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Slow Global Warming


by Gary Brand - written March 16, 2006,
published in the April 2006 edition of Echo* newspaper

Photo mosaic of Mars' Marineris hemisphere is a compilation
of images taken by the Viking 1 Orbiter. Photo mosaic of Mars' Marineris hemisphere is a compilation of images taken by the Viking 1 Orbiter.  In the center is the largest canyon system in the solar system, Valles Marineris, which extends over 3,000 km (over 1850 miles) in length, as far as 800 km (500 miles) in width, and up to 8 km (5 miles) deep.  By comparison, the Earth's Grand Canyon in Arizona is 800 kilometers long, 30 kilometers wide, and 1.8 kilometers deep.  Courtesy of NASA/USGS.

This is a 1491 woodcut of the classical representation
of Aries as a ram. This is a 1491 woodcut of the classical representation of Aries as a ram.  Not much symbolism here, except that his head is lowered so that his horns are presented first, which is symbolic of the head-strong nature of this sign.  From the 1491 edition of Bonatti
(G.B. (c. 1282/1491)).
his is one of a series of articles about the metaphysical meanings of the signs.  Metaphysical astrology is the study of first principles and the esoteric or hidden meanings of the signs and planets.  This article addresses the first principles of Aries and Mars (ruler of Aries), which we all have somewhere in our birth chart.  The meaning or energy of each sign of the zodiac manifests in some area of life symbolized in the birth chart of each of us, whether we have planets in a particular sign or not.  The entire visible Universe is based on the 12-fold manifestation of God we call the zodiac (E.H., p. 244 (1974) ).

This sign more than any other is the symbol of First Cause because it is the true beginning of the year.  While the Sun is in this sign, hibernating animals emerge from their sleep, almost all animal species become sexually active and impregnated, insects emerge from their chrysalises or eggs, trees and shrubs gain new leaves, bulbs and other plants break through the surface of the Earth, and all of this is triggered by the tremendous increase in sunlight with each passing day and the gradual rise in daily temperatures (although global warming has pushed many of these events earlier - when the Sun is in the sign of Pisces).  This all applies only to the northern hemisphere where the predominant forms of astrology were born and flourished.  Regardless of place on Earth or time of year, our birth and the birth of every creature and thing is symbolized by Aries because it is the birth of the New Year and of the zodiac.  It is associated with the ravenous vitality, unbridled strength, procreative power, blind courage, and reckless impetuousness of youth.

The myth of Aries began with Phrixus and Helle, children of King Athamas, who were hated by their jealous stepmother Ino (a familiar theme).  Because they feared for their lives, they fled on the back of a marvelous ram with a Golden Fleece (later sought by Jason) who could speak, had reasoning powers and could fly through the air (the ram was a gift from Mercury - who represents speech and reasoning and who had winged feet).  As they were lifted away through the air on the back of this ram, Helle fell into the sea and the Hellespont was named after her.  Phrixus reached the Black Sea on the ram where he sacrificed it to Zeus (Jupiter) who commemorated the event by placing the ram's likeness in the sky as the constellation of Aries.  This myth tells us that we are helped by our decision-making mind (Mercury gave them the ram) when we're endangered by those closest to us (the stepmother) but even the escape itself is dangerous (Helle fell off the ram and plunged to her death).  The myth also tells us that sacrifice should follow our rescue and delivery from danger.  In today's world, this means giving up something that we value that relates to our rescue to demonstrate to God our sincere thanks for delivery from a destructive or life-threatening situation.

Aries initiates the cycle of reincarnation and, therefore, of manifestation in the material world.  In the context of reincarnation, the circle of the 12 signs is not just a single circle but a circular piece of a long spiral containing many circles of the 12 signs serially connected to one another, very similar to the spiral of our DNA.  Through our incarnations, we can progress through the signs or, in rare cases, leap in our spiritual development from one spiral to the next above it.  We can also "fall from grace" by slipping back one or more signs or, in the case of souls who cause great suffering for many other souls, fall one or more spirals of consciousness below the present life.

The sign of Aries and the planet of Mars both symbolize the first principle of self-discovery through and self-absorption in pursuit of personal experience.  This does not mean that every person born with Sun in Aries or with a strong Mars is a selfish narcissist, since there are Aries who bravely fight for noble causes above and beyond personal desires.  Yet, Aries and Mars are primal symbols of the warrior in each of us.  Mars, as the god of war, was venerated above all other deities (except perhaps Jupiter) by the vainglorious, brutal, conquering Romans.  Today, many Americans (especially those in positions of power) have selfishly come to worship insatiable Aries/Martian traits like lust, competition, fighting (in the arenas of war, politics, sports), violence (glorified by TV programs and movies) and brute strength (from hostile corporate takeovers to gang warfare) above all else.

Because Aries is a prime symbol of manifestation, when we identify with our bodies or our physicality (most of our sense organs are located in our head, which is associated with Aries), we experience separation from unity, from our divine nature that remains unmanifested in the unconscious part of our being.  One lesson for Aries is to avoid making the joy of living (pursuit of sensual, temporal pleasures) an end in itself.

During the Age of Aries (about 2,000-4,000 years ago), Moses (the last Egyptian initiate) led the Hebrews out of Egypt.  This Age was symbolized by the sacrificial lamb and how our divine souls have made the ultimate sacrifice to separate from paradisiacal unity and to crucify ourselves on the cross of the material Universe (on the beams of time and physicality) in order to save the Earth through spiritualizing it very gradually over the course of many incarnations and Millennia.

See related article Metaphysical Mars.

*Echo is a monthly newspaper about community, the environment, health, cuisine, and spirituality that is distributed in central Virginia.
Good Timing and Location are Keys to Success

Gary Brand, Traditional Astrologer
Tallahassee, Florida

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