How do you describe the intangible Aquarius?

Aquarius is so intangible so I thought what better representation could it have than a bunch of cotton candy clouds??! [Illustration by me via Procreate Pocket]

I know I’ve written a lot about Aquarius lately, but I just can’t help it. I think I’m starting to really understand Aquarius energy on an intimate level and I just want to shout it from the rooftops.

Some have stated (I have stated) that Aquarius is the zodiac’s mad scientist, experimenting with anything and everything under the sun, questioning every truth we think we know and rebelling against conventional wisdom. That is somewhat true. But as I’ve done more research over the past few months, I’ve started to think Aquarius might actually be a lot more conventional than a lot of astrologers tend to give it credit for.

Modern astrologers say that Aquarius is ruled by Uranus, Pisces is ruled by Neptune and Scorpio is ruled by Pluto. Traditionally, Aquarius was ruled by Saturn, Pisces was ruled by Jupiter and Pluto was ruled by Mars, but as the later planets were discovered, astrologers assigned them signs to rule. If you think of Aquarius as Uranus-ruled, it’s easy to understand why people would say it’s such an unconventional sign. Uranus is all about sudden change and radicalism, after all, so it’s easy to focus on the weird aspects of Aquarius when you think of it from that point of view.

But when you think of it as Saturn-ruled, it actually makes a lot more sense as its own sign. I think before, in a way, I was likening its weirdness to Pisces. But that I think creates a fundamental misunderstanding of what Aquarius truly is.

What it is is an energy that’s fully aware of the parameters society and big institutions — like government and businesses — have in place (institutions are ruled by Capricorn, the other Saturn-ruled sign that comes right before Aquarius in the zodiac). Aquarius energy doesn’t just rebel for the sake of rebelling, though. It knows what society it’s in. It knows what the rules are.

But when it comes to improving the existing rules, or asking the questions about society that no one else seems to consider, it doesn’t think twice. As an air sign, it can see things clearly for what they should be and move towards those goals without the self doubt that a Cancer or Pisces or even a Virgo would feel.

It challenges the rules, but not just for the sake of doing so. It has better ideas and a better vision about how to create new rules.

One of my friends is an Aquarius and he’s really helped me understand the sign a lot better. He’s not afraid of taking risks, he doesn’t get discouraged if he messes up at something — sometimes I think he enjoys it, actually — and he is always posing ridiculous, hypothetical questions to me and my Cancer friend that make us go, “what the fuck?” As a neurotic Virgo moon, it can be hard for me to let go sometimes, but he inspires me to be more fearless and to just try things sometimes without worrying.

One more thing for a deeper understanding of Aquarius — it helps if you think of it as a fixed sign and line it up with the other fixed signs in the zodiac.

Leo, the fixed fire sign, is a constant burning fire that can’t help but express itself boldly without running out of steam. Scorpio, the fixed water sign, might keep its emotions close to its chest, but you better believe there’s always emotionality brooding under the surface. And Taurus, the fixed earth sign, pretty much always wants its feet firmly planted on the ground.

So think of Aquarius as fixed intellectualism. As easy as it is for Leos to express themselves, for Scorpios to feel things deeply and for Taureans to remain a steady force, it is for Aquarius to see the way the world could be, to quote “Hadestown,” one of my favorite musicals.

So as the sun makes it way through Aquarius from now through March 20, and as Jupiter, Saturn and even Mercury make their way through this air sign over the next few months, let’s all to keep in mind the way the world could be — in spite of the way that it is.

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