I am an original, unique idea bursting into the world; challenges delight me as I accomplish each of my goals
Before the emergence of duality – Creator and Creation – there was no need to distinguish this from that, me from you. In fact, of course it was meaningless because there was only One. Then, as the circle of diversity unfolds from out of the void, its first realization is that Identity must now exist. Aries is identity; Aries is first. Its assertiveness demands that it is in front, since without the first thing, there is nothing, and it is the job of Aries to start everything off. Since it comes into greater definition as it creatively establishes differences, its fundamental purpose is not to harmonize or merge, but to challenge and contradict. The violent eruptions and kneejerk impulse to attack are explained by the very imperative to survive as the very first being.
However, this defiant spirit soon learns that aggression and contrariness alone will never establish clarity of identity and the added dimension of direction is required so that a dynamic tendency becomes ever present. This creates a process of trial-and-error by which the super-abundant energy of emergent life-force is set in constant action. It shows as pioneering impulsiveness, a ‘do or die' approach, adventurous enthusiasm and courage, even fearlessness. Course directions change frequently and quickly – no problem for one with such vitality – according to feedback from both outer experiences and inner signals.
The combination of high energy, constant change, readiness to start something new, and the longing to know the uniqueness of personal identity leads to the attainment of wisdom. This is not traditional wisdom but the wisdom of rebirth – greeting every new moment with a freshness of approach. Sufis invoke this with the term Bismillah, which affirms a willingness to become a receptacle for the ever-renewed expression of light in each new instant throughout eternity. The Ram, as the Lamb of God, is a sign of resurrection.
The focus of attention is always centred internally, truly wrapped up in the existence and qualities of ‘I’. Nevertheless there is a profound awareness of ‘other’ too – occasionally even accepting a role as moral champion of the oppressed. It may often take the form of competition, or attempts to overpower yet, for all that, it is substantively reflective. Paradoxically perhaps, relationship is the essence of individuality. To be individual, one must be different – and that requires someone to be different from. The purpose of association is by no means limited to finding harmony and surrendering towards unification. It also serves to identify differences, since any failure to achieve, arising because of the resistance of another, will give pause, and from this arises self-reflection.
The struggle to exist, and the struggle to be individual, are the same, and acted out in the processes of involvements. As each new battle is survived, as each new connection is assimilated without loss of identity, something profoundly important develops. It is the faith that we actually exist as a worthy aspect of the whole. We may err on the side of over-expression of self, yet the goal is pure and valid. Self-confidence is a sacred celebration of divine blessing, which grows through interaction with another. Instead of seeking to be with others, reflectively to identify the self, we can reach up alone to the Source of inspiration, and receive the rewards of those who trust their own inner voice. Uncanny awareness of the subtle shifts in situations, coupled with a speed of intuitive response to opportunity, empowers Aries to create entirely new realities with unfettered confidence, catalyzing the emergence of new forms, new ideas, and new experiences.
Emergence Potentially, anyone can take advantage of every moment There are many opportunities to uncover the deeper self would we but release the truth Individual and community are mutually supportive aspects of each other Unselfconscious pursuit of selfish pleasure is an entirely valid path to joy Our skills, loyalties and values support us in our enthusiasm to soar to heights of self-realization Direction Without the gift of knowledge, then experience is meaningless Proficiency comes from living the path we choose, acting out our own will Half-hearted warriors die Perception of what is shapes what is to be Old ideals have to be embodied into new experiences so that knowledge evolves Attainment Leaders must sacrifice themselves to an ideal, and suffer the consequences of their imperfections Involvements lack meaning unless they lead eventually towards spiritual liberation When energy flows freely, the outcome is ultimately always good Appreciation of the highest aspects of life depends on the acceptance of the lowest Sanctifying ordinary things shows great personal wisdom and leads to harmony Reflection We must act as though we make a difference, even knowing that we don’t We must be utterly true to ourselves Two equal and opposing forces exist: pure impulse and conditioned response Mind has an infinite capacity to overview experience and use imagination as a magical process In the act of giving, spiritual nourishment is felt as joy Self-Confidence Conflict provides the grit we need to become stronger Vitality is made known by its appetite for new experiences Vitality does not find its exaltation in petty things Personal attainment is evidenced by the spiritual state of abundance We get what we want, or we will come to want what we get Proficiency Our life-path is the answer to the question: ‘at what am I competent?’ We constantly re-create our lives and characteristics out of our imagination The hardest lesson we eventually have to learn is detachment Having faith in the meaning of life, we articulate it through devotion When we trust in the cosmic order, then everything falls into place
With all creation stories, out of nothing something emerges, making real what previously existed only as potential; it has duality as its core principle, yet it is a single identity – in Astrology that is Aries. It thinks of itself as ‘I’, and strongly affirms self as the centre-point of reality. This affirmation triggers a response from the ‘non-self’ aspect of self, and there arises a polarity between non-self and self. In fact, what arises is the plurality of involvements with others, the collective non-self; this is the stuff of all life – relationship.
Whereas impetuous pursuit of self-interested pleasure is an entirely valid path to joy, our drives lead us towards self-realization only through processes of maturity and refinement, involving others. Life is the mirror that shows us who and what we are, and as individuals our first challenge is to find a way to be with this, by showing who we are within the context of relationship – rather obviously with others who are not us. The fact that they are not us has great consequence. Although the friction of this interplay increases as we struggle to become more unique, and we may find that socializing with others is both limiting and troublesome, it nevertheless is the backdrop of all existence and without it we can neither evolve nor express our unique qualities, because ‘I’ and ‘other’ are each aspects of the self and mutually supportive.
The willingness to struggle within society opens us to be pushed and pulled about, a process which can be quite unsettling until we fix our motivating direction. Yet when we find a clear target for our intention, we can learn how to juggle realities, pick up skills, tricks and wisdom, and renew our trust in the deeply-felt exuberant, joyful life-force that enables us to banish all self-doubt. We need to find our path, and become so competent that we take initiatives to shape not only our own future but also the collective vision of society.
Self and non-self are always competing, even within. ‘Polarity in dynamic equilibrium’ could be one useful definition – or at least description – of life itself. When we get distracted and lose focus, the further we go away from centre, the greater is the force that flips us back to the opposite polarity. Thus from a condition of self-proclaiming, we are flipped to more humility, and then back again towards confident self-expression, and so on indefinitely. We see this process very clearly with Aries, as it struggles to embrace self-confidence.
Attainment Aries 11 – 15 Lesser attainments – fame, fortune and position – typically rob us of true freedom, and the more enlightened Aries, rather than serve them, will use them as development tools. The urge towards freedom is so wrapped up at the core of our essential existence that it is irrepressible; this is because it is spirit itself acting through us. Yet within the context of a social setting, however we seek freely to discover and express our thoughts, feelings and aspirations, we find that we are just acting out an appropriate part of the community’s highest ideals. Equally, no matter how we serve others, we end up serving ourselves. Bringing this into awareness, and acting out freely all of the consequences, is a liberation most feared by society as a whole, yet most respected within an individual. It cannot be safely expressed except by one with a high degree of spiritual attainment. Evidence of this is found in how spontaneous we can be in refining and revealing our skills and wisdom. This includes choosing our focus of life clearly and finding a way to balance freedom against involvement.
It is important to understand that the awareness we give to our spiritual, social and physical environments defines us, so the focus of our attention must be very prudently directed. We can learn a lot about how to optimize this important life task by reflection. Reflecting on how nature works, and how natural processes generate the life-giving energy that creates abundance and fortune, and how well we are responding to that. Two equal and opposing forces that co-exist, pure impulse and conditioned response, must be held in balance – so we learn how to be utterly true to ourselves, and act as though we make a difference, even knowing that on a cosmic scale really we don’t. This leads us to question our identity and true worth, and we are stimulated to a greater refinement of being. A sense of resolution unfolds – we feel reconciliation with the inappropriate differences between outer purposes and inner feelings, which causes the friction and stress in our lives. One lesson to learn is the value of retreat. The hustle-bustle of daily life is good to shape and define us, and yet it is very helpful to take time out to assimilate and take possession of what has been experienced. The reward for this exercise in self-reflection is a broadening of outlook, a sense of expansion of personal freedom, and a shift in the level of our self-assurance. If the mind is occasionally nurtured with silent contemplation, it develops its capacity to overview experience and utilize imagination as a magical process. It is only through reflection that we come to understand that helping others is what brings us happiness.
Self-Confidence Aries 21 – 25 To defeat the dying of light, then we must have faith in life and in ourselves, together with an ardent outlook that welcomes new challenges. Such optimism is to be recognized as a force – in fact the outstanding force of life; it is equivalent to self-confidence. With it, whenever necessary, we can decisively take up a confronting stance, and come to terms with and everything in full mindfulness of how we may serve, and also be served, by whatever comes along. When we are fighting to survive – against an enemy or the dark vacuum suction of entropy – we may need to hide some secrets to protect our vulnerabilities from the force of social enquiry. We also need to develop a thick skin for the same reason so, if sensitivity to others is at a very low ebb, then that’s just the way it has to be. Yet self-confidence, fully expressed, leads to satisfaction, and satisfaction leads to further confidence, as we expand our horizons of expectation to greater levels of possibility.
Proficiency Aries 26 – 30
Exceptional abilities and wealth can be attracted when, through a refined contextualized self-confidence, we equip ourselves with the intellectual and emotional tools required for a successful life. Then just being ourselves is enough to call upon the world to align with our choices, and subsequently we can cope well with all events and bring them to a creative expression of who we are. Such psychological maturity bestows great presence, a commanding atmosphere, and willingness to become the absolute author of our own destiny. We look no more for popularity and social affirmation; such rewards are seen as transient and lacking in any depth of worth. The power and proficiency we have acquired are applied towards dramatizing visionary potentials in ourselves and others, because somehow the eternal celestial notes are heard to be sounding out life’s essential harmonies. There can be found a greater sense of sacredness in every aspect of life. This shows in that we do everything as well as we can, constantly reworking plans to improve outcomes, and being free from any need for approval or permission, having surrendered to an inner sense of what is meaningful to us.