Learn About: Aquarius

Dispenser of Winter's Watery Wisdom

Dispenser of Winter's Watery Wisdom

One of the first things Vettius Valens says of Aquarius? The sign is "quite cold."

Traditionally said to be ruled by Saturn, and to be the favored domicile of the Old Goat, the Lord of the Rings, the Elder Ancestor... Saturn is an cold and distant planet and in Aquarius it's just a little bit more colder and a little bit further away than in Capricorn.

We're talking "slightly damp" cold here, by the way. It's giving a kind of old man by the sea / lighthouse-keeper kinda thing, if you ask me.

Saturn, was associated with the Golden Age when nobody toiled for food. Aquarius, sign of the Water-bearer, is proof then that Saturn ultimately does know how to make it rain.

Everybody's Favorite Misanthrope

The Palace of the Old Goat

and the Salty Icy Tomb of Valens

Vettius Valens's Anthologies have what read on first pass like some of the most devastating takes on the signs that you'll ever find. Leave it to our boy Vettius Valens, keeping it frosty and real like an OG Aquarius would.

In Anthologies (trans. Riley), he says of Aquarius people:

"Men born under this sign are malicious, haters of their own families, incorrigible, self-willed, deceitful, tricky, concealing everything, misanthropic, godless, accusers, betrayers of reputations and the truth..."

Let's break this down because not only is this epic salt shaker full of shade one of our oldest astrological takes on the sign, there are a few bits in here that aren't as actually as salty as they seem at first take.

...deceitful, tricky...

That's Mercury as triplicity lord. Can’t forget that Mercury also has the middle decan of the sign as well as the first term. Mercury has a lot of sway, influence, and responsibility in this sign.

In the Orphic Hymns, Hermes is said to delight in both deceit as well as trickery. Our crossroads loving They is equally a patron of merchants and thieves. Just let that one sink in.

In my personal experience, an Aquarius is equally willing to consort with anyone that meets their own personal moral code. Even the two words themselves point to a whole lot in the unspoken middle. Trickery is not deceit. Not always, at least. An Aquarius is the one equally likely to see the gray area in the middle, as to scrutinize one's exact positionality within in.

Case in point...

Betrayers of reputation and the truth.

I think this is accurate. And it's all in how you read that line. Granted, I can't (yet) read the ancient Greek. But what I'm thinking here is that this line could honestly go either way.

An Aquarius person who leans toward deceit betrays the truth with falsehood.

On the other hand, an Aquarius who delights in trickery might be perfectly willing to play participant to betraying a reputation through their use of the truth, i.e. betraying reputations with the truth.

I’ve never met an Aquarius person who was inclined to do any more face-saving than was required for survival.

The combination of fixed sign, airy rational detachment, and Saturn + Mercury as the most dominant planetary flavors I think you find Aquarius folks are the type who take the integrity and the veracity of their word to be of primary importance. So, whatever their own personal morals happen to be, they’ll stick to those regardless of whether the truth costs another person their reputation.

Watch Bear on The Astrology Podcast Aquarius episode!

Bear's got plenty more to say about Aquarius. You can watch him join Chris Brennan and astrologer Aerin Fogel to discuss Aquarius in Astrology throughout the tradition.

Sign of the Silent Sentry

aka Saturn

Aquarius is the diurnal and airy domicile of Saturn. You can read more about the planet Saturn here:

Learn About Saturn in Astrology
Planet of limits, boundaries, and firm foundations.

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Bear Ryver is a professional astrologer helping his clients hone strategies for grounded growth and embodied empowerment by bringing them back to the BASICS. Winner of OPA’s Most Promising Astrologer in 2018, Bear has lectured at conferences like NORWAC and ISAR. He holds certifications in Hellenistic, Electional, and Horary astrology, and specializes in Intersectional Astrology. He was a teacher for the Portland School of Astrology, and has volunteered as a mentor for AFAN. When he’s not talking stars, or pulling cards, you can find him climbing rocks and playing guitar.