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S23Acquario.jpgIn ancient times the year did not start on the 1st of January. The ups and downs of the calendar have been long and painful, enough to confuse even we moderns, used to not losing sight of dates in our diaries. The myth of Verseau (the French word for Aquarius, literally meaning the water pourer) has always interpreted not just the lack of this element but symbolises the spiritual need for the Water of Life. in fact the liquid pouring out of the jug of the young person is divine nectar, ambrosia, capable of giving absolute knowledge.

The Latins, and the Anglo-Saxons today, use the ancient meaning of the sign, without the letter c: Aquarius, the title of an old but not forgotten song of the 60's, dedicated to the flower children and the age of liberty and wisdom that is about to start ( or has already started according to some). Aquarius is the sign of the zodiac that the Sun transits between about 21 January and about 19 February. The 'about' is necessary due to the change in the calendar every four years with the introduction of another day (Leap year). Aquarius is a fixed Air sign, traditionally ruled by Saturn (who also rules Capricorn) and more recently,. Aquarius is the third and last of the Air signs, completing the series beginning with Gemini, and then Libra. It is called fixed because it is concentrated on only one season of the year, from which it gathers the strongest and most significative effects (just think of the proverbial coldness of January).
It is a sign of loftiness, freedom, knowledge, solidarity and utopia. Several important religious celebrations are held in this period: from the happy and Dionysian rite of Carnival to the penance of Lent An ancient hermit-scholar, Onorio of Autun, called the Solitary, dedicated a long commentary to the significance of Candlemas and in it he explained the origin through astrological symbols, in a period in which the first Christians considered Christ at the centre of their Zodiac, come to redeem and save an Earth in a geocentric closed and finite Universe.
In January in the agriculture year, between the snow and the rain and the intense cold, one must face a test of faith, of hope in what will come. The days lengthen, there are signs of change but they are 'believed' more that verified. Aquarius is the best sign for friendship, the 11th sign of the zodiac, co-significator of the 11th house, symbolic of friendship and solidarity. Carnival time is celebrated in the difficult period between the end of January and the beginning of February. Festivals, practical jokes and colossal banquets are organised and people are given to merry-making, aware that in a short time Lent will be requiring its tribute, through penance and conversion. A sign of excesses therefore, but of deep inner religiousness.