The Aquarius Path - Set Yourself Free

by Guru Rattana, Ph.D. - Issue #129 - January 26, 2007
Planetary Alignments

The Sun in Aquarius, and the Full and New Moons, wake us up to the need to make changes in our lives. Saturn retrograde until April 19th, and Mercury retrograde from February 13th through March 7th, provide the reflective space to evaluate our course for the next year and beyond.

The Aquarian Nature - The Restless Mind

Aquarius is mental, impersonal, free-spirited, spontaneous, and concerned with objective truth. Aquarius is future-oriented, altruistic, focuses on the good of the collective, and operates on a planetary and universal consciousness level.

The Aquarian archetype is rebellious and restless by nature, and radical in his thinking. His temperament causes him to become easily bored. He enjoys new ideas and adventures, and is continually questing for extraordinary experiences. Aquarius challenges authority, enjoys doing the opposite of what is expected, wants to cover new territory, and finds newness much more interesting than routines. He is eager to grow and loves to live in the now.

Aquarius and his mentor, Uranus, represent our curiosity, our need to respond to new challenges and mental stimuli, our personal hopes, dreams, wishes, and our altruistic ideals for humanity.(1) An innovator by profession, Aquarius finds fulfillment in the discovery of new concepts and ideas. He finds emotional satisfaction by associating with friends who share the same vision. His comfort zone is in communities, organizations and groups that work toward a common goal.

Immature Aquarius acts out inner frustrations by rebelling against authority, and often finds it hard to identify a niche in life until his later years. With some hard knocks and negative feedback from erratic behavior, Aquarius learns to temper his rebellious nature, so that he can find and keep friends. When Aquarius associates with a group of like-minded peers, he can lead the rest of the pack.

Where is My Aquarius?

Like all the signs, not everyone has planets in Aquarius, but the Water Bearer archetype is part of everyone's birth chart. There are three ways to identify where and how Aquarian energy plays out in our lives:

  1. Locating the house or houses that contain Aquarius, or have Aquarius on the cusp, helps us identify the arena in life where we confront our Aquarian issues, and display our Aquarian traits.
  2. Aquarius is ruled by Uranus and Saturn. However, the sign and house location of our natal Aquarius is the best indicator of how and where we play out our quest for individuation and humanitarian contribution.
  3. The 11th house is the house or territory ruled by Aquarius, and associated with Uranus. Any planets in our 11th house are conditioned by Uranian and Aquarian energy.

The above three ways all help us understand how and where our inner Uranus faces challenges aimed at awakening our consciousness.

The Aquarius Evolutionary Journey
IndifferenceObjective detachment
Spaced out ConsciouslyConnected to universal mind
Tries to figure out rationallyTrusts intuition
Disconnected, ungroundedIntermediary between Infinite and Earth
RebelAngelic messenger
WandererFinds niche in life
Against the establishmentWorks to change political/economic/social structure
Focus on discontent/whats wrongFocus on humanitarian service
Opinionated Humble, connection with the truth
Needs acknowledgment of uniquenessSure of self and identity
Aloof intellectualismRespected for knowledge and insights
Tries to get attentionFocus on others needs and qualities
Erratic, disruptiveBehavior Focus on inspiring others
Alienate othersObjective listening and sharing
ChildishWitty, spontaneous inner child
Manipulate to get attentionHumor and perspective appreciated
Needs a group for identity/securityFeels rewarded when making a contribution
Feels separate from wholeAwareness of self and others in group
Identifies with peer groupDefined individual identity
Feels alienated Feels included and includes others
Feels isolatedKnows we are not alone
Makes off the wall commentsSource of innovative ideas and inspiration
Aquarius is the Last Air and Fixed Sign

Aquarius is the last of the steady, powerful and magnetic fixed signs. Fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius) are focused and committed. The fixed signs represent the four sources of human power and potential. The fixed signs need to learn, and teach us about, self-empowerment and taking responsibility for our own lives.(2)

As the last of the three air signs, Aquarius, like Gemini and Libra has a mental approach to life and decision-making. Air Signs must learn how to deal with and transcend mental duality. We have to learn to access our neutral mind, to deal with the confusion experienced in the rational mind from too much advice, and too much information. It is in the non-dual mind that we are able to integrate, resolve and balance opposites, and listen to our intuition.

The Aquarian Mind

Aquarius has access to the universal mind. When this connection becomes conscious, we can perceive reality from a higher perspective. We become less spaced out and more able to bring in innovative ideas. We need to be able to access our higher mind to receive the knowledge, and truth, that facilitate our role as agents of change. We realize that things are not the way they appear to be. Learning to trust this expanded awareness, and our intuition, makes it possible to not let appearances delude and distract us.

From this higher vantage point, we are not deterred from our mission to challenge the status quo. We have the courage to confront those with vested interest in keeping things the way they are. The inspiration, the knowledge and the courage all come from linking up with the universal mind. Beyond the orbit of the rational mind and mass consciousness, we are able to adhere to our own truth, and forge a path for a new order. Our peace of mind comes, not from pleasing others, but from freedom from mental duality. Illumination comes from accessing the universal mind through the neutral mind.

Understanding Aquarius

Aquarius is ruled by both Saturn and Uranus. Understanding Aquarius requires recognizing the difficulties, and the benefits, involved in integrating these very different energies. Each individual approaches this integration differently, depending on the other energies in their soul blueprint.

Saturn symbolizes the principle of cosmic order, duty, limitation, Father Time, authority figures, and obedience to the collectives standards.(3) It represents structures, limitations and order. The grounding, reality checking, and delay factor associated with Saturnian energy, sustains Uranus through time so it can manifest its ideas, embody its ideals and take its responsibilities seriously.

Uranus embodies electrical impulses that disrupt a bad movie, and change the plot on the spot. Uranus is forever destroying structures that are in decay and in need of replacement.(4) The Uranian mission is to tear down worn out institutions, eliminate archaic belief systems, and oblige us to elevate our consciousness. When the Uranian influence is predominant, our lives are in a constant state of flux.

Those with more planets in Earth signs, especially Capricorn (referred to as Saturn Aquarius,(5)) are more grounded and practical. Saturn Aquarius is more traditional, conservative in nature, concerned about what authority figures think, and needs a certain amount of security, continuity, and roots.

Those with more planets in Water (especially Pisces) and air signs will be less grounded, more utopian, mystical and etheric. The individual with several planets in Aquarius will be very spontaneous, living in the here and now, and uninterested in the past. They will sometimes feel like they are visiting Earth from another planet, or even galaxy. The Uranian Aquarius often expresses disdain for the grubby routines of the workaday world,(6) while the Saturn Aquarius gets busy and gets the job done.

Aquarius can balance Uranus and Saturn by building a resilient foundation of diverse, but well chosen, friends and life experiences. The two energies are integrated by feeling, containing and grounding the electrical impulses in the physical body.

The Aquarian Path

Aquarius represents the threshold of individuation, where we act on our own internalized sense of authority.(7) Our success depends upon our level of self-reliance, and our ability and willingness to take responsibility for our own life - both Capricorn and tenth house issues.

Aquarius can get stuck in the rebel phase, but our inner rebel has to learn that we have to be for something, not just against everything. Of course, what we hope will be welcomed as selfless acts to improve the human condition, can cost us. The establishment does not like their power positions threatened. There can be a price to pay for nonconformity. Aquarius fears ridicule, rejection and reprisal, not by authorities but by our peers. Discovering that others share our same values helps us feel less isolated, and more empowered to be ourselves. Working with others for a higher purpose, helps us release the martyrdom and victim mentality. The power of the group mind helps us have faith that our vision of peace, justice, equality and abundance is possible.

Aquarius is the archetype that prepares us for a completely new way of being. This cosmic impulse gives us the capacity to radically transform our consciousness, so that we can change the structural patterns of our collective systems - from structural violence to structural peace.

The Symbology of the Aquarian Path

The Aquarian glyph is a double wavy line signifying the movement of water, its dual nature, and the fact that it is subject to fluctuating moods. The quality of movement is a strength that can be used to adapt to its changing moods, and to work with its evolutionary task of transcending duality. The symbology for Aquarius is a person, a Water Bearer, holding a pitcher with water flowing from it.

The Water and the Pitcher

The continual flow of water represents the universal force, that both sustains life and quenches the human thirst for a continual connection with Spirit. Under the Aquarian impulse, we become more conscious as our individual energy merges with universal energy. The water also symbolizes wisdom and divine inspiration. Our immersion in universal truths enables us to perform right action - to go beyond our limited individual interests, and to work for the higher good of the collective. We wash ourselves in the universal wave to make ourselves ready to swim in divine oneness.

The pitcher is the body/person vessel. The pitcher delivers the water or cosmic life-force. The water must be released or shared or the pitcher cracks. It takes a certain vessel to bring the divine wisdom through. The pitcher must be a free flowing instrument, (1) to hold and dispense the water for the individual to complete his/her individuation process, and (2) to contain our separate identity and merge with the Infinite force. Preparing the body and the mind to attain and maintain this level of consciousness is no small feat. Aren't we lucky we have Kundalini Yoga and meditation to help us do so?

The Leo/Aquarius Polarity

Being a very mental sign, it is hard for Aquarius to connect with its emotions in the body. Detached and mental, Aquarius neglects and ignores its emotional body. Aquarius has a proclivity for discussing feelings in analytical language. When our feelings are unintegrated, we feel alone, left out and abandoned, even when this is not the case. As we get more in touch with our feelings, our depressed mood can lift, and we are more able to relax. Life is more fun, easier and more fulfilling.

However challenging, the mind, body and emotions must be reconciled and integrated to become a whole person. Only when we trust our instincts, have faith in our intuition, and remain alert to both, are we able to be true to ourselves.

Leo, a passionate, fiery persona, can help Aquarius learn about emotions and feelings. Aquarius needs to integrate Leo virtues - passion for life and a compassionate heart-centered joie de vivre, while avoiding its excesses - egotistical self-centeredness and the need to be the center of attention. For Aquarius, action in the world involving some service to humanity is required.

Freedom in Companionship

Aquarius wants to be friends with everyone, and has a tendency to not be discriminating enough in his choice of associates. It is absolutely critical that Aquarius choose the right guide and companions for his journey. This, of course, includes the right life partner. Although young Aquarius loves personal freedom, and tends to marry and settle down later in life, committing to a life partner makes Aquarius less nervous, more balanced, grounded, relaxed and happier. The appropriate partner helps Aquarius sustain and enjoy his freedom. Instead of giving up our independence, finding a companion and friend on the quest gives us moral and even material support for our hopes and dreams.(8)

Greek mythology helps us understand why some form of partnership is good for Uranus. Uranus represents Heaven - the sky above, an impersonal force of nature. His wife, Gaea, is the Earth mother. Her earthy nature balances his airy nature and grounds him in physical reality.(9) Of course, Uranus can be a woman and the Gaea role can be played by a man.

Leo Full Moon - February 1st

At every full moon we feel pushed and pulled in opposite directions, until we integrate the two energies and achieve a synthesis. There are enough oppositions in this full moon to demand cooperation between these complementary forces. At this full moon, Neptune and Mercury, as well as two asteroids Pallas Athena and Chiron, are in Aquarius. The Moon opposes the Sun, Pallas Athena and Chiron. Saturn in Leo opposes Neptune in Aquarius.

Aquarius and its Leo polarity love to be involved in creative activities. Leo connects us to our personal creative expressions, which give us each something unique to offer to the world. Aquarius provides the community and outreach to a wider audience. This full moon invites us to learn important lessons from the Leo/Aquarius polarity - that we can't suppress our creative urges without negative consequences; and the real satisfaction comes when our creations uplift, entertain or support others.

To grow we have to change. When the pain of the status quo is too much, we become willing to embrace the pain of change. It takes courage to jump into the unknown. It takes grit to keep up. It takes commitment to break through barriers. One day we pass the point, where the discomfort of remaining in our box is more disturbing than embracing the unknown. We break through our ego barriers (Leo), and take a giant step toward setting ourselves free (Aquarius).

Integrating the Leo/Aquarius polarity liberates us in many ways. We experience a sense of both freedom and satisfaction, as we express our unique identity and creativity. While actively contributing to our community, we can further the good of the greater whole. At this full moon the space is available to clarify our priorities, claim our power, recognize the disparities between our dreams and our reality, and evaluate where we want to go next.

Aquarius New Moon - February 17th

This is the sixth of seven new moons in a row to occur in the last degree of the sign. Beginning with the solar eclipse at 29° Virgo September 22nd, 2006, this extraordinary series of new moons competes with the solar eclipse at 28° Pisces, March 18th. The last degree of a sign invites us to integrate the highest expression of that sign. At this new moon, the Sun and Moon are joined by Neptune and two asteroids, Pallas Athena and Chiron. Saturn in Leo opposes Neptune and Pallas Athena. There is a lot of Aquarian energy and lofty ideas that need to be grounded, in practical plans and realistic schedules, for their implementation.

The Aquarius new moon focuses our attention on change, progress, transformation, evolution, and our highest ideals. The Aquarian mission is to heal the wounds of alienation, isolation, inequality and injustice. The Aquarian spirit makes us feel included. We know that we are not alone. Each one of us is an important part of the whole, and has a unique role to play.

Aquarius knows that those in power attempt to neutralize, discredit, and even eradicate those who disrupt the status quo. In its quest for universal freedom, equality and innovation, Aquarius symbolizes the eternal struggle between the old and new orders. When the status quo becomes oppressive, we must step forward to create transformation and renewal. To fight for the collective good, we must reawaken the power of our soul.

The Aquarius new moon makes us aware of our role as an agent of change, and reminds us that our personal and collective future depends upon our choices. What is your unique and vital role? What is your next step to more actively contribute to planetary healing?

Endings and Openings

We meet our destiny, when we are called upon to do what we didn't think we could do, and what we have never done before. The Uranian shock happens without warning. We can no longer conduct ourselves in our habitual ways.

Uranus' sudden shocks and unexpected events are openings. They get our attention immediately.

The important thing is not to go into victim mode, to withdraw or to get obsessed by a story. We need to feel the feeling, but quickly detach and stay alert for the sudden appearance of new opportunities. One door is closing and another is opening.

It is our intuitive side, not the rational mind, which manifests and recognizes opportunities. The shock, the betrayal is painful, and our rational mind will try to find explanations and excuses. However, the sooner we can see and accept the larger perspective, the sooner we can understand the gift, and take advantage of our new freedom to move on and do our own thing.

Taking Advantage of Uranus Wake-Up Calls

When Uranus sends a bolt of lightening our way, we need to know how to take advantage of these wake-up calls. We can ask ourselves, "What have I been dreaming of doing? Where have I not given myself the space to expand and enrich my life, by making excuses or being afraid to change?"

Aquarius can be seen as an angel, or messenger, who comes to us as a catalyst, or temporary guide, to assist us to the next level. Both the opportunity and the guide may vanish suddenly after the message, or insight, is delivered.

We need to ask ourselves what we need. Perhaps we are needing:

  1. Time out from our routines to detach or use our creative energy for other productive endeavors.
  2. A chance to view our life and the world through another set of lenses, where we can gain a clear, objective and more encompassing perspective.
  3. An opening to evaluate relationships, habits, beliefs, our job and circumstances that determine what we are doing with our life.

After our needed time out, review and re-evaluation, things look different to us. We feel more relaxed and have new hopes and aspirations. All of a sudden we are willing (and able) to change course and explore new territory. We find a renewed purpose in life, step out into the world, take risks, venture to new territory and meet new people. We welcome the chance to pursue our inner search.

If we are cut lose from the structure of a regular job, we enjoy scheduling our own life, being our own independent authority, and earning a living from our own ideas and creative endeavors. Independence and freedom give us a chance to experiment, and focus on our own ingenuity or originality. We tap into our fiery confidence by integrating the Leo polarity. Moving into the Unknown Future, courtesy of Uranus, has many cautious Earth and Water clients sweating blood for a while, dealing with stress and anxiety, and then discovering that they enjoy the chance to go for it.(10)

Dealing with the Stress of Change

Uranus rules the central nervous system, oxidation of the blood, and its circulation. When Uranus is active we can feel highly strung and stressed out. We may need to take time out, but it is hard to sit still. The best way to take care of our body vessel, and give it the rest and relaxation that it needs, is to exercise and engage in activities out-of-doors. We can also use our nervous energy productively by engaging in activities that further our goals. One more reason for staying active is that Uranus energy helps the mind assimilate concepts rapidly, but patience is not in big supply.(11)

The Uranus impulse awakens us to the need to take a new direction. The more we accept and deal positively with change, the less we suffer health problems acerbated by, and associated with, rigid attitudes, such as hardening of the arteries, and the more we experience hope and renewed vigor. Uranus is an awareness archetype: we have to become conscious and move out of denial, whether we want to or not. Resisting change and holding on to the past can lead to accidents. If we are not willing, we are awakened against our will. At a spiritual level, our faith in the Infinite is tested, as well as our willingness and ability to listen to, and follow, our internal guidance.

Aquarian Touchstones

My Cup/body vessel overflows with universal waters.

Sexuality and Spirituality 2nd Edition by Guru Rattana, Ph.D.

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Kundalini Yoga - Grounding and Containing Spiritual Energy

The following exercise, and Kundalini Yoga set, prepares your body to be a strong vessel to contain the Infinite flow.

While the Sun is in Aquarius, spiritual energy is abundant and substantive. Our body feels alive, electric and even over-charged. Our mind can feel over-stimulated and our emotional body stressed. It is important to feel this energy in our body, so that we can ground it and contain it. It is through feeling that we pull in cosmic energy, and ground the energy of our soul into our body. We can achieve the above goals by consciously practicing the kriya to Raise Kundalini in Quick Order (taught by Yogi Bhajan in December 1969).(12)

The first exercise of this set can be done by itself, with very powerful results. If you only have time to do one exercise in the morning, and want to prepare yourself for the day, practice chair or table pose for 2-5 minutes. Then sit and feel the energy in your body. Meditate on the still, silent, vast space inside your head and body. Let the space and the aliveness integrate. Being very present to all your sensations, in your body and mind, will help you contain and ground yourself for the day.

This exercise is best done on an empty stomach.

Chair or table pose is done by first squatting with the feet 1 to 2 feet apart, whatever distance is comfortable for you. Bring your hands inside the legs and grab on to your ankles or heels. The hands go around the ankles and grab on so the fingers are facing forward. Bring your back to a flat position or as flat as you can, lowering the buttocks to achieve the stance of a table or chair. Hold this position with long deep breathing, or breath of fire, for 2-5 minutes. Build up the time from 2 to 5 minutes. This exercise is challenging, but the results are well worth the effort.

To end, inhale deeply, apply the root lock by pulling in the navel and slightly tightening the muscles at the base of the spine. Exhale and immediately sit in easy pose. Feel the energy in your body, and meditate on the space inside your head and body. You can also lie down and let go. But follow the deep relaxation by meditation. Do not jump up right after this exercise. The body needs to integrate the energy shifts.

Of course, practicing the whole set brings the most integration and results. After each exercise take 1-2 minutes to ground the energy in your body, by feeling your sensations, and by being attentively present to the space inside your skin. Make the whole set an exercise in training your mind to be alert, awake and present to yourself.

References and Footnotes

"Leo Full Moon, Aquarius New Moon", Austin, Stephanie, The Mountain Astrologer, Issue #131, Feb/March 2007, pp.103-104.

"Fundamentals of Vedic Astrology", Behari, Bepin, Lotus Press, 2003.

"Astrology and Spiritual Awakening", Bogart, Gregory C., Dawn Mountain Press, Berkeley, 1994.

"Archetypes of the Zodiac", Burt, Kathleen, Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, 2002.

"Spiritual Astrology", Spiller, Jan and McCoy, Karen, Simon and Schuster, 1985 and 1988.

1. Burt, p. 446
2. All 200 back issues can be found using our Index. You can also search uaing keywords on our site search facility, at the top of every page.
3. Burt, p. 428
4. Burt, p. 428
5. Burt, p. 428
6. Burt, p. 427
7. Austin, p. 104
8. Burt, p. 431
9. Burt, p. 427
10. Burt, p. 439
11. Burt, p. 440
12. This set is found on pages 52-53 in Sexuality and Spirituality, 2nd Edition


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