Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Valentine's Day: Love in the Heart of Winter and Aquarius

Article © 2018 by Joyce Mason

Is the placement of Valentine’s Day in the heart of winter under the sign of Aquarius just a Gregorian calendar coincidence? Or is there some symbolism in this sweet day’s Aquarian “birthday” that would enrich us to ponder?

For starters, Valentine’s day is a very old tradition. The first Valentine’s Day was celebrated in 496. It’s believed to have originated from a Roman festival called Lupercalia.  The celebration was in the middle of February, as it is now, then considered the official start of springtime. On further examination of the switch from Julian to the Gregorian calendar in the 14th century, there is only a 10 day difference between the two. No matter which calendar was being used at the time, Valentine’s Day still in what we now call February in the heart of winter. For more background, enjoy The History of Valentine’s Day.


At first blush, Aquarius seems like a strange Sun sign for a holiday that is often intimate and somewhat predictable in its patterns of observation. Aquarian people are often detached, freedom-seeking, anything but predictable and friendly to the point of riling up partners with their “flirtations” and nonconformist ways. (In my youth, most of the men in my life with strong Aquarian placements were bound to embarrass me at least once, often more, at every social occasion. They seemed to relish ignoring the boundaries of consensus behavior, getting a great bang out of watching people squirm with discomfort over their open slaughter of sacred cows.)

If Aquarian people’s tendencies translate to Aquarian holidays, this hardly sounds like a guy or gal ready to pledge his or her undying love in a traditional way with hearts and flowers or romantic dinners. Aquarius might be more likely to forget the Day, focused on saving the world, or let any mention of celebration slip until s/he’s about to deliver a unique, unusual or perhaps downright weird surprise. If s/he believes in celebrating it at all. But just as people are more than their Sun sign, Valentine’s Day is more complex. What’s really interesting:

Many Aquarian characteristics enhance if not solidify relationships. Some Aquarian tendencies are hidden code to making a lasting love work.

The Code and the Dance

Friendship. We often hear close couples refer to each other as “my best friend.” Love has been my teacher in life, and I don’t mind sharing that it was a bumpy road almost all the way to my Chiron Return. One thing I’m sure of: good relationships have a strong component of friendship. When things get rocky, ask yourself how you’d treat your dearest friends, and if you aren’t applying this treatment to your partner, apply relationship first aid instead. Leave all his or her annoying habits behind and your vicious circle reaction patterns, take a deep breath, and remember this is your most intimate friend who deserves the royal treatment we reserve for the people who support us most. Aquarius values friendship above all. Valentine’s Day holds that hint for happiness.

Independence. Another Aquarian characteristic that plays firmly into making a relationship work is independence. To those who are young or less experienced in love, that sounds like a complete conundrum. Isn’t true love supposed to be about merging?

Yes and no. Committed relationship is the agreement of two individuals to be there for each other, to support each other in life’s ups and downs. To travel down life’s highway together, to make the trilogy of clichés complete.

When my husband and I decided to have our marriage “blessed” in the Catholic church, our spiritual adviser, a hip Franciscan priest, drew us this great illustration of what is a relationship. It is simple and profound when seen on paper.

The circles don't subsume each other or blend into a common pool. There is you, me--and there is the living entity of the relationship--you and me interacting and sharing goals or direction together. It isn't all of you. It's part of you.

The Both of Merging and Separating. Thanks to fairy tales that promise happily ever after and various kinds of romantic melodrama that have been around since before villains tied maidens to railroad tracks, our concept of love is frankly warped. We are addicted to the romance and honeymoon and initial high of the merger but the work it takes to be a couple and still be you? Not so much. Like anything else in life, relationship requires balance. Merging and individuation are a dance, one that’s essential for a partnership to work. If your beloved changes so much to merge into the soup of Oneness, you lose the person you fell in love with in the first place. He or she loses self, and eventually, that leads to bitterness and erosion of the relationship. Anyone who has ever experienced feeling smothered in love knows just what I mean. No breathing space. Aquarius bears water (feelings) but is an air sign (breathing). Relationships must come up for air and give breathing room or risk drowning.

Unique Relationships, Not Necessarily "By the Book." Finally, the individualistic tendencies of Aquarius are another hidden hint about relationship successes. If we pattern marriage or any other kind of “institutional” partnership on a pattern that’s too traditional, we again smother individualism. Experts find that the most successful ones have some tried-and-true, universal values like faithfulness, honesty and mutual encouragement. Otherwise, make marriage or marriage-like commitments fit you. It’s risky to try to make your partnership fit into a box that society packed eons ago. For instance, some couples do dual career, long-distance relationships just fine. Others would prefer separate residences and living together in short spurts. Childlessness has been a more accepted option for a long time. Take the legal protections and other goodies from the piece of paper and custom design the rest of the elements, just like most of us would do with our homes. In fact relationship is our home more than the four walls, because you take it with you wherever you live.

May your Valentine’s Day be full of the best of Aquarius Sun: innovation, communication, mutual intuition, tolerance and unexpected delightful surprises.


Photo Credit: © Elena Arsentyeva -; Relationship Circles by Joyce