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Aries and the Courage To Be

Aries, illustration by B.A.Vierling

The Zodiac sign of Aries is a symbol of vitality. The Vernal Equinox launches the Sun into the tropical sign of Aries each year around March 21st through April 20th. The Sun is exalted (strong) in a sign that is characterized by verve and the tremendous push of the Day-force, which is gradually gaining in strength over the collective Night-force. Sunnier, longer days are coming and Aries is a Cardinal sign characterized by action, initiative, and an impatience to get on with life. The rulership of this sign has always gone to the planet Mars, the red planet, giving Aries its hot, dry fiery qualities.

The image of the Ram is an apt one, especially in the spring when there is boundless energy to romp, play, and butt heads with other rams. The horns, which protrude from the head so strongly, are symbolic of the need to allow the intellect to guide the instinctual, even as they also convey the ‘head-strong’ more fiercely aggressive quality that Aries is known for.

Aries the ram, was known to the Egyptians as their sacred God, Amun-Ra, very much a Sun god. The Greeks called the constellation of stars Aries, the ram, while the Romans named it Krios. Further east it was known as Mesha in India, al-Kabs to the Arabs, and Tala (lamb) to the Hebrews.

Aries glyphLooking at the glyph of Aries all sorts of interpretations can emerge in addition to the horns of a ram. It could be a seedling shooting out of the earth representing new life and a striving for the light. It could also represent the outstretched hands as a symbol of the adult human being, or even the line of the nose and eyebrows on the human face, which lead to the fore brain, seat of the higher mind and will. Aries is said to rule (have jurisdiction over) the head. Development of the intellect as well as the emerging ego is of central concern to Aries.

Aries strengths are its energetic vitality, its youthful spirit and assertive enthusiasm, and its honesty and courage in taking on the most daunting of tasks, where nothing is impossible. This inexhaustible optimism rises up, in spite of fear, which often haunts Aries, thus it is to the incisive intellect that Aries moves to cut through the non-essentials in its quest for adventure and new experiences. Passion melds with the innovative mind in this bold, quick-thinking, maverick sign.

The weakness of Aries can be the extreme of too much activity where impulse and impatience thoughtlessly rush into experience without taking the consequences into account. Leaping, like the fool in haste, can create much destruction. The other major weakness is lack of sensitivity towards others due to a naive type of self-centeredness that just isn’t aware or considerate of the spoken or unspoken needs of those close by. The Aries one-track mind can miss the nuances and thus invite antagonism rather than cooperation.

Integration comes when the opposite sign, Libra, and its qualities are made conscious and cultivated by Aries. Those qualities are the ability to listen, think of others as well as oneself, share, and cooperate with others in mutually satisfying experiences that enrich everyone. The creed of the golden rule, which encourages doing unto others as one would do for oneself, is certainly a higher law for the evolved Aries to practice.

Celtic Aries, illustration by B.A.Vierling

There are various heroic myths that illustrate the themes of Aries as the Courageous Warrior in search of his true solar, golden Self. The myth of the Golden Fleece and Jason’s quest to find it is one such tale. The King of Colchis kept the Golden Fleece. He had been given it by Phrixus, the son of King Athamas, who had been rescued by a magical winged, golden fleeced ram as he and his sister, Helle, were about to become the sacrificial victims of their wicked step-mother who wanted her own children to become the heirs to their father’s kingdom. Unfortunately, as the winged ram carried the children high in the air, Helle fell into the sea, and only Phrixus survived. Here we see the feminine aspect drop into the ‘collective sea of the unconscious’, which is part of Aries dilemma and shadow-side. This dilemma is simply that the masculine cannot necessarily do everything alone. The masculine needs the feminine. Every sign must be balanced by its polar opposite, and Aries must develop more of the Libran qualities of Eros, of love and social graces, to balance the Martian aggressive instincts.

Reaching safety, Phrixus sacrifices the magical ram to Zeus. Perhaps here is the Equinox myth repeated where the ram replaces the man as sacrifice. (See my Vernal Equinox article)

Years later Jason is called to recover the Golden Fleece. He, too, is the son of a king whose throne has been usurped. This ancient theme of rightful inheritance stolen by deception or violence is one that Aries must often face in various ways throughout life. The courage to fight for that, which is rightfully ones own, is often necessary. Like a good many of the mythic heroes, Jason has been raised and taught by the wise centaur, Chiron, far from civilization in isolation. The usurper, Pelias, now feeling threatened by this young, virile male, sends Jason on a seemingly impossible quest to retrieve the Fleece. This begins his adventurous and dangerous mission. The Greek Myths by Robert Graves has probably one of the more thorough accounts of this mythic tale.

Jason and Medea, by artist John William Waterhouse, 1907What is notable in this story is his need for an ally in female form. Enter Medea. She is the daughter of the King of Colchis who is a sorceress. She and Jason are both shot by the arrow of Eros and fall instantly in love. Medea then gives her all to Jason, even to the point of defying her father and murdering her own brother. With her magic she enables him to accomplish all three of the impossible tasks assigned by Pelias. Together they pit themselves against the powers that be, the Father Kings, just as Aries must constantly battle with the status quo, which attempts to control, thwart, or hold back the Aries Solar birthright.

Once the Golden Fleece is recovered and all obstacles are overcome, Jason abandons his powerful accomplice, Medea, for seemingly greener pastures with another. This restless, easily distracted quality proves his undoing and the wrath of his abandoned Medea turns terribly vengeful and ultimately destructive for her, their children, and Jason. The lesson here is that Aries must acknowledge the power of the anima, the deeper feminine power that dwells within, and learn to take commitments more seriously. There needs to be thoughtfulness connected with action before the mature Aries can emerge.

When Aries evolves away from naive self-centeredness and truly allows idealism to guide rather than just instinct, the more refined qualities of the heroic emerges. Aries can champion causes like no other sign. Aries can lead people towards a higher ideal. The inspiration that an Aries type can bring to rally the group towards collective action can be awesome to behold.

Pallas Athene, Gustav Klimt, 1898Pallas Athene characterizes a more integrated archetype for Aries. She emerges fully developed and in full armor out of the head of Zeus. Aries rules the head, and she represents the melding of the feminine with the masculine as intelligence for right action and leadership. Perhaps this is also symbolic of the integration of the right brain (intuition) with the left brain (rational thought). She is a fighter for high standards and principles and later a very wise ruler who patronizes the arts. Aries are incredibly creative once they leave behind the need to constantly change for stimulus sake. Craftsmanship becomes a joy and Aries can lead in all manner of artistic endeavors.

Marlon BrandoOne of the great actors of the 20th century in films, that quintessential Aries, was Marlon Brando. He exuded the raw power, the instinctual grace, and the intelligence of Aries, as well as the sensitive qualities of feeling that Aries ‘anima’ can bring to enrich the fiery masculine persona. In the movie On the Waterfront he delivered the classic and poignant message for every Aries when he said to his brother, Charlie, “I could have been somebody.” Aries is here to truly Be, and that takes a great deal of courage.

March 26, 2008  29 Comments
Categories: Astrology | Tags: , ,


1 Marissa Selman { 05.18.08 at 2:52 am }

I love how you write. The content is pure and clear. I just met an Aries man from Cork and I can see the qualities and shadow side more now that ive read this. Thanks

2 Kev Chambers { 07.15.09 at 3:29 pm }

Nice comment Marissa !
I am an Aries man myself ! (23rd March !) – everything said in the article above I can see in myself. and as it happens, I’m very much into ancient Greek mythology too ! – and Celtic ! – (I speak Latin and Greek – affinity with the oldest and first civilisations – that’s Aries too !)

I’m listening to Enya’s Album The Celts as I write – must be the old Aries affinity with fire and swords… – and I have a few British Forces connections as well !

But I’ve learned to channel the more aggressive parts into creativity – I teach and write books and software (Aries love of the new technology !) for students of English, in Arabia – the Aries love of travel and adventure !
(but I do still have creative arguments with my colleagues !) – and of course an Aries man loves his place by the fire – with a pint in hand – I’m no exception !
As for love in my life – well that’s private ! But I can tell you she’s a Pisces – probably a moderating effect on my Aries fire !
Good luck to you and your Irish Aries Lad ! Slantje Vor !
Best wishes to you – and the creators of this website !

Good luck, Mar

3 Kev Chambers { 07.15.09 at 3:33 pm }

Whoops, that should read, “Good luck, March born !”

4 Genevieve { 07.15.09 at 6:32 pm }

It’s so nice to have an actual male making comments on this blog. Wonderful insights into the Aries male. Much appreciated. I just returned from Dublin, so all the more synchronistic.

5 Tanyea { 11.03.09 at 1:55 pm }

I’m a cancer woman who is attracted and put off by the aries .
After reading this , I understand why the blunt nature of the aries is so . Thanks, you may have saved my relationship with a misunderstood aries male.

6 Genevieve { 11.04.09 at 8:39 pm }

That’s good! Understanding another’s qualities really does help to make the bridge differences.

7 Reenie { 09.19.10 at 5:21 pm }

Great that is really me 4/6/49…although I AMtrying to tame it down some

8 Diogo { 10.23.10 at 6:21 pm }

This is the best article about Aries that I’ve ever red, nice work, keep it up
We rulle

9 jason palmer { 11.22.10 at 4:07 am }


10 MG { 01.14.11 at 2:24 am }

Lovely article with great insight. Have learned so much more tonight. (:

11 MG { 01.14.11 at 2:25 am }

I love the artworks too, hopefully would draw them soon!

12 sudhakar { 11.07.11 at 6:45 pm }

very inresting

13 MALAK { 05.31.12 at 11:17 pm }

REally i love an arie man and i see his virility and strong power and if feel in same time power and weakness with love. i feel the heat coming but he seems like a baby as well. his laughs and candid face .i love to know about his sign and i studied it through sites so i can know how to make him happy

14 Pearl { 09.01.12 at 7:34 pm }

Your article is very much appreciated. In many ways I have wanted to disown my Aries sun, feeling that it was too often associated with the qualities of war, aggression, bullying and impatience. I decided to gain more information and clarity to help me make peace with my solar energy and to gain a new perspective. An on-line search ensued and I was brought to your article. So much of what you have written about Aries energy are qualities that I feel are life affirming and feel good to align with, to recognize, honor and to integrate into my life. Your article helped me to understand that my vision of cooperation, collaboration and co-creation can be an evolved part of Aries energy through the conscious merging of Aries-Libra, feminine-masculine, intellect-heart by engaging the qualities of courage, honesty, optimism, confidence, “taking heart” and with grace, for starters. Thank you for shining this joyful light with your clear and well written article!

15 Genevieve { 09.02.12 at 12:03 pm }

Thank you for sharing with such Arian honesty Pearl!

16 Paul { 02.01.14 at 12:05 am }

let me be cleat that I am not advocating any point of view of pro or anti; HOWEVER, I have noticed the 4 big names in the atheistic point of view: Daniel Dennet, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and the late Christopher Hitchens are and were all Aries sun signs. Why is that? I have head that Aires is deeply empirical. This took me back a little…

17 Genevieve Vierling { 02.08.14 at 3:33 pm }

Aries ‘rules’ the head and often Aries like to definitely think for themselves, though I have known a few who were believers of different faiths. I’d have to look at each of these men’s actual charts to see if we can find any common theme besides the Aries Sun sign. I’ll see if I can find their birth times and comment a bit more on this. The only one I have read is Christopher Hitchens.

18 Paul { 02.14.14 at 9:40 pm }

I Thank You Ma’am.

19 Toshtogo { 02.18.14 at 5:30 am }

I read some of your articles (Libra, Leo, Sagittarius, Aquarius, Scorpio) thus far and they were all great reads except for this one about Aries. I found it quite boring and bland. Honestly I’m disappointed their wasn’t more to talk about an Aries. Other than that I truly do appreciate your works and enjoyed reading it. Thanks

20 Genevieve Vierling { 02.18.14 at 4:57 pm }

Guess I’ll have to re-read what I wrote and try to spice it up more!! I take it you’ve got some Aries in you. Can you help enlighten us all on this sign? I know I’m actually surrounded by Aries in my life: my mother for starters, a daughter, numerous children’s boyfriends and girlfriends, my husband’s son from his first marriage, and on and on. I LOVE Aries! So I better check myself to see why I didn’t describe them in a more exciting way. Thanks for sharing.

21 prashanth.s { 04.03.15 at 11:13 pm }

about his future and studies is 2015 a bad year

22 Genevieve Vierling { 04.04.15 at 4:30 pm }

I responded in the other one, but please tell me WHERE he was born. 🙂

23 prashanth.s { 04.03.15 at 11:18 pm }

s 2015 a bad year for him his dob 14\4\2002 time 2.53amsunday

24 Genevieve Vierling { 04.04.15 at 4:30 pm }

Dear Prashanth, I see that he has Mars in very early Gemini with transit Saturn opposite, so he has to buckle down and accept some authority this year in school. That isn’t necessarily ‘bad’ unless he has a difficult time with authority. With Saturn also in Gemini he is learning to discipline his mind and develop his intellectual and communicative skills. I see he is an Aries with Uranus in Aquarius, so he wants to be independent and free. Yet his numerology is 13/4 so, again, that word discipline is necessary. You don’t say WHERE is was born. That would be helpful! I don’t know the orientation of his birth chart without a place. I would encourage him to have goals and to develop self-discipline to gain those goals one step at a time. That’s the number 4 at work. Careful building with all that Taurus in his nature. But please don’t think ‘bad’. Think of this coming year as a time to work hard and make steady gains with the help of good teachers and authority figures helping him.

25 Kiki { 04.10.16 at 2:54 pm }

Genevieve vierling what’s your sign

26 Genevieve Vierling { 04.11.16 at 1:22 pm }

Kiki—I’m a Pisces (Tropical Zodiac).

27 Michael { 06.05.16 at 11:05 pm }

Thanks Genevieve,

I sort of understand why I my Aries girlfriend is such an adorable pain. I am a Pisces and love free thinking and generally dislike categorizing or judging people other people and their situations. This can be tough especially when I constatly get bible bashed and judged as lazy by a poor naive soul I’m just trying to show how wonderful wondering is. Its real frustrating I mean I love her but I love her more when she’s silent. Anyway just thought I’d share also loved your article on the Pisces enigma.

28 Genevieve Vierling { 06.14.16 at 4:06 pm }

Thanks for sharing Michael! Not all Aries women are talkers and not all Pisces are silent. But I see your point. 🙂 I’m sure it’s the judgements that bother the most, but as you know Pisces can be most long-suffering and tolerant.

29 Kefferson { 05.28.18 at 8:39 am }

Inspired with what u all wrote… I’m born on 22nd.

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