by Robert Wilkinson
Late March and April puts the spotlight on the Cardinal Fire sign Aries, where in the Northern Hemisphere we leap into a new Solar year with all the strength and speed symbolized by this energetic sign. This first sign of the zodiac shows it's time to cut loose and direct our energy and inspiration to new projects, relationships, and initiatives.
Aries indicates how we act swiftly on our most urgent imperatives. When Aries energies are present, it's time to generate momentum and embrace new ways with speed and radical self-sufficiency, bringing forth new seeds from the harvest of the past 12 months. If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s still a good time to generate momentum and new ways, but with an eye to the Autumnal harvest.
If you’re wondering how I reconcile the seemingly opposing energies between the hemispheres, when you’re done here please take a look at The Mirroring of the Northern and Southern Hemisphere Year Cycles in Astrology. It may help readers “down under” see how the important points of seasonal change, though opposite in physical manifestation, actually have similar challenges at each point of shift.
For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, Aries is the beginning or renewal of the light/life force. We now can learn to act autonomously with power and determination in highly effective ways. The Sun in Aries shines the light of wisdom on the principle of “economy of energy” in the various departments of our life and affairs.
So How Long Is the Aries Season This Year?
It’s the beginning of Spring, which began at the Vernal Equinox on March 20, 2016 at 3:29 am PDT, 10:29 pm GMT. The light force is growing and the days are getting longer in the Northern Hemisphere for the next 3 months while continuing to shorten in the Southern. This year the Aries activity began early when Mars entered Aries on Jan 27/28, and was strengthened when Venus entered Aries on February 3. March entered Aries March 13/14, followed by the Sun at the Equinox.
The energies of Aries will continue to dominate the landscape for a while. Even though the Sun is in Aries until April 19/20 when it enters Taurus, this year we have Mercury retrograding back into Aries on April 20, where it goes direct and remains in Aries until May 15/16. And of course, once Venus goes direct in a few days, it will re-enter Aries on April 28 and remain in that sign until June 6. That means Aries is a featured energy in the first half of 2017, since at least one planet is in that sign between late January and early June except for literally one day at the Inferior Conjunction!
Each year when the inner planets transit Aries they renew the truths and promises from the Jupiter in Aries pulses that began Summer 2010 and the first half of 2011. And of course, given that Uranus has been and will be in Aries for years, each year as the inner planets conjunct Uranus, we find a new level of collective awakening to new manifestations of that revolutionary planet expressing the dynamic inspiration of Aries. By studying the various inner planet conjunctions with Uranus since then, where they occurred in your chart, and what aspects they made, you can come to flashes of inspiration regarding the awakening of your individuality these past 7 years.
Aries is symbolically associated with the god of war, being quick to anger and equally quick to turn from battle and enjoy life in the moment. Mythologically, this sign of the Ram is in the axis of the Lover, or Relator. It is where we voluntarily enter into interactions with others on our own initiative and on our own terms.
This sign (along with its polar opposite, Libra) shows us the dance of relationship between self and others, the “I-Thou” lessons we learn as we interact with others along our life path. Where Aries falls in our chart, it shows the part of us willing to do something new and different, and act on it, even if impulsively. It is where we are able to “turn on a dime,” and redirect our energies into new initiatives.
Aries, when freed of the traps of impulsive behavior, egocentric judgments, and being too quick to anger and too quick to bail when they lose interest in something, show their world a dynamic self-reliance and pioneering vision that leads the way for others without concern over whether others follow or not. Aries is highly self-sufficient, quick to bring their total focus to situations, and loathes dishonesty and betrayal. With Aries, what you see is what you get, even if it’s entirely on their terms.
They are simply themselves in all circumstances. They cannot do anything except in their own way. They are action incarnate, and being the most “present tense” of all the signs, want to understand how to act, right here right now, to move things forward. If they don’t see what they can do to contribute to furthering an effort, they lose interest quickly and redirect to other activities.
The challenge for anyone with strong Aries energy is to be the best possible self and nothing less. This is shown by how fair, balanced, or gracious they are in their approach to others. Aries must learn diplomacy, and not react too quickly with blunt assessments or an eagerness to get into head butting.
Aries' initiative comes forth naturally, and instinctively embraces whatever is new and fresh. In fact, in our charts Aries shows us the way to be first in the areas of life it influences. When functioning in a healthy way, our Aries shows us the seeds of dozens of possible things where we can apply our energies to move what we want forward.
When Aries’ tremendous energy learns to slow down, consider other options, and not be so quick to take offense, this sign offers others a refreshing honesty and directness. Aries energies show everyone how to be themselves, taking the lead in the affairs of life without excessive equivocation or extraneous judgments interfering with their ability to act.
Think Thomas Jefferson, “Founding Father” and one of the four greatest American presidents. This pioneer crafted the American Constitution, created the University of Virginia, and bought the Louisiana territory in a daring and quick move that more than doubled the land area of this country, letting Congress argue about it after the fact.
Other pioneers in their field, or the first to lead us into a new vision of human possibilities, were Leonardo DaVinci, legendary inventor, philosopher, artist, and possibly the most important innovator in history, Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman on the Supreme Court, and Son House, blues pioneer and inspiration for Robert Johnson, Aries Muddy Waters, and Sag Jimi Hendrix.
Two bright Aries trailblazers in human rights were Cesar Chavez, who organized farm workers and became the living icon of their struggles for humane working conditions, and my old friend Vine DeLoria, in his words "the only doctor, lawyer, AND Indian Chief in history." Vine helped create the American Indian Movement, the international indigenous people's movement, and a body of law and lawyers that could someday help to correct the flagrant abuses and treaty violations of past US governments. RIP Vine - we all miss you.
Other innovators include Akira Kurosawa, the pioneering film director whose techniques and movies still serve as models for emulators many decades later, epic filmmaker David Lean, dance pioneer Arthur Murray, Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Sitar master Ravi Shankar, and Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy and promoter of the “Playboy lifestyle.”
Famous Aries in the political arena include President John Tyler, Uninaugurated President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore, First Lady Betty Ford, Ethel Kennedy, Otto Von Bismark, Nikita Khrushchev, Kofi Annan, John Major, and Colin Powell. I suppose we can also include NATO, conceived as an efficient and cooperative war machine, a fitting task for an Aries.
In the field of literature we have such distinguished names as Descartes, Henry James, Charlotte Bronte, Emile Zola, William Wordsworth, Robert Frost, A.E. (G.W. Russell), Henrik Ibsen, Tennessee Williams, Samuel Beckett, Washington Irving, Maxim Gorky, Eudora Welty, Thorton Wilder, Thorne Smith, Hans Christian Andersen, Thomas Dewey, Leo Buscaglia, Bob Woodward, Maya Angelou, Anne McCaffrey, and Gloria Steinem. In the art world we have Raphael, Vincent Van Gogh, Barbara Beretich, Goya, and the man who first drew Mickey Mouse, Ub Iwerks.
The film world features some of the greats of all time, featuring innovators like Charlie Chaplin, Francis Ford Coppola, Toshiro Mifune, Roger Corman, and Walter Huston.
Aries superstar actors include such legendary leading men as Spencer Tracy, William Holden, Gregory Peck, Marlon Brando, Steve McQueen, James Garner, Omar Sharif, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Warren Beatty, Billy Dee Williams, David Janssen, James Caan, Michael York, William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy.
Other timeless Aries film stars include Sir Michael Redgrave, Lon Cheney, Max Von Sydow, Ed Begley Sr., Rod Steiger, John Gielgud, Joel Grey, Chico Marx, Alec Guinness, Jack Webb, Ward Bond, Anthony Perkins, Karl Malden, Dirk Bogarde, Harold Nicholas, William Daniels, Dudley Moore, and Peter Ustinov.
Modern major league players feature Spike Lee, Quentin Tarantino, Alan Arkin, Eddie Murphy, Christopher Walken, Alec Baldwin, William Hurt, Robert Downey Jr., Russell Crowe, Eric Idle, Steven Segal, Matthew Broderick, Bud Cort, James Woods, Timothy Dalton, James Franco, Jackie Chan, Tim Curry, Adrien Brody, Dennis Quaid, Andy Garcia, Matthew Modine, Matt Doran, Ewan McGregor, Eric Roberts, Seth Rogen, Jonathan Brandis, Hayden Christensen, Avery Schreiber, Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen, Gary Oldman, Vince Vaughn, Vincent Gallo, Robbie Coltrane, Alex Pettyfer, and Haley Joel Osment.
There are so many famous Aries actresses they get their own special section. Timeless talents include Mary Pickford, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Doris Day, Barbara Hale, Debbie Reynolds, Gale Storm, Shirley Jones, Ali MacGraw, Julie Christie, Ann Miller, Marsha Mason, Haley Mills, Claudia Cardinale, Simone Signoret, Edie Adams, Jane Mansfield, Olivia Hussey, Vicki Lawrence, Rhea Perlman, Michael Learned, and Elizabeth Montgomery.
Contemporary female talent features Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Jessica Parker, Emma Thompson, Rachel Maddow, Lara Flynn Boyle, Cynthia Nixon, Christine Lahti, Keira Knightley, Claire Danes, Kate Hudson, Ashley Judd, Jennifer Grey, Lena Olin, Rosie O'Donnell, Diane Wiest, Marilu Henner, Linda Hunt, Ellen Barkin, Louise Lasser, Amanda Plummer, Bonnie Bedelia, Patricia Arquette, Sarah Buxton, Shannon Doherty, Jennifer Garner, Annabella Sciorra, Amy Smart, Julia Stiles, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Lucy Lawless, Emma Watson, Abigail Breslin, Melissa Joan Hart, Keri Russell, Alyson Hannigan, Krista Allen, Juliandra Gillen, Lucy Lawless, Brenda Song, Kirsten Storms, America Ferrera, Jennie Garth, Maria Bello, Candace Cameron, Ari Meyers, Paulina Porizkova, Amanda Bynes, Annie Wersching, Kristen Stewart, Michelle Monaghan, Elle Macpherson, Katee Sackhoff, Hedeaki Takizawa, Elle Fanning, Pauley Perrette, and Sarah Michelle Gellar. It is said that Aries looks 10 to 15 years younger than they are, and this beautiful bunch certainly prove that's true!
Outstanding male luminaries of the golden and silver ages of television include Buddy Ebsen, John Astin, Richard Chamberlain, John Cameron Swayze, Hugh O'Brian, Ivan Dixon, Chuck Connors, Henry (aka Harry) Morgan, Tony Dow, Don Adams, Frank Gorshin, Howard Keel, Philip Ahn, Gale Storm, Wayne Rogers, Gabe Kaplan, Gordon Jump, Lyle Waggoner, Peter Marshall, David Frost, David Cassidy, and Harry Reasoner, with a special nod to Joseph Barbera, cartoon creator.
Newer teevee male talent include major leaguers David Letterman, Conan O'Brian, Martin Short, David Hyde Pierce, Ken Howard, Craig T. Nelson, Zach Braff, Martin Lawrence, John Ratzenberger, Rick Schroder, Meshach Taylor, Austin Peck, Louie Anderson, Alan Sugar, William Daniels, and Nicholas Brendon.
Among musicians we have daring pioneers such as J.S. Bach, the first composer allowed to write in a minor key by the church, F. Josef Hayden, Beethoven’s teacher and the first composer to master the Classical style, and Leo Stokowski, the conductor who starred in “Fantasia,” the first animated feature. Other Aries greats in classical music are Sergei Rachmaninoff, Bela Bartok Modest Mussorgsky, and Arturo Toscanini.
A Sun in Aries shines out in some of the most famous blues pioneers, including Bessie Smith, Billie Holliday, Pearl Bailey, Sarah Vaughan, Muddy Waters, Mance Lipscomb, and Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown. Other Aries musical innovators include Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Tom Wilson, Carl Perkins, Herb Alpert, Henry Mancini, Dusty Springfield, Andre Previn, Herbie Mann, Steven Sondheim, Tony Williams, Joe Meek, Major Lance, Jan Berry, Hoyt Axton, Andrew Lloyd Webber, George Benson, , Leon Russell, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, Lowell George, Ronnie Lane, Jimmy Cliff, Rufus Thomas, Rudy Isley, Lester Chambers, Don Gibson, Frankie Laine, Merle Haggard, Roy Clark, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Teddy Pendergrass, Tiny Tim, Loretta Lynn, Astrud Gilberto, Rolf Harris, and Brill Building hitmaker Jeff Barry.
More modern Aries male musical stars include Eric Clapton, Herbie Hancock, Elton John, Ric Ocasek, Max Weinberg, Chris Franke, Steven Tyler, Ritchie Blackmore, Chester Bennington, Jack Casady, Malford Milligan, Dave Keuning, Steve Howe, Julian Lennon, Scott Moffatt, Luis Miguel Basteri, Patrick Carney, Paul Miles, Brendon Urie, Nick Hexum, Angus Young, Art Alexakis, Gary Moore, Jesse McCartney, and David Gavurin. A special nod goes out to Firesign Theater member Phil Austin.
Talented contemporary female performers include Emmylou Harris, Tracy Chapman, Norah Jones, Susan Boyle, Celine Dion, Chaka Khan, Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, Agnetha Faltskog, Hannah Spearritt, Janis Ian, Shemekia Copeland, Sharon Corr, Victoria Beckham, Stephanie Mills, Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson, Xuxa, Rachel Stevens, Mandy Moore, Leona Lewis, Liz McClarnon, Liz Phair, Joss Stone, and the newest arrival, Jackie Evancho.
Among philosophers and spiritual figures, we list such greats as Thomas Hobbes, who challenged Descartes (two Aries at philosophical war!), noted mythologist Joseph Campbell, and Richard Alpert (Baba Ram Dass), a 60’s pioneer in metaphysical explorations who brought the ageless wisdom to America in compassionate and powerful forms. This sign has produced several notable astrologers, including Dane Rudhyar, Sepharial, and in case you haven’t been around long, yours truly, the April Fool himself, Professor Robert.
A few pioneering or outstanding Aries sports figures include legends "Pop" Warner, Cy Young, Sonja Henie, Roger Bannister, Howard Cosell, and chessmaster Gary Kasparov.
Some more outstanding Aries personalities that rose to the top of their fields include Booker T. Washington, Harry Houdini, David Blaine, Clarence Darrow, Florenz Zigfield, Sally Rand, Wilbur Wright, Jane Goodall, Lowell Thomas, Joseph Pulitzer, Walter Winchell, King Yuri, Mr. Rogers, Marlon Perkins, Casanova, J.P. Morgan, Marcel Marceau, Abraham Maslow, Wehrner Von Braun, Oleg Cassini, Liz Claiborne, Sam Rodia, and Marvin Yagoda. Each of these was either unique in their efforts, or the first to do what they are remembered for, self-sufficient and standing firm whether others approved or not.
Here I will give a special note to “Earth Hour,” an Aries since it always falls on the last Saturday of March. True to the nature of Aries, it’s a great pioneering global initiative to decrease our carbon footprint on this fragile and very polluted Urth through demonstrating economy of energy, the quality of Pluto, the spiritual ruler of Aries.
Finally, a big birthday greeting goes out to the countries of Canada, England, Germany, Iceland, Japan (trad.), Lebanon, Lithuania, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Syria, and Wales.
There are no states ruled by Aries, but we send birthday wishes out to the cities of Birmingham, Blackburn, Leicester, Oldham (UK), Brunswick (Ger), Capua, Cracow, Florence, Galatia, Marseilles, Naples, Padua, Saragossa, Utrecht, Berkeley, Petaluma, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Pueblo, Stamford, Fort Lauderdale, Springfield, Wichita, Ann Arbor, Dearborn, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Mankato, Joplin, Great Falls, Henderson, Elizabeth, Paterson, Albuquerque, Binghamton, Ithaca, Syracuse, Utica, Durham, Portland (OR), Harrisburg, Erie, Nashville, Lubbock, Odessa, Oshkosh, and Wausau.
© Copyright 2017 Robert Wilkinson
(As with all the signs and their superstars across time, please forgive any omissions or errors. I use the best possible sources at my disposal, and am always open to input from my readers about people and places I've left out, or needed corrections. Most of the signs attributed to cities and countries comes from "The Rulership Book," 1971 Ed., by Rex E. Bills using traditional attributions, which may not reflect newer constitutional developments. When possible, I've given the sign of the incorporation date for cities, and the sign of acceptance into the union for a state.)