The Sabian symbol for this week’s Aquarius New Moon (Jan. 24, 1:42 pm PST, 4.21 Aquarius) degree, A council of ancestors, reminds me of a story from my youth.
I was 17 years old, touring with my high school jazz choir and staying at a farmhouse somewhere in rural Oregon. I’d come down with a truly heinous cold and, after a long, difficult day, had fallen into a hard slumber. Sometime in the night, from the depths of my sickly sleep, I swear I saw a cluster of ghostly figures in farmers’ clothing standing around my bed. But sleep quickly overtook me. When I described the apparition to my roommate the next morning, she looked at me a little strangely; she, of course, had seen nothing.
Logic tells me it was a dream. But my Celtic side whispers that, just maybe, it was a visitation from my own council of ancestors.
Falling in the independent sign of Aquarius, this Sabian symbol might seem incongruous here. Only Sagittarius seems less apt than Aquarius to appeal to a council of the learned for advice. But then, Aquarius is ruled, traditionally, by Saturn, the planet of rules, boundaries, and authority; it’s only those who feel the ties of the past most strongly who feel so compelled to break them.
Astrologers call Aquarius the sign of the future. We might think of it, too, as the sign of legacy. It’s where the things we summon in the name of career and calling takes on a recognizable form. And it’s where what was created in the realm of Leo, its opposite sign, is broadcast into the world through a network of receptive audience members, collaborators, and teammates, to live on after us. The writer creates a book, for instance, and that’s a creative achievement; but once it goes out into the world to be enjoyed by generations of readers, most of whom the author will never know, it becomes a legacy.
Astrologers also assign rulership of children to the sign opposite Aquarius, which is Leo. This makes sense; children are the utterly unique creations of individuals. Yet, they also carry the seeds, the creative legacy, of their ancestors. What genetic traits will be expressed through them? What messages do they carry to the world from the ancestors they might never have known?
At this New Moon, you may be offered advice from people who know you well. Aquarius is an independent sign, a rebellious one, and the natural reaction during its season might be to reject council. But think hard before you do. There are parts of any family legacy that we would do well to reject – but plenty, too, that’s worth honoring. Aquarius is the sign that sends messages into a future we may never see. Your ancestors sent you. Listen to what they have to say, and do your best to deliver their most helpful and inspiring messages.