All About Aries

3.28.11


Aries energy is all around us, gathering strength with each passing day, igniting fiery beginnings left and right.

We mustn't ignore its messages: Advance bravely, on impulse. Lead by example. Jump in, cutting forethought short. Serve your own instincts first.

Since January, both Jupiter and Uranus have re-entered this sign of fresh firsts, initiating another new cycle of their planetary energies. Together, they inspire rebellious transgressions of prior constraining conditions… fostering eruptions of envelope-pushing optimism, widening the scope of what's possible. Under any Jupiter/Uranus influence, we want more than typical traditions may've afforded—and have fewer reservations about slicing and dicing the sacred cows to pursue it. In Aries, we're only further emboldened to take the risk, to blaze the trail, to keep on movin' and never look back.

Why look back? Once you've dashed into uncharted lands (often by necessity, when you can't stay where you were any longer), the old rules no longer apply. You have to confront challenges as they come, with spontaneity and courage. You create as you go along, each day anew.

An Aries Update

Uranus's arrival into Aries kicked off a 7-year visit, a period in which its trait of on-the-spot ingenuity will be in great demand. Squaring Pluto for much of that time, Uranus forces us to take responsibility for subverting the rotten power-structures… to defiantly do things differently, if we seek to resist being crushed. Retreat to quainter days-gone-by is not an option.

Jupiter, meanwhile, has only slightly longer than two months left in Aries, to provide us hopeful anticipation of just what treasures such defiance, discontinuity and unfamiliarity can bring us. Jupiter's presence sweetens the appeal of the impulsive leap. He eggs on our daring. He reminds us that we often soar or crash on split-second decisions, declaring through actions (not cheap words) that we are here to live (not putz around in suspended animation). He heats us up 'til we can barely sit still anymore.

About a week ago, the Sun entered Aries, ushering in the annual season during which we are meant to shoot up our signs of life's re-freshened continuance. With equinox commencing in conjunction with Uranus, we sense that this seasonal change bears greater significance beyond just these next few months. At the same time, what we do during this relatively brief period holds the potential to dramatically alter the quality of the several years ahead. Setting endeavors and enterprises into motion now, even just the earliest stages, imprints a fierce forward-thrusting precedent. And you needn't have the whole thing masterminded yet.

Mercury Retrograde in Aries, March 30-April 23

Mercury, who's been in Aries for 2 weeks already, turns retrograde on Wednesday (Mar 30)… an astro-phenomenon that extends his stay in this sharp-tongued, fast-talking, trigger-fingered sign through mid-May. (On the average, Mercury whips through a sign in about three weeks.) This provides a protracted Aries flavoring to our thoughts and communications, an edge that tirelessly pushes dialogues forward… even as corresponding shortnesses in tone tempt our tempers into flaring up, dare a personal button get pressed in the process.

Mercury retrogrades are said to fuel missteps and misunderstandings, as we inadvertently say something other than we mean—or at least what we meant for them to hear. Especially when Mercury goes retrograde in a fire sign like Aries, the so-called 'problems' arise from operating our minds and/or mouths too quickly, prematurely uttering declarations or hitting the Enter key before we realize what we've done. But the real problems often occur after the initial haste, when we try to 'fix' it by recklessly overcorrecting or refuse to simply move on once the aggravating aftershock finishes shaking.

At its best, Aries may react sharply to something but quickly lets the reaction go so it can continue its onward advance. Under this particular Mercury-retrograde effect, then, we'd be wisest not to hold onto our upsets. Momentary disagreements, rash frustrations, clashes over relatively superficial details… all such flamings-up needn't be made into bigger deals than they actually are. Move past 'em without pause; onto the next thing, without residual grudge.

And if, in classic Merc-retro style, you must revisit or revise an already dealt-with item, so be it. Don't look back on 'wasted time' with resentment, and don't yearn for singular right-answers. The next could be better than the last, or just different—and if you have to replace them both with another new try, so be it. At least there's movement, and you know you won't get stuck. So just keep on goin', right?

Mars Pulls the Strings

The clincher of all this Aries action is the victorious homecoming of its ruling planet Mars, which happens late on Friday (Apr 1). According to astrological tradition, the ruler of a sign is the planetary agent that disposits (or governs the energetic release of) any other planets in that sign. So, with the lineup of planets currently positioned in Aries, the sign where Mars is located makes a big difference in how those planets behave.

Once Mars lands in Aries, he will become the final dispositor of all the planets in the sky. Essentially he'll be the one that all the rest must report to for expression. This is in marked contrast to the prior several weeks, during which Mars has been in Pisces, a sign where he is something of a dreamy wanderer, his assertive tendencies tempered with a hesitancy often associated with acute emotional sensitivity. To a certain extent, Mars in Pisces has left our decisive acts hanging on the line.

Mars in Aries (which lasts through May 11) isn't one to hesitate. He compels us onward. He fights for what he wants. He pokes at any bodies at rest, to rouse 'em back into action. He is the great fire-starter. We want Mars in Aries around if we've been at all indecisive or reluctant; he'll gladly break the inertia. However, if we're wishing for everything to stay as it was, for no participating party to take any step whatsoever to rock the boat or upset the status-quo… well, let's just say we may find ourselves deeply disappointed, dissatisfied or plain pissed-off. He also stirs red hot conflict between folks whose self-driven desires are at cross-purposes.

As dispositor of all planetary energies, then, Mars in Aries will be our valiant guide through the wilderness. He responds to every question with a call for direct response, not another ambiguous concept to bat around for days or weeks more. He urges immediate first-step solutions, which, don't worry, can always be extrapolated upon and further developed later… and so, go on and give it your best shot for the time being. He fuels the power of the individual to actually effect massive ripples of change, even in David-vs.-Goliath circumstances where it seems nearly impossible. How can we know what we're capable of, if we don't give it a friggin' try already?!?

Saturn, for the Block?

The main planetary impediment to all things Aries remains Saturn, the firm disciplinarian and cautious advocate of restraint, who's still exalted in the opposite sign of Libra. Sitting 180 degrees across the ecliptic from the concentrated Aries cluster, Saturn seems to ask us to consider the other side, coolly and judiciously, before blindly plunging ahead.

And Saturn's suggestion isn't off-base, is it? Not entirely so, at least not in theory, where it's always a good idea to balance assertiveness with calm consideration.

Yet, when it comes to the present astrological makeup, Saturn is at a significant disadvantage, pitted in opposition to multiple Aries planets, one right after the other. Saturn oppositions have a way of exacerbating tensions by inhibiting the opposed planet from easily doing its thing. We often feel we must put in twice the effort to get the result we want. In this situation, though, any body being blocked by Saturn in Libra has a coterie of planetary comrades in Aries goading it on in the fight, lending additional momentum and support… potentially inspiring even sharper reactions, like how ratcheting up the tension of a bow will propel the arrow even further into space once released.

Among these oppositions, one of special note is Jupiter's standoff against Saturn, exact today (Mon Mar 28) for the third and final time this go-around. Jupiter-Saturn oppositions mark the halfway point of their 20-year cycle, which has been considered a primary indicator of historical trends since astrology's earliest days. Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions are said to signify the beginning of a two-decade era, and their current cycle started in 2000, pre-9/11, at the time of George W. Bush's election as US President. At the opposition (or 'full moon' phase), we confront the favorable and less-favorable signs of how this era has so far manifested—and we steer accordingly, in counter-balance, to recover from where we've gotten lost at sea.

Jupiter and Saturn first opposed each other midway through last year, during the 'cardinal climax' that also featured Uranus in opposition to Saturn and all three planets squaring Pluto. In contrast to the current situation, however, the previous Jupiter-Saturn opposition occurred with both Mars and Venus in Libra, granting a certain moderating advantage to Saturn. Now, the deck's stacked toward Jupiterian expansiveness and Aries impulsivity. Saturn barely stands a chance… especially once Venus (the dispositor of Saturn in Libra) joins the Aries crowd on April 20.

April is, without a doubt, a super-dynamic month of Aries-inspired activity. Never-before-seen channels of energy and enthusiasm may carve themselves into our lives, faster than we could've imagined. Knock one domino over, and the whole configuration may go. Even without knowing what awaits us behind the next corner, we'll still want to run forward anyway, carrying the barest minimum of baggage, reliant on little else but our scrappy selfhood for all survival needs. There's hardly a reason compelling enough to turn back. Everything exciting is up ahead.