Eventually there comes a time when there is the need for change. The word has been bantered around so much in recent years. We all say we want it, why it sure looks good on paper, but deep down, do we? Whether or not we’re willing to admit it we like the comfort of familiarity, the security of the established and the promise of consistency. There’s an enticing malaise of continuing on with the tried and true, capitalizing on the relentless and lasting foundations laid by the Saturnian work ethic. But more importantly, change scares us. What will happen if you start rocking the boat? – Why who knows… It could be like that Butterfly Effect where you think you’re making just a minor alteration when really you’re creating a tidal wave that hits Manhattan! And after all, if you just keep doing what everyone else is doing and has been doing for virtual eons, well, it has been working, so why shake things up?
Congratulations. You’ve just sent an embossed invitation to Aquarius – our brilliant, chaos creating butterflies and damn proud of it.
Call them what you want, they’re different. Chances are you’ve never met anyone like them before. They pride themselves on being the unique individuals in an increasingly homogenized society – the salmon in a sea of tuna. They’re repelled by status quo, feeling stifled by mindless conformity. Whether it’s the clothes they wear (what’s wrong with orange and paisley?), music, career choices, they somehow need to rebel, to make the least common choice. And should their choices shock people, all the better. I suspect the shock factor is frequently the primary motivation. The more daring they are in their radical self expression, the more unique they become. In fact, if someone starts to emulate them, they lose their uniqueness, so all the more incentive to morph again. They’re masters of reinventing themselves.
They’re freedom lovers, disinclined to commitment – so limiting and confining. It’s like being imprisoned with a ball and chain of social expectation which leads to more conformity. Want to get rid of an Aquarian? Demand a commitment. (See – I’m showing you how to break up with the signs! That should be worth something.) I believe their need to be unfettered is propelled by their sense of mortality. This is the second to the last sign of the zodiac (remember the evolutionary references made in Spotlight on Capricorn?) In the archetypal sense, the end is near, with so limited a number of sands in your proverbial hourglass. Why experience only one career, relationship, even personality when there is so much more to experience. And if they are committed, they lose their ability to meet the demands of whatever is best for the greater good.
People call them erratic, radical, rabble rousers. Are they? Or are they visionaries? Do they see beyond the accepted as ‘true’ so to see another truth, maybe one that we’re not ready for yet. They could just be ahead of their time. So where would we be without these unpredictable trouble makers? Probably stuck. Stuck in the old, the established, not only afraid of change, but unable to see possibilities. This is where they shine. Their willingness to leave pack mentality allows them to be harbingers of new insights, new information, growth and advancement on levels never imagined, which over time, don’t seem radical at all. If someone named Galileo Galilei (February 15, 1564) had decided not to ‘make trouble’ everyone would have continued on with the belief that the Earth was the center of the universe. This Italian astronomer, mathematician and philosopher is widely referred to as the ‘Father of Modern Science’ and played a huge part in the Scientific Revolution. His theories are unquestioned today, and yet at the time they were so radical they drew attack from all sides – from philosophers, scientists and clerics alike. Where was the love? No, all he got was trial by the Inquisition, suspect of heresy. He only escaped imprisonment by being forced to recant, yet still spent the rest of his life under house arrest.
Charles Darwin (February 12, 1809) came along hundreds of years later to shake things up with his evolutionary theory of natural selection with the publication of his research entitled “On the Origin of Species”. From early in his work, he knew that not only would his theories be scorned and mocked by scientists and mentors, but by friends and the general public as well. He knew he would stand alone, yet he lacked not the courage to continue in the pursuit of truth. To this day his theory of evolution creates a hornet’s nest of controversy for those so fiercely protective of Creationism. Personally, I’ve never understood why the two must be exclusive, as even Darwin saw ‘adaptation of species as evidence of intelligent design’. Above all, he was known to be an exceedingly kind man who was an advocate of freedom of thought. Freedom of thought. Let those words seep in. What is so threatening about that? As the song goes, ‘Free your mind and the rest will follow.’
Then there’s Jules Verne (February 8, 1828) the French author was a pioneer of the science fiction genre. Ahead of his time? Like crazy ahead. He wrote astounding novels like Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and A Journey to the Center of the Earth– tales of space, air and underwater journeys looooong before any of those means of travel were even possible. I’m not even sure he thought any of it was possible, and yet his mind stepped outside the confines of limitation to imagine things we enjoy as commonplace. Why, Space Shuttle launches happen with such frequency they aren’t even considered newsworthy. Makes you wonder how we’ll someday look back on Star Trek. You never know..
Aquarians find their most passionate motivation in fighting for a cause. Most often it’s to protect the rights of others, regardless of , oh you know – fill in the blank (race, creed, sexual orientation, etc.) If there is someone, somewhere being oppressed, chances are there’s an Aquarian rounding up the masses to stand up and represent. This may be the only reason you’ll find them in groups – there is strength in numbers. I once said Capricorns could change the world, but Aquarians want to change humanity – it’s a more long term goal, where everyone is recipient to the good, where what’s best for the all people is the primary motivation.
Sometimes they stand up for a cause, by not standing up. We all know Rosa Parks (February 4, 1913) as the mother of the freedom movement when she defied the command to relinquish her seat on the bus for a white man. Her quiet, rebellious action made her an iconic figure in the fight for justice and equality. She continued to be highly involved with Martin Luther King and others in bringing an end to racial segregation. Rosa but followed in the footsteps of another strong willed civil rights fighter by the name of Susan B. Anthony (February 15, 1820) who was involved in not only the movement to end slavery, but began the movement for women’s suffrage in 1869. She dedicated her entire life to attaining the right to vote for women; a right only granted in 1920 with the ratification of the 19th Amendment, sadly 14 years after she died. Have you heard the phrase, “Well-behaved women rarely make history’? Flap, flap, go the wings…
And yet, it wouldn’t even have been possible for Ms. Parks to be riding on that bus if not for another brave maverick named Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809). He was opposed to slavery throughout his career, becoming increasingly outspoken in his presidency. Despite rabid opposition, he signed the Emancipation Proclamation ending slavery while trying to keep a fractured country untied. After the Civil War he set forth to rebuild and heal the nation ‘with malice toward none, with charity toward all.’ He heralded a change for which this country was not ready, but it was time. How many other presidents have so courageously stood up for the principals on which this nation was founded – a sanctuary for freedom and justice for all men — against such unpopular backlash. So much so, he took a bullet for it.
They’re natural networkers, bringing people of various backgrounds together because of their tolerance for alternative choices. Even if they don’t like you (do they like anyone? It’s so hard to tell…) they’ll fight to the death for your right to be yourself. Thus is one of the strangest dichotomies of the sign – they are surrounded by people, but don’t seem to like people much at all. They’re cool, detached. They’re more accepting of others when they’re more removed. And yet with all their ability to champion the right of the individual’s freedom of expression, some can be surprisingly rigid in their beliefs. Of all the signs, this one has the most strongly held convictions that they can border on dogma. Sure, Sagittarians are preachy, but Aquarians KNOW. They’ll listen and respect the viewpoints of others (well, sometimes – (Dick Cheney, January 30, 1941- not exactly well renowned for his respect of opposition). But how can one be truly open minded if they’ve already decided that they know, thus lessening their chances for true change within themselves, which ironically is the greatest strength of the water bearer.
We think it must be a lonely existence for these strange outcasts. But I imagine they’re snickering at the proverbial ‘us’ for they’ve achieved the greatest emancipation possible – freedom from the need for approval and acceptance. What would your choices look like if you achieved that level of individuation? They don’t need us, but we need them. We need their bravery, and their vision, because without it we’ve lost our ability to grow, to evolve from what currently may be our own ape-like existence. What if hundreds of years from now there’s another figure added to the evolutionary chart. Crazy? Perhaps, but if we continue to remain rigidly clutching our beliefs we might still be marveling at the sun making its daily rotation around the earth. We’d see birds fly and think, nah, we could never do that. And our current president, just might still be picking cotton. Without these remote lunatics, we might never know what we’re capable of as a race, or should I say, what more we’re capable of. They’re warning us not to get complacent. Step it up, people. Free your minds. After all we are inching up on The Age of Aquarius.
Flutter, flutter. At least we know they’re ready for change.
Oh yeah. Bring it.