The Bearer of Water
20, the Sun begins its month-long journey through Aquarius, the sign
of the zodiac assigned to the star trump of the tarot.
The sign Aquarius has both a traditional ruler, Saturn, which is associated
with the final tarot trump, the world, and a modern ruler, Uranus, linked
to the initial card of the tarot, the fool. The sign Aquarius belongs
to the element air, and the tarot’s air suit of swords illustrates typical
scenes related to intellect, communication, logic, decision-making and
of Saturn and the tarot’s world card was discussed in a previous article
(December 21–January 19) and the tarot. This month we focus on Uranus
and the sign Aquarius.
(Latin for “water bearer”) is the eleventh sign of the zodiac. Astrology
originated in the area of the Fertile Crescent, where the rising of
the constellation Aquarius after sunset (which produced a Full Moon
in Aquarius) coincided with a rainy period that often brought floods,
turning the earth in that region into a veritable “aquarium.” Unlike
the waters of the lakes, rivers and oceans, which are associated with
the water signs Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces, the waters of Aquarius descend
to the Earth from the heavens.
symbol for Aquarius was the image of a man (Ouranos) pouring overturned
urns of water from the heavens onto the Earth below. Ouranos was the
original sky god who controlled all heavenly phenomena including the
air, the winds and the rain-bearing clouds. Despite the connection
of Aquarius with rain, ancient Greek astrologers regarded Aquarius as
an air sign because of its symbolic connection with the winds as well
as its geometric relationship with the other two air signs, Gemini and
Libra, with which it forms the aspect of a trine.
Sun reached its lowest point at the Winter Solstice on December 21, the
start of Capricorn, and from there began its ascent back from the underworld.
The re-emergence of the Sun from its dark night of the soul corresponds
to the myth of Persephone’s release by Hades from the underworld to
rejoin her mother above. Demeter (the Roman Ceres, the goddess of grain)
was so delighted to regain her daughter that she put an end to the barrenness
of ceaseless winter. The rains of Aquarius, the water bearer, are a
gift from the gods that restore life to a dying planet and assure the
continuance of the human race.
and Baptismal Water
the ritual of baptism, both Judaism and Christianity adopted the symbolism
of Aquarius, whose water brought forth the emergence of new life. The
water of baptism frees believers from the darkness of original sin,
puts an end to spiritual barrenness and initiates the faithful into
a new life of the spirit. The connection between Aquarius, with its
life-restoring water, and the tarot’s star trump makes this card one
of tremendous optimism and hope for the future.
Star and the Fool Cards of the Tarot
Rider-Waite-Smith star card, numbered seventeen, depicts
a naked maiden with one foot on the earth and the other foot in a body
of water. In each hand she holds an overturned jug from which water
flows to the earth below, an ancient symbol for the zodiacal sign of
Aquarius, the water bearer.
fool trump, numbered zero, is the first card of the major arcana. The
Rider-Waite-Smith version depicts a young man staring
toward heaven as he stands at the edge of a precipice, his small dog
yapping at his feet. The fool represents the novice who is about to
embark on a spiritual journey. The tradition of the Golden Dawn assigns
the tarot’s fool trump to the planet Uranus.
(the Greek Ouranos) was the first child of Gaia (Mother Earth). As the
original sky god, Ouranos became the first heavenly father when he poured
water in the form of rain onto his mother earth below so that she would
flourish with plant life. Ouranos also impregnated his mother to produce
the first race of gods that ruled over mankind. Only when Ouranos became
a tyrant did his mother plot with their son Cronos (Saturn) to wrest
power from his father Ouranos by castrating him with a sickle.
Meditations While the Sun is in Aquarius
when the Sun transits through Aquarius is an excellent time to meditate
on the tarot’s star, fool and world cards, as well as the suit of swords
of the minor arcana. Consider your own spiritual journey and where you
need the winds of Aquarius to blow and the healing waters of Aquarius
to flow in your life.
prepare for mediation, sit or lie in a comfortable place and allow your
body to be free of tension and distractions. Pay attention to your breathing.
Feel your breath go in and out as you inhale and exhale. If distracting
thoughts enter your mind, simply observe them and allow them to float
by as you gently return your attention to your breathing. When you have
established a steady, comfortable rhythm of breathing rhythmically in
and out, turn your focus to the tarot card you have selected for meditation.
the card and contemplate its images. Imagine yourself as a character
or element in the card. In your mind’s eye, enter the card and become
part of its scene. What are you thinking and feeling? What questions
are you asking of the other characters in the card? What do they expect
of you? What is the story that underlines the scene on the card? How
does that story relate to your own life? Take your time playing out
the story as if you were in a dream. When you have completed your meditation,
you may wish to record your observations in a tarot notebook for review