Aquarius Symbol: Zodiac Sign Glyphs & Meanings

If Aquarius is an air element, why all the water? Let's find out.

aquarius symbol wikimedia commons / unsplash

Aquarius dates are January 21st - February 18th. The 11th sign of the zodiac, the Aquarius symbol is the water-bearer and its glyph looks like stacked waves or flowing water.

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As one of three air signs, Aquarius has both Gemini's playfulness and a Libra's popularity. As a fixed sign, Aquarius' are tenacious and stubborn, much like other fixed zodiac signs.

Ruled by Uranus, the planet of unpredictable energy and rebellion, Aquarians are considered visionaries — able to think or ponder the future in very creative and insightful ways.

Aquarius Symbolism and Mythology

To figure out just exactly where Aquarius gets its traits, we're going to take a deep dive into the symbolism and mythology behind this attractive Zodiac sign.

What is the Aquarius glyph?

The glyph representing Aquarius is depicted as water flowing equally, representing two planets: Saturn and Uranus. This means there are two coexisting personalities within an Aquarius.


Saturn governs authority, tradition, rules, while Uranus represents rebellion, originality, and independence. There is a duality within an Aquarius that must flow equally.

We can see all of these traits within an Aquarian.

What does the Aquarius symbol mean?

While Aquarius is an air sign, the symbol for Aquarius is the water bearer. The Aquarius constellation was associated with the God Ea, who is shown carrying an overflowing vase of water.

In Egypt, Aquarius became associated with the flooding of the Nile river, which was believed to occur when the Water Bearer dipped his pitcher into the river. The overflowing of the Nile coincided with the commencement of Spring, a time of growth.


For the Aquarian, this represents the search for knowledge and truth; the flowing of water represents the flowing of their energy, and their paradoxes and polarity.

The Water Bearer is also associated with healing and cleansing. The water Bearer is a symbol of service in the Zodiac, and Aquarius thrives under this symbol.

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Why is the symbol of the air sign water-based?

The word "Aquarius" has Latin roots, meaning "water-carrier," represented by the vase of water. Though this can be confusing, as Aquarius is an air sign, not a water sign. The water can be filled and spilled, but the Aquarius is carrying it, therefore, not touching it.


The water in the vase is a representation of emotions. As an air sign, Aquarius is communicative, but through their vase of water. They can carry others' emotions, or the Aquarius can pour out the water, signifying the transmittance of knowledge and feeling.

Aquarians might seem aloof, but that is their intellectuality. They carry the passion of others and see connections where others might not. They are energetic and idealistic. They have a "go with the flow" (literally) mindset, are artistic, and are open-minded — all gifts from the water bearer.

Mythology of Aquarius

The myth behind the Aquarius constellation begins with Ganymede. Ganymede was kidnapped by the Gods due to his beauty, and replaced Hebe to become Zeus' cupbearer.

Hebe, daughter of Hera, was angered at being replaced, and continuously fought for her spot, so Zeus, fed up with all the fighting, launched Ganymede into the stars.


Ganymede was noticed by the Gods for his beauty, and it’s thought that this beauty continues on in those born under Aquarius.

What animal represents Aquarius?

Though Zodiac means circle of animals, Aquarius is depicted as a boy. Some say that the spirit of Aquarius is represented by a spider.

The spider under Aquarius represents their patience, creativity, and their duality. An Aquarius is complex and mysterious, just like our eight-legged friend, and is known for possessing dark and light energy (like the flowing energy from the Water Bearer's vase).

What does this mean for an Aquarian?

Now that we've got the mythological backstory, the constellation explanation, and the animal of Aquarius, we can dive into the heart of this zodiac sign and find out what their strengths and weaknesses are.


An Aquarius is innovative, analytical, and smart. They have a strong desire to get things done, and they are very intuitive. They are artistic, determined, and relaxed, and they have a brilliant humanitarian streak within them.

They are great judges of character, and they love to be social. They are clever and sarcastic, as well as curious and inquisitive.

Aquarians tend to be independent, creative, hardworking, and thoughtful. Though they can be temperamental and uncompromising. They love to hang out with their friends or rally for a cause, and they love intellectual stimulation.


An Aquarius doesn't like to be bored. However, their focus on intellectualism may make them seem cold and distant to others. They are also known to judge others harshly.

Aquarians don’t like to be controlled, so go with their flow, and they’ll eagerly engage with you.

Remember, Aquarians are empathetic and compassionate, so while their free-spirited nature can hide their sensitive heart, they’re down for you when it really counts!

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Rachel Reed is a writer and editorial intern interested in news, culture, self, and relationships.