Aquarius is the sign of the zodiac that’s most often referred to as ‘quirky’ or ‘weird’, personality-wise. It makes sense from a technical standpoint – it has Aqua in the name, yet it’s an air sign. It’s also situated between two signs – Capricorn and Pisces – that could not be more different from each other.
What this means is that it has a wider variety of energy variance that it moves between, as the sun moves from the first degree of Aquarius to the last. Other alternating signs tend to have a more common ground between them, but to get from Capricorn energy to Pisces energy, a lot of change has to be made.
Like fellow air signs Gemini and Libra, and Mercury-ruled Virgo (Mercury is a planet associated with the element of Air), Aquarius is one of the only signs of the zodiac that isn’t represented by an animal. Rather, its symbol is the water-bearer: Aquarius himself.
This is the important distinction between Aquarius as a water vs. an air sign. Aquarius is the bearer of the water, not the water itself. While water is the pure expression of emotion, the bearer is the container of that emotion, and it expects others to be able to contain that emotion, as well.
Nevertheless, there are still animals that may act as guides for Aquarius, share their attributes, and provide deeper insights into their behavior. Let’s take a look at some of the Aquarius spirit animals.
What Are the Aquarius Spirit Animals?
Below we’ve listed five animals that can be considered Aquarius spirit animals. These animals are by no means the exhaustive list of Aquarius spirit animals, but we think this gives a good idea of the traits that make Aquarius so special.
1. The Otter
The lovable otter is our first Aquarius spirit animal. While of course their lives consist of the same imperative to find food and continue their genetic lineage like all animals, otters seem to have figured out a way to do that while also having a great time.
Like Aquarius, otters are friendly in social situations, and they aren’t very territorial. They are happy in groups or off on their own. They also, like Aquarius, have a dual nature.
Given where they hunt and spend most of their time and are happiest, you’d think they were aquatic creatures – they are aquatic creatures, really. And yet, they’re mammals, who need air to live (similar to another Aquarius spirit animal who we’ll talk about a little later…).
Otters are sharp, adaptable creatures who seem unphased by the violence of the natural world around them. They fall somewhere in the middle of the food chain as hunters who may find themselves as someone’s dinner if they aren’t canny – especially sea otters.
Despite this, they make time for play, and even in hunting seem to have a relaxed, laid-back attitude. Just think of the sea otters’ way of lying on their back, anchored by kelp, to sleep and enjoy their meals.
Similarly, Aquarius is rather laid back, and there isn’t much that can penetrate their gregarious barriers. Of course, this can sometimes be hiding a deep internal well of emotion that they aren’t sure how to express, leading to problems down the road.
Aquarius often needs to find an outlet for these emotions, and instead of moodiness and pessimism like some signs, their go-to is often a carefree, fun attitude.
One of the common keywords for Aquarius is ‘radical’, and not necessarily in the California surfer-dude way, although it does bring to mind the image of sea-otters cruising the waves in their kelp-beds, seemingly without a care in the world.
Rather, Aquarius is radical in the sense that they are always finding new ways of living in the world, and ingenious methods of technology and collectivism. Otters are also rather ingenious. Sea otters use tools like rocks or other shells to open oysters and clams, and tie themselves up in kelp so as not to float away from the group on the ocean currents.
Sea otters also, like Aquarius, believe in a world where everyone helps everyone else out. They’ve been observed leaving their babies on the decks of boats in marinas to stay out of harms’ way when they go out hunting, trusting that they will be kept safe there by humans.
It’s actually quite amazing that they have this idealistic trust in us, as sea otter populations were decimated almost to the point of extinction on the west coast of America by the European settler’s unsustainable fur trade in the 1800s, and populations are still recovering to this day. Somehow, the otters sense that their babies are safe with us, now.
There’s just something about otters that you can’t help but love. The same can be said for Aquarius. They’re smart, fun, and original. They believe a better world is possible and don’t hold grudges against those who have done wrong in the past, as long as they have shown themselves to be trustworthy now.
What otter qualities do you see in Aquarius?
2. The Spider
Our next Aquarius spirit animal is everyone’s favorite arachnid, the spider. Although spiders might be maligned the world over, simply for having more legs than we’re usually comfortable with, sticky webs to walk into, and of course, the possibility of biting us and causing a lot of pain, our lives would probably be a lot more inconvenient without them.
Spiders are an Aquarius spirit animal because they are also complex, like Aquarius. Spiders are often associated with the darker side of life; dusty corners, the hollows of trees, and the like. There is an intrinsic human fear of reaching into dark places for fear of a spider inside.
And yet, without spiders, the world would be positively overrun with insects of all kinds. They eat flies, mosquitoes, and all other manner of unpleasant nasties who you wouldn’t want sharing your space with you.
Aquarius can relate, as they can often be the ones who feel tasked with tackling the more unpleasant aspects of matters. Since they don’t get tangled up in their own webs of emotions, they are able to handle the unpleasantness that other signs of the zodiac might not be able to.
As long as that task doesn’t involve providing comfort or singular emotional support – something Aquarius often finds themselves out of their depth in – Aquarius is able to handle the nitty-gritty with aplomb.
Saturn is the traditional ruler of Aquarius, and as such, Aquarius is able to bide their time more easily than other signs of the zodiac – especially their impatient air sign comrade, Gemini. Like a spider building her web strand by strand, night after night, Aquarius possesses patience.
They understand that the groundwork they are laying might not come to fruition right away, and that’s alright. They know that it will reap rewards for them in the future. A funnel spider isn’t constantly poking her head out of the funnel, looking to see if some unfortunate beetle is ambling up. She waits, sure of the outcome, and if it doesn’t come, she simply moves to a better location.
Spiders often build webs across stands of trees at night in order to catch flying bugs, but what they end up catching is you, on your way to your car in the morning. Imagine the patience of a creature whose home is destroyed every day by an ungainly giant, after they’ve spent the entire night working to build it!
Aquarius understands the dogged perseverance of a goal, even if it is slow going, and even if they are held back by the ineptitude of others. They won’t give up easily. If they find that a method isn’t working, they’ll simply build their web, so to speak, in a more desirable place.
World Wide Web
A delightful bit of synchronicity involving Aquarius and spiders as a spirit animal is that Aquarius is associated with technological advances like the internet, or the world wide web, and spiders build webs.
And Aquarius as a sign is also more inclined to think globally, or worldwide, than locally. As an air sign, Aquarius appreciates synchronicities and word play, and if spiders knew words, they probably would, too.
As you can see, spiders make a wonderful spirit animal for Aquarius. They’re ingenious, invaluable creatures and have a lot to teach anyone wishing to embody the Aquarius spirit, especially about patience and creativity.
Are there any other ways you can compare spider spirit lessons to Aquarius?
3. The Dolphin
The final Aquarius spirit animal is the other playful, intelligent water creature who breathes air, the dolphin. Dolphins are a natural match for any air sign, and especially Aquarius as the air sign who is most mistaken by a water sign for those who don’t know any better.
Despite living in water, dolphins are mammals who need air to live. They’re a quirk of nature; the dolphin ancestor was a land mammal that hunted in the ocean and eventually evolved to live there – dolphins and whales still have vestigial leg bones from this ancestor – if this eccentric evolutionary quirk doesn’t scream Aquarius, I don’t know what does!
An A-Fin-ity For Fun
Like the otter, dolphins are intelligent, playful, and social creatures that don’t mind hanging out with animals outside of their own species. They’ve been shown to play and be helpful to humans, and humans have been fascinated and enchanted by them for thousands of years.
Aquarius is also able to fit in with any social group and find their place, while remaining an original. Like their fellow air sign, Gemini, they can fit into social situations with ease, but unlike Gemini, they tend not to take on the characteristics of the group in order to expertly blend in – they’re able to fit in while still being themselves.
They aren’t without their dark side, though. They’ve been observed murdering simply for the sake of doing it, outside of survival or territorial disputes. This makes them similar to other creatures of intelligence like chimps and humans. Aquarians aren’t known for being murderous or cruel, but they are adept at traversing the boundaries between lightness and darkness.
Aquarians can tend to hold onto their values to the point that they are unable to accept any other viewpoint. Depending on their role in the community and the amount of power they wield, this can have unpleasant consequences for others in their lives.
When Aquarius gets too bogged down in their ideals, dolphin as a spirit animal can shake them up and remind them to let loose and have more fun.
Dolphins are a very curious and communicative species. Famously, they rely on echolocation to communicate underwater, and they have a very sophisticated and specialized system of clicks and squeals in order to relay a variety of messages.
Communication is a very important factor for air signs in general, and Aquarius is no different. Air signs, including Aquarius, are always concerned with finding different methods of communication with different people in order to reach different goals.
This echolocation is a sophisticated form of technology that humans have taken inspiration from when developing our own methods of underwater communication, in true Aquarius style. It often seems like Aquarius is a few steps ahead of the crowd when it comes to trends in technology, and what seems weird and outlandish at first is seen as innovative and groundbreaking later on.
Dolphins are a natural Aquarius spirit animal with their quirky nature, intelligence, and universal lovability. They’re innovators in a way, who are able to show others unique ways of being in order to help society progress, and they can be selfless.
And yet, they also have a dark side that isn’t often spoken about, but is there nonetheless. No sign is perfect, and no sign is all bad. All signs are gloriously flawed, and that’s what makes us all able to connect to each other, and able to connect to our brethren in the animal kingdom as spirit guides.
What Can the Aquarius Spirit Animals Teach You?
Aquarius can be a hard sign to pin down in the zodiac, but they’re a valuable part of any group. Innovative, friendly, fun, quirky, patient, and sometimes just plain weird, we all know an Aquarius who our lives would be less interesting without.
The otter, spider, and dolphin all embody Aquarius characteristics in different ways, and can help Aquarius and others to understand themselves better. This is why spirit animals and spirit guides are so important to us as humans. We’re not separate from these creatures, and they each have something that they can teach us.
If you don’t have any prominent Aquarius placements, such as sun, moon, or rising, you will still have Aquarius ruling a house in your chart. Look for this house and any planets residing there to see what part of your life you approach in an Aquarian way, and where the teachings of these animal guides might benefit you the most.
What other animals and animal behaviors do you think share Aquarian characteristics?