We are born at a given moment, in a given place and, like vintage years of wine, we have the qualities of the year and of the season of which we are born. Astrology does not lay claim to anything more.
--Carl Gustav Jung--
(March 21- April 19)
Aries is the first sign of the zodiac. It's element is fire, its quality is cardinal. Cardinal signs not only initiate action, they also usher in the seasons. Aries is symbolized by the flying ram, which, in ancient mythology, was seen as a symbol of sacrifice. It is the sign of the Vernal Equinox when day and night are of equal length; it is a symbol of spring, of new beginnings, energy, and independence. It can be impulsive and daring. Aries possesses the characteristics of the ram and can become very headstrong and excitable. The fault most common to Aries nature is its tendency to scatter forces.
Fiery Mars, the fourth planet from the sun, is Aries' ruling planet. It is the planet of strength, drive, initiative, and passion. Mars is often referred to as the 'red planet' because it appears to the naked eye a deep red color; hence, because the ancients associated the blood red color with warfare, Mars is named after the Roman god of war. In Greece he was called Ares. He was the second most powerful god in early Roman mythology. His sons were Romulus and Remus who founded the city of Rome. Mars was also regarded as the protector of the city.
Thou sister world, red planet Mars,
How sweet you shine among the stars,
So distant in the deep blue skies,
Where nature's chiefest glories rise—
Your mellow light and nightly gleam
Reflected in our pool and stream;
Thy world, like ours, I'm pleased to know
Is capped with everlasting snow,
And that eternal ice lies there
Which partly melts in summer air,
From which bright streams and rivers now,
As in the earth so far below;
And there are lands and sparkling seas,
And grass and flowers and forest trees
Whose foliage, by thy ruddy sheen,
It seems is red instead of green—
The azure sky o'er arching all,
From which the rains of summer fall.
In mythology, Aries represents the ram with the golden fleece of the Ram that was sought by Jason and the Argonauts. Briefly, Phrixus and Helle were the children of Athamas, the legendary king of Thessaly, who afterward cast off his first wife to marry another. To help the children escape the displeasure of their wicked stepmother, Mercury sent a ram which took them on its back and vaulted up into the air, rushing off towards the east. In crossing the strait that divides Europe from Asia, Helle became frightened, lost her grip, and fell into the sea, the area of which was forever after known as the Hellespont.
Continuing his flight, the ram carried the boy to the ancient Georgian kingdom of Colchis which was located on the eastern end of the Black sea. In return for his kind reception, Phrixus sacrificed the ram and gave its golden fleece to the king of the country who hung it in the sacred grove of Mars/Ares under the guard of a sleepless dragon. Many years later, Jason gathered a band of young heroes, built the ship Argo, and set out on a voyage into unknown lands and seas in search of this golden fleece, a symbol of the daring boldness of the sign of Aries.
Ye have heard what stirring thoughts
Roused the venturous souls of old,
When Jason and his Argonauts
Sought the fleece of gold.
Many a gallant youth of Greece,
High in hope, went o'er the foam,
Weary sought the shadowy fleece,
Weary wandered home.
Brighter than old poet's dreams,
We have found the region blest,
By the Sacramento's streams,
In the desolate West.
We have heard the golden river,
Chiming with metallic sound,—
Rapturous music which doth ever
Make the spirit bound.
We have seen the level prairie
Sown broadcast with heavy gold,—
Found the glittering realm of Faery,
And the half not told.
Channels with its flakes are paven,
Sands are sparkling with its light,
And the luminous land is graven
With its ciphers bright.
'tis like dew upon the waste,
Here in scales and there in grains,
And the rocks are interlaced
With its ruddy veins.
Come, then, to these yellow sands,
Ye who drudge in sweat of brow,
And no more through barren lands
Urge the thankless plough.
Ye who ere the dawning rise
When the bell of the factory tolls,
Ye who blear and sear your eyes
Over glowing coals,—
To these golden shores repair;—
Who would grudge the time or toil,
When each mattock-stroke lays bare
Heaps of glorious spoil?
Ye whose names the law has scored,
Te on whom opinion rails,
Come where Justice drops her sword,
And Fortune loads her scales.
Tis a land without Bastiles,
Law or lawyer, priest or sage,—
Where time rings in with merry peals
Another golden age.
'Tis the grave of all degree,
Each man is his fellow's peer,
High and low, and bond and free, Change their places here.
Free from watch, and safe from warden,
Ye may wander where ye please,
And no dragon keeps the garden
Of the Hesperides.
James Drummond Burns