March 20 marks the entry of the Sun into Aries and the Vernal Equinox: the cardinal point of initiation and the beginning of Spring. Aries marks the beginning of the zodiac and the first of the fire signs. Aries is idealistic, courageous and seeks to live in a way that is truly larger than life. Aries is not interested in ordinary mundane reality; give them a quest, a mission, and they are happy. Ruled by Mars, Aries individuals tend to have strong desires and an independent streak, they are not easily disciplined and seek to make their own way in life. They have a strong temper that flares easily but the fire is easily put out, after which they forget what made them angry in the first place. They tend to be innocent like a child, and can lack empathy, being unable to really understand what others are going through.
Liz Greene writes:
“Aries, the first sign, the sign of spring, is the symbol of new life after the cold and barren winter. All of nature heralds the spring with a burst of life and colour, sometimes precipitate, sometimes rash, sometimes premature, but a reminder that everything has a new birth, that no matter how dark or limiting or depressing the winter it always ends with the spring. The whole world responds to the new hope and new life of the spring. ”
Throughout history, the vernal equinox has been a time of celebrating the resurrection of nature from the death of winter. One of the earliest resurrections myths is that of Osiris in ancient Egypt. After Osiris was murdered and chopped into pieces by his brother Set, his wife/sister Isis took the pieces to Anubis, lord of the underworld, who brought Osiris back to life. His resurrection is celebrated at the time of the Vernal Equinox.
Ancient civilizations across the globe built temples and monuments to honor the Vernal Equinox. Biblical legend tells us that the Temple of Solomon was oriented to the Equinox sunrise. Standing stones from ancient Celtic Britain were also aligned to the Equinox. The Mayans built temples such as the one in Chichen Itza that were oriented towards the rising sun on the Vernal equinox as well.
As we head out of winter’s darkness and complete our pass through the zodiac that ends with Pisces, we can take advantage of the flush of energy that Aries offers. As we head towards the solar eclipse and the Aries New Moon that occurs on March 29, we can slough off the dead skin of winter and the past, moving into a future that is brighter and more aware.