The Aries Path - My Unique Experience of Myself

by Guru Rattana, Ph.D. - Issue #131 - March 23, 2007
Planetary Alignments
The Journey of Self

Announcing the first day of spring, Aries represents our birth and the very first phase of this incarnation. The first sign of the Zodiac symbolizes our individuality, and how we form and crystallize into a unique being with our own personality, body, desires and expressions. Our individualization process involves separating ourselves from the undifferentiated masses, and freeing ourselves from tribal consciousness. Our inner Aries responds to a deep soul urge to distinguish ourselves from others, and to be our own person. Our impulse is to emerge as an individual identity - autonomous, unique and free. Our focus is on developing our physical body, establishing our personal will, and discovering the I AM of Self.

The goals of our Aries journey include:

  1. defining our personal identity,
  2. developing our free will and using it to support ourselves,
  3. cultivating the art of discrimination so we can act appropriately,
  4. getting in touch with our desires, and
  5. learning how to honor and act from the highest expression of our natural impulses.

Aries represents the innocent child. At the soul level, our inner Aries hopes to one day gloriously express our divine nature buried within. In the meantime, pure, happy, and playful, we eagerly jump into the game of life, oblivious of any impending dangers or threats. The Ram simply enjoys experiencing and expressing its pure spirit. In its purity and innocence, the Ram possesses an eagerness to uncover its latent potentials, and the courage to be assertive in its quest for individualization.

Aries is the First Fire and Cardinal Sign

As the first fire sign, Aries and its ruler Mars are energetic and alive. Exuberance and vitality are their defining features. Aries needs to experience, perceive and freely express its lively, passionate spirit. Any armor, in the form of negative self-concept and social inhibitions, dampens its mood and creativity. Aries and Mars like vigorous physical and aerobic exercise, adventurous outdoor activities, and situations requiring bravery, heroism and valor.(1)

An important theme for Aries and Mars is learning how to appropriately use, express and direct physical and sexual energies. They are less interested in the interpersonal dynamics of sexual union, than in feeling the aliveness, engaging in the adventure and releasing tension. Exercises to raise the Kundalini, and re-channel sexual energy up the spine, are powerful tools to internalize and be empowered by one's Mars energy.

As the first cardinal sign, Aries is assertive and competitive, eagerly takes the initiative, is action-oriented, a natural leader, and wants to make things happen. Aries' basic limitation is that it is a novice. Everything is new for Aries, who is eager to experience the world. The Ram must learn by doing and experimentation. It does not want to be told what to do, or to be limited by someone else's rules or even instruction. The Ram does not want advice because it needs to figure things out itself.

Where is My Aries?

Like all the signs, not everyone has planets in Aries, but the Ram archetype, and the instinct to individualize, is part of everyone's birth chart. There are four ways to identify where and how Aries energy plays out in our lives:

  1. Our ascendant, which is the cusp (or gate) to the first house, sets the tone of our individualization process. (explained below)
  2. The first house is the territory ruled by Mars and associated with Aries. Any planets in our 1st house are conditioned by Aries energy.
  3. Locating the house or houses that contain planets in Aries, or have Aries on the cusp, helps us identify the arena in life where we confront our Aries issues, and display our Aries traits.
  4. The house location of our natal Mars (ruler of Aries) indicates how and where we play out our quest for self-expression, and where we focus our energy.

The above four ways all help us understand, how and where our inner Aries faces challenges, aimed at awakening our consciousness to the fullest expression of Self.

Our Ascendant or Rising Sign - Lens to the World

Our Sun sign defines the nature of our energy. Our Sun sign indicates what type of battery our soul is plugged into. Equally important in learning about ourselves, and how we operate, are our Moon sign and our ascendant or rising sign.

Our ascendant represents how we begin our life. The sign on the ascendant was on the horizon (or rising) when we were born. From the day of our birth, it is the lens through which we look at the world. Determining our perspective on life, our rising sign influences both our capacity to enjoy life, and how we face our challenges and struggles. Our ascendant, and the planets in the first house, determine the nature of our power to take initiative, our will to act, and how we energetically participate in life's activities.

Aries' Symbology

The glyph for Aries can represent the sprouting of a seed, the horns of the Ram, or the wings of an angel. The Ram symbolizes male energy, libido, physical desires, drives, instincts and strength.

The Aries Evolutionary Journey
Immature (needs to learn)Mature
Relates thoughtlesslyAware of others feelings
Can offendInspires
Others are expendableGratitude for friendship
PrideAware of own limitations
Restless, scattered questingFocused on a mission
ManipulativeSeeks the truth
ArrogantConsolidated and sure of self
ImpulsivePrudent, vigilant and calm under fire
Lonely and isolatedSecure and happy in self
Can burn outWisely uses and directs fire energy
NaïveEver youthful spirit
Conquer mentalityDiscovers new ways, pioneer
The Aries Path

The Aries path is the path of self and individualization. It is interesting (and unfortunate) that much of what we consider to be ourself is a personality façade, influenced by social interactions, cultural modeling, social standards, and opinions about who and what we should be. It is precisely these superficial, externally inculcated, ideas that Aries is trying to transcend. From this socially influenced self-image we develop ways of self-expression, that become programmed responses. Aries task is to consciously return to the core, soulful self.

If indeed we had been born into a more natural environment, free of tribal consciousness and expectations, with parents and a social structure that taught us how to uncover and develop our unique identity and talents, our Aries path would be much simpler and more straightforward. The Aries path, as the pure archetype symbolizes, would be our first step in an on-going process of learning to know ourselves. In our current context, however, we have to undo false identities as well as discover and nurture our true identity.

Studying our birth chart, and the energies embodied in our soul blueprint, is an invaluable way to identify our inherent qualities, our unique characteristics, desires and behavioral tendencies. As we recognize and honor our unique make up, we can choose to learn the lessons involved in the evolutionary path of our personal archetypes. We can direct the process to progressively cultivate the highest expression of our soul blueprint.

The Individualization Process

Properly and spiritually interpreted, cultural and religious teachings to not be selfish, egotistical and self-centered, as well as the shame and guilt based admonishments of lust, anger, greed, pride and attachment, can have some value later on in life. However, at the Aries stage of our development, these fear-based control trips stunt and deflect our individualization process.

A healthy and supportive attitude toward the unfoldment of personhood recognizes that everyone is different. Each one of us embodies and expresses our own combination of the universal archetypes. It is only by discovering and expressing our unique make up that we activate our soul. It is through our soul identity that we are able to embody spiritual energies, that deliver us to the experience of oneness with the Divine. Self-realization is God-realization.

Our evolutionary path thus requires that we be attentive to the energies that course though our body. We need to know ourselves as an energetic being. An energetic understanding, and experience of who and what we are as an individual, is our foundation for navigating our soul through life.

Aries' Territory

Aries' territory is its personal world. Aries' arena is the Self as it experiences all aspects of life. Motivated from deep within to discover and express itself in the world, Aries' energy is directed outward. It has an abundant supply of initiative, possesses the ability to face life alone, and can independently make decisions without guidance or approval from outside authorities. Aries is its own authority. It has the will to proceed, and to succeed, in attaining its goals.(2)

Aries' dauntless spirit thirsts for new adventures and discoveries. It is only comfortable in the territory of new beginnings, new approaches, and new ways of doing and being. It loves new experiences, and gets easily bored with routine tasks. Aries can tread where others fear to go, because the Ram is fearless, courageous, and innovative.

Typically, Aries thrives in positions of power, leadership roles, at the front of the pack making new discoveries and being a pioneer. Aries can be found in the wilderness forging a new path, in business building a new enterprise, in the arts creating works of art, plays, films or any other self-expressive endeavor, and in the laboratory making medical, scientific and technological breakthroughs.

Our Body is the Vehicle of Our Soul

Aries, Mars and the first house represent the physical body, the personality, the head and the brain. Developing, strengthening and maintaining a strong, healthy physical body through vigorous exercise is important for both Mars and Aries. They teach us that a vital, balanced physical body is a vital component for getting in touch with and expressing our identity. We begin to appreciate the dynamic elegance of our body as it emerges as the vehicle of our soul. The activation, alignment, and integration of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual energies through yoga, Pranayama and meditation, facilitates the awakening of our consciousness of Self.

As our vital energies are awakened, concentrated and transformed, we get in touch with our primal instincts and intuitive voice. Feeling and listening to the dynamic communication system of our soul, we are able to monitor the flow of our primal energies, and learn to use this energy consciously and appropriately. Through the cooperation of our instinctual energy and our intuition, we learn to develop a strong inner-directed personal will. A soulful will is required to actualize our soul identity.

Inherent Frustration

Aries symbolizes the new born, or ready to manifest, potential that eagerly awaits the possibility of externalizing and expressing itself. It is the bud that is ready to bloom. Aries' energy embodies future possibilities, of what could be rather than what already is. This sign is thus ambitious, aspiring and desirous. Aries eagerly confronts new territory, but it holds an inherent frustration - always full of vitality and eager to explore and discover, the burning desire that is bubbling with potential feels limited, by the fact that it is not yet an adult, restricted by lack of experience, and thwarted by energy that cannot be consolidated or contained.

Fiery Aries is restless, eager, impulsive and naïve. Aries most ardent desire is to make its ideas and ideals real. However, what sometimes feels like an impossible task can make Aries feel desperate, unsuccessful and hopeless. The quest to manifest spirit into matter will take Aries on a journey through the Zodiac.

The Excitement and Stress of Newness and Many Choices

Aries is full of contradictions, which may be apparent only to ourselves. Outwardly Aries is busy, involved in many activities and always eager for adventure. Inwardly Aries may feel frustrated, depressed, lonely and frazzled. Opportunities are always available, but the question for the Ram is what to do with what can seem like an over-abundance of choices. The Ram must be able to make wise decisions about the use of its time, or it will overextend itself. Then both inner and outer fires will fizzle.

Openings for spiritual awakenings, and possibilities for completion of creative endeavors, become available only after the Ram has pared down its schedule, and freed itself from emotional entanglements. Unless the Ram makes wise choices, it will squander its energy instead of developing its latent talents. Unless we use our time and direct our energy wisely, the chances of making significant contributions may not materialize.

Aries is never released from the activities of life. Its thirst is never fully quenched. Aries represents the stage when one cycle begins and another ends. Aries always seems to be confronted with entirely new circumstances, where new lessons must be learned from scratch. It is not that it did not learn the old lessons, but the fact that its new experiences are so new, that new approaches and new skills must be acquired to deal with the radically different nature of its challenges. Aries satisfaction comes not from completion, but from the excitement of exploring new territories, and being the pioneer of new frontiers.

The Highest Expressions of Aries

Aries, in its more elevated consciousness, is grateful to be in physical form, happy to be on Planet Earth, takes care of its physical body, and honors it as the vehicle of its soul. Aries teaches us to have confidence in ourselves and our creative abilities. The Ram furnishes us with the drive to fulfill our dreams. It offers us the gifts of enthusiasm, excitement and a sense of adventure. Aries urges us to spread our wings and fly. Its dauntless spirit, that thirsts for new adventures and discoveries, keeps us young at heart.

The highest expressions of Aries can be accessed only when we integrate the Libra polarity. Libra is concerned with reciprocity and the well-being of others. Libra desires harmony, peace and cooperation. Aries must learn to accord the same rights and privileges to others as it expects for itself. As it does so, the negative expressions, such as egocentrism and domination strategies, no longer fit into the overall plan of individualization for everyone, not just for ourselves. We are able to reach this state of consciousness when we access our neutral mind (Libra's balanced Scales), and experience peace and harmony within ourselves.

Be and Do - I Am Presence

The DO energy of Aries too often overpowers the BE energy also represented in this archetype. Our culture rewards us primarily for that we DO, but if we look closely at our lives, much of what we attract, including recognition, love and appreciation, is a result of who we are. Take a moment to feel the truth of I attract because of who I AM. My presence speaks and works for me.

WHO we ARE and WHAT we DO are intricately linked. The Aries archetype teaches us to be the commander-and-chief of our own lives. It underscores the necessity of developing our willpower, so we can become free agents acting from our own free will. It reminds us that we alone are responsible for who we are, what we do, and the choices we make. Of course, we each have our own mode, desires, lessons to learn and mission, but within the multi-faceted context of life, we each have to decide for ourselves how to navigate our soul's journey.

We are accountable now, throughout our lives, and when we leave this planet. When we review and assess our life, all the responsibility rests on our shoulders. We cannot hide behind victim stories or blaming someone else. The bottom line will be Did I engage fully in life? Did I learn to the best of my knowledge and capabilities? Did I do the best I could? Whatever dissatisfaction we feel will be on the agenda for the next time around.

Libra Full Moon - April 2nd

Full moons bring to light our inner conflicts. They may be played out in our relationships and life circumstances, but if we are honest, we recognize that our external confrontations mirror our internal state of being. The Sun in Aries initiates a new journey through the Zodiac. The Spring Equinox announces a new beginning. As we face the unknown, we must make decisions about our lives. What new territory do we wish to enter? What new challenges are we ready to encounter? This full moon is part of our initiation, our new birth, and a big step toward breaking new ground and exploring new frontiers.

We will have better results if we integrate the Aries/Libra polarity. Aries naïvely and enthusiastically embraces change. Aries possesses the courage to step forward, the resolve to overcome obstacles, and the willpower to forge ahead, despite discomfort or disapproval. The more cautious Libra weighs the pros and cons, investigates the implications of our actions before we take them, and focuses on a harmonious and peaceful outcome. The blending of both approaches helps us move forward more successfully.

Yes, we are ready for something new, but how do we proceed in a way that will yield the best results, and minimize the mistakes and strugglea? Pluto is the planet of introspection into our subconscious. This archetype makes sure we examine our motives, and uncover and eliminate any discrepancies in our emotional body and belief system that prevent us from aligning with our mission.

Pluto at 29° Sagittarius goes retrograde March 31st, just two days before this full moon. Pluto remains retrograde until September 7th. When a planet appears to change direction (either going direct or retrograde), the intensity of its impact is dramatically increased. At this time, the energies of Pluto penetrate deeply into our psyche. At 29°, the end of a phase is upon us. Our sincerity and integrity is being examined and tested. Do we practice what we preach? Do we live in alignment with our truth? We have just over 5 months to examine every aspect of our lives, and to orient ourselves with our spiritual compass toward the path of our heart.

Jupiter, representing the archetype of expansion, facilitates our inner investigative process by going retrograde April 5th. Also in the sign of spiritual Sagittarius, Jupiter retrograde for four months (until August 7th), expands our inner space. Connected within ourselves, we can review our choices, examine our desires and beliefs and make adjustments so we project a coherent inner reality out to the world.

Action and Expansion

Saturn turns direct on April 19th, taking its heavy foot off the brakes. Since December 5th, we have had almost five months to eliminate situations that drain our energy, to liberate ourselves from victim trips, to establish healthy boundaries, and to define what is most important to us. Saturn obliges us to be realistic, i.e. to define our visions within personal and physical limits. If we have been willing to let old situations die an appropriate death, peeled off another layer of karma, and simply been willing to be totally honest with ourselves, we are ready to take a giant step forward. Are you ready and able to acknowledge your uniqueness, claim your power, and share your gifts with the world?

Jupiter (expansion) and Saturn (realism) are in a very positive relationship with each other (a trine - 120°), from the end of January through the first of July this year. Trines offer us an easy flow of energy. However, being easy going does not mean they do the work for us. Trines simply offer periods of little resistance, but we have to take the initiative, take advantage of opportunities, and walk through the open doors. Jupiter in Sagittarius, and Saturn in Leo, deliver a joint statement - You are ready if you can use your resources wisely and focus on what makes your soul sing.

The Sun in Aries joins Jupiter in Sagittarius, and Saturn in Leo, during the first two weeks of April, to form a grand trine in the fire signs. This is an optimistic time. We feel inspired to act boldly, but wisely. Now is The time to follow our hearts.

Aries New Moon - April 17th

At the Aries new moon, the Sun and the Moon are still peacefully interacting (closely trined) with Pluto in Sagittarius, prolonging the opening that facilitates action, as well as strategic reflection. The moon is dark at the New Moon. We are invited to go deep inside, to be with the unknown, and to let ourselves be embraced by the invisible world of the Infinite.

Aries Touchstones

I attract because of who I AM. My presence speaks and works for me.
You have to be somebody before you can be nobody. We have to embrace Aries before we can merge into Pisces.
(quote by Ram Das/Richard Alpert).

Transitions to a Heart Centered World by Guru Rattana, Ph.D.

Transitions to a Heart-Centered World by Guru Rattana, Ph.D., is a rich and unique compilation of the core teachings and Kundalini Yoga kriyas and meditations of Yogi Bhajan.

The new Second Edition, revised and updated,is ready to welcome a whole new generation of students to this life-changing technology. It offers powerful and effective techniques to both teacher and student, to empower your lower chakras and open your heart to unconditional love.

Contains literally dozens of meditations to access heart and soul consciousness.

Kundalini Yoga - Navel Exercises to Align and Cultivate Fire Energy

The most important Aries lesson is to learn how to activate, access, align and appropriately use our fire energy. Our fire energy is generated at our navel center. Those who have a lot of earth energy, or feel sluggish or depressed, need to activate more fire. Those who have a lot of fire and air energy, and feel restless, agitated or out of control, need to learn to center and focus their fire energy in their body, integrating the out-of-control fire with the earth element. Fire energy is instinctual, so we experience it non-verbally in our bodies.

Fire energy is accessed and regulated at the navel center or third chakra. From the very beginning, Yogi Bhajan emphasized the importance of aligning our navel center. Many of his early sets focused on cultivating a strong navel center. Many of these sets are in Transitions to a Heart-Centered World 2nd Edition.

Our navel center is the core of our physical body. While the Sun is in Aries, we need to go back to basics and strengthen our fiery core. Nabhi Kriya on page 55 is the most basic navel set. This set is fully explained in Lesson 10 of my free online Kundalini Yoga course. It includes four exercises lying on your back and raising your legs. The first exercise is alternate leg lifts with the hands to the sides of the body or under the buttocks.

The important thing to remember with leg exercises is to slightly pull in the navel center, so that the small of the back remains on the floor. In this way we use our abdominal muscles to move the legs, and do not strain the delicate muscles in the small of the back. Also, with the navel pulled in and the muscles at the base of the spine and in the pelvic floor lightly engaged (root lock), we create a base in our lower chakras.

Meditation to Focus on the Self

Many of the meditations taught by Yogi Bhajan include pumping the navel point while breathing, holding the breath, or chanting mantras. Here is a simple mantra meditation where we pump the navel. Sit in easy pose, spine straight, neck slightly up and back so that the heart is open. Chant in a monotone for 3 to 11 minutes.

HA QUL HU HU HU (Pronounced Ha Cul Who Who Who)

HU means light. We are light. This mantra awakens us to an experience of our presence and identity as light.

Pump the navel, as you chant in a staccato, emphatic manner each HU (Who). (Do not pump the navel with the HA QUL.)

To end, inhale deeply, hold the breath, pull the navel toward the spine, inward and upward. Do this 3 times. Then relax and bring your attention to the pulse at the navel center. Feel this pulse as the center of your body, and let the fire energy radiate through your body. Be aware of your energetic, light presence. Love the feeling of Self in your body.

References and Footnotes

"Libra Full Moon, Aries New Moon", Austin, Stephanie, The Mountain Astrologer, Issue #132, April/May 2007, pp.103-104.

"Fundamentals of Vedic Astrology", Behari, Bepin, Lotus Press, 2003.

"Myths and Symbols of Vedic Astrology", Behari, Bepin, Sagar Publications, New Delhi, 2003.

"Planets in the Signs and Houses", Behari, Bepin, Sagar Publications, New Delhi, 2004.

"Astrology and Spiritual Awakening", Bogart, Gregory C., Dawn Mountain Press, Berkeley, 1994.

"Archetypes of the Zodiac", Burt, Kathleen, Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, 2002.

"Spiritual Astrology", Spiller, Jan and McCoy, Karen, Simon and Schuster, 1985 and 1988.

1. Bogart, p. 29.
2. Behari, Myths, p. 125.


For news of all the latest astrological events, check out Guru Rattana Blog