Celebrating their birthdays between January 20 and February 18, Aquarians (not to be confused with antiquarians, though the two are not mutually exclusive) are socially conscious world-changers. Sometimes, however, their big hearts are concealed behind unemotional, aloof, or sarcastic exteriors. Progressive and independent, they like to roam (road trip!)—and don’t try telling an Aquarian what to do. We think these characters were definitely Water Bearers:
Jane Eyre (Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë)
Independent, intellectual, and intractable: Check, check, check. At the beginning of their relationship, Jane and Rochester dance around each other, Jane veiling her passions behind an undemonstrative exterior. And though she cannot deny her own heart, Jane does consider dedicating her life to humanitarian service as St. John’s missionary wife. Jane was a progressive female character for her day simply by being a fiercely self-governing governess.
Marius Pontmercy (Les Misérables, Victor Hugo)
The intense and perhaps naively idealistic Marius helps lead the defense of the barricades with the other Friends of the ABC. He’s crazy devoted to his dear Cosette, and yet, he’s the undoing of poor Éponine. He also stubbornly tries to keep Cosette from Jean Valjean after they’re married, though he backs off of that stance once he realizes Valjean has lived an honest life.
Ken Kesey (The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, by Tom Wolfe)
Technically he was a real person, not a fictional character (though some might mount an argument on that point), but you know we had to include an acid-head on this list. Kesey and his Merry Pranksters were convinced LSD would usher in the Age of Aquarius. Trippers in more ways than one, they traveled across the country living their truth in a painted school bus. Maybe not a true Water-Bearer (he was born in September), but a Kool-Aid Bearer for sure.
Will Chmlielewski (You Shall Know Our Velocity!, by Dave Eggers)
Plagued by the guilt of newly acquired money and the grief of a recently lost friend, Will travels the world with his friend Hand, disbursing the small fortune to deserving strangers. Will has the vision, though it’s Hand who most often propels (kind of) the action (get it? word play), so perhaps it’s Will and Hand together that make up an Aquarius—at least a half-assed Aquarius.
Leigh Cheri (Still Life with Woodpecker, by Tom Robbins)
In short: A wacky social activist falls in love with a wackier social destructivist. Wacky hilarity ensues. Leigh Cheri, a red-headed, Nader-loving, exiled princess, just wants to go to her peace fest in Hawaii. Little does she know what’s in store, including a romance that will lead her to blow up a pyramid in the name of love.