Key characteristics and definitions
As the first sign of the tropical zodiac, Aries is seasonally associated with spring and according to astrologers represents a strong sometimes creative thrust and powerful expression of energy. The sign is governed by Mars, the planet of activity and assertiveness, which astrologers believe adds the traits of competitiveness, impulsiveness, and the instinct to act spontaneously. The Sun is also strongly associated with this sign, which it governs by exaltation. The solar-association is seen as adding expression of the ego, and the desire to make a mark as an individual. Joanna Watters (2003) defined a keyphrase for this sign as "I am". Martin Seymour-Smith (1981) suggested "Initiative is expressed aggressively, impulsively and probably very emotively". As a suggestion for keywords he offers:
- Competitiveness, aggressiveness, impulsiveness, rashness, impatience, courage, spontaneous, assertiveness, self-reliance
As a sun sign
According to Alan Leo, generally considered to be the founder of modern psychological astrology and sun sign astrology, people born with the sun in Aries are "always looking forward, they are leaders in ideals and pioneers of advanced thought. They have great mental energy but are inclined to be very headstrong and impulsive. They are always prophetic, and love to predict things that will happen. They can look ahead into the future and foresee things with remarkable clearness of vision. When freed from other influences and not slaves to their personality, they become truly clairvoyant, and are remarkably gifted in this direction. This sign gives extreme ideality, and those born under it are more ideal than practical. They are always full of new schemes and plans, ever exploring and originating. They are fond of constant change, loving novelty, romance and speculation and nearly always live in a world of theory. They are very highly strung, sometimes hyper-sensitive and are remarkable for their perception. They seem to live more in the perceptive region of their brain than the reflective, and they are rarely deceived where perception is concerned."
In Hellenistic astrology, the sign of the ram was mythologically associated with the golden winged ram that rescued Phrixos and his sisterHelle from the altar where they were to be offered as a sacrifice to Zeus. The golden ram carried them to the land of Colchis but on the way Helle fell into the sea and drowned. When Phrixos arrived at Colchis he sacrificed the ram to Zeus and presented the golden fleece to his father-in-law, the King of Colchis. The fleece was then hung upon a sacred oak and guarded by a dragon until rescued by Jason and theArgonauts. The myth recounts that Zeus was so moved by the ram's fate that he gave it the greatest honour of being moved to the heavens.
Generally, the qualities of Aries are considered to be compatible with those of the other fire signs: Sagittarius and Leo, and to a lesser extent with the air signs: Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. However, compatibility based on sun-sign alone is considered to be only a very general guideline. The branch in astrology dealing with interpersonal relationships is called Synastry. In this, astrologers analyse the horoscopes of both parties being considered with particular reference to the positions of the Sun and Moon and Mars and Venus.