The Personality Traits of an Aquarius, Explained

Lizzie Gill

After you're done reading up on this zodiac sign's unique personality traits, catch up on this month's Aquarius horoscope. For a fuller look at your year, check out our astrologer's 2024 Aquarius horoscope predictions.

Aquarius (January 20 - February 18)

As you can imagine, I encounter a lot of misconceptions as a professional astrologer — not just regarding my career as a stargazer, but also relating to the technical aspects of astrology. One of the most ubiquitous, albeit innocuous, errors is that Aquarius is a water sign. I could certainly understand the confusion here — especially with "aqua" as the prefix — but once you get to know this zodiac sign, it becomes strikingly clear that Aquarius is an air sign. As the eleventh and penultimate sign of the zodiac, Aquarius is actually the final air sign, which means it deals with air-related concepts (we'll get more into that momentarily) from a macro-perspective. Of all the zodiac signs, Aquarius is undoubtedly the most innovative, progressive, rebellious, and humanitarian. And while Aquarius can often be found planning a revolution or proudly flaunting their funky fashion sensibility, they also have an often overlooked sensitive side that requires appreciation, support, and love.

Air energy is all about the mind. Intellectual, curious, and deeply social, the air signs (Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius) are passionate about interpersonal dynamics. As the last air sign in the zodiac, however, Aquarius takes these concepts to a whole other level. Aquarius is represented by the water bearer (hence the "aqua"), the mystical healer who bestows water, or life, upon the land. Represented by the Star card in tarot, Aquarius can be visualized as a larger-than-life, mythical being with one foot firmly planted on the soil (representing a sense of being grounded) and one positioned in the water. Aquarius is holding a vase, which pours new streams of inspiration to cultivate longevity, healing, and hope. Here, it's important to remember that Aquarius is removed from this process — from this vantage, we can see that Aquarius is positioned as an independent entity separate from the life-giving hydration it offers the cracked soil. In this respect, Aquarius exposes its deep connection to community: Rooted in teamwork, collaboration, and the concept of the "greater good," Aquarius is determined to make a powerful difference in the world.

Aquarius is ruled by Uranus, the planet that governs innovation, technology, and surprising events. Uranus perfectly mirrors Aquarius' distinctive attitude, complementing the nontraditional nature of these visionary air signs. Aquarians are big thinkers, but mustn't forget their immediate surroundings. These water bearers can become so focused on implementing widespread reform that they neglect their family and friends, gaining a reputation for being distant in relationships. Aquarians should remember that progress always starts on a micro level and advocate empathy and compassion wherever possible.

What makes an Aquarius happy?

As the humanitarian of the zodiac, this sign does have a bit of a reputation for being cold, aloof, and somewhat detached. Here's the thing: Aquarius hates small talk. Aquarius is totally disinterested in petty gossip and, frankly, could care less about people-please niceties. This zodiac sign is committed to creating a large-scale impact from the ground up, which means these revolutionaries are all about macro change. Aquarius aspires to move the needle through radical social progress, so if they seem disinterested, it's likely because the issue at hand isn’t community-focused. Shifting the conversation from "me" to "we" (as in, the collective) will absolutely pique Aquarius' interest!

Every Aquarian is a rebel at heart: These air signs don't mesh well with authority-figures, let alone any institution that represents tradition and long-standing convention. Free-spirited and eccentric, you can often spot this air sign through their offbeat fashion sensibilities, unusual hobbies, and nonconformist attitude. If you're an Aquarius yourself, keep in mind that solar and lunar eclipses can have large-scale impact, so be sure to look out for these major astrological milestones. While you're at it, go ahead and dig deeper on your Aquarius horoscope — there's always more to uncover!

What are Aquarius weaknesses?

As a fixed sign, Aquarius definitely has a stubborn streak — when this sign makes up their mind, there's no going back! Aquarius' hardheadedness can get them into trouble from time to time. Once Aquarius is committed to a new system or approach, it's hard for them to look at a situation from a different perspective. This is often considered an Achilles' heel. (In fact, in medical astrology, Aquarius governs the ankles.) Aquarian obstinacy stems from strong, righteous conviction and it's quelled as soon as an Aquarius gets the chance to enact change. Because these water bearers are so deeply motivated by the spirit of egalitarianism, they enjoy teamwork and participating in communities of like-minded individuals.

Who should Aquarius avoid?

Aquarians need plenty of space and time on their own to reflect, form ideas, and plan their role in the revolution. Ultimately, freedom is of the utmost importance for Aquarians, who view challenges to their independence as power-hungry attempts to control them. To win an Aquarian's trust, don't try to reign in their quirks or keep them from flying their freak flag high — Aquarius thrives on shock value. Fellow fixed signs, Taurus and Scorpio, can be a bit problematic for Aquarius — like Aquarius, they're known to be stubborn, and too many strongly opinionated people can feel like too many cooks in the kitchen. Although Aquarius can make a romantic relationship work with any zodiac sign, these water bearers must remember that compromise is extremely important: Not everyone is going to care about the same things, but that’s what makes the world a beautiful place!

Who's the best match for Aquarius?

Aquarius loves the fearless autonomy of the fire signs (Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius), and the intellectual connection of fellow air sign (Gemini and Libra). But, when it comes to Aquarius compatibility, there's no sign that's totally off-limits. Fundamentally, Aquarius is attracted to fellow revolutionaries — people who are spirited, passionate, and dedicated to making the world a better place. No matter the zodiac sign, Aquarians are drawn to lovers who aren't afraid to break the rules… or, at the very least, don't mind Aquarius' steadfast commitment to the cause. Because Aquarians are always thinking big-picture, partnership isn't just about an interpersonal dynamic — it’s actually a political statement. Duh.

Aliza Kelly is a celebrity astrologer, columnist, author, and host. Referred to as a "rising star" in modern spirituality, Aliza has been featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Vogue, The Cut, and many other publications. She's the author of three books: The Mixology of Astrology: Cosmic Cocktail Recipes for Every Sign; Starring You: A Guided Journey Through Astrology; and This Is Your Destiny: Using Astrology to Manifest Your Best Life.

Read what your sign's 2024 horoscope predictions mean for you right here, or check out your monthly horoscopes here.

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Originally Appeared on Allure