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One day a customer walked into my new age store and with a slightly condescending demeanor asked if I had any stones for which he could work on his Pineal Gland. His head was cocked back in a sort of kingly position and his gaze was distant. It took seconds for my initial intimidation to wear off, (I wasn't about to admit defeat to his mental challenge) so I quickly accessed my brain for where I had heard of the Pineal Gland and then it came to me. Several nights prior I had just seen a horror movie about a drug that enlarged it…the pineal gland and a big ugly thing emerged from right in the center of their forehead! "Pineal Gland," I replied without missing a beat…are you an Aquarian?"

KNOCK OUT! I did it! I got him in the first round. His chin came down a notch and his eyes focused. "How did you know?" he asked, with eager curiosity. "You are working on your Mind," I replied and a friendship ensued.

It's not hard to spot an Aquarian, the natural rebels of the Zodiac. They often start any contact with a cool aloofness warranted in their minds because humans are so, so human. It's not really a fault; it's a predisposition to feeling out of place, born ahead of their time into a world that probably isn't ready for them. Let's start at the beginning.

Winter is invoked by the cardinal energy of Capricorn and then the fixed winds of Aquarius are brought forth to stabilize the season. The origin of Aquarius is composed of fixed Air, which means that the Air qualities (thought, ideals and communication) are immovable. Since it is the sign following the tradition-loving Capricorn, we expect to see some dramatic differences. Capricorns respect authority; Aquarians despise it. Capricorns love the old; Aquarians are always looking for what's new and different. Capricorns love what has been established and Aquarians feel out of place with the old and are distrustful of "the norm". Even their symbol "the water bearer" is a departure, a trick born of genius. They are not Water Signs, yet they carry water, the only thing we absolutely need to live.

The rebellion of Aquarius can be found in the myth of Prometheus, the god who stole fire from the gods and gave it to mankind, breaking a commandment (an Aquarian pastime) by Zeus. Prometheus was horribly punished for his act but knew it was the "right" thing to do. Inherent in Aquarius is this desire to do the right thing for the good of all but the problem is that some things work better as concepts than in reality. Something in the tragic mix of humanity awakens their inner Prometheus who then pushes for justice. As we will see, there is a contradiction, a shadow to this hero.

Of all the Air Signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) Aquarians are the most mentally focused. It's due to their "fixed" nature. On the negative, this sign is noted for their cool detachment and almost unfailing ability to ignore feelings. They can be notoriously self-absorbed and completely identified with the mind. They live in pictures of how things should be, a testament to the fact that most Aquarians are fanatics about neatness (yes, excelling Virgo). This "should be" reality is not an easy one because they use it against themselves displaying a constant inner battle of debilitating "could haves" and "should haves".

Aquarius is the opposite sign of Leo and has the opposite problem. Leo has no Ego, no sense of Self, which is why they are looking for it outside of themselves. Aquarians are all Ego, completely sure of their boundaries with utter confidence in what they know. After all, it's what they know that makes them appear (and actually believe) that they are superior. But that's just how it looks. Inside this Master of the Mind is a being that is often filled with fear. Remember, Prometheus was horribly tortured for his brave act of goodwill so, fearing the same fate, Aquarians use the most powerful defense they have to combat the ignorance of others, cool detachment, something only those of strong mind can do.

Living in the mind is no more damaging than living completely in feeling. It's the exclusivity, one without the other, that creates problems. As with all things in life, to the degree that we hold on to one side of an ideal the other side is bound to get us. The Mind creates dichotomies or a split of opposites when it is in charge. Aquarius has the ideal of being selfless yet the shadow that haunts them is that of being self-centered. For example, an Aquarian may tout the belief that everyone should have a right to choose his or her beliefs but if you don't agree with them, you will be shut off or dismissed. Without feelings as a reference point, Aquarians may decide that, 'People are boring' yet groups fascinate them. 'Rules are ridiculous' yet breaking them is divine. 'Emotions are trivial' yet too painful to feel. 'Dictatorship is abhorrent' yet they may rule with an iron hand. It's within these paradoxes that the Aquarian must come to terms.

Because their focus is the mind they have been classified as the 'coldest' of the signs, being able to remove their attention from you at will and brilliantly justify their position through their own logic that can make total sense yet be completely wrong. Aquarians live by their pictures and if something doesn't match with the picture that is in their mind then it can't exist, it is dismissed as untrue or wrong.

The heart of the wound is the deep desire to be loved and appreciated, something that most Aquarians didn't find at home. Home was often a "fend for yourself" place that had much of the look of normalcy but often there was no one there to really understand the young Aquarian who saw a completely different reality. Imagine a young child being born 'awake' seeing past the physical reality and ridiculous rules of a culture. A child who at a very early age doesn't understand the need for separate bathrooms, or why some people sleep on the street while others have 5 bedrooms with only 2 people living in them. This child sees another way of living and being a child, has no way to follow his or her vision except to turn it into a dream, an ideal that someday, somehow will come true. Eventually, the child turns away from the culture, expects rejection and is called rebellious and cold. Years of not being understood, of being seen as weird because in high school they protested racism or sexual discrimination long before it was a fad can create a sense of not belonging, of being pariah.

As friends, they embrace you for your quirks and love you when you are feeling the most unlovable. When they establish you as someone they care about; you will be fiercely protected and unerringly defended. No one knows the cruelty of rejection like this sign and no one will uphold your right to exist more than this Master of the mental realm.

Their gift is in their genius; their minds have been refined to work wonders. Their ideals are usually for the underdog, the masses, the hungry, the homeless, and the sick. Yet, notice that these are labels of groups not individuals. True genius has its cost. This is a sign that has brought amazing gifts to our world exemplified by the likes of Thomas Edison, Mozart, Gypsy Rose Lee and Helen Gurley Brown. Each of these individuals wrote their own script and followed their own inner spirit. Yet, each of these individuals felt separated and misunderstood as if they somehow knew that they were going to be mistreated or scorned for being 'different', eventually becoming the very thing they were trying to save, the outcast.

Mark Steven Husson

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