The Mode of Aquarius: Determined to stay true to yourself

Aquarius is one of the air signs of the Zodiac, but so are Libra and Gemini.  What is it that makes those signs so unique and makes Aquarius so different? To find one part of this answer we need to consider the modalities or Aquarius’ mode.

The mode of Aquarius is fixed. The fixed modality is that of endurance and maturity. This energy offers Aquarius an unshakable will. Independent and idealistic, Aquarius strives to fully express their individuality and the fixed modality pushes them to continuously resist conforming to society.

The fixed mode helps to lend Aquarius its distinct qualities. Keep reading to find out more about Aquarius and what the fixed modality may mean for you!

woman with red hair smirking at the camera and wearing a hat, illustrating aquarius mode

How the Fixed Mode Comes Out in Aquarius

The fixed mode symbolizes the heart of a season. For Aquarius, this season is winter. For our ancestors, it took a strong will to survive winter. It also took a hefty dose of determination! There was no time to follow whims. There was work to do and it was important to stay the course. Survival could be very difficult so when something needed to be done there can be no compromises. This looks an awful lot like the fixed modality playing out in Aquarius.

Some may call it stubbornness, but a more positive word for it is perseverance. Aquarius has ideas that may or may not match up to what society expects from them. It doesn’t matter to Aquarius, though, they wouldn’t budge on their ideals one bit. Fixed energy offers strength to maintain their convictions, even when it gets difficult.

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Aquarius shares this fixed modality with 3 other signs, Taurus, Leo, and Scorpio. But, Aquarius is the only air element sign among these. So, even though they all have fixed modality it expresses itself differently in each of these signs.

Aquarius and the Air Element

Aquarius’ element is air, and to experience the air element is to experience energy in motion that carries perceptions and knowledge from one place to another. Air signs certainly have emotions and feelings, just as everyone does, but they aren’t driven by them. They also don’t look to their emotions much when making decisions. Air signs are driven by their clever and curious minds and the knowledge that they collect.

For Aquarius, the air elements drives them to gain insights about the functioning of society to find ways to make it work better in everyone’s favor, not just some. Aquarius’ thirst for insights about culture and society can often come out as questions, specifically questioning of authority.

If a social norm doesn’t make logical sense to Aquarius, they may have no choice but to challenge it and rebel against it. And the persistent air element offers them little choice but to stand their ground and hold on to their convictions, no matter who it upsets or disappoints.

woman smiling with her hands behind her head

Aquarius and Uranus

The ruler of Aquarius is Uranus, the planet of individuality. Uranus adds a well-defined independent streak to this combination of the fixed, persistent modality, and the intellectual air element.

Uranus’ energy encourages freeing oneself from the artificial restraints put on them by society and it encourages Aquarius to follow their own unique path in life and to always be true to themselves. Uranus also impresses on Aquarius the idea that every person, no matter who they are or how society views them, should have equal access to personal freedom and the right to live their own life. Because of this, Aquarius has the potential to be a revolutionary force for change and equality.

But, in order for Aquarius to assert their individuality, they must BE an individual. To be able to see the absurdities of life they must already be equipped with ideas and opinions that oppose society. Because of this, they may naturally encounter resistance from others in their life that they must endure. This is part of the growth process for Aquarius, in large part because of Uranus’ influence.

Aquarius’ Goal

If Aquarius’ goal had to be boiled down to just one it would be to fully express their individuality within their society. They need to find a way to operate simultaneously both as their pure, true self, and also as part of a group. They will not change themselves or ideals to fit in. For Aquarius, this may mean that they will have to work to improve society to make it a place where everyone can be free and accepted equally.

To fulfill their goal they need to be a part of something, so they need others. But, they also need to be completely true to themselves at all times without compromise. This can be a tough job for Aquarius as most cultures rely on some sort of conformity to hold themselves together.

There may be times when they have to choose between loyalty to themselves and loyalty to those who have placed expectations on them. The goal of Aquarius is not an easy one, but working to achieve it will help them gain personal and evolutionary growth.

man in sunglasses outdoors playing ukelele with friend laughing behind him, illustrating aquarius mode

Aquarius’ Strengths

There are many astrologers who believe that each sign comes with a defined set of motivations and needs. Some also think that people come with a unique set of tools that help them to reach their evolutionary goals.

For Aquarius, if their goal is to be free to be themselves while also as part of a group, they would need some tools to help them with that. One of these tools is a rational mind.

In order to change the world, you have to have a vision and Aquarius’ highly rational mind is more than up to the job. They are able to see what others can’t see and ask the questions others wouldn’t even know to ask. They are immune to the emotional strings pulled by social norms and customs because they can see things for what they are. If the popular opinion makes no sense, it holds no power over Aquarius whatsoever because they know better.

Another strength Aquarius brings is being a good friend. If they have a need to express their individuality within a group then they will need people! Aquarius is a charming, empathetic, energetic, and loyal friend who would rarely be boring to be around. They take their duty as a friend very seriously.

One other strength in Aquarius’ arsenal is their bravery. Standing out in a crowd, especially if your thoughts or actions are upsetting others, takes some serious courage. Aquarius is not swayed by the opinions of the masses. There may be times when they have to be willing to disappoint those they love the most in order to remain true to their ideals. Aquarius has the inner strength necessary to endure these incredibly difficult and potentially isolating moments in their lives.

Aquarius’ Challenges

Aquarius has many strengths, but every coin has two sides. Enter the shadow of Aquarius.

Individuality is the hallmark of Aquarius, but this needs to be balanced with being part of a group. If Aquarius finds it too difficult to be able to function as a part of a society they may withdraw from it altogether, cutting people out of their life until they find themselves completely alone. A healthy Aquarius needs people. If they find themselves alone they may need to examine how well they are actually accepting the individual freedom of others. Few could live up to the perfect ideals of Aquarius so they need to remember to offer others grace from time to time.

Another challenge for Aquarius is to not look at life in such a rational way that they lose their emotion altogether. Aquarius does lead with their intellect, but everyone has feelings. A healthy Aquarius needs to check in with themselves occasionally and make sure they aren’t denying themselves the right to feel.

Persistence that turns to bullheaded stubbornness is another challenge Aquarius may face. Changing the mind of fixed Aquarius can seem like an impossible task. There may be a time, though, when they are failing to see a valid point of view. Refusing to even hear or entertain ideas that aren’t their own could push away the very people that Aquarius needs in their life. They need to be careful to temper their incredible will with the ability to listen.

One other pitfall for Aquarius could come if they don’t feel as though they are ready to truly express who they are. They may worry that the price is too great so they hide it inside. But, whatever we hide inside works its way out eventually, one way or another. For Aquarius, it may begin to come out through anxiety. If Aquarius feels anxious they may want to first check that there isn’t something they are suppressing within themselves.

Aquarius Info

DatesJanuary 21 – February 19
SymbolThe water bearer
DetrimentThe Sun
ArchetypeThe revolutionary
Goal To be free to be themselves while also as part of a group
LovesSocial justice, fresh ideas, friendship, independence, equality
DislikesConforming, old ways of doing things, social norms, putting on an act
StrengthsRational, friendly, intelligent, brave, innovative, real
ChallengesIsolation, stubbornness, anxiety, turning off their feelings