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Symbol: A47_252.gif

Element: Fire

Quality: Cardinal

Polarity: Yang/masculine

Ruling Planet: Mars

Tarot key: The Emperor

Sun in Aries: from around the 21st March till the 20th April

Time of Year: Spring equinox, start of spring, emergence of the first shoots

Cultural: Easter, eggs, rabbit, fertility rituals

Physical Body: Head

Star constellation: Aries

Mythology of the star constellation

Aries appears in numerous ancient myths, initially in the story of Helle and Phrixus, two royal children whom their stepmother ordered to be sacrificed to Zeus. However, just before the execution was to take place, their real mother Nephele (a goddess of clouds) sent a ram with a golden fleece which carried them to safety. As they flew over the ocean between Europe and Asia Helle fell from the ram's back into the ocean. The place where she fell was named Hellespont after her. Phrixos landed safely at Kolchis on the shores of the Black Sea and sacrificed the ram in gratitude for his rescue. The golden fleece was hung up in an orchard belonging to Ares, the god of war, where it was guarded by a fire-breathing dragon.

The ram's fleece was soon to be the cause of another adventure. The hero Jason, rightful heir to the throne of Iolkus, demanded the kingdom of his uncle who had at one time overthrown his father. The uncle promised Jason that he would stand aside if the latter were to bring him the golden fleece. Jason set off accompanied by the Argonauts, a band of heroes. After many adventures they finally arrived at Kolchis and the orchard where the golden fleece hung. There, he finally managed to take the prized fleece with the help of Medea, the daughter of King Aeetes. Jason married Medea and she accompanied him on the return journey which proved to be no less adventurous but, after many setbacks and with great determination, they finally managed to reach Iolkos. However, Jason did not manage to attain his father's throne which was his actual goal. He soon rejected Medea, without whose help he would never have been able to achieve his aims, and wanted to marry Glauke instead, the daughter of King Kreon. For this Medea took terrible revenge: She killed both Glauke and the children she bore Jason. Jason himself was killed many years later by a falling plank on a ship.


Aries is the first sign of the Zodiac and marks the beginning of a new cycle. In this sense, Aries symbolises the first testing of strength and new beginnings in general. It looks towards the future without regarding the past.

Individuals with an emphasis of this sign are people of action: Their motto is "Act now". They are independent and have strong leadership qualities. They can get things moving, like taking the initiative and enjoy competing with others to test their abilities. They usually discover what they are capable of in competitive situations because it is here that they can test and confirm their strength of character and fighting spirit.

The sign of Aries in the view of Johfra Bosschart

Aries individuals do not like to deviate but like to take the most direct route to reach their goals, and their love of adventure, willingness to take risks and courage are helpful to this end. Their natural optimism and self-confidence usually help them to overcome any difficulties they face, and their abandon, which sometimes leads them into difficult situations, usually gets them out again. And finally, the spontaneity of Aries individuals makes it easier for them to meet the new challenges that can arise at any moment.

People born under the sign of Aries are direct and generally forthright which can also make them impatient in situations where no quick solution is available.

The conquest of virgin territory is an important motto in their lives: Pioneering work and getting a new project off the ground - and then turning to something new. They can suddenly lose interest after completing the initial stage of a project. Aries individuals need goals to aim for which give them outlet for their fiery energy, and if they don't have them this energy may quickly dissipate into nothing. They are not known for being persistent or in it for the long haul. Their aggression is a necessary driving force but can sometimes turn to blind rage.

Planets and axes in the sign of Aries will exhibit some of the more typical Aries qualities such as being energetic, spontaneous and direct.

Optimism and enthusiasm are qualities that Aries shares with the other fire signs of Leo and Sagittarius. However, Aries symbolises the initial spark, Leo the long-lasting warmth of the glowing embers and Sagittarius the flickering flames of the fire. The theme of relationships is common to both Aries and its opposite sign of Libra - however, the former is concerned with self-assertion, whereas for the latter the relationship itself is the important thing. From the two signs that stand in square to it, Aries can learn the value of emotional depth (Cancer) and patience and perseverance (Capricorn).

The Sun is exalted in Aries, Venus in detriment and Saturn in fall.


Notes and References

  1. From Liber Astronomicus by Guido Bonatus, 1491