kink is not the province of Aquarius alone but in Aquarius it may give it a more impersonal flavour to the exploration of inventive ways of performing consensual acts.
Ellis was the writer most cited by Sigmund Freud, and he is still cited in the 21st Century. He started a movement that eventually lead to towards same-sex being at least considered worth of study and attention. This helped towards it being decriminalized in most countries. Ellis, although not homosexual himself, was clearly open-minded, homo-friendly, somewhat of a Utopian, way ahead of his time- another Aquarian stand out trait- committed to changing the public perception of sex from Victorian mores into a more 21st century-style view. Interesting that his asteroid Eros was at zero ° of Sagittarius in the 9th House so sex was his quest for knowledge for life. But on the darker side, he was also a Eugenicist and had ideas on racial cleansing so we have to weigh up the progressive with the retrogressive sides of the Aquarian character. They stand in uneasy balance, yet the pure Aquarian flair is clear.
Science Fiction, Inner Space Exploration and Chariklo
While we think that Aquarians are the ultimate Science Fiction afficionados, with their heads in starclouds but one cool shift in perception is to think more in terms of asteroids, specifically Chariklo, (Χαρικλώ) a female centaur. Science Fiction writers show up in all signs, so that is not the point, yet it was true that Aquarian Jules Verne was dubbed ‘father of Science Fiction’. This connection with Chariklo is unexpected but makes more sense the more you think about it. Science Fiction is often called ‘Inner Space’ Fiction as it charts the realms of the imagination and some prefer the term ‘inter-dimensional’ beings to ‘extra-terrestial.’ Some of the work of Doris Lessing and especially Philip K. Dick can be read as Inner space. Valis for example is not full of E.T.s and flying saucers but an unsolicited flood of Gnosticism into the brain. Chariklo shows up as prominent in the charts of numerous Science Fiction writers including Dick, Ursula Le Guin, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Kurt Vonnegut, Samuel R. Delany and Roger Zelazny.
Chariklo, one of the few asteroids with rings, was known as the wife of Chiron which already elevates her to a kind of Queen of the healing arts. With her there is something ineffable and attempts to describe the indescribable can be challenging and not much is known in the literature. She is likened to the ‘ground’ of being. It also shows up frequently in the charts of characters in Star Trek including Gene Rodenberry, its creator, and many of the actors involved in the first series. Dr. Spoc played by Leonard Nimmoy by the way is the classic Aquarian who needs a heart to make him whole.
Chariklo is the ‘stand by me’ energy, where presence alone can heal, and abiding, holding ground, stillness and deep meditation are the themes. She is otherwise without obvious characteristics , but clearly there is a deep outer space presence, like channeling energy from the beyond- so perhaps Aquarians are more likely to sense this first than other signs unless you have Chariklo in that sign- Astrodienst can help you locate where Chariklo is in your chart. Just enter 10199.
Her Sabian symbol from the discovery chart is “The constellation of stars shines to man’s common humanity and to all enduring archetypes.” This is the pure energy from the outer limits. Chariklo’s orbit is actually between Saturn and Uranus -the two planets squaring three times in 2021. This makes her a strategic player in the integration of seemingly opposed energies. She brings an unusual level of awareness, healing and compassion. Chariklo is still in late Capricorn and was closely-knit to Saturn-Pluto-Jupiter stellium throughout 2020. What is very exciting is that Chariklo is about to move into Aquarius on January 27th and will be at the zero degree point that Jupiter-Saturn conjunction was at on December 21st 2020. This is enormous. It combines with a full moon in Leo. Watching the (outer)space she occupies will be a revelation during 2021 as she follows the path that Saturn and Jupiter have already traversed.
Quirky Aquarians: Honorable Mentions
It wouldn’t be possible to cover the myriad of the Aquarian traits but there are a few honorable mentions for the unique qualities sun-sign Aquarians all seem to have. For support of revolutionary action for humanity, Thomas Paine (Jan 29th) whose writings Common Sense and The Rights of Man still stand the test of time as spoken in the vernacular about the equality of all human beings, and to drive on about their rights and freedoms because no one ever had done that before. He was the first radical pamphleteer and a supreme example of being spokesman of the people with the Sun conjunct Jupiter in Aquarius when he said “My country is the world, and to do good my religion.” He was a Quaker, anti-monarchist, anti-clerical and vigorously anti-authoritarian. He managed to come from nothing and influence not one, but two, world revolutions, the American and the French. Hence, he was accused of iconoclasm which is a word associated with the planet Uranus which was discovered around that time in 1781 just as Benjamin Franklin (Sagittarius) was experimenting with lightning bolts and discovering about electricity.
My guess is that Thomas Paine would be totally outraged at what is happening to the undermining of human rights, and the uneven, near-abusive relationship between people and the government in 2020-21. Even Christopher Hitchens called Paine correctly ‘Promethean’ because he brought the fire and Rick Tarnas firmly placed the myth of Prometheus as the authentic archetype of Uranus. But that Uranus has a hybrid valency somehow does not surprise.
Several other Aquarians deserve to be remembered: For writing so vividly about child poverty, class divisions and social injustice was Charles Dickens ( Feb 7th); his books are still read and loved and while Britain has modernized, the divisions he portrayed still linger unresolved. Actress Vanessa Redgrave ( Jan 30th) stands out for brave and luminous performances and for her controversial activism which got her banned from Broadway for many years. And for sheer lunatic energy on screen, and ability to drink anyone under the table was Oliver Reed (Feb 13th) who has a pub in Valetta, Malta in honour of his last drink. They called him the last of the great ‘hellraisers’. Finally, one of the coolest, most soothing voices is that of Roberta Flack (Feb 10th ) another Aquarian that did not fit the mold questioning the establishment in Compared to What?
For melodious pure clean musical compositions that poured out of him like milk and honey was of course, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Jan 27th) but he also dared to reveal Masonic secrets embedded into the songspiel of Die Zauberflaute -The Magic Flute (1791). And who could forget the first ever poet -almost touted as a rock star before rock stars were invented- Lord Byron (Ja 22nd). Handsome, daring, sexually experimental and with a bit of a warrior streak in him that lead to his death fighting for the liberty of the Albanians against the Ottoman empire, Byron lives on today as one of the great Romantic heroes.
The Challenge of 2021
2021 has three squares of Jupiter and Uranus- this is like a hybrid force of building and conserving with breaking through and electrifying. And who represents this tension between the two rulers of Aquarius -Uranus and Saturn- another great Aquarian, Johnny Rotten (January 31st ). He was a fierce a true punk as any who existed in 1977 when the Sex Pistols’ Anarchy in the UK swept the nation. Rotten had a voice that epitomized the raw anger and scorn for the authorities and it touched the zeitgeist full on. For a while he carried the sins of the entire country in a shamanic role, shamed by the news dailies who attacked him. His Chiron is in Aquarius so this placement and Uranus on the Ascendant often leads to that ‘cut off from the group’ experience and the blow the lid off effect with Pholus conjunct Chiron.
Yet he has morphed into a crunchy old conservative – the very embodiment of how to be truculent and cantankerous. Somehow this is not inconsistent; these two energies can either rule the Aquarian native at the beginning of life or the end, so it can go either way -phasing in and out as needed. Saturn is the traditional ruler and Uranus the modern. Aquarians grow up conservative only to become rebels in old age, or start out as rebels and age slowly into anarcho-conservatives. So perhaps with Chariklo bridging the divide, we can begin to see where these opposed energies can fuse together?
Where will all this Aquarian energy go? Once it is done with awakening everyone to the prison they didn’t realise they lived in, it may split our consciousness, bifurcating like a lightning rod and flashing sudden light in the dark on all that we perceive. It will gradually disperse from its concentrated form and morph into Pisces on the 18th February. Sometimes these qualities in signs overlap as progressed planets move into the following sign. Mercury which is exalted in Aquarius, goes back over all the territory of Aquarius back to 11 degrees were the stellium most congregated, so none of what is happening is over yet. Mercury only goes direct on February 22nd not leaving Aquarius until March 16th.
What is Mercury in Aquarius like? Very forthright in views, knowledgeable, well researched, sharp to express itself quite likely in the political and social arena. They like to share information with others. Their minds are like a computer that can process large amounts of data. They can speak to the masses in an accessible way so it is a great place for Mercury to be.
The words of Bob Marley are a good place to end this contemplation on all things Aquarian. This is best listened loud and with an open heart. Its plangent tone will then give sonic resonance to the anthem of the Aquarians as they see the system is broken and ask ‘do you feel the electricity in the air?’ as freedom may be in danger.
These songs of freedom?
‘Cause all I ever have
© Kieron Devlin, Proteus Astrology, January 23rd, 2021.
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