In Astrologically Speaking, astrologers make their case for your favorite characters’ zodiac signs, based on specific scenes, quotes, and even fashion choices. Here, Nina Kahn, author of Astrology for Life and Wander the Stars, explains why Rose from Titanic is a total Aquarius. Spoilers for Titanic follow.
Dec. 19 marks 25 years since the release of Titanic, the 1997 James Cameron epic that follows the whirlwind romance between young lovers Rose and Jack after meeting on the doomed maiden journey of the RMS Titanic. At the heart of Titanic is the story of survivor Rose Dawson (played in her youth by Kate Winslet) and her life-changing experience aboard the Titanic. Throughout Titanic, we get to know Rose’s revolutionary and freedom-seeking spirit — and her lifelong desire to break free of society’s oppressive expectations drives the plot of the film. As an astrologer revisiting the character a quarter century after the film’s release, it’s crystal-clear that Rose is a rebellious and forward-thinking Aquarius.
While we don’t have Rose’s fictional birth certificate in hand, we do have some context clues to work with when it comes to confirming her zodiac sign. In the scenes taking place in 1996, it’s noted that Rose is about to turn 101 years old — which places her birth year as 1895. And because we also know she had already turned 17 when she boarded the Titanic on April 10, 1912, her birthdate had to have fallen before that, which narrows things down to just four potential astrological signs. That said, Aquarius season ranges from about Jan. 20 through Feb. 18, so the theory that Rose was born under the sign of the water bearer checks out with the Titanic mythology, too.
Near, far, wherever you are, I’ve got some compelling evidence to prove that Rose is almost certainly an Aquarius.
She’s A Rebel At Heart
As she boards the Titanic, Rose is suffocating under the mounting expectations being placed upon her by her traditional mother, her snobby fiancé Cal, and upper-class society at large — which is why she describes feeling like the ship is “taking [her] back to America in chains.” She even attempts to end her life shortly after boarding the ship, as she can’t bear to live if she isn’t free to make her own decisions or be true to herself. “I saw my whole life as if I'd already lived it,” 100-year-old Rose explains as she looks back on her life pre-Titanic. “An endless parade of parties and cotillions, yachts and polo matches, always the same narrow people, the same mindless chatter.” The spoils of being wealthy and having high status meant nothing to Rose — she would have rather not live than have to conform to what she viewed as a bland and oppressive lifestyle.
When we look at Rose’s behavior through the lens of the Aquarius archetype, things begin to make even more sense. For a subversive and unconventional water bearer, there’s nothing worse than being put in a box and forced to follow someone else’s rules. This free-thinking air sign is ruled by maverick planet Uranus, bestowing its cosmic natives with a deep desire to eschew the status quo and march to the beat of their own drum. Rose deeply resents being pressured by her mother to secure an inheritance and preserve the family’s social status and refuses to submit to her fiancé’s attempts to control her. Even the love affair between her and Jack — who is a starving artist without a cent to his name — highlights her refusal to adhere to society’s expectations of her. Like a true chain-breaking Aquarius, her rebellious streak runs deep.
At the end of the film, Rose truly solidifies her place in the Aquarius’ rebellion hall of fame when she tosses the priceless “Heart of the Ocean” diamond into the sea. Said to be worth more than any other gem in the world, Rose secretly held onto this sought-after treasure for 84 years — and ultimately, she proves that her values aren’t defined by the mores of society. Instead of exploiting the diamond for accolades and riches, Rose tucked it away and then casually disposes of it, subverting everyone’s expectations.
She’s Way Ahead Of Her Time
Aquarians are known for being forward-thinking and progressive. True to zodiacal form, Rose is lightyears ahead of the times she’s living in, and she yearns to break free of the oppressive stereotypes placed on her as a woman. For example, she excitedly asks Jack to teach her to “ride [horseback] like a man” and even “spit like a man.” When she’s partying below deck with Jack and the other lower-class passengers on the ship, she surprises them all by quickly chugging a full glass of beer — a definitively non-ladylike act for a high-class woman of the times. “What, you think a first-class girl can’t drink?" Rose asks playfully. Far beyond just a desire to challenge the status quo, Rose’s progressive way of thinking makes it painfully obvious to her that she shouldn’t have to abide by gender-based rules about how to live her life.
Even Rose’s taste in art reflects her high-concept and avant-garde Aquarius sensibilities. Early in the film, we see that she’s purchased paintings by the not-yet-famous Pablo Picasso, which she describes as being "fascinating" and “like a dream, [having] truth without logic.” Meanwhile, her powerful fiancé fails to see their value and confidently claims that Picasso “will never amount to a thing.” Of course, Rose knows better — Aquarians have a knack for spotting up-and-coming trends and being at the forefront of cutting-edge ideas and movements. It’s easy for them to pick up on what will spark the attention and interest of the collective long before it hits the mainstream.
She’s Got A Detached Aquarian Intellect
As air signs, Aquariuses are more cerebral and conceptual in their thinking than most other members of the zodiac. The water bearers in particular are seen as especially cool and aloof, with a tendency to focus more on big-picture issues than interpersonal feelings. Rose certainly embodies this detached Aquarius vibe, as she shows no emotional attachment to her fiancé and very little to her mother, either. After surviving the sinking of the Titanic, she never speaks to Cal again and appears to cut off contact with her mother, too.
While she may be somewhat unsentimental about certain relationships, Rose is very driven by matters that impact the community at large. Rose expresses with concern to the Titanic’s shipbuilder, long before the fatal iceberg collision, saying "I did the sum in my head, and with the number of lifeboats times the capacity you mentioned ... it seems there are not enough for everyone aboard.” “You miss nothing, do you?” he replies. A sharp and quick-witted Aquarius like Rose rarely does — especially when it’s something that involves a humanitarian issue. Aquarius is the sign that rules over the collective, and its energy is associated with groups, collaboration, and teamwork. Despite Rose’s privilege, she continually shows interest in the well-being of the passengers on the whole ship and looks at things from a future-oriented perspective.
Rose clearly fell head over heels in love with Jack and carries tender memories of their brief time together throughout her life. However, she never appears to get swallowed up by her emotions around the relationship, which also illustrates her detached Aquarius nature. “I’ve never spoken of him ‘til now, not to anyone, not even your grandfather,” she says of Jack, 84 years after his passing. The fact that she never spoke of this riveting and passionate affair to anyone highlights her cool, calm, and collected Aquarius energy. It’s not easy to sweep these air signs off their feet — and even if you do, they’re not likely to get mushy about it.
Rose puffs on tobacco pipes, drops insults by referencing Sigmund Freud, and was literally into Picasso before it was cool. And don’t forget how she symbolically sticks it to the man by spitting in Cal’s face and giving him the middle finger. Could she be any more of a cool, rebellious, and intellectual Aquarius?! Rose’s progressive and free-thinking spirit is deeply Aquarian, and she’s got the smarts and authenticity to prove it. Even 25 years after Titanic’s release, it’s clear that Rose’s rebellious heart will go on.