According to astrology, the Sun resides in the house of Aquarius from January 20—February 18 each year. Aquarius is the Latin word meaning “water bearer,” represented by the symbol ♒ (two waves stacked upon each other). Read on to discover facts and folklore about this complex constellation and unconventional astrological sign!
The Aquarius Constellation
Aquarius is the eleventh constellation of the zodiac, located between Capricornus and Pisces. (Note: Zodiac is a term used by astronomers and astrologers alike, but sometimes there is a difference in spelling between the constellation and the astrological sign. For instance, Capricornus is the name of the constellation whereas Capricorn is the name of the astrological sign. Learn about the difference between astrology and astronomy.)
There are 97 stars in Aquarius, the brightest of which are often depicted as a man pouring water out of a large vessel. Seven Aquarian stars have planets orbiting them, including Gliese 876, the first planetary system found around a red dwarf star. The system contains four planets, including one terrestrial planet about seven times the mass of Earth.
Aquarius also includes three Messier Objects, bright deep sky objects identified primarily by French astronomer Charles Messier during the 18th Century: the globular clusters Messier 2, Messier 72, and the open cluster Messier 73. Two other famous objects—the Saturn Nebula and the Helix Nebula—are also visible.
Nearby constellations include Pegasus, Equuleus, Delphinus, Aquila, Piscis Austrinus, Sculptor, Cetus.
Associations With Rivers, The Great Flood, And Service
Aquarius was one of the earliest constellations to be identified, and consequently plays a role in a number of very old myths. Because the waters flowing from the bearer’s vessel are often depicted as rivers, it is often associated with the “Great Flood” story told across varied ancient cultures.
It is also commonly associated with the fifth of Hercules’ Twelve Labors, cleaning the Augean Stables. The disgustingly filthy stables, which housed over 1,000 head of cattle, hadn’t been cleaned in decades, but Hercules was able to clean them in less than one day by simply rerouting the Alpheus and Peneus rivers through them.
The constellation is also said to be Ganymede, an unnaturally handsome young Trojan kidnapped by the god Zeus to serve as cupbearer to the gods on Olympus.
Character Traits of Aquarians
People born during this period have Aquarius as their Sun sign. Proponents of astrological determinism believe that people born under the same Sun sign share certain character traits. Aquarius people are most often described as:
Aquarius In Pop Culture
You may recall the popular song by 5th Dimension, “Age of Aquarius.” Listen below:
Join The Discussion
What is one of your favorite things about Aquarius?
Are you an Aquarian? Do you believe in the character traits listed above?
Let us know in the comments below!
Jaime McLeod is a longtime journalist who has written for a wide variety of newspapers, magazines, and websites, including MTV.com. She enjoys the outdoors, growing and eating organic food, and is interested in all aspects of natural wellness.