Aquarius Season Forecast: Generative Waters and Collective Agency
New Years Day may have been January 1st but the start of Aquarius Season on January 19th feels more like a new beginning than any calendar holiday. After the heavy Cardinal Earth transits of the last few years, Aquarius Season sees many of our visible planets joining Saturn and Jupiter in their airy new world, emphasizing energies that will be the signature of the year ahead.
Whether or not the Great Conjunction of December launched us into the fabled Age of Aquarius, the symbolism of the Water Bearer is an apt metaphor for the time: Aquarius is often associated with humanitarianism, philanthropy, and reform. In Greek mythology, Aquarius is sometimes associated with Deucalion, the only human with the foresight and innovation to survive Zeus’ great flood and, along with his wife, repopulated the postdiluvian world. While we could debate the humanity of both these figures (as all signs point to Titan parentage), we need to look farther back to really make sense of the Aquarian sign: the Akkadian Ea. Ea was a Creator, responsible for fathering not only some of the most powerful patron deities of the ancient world, but also for producing mankind, illness and health, unity and language. He was a water god, depicted bearing a large urn easily recognizable as our modern-day Water Bearer — but the waters of Ea were generative and often result in spontaneous generation, the birth of new gods and creatures. Ea’s water also bore his seed, his own otherworldly genetic signature.
As ruler of the 11th House, Aquarius represents human interests, community, social connections, and peers. In a system where everything is a spectrum of expression, Aquarius still speaks strongly to reproduction and creative energy — where Leo uses this for individual pleasures, Aquarius represents the ways we use our generative waters to further the collective. It is progress, reform, and equity, but it’s important to remember that Aquarius is Fixed Air, heady and impenetrable. Its elemental nature is not unlike the vastness of space, a powerful representation of humanity’s potential yet unable to sustain human life. It’s here that we are reminded of Aquarius’ inhuman origins, the Generative God or Populating Titan, for humanity but not of it. Aquarius may represent the collective, but it does so from the top down: care for those beneath your status, make their world a better place. But history is full of leaders blind to the struggles of life, celebrated philanthropists with revolutionary ideas that made no difference to the lives of their communities. The very idea of philanthropy comes from a place of higher status, of looking down on another. It is the concept of unity and charity, the theory of benevolence and altruism, but ideas are often difficult — if not impossible — to embody in a physical reality. How do we ensure that our new Aquarian current touches the right shores?
The astrological patterns of this Aquarius season force us to confront discomfort for progress, pouring out tension and healing in equal parts for those who are willing to partake. No sooner does the Sun arrive in Aquarius than we see Mercury, our Messenger, trine the aspirational North Node. Officially in its retrograde shadow, Mercury asks us to suspend reaction this month, to hold our tongues while we travel what could potentially be rough waters. There will be time to speak later when we truly know the message. And with Mars conjunct Uranus on the 20th, anything could happen: Taurus’ fixed earth energy may dampen Mars’ temper but erratic Uranus acts as a flint, friction that will still spark Mars’ flame even if it has nowhere to catch.
This is the sort of tough love healing cycle we can expect for the month ahead: for every burn a soothing balm. On the 23rd Mars squares off with benefic Jupiter, regaining some expansive capacity as it separates from Saturn, potentially exposing false promises from those in power, while Venus sextile Neptune keeps our hopes high and our spirits buoyant. The Sun conjunct Saturn puts pressure on new structures that may not yet bear weight, while sextiling Chiron brings an opportunity to overcome the pains of growth. The Sun squares Uranus on the 26th, reminding us that this is not the season to identify with places or things, that we are more than our titles, and our place in the world is more than a concept: in order to advance as an individual, you need to first accept your role in the collective.
This constructed self comes under the microscope with the Full Moon in Leo on the 28th, when the Mars Uranus Lilith agitators pull the bow taught between the Sun and Jupiter in Aquarius and the Leo Moon. Just outside of the T-square Venus conjunct Pluto draws our attention to the enjoyment we take in struggle, cementing the message: pay attention to the joy you feel in chaos. Oppression is not your identity, and you may be surprised to learn who’s been pulling your strings. Make a vow to yourself to restore your agency and choose joy over strife.
The Sun’s conjunction with Jupiter seals this pact while its square with Lilith also sheds new light on some of the hardships that shaped us. When Mercury stations retrograde on the 30th, it does so in separation from the Moon: the messages we receive over the course of this year’s first retrograde will put a cap on the emotional trauma we’ve suffered over the previous year if we’re willing to stretch our minds in new ways and allow new ideas to populate our internal landscape.
Of course this won’t be easy. Mars immediately squares off with the Sun, reminding us that the healing process can be its own source of anger. Simply making the commitment does not mean immediate comfort and we need to confront things that upset us in order to work through them. But we’re not alone: Venus arrives in Aquarius on February 1st to emphasize the love and friendship strengthened as a result. In Aquarius, Venus represents the sort of brotherly love and community support that stems from mutual understanding and respect, an energy we see in abundance on February 6th when the Lesser Benefic makes aspects to Saturn, Chiron, and Uranus at once. Hold on to the feelings you experience: they’re going to be your best weapon against impulse, especially as retrograde Mercury hits the Sun and Mars once again.
The New Moon in Aquarius arrives on February 11th, assembling six of the seven traditional planets in Aquarius. Our hearts, minds, plans, and dreams seem to come into alignment — but the way forward is not so clear. With Mars still in squaring Taurus, we’re forced to consider the practicalities of our grand schemes. Just because we can do something does not mean we should, and with every planet’s head in the swirling galactic space of Aquarius, Mars in Taurus is our only lifeline to Earth. We should remember that Aquarius is also the sign of the Sun’s exile and its light is not as far-reaching as it could be. With so many planets passing through its heart, we don’t fear the usual combustion of a stronger sun but rather see a potential for each planet to leave its signature on us in turn. Our Full Moon vow of personal clarity may be the only thing that keeps us from becoming an agent of the collective, possessed by the ideology of the moment handed down from higher forces. Pay attention to news brought from Mercury as its retrograde returns it to aspects with Venus, Jupiter, and Lilith: there’s information in the air, encrypted though it may be. But with Saturn square Uranus on the 17th, while the Sun teeters on the last degree of Aquarius and the Moon sits directly atop Uranus, the Holy Fool, the light of understanding begins to slip through the cracks. A new day is dawning. The Waters of Ea may foster new life, but we, the People, made of flood-rich soil and creative impulse, will be the ones to construct the world.