Aries the Ram

Aries the Ram

March 21 – April 20 approximately

History, Mythology & Archetypes of Aries


Aries the Ram
Aries the Ram

Aries is the Latin word for “ram” so it makes sense that the zodiac sign is represented by a ram. Before about 1000 BC the group of stars that make up the constellation was more often seen as a farmer or farmhand. The Babylonians began to use the renamed constellation of Aries the Ram as a starting point for the vernal equinox. Around that time the beginning of the astrological year was decided to coincide with the time when the constellation of Aries would “arise over the horizon” with the sun at the vernal equinox about March 21st each year. This new beginning signalled not only the birth of spring and the year ahead, but also the birth of the basic horoscope still used in Western Astrology today.

Before and during this ancient time, religious worship of rams and other animals was quite common and competed with the spread of Judaeo-Christian religions. Today, the worship of animal gods is still common in Hinduism and with those choosing earth-based forms of religious observance such as Wicca.

The fact that Aries the Ram is still commonly used today as a symbol of power, endurance and strength in fiction, marketing and consumerism attests to its endurance as an archetype.

Relationship to Mars

The planets and signs were named after gods by most civilizations as they understood how they were the most powerful elements of astrology. The archetypes used in astrology are a mix of mostly Roman and Greek deities, characters and legends but archetypes from other cultures may be used as well especially when connected. These gods had associations with certain things; e.g. Mars was the Roman god of war, iron and weapons and was given a connection to Aries, the name of a golden ram that bravely rescued the son and daughter of a king and ended up becoming “The Golden Fleece” in other stories. The Greek god of war and Mars’ counterpart is named Ares, pronounced the same as the golden ram Aries.

The association of the leading war gods with a planet that appears to indicate conflict, disagreements, contests, battles, use of weapons, etc. makes sense.

Mars Resting
“Mars Resting” By Diego Velázquez – Web Gallery of Art: Public Domain

Mars rules the physical body and the physicality of Aries people is pronounced. They move with a lot of energy and tend to look physically strong or powerful even if not a large or tall person; they are often athletic and competitive. The planet and sign are noted as both being symbolic of masculinity and aggressive and female Aries may have more of these qualities as well compared to other signs. Many females are “feminine” yet compete well within male-dominated industries and past-times. It is a wise father who tells his female child that she can do anything that a male can and an Aries is sure to hear him.

Mar is a symbol for all physical matter in a general sense and Aries people enjoy the physical world. They tend to enjoy being out in nature, and they enjoy making things. Air signs may like working with their minds but Aries is more physical. The Rams need to be self-directed in all ways and they like to be head first and on top. The fiery cardinal energy of Aries suits Mars well.

Relationship to 1st House

The astrological and seasonal year begins on the Vernal Equinox. The first season of the year, spring begins on the first minute and second that the sun moves past the equator from earth’s southern hemisphere to the north. With the Ram as its symbol, we see an initiating energy and the initiating point on the horizon is the 1st house cusp. In this house are the relationships to self and character traits, the physical body and appearance which are not seen until we are born into the world emerging from mother’s womb. As a child of the universe, our birth is the beginning of our self-expression; “hello world, here I am, this is me” although who you are isn’t fully developed until adulthood; most people never stop growing.

Through all these “firsts” and the relationships between initiating energy, emergence/birth, head/face, self/character, our physical existence even, it is easy to see how this house relates to Aries the Ram, Mars and vice versa. The nature of all house relationships is that they are often best understood, expressed and utilized through their own planetary and sign rulers. However, any planet or sign may utilize the 1st house in an infinite number of positive or negative ways including its own rulers.

Basic Character Traits


As the sign that rules the 1st house of the zodiac, that is the first sign of the zodiac, and whose very name begins with the first letter of the alphabet one can understand why Aries likes to come first or on top of the heap. The egocentricity of Aries is derived from its association with the first house of the horoscope. This house represents self-identity (along with your Sun sign and a few other factors) and the face we present daily to the world. Aries is also the first of four Cardinal signs all of whom are self-interested, self-directed, and generally goal-oriented indicating a natural sense of energetic motivation and ego- or self-preservation.

The high energy that most Aries people display is derived from their sense of self-preservation and a desire to pursue goals (the hunt). Their ruling planet helps them to activate all their initiating sign qualities so Aries is not generally a wallflower. You do not want to be standing in the middle of the road when Aries comes steamrolling through. Mars is their planetary sign ruler and it is the planet of aggression and impatience. But that is not to say that they are not without their charm. Aries is a very charismatic sign.

Aries boxer
Image by Harut Movsisyan from Pixabay

Many Aries people react in a martian manner, i.e. short-tempered, impatient and ready to energetically defend or offend to protect their egocentric position. Being naturally self-oriented isn’t always a bad thing if the Aries is using these traits to help others. Rams are often found working in sports, police or military work, but some people will fall back on their negative traits in everyday relationships occasionally. People other than Aries also have these traits; it’s just that Aries is more inclined to behave this way.

To help yourself create better karma work on improving your patience level first. We are all born pretty much imbalanced and throughout our lives should work on finding the proper balance to be whole, happy and healthy. E.g. Aries may be successful faster by taking shortcuts, ignoring other people’s needs and focusing solely on their goals/outcomes but the natural balance of life requires more. Patience, sacrifice and an appreciation for putting out good energy to benefit all others is good for every sign but especially the Rams, a sign of leadership.

Aries people really shine when they use their fantastic energy and gifts to take the lead and motivate others. Aries will become more successful in life by focusing on helping to care for or lead others. While they’re at it they may learn to stop moving, sit still, meditate, or plan and create a schedule—maybe even one they’d keep. Aries is most often challenged to develop patience and control their temper to achieve success as well as following protocols; they don’t usually follow anybody’s rules but their own and will heartily complain when unable to be self-directing.

Many Aries people are not selfish although egocentric and like the rest of the cardinal signs, they may come to realize serving others serves them as well. Self-direction isn’t selfish when the intention is to use one’s self to help others and expect nothing back but the joy of giving.

Physiology, Health & Physical Appearance

Aries rules the head and skull, the upper jaw, and the eyes in the human body. Astrologers joke that the Rams are pretty hard headed and need to be as they often bump their heads. Unfortunately, when serious health afflictions are shown in their horoscope they are prone to head injuries, fractured skulls, eye injuries and headaches.

Aries is usually well-proportioned and balanced in build; they may appear energetic or athletic looking and are not usually large or bulky in size. Any sign may become underweight or obese but Aries males tend to be lean, wiry or muscular, and females often have good figures tending to be smaller breasted, slim or athletic before being voluptuous or plump.

Males tend to dress and behave macho or overtly masculine, or may have a natural rugged masculinity; females generally dress well, are fond of wearing pants as much as frills, but they fully know the power one can have being a sexy female Ram. Aries is not shy about taking the lead in romance and may have a very direct manner regardless of how they identify gender and sexuality.

Aries often will naturally display traditionally strong or masculine traits as they are not considered a “soft” sign. Rams are considered a masculine/male sign representing traditional male qualities whether for men or women. Males and females have a heart-shaped face (males look rugged) and both sexes often have bright, flashing eyes. Remaining youthful is important to Aries and most will colour their hair favouring shades of red, although males are more often going to hide the grey or bald spots. Aries may be blonde/red with blue eyes especially if other fire signs are present, but just as many are brown-eyed brunettes while their skin tone may be reddish or look apple-cheeked or flushed.

Personality & Psychology

Mars is the planet of action and reaction, energy, activity, power, strength and endurance; all traits seen in Aries people. Rams also have a tendency to act first and think later which sometimes gets them in trouble. They love to take shortcuts. Their active, energetic approach with people usually works very well and many people find Aries to be extremely charming and bright with a spontaneous and quick wit. They love to laugh liking wisecracks, jokes and games.

Aries can be a crusader and may happily help defend another to correct a wrong. Many join police, social or military services, wishing to defend and protect their family, community and country. All fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) tend to be the warriors of the zodiac or the strong ones in the family and are sought for help.

A cardinal fire sign, Aries will act first and think later and their sense of competition can contribute to their aggression and fiery short temper. They do not like being ordered around or manipulated although they may resort to doing both at times. They make great salespeople because they are so persuasive and charming, and they like personal interactions.

They are not the only egocentric sign; all Cardinal signs share the trait of being self-oriented, but Aries will also use their energy and influence to help other people too. They come first but there is a tonne of room for caring for others. They can greatly enjoy helping the less fortunate; at least until they don’t enjoy it anymore or get too busy and move on to something else. Their attention span may be short.

Generally, Aries releases energy in short bursts. They are far better at initiating than finishing and are known to abandon projects quickly for a new interest in their impatient desire to experience as much of this physical life as possible. Their energy levels allow them to be the person who can get things done as long as you don’t mind their random short spurts of activity.

The ram is a very active animal in nature. The masculine form of a sheep, they are known to be aggressive and protective of their territory as they explore grasslands, valleys, mountain ranges and sports bars, especially in spring. This seems to apply to Aries people too as they are the pioneers and innovators of the zodiac often having a wanderlust to explore new lands.

At their worst, Aries can be selfish, inconsiderate, short-tempered, explosive and may suddenly erupt with aggression or violence. However, the anger is often over quickly and they then wonder why you’re still upset as they’re not angry anymore. Obviously, anger management therapy would help in relationships if this is an issue although Aries most often believes the other guy is at fault, not them.

They are eager to help with other people’s problems, sometimes even when not asked, and are known to be a bit pushy, bossy and overbearing at times. They are easily frustrated and the worst traits will erupt when there is no outlet for their frustration. All Aries should study martial arts, meditation or athletics as these often teach how to maintain emotional control and to relieve stress in positive ways.

Society used to dictate that men were masculine and women were feminine but we understand now that certain sex and gender descriptors are not only plain wrong for some individuals but potentially offensive. Aries can be sexy and attractive—or not; females may be a fiery strong beauty and traditionally feminine but many are also considered to be more of a handsome woman or androgynous in appearance.

Astrologers generally use sex and gender specific terminology in a way that is not necessarily denoting sex or gender but more as a modifier as in language. In English both a male and female cat is a cat. In French a male cat is un chat and a female is une chatte. The gender modifier is needed to make sense in the French language. This is also true to some degree in astrology which is also a language but of behaviour and events.

Aries males see themselves as virile, macho and ageless, and they may behave naturally or exaggeratedly in an uber-masculine manner. Female Aries do not usually behave in traditional feminine ways as they are not shy about taking the lead and are rarely passive. Although Aries is considered to be a masculine sign especially with its association with masculine Mars the god of war, history has recorded many very capable female warriors and leaders; maybe some were Rams. Aries will defy traditional expectations and they are able to compete well against anyone regardless of how they may identify as a man or woman or pangendered.

Aries females display great strength, courage and power, showing that these are not just masculine traits or values; and of course women of other signs may have these as well. I can’t recall any Aries female I ever met that I could say was passive, while not necessarily being aggressive. Instead most display their feminine power in equal proportion to any traditional male by showing self-confidence even if they are a little shy at first.

Aries the driver
Image by Akiroq Brost from Pixabay

As you learn about Aries you realize their great inner strength. They are the pioneers and therefore the first heroes of the zodiac, showing the way for all other signs following. They are fearless in their quest of self-discovery which may take them where no one else dares to go.

Aries is not a weak sign, and like any other sign they can also be vulnerable. When attacked or criticized their first inclination is fight or flight and they react quickly so be prepared if you are the one attacking. Know that they rarely run from a fight. They are dangerous when they are not in control of their emotions, seeming to release the wild beast inside and woe to whomever is in their way.

Whether a male or female Aries or something in between, Mars may have been the male god of war but power can be masculine or feminine or neutral in astrology.

Love, Family & Relationships

As children, little Rams are always into something, very curious but at times headstrong and combative. They can be little charmers and smart, wanting to help mommy and daddy but often showing their impatience when things get a bit challenging. Aries kids tend to have a shorter attention span and enjoy most sports and games. They usually enjoy good health as they have a strong constitution but may be prone to fevers, dental/jaw issues, eye and muscle strains and headaches and head injuries in the growing years.

They’re not above screaming and throwing temper tantrums and smacking other kids if not taught how to channel or control their aggression. Some Aries are bullies, headstrong, aggressive and wilful. With these children, encouraging them into martial arts and sports where they are taught self-control as part of the curriculum is best. Aries can excel at any martial art and often does.

Aries’ exuberance for life and people can be contagious and their natural charm and fun-loving ways make them the life of the party. They are great at firing up other people especially for short-term projects. Unfortunately, if you can’t keep up with your Aries’ independence and inconsistencies they may not be fun to live with. They may get bossy, argumentative and surly, and sometimes moods will erupt or erratically change. Mars was the god of war after all. And if you’ve ever seen two rams butting heads in the spring; well, you get the idea. Emotional outbursts are often short-lived and they wonder why you’re still angry with them because they are now cooled off.

As spouses and parents Rams like to keep things lively. Aries parents love to play and rough-house with the kids but they are also strict with rules and disciplines. There is only room for one leader as spouses of Aries soon learn. Do what your Aries wants and you’ll always get along. If they’re the selfish type and always want their own way then expect lots of fireworks when you disagree. Or be sure to lay firm boundaries as you build your relationship with Aries. They will share power just don’t try to overpower them.

Oddly, they are not consistently authoritarian so Aries may spoil their children or spouse but they are very proud of their kids’ or family’s successes, feeling it reflects positively on their parenting skills. Generally, Aries are good parents but may run the home like the armed forces. Aries can be very disappointed when children get in trouble; again feeling it reflects on their parenting skills so may react with severe discipline. But Aries is not always hard to get along with and sometimes they are even childlike, silly and a lot of fun, like young rams with spring fever perhaps and are great with kids. They appreciate youthful exuberance.

Aries can be passionate people and they love the hunt in romance. Don’t expect an Aries to yield too quickly in spite of their reputation to rush things. Some love the hunt so much they avoid committed relationships and are devoted to the single life and being their own boss.

Sometimes Aries forms more committed relationships a bit later in life, becoming just as devoted to a spouse, parent or child as they once were to their independence in their youth or their work. Aries is probably one of the family members you know you can lean on—if you can keep up with them and they stand still long enough.

Creative & Hobby Interests

They love to create and many are true artisans (loving fine arts and graphic arts) or they are a little artsy crafty. They’re always on the hunt for new things and ideas to augment their interests and may enjoy new art forms, and nearly any other expression of art and creativity. Many Rams are talented in drawing, sketching, painting, cartooning, and all visual arts when artistically inclined.

Aries is fond of hats, fashion, jewellery, the colour red and other fiery, bold or metallic colours. They often wear sports fan wear, athletic, military, and uniform apparel (like the other fire signs Leo & Sagittarius); perhaps because in modern times clothes are the last form of armour. Aries the warring crusader likes to dress for the boardroom, the sports arena or the battlefield and they are attracted to military related hobbies and interests.

Aries is an activity oriented and resourceful sign, always eager to be on the trail looking for new pastures to roam, and they may develop a variety of high energy interests and activities. Mars is the planet for speed and maybe this explains the Arien temperament. They are always in a hurry and usually running late. They are independent, courageous, adventurous and competitive. Their restless energy and physical energy make them great coaches, fitness trainers and athletes of all kinds. They generally love sports and their short-term enthusiasm is perfect for supporting any team.

Many Aries people enjoy the outdoors as they like to be out exploring the world, not being cooped up. They’re easily prone to cabin fever and must have a place to get out or be alone and away from others or they get grumpy and aggressive and may lash out. It is difficult but not impossible for them to accept restraints.

Aries running
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Perhaps because of this love of the outdoors, or the association of the body and physical existence with Mars, Rams usually enjoy all animal life.

Aries may have a couple favourite species of pets above others but often love them all. The sign likes physicality and they often enjoy playtime, games and outings with their pets. No doubt, they like the physical contact and cuddling up with their four-legged pets too.

Some Aries people are fond of hunting, tracking, performance or guard dogs as pets as they more often match their energy level. Preferring bigger dogs over smaller, Aries may also enjoy horse/animal racing, pet performance sports, or shows and competitions to proudly show what a champion their animal is. “My pet comes first!” has many meanings to Rams.

Unfortunately, the people who still like hunting and killing animals for sport will have Mars prominent in the horoscope. Isn’t it painfully ironic that the planet that represents the male, masculinity in general, and the male seed which fertilizes an egg to create new life also rules guns, arrows, and weapons of all kinds which kill? Astrology is all about polarities one learns over time.

Any animal may find a loving home in an Aries household and they will be doted on and truly thought to be part of the family. Truthfully, every pet lover considers the pet family no matter the sign but Aries has a special bond with all physical beings through Mars.

Don’t be surprised if the first extra-terrestrial being or life form is found by an Aries or will be one! I wonder if the Aries extra-terrestrial will have a big head as often described or portrayed in fiction?

Work & Career

Mars is the planet of mechanical apparatus and Aries has considerable mechanical and engineering abilities. They’re associated with design and innovation and many have a natural aptitude for architecture, engineering and mechanics. They love gadgets and machinery and they are eye-oriented having a love for photography, graphic arts, and advertising.

Aries loves the auto industry and fast, sporty cars in particular. Do not exclude speedboats, jets and other forms of travel; if it moves fast an Aries is usually involved. Several models of cars and trucks have been named for this sign which has become an archetype for speed and power beyond its astrology symbol. Combined with their mechanical interests and speed, many Aries work in manufacturing or around large equipment. They are also good with their hands which suits many trades, often using tools in their work.

Their aptitude in design is well-used in architecture and industrial design but also in graphic arts and media. They make good metallurgists and in the “olden days” blacksmiths and metal smiths of all kinds. Many Ariens still use these skills today as artisans.

Preferring short term projects and goals over long ones, some Aries become very prosperous, knowing that working hard and building on each small step and accomplishment leads to longer richer success later. They like to be at the top of the pyramid and being the first sign of the zodiac ensures that Aries will always come first and on top, just the way they like it.

Aries can be a great team player and even more so if they’re the boss. They enjoy the energy of a party or group of people but they are personable one on one as well. Aries may like to lead, but they also seem to recognize that we’re all in this world together and they like to be around their own kind, whether close family, out in public, or just other human beings in general. They don’t always dominate and can be very gracious and accommodating.

Because of their ability to work with people, many Rams greatly enjoy work and building a successful career. They are often self-employed and almost as a nod to their egocentricity, the business is usually eponymously named.

Here are just a few famous Ariens that appear to manifest at least one of their usual capabilities: Vincent van Gogh (passionate, self-tortured artist. March 30, 1853), Celine Dion (powerhouse chanteuse. March 30, 1968), Dr. Tessy Thomas (First female aerospace engineer to lead missile project in India. March 31, 1963), Maya Angelou (Pioneering author, poet. April 4, 1928), Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man actor/star. April 4, 1965), Russell Crowe (macho star/character actor in many films. April 7, 1964), Leonardo da Vinci (brilliant inventor, artist. April 14, 1452), Jennifer Garner (star of Elektra, Alias, strong self-directed female actor. April 17, 1972), Lee Si-young (South Korean female actor and former amateur boxer. April 17, 1982).

Title illustration by Pete Linforth from Pixabay