A Guide to the Air Signs: Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius

Only time will tell if we’ve actually arrived at that Aquarian Age, but until then, we can rely on Aquarian humans as conduits for this energy. Libra longs for justice, even in the face of the most unfair, compromised systems. However, Libra is right in that, if nobody ever takes an L and allows others to win, nobody would ever really win. Air signs are unlimited by space, and can drift everywhere, from places to people; as such, they’re vulnerable to overindulging in absolute fantasy. Gemini is a mutable sign, meaning it’s flexible to change, constantly readjusting to new input and output. Their impact and their celebrity relates to something far bigger than themselves. By Liana Mack

Photo-Illustration: by Preeti Kinha; Photos: Getty Images

There are a few different prisms through which you can initiate yourself into zodiacal wisdom. On a Wiccan altar, the Air signifies the East, and can be represented by everything from a feather to incense; because there is no concrete material form, even in worship, the Air is untouchable and immaterial. Their triumphs and scandals would be impossible without the collaboration of others. Sometimes that duality is terrifying, but more often than not, it’s a beautiful strength and survival skill. In our self-absorbed internet era, Libran values grow increasingly important to cultivate, regardless of where the sign lands on your chart. This is a totally valid pathway. For now, let’s think of each of them as each representing a different stage of emotional and spiritual growth — of the three, Gemini comes first on the zodiac calendar, and Aquarius comes last, making it the most mature. Wouldn’t it be bliss to have it all, in theory? We would all be ready to reconcile ourselves with the universal instead of being bogged down by the petty, mundane bullshit that distracts us from our greater human connection. In a hypothetical Aquarian Age, everyone would be interconnected to higher-order concepts and dreamscapes. The three air signs are Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius. In an effort to escape tension and conflict, Libra can let go of their own wants and desires entirely. By understanding the elements, you’ll have a good grasp of every sign. In one of my favorite films, Paprika, a supporting character reveals himself as a villain, splitting into twin heads, his seam rupturing with cerulean butterflies. The air element is our breath, the most necessary and invisible function of our human body. This often confuses people, including Aquarians, into believing it’s a water sign. That romantic desperation was one of the touchstones of my present astrological expertise. When I was 10, I was desperate to find ways in which Gerard Way, lead singer of My Chemical Romance, and I could finally make it work. This is code-switching crystallized. Wouldn’t perfect balance be nice? This ability to accommodate others is just as easily Libra’s weakness. Their names have become synonymous with symbols, movements, and eras rather than pure reflections of their personal identities. I’ve done it. Libra “holds space” and takes heed of everyone’s needs in addition to their own. The small talk we engage in on elevator rides and supermarket queues is a strength for Libra, who understands that those brief interactions can alter the course of a day, inspiring optimism and a faith in humanity in even the most casual moments. In Western astrology, the 12 zodiac signs are divided into four different elements: air, water, fire, and earth. They love theory over practice, and can get caught in endlessly thinking or talking something out, instead of doing it. Saturn, the planet of order and discipline, rules Aquarius, making this sign a heavy-hitter and a serious thinker. Air signs are intellectual and communicative. Libra represents an aspirational beauty, or an inspirational splendor. I think the areas in which zodiac signs have the worst reputations are really the qualities we tend to resent the most in ourselves, and poor Gemini is a perpetual victim of that unjust slander. The phrase “Age of Aquarius” dominates New Age literature and features heavily in the musical Hair. Often, their willingness to meet everyone else’s needs to manifest a sense of equilibrium can be self-abnegating. If Gemini relates to self-identity and Libra relates to partnership, Aquarius takes a giant leap into outer space, relating to a universal understanding of air values. It’s a fixed sign, meaning that it’s hardened against outside influence. So we have a baby, naïve variation on air in Gemini; an adolescent who wants to try it all in Libra; and a cranky, old soul in Aquarius. Galileo, Rosa Parks, Bob Marley, Yoko Ono, Oprah, and Paris Hilton are a few of the most famous Aquarius Suns. Each has its own traits and associations; the three signs an element rules incorporate those properties in different ways. I’ve done it with myself, my crushes, and my celebrity crushes. From there, imagining the planets in every sign becomes (kind of) easy. Earth and water get along, fire and air get along, water snuffs fire, air floats above the earth … It’s like a cosmic game of Pokémon or Rock, Paper, Scissors. But if I could start over, I would begin with the elements, the most basic basics. Libra often leans into superficiality, not necessarily out of a lack of depth, but because superficiality is the easiest place for others to meet. But the overall meaning is there, somewhere. The most obvious option is through the lens of your own birth chart, learning about planets, aspects, and houses based off your own narcissistic explorations. The woman who first introduced me to this clever approach was, of course, an air sign. Gemini might be different with everyone they meet, but isn’t everybody? It’s an impossible reality, but that doesn’t stop Libra from seeking that ideal. “I have many sides,” replies our doubled antagonist, “and that’s what makes me human!”

All of that nonsense about Geminis being two-faced liars is true, but it’s something that we all do on some level. Doing so will put the entire wheel of the zodiac at your fingertips. A few famous Gemini Suns (who weren’t former presidents) include Bob Dylan, Marilyn Monroe, Kanye West, Che Guevara, Anne Frank, Josephine Baker, Tupac Shakur, and Angelina Jolie. For this reason, Aquarians are just as likely to be involved in larger humanitarian missions as they are to ghost from daily interactions. Even compatibility, which we’ll get to later, becomes simpler. It’s avoiding the discussion of your kinky sex life at the dinner table with your Evangelical grandfather, “turning on” for work, having a “phone voice.” Our identity is ephemeral, in constant flux — Gemini just leans into that inherent duality a little harder and less abashedly than everyone else. GEMINI is the twins. No matter how we remember these stars individually, the foundations of their success were built on teamwork and balance. Aquarius is concerned with the bigger picture, the large-scale concepts that dreams are made of but can seldom be contained in waking reality. Aquarius is unique and special, not because we aren’t all unique or special, but because they are steadfast in protecting that individuality in the face of distraction and change. They are experts in the ephemeral, the things of this world that lack physical form, and this is especially true of language and information. “I never knew this side of you!” shouts the heroine, in utter repulsion. Air doesn’t exist on the Chinese zodiac as a classical element, but instead, it becomes qi, the ultimate force that resides in everything. Again, this Venusian energy can manifest as a shallow obsession with appearances, but it can also embody a deep understanding of the most grand and abstract measures of beauty — rhythm, poetics, and the golden mean. This doesn’t mean that the moon is in the seventh house, or that Jupiter aligns with Mars, or that most of the lyrics in “Let the Sunshine In” stand up to scrutiny. AQUARIUS is the water bearer. LIBRA is the scales. Gemini is ruled by Mercury, the planet of communication, and Gemini loves gathering and disseminating messages, gossip, and information. Their preoccupation with theory often stands in the way of their ability to connect with present, pressing needs. Libra is the sign of adjustment, of making room for the other outside of the self. Libra is a cardinal sign, an initiating energy, and it’s ruled by Venus. As air is formless, lacking a concrete body, air signs are especially vulnerable to their own personal projections. Famous Libra Suns include Kim Kardashian, John Lennon, Bonnie Parker (of Bonnie and Clyde), Serena Williams, Oscar Wilde, Barbara Walters, and Gandhi. Not knowing them personally, the most obvious commonalities are the malleability of their identities over time, even in the public consciousness, even in death. But Aquarius is most definitely an air sign, probably the most ethereal and abstract of the three.

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