The practice of Astrology involves uncovering the interacting layers of archetypal energies influencing our lives. The association of the different planets and signs with archetypes emerged organically as our ancestors observed which constellations and celestial objects were overhead during the changing seasons of both Earth and Humans. Utilizing the expansive body of knowledge derived from these observations, we can gain insight into all aspects of life. In late January, the Sun moves into Aquarius, where it remains until the end of February. To get a basic understanding of what this means in our lives, let’s consider how our astrological forebears classified Aquarius by its planetary rulership, element, and modality.
When studying Aquarius, we must examine its rulers, Saturn and Uranus. Saturn is the planetary archetype of the stern father-figure, the taskmaster, and disciplinarian. Saturn concentrates form to focus energy. Uranus is the planetary archetype of the revolutionary, the genius, and the maverick. Uranus disrupts systems and shatters form to bring about change. On the surface, it seems impossible for one sign to have such contrary rulers!
Yet, this conflict speaks right to the qualities inherent in Aquarius. The characteristic Aquarian is someone who identifies the structures and systems that govern our lives (Saturn) and seeks to change them (Uranus) for the benefit of humanity. To understand this humanitarian focus, let’s now turn to the sign’s element and modality.
Element and Modality
In addition to having a planetary ruler, each astrological sign also has been assigned an element and a modality. Like the planets, elements and modalities are understood to be representative of archetypes. The elements (with examples) include air (thought), fire (will), water (emotion), and earth (body). The modalities (with keywords) include cardinal (initiation), fixed (sustenance), and mutable (change). Aquarius is a fixed air sign.
Aquarius shows its air element as the sign of the genius, supporting clarity of thought and objective perception. Air is generally understood to have a “cold” constitution, and this is reflected in the emotional detachment required of the political revolutionary or the business maverick. The air sign frames experience in terms of thought, and in Aquarius this is directed to achieve a conceptual ideal through its modality.
The fixed modality’s function is sustenance. We begin each of the four seasons with a cardinal sign that initiates it, followed by a fixed sign that strengthens and sustains it, which is in turn followed by a mutable sign that changes it. Another keyword for the fixed modality is love, as well as its title as “the Water-bearer,” both reflect the sustaining quality of Aquarius. It is this fixed modality that gives the Aquarian ideal its unique humanitarian focus.
Aquarius in the Air
The founding fathers of the United States were aware of the movement of the planets and stars, and wisely timed our presidential inauguration to harness this revolutionary, humanitarian spirit. At Lake Tahoe, we have special access to the Aquarian essence all year round. The energies of this air sign and Water-bearer are perfectly exemplified by the marriage of water and air elements here at the Lake of the Sky. Feel the gift of renewal these energies bring, as the crisp mountain air and cool clear waters cleanse the mind, body, and spirit. Use this clarity to identify your inner genius, and share your gift with the world!