The Story of Aries
There are myths relating to this constellation as far back as the
ancient Babylonians, Egyptians, Persians and Greeks. In one variation
of the Greek myth, Phrixus and Helle were the son and daughter of King
Athamas, son of the god of the wind and the cloud goddess Nephele. It
was Nephele's custom to disappear during the hot summer months. After
many years of this, Nephele did not come back. Eventually, Athamas took
a new wife, Ino, who was the daughter of the King of Thebes. They had
two more children, but Ino grew jealous of the two older children. she
decided to stab them to death in their sleep one night. In the morning,
to her horror, she discovered that she had killed her own children.
To save Phrixus and Helle, Nephele sent a supernatural ram with a golden
fleece to fly them from Greece north towards the Black Sea. The brother
and sister clung to his back as he flew them across the water.
When they reached the straits connecting the Aegean Sea to the Sea of
Marmara, Helle was unable to hold on any longer. She fell into the sea
and was drowned. The Greeks named that spot
Hellespont in her honor. Today it is called the Dardanelles.
Phrixus was carried safely to the other shore to a place called Colchis.
Once there, the golden ram declared that his work was done and that
Phrixus should sacrifice him to Zeus and remove his golden fleece. Zeus
put the brave and generous ram in the sky as the constellation Aries.
It does not shine very brightly because it no longer has its golden fleece.
Phrixus presented the fleece to Aeetus, King of Colchis. He hung it in
the sacred Grove of Ares, where it was guarded by a dragon who never
slept. It was said to be so brilliant that it bathed the surrounding
countryside in golden light and had the power to restore life to the
dead. Later, Jason and the Argonauts would steal it and return it to Thessaly.
Aries in Astrology
The energy of Aries is strong and courageous. As the first sign of the zodiac,
it is associated with fresh new beginnings. It's not too great at finishing
anything, though. When planets move through the sign of Aries, they infuse us
with boundless energy that we use to dash impulsively from one new project to
Image Credit: Bryce Richter, UW-Madison
Aries stirs up a sense of passionate adventure in us. The type of
adventure we're after depends on the nature of the planet that is
traveling through it, but no matter what it is, we chase it with
confidence and gusto.
Turning ideas into action is what Aries is all about.
Too much of this energy can generate feelings of aggression, even
violence. Too much Aries energy can also make us feel arrogant,
boastful, egotistical, and intolerant. It is difficult to hold the
Aries energy back. It is a time of champing at the bit while we have
to wait for what we want. You can accomplish a great deal during
these transits if you use your Aries energy wisely.
Natural House: First
Energy: Yang (+) Masculine
Traditional Ruler: Mars
Modern Ruler: Mars
Exaltation: The sun
Key word: Impulsive
Key phrase: I Am!
Part of the Body:
The Head, Face, and Brain
Aries in the Sky
Constellation Art from Stellarium
The ecliptic is the earth's path around the Sun. The celestial equator
is an imaginary extension of earth's equator projected out into space.
Each year, on about March 21st, the Sun is directly over earth's equator a the
point where the ecliptic crosses the celestial equator.
This point is known as the Spring or Vernal Equinox. During ancient
times, this point coincided with the beginning of the constellation of
Aries. Thus, it became known as the First Point of Aries.
The First Point of Aries is still used in calculating the Right Ascension
position of celestial bodies. Right Ascension is the celestial equivalent of
longitude. Due to the fact that the earth takes slightly more than 365
days to complete its orbit around the Sun, the point where the ecliptic
and the celestial equator cross slides backwards a bit each year. This
is known as precession.
It will take roughly 23,000 years for the earth
to once again cross the celestial equator at the original First Point of
Aries. The Vernal Equinox currently occurs in the constellation of
Pisces. Aries, nonetheless, is still considered the symbolic first
constellation of the Zodiac.
Aries is the Latin word for Ram. The brightest star in the
constellation, Hamal, translates from the Arabic to "the lamb" and
points to the head of the sheep. The second brightest star, Sharatan,
marks the second horn. Aries lies between Pisces to the west and the
Big Dipper to the east. It can be seen from October to February.