Greetings everyone – welcome to the February ChatterBulletin and the sign of Aquarius! Last year we focused on the topic of “light” because Aquarius is ruled by Uranus, the Planet that is connected with the “ether,” and therefore “light.” And prior to that in 2011 it was all about “individuality” and the Aquarius’ need for space, which is why many of them love to fly! As I’ve said before, the sign of Aquarius is often mistaken to be a Water sign, when it is in fact an Air sign. As you can see in the illustration above, Aquarius is pouring the waters from his urn down onto the earth. These are the “Spiritual Waters” and it is the job of the Aquarius to deliver this higher level of thinking to the general populous. They are the “Captains of the Spiritual Ship” since they are the most spiritually evolved signs of the zodiac. They’ve learned what they need to know, and they find it somewhat annoying when the people around them don’t appear to know what they know as well. But let’s look at how they deliver their spiritual messages – through groups and social activities. So our theme for this month is simply Groups.
My father was an Aquarius and it would have been his 88th birthday this week as I am writing this. Some of you may recall the story of his dramatic rescue and ride in a medical helicopter a few years ago, which is why I chose this first image from photographer Neal Slavin. When I decided to write about Groups this month, Neal was the 1st photographer that came to my mind, so I am particularly honored to be including some of his work. My dad loved the ocean and flying, both the Air and Water, so here’s an admirable group of guys that embrace both those elements in their daily rescue activities. But what is it about Groups and why do we seek them out in the first place? We are not put on this earth to walk completely alone, our challenge is to find the right Groups to belong to that best suit our inherent needs and desires – and they may not always be the ones you thought they’d be! It is the sign of Aquarius who is associated with and more importantly, “identifies” with and “relates” to the Group more so than the individual.
My father was another classic example of an Aquarius – in a group setting, he was definitely the life and soul of the party, he was very social, loved a good story, and was a brilliant mimic, but if you asked him, he would tell you he was quite shy in many ways. He certainly rarely divulged what he was feeling, nor did he indulge in talking about others’ feelings (especially yours). He was happiest propping up the bar at the local pub, talking about his dog, the cricket or the rugby, his women and what he had for dinner last night (though not necessarily in that order)!
This natural identification with the Group is why they make such great leaders – they need to be able to reach the masses, but keep a sense of distance at the same time. Oprah Winfrey is a great example – look at how many millions of people she has reached and touched and yet she remains quite private when it comes to her personal life. Even though they are the most Humanitarian and Social sign of the zodiac, interestingly there is still a certain emotional detachment to the Aquarius, because they are also ruled by the Planet Saturn. Saturn is not known for being “warm and fuzzy!”
One of the first Groups we encounter in life is that of our family. But what if you don’t feel like you fit in to that first group? What if you don’t feel like you belong? Then what? From home, your next group setting is going to be school, where you are now thrown into a much larger group environment for most of the day! What if you find this to be challenging? Perhaps you don’t do well learning in a group setting and you need more help, or maybe you’re simply not one of those “clever” or “cute” or “cool” kids – then what? From school, you go to your after-school activities and sports, where you learn how to play on a team, and what that’s all about. But it is sometimes these group activities that allow the misfits to feel a sense of belonging they may not find elsewhere. Look at the success of the TV show “Glee” – the Glee Club is all about empowering the kids who are often the odd ones out.
The 2nd photographer that came to mind when thinking of group photography was my buddy, English photographer Christopher Lane, whose portraits have a wonderfully quirky humor to them, so I knew he would have some great group shots in his archive as well. There is something I find particularly endearing with a group photograph. Perhaps it is that sense of belonging fulfilled? For the photographer, the challenge is also interesting – how to make each and every person in the group look good – how to make sure they are all looking in the right direction, or whatever it is that is required of them. And yet, often, it is the one person who is doing something different from the rest that makes the photograph!
In closing I wanted to share with you an unexpected Astrological partnership, that of Stanley & Livingstone. I discovered this duo when I was writing a paper on “sextile” – an aspect in which the two signs concerned get along, they are compatible and have a mutual appreciation of one another, in fact, more of a co-dependency. One was an Aries and the other an Aquarius – Fire and Air – can you tell which was which? Well, the Fire sign of Aries is the pioneer, the explorer, and David Livingstone was both an explorer and a missionary – which was most apt, since he was born on the cusp of Pisces and Aries. Thus it was Henry Morton Stanley, the Aquarius, who launched the expedition to Africa to find the “lost explorer.” Fire needs Air to burn, and without Mr. Stanley’s insistent rescue mission, Dr. Livingstone’s Fire might have been extinguished forever instead of refueled!
And before I forget – Happy Birthday to all you social Aquarians out there!
In particular I have to send out a special birthday greeting to my surrogate grandma Gladys, an Aquarius, and someone I love very much, and who turns 90 years old on February 16th!