Living an Aries Life
Astrology for Real Life
by Rebecca Brents
Aries folks may remember when they were kids and the world seemed intent on squashing every bit of energy and individuality they were brave enough to show. Being irrepressibly ourselves ... which came so naturally ... wasn't something the rest of the world seemed to revel in like we did. I remember lots of scowls, criticism and anger ... and many clear messages that I was not at all what my parents expected from a little girl.
There may not have been much about me that was "ladylike" -- one of my father's favorite words ... and the subject of many a lecture from him to me. There certainly wasn't enough to please the two of them with what the gene pool and celestial timing had handed out in the way of a baby.
As an adult I have to wonder what on earth they expected from a child in the first place. They were one of the most ill-equipped parental combinations I can imagine. My mother was an only child, my father was a youngest child. Neither of them had had much to do with infants or little kids growing up. Baby-tending wasn't something either of them had ever done ... and by all accounts I was not at all suited to being dressed in lace and frills and shown off in Sunday school and then put back on the shelf for the rest of the week. But that seems to be what they thought "parenting" would be like ... until I actually arrived.
I didn't want to sit on laps. I didn't want to be held. I had my own strong ideas about what I wanted to do with myself and how to spend my time. Much of it involved being left alone -- that is, not interfered with, not fussed over, not fenced in or held back. I was told to stop being so competitive. (I thought winning was the point of playing games ... and I set out to do exactly that every time out of the chute.) All the negative qualities of Aries were eventually pinned as labels on me. I was selfish. I was impatient. I was bossy. I was too much of a tomboy. I was not ... here's that word again, "ladylike."
Double-Aries ... Sagittarius Rising. Those of you who know Astrology enough to understand what that energy means ... I ask sincerely, does that sound "ladylike" to you? My father said I was "instant everything." He said, "With you, there are no shades of gray. Everything is black-and-white."
Maybe when he said that to me ... when I was a child, he was right. No longer. As an adult I am haunted by a world smothered in infinite shades of gray. I long for the clarity of black and white issues, personalities, values, experiences. But I rarely find them. Cut and dried dramas on television or in the movies bore me silly. But pieces where the heroes have serious flaws and villains have their sympathetic side ... those complexities of development and presentation can hold me entranced, again and again. That's how I see the world everywhere ... and if I grew into that perspective, I don't remember when it happened.
My first husband, an engineer, echoed my father's judgment when he declared me to be a "digital person." By that he meant I had two settings: On or Off. Either intense, engaged and in an all-out push to get what I wanted, go where I was headed ... or do what needed done -- or off an idea entirely, bored, uninterested, indifferent. I didn't see it that way ... but as in that old party joke about how if two or more people start telling you you're drunk, it's time to lay off the sauce and sit down -- I had to consider they weren't just making this stuff up.
So, I decided to go with it ... and if this was me, than so be it. My present husband learned. Eventually. Not as fast as he should have maybe ... but he got there. When I'd say I wanted to do something, start something, get something, go somewhere ... he'd ask, "Right now?" ... and I'd answer, "If I wanted it later, I'd ask for it later." Now when he still (occasionally) asks, "Right now?", I just have to look at him over the top of my glasses ... and he gives that resigned palms-up gesture of surrender ... and life goes on. I have to admit, it's easier that way ... on both of us.
Once when I was in my 30's I told a friend I felt like I'd been trying all my adult life to get back to being the person I was when I was five years old. To tell you the truth, I liked her a lot ... and the changes I made under the pressures of life and for the convenience of other people weren't always welcome. Now with another thirty years of practice and effort toward that end, I know I haven't made it yet ... and it's possible (likely?) I never will. But I'm closer now than I was for a very, very long time.
Odd, to view life that way and call it progress. To spend a lifetime coming full circle ... hoping to end up as mostly the person you were at the start. And yet the artistic symmetry in that image is amazing. It's the timeless theme of the Hero's Journey ... to return to the place of your beginnings, and know it for the first time. Perhaps we're all reaching for that end ... and some of us know this more clearly than others. Even if we came on the knowledge by accident.
(c) 2009 Rebecca Brents, All rights reserved.
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