Everything You Need to Know About the Aquarius Personality

No two Aquarians are alike—and an Aquarius will be the first to tell you that. They relish their status as the original originals, the true freaks and geeks of the zodiac. But as important as their individuality is cultivating a sense of solidarity with the world. This sign is all about humanitarianism, so everything they do is considered on a global scale. It’s not just about what’s good for them—it’s about what’s good for the world. (Which also usually happens to be good for them too.) If you were born under this sign, or are just feeling very macro, join us as we try to wrap our head around these enigmatic creatures.

Your sun sign: Aquarius.

Your element: Air. Air signs are intellectual and abstract thinkers. They tend to be nimble, open-minded and highly social. It can be a little difficult for them to get in touch with their emotions, and they can come off as cold or detached.

Your quality: Fixed. Fixed signs are the stabilizers of the zodiac, continuing on the path that has already been established. They know how to sustain, grow, extend and nurture. They can be stubborn or rigid, often digging in their heels when challenged.

Your ruling planet: Uranus. Uranus is the planet of sudden shifts and innovation. He drags us into the future before we’re ready and forces us to sink or swim. The essence of this planet is rebellion, so it compels us to discard ingrained habits and overthrow old systems. This can be very uncomfortable, but that’s kind of the point—that’s when we adapt.

Your symbol: The water bearer. At first glance, it would seem that the Aquarian avatar signals to water more than air (plus the word aqua is in the name). But the water bearer is actually pouring not only water but brain or electricity waves from on high into the watery regions of Pisces, the very next sign. Aquarius not only rules genius but political disruption as well. They are literally making waves.

Your one-word mantra: “Humble.” While Aquarians are incredibly brilliant, it can come with an edge that must be tempered with humility. (See every sign’s one-word mantra.)

Best traits: Aquarians are lovers on a global scale. They are among the coolest and most open-minded people you’ll ever meet. It’s said that the way an Aquarius thinks is the way society will think in a decade (or longer). Their sharp intellect and progressive views combine to create a personality that is magnetic, optimistic and welcoming to all.

Worst traits: Aquarians are big know-it-alls, which can be compounded by the fact that they are usually right. But in their desire to be more progressive and future-minded than others, they can be rigid and dogmatic, falling victim to trappings of the ego that undercut their own philosophies. Their two modes are either fascinated or indifferent, and it can be hard to get them to care (or even acknowledge) the people in their lives who don’t immediately hold their interest.

Best careers: Aquarians are natural innovators, entrepreneurs and disruptors. Their pet field is technology, but really their professional principle is that of disruption. Whether they are creating the next app that will take over our lives, writing political dissent that stirs revolution or pushing the boundaries of high-concept performance art, the Aquarian impact will be felt.

As a friend: Your BFF the Aquarius is delighted to get weird with you. These are not the people who constantly ask for reassurance that you validate their normalcy—they don’t want to be normal and they don’t expect you to want that either. “Is it weird if I wear a turtleneck under this slip dress?” is not a question you’ll hear from these mavericks. That’s what’s so refreshing about them: They don’t need you to be anything like them, because the reason they like you is because of you.

As a parent: An Aquarian parent loves to nurture the individuality of their kids. If the apple falls far from the tree, all the better! But while they are perfectly delighted and content to sit with the differences between themselves and their offspring, they may want to remember that the world is already full of alienation, and sometimes all a kid needs is to hear someone say, “I know exactly how you feel.”

As a partner: Aquarians are all about agapic love. For the uninitiated, that’s the highest form of love, according to the ancient Greeks, and it supersedes romantic, friendly or familial bonds. When an Aquarian is in love, the relationship is part of something bigger than the couple, so they thrive when there’s shared purpose and enthusiasm for the future. They tend to be very egalitarian and open-minded, and as long as it makes you both happy, it’s on the table. That creativity absolutely translates in bed as well.

Secret traits no one realizes: Aquarians have a reputation for coldness because they experience the world in such abstract terms, but they actually have huge, warm hearts. They can feel removed from the concerns of mere mortals because their mental canvas is so wide, but they are fundamentally driven by passion. Everything they do is because they believe it will somehow better their lives and the lives of everyone in the world. If they didn’t care, they’d peace out.

Kiki O’Keeffe is an astrology writer in Brooklyn. You can sign up for her newsletter, I Don’t Believe in Astrology, or follow her on Twitter @alexkiki.

RELATED: The Relationship Advice Your Zodiac Sign Needs to Hear