Week 45  -  11.04.12 - 11.10.12  -  Aquarius

Materials:   Copper, Sterling Silver, Amethyst

Ring Dimensions:   1.06” H x 1.00” W x .516” D

The constellation Aquarius, Latin for ‘water-carrier’ or ‘cup-carrier’, is situated between Capricornus and Pisces. Aquarius is one of the oldest of the recognized constellations along the zodiac. It was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century AD astronomer Ptolemy and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations. It is found in a region often called the Sea, due to its profusion of constellations with watery associations such as Cetus the whale, Pisces the fish, and Eridanus the river. Because of its position away from the galactic plane, the majority of deep-sky objects in Aquarius are galaxies, globular clusters, and planetary nebulae. Aquarius contains three deep sky objects that are in the Messier catalog: the globular clusters Messier 2 and Messier 72, and the open cluster Messier 73. Two well known planetary nebulae are also located in Aquarius - the Saturn Nebula and the famous Helix Nebula, referred to as the ‘Eye of God’.

Those personalities born between January 21st and February 19th are in the eleventh sign of the zodiac. This fixed, air sign represents the activity of the mind. Ideas, concepts, words, and the ‘fixed’ aspect strengthens the Aquarius personalities potential to be a leader in these areas. It also allows Aquarius to form views and plans for themselves in a detached and accurate manner. That said, this same aspect can also result in a rather rigid view of society and how the future should be. Aquarius personalities are motivated mainly by concepts and ideals. The twin touchstones of fairness and freedom inspire and energize them. Multi-faceted Aquarius can be both non-judgmental, in some areas of life, and rigidly condemning in others. They will know their own mind, and once the data has been analyzed, their conclusions will need to be disproved before they change their position. Aquarians can sometimes neglect their health, as their minds can be preoccupied and disinterested in the mundanities of life. This detachment can also extend to their belongings, as ideas and new discoveries are more important than possessions. They may be instinctively resistant to imposed changes, irrespective of the results. They are unlikely to be overly emotional in relationships but wider causes can bring out the angry activist. Technology of all kinds is of interest and one of the traditional Aquarius quirks is that they are good at getting things to work. Aquarius makes a good friend, as they are loyal, honest, and helpful. They may be the first to call in an emergency but probably last called if a friend is just looking for a shoulder to cry on. On the negative side, Aquarius traits can make them somewhat dogmatic. Also, their detachment can leave them perceived as emotionally distant. They may also be uncomfortable discussing feelings, becoming almost as robotic as the technology they have such an affinity for.

Aquarius is often depicted as a young man pouring water from a jar or amphora. The liquid is said to be a mixture of water and nectar, the drink of the gods. The water jar is marked by a Y-shaped asterism of four stars centered on Zeta Aquarii and the stream ends in the mouth of the Southern Fish - Piscis Austrinus. But who is this young man commemorated as Aquarius? The most popular identification is that he is Ganymede or Ganymedes, said to have been the most beautiful boy alive. He was the son of King Tros, who gave Troy its name. One day, while Ganymede was watching over his father’s sheep, Zeus became infatuated with the shepherd boy and swooped down on the Trojan plain in the form of an eagle, carrying Ganymede up to Olympus. The eagle is commemorated in the neighboring constellation of Aquila. In another version of the myth, Eos (Goddess of the Dawn) first carried off Ganymede and then Zeus stole Ganymede from her. Ganymede became wine-waiter to the gods, dispensing nectar from his bowl, to the annoyance of Zeus’s wife Hera. Robert Graves tells us that this myth became highly popular in ancient Greece and Rome where it was regarded as signifying divine endorsement for homosexuality. If this myth seems insubstantial to us, it is perhaps a result of the Greeks imposing their own story on a constellation adopted from elsewhere. The constellation of the water pourer originally seems to have represented the Egyptian God of the Nile.