In Part 1 of Aries, I claimed this energetic, leading sign to be the victim of loneliness, depression and death. This doesn’t have to be Aries‘s fate, but it is a severe sentence I’m standing up for.
I realized before starting Part 2 that I just unintentionally described the journey of General-turned-gladiator Maximus from Gladiator, played by (perhaps not so coincidentally) Aries Russell Crowe.
Loneliness seems to be the prescription for a sign that looks like he’s fine without you, because he’s in the thick of action. Take the leading General who puts everything into fighting while using the love of his family as momentum. Each day apart from his loved ones is keenly felt, each victory won only expanding the emptiness inside. Aries and the idea of “independence” is a myth; a cruel one that takes this potent sign for granted. Aries is not independent at all. And this is no inadequacy, but a gift.
Independence involves a lack of dependency, and this sign is more dependent on spectators than Leo, the theatrical sign. Performance isn’t about drama so much as it’s about action — you can only understand the urge to perform through the more primal urge for action. Hence, it’s called “act”-ing. People with an emphasized Mars (action planet that represents Aries) are often the fiercest performers, whether on the field, in the classroom or on the stereotypical stage. These people will get into their body to move the mountain, using not just sheer strength but every morsel of flesh, fiber and blood they have. Mastering that test, hitting a home run or knocking the tiger out in the arena looks effortless to you, because it’s natural for this person to give their all. Be sure they feel the weight of every push.
And this weight builds, because it’s full of purpose. No man or beast moves without reason; even an innocent stretch carries the objective to relieve tension. Action is meaning in disguise, the raw thrust for self-fulfillment. Mankind used to associate this self-fulfillment with survival, but Aries — the first expression of a zodiac that emerged alongside the rise of human civilization — stands for the NEW MAN, the man awakened to the possibility for greater, more expansive purpose, beyond just survival. In the complicated context of a philosophy like astrology, Aries is, in many ways, not the singular man he’s made out to be — but the societal man. Aries is the converter of primal action for oneself to meaning for others.
Dependency runs far deeper than needing the “crowd” for this gladiator. Aries needs to share his fibers with someone — from the cool smoothie he made for breakfast to his biggest talents. This sign is nothing without sharing. Aries feels the need to share meaning with others as an urge to connect.
For the gladiator in the 21st century, human connection is the source of survival. The fuel for his fire. The need for intimate contact is strongest in this sign. (Yes, for you cookbook addicts, I’m announcing it stronger with Aries than with Scorpio — you’ll have to wait for me to unpack that). Intimacy is also a necessity to bring balance to all that Aries takes on alone and by himself.
Aries is independent in one sense and one sense only: taking action by himself.
This capacity for action is both Aries‘s most praiseworthy trait and his downfall. In the Maximus story, we see clearly that action is no blessing. Far from it, Maximus’s achievements bring the greatest curse imaginable to him. Victories on the battlefield pave the way for the loss, the murder of his heart (in his case, his family) — the very thing he fought to obtain.
This character’s very literal tragedy can be seen as a metaphor for what happens when you give too much to the hungry gods of action and doing. Aries might complain about not finding the right partner or relationship, when most of his energy is actually put into working. The horrific injustice done to Maximus is no more a horror than the injustice Aries serves himself — because he doesn’t know when to stop.
Next week we’ll ride the final chapter of this extra-long adventure in Aries (just ’cause I love the amazing-ass sucka). Join me in Part 3 to FEAST on the very guts and glory of the first sign!