AQUARIUS: An Energetic Overview & Guide to Embracing the Water-Bearer

Overview of the Aquarius Archetype

Aquarius is the second-to-last sign of the Zodiac and is a fixed air sign. Fixed signs indicate the middle of their season and are characterized by staying-power and stability.

Ruled by: Uranus (modern), Saturn (ancient)

Modality: Fixed (Winter)

Element: Air

If you have heavy Aquarius energy in your natal chart, you’re likely to be born into a small box of who you’re “supposed” to be – created by cultural norms, religious dogma, and other family conditioning. The purpose of this is to unravel the conditioning, thread by thread, to eventually discover the true self and decipher it from the trained monkey self. That is the path of Aquarius energy.

Aquarius’s archetypal aim is about the process of individuation. Not fitting in is a mirror to gain clarity on who you really are, because by experiencing things that aren’t you, you begin to discover what you are. The structures and rules of the world around us act as a mirror to see ourselves more clearly.

To understand Aquarius, it’s important to consider both its modern ruler, Uranus, and its ancient ruler, Saturn. On the Uranian side is the individuation process, of becoming your most true and authentic self – the highest expression of Aquarian energy. On the Saturnian side are the pressures of conditioning, the early-upbringing process, which play a huge role in the Aquarian path. Saturn makes the rules, and Uranus breaks them.

Fear of being yourself doesn’t come from nowhere. Somewhere along your soul’s journey, whether it was in your childhood or a past lifetime, you learned that there is safety in conformity. It may have even meant survival. As humans, we gravitate towards herds or tribes for that reason, because there is safety in numbers. 

Aquarius Keywords

Sovereignty, individuation, questioning the status quo, authenticity 

Shadow Side

Aquarius has the stereotype of being cold, detached, or aloof. As astrologer Steven Forrest explains – there is emotional distance with Aquarius, yes, but it is traumatically-induced emotional distance. Aquarius planets in your chart in general are pointing toward past life or early childhood experiences where you experienced something that was too emotionally strong for your system to cope with, and through that experience of being emotionally overwhelmed, you developed the ability to detach, or dissociate, from your emotions. That emotional energy doesn’t just go away though – it bottles up in the background and will eventually need to be addressed.

This shadow of traumatically-induced emotional distance makes Aquarius very self-protective. For an Aquarian to open their heart and shine their light out into the world takes a ton of courage, because of their history and the resulting unprocessed emotional baggage. You’ve been wounded deeply, traumatized, by other people’s expectations, but you’re here this time around to find your way back to your own sovereignty, your own freedom to be the person your soul came here to be.

Article written by Maddie Billings; content presented by Carly Whorton during Astrology & Coffee livestream.

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