Aries is a cardinal, fire sign.  His key words are, "I am."  He rules the head.  Like all fire signs, he exudes zest, enthusiasm, and spontaneity.  Being the first sign of the Zodiac, he symbolizes beginnings.  True to his ruler, Mars, Aries is a self-starter who courageously takes the initiative and charges forth into the unknown.  He's self-centered and self-directed.

Aries' competitive drive pushes him forward.  He wants to be number one.  Being two is like losing.  But Aries competes primarily with himself.  He wants to be the best he can be.  He aspires to leadership positions, not so that he can tell others what to do, but so that he can do what he wants.      

Aries needs less social reinforcement than other signs.  As a child he lets his parents know he'd rather figure things out for himself than have their help.  As an adult he's honest, direct, and straightforward.  He stands up for what he believes in.  Aries doesn't intend his directness to be critical or hurtful.  He's not vindictive.  He doesn't carry a grudge.  He just says what he thinks, and he welcomes others who do the same.          

Diplomacy--or sugarcoating anything--feels like dishonesty to Aries, and he makes no distinction between compromise and giving in.  He finds it hard to believe that others can place more value on social approval than on doing what they think is right. 

This doesn't mean that he doesn't enjoy approval-- although he'll never to admit that he does--but that he'll do what he believes is best despite the opinions of others.  If he disagrees with what's going in a given situation and he can't change it, he'd rather go off on his own.  As one Aries put it, "When I'm alone, I know I'm in good company."     

Aries is quick to anger, but he is also quick to get over it.  He enjoys a good argument.  He has an ability for abstract thinking as well as a propensity for action, so he's equally as adept at engaging in intellectual discussions as in having an argument.      

Because of Aries' tremendous energy level, he needs constant activity and accomplishes tasks faster than anyone else.  To him the rest of the world moves at a frustratingly slow pace.   Patience is not one of his strong points. 

In order to accomplish long-term goals, Aries needs to learn to wait for events to mature.  While he is proficient at starting, insecurities that he keeps well hidden beneath his self-confident image emerge when events do not come to fruition quickly.  His frustration can cause him to give up or do something else.  This is evident in Aries' dislike of anything in which he does not immediately excel.  At work he believes he should be promoted once he knows his job irrespective of the amount of time he's been there.

Romantically, this tendency manifests by Aries falling in love at first sight and hotly pursuing the object of his desire.  He then easily feels rejected if the other person does not immediately return his feelings.  However, once a romance matures, he needs freedom and independence--not necessarily to see another person--just to do what he wants.

 excerpt from A Beginner's Guide to Astrological Interpretation

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Joyce Levine specializes in helping people recognize their natural abilities and use them to overcome their personal obstacles to success and to take action at precisely the right time to achieve the results they desire.