Aries the Ram is the most fiery and aggressive of the four “cardinal” signs that open each season and thus embody beginnings. Aries month (March 20 – April 19) starts at 0° on the year wheel at the Spring Equinox, and many ancient cultures celebrated it as the New Year until Julius Caesar realigned the year to start in Capricorn, after the Winter Solstice. The ancient Celts called the Spring Equinox Ostara (source of "Easter"). It marks the day when the Earth goddess Bridhe, who married the sky god at Imbolc in early February, conceives the Sun Child who will be born nine months later at the Winter Solstice. The Hindu counterpart to this spring festival is called Gangaur because it celebrates the Great Mother (Maha Devi) in her aspect as Gauri, the nurturer, source of all vitality, fruition and increase.
The ancient Greeks celebrated the Adonia, the annual resurrection festival of Adonis, the beautiful doomed lover of Aphrodite, at the Full Moon following the Spring Equinox. The timing of Easter each year, on the Sunday following the Aries Full Moon, preserves this formula. Christians and everyone else have long marked at their great spring rite the time when the days now last longer than the nights, and divine light is in the ascendant.
Aries is the first of the three fire signs in the zodiac, and is ruled by Mars the Warrior, so April is the month when, as the Bible says, “kings go forth to war” before other kings can march against them first. The Aries personality, like the Ram who charges his rival head-on, is adventurous and brave, blunt and direct, full of youthful joie de vivre at its best, but at its worst prone to selfishness and foolhardy risk-taking. This is why, though Aries people are natural leaders, like Thomas Jefferson (April 13), they often lack the patience to make executive decisions. They excel in muscle occupations as soldiers and police, athletes and fire fighters, and as salespeople and entrepreneurs. And as it’s always been true that to succeed in show business you need courage as much as talent, Aries leads the field in actors, such as Russell Crowe (April 7), Omar Sharif (April 10), Alec Baldwin and Marlon Brando (April 3), Emma Thompson (April 15) and Charlie Chaplin (April 16).
Bette Davis (April 5), is a classic Aries type. She was so ferociously competitive that a clash with the equally determined Joan Crawford (March 23) was not a question of if, but how soon and how deadly. Davis knew the all-consuming Aries hunger to chase new challenges so insatiably that no triumph, however great, was ever enough. “No set goal achieved satisfies,” she said. “Success only breeds a new goal. The golden apple devoured has seeds. It is endless." While we have no idea on what day Alexander the Great was born, he’s always been considered the quintessential Aries in everything from his ram’s horn helmet to his headlong cavalry charges to his endless thirst for new battles and bigger adversaries. At its extreme, the Aries type can be like the redhead artistic genius, Vincent Van Gogh (March 30), who suffered from a debilitating mental illness; and Butch Cassidy (April 6), who may seem a kind of intuitive genius until his pride brings so much opposition that no ram, no matter how big its horns, can prevail against it. Like Nikita Khrushchev (April 17), with Stalin, the Aries can be brave enough to endure decades of atrocities.
An Aries on your team and in your love life offer the same thrills and spills. They can be as creative as Johann Sebastian Bach (March 21), who composed thousands of musical works and fathered twenty-two children, or as prolific as Peter Brook (March 21) and Joseph Campbell (March 26). Like Leonardo da Vinci (April 15) and Francis Ford Coppola (April 7), they may hatch a thousand brilliant ideas, but bring only a few dozen to fruition, because Aries are much better at starting things than at finishing them. This is why it’s essential to team them with others who can keep a job on track and bring it in on deadline and budget.
An Aries lover is for you if you can handle the combustive heat, the thirst for passionate adventure, and the chase for excitement and variety that an Aries expects even in a faithful marriage. If you’re a lazy lover, you may soon find him about as monogamous as Casanova (April 2), or as formidable as Erica Jong (March 26), author of Fear of Flying. “Take your life in your hands and what happens?” she wrote. “A terrible thing: no one to blame.” In their courage, Aries may know and feel freedom, all of it, its weight and its pleasures, better than anyone.
Aries is the sign of tremendous action and potential from March through June because Jupiter, the bringer of abundance, is in Aries now, bringing his hearty enthusiasm and expansion to everything he touches, and Uranus the revolutionary and magician enters Aries on March 12. This makes mid-March a great time for creative work, inspiration and brainstorming, as Mercury the communicator aligns with Jupiter then. Best get work done before the end of March, when Mercury goes retrograde and Jupiter opposes Saturn in Libra, putting a brake on ambitious new moves.
Want to know how the year ahead affects people born in your sign? Dan Furst has been a professional astrologer for thirty-three years. He is the author of Dance of the Moon, and his new book Surfing Aquarius will be published by Red Wheel Weiser in September. He lives in Peru, and does astrology and astrocartography readings for people all over the world by phone and Skype. You can reach him at 51 – 984 – 155622, email firstname.lastname@example.org. His astrology web page is Dan Furst Astrology Web Page.