The first information on constellation of Aries is found in the ancient Babylon, but under completely different name. At that time this group of stars was named “Hessian” which symbolically represented the agriculturist or some similar worker.
In the ancient Egypt the name Ram appears for the first time, although the name Sheep was used very often as well. In that period, constellation of Aries would show up at the East with the beginning of the fall when the waters of Nile were rising and shepherds would take their herds away from the coast and separate sheep and rams. Their god, potter Khnum, the one who forms the creation was personified by ram.
The main myth related with this constellation comes from the ancient Greece and the story of The Golden Fleece. Athamas, the king of the city Orchomenus had two children – Phrixus and Helle with his first wife Nephele (the nymph of clouds). After he left Nephele, he married Ino who was jealous of his children and decided to kill them. In order to save them, Nephele sent a flying ram – the son of Poseidon with the Golden Fleece. The children managed to escape, but Helle was restless and she fell into the sea strait that was named after her – Hellespont or today Dardanelles that connects Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara. Phrixus happily flew to Colchis (today Georgia) and sacrificed the ram in the honor of Poseidon, whereas he put his golden fleece on the oak tree (the sacred tree of Aries’ ruler Mars) and surrendered it to dragon for safekeeping. Very soon the Golden Fleece became the motive for another mythological story. Greedy Pelias dethroned his stepbrother Ezon with the purpose to forestall the whole Thessaly. He tried to retain the power by killing all Ezon’s progenies, but his wife Alchemida managed to hide the son Jason and give it to centaur Chiron for safekeeping. Fearing for his throne, Pelias consulted the prophet who told him to beware of the man with one sandal…Many years later on his way to Jolka Jason lost a sandal when passing the river which was enough for him to get caught and brought before the king Pelias who asked him what would he do in his place…Jason responded that he would send him for the golden fleece…and his wish was fulfilled…
For his journey by ship Argo, Jason gathered tremendous group of heroes…Heracles, Orpheus, Castor and Pollux, Atalanta…that were named Argonauts. Historians don’t have the exact data on their number, but it’s assumed they were approximately 50 to over 80. After numerous adventures and with the help of Medea who fell in love with Jason, the Golden Fleece was found, but the ending wasn’t happy. Jason didn’t keep the promise of love to Medea, he lost the favor of goddess Hera and died all alone beneath the rotten Argo whose part came off and killed him…
Imaginative “astrologers” make many interpretations from these stories, they talk about Aries as the adventurer, leader of the brave and they search for complex emotional motives compliant to themes of unhappy love and unloved children. But, nowadays the constellation of Aries is between 28°47′ of Aries and 28°28′ of Taurus, and all 4 main stars from that constellation are in Taurus:
Mesarthim – the left horn of Aries on 3°11′ of Taurus
Sheratam – the left horn – the left horn of Aries on 3°58′ of Taurus
Hamal – the head of Aries on 7°40′ of Taurus
Botein – the right hip of Aries on 20°51′ of Taurus
The mere meaning of the Aries astrological symbol is very interesting; logically it coincides with the image of ram’s head. If we think a bit more thoroughly, this graphical symbol is actually denoting female reproductive system with vagina, uterus and ovaries at the ending of “horns”; Isidore of Seville already wrote on this topic in the 7th century.
THE AGE OF ARIES
Mythological symbolic of each star sign was deeply related to the culture and religion of the period of the first day of spring. I wrote about this topic more extensively in “To which time do we belong?” The mere constellations are not directly related to star signs, but the symbolic intertwines in many ways.
The age of Aries begins somewhere between 2300 and 2200 B.C. and it lasts till the appearance of the Christianity in the Age of Pisces.
It’s the period of formation of The Old Testament in which Moses leads the Jews from Egypt and forbids the worship of the old idol – golden veal from the Age of Taurus. Moses is also a shepherd, but war leader as well. The analogy of the God as the shepherd and the people as the herd of sheep is thematically present in Judaism and later on also in Christianity. One of the most famous Bible stories from The Old Testament is about the Abraham and the sacrificing of his son Isaiah as the sign of the unquestioning obedience to the God which was in the last moment stopped by the angel sent by the God; ram was sacrificed instead of Isaiah.
The English word – Ram, whose origins go a lot deeper, is found in the names of deities from that period that are related to Aries: Ra, Amon Ra, Abraham, Brahma, Mitra.. These are all deities related to the power of the Sun which is considered to exalt in the sign of Aries. The first monotheistic religion Zoroastrianism originates from this period, and the worship of god Ahura Mazda is through fire.
Slightly forgotten, parallel to Aries, the cult of Donkey was developing, its “dark side” in worshiping the Egyptian god Set whose symbol Y is explicitly similar to ram’s head. It is considered that vampires originated from this cult. … Aries is ruled by the planet Mars, who is related to the blood, iron and red color. Perhaps this fact is exactly appropriate for his dark opposition, for the eternal life in the night without the Sun that wins at the beginning of the Aries, the beginning of the spring.