Aries Animal Totems and Archetypes

The Sun enters Aries (Spring Equinox) on Sunday morning, 20th March 2016 at 4.30 a.m. in the U.K.  This is the eleventh and penultimate in the series where I look at some of the animal totems and Archetypes for the various signs. Do you, or someone close to you, have Sun, Ascendant or Moon in Aries?


Aries the Ram ushers in the beginning of the astrological year.  In the western astrological system, it represents new birth, the heat of fire, and is the first of the masculine signs.  The horns of the ram in ancient cultures represented male potency.  Nicholas J. Saunders tells us: “The ram was one of the first objects of cult worship, as is evident from 10,000-year old Saharan rock paintings which depict humans worshipping a ram with a solar disk between its horns.”  Aries represents energy and action, and the Ram is a fitting symbol.  The ram is often depicted head butting, and Aries people often go literally head first into things, often incurring scrapes, cuts and bruises to the head.

Ted Andrews associates the ram with new beginnings.  Certainly Aries people are very good at initiating projects.  They often lose interest in following through, however.  As a child, my Aries brother used to start a new hobby every week: harmonica, macrame, you name it.  He did however, settle on a solid professional career when he grew up.  It is that newly ignited enthusiasm which Aries represents.


The Moose represents another quality of Aries: Self Esteem.  Self-esteem can be an underrated quality in our society.  Everyone wants self-confidence, and self-assertion (another Aries trait), but with competitiveness and jealousy, displays of self-esteem can be viewed with suspicion and criticism.  Yet a healthy personality needs a health core self-esteem, and others need to allow self-esteem (as distinct from ego) to flourish and blossom.  We often delight in that quality in children, but feel threatened by it in adults.  Aries self-esteem is the real Mcoy, and when you see it, applaud it I say.  False humility is no substitute for the authenticity of this aspect of being.

Jamie Sams and David Carson say of Moose: “If you have chosen the Moose card, you have reason to feel good about something you have accomplished on your journey…It is a time of feeling harmonious pride, and of recognizing those who aided you in the process.”

I always recommend as presents, buying a child a cuddly toy which represents their animal totem.  Wise was one mum I knew who gave her Aries boy a cuddly Moose from a young age.  He was inseparable from it, and last I heard was growing into a successful adult.  Self-esteem for anyone needs to stay intact.


While large dogs are the province of Sagittarius, most dogs come under the banner of Aries and Mars.  This especially pertains to the good old mongrel!  While Aries represents Everyman, it also especially has resonance with the Mongrel dog.  But all breeds do come under this sign.  Dogs carry the Inner Warrior and Protector energy of this sign.  The dog can stand for courage, another outstanding quality of the Aries personality.

Aries make wonderful allies.  Sams and Carson comment: “Reclaim the power of loyalty to self and self truths.  Become like the Dog – your own best friend.”  The sign of Aries is about your relationship with yourself.

The African Wild Dog and the Australian Dingo are efficient hunters, and the pack is organized in such a way that each dog has an individual function.  Many years ago, there was a spellbinding TV documentary about an orphaned African wild dog called Solo.  Her life then took on a surprising turn, as she befriended jackals.


I have found that Aries people sometimes acquire the nickname Bear.  I have not been able to ascertain which characteristics of Aries are responsible for this phenomenon.  I have concluded that each person with that nickname acquires it for a different reason.  It could be their warmth, or cuddliness (as we associate them with teddy bears).

Nicky Scully writes: “Bear is one of the oldest recorded totemic beings, offering nurturing, strength, protection, and wisdom…Children – and your inner child – will also appreciate playing with Bear.”

Polar bears are much loved and respected, and of course endangered by global warning.  They can also be known for their aggression, as in the Norwegian incident in recent years where a British boy was killed.

In “Starlight Elixirs” by Michael Smulkis and Fred Rubenfeld, polar bears are linked with the star Mintaka in the constellation of Orion.  They say:On this star system… has come an understanding and appreciation of how aggressive energies could lead to awareness, peace, and understanding.  They saw that in the Earth system was a great difficulty.  The Martian energies which have been associated with Earth thought forms but transferred and created in higher resonant intensities by residual Martian thought forms, the planet Mars itself, and the symbol of Mars have led to certain hostilities, hatreds, angers, and aggressive tendencies with Earth beings.  One of the best ways these beings could show beings on Earth other capacities of happiness would be through the animal life forms, through people’s unconscious, and through ways in which they were reminded of possibilities so that they could make choices about happiness for themselves.”

If you like Polar Bears, there is still time to catch Davina McCall stroking one on her programme on Extreme Climates this week!

Bird Totems

Some of the bright, colourful birds such as the bullfinch, with its rose pink breast, come under Aries.


Hawk has traditionally been associated with a keen eye, and Aries and Mars rule the quality of Vision, and physically the eyes.  Nicky Scully equates Hawk with illumination, and the Egyptian Eye of Horus.: “Hawk is a noble helper who sees with great clarity and profound vision.  Through the perspective of Hawk, you can look to the origins of a present problem or plan.”

Andrea Wansbury urges discernment: It could be that you want to rush headlong into something without having all the facts, and this might not be the right time to ‘swoop in for the kill’.  In fact, the situation may pass over without any interference being necessary on your part.”

Ted Andrew writes a great deal about the Red Tailed Hawk, and the significance in energy terms of the red tail.  Red is the colour for Aries, and signifies the 1st chakra and primal energy.

Red Kite

The red kite is another popular and powerful bird.  Its theme again is Vision.  Angela Wansbury does not write specifically about the Red Kite, but of the Kite in general she says: “A kite is saying that your energies are too scattered and you need to be more focussed.  Decide on one thing you want to achieve, and focus your attention on accomplishing it.”  That is good advice for the Aries, on following through.

Mythological Creatures

Some Dragons

The dragon is a fabulous beast, seen more as a protagonist, but brings out the hero in us, as in when we slay our own dragons!

There are some dragons more associated with the water or other elements, but the smoke or fire-breathing dragons, such as that slain by St. George, are associated with Aries.  The red dragon, emblem of Wales, also qualifies as an Aries dragon. Legend has it that Uther Pendragon, King Arthur’s father, saw a fire-breathing dragon in the sky, which was a sign he would become king.

Feisty women are often referred to as dragons, especially if they are effective in the workplace, and it is sometimes used affectionately as a mark of respect for their strength.  Nancy Reagan, who I wrote about in my last blog, had the nickname “the Dragon lady”, and this came from the conjunction of the Sun and Mars in her birthchart.


Inner Warrior

The Inner Warrior Archetype speaks for itself: bold, active and protective.  It comes up in many charts where there is a strong Mars.  We all need to be able to stand up for ourselves.  When linked with the North Node, it represents the fact that the person has trained in the warrior tradition in past lives.  The modern tradition emphasizes the way of the Peaceful Warrior, as expounded by Dan Millman.  Hopefully, we have all had enough of war by now.


The Pioneer refers to the fact that Aries is the first sign of the zodiac, and likes to be first!  It also contains the courage of breaking new ground, going boldly where no one has gone before.


Although other signs approach sport from different angles, e.g. the Leo through competition, the Sagittarian via horse riding and archery particularly, and the Aquarian through teamwork, Aries represents the building of the strength of the physical body.  So the modern craze for keep fit and membership of the gym suit the Arien very well.  You see women body building as enthusiastically as men in this 21st Century, although even fifty years ago it was a rarity.  One related Archetypal figure is Tarzan, that raw male, the He-Man, hero of early 20th Century film.

Athlete is one of the modern Archetypes identified by Caroline Myss.  She acknowledges that this archetype was born in the original Greek Olympics.  Her final thought for the athlete is: “this is your time to shine. Through your commitment to your own physical well being and self-care, you are helping to set a new standard of personal health and individual responsibility. In doing so, you are changing the world for the better. ”


 “The Golden Cauldron” by Nicky Scully

“Medicine Cards” by Jamie Sams and David

 “Animal Speak” by Ted Andrews

 “Archetypes” by Caroline Myss

“Animal Spirits” by Nicholas J. Saunders

“Birds Divine Messengers” by Andrea Wansbury

“Starlight Elixirs” by Michael Smulkis and Fred Rubenfeld


It’s an extremely busy week for aspects, so without further ado…

Sunday (20th) is the Spring Equinox, and the Sun enters Aries early in the morning, at 4.30 a.m. in the U.K.  It’s the beginning of the astrological new year, and a renewal of energy.  I hope you feel that Spring has sprung.

In the afternoon, Venus conjuncts Neptune in Pisces, so various facets of Love come to the fore.  This aspect is mainly an influence for the good, encouraging unconditional love, ideal love, chivalry, and sensitivity in relationships.  There can be a flip side, in unrealistic expectations of love, illusion, and even deception.  If you are involved in the Arts in your weekend leisure pursuits, this aspect can bring about a perfect performance or inspired creativity.

Mercury enters Aries on Tuesday (22nd), and the soft and sentimental balance of planets in Pisces is gradually shifting to the more hard headed and logical processes of Aries.  Mercury in Aries favours getting to grips with realistic philosophies, living in the moment, and mathematical problems.  Time to sharpen up your Sudoku pencil!

Wednesday (23rd) is the most important day this week.  Jupiter squares Saturn, and you may be torn by two sets of demands.  “Should I stay or should I go?” you might ask yourself.  Jupiter is expansionistic, and Saturn is restrictive, so you might feel as though you were in the middle of a concertina, or chasing your tail.  In the end, you will have to go inwards and make your decision from your centre.

At Noon there is a Full Moon at 3 degrees Libra, a penumbral lunar eclipse.  Emotions are heightened, but there is an attempt at equilibrium and compromise in relationships.

In the evening, the Sun conjuncts Mercury at 3 degrees Aries, which aids concentration, if you are not feeling emotionally drained from the eclipse.  If you have cleared your head, you can go some way to achieving a personal goal, such as faithfulness to the gym, or working out a 3D Sudoku.

Mercury trines Mars on Thursday (24th) so you can build on any physical gymnastics from the previous day, or mental goals.  Mind and body can work together energetically, and efficiently.

Friday (25th) is a more difficult day.  First, Saturn stations prior to turning retrograde.  You might feel that some progress you have made on an important issue is about to ground to a halt, or take one step back.  Be patient, and try to see why being forced to buy more time may result in a better overall end result.

Venus then opposes Jupiter, not a difficult opposition as oppositions go, but it is still an opposition.  It is more like a couple trying to decide where they are going to go out – will it be a Spring picnic, or a lunch date.  A mild tussle, and the outcome may not be too serious either way…if it were not for the next aspect.

Finally, Venus completes its T-square with Jupiter and Saturn by squaring Saturn.  The decision where to go for the outing was the easy part.  There may be a little regret over the outcome.  A partner may be sulky, if he or she lost the toss of the coin.  Not an easy day, and you may need to be philosophical, or not raise your expectations too high.

In contrast, Saturday (26th) could restore balance and faith.  First the Sun trines Mars, another go ahead, high energy aspect.  Good for physical pursuits, such as sport, dog-walking, or getting the car in tip top condition.

Then Venus sextiles Pluto, of a more relationship centred benefit.  A cosy tete-a-tete could turn into a deeper heart to heart, or soul to soul affair.  So maybe, something for everyone on Saturday.

The week in bullet points:

  • Sunday – a fresh new beginning, love and beauty
  • Tuesday – a logical outlook
  • Wednesday – dilemma, balancing relationships and emotions, then some concentration
  • Thursday – brisk and efficient action
  • Friday – obstacles strewn on the path
  • Saturday – dynamic, constructive and satisfying