Astrological Archetypes with Avalon100
Mythology of Aries
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Aries in his chariot.

Aries, the first sign of the Zodiac, is the most eager and energetic of the sun signs. Aries cries out in his own way, me first!! as he bursts fully into the scene, taking second seat to no one. It was during the Age of Aries that the Great Goddess was dethroned and the Patriarchy established the I AM sign. It is no coincidence that the monotheistic God of Judaism, Christianity and Islam referred to himself as I AM when Moses asked Him what His name was. Aries represents the power of the individual ego emerging from the collective consciousness. Aries is in every way the screaming, astonished baby entering this plane and is forever thrusting his way through life. Mars, the god of war, rules Aries. It is from the rulership of Mars that Aries gets much of its reputation for thoughtless aggression. The Greek word for Mars is Ares, a word sometimes mistakenly used to refer to Aries, but it is unrelated.

The emerging Arian personality is fearless and energetic in asserting his/her ego and often that means doing battle with anyone who stands in the way of self-elevation. The need for autonomy can be so great that there can seem to be threats even where none exist. The bottom line is Arians live their lives looking for adventure, drama and most importantly, new beginnings. They need constant motion. And if things start running too smoothly, too uneventful, they will set off on another adventure.

Babylonian astrologers did not use the Ram as the symbol for Aries. They used the Hireling, which symbolized a farm worker or manual laborer, as the first sign of their Zodiac.

The ancients did not recognize the daily cycle as beginning at midnight or even at sunrise, as we do. They observed the new day as beginning at sunset. This custom is still observed in Jewish and Muslim cultures. The evening rising of Aries would have occurred during the month the Nile flooded, the month of Libra. It was the sacred time of Amon-Ra, who was associated with the Sun. It is during this time that the Sun is exalted. In ages to come, it would be the time when Christians would celebrate Easter, which is in tune with Aries being a time of spiritual rebirth and a time when resurrection from death is celebrated. Winter ends and the earth bursts forth with new life as trees and plants that long appeared dead are seemingly resurrected.

Aries fell under the protection of Pallas Athene, who represents the female, as well as the progressed quality of Aries. Warned by Gaia, his grandmother, the Mother Goddess, that the unborn child who was about to be born to him would overthrow him, Zeus, in a panic, swallowed Meta, the mother, and the unborn child still within her. As time passed Zeus became plagued with a persistent pounding headache. So intense was the headache that he went to Hephaestus (Vulcan) and asked him to forge a hammer so he could split his head open and end the suffering. With the first split of his skull, Pallas Athene emerged full grown, dressed in armor and swinging her sword.

As sister to Aries, Pallas Athene considered herself his equal, but she was critical of him. He made unwise decisions or would aggressively charge into a situation without thought. Occasionally she had to rescue him. Pallas Athene was the goddess of war and wisdom. She introduced the loom and other domestic tools and was the patron of the art of weaving. Wool, of course, was the best material to use, an important reason for the ram as the symbol for Aries.

The mythology of Aries begins with the children of King Athamas, Phrixus and Helle. The children were about to be sacrificed on a mountaintop by their father to appease the gods, however it was not the gods who were in need of appeasing, but their stepmother, who wanted them sacrificed so that her own children would become the only heirs to the kingdom. As they were about to be sacrificed, a winged ram with a golden fleece appeared and told them to climb on his back. He began flying to the land of Colchis, where they would be safe from their parents. However, before they safely landed, Helle fell off and landed in the sea.

The ram was later sacrificed and the gold colored magical fleece was given to the King of Colchis for safekeeping. The quest of returning the Golden Fleece to its rightful home fell onto Jason, the son of a deposed king, who was raised in the wilderness by Chiron. With the promise of his uncle to restore him to his rightful place on the throne when he returned with the Golden Fleece, Jason assembled the twelve heroes of the day (Hercules included) and organized them into a team that sailed through many obstacles and perilous adventures as described by Homer.

Jason quickly learned that the Fleece would not easily be possessed, but that he must perform a heroic task to gain possession of it. He prayed to Aphrodite for help and she sent her son, Eros (Cupid), who shot Jason with one of his love arrows. He fell in love with the next woman he saw, who just happened to be Medea, the daughter of the King of Colchis. Medea, shot by a second arrow, fell in love with Jason and together they complete the task. Colchis, however, would not give up the Fleece and a great battle ensued. Medea, married to Jason, stood with him against her family and in the battle she lost her father, brothers and cousins. In the end, Jason took possession of the Golden Fleece and returned to Greece in triumph.

Once home, Jason grew restless again and abandoned his wife, Medea, and his children. He turned his amorous attention to the Princess of Corinth. Dismissed as no longer important to Jason, after forsaking her family for him, Medea killed Jasons new lover and then killed the children born to her and Jason. The Arian native, like Jason, must learn to sacrifice his restlessness and desire for new conquests and settle down with one mate.

Arians tend to fall into lust spontaneously, but they dont seem to have the ability to put their feelings into words. They tend to be aggressively confident in the business world, a true ram pushing their way so that nothing prevents them from progressing, but at home, they are like the meek lambs who are docile and seem to lack any drive at all.

In the first labor or Hercules, this Arian hero had to pass through the twin columns at the Gate of Duality into the realm of Delusion and capture the wild mares of Diomedes. Hercules rushed in without a plan and soon realized he was doomed to failure. He called upon his friend, Abderis, to help him and together they devised a plan to capture the horses. Once tethered, Hercules lost interest and went on to his next adventure, leaving Abderis there to bring the horses back through the Gates of Duality. But Abderis was not fearless like Hercules and the mares sensed this. They broke free and trampled him to death, escaping deeper into the realm of Delusion (the subconscious).

There are several themes in this story of Hercules and Abderis, but one of the most important ones is the connection between the first house (absorbed in self) and the opposing seventh house (reciprocity), where Venus (Aphrodite) rules. The self-absorbed Hercules never considers that not everyone possesses the same powers and abilities he has. He assumed Abderis had the same ability as he and after telling him what to do Hercules rushed off to his next adventure. Abderis was mortal and as such knew he had limitations that fell far short of abilities of Hercules possessed. Sadly, Abderis had to die to teach Hercules the value of teamwork or of working along with another being to get something accomplished. We really do need to learn to work together, because we really do depend on each other for so many things in life.

In the Book of Genesis, Abraham is commanded by God to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. Dutifully, Abraham withdraws from the tribe and goes off to a mountain and proceeds to offer him as a live sacrifice. At the last moment, intervention occurs and a ram appears from out of nowhere. This ram was sacrificed in place of Isaac and Isaac went on to be the leader of his tribe and the father of Jacob, whose sons became the chiefs of the twelve tribes of Israel.

The Arian archetype is easily bored and seeks new adventure. There is a constant attempt to break free of the fathers control or what Aries perceives as control, a need to be free of servitude. The Arian archetype does not recognize the female part of the self and the male dominant rules supreme. Arian men cannot seem to get to know the women in their lives and consequently always seem to have trouble with these women.

The Arian woman has trouble with her mother usually, because she is, first and foremost, her fathers daughter and becomes his defender because of some deep wound he has incurred. She will likely perceive other women as weak and will more likely pursue avenues of power and authority usually reserved for men. If she is unable to do this, she will tend to feel trapped, blame her state of feeling on her children/husband/parents and with an unhealthy way to express her nature, will become depressed or engage in behavior that will seem reckless. She can become abusive and withdrawn.

In medical astrology Aries is associated with the head and Arians are not uncommonly headache sufferers. It is also not uncommon for intellectually creative people tend to have headaches before their intellect releases its creation. It is suspected that the headaches occur because they are literally bursting at the seams with creativity and there is no place for the energy to be released. Many of the great writers, musicians and artists suffered from depression and headaches. It is possible that Mercury or Uranus are making Arian or Martian aspects at this time.

Secondly, Mars is associated with headaches because of the negative side of his characteristics, fearfulness, cowardice and raging temper. When anger is not released it is built up and results in raging headaches. It is therefore therapeutic to work through feelings of fear, since anger and rage can be natural outcomes to feelings that begin in fear. A good therapist can help them discover the basis of specific fears and help them to make the life enhancing changes that will lead to a more peaceful life.

As, in the Age of Aries, when the matriarchy or feminine rulership was overpowered and overshadowed by the masculine and the paternal lines of power that usurped all rulership, an exalted Mars in Aries tends to look down on women as inferior. A true Aries will always be seeking the adrenaline rush and there is a tendency to seek the thrill of adventure in work and in play. Skydiving, rock climbing, racing and such draw the Martian drive of the Arian, and in work, they are the ones most likely to want to go where no man has gone before. Lesser intellectually aggressive types will cheat on their spouses, their taxes, or engage in other destructible behavior that provides the thrill of the moment, in a continuous pattern until they reach the Abderis relationship in their lives. It is significant that a life long pattern is difficult to break and indeed for some, unbreakable. The thrill of doing something that will cause them great pain if they get caught, may not be enough to stop them, even if they are caught several times and suffer terribly because of it. Faulty thinking, which can become our default thinking pattern will actually keep a person from making the transition that is needed to get beyond the Abderis tragedies without intensive therapy.

Mercury (Hermes) also plays a role in the mythology of Aries. Hermes was Aries charioteer and his protector. When needing protection, Aries is presented as a gentle lamb in a state of innocence. Hermes was the good shepherd who, when followed, would lead to safety. The Romans built statues of Hermes with the lamb curled up at his feet or of him carrying the lamb. These statues crossed over into later centuries taking on updated meanings to Christians depicting Jesus, the Good Shepard, and Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals.

Pluto also has an interesting impact on Aries. When in the first house or very close to the Arian sun, Pluto will behave as though exalted and have a great deal of magnetism. It tends to bring an arrogant self-confidence that will cause the native to believe that s/he can endure anything: the familiar it wont happen to me syndrome.

Aries is definitely not in touch with his feminine side. A traditional Hercules, Xena type, they are totally masculine in their aggressiveness and tend to see women as weak, subservient and existing only to serve their needs or the needs of the superior male. They can end up having problems with women all their lives and even find themselves in relationships with women who eventually are driven to seek justice, if not revenge.

Aries is usually connected to the physical aspect of a person and not generally associated with intellectual prowess, however, when Mercury (intellect or knowledge), Uranus (sudden insight or sudden realization), or Pallas Athene (wisdom) is located in Aries in the natal chart, there can be an overbearing intellect. This intellect is focused and passionate.

Aries is recognized as the first sign of the Zodiac and rules the first house, so any planet or visiting sign must take into consideration the presence of Aries. Its keyword is I AM. It is the beginning of all awareness of the physical and intellectual aspects of the individual. Esoterically, it is the sign of emergence as well as the sign of completion. We begin with a quest to know ourselves like infants bursting forth from the womb with unbridled Arian aggressiveness and we come to complete self-knowledge with the Pallas-Athene intellect.

If you are an Aries and cannot identify with much of what is said concerning the attributes of Aries, you are living your life at the Libran polarity or you may have several planets in your seventh house, or Venus is particularly strong in your chart.


Mythic Astrology: Archetypal Powers in the Horoscope: Ariel Guttman and Kenneth Johnson
The Only Astrology Book You Will Ever Need: Joanna Martine Woolfolk
Mythology: Edith Hamilton
Asteroid Goddesses: Demetra George