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THE SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC

AQUARIUS

People born from January 21 to February 20, or those who have the sign Aquarius rising at birth (which can be ascertained only through a knowledge of the hour of birth), come under the dominion of the airy, fixed, humanitarian sign Aquarius.

The symbol of Aquarius, a man pouring water from an urn, indicates graphically the childlike tendency to give, of those who are undeveloped, and the love of imparting knowledge by those who have reached self-control under this sign.

Aquarius, being the cherubic sign attributed to air, represents that element in its most static form. In this sign Uranus rules unchallenged. In the attributes of the cherubim, Aquarius represents The Man, and this quality, blended with the attributes of its ruler, establishes a strong sympathy between the native of this sign and the interests of humanity at large. There is nothing eccentric about Aquarius; the static air of the sign calms Uranus, whose humanitarianism inspires the native to become the advance guard of mankind.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

People of this sign seem to be a little ahead of their fellows in an all-round way. It is natural to them to live on a slightly higher plane, and the effect of all this upon {161} their physical appearance is to give them a look of remoteness. The average man is impressed by the appearance of the Aquarian. It is too much to say that an instinctive reverence is felt for the type; the feeling is better expressed by saying that people seem to recognize in him an elder brother.

The skull is broad in proportion to its length, unless modified by some planetary action. The hair is rather remarkable in possessing a peculiar glint suggesting the play of sunshine upon it; it tends to be curly, and often becomes gray even in youth. The face is long and oval, with flat planes, like those of other cherubic signs. The forehead is very broad, with an expression of benevolence, and the power of profound thought. In general, the eyes are set widely apart; they are hazel in color, or perhaps gray, with a slight tendency towards blue, but their expression is totally different from that of the gray-blue eye characteristic of Mercury, which is so hard and cold. These eyes, on the contrary, are large and luminous, full of understanding, with exceedingly quick apprehension and liveliness, and in most cases they positively beam with kindness. The nose is not extreme in any respect, neither too long nor too short, neither too thin nor too broad, but occasionally we see the type of nose which we recognize instinctively as inquisitive. The mouth is of medium size with a tendency to be somewhat thin-lipped, and the chin is the regular cherubic chin; not so heavy as Scorpio, not so aggressive as Leo, not so determined as Taurus, but keeping a somewhat happy mean between these various extremes. Moderation is indeed characteristic of Aquarius in every respect. It is rare to see marked departure from the main type. It has a kind of quiet {162} strength which resists any but the most powerful planetary influences. This is perhaps more the case than with any other sign. The body presents little opportunity for description, being moderate in every way. We do not find immense strength or robustness and we do not find many examples of puniness. Everything is well proportioned. The same remarks apply to the actual strength developed. The capacity for physical endurance is not so great as that of any of the other three cherubic sings. Aquarius, more than they, lives by moral rather than by physical assistance. The native seems to be actually ill when he is not hard at work. Such work, however, must always be inspired by an idea. One cannot think of this native as toiling, even with the mind, for no good beyond material reward. It would require some extraordinary affliction of Saturn to bring an Aquarian to the level of earth. At the same time, he does not shirk physical toil, unless he is weakened in some way. Venus rising might do something of the sort, as in the case of Alfred de Musset, or the Moon and Neptune rising, as in the case of Robert Louis Stevenson and W. B. Yeats. Even the Moon alone might produce a certain fragility. We do not find exceedingly virile or effeminate types in this sign. The tendency is rather to modification of the sex, so that Aquarian men have a considerable flavor of femininity; Aquarian women, of masculinity.

Aquarius rules the calves of the leg, the ankles, teeth, and circulation, and, sympathetically, the heart, throat and organs of generation; he also has influence over all vessels of the body which contain fluid, particularly the lymphatic system. One may say indeed that the lymphatic {163} temperament is characteristic of this sign. Generally speaking, the native experiences very little trouble in the matter of health. His tendency is to lead an equable, temperate life, so that he is not likely to do anything which might sow the seeds of any fatal malady. If Stevenson seems to be an exception to this rule, the Moon, lady of the sixth house, rising in conjunction with Neptune in Pisces, shows his congenital predisposition to tuberculosis. But the Sun, in conjunction with Mars, gave him his indomitable energy to combat his physical weakness, and his Aquarian, temperate habits undoubtedly prolonged his life against serious odds. There may be a general liability to diseases of the bladder which is not, of course, one of the vessels above referred to, but because the bladder is under the rule of Scorpio (a sign which is squared by Aquarius), and possibly to such maladies as phlebitis and aneurism (the heart being under Leo, the opposing sign to Aquarius).

MORAL CHARACTERISTICS

To understand Aquarius, we can hardly do better than take the other three cherubic signs and harmonize them. The Aquarian has all their powers and qualities to some extent, but never to excess. He has the kindness of Taurus, without its blind devotion, the courage of Leo without his combative and challenging qualities, the scientific spirit of Scorpio without the passionate intensity. Aquarius is essentially the all-round man. One cannot put one's finger upon a definite lack in his character, and at the same time, one cannot say that he markedly excels in any one feature, save that of being armed at all points. {164}

This completeness of mind must be most carefully distinguished from a superficially similar quality in Gemini, for the mind is not detached from the earth and from the heavens, like that of Gemini. Aquarius is at home on all planes and never either separates them or muddles them. In fact, the great drawback of the Aquarian is his inability to specialize in this way. He rarely becomes expert in pure mathematics, because the aridity of the subject is distasteful to his humanity. Scorpio makes a much better surgeon, because Aquarius finds it difficult to regard the operation as a mere matter of cutting and tying; at the back of his mind there is always a feeling that there is a human being on the operating table. We commonly find him far more distinguished as a physician, where he can combine the patience of Taurus and the courage of Leo with the insight of Scorpio.

The genius in every department of progress is bound to be a revolutionary, for nature progresses by excesses, but Aquarius always tries to progress without upsetting existing conditions. He has a great sense of realities and does not shut his eyes to facts; but his tendency is to bring existing facts to flower by submitting them to the operations of a kindly wisdom, rather than by challenging things as they are and by breaking new ground. Thus there is never anything of the fanatic in this type. Its tolerance is both broad and deep. Its common sense can only be described as stupendous. Knowledge of the world seems natural to it, not being painfully acquired by experience, as in so many other cases. But in the imperfect condition of the human intelligence, we hardly recognize any other means of progress than by the warfare between absolutely opposing views; so controversy goes on, pitting {165} extreme against extreme, until true causes come to light and are found to be composed of various elements taken in proper proportion. Aquarius never leaves the balance.

People of extreme types of mind, particularly Scorpio, are thoroughly annoyed by the calm and moderation of the Aquarian method, and, indeed, human prejudice is so ingrained in the majority of people that it must be conceded that the world is not yet ripe for the Aquarian methods. Aquarius is too practical to be visionary, but the native often fails to command the appreciation of the average impulsive human being. There is nothing people hate so much as good advice. The natural man always wants to rush to extreme action. In fact, it is only very sensible people, people with some touch of Aquarius in their own composition, who naturally appreciate the quiet virtues of good sense.

People who fail to understand the Aquarian temperament are apt to describe them as inefficient and lacking in concentration. This is very far from being the case. The illusion is caused by the fact that the conclusions of this native are upon so broad a base. He leaves out nothing, and the rash observer is apt to suppose that he has got nothing done. If one enlarges a statue of a man by slightly increasing the entire surface of his body in due proportion, it will not seem much bigger; but if the whole of this additional material is added to the head only, the difference is very obvious. Most people like to make their advances in the latter way. One remembers the old fairy story of the people who had three wishes. The good woman used the first in wishing for some black pudding; her husband, angry at her stupidity, wished it would stick to her nose, and they were obliged to use the third wish in {166} wishing it off again. This story is very characteristic of most men and women. The Aquarian never makes this particular kind of a fool of himself.

But there is a defect in the temperament in that it finds difficulty in coping with emergencies when they really arise. There are occasions in life when the most violent action is absolutely necessary. The natural inclination of the man with a stomach ache is to adopt some violent remedy which would probably make him worse. His Aquarian counselor will save him from all this folly by telling him to be careful with his diet, to rest, to use mild correctives, to give the thing a little time. Even if the man's complaint happens to be appendicitis, this plan will usually be as good for him as anything else, but there is an occasional case of appendicitis where the man will die if he is not operated upon within a few hours, and it is very doubtful whether any Aquarian would give so drastic a counsel. The same applies to nearly all the troubles of life. The Burmese settle divorce in a very simple way. When the woman comes to the elders of the village with a complaint against her husband, they reply, “Why, certainly, this is an outrage. We shall immediately draw up the papers of divorce; kindly call around for them in three days' time.” Of course, she seldom returns. But in a case of an assault upon a wife, which may end in murder if not immediately restrained, all the wisdom of the world would fail to save the situation by counseling delay and moderation.

In undeveloped types, this defect is really a serious matter, for where wisdom is not based upon the very widest possible experience, almost every circumstance is new. The uneducated or semi-educated, with no knowledge {167} of history and with little experience of their own, are helpless in quite ordinary emergencies, even of quite trifling domestic kinds. As a rule, the mind of the Aquarian is not rapid in its action, and this may become a tendency to let things slide. The native is perfectly active and competent where he has a situation in hand, but there is no doubt that new things are apt to confuse him.

This is not by any means to say that this native is opposed to new ideas; on the contrary, he receives them gladly, but he does not go so far in his acceptance of them as the enthusiast. He tempers everything with his natural discretion. It is easy to see how the native, in spite of his exceedingly sympathetic nature, may often be unpopular for the ordinary people like the Billy Sundays and the yellow newspapers and the shrieking sisterhoods. The average man cannot appreciate anyone who does not react instantly to impression without a moment's reflection. At the same time, one is bound to admit that, in many cases, rash and even foolish action is really wiser than the wisdom of deliberation. This is not the fault of the wise, but of the foolish. We live in a world where we often have to answer a fool according to his folly. The habit of deliberation, which is right, may easily become the habit of temporizing, which is wrong. Even where this has not occurred, deliberation may sometimes look like temporizing, or even like cowardice, and Aquarius may sometimes do better to remember that “a stitch in time saves nine.”

The Aquarian native's breadth and balance, while alienating him in a sense from the petty interests of men and women, bring him closely in touch with the high ideals of humanity. He is much more interested in the cure of consumption than in the cure of consumptives; in {168} the alleviation of some economic wrong than in the relief of individual distress. He is habitually kind, make no mistake on that point, but the general welfare is so fixed in his mind that he finds it difficult to regard the particular example as anything but a special case. Sometimes, of course, an exaggeration and distortion of this quality may lead to a complete moral catastrophe, as exemplified by Robespierre, whose Ascendant, Aquarius, is corrupted by Saturn rising in Pisces, squared by Mercury, and just above Uranus and Venus. This square of Saturn and Mercury seems to have made him academic in the worse sense of the word. His moral principles, his plans for the regeneration of France, were undoubtedly sincere, but they caused him to lose sight completely of the fact that France was a country inhabited by human beings. In his zeal for humanity, he cut off many heads. This difficulty in reckoning with the individual is a very common failing of people with Aquarius rising. In previous signs, we have met people who could not see the wood for the trees; the Aquarian only too often cannot see the trees for the wood.

There is undoubtedly a certain coldness in the type. The native seems to say to himself, “most human troubles come from selfishness and exaggeration of personal feeling”; which is quite true, but humanity at large does not recognize this and is not going to recognize it for a very long time yet. Aquarius instinctively recognizes that humanity at large has not progressed to his viewpoint, and yet he often speaks and acts as if it were in the same rank with him.

Occasionally, error of judgment may result; for one thing, Aquarius is far too optimistic to suit the average mind. It would not matter so much if it were the optimism of enthusiasm, for people like fireworks; but it {169} often occurs that the native wishing to give all possible sympathy to someone who is in distress is understood by that person as merely offering vague generalities; in short, as being rather heartless. The exact contrary, of course, is the case. The fact is not only that the heart is too big to narrow itself down to a single, trivial instance, but also from his broader vision the Aquarian knows the deeper significance of sorrow or misfortune, in that, often through suffering, the soul is perfected, and he hesitates to interfere with the workings of fate.

In dealing with money, the native of Aquarius is exceptionally trustworthy. He realizes that money is only a means to an end, and values it principally for its use in facilitating those transactions which make for the welfare of the human race. He is neither generous nor mean in the ordinary sense of those words. He never flings his money about and he never hoards it, but he is usually willing to spend money when he feels that he is doing real good with it, and when he seems overcautious in dealing with it, the true reason is that he wishes to conserve his power of using it wisely. The greatest danger in the sign is its tendency towards too great optimism. We have some remarkable instances of the Aquarian temperament among authors. The style is fluent and pleasing and, therefore, likely to be popular. It is not marked by the explosive and eccentric force which must always be characteristic of the very greatest masters of thought. In England, we have Robert Louis Stevenson and John Ruskin, both men most highly endowed with the gift of adorned expression; and in the realm of poetry, William Butler Yeats. In each case, we find a singular felicity of expression, a pleasant optimism, an art of decorating {170} every subject and of pervading it with a soft and genial glow, but in no case do we find any aptitude for searching deeply into the nature of things. The philosophy of all three is gentle, poetic, optimistic, and throws a veil of glamour over any subjects that are, in their superficial aspects at least, rather unpleasant to the average man. Stevenson never loses his essential airiness, while deeper in the background is that deep-seated humanity which flowered at its fullest in his letter in defense of the memory of Father Damien.

Aquarius seems to be too superficial to produce the epoch-making writer. In general it produces the commentator on the matters of the moment, which is best fitted to make life livable, but it does not create revolutions or establish new principles. The same remarks apply to casual speech and correspondence. The conversation of the Aquarian native is pleasant, informing, dealing with subjects of real interest to well-educated minds. It is helpful in matter and cheerful manner. One will always get up from a conversation with the native of this sign feeling much the better for it; but though there is no avoidance of the serious problems of life, and they are always treated with sound common sense and informed of the wisdom which is based on experience, there is none of that desperate restlessness and acute agony of thought which seems always to preoccupy the minds of the very greatest thinkers.

We must refer for a moment to the matter of the stage, for we have a magnificent example of Aquarius in this department of life in Ellen Terry. One cannot but remain lost in admiration of the extraordinarily fine influence exercised for more than half a century by this one {171} woman, whose position in England was unique and supreme. Her influence was to elevate the stage to an entirely higher plane; at the beginning of her career, actresses were considered little more than courtesans, and the average play was of the basest possible type. Ellen Terry did nothing eccentric, nothing revolutionary; she simply lived an age ahead of the rest and brought up the rest of the theater to her standard without apparent effort.

This sign provides us on the whole with the best of the domestic types. The devotion of Taurus is sometimes unwise, overdone. Aquarius develops a proper feeling of independence; it does not slop over. It maintains a high standard of conduct without exacting unwished-for sacrifices on the one hand, or offering embarrassing sacrifices on the other. The Aquarian native respects himself. He respects others, and he expects others to respect both themselves and him. Such a basis for domestic life is much better than sentimentalism. The native is not eager to leave his home, nor does he cling to it like a lizard to a rock. He develops his independence early, but he always tries to maintain the most amicable relations with his people.

The universality of spirit characteristic of this sign does not permit the Aquarian native to fall in love easily. He finds it hard to concentrate what was meant for humanity upon the individual; he is too advanced, he is too sensible; romanticism appears to him rather silly and unworthy of a highly developed soul. He is apt to be much more in love with a school, a hospital, or a science, than he can ever be with any individual. This is not to {172} say that he is insensible to love in the ordinary sense of the word, but we shall find that his attitude in this respect will depend very much upon the position of his Venus, or some other planetary influence. He is likely to feel affection as strongly for one sex as the other. When he loves, his general amiability leads him to do all in his power to gratify the feelings of the other party, and his efforts in this direction are much more sincere and satisfactory than is the case with a somewhat similar quality in the native of Sagittarius.

Aquarius makes an altogether admirable parent, though the sign is not exceptionally prolific. There is, however, no better person to be in charge of children. The influence is gentle and reasonable; the native encourages independence in thought and action, and respects the individuality of the child, while at the same time correcting faults with sweet reasonableness and just the right amount of firmness. We may again refer to Stevenson and Ruskin in regard to the works which they wrote, especially for the young. “Sesame and Lilies” and “Virginibus Puerisque” should always remain classics of their kind.

The strongest point in the whole make-up of the Aquarian is his capacity for friendship. He is much better here than in love or marriage, because there is no limit to the number of objects to which he can devote himself. This is not, by any means, to say that he is “Hail fellow, well met,” with the world at large. On the contrary, he always preserves a fine sense of the dignity of human intercourse. The native never forgets that the object of friendship is not merely to pass away the time pleasantly; he knows the importance of it as facilitating the interchange of {173} ideas, and he does not lose sight of its true purpose in making life easier by consideration for others and the extension of help to those in real need.

As a partner in marriage or business, Aquarius is all that can be desired. He never causes trouble, and his good sense and practical wisdom may be relied on to avert it. This native can be relied on never to quarrel or to do anything to break up an existing situation. The only difficult arises from his extremely advanced intellectuality. His partner may find it difficult to life up to his standard. There are some natures that experience the most extreme irritation at being treated reasonably. Aquarius, however, can hardly be considered as having any very strong impulse toward matrimony.

The Aquarius native shows no exceptional capacity for business; he conducts it with intelligence and perhaps a certain mild enthusiasm, but the mere matter of money-making does not appeal to him strongly. He always looks beyond materialism. One would never find this native engaging in a questionable business; indeed, the nearer the nature of the business comes to his ideals, the better he will succeed in it. Nothing gives him a greater incentive than some genuine, ultimate value to humanity.

In the conduct of public affairs, the native is again excellent. None is better able to avoid friction, to compose quarrels. He understands a situation better than any other zodiacal type, and his measures for dealing with it will always be thoroughly sensible. He will never yield to fanaticism, or allow himself to be rushed into a violent decision.

There is a certain conservatism in the people as an aggregate which corresponds to common sense in the individual. {174} The common people, those whose voices are never heard, represent a substratum of practical wisdom and it is to these people that the Aquarian always appeals. He will never satisfy extremists, but will express the subconscious feeling of the great mass of humanity. His only danger lies in the fact that he is a little likely to mistake the ideal for the real, to imagine people a bit better than they are, or, as he would say, than they seem to be. Virtue and good sense, for the most part, lie silent in the heart. It is upon this that Aquarius depends for the formulation of his judgments, but there are times of stress in human life when conscious pain or anger overwhelm the deeper feelings, and at such moments Aquarius ceases to be popular. Shakespeare says, “Beware of entrance to a quarrel, but, being in, ber't that the opposed may beware of thee.” Here we see that once the Rubicon is crossed, Aquarius must give way to his opposite, Leo. His function begins once more, only when the battle is fought, and the true necessity is to calm the violence of partisanship.

The subconscious mind of Aquarius is generally of profound importance in informing his objective consciousness. The two are usually found to harmonize in a very gentle and natural way. There is no conflict between the two minds, and it may be said that in the ordinary way Aquarius is far more accessible to the promptings of the inner self than most other types. In science and philosophy, the Aquarian native is not likely to make deep research; indeed, with this temperament he does not need to do so. In his religious beliefs, Aquarius is tolerant and sensible, not exactly indifferent, but anxious to relieve religion of its great handicaps, atavism, superstition, and {175} bigotry. The fanatical Christian or Mohammedan will describe him as a heretic, infidel, miscreant, atheist, and any other nasty word he can think of, but the native of Aquarius will only pity his assailant for his narrowness.

Aquarian children can be more interesting and yet more difficult than those born under any other sign. Because of their unusual intelligence and understanding of life for their age, it is most essential that they should be treated as chums or companions; their parents should allow them to share their confidences and their conferences, realizing that these children must be given a reason why they should or should not do certain things, and then they are both willing and happy to cooperate, as they are naturally obedient and have a desire to do the right thing.

Parents, however, should study their Aquarius children and be wise enough to draw the line between reasonable leniency and too much license. Otherwise, these children become overconfident of their ability, have too great self-assurance, and develop into perfect bores. The ordinary toys or childish plays do not usually appeal to these children; they read and understand books far in advance of their years, and their parents should not attempt to push them in their school work, as it is more important to watch their physical condition and to encourage outdoor sports. Animals make a strong appeal to their protective and humanitarian instincts, and nothing will so delight them or bring out the best in their natures as having a pet to love and care for. Children of their own age, unless equally intelligent and far in advance of their times, do not especially attract them, as they seldom have much in common with the average child, preferring their elders or those of unusual intelligence. These children {176} should have special attention given to their teeth and their tonsils, as infection is easily aggravated with them. They are much more active mentally than physically. These children desire to have a good education, and every effort should be made to give them the opportunity to obtain one; they look up to those who have accomplished great things in life, and have less regard for mere material worldly possessions. Travel and association with men and women of distinction will mean much to them.

People born from the 22nd of May to the 22nd of June, when the Sun is in the airy, intellectual sign Gemini, and from the 24th of September to the 24th of October, when the Sun is in the airy, artistic sign Libra, are naturally sympathetic and helpful to those born under Aquarius. Because their characteristics are complementary, they are good partners for the Aquarius-born, matrimonially and otherwise. If too intimately associated with those born from the 21st of April to 22nd of May (Taurus), 24th of July to 24th of August (Leo), and 24th of October to 23rd of November (Scorpio), the Aquarius-born will find it necessary to guard against those who would take advantage. Such an intimacy might result in the native of Aquarius becoming too nervous and irritable. For this reason, people born under Taurus, Leo and Scorpio would not make the most sympathetic or helpful partners, either matrimonially or in a business way.

A period of about seven days – February 19 to February 26 – when the vibrations of Aquarius are merging into those of Pisces, and Pisces still retaining some of Aquarius, is known as the cusp. People born between these dates will partake of the practical, concentrated Aquarius and the emotional and visionary Pisces. As Mercury, ruling {177} the mentality, and Venus, the love nature, are so close to the Sun, they, too, may partake of some of the qualities of the adjoining signs of Aquarius. This may account for some of the complex personalities so difficult of comprehension.

As these deductions are drawn from the position of the Sun or Ascendant, it is probable that among the best friends of the Aquarius-born, or those with whom he is uncongenial, there will be some who were not born at the times mentioned. The individual horoscopes must be consulted to ascertain how the stars combine with those of the Aquarius native, and to determine the effect of the combinations of influences upon each other.

These indications will not cover all the characteristics of an individual as he knows himself, since they do not take into consideration the influence of the planets. A detailed statement or horoscope must be made to discover the whole truth. {178}

 

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