SunShines The Astrology of Being Happy
By Michael Lutin
Fireside Copyright © 2006 Michael Lutin
All right reserved.
March 20 -- April 19
Dates vary from year to year -- consult your local astrologer
Aries is the yellow crocus that pops up through the snow, premature maybe, but there to remind Ole Man Winter to get the hell out of here because spring can't wait a second longer. Aries is hydrogen, not only because it's the first element on the periodic chart, but because Aries rules the most primitive force of life. It is the quickening in any being that sets it on fire to live, not just to live or survive, but to triumph over life.
Aries is there when antlers are sprouting and the males begin eyeing each other in discomfort and pawing the ground. It's the first light of dawn in the Big City. You can see morning pushing through its pink streak visible behind the buildings to the east. A cab driver zooms by sipping his coffee, beating the light. He's the first one up on his shift. He's an Aries.
Maybe the first man alive was Adam. Maybe it was Homo erectus or Australopithecus, because Aries rules over the first anything that is alive, is ignited.
Try to imagine the mad, insane, fabulous rush the astronauts must have when they hear it's a go, and the rocket engines beneath them roar into magnificent flames, and they think, "Son of a bitch. It's really happening. We're going to the stars." It's the thrill of the new that isAries.
Forget the head-banging, cajoling, convincing, hondling, and fooling around any early explorer had to do before he got the damned ships and actually set sail on an unchartered ocean; that's Aries at work. When there's a one-day half-price sale on expensive food processors and the store opens at nine, who's at the head of the line at 7 AM? Aries. Of course.
Whatever the mechanism is that differentiates an ant from an elephant on the DNA chain is ruled by Aries, because Aries rules the uniqueness of identity. It's what made you irreplaceably, irresistibly you, me me, and Brando Brando. It is the face you never forget, the name the mere mention of which evokes a thousand associations like Joan Crawford or Reese Witherspoon.
Aries is the force within you that liberates you from the tyranny of guilt and regret and kicks you into positive action. It is believed by some researchers that a baby chooses its own time of birth. The fetus produces from its pituitary gland a substance that eventually leads to the contraction of the mother's uterus and the expulsion of the baby-to-be in to the world. It's called the "I'm-outta-here" hormone, and it's definitely Aries. The moment when day becomes longer than night in the northern hemisphere is called the first point of Aries. It begins the cycle of life over again. It is the light. The Sun god Ra and the triumph over fear, darkness, imprisonment, and even death is Aries. It is the exaltation of the Sun with its life-giving and healing power, ceaselessly generating warmth and life-giving properties to all living beings. It is the woman who forgot she had cancer twenty years ago. The guy who was told five years ago he had one month to live, but last night he went out to dinner with friends and had three vodka martinis.
Aries is the fearlessness and courage that sent firemen bounding up to the eightieth floor of the World Trade Center, with no thought of anything but saving people and the belief that nothing could ever happen to them. If you're Aries, your goal is heroism, foolhardy or not.
One has to wonder, then, why so many members of your noble sign are just plain pushy and obnoxious or the opposite -- totally yellow-bellied chickens?
One has to realize that Arians come in all shapes and sizes. There are more aggressive types, milquetoast types, spiritual types, blue-collar types, and other assorted characters, each with a unique way of expressing their divine identity. Then, too, were you the first born? If so, did siblings follow? The way your parents dealt with the fact that the Sun no longer rose and set around your little heinie affects the way you relate to other people. If you were the first born, naturally you're going to have a great sense of responsibility, and you're bound to be a bit bossy. And if you were not the first born, that in itself can create a somewhat bizarre contradiction, since in your mind you are the first, the only, the one and only. So you see that it is quite difficult to gather together all the possibilities and put together one simple picture of an Aries without turning your sign into a Frankenstein thingie. We can however isolate the major fundamental themes and issues and let you take it from there, mainly because you can't stand anybody telling you anything anyway and you can listen for only two seconds without your mind wandering back to the only subject of any interest: you.
Open wide, here comes the big medicine: male dominance.
Man or woman, whoever and wherever you are, Iranian fundamentalist or hip-hopper from the East Bronx, who's on top is your key issue -- is, was, and always will be. Now, if you're a woman under a black burka reading this by flashlight, better not let the imam catch you. It's blasphemy. Or if you're a Catholic woman and wondering why the hell members of your sex aren't being ordained yet, quickly think something else. Those thoughts are impure. And conversely, if you're an Aries man who prefers sewing to snowboarding, better be careful. Aries is all about the issue of what it means to be the man in charge, even if you're a woman, a straight woman or a lesbian, doesn't matter. The story is the same. All members of all signs get a little defensive when it comes to gender identity, and the louder, more boisterous, and aggressively some display their pride over it, the more defensive they probably are underneath.
The western countries are lightening up on the subject, so it's not so important any more for a woman to wear a lot of pearls and pretend her husband is right when she knows he's talking through his butt. She doesn't even have to get married to prove she's normal. And an Aries man can cry when Melanie dies at the end of Gone with the Wind and not be labeled a sissy. Well, that's not always true, because some people are still stereotyping and probably always will.
If you're an Aries, you must prove your dominance and it doesn't have to be by hitting somebody over the head with a club or a fourteen-inch penis, either.
Just by being born an Aries you're lucky. You're a powerful person, period. The life force within you beats with unceasing certainty. I am here, I am here, I am here, I am here goddamit, I'm here, I'm here, your heart seems to be saying. You will not be ignored. You cannot be ignored. Your energy streams from you in an unending flow of invisible particles that radiate outward in all directions. And that's why you have to take hold of yourself. Otherwise you're all over the place.
You're obnoxious -- screaming, impatient, bossing everybody around constantly, furious at people because they can't read your mind and grant your wishes before you even say them. You're enraged at the latest outrage of someone who failed to spread their cloak across the puddle so you could pass. Everyone annoys you because they're all moving in slow motion, as if they're in another dimension made of honey and glue. You certainly can't hold a job indefinitely because all bosses are morons, and you know way more than they do -- than everybody -- so you have to fake your rèsumè as you get older so you don't look like a bipolar maniac.
Relationships? Come on. When you're not in control of yourself and all that energy, how can you expect to carry on a normal sane relationship? Everybody bores you. Nobody can keep up with you. You're like a cat that yearns to be picked up but then jumps off a lap and runs away. On a date the person sitting across the table from you will be bombarded by your latest, nonfascinating tale of your most recent travels over molehills you've made into mountains until that person has to excuse himself or herself to go to the john either to throw up or call their roommate and beg them to ring the cell phone in five minutes to say their mother died so they can grab a taxi and go home -- alone. When you are not the master of your energy, you can be like a suicide bomber who's just swallowed a bottle of Dexedrine, screaming, "Lemme at 'em! Lemme at 'em!" without even knowing who the enemies are or stopping to think what they may have done to deserve your blind, atavistic wrath.
Don't forget you're an animal, and a primitive one at that. Wearing shoes and eating with silverware is a chore in itself, and because you've had to fend for yourself since God knows when, it's not easy for you to be kind and sweet and patient if people don't just get up and tip their hat after you run them over. You're more into wielding your power than using it. You can be like the guy with the electric drill that's been souped up to such a degree that he's not handling it, it's handling him.
Where this kind of rage and self-absorption comes from is hard to say. It could stem from either too much early repression or too little discipline. If somebody beat the hell out of you from the time you can remember, you were destined to be one pissed camper when you got out on your own. And a beating doesn't have to be physical. A systematic destruction of your identity and confidence could create later outbursts of anger and violence. It's a vicious cycle. Men strike their wives. Women strike their little boys who grow up to strike their wives who continue to strike their sons. Your rage could also come from the fact that you were not given good guidelines when you needed them. So you are an animal let loose on the streets, and you have no idea that there's anybody else in the world except you -- much less a society populated with individuals whose needs and wishes you have to bother with addressing.
On the contrary, when you don't understand your powerful energy and it frightens you, you may go the other route and be the turned-inside-out Aries: the tip-toeing little timid person always afraid to make a noise, take up space, speak your mind, exercise your will, even insist on a restaurant. This is the passive-aggressive sort of Aries who needs lots and lots of hard-core therapy -- even more than the loud-mouthed, pushy, know-it-all bores. If you're one of these, male or female, you've been castrated, and you've got to grow back your organ of open self-assertion. Granted, people are rarely just one kind of Aries or another. In some instances you can be confident and self asserting -- say in business -- and then when you get home at night you're running back and forth to get your sweetie coffee, then milk, then sugar, then, oh sorry, sugar substitute. Moderation of course is the secret to all success, but in your case, it's vital. So many Aries are terrified of living without the daily fix of caffeine and/or nicotine. They get their courage from coffee, and they are so terrified of losing their edge they don't dare allow themselves all the joys of intimacy and sharing that go with living in a happy family setting. So they're constantly seeking a new high, a new thrill, always upsetting the status quo just because for them the status quo means death. Same in business. If the challenge isn't impossible, quit and go elsewhere. Comfort and safety become anathema to the Aries spirit of adventure and thirst for newness.
Nonsense: Your power comes from how you direct your energy. You are in complete control of it when you decide to be. When there is someone to be defended, a cause to be fought for, wrongs to be righted, you can be as focused and able to cope with a hundred impossible tasks at once as a certified public accountant at 11:30 PM on April fourteenth, and fortified with the determination and accuracy of a missile on its way to a target. You may bitch and moan as you whack your machete through jungle after jungle, but when the challenge is there all your fears vanish along with your self-absorption. This is the moment your dominance surfaces. Hand you a job other people wouldn't dare touch and you laugh. For you the driving force is the competition. Isn't it funny? As selfish as some people think you are, you are able to do for them what you can't seem to do for yourself. You'll support them, push them forward, speak for them when they're too shy, anything that involves being brave for those who cannot help themselves. In your own life you may still have problems speaking up for yourself or avoiding intimidation by partners or other people to whom you have yielded dominance.
Never ever forget how lucky you are to have been born an Aries. Of course, nobody could ever appreciate your wonderfulness enough, nor could you ever in one lifetime realize all the potential you've got stored up in one little pinky. Gathering those forces and directing them -- that is where you can take no advice, have no help, get no guidance. That ability is something that is in you: a potential, an innate divine talent. When you are inspired, you catch fire. What inspires you to channel that energy is totally, completely, eternally, and forever an individual choice. We all hit the speed bumps fate has placed in the road, but you and only you can make certain decisions about how you want to react, which roads to travel and which to reject. The choices you make have to be yours, as well as the responsibility for making them. Your horoscope may suck and your childhood may have been a nightmare, but individual morality comes from the strength you find within yourself to alter the course of your own destiny. This is what "male" dominance is all about, not pushing a fat kid in glasses down in the schoolyard or screaming at coworkers or family members. Nor is it about going belly-up because somebody's bigger or pushier than you. True dominance is about looking for and finding courage within yourself. You don't have to run into a phone booth and come out in a blue suit and a red cape. Courage Aries-style comes any time justice needs someone to step forward and fight for it.
So how do you focus your power to achieve your goal of heroism? What are the forces that drag you backward and keep you from reaching the highest manifestation of your Sun? What are the energies that can support you, guide you, enhance your positive qualities, and make your Sun shine bright? The fact is you're not just an Aries. There is another energy operating, one that either cuts across your efforts and undermines them, or spirits you to heights of joy and fulfillment. That energy depends not on the month you were born, but the year. Later on in this book the technical aspects will be explained more fully. We'll examine how you waste time chasing your own tail, why you do it, and how to pull yourself out of self-destructive obsessions and put yourself back on the road to success. But for now, check out the following table. Find your birth year and note the number beside it. Then read the section corresponding to that number.
|Year-No. ||Year-No. ||Year-No. ||Year-No. ||Year-No.|
|1901-2 ||1902-2 ||1903-1 ||1904-12 ||1905-12|
|1906-11 ||1907-10 ||1908-10 ||1909-9 ||1910-9 until 4/20, then 8|
|1911-8 ||1912-7 ||1913-7 ||1914-6 ||1915-5|
|1916-5 ||1917-4 ||1918-3 ||1919-3 ||1920-2 |
|1921-1 ||1922-1 ||1923-12 ||1924-12 ||1925-11 |
|1926-10 ||1927-10 ||1928-9 ||1929-8 ||1930-8 |
|1931-7 ||1932-6 ||1933-6 ||1934-5 ||1935-4 |
|1936-4 ||1937-3 ||1938-2 ||1939-2 ||1940-1 |
|1941-1 ||1942-12 ||1943-11 ||1944-11 ||1945-10 |
|1946-9 ||1947-9 ||1948-8 ||1949-7 ||1950-7 |
|1951-6 ||1952-5 ||1953-5 ||1954-4 ||1955-4 until 4/14, then 3 |
|1956-3 ||1957-2 ||1958-2 ||1959-1 ||1960-12 |
|1961-12 ||1962-11 ||1963-10 ||1964-10 ||1965-9 |
|1966-8 ||1967-8 ||1968-7 ||1969-7 ||1970-6 |
|1971-5 ||1972-5 ||1973-4 ||1974-3 ||1975-3 |
|1976-2 ||1977-1 ||1978-1 ||1979-12 ||1980-11 |
|1981-11 ||1982-10 ||1983-9 ||1984-9 ||1985-8 |
|1986-8 until 4/7, then 7 ||1987-7 ||1988-6 ||1989-6 ||1990-5 |
|1991-4 ||1992-4 ||1993-3 ||1994-2 ||1995-2 |
|1996-1 ||1997-12 ||1998-12 ||1999-11 ||2000-11 |
|2001-10 ||2002-9 ||2003-9 ||2004-8 ||2005-7 |
|2006-7 ||2007-6 ||2008-5 ||2009-5 ||2010-4 |
|2011-3 ||2012-3 ||2013-2 ||2014-2 until 3/22, then 1 ||2015-1 |
|2016-12 ||2017-12 ||2018-11 ||2019-10 ||2020-10 |
|2021-9 ||2022-8 ||2023-8 ||2024-7 ||2025-6 |
|2026-6 ||2027-5 ||2028-4 ||2029-4 ||2030-3 |
If you hear that you don't have the greatest reputation in the world for being sweet, wonderful, and kind, that will hurt and surprise you. You do try so hard to be nice to people and bend over backwards to please them. Trouble is, you do so but then at a certain point you snap. And when you get angry, pal, do you get angry! You can't stand all that smiley baloney that people throw at you when you know they want to kick your butt. So you're not really all that great at long, boring meetings with Japanese businessmen. As sweet and charming and romantic as you can be, you can sound like a bullhorn when you're pissed, loud enough to send a flock of birds flying from a branch five miles away. As thoughtful as you try to be, it's easy for you to snap back into a very selfish mode. You do make lots of efforts to listen to the needs of other people, but your knee-jerk reaction is to grab back control to regain dominance. In an undeveloped state, you think about yourself first and can hardly carry on a real two-way conversation without bringing the subject back to you, where you're at, what happened to you, and other insignificant details about you you you.
This is actually very possibly a gender issue, one in which your masculine side -- macho, if you will -- is overdeveloped, no matter if you are male or female. The animal part of your Aries nature still thinks it's okay to pee with the door open -- if you even bother to not go on the carpet. That's a bit of extreme hyperbole, but the fact is you're great at playing a wild, uncontrollable, free-spirit hothead. It's natural for you. It's not the path to lasting happiness in relationships, however, unless you believe in wife-beating or husband-bashing and that will only land you in the clink. Besides, once you've dominated somebody you only end up feeling bad and guilty anyway and then have to spend double the amount of energy making it up to them. So it would be worth the effort to get on the more balanced path of caring about your effect on other people and not doing such a hit-and-run job on them. You're a lot less concerned about the feelings of other people when you're young and full of defensive anger. By the time you are old enough to have had plenty of run-ins with authority figures, you become interested enough in what other people think about you to be able to take the message to heart in the loving way it is intended and not just throw this book down, screaming "This guy's a moron!"
So it doesn't mean you're a little wimp just because you're mature enough to think before you speak or ask for advice before you make moves and decisions out of reactionary anger. You don't lose your autonomy or independence when you can hook up with people. You can gain your civilized self and connect with society in a way more fulfilling manner.
At this point you need to probe a little deeper into your obsession with being on your own. In the next part, Going Deeper, reading the chapter called "Independence" will help you pass through the illusion of being controlled by others and on to a higher expression of your Aries nature that will help you express your needs more fully, develop and maintain healthier relationships, and make your Sun shine bright.
Although you may think all your energy has to be put into making money, that is not true. Sometimes your best creative work will be done for love and not money -- probably most if not all, in fact. Such a statement stirs all sorts of feelings within you. Number one: You know that is correct. Number two: It scares the hell out of you. You feel that, in some ways, you've gotten screwed financially (probably have); that somebody has made big money and profited from your efforts, creativity, and genius; that you should have been better at business and not just given in. But how rich do you have to get before you won't think that somebody is richer? Somebody is always going to be richer than you, and it is not about the money.
No matter how much you make, if you feel poor, you're never going to enjoy a moment of peace or prosperity. And it's odd, too, because when it comes to your art or work or some project or cause you are deeply involved in, you don't care what anything costs. But then you'll turn around and you'll take a bus or skimp on food because the price of pickles went up. You may never really know how much you're worth, literally or figuratively, mainly because sometimes you see yourself as the world's gift to genius, and at other moments, you're some immigrant kid stealing apples off a cart. The secret to success lies in not looking back at the way things were when you felt like a slave.
You get so angry when you start thinking about having been taken advantage of because you were a young stupid dreamer. You are always in a struggle between your higher self -- a proud healer and creator of great integrity -- and the lower self that has trouble resisting sticking your hand in the cookie jar once in a while. In a world that measures you by your bank account, it's really tough to stay above cheap commercialism and still turn out top quality work. That, however, is the big challenge. To get all your needs met without being compulsive, greedy, or dishonest is the task at hand. To remain true to yourself and your cause, you cannot hide your desires or suppress them. You have to assuage your earthly appetites without being engulfed by them. None of this celibacy routine for you, enforced or otherwise. Truth comes out anyway, eventually, so there's little sense in thinking you can hide your desires in a box on the top shelf of the closet.
Part of your growth will be to accept sharing financial control, even if it bugs you to be hooked into people who, once they fund you, think they have a say in what you do and how you do it. Writers and their publishers, artists and their dealers, directors and their producers -- whoever has control of the money is not to be ignored, looked down upon, or hated.
Gratitude and economic savvy have somehow to be united so you can get your stipend, allowance, advance -- whatever you want to call it -- and not think it's a paltry handout, doled out to a beggar.
At this point you have to go on a journey through the illusion of money. In order to be proud of yourself, you have to find a way to be connected to other human beings. In the next part, Going Deeper, read the chapter called "Money" to find your secret word or phrase that will help you make your Sun shine bright.
Energy is one thing, frenetic running around is quite another. You'll live in a lot of places, sometimes all at once. You're here, you're there, you're everywhere. Actually most of the time you're not exactly here and you're not exactly there. You're someplace between here and there, and to look at your current place of residence it would be hard to tell if you are moving in or moving out, if you've just arrived or you're in the process of throwing a few things in a bag before a trip. It's a wonder you ever got out of high school. Actually it wouldn't be surprising if you didn't. So many members of your sign go so far in life with an interrupted education.
It's not the attention deficit thing everybody seems to suffer from these days. You are on the run most of the time, and that's not a criticism. You cover a lot of territory in a short period of time, and one has to wonder exactly what fuels your restless resistance to settling down. Maybe it's just that you've got a bigger bag of wild oats to sow than other people and therefore want to stay young longer in true Peter Pan style.
You have to develop confidence in your own brain power, which you lacked in youth. Not the intelligence -- the confidence. And you'll have to work hard to overcome social, ethnic, or racial prejudices that make you feel stupid or inferior. Great moments of suffering come when you are not listened to or when you know you have solid wisdom to impart that is ignored and your advice goes unheeded. That is one cross you have to bear: You know more than you can say, and are therefore not taken seriously at crucial moments when it is vital to be heard and understood.
Sometimes it's a lot easier to give up, play in your own sandbox, and let everybody laugh and think you're just another face with nothing upstairs. But you do have strong ideas and convictions. You do have rather high moral standards -- even religious convictions in some cases -- even if your behavior and actions make some people think you're one of those in-name-only Catholics, very devout but not monogamous, or a not-so-observant Jew who adores BLTs. There's bound to be a gap between what's in your head and what comes out of your mouth.
Communication is easy, too easy sometimes, if you're talking fast and selling a used car or trying to seduce someone, but it's very difficult when the subject is more complex or deep. There is, however, a whole other side. The fast-talking wiseguy is just a defense for fear that the profound philosopher in you will be ridiculed, laughed at, or ignored. The religious issue persists and eventually needs to be addressed.
At this point in order to make the best use of your energy you have to pass through the illusion of communication to tap into your real gifts as an Aries. In the next part, Going Deeper, read the chapter called "Communication" to find the word or phrase you need to develop your talents and make your Sun shine bright.
Who would ever guess in a million years the big, strong, I-don't-need-anybody-I-can-do-it-myself Aries you are is also a weeping, lost little puppy all alone and abandoned by its mommy. So naturally family is going to be the gigantic tail that wags your dog. It will be very important to you to disguise this lost-little-puppy-dog aspect of your personality, mainly because it is so un-Aries. You're supposed to be brave and self-reliant, unmoved by petty emotions, and certainly not fixated on the past. Your sign is supposed to live only for right now -- this minute, a self-created future built solely on your immediate actions. It's not typically Arian at all to dwell upon the past and search for lost roots, or to operate in response to what happened long ago, with your behavior fueled by reactions to what your parents did to you or didn't do for you. So maybe that's why you get nuts on the subject of having a home and creating a family, and why you get so inextricably wound up with and tied into your parents. Extreme case: You freeze at the thought of walking out the door and leaving the house.
One thing you cannot escape: being known by the public in your area. You don't have to be world famous, but life, fate, or whatever you want to call it will not permit you to rot away in your little nest of coziness or self-pity. You have a job to do in this world. You must put yourself in your high-functioning mode (with or without the aid of substances). You have the potential to become a total dynamo/CEO/leader/boss/governor/entertainer/fireman/mom and dad combined. There's always a pull between the dependable competent professional and the weak or dependant child. Even if you elected to vedge out and stay in bed for the next twenty years, you'd have to give interviews to the press from your darkened room.
Nobody can say for sure where this conflict comes from. It either propels you forward and upward in business -- mainly because you are scared of ending up like your parents -- or it compels you to spend too much time (way too much time) puttering around the yard or the kitchen as a way to avoid the drain and drudgery of office politics -- unless you're a chef or a landscaper/developer, in which case you've got the best of both worlds. No matter how hard you try, though, you're unlikely to recreate the illusion of the 1950s: Wife kisses hubby good-bye, hubby goes off to work, wife puts on her apron and bakes cookies while singing until it's time to throw the roast in and kiss hubby hello. Uh-uh. Oh, you'll try. A balance between home and work is certainly the answer.
At this point you need to probe a little deeper into why you are not the totally typical, free-wheeling Aries. In the next part, Going Deeper, reading the chapter called "Security" will give you a chance to pass through the illusion of abandonment and into a higher expression of your Aries nature to ensure your success in the world and make your Sun shine bright.
Some people will certainly call you narcissistic. They'll say you have to bring everything back to yourself, that you have to be the center of attention every minute, that you're always on, that you're obsessed with your image, and that you've got the personality of the stereotypical Hollywood actor. How cruel. Don't they know how hard it is for you to sit there with your hands folded in your lap when all your natural instincts are telling you to get up and show them all how it's done? They just think "obnoxious, self-absorbed Aries." People would be totally blown away if they knew how shy you really are. Not shy, exactly, but how difficult it has been for you to learn how to relate socially. And yes, you're a born performer. There's nothing wrong with that. It's a great thing. It's a gift to be able to perform or get up in front of people and speak. If some people think you hog the stage and that you get hammy now and then, that's their prerogative. You just want to be loved. That's normal, isn't it? Sure, but you and love, that's another story. Who in this world could ever give you all the love you need? One person? Ten? A million? You have a bit of a hole in your heart that is tough to fill, and your quest for validation could become your raison d'etre: self-assertion, being known and accepted for who you are, dammit! -- and if people don't like it, tough!
You are not just an egomaniac, mad at the world and trying to control everything and everybody. That's bull. You have a real desire to help other people. Nothing turns you on like being the watchdog for the underdog and the champion for those who can't champion themselves. And maybe that's why people think you're so brave and strong and able and capable. Because even though you do seize the floor whenever there's an opportunity, it's not just because you want the spotlight. In fact, you do want to make a generous contribution and you do want to be remembered not just for your looks but for what you did for other people. Sure, that's ironic. You do have an inordinate need to be loved and your personal life has been a rose garden comprised mostly of thorns. You're not about to advertise your heartaches and moan and whine and sob, because that's not your way. But you certainly must advocate for people's rights to express themselves freely, even if in your own childhood, children and young people were beaten down and discouraged from showing who they really were. So naturally you're still mad about that, and you can either beat down and discourage young people or stand up for them and be a shining example of how people can overcome shame and rejection and social embarrassment and become powerful members of society.
Although it takes guts to rise above self-loathing or embarrassment for how you look or how you feel, the rejected lover is a role you've played more than once, and the fact that you are always asked to love on a higher plane and be a friend is the way to happiness.
At this point you need to probe more deeply the issues in your personal life that have interfered with the contributions you want to make. In the next part, Going Deeper, reading the chapter called "Love" will give you a chance to pass through the illusion of love and move to the higher vibration of your Aries nature to make your Sun shine bright.
Heigh-ho, heigh-ho. It's off to work you go, heigh-ho, heigh-ho! No question that you are a worker bee, a soldier with blue-collar blood coursing through your veins -- nothing fancy or grandiose about you. Fussy? Yipes! Some say you're a perfectionist; others claim you're just a royal pain. You know how to work late into the night until you're bone tired, and although you bitch from dawn to dusk, you still carry on even though your feet are sore or your back is aching or you're coughing and feverish. You can still show up as faithfully as the U.S. mail. In fact, the sicker or more exhausted you are, the bigger the challenge. The bigger the challenge, the more you can prove you can do it. You've had to take some crappy jobs in your time, but then work is work, and it does make you feel better, sick or well, to be able to make yourself useful and be independent. God knows, no angels are going to fly out of the clouds with a cup of tea and a butter biscuit holding a pair of furry slippers. Or are they? You've had a few scary bouts with trust in your day, but you ended up guess where? -- working again.
Maybe you're not an easy person to bring tea, biscuits, and slippers to. The tea is cold, the biscuits too sweet, the slippers too hot for your feet. Or something. There is always some sand in your bathing suit: It's a scary prospect for you to not work, to be somewhat dependent. And the funny thing is, you love doing things for other people, even if your motive is to maintain control. Your kindness and generosity are great assets, even if it is very hard for you to be on the receiving end. Sooner or later, however, you can't be afraid to believe there's a plan in the Universe, a force, a current that moves everyone including you, even when you're outside the boat pulling everyone else in it, by a rope through the swampy reeds.
You're part of a vast rhythm of the Universe that does not hinge on whether you get up at six and do your stretches or not. Intimacy is not just a dangerous seduction designed to lure you into a dulled, dazed, chaotic state that impedes your functioning; it's actually the antidote to your obsessive fear of becoming obsolete and to the ferocious urge to remain young, unspoiled, untouched, uncorrupted, in control, and unattached.
It's utterly impossible to live in this world and avoid the cooties of existence; contamination is unavoidable, emotionally as well as figuratively. Will intimacy cause chaos and interfere with your work if you allow yourself to be tempted to lose an innocence you're clinging to in desperate fear of being unable to cope and survive? Probably, but it will also enrich your life.
At this point you need to probe your obsession with work a little deeper. In the next part, Going Deeper, you will get a chance to examine this need to be useful and practical and pierce the illusion of work by reading the chapter called "Control." It will help to soften your hold on what you consider reality, and help you make your sun shine brightest.
Apart from the fact that you're the one who has to do everything and you rarely if ever get properly thanked or taken care of . . . you're a lucky person. You are lucky to be gifted with a life force that flows within you and gives you the strength to support as many people as you do, especially those helpless, even inferior beings who haven't been endowed with the powers you have. That could sound like a gigantic rationalization when you think about all you've done for people and how damned little you've gotten back. The truth is simple. Some people, like yourself, grew up early, took responsibility early -- not because they were thrilled to give up their childhood long before they should, but because when there's nobody who's going to do it for you, you have to do it for yourself.
What happens all too often, unfortunately, is that you get very unbalanced and unrealistic about all relationships, business and personal. You don't really trust or believe anybody is going to be there for you the way you are for them, so you wait for the moment of disappointment or abandonment, knowing it's going to come sooner or later. Or you go the opposite route and imbue the other person with magical powers they don't have in the hopes that maybe this time, somebody will care for you as much as you care for them.
So why do you always -- or almost always (maybe a bit less than you used to) -- gravitate to needy, dependent, hopeless or helpless cases? It's a habit, getting hooked and thinking you have to save people then resenting them for it -- a habit mighty hard to break. You get sucked in, lose yourself, then have to break away because you're pissed off that you got put right back into the hero/savior role, which -- pardon the frankness -- you've allowed to happen too often. You have to be brave and free yourself from guilt. You need to be liberated from your grandiose sense of your own importance. You have to be able to help when you can but also to allow people to live with their pain and their issues without thinking it's your fault or your job to fix them. You have to develop the strength to be alone and not think you're bad or wicked or a total loser if you choose to stay on your own path and not collapse into somebody's arms and be engulfed in their problems.
The role of true leader is what you, as an Aries, must assume. Setting an example for others, less gifted and mature, to follow. The healthy spirit that you have been given has to help you develop not only your compassion but your self-reliance.
At this point you need to probe a little deeper this issue of being alone. In the next part, Going Deeper, you will get a chance to read the chapter "Marriage" and gain greater balance between your wish to be connected to another person and the strength you find in your independence to make your Sun shine bright.
Aries stands for the fight for truth and justice. That's a given. You're usually a bright spot in any darkness, because you can't stand for things to be covered up or swept under the rug. You'll go down into the valley of the lepers with coffee and danish, especially if you have to break down a fence to get there. Sometimes the urge to surpass those boundaries and thumb your nose at taboos can get you into a heap of trouble. Such acting out is usually associated with the wild folly of youth, and the older you get, the slightly tamer you become. Your horror of being a petty bourgeois, however, can fuel your penchant for misbehaving, and it will take enormous restraint for you not to sneak in a few secret snorts of pleasure now and then. Sex is a problem only when you're overattached to either your desirability as a sexual object or the gender role you are required to play in society. You've got a serious sexual issue that goes way back.
Periodically it comes back again like an old army wound. Arians work this out in different ways. Some are on sexual watch and continually act naughty until they are caught in a motel at the edge of town. Others reform and repent and lead monogamous, stainproof lives that make up in loyalty what they lack in passion. Then you've got the Arian watchdogs, who go peeking around corners to make sure nobody's "doing it" or that everybody is doing it when, where, and how they're supposed to. It's a really tough obsession to unhook from, whether you practice promiscuity or abstinence, when you don't have a sound sex education from the start. Aries overcomes everything, however. Your will can always end up at least as strong as -- if not stronger than -- your obsessions, so whatever fears you have of inferiority usually get well compensated for. When you turn your attention away from the dark side, prosperity and recognition flow toward you. It's like an artist who finally capitulates and understands that in this society, business is part of everyday life. It is not easy for you to acknowledge that your path is part mission, part passion, but also very largely part business and politics. It's business that will help (force) you to take your mind off the dark side, gain wealth, and when you come down to it -- live a better and probably longer life.
At this point you need to probe yourself a little deeper. In the next part, Going Deeper, when you read the chapter called "Sex" you will get a chance to see how best to manifest all your creative talents and bring greater prosperity into your life, and make your Sun shine bright.
What are you looking for? What do you think you are going to find over the next hill or the next or the next? Your Aries mind is thirsty for experience and knowledge, but it gets a bit much when you can't ever be satisfied where you are. You're like the tourist who arrives in London and after two hours starts reading the Paris guide book. Your life could become a whole if-this-is-Tuesday-we-must-be-in-Venice kind of trip. It's not that you don't enjoy yourself. You always enjoy yourself. You're curious about absolutely everything and you don't want to not know anything. You probably have some kind of weird phobia about being thought of as ignorant or stupid. It's not so weird when one thinks of the role that education, or lack of it, played in your childhood. You can't stand pedantic, know-it-all teachers who actually get off on messing with their students' heads and making them feel dumb, but you can also get a kick out of games of one-upmanship, proving your moral or intellectual superiority by speaking above the heads of your peers so only a select few get the joke. There's actually a lot of defensiveness in your behavior sometimes. Class, racial, religious, or social differences that make you feel inferior can prompt you to overcompensate in outrageous ways. Not all your Arian brothers and sisters act this way, of course. Being successful doesn't mean you have to be accepted and loved by everyone, of course. You have your own standards of morality and behavior that many of the hypocrites around will judge in their own way. But to be successful in love, to be really fulfilled, you have to overcome your fear of being laughed at for your ideas. You need to develop your own mode of communication and even a whole new language. There is a hearing-impaired woman who, in her parents' effort to protect her from hurt, was never told she was hearing impaired until she got to kindergarten. Until that time she thought everyone was like her. How her family managed to keep it from her during the first five years of her life is a mystery. In any case, Aries that she was, she decided at five that communication was not going to hold her back. She now holds two PhD degrees from two of the highest-rated Ivy League colleges in the United States. The two degrees are actually less of an achievement than her ability to communicate with many individuals on many levels in the hearing world.
Obstacles, although they annoy you no end, are your fuel. If there's one thing you have to do on this planet, you must find a link between what goes on in the head and what comes out of the mouth.
At this point you need to probe more deeply the illusion of education and its impact on your life. In the next part, Going Deeper, you will learn in the chapter called "Religion" how to articulate more readily your gifts to the world, and make your Aries Sun shine bright.
Fighting a corrupt system can be the noblest of missions. Righting the wrongs of wicked politicians could become the path you were born to take, no matter how unpopular your views or philosophy. You could go against the whole tide of society in your battle for what you think is right. The thing is, you could get on a crazy high horse and become totally misguided, totally off the mark, totally power-crazed yourself in your efforts to unseat the power-crazed. It's a tricky business, because when you get your back up, God help those you consider to be unjustly in positions of power. You could hate 'em all, just because they are in positions to make the laws you find untenable. You're discontented with society as it stands, and you want to change it? Fine, just try not to lump all people into one category and judge them too harshly, even if you have been victimized by The System. Well, you'll probably be branded as an upstart or troublemaker in any case. You have to know, though, that the whole problem with authority goes a lot deeper than you might think. Therapy would help, except the minute the shrink disappoints you in any way, he or she is history. You'd bolt and overthrow the process. Of course, the answer to your crusade against unjust laws and lawmakers is not, as you might think, to get rid of them all. Quite the contrary. Invite them all into your house for drinks and dinner. Setting up a home for people to come to and feel safe and secure in: That's the real accomplishment. Give people a shelter from the political storm they live in. Have a family -- the thing you think is going to impede your progress is the very thing that will be your progress.
Every life is filled with irony, and that's yours. Turning away from a society you believe to be corrupt, and creating a haven of refuge from it, may not unhook you from your angry war against what you perceive to be intolerable injustice. It will, however, provide you with the base from which to operate. The more fanatically you fight society, the further underground you will be driven. You may never join them, but inviting the enemy to dinner will turn out to be your greatest secret weapon, and you won't have to slip anything weird into the drinks, either. It's the old honey-or-vinegar trick, and all you have to do is learn the recipe.
At this point you need to probe your issues with authority figures a little deeper. In the next part, Going Deeper, when you read the chapter called "Recognition" you will see best how to move your ship through political waters without losing Arian integrity and come out into the wide ocean of possibility, and make your Sun shine bright.
Some people are just not the groupie type. It's the old saying about not wanting to join any group that elects you to be part of it. And that's funny, too, because you will probably be a powerful advocate for freedom First Amendment rights, legalization of drugs, or the protection of disenfranchised peoples of the world, AIDS victims, or any other group suffering discrimination or mistreatment. If you get hooked on a cause, you know congress will have to pay attention to it. When you get angry over a bully beating up someone, you're going to wake up a lot people about it at 6 AM, and dammit! laws are going to change. No greater champion could anyone find for gay activists or stray kittens. Of course, as usual one of the dogs you give shelter to will bite you. When the group you're fighting for disavows you, once again you'll wonder why the hell you are bothering to get your fur in a flurry for a bunch of ungrateful people who didn't really give a hoot about you.
Yet here you go, still doing it, still caring, still making the effort. Of course, some would say if you stayed home and took care of your kids once in a while instead of running around picketing and marching and getting people to sign petitions, you'd be a lot better off.
You know you should stay home more, but it's stressful for you. Personal life is not easy. It's very hard to be in an enclosed space, and it takes too much time away from what you think is your real life. That's the joke. Where is your real life? Does it involve the battle for human rights? Or does it really and truly lie in your acceptance of your role as mom or dad, and in the ability to be in a loving situation with one other person, not thousands of downtrodden strangers. It's a lot easier for you to embrace the concept of an entire race of people than to hug and hold or be hugged and held by one single, solitary individual who needs you without getting itchy, nervous, and restless and thinking you've got to go. Developing your ability to be present on a personal as well as impersonal basis will give you depth and empathy and an understanding of intimate relationships you simply cannot get by loving people anonymously from afar. You've got to leave the group and shine on your own.
At this point you need to probe your obsession with your own independence a little deeper. In the next part, Going Deeper, read the chapter called "Freedom" to pass through the illusion of freedom to go on to bring out the warmth and love your Aries nature is capable of, and to make your Sun shine bright.
Maybe only a few people will ever know the depths to which you've sunk and how you've had to pull yourself out of quicksand just as you were about to disappear and get swallowed up. Loved ones, therapists, and employees will certainly know and hopefully not publish a tell-all book about you, because the less that gets around about your periodic descents into the cellar of darkness, the better. Unless you're a writer of horror or other spooky or tear-jerking fiction. Of course, as an Aries you can't resist those dangerous forays into nowhere. In some cases it's downright bipolar. In others, it's just the Arian need to plunge periodically into oblivion just to be able to rise again like a phoenix out of your own self-destructive ashes.
So there will definitely be more comebacks than Frank Sinatra had. There are damned good reasons why you have to escape now and then to nurse an old wound and indulge in some bad behavior. It gets serious if you keep upping the ante, escalating the danger, and spending more energy on the downslide. Then you run the risk of going that one step over the edge and not being able to pull yourself back.
Sobriety and hard work are the paths away from self-indulgence. Both, however, are colossally boring to an individual who refuses to grow up and be more grounded. Granted, you can't remain too long at sewing or whittling little figurines without going out for a few drops of escape. The trick to decent living and long life is not simply to swear off your naughtiness. You probably never will. It's just that nobody can live a fulfilling, productive life with such intense highs and lows. After a while it takes its toll on your health, and if you don't curb your appetite for pleasure you start having that ravaged look way too early for your age.
The sorrows you secretly bear for a past that has many ironic, tragic twists are many, and the only thing that's really going to pull you out of deep water is the life preserver of simple, practical, down-to-earth, regular old work and normal nonmagical health remedies like vegetables and fruit juice.
At this point you need to probe a little deeper into why you can't take being around people all that much. In the next part, Going Deeper, when you read the chapter called "Escape" you will get a chance to pass through the illusion of seeking refuge from a boring world. It will help you to channel your energy and make your Aries Sun shine bright.
Copyright 2007 by Michael Lutin
Excerpted from SunShines by Michael Lutin Copyright © 2006 by Michael Lutin. Excerpted by permission.
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