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Mapping the Psyche

An Introduction to Psychological Astrology, by Clare Martin

  • Cardinal Fire
  • Ruler: Mars
  • Exaltation: Sun
  • Detriment: Venus
  • Fall: Saturn

Each of the elements becomes progressively more 'mature' in the order of the zodiac signs. For example, the first fire sign of Aries is cardinal, a very primal force. The second fire sign is fixed; Leo is a calmer, steadier expression of fire. The third fire sign is mutable, Sagittarius, reaching outwards and beyond to find meaning through exploration of the wider spectrum, the broader picture.

Aries is the infant of the zodiac - the sign of the spring equinox and of all new beginnings. It is an extremely straightforward and uncomplicated sign, pure naïve energy and courage. Ruled by Mars, Aries is forceful, instinctive and immediate - when they want something, they want it now. Aries rules the head and leads with the head, often literally walking head first, leaning forwards for speed and focus. Aries can be associated with head-butting, but also with leading intellectually. In common with all the fire signs, Aries can appear to trample on other people's feelings and sensitivities without even noticing, but there is nothing devious or malicious about the sign. It is too primal and spontaneous for that. If they have hurt someone they will be surprised; it is just that they don't instinctively consider other people's feelings. There is not a great deal of subtlety with Aries, they are very black and white, either/or.

Planets in Aries do not suffer from doubt because, as the pure primal subjective energy of the first sign of the zodiac, nothing else and nobody else exists outside their vision, their goal and their quest. Naturally, there are many people who find all this single-minded focus and determination rather brutal and selfish. But, like all fire signs, Aries is gripped by a heroic vision. They need a challenge or a battlefield in which there is everything to play for, and no time to wait.

Audience: I don't know if you have seen the film Troy, but there is a moment when Achilles decides to fight on the Greek side against Troy, and he and his men join the thousand ships sailing towards Troy. But he does it on his own terms and must be the first to reach the shore and to engage in battle.

Clare: Yes, this is an excellent example of pure Aries energy - foolhardy, heroic and goal-oriented. And of course Achilles was chasing immortality - he didn't care whether or not he was killed. Nor did he care whether the Greeks or the Trojans won the war at the end of the day. This was irrelevant to his own personal quest. What was important was that he achieved his immortality, established a mythic identity for himself. And here we are thousands of years later talking about him, so it must have worked.

The Greek myths are full of good examples of heroic Aries figures. For example, Jason, who led the Argonauts on the quest for the Golden Fleece, Theseus who led his men to Crete and overcame the Minotaur, Perseus, whose quest involved the rescue of Andromeda, chained to the rocks as a sacrifice to Poseidon. All these heroes are instinctive leaders, goal-oriented, daring and brave. No matter how foolhardy, there is always something noble about the venture, the quest and the vision. There are codes of honour and chivalry attached, which, in the case of Aries, often involve the rescuing of a damsel in distress along the way.

Audience: What about Robin Hood? He sounds like an Aries character.

Clare: Exactly. All the components are there. He was a natural and instinctive leader of his band of outlaws, and he had a noble vision to steal from the rich and give to the poor. This was his quest - very simple and effective. And of course the maiden in distress in this case was Maid Marion. Joan of Arc is a female example of the Aries personality. God spoke to her, which is perfectly possible if you are a fire sign. From the moment she was given her quest she was ablaze with determination to lead the French to victory against the English and to rescue the French dauphin.

Audience: And eventually she was burned at the stake.

Clare: Exactly, and she also became immortal to the extent that she is still a symbol of the female warrior hundreds of years later.

Planets in Aries

David has both the Sun and Jupiter in Aries. Let's have a look at that. As I mentioned before, the Sun is always one of the hardest planets to interpret, since it has so many levels of interpretation and is, ultimately, the experience of personal integrity and authenticity as well as our connection to our spiritual identity and purpose. On a personal level, the Sun in Aries will describe David's impression of his father, who normally carries the archetypal projection of the Sun in our youth, before we are mature enough to integrate it for ourselves. David will identify with all the qualities of Aries which we have already noted. He will be competitive, goal-oriented and impatient, and will need to choose and follow his own path. He will have that quality of honour and nobility which is a feature of all the fire signs.

Ultimately, since the Sun describes the mature centre of David's being and of his identity, I have found that a useful psychological approach is to focus on the conscious integration of the qualities of the Sun's opposite sign and on the development of the planets which are traditionally in their detriment and fall in the Sun's sign. A more measured, mature expression of the Aries Sun will be the balancing of his own will and instinctive, hot-headed subjectivity with a genuine consideration for, and sensitivity to, the needs of others, so that he comes to fight not just for himself but for the broader values of justice, peace and harmony (Libra). This will bring Venus (ruler of Libra) into a creative relationship with Mars (ruler of Aries), and the maturity and nobility of the Sun will provide Aries with the wisdom, integrity and authority to be a good and noble leader.

As far as Jupiter in Aries is concerned, a useful shorthand technique is to think of the planet as the 'what', and the sign it falls in as the 'how'. So, in this case we know that Jupiter is the principle of expansion, faith and optimism. It tells us what is meaningful for a particular individual. Jupiter in Aries tells us that David will believe in self-reliance, self-motivation and goal-orientation, the more challenging the goal the better, and that he will achieve a sense of personal meaning, fulfilment and purpose when he engages in any kind of self-imposed challenge.

Audience: I have Jupiter in Aries and I definitely go along my own path.

Clare: So we could certainly say that you believe (Jupiter) in doing your own thing (Aries).

Audience: My brother has the Moon in Aries, and he was the problem child in the family - always in trouble.

Clare: The Moon is what feeds us and makes us feel safe, so if we want to know how he gets what he needs, we can see that he will do this by competing and challenging and fighting in order to assert his will and his need for autonomy. Literally, we could say that your brother needs (Moon) to fight (Aries). Naturally, if he is born into a gentle, peace-loving family, he will become the problem child. If, on the other hand, he was born into a highly competitive family, this quality may well be admired and encouraged. It all depends on the context.

Moon in Aries describes spontaneous emotional responses, quick reactions, a short fuse and a hot temper. It is instinctively competitive and needs immediate gratification. Moon in Aries also eats quickly, as if every meal is a challenge or a race. Meal times can be the arena for family fights. I have often noticed that people with Moon in Aries burn off their food quickly and get to the point where they are suddenly completely empty, drained and must eat now. In common with all the Fire signs generally, there can be a surprising lack of stamina. Does that sound like your brother?

Audience: Absolutely! He always finishes his food before anyone else, and family mealtimes with him around are a nightmare - a real battleground.

Audience: I have Venus in Aries, but I have always assumed it doesn't work well there because it is in its detriment.

Clare: This is an important point which illustrates how a psychological approach differs from a more traditional approach. Venus describes an individual's values, talents and joys. Placed in Aries, a psychological interpretation would be that you find joy through expressing your natural, instinctive urge for leadership, competition and the achievement of personal goals. This placement indicates a love (Venus) of the fight (Aries), a valuing (Venus) of strength and determination and courage (Aries), so, from this point of view, Venus is just as happy in Aries as in any other sign. The sign simply describes how the planet will find its best expression. Venus in Aries enjoys the chase and loves to fight for something. She is competitive in relationships and values the qualities of courage, determination and leadership in herself and in others. Venus in Aries is also likely to value her freedom and autonomy. We could even say that this is a powerful Venus because she knows what she wants.

nach oben

The Book"Mapping the Psyche"

First published 2005 by the CPA Press, BCM Box 1815, London WC1N 3XX, United Kingdom, www.cpalondon.com.
Copyright ©2005 by Clare Martin.
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