Season of the Celestial Scorpion

Tomorrow is a partial solar eclipse in Scorpio…time to take another look at the mysterious, deathless Scorpion…

True Tarot Tales

Photo by Irina Iriser on Pexels.com

Common Associations

Zodiac symbol

Dates:  October 23 –November 22

Ruling planets:  Ruled by Mars. After Pluto’s discovery in 1930, considered by many modern astrologers to be co-ruled by Pluto

Symbols:  Scorpion, Serpent, Eagle/Phoenix (nearby constellation, Aquila, the Eagle)

Zodiac element:Water

Zodiac quality:Fixed

Keywords: I desire. I transform

Colour: Dark red

Birthstone: Yellow Topaz, Opal, Aquamarine, Tourmaline.

Tree: Walnut. Hawthorn. Blackthorn

Tarot Card: Death

From The Gilded Tarot

Note the Biblical ‘pale horse’ and the white rose. The rose signifies beauty and immortality.

All that has ever once been, is recorded somewhere, somehow, forever.

Astronomy

Scorpius is a massive, spectacular j- shaped constellation located in the skies over the southern hemisphere near the centre of the Milky Way. In the Northern hemisphere it can be seen in July and August, and is most visible in July at 9.00 PM. In the Southern…

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A Fanfare for Aries the Fiery Sky Ram

Photo by Kat Smith on Pexels.com

This year we entered the zodiac sign of Aries the Ram Sunday 20 March 2022, the day of the spring (vernal) equinox in the northern hemisphere (autumn/fall equinox in the southern hemisphere.)

The word ‘zodiac’ comes from the Greek meaning ‘circle of animals.’ The only zodiac sign non-representative of a living creature is Libra, the sign of the scales, but even its scales are borrowed from the stars of Scorpio, the giant scorpion in the heavens next door.

Aries, heavenly sky Ram is a cardinal fire sign; the first sign of the western zodiac, the sign of spring in the northern hemisphere, and with it – lambing time.

Public Domain

Picture the star-ram lying or sitting head downwards. New life is ignited. The planetary ruler of Aries is Mars, the red planet of action, energy, enthusiasm, courage, passion, initiative- and war.

The real life ram is strong, brave, and at certain times of year, downright aggressive, charging headlong into the field, king of all he surveys. Ewes can be aggressive too if disturbed by strangers when they have new lambs to protect.

aries-johann-bayer-uranometria

History and Mythology

The sheep was among the first animals ever domesticated by humans by around 11000 – 9000 BC (BCE). Once upon a time Aries marked the end of the main lambing season of wild sheep in Europe, 21 March – 20 April.

(The dog was the first domesticated species, and the only large carnivore to have been domesticated, possibly 15000 years ago -or earlier. The Bonn-Oberkassel dog found buried beside humans 14,200 years ago is to date the earliest undisputed dog, with disputed remains dated 36,000 years ago. )

The ancient Sumerians called the sun, ‘Subat’, meaning the ‘Ancient Sheep’ or Ram and the planets were the ‘Celestial Herd’. The Sumerians were one of the oldest known urban civilizations in what is now Southern Iraq, during the Neolithic-Bronze Age, 4500 BC to 1500 years BC.

In ancient Egyptian astronomy, Aries was called ‘Lord of the Head’ – a reference to its symbolic significance, and it was associated with the god Amon-Ra, who was depicted as a man with a ram’s head and represented fertility and creativity. Because it was the location of the spring (vernal) equinox, it was called the “Indicator of the Reborn Sun”.

The position of Aries at the zenith at that time coincided with the rising of Sirius in the east and the flooding of the Nile. The Temple of Amon-Ra at Karnak bore the likeness of the supreme sun-god with the horns of a ram, while the road to Karnak was formed from the wings of two granite sphinxes bearing the head of Aries.

However, Aries was not fully recognized as a constellation until classical times about 1580 B.C. to 360 B.C. when the ancient Greeks oriented the construction of many of their sacred temples in relationship to Hamal – in Arabic ‘The Head of the Ram’ and the brightest star in the constellation.

In Hellenistic astrology the constellation of Aries was associated with the golden ram of Greek mythology.

Aries and the Golden Ram

The brother and sister Phrixus and Helle were the children of the Boeotian king Athamas and the cloud fairy, Nephele.  But then she died, the king remarried, and his new wife, Ino, planned to kill Phrixus and Helle as a perceived threat to her own two later children by the king.

They were warned and fled, rescued by a flying golden ram sent by Hermes at the plea of Nephele, their dead mother watching in anguish from the other world.

Phrixus was seated on the ram, holding on to its horns, Hell behind him, clutching his waist, but Helle got tired and lost her grip. She plunged into the sea far below and was lost in the Dardanelles, known ever after as the Hellespont in her memory. Later, safely in Colchis, Phrixus (respectfully if rather ungratefully) sacrificed the Golden Ram, returning it to home to the gods, and presented its fleece as a gift to King Aeetes, who placed it on a tree in a grove under the guard of a dragon. This was the Hydra, whom Jason later killed in order to steal its fleece for its magical healing properties, on the orders of his uncle, the murdering usurper Pelias (who had no intention that Jason would return alive.)

Before we had CGI, we had Ray Harryhausen….

The Aries Archetype

The Sun from The Golden Tarot, Kat Black

All the zodiac signs represent archetypes, meaning something that is considered to be a perfect or typical example of a particular kind of person or thing.

A zodiac sign paint a poetic portrait of a person born at a particular time of year, in a particular season. A baby born in summer arrives into a different physical environment from a winter baby; differences of temperature, hours of daylight, maternal diet and so on, with potentially different effects on the baby’s physical makeup and constitution.

Aries is a cardinal sign, marking the start of a new season. The other cardinal signs are Libra, marking the start of autumn in the northern hemisphere and Capricorn, marking the onset of winter. The cardinal signs are traditionally considered the most innovative and proactive, the signs most at ease with driving change.

Aries is sunny, young at heart. It is the metaphysical ‘baby’ of the zodiac, adventurous, optimistic, generous, curious, brave, passionate, direct, self-willed  and inclined to lose its temper if denied or crossed. Aries represents the concept of The Self. It seeks to express itself through exploration and pushing at boundaries. It is self-willed like a very young child. It wants its own way.

Aries is number one, the first sign in the Zodiac, youthful and exuberant- and let no-one forget it. Aries is the star of this show.

But it is also the sign of a king, and not only that but a warrior-king, as illustrated in the watchful, slightly weary, Emperor card in the Tarot.

See those Ram’s heads decorating his throne?

Rider-Waite Smith Tarot

Aries is ultra-virile with a warrior spirit, just as a ram will charge headlong, at an intruder, and may attack or even kill a person who enters his field, threatening his ewes and his territory at the wrong moment. If knocked down by a ram, although it is counter-intuitive, stay down till he loses interest and wanders off.

Aries is known for its determination and zest for life, and in the same spirit, Aries can be reckless and with it, accident prone in its general haste to get on and do whatever is the next thing. Aries are at a statistically increased risk of  accidents, especially with head and neck injuries in comparison with other signs, largely due to impatience and risk-taking behaviours.

Aries is ready to experiment or pioneer but may not finish what it starts. They are determined but can be diverted by their own impatience if they don’t get quick results.

Aries subjects may exhibit  careless or even ruthless behaviour with a disregard for others in their desire to achieve and excel. They can bear grudges but, though they are sensitive, they can be careless about the sensitivities of others. In their closest personal relationships however, Aries are generally lively, pleasant, frank, direct and generous. Full of bounce and joie de vivre, there is much to admire about the early springtime subjects of fiery Aries, the Mighty Ram.

The Tarot will tell us more …

Aries in the Tarot

The Tarot cards associated with Aries are The Emperor, the Queen of Wands and the 2, 3 and 4 of Wands, and these minor arcana cards represent the decans of this zodiac sign.

The major arcana card associated with Aries is The Emperor. This sets the overall tone for this zodiac sign. The Emperor of the Ram seeks to claim territory and to create and impose order in that territory. At his best, he rules wisely and with care and justice. At his worst, he is a tyrant.

Card Meanings: a man of authority, parent, employer, a military man, maturity, order, experience, hard won leadership, discipline, authority, government, organizations, rules, bureaucracy, doing things by the book, ego, I am in charge, what I say goes, Drawn reversed: bully, tyrant, warmonger. Note the ram skulls decorating his throne.

Every suit in the Tarot has its own court with a king and queen, a knight and a page. The Court card associated with Aries is the Queen of Wands. Aries is ruled by the element of fire in the Tarot, Wands is the suit of fire. Aries is ruled by the Sun, the ruler of the day. Notice how she holds a sunflower as her sceptre (We are seeing a lot of sunflowers online right now, as the symbol of Ukraine. Let us hope the sunflower of Aries will bring a ceasefire between now and 20 April – soonest.)

Rider-Smith Waite Tarot

Card Meanings: A helpful woman, a mother figure, a lucky person (signified by the black cat, also notice the royal lions) She has good instincts and may also have occult abilities. Warmth, directness, spontaneity and independence, nurturing, generosity, enthusiasm, impatience are her qualities, but she may be either male or female in a real life reading. A man born under Aries may appear in a reading as the Emperor, a King of Wands or the Queen of Wands.

Lastly, the minor arcana cards associated with Aries are Two, Three and Four of Wands. These are the cards that talk about the decans of Aries.

If you don’t feel like you are a ‘typical’ Aries, well, we are all unique, but perhaps you are also a second or third decan Aries native, rather than a ‘most typical’ first decan Aries.

The Decans

The Zodiac is the belt of sky we can see from earth, tracking the path of the sun across the sky over the course of the year. We call this pathway of the sun ‘the ecliptic.’

The Greeks named the signs after twelve of the constellations appearing on, or crossing this zodiac belt: Aries, Taurus, Gemini Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and lastly, Pisces.

Each of these zodiac signs represents a 30 degree section of the zodiac belt. Each sign is then further sub-divided into three blocks of ten degrees, each about ten days in length, with slight variations. This gives us the ‘decans,’ from the Latin meaning ‘ten,’ also called decanates, or the ‘thirty-six faces of astrology,’ bringing added depth and nuance to the story of your zodiac signs.

First Decan Aries (0-10 degrees of the sign)

21 March-31 March

Rider- Waite Smith Tarot

Card Meanings: vision, ambition, melancholy, trade, global trade, entrepreneurship, agreements, partnerships, government, meetings, the world is my oyster. Reversed: fear of the unknown, lack of planning

The ruling planet is Mars and the co-ruler is also Mars, giving this first Aries decan a double dose of fiery, headlong Mars, bringing out the positive and dominant side of this Aries subject. Aries seeks power and usually they have great charisma too.  But one of the nicknames of this card is ‘The Melancholy of Alexander,’ referring to the restlessness of the conqueror Alexander the Great, who won great lands but was never satisfied.

The personality is independent, forceful, temperamental, often generous, sometimes domineering, dictatorial or even aggressive. This is the first decan in the whole zodiac, the most aggressive Aries decan and –perhaps not coincidentally- the most sporty.

These natives of Aries think fast, act fast- too fast at times- and they can tend to be irritable with others who act more slowly. Respect, it must be remembered, is a two-way street. They are known for having a gift with words and public speaking abilities.

Famous first decan Aries: Harry Houdini, Robert Frost, Elton John, Mariah Carey

Second Decan Aries (10-20 degrees of the sign)

1 April-10 April

Rider-Waite Smith Tarot

Card Meanings: progress, expansion, overseas opportunities, new horizons, a launch, your ship comes in, planning, critical timing, preparation, teamwork: Reversed lack of foresight, timidity, thinking too small, unexpected delays

The co-rulers of this decan are Mars and the Sun, the ‘Ruler of the Day.’

The sun is the centre of the solar system, the bringer of life itself, and here it stands for dignity, honour and ambition. This Aries personality not only welcomes change but actively seeks it out, relishing a challenge. This gifted Aries native desires a creative challenge and maybe a global challenge too, while they are at it.

They are generally known for their honesty, while rather stern in outlook. They will tell you something to your face but though they really do not like to be told what to do, they don’t shirk from telling others.

This Mars-Sun combination is considered a particularly lucky planetary combination. Everyone gets their own mix of luck, good and bad. That’s just life. But still, these Aries natives have a knack of landing on their feet.

Famous second decan Aries: Otto von Bismarck, Hans Christian Anderson, Bette Davis, Al Gore, Russell Crowe, Jackie Chan, Celine Dion, Quentin Tarantino

Aries Decan Three (20-30 degrees of the sign)

10 April-20 April

Rider-Waite Smith

Card meanings: professional qualification, an achievement, property improvements, building, setting up home, celebration, joy, homecoming, publishing, creating an artwork.  Reversed: bad luck, frustrations, roadblocks

This Aries native is generally more peaceable and easy-going than the other two decans; co-ruled by Mars and Jupiter, known as the God of Fortune. Jupiter brings good fortune and opportunity to the drive and ambition of Mars.

There is sincerity, honesty and warm-hearted nobility in this last Aries placement. Like the second decan Aries, these Aries natives often have some particular and well developed creative or artistic talent. They are witty, personable, and with a sense of humour. They are righteous, some might say self- righteous on occasion, other people may find them arrogant. They are proud, impatient and they may have every good reason for it, but they too, need to remember that others have their pride, but these are passionately devoted family people with a keen sense of justice, much concerned with right and wrong.

Famous Third Decan Aries: Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, Charlie Chaplin, Tom Clancy, Francis Ford Coppola, Victoria Beckham, Gary Kasparov

Happy Birthday, Aries, 2022.

This will be a much faster moving year for you than last year, with new work and career opportunities. The red planet of action, Mars, your ruling planet enters your sign on Tuesday 24 May and stays there until Tuesday 5 July, adding even more drive to your determination. You can make a lot of forward progress this year and Aries likes to win, but beware self-sabotage and consider when, should you find yourself struggling with a challenge to your feelings and self-esteem, where this anger is really coming from and whether you will be wiser to exercise utmost restraint and diplomacy.

Introducing The Decans of Pisces

Chartres cathedral

This year we entered the zodiac sign of Pisces the Fishes 19 February 2022 and we remain in Pisces until 20 March, the date of spring equinox when we will move into the mythical territory of Aries the Ram.

‘Pisces’ is from the Latin plural for fish, and the zodiac sign is named after one of the largest constellations in the zodiac. The two fish are said to represent Venus and Cupid in Greco-Roman mythology after they turned themselves into fish to escape a terrible monster, a Titan called Typhon who was later imprisoned by Zeus, tricked and trapped under Mt Etna where he still roars to this day, seeking to escape.

The twin fishes of Pisces are often depicted as koi carp.

Pisces by John Flamsteed via Wiki

Pisces symbolises the concept of The Flood. This time of year marked the  rainy season in Mesopotamia -where western astrology originated.

This is also the time of the winter flood melt, when mountain streams swell the rivers and will sometimes flood the valleys below. This is the time of year for the earliest spawning of fresh water fish.

The spring equinox now occurs during the zodiac month of Pisces when the sun passes across the ecliptic, crossing the imaginary line of the cord joining the two fishes. This year, 2022, the spring equinox will occur on Sunday 20 March.

Once upon a time the equinox occurred during the time allotted to the zodiac timing of Aries, the first sign of the western zodiac, but this has changed over time owing to the wobble of the Earth; an effect known as the precession of the equinoxes.

Wiki

Pisces is the 14th largest constellation overall covering a large V-shaped region of the northern hemisphere. While it is large, its stars are faint — none brighter than fourth magnitude — making it hard to see with the naked eye.

Pisces is seen as two fish swimming at right angles to each other, one to the north and one to the west, attached to one another by a cord of stars, just as life and death, and winter and spring are conjoined and cannot be separated.

Pisces is the twelfth and final sign of the zodiac year, and rules the twelfth house in a personal horoscope, representing hopes, dreams and fears- what lies beneath. It stands for the mystery of the unknowable. It operates outwith the boundaries. This is its power, its magic and its danger, in the meaning of the spaces between reality and illusion.

Photo by Evelyn Chong on Pexels.com

Planetary aspects: Jupiter and Neptune

Pisces is the constellation associated with watery Neptune in Modern astrology but this planet was not discovered until 1846, and optimistic Jupiter is the original ruler of Pisces in traditional (Hellenistic) astrology. Astrologers vary in respect of which of these rulers they use in their own work.

The Pisces Archetype

Own picture Pisces

The zodiac signs represent archetypes, meaning something that is considered to be a perfect or typical example of a particular kind of person or thing.

The zodiac signs paint a portrait of a person born at a particular time of year, in a particular season. A baby born in summer arrives into a different physical environment from a winter baby; with differences of temperature, hours of daylight, maternal diet during pregnancy and so on, with potentially different effects on the baby’s physical makeup and constitution.

The major arcana Tarot card for Pisces is The Moon, The Moon: ebb and flow, cyclical shifts, intuition, dreams, visionary capabilities, fertility, difficulties with travel, uncertainties, shadow boxing, wild creatures, instinct v civilisation, genius, delusion, visions, and ghosts.

The full moon is a hunter’s moon. The crab, sometimes shown as a crayfish, lives between the sea and the land.

Pisces rules the liminal spaces.

From The Gilded Tarot Royale, illustrator Ciro Marchetti

The court card of Pisces is the Knight of Cups, signifying an offer, an invitation, a proposal, a welcome message, a bringer of good news, an admirer, lover, chivalry, a Sir Galahad, good health, a healing cup, loving cup.

From The Golden Tarot by Kat Black

Pisces is a mutable sign, marking the end of a season. The other mutable signs are Gemini and Sagittarius. Pisces marks the end of winter leading up to the spring/vernal equinox. Of all the zodiac signs, the mutable signs are traditionally considered as the most flexible and adaptable, the ones most at ease with endings and transitions and change.

Pisces is not only the last sign of winter as we are moving into spring; it is the last sign of the whole zodiac year, the culmination of all the signs that came before it. Pisces rules the feet and symbolically Pisces has one foot- in the death of the old year, and one foot in the new life of springtime.

Pisces is famous for its emotional depths and visionary capabilities; sensitive, intuitive, psychic, artistically gifted but also competent or capable of scientific or technical brilliance.

But of course there is no such thing in reality as THE Pisces personality. You are a unique individual. Your zodiac sign (sun sign) is a major keynote, but it is nothing like the full picture in real life – or in astrology.  There are many other factors in play, your rising sign, your Moon sign; the planets in your houses, your decan and the degree of the actual day you were born.

If you don’t feel like a ‘typical’ Pisces, perhaps you are a second or third decan Pisces, rather than a ‘most typical’ first decan Pisces.

Many years ago I did this portrait of my parent’s venerable goldfish, Whizz. One of my sisters won him at a fair and that’s how he came to live with us. Perhaps not the greatest start for him but he lived to be seventeen! One fish, two portraits in one in pen and watercolour.

What are the decans?

The decans (or decanates) are a way of marking time, breaking down each of  the zodiac signs into three shorter blocks of roughly ten days each.  

The Zodiac is a belt of sky we see from earth, tracking the path of the sun across the sky over the course of the year. We call this pathway of the sun ‘the ecliptic,’ The Greeks named the signs after twelve of the constellations appearing on, or crossing this zodiac belt: Aries, Taurus, Gemini Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and lastly, Pisces.

Each of these designated zodiac signs represents a 30 degree section of the zodiac belt. Each sign is then further sub-divided into three blocks of ten degrees, each about ten days in length, with slight variations. This gives us the ‘decans,’ from the Latin meaning ‘ten,’ or they may also be called decanates.

The decans are known as the ‘thirty-six faces of astrology’, adding extra depth and nuance to the stories of the signs of the zodiac, distinguishing between someone born at the start of their zodiac month from someone who is born during the middle or at the end of the zodiac month.

First Decan Pisces

Pisces- Pisces

Dates:  19 Feb-29 Feb

Planetary rulers: Traditional: Jupiter/ Modern: Neptune

Tarot card: Eight of Cups

Rider Waite Smith Tarot

Card meanings:  Moving on, cutting ones losses, leaving something behind, disillusionment, regret.

The first decan of any sign is considered the most typical. Pisces makes for versatility and adaptability, while Neptune presents a soft or gentle manner or appearance. This Pisces is very rarely aggressive or confrontational.

But there is a sense of a push and pull going on here. Jupiter means they think big and step forward. Neptune means they swim round in circles or hide in the weeds. Neptune, planet of illusion, is their sub-ruler, which emphasize creativity and imagination. This Pisces native connects with other people on an unconscious level, almost hearing what they are thinking. Maybe they haven’t noticed this about themselves yet, or take telepathy for granted, but watch out for the signs.

This Pisces 1st decan double style has a tendency to go on a lot of detours before arriving at their final destination. While quiet, this Pisces has deep passions and their love life can be tempestuous. Their ideal partner is lively and communicative with a can-do approach.

They often look younger than their age, but they need to be especially beware unhealthy habits in order to protect their health; mood, and the chest, lungs and feet in particular. Pisces is extra-sensitive to the effects of overindulgence of alcohol or mind altering drugs.

A desire to do good for mankind is characteristic of the kindly first decan Pisces.

Second Decan

Pisces-Cancer

Dates:  1 -10 March (approx.)

Planetary rulers: Jupiter

Tarot card: Nine of Cups

From The Gilded Tarot

Card Meanings: dreams come true, wishes granted, food and drink, the hospitality industry, overdoing things

The sub-influences for this decan are Cancer, ruled by The Moon. Cancer is the natural ruler of the fourth house of home, family and security. These Pisces subjects typically stay very close to birth family members. Pisces may struggle to loosen break parental ties and become independent, but must do so if they want to progress and develop and become the adult in the room, to provide for and parent their own children, building their own family unit.

These are the most elusive most watery of the fishes. Now you see them, now you don’t.  Their zone of the sky from March 1 –10 houses the stars of the water of Aquarius, and Eridanus the river and the west fish of Pisces.

These Pisceans are masters of disguise and can blend into any environment effortlessly. Pisces decan 2 absorbs. It is sensitive and psychic, but for the same reason these people need to choose their company with care, and form healthy habits early on in life. These subjects are supremely susceptible to the influence of others in their environment, and this can work positively or negatively.

Third Decan Pisces

Pisces- Scorpio

Dates:  11 March-20 March

Planetary ruler:  Mars 

Tarot card– Ten of Cups

The Legacy of the Divine Tarot

Card Meanings: contentment, completion, arrival, family life, a happy home

The sub-influences for this decan are Scorpio and its rulers, traditional Mars or modern Pluto.

Energetic Mars and Scorpio – natural ruler of the eighth house of desire, willpower, drive and determination – brings to this Pisces extra charisma, and the drive and determination to push forward where Pisces otherwise can tend to hold back, lacking that forcefulness. This Pisces has the artistic creativity of Pisces/Neptune; but has that extra sticking power to turn dreams into realities.

Pluto brings depth and Mars brings speed and energy of attack. This Pisces needs to stay busy, and needs plenty of energy outlets.

Pisces marks the completion of the zodiac wheel and this final decan marks, the point at which we move into Aries and a whole new circle starts over again. Aries too, is also ruled by energetic Mars.

These Pisces natives, just like the other decans, are enormously receptive to their environment, but they tend to stay more aloof and watchful and are less likely to blend in or fall under the influence of what is going on around them. They are highly observant, natural detectives, well suited to police or other kinds of investigative work. Pisces-Scorpio is an excellent listener, tuning in the wants and needs of others, listening between the lines to what is not being said. 

The Cusps of Pisces

Aquarius-Pisces: February 15-21

Aquarius-Pisces: This is a Pisces native with Aquarius tendencies; a person of high principles, often rather quiet, refined, and with strong likes and dislikes. This Pisces is likely to travel a fair bit and has executive ability and can make money, but can become bored quite easily and needs to be extra careful not to get trapped, becoming committed too soon in a relationship that really doesn’t suit them

Pisces-Aries: March 17-23

Born on the Pisces-Aries cusp, this native is especially instinctive and brave. This mix of energy combines physical and moral courage with compassion for others which can make this Pisces individual a successful leader. This person is loyal to friends and colleagues and they are also generous, and eager to see others do well.

Famous Pisces

Michelangelo, Copernicus, George 111, Albert Einstein, Neville Chamberlain, Sidney Poitier, Elizabeth Taylor, Yuri Gagarin, Michael Gorbachev, Osama Bin Laden, Steve Irwin, Steve Jobs…For more see HERE

Back soon 🙂

The Decans of Aquarius

In Aquarius Season, Introducing the Decans

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

This year we entered the zodiac territory of Aquarius on 20 January 2022. The zodiac sign of Aquarius is named after the constellation of Aquarius, The Water Bearer. Although it is an air sign, this water is airborne, just as the clouds carry water. To the ancient Mesopotamians this time of year, the season of Aquarius was ‘the curse of rain’ and meant the risk of potentially devastating floods.

The constellation of Aquarius, Wiki Public Domain

Although it is an air sign, this water is airborne, just as the clouds carry water. To the ancient Mesopotamians this time of year, the season of Aquarius was ‘the curse of rain’ and meant the risk of potentially devastating floods.

Many of the world’s great flood myths (of which there are many) are thought to come from the real life story of Aquarius, from Sumeria and Gilgamesh, to ancient Greece, Deucalion, and the Old Testament and Noah’s Ark.

Now, Aquarius stands also for Space exploration and travel.

Planetary aspects: Saturn and Uranus

Aquarius is a fixed air sign. Its traditional ruler is the same as Capricorn; Saturn, stern planet of self-reliance, self-discipline, duty, responsibility, conservation, patience, limitations and restrictions. Not all astrologers accept modern planetary rulers but for those who do work with them, the modern ruler, Uranus, planet of innovation and rebellion, is Saturn’s opposite,  reflecting an essential polarity or apparent contradiction in these natives; at the same time conservative and fixed in their habits, and somewhat quirky or even eccentric in presentation, communication or behaviour.

The Aquarius Archetype

All the zodiac signs represent archetypes, meaning something that is considered to be a perfect or typical example of a particular kind of person or thing.

The zodiac signs paint a ‘typical’ portrait of a person born at a particular time of year, in a particular season. A baby born in summer arrives into a different physical environment from a winter baby; with differences of temperature, hours of daylight, maternal diet during pregnancy and so on, with potentially different effects on the baby’s physical makeup and constitution.

The major arcana Tarot card for Aquarius is The Star, standing for individualism, Humanity, Hope, Inspiration and recovery from sickness or despair. Aquarius is communicative, humanitarian, progressive, fraternal, optimistic and idealistic. The shadow side? Every sign has one. Aquarius can be a crusading zealot, self-righteous, selfish or mulishly obstinate. Aquarius likes to dispense good advice, and indeed, they can be very shrewd and give excellent advice, but they can be notably resistant to receiving it themselves.

“The good news is that she is one of the nicest people in the universe. The bad news is, that’s because she always does exactly what she pleases. An Aquarius female is rebellious, headstrong, and contrary. She can be selfishly independent and exasperating, especially when she is running through the house screaming, “freedom!”
― Hazel Dixon-Cooper, Born on a Rotten Day: Illuminating and Coping with the Dark Side of the Zodiac

Aquarius

Card Meanings: A lone star, independence, a vision, inspiration, healing, Hope, recovery, intellect, the collective, technology

The archetypes of Aquarius: The Teacher, The Reformer, The Revolutionary, The Truth- teller/Preacher, The Exile, The Scientist.

The court card of Aquarius is the King of Swords, although in a reading the Queen of Swords may also be used to represent an Aquarius native, whether male or female.

The appearance is often good. Aquarius signs tend to have rather long straight bodies and dainty features (such as ears, noses, and mouths). The posture can tend to be droopy though if they don’t pay attention to it.

Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot

Card Meanings: a mature man of knowledge and authority, a ruler, adviser, judge, military leader, lawyer, doctor, surgeon, scientist, teacher, technician, engineer, IT expert, diagnosis, authority, law, medicine, logic, impartiality, metrics, statistics, cool, remote, observant,

As one of the fixed signs Aquarius is resistant to change, although people with the sign of Aquarius prominent in their horoscopes are famously quick to learn new things and to adopt new ideas.

“Lots of people like rainbows. Children make wishes on them, artists paint them, dreamers chase them, but the Aquarian is ahead of everybody. He lives on one. What’s more, he’s taken it apart and examined it, piece by piece, color by color, and he still believes in it. It isn’t easy to believe in something after you know what it’s really like, but the Aquarian is essentially a realist, even though his address is tomorrow, with a wild-blue-yonder zip code.”
― Linda Goodman, Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs

But of course there is no such thing in reality as THE Aquarius personality. You are a unique individual. Your zodiac sign (sun sign) is a major keynote, but it is nothing like the full picture in real life – or in astrology.  There are many other factors in play, your rising sign, your Moon sign; the planets in your houses, your decan and the degree of the actual day you were born.

If you don’t feel like a ‘typical’ Aquarius, perhaps you are a second or third decan Aquarius, rather than a ‘most typical’ first decan Aquarius.

What do we mean by the decans?

The idea of the decans comes from the ancient Egyptians c 2100 BC, and was later adopted by the Greeks.

The Zodiac is a belt of sky we see from earth, tracking the path of the sun across the sky over the course of the year. We call this pathway of the sun ‘the ecliptic,’ and the zodiac belt shares this same pathway. The paths of the Moon and visible planets can be tracked within the belt of the zodiac.

The Greeks divided this belt into twelve sections, using twelve for ease of arithmetic, and named them after twelve constellations: Aries, Taurus, Gemini Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Aquarius, Aquarius and Pisces.

Each of these zodiac sign represents a 30 degree section of this belt which can then be sub-divided into three blocks of ten degrees, each of about ten days in length with slight variations. This gives us the ‘decans,’ from the Latin meaning ‘ten’.

They have been nicknamed ‘the thirty-six faces of astrology,’ adding more human faces to the portrait gallery, breaking down the story of the zodiac signs into further chapters.

First Decan Aquarius

Aquarius-Aquarius

Dates: 20 Jan -29 Jan (approx.)

Planetary rulers: Saturn-Uranus

Tarot card: Five of Swords

From The Gilded Tarot. Illustrator Ciro Marchetti

Card meanings:  Victory, defeat, ruthlessness, a pyrrhic victory, not worth winning, chagrin, humiliation, resentment

These are complex individuals, containing an innate contradiction. On the one hand ruled by Saturn, they are serious, intelligent, hard- working, responsible and conservative by nature, obstinate even. On the other, they are co- ruled by Uranus the innovator and rebel, and this might mean they are a rebel either with or without a cause.

They are well meaning, likely to sign up to good causes, keen to contribute, and kindly unless they feel emotionally challenged when they are easily wounded, and their recovery may be very slow. They have courage but bouncing back from disappointment is not their forte. They are kindly and affectionate but partners may complain of their detachment.

They strive for excellence and often achieve it, whatever their field of work. They are suited to academic life, with a logical, or scientific but visionary turn of mind and a talent for abstract thinking and for research and analysis. 

They can also be a lot of fun, but while they readily grasp complex and abstract concepts, their emotional intelligence is sometimes in conflict with their intellect, resulting in misunderstandings with loved ones.

Famous first decan Aquarius subjects:  Mozart, Lewis Carroll, Ellen Degeneres, Nicholas Sarkozy, Oprah Winfrey

Second Decan

Aquarius-Gemini

Dates:  30 Jan -8 Feb (approx.)

Planetary rulers: Saturn and Mercury

Tarot card: Six of Swords

From The Legacy of the Divine Tarot, Illustrator Ciro Marchetti

Card Meanings: convalescence, mourning, recovery, progress, relocating, a voyage over water, distance learning

This is one of my personal favourite cards. She captains her own boat, steering a course towards the rising sun.

The second decan of Aquarius is ruled by Mercury, planet of communications, the ruler of Gemini. These natives have the gift of the gab. They are charming, and socially in demand, but while they are generally very pleasant, they are in some ways rather aloof, cool in temperament, not deeply interested in the feelings of others.  They are creatively talented but rational with it, analytical in their approach, more interested in ideas, technicalities and activities than in comfort. This does not mean they don’t have deep feelings. They certainly do, and when they are upset they can lose their cool big time and turn very quarrelsome indeed, even vengeful. They are however, eminently civilized and humane in their general outlook unless they are encountered when they are off balance; much concerned with big issues affecting humanity on the highest levels.

Famous Second Decan Aquarius subjects: Charles Dickens, Jules Verne, Rosa Parks, Bob Marley, Boris Yeltsin, Ronald Reagan, Ashton Kutcher, Michael Sheen,

Third Decan Aquarius

Aquarius- Libra

Dates:  February 9-February 18

Planetary ruler: Venus

Tarot card– Seven of Swords

Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot

Card Meanings:  Diplomacy, tact, damage limitation, investigation, surveillance, theft, fraud, a stalker, sabotage

The third decan is generally appealing and attractive, and generally somewhat more easy-going than Aquarians born in the other decans. The personality is charming yet mysterious, affable yet elusive with an acute sense of humour which they use to defuse and manage challenging situations. They can be something of a court jester, but with many a serious thing spoken in jest.  These quirky, sharp but friendly Aquarians are like shooting stars, nice to have around, and they are easy to approach but may be less easy to understand.   

Famous Decan 3 Aquarius subjects: Galileo, Abraham Lincoln, Charles Darwin, Thomas Edison, Paris Hilton, Mia Farrow, Sheryl Crowe.

The Cusps of Aquarius

Capricorn-Aquarius: January 17-23

These earliest Aquarius natives are hardworking idealists, born on the Cusp of Mystery and Imagination. They are determined, creative, entertaining, idealistic, witty, observant and empathetic. They have a lot of drive combined with creative gifts, and make kind and generous friends, but they can be so self-reliant that they close themselves off from other people, including those who love them, who may sometimes feel shut out.

Aquarius-Pisces: February 15-21

These Aquarians, born on the Aquarius-Pisces cusp are kindly, playful and creative but ultimately sensible. They feel the world on their shoulders- which is both a blessing and a curse. They feel the influence of both planets; rebellious and innovative Uranus and the deep, dreamy bottomless seas of Neptune. The mind is powerful, likewise the visions of these highly original people, often described as “offbeat” or “eccentric”. Don’t underestimate them. They are probably psychic but also sharp, intellectually.

Many Happy Returns, Aquarius!  

2022 is looking like a productive year for you in general, with a focus on co-operation and collaboration. Neptune is doing big stuff this year, especially in April/May. You will be making a big effort, but you really can make a lot of progress this year, and quite possibly achieve a significant new breakthrough, creatively, professionally and financially.

Browse the archives, you’ll find more stories of Aquarius.

Until next time 🙂

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