Aquarian Animal Totems and Archetypes

The Sun entered Aquarius last Wednesday 20th January 2016 at 15.27 Hrs. in the U.K.  This is the ninth in the series where I look at some of the animal totems and Archetypes for the various signs (sad to think the series is almost completed!  I have enjoyed writing it, but it will be there for reference). Do you, or someone close to you, have Sun, Ascendant or Moon in Aquarius?

The traditional symbols for the Air signs are all non-animal (Twins for Gemini, Scales for Libra, and Water Carrier for Aquarius).  I am almost tempted to include the Camel for Aquarius as it carries water in its one hump or two.  But it doesn’t have an Aquarian feel…

But, like the other Air signs, there is an emphasis on bird totems, of which I have found many.  I have had to limit these to a sample of just a few, but birds are undoubtedly important for Aquarius.


The Giraffe is the perfect animal for Aquarius.  It has the unusualness of Aquarius – it really is like no other animal.  It is long-limbed in the Aquarian way.  People with Aquarian Ascendants usually have unusually long arms and legs, but not of course the long necks.  The neck is ruled by Taurus, but Taureans tend to have thicker necks rather than unusually long necks.

Ted Andrews has the perfect keyword for Giraffe as Aquarius: Farsightedness.  Aquarians are known for future vision and telepathy.

He writes: “The long neck, in combination with the giraffe’s exceptionally keen eyesight, makes it a powerful totem for farsightedness and for seeing what lies on the horizon for you!”

He also highlights the sociable side of the Giraffe, which reflects the Aquarian association with friendships and groups:

“Giraffes like each other’s company…Giraffe people usually have strong family relationships and friendships as well.”

Aquarius is also associated, through its ruling planet Uranus, with the higher mind and the intuition.  In this, Ted Andrews also enlightens us:

“On the head of the giraffe are horns that are unlike any other animals.  These blunt, long stubs are never shed, and they are covered with skin…horns and antlers are symbols of antennae for higher mental faculties and perceptions.  With the giraffe, there are actually three horns.  The third actually looks more like a lump under the skin, but it is located just above the eyes.  This placement is very significant as this is the area of the body associated with the third or inner eye.”

I have known couples with significant Aquarian placings who took as their joint symbol two giraffes with intertwined necks.

Hedgehogs and Porcupines

Hedgehog is shared with the sign of Cancer.  Cancerians and Virgoans protect their privacy, but Aquarians are sociable and friendly.  However, unless they have a strong Scorpio streak, they don’t like people to get too close as they need plenty of air to breathe.  Here, the prickles, quills or spines of the hedgehog and porcupine come in handy!  Spiky forms and patterns are Aquarian too, because they symbolize the Aquarian quality of processing electricity and information, and may also symbolize an extra form of sensing.

The hedgehog and the porcupine are entirely different creatures, although both spiky and punk looking!  Drawing again from Ted Andrews, he sees the following qualities for Porcupines:

“It has a strong sense of curiosity, and seems amazed and filled with wonder at most things it encounters…Porcupines can show you how to resist the barbs of others.  They can teach you how to enjoy life and maintain a sense of wonder about it, in spite of negative conditions.”


Coyote, as the Trickster of North American Indian medicine, correlates with the planet Uranus, ruler of Aquarius, the Spanner in the Works, the element of the unexpected.

Nicky Scully says of Coyote: “He shows us aspects of ourselves that are often surprising.  His numerous feats and outrageous behaviour as creator, teacher, shape-shifter, and prankster are recorded in myths and legends of many tribes and cultures all over the world.” Sound like any Aquarians you know?

Jamie Sams and David Carson provide the helpful thought: “Contained within trickster medicine is the humour of the ages.  The cosmic joke is not just on ourselves but on everyone else.”.

Bird Totems


 Hummingbirds in the rapid vibration of their wings give that sensation of hovering into another dimension, rather like the Aquarian ability to travel to the future, and communicate telepathically with other dimensions.  There is something otherworldly about the Hummingbird.

According to Sams and Carson “Hummer sings a vibration of pure joy”  In my mind, this is the joy of spiritual freedom, another province of Aquarius.

They continue “…Hummingbird will no doubt give you a flash of ths spirit, darting here, there and everywhere.  Get ready for a strange new burst of energy which may send your senses reeling.”

Aquarius is associated with lightning speed, and Ted Andrews writes: “The hummingbird can reach high speed at its take off.  It can also stop immediately in flight from a high speed.  It is such a skilful flyer and it is not afraid of any predator.”

They also share some of the social characteristics of the Aquarian, according to him: “Hummingbirds are fiercely independent.  Except when mating, they like to be alone and free, seeming to revel in that freedom.”


Geese are more than most seen as group creatures, think of the gaggle of chattering geese, and the inspiring sight of a formation of snow geese high in the sky.

Andrea Wansbury sees them as messengers of Truth.  If Goose is your totem animal or comes into your orbit, she comments:

Where in your life are you holding onto a perception instead of seeing what is the actual truth?  Human beings love jumping to conclusions, looking at something based on assumptions rather than at the real truth of the matter.  A goose is asking, where have you recently jumped to a conclusion without knowing all the facts.”

Ted Andrews contributes the angle of communication, an attribute of air signs: “The goose can also be a totem to aid you in communication especially through the use of stories…Individuals wishing to write – be it stories or anything – can facilitate the process by working with the goose as a totem. It will stimulate the imagination and help move you through creative blocks.”

He also highlights the co-operative flight patterns of geese: “They constantly shift formation, creating wind drafts and easier flights for those behind them in the formation.”  Aquarians are team workers.


This may seem an odd choice, given the role of the Albatross in the rhyme of the Ancient Mariner in Coleridge’s poem, but according to Andrea Wansbury the Albatross represents Intuition, which is the province of Aquarian ruler Uranus:

“An albatross is saying you must start listening to your intuition and trust your instincts…Are you listening to those intuitive hunches?  What is stopping you from acting on your intuition?”

I like the idea of redeeming the reputation of this bird, and countering the superstitious element.


Andrea Wansbury’s book is a mine of information about birds, and her interpretation of the Jay as bringing the message of Opportunity, and representing the Archetype of the Trickster (which we have already seen in the Coyote, and will re-meet under Archetypes) seems very fitting for Aquarius.

Nicky Scully on the other hand equates the Jay (specifically the Blue Jay) with Masks.  She takes you on a journey:

“As you look into the eye of the blue jay, you see yourself reflected, wearing the mask you display to the wrold.  Blue Jay mimics your character…You may be shown several of the masks that are your most common disguises…If you are ready and willing, Blue Jay may give you a glimpse of your true face, the one under all the masks.”


For Waxwing too, Andrea Wansbury highlights a quality of Aquarius, that of the Observer Archetype, and the message of Objectivity:

“A waxwing is saying that in some area of your life you need to look at things more objectively…step out of the frame and view the situation from the outside to help clarify things.”

Strangely enough, and you may do a double take here, Ted Andrews equates the Waxwing with Masks:

“The mask-like appearance gives it an association with the art of mask making and ritual garb…The waxwing has knowledge of how to use masks for fun and for healing, especially when combined with colour healing.”  I do not especially associate Aquarius with masks, however.


Stick Insect

Although insects generally come under Virgo, what could be more light and airy than a stick insect, for this airiest of air signs?  According to Wikipedia “the genus Phobaeticus includes the world’s longest insects.”

Many species of this insect are parthenogenic, which means the females can lay eggs without the males – reflecting the Aquarian androgyny.

It’s the perfect unusual pet for the Aquarian child!  Though in this enlightened age, keeping anything in a cage seems cruel.

Mythological Figures


Here fittingly to end the animal section is a mythological creature for the cusp of Aquarius and Pisces.  Pisces rules swans, and Aquarius geese.

Nicholas Saunders writes about the Hamsa: “The goose and the swan are mythically interchangeable in Hinduism, as in many cultures.  The Hamsa is one bird made of two, Ham and Sa, and it can appear as either a goose or a swan.  It represents the perfect union, the ‘balance of life’.”



The Networker Archetype is one of the most prominent of Aquarian Archetypes.  It is often found in a chart when the Sun and Mercury, which travel round the zodiac together, are in the 11th House of Friendships and Groups.

Caroline Myss describes it as expanding “sphere of influence by forging alliances and making connections among vastly different groups of people”.


The Liberator (from Myss again) “helps to liberate us from the self-inflicted tyranny of negative thought patterns and beliefs, spiritual sluggishness, poor nutrition, destructive relationships, or addictive behaviour”.  We all need that one.


This is an aspect of the Scientist.  In Gemini, the Scientist as an Archetype is related to teaching, academia, writing and research.  In Aquarius the Scientist is more dynamic, and with an association with Electricity.  The conjunction of Mars and Uranus in a chart often denotes a talent for mechanical or electrical engineering.


Can the Trickster Archetype add to our understanding of the Coyote animal totem, or the Jay?

Caroline Myss has as its Light attribute “Transcending conventiion, stuffiness, and predictable behaviour” – all eminently Aquarian!  It “can be a great ally in presenting alternatives to the straight and narrow path, to people and institutions who seek to hem you in through peer pressure and conformism”.


With Mars, in some capacity, Aquarius and Uranus produces the Activist.  For example, Mars in Aquarius often produces someone who champions the underdog, or uses networking and pressure groups to engineer social justice.

New Archetypes

Caroline Myss introduces new Archetypes in her book of 2013.  She originally wrote about Archetypes (which she sees in her inner vision) in “Sacred Contracts” in 2001.  She produced her Archetype Cards two years later.  She goes into more depth, and gives more guidance, about these newer archetypes.

Famous Example: David Bowie had both of these two Archetypes which follow, with his Aquarian Ascendant.


Caroline identifies four types of Rebel, where the personality has grown into a more mature and cohesive expression of this Archetype: the Noble Rebel, the Anarchist Rebel, the Social/Civil Rebel, and the Feminist Rebel.

Famous Example: The groundbreaking feminist writer Germaine Greer is of course an Aquarian.


In her Archetypes book Myss advises: “The lesson for the Visionary is to experience the power of your creative vision, however large or small, and to realize its potential in the larger scope of your life.”

Famous Example: quoting from Caroline Myss: “Oprah Winfrey [Aquarius] built a media empire around her vision to transform people’s lives.” – my brackets.


 “Archetype Cards” by Caroline Myss

“Archetypes” (book) by Caroline Myss

 “Animal Speak” by Ted Andrews

“Animal Spirits” by Nicholas J. Saunders

“Birds Divine Messengers” by Andrea Wansbury

“The Golden Cauldron” by Nicky Scully

“Medicine Cards” by Jamie Sams and David Carson



Today is the Full Moon in Leo at 3 degrees.  It occurred at 1.46 a.m., so that was Saturday in the snow hit U.S.  I must admit it did wake me this morning, from a heavy sleep.

Whatever were the issues for you last night, they will be starting to ebb away now.  The Leo Moon opposed by the Aquarian Sun, is usually an issue of the individual balancing its needs within the group (which can be a family).  If it fell in your Health Houses (6th and 12th) a health issue may have come to a peak.  Now is the time for releasing, until the New Moon.

Good news for Retrophobes tomorrow evening, as Mercury is stationary prior to turning direct again.  If you have been struggling with your paperwork, appointments, travel and so forth, the path will become easier.  If you make a breakthrough in these matters tomorrow, you will be able to thank Mercury.

The middle of the week is quiet, aspect-wise.  Thus it may literally be uneventful, humdrum, bread and butter…some like it that way.  If you are bored, you can catch up on paperwork and filing from the newly turned Mercury boost, or contemplate the next aspect, which occurs on Friday.

The True North Node can have an oscillating action, in that it can move slowly or even go slightly backwards.  Thus it is that we have another conjunction between Jupiter and the True North Node in Virgo on Friday (29th), so soon after the last one (Saturday 23rd).  It brings a karmic reward, so you may need to think back to see what it brought you, and what further yield that may bring.  Where might you need to adjust your karma in Virgoan areas such as care of the planet (e.g. buying foods with less packaging) and health measures (e.g. cutting down on sugar)?  Your next similar karmic reckoning will come towards the end of June.

Another re-play from recent times occurs on Saturday (30th) when Mercury conjuncts Pluto again.  This was last seen on Friday (22nd) and is recurring because of Mercury turning direct.  This brings profound thought and reflection, and incisive speech.  What people say will be coming from a deep place within them.  Consider whether they are bringing through the wisdom of the ancients, or their own negative emotions.  This aspect occurs early in the morning, around 6 a.m.  If you are just getting up, you may have a strong idea or theme emerging from your dreams, guidance for the day ahead.

Later, just before tea time, a more coherent aspect forms: Venus sextile Neptune.  This can bring inspiration in the Arts, and spirituality in relating.  If you are still working with the energy of the Mercury-Pluto aspect, what you do now can have a lasting value.  There is a sweetness to Venus-Neptune, which can be surface, but can also be sublime.  If you begin the day with the depth of the Pluto aspect, you can make more of the Neptune experience.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – emotional wipe-out
  • Tomorrow – communications full steam ahead
  • Friday – karmic reward
  • Saturday – earnest communication and graceful dance