Studying the Stars: Aquarius


Owen McGonigle and Kendal Neel

In the third installment of Studying the Stars, we sat down with University junior and Aquarius icon, Anya Ciarniello, to learn more about the fabulously fixed air sign of the zodiac.

If you’ve been dying to unravel the mystery of an Aquarian in your life you’ve come to the right place!

Owen: Hello everyone! For all the new readers out there, my name is Owen and I’m a senior studying English and Education! I’m a Cancer sun, Pisces moon and Sagittarius rising. Kendal, take it away!

Kendal: Hello everyone! I’m Kendal, and I’m an English major with a concentration in Literature, Culture and Media! I’m a junior with an Aries sun, Taurus moon and Taurus rising which is quite the combination. Anya, introduce yourself to our readers!

Anya: Hi! My name is Anya, and I’m an English and Communications double major. I’m an Aquarius sun with a Cancer moon and a Gemini rising. Although, I can’t say I really resonate with my Cancer moon.

Owen: You don’t? There’s no way, you definitely give off the Cancer moon energy.

Anya: I don’t, but that could change after today!

Owen: Before we dive into each sign, we like to begin by giving a little context on our own experiences with the sign that we’re focusing on. For me, I have never had a steady relationship with an Aquarius. I’ve had many fleeting platonic and romantic relationships with Aquarians, but they always just reach a point where it simply stops or it blows up in my face.

Kendal: I have very extensive experience with Aquarians. Not only are most of my best friends Aquarians, but I’ve also been dating an Aquarius male for the last two years. Basically, every day of my life is Aquarius season. I like to think that I’ve cracked the code on Aquarius men, but every once in a while, I discover something brand new that I’m never totally prepared for. It definitely takes patience, but at the end of the day, I love him and all of his air sign tendencies. So Anya, what word or phrase would you use to describe Aquarians?

Anya: In a phrase: Aquarians think they’re the smartest people in the room. Always. There is no better way to put it. Aquarians will walk into any room and carry that god complex with them even if they’re not feeling particularly confident that day. They know that they’re smart and they don’t need anyone to validate that for them. Honestly, that’s the basis of my personality.

Kendal: I wholeheartedly agree with that, but I think it’s definitely worse in Aquarius men. We have been close friends for quite some time now, and I’ve never really gotten that vibe from you. I think you’re just more self-assured in your intelligence which is entirely different than the Aquarius men in my life. I know for a fact that when my boyfriend walks into a room, he is actively searching for the stupidity in everyone’s argument.

Anya: Yes, it’s a fun game we all like to play. We have a tendency to listen to or engage in a conversation and nitpick all of the wrong stuff. But even if we identify something as flawed or incorrect, we won’t say anything about it. We just sit there knowing that we’re right.

Kendal: When I was first getting into astrology, Aquarians were often saddled with the stereotype of being the “aliens” of the zodiac signs because they’re so individualistic and see things completely differently than other people do.

Anya: I’ve actually never resonated with the “alien” correlation. Yes, I feel weird, but I’ve never really felt necessarily estranged in my sign. We’re just very unique and rare individuals. We don’t feel the need to fit in because we’re proud of how we stand out.

Owen: I really love that you said that you feel weird, but not estranged. I think that’s so interesting because it’s the perfect way of playing into what Aquarians are “supposed” to be, but also explaining it in a way that’s more humanistic. With Aquarians, I’ve noticed that the god complex manifests itself in this exterior boss babe attitude with a very fragile interior. It almost reminds me of a porcelain doll where the exterior is so refined and pristine, but it’s hollow on the inside. Do you have any commentary on that?

Anya: I completely agree! I have always been able to relate to that as an Aquarius woman. We spend a lot of time pushing ourselves to the limit because we want to achieve that god complex. We want to be powerful and successful and if that means sacrificing certain things then that’s what we’ll do. On the other hand, Aquarius men don’t feel the need to try. Every Aquarius man that I know is so smart and because of that, they don’t feel the need to push themselves to know and be more. Aquarius women are always hungry to learn and do more so that they can be the best!

Kendal: I could not have said it better myself. One of my other friends is an Aquarius woman, and the biggest thing I have noticed about her is that she is always pushing herself to meet the high standards that she has set for herself. Internally, however, she feels almost numb or detached. My boyfriend is a completely different story. He is so brilliant, but sometimes it’s almost as if he’s lost because he doesn’t know where to channel that intelligence.

Anya: Oh my goodness, absolutely! I love Aquarius men, but it really is wasted potential because they know so much, and yet they have no idea what they want to do with all of the knowledge and talent that they have.

Kendal: I’ve also noticed they tend to get bored very quickly.

Anya: Yes, they always seem to be very unimpressed. I don’t know how to explain it, but Aquarius women are so different in the way they approach life.

Owen: I don’t know if either of you agrees, but I always feel like you can almost always pick out the Aquarius in the room. I remember Anya and I had a class together, pre-pandemic, and whenever she would walk in the room you knew an Aquarius was present. She would walk in wearing the brightest pink puffer jacket and I thought to myself: First of all, AQUARIUS. Second of all, no one else could have worn that and pulled it off the way she did.

Kendal: That’s the thing about Aquarians! There is no other sign that could pull off being that smart and that hot in the most magnetic way. It’s confusing, but you can’t get enough.

Anya: I am obsessed with my pink puffer jacket! I feel the most “me” when I wear it. I think people can tell I’m an Aquarius when I wear that jacket because the female Aquarius archetype is so easily spotted especially in terms of fashion. In terms of Aquarius men, I think they can sometimes be confused with Scorpio men. They’re very different on a deeper level, but they often present themselves in the same way. I haven’t had good experiences with Scorpio men so it’s really weird to feel such an attraction to Aquarius men knowing that they have a similar vibe.

Kendal: I think Pete Davidson is the perfect example of that! He’s a Scorpio, but for some reason, I always think of him as an Aquarius because of the way he presents himself.

Anya: Yes! Aquarius men aren’t quite as dark, but it’s enough to be noticeable and intriguing. I’ve thought the exact same thing about Pete Davidson and every time I’m thrown off by the fact that he’s actually a water sign.

Owen: I never thought about that until you brought it up, but I think it’s that kind of dark haze they have over themselves. For Scorpio men, it is like a dark cloud, but for Aquarius men, it is more of a mist. There’s this fascinating gaseous material between the subject and them.

Kendal: In thinking and talking about Aquarius stereotypes, I feel like a lot of Aquarians are written off as loners or intense introverts who like to isolate themselves because they tend to be in their heads a lot and are constantly formulating and developing new ideas. With that being said, do you surround yourselves with a lot of friends or do you prefer your space with a more tight-knit circle?

Anya: I constantly debate with myself over whether I’m an extrovert or an introvert. During quarantine, I had so much alone time and was able to do so much at my own time and pace. There were no plans to be made or places to go so it was entirely my time and I enjoyed every second of it. I think that’s where the difference comes in. If I choose to self-isolate or be alone then I love to embrace that introverted side of myself, but when I’m feeling lonely or left alone then that extroverted energy really builds up and I want to be in a social setting. When I’m in the exact situation that I want to be in, it’s great, whether that be alone or with other people, but if it’s not what I want at that moment then I have a harder time getting comfortable.

Kendal: Yeah, I’ve noticed that in several of my Aquarius friends as well. You almost need to be stimulated in a very specific way to want to be around people. I’ve noticed that you guys love intellectual stimulation more than anything else. You really thrive in situations where you’re able to think critically and engage.

Anya: It’s so funny that you say that because as much as I hate saying it, it really is just a certain vibe that we’re looking for.

Owen: I feel like being an Aquarius is just a constant “vibe check” on your friends.

Anya: For sure! I think a lot of Aquarians are driven by the vibe that they surround themselves with, so if they are presented to a group of people that isn’t really adding anything to the atmosphere, then they’d rather be alone. They’re not the type to put on a face just so they can be around other people. I think there are other signs who really push themselves to be social regardless of the vibe, but Aquarians are never going to be disingenuous. For example, Libra and Capricorn women have always struck me as the type to want to be around people at all times because for them that’s better than being alone.

Owen: That’s interesting because Capricorns don’t usually have a reputation for being social.

Anya: All of my Capricorn friends love to go out and spend time in social settings, but for me, as an Aquarius, if I’m not in the mood to be out then I won’t go out and will take full advantage of that alone time.

Kendal: I think another thing I’ve noticed in terms of Aquarians is that they’re very definitive people. They’re indecisive to a point, but there are certain things that they are firm and unmoving on, and they will always be honest with you about their stance or decision. Now that I think about it, I think that’s also why I love having so many Aquarians in my life. I like to say that the Aquarians in my life always tell me what I need to hear before anyone else does, but as the fire sign friend, I like to push them out of their comfort zone and encourage them to think and do things outside the box. Fire and air signs just fit together so effortlessly both platonically and romantically!

Anya: I do love my air sign men; I can’t deny it, especially when it comes to Aquarius men. I’m not going to lie; I think it goes back into the god complex idea. If you’re the smartest woman in the room, wouldn’t you also want to be with the smartest man in the room? Aquarius men and women thrive off of each other and in a relationship it’s a constant competition. I think anyone that gets to partner with an Aquarian, whether it be a friend or a significant other, they’re going to be challenged all of the time. They’re either going to hate the fact that they’re winning every fight, or hate the fact that they’re losing every fight, but if it’s two Aquarians together they’re always on the same level which brings a whole new intensity and passion to the relationship. We thrive off of each other’s brains.

Owen: I love that y’all brought up the dynamic between fire and air signs pairings because Kendal and I had a discussion about how she is so pro-air sign, while I am still clinging to my love of earth signs! I think it’s because air and fire are such mobile signs. Fire and air signs are very fast-paced and on their feet. Whereas water and earth signs have the reputation of being very stable.

Anya: I don’t have any fire placements, but a lot of my friends constantly tell me that I need to slow down and think about where I’m going. I just can’t help it though; I am always ready to go. When I’m around that steady earth sign energy, I become very impatient so I really need someone who is able to keep up with me!

Kendal: Now that I’m really thinking about my Aquarius relationships, I can certainly see the mobility and competition that exists between fire and air signs. I’ve noticed that in my time dating Josh, he’s definitely on a different intellectual plane than me. I have grown to love this because it pushes me to be a better debater. Aries and Aquarians argue very similarly and don’t like to back down especially if they’re confident in their stance. Josh will literally pull out a whole encyclopedia of facts if he firmly believes he’s right in his argument, so being with him has really encouraged me to take a step back and learn how to be a skilled and efficient thinker.

Anya: Oh my gosh, Aries and Aquarians have very similar argumentative styles, but with Aquarians, it’s much more passive. I think they have the same brain power, but not the same confidence or strategy when it comes to presenting that knowledge or opinion. They both know that they’re right, but Aquarians are more secretive about it.

Kendal: When it comes to arguing, Aquarians are like that mean girl in eighth grade who would find your deepest darkest weakness and use it against you in little spurts.

Owen: I didn’t want to say it, but Aquarians are wannabe Regina George’s when they really want to be.

Anya: I’ve always thought we’re much more like Gretchen than Regina because we have the knowledge, but we hold ourselves to a higher standard and don’t speak unless absolutely necessary.

Kendal: In talking about the vibe that you give off, how do you think your friends would describe you and do you have other Aquarian friends who are similar to you?

Anya: I don’t have any Aquarius sun female friends, but many of my female friends have Aquarius moon placements. Also, I exclusively date Aquarius men. However, I don’t really see a lot of myself in other Aquarius sun placements for some reason. Aquarius suns are very bright and bizarre in this unexplainable way. They exist in their own category.

Kendal: I think if you were to ask any Aquarius to describe themselves, they wouldn’t be able to compare themselves to anyone else. They’re very individualistic and have an “I don’t want to be like anyone else” type of attitude. They’re rebellious and will do their own thing before anything else.

Anya: I could understand that. I feel like I am attracted to so many different aesthetics that sometimes hold me back from finding out more about myself. Every Aquarius woman has their own brand that’s completely unique to them, but also very obvious. Aquarius women are almost exactly what you would picture a book character to be like. They are the main character, but I don’t feel like I’ve always fit that idea.

Kendal: In the time that I’ve known you, I’ve always felt like you are the main character, but you don’t even have to try. It’s so effortless for you.

Owen: I agree. It’s very effortless for you. I remember when I first found out you were an Aquarius not a bone in my body was shocked.

Anya: I have to admit sometimes I do wonder how my life gets so crazy. Sometimes I’m just like: why me? How is it possible that this stuff happens to me? It does feel like a book on occasion.

Owen: Aquarians know when they walk in the room that someone is talking about them. When Anya walked in the classroom with that pink puffer jacket, I turned to my friend and went “Oh my gosh QUEEN! Baddie with the pink puffer.”

Kendal: Anya, you’re a Gemini rising with a Cancer moon. Thinking about your other big three placements, how do you think they mold with your Aquarius sun?

Anya: Before I really got into astrology, I only knew that Gemini is the most demonized sign. Geminis are given the reputation of being very two-faced and manipulative that you’re not supposed to associate yourself with. Then I found out I’m a Gemini rising and that that is how people see me. Once I started getting older and meeting new people, I would always hear “I thought you were really mean when I first met you, and then I got to know you and you’re actually the sweetest person.” That’s the best way I could describe my moon and rising because my Cancer moon is so sensitive and empathetic in comparison with the harder shell of the Gemini placement.

Kendal: My boyfriend also has a Gemini rising and you guys do have a similar vibe. I remember the first time I talked to both of you, I was so fascinated and wanted to keep talking to you because that Gemini rising is just so magnetic and refreshing to be around. I fully agree with your Cancer moon placement as well. Your Cancer moon came out a lot once I really got to know you. In the time that I’ve known you, you’ve always been the first friend to reach out on a bad day and offer their shoulder to cry on.

Anya: It took me a long time to really feel connected to my chart. A lot of people who meet me assume that I’m a Gemini which I kind of take as an insult.

Owen: Well, I think Geminis are the best of the air signs.

Anya: For real? That’s a hot take.

Owen: Yes! Geminis have really grown on me over the past few years and I’m not mad about it. To wrap up, Anya, do you have any words of wisdom that you’d like to share with your fellow Aquarians for the upcoming year?

Anya: I keep telling myself to just find ways to get through it. I really feel like this is going to be a year of big change and I’ve been feeling the need to do everything I can to keep up with it. I feel like that’s something that all Aquarius women can relate to because we’re constantly pushing ourselves, so I think that this is the year to take a breath and embrace the change.

Owen: So Aquarius, so wise and so mystic in meaning.

Kendal: Yes! Aquarians always have the most eloquent and thoughtful advice! Thank you so much for being here, Anya! It felt so good to finally be able to celebrate one of my favorite signs and I cannot wait to spend the rest of Aquarius season learning and growing!