Mar 20 (Vernal Equinox) – Apr 19, 2017
Disclaimer: the Sun sign is a much-celebrated yet oversimplified astrological element, usually given more significance than it deserves. Remember – you are a whole soup of planets!
Happy birthday sheepies!
From the belly of a long, strange dream, you suddenly awaken. The earth is cold and night yet all around. You crawl to the shore anxiously, and the water falls away. Step by step, up and out of the darkness. Ahead looms the mountain. Breathing deeply, you climb effortlessly and without hesitation. You climb for what feels like only a moment, but then you are there, at the top. Your eyes open at last. The sun, blood red, is rising beyond the jagged peaks. You are the first to receive its light, and the only. Tears and screams and worship become one, and you kneel before the gong. Your body quakes with the earth as it splits, and into her fires you fall, but not fast enough.
Welcome to the very beginning of the the zodiac wheel, where crimson flames lick inner shores. If Pisces is the last breath, Aries is the first. Aries season marks the spring equinox every year. This cycle represents, categorically, the turning of the earth toward all that is new.
Change and endings during the Pisces cycle start to make sense. Pen and page touch; planets form. Come, let’s lay the groundwork for the year.
Aries looks at who we are. Sometimes this means just sitting with ourselves, and it comes flooding in, the endless parade of thoughts and impulses and aversions and attachments, the parade of Self and what it means to be anything. You’ll be moving too, rest assured. Aries lives to move, actually. Aries embodies the third niyama (Patanjali’s prescribed yogic duties/observances) known as tapas, translated as the heat generated by the body. The literal translation of tapas is austerity or discipline – so it is not just heat, but a burning of impurities, a burning which leaves us cleared, ready to commit. Specifically, the heat of Aries emanates from the head – yes, the physical head, but also the head as in the ego – where consciousness comes to a head.
In fact, Aries rules the head, brain, muscles and blood in the body. The ram uses his energy to direct prana upward: udana, toward the crown. In Ayurvedic medicine we know him as pitta. In life we know him as a child who cannot, should not, will not sit still.
As is usually the case, there is nothing you can do to prepare for what comes next. I emphasize the ego’s role in Aries because it is the single thorn in what is an otherwise incredible time to be alive. I am so excited for all of us, that we may all be stoked by the fire of will power and directive force. Revel in the glory of your own sweat! Look at your body in the mirror and kiss yourself clean. Be fierce in your endeavor to love yourself. That’s what we have to do, to withstand the first growing pains on the path of self-love, we have to get tough, like sun in the eyes of an opponent. Before you can really love or support another, you must love yourself. It’s so difficult, learning how to love ourselves. Self-love is the defining quest, the journey of all journeys.
It’s a busy inaugural season! The first day coincides with a quarter moon. Although I have written about these beginnings as rocky, it really does depend on the nature of the square. Fortune befalls those who make change. On March 27 we have the new moon in Aries, the equivalent of New Year’s Day in western astrology ^__^ When the Sun moves into Aries, Mercury and Venus will still be there, but on March 31, Mercury moves into Taurus and the ego simmers down. Venus, still retrograde, backtracks to Pisces on April 2. One day later, another quarter moon, then Saturn Retrograde begins April 5. Mercury falls retrograde April 9. We have a full moon April 11 and, lastly, Venus Retrograde ends April 15.
A scarlet gem smolders in the pineal gland. This is the ram’s invincible life-giving power. Suffering sizzles in the blaze, columns of sparkling orange smoke arouse the senses. Doubt, insecurity and fear have no place here because fire does not reflect, it simply moves. See the sun, chasing down an endless night. Dance, fill the dark sky with your light! Shine so bright you blind the world! When you inevitably find yourself up at dawn, get to know Aries with powerful morning breathing exercises like kapalabhati and uddiyana bandha. Jump into the day! Stand on your head! Salute the sun, be a warrior! Discover the magic with Aries Yoga.