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'Aries' from 'Urania's Mirror or, a view of the Heavens' (1824)
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The Myths and Legends of Aries
The Stars
The Sun in Astrology
Mars, Ruler of Aries
The Flowers of Aries
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The Myths and Legends of Aries
Ancient Babylon
As the sign of springtime and of new beginnings, the zodiac's leader, Aries, the great ram, led the
flocks of stars across the ancient Babylonian skies. Its main star, Hamal, was known there as the
'Star of the Flocks' and 'the Proclaimer of the Dawn'.
Aries represents the original, creative, independent spirit, and the Ram was indeed worshipped as
such in Egypt, where it was sacred to the king of the gods, Ammon, and in Greece, where it
belonged to Zeus. In Israel it was sacrificed to Jehovah. Not only is it the first, and so the pioneer
and leader of the zodiac, it is also a fire sign, ruled by Mars, the god of war.
The Supernatural Ram and the Golden Fleece
In Greek legend, it was the flying, supernatural ram which could both speak and reason, and its
famous Golden Fleece, hanging in a sacred grove, became the treasured prize of Jason and the
Argonauts, who won it with the help of the great sorceress and herbalist, Medea. In Greece and
Egypt, it was a symbol of the original, divine, creative spirit. It lies between Taurus and Pisces on
the zodiac band.
The Stars
As the constellation of spring and the beginning of the year, Aries led the flocks of stars across the
skies, and its most important star, Hamal, was known in Babylon as the Proclaimer of the Dawn
and the Star of the Flocks.
To Locate
Aries, which is best seen looking south in autumn and winter in the northern hemisphere, is a
springtime constellation south of the equator, lying to the north. It lies between Pisces and Taurus
on the zodiac band, and below Andromeda, with Cetus to the south.
The Sun in Astrology
Just as the sun in the sky is the center of the solar system, the Sun in astrology is the central nucleus
of your personality. If each of the planets circling round the sun represents a single facet of your
personality - Venus describes how you love and Saturn how you relate to responsibility, for
example - then the Sun is the conductor of your personal orchestra, giving meaning and coherence
to the wholeness that is you. It is the part of yourself that you identify with, your sense of self. Its
sign - your sun-sign - and house position, as well as the aspects that it makes to other planets,
describe your true potential; the 'you' you are deep down and are striving to express, as well as your
will, your goals and purpose. While the feminine Moon represents your Soul, the masculine Sun
represents your Spirit. Its position in your chart also shows the ways in which your outlook has
been influenced by your father.
The Sun in Aries
Whatever other facets of your personality your chart reveals, with the Sun in Aries, you have a fiery
pioneering nature, which colors your whole outlook on existence. As Aries is the first sign of the
Zodiac, you like to take the lead - and you often do - as you are brave, adventurous and
forward-looking. But you can easily grow bored and restless, as what you excel at is initiating new
ideas and projects and seeing them through is not your strongest point. Your temper also runs on a
short fuse, but you have more than your fair share of energy and joie de vivre, and keeping up with
you can be hard for less imaginative and fiery people. The future, not the past, is what concerns you
and you have no time for outworn attitudes and dull conventions. You never stand on ceremony
with others and you always speak your mind, regardless of the outcome, as you believe in honesty
and truth. But your fiery nature and direct approach can get you into trouble, as you can be
headstrong and rush in where angels fear to tread. But your courage, energy - and innocence usually ensure that you emerge unscathed and ready to move on and conquer new horizons.
Mars, Ruler of Aries
In Myth and Legend
Mars, the Roman god of agriculture, virility and war, was the father of the twins, Romulus and
Remus, the founders of Rome who were suckled by a she-wolf. He represented the life force and
was a symbol of masculine power. The Red Planet named after him was also known as Nergal, the
god of fire and war, in ancient Babylon.
His love affair with Venus, goddess of love and beauty, was celebrated in both ancient Greece and
The wolf and the woodpecker are sacred to him.
Mars in Astrology
The fiery and dynamic planet, Mars, rules your will power, sexuality and drive. Its sign and house
position, as well as the links it makes to other planets, show your energy and motivation. It is the
action planet, revealing where, and how, you are assertive, as well as your courage - and aggression.
It also rules your sex drive and your general libido.
In a woman's chart it shows what kind of man she is drawn to.
In a man's chart it also describes his type of masculinity.
The Flowers of Aries
Flowers of the mountains and wild places, such as bright, golden broom and thorny gorse, the royal
blue mountain gentian, with its martial, spiky leaves, the wild pink cyclamen and the Anemone, or
wind flower, blown by the spring breezes, belong to Mars, and so to Aries. Your trees are hawthorn,
or may, ash and frankincense, and warm, spicy herbs, such as ginger, pepper, coriander and basil
are also ruled by energetic, fiery Mars. Your essential oils are coriander, ginger and frankincense,
which warm and soothe, bringing out your natural optimism, generosity and courage.
The Jewels of Aries
Aries is the zodiac's pioneer and courage, both physical and mental, strength and an indomitable
and enterprising spirit, are its best-known qualities. The diamond, the 'king gem', is traditionally
assigned to a Aries and has long been thought to give strength, fortitude and courage to its wearer.
It is also known for its transparency and purity, which reflect the forthrightness, honesty and
innocence of Aries.
In India, the diamond brings power, friends, riches and good luck, while in the West, 'a diamond is
forever' - the symbol of loyalty and harmony between lovers. The ruby also belongs to Aries and its
vivid, sparkling redness reflects - and brings out - the passionate and courageous side of Aries.
Copyright Catherine Tennant, from 'The Box of Stars,
a Guide to the Night Sky and to its Myths and Legends'.
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