The Aquarius Archetype: Unrestrained Originality

The 12 signs of the zodiac represent the energies of the human psyche. Starting with Aries and culminating with Pisces, they describe the archetypal journey through the developmental process. Each of us has a unique mandala of our soul that contains all of these energies and so, everyone has the unusual, extraordinary energy of Aquarius somewhere in their psyche. Understanding the essence of this energy provides us with clues about how we think, imagine, set ourselves apart, and even how we fit in, particularly in the area of life that is represented by each person’s natal placement.

Though the symbol for Aquarius is the water bearer, this is not watery energy! Rather, as we attempt to unravel the complexity that is Aquarius we enter into the realm of the intellect; fixed in terms of modality and airy in terms of element, partnered with  Taurus, Leo, and Scorpio by mode & Gemini & Libra by element. Formerly, Aquarius was linked to Saturn but since the discovery of Uranus, it has been linked in a primary sense to that planet. When doing an astrological analysis, it is important to consider both the present-day ruler, Uranus, and the sub-ruler, Saturn. It is in the natural 11th house of the horoscope where we find Aquarius.



Some of the archetypes are:

The Thinker: “Cogito, ergo sum…”

“I think, therefore, I am…”

Rene Descartes



The Visionary: “The visionary starts with a clean sheet of paper & re-imagines the world…”

Malcolm Gladwell




The Futurist: ” the best way to predict the future is to design it…”

Buckminster Fuller



The Revolutionary:The hopeless don’t revolt, because revolution is an act of hope.”

Peter Kropotkin
(interestingly, this fellow was born on February 8)





The Community Activist: “Most activism is brought about by us ordinary people.”

Patricia Hill Collins



The Technocrat: She, who believes that technology will create the necessary miracle that will propel the human race into its inevitable future.



The Egalitarian Dictator: “follow your own directives as long as they are in line with mine…”




All energies can express in both LIGHT and SHADOW. In fact, it is the Shadow that teaches us how to find the Light. If we understand the shadow parts of ourselves, we can create strategies to integrate shadow so that it is more reflective, more light-filled, more externally oriented. It is when we deny or repress our shadow selves that we can actually lose the potential for Light. Shadow creeps. That is the nature of SHADOW. Over time, if care is not taken, shadow can fill every corner of one’s psyche.

One of the Shadow sides of Aquarius is fracture, a breaking apart of that which could be whole. If you work with the Tarot, take a look at the Tower card. The seemingly solid structure of the Tower is being shattered by an unexpected force represented in some decks as a lightning bolt. Aquarius can manifest in this way within the psyche, a sudden insight that sweeps you off your feet, a jolt to all that you thought you knew that creates a reversal of fortune. A moment so earth-shattering that cognitive dissonance ensues, leaving one in the grips of confusion, dislocation, chaos. But, remember, the other side of the shadow is LIGHT. Shadow, by its presence, demonstrates that light is there, to be found.

The key is to be willing to consider the message and not kill the messenger! This sense of inside out-ness, upside down-ness is only reinforced with a reactive response to whatever is being shaken. Ego always wants to preserve that which it knows, even when it is something that may not be ideal. The known quality is the comfortable one–for EGO. We can see this play out in real terms when we find ourselves in situations that are less than desirable and yet we are either unable or unwilling to leave those situations because that which is unknown seems more frightening than that which we know. It is for this very reason that evolution is painstaking, slow, and often interrupted. The self is blindfolded and walking through an unknown landscape in search of the soul. But this is exactly the point! The soul calls us to seek healing. Healing is based on finding ways to integrate, to create a sense of wholeness. In Shamanism, the skillful shaman travels into the underworld to retrieve pieces of soul that have splintered off. He brings them back to the person who needs the retrieval. This is a beautiful representation of the process that we, as astrologer shamans, can undertake by exploring ourselves via the astrological method. We can dive into the underworld of our personal psyches, face the demons that lurk therein and locate those elements of ourselves, the fractured pieces of our soul, that have been lost because of the traumas that we have endured. And we have all suffered trauma.  Trauma is not relative. It is unique to each individual. One person’s trauma does not eclipse any other person’s trauma.

(And, I want to emphasize here, that one does not have to be a so-called “qualified’ astrologer to enter into this process. The beautiful, wonderful thing about astrology is that it is useful to ANYONE who delves into it at whatever level of expertise they have. Even just understanding a tiny bit about one’s own solar or ‘sun’ sign can lead to tremendous insight into the self.)


So, in Aquarius, we come face to face with our individual fracture, unearth the traumas that have contributed to that fracture and, most importantly, find the means to heal from those traumas. Leo is the polarity (opposite) energy to Aquarius & it is in Leo that we locate the sublime self, the uniqueness of the individual, the heart of humanity. It is through total acceptance of who we are, warts & all, complete love & forgiveness that we find not only ourselves but the tribe to which we belong.


This is also the energy of the grand intellect. It is the future that beckons from afar. If you have ever had an inspiration that seemed to have come out of nowhere, the Aquarian part of you was probably involved in some way.

A shadowy side to this future-oriented energy is the improper use of technology. We are entering a time when we, as a collective, must make difficult choices about how we interface with technology. The shape of our future as humans depends on our working mindfully with the advances that are currently being made. It’s happening. What remains to be seen is how far it will reach into our personal existence; how will it enhance or detract from our essential humanness. In Aquarius, we face the delicate issues of what it actually means to BE human. With Saturn in Aquarius now setting the stage, along with Jupiter, & Pluto soon to be entering into this energy, we will not avoid the questions that will inevitably present themselves. The choices are already being made, with more to come. Will we keep our digital devices? Will we discard them? Will we implant them into our flesh? Will we?

Aquarius also calls us to be unique. Individualism is born in Aquarius. Interestingly, the call to individualism ultimately leads us into community, a sense of family based on shared interests born out of that core uniqueness. When we set ourselves apart, think for ourselves, we begin to seek those others who have also set themselves apart and begun to think for themselves. In the final analysis, we are tribal creatures in search of the tribe that is uniquely ours. That is the community part of Aquarius.

If you were born at the end of January and into the first half of February, you are that quirky, relentlessly unique individual who can call herself an Aquarius. Your season is the bridge time between Solstice and Equinox, known as ‘the cross-quarter time’. You know how to build connections between the old and the new, the seed and the stem, the beginning, and the middle.

But you don’t have to have a birthday in Jan/Feb to demonstrate Aquarian traits. If you have this energy at any one of your cardinal houses, the ascendant, the IC, the descendant, and the MC, you march to the beat of your own internal drummer. If you have an active, heavily aspected Uranus, you know how to think for yourself. You see things in a way that is NOT usual. Strongly Aquarian types probably feel varying degrees of frustration cyclically. When everyone else sees a circle, they see a square. And yes, it is a square, but just try and tell everyone else that! If any one of your personal planets is found in Aquarius, you will approach life in an Aquarian way in that part of your psyche which is demonstrated by the placement.




Here are a few thoughts on individual planets in Aquarius:

The Moon in Aquarius:      

Cool, calm, and collected; always in control—maybe a tad too much at times; able to navigate emotional dramas with a skill that far surpasses the rest of us. You need to work on your heart chakra and open yourself to the energy of love so that your natural fellow feeling is amplified and strengthened. Once you are able to navigate emotional territory without shuddering, you can become the rudder for others as they navigate the very same emotional territory. Great energy for the mediator.

Mercury in Aquarius:           Innovative, out of the box thinker; able to make connections that the rest of us can never find. You are the genius of the Zodiac. You have to monitor your freewheeling intellect so that the rest of us can catch up to you. Possibly a tad too much in your head from time to time. Remember to include emotions.

Venus in Aquarius:  You can love just about anyone and anything. Distinctions do not bother you. In fact, they tantalize you. The bigger the difference, the better for you. You love approaching ethical situations from every point of view except the accepted one. You have the capacity to challenge the status quo and bring in new ways of understanding the world we live in. Egalitarian to the core! Your challenge is to make it more personal with those select few who have penetrated your cool exterior.

Mars in Aquarius:    Jack of all trades and also, master of many! Clever and capable, able to learn how to do things quickly and easily. You are indiscriminate when it comes to getting things done. Whatever works is what you will use. Non-judgmental, inclusive, able to work well with others or go it on your own. There could be a tendency to get lost in the possibilities while not paying attention to daily reality. You must watch your electrolytes because you can run on empty for much longer than the rest of us.   

Wherever you have Aquarius in your birth mandala, this is where you may manifest that quirky, unique, individualistic part of yourself. And it is vital that you do so. Aquarius will take you into your own potential. It will guide you into the brilliance that you can be. Follow the breadcrumbs into the shining parts of your soul force. Be unique. Be singular. Find your tribe!

If Aquarius is found in your 1st house:

You like to do things in your own way and at your own pace. You know how to take the lead but not because you want to be a leader. You are able to approach situations with innovation and adaptability. Watch out for a tendency to be ornery just for the sake of it!

2nd house:

You need to create a unique set of values. It isn’t easy for you to go along with your ancestors’ point of view unless you first make it yours. Money is a tool, not a commodity for you so you might find that you go through cycles of prosperity and cycles of want.




3rd house:     

Communication is universal for you. You need to be able to understand EVERYONE and you would like everyone to understand you. Innovative and creative when it comes to intellectual pursuits, you might have to slow down a bit so that the rest of us can catch up.




4th house:

At the core of your being, you are completely and utterly one of a kind. Family for you is based on a commonality of philosophy more than genealogy. Emotionally independent for the most part, watch that you do not detach yourself from others to the point of no return. Your job is to keep it personal with those that you need to keep it personal with.

5th house:

You need a measure of independence when it comes to romance. Creative, and prolifically so for the most part. There is a uniqueness in the way you express yourself so depending on the rest of your chart, you could be an artist that cuts a new path societally.





6th house:

You prefer to create your own work habits and your approach to the day to day is singular. You know how to work independently and how to set your own time schedules when it comes to completing projects. Inventive? You bet! Work on being focused.

7th house:

Relationship is like a book that has yet to be written for you. Conventional ways of relating make you want to pull your hair out. If it’s weird, you can handle it. If there are rules, you want to get up and leave. The thing that is the most seductive to you is anything that doesn’t conform to predetermined codes of conduct. Keep them guessing is your motto. You will probably be drawn to quirky kinds of people.


8th house:

You can be fearless when it comes to the mysteries of life. Nothing can stop you when it comes to exploring secrets both within yourself and others. If something doesn’t make sense, you will keep trying to make sense out of it until you do. Nothing shocks you when it comes to the underbelly of why people do the things that they do. Because of your ability to detach, you can be a real facilitator to those who are experiencing trauma.

9th house:

You are intoxicated with all that you have yet to discover. Strangeness does not phase you and you prefer the company of those who you do not yet know intimately. Always ready to go one step further than the rest, you are an intrepid traveler both literally and philosophically. You enjoy challenging yourself with cutting edge ideas and approaches to being alive.

10th house:

You have the ability to create new strategies both personally and socially. You can inspire others to step outside the lines, to be unconventional, to challenge the status quo. Because you have the vision to see a possible future, you can be a leader when it comes to changing things. If something is established but you can see that it is no longer working, you have the courage and insight to put a new plan into action. There can be a tendency to rebuff the traditional so watch out that you don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.


11th house:

You love the tribe. Community is something that is a core motivational force for you. What you want is a new kind of community, a different way of being part of a group. You are a revolutionary, a one of a kind activist when you find the thing that makes you want to fight for the right!

12th house:

The depth of your psyche is a weird and wonderful playground. Often able to pull up memories that come from other times and even other psyches, you are not afraid to be alone with your own thoughts. There is always something new to discover deep within yourself. Complicated and yet strangely simple, they broke the mold after they made you!


Aquarius is the flavor of the future. As we shake off the last vestiges of the Piscean age, we sense that something wonderful and exhilarating is just a breath away. The egalitarian energy of Aquarius promises us equality, justice, and truth. Do we have the capacity to embrace the nobility of that promise? Can we build something that will be fair for all? I guess we are about to find out!

The big transit this year is Jupiter & Saturn moving through Aquarius. The Great Conjunction of December 21, 2020 kicked this journey off, giving it added significance.

Jupiter in Aquarius is about Justice for all, Truth, Equality, Fraternity, Liberty.

With Saturn also transiting thru this energy, gravitas is included in the mix. The God of time-based reality demands that a solid foundation be put into place for any new enterprise. We are reminded to do a thorough review of anything that we want to establish in our lives. Aspiration must be accompanied by some hard-nosed accounting of a cost/benefit analysis. Is this a reasonable goal for me, is a good question to ask yourself before embarking on a project.

The shadow side of Aquarius is at play just as much as the hope-filled side. We see the collective fracturing in ways that, even a year ago were unimaginable. However, after fracture comes reparation. Nothing is broken forever. As part of the collective, we must all do our own individual part to repair what has been broken in our own lives. The Polarity energy for Aquarius is Leo, the part of the wheel that celebrates ‘the ONE’. Many ‘ones’ make up the whole so lend your own unique skills to creating healing however YOU can.

This coming year will be overlaid with the flavour of Aquarius, both LIGHT & SHADOW. This is an energy that can take us into a most glorious future, one filled with humanity, universal love, a spirit of egalitarianism & equity. It is the binding of the collective consciousness at the highest of vibrational levels; the place where we find our common song, one that we can share without hatred, malice, or enmity.

We must be on the watch for the SHADOW. It can creep up on us & enfold us in darkness. Seek commonality rather than difference. Work hard to create a bridge of understanding even with your enemies. We are here for a short time. This is merely a way station. Do not become so enthralled with your own point of view that you are not able to see another point of view. It’s not worth it to lose your connection to those who are sharing this journey with you. Certainly, be sovereign, but recognize that you are not the only sovereign individual who is part of this pack we call the HUMAN RACE.

Embrace the Aquarian part of your nature & reach out your hand to your brothers & sisters in arms!