With the beginning of spring, now is the time of the first sign in the Zodiac – Aries, the ram. While domesticated sheep have an image as passive, docile creatures, in the wild a ram – a male sheep – is anything but passive. Rams are distinguished by the large, curved horns on their heads. A mature bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) can have 30 pound (14 kg) horns on a body weighing up to 300 pounds (140 kg).
Rams are known for fighting each other for dominance of the herd – including the right to mate with female sheep, or ewes. Rams fight each other with their horns, and even jump towards each other, ramming their heads together. This image of a ram jumping forward – headfirst – illustrates the energy of the first sign, Aries.
Aries energy is characterized by the 3 A’s: aggressive, ambitious, and assertive. Just as life all around us is “springing” into bloom, Aries springs into action confidently, eagerly, and perhaps even a little bit recklessly. Or perhaps very recklessly.
Individuals with a lot of Aries in their chart are natural leaders. They are self-starters who see an opportunity and go for it. If someone says “Can I have a volunteer to do something?” and you immediately raise your hand before you even know what you are signing up for, you may have a lot of Aries.
Once (4 years ago), at a poetry open mic, I was so eager to volunteer to recite a poem first, that I stood up without taking stock of my surroundings, and I knocked over a large plant that was beside my chair. Ka witnessed this, and she reminds me of this incident with a laugh. I have Aries rising, and this brings with it an impulsive energy.
I would be well-advised to be aware of this tendency so I can make use of its strengths – willingness and courage – but to temper this energy with the caution and prudence of Virgo (my moon sign).
To be assertive is a strength, but to be so aggressive that it irritates others is a weakness. To begin a new project with energy and aplomb is a strength; it is also important to have persistence and follow-through, which are not strengths that Aries is known for.
When we talk about astrology, Ka always makes it clear that your birth chart does not create a prescription or destiny that is immutable and written in stone. We are all a mix of many energies and many signs, and it does not help us to over-identify with one sign. Rather, we should look at a whole chart, in order to have the whole picture of ourselves and all of our integrated parts. To paraphrase Walt Whitman, we are all vast, and we contain multitudes. Astrology gives us a tool, and a language of archetypes, that we can use for understanding ourselves. Thousands of years ago, the first psychologists were the stargazers and the storytellers. They told stories of many gods, titans, and heroes who coexisted, fought each other, competed, and journeyed to the ends of the earth. Likewise, the many
aspects facets of our own minds (or psyches, to borrow a word from the Greeks) must coexist and work together. Sometimes the many sides of our personalities work together smoothly – like tempering Aries energy with Libra energy to be assertive in a balanced fashion. And sometimes the inner relationship may be less smooth and more like “Clash of the Titans.”
If you have a lot of Aries in you, celebrate its strengths during this time of year. Throw yourself head-first into your spring cleaning. But also be aware of Aries’ tendency to over-do it, and temper this tendency with non-Aries strengths such as diplomacy, a cool head, and follow-through. If you don’t have a lot of Aries energy, and you find yourself often being timid, now might be a great time to tune into that enthusiastic, confident energy that is blooming all around you. I wish you all a happy spring!
My thanks to my astrology teacher, Ka, for the inspiration as I wrote this, my first guest post. We had been talking about me writing a guest post for about two years, and it was just now that I rode the Aries energy into writing it. Learning the language of the stars is a lifelong process, and I feel grateful to be taking this big first step of writing this.
Author: Enrico Curioso
Aries is a painting made by Erika Pochybova, you can visit her at her site