Aquarius Picture

# Abbreviation: Aqr
# Genitive: Aquarii
# Translation: The Water Bearer

Positions in the sky
# Right Ascension: 23 hours
# Declination: -15 degrees
# Visible between latitudes 65 and -90 degrees
# Best seen in October (at 9:00 PM)

Named Stars
* SADALMELIK (Alpha Aqr)
* Sadalsuud (Beta Aqr)
* Sadalachbia (Gamma Aqr)
* Skat (Delta Aqr)
* Albali (Epsilon Aqr)
* Ancha (Theta Aqr)
* Situla (Kappa Aqr)

Messier Objects
* M2 (globular cluster)
* M72 (globular cluster)
* M73 (system or astrerism of 4 stars)

In many ancient cultures, including Babylonian, Egyptian and Grecian, there was a god known as the 'Water Bearer' or 'Water Pourer.' Water is the bringer and sustainer of all life; therefore the force that made water rain down from the heavens was among the most revered by ancient peoples. Water also represents the collective unconsciousness - the sea of creation or consciousness.

Mesopotamia: associated with the eleventh sign, the eleventh month and the return of the deluge.

Babylonia: Aquarius represented an overflowing urn, and they associated this with the heavy rains which fell in their eleventh month.

Persian, Syrian and Turkish languages call Aquarius the Water Bucket.

Egypt Mythology: the setting of Aquarius in the Nile caused its flooding. In Egyptian mythology, he pours water into the Nile River at the season when the Nile normally overflows its banks, this brings the much needed water to the farmlands bordering that great river. The Egyptians saw the constellation as Hapi the god of the Nile.

The Arabs, dependent on the water of the rainy season, saw Aquarius as a bucket because their religion forbids them from showing pictures of any living form.

India Mythology: Aquarius is the first sign of the zodiac in India, where its patron saint is Varuna. This ancient god was originally the all-powerful lord of all the heavens and creator of the stars. But later he was looked on as just god of the water who looked down on the Earth through the thousand eyes of the stars. From his throat issued the seven streams of heaven. Varuna patrols his realm on a fabulous steed, half crocodile and half bird. So he is quite able to patrol both the air and the sea. Around 3000 BC it was possible to observe the full moon in this constellation every year around the time of the summer solstice, an event that was cause for celebration. This time represented the triumph of the moon god, Chandra, when he reached his maximum splendor and was drunk by the sun, Indra. Chandra was also identified with the magical drink of the gods, soma. With the sun crossing the solstice and the lengthening of daylight, the evil god of darkness and drought, Vritra represented by the constellation Hydra, was conquered. In India, the summer solstice corresponds with the return of the monsoon season and water to the land.

Peru: associated with the entrance of the sun into the constellation of the Mother of the Waters.

Christians of 17th Century: Christians of 17th Century: associated the constellation with St. John the Baptist

Greece Mythology: In antiquity, Hera's daughter Hebe, goddess of eternal youth, was cup bearer to the gods. Zeus replaced her with the handsome boy, Ganymede, after she spilled a flask of nectar. To further irritate Hera, Zeus immortalized his favorite server with a heavenly constellation. This is the first indication of male homosexuality in Greek literature.

Myth about Deucalion, the only man to survive the alleged Great Flood. The story of this flood is very similar to the Judeo-Christian legend of Noah's Ark. It took place during the time named by Greek legend as the Iron Age.

... As the story goes, during the Iron Age, humanity had become more savage than the wildest animals. Brother fought against brother, sons killed fathers, and no one was safe on the roads or in their own home. Both men and women were violent, bloodthirsty and utterly without morals. The words of the gods meant little or nothing to them, and no one would repent for their sins. Zeus, despairing for humankind, sent a great flood upon the earth. The flood destroyed all the people in the world - with the exception of Deucalion and his wife Pyrrha.
Zeus had noticed this couple during his last visit to Earth. They lived alone in a simple hut. They had almost no food, and definitely had no material goods. Despite this, they fed Zeus, gave him shelter for the night and spoke kindly to him, even though they had no idea that he was a god. They were the last godly people on Earth, so Zeus allowed them to survive the flood. After it ended, he helped them to create a new race of men, which was supposed to be stronger and better. Deucalion is known as the 'Water Bearer' because he not only lived through the flood, but he helped to bring life to a new generation.

Greek Legend 1:

The water carrier represented by the zodiacal constellation Aquarius is Ganymede, a handsome Phrygian youth. Ganymede was the son of Tros, king of Troy (according to Lucian, he was also son of Dardanus). While tending his father's flocks on Mount Ida, Ganymede was spotted by Jupiter. The king of gods became enamored of the boy and flew down to the mountain in the form of a large bird, whisking Ganymede away to the heavens. Ever since, the boy has served as cupbearer to the gods.

Greek Legend 2:

Ganymede was an exceptionally handsome, young prince of Troy. He was spotted by Zeus, who immediately decided that he would make a perfect cup-bearer. The story then differs - one version telling how Zeus sent his pet eagle, Aquila to carry Ganymede to Olympus, another that it was Zeus, himself, disguised as an eagle, who swept up the youth and carried him to the home of the gods. In either case, once Ganymede arrived, he had to contend with the wrath of Hera, wife of Zeus. She was annoyed on two counts - firstly, that her husband should have such strong feelings for a mere boy and, secondly, that Ganymede was to occupy the favoured position previously held by her own daughter Hebe, goddess of youth. But Zeus was not to be thwarted and Ganymede, often riding on Aquila and always carrying the golden cup, accompanied the great god on his travels, impressing him with his kindness. This was made manifest when, realising how in need of water the people on earth were, he pleaded with Zeus to be allowed to help them and was given permission to send down rain. Eventually he was glorified as Aquarius, god of rain, and placed amongst the stars.

Greek Legend 3:

Zeus was the Water Bearer. Although he was the god of many things, one of his most important roles was as the god of storms. The constellation Aquarius could have originally been representative of Zeus as the Water Bearer.
Hebe, the Cupbearer
Zero - Rough