The Aries Personality: An exploration of Symbols, Mythology, and Trends
Updated: Dec 12, 2020
Zodiac signs or rashis have always been popular. In everyday life, they are used to forecast daily, weekly or monthly fortunes and also define personality traits.
In the sky, the 12 zodiac signs from Aries to Pisces act as the background or environment in which the earth exists. Each of the zodiac signs or rashis is of 30 degrees in length and is unique in terms of symbols, elements and relationship with planets. The following are the 12 zodiac signs:
1- Aries- rules the head/animal symbol-the ram (big horn sheep)
2- Taurus, 3- Gemini, 4- Cancer , 5- Leo, 6-Virgo, 7- Libra, 8- Scorpio,
9- Saggitarius, 10- Capricorn, 11- Aquarius, 12- Pisces
Why look at Zodiac signs
There are many reasons to study and understand zodiac signs in astrology. First, zodiac signs shape personalities. They have been relied upon to understand human life and behavior. Each sign symbolizes a vital phase of life experience, an archetypal segment of the whole, as well as a basic personality type. (See Charles and Suzi Harvey, Principles of Astrology, 1999).
Second, zodiac signs influence planets. (e.g. astrological readings will involve assessments based on planet in signs like Saturn in Capricorn or Jupiter in Aries etc.) Zodiac signs are like the filters in the sky and when planets are placed in a zodiac sign, the planet reflects its own qualities/potential through the sign filters.
Planets in a particular sign will either be empowered or obstructed depending on the compatibility between the two. The analysis of planetary placements/strength in an individual chart revolves around this relationship of planets and signs. (For more details see Why look at Zodiac Signs, 8th House, https://www.8thhouse.org/post/why-look-at-zodiac-signs).
Aries is the first sign in the zodiac belt. In trying to decipher the true nature of Aries, the following points will be given importance (a few of the following points will be explored in other posts);
1. It is the first sign in the zodiac
2. The animal associated with Aries is the Ram- a big horn sheep
3. Aries is ruled by the planet Mars
4. As per general rules of astrology, the planet Saturn is obstructed in Aries (called debilitated because of incompatibility between nature Aries and nature of Saturn- will explore this in the discussion to follow)
5. As per general rules of astrology, the planet Sun is empowered here (exalted because of the compatibility between nature of sign and nature of Sun).
6. Three nakshatras that fall in the zodiac of Aries- Ashwini, Bharani and Krittika (for Bharani see previous post Sexuality and Reproduction in the World: A Look at Uranus in the Constellation of Bharani, 2020. https://www.8thhouse.org/post/bharani-nakshatra-sexuality-and-reproduction-in-the-modern-world)
Let us explore the first two points here to get to know the sign of Aries.
The First Sign: Uniqueness of Aries
Being the first sign in the zodiac belt its core energy is the initiatory impulse. The energy of initiation and expression is viewed as a dominant trait for Aries. Das Gorvani gives a list of significations for Aries (See Das Gorvani, Karakas (used in Vedic or Hindu Astrology, 2014)
Adya- first cause of manifestation, Bud about to flower, Eager to explore new lands
Energy for manifestation, Goal oriented , Motion, Preoccupation with a goal, Eager to express, Vitality
Charles and Suzi Harvey call it the thrusting and raw energy. Because rulership of Aries is with Mars (planet of fire and passion) it is defined as being daring, optimistic and sometimes foolhardy. The Martian energy in the sign of Aries also gets the sign associated with war, millitary pursuits, guns, conflict. Mars being the commander in chief amongst the planets, gives similar qualities to its sign of Aries. (See previous post Belonging to the Collective discussing the possible effects of Uranus in Aries including the dawn of an age of individual leadership, new projects and breakthroughs in medicine and treatment, new war methods, strategies and millitary technology. https://www.8thhouse.org/post/belonging-to-the-collective-influence-of-generational-planets)
Aries Symbol- the Ram
Aries in Latin is referred to as the Ram. The Ram is the animal symbol for Aries. The Ram is a male sheep with curled horns that lives in the mountains.
The big horns are a sign of status and of use as weapons in battles in the mountains. (See Live Science, https://www.livescience.com/27724-rams.html). During battles, the ram's rear up on their hind legs, and hurl themselves at each other in charges of some 20 miles an hour. The resounding clash of horns can be heard echoing through the mountains as the confrontation is repeated—sometimes for many hours—until one ram submits and walks away. (See Big Horn Sheep, National Geographic Channel,
An exclusive description on their strength is that ram's can maintain a speed of 15 miles per hour while going uphill. The Ram's association with speed, power and determination has popularized the animal in many contexts. On speed, an interesting analogy was drawn by Lallensack when he described the performance records of the team Los Angeles Rams who were designated as the fastest team in the National Football League in 2018, with a team average pace of 13.32 miles per hour...(See Rachael Lallensack, Ten Fun Facts about Rams- the Animals, https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/ten-fun-facts-about-rams-animal-180971375/)
The above two accounts around the animal symbol make the Aries zodiac about speed, power, dominance, agility, battle, determination, and leadership. Other fascinating accounts on the Ram- symbol of Aries come from mythology and scientific advancements.
Discoveries and Research
In 2019, a post on the the National Geographic webpage read as follows- More than 130 years after its discovery, scientists just got their first high-tech peek at the unexpected crystal structure inside the Ram's Horn.
The story of the Ram's Horn being referred to in the 2019 post goes back to 1887. In 1887, the largest sample of wire gold was found. It was named as the Ram's Horn because the gold wire split into two curling tendrils (like the Ram's horn). Since its discovery, the horn has been in the news for its rarity and economic and research value. Many have been curious and invested in deciphering the structure of the golden horn. The Ram's Gold Horn currently is in Harvard's Mineralogical and Geological Museum. (See Maya Wei-Haas, This is the world's rarest form of gold. New clues are revealing why, 2019. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2019/05/worlds-rarest-form-natural-gold-reveals-secrets/). Experts in the field view that the Ram's Gold Horn can lead to new findings about the use of gold in metal- dependent technology.
In mythology: Gods and Legends
In ancient texts, the Ram was a fire symbol and emblem of solar energy, associated with Sun and sky gods and also masculine virility. The spiral of the ram's horns representing thunder. (See Signs and Symbols: An Illustrated Guide to their meanings and symbols, DK Penguin Random House, 2019.)
More popular accounts are of the Egyptian Gods. E.g. Amon, God in Egypt was represented in human form and also as a ram (2008–1957 BCE). Amon was the patron of the Pharaoh's having a high stature and also worshipped in temples. A description on Amon says he was protective and represented the oppressed. (See Amon: Egyptian God, Britannica, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Amon). Another source says, the name of Amon means the hidden one, invisible, mysterious of form, and unlike most other Egyptian gods, he was considered Lord of All who encompassed every aspect of creation. Unlike other Gods of the time he was called the obscure one. A god who personified the mysterious hidden nature of existence, however, could lend himself to any aspect of that existence; and this is precisely what happened with Amun. Being the "hidden one", he was linked to no definable natural phenomenon or principle, "the self-created one" and the "King of the Gods" who had created all things, including himself. (See Joshua J. Mark, Amun: Ancient History Encyclopedia, https://www.ancient.eu/amun/).
Other Gods- Khnum the Egyptian God is said to have served as a creator deity, who was thought to use a potter’s wheel and primordial mud to manufacture living beings and objects alike. ( See Ram Headed God, John Hopkins Archeological Museum, https://archaeologicalmuseum.jhu.edu/the-collection/object-stories/ancient-egyptian-amulets/ram-headed-god/ ) Other accounts state that the head and the horn of the ram were symbolic of activity and creative energy, the initiation into the secret mysteries, and the sign of their royal power. (See Symbolism of the Ram, Gnostic Warrior, https://gnosticwarrior.com/ram.html) .
Mythological accounts add the following qualities to the sign- legends, regal, creative, divine, and mystical.
Aries in the astrological chart
The following significations can be seen when Moon, Sun or/and Ascendant are placed in the sign of Aries.
1. Willingness to conquer outer and inner fears/forces (American Expedition- the bighorn sheep climbs mountains and is always aware of danger, but also aware that opportunities will arise when you conquer your fears and reach for new heights. https://forum.americanexpedition.us/bighorn-sheep-facts)
2. Ability/talent to rise to prominence and stature
3. Creation of new ventures
4. Personality driven
5. Focused on self expression
6. Masculine and assertive- whether man or woman
7. Frustrated when obstructed by rules, walls, and restrictions. (makes sense why Saturn the planet of restrictions and delays is unhappy in Aries).
8. If afflicted or obstructed through other combinations in chart, Aries becomes passive aggressive
All in all, exploring the sign of Aries through its symbols and relationships can reveal a lot about its true nature. Like the stories of the Gold Horn and the Egyptian Gods highlight the hidden potential of Aries to create from void/nothing.
Are you an Aries driven person?
Are you using your Aries power for the betterment of all?
Do you need a little of Aries in your life?
Photo/Art- Rupinder Sodhi