View Full Version : the revolutionary and the conservative

isthmus nekoi
22-01-2004, 09:12
How much has the associations w/Aquarius changed since astrologers adopted Uranus as its ruler?

For it seems very strange to me to have conservative, tradition bound Saturn ruling over eccentric, rule defying Aquarius. Was Aquarius always so eclectic? Certainly the fixed nature of the sign appeals to a more Saturnian solidity rather than Uranian shocks!

23-01-2004, 05:16
Lilly's descriptaion of Aquarius is:

'An aerial, hot and moist sign of the airy triplicity, diurnal, sanguine, fixed, rational, humane, masculine'

Now there's no mention here of eccentric, or rule defying indeed most of the adjectives are ones which no longer figure in introductory texts but which are slowly seeping back in to more advanced texts with the work of astrologers such as Lee Lehman and Rob Hand.

I think the key words in terms of your question are airy and rational and sanguine. Aquarius is (or was) the sign of the rational thinker, 'sanguine' is essentially well balanced and in modern idiom perhaps indicates the 'detached' or 'objective' side of Aquarius. Now Saturn is quite at home with these properties and even with the rational thinkers propensity to challenge established views - indeed the essence of the scientific method, developed in the Seventeenth Century was to test established theories of how the universe works.

However this traditional view appears to have been contaminated by the caricature of the mad scientist/absent minded professor and a lot of New Age overlay. The discovery of Uranus may well have led to a challenge to the, then, accepted view of the solar system and the nature of the universe and this may well have set of a (traditional) Aquarian process but one very much under the rational eye of Saturn.

isthmus nekoi
23-01-2004, 08:35
ah thanks, Minderwiz! Some of the adjectives ascribed to Aquarius did seem a little tacked on to me.

23-01-2004, 10:39
All of this discussion, Minderwiz, nicely makes the point that the planet's attributes are not the sign's attributes -- a problem that is propegated by conventional sun-sign astrology books and news columns. Uranus does not equal Aquarius. Dave.

23-01-2004, 19:38

An excellent point and I agree 150% with you.

Sun sign columns have got a lot to answer for!

Isthmus' query got me thinking and I looked up Abu Ali Al-Khayyat's Judgement of Nativities written in the 9th Century AD but based on much older sources. He concentrates on planets, angles, houses and house rulers - the signs are given much less prominance than would be the case today. Signs, in so far as they played a role, qualified or modified planets, or brought sign (and therefore house) rulers into play they did not have a distinct role in their own right.

Whilst I'm not saying Khayyat was totally right, at least he doesn't run into confusion between sign and planet, his system works clearly. At a modern perspective we could see Uranus as being a significator of shocks, electricity, rebellion, the unconventional, etc without heaping all this onto Aquarius.

At a slightly tongue in cheek level, we might also blame the 70s musical Hair, with it's 'Age of Aquarius' which did much to establish Aquarius as 'whacky' and 'way out'.

isthmus nekoi
24-01-2004, 01:25
Thanks for clarifying! I've read so much about the sign Aquarius itself being wacky and unconventional which I'm assuming is a result of conflating sign and planet...

New Age has really made the Age of Aquarius this wonderful Utopian era, but looking at other resources, esp those who follow the God the Mother (Taurus) - God the Father (Aries, Pisces) - God the Child (Aquarius) transitions, one reads a very different conception of the third age.

24-01-2004, 04:26
A very good point Isthmus. The 'Age of Aquarius' may well be considerably different from the 70s hippy view.

I fear however that the conflated, over simplified Planet = Sign = House view will take some turning back, so we may well be saddled with 'Whacky Aquarius' till history shows that it is not whacky at all.

27-01-2004, 03:39
“For it seems very strange to me to have conservative, tradition bound Saturn ruling over eccentric, rule defying Aquarius.”

We tend to think of Aquarius in the Rebel without a Cause vein, but Saturn’s traditional rulership is very much a part of the sign. While it is certainly true that Aquarius is visionary and often out of step with its time, it is also respectful of the past – understanding that the present is based on tradition (Saturn). Aquarius is often rule defying, but it is defiance with a purpose. In the Aquarian mind, the old way needs revision so that it can move into the future.

Aquarius embraces the radical need to be true to itself as well as a willingness to break the rules (Uranus), but often the rebellion presents itself in a conservative manner within the current conventions (Saturn). Even when the defiance seems to have no concrete purpose, it is usually there – buried behind the Aquarian façade of distance.

Both Saturn and Uranus embody strength and solitude. The self-respect of Saturn mirrors the authenticity requirements of Uranus and blends into our modern day view of Aquarius.

That’s my nickel's worth as a double tenth house Aquarian.

27-01-2004, 07:39
Thanks Nikki

I think that is very well put.

There is always an issue as to the extent that Astrology should be adaptable, and therefore a living organism and to what extent it is a set of rules that should be followed, and therefore something that could become out of date and irrelevant.

Your statement is a good blend of ancient and modern and is one way that Astrology can develop but maintain links with its tradition.

The rulerships that were traditionally allocated were not on the basis of 'similarity' but on the basis of the wholeness of nature. Saturn's rulership of Aquarius is because it is the sign opposed to Leo, The Sun and Saturn - the centre and the boundary therefore oppose each other. Saturn is lord of Winter and the Sun lord of Summer.

Modern rulerships place emphasis only on similarity rather than nature but one of the costs of this is to conflate sign and planet and also to undermine the basis on which rulership is assigned. Saturn does not rule Aquarius in the same way that Saturn 'rules' the skeleton or Uranus rules 'electricity'.

You offer a way in which the difference between sign and planet can be shown.