In this respect, Enki, the Sumerian god of wisdom, and the alleged true father of mankind, is associated with the planet Neptune, which astrologically rules the sign of Pisces. Additionally, Enki might have originally landed on the Earth in an earlier Age of Pisces and thus obtained prior rights to this portion of Earth’s Grand Cycle.
In this respect, the Age of Pisces can be thought of as the Age of Enki. The supposition is that, if the Anunnaki, Enki and Enlil, and all the rest are in fact the Gods and Goddesses of the ancient world, and if they rule the Earth with precedence given to the god to whom the Age belongs, then for the last 2000 to 2800 years, Enki has been in charge of Earth.
This would also imply that during the prior Age of Aries (roughly 2400 to 600 BC.), the Age was ruled by Mars, the god of war. Aries is very much a male (macho) sign, and is likely to have been a time when the aggressive male energy dominated affairs.
This might best be illustrated by the reign of Marduk in Babylon. Marduk is traditionally associated with Mars, and his reign, primarily from Babylon would have occurred after the fall of the Sumerian civilization circa 2000 BC. The word Cairo in the ancient language of the time means Mars.
Just prior to the Age of Aries is the Age of Taurus (4600 to 2400 BC.). Taurus is very much a female sign, and implies an Age ruled by the Goddess. This was also the time when Alpha Draconis was being recognized as the pole star.
This is noteworthy in that in most goddess cultures, the dragon is considered the defender of the feminine. This is also why Saint George allegedly slaying the dragon is but a metaphor for the patriarchy’s ascent over the prior matriarchal cultures – described more fully in Astrology According to the Goddess and the goddess, Inanna’s Descent into Hades).
However, because the Anunnaki is a male dominated, chauvinistic group, there is little likelihood that the Goddess’s authority went unchallenged. It is more likely that the day-to-day, routine bloodshed in war and otherwise was temporarily muted somewhat.
Of perhaps more relevance to those of us living today, however, is the rapid approach of the Age of Aquarius. This age, being astrologically ruled by Uranus, will supposedly come under the province of the god, Anu (the father of Enki and Enlil).
Historically, Anu has demonstrated something of a hands-off management style, leaving a lot of the details to his two sons – who did not get along at all (and is probably the cause of human misery during the last ten thousand years. Because of Anu’s history, there appears no way to guess what to expect with respect to the coming Age of Aquarius.
Mythology: Anu is the alleged ruler of Nibiru the home planet of the Anunnaki, and because of the Nibiru Cycle – which keeps Nibiru at an enormous distance from the Earth during the next couple of hundred years – there is little likelihood that Anu will be doing any management of Earth – hands on or hands off.
Instead, there will more likely be a continuation of the present, dismal state of affairs, or if Enlil is so inclined, a return to the days of Enki versus Enlil; the personification of free will versus obeying the whims of a god or goddess.
Pisces (Ancient Greek: “Ikhthues”) is the twelfth astrological sign in the Zodiac, originating from the Pisces constellation. It spans the 330° to 360° of the zodiac, between 332.75° and 360° of celestial longitude. Under the tropical zodiac the sun transits this area on average between February 20 and March 20, and under the sidereal zodiac, the sun transits this area between approximately March 15 and April 14.
While the astrological sign Pisces per definition runs from elliptical longitude 330° to 0°, this position is now mostly covered by the constellation of Aquarius, due to the precession from when the constellation and the sign coincided.
Pisces originates from some composition of the Babylonian constellations Šinunutu4 “the great swallow” in current western Pisces, and Anunitum the Lady of the Heaven, at the place of the northern fish. In the first Millennium BC texts known as the Astronomical Diaries, part of the constellation was also called DU.NU.NU (Rikis-nu.mi, “the fish cord or ribbon”).
Pisces is associated with Aphrodite and Eros, who escaped from the monster Typhon by leaping into the sea and transforming themselves into fish. In order not to lose each other, they tied themselves together with rope.
The Romans adopted the Greek legend, with Venus and Cupid acting as the counterparts for Aphrodite and Eros. The knot of the rope is marked by Alpha Piscium (α Psc), also called Al-Rischa (“the cord” in Arabic).
According to one Greek myth, Pisces represents the fish into which Aphrodite (also considered Venus) and her son Eros (also considered Cupid) transformed in order to escape the monster Typhon.
Typhon, the “father of all monsters” had been sent by Gaia to attack the gods, which led Pan to warn the others before him self changing into a goat-fish and jumping into the Euphrates.
A similar myth, one which the fish “Pisces” carry Aphrodite and her son out of danger, is resounded in Manilius’ five volume poetic work Astronomica: “Venus ow’d her safety to their Shape.”
Another myth is that an egg fell into the Euphrates river. It was then rolled to the shore by fish. Doves sat on the egg until it hatched, out from which came Aphrodite. As a sign of gratitude towards the fish, Aphrodite put the fish into the night sky.
Because of these myths, the Pisces constellation was also known as “Venus et Cupido,” “Venus Syria cum Cupidine,” Venus cum Adone,” “Dione,” and “Veneris Mater,” the latter being the formal Latin term for mother.
The Greek myth on the origin of the sign of Pisces has been cited by English astrologer Richard James Morrison as an example of the fables that arose from the original astrological doctrine, and that the “original intent of [it] was afterwards corrupted both by poets and priests.” Purim, a Jewish holiday, was set by the full moon in Pisces.
The Fishes are also associated with the German legend of Antenteh, who owned just a tub and a crude cabin when he met a magical fish. They offered him a wish, which he refused.
However, his wife begged him to return to the fish and ask for a beautiful furnished home. This wish was granted, but her desires were not satisfied. She then asked to be a queen and have a palace, but when she asked to become a goddess, the fish became angry and took the palace and home, leaving the couple with the tub and cabin once again. The tub in the story is sometimes recognized as the Great Square of Pegasus.
The stars of Pisces were incorporated into several constellations in Chinese astronomy. Wai-ping (“Outer Enclosure”) was a fence that kept a pig farmer from falling into the marshes and kept the pigs where they belonged.
It was represented by Alpha, Delta, Epsilon, Zeta, Mu, Nu, and Xi Piscium. The marshes were represented by the four stars designated Phi Ceti. The northern fish of Pisces was a part of the House of the Sandal, Koui-siou.
There are no prominent stars in the constellation, with the brightest stars being of only fourth magnitude. One star in the constellation, Alpha Piscium, is also known as Alrescha which comes from the Arabic al-rišā’ meaning “the well rope,” or “the cord.” Ptolemy described Alpha Piscium as the point where the cords joining the two fish are knotted together.
The astrological symbol shows the two fishes captured by a string, typically by the mouth or the tails. The fish are usually portrayed swimming in opposite directions; this represents the duality within the Piscean nature. Although they appear as a pair, the name of the sign in all languages originally referred to only one fish with the exception of Greek.
In Sidereal astrology, the sun currently transits the constellation of Pisces from approximately March 14 to April 14. Individuals born during these dates, depending on which system of astrology they subscribe to, may be called “Pisceans.”
Divine associations with Pisces include Poseidon/Neptune, Vishnu, Christ, Aphrodite, Eros, and Typhon. “Pisces” is the Latin word for “Fish.” It is one of the earliest zodiac signs on record, with the two fish appearing as far back as c. 2300 BCE on an Egyptian coffin lid.
Today, the First Point of Aries, or the vernal equinox, named for the constellation of Aries, is in the Pisces constellation.
An equinox occurs twice a year, around 20 March and 22 September. The word itself has several related definitions. The oldest meaning is the day when daytime and night are of approximately equal duration. The word equinox comes from this definition, derived from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night).
Vernal equinox and autumnal equinox: these classical names are direct derivatives of Latin (ver = spring and autumnus = autumn). These names are based on the seasons, and can be ambiguous since seasons of the northern hemisphere and southern hemisphere are opposites, and the vernal equinox of one hemisphere is the autumnal equinox of the other.
First point (or cusp) of Aries and first point of Libra are names formerly used by astronomers and now used by navigators and astrologers. Navigational ephemeris tables record the geographic position of the First Point of Aries as the reference for position of navigational stars.
Due to the precession of the equinoxes, the astrological signs of the tropical zodiac where these equinoxes are located no longer correspond with the actual constellations once ascribed to them. The equinoxes are currently in the constellations of Pisces and Virgo.
In sidereal astrology (notably Hindu astrology), by contrast, the first point of Aries remains aligned with Ras Hammel “the head of the ram”, i.e. the Aries constellation.
Western astrologers assert that Pisceans are perceptive, emotional, and receptive. Notorious for being highly sensitive, they are also said to be desperately afraid of ridicule, as the sign is deemed “unfortunate.” Pisces are a mutable sign, which makes them receptive, and susceptible to change.
Conforming to the traditional astrological belief of the dual nature of the Piscean, in part seeking enlightenment in the “unseen realm,” they are said to be “dreamy, mystical, and artistic”.
It is also been said that Pisceans are the quietest among the twelve zodiacal signs, and that they are good workers. In line with their association with feet, Pisceans have been described as being “never quite satisfied when sitting”, preferring to be standing or walking.
The last sign of the Zodiac, the Pisces symbol, has been said to be a representation of the difficulty in extracting the good from that which appears bad. The moral of the symbol for Pisces is said to be that “the severe season has passed; though your flocks, as yet, do not yield their store, the ocean and rivers are open to you, their inhabitants are placed within your power.”
It is generally considered a feminine sign, and colors that have been used to represent the Pisces sign are gray or blue gray. The body parts associated with Pisces is the feet, or the toes.
Likewise, astrologists also associate various diseases of the body with the zodiac, and Pisces’ diseases are those of the feet. This includes gout, lameness, distempers, and sores. Excess of eating and drinking, as well as poisoning related to the consumption of fish and medicines are also shown in Pisces.
Pisces is classified as a short ascension sign; one which takes a shorter amount of time to ascend over the horizon than the other signs. It is also one of the six southern signs, because it is south of the celestial equator when the sun is in it. This results in it being seen in the winter sky in the northern hemisphere. Pisces is also considered a bicorporeal or double-bodied sign, as the astrological sign is composed of two fishes.
According to the Western astrologers, Scorpios and Cancers make the best partners for Pisceans, as the former are equally as critical as Pisceans, and the latter is capable of providing the domestic comfort and satisfaction that Pisceans yearn.
The ascendant (As), or rising sign, is the zodiacal sign and degree that was ascending on the eastern horizon at the specific time and location of an event. According to astrological theory, celestial phenomena reflect or determine human activity on the principle of ‘as above so below’.
Thus astrologers believe that the ascendant signifies a person’s awakening consciousness, in the same way that the Sun’s appearance on the eastern horizon signifies the dawn of a new day.
Because the ascendant is specific to a particular time and place, to astrologers it signifies the individual environment and conditioning that a person receives during their upbringing, and also the circumstances of their childhood.
For this reason astrologers believe that the ascendant is also concerned with how a person has learned to present him or herself to the world, especially in public and in impersonal situations.
To astrologers, in some circumstances, it can function as a shield or mask to guard a person’s real nature – in other words the ‘defense mechanism’ every person has to cope with unfamiliar or uncomfortable situations. Astrologers believe the ascendant also has a strong bearing on a person’s physical appearance and overall health.
The Ascendant is thus considered to be of great significance in all schools of astrology because it in effect serves as the filter through which everything in a horoscope- including the Sun and Moon- is expressed. Most astrologers believe that the Rising Sign exerts an influence equal to or more powerful than the Sun and Moon. In Jyotish, the ascendant is without question the most individual and defining element in the chart.
In astrology, essential dignity, refering to the relative strength or weakness of a planet or point’s zodiac position by sign and degree, or its essence, called by 17th-century astrologer William Lilly “the strength, fortitude or debility of the Planets [or] significators”, is the strength of a planet or point’s zodiac position. In other words, essential dignity seeks to view the strengths of a planet or point as though it were isolated from other factors in the sky of the natal chart.
By comparison, accidental dignity indicates how much strength a planet or point derives from its position in a natal chart, such as its relation to the other factors in the chart: for example, its proximity to other planets, or to the four angles of the chart, or to stars, as well as the aspects (or symmetrical angular connections) it forms with other planets or points in the chart.
Traditionally there are five dignities: domicile and detriment, exaltation and fall, triplicity, terms, and face. However, the latter two have diminished in usage.
A planet’s domicile is the zodiac sign over which it has rulership, and the rulers of Pisces, or those associated with Pisceans, are Jupiter, Neptune, and the moon. In esoteric astrology, Venus was considered the ruler of Pisces, and prior to the discovery of Neptune in 1846, Jupiter was said to rule Pisces.
Neptune is mostly considered the ruling planet of Pisces today because of the association with the Roman god of water and the sea, Neptune. The detriment, or the sign “opposite” to that which is deemed the ruling planet, is Mercury. Venus is exalted in Pisces, while both Pluto and Mercury falls in Pisces.
According to British astrologer Alan Leo, Pisces, along with Scorpio and Cancer, compose the triplicity for water signs. The mutability is the key to the ever-changing element of water found in several different forms, much like the transformative aspects of found in Christ and Piscean nature.
Additionally, these three water signs are considered to be the most fruitful signs who serve a fertilizing function in nature. He also groups Pisces under the “negative pole”, naturally adept to the astral and psychic worlds.
This is resembled in the sign for Pisces, which is composed of two half-circles and a band, signifying the dual nature of man in both the physical world and the unseen realm.
According to 20th century astrologer Robert Hand, the fish facing upwards away from the ecliptic is swimming towards the heavens, or is seeking spiritual illumination. The other fish swims along the ecliptic, concerning itself with material matters.
The sign modality for Pisces is mutable. It is part of the group of signs, with Gemini, Virgo, and Sagittarius known as the “mutable signs”, signs that can be adjustable, understanding, analyser, and extrovert.
In a Byzantine scholium to Chapter 2 of the Introduction to astrology by fourth-century late Roman astrologer Paulus Alexandrinus, the following clear definition can be found: “A double-bodied zoidion [sign] is said to be between two seasons, such as Gemini between spring and summer, ending the spring and beginning the summer […] That is to say, double-bodied as being between the two bodies of spring and summer.”
As a bicorporeal sign, astrologists believe that events in Pisceans lives are prominently repeated, suggesting that they may marry several times and that misfortunes never come singly. However, according to astrologer Max Heindel, the Piscean’s “good fortune also comes in multiple”.
The symbol of the fish is derived from the ichthyocentaurs, a pair of centaurine sea-gods with the upper body of a man, the lower front of a horse, and the tail of a fish, who aided Aphrodite (also considered Venus) when she was born from the sea. Also, they wore lobster-claw horns.
The sea-centaurs were probably derived from the divine fish of Syrian mythology (possibly identified with Dagon) that carried Astarte ashore following her watery birth. These two sea-gods, though little remembered, were set in the sky as the astronomical constellation Pisces.
Ichthyocentaur comes from two different words, ichthyo- and centaur. Ichthyo- comes from the Greek word ikhthis, which means fish; centaur, or centaurus in Latin, from classical mythology, is a creature having the head, trunk, and arms of a man, and the body and legs of a horse. Ichtyocentaurs have both the attributes coming from the two meanings, which make them a “fish-horse-man”.
They are related to centaurs, sea nymphs and merfolk; how this came to be is a mystery. It was believed that the creation of these sea-centaurs was depicted as a collection of stars within the constellation Pisces.
Ichthyocentaurs upper bodies took the form of a human torso down to the hips, and the lower that of a fish, with two horse legs protruding from this intersection, which is not unlike the appearance of a triton or a merman but with the addition of horse legs in the middle section. Some ichtyocentaurs wore crowns while others were depicted with horns often resembling crustacean claws.
These sea-centaurs were thought to be peaceful water-dwelling creatures; they tend to hold great value for their family and friends. Most of the time they are able to get along with other water-dwelling races. Because this type of race is still related to the wild nature of their centaur cousins, some of them still elicit harsh behavior, although not as much as the centaurs.
The Ichthyocentaurs tend to roam in milder parties as opposed to more aggressive centaur parties. The ichthyocentaurs’ relationship with the nymphs allowed them to live for centuries, having them tend to be aware of many situations in the sea.
The Ichthyocentaurs have the ability to both breathe underwater and swim with great speed. They also have more physical stamina than any of the other aquatic races. Other abilities include being able to communicate underwater with several races that live there.
The two best-known ichthyocentaurs from Greek mythology were Bythos (Sea-Depths) and Aphros (Sea-Foam). Their parents were the Titan Kronos and Nymph Philyra. These two were half-brothers of Chiron the centaur, and were regarded as wise teachers, much like Chiron himself.
An astrological age
An astrological age is a time period in astrology that parallels major changes in the development of Earth’s inhabitants, particularly relating to culture, society and politics, and there are twelve astrological ages corresponding to the twelve zodiacal signs.
Astrological ages occur because of a phenomenon known as the precession of the equinoxes, and one complete period of this precession is called a Great Year or Platonic Year of about 25,920 years.
In astronomy, axial precession is a gravity-induced, slow, and continuous change in the orientation of an astronomical body’s rotational axis. In particular, it refers to the gradual shift in the orientation of Earth’s axis of rotation, which, similar to a wobbling top, traces out a pair of cones joined at their apices in a cycle of approximately 26,000 years.
The term “precession” typically refers only to this largest part of the motion; other changes in the alignment of Earth’s axis – nutation and polar motion – are much smaller in magnitude.
Earth’s precession was historically called the precession of the equinoxes, because the equinoxes moved westward along the ecliptic relative to the fixed stars, opposite to the yearly motion of the Sun along the ecliptic. This term is still used in non-technical discussions, that is, when detailed mathematics is absent.
Historically, Hipparchus has been credited with discovering the precession of the equinoxes, although evidence from cuneiform tablets suggests that his statements and mathematics relied heavily on Babylonian astronomical materials that had existed for many centuries prior. The exact dates of his life are not known, but astronomical observations attributed to him by Ptolemy date from 147 BC to 127 BC.
With improvements in the ability to calculate the gravitational force between and among planets during the first half of the nineteenth century, it was recognized that the ecliptic itself moved slightly, which was named planetary precession, as early as 1863, while the dominant component was named lunisolar precession. Their combination was named general precession, instead of precession of the equinoxes.
Lunisolar precession is caused by the gravitational forces of the Moon and Sun on Earth’s equatorial bulge, causing Earth’s axis to move with respect to inertial space. Planetary precession (an advance) is due to the small angle between the gravitational force of the other planets on Earth and its orbital plane (the ecliptic), causing the plane of the ecliptic to shift slightly relative to inertial space. Lunisolar precession is about 500 times greater than planetary precession.
In addition to the Moon and Sun, the other planets also cause a small movement of Earth’s axis in inertial space, making the contrast in the terms lunisolar versus planetary misleading, so in 2006 the International Astronomical Union recommended that the dominant component be renamed, the precession of the equator, and the minor component be renamed, precession of the ecliptic, but their combination is still named general precession. Many references to the old terms exist in publications predating the change.
The age of Pisces began c. 1 AD and will end c. 2150 AD. With the story of the birth of Christ coinciding with this date, many Christian symbols for Christ use the astrological symbol for Pisces, the fish.
The Age of Pisces
According to some the current astrological age is the Age of Pisces, while others maintain that it is the Age of Aquarius. The Age of Pisces is technically the current age and some astrologers believe it will remain so for approximately another 600 years. At that time, the vernal equinox point will no longer be facing Pisces, but moved into the constellation of Aquarius, thus beginning the Age of Aquarius. However, there are many astrologers who believe that the Age of Aquarius has already arrived or will arrive soon.
The Age of Pisces, “the Age of Monotheism, Spirituality, and the Fish”, is characterized by the Christian age. The fish is thought to have been chosen as a symbol for Christianity by the early Christians primarily because Jesus’ ministry is associated with fish; he chose several fishermen to be his disciples and declared he would make them “fishers of men.”
The Age of Pisces corresponds with the Christian Era. Pisces is associated with the continuous research of humanity about the truth hidden behind what is perceived by five senses, which corresponds with the mysteries associated with Christ’s life.
The birth of Christ
The story of the birth of Christ is said to be a result of the spring equinox entering into the Pisces, as the “Savior of the World” appeared as the Fisher of Men. This parallels the entering into the Age of Pisces.
The figure Christ himself bears many of the temperaments and personality traits of a Pisces, and is thus considered an archetype of the Piscean. Moreover, the twelve apostles were called the “fishers of men,” early Christians called themselves “little fishes,” and a code word for Jesus was the Greek word for fish, “Ikhthues.”
With this, the start of the age or the “Great Month of Pisces” is regarded as the beginning of the Christian religion. Saint Peter is recognized as the apostle of the Piscean sign.
Pisces has been called the “dying god,” where its sign opposite in the night sky is Virgo, or, the Virgin Mary. When Jesus was asked by his disciples where the next Passover would be, he replied to them: Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you bearing a pitcher of water… follow him into the house where he entereth in. —Jesus, Luke 22:10.
This coincides with the changing of the ages, into the Age of Aquarius, as the personification of the constellation of Aquarius is a man carrying pitchers of water.
Age of Aquarius
The Age of Aquarius is an astrological term denoting either the current or forthcoming astrological age, depending on the method of calculation. Astrologers maintain that an astrological age is a product of the earth’s slow precessional rotation and lasts for 2,160 years, on average (26,000 year period of precession / 12 zodiac signs = 2,160 years). In popular culture in the United States, the Age of Aquarius refers to the advent of the New Age movement in the 1960s and 1970s.
Astrologers believe that an astrological age affects mankind, possibly by influencing the rise and fall of civilisations or cultural tendencies. Traditionally, Aquarius is associated with electricity, computers, flight, democracy, freedom, humanitarianism, Idealism, modernization, astrology, nervous disorders, rebellion, nonconformity, philanthropy, veracity, perseverance, humanity, and irresolution.
Many astrologers consider the appearance of many of these Aquarian developments over the last few centuries indicative of the proximity of the Aquarian age. However, there is no agreement on the relationship of these recent Aquarian developments and the Age of Aquarius.
There are various methods of calculating the length of an astrological age. In sun-sign astrology, the first sign is Aries, followed by Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces, whereupon the cycle returns to Aries and through the zodiacal signs again. Astrological ages, however, proceed in the opposite direction (“retrograde” in astronomy). Therefore, the Age of Aquarius follows the Age of Pisces.
The approximate 2,150 years for each age corresponds to the average time it takes for the vernal equinox to move from one constellation of the zodiac into the next. This can be computed by dividing the earth’s 25,800 year gyroscopic precession period by twelve, the number of Zodiac constellations used by astrologers. According to different astrologers’ calculations, approximated dates for entering the Age of Aquarius range from 1447 AD (Terry MacKinnell) to 3597 (John Addey).
Astrologers do not agree on when the Aquarian age will start or even if it has already started. Nicholas Campion in The Book of World Horoscopes lists various references from mainly astrological sources for the start of the Age of Aquarius. Based on the research by Nicholas Campion, most published material on the subject state that the Age of Aquarius arrived in the 20th century (29 claims), with the 24th century in second place with twelve claimants.
Astrological ages exist as a result of precession of the equinoxes. The slow wobble of the earth’s spin axis on the celestial sphere is independent of the diurnal rotation of the Earth on its own axis and the annual revolution of the earth around the sun.
Traditionally this 25,800-year-long cycle is calibrated for the purposes of determining astrological ages by the location of the sun in one of the twelve zodiac constellations at the vernal equinox, which corresponds to the moment the sun rises above the celestial equator, marking the start of spring in the Northern hemisphere each year.
Roughly every 2,150 years the sun’s position at the time of the vernal equinox will have moved into a new zodiacal constellation. However zodiacal constellations are not uniform in size, leading some astrologers to believe that the corresponding ages should also vary in duration. This however is a contentious issue amongst astrologers.
In 1929 the International Astronomical Union defined the edges of the 88 official constellations. The edge established between Pisces and Aquarius technically locates the beginning of the Aquarian Age around 2600 AD. Many astrologers dispute this approach because of the varying sizes of the zodiacal constellations and overlap between the zodiacal constellations.
Aquarius (Greek: “Hudrokhoös”, Latin: “Aquārius”) is the eleventh astrological sign in the Zodiac, originating from the constellation Aquarius, situated between Capricornus and Pisces. Its name is Latin for “water-carrier” or “cup-carrier”, and its symbol is a representation of water.
In the first century CE, Ptolemy’s Almagest established the common Western depiction of Aquarius. His water jar, an asterism itself, consists of Gamma, Pi, Eta, and Zeta Aquarii; it pours water in a stream of more than 20 stars terminating with Fomalhaut, now assigned solely to Piscis Austrinus.
The water bearer’s head is represented by 5th magnitude 25 Aquarii while his left shoulder is Beta Aquarii; his right shoulder and forearm are represented by Alpha and Gamma Aquarii respectively.
The symbol of the water-bearer is based on Hyas, who was killed by wild beasts while fetching water from the river. His sisters make rain when they weep for him, hence the sign’s association with air.
Under the tropical zodiac, the sun is in Aquarius typically between January 20 and February 19, while under the Sidereal Zodiac, the sun is in Aquarius from approximately February 15 to March 14, depending on leap year.
Aquarius is one of the oldest of the recognized constellations along the zodiac (the sun’s apparent path). 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, a sea monster in Greek mythology, although it is often called ‘the whale’ today, Pisces the fish, and Eridanus, the Ancient Greek name for the Po River.
Aquarius is identified as GU.LA “The Great One” in the Babylonian star catalogues and represents the god Enki himself, who is commonly depicted holding an overflowing vase. The Babylonian star-figure appears on entitlement stones and cylinder seals from the second millennium. It contained the winter solstice in the Early Bronze Age.
In Old Babylonian astronomy, Enki was the ruler of the southernmost quarter of the Sun’s path, the “Way of Enki”, corresponding to the period of 45 days on either side of winter solstice. Aquarius was also associated with the destructive floods that the Babylonians regularly experienced, and thus was negatively connoted.
In Ancient Egypt, Aquarius was associated with the annual flood of the Nile; the banks were said to flood when Aquarius put his jar into the river, beginning spring. The name in the Hindu zodiac is likewise kumbha “water-pitcher”, showing that the zodiac reached India via Greek intermediaries.
In Greek mythology, Aquarius is sometimes associated with Deucalion, the son of Prometheus who built a ship with his wife Pyrrha to survive an imminent flood. They sailed for nine days before washing ashore on Mount Parnassus.
Aquarius is also sometimes identified with beautiful Ganymede, a youth in Greek mythology and the son of Trojan king Tros, who was taken to Mount Olympus by Zeus to act as cup-carrier to the gods.
Neighboring Aquila represents the eagle, under Zeus’ command, that snatched the young boy; some versions of the myth indicate that the eagle was in fact Zeus transformed. An alternative version of the tale recounts Ganymede’s kidnapping by the goddess of the dawn, Eos, motivated by her affection for young men; Zeus then stole him from Eos and employed him as cup-bearer. Yet another figure associated with the water bearer is Cecrops I, a king of Athens who sacrificed water instead of wine to the gods.
In Chinese astronomy, the stream of water flowing from the Water Jar was depicted as the “Army of Yu-Lin” (Yu-lin-kiun or Yulinjun). The name “Yu-lin” means “feathers and forests”, referring to the numerous light-footed soldiers from the northern reaches of the empire represented by these faint stars.
The constellation’s stars were the most numerous of any Chinese constellation, numbering 45, the majority of which were located in modern Aquarius. The celestial army was protected by the wall Leibizhen, which counted Iota, Lambda, Phi, and Sigma Aquarii among its 12 stars.
88, 89, and 98 Aquarii represent Fou-youe, the axes used as weapons and for hostage executions. Also in Aquarius is Loui-pi-tchin, the ramparts that stretch from 29 and 27 Piscium and 33 and 30 Aquarii through Phi, Lambda, Sigma, and Iota Aquarii to Delta, Gamma, Kappa, and Epsilon Capricorni.
Near the border with Cetus, the axe Fuyue was represented by three stars; its position is disputed and may have instead been located in Sculptor.
Tienliecheng also has a disputed position; the 13-star castle replete with ramparts may have possessed Nu and Xi Aquarii but may instead have been located south in Piscis Austrinus.
The Water Jar asterism was seen to the ancient Chinese as the tomb, Fenmu. Nearby, the emperors’ mausoleum Xiuliang stood, demarcated by Kappa Aquarii and three other collinear stars. Ku (“crying”) and Qi (“weeping”), each composed of two stars, were located in the same region.
Three of the Chinese lunar mansions shared their name with constellations. Nu, also the name for the 10th lunar mansion, was a handmaiden represented by Epsilon, Mu, 3, and 4 Aquarii.
The 11th lunar mansion shared its name with the constellation Xu (“emptiness”), formed by Beta Aquarii and Alpha Equulei; it represented a bleak place associated with death and funerals.
Wei, the rooftop and 12th lunar mansion, was a V-shaped constellation formed by Alpha Aquarii, Theta Pegasi, and Epsilon Pegasi; it shared its name with two other Chinese constellations, in modern-day Scorpius and Aries.
In the Greek tradition, the constellation Aquarius became represented as simply a single vase from which a stream poured down to Piscis Austrinus (also known as Piscis Australis).
The name Piscis Austrinus is Latin for “the southern fish”, in contrast with the larger constellation Pisces, which represents a pair of fishes. Prior to the 20th century, it was also known as Piscis Notius. Pisces Austrinus originated with the Babylonian constellation simply known as the Fish (MUL.KU).
Piscis Austrinus is a constellation bordered by Capricornus to the northwest, Microscopium to the southwest, Grus to the south, Sculptor to the east, Aquarius to the north. The stars of the modern constellation Grus once formed the “tail” of Piscis Austrinus. In 1597 (or 1598), Petrus Plancius carved out a separate constellation and named it after the crane.
In Greek mythology, this constellation is known as the Great Fish and it is portrayed as swallowing the water being poured out by Aquarius, the water-bearer constellation. The two fish of the constellation Pisces are said to be the offspring of the Great Fish. In Egyptian mythology, this fish saved the life of the Egyptian goddess Isis, so she placed this fish and its descendants into the heavens as constellations of stars.
Some astrologers have hypothesized about the existence of unseen or undiscovered planets. In 1918, astrologer Sepharial proposed the existence of Earth’s “Dark Moon” Lilith, and since then, some astrologers have been using it in their charts; though the same name is also (and now, more commonly) used in astrology to refer to the axis of the actual Moon’s orbit.
The 20th-century German school of astrology known as Uranian astrology also claimed that many undiscovered planets existed beyond the orbit of Neptune, giving them names such as Cupido, Hades, Zeus, Kronos, Apollon, Admetos, Vulcanus, and Poseidon, and charting their supposed orbits. These orbits have not coincided, however, with more recent discoveries by astronomers of objects beyond Neptune.
Other astrologers have focused on the theory that in time, all twelve signs of the zodiac will each have their own ruler, so that another two planets have yet to be discovered; namely the “true” rulers of Taurus and Virgo. The names of the planets mentioned in this regard by some are Vulcan (ruler of Virgo) and Apollo, the Roman god of the Sun (ruler of Taurus).
Another version of this theory states that the modern planets discovered so far correspond to the elements known to the ancients—air (Uranus, god of the heavens), water (Neptune, god of the sea), and fire (Pluto, god of the underworld)—which leaves the elements earth and ether (the fifth element of the fiery upper air).
In other words, it is claimed that the two planets to be discovered will be named after an earth god or goddess (such as the Horae), and after Aether, the Roman and Greek god of the upper air and stars.
The ancient Greeks and Romans knew of only five ‘wandering stars’ (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Following the discovery of a sixth planet in the 18th century, the name Uranus was chosen as the logical addition to the series: for Mars (Ares in Greek) was the son of Jupiter, Jupiter (Zeus in Greek) the son of Saturn, and Saturn (Cronus in Greek) the son of Uranus. What is anomalous is that, while the others take Roman names, Uranus is a name derived from Greek in contrast to the Roman Caelus.