In the vast universe of beliefs and traditions, spirit animals emerge as symbolic guides, reflecting characteristics or qualities that we, as humans, hold or need to embody in our lives. The concept of spirit animals is deeply rooted in ancient spiritual and totemic practices where animals serve as protectors, guides, and even messengers of the spiritual world. Different animals can represent different traits in the human condition, and in some cultures these are further associated to personality types or astrological signs.
In this post we are concerned with the the Western or Greek Zodiac and in particular the Aquarius Spirit Animals. I’ll take a look at spirit animals from many different cultures and histories, and how they twin with or relate to the dates and personality traits associated with Aquarius.
What Is Aquarius Represented By In The Western Zodiac?
Aquarius is symbolized by the Water Bearer. This is a human figure that generously pours water into the world, in an act that symbolizes nourishment and renewal. This washing away of the old and making way for the new, embodies the Aquarian spirit of progression, eagerness to explore and expand.
- Positive Traits of Aquarians: Intellectual, Humanitarian, Independent, Inventive, Loyal, Open-Minded
- Challenging Traits of Aquarians: Emotionally Detached, Stubborn, Aloof, Rebellious, Unpredictable, Overly Idealistic
Which animals can you think of that would match up with some of these personality traits?
Animals That Embody The Spirit Of Aquarius
Characteristics: Creative, patient and determined.
Aquarius Alignment: The Spider’s incredible web-weaving genius, resonates with the Aquarian’s innovation and intellectual mind. Also, their determined yet patient predatory approach, reflects the Aquarian’s method to achieving their ideals and goals.
- Honey Badger
Characteristics: Fearless, resilient, and intelligent.
Aquarius Alignment: Honey badgers are known for their fearless attitude, which mirrors the Aquarian’s courage and resilience in standing up for their beliefs. Their intelligent problem-solving strategies, reflect the Aquarian’s ingenuity and ability to think outside the box.
Characteristics: Unique, social, and protective.
Aquarius Alignment: No two zebras have identical stripes, symbolizing the uniqueness and individuality of Aquarians. They are highly social animals, though fiercely protective of their herd and this trait aligns with the Aquarian’s loyalty and readiness to defend their communities or ideals.
Characteristics: Intelligent, social, and playful.
Aquarius Alignment: Dolphins are well known for their complex social structures and communication skills, mirroring the Aquarian’s intellectual prowess and their ability to connect with others on an idealistic level.
Characteristics: Wise, empathetic, and communal.
Aquarius Alignment: Elephants have a huge capacity for empathy, and maintain deep familial ties. These traits mirror the Aquarian’s humanitarian spirit and concern for communal well-being. Their renowned intelligence and memory also mirror the Aquarian’s mental depth and capacity for long-term vision.
Characteristics: Enduring, solitary, and freedom-loving.
Aquarius Alignment: The albatross’s long, solitary flights over vast distances, mirrors the Aquarian’s need for independence and their enduring nature.
Characteristics: Loyal, independent, and communicative.
Aquarius Alignment: Wolves, while known for their pack mentality, are also fiercely independent, traits that align with the Aquarian’s loyalty to chosen companions and their value for personal freedom.
Facts About Aquarius
The Calendar Range and Elemental Sign
- Date: January 20th to February 18th
- Element: Air
Aquarius spans from January 20 to February 18. The Zodiac is in alignment with an astrological calendar originating back as far as ancient Greece and predates both the Gregorian and the Julian calendar. The astrological new year begins with the turn of spring at the march Equinox. As such, Aquarius is the eleventh sign in the Zodiac.
Contrary to its water-bearing symbol and the suggestion of its name, Aquarius is an air sign. It symbolises intellect, communication, and movement.
Positive Traits of Aquarians
Aquarians are often known for their brilliant and inspirational minds. They are know to be full of innovative ideas and unique perspectives. Curious and imaginative in their thinking.
People born under Aquarius have a strong sense of social justice and a genuine desire to make the world a better place. Their altruistic nature drives them to take action for the greater good, often making them advocates for change.
Aquarians value their freedom above many things, and have a strong sense of autonomy. They do well on their own and this independence isn’t just physical but also intellectual.
They’re natural problem-solvers, able to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions. When they are working on a cause close to their heart, this trait comes to the forefront.
When Aquarians bond with someone, it’s with sincerity and loyalty. They aren’t needy, and with their strong independent streak they might not be the most expressive about their feelings.
Aquarians are among the most open-minded of the zodiac, willing to listen to other points of view and open to new ideas. Though they do like to make their own mind up about things, and ‘see it with their own eyes’.
Challenging Traits of Aquarians
- Emotionally Detached
While they’re great at understanding others’ emotions, they can often come across as detached or unemotional. They might find it challenging to express their feelings, which can complicate their personal relationships.
While they might be open-minded in intellectual realms, once an Aquarian has made up their mind, it can be hard to sway them. They are open to ideas to the point of making a decision, but then they tend to fix like glue to their decision, even when its to their detriment.
They might often appear as enigmatic and distant, not because they’re unfriendly, but because they’re lost in their own world. This can make them seem inaccessible at times, even if they are unaware.
Their love for freedom and distaste for authority can make them seem rebellious. Sometimes, this trait can manifest in combative behaviour or unnecessary defiance.
Aquarians can be unpredictable, changing their mind suddenly, or acting on a whim. This unpredictability or spontaneity, while it can be exciting, can also be confusing for those around them.
- Overly Idealistic
Those born under Aquarius can at times, become so caught up in their ideals that they neglect the realities of the situation at hand. This can lead to disappointment when things don’t go as envisioned.
Utilizing Aquarian Traits
An Aquarian that can harness their innovative, intelligent, and humanitarian traits can pave the way for meaningful contributions to society and personal development. The ability to impart knowledge and information in an engaging manner can be a great gift, if you can temper the more stubborn and rebellious traits.
Aquarius Spirit Animals Twinned In Other Cultures
Celtic: Green Dragon
In Celtic Astrology, the alignment of the signs is different to those in the Zodiac. Within the Astrological phase of Aquarius (January 20th – February 18th) , three of the Celtic phases overlap:
|Dec 24 – Jan 20||Birch||White Stag|
|Jan 21 – Feb 17||Rowan||Green Dragon|
|Feb 18 – March 17||Ash||Seahorse|
Celtic and Druid astrology has each phase represented by a tree as well as animal guardians that reflect specific human traits. With exception to a day at the start and beginning of the Aquarian zodiacal phase, all other dates in this phase align with the Celtic phase of the Rowan tree.
People born under the Rowan tree sign in the Celtic zodiac are thought to be unique and original thinkers, somewhat aligning with the innovative and forward-thinking traits of the Aquarius. The Rowan is associated with the goddess Brighid, a passionate and inspirational figure. This tree is linked with protection and inspiration, and the Rowan individual is often artistic, progressive, and humanitarian in nature. That all sounds very Aquarian to me!
The animal for this phase is the Green Dragon. Dragons in Celtic mythology are often connected to the spiritual realm, holding profound and mystical knowledge. Aquarians are known for their intellectual depth, curiosity, and interest in topics that many may find too complex or mystical. This aligns with the dragon’s role as a creature of profound wisdom and understanding.
Mayan Culture – The Quetzal Bird
The Mayan calendar, or Mesoamerican zodiac, has a different animal for each of the 20 periods in their cycle. Because of the differences in structure and symbolism between the two systems, there’s no direct equivalent to Aquarius in the Mayan zodiac. However, we can try to find some thematic parallels.
One Mayan sign that shares some conceptual and symbolic similarities with the Western sign of Aquarius might be ‘The Wind’ (Ik’).
Ik’ is associated with communication, inspiration, and change – themes that resonate with the innovative and forward-thinking nature of Aquarius.
The spirit animal associated with Ik’ is the Quetzal Bird. In Mayan culture, the Quetzal Bird is a symbol of resilience, agility, and adaptability. These colourful birds are known for their love of independence and they struggle to thrive in captivity. This reflects the Aquarian value of freedom and resistance to constraints. Their attractive and rare plumage aligns with the Aquarian trait of uniqueness and non-conformity.
Just as quetzals are seen as divine connectors between earth and sky, Aquarians are often visionary, drawn to intellectual and spiritual pursuits.
Chinese Culture – The Tiger
In the Chinese Zodiac, each year is associated with an animal in a 12-year cycle, and does not align with the Western Zodiac. However, parallels can be drawn when it comes to the animal symbolism in each. Some individuals believe that every one of the twelve Western zodiac signs pairs with a specific animal from the Chinese zodiac, which is entirely distinct from the animal representing their year of birth.
For Aquarius, the Tiger from the Chinese zodiac might be considered a kindred spirit and a suitable twin. Tigers are known for their bravery, confidence, and leadership traits, which can be seen in the humanitarian and leadership tendencies of Aquarians. Tigers are also seen as symbols of protection, with a fearless and fiery nature that aligns with the Aquarian’s bold and rebellious spirit.
Norse – The Raven
For Aquarius, the most aligned Norse birth rune would be Ansuz (Communication, Raven): The rune most associated with communication, wisdom and the Raven spirit animal.
In Norse mythology, ravens are closely associated with Odin, the god of wisdom, poetry, death, divination, and magic. Odin was said to have two ravens named Huginn (thought) and Muninn (memory). These ravens would fly all over the world, bringing information back to Odin.
This seeking of knowledge and information is something that deeply resonates with the Aquarian thirst for learning and understanding. Aquarius is a sign known for its intelligence, curiosity, and interest in forward-thinking ideas, and the raven’s association with wisdom and knowledge-seeking in Norse mythology makes it a fitting animal symbol.
Native American – The Otter
The Native American or Amerindian Shamanic ‘Wheel of Life’ and the Western Zodiac align to the same phases throughout the year, but are represented by different symbols. The Native American Zodiac is represented by spirit animals deeply rooted in the history and heritage of the people.
The animal that aligns with Aquarius in the Wheel of Life, would be the Otter, which is the 11th spirit animal totem in the Amerindian cycle.
The otter is inventive, independent, and friendly. It’s a non-traditional animal, much like Aquarius is a non-traditional sign. Otters are known for their playful and nurturing behaviours, and they’re often seen as healers and protectors. Similarly, Aquarians have a nurturing side, caring deeply about human welfare and societal progress. They’re also known for their inventive solutions and unconventional approach to life, mirroring the otter’s adaptability and resourcefulness.
Egyptian: The Goose (Alternative – the snake)
Egyptian Astrology is again represented by 12 distinct phases, but they are not divided equally or in the same scale as the Western Zodiac. Also, they are not represented by animals, but by gods or lords. Within the phase of Aquarius, three of the Egyptian Astrological phases share some time. These are the phase of Amon-Ra, Geb and Mut.
It is Geb – God of the Earth, that is symbolically associated with the characteristics and traits of Aquarius. The animal mostly associated with Geb, is the Goose, and he is often depicted with a goose on his head.
Geese are symbols of providence, vigilance, and travel. When considering the attributes of Aquarius, we could draw parallels with the idea of travel and the pursuit of new knowledge, akin to the intellectual curiosity of Aquarians.
Seeking Meaning in the Spiritual
People often seek their spirit animals as a source of guidance, strength, and wisdom. Those that connect in this way can often feel a kinship, a solidarity with animals whose traits we can see in ourselves. The courage of a lion, or the strength of a bear for example.
Some Zodiac signs, are symbolically represented by a spirit animal, such as Aries the Ram, but not all of them are. However, they do each have traits and personalities that can be seen in animals across the kingdom. Looking beyond the Zodiac, different beliefs and traditions identify a range of animals who’s nature and characteristics can be found in ourselves. That is at the heart of what it means to seek meaning in a spirit animal.
The Essence of Spirit Animals
Spirit animals symbolize various traits, characteristics, and qualities that we can see in the animal and also in ourselves. They are seen not just as mere symbols, but as guides. Recognising the animal inside us offers lessons, wisdom, and insights to characteristics that we might see within ourselves or aspire to embody.
This connection can help us to become more self-aware, to discover more about ourselves and understand our natures. Finding our connection to our spirit animal can help us traverse through life’s journey with wisdom, strength, and grace, and to see qualities in others too.
In each culture, animals embody various traits and characteristics that people born under the Aquarius sign might relate to or aspire towards. The spirit animals from different cultures might offer new perspectives and insights into the inherent nature of Aquarius, providing a richer understanding of their spiritual essence. Whether it’s the intelligent Raven, the brave Tiger, or the independent Quetzal, Aquarians find reflections of their spirit in various cultural symbols.
Aquarius not your sign? Check out our other Zodiac Spirit Animal pages to find your sign. Not all spirit animals are associated to the zodiac though, so I’ve also put together some posts for specific spirit animals independent to their astrological signs that you may wish to check out too!