Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.”
-Johann Von Goethe
Someone once asked me my sign, and when I told him I’m an Aries, he nodded knowingly and said, “Aaaahh,……Aries, the lovable assholes.” I laughed, but I couldn’t help but think how perfectly that suits the rookies of the zodiac. Don’t play dumb, you Aries. Wha..meeeee? I know you can’t help it, but surely you’ve figured out by now that you piss a lot of people off. The one sign that people seem to have a less than indifferent reaction about are the children of the ram. Who can blame them – Aries are brash, bold, bossy and independent. They’re aggressive and temperamental, seemingly oblivious to the needs and feelings of everyone around us. They can play well with others, but if things don’t go their way, they’re inclined to have a royal hissy, take their toys (and likely a few of yours) and go home. It’s not pretty.
Being the first sign of the zodiac, these are the infants in all their messy, newborn glory. Like blossoms bursting from the dead of winter, they bring promise and vitality of the new life. It may be hard to imagine this state, as we live with a natural sense of accumulation – experiences, feelings, memories, forging an experiential charm bracelet. But imagine an Aries who start with nothing. Could anything be more incomprehensibly refreshing? Exciting? Or frightening… Nah. Bring it. They are a clean slate, the tabula rasa from which they push off, self propelled without the drag of all that psychological gravity. It gives them the drive and enthusiasm combined with an endless curiosity that leaves them open to everything, because everything contains the fresh wonder of discovery. The world is their playground where they plunge in, double-fisted ready to play all the games, win all the prizes. Because they have such wonder and curiosity, they’re fantastic at starting things – brimming over with big ideas for even bigger projects. Chock full of ‘what if’s and why not’s, but when endeavors call for planning, patience, productivity, and other unattractive ‘p’ words, don’t even bother to look to see if they’re still around. For should they lose interest (and they will), they will take off so fast you’ll think they were wearing ACME powered rollerblades. (Booooooored. Outta here!)
As an Aries, I want to take some time to address a few misconceptions…
Aries are courageous
Courage implies having a sense of fear and acting in spite of it. It’s really more accurate to say Aries are fearless, but that’s only because they don’t know any better. They have no concept of the future which includes repercussions for their actions, and what could go wrong?, blah blah. Who has time for that? It just gets in the way of doing, and if they’re breathing, they’re doing. There’s a saying that goes, “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” Aries have no more experience of failure than success. They march out blindly welcoming whatever lies in their path — skinned knees, broken hearts and all.
Aries are self-confident
Ha. That’s hysterical. The truth is deep down they’re the most insecure of all the signs, because they have yet to build up a strong sense of self. Their lives are about building a self. They may be misinterpreted as self-confident simply because they rarely listen to others. They always need to find their own way, stand on our their two feet. Still think they’re self-confident? Try disagreeing with them. On anything really. (No, you didn’t imagine that. They probably did stomp their feet.)
Aries are leaders
It’s true, Aries frequently end up in leadership positions, but that’s only because they charge ahead doing their thing and people assume they must know what they’re doing and follow. It usually takes Aries a while to figure out there’s a crowd of people behind, but hey, if they want to come along for the ride, that’s OK. Just don’t expect them to have a plan. Like Indiana Jones said, “I’m making it up as I go along.”
Aries are aggressive
OK, yes, there’s a reason they’re always chosen first for contact sports and you’ll want them in your corner in a bar fight. They may look tough, and put up a hell of a fight, but they wouldn’t hurt anyone. Well, not intentionally. Chances are they come out swinging because they’re scared, though they’d rather die than admit it. Aries are easily wounded, having all of the vulnerabilities you’d expect of a child. Remember when I said they come in having to develop a sense of self, they really have to develop, well, everything. They don’t have enough experience to have developed social skills, much less boundaries or defense mechanisms. Don’t let the scrappy bravado fool you — they may as well have marshmallow peep centers.
Aries are competitive
Well, yeah. Isn’t that the point of a game? But they’re not out to beat you; they’re out to win. There’s a difference. There’s only one prize and the goal is to get it — you just happen to be in their way; it’s nothing personal. In fact, they won’t even notice that there are other people in the game half the time. Besides, how else can they prove to themselves that they’re good at something unless they’re winning. Duh.
Aries are bossy
They’re not bossy. They’re just used to getting their way – always, which as you’ll learn is really the best for everyone, because if an Aries isn’t happy, no one will be happy. I’ll let you in on a secret – Aries are the most easily manipulated of all the signs. It may sound hard to believe, but true. You just have to know which buttons to push. Being basically babies they have a deep, primal need to be loved, so in the end, they’ll do anything to keep from losing your affection. And you want to know a surefire way to get them to do something? Simple – just tell them they can’t. They’ll do it just to prove you wrong. So there!
Man, I am so going to get beat up for dishing all this…
April 18, 1889
Very few people should garner the term ‘legend’, but this unforgettable entertainer definitely earned the title. Silent Film trailblazer Charlie Chaplin is still considered unparalleled for his abilities with mime and slapstick comedy. His trademark character of ‘The Tramp’ could be christened the original ‘lovable asshole’. He personified the impishly troublesome yet endearing qualities of an Aries. Without speaking a word, he could evoke such humor, charm and yet brilliant pathos and vulnerability. Seek out those brief, grainy clips of celluloid and it will be technicolor clear why he was one of the most famous and beloved stars of his time. And yet for as much as the public loved him, he was not easy to work with (Aries rarely are). He had numerous arguments with directors and producers, but used his mammoth success to creative independence where he wrote and directed his own films. In an effort to secure independence for film makers, he co-founded United Artists Film Company with other stars seeking to escape the power and control of what was developing into the Hollywood studio system.
April 5, 1908
Also considered a legend was Better Davis, known as one of the most influential film actresses of her time. Her Hollywood colleagues called her a lot of things, but lovable never came up. (Aries are used the name calling. Sticks and stones.) Direct, intense, highly combative with an unrelenting perfectionist nature – and that was probably on a good day. Again, it’s clear Aries aren’t the easiest to work with. She was a clear example of what a force of nature they can be. But in the category of strong, willful women, oh what a storm to watch. Believe it or not, there was a time when women were the box office draws and Bette ruled with a velvet glove. And let’s talk about fearless. At a time when actresses were turning down roles that were too ‘unsympathetic’, she sought them out, seeing them as an opportunity to show her range. Her personality, like her famous line from All About Eve, seems to ring out like the Aries battle cry, “Fasten your seat belt, it’s going to be a bumpy night.”
March 27, 1963
Of course you know his films, the self-taught wunderkind Quentin Tarantino who happens to be independent filmmaker’s hero. Film school? Hell no – He dropped out of school at 16, and found his own home school course fervently watching movies while he worked at a video store. He wrote Reservoir Dogs in only three weeks. (Aries don’t mess around – they get the job done.) Since then he has produced, directed and starred in many films, most penned himself.” Aries don’t like to mess around with the study and preparation — they head straight for the DOING, because they really do learn best while they’re doing.
Okay, maybe this came across a little harsher than intended. Perhaps in an attempt at apologetic self-awareness I erred on the side of highlighting the annoying and irritating qualities, since we may not realize the damage we can do until it’s too late and there’s (another) mess to clean up. I’ve made more than a few in my lifetime (and still counting!). Unfortunately, our ‘asshole’ qualities have been well documented. But what about the lovable part of that opening phrase… I mean, all it takes is a walk by a playground to remind me of the Aries’ saving grace, and the thing I love most about the sign, which is their purity. I truly believe they can be the truest and most genuine of all the signs, as they have no guile or pretense, no manipulation or game playing. They’re completely honest and direct because they don’t know how to be any other way. They’re refreshingly candid in a guarded and cynical world. What you see, is what you get. Bank on it. Like babes, they are enthralled in the moment, aware and excited by what’s happening right in front of them. They’re unabashedly fun, infecting others with their enthusiasm and humor transforming even the most mundane of tasks into playtime. And if you piss them off? Yeah, they’ll throw a fit, but watch how fast it blows over – like a Louisiana storm passing through. You’ll be back to drinks after soccer in no time. They’re open and trusting, loving as freely as someone who’s never been hurt, and would never hurt you. When they’re generous, they offer up their gifts with a childlike kindness and sincerity guaranteed to leave you but a melted mess. And like the Goethe quote, they have a mesmerizing, magical vitality which seems to leave a trail of energy as they boldly fling themselves into everything they do with their entire being, leaving their imprint on all they touch. Everyone around them feels more alive just being in their presence, and they remind us what a gift life can be. All the aggravation is forgotten, all is forgiven. You just gotta love us.