Aquarius symbol. A common misconception about the Aquarius zodiac sign is that it’s related to the water signs. But we’ll debunk that myth right here, right now.
The Aquarius sign is actually the last of the air signs. That means, it is ruled by the air element.
On the flip side, it is tied to the “aqua” in its name because of its symbol — the water bearer.
This is where the confusion comes in. Because water is part of the Aquarius symbol, many assume it’s a water sign. But it’s not. Read on for the full scoop…
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Those with the Aquarius symbol are born between January 21 and February 20.
Uranus is their ruling planet, and Aquarians are generally most compatible with Leo and Sagittarius. But the Aquarius is so much more than the facts. Ask any Aquarius, and they’ll tell you that!
Aquarius is a sign of boldness. Aquarians don’t like to follow mainstream and prefers to break the rules rather than follow them.
An Aquarius isn’t your girl or guy next door. It’s someone who disrupts the norm and leaves a trail of free-spirited “-isms” behind them!
How the Aquarius symbol came into being is a different story.
These rule-breakers didn’t sprout from just anywhere. They hail from a long history of planetary drama and anti-governmental attitude. To understand the Aquarius personality, you need to know the backstory… which begins with a boy named Ganymede.
Ganymede and Aquarius Myth 1
The myth of Aquarius intersects with the story of a beautiful boy, Ganymede. He was so beautiful – some would say the most beautiful boy at the time – that he was abducted by the gods. He was helping out with his father’s sheep at the top of Mount Ida when Zeus spotted him.
Now, Zeus was a little greedy and super into Ganymede’s beauty. He didn’t want to admire from afar anymore, oh no. He wanted Ganymede all for himself. Queue the, “Take a picture, it’ll last longer” expression, because Zeus took it even one step further. He transformed himself into an eagle so that he could swoop down and grab Ganymede with his talons.
Zeus, as you know, was a powerful god, so he could get away with almost anything. He knew what he wanted (Ganymede), and he wanted him as his personal servant. So he kept Ganymede as the designated person to fill up his cups with whatever he wanted to drink. In other words, Ganymede became Zeus’s cupbearer.
But here’s where things went haywire:
Zeus already had a cupbearer – a loyal servant by the name of Hebe. But Zeus didn’t care too much about him, and he quickly replaced Hebe with Ganymede. (Because you know, good looks trump loyalty.) At this point, no one is happy, but Zeus – including Hebe’s mother.
She went directly to Zeus and gave him a piece of her mind about Hebe losing his cup-bearing job. And she kept coming back to berate Zeus for his actions. One time was alright, but after she kept confronting Zeus, he got tired of it.
So he sent Ganymede up into the sky, which became the constellation of Aquarius. Then, he reinstated Hebe as his cupbearer. Ya gotta love mothers!
Ganymede and Aquarius Symbol Myth 2
This story doesn’t have Hebe as Zeus’s prior cupbearer. Ganymede stepped right into this role and isn’t too happy to be doing it. He much preferred sheep herding.
Now, Ganymede is a slave to Zeus, which, as you can imagine, does not sit well with Ganymede’s father. So in typical Zeus fashion, he decides to even out the deal in the form of compensation.
Zeus gives Ganymede’s father the finest horses in the land, which can be interpreted as an “I’m sorry” or a “Thank you” for Ganymede. Either way, Ganymede’s father was A-Okay with the deal, so it looks like he didn’t miss his son too much.
But what about Ganymede?
This poor kid went from being the most beautiful boy in the land to the measly role of filling Zeus’s cup with drinks. He must have a problem with this, right?
Well, when it rains it pours… and Ganymede took this sentiment to heart when he poured out Zeus’ drinks and quit being his cupbearer!
In this mixed bag of drinks was the water of the gods, wine, and ambrosia. According to myth, his pouring was so powerful that the water fell upon the Earth, causing massive rain and floods.
Zeus would have been quite angry, but he recognized what he had done to the poor boy by enslaving him. So instead of punishing him, he made him into a constellation of Aquarius.
Can you see the Aquarius symbol in the sky?
Right off the bat, you may not see the figure of a boy when you look at the Aquarius constellation in the sky, but it’s there.
Remember how Ganymede was abducted by an eagle? This is reflected in the constellation.
If you look, you’ll see Ganymede’s head to the far right of the constellation.
You will also see that it is bowed low to show that he was carried by an eagle. To the left, you’ll see that his body is stretched and arched. And finally, you can see his bent legs.
Position of the Aquarius Constellation
The Aquarius symbol is generally considered one of the larger constellations. It lies between the 300 and 330th degrees in the sky, between Capricorn and Pisces.
And as you now know, the Aquarius myth is that Ganymede (now the Aquarius constellation) was a cupbearer.
For that reason, the Aquarius symbol is also known as the water bearer, even though Aquarius is an air sign.
- Also read: List of Astrology Signs (Cheat Sheet)
Aquarians hail from a rich history of all things water, mythology, and courage. You’ll find these signs ready to go against authority, and making an impact wherever they go.
- Ganymede certainly left a legacy behind for all the late-January to mid-February birthdays!
- The Aquarius symbol comes from a long and involved story, so those born under this sign are by no means simple. They are intelligent, unique, and spunky.
- Aquarians, although related to water, are not water signs.
So the next time you look up at the sky, tip your hat to Ganymede for the constellation and the story he left behind!
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