Today we start a new series: Leadership through the Signs. In this series, following each month’s zodiac sign, we’ll explore and uncover the essential leadership qualities for each sign of the zodiac. We’ll do this by looking at real life examples of established leaders whose birthdays fall into each particular sign. We’ll test the principles of textbook astrology and add a few guidelines of our own as we discover them. The purpose of the project is to recognize the leadership qualities we naturally possess and to recognize those qualities in other leaders.
First let’s define what we mean by a leader. The American Heritage Dictionary defines a leader as 1) a person who leads others along a way; a guide, and 2) one in charge of or in command of others. For our purposes, we’ll take both definitions and apply them to business life. In this series we’ll look at thought leaders, political leaders, business leaders, sports figures, and a few of us regular people too.
This month: Aquarius
There are many interesting leaders born under the sign of Aquarius. Today we’ll start with a great example: Yoko Ono. First, though, let’s list the primary traits of the Aquarius nature and then add bullet points as we examine Ono in her role as a leader. (*See the excerpt at the bottom of this post for more discussion of the sign Aquarius.)
- Each sign has its keyword, a phrase which captures the essence of the sign. The keyword for Aquarius is “I Know.” Aquarians know what they know and they’re certain they’re right!
- “Aquarians are the mental pioneers, the forward thinking individuals who live in the future and not in the past.” (Isabel Hickey, Astrology A Cosmic Science)
- “Aquarians are inflexible in their ideas and cannot be pushed into anything they do not want to do.” (Ibid.)
- “They are rebels and individualists [who] have to go their own way. Independent, imaginative, creative and inventive, there is a genius about them if they are evolved.” (Ibid.)
- Ruled by two planets, Saturn and Uranus, Aquarians can be progressive and conservative at the same time.
- In Aquarius, “the individual loses himself in the group and shoulders his responsibility as a cell in the larger body of humanity.” (Liz Greene, Saturn)
Aquarius Yoko OnoMost of the following was culled from the Wikipedia article on Ono:
Yoko Ono is a Japanese artist, musician, author and peace activist, known for her work in avant-garde art, music and filmmaking. Ono brought feminism to the forefront through her music which prefigured New Wave music. She is a supporter of gay rights and is known for her philanthropic contributions to the arts, peace and AIDS outreach programs.
Ono has said that she and her once-prominent family were forced to beg for food during the fire-bombing of Tokyo while pulling their belongings in a wheelbarrow. It was during this period in her life that Ono says she developed her “aggressive” attitude and understanding of “outsider” status.
Ono was accepted into the philosophy program of Gakushuin University, the first woman ever to be accepted into that department of the exclusive university. However, after two semesters, she left the school. [After her family moved to New York] Ono enrolled in Sarah Lawrence College.
Ono was a sometime member of Fluxus, a loose association of Dada-inspired avant-garde artists that developed in the early 1960s. When she was invited to join the group she declined because she wanted to remain an independent artist. Ono has worked in conceptual and participatory art, challenging people to become part of the creation of the piece.
Ono funded the construction and maintenance of the Strawberry Fields memorial for her deceased husband John Lennon in New York City’s Central Park; she founded the John Lennon Museum in Saitama, Saitama, Japan; and she established the Imagine Peace Tower in Reykjavik in Iceland.
Many musicians, particularly those of the New Wave movement, have paid tribute to Ono (both as an artist in her own right, and as a muse and iconic figure.)
In 2002, Ono inaugurated her own peace award, The LennonOno Grant for Peace, by giving $50,000 prize money to artists living “in regions of conflict.” Israeli and Palestinian artists were the first recipients. The award is given out every two years, in conjunction with the lighting of the Imagine Peace Tower.
In 2004, Ono remade her song “Everyman… Everywoman…” to support same-sex marriage, releasing remixes that included “Every Man Has a Man Who Loves Him” and “Every Woman Has a Woman Who Loves Her.”
On April 1, 2010, Ono was named the first “Global Autism Ambassador” by the Autism Speaks organization. In 2009, she created a piece of artwork called Promise to mark the annual World Autism Awareness Day, which is on April 2.
Aquarius, much?Whew! Now that’s an Aquarian leader! So what can we pick from her work to add to our list of traits and characteristics of Aquarius?
- The once-rich family begging for food is a poignant reminder that the Aquarian support for the disenfranchised often stems from personal experience. This lends authenticity to their deep compassion for the downtrodden.
- As an air sign, Aquarians lead primarily with ideas. Ono is not the leader of an organization or a political party. She is a thought leader, someone out in front, pulling the public into new perceptions.
- Aquarians have been called “stubbornly liberal.” You can sense the fixed nature of Aquarius, the persistence and determination to right the wrongs they perceive in society. Ono even calls herself “aggressive,” a trait you might run into if you ever take a conservative stance with an Aquarius.
- Ono’s story gives us the sense of the searing intelligence that is common with Aquarius: the first woman ever to be accepted into the prestigious philosophy department, the constant creativity, and the breadth of talents.
- I get the sense that Ono is involved with groups, but always alone. Fiercely independent yet committed to humanitarian causes, this is a conflict within most Aquarians.
- You can sense the devotion to the common man which is a standard trait of the Aquarian, the desire for her art to be completed by others, the inclusion of everyday people in her outreach.
- I also note the seemingly unflagging energy, the sheer quantity of output, and the active mind into her late 70s, (so far). This deep reserve of energy is a feature of all of the fixed signs and it shows itself here in fixed-air Aquarius.
Let me take this time to thank Yoko Ono for her contribution, her authenticity, and her inspiration. I’d also like to thank her for letting me examine her as an example of the Aquarius temperament and leadership style.
Now It’s Your Turn
Did you pick up anything I didn’t note? Are you familiar with an Aquarian in a leadership position who reflects the qualities above? What would you counsel a young Aquarian just stepping into a position of leadership?
We’re not done yet! While the Sun is in Aquarius, I’ll feature more profiles of Aquarian leaders to teach and inspire us! Stay tuned.
For an Intro to Sun Signs and Leadership see this link to my other blog!
Have you seen my new blog? Discussing all things astrological, for anyone interested in real-life astrology, check out Ellen Longo’s Astrology Blog.
Do you have a question for Ellen? See the “Work with Ellen” tab at the top of this site for my Straight to the Point Response service.
For an overview of the month, see the Astro4Business Month Ahead – January 2011
*More on Aquarius:
Aquarius is also called the water bearer, and is symbolized by an angel pouring water onto the earth. But the water the angel pours is not liquid; it is the water of knowledge. The Greek myth related to Aquarius is the myth of Prometheus, known as the first revolutionary. Prometheus had been given a mission by Zeus to inhabit the world with living creatures. After creating all the other creatures, Prometheus fashioned a being made to resemble the gods themselves. And as a gift, he taught his favorite creatures astronomy, mathematics, the alphabet, how to cure diseases, and the art of divination. Defying Zeus’ orders, he stole a spark from the sun, fire, which would warm people’s homes and become the seed of civilization. From this myth, we see the rebelliousness of the Aquarian temperament as well as the desire to uplift the disadvantaged and establish them as equal to the gods.
In astrology, Aquarius is known as an air sign. Air signs are concerned with the mind and intellect rather than emotions (water signs), spirit (fire signs), and the physical world (earth signs). The glyph for Aquarius is the lightning bolt, signifying flashes of insight and brilliance. Airwaves and electrical systems come naturally under the influence of this sign and also technological revolutions, such as the industrial revolution in the late 18th and early 19th century and the digital revolution in our time. The sign is also associated with revolutionary ideas, such as liberty, democracy, anarchy, and socialism that topple traditional institutions and is concerned with the nature of one’s responsibility and contribution to the group. Aquarius includes an egalitarian vision, where each person is created equal to every other, and can make an equally valid contribution to the whole.
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