The Book of Talismans, Amulets and Zodiacal Gems, by William Thomas and Kate Pavitt, , at sacred-texts.com
Constellation—Period—Symbol—Early Religious Teachings—The Glyph—Rulers of the House—Saturn and Uranus—Characteristics of the Type—Temper—Professions—Health Defects—Marriage and Friendships—Gems of the House—Garnets and Zircons—The Garnet and Ruby—Qualities of the Stone—Virtue, as a Keepsake—The Zircon—The Hyacinth—The Jargoon—The Jacinth as a Talisman for Sleep—Set in Gold for Restlessness—The Lyncurion of the Ancients: its Virtues.
Aquarius, the Water-bearer, is the eleventh sign of the Zodiac, and is situated in the Southern Celestial Hemisphere between the constellations of Capricornus the Goat and Pisces the Fishes. This constellation has only a few bright stars and is not easy to find, but with the aid of a good glass its shape as a pitcher or vase may be traced showing two star streams which How from its mouth, one towards the Goat and the other falling downwards. It can be seen best during the months of September and October, between the hours of 9 and II p.m., and is occupied by the Sun from January 10th until February 19th approximately each year.
The Pitcher or Vase, as the symbol of the House, was universally used by ancient nations, the Chinese describing it as the Vase full, the Chaldeans as the Watering-pot, the Arabians as the Pitcher or Urn, and the Greeks and Romans as the Water-pourer; it is illustrated in No. 11 of the Frontispiece.
In many old star maps the figure of a man is shown carrying the Pitcher; but at the present time, at any rate, the figure cannot be traced in the stars of the constellation and was doubtless entirely imaginary, being probably added to illustrate the early religious teachings of the Zodiac, the Arabic name for "a aquari," the principal star of this group, being "sadal melik," meaning "fortunate star of the King," the figure typifying the King, or Priest, who by his outpourings made his country fortunate or blessed. An interpretation which, at least, is in harmony with its qualities, is that Aquarius, being one of the airy triplicities and the period of its occupation by the Sun being a moist one (familiarly known to us as February Fill-dyke), the vapours and clouds borne on its air are appropriately symbolised by the figure of a water-bearer, and the two waved lines the most ancient pictorial illustration of water which form the Glyph of this House equally well expressed its qualities.
Ancient writers assign Saturn to be the ruler of this House as well as of Capricorn, and he is doubtless very strong when in occupation, but the consensus of opinion amongst modern astrologers is to replace Saturn by the planet Uranus as the ruler of this sign, appearing as he does to affect this House more than any other during his periodic stay of seven years. Being akin to Saturn in its nature, but unknown to the ancient authorities, they not unnaturally thought its qualities were of a Saturnian character.
Those born under the influence of Aquarius possess extremely complex minds and dispositions often unconsciously as well as consciously absorbing impressions and information on all kinds of topics and out-of-the-way subjects, their interests being widely spread and far-reaching; and, as their symbol the Water-bearer suggests, their diffusive natures give them an extraordinary facility in the passing on of knowledge to others in a manner easy to understand, their well-stocked minds full of reminiscence and anecdote making them most interesting companions when they choose.
Unlike those born under the influence of Capricorn, they do not run in any well-worn groove of thought nor use any established reason or method, preferring ways and ideas of their own to those of others. Despite their ability to succeed
in almost any direction, their fluctuating moods incline them often to scatter their talents and energies, thus losing them many opportunities of advancement in a definite profession or occupation. Although acting from what seems to themselves well-defined motives, they frequently annoy their friends and relations by what appears to be a capricious restlessness. The perceptive faculty being stronger in the Aquarian type than in others, they are remarkably good judges of human nature and character, and, their analytical and reasoning powers being very pronounced, they see through the motives and actions of others very quickly and easily, often having a reply ready before the other has finished speaking. Although careful to examine the facts or truths of any matter before finally accepting it, they speak their minds freely or express their opinions forcibly when necessary. They are intelligent, independent, and progressive in their ideas, with a strong sense of justice and forethought in all they undertake. Contrary to the expectations of those about them, they often succeed where nothing but failure seems possible; their will-power, being firm even to obstinacy, continues to exert itself to the end of any achievement in spite of obstacles and difficulties which others consider insurmountable. They usually have more than one source of
income, but do not show to the best advantage when born rich, for in their endeavour to get the best value for outlay and the best interest on investments, and being subject to sudden gains and losses, their dread of poverty makes money always more or less an anxiety, whether inherited or earned, which makes them very careful in financial affairs, giving outsiders the impression of meanness, although when wealthy they frequently leave large sums for the benefit of the community.
Extremes frequently meet in this type, which includes some of the strongest as well as some of the most erratic and indecisive characters who, when adversely aspected, become cantankerous, abrupt in manners, selfish, and obstinate, and through their eccentricity and peculiarity of temperament are often the creators of their own enemies and misfortunes.
The temper is quick and irritable, and they do not recover easily from its effect, surrounding themselves as it were with a barrier of reserve impossible to break through or approach.
The professions and occupations in which they are most successful are frequently of an uncommon nature, or of an advanced kind, noteworthy examples of subjects born during this period being Darwin, Dickens, Edison, Ruskin, and Sir Henry
[paragraph continues] Irving. Many investors, metaphysicians, scientists, artists, authors, hypnotists, electricians, elocutionists, actors, art and literary critics, analysts, telegraphists are Aquarians, and having much resourceful and inventive genius are often successful where others fail.
The health defects of those born under this sign are usually complicated and sometimes incurable, including accidents from lightning and electricity, giddiness, neuritis, rheumatism, derangements of the digestive system, bad circulation, catarrh, eczema, bad chills, and sprains and injuries to the ankles which are ruled by this sign and are often weak in childhood.
In matters relating to marriage and friendship they arc difficult to please, being apt to demand a reason even for their ideals which makes them scrutinise the faults and failings of those with whom they come in contact, thoughtlessness and its resultant mistakes being to them incomprehensible. Although fond of living in towns and cities and mixing with others are often the most lonely of all the types; but if once deeply attracted are staunch and true, and will be most in sympathy with the Gemini, Libra, Aries, and Sagittarian types, and least in harmony with those of the Taurus and Scorpio signs.
The gems of this House are the Garnet and all
the Zircons, which include the Jargoon, Hyacinth, and Jacinth.
The Garnet.—Garnets are found in many varieties, each being described by a special name; the Bohemian Garnet is a deep red, whilst the Cinnamon stone usually has its colour varied by a tinge of orange; Almandines have a violet hue and take their name from Alabanda, a town in Asia Minor, where, according to Pliny, this stone (which he describes as the Alabandicus) was in his time cut and polished. They are found in Brazil, Mexico, Bohemia, Australia, and North America, an uncommon bright green variety being also found in the Ural Mountains. The colour of the best stones approximates to that of the Ruby, fur which it was sometimes mistaken by the Ancients, and amongst modern jewellers it is frequently described as the Cape Ruby, although the Ruby is a much harder stone, richer in colour, and possesses much more fire.
Garnets have always been extensively used throughout the East and amongst the Greeks and Romans, the latter frequently using them for engraving, several fine specimens of Imperial portraits having come down to us in this way.
In India and throughout Persia it was known as an Amulet against poison and the plague, worn to attract health and cheerfulness, and as a protection
against lightning. During the Middle Ages it was used as a remedy for inflammatory diseases, and to confer constancy, fidelity, and cheerfulness to its rightful wearers, but was said to cause discord amongst those having no right to it by birth. Like the Ruby, it warned its owner of approaching danger and trouble by changing its colour, and was much in vogue at one time as a keepsake between friends at parting.
The Zircon.—The Zircon includes Jacinth, or Hyacinth, and Jargoons, which, though differing in colour, are actually the same material species. As a rule amongst modern dealers in Precious Stones the White Zircon is known as the Jargoon, which is often found flawless and so bright as to closely resemble the diamond, being in fact often offered for sale as the diamond in Indian Bazaars.
Jacinths, or Hyacinths, are Zircons of deep orange or rich bright red colour, the Jacinth name being of Arabic origin, and the Hyacinth Greek, because it resembled the Hyacinth flowers which Apollo caused to spring from the blood of his favourite Hyacinthus whom he accidentally killed with a quoit. The remaining varieties of this stone, which are found in varying shades of yellow, grey, brown, and green, ranging from bright lively colours to dull cloudy shades, are described generally as Zircons, although
very bright, clear, slightly coloured stones are described as pink or yellow Jargoons, according to the tint their colour may take. The best specimens come from India, Ceylon, Bohemia, France, and from Australia. Bœtius de Boot recommends the Oriental Jacinth, "that comes from Calicut and Cambray," as a specific for promoting sleep; Marbodus says it makes its wearer attractive and agreeable, which Barrett in his "Natural Magic" confirms, adding that if set in gold and worn on the finger it is a desirable jewel as a solace for a restless brain. Camillus Leonardus, writing in 1750, says the Jacinth will strengthen weak hearts, dispel imaginary suspicions, allay jealousy, secure travellers from injuries and thieves, and protect them from pestilence, plague, and contagious epidemics.
It was well known to the Ancients, and is considered to be the Lyncurion of Theophrastus. The popularity of this stone in India is as great as ever, and at the present time it is worn as an antidote against poison, to attract riches, honour, and wisdom, and to drive away evil spirits.
The virtues attributed to it during the Middle Ages were that it attracted success, brought welcome to its wearer wherever he went, stimulated the appetite, and aided digestion, protected from fever, dropsy, jaundice, and noxious fancies, and
restrained from excesses, its efficacy being greatly increased if set in gold. But neither the Garnet nor Zircon should be worn by those whose birthdays fall in the Taurus or Scorpio periods.