Aquarius – The Water Pourer – January 20 to February 18

“Aquarius – sign of revolution and social change –
is an innovator and reformer
with talents of the broadest range.
She’s objective and free-thinking,
unconventional and unique in every way.
Her focus is towards people,
her aim for social justice : a reality to stay.”
– by Sivestra Silvermoon

Goddess Symbolism

At first it might seem strange to find that Aquarius, the sign of the Water Pourer, is an Air rather than a Water sign. In order to discover the reason why this is so and why it makes perfect sense, we need to look yet again way back to the Palaeolithic or Old Stone Age.

All through the ages our ancestors knew that all life on this planet originated in water. Water is the source of life, the Mother of all existence. Water represents birth, life and, of course, fertility. The Goddess as Mother Nature Herself is the Mistress of Water. It pours from Her dark earthly womb, it falls as nourishing rain from the sky like milk from a mother’s breasts.

The Goddess as Mistress of Water is Queen of the Upper and Lower Waters. Long ago our foremothers and fathers believed the blue sky like the blue sea to be made of water. These Upper Waters nourish life on Earth by pouring down in the form of rain. The Lower Waters are all water on Earth – the oceans, lakes, rivers as well as underground springs.

Aquarius, the Water Pourer, is linked to the Upper Waters or the Sky. When She pours the water from Her jugs rain falls on Earth. Essentially Aquarius symbolises the nourishing rain itself.

Why the jars?, you might ask. Like water itself, the cup or vessel is inherently linked to the Goddess. She gives birth over and over to new life. And like the amniotic fluid water nourishes Her children in all their guises and gushes forth from Her dark earthen womb.

Symbolically the vessel, cup, jar or vase represents the womb of the Goddess. It symbolises fertility, birth and life.

Like the Goddess women also give birth to new life and nourish their children from their bodies. They are inherently linked to the Goddess, nature and the sacred vessel that holds the water of life. In later legends the sacred vessel, the womb of  the Goddess, would become the Holy Grail, the quest for whose discovery essentially symbolises the return to the Mother.

During the Neolithic or New Stone Age jugs were often made in the shape of breasts with nipples instead of spouts. These clearly combined the womb-shaped vessel with the nourishing breasts of the Mother. Water was understood to be sacred and vital to life.

Interestingly, even today we still use funeral urns to bury the deceased. The urn, which also represents the womb of the Goddess, symbolises the return to Her body for regeneration and renewal.

The specific image of the Water Pourer in mythology can be traced to three places in particular: Egypt, Greece and Sumer.

While originally both water and the vessel were clearly linked solely to the Goddess, at some point during the Neolithic when through the development of farming the contribution of the male in reproduction became increasingly apparent, fresh water – especially in the drier regions of the Middle East and North Africa – would increasingly be represented by the Goddess’s son.

In ancient Egypt the god Hapi was the personification of the Nile flooding. Remaining images of Hapi show him as a hermaphrodite. He has the face and goaty beard of a man and the pendulous breasts and pregnant belly of a woman. Clearly at some point Hapi was the Great Goddess Herself, but as time moved on and the Egyptians became increasingly patriarchal, the inundation of the Nile came to be represented by a male god with a female body.

Hapi symbolises running water, his breasts and pregnant belly stand for the fertility the water brings. He is blue-green, often carries a tray with food and pours water from two large jugs or vases. The image of a male water pourer was readily adopted by the Greeks and Romans.

Across the desert in ancient Sumer the origins of Aquarius lie with the Goddess Gula, the Great One. She is described as a Goddess of Healing, but on closer inspection it becomes obvious that the healing that Gula gifts upon the Earth is that of the nourishing rain and fresh water floods that turn the dry land green again.

Ancient records describe Her as:

“Lady of Health”
“Great Healer”
“Great Healer of the Land”
“Great Healer of the Black-Headed One”
“Herb Grower”
“The Lady Who Makes the Broken Up Whole Again”
“The Lady Who Creates Life in the Land”

Gula is also said to have a violent side which She exhibits in the form of rain and thunderstorms:

“Queen Whose Temper, Like a Raging Storm, Makes Heaven Tremble and the Earth Quake”

Gula was linked to the Great Flood and is often depicted with dogs by Her side.

Later accounts describe Gula in the form of Mul Gula as being a male Water Pourer who is immortalised in the constellation of  Aquarius. However, essentially the male Mul Gula is the same image as Enki, the Sumerian Lord of Fresh Water, who is often depicted pouring water from two jugs. (See “Capricorn“).

In ancient pre-hellenic Greece the Goddess of Rain and Springtime was Hebe. She is the Maiden aspect of pre-Hellenic Hera. According to Patricia Managhan (see www.owlsdaughter.com) Hebe’s most ancient name was actually Ganymeda, a name that in its male form Ganymede would eventually be given to the handsome Trojan youth who would replace Her in later Olympian Greek mythology. In Rome Hebe was known as Juventa, the Goddess of Youth (cf. re-juvenate, juvenile).

Pre-hellenic Hebe is the Maiden Goddess of the Moon. She is Goddess of Springtime and Rain. She represents youth, new growth, new beginnings and new promise.

Far back in the earliest times Hebe simply symbolised the nourishing spring rain, the divine source of water that brings with it the return of fertility and the renewal of the land. Like the ancient palaeolithic and neolithic Goddess, Hebe is Mistress of the Upper Waters. As late as ancient Greece this is described pictorially as Hebe being the Divine Cupbearer who pours ambrosia, the nectar of immortal youth, from Her sacred vessel, the representation of Her womb and breasts. This magical nectar symbolises fertility. For us humans it comes in the form of the moon-blood with which She blesses her daughters, while for the land and the vegetation Hebe’s ambrosia takes the form of rain.

Like Hebe and the Great Stone Age Mother Goddess before Her, Aquarius is the Divine Source of Water, the Water of Life, the nourishing rain. By rights the Divine Water Pourer should really be in its female form “Aquaria” for it is She who is Mistress of the Upper Waters.

Aquarius’s Traits and Characteristics

True to their Airy nature Aquarians are mentally agile and broad-minded. Like their Gemini and Libran sisters they are objective and non-judgemental.

Aquarians are outgoing and outward-focused. They are social creatures that count many different types of people as their friends. Aquarians are very attractive with a natural quite electrifying magnetism. They are fiercely independent and won’t be told how to act or what to think by anybody. Aquarians are unique and self-reliant. They are in fact quite the trend-setters.

Aquarians have a vast array of interests. They can be found in almost all walks of life, provided it is within a mentally stimulating environment. Many Aquarians are attracted to subjects such as philosophy and politics, but can also be found in high tech laboratories and orgnisations such as NASA. Aquarians are forward-thinking and quite futuristic. They are very clever and have a scientific approach to life: they are logical, impartial and systematic.

Aquarians are private individuals who despite their outgoing persona are reserved when it comes to sharing their inner most feelings. That doesn’t mean, though, that they don’t have them! They are open and affectionate with their chosen loved ones.

Aquarians are essentially rebels. They are unconventional and unorthodox and are not afraid to rock the boat. They are opinionated and outspoken and are fiercely against inequalities, hierarchies and privileges for the few. Aquarians are not the sort of people that will just stand by and grumble over unfairnesses, but will actually get up and do something about them. It is thanks to exactly these Aquarian traits in our foremothers that in most parts of the world women today are able to vote and are no longer considered their father’s or husband’s chattel. It is also thanks to Aquarian personalities that racial segregation in the US was finally outlawed just over half a century ago.

Aquarians are very good with words. They are honest, truthful and authentic and make wonderful public speakers and writers.

One of the interesting things about Aquarians is their dual nature. On the one hand they are an Air sign that is versatile and broad thinking. It is their Airy nature that strives for change in order to bring about a betterment for humanity. On the other hand, though, Aquarians are a fixed sign, which is all about being steady and maintaining the status quo. This expresses itself in their natural reliability and conscientiousness. Aquarians, although always striving for change on the outside, have steady and reliable characters on the inside. This duality makes them fascinating and outstanding individuals.

In summary Aquarian women (and men) are:

– humane
– ethical
– with social conscience

– social reformers
– with pure and impartial care for humanity
– revolutionary
– striving for social justice
– humanitarian
– reformers
– idealistic
– egalitarian
– fair
– with a dislike for hierarchy and privilege

– inventive
– experimental
– mentally creative
– able to make new connections between old givens
– looking at something with a fresh eye
– able to see the big picture
– able to see all sides to a story
– able to turn dreams into concrete ideas

– scientific
– systematic
– thorough

– unique
– original
– outstanding

– unconventional
– shaking up the norms
– rule-breaking
– often rebellious when young
– iconoclastic
– radical
– unorthodox

– authentic
– truthful
– honest
– principled
– sincere

– dependable
– conscientious

– firm
– resolute
– bold
– opinionated with strong likes and dislikes
– self-respecting
– strong-minded
– outspoken

– sympathetic towards outsiders

– broad-minded
– free-thinking
– versatile

– reserved
– private
– aloof
– self-reliant
– fiercely independent
– with enjoyment for solitude
– freedom-loving

– intellectual
– clever
– fast-thinking
– sharp-minded
– mentally agile
– curious

– thoughtful
– reasonable
– logical
– head over heart
– objective
– impartial
– observant
– detached
– rational
– making up their own minds based on facts

– with electrifying magnetism
– highly strung

– playful with words

– focused on social group
– in preference for social rather than personal relationships
– outgoing
– service-oriented
– co-operative
– friendly

– forward-thinking
– futuristic
– with love for technology
– progressive

Aquarius is a fixed Air sign that is ruled by Oya, the Wind of Change, the Goddess of Revolution.

Aquarius is associated with electric blue, turquoise and aquamarine.

Within the body Aquarius is linked to the the lower leg, especially the ankles, and the circulatory system.

Aquarian qualities are most prominent when the Sun, the Moon or the Ascendant (Rising Sign) are in the sign of the Water Pourer.

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11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tamarai
    Oct 23, 2012 @ 08:11:25

    MOst intriguing. Now I understand why Aquarius is linked to air and not water. Thank you.

    Reply

  2. Raiza
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 10:27:55

    my pele is in aquaria but squares medusa in scorpio. my oya squares my sun. i have a lot of these traits but they´re mixed with intense emotions. and sometimes i feel that i am an outsider even among the outsiders,because i can´t agree totally with almost any group. i feel lonely as hell.

    Reply

    • Silvestra
      Nov 06, 2012 @ 12:00:41

      Hi Raiza 🙂 I can relate. Unfortunately I think that even though you have those traits in your horoscope our Western society makes for lonely living: the media tells us how to act and what is normal. None of us fit that picture, but we are encouraged to assume that everybody else does. We live in lonely nuclear families, keeping ourselves to ourselves. I wonder with all my heart what it would be like to live in a close-nit matrilineal clan. I imagine it to have been wonderful (esp. for a woman).

      Reply

  3. Raiza
    Nov 09, 2012 @ 10:43:14

    me too! i would love to know how it was living in such a clan. I would like to live in one of theses now.
    Can i make a question? are you a radfem?

    Reply

    • Silvestra
      Nov 09, 2012 @ 13:32:52

      Well, if by “radical” you mean getting to the roots of things and by “radical feminist” you mean someone who is against patriarchy whereby a male elite sets themselves up as superior to others, fights wars, kills people and enforces (or encourages) female oppression, then, yeah, I guess so. I wouldn’t actually call myself a radfem, though. Although I love, for instance, Mary Daly, I don’t agree with her general anti-male and anti-transgender attitude. I’m absolutely totally not against men in general (I love them in fact!), but I’m really rather pro-women. And the idea of this blog really is to help re-instill positive female role models, female self-worth and self-love as well as a feeling of sisterhood amongst ourselves. I guess instead of feeling angry with the whole of mankind (as opposed to womankind) I’m trying to focus on positive changes in our female belief system of who we are. Even our pretty gender-equal modern western society is still riddled with old baggage: plenty of old gender stereotypes are knocking about and are still being passed on to our children.

      Going back to radical feminism, female subordination isn’t the only thing I object to, I’m fiercely and strongly against any form of oppression, control and negative propaganda by one set-up group against a perceived enemy. Why do we have to have divisions and groups? Us against them? Why can’t we just live and let live, enjoy the gift of life and basically “make love, not war”? I’m very attracted to our Goddess past for the simple reason that certainly in the early neolithic days life might have been hard work but the society sounded pretty sweet: peace, equality and freedom. (Plus being a Scorpio I like to uncover old mysteries. 😉 )

      Reply

  4. Trackback: Mars / Aries / Æsir (spring) and Venus / Virgo / Libra / Vanir (autumn) « Cradle of Civilization
  5. Raymond Nolan Scott
    Jan 14, 2017 @ 07:36:42

    In the Tetrabiblos, Ptolemy referred to Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces as the riversigns.

    Who came up with the elements?
    It definitely wasn’t Ptolemy.
    I know that the Babylonians didn’t assign elements to the zodiac signs either.

    Reply

  6. Raymond Nolan Scott
    Jan 14, 2017 @ 07:41:10

    When the Babylonians created the 12 sign zodiac, Aquarius was already associated with Ea, the water god.

    BTW The Babylonians didn’t use the Tropical Zodiac.
    They were definitely Sidereal Zodiacs.
    They also came up with the exaltations which were Sidereal.

    Reply

  7. Raymond Scott
    Jun 30, 2017 @ 09:56:06

    The Geographical Astrology of Babylonia,” extensively discussed the four winds and directionality in Babylonian omen astrology.

    A Babylonian tablet (BM 36746) dating to sometime after 400 BC, groups the zodiacal signs with winds and lands in this manner:
    Lu-hun-ga (Aries), Ur-Gu-la (Leo), Pa-bil-sag (Sagittarius) – North Wind and Akkad
    Gu-An-na (Taurus), Ab-sin (Virgo), Sahur-Mas-ku (Capricorn) – South Wind and Elam
    Mas-tab-ba-gal-gal (Gemini), Zi-ba-an-na (Libra), Gu-la (Aquarius) – West Wind and Amurru
    Al-ul (Cancer), Gir-tab (Scorpio), Kun-mes (Pisces) – East Wind and Subartu

    As Maria Mateus states:
    “The earliest Greek source, associating the winds with the triplicities, is in the Isagoge of Geminus (written ca. 50 CE), wherein he states that the doctrine comes from the Chaldeans. His wind arguments correspond with that of BM36746, indictating that the Hellenistic triplicity scheme is, in fact, Babylonian in origin and based upon a schematization logic that probably predates the use of the zodiac, since these associations appear in monthly groupings of older omens in the same way they appear as zodiac signs…” (p. 74)

    Reply

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