Aquarius - oil on canvas - 70 x 90 cm - 2014
Aquarius (January 20 - February 18)
Aquarius is generally depicted by a young man pouring water from an urn. There seems little doubt that the symbolism arose from the Sun’s passage through Aquarius during the rainy season of the ancient year, which also explains the dominance of ‘watery’ constellations in the surrounding area of heaven. (In the dry and arid climates where many of these figures were determined, water was taken as a sign of fertility and prosperity)
Aquarius is a very ancient constellation and the figure of the Water bearer has often been associated with the Babylonian deity Ea, the god of waters and streams. The Babylonians called Aquarius Gu La meaning ‘Great Man’ or ‘Giant’ which is considered by many to be a reference to Ea. The Egyptians depicted their god Hapi as an ancient symbol of the Nile pouring water onto the Earth from two jars which seems to have been derived from the same source. The symbol for Aquarius is derived from the Egyptian hieroglyphic Mu, for water, and it was when the Moon was full in Aquarius that the Nile overflowed its banks and flooded the land.
I have included much of this symbolism into this painting including visual references to Ea, both in the composition and in the elements. The horns on her head for example were worn by Mesopotamian deities as a sign of their supremacy.
Aquarians are often recognised as social idealists, locked into a quest to pursue their guiding principles of truth, justice, democracy, universal harmony and brotherhood of man. Calm objectivity combined with idealistic vision results in a genuine interest for scientific ingenuity and a natural instinct for fair-mindedness. Known for being one of the most rational and humane signs of the zodiac, Aquarius, in its positive expression, is the archetype for civility, tact and reasoned logic.