7 Aquarius Traits That Make This Resilient Winter Sign the Zodiac’s Unique Snowflake

Photo: Stocksy/ Lucas Ottone
You’re probably well aware of who in your life—whether it be a friend, ex, significant other, or anyone else—is an Aquarius, largely because these characters just don’t blend in. Aquarius is a fixed sign born between the dates of January 19 to February 18, smack in the middle of winter, which contributes to how resilient they tend to be. Think of them as the Sansa Stark of the zodiac wheel, because Aquarius traits include being fearless, independent, strong leaders, and, well, very badass, to say the least.

Experts In This Article

Now, at the risk of coming across as cocky, I’m an Aquarius. Because of this, I know Aquarius’ characteristics pretty well. But to keep myself honest and learn more about what specifically makes us so unique and special, I spoke with several astrologers.

First, the basics: Aquarius’ symbol is that of two waves, which makes sense given that the sign is a water bearer, which supposedly bestows water (aka life) on the land. Also, despite this connection to water, Aquarius isn’t ruled by water. The element of Aquarius is air, which reflects a temperament of making waves and being in the midst of action.

“Aquarius tends to be extremely intelligent and very much connected—they can easily channel information that exists out in the ether and bring it into reality.” —Corina Crysler, astrologer

“The air element really works with intellect, flow, and movement,” says Corina Crysler, astrologer and wellness expert. “And Aquarius is a fixed sign, which really brings stability, determination, and depth, so these people tend to be extremely intelligent and very much connected—they can easily channel information that exists out in the ether and bring it into reality.”

Aquarians are savvy and often in their own head, considering what to do next and how to bring about change. They also tend to adopt an out-there style that’s reflective of their independence within. “They’re always trying to innovate and make things better than what they are—they’re very non-traditional,” says astrologer and life coach Natha Campanella.

These unique Aquarius characteristics can also extend to those born on the Capricorn-Aquarius cusp and Aquarius-Pisces cusp, notwithstanding a few key differences. Those born on the Capricorn-Aquarius cusp, for instance, are “more grounded and slightly less rebellious than their late-degree Aquarius sisters,” astrologer Stefanie Iris Weiss previously told Well+Good, whereas “Aquarians born near the Pisces cusp can’t help but connect to you soul-to-soul, even if they’d rather keep their hearts free of messy commitments.”

While it can be hard to fully get the ever-changing, constantly moving Aquarius (I’m dynamic, what can I say?), astrologers break down below the key Aquarius personality traits that make them the unique snowflakes of the zodiac.

7 Aquarius personality traits that make them the unique snowflakes of the zodiac

1. Aquarians are big-time visionaries

Intellectual Aquarius is always thinking of the big picture. “They have the innate ability to perceive what’s going to happen next,” says Crysler. Especially being an air sign, Aquarians are always in their mind, which can be a double-edged sword. Grounding is a big challenge, since they have a tendency to overthink and overanalyze. “They have an overactive mind, so getting grounded on a daily level is important to avoid mental exhaustion,” she says.

2. Aquarians want to change the world

Sure, they’re optimists and romantics regarding their idealized version of society and the world, but Aquarians also walk the walk, actually participating in the activism and social justice efforts necessary to strike change. “Aquarians are really humanitarians and do a lot of philanthropy—they want to make the world a better place, and they see it as their mission in life,” says Crysler. “They feel an innate responsibility to help people, and have a problem with authority being misused.”

Campanella adds that because Aquarians can digest information faster than many, they tend to have high-level, mentally focused careers. “We’re talking scientists or people in the public eye who can bring attention to different things happening in the world,” she says. “They’re always advocating for change.” The Aquarius in the office is always the one speaking up on how to feng shui the furniture for better workflow or advocating for cold brew on tap, for example.

3. Aquarians are very attached to their freedom

Ever date an Aquarius? If so, you'll likely agree that they’re often hard to grasp in terms of essence because they thrive from their perceived sense of freedom. And while freedom is great, it can often result in Aquarians having a hard time committing. Once you’ve earned their trust and loyalty, though, they’re very loving (so long as that very key sense of independence is still respected). “Their significant others and their friends just have to know it’s nothing personal—it’s the innate composition of an Aquarian,” says Crysler.

In a work environment, Aquarians thrive from structure, but not so many guidelines that they’re stifled. “They have to be free enough to allow their vision to come through,” she says.

4. Aquarians don’t do well with boredom

From a cosmic standpoint, a true Aquarius cannot stand being bored (hence why I constantly have ants in my pants). According to Campanella, this characteristic is owed to the planet that rules Aquarius. “Uranus rules Aquarius, and the planet also rules electricity, so there’s this extra charge in an Aquarian’s nervous system,” she says. “This sign does not just want to sit around and do nothing. That’s boring and makes them feel like they’re stagnating, which is the antithesis of their whole life.” That’s exactly why they need to take it upon themselves to get up and make a change.

“Aquarius is definitely ruled by being stimulated mentally, so if they’re bored at their job, the job won’t work,” says Crysler. This even applies to boredom that exists around them in the environment—really, anything that’s stale, like, say, a rule that’s outdated and dull. For instance, an Aquarius will take it upon themselves to try and revise the situation for the better. “One of the big skills and jobs of the Aquarius is to see what is stagnant and boring and figure out ways to change it,” Campanella says.

5. Aquarians are the rebels of the zodiac world

Aquarians are like Ferris Bueller in that they can do something like skip class for a day, go on an extensive adventure, and flawlessly get away with it. They’re rebellious, and they’re good at being that way. Sometimes they’re so obvious and outspoken about going against the grain that other people can’t even relate. “People can be like, ‘Whoa, we’re not ready for that change,’” Campanella says, noting that this confusion is what can get Aquarius in trouble.

In terms of romantic relationships, this rebellion points to them doing well in situations that skew non-traditional, like being in a long-distance relationship or having a separate bedroom from their significant other. “They bring an element of newness and difference into the idea of what a relationship should look like, because they don’t necessarily abide by the typical idea of what a relationship should look like,” Campanella says.

6. Aquarians are often stuck in their own head

Ever looked over to see a colleague or classmate staring into the abyss, happily daydreaming? This telltale Aquarius trait makes it likely this person is a fellow air-sign snowflake, who’s always lost in their thoughts, overanalyzing and plotting revolutions. “Overthinking is a huge component of being an Aquarius, so they need to consistently practice awareness so that exhaustion doesn’t creep up on them,” Crysler says.

7. Aquarians march to the beat of their own drum

All the mounting evidence of Aquarius traits leads to the conclusion that the sign is indeed unique, eclectic, and prefers to go about things in their own way. “They’re quite quirky and can be a little bit unpredictable,” says Campanella. “They’re always cutting edge and can be a little bit ahead of the trend because they’re change-making and taste-making and breaking up the boring. They’re definitely eccentric and have a different way about them.”

Maybe that’s why people have told me I’m “interesting” my entire life. Hey, Aquarians are cool weirdos, okay?

How to get along with an Aquarius

Aquarians are the rebels of the zodiac, and they are fiercely independent and prefer doing things their way, on their own terms. Respecting an Aquarius’ independence is essential for getting along with them, says Emily Newman, psychic reader, spiritual healer, counselor, and astrologer at Best of Psychic Reader. They also value freedom—and often, this includes personal space to explore their interests and their passions. “Trying to control or restrict them can lead to conflict and tension in the relationship,” she says.

As one of the cerebral air signs, “Aquarians are known for their intelligence, analytical abilities, and love of learning,” says Newman, and “to get along with them, engage them in intellectually stimulating conversations and ask for their opinions.” As they are wont to march to the beat of their own drum, it’s imperative to be open-minded and curious when engaging with an Aquarian, all while embracing their unique personality. They usually enjoy interacting with individuals who can flex their intellectual muscles and keep the conversation going, and more than anything, “they value authenticity and honesty,” says Newman.

What Aquarius needs to be happy

There are a few things that make an Aquarian happy. Among them are “freedom, independence, intellectual stimulation [and] meaningful conversations,” says Newman. Humanitarians at heart, they are also passionate about social justice and fairness, she says, and they are happiest when they are making the world a better place for everyone.

Aquarius in love and friendship

Aquarius—and Aquarius moon signs—can be exciting, unconventional, and at times, unpredictable in romantic relationships, says Newman, but they can be loyal, committed, and supportive once they form a deep connection. As the rebellious humanitarians of the zodiac wheel, “Aquarians appreciate individuals willing to take action and make a difference,” she says, and typically they will be drawn to a partner who can share in their passions and interests.

Since communication is important to the water bearer, they often want a partner who can engage them in thought-provoking conversations—and while they enjoy the stimulation of intellectual discussions, they like to maintain a keen sense of humor. “Joining in on their jokes and humor can help build a solid and positive relationship,” Newman says.

If anything, they have a reputation of being emotionally detached. “Aquarians aren’t an intimate sign,” says Constance Stellas, an astrologer of over 20 years, “but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have feelings.” Aquarians have big hearts—and they can appreciate a partner who offers them the love that they put out into the world.

As they are associated with the sign of friendship, society, and community, “most Aquarians start out being friends with marriage partners or romantic partners,” says Stellas. With this in mind, Aquarius seeks to form solid friendships with others. “In friendship, they enjoy spending time with like-minded individuals who share their values and passions,” says Newman. “However, they may struggle with emotional intimacy, requiring space and time to recharge their energy.” This should be no problem to those who understand the water bearer’s unique personality traits and needs, and so long as they can appreciate Aquarius as they are, they can build a solid and positive relationship with the sign, she says.

These traits that can help determine Aquarius compatibility—or rather which of the fellow zodiac signs Aquarius are most and least compatible with.

The zodiacs that are most compatible with Aquarius

Typically, fellow air signs Gemini and Libra will get along well with Aquarius, as they can intrinsically respect and understand the water bearer’s need for freedom and individuality. Gemini is a talkative sign, Newman previously told Well+Good, which might appeal to the water bearer, who values interesting conversation. Gemini and Aquarius also both love to laugh, play, and embrace life’s unexpected adventures, giving them plenty of common ground. Libra, the sign of the scales, values balance and fairness, sharing Aquarius’ deep passion for helping others.

Aquarius are also often compatible with fire signs Aries and Sagittarius. Aries is among the most independent signs of the zodiac wheel, and the ram’s fiery energy can help Aquarius stimulate thought-provoking conversations and creative innovations. Sagittarius loves freedom and independence just as much as Aquarius, and they both love to expand their knowledge by way of experiences and new adventures. Aquarius and Leo are opposite zodiac signs, but if they manage to set their differences aside, they can bond over their commonality. “Both signs tend to value their friendship and community, which is certainly where they can shine as a couple,” astrologer Rachel Lang previously told Well+Good.

The zodiac signs that are least compatible with Aquarius

Conversely, Aquarius may have trouble getting along with water signs Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces and earth signs Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn, due to innate differences. “With these signs, operating from a need for material or emotional security is the priority, and that’s just not where Aquarius starts from initially,” astrologer Maria Sofia Marmanides previously told Well+Good.

Aquarius at work

Unconventional Aquarius can thrive best in a work environment that allows them to use their innovative edge, exercise their analytic thinking skills, and challenge the status quo, all while making efforts that impact the greater good. “They thrive in careers providing intellectual stimulation, personal freedom, and opportunities to pursue their ideas and passions,” says Newman. “They enjoy exploring new ideas and pushing boundaries and may find fulfillment in careers that allow them to impact society positively.”

In addition to humanitarian work, Newman says that Aquarians can make waves in the fields of science, psychology and counseling, as well as creative fields. Since they are also highly independent and value their personal freedom, this makes them ideal for entrepreneurial pursuits, she says, with a caveat: “They may struggle with routine and repetitive tasks and become bored or restless in jobs without intellectual stimulation or challenge.”

Aquarius’ likes and dislikes

“Aquarius is known for being independent and eccentric,” says Newman, and much of their likes reflect their unique characteristics. They are inherently drawn to the unconventional, and they like to challenge traditional systems and ways of thinking. They are also often interested in causes related to freedom, equality, and progress, and have a penchant for science and technology.

Conversely, “Aquarius dislikes things that are routine, traditional, and conformist,” says Newman. As they usually march to the beat of their own drum, they resist rules and restrictions that they perceive as limiting and unnecessary. Since progress is often important to the water bearer, they also dislike close-mindedness and prejudice as well as repetition and monotony.

Aquarius’ challenges and growth opportunities

“Aquarius individuals face unique challenges and growth opportunities due to their unconventional nature and curious intellect,” says Newman. For one, they can struggle to “fit in” with society, as they have non-conformist attitudes and interests, she says. As they are more cerebral than they are emotional, Newman also says that they can struggle with emotional intimacy, preferring to keep things on the intellectual level, adding that at times, they can sometimes distance themselves too much from others, which can lead to feelings of isolation.

However, Newman says that Aquarius’ individuality is a strength. “Aquarians should embrace their unique qualities and use them to their advantage personally and professionally,” she says, adding that their “creativity and inventiveness can be challenged into innovative solutions that benefit society.” If anything, Aquarians can stand to cultivate more emotional intelligence. “Aquarians can build more profound, more meaningful connections with others by working to understand and express their emotions more clearly,” says Newman.

Frequently asked questions

What is typical Aquarius behavior?

Aquarius are independent by nature, and while they value freedom, they have an innate passion and interest in helping others. They are also highly intellectual, and they like to connect with others by way of thought-provoking conversations—and not just all talk, they like taking action by using their intellect to create innovative methods to spark change.

What makes an Aquarius happy?

There are a few things that make an Aquarius happy, including freedom and independence to explore their interests and passions, as well as intellectual conversations and anything that is related to social justice and equity.

What annoys Aquarius the most?

Stagnancy, close-mindedness, and prejudice are things that may annoy the Aquarius most, as the zodiac sign often looks to make waves and challenge the status quo.

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