I knew the word “Aquarius” long before I knew anything about astrology. The grooviest song on high rotation on the radio when I was 6 was “The Age of Aquarius” by The Fifth Dimension and it was very appealing. Peace-guiding planets, love-steering stars and letting the sunshine in all sounded fantastic to me then — and that is still the case today, especially as I now live in Brooklyn where Aquarius season falls in the dead of winter in a year when multiple wars are being waged and the need for love seems greater than ever.
January 20 saw the sun make its annual ingress into the sign of Aquarius, coinciding with the beginning of Pluto’s only transit of Aquarius during our lifetime. This is a Haley’s Comet moment, astrologically speaking. Whereas the sun changes Zodiac signs once a month, Pluto, a slow moving distant planet, does so every 11 to 31 years.
I interpret this sun-Pluto conjunction,which kicks off Aquarius season 2024, to mean that the last 10 days of January through February 19 will be supercharged with Aquarius themes. There may very well be revolutions, rebellions and cries for freedom. These parts of the human condition are all governed by Aquarius. In fact the reach of the rulerships of Aquarius is vast and includes broadcasting, electricity and electronics, congress and unions. Aquarius is about teams and teamwork on the one hand and also about individuality and nonconformity on the other.
Weirdness and queerness (in both the archaic and latter day senses of the word), innovation and inventiveness. Unconventionality. Friends and sociability, community and togetherness. Futurism, science and science fiction. Happening scenes, the latest crazes. The (naturally subjective) idea of what is best for the collective. Countercultures and the avant-garde. Knowledge and truth. And astrology!
Aquarius is a fixed sign, taking place in the undeniably wintriest month of the year, and an air sign, which relegates the concerns of the sign to the mental realm. The traditional ruler of Aquarius is Saturn. Upon the shocking discovery of Uranus in 1781, astrologers ascribed co-rulership of Aquarius to the new planet which signified there was more “out there” than had been believed for millennia.
So how does one live one’s best Aquarian life in Brooklyn at the onset of this new era? Think outside the box, try something different, break free of routines. Lean into technologies you may have felt are beyond your reach or needs. Give a damn about the oppressed and call your congressperson, or take it to the streets and join a protest or march. Stand up for your rights, or someone else’s. Join a group. Make a friend. Get free.
Get playful Wonderville on Broadway in Bushwick is a destination for those curious or already enthusiastic about independently made arcade games. Many of their upcoming events have an Aquarian feel, especially the one-year anniversary of Saison Zero, an RPG game meetup, and not one but two Brooklyn Experimental Electronic Music Group Showcases this month on January 25 and February 16 respectively. These events are organized by multi-disciplinary artist and synth wiz metamyther and feature performances by an eclectic mix of New York-based electro artists working in various styles.
Be like Bob Soul rebel Bob Marley was born under an Aquarian sun and lived his life accordingly. To celebrate his solar return Rock & Roll Playhouse plays the music of Bob Marley at Brooklyn Bowl on Sunday February 4. Bob Marley’s rebellious and revolutionary anthems of love will be performed at a daytime concert for kids aged 1 to 7 by The Brooklyners, a local reggae band.
Then get together and feel all right and go see the new biopic, “Bob Marley: One Love,” slated to be released theatrically on February 14.
Celebrate the end of the world If you are wondering how to get over the end of the world and are comfortable in the company of gender non-conformists, come by Franklin Park in Crown Heights on January 29 for the return of The World Transsexual Forum. Literary and comics giant Hal Schrieve will talk about hir new book “How to Get Over the End of the World,” as well as comics, relationships, the state of the world and many other refined topics.
Furthermore, per Hal: “The most fun thing about this event is that it’s an open mic too.” You can listen to a discussion about trans society, going to shows and the end of the world, and also participate in that society. Open mic sign-ups start at 7, show at 8.
Eat innovation You’ve probably seen the Gotham Greens clamshells of arugula, kale, etc, in your produce aisle, but did you know that when you toss these in your salad you are munching on pure Aquarian idealism? The landing page of the Gotham Greens website reads like the Aquarius chapter of an astrology cookbook … the future, unconventionality, groundbreaking technology, sustainability, community building. Originating in Greenpoint, their first commercial scale farm was built on the rooftop of WholeFoods in Gowanus. My trip down the information superhighway has me excited about eating my greens this Aquarius season like never before, and I’m going to keep it up for the whole Plutonian Aquarius transit through 2044, not just because it’s good for me, but because it’s good for the community and the planet.
Have the kids build you a robot, or do it yourself Brooklyn Robot Foundry offers STEAM robot building classes for kiddos aged 2 to 14, and sometimes for adults. Founded by Brooklyn based mechanical engineer Jenny Young, and with a headquarters on Fourth Street in Gowanus, Brooklyn Robot Foundry has extended its reach into schools around the Greater New York area and as far afield as Philly and Rochester. Single classes or semester-long programs are on offer for robot coders, builders and inventors. You can also throw a robot making party for kids or adults, and of course you get to go home with a robot.
Disseminate your propaganda As far as technological breakthroughs go, the Xerox copy machine is yesteryear’s news, but copy machine manifestos — zines and self published booklets — are inherently Aquarian by nature in that historically they have given a voice and visibility to many operating outside of mainstream culture. Brooklyn Museum’s sprawling “Copy Machine Manifestos: Artists Who Make Zines” exhibit showcases over a thousand zines created by artists and revolutionary thinkers who have been using the medium since the 1970s to disseminate counter-cultural content in various subcultures, from the avant-garde aesthetic to the radical political.
For a participatory guided visit to this show on Thursday January 25, join visual artist and zine maker Lizania Cruz as she leads an intimate walkthrough as part of Brooklyn Museum’s Artist’s Eye series, and encourages you to make your own zine on the copy machine available for this purpose downstairs, leave it on a cart and help yourself likewise to any zines on display there.
And as hinted above, Aquarius is the very zodiac sign which rules astrology! Naturally I hope you’ll listen to my Zodiac Soundtrack for the season, a collection of songs about Friends, Futurism & Freedom. If you have any Aquarius themed or astro jargon questions for me, please drop them in my mailbag and I’ll answer them on the Brooklyn Magazine Instagram Stories. Sign up for my newsletter to stay in the loop about where and when I’ll be offering zodiac readings and gatherings, both musical and astrological.