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Aries and Aries Rising: Going to the Top of Your Dreams

ONE OF MY early astrology teachers, Barbara Hand Clow, once mentioned in a workshop a phenomenon she noticed in the world, and I’ve noticed it quite a bit myself. In the language of astrology, it’s people wanting to get themselves into the 10th house without doing the work of the 9th house. In plain English, this is about wanting success and recognition without working out the education, ethics and larger issues that are involved. If we could all do more time in the 9th house, we would not see the problems with the 10th that are so common. And this is precisely what you’ve done: you’ve come through a long-term leadership-training academy called Pluto in Sagittarius.


Now, Pluto is at the top of your chart — your 10th solar house — and this is calling on you to be on top of your game. You are arriving here when the world is in the midst of enormous change in the business sector: everyone and everything is supposedly shrinking. You may be wondering how, exactly, you’re supposed to find a place for yourself in a more creative, influential or profitable role in the midst of this. Yet your astrology is precisely about the intersection of your own aspirations with the changes that the world is going through.

Rather than being about the Creator having a sick sense of humor, this would seem to be about synchronicity. You are arriving in what we’ll call your 10th house moment at a time when change is the dominant theme. The way to handle this, if you ask me, is not to proceed as if everything were normal, but to start the conversation with yourself and anyone advising you by fully acknowledging the fact that we are in a moment of profound change, and then making all of your plans around figuring out how to make the most of this.

Whether you are in business, looking for a job or looking for a better job, the equation is about the same: look at what is so, and figure out how to make it work for you. This is the most basic business strategy out there; it’s just that individuals who are accustomed to being on the personal strategy end of the world rather than the business strategy end may not think of it. This shift is less about what you do, and more about thinking of yourself in a new way: less as someone whose role is to perform a function.

I would add this. Pluto moving through your 9th solar house for well over a decade has come with one important message: you live in a larger world than you ever thought you did; or rather you have now found out how true it is that you live on a diverse planet larger than you can ever really use, but where so much is accessible to you. The key here is reorientation. It’s about positioning your mind in such a way that you actually see what is available. More than anything your life is a story about seeing the possibilities — and for many reasons which I will get into, this should be easier than ever.

The Ethics of Success

While you may feel like your ability to succeed has been limited by some strange or invisible factor, it may involve having been taken on a grand tour of the subtleties of right and wrong and the many contradictions involved. There is a way to step back and look at the total Western economy as an ethical disaster. To whom is it actually fair? Who gets shut out of the game? In order to be an ethical person and also play the game of life, most of us need to make some adjustments. Note that these are different from ignoring the issues or the total compromises that we are expected to make.

They involve a more complex relationship to oneself and one’s intentions than we are normally accustomed to hearing about. We need to apply some whole-systems thinking to the equation. What you seem to have been very busy doing, meanwhile, is forming a relationship to what various spiritual movements call the ‘high self’: the unfamiliar self, but the one that knows you better than you do.

Though I have never seen your sign given this delineation in an astrological text (among many other things I’ve never encountered in astrology books), Aries is a sign with profoundly deep spiritual roots. You don’t (it would seem) always claim this as motive, and I doubt you step up to the pulpit every Sunday morning and belt out a huge sermon (but you would be good at it). I mean that you are in contact with your authentic spiritual roots, which to me equates to having faith in existence that is based on awareness of your cosmic origins. Indeed, this sense of inner strength can be so strong that (at least in many times past) you have taken it for granted, without necessarily checking in with the wisdom it has to offer you.

It is the potential shunning of something you have in abundance that most often leads you to come from the surface of your mind, rather than connecting with your underlying motives and the strength that would offer you. Pluto in Sagittarius has compelled you again and again to check in with another source of intelligence than the ones you have typically accessed through your life.

Now is your moment to put your deepest intelligence, your faith and your self-knowledge to work. When you do you will discover how much of these things you have, and have to share with the people around you. You will figure out just how important your example to the world is.

Eris in Aries

We are all under outer planet transits right now — that’s the beautiful thing about our moment. Buy outer planet transits I mean influences by the slow movers, stuff that makes Saturn look like a carousel: Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and for you, something called Eris. The most distant planet, and likely to stay that way for a while, bigger than Pluto and barely mentioned once at the United Astrology Conference last year unless of course you visited the Planet Waves table and picked up a few of my articles, Eris is slow and so pervasive that it will be in your sign your whole life. If you look on the Resources Page you will find a short book about how this one planet has basically taken over the meaning of your birth sign. There are a good few Aries who have the Sun conjunct Eris and embody this archetype fully.

I will summarize a new way: Aries is the astrological archetype of initiative, turning the key on the engine of intention. Eris asks: just who is having this intention, and why? For you this is not a simple question, because you may be involved with so many layers and dimensions of “self” and “intention” that your personality can feel, at times, like total chaos. This is one of those states you can only address by going to a deeper level, or a higher level, as you prefer to think of it. What you need to remember is your definition of yourself as a mental concept is entirely variable, which is another way of saying that it’s subject to creativity. Not it, but who you are is subject to creativity.

In other words, you are not the passive recipient of “an identity” and its “treatment in the world.” You are in a situation where you need, more than most people, to be a conscious architect of your reality. That need is based on a larger-than-usual dose of personality chaos; which in turn offers you more creative juice. The thing is you are not making an art project or a musical composition, you are the art project.

One way this may have manifested is a sense of rejection or not fitting in. We all go through this, but Eris is closely associated with any version of that story of the castaway woman. To the world she looks like the one who won’t conform; she won’t be the woman everyone expects her to be. From the outside she’s shunned. Then you meet her and you find out she is a healer who can help you with what ails you; she is a midwife who can deliver your baby; she is an independent woman who is not owned by any man; she has unusual powers. For anyone who has read Iron John by Robert Bly, Eris represents the female equivalent of the archetypal primal woman: the proto-woman who was never tamed. If you are an Aries man, this archetype affects your entire psychic structure but it’s also a commentary on your inner woman.

She is not the same as the other girls, and she’s shocked that most women are the way they are: so willing to yield, sell or trade the essence of their identity in order to fulfill some other goal. If you want to read more about it, here is an article I prepared last year.

Eris is a new factor in astrology, and one I suggest you get acquainted with because it’s in your sign and will be for many years to come.

Pluto in the 10th Solar House

Now let’s recast Pluto in the 10th as a function of someone under the influence of Eris. One of the factors of the Age of Eris is that we have almost entirely lost the experience of having one job or one career.

Pluto is now in Capricorn, and this is one of the truly great sea-changes of your life. It represents not only a shift from an interior reality to an exterior one, but also taking on a mantle of authority that you will need to use intelligently. This is not merely symbolic power; I would propose that it’s an actual influence, authority and ability that you don’t fully understand and that has just as much potential to do harm as it does to do good. So I trust you will forgive me for harping on this ethics angle six ways from Sunday.

As you enter an extended phase where worldly accomplishment becomes the thing foremost in your mind, and indeed something that is authentically likely to happen, you need to stay close to your cosmic roots. By that, I mean a constant referencing, to the point of annoyance, whether what you are doing is, in fact, in alignment with the greater good. The greater good is not just what’s good for you, though you must be included. It’s not just what will get the results, though results are involved. It’s about aligning yourself with the whole story; with the story of the world; and remembering that you are part of something much larger than yourself.

This means being extraordinarily careful when dealing or associating in any way with those in power. Consider yourself under scrutiny. Understand the laws that affect you, and follow them. You may feel a tendency to make up your own rules (because you have the power to do so), and I suggest you put it in the file marked “long-term goals.” For now, one of your most crucial mental exercises is to understand the rules, whether you like them or not; and to figure out a way to work with them. While I am on this subject, you can learn a lot about the forthcoming phase of your life from the events of your life from 2002-2005, when Chiron came across the 10th house of your chart. In one short sentence: Learn from your mistakes.

Pluto in Capricorn wants to change the ways of the past, and we are currently as a society straining under their weight. Placed in the solar 10th house as it is in your chart, a natural enough place for Capricorn, those ways involve what some call top-down authority; patriarchy. They involve the notion that authority is something that is vested in structures such as the government, corporations or the church and not in people. The other view (one taken by the framers of the American constitution) is that power is something that flows upward, from humanity into its institutions, like water flows upward from the ground into the leaves of a plant, even as it falls from the sky.

This is a philosophy that for reasons I’ll get into in a moment is dear to your heart, and which is actually accessible to you now.

The problem with Pluto there is that if changing the past is not immediately convenient, it could end up incarnating as the ways of the past, several orders of magnitude more annoying. The entire process of Pluto in Capricorn comes with this dilemma: do we take the chance and make the investment in learning a new kind of distribution of authority in our lives, our businesses and our communities, or do we take the cheap way and basically take over and get the job done? Because you are an Aries, the sign Capricorn is one of your personal angles, and therefore you become a kind of personal delegate of this stage of our culture’s growth. You are a kind of mediator.

Another shade of this dilemma is wanting to change the past without understanding history. It is true that there are often better ways to do things, but this rarely works if we don’t understand the methods, motives and intentions that led to the way things are now. You are not famous for your patience, though I suggest that as you begin to cultivate your place in the world as a reformer and leader, you strive to understand the past and do your best to find some wisdom in it. Many cultures and many people have encountered the issues that we are facing now, though to a lesser magnitude; but the issues of the human psyche have often existed just like they do today.

Whatever you are setting out to do, such as move up in your company, start your own company, create a new career, run for public office, become a social activist or do charity work; whether you want to become a parent and raise a family (one possibility of a 10th house transit) I suggest that you look for several examples of times when things were in a profound state of change and get a sense of how that change happened. It’s vital that you understand how long change sometimes takes, and then how quickly it happens when its time has arrived.

If, as your charts strongly suggest, the emphasis of your professional life is going to shift in the direction of business, it’s crucial that you understand what is happening in the government and business environment to the best extent that you can. Study the banking crisis that is still unfolding. Watch as many of society’s institutions crumble, and notice where there is room for something new. The old is indeed clearing away, in what seems like a massive, at times terrifying confrontation. But what are we here to do next?

A Family Connection

Most of the patterns of society are contained within the family. The family is in chaos at the moment, in most places. And where it is not, it’s feeling the strain of the rest of the world around it. People are beginning to express their complexity, and this does not jive with the supposed simplicity of relationships and families as we want them to be. Even if people are not expressing changes externally, many are feeling the stress internally as the need for something different, but we are trapped in a kind of psychological authoritarianism that has been passed onto us from prior generations.

I suggest that you use the occasion of your 10th house Pluto transit to understand the power dynamics of your family, because if you don’t understand them you will have no more insight about them than a rat in a maze. And you need a lot more flexibility and freedom than that; you need insight; you need an overview. And as long as you remain self-aware and willing to look at the world as it is and not just as you want it to be, you will have that perspective, and many people around you will benefit from it.

The Great Conjunction: An Aquarian Vision

I say all of this knowing that you know that very good things are possible in this world. I’m going to take a not-so-wild guess and propose that you’re fully aware that what we are lacking is the cooperation factor. There is all this stress between the individual ego and the need to surrender a piece of that in order to work and share purpose with others.

We tend in our society to do this in toxic ways, for example, in violation of our own values (something that is particularly toxic to you, and which I’ll get into in a moment when we come to the theme of money). Most people do things all the time that they don’t really believe in, and when it comes to doing what they actually do believe in, there is a presumption that either the personal risk is too great; or that it’s not cool to stand out too much (basically, the same idea as the first). You have been doing a very strange dance with this individualism/conformity issue the past few years, and lately the tension has been so stiff you could, well, you could dance on it.

This involves Chiron moving through Aquarius, your solar 11th house. This is the feeling of a potentially unpleasant, at times, deeply healing awakening to the nature of your place in your circle of friends and your community, however you define community. There is a strong pull to be part of something, and though it’s not exactly easy and does not always get results, the feeling is presumably a lot better than the endless, wistful longing that preceded it for years. It’s better than feeling like you belong somewhere then it turns out that you don’t. The real drama involves the need for a sense of belonging, which is a need shared by humans and nearly every other species.

I would point out that while our culture manufactures alienation, a psychologist named Abraham Maslow pointed out that the need to belong, to be socially relevant, is one of the most inherent human needs. You know this, and being a person who is identified with the Eris archetype, you can empathize with others in this situation. The Aquarian struggle that we all face — and you most poignantly — is about how to maintain our individuality and also be part of something. We have passed the days when we can sacrifice who we are to be accepted by others. Such is not acceptance at all; it would be selling out.

Strive to understand the dynamics of the groups that you are in beyond your own personal need for belonging. You need to understand everyone else’s need for belonging. I suggest that you be so clear on the nature of your own tribal wounding — that is, rejection from various tribes including potentially your family — so that you can clearly sense the tendencies of the people around you, and where you actually fit into their lives.

While Pluto is offering you the constant temptation to take charge, your real strength and influence are things you share with your peers. Lean more toward informal social structure than formal social structure and you will be much more successful. The more that you strive to work with people and take their counsel, the more they will respect your leadership and your authority, and the less you will have to use it. While it may seem that working for cooperation is time consuming, you will soon discover that it’s far more efficient, and it’s easer on your mind and body as well. Cooperation means harnessing the power of others for a common purpose. It is a skill, and there is a trick to it: that trick is about being authentically yourself at all times. Fake nothing. State your agenda and your goals. State clearly what you need. And then listen to what you hear coming back in your direction.

I recognize that being authentically yourself in our era of history feelsĀ to many like walking up the side of a building. Most people lie as a way of life. Count up the lies you have told, just to get by. A friend just wrote to me, and said: “My part is to be my own person after being cajoled into infantile, happy, nice, pretty-no-matter-what behavior for all these years and so angry and sad that now I’m expected to have it all together and that everyone misses the irony.”

No, it’s not easy and no, don’t miss the irony. But if anyone can do this, I assure you, it is you.

For the Love of Money, Stick to Your Truth

The world is going through its trials and tribulations where money is concerned, but the discussion is missing about half the alphabet. Money is a metric of something, and what it is supposed to measure is value. But we both know this is bullshit. Money might measure value, but it’s not the only measure. And it certainly cannot give any clue about the concept of values, though it does tend to get in the way of a meaningful discussion of that issue.

I suggest you let nothing get in the way of that conversation in your life. You need to be assessing your value, which implies “value to the world,” and you need to do this in something other than just numbers. There is an intriguing setup that develops early in the year, where the planet that rules your money house (Taurus, on your 2nd solar house cusp) turns to retrograde motion in your birth sign. This is exact March 6 through April 17.

Let me attempt a grossly oversimplified and useful interpretation: Don’t do anything for money. Do it because you want to do it. If you feel a need to reject something because there is not sufficient cash return, that is one thing. But to do something specifically because you want the money is not going to work. It is simply not an adequate motive.

And For the Love of Love . . .

Yours is the sign of initiative and desire, and your opposite sign is that of relationships, balance and attraction: Libra. Building on a theme that has been developing in this essay, here is something of a key to love for you this year; or rather, a theme that will be pervasive, if you acknowledge its existence.

Libra, the ruler of your opposite sign, visits your sign for some five months this year. This has many permutations. It could be an image of so radically identifying with another person that you forget yourself. It could be about falling in love with yourself in the guise of falling in love with another. It could be about seeing that every different person is the same person, and that you contain them all. It could be about reaching inside for that ideal person you seek, but who you seek is a projection of something you already are — and making compassionate contact with that something.

Venus in your own sign is about seeing and expressing the opposite part of your nature than you usually express. And it is a beautiful image in the Buddhist style of “Everything I see is me.” There is a great gift here. You may figure out that you don’t need to be “in love,” you can simply love; or looked at another way, that you can be in love with the world and that is just fine.

One Response to “Aries and Aries Rising: Going to the Top of Your Dreams”

  1. Siobhan C.N.G. Reyd Says:

    I Just want to say thanks to Eric, you are just so accurate!!, all that you have said I can so relate to!!, its helps me to realize that it wasnt just all in my mind, as all of my Life I would get under some people skin, as I was holding up the mirrow to them, ie doing what they would love to have the self love to do!!.

    Yes I am all that you have said & more in your reading!!.

    Please check out my web site, as you may be interested in the psychic link, you can also see the Naadi Leaf Reader in India, I go to India a lot, since the last 8years, as a Therapist, Healer, Artest, there is allways so much to get & Learn from India.

    Hope one day our Paths will cross, as you are such an alive interesting person!!, not many like you around!!

    Love & Light
    PS I would love for you to do my Chart, in return you can choose any of the Prints from my Site.