Updated: Feb 28
Aries (along with Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn) is a cardinal sign. Cardinal signs are the signs that usher in new seasons. The Sun’s ingress into Aries marks the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere.
In traditional western astrology, Aries is the first sign in our astrological year. As the prow of our zodiacal ship, it has a big job to do! Aries is associated with leadership, initiating action, and personal power. A fire sign, Aries is the spark from which our passion and creativity can grow. It is important to tend Aries flame carefully lest it singe other people or burn ourselves out!
Aries planetary ruler is Mars. In Roman mythology, Mars is the god of war. That is certainly one expression of Aries energy! Who among us has never thrown a temper tantrum, snapped at a family member, or cursed another driver under our breath in a fit of road rage? No matter how peace-loving we are, there is a bit of Mars in each of us who lashes out from time to time.
Fortunately, we can learn to wield our Martian sword strategically, as did the goddess Athena. Athena teaches us that everyone benefits when we use our power, leadership capability, and capacity to act in service to something higher than our individual ego. During Aries’ season, we turn to her for insight into how to live our astrology well.
Goddess Guidance: Athena.
How did the city of Athens get its name?
Before it was called Athens, the Greek gods were at a loss as to what to call the greatest city in Greece. Poseidon, god of the sea, believed it should be named after him. Zeus’ favorite daughter, the wise goddess Athena, disagreed. To settle the dispute, Zeus decided the two deities would settle their dispute in a competition. Who would create the best offering for the city? Whoever won the challenge would be the namesake of the city.
Poseidon liked this idea. He wanted his offering to showcase his tremendous nautical power! He knew just what his offering would be. From the dry earth Poseidon brought forth a mighty river…. Full of salty sea water!
The people of the city were unimpressed. What good would a river full of salty seawater do their city? Disappointed with Poseidon’s useless river, they turned their attention to the goddess.
Athena thoughtfully considered what the people of the city needed and what she could provide. She knew what her gift would be. The goddess reached down and touched the earth. An olive tree manifested for all to see.
The people were pleased! The olive tree provided food, oil, and wood. They praised prudent Athena and gave gratitude for her gift. With pride Zeus declared Athena the victor. The city was named Athens for the goddess whose wisdom and leadership blessed her people.
Aries Season Questions for Reflection…
· What does personal power mean to you?
· What objects or symbols remind you of the power you have?
· Consider the story of Poseidon and Athena… How do you express power in your own life? You might include personal, public, professional, familial, or any other examples from your life that feel appropriate to you.
· What can you learn from Athena that would help you wield your power more wisely?