The Elements

The elements are fire, earth, air, and water, each operating through a different quality (or quadruplicity) three times to make up the 12 divisions of the zodiac. So each element has three signs attached to it: one cardinal (the realm of instigators), one fixed (indicating steadiness and determination) and one mutable (which implies an adaptable and flexible attitude). Of the elements, fire is said to be "hot and dry", earth "cold and dry", air "hot and humid", and water "cold and humid".

Element

Cardinal

Fixed

Mutable

Fi re

Aries

Leo

Sagittarius

Earth

Taurus

Virgo

Capricorn

Air

Gemini

Libra

Aquarius

Water

Cancer

Scorpio

Pisces

"hot and moist", Saturn "excessively cold", and Mars "excessively dry". Fixed signs are said to be resourceful and persistent, but resistant to change; cardinal signs initiators of action and leaders; mutable signs are changeable, adaptable, and sometimes unstable.

Signs were also ascribed masculine and feminine qualities: traditionally, the signs in alternate order, starting with Aries and ending with Aquarius, are masculine, the others feminine. Ancient texts take these divisions of the signs much further - in the writings of the Greek astronomer and astrologer Ptolemy (c100-c178), for instance, we find Aries, Taurus, Leo, and Sagittarius described as "bestial"; Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces as "fruitful"; and Gemini, Sagittarius, and Pisces as "common".

In astrology, there is also a very special and subtle relationship between each sign and its polar sign - that is, the one on the opposite side of the zodiac. It is a concept that derives from Aristotle's theory of the principles which ruled all matter - in this case, the principle of interacting opposites.

Ptolemy, the famous Greek astrologer of the 2nd century.

"The Ram will ever cherish hopes; he will rise from the sudden shipwreck of his affairs to abundant wealth."

Manilius, 1st century

Aries

The pioneering desire for personal achievement that is the hallmark of the Aries character is simple and straightforward but they can often be accused of selfishness when ambition vies with home and family life. Patience is not a strong point, but lively and warm enthusiasm are the sign's endearing qualities.

aries as a sun sign

The Sun enters Aries, the first sign of the zodiac, on 21 March — spring equinox in the Northern hemisphere. This is the first day of the astrological year. Aries is the pioneer of the zodiac, and people who are born during the period when the sun is in Aries certainly like to express an independent spirit.

Those who have Aries as their sun sign have considerable resources of determination, but in their enthusiasm will often tend to rush into challenging situations regardless of possible problems. There is a strong need for achievement. If this is not attained, serious frustration will occur, sometimes leading to negative psychological or physical symptoms.

The worst Aries fault is selfishness, which is often due to a need to be out there, winning. "Me First," has long been an Aries motto! Lack of awareness of the need to achieve is often the root cause of selfishness. When confronted with this by, say, a parent or friend, the reaction is often one of disbelief. It is important that awareness of this negative trait is developed, so that it can be countered.

The traditional cardinal quality means that the individual is basically outgoing, ready to spring into action and to give encouragement as and

The illustration for April from the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry (1416), with the sign of the Ram shown in the astrological chart at the top of the image.

The illustration for April from the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry (1416), with the sign of the Ram shown in the astrological chart at the top of the image.

The Aries Ram, as depicted on the calendar page for April from the Bedford Hours, an illuminated manuscript produced in France in around 1423.

ARiEs

Symbol The Ram Sun Sign Dates 21 March-20 April Ruling Planet Mars Element or Triplicity Fire Quality or Quadruplicity Cardinal Positive/Negative Positive Body Area Head Polar Sign Libra when needed. This combines extremely well with Aries' identity as one of the positive signs, which in many respects adds a psychologically strong, extrovert quality, doing much to propel these live wires of the zodiac towards the goal they most desire - the winning post.

The sign's symbol, the Ram, relates well to the characteristics of its denizens, and we think of the ram battling head to head with rivals. It is interesting, however, that as well as the positive, exuberant, and extrovert members of the sign, we do have a fair number of much quieter Ariens. In recent years, there has been discussion among astrologers of the typical Aries Ram contrasting with an Aries Ewe. The latter is much less likely to make a strong impact, but beneath a quiet exterior there is determination. They know what they want to achieve, but do not make such a song and dance about it as their more extrovert "cousins". Here, for instance, will be the young mother, having plenty of good ideas on nurturing her children, coping well with the heavy schedule of motherhood, and perhaps holding down a job as well.

A Picture of Health

In terms of physical make-up, Aries Sun-sign types tend to be strong and healthy. By tradition, their body area is the head. Ask Ariens if they get headaches and they will either say they never get any or that they really suffer. When young they will often tumble from climbing frames and trees, and hit their heads much more than is common with those of other Sun signs.

It is important that Ariens take plenty of exercise, and many are very keen and active participants in a wide

Aries is depicted in a Turkish illuminated manuscript of 1550.

variety of sports. Heavy team games such as soccer and rugby attract Ariens, and Eastern martial arts are also popular for this Sun-sign type.

aries as ascendant

Many of the characteristics interpreted above will be present, but will be expressed rather differently when Aries is the Ascendant. The determination to win will again be extremely important, and physical and emotional energy will be exerted to this end -rather more so than with a Sun-sign Aries.

The direction the determination takes will rely on the individual's Sun sign and other areas of the birth chart. Restlessness may occur, but, if there is competition in the chosen direction, that will act as a great incentive to push forward and to succeed. In families where there is a child with an Aries Ascendant, these characteristics will emerge at a very early age, especially in competition with siblings. This instinctive "pushiness" can be lessened by encouraging Aries to care for and love other family members and pets.

The Social Environment

Ascendant Ariens can easily adapt to any kind of environment and social circumstance. There is a toughness which contributes to a natural resilience. There is also a strong tendency to be extremely high-key, not in a tense and nervous way, but in a more blustering and forceful way that can be exhausting for other people. It is excellent for Ariens to learn to be calmer and a little more philosophical, because in doing so they will express their natural powerful ability for self-analysis, without becoming too introspective.

Aries is depicted in a Turkish illuminated manuscript of 1550.

Developing psychological balance in their lives is all-important if a tendency to go to extremes of action, and indeed inaction, is to be resisted.

In terms of health, the traditional vulnerabilities listed under the Sun sign are even more relevant. The possibility of headaches can be rooted in slight kidney disorders, and, as there is a tendency to have a somewhat slap-happy, devil-may-care attitude, there is a considerably increased vulnerability to being accident-prone.

aries as moon sign

The Moon in this sign gives the individual an extremely emotional and very quick response to all situations. Particularly in an emergency, a Moon-sign Arien will take charge and actually do something. When others are getting stressed out, and when action is called for (during boring meetings when decisions have to be made, for instance), here is someone who will take control and "cut to the chase". This quality also comes into its own on a personal level, when the individual is in a tight corner and has to make a snap decision.

The emotional content of the Moon in Aries is very high and needs positive expression through daily life, career, and sexuality. However, care is necessary that impulsiveness and an over-quick temper do not mar these very assertive and forthright responses.

The Moon-in-Aries type also has a liking for danger, and extreme sports are particularly attractive. The Aries' need for independence is important, especially in the young.

There are cases when, due to the influence of other planets on the Moon, these qualities are suppressed. It will be obvious from the individual's reactions and responses to situations if this is so. If it is, they should avoid bottling up problems and make an effort to live a lifestyle that is satisfying and right for them - even if it means making drastic changes or decisions concerning other people.

Charlie Chaplin demonstrated Arien determination and, as a performer, revelled in the inherent comedy of mishaps through slapstick humour.

Aries in Friendship, Love, and Permanent Relationships

The great thing about having Aries friends is that, basically, they are really cheerful types. They will encourage us all the way in our interests and our love life, and will make us get moving when, for one reason or another, we find ourselves procrastinating. Remember, like members of some other signs, Ariens want everything here and now - and they want the same for their friends too. They are hugely encouraging, but tend to lose patience if a required response is not forthcoming.

The Aries Ram appears in this mid-i3th-century illuminated manuscript from Italy.

A Simple Plan

When we have a problem that we cannot resolve, a wonderful Aries quality emerges in our friends -whether the Aries influence is from the Sun, the Moon, or the Ascendant. These people have the happy knack of simplifying even the most complicated

The Aries Ram appears in this mid-i3th-century illuminated manuscript from Italy.

situation. They are adroit at coming up with a practical resolution in a matter of moments, and are able to do so without recourse to lengthy speeches.

It is worth remembering that while, on the whole, Ariens likes to do things on the spur of the moment, it is very often necessary to plan some events well in advance. Initially an Aries friend will gladly accept an impromptu invitation - yes, they will come, and look forward to it. However, we cannot totally escape from Aries selfishness, and nearer the proposed date we are all too likely to get word from them profoundly apologizing that they cannot make it. Their mother is sick, they have to work dreadfully late, and so on. Their story will be really convincing, and we will believe them; but, the more we get to know our Aries friends, the clearer

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