You’re probably well aware of who in your life—whether it be a friend, ex, significant other, or anyone else—is an Aquarius, largely because these characters just don’t blend in. This fixed sign is born in the middle of winter (January 20 to February 18), which contributes to how resilient they tend to be. Think of them as the Sansa Stark of the zodiac wheel, because Aquarius traits include being fearless, independent, strong leaders, and, well, very badass, to say the least.
Now, at the risk of coming across as cocky, I’m an Aquarius. Because of this, I know Aquarius traits pretty well. But to keep myself honest and learn more about what specifically makes us so unique and special, I spoke with several astrologers.
First, the basics: Aquarians are represented by the symbol of two waves, which makes sense given that the sign is a water-bearer, which supposedly bestows water (i.e. life) on the land. Also, despite this connection to water, Aquarius is ruled by the element of air, which reflects a temperament of making waves and being in the midst of action.
“Aquarius tends to be extremely intelligent and very much connected—they can easily channel information that exists out in the ether and bring it into reality.” —Corina Crysler, astrologer
“The air element really works with intellect, flow, and movement,” says Corina Crysler, astrologer and wellness expert. “And Aquarius is a fixed sign, which really brings stability, determination, and depth, so these people tend to be extremely intelligent and very much connected—they can easily channel information that exists out in the ether and bring it into reality.”
Aquarians are savvy and often in their own head, considering what to do next and how to bring about change. They also tend to adopt out-there style that’s reflective of their independence within. “They’re always trying to innovate and make things better than what they are—they’re very non-traditional,” says Natha Campanella, astrologer and life coach.
While it can be hard to fully get the ever-changing, constantly moving Aquarius (I’m dynamic, what can I say?), Crysler and Campanella break down below the key Aquarius traits that make them unique snowflakes of the zodiac.
Intellectual Aquarius is always thinking big picture. “They have the innate ability to perceive what’s going to happen next,” says Crysler. Especially being an air sign, Aquarians are always in their mind, which can be double-edged sword. Grounding is a big challenge, since they’re always over-thinking and over-processing, coming up with ideas so quickly, and constantly thinking. “They have an overactive mind, so getting grounded on a daily level is important to avoid mental exhaustion,” she adds.
Sure, they’re optimists and romantics regarding their idealized version of society and the world, but Aquarians also walk the walk, actually participating in the the activism and social-justice efforts necessary to strike change. “Aquarians are really humanitarians and do a lot of philanthropy—they want to make the world a better place, and they see it as their mission in life,” says Crysler. “They feel an innate responsibility to help people, and have a problem with authority being misused.”
Campanella adds that because Aquarians can digest information faster than many, they tend to have high-level, mentally focused careers. “We’re talking scientists or people in the public eye who can bring attention to different things happening in the world,” she says. “They’re always advocating for change.” The Aquarius in the office is always the one speaking up on how to feng shui the furniture for better workflow or advocating for cold brew on tap, for example.
Ever date an Aquarius? If so, you’ll likely agree that they’re often hard to grasp in terms of essence because they thrive from their perceived sense of freedom. And while freedom is great, it can often result in Aquarians having a hard time committing. Once you’ve earned their trust and loyalty, though, they’re very loving (so long as that very-key sense of independence is still respected). “Their significant other and their friends just have to know it’s nothing personal—it’s the innate composition of an Aquarian,” says Crysler.
From a cosmic standpoint, a true Aquarius cannot stand being bored (hence why I constantly have ants in my pants). “Uranus rules Aquarius, and the planet also rules electricity, so there’s this extra charge in an Aquarian’s nervous system,” says Campanella. “This sign does not just want to sit around and do nothing. That’s boring and makes them feel like they’re stagnating, which is the antithesis of their whole life.” That’s exactly why they need to take it upon themselves to get up and make a change.
“Aquarius is definitely ruled by being stimulated mentally, so if they’re bored at their job, the job won’t work,” says Crysler. This even applies to boredom that exists around them in the environment—really, anything that’s stale, like, say, a rule that’s outdated and dull. For instance, an Aquarius will take it upon themselves to try and revise the situation for the better. “One of the big skills and jobs of the Aquarius is to see what is stagnant and boring and figure out ways to change it,” Campanella says.
Aquarians are like Ferris Bueller in that they can do something like skip class for a day, go on an extensive adventure, and flawlessly get away with it. They’re rebellious, and they’re good at being that way. Sometimes they’re so obvious and outspoken about going against the grain that other people can’t even relate. “People can be like, ‘whoa, we’re not ready for that change,’” Campanella says, noting that this confusion is what can get the Aquarius in trouble.
In terms of romantic relationships, this rebellion points to them doing well in situations that skew non-traditional, like being long distance or having a separate bedroom from their significant other. “They bring an element of newness and difference into the idea of what a relationship should look like, because they don’t necessarily abide by what the typical idea of what a relationship should look like,” Campanella says.
Ever looked over to see a colleague or classmate staring into the abyss, happily daydreaming? This telltale Aquarius trait makes it likely this person is a fellow air-sign snowflake, who’s always lost in their thoughts, over-analyzing and plotting revolutions. “Overthinking is a huge component of being an Aquarius, so they need to consistently practice awareness so that exhaustion doesn’t creep up on them,” Crysler says.
All the mounting evidence of Aquarius traits leads to the conclusion that the sign is indeed unique, eclectic, and prefers to go about things in their own way. “They’re quite quirky and can be a little bit unpredictable,” says Campanella. “They’re always cutting edge and can be a little bit ahead of the trend because they’re change-making and taste-making and breaking up the boring. They’re definitely eccentric and have a different way about them.”
Maybe that’s why people have told me I’m “interesting” my entire life. Hey, Aquarians are cool weirdos, okay?
Now that you’re clear on Aquarius traits, why not grow your understanding of other signs? Here are the Scorpio personality traits to know about. And this is your guide to the ever-ambitious Capricorn personality.