Aquarius — giving, humanitarian, and endlessly surprising — is one of the most unique signs of the zodiac, according to New York City-based astrologist and best-selling author Lisa Stardust. Known to have a genuine concern for the well-being of others, Aquariuses have a definite generous streak — but that doesn’t mean they’re always easy to shop for.
By getting to know their most common personality traits, and figuring out what makes people born under this sign tick, you’ll have a perfect gift (or two) in mind by the time your favorite Aquarius’ birthday rolls around.
What to know about Aquarius
Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 19) is a fixed sign on the zodiac, meaning it’s right between solstices and equinoxes. And, as Stardust says, “like the other fixed signs, they have a hard time with change. They’re the most uncomplicated complicated people we know.”
While Aquariuses can be described as independent, selfless, and clever, they also can be hard to put a label on.
“Aquariuses march to the beat of their own drum,” Stardust says. “They put their needs aside to help others, but they’re also very stubborn. They’re zany, wild, and charismatic — but they also have voyeuristic, aloof tendencies.”
Defining an Aquarius can be challenging, but, as Stardust says, “you know someone’s an Aquarius when you see them.
“They’re air signs, too,” she says, “so they’re thinkers and communicators.” Aquarius is symbolized by the water bearer, which is based on a story from Greek mythology. It’s said that Aquarius was the cupbearer to the Olympian gods. This feeds into their inclination for generosity, desire to please people, and altruistic nature.
Two planets, Saturn and Uranus, rule Aquarius. Because of this, they often have a unique balance of strength in their character and a strong desire to be free spirits. Stardust says Aquariuses tend to have a complicated relationship with authority, often seeing the benefits of working both with and against opposition to effect change.
“Aquariuses are the signs of the zodiac that are most likely to quit school and pursue a totally different life just because they want to,” she says. “They believe that you should do whatever it is that makes you happy.”
Best birthday gifts for Aquarius
Aquariuses crave gifts that speak to their unique personalities. As silly as it sounds, Stardust says, something to hold liquids (water, coffee, etc.) is a great gift for this sign —even if it is a little on the nose.
When it comes to food and beverages, Aquariuses have refined palettes (Stardust credits this to their being ruled by Saturn), so they’ll only want the best of the best.
Salty popcorn is always a win for an Aquarius friend, Stardust says, but she’s quick to point out that this is a trend she’s noticed with just the Aquariuses in her life. “Perhaps,” she muses, “it has something to do with balancing out all the water.”
If all else fails, giving them something that feeds into their voyeuristic habits could be a great avenue to explore. “Vintage cameras, video cameras, things that help them capture daily life — those are all excellent options for an Aquarius.”
Go-to birthday gifts for Aquarius
Here are some more targeted gift ideas for the Aquarius in your life.
Something that grows
Though they are air signs, Aquariuses have a strong appreciation for plants and flowers, either of which would make an appropriate gift.
“The go-to flower for an Aquarius would be a bird of paradise,” Stardust says. “It’s exotic and unique, just like an Aquarius.”
Another great option is an orchid, the 2023 Flower of the Year.
If you choose to go the plant route, opt for one that doesn’t need a ton of attention or TLC. Though Aquariuses are giving of their time, they tend to focus more on humanitarian causes, so caring for a plant will likely come second to them.
Due to their cup-bearing origins, Aquariuses tend to gravitate to gifts related to water.
“Get them a really great mug, bottle, or cup that they can carry their water in,” Stardust says, “or get them fancy water: bubbly water, alkaline water, something like that.”
Coffee mugs fall into this category, too, she says. “They’ll appreciate something they can carry their liquids in — for themselves or for others.”
Something upcycled or recycled
An Aquarius is concerned with Mother Earth — avoiding waste and sustainability are high on their list of priorities — so secondhand clothing, upcycled decor, or anything recycled will be appreciated.
“They love vintage clothing, anything spiffy from a different time period,” Stardust says. “That’s because they’re always trying to make the world a better place.”
Gift ideas for Aquarius
Something zany and unexpected
“Retro sunglasses, vintage cameras, brightly colored nail polish — if it’s eccentric and fun, it’s likely that an Aquarius will enjoy it,” Stardust says.
And, Stardust says, when in doubt, opt for a gift that is a nod to their affinity for water. “They love anything and everything blue.”