The New Moon in Aries heralds the beginning of a brand new cycle. It’s the time of year when the Universe goads us to be more forthright, bold and honest about what we need as individuals. It’s the time when, we face another fear, we take a new step forward, the Universe appreciates those efforts by rewarding us with new levels of personal empowerment, growth and strength. Sounds glamorous and exciting, right? But what most astrology books don’t tell you is that Aries bold warrior-ship, the kind that sounds so good on paper, and is so admirable in others, is a direct result of experiencing profound levels of frustration, lack, hardship and dis-couragement, first. Aries courage is nursed on the mother’s milk of adversity. What else besides adversity (and adversaries) would cause the fire within our very being to rise and take action?
Aries New Moon, 13’30′ Aries, April 3, 2011, 7:32 AM PDT
Facing adversity, adversaries and hardship isn’t easy for anyone, but let’s honor that it’s harder for some people than it is for others. I’ve been working with a number of clients who have either Aries South Node or Aries North Node in their chart. The difference is, as it always is with the Nodes, in one of habitual attitudes. Aries South Node is familiar with facing hardship and adversaries, and also with the attitude of ‘I’ll watch my own back, you watch yours’. They’ve survived something epic and devastating, like war, and having karmically been there, done that typically handle discouragement better than some, though sometimes in a foolhardy way. These same people have a Libra North Node, so their goal is to calm down, to learn the value in playing well with others, and to back away from the addictive adrenaline cocktail and reach for the serotonin, instead. On the other hand, Aries North Node people have had feel-good vices too close for too long, have bent for others when they should’ve stood their ground, and sat on the fence while other people took a stand and courageously fought formative battles of selfhood. Stick an Aries North Node (or Mars joined North Node) in a difficult situation, ask them to muster up the courage to face it honestly, to take positive action and they will likely have a difficult time, but that’s the exact medicine they need. As many of us find true when facing our fears/pain, we need to face the same territory that threatened, terrified or even directly harmed us in the karmic past to move forward. Hard stuff!
We can say something similar about difficult aspects to Mars in the birth chart. Though less of a conditioned heart memory showing up as a poor habit and more of a need to integrate Mars into whatever part of our self (represented by a planet) which Mars aspects. Since everyone has a Mars, everyone has a house ruled by Aries, or Aries planets, and that is the area we are each called to play the part of becoming our own hero. It may be difficult for you. It may come more naturally to you. You will run into a few problems, and that’s part of the deal for anyone. Doing Mars/Aries training is like attending Cosmic boot camp: We need to be forcibly humbled (often by a stringent trainer/adversary), to learn right action, true fearlessness and courage. I tend to believe we can either do the Gods, or the Gods will do us, consider creating your own Mars strength-training sessions. Here are some of my own ideas for effectively creating a Mars boot camp.
1. Cultivate more courage in your life. Courage is, of course, relative. For you, it may be jumping out of a plane. For a 7th house Mars or Aries planet it may be owning that the angry screaming person beating on the hood of your car as a reflection of the frustration and anger that you haven’t had the experience of expressing. Once Mars gets going though, Mars is a tricky beast to tame: the red guy gets pumped up on competition or anger, a little too easily. For my 6th house Aries Mars, working hard without overworking, learning the limits of what I can do safely and healthily, is a work in progress. For example, yoga. I learned to seriously question our competitive Western interpretation of an Eastern spiritual practice when I pushed myself so hard to keep doing ‘one last reach, a little higher and stronger…‘ that for years since I haven’t been able to do any yoga without pain. Waterfall jumping isn’t for me, either. Every time I’ve been competitively goaded on, or made a choice out of fear, I’ve gotten hurt. Sometimes Mars can get a bit too full of him (or her)self.
2. Make new choices. With Aries, Mars or First House planets you have an ability to make a self-directed choice, and if that’s not working, to make a new one. This act of choice is the most life-shaping, destiny changing gift you have. Choices create karma, including ones we don’t make. Most astrologers consider Saturn the Lord of Karma but consider the idea that Mars is Lord of Karma, too. We are never doomed to repeat the past; we are always free to make a new choice.
3. Recognize that your reactions and non-action are also choices – and those create karma, too. Action is karma, but so is reaction, and non-action. We have to have a conversation with someone who really irks us and we get reactive just thinking about the last time we had to deal with them and before we even have the conversation we’re so pumped up on adrenaline that we lose our free will. Inaction can be peaceful, but there are many ways inaction can be damaging. An alcoholic mother passed out on the sofa ‘forgets’ to pick up her child from school. Or we know we need to squarely and courageously face a self-destructive behavior that is damaging our relationships and our self — but we don’t.
4. Face a fear more constructively. Most of us can identify a hand full of fears. But if you’re one of those lucky people who has to smoke out new fears to conquer, look no further to where the Aries New Moon falls in your chart to discover where you’re flat out scared, terrified, and/or angry. You may feel stupid here, inept, clumsy because that’s everyday stuff for the Avatar of Adversity, Aries. Think of this Aries house as the part of your life ripe for courage claiming and fear-facing. It’s also the area that will reward you with increased confidence and self-awareness when you do. You may not actually need to conquer your fear. Discovering a fear and naming it so that it no longer controls your life, is it’s own yoga.
5. Quit a bad habit. Astrology of yore says the Aries New Moon is the best time of the entire year to quit a bad habit. Period.
6. Deal with your anger. My stress and bodily pain levels used to be so high that I used to grind my teeth at night to release the tension. Routine exercise helped the pain, but being able to let loose my frustrations, to share hot, difficult, uncomfortable emotions with my husband made the difference. My dentist has noticed the difference; no more grinding! Check out this site if you are actively seeking alternatives for releasing dangerous effects of built up tension, pain, stress.
7. Be your own hero. This New Moon speaks to your need to answer the hero’s call to show up more fully in your life. Do you need to claim more self-time? Do you need to make a bold new step in an area of your life? If you’re feeling weak in this area, I heartily recommend emulating someone who has triumphed through a similar adversity. Find a hero or heroine.
Collectively, strife, stress, war, disaster, difficulty are staring us straight in the face. While we all have adversity in our personal lives; if it leads us to personal understanding of the human condition, it is a good thing. If, lost in our personal subjectivity, we cave into despair, it is not. Use this Aries New Moon to alchemize your own relationship to adversity. Isn’t this butterfly wedding dress a gorgeous and inspiring symbol of the major personal metamorphosis we all want?
Courage, love and butterflies.