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The Aquarius Symbol
Its meaning and origin
The above image is the established symbol for the Zodiac sign Aquarius, the Water-Bearer (or Water-Carrier). It's a simplified drawing of water waves, the liquid Aquarius is carrying. Both the Zodiac sign and its symbol have been along for ages.
The Zodiac division of the ecliptic into twelve parts, each assigned a Zodiac sign, is probably of Babylonian (Mesopotamia) origin. They were very early with astrology, mapping the sky and noting planetary movements thousands of years ago. The Zodiac very much like the one we know today, might have emerged in Mesopotamia around 1000 BC, but Babylonian astrology is probably far older than that.
The Babylonians connected this Zodiac sign and the constellation with one of their gods, Ea, calling it "The Great One." Ea was often depicted with an overflowing vase. Later, the Babylonians simply called the constellation the Pitcher. The reason for the connection between the sign and the carrying of water is hidden in history, but it has been persistent. The constellation gives a clue.
When the stars in the constellation are connected with lines, it's possible to make out a figure of some sort, pouring something in abundance. Several of the Zodiac constellations are more vague than that in depicting their Zodiac sign. Here's the constellation Aquarius:
Below is an antique illustration of the same constellation, where the figure of the water-bearer has been added. It's from a 17th century book: Firmamentum sobiescianum, by Johannes Hevelius, 1690.
Anyway, here's that ink again, this time in the original black and white (click on the image to see a bigger version):
Aquarius the SignAs for the picture commonly used to represent the Aquarius Zodiac sign, it's been an image of a water-bearer since the days of old Babylonia - surely much longer than the symbol described above has existed. Below is one typical example of the figure, where the stars of the constellation Aquarius have also been marked, though not with unquestionable astronomical accuracy. It's an illustration from Poeticon astronomicon, a 1482 book by Hyginus.
I'm a Swedish writer and astrologer. I've written several books about astrology. I'm also a historian of ideas, researching the thought patterns in creation myths. Google Profile. Here's my personal website: stenudd.com
By authentic Zodiac sign astrology I mean what can be astrologically deduced from only your star sign (where the sun was at your birth), which is but one of the many components in your birth chart horoscope. For a presentation of complete astrology, please visit: Horoscoper.