Zodiac Sign Aquarius
© 2000, 2012 Curtis Manwaring
Aquarius: Jan 20 - Feb 18: known as the waterbearer or "the man". Keyword: "I Know" (similar in meaning to homo sapiens). Aquarius is a sign that has changed tremendously in meaning since ancient times. It was considered to be much more difficult in the past than it is now. The changes seem to be due to two factors: the change in rulership, and change in element. There seems to have been some confusion as to the elemental attribution of this sign by the advent of the middle ages. In modern times it is considered an air sign, but a "water bearer". In ancient times it was a water sign because it belongs to the winter seasonal quadrant. The elemental nature shifted in other ways as well. According to Robert Hand, the signs had just one quality attributed by the Stoics (either hot, cold, wet, or dry), but by the medieval era, each sign had 2 of these qualities .
Aquarius comes in the part of the cycle just after reaching the peak of personal achievement (Capricorn). When Moses came down from the mountain, he shared his acquired (11th - place of acquisition) knowledge of the law with the people. In this sense, we share the knowledge we have gained and our thoughts with others. Modern meanings for Aquarius are that it is a sign of brotherhood, fraternity, platonic love, togetherness and humanitarianism, but aloof (?!), and enigmatical. Often there is the theme of "the needs of the many (Aquarius) outweighing the needs of the few (Leo)". It is interesting to see "weight" being used as the predicate in this sentence because Saturn is associated with lead, considered heaviest of the elements according to alchemists. Many of these meanings come from the planet that was considered its steward, Saturn. When Uranus was discovered, modern astrologers adopted this planet as ruler of this sign. Then came along such meanings as electrical, revolutionary, etc... I can't help but notice how much the symbol for Aquarius, if turned sideways, resembles a pair of lightning bolts. As you may recall, I said that Capricorn was the more difficult of the 2 signs, but this is not the ancient view. According to Valens:
"Those so born are malicious and haters of their own families, unchangeable, single-minded, deceitful, treacherous, those who conceal everything, misanthropists, impious, accusers, betrayers of opinion and truth, begrudging, concerned with trifles, at times generous through the efflux of water, incontinent. 
Valens seems to be coming from the opinion that Aquarius is worse (even than Capricorn) because it is seasonally more difficult than early winter. These attributions are coming solely from a cold Saturn. In modern times, who would have called an aquarian a misanthrope! This may be an extreme example coming from a time in which reality had a different pronoia. Or it may be truer than most would want to think. It seems to me that those natives with a strong Aquarian or Saturn emphasis seem to have a corporate mentality, especially if born during the day. They seem to be emotionally detached, but dedicated to the greater good of society as a whole. Question is, who are they to say what is good for the whole? When Aquarius acts with dictatorial power, some very dangerous consequences can result, read on...
In this "Age of Aquarius" we are now entering, it may be a sign that personal freedoms will gradually give way to the needs of society as a whole, even while we are all gradually becoming more unique and separate. The freedoms we now take for granted, such as the right to privacy, are being set against the right to freedom of information. Ultimately freedom of information will win. A series of crises may be engineered for this purpose. For instance, as disease becomes more prevalent, the needs of the many for your personal medical information will outweigh your need to keep it private and confidential. The same will be the case in crime prevention, when knowing your genetic code, authorities will be able to arrest you ahead of time as a risk for certain types of crime. What will they charge you with? An illegal chromosome in number 26Y? This isn't as ridiculous as you might think. With the apple of knowledge inside a computer (The "I Know" in Aquarius) comes responsibility, and sin. Insurance companies may also need this information for "the good of the many" to judge your risk to society. Those of us willing to wear safety bracelets that tell the authorities our location may get a reduction in our "societal risk rates". We already see the beginnings of this kind of thinking with auto insurance rates, but it is expanding into other questions, such as diet and risks to health, behaviors like smoking and drinking. When we go to Wegmans and buy food with the "shoppers club card", what is the objective? More efficient marketing demographics? In exchange for information on our shopping habits, they discount the price. Of course, they gradually raise the price so that we get used to giving up the information for free. The problem is that years from now that information will not be gone and could become a personal liability when lawyers pass laws against sugar or God knows what, because it has become a public health issue and an insurance liability. There are so many horrors I can't enumerate them all. As roadways become more crowded, the needs of the many to get to work safely will outweigh your need for a leisurely drive without seatbelts. As overpopulation crowds the planet, the needs of the many to be not so many, will outweigh your need to procreate. State sanctioned genetically enhanced designer babies is the result. We already saw the beginnings of this with Hitler, for the "good of the fatherland". As seen in Star Trek, the Borg epitomize this theme of unity and consensus (Aquarius), advanced technology (Uranus) and suppression of individuality (Saturn). Welcome to the new age. Resistance is futile.
Now that you are mad, you should more thoroughly understand the aquarian dilemma. This doesn't mean that I think all aquarians are evil people. In fact, those with the Sun in Aquarius are sometimes "one set against many" against great odds or against an institution; for light is at enmity with darkness in the same way that lions are at enmity with hyenas.
If Aquarius has the times for spirit, one is prone to work in obscurity and in secret towards ones goals. Such are likely not to confide in others as much during this time due to a lack of trust in others unless the benefics happen to be present or cast their rays into the sign. If Saturn should happen to be present or in Libra or Capricorn, it indicates an ability to organize others according to ones own plans and an inclination to build up social organizations for a cause.
If Aquarius has the times for fortune, and the benefics are present or witnessing, it is a time when one is surrounded by faithful friends and confidants. It produces a feeling of contentment and a dislike for change particularly if this place happens to be angular from the lot of fortune (1st, 4th, 7th or 10th houses counting from fortune). If the malefics are present or casting their rays into the sign without the help of benefics, then one can expect the opposite in regards to trusts and can result in betrayal, a sense of restlessness pervades over the times and one is reluctant to look into the past. Often there is the sense that if one could just get the right message to the right people everything would change; that one is alone against many. When this place is the 6th or 8th sign from fortune and is active for the times, it can indicate swelling of the ankles and circulatory problems.
More information on each of the planets in Aquarius:
15. Robert Hand, from notes at the 2nd PHASE Conclave, July 1995. In other words Fire = Hot + Dry. The elemental makeup of a sign depended upon the season in which the Sun was in that sign. For instance, the spring signs were warm and moist which is of air. These signs are: Aries, Taurus and Gemini. The summer signs were considered hot and dry, therefore of fire: Cancer, Leo and Virgo. The fall signs were considered cool and dry and of earth: Libra, Scorpio and Sagittarius. The winter signs were cold and wet and were of water: Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. I should caution that currently Schmidt is of the opinion that the signs did not have an elemental character in themselves. This might make sense, because according to Ptolemy the heavens were pure and made of the quintessence which was not corruptable as were the 4 elements.
16. Vettius Valens, The Anthology, Book 1, pg 15. Translated by Robert Schmidt.