In the beginning, first and foremost, there is Aries, the first fire sign, the first cardinal sign, and the first personal sign of the zodiac. He says, “I, me, now!” “I do, I act!” “I want what I want, when I want it, and I want it now!” It is the most primitive sign, the raw life force, and the will to survive. The will is manifested through assertion. Because Aries is cardinal, it is goal-oriented and desires to achieve alone. It is not a sign of courage per se; however, it appears to be so because it does not know the meaning of fear. It is not competitive because to Aries there is no one else. It is oblivious to relationships, human or spatial. There is the old joke, “Here, coming through door is our typical Aries, Peter Pushy! Oops, make that wall, folks.”
Aries is not really a pioneer, for although people follow him, he is not interested in them or why they are following. It is the archetype of the wholly and totally selfish or self-absorbed individual who is very passionate about his personal freedom.
The Aries hero is the rugged individualist expressed as the American Cowboy. He is the man who essentially has not established relationships. He is living on a survival level. He has a gun and a horse, both of which he loves more than he could any woman. Relationships with women are transitory. “I can take care of myself; “I am a survivor!” A person with Aries emphasized in the chart has probably lived to tell several tales of peril that would have been “curtains” for most everyone else. He is like the cat with nine lives.
Guns are connected with the Aries function and are associated with assertive, aggressive urges that include killing prey and game for food, and other humans who threaten life or territory. Guns are symbolic of the raw Aries libido. They are phallic, hard, erect, powerful, and potent.
Aries There is a cultural myth that men should play the Aries function and women should portray the polar opposite, Libra. Women in Western society, at least until recently, are discouraged from being Aries-like. If they are, they are described in derogatory terms: tomboy, dyke, bitch, Ms. Macho, ball-breaker, nymphomaniac, and so on. Women should be sweet, dependent, submissive, and diplomatic. Men are supposed to be independent and self-sufficient.
For Aries, others are barely recognized as existing unless he wants them for something. The sign’s libido quality has to do with a fundamental sex drive as an expression of the creative life force. There is a drive toward conquest through testing others, pushing them.
A female Aries may say, “Hi, you look good! Such strong, hard muscles; you must work out a lot! Bet something else is strong and hard too. Let’s go to my place. By the way, I’m Arianna. What’s your name?” The introduction may be made afterwards. Such an unabashedly sexual approach by a woman is still surprising. Its masculine counterpart remains the stereotypical complaint of many women. If a man has an Aries Moon, he may really like it when a woman comes on to him in a blatant and straightforward way. Aries is a sexy and alluring archetype. It is the powerfully attractive male or female who will not take “no” for an answer. Steve McQueen personified this sort of man. Aries actresses Debbie Reynolds, Doris Day and Betty Davis personified innocent ingenues and “the bitch.”
All the fire signs connect us with the divine, the creative force of the universe. Aries identifies with this force and feels he is it.
He believes, “You have to look out for Number One.” It is hard for others to understand such a purely self-focused force.
Aries does not know what he wants before he wants it. Desire arises, and then what he wills, he does. He wants it right now or better yet, yesterday. Rejection never enters his mind. If it happens, well, he has not tried hard enough and will have to push some more. He feels capable of dealing with whatever comes up, and life is lived totally in the immediate present. There are no doubts because there is no orientation towards the past or future. Memories and “old tapes” do not inhibit him. Every morning he is reborn anew.
The creative (fire) initiative (cardinal) of Aries is focused on beginning projects. The intention to do is the creative process for Aries. Following through requires some other sign to carry out the project because Aries is not concerned with completing a task. This sign seeks continual challenge. Whatever is easy is not interesting. He wants the chase, not the catch. The word “no” does not exist in his vocabulary. He is not concerned with other people’s opinions, judgments, needs, or ideas. There is no interest in permanence or security. There is a definite tendency towards “burn-out.” Aries tends to burn the candle at both ends.
Part of Aries’ charm is that he does not bear grudges. He cannot remember anything long enough. He can be as naive as a new baby. He is like a child and can be distracted very easily, so he forgets what he wanted in the first place. It is nearly impossible for Aries to go to anyone for help because he cannot see that anything is wrong. If it is, he can fix it.
Aries iconThere is a desire to be an instant expert, for Aries is impatient and will loose interest. An Aries friend used to be so excited about seeing the latest movie, but if there was a line at the theatre, forget it. He would sooner see anything else or do anything else, rather than wait, idle, in a que. Aries wants to be in a position where he is in complete control. He cannot and will not accept outside limitations or the idea that it cannot be done. He sees the world solely in terms of self. He has a tendency for spontaneous temper tantrums over the slightest frustration or delay in the gratification of his wishes.
To his credit, Aries does not sulk. Satisfaction must be immediate or it is forgotten. If there’s been a tantrum and it’s directed at you, he simply cannot understand why you’re still feeling hurt or angry two hours later. “It’s ancient history – what’s your problem?”
Since he is easily distracted and usually has a good sense of humor, joke him out of it when you see him getting red in the face or if you notice a temper tantrum rising.
In common with all fire signs, Aries is a bad listener. Don’t waste his time or your breath with subtleties, hints or innuendoes. He just won’t get it. He cannot be dishonest. It is too complicated. He is too impulsive, impatient, insensitive to comprehend why anyone would take the time or bother to weave tangled webs of deceit. He also tends to believe anything anybody says. He does not understand other people’s motivations and is not interested in finding out.
Aries has a profound sense of idealism, but only on his terms. He is the self-made man as hero. He is acute, but lacks concentration. He makes an excellent sales person. He’s bright, enthusiastic and truly believes that whatever he is selling is the greatest, and you will love it too.
The symbol for Aries is the Ram and the Lamb. There is a feeling of a special relationship to God that sounds like, “I am God,” or “God speaks to me.” Aries tends to recognize the godlike in himself, but unlike Pisces, he or she may fail to see that other sentient beings are godlike and special as well.
When Aries is tempered by water and air sign placements in a chart, there is a greater sensitivity and objectivity. However, the fresh and spring like sparkle remains. Indeed, it remains throughout the life. Even a 90-year-old Aries will have it. You can see that special look in their eyes: open, alert, eager for life, ready to try new things no one else has ever done before.
About the author:
Eleanor Buckwalter has studied, practiced and taught astrology in Los Altos, CA for more than twenty-five years, including three years with the late Richard Idemon, a psychological astrologer. Her primary astrological focus of interest is parent-child relationships and family dynamics.