The Seed State

Tropical Aries is said to be daring, energetic, rash and impulsive. How can we explain sidereal Aries? To begin with it's helpful to go back to the ancient division of the zodiac into into lunar and solar halves. This division has fallen by the wayside in modern times, but it's really rather important in understanding how the zodiac as a whole operates. This solar-lunar division of the zodiac is mentioned in several ancient texts, such as Claudius Ptolemy’s Tetrabiblos:

...they portioned out these two (Cancer and Leo) as houses to the greatest and most authoritative planets, that is, to the lights, with Leo going to the Sun since it is a masculine zõidion, and Cancer going to the Moon since it is feminine. And accordingly, they laid down that the semicircle from Leo up to Capricorn was solar, while the semicircle from Aquarius to Cancer was lunar, in order that in each of the semicircles one zõidion could be apportioned to each of the five planets appropriately..., (Ptolemy, p. 32, translated by R. Schmidt)

These two divisions were sometimes called day and night halves of the zodiac, and they were understood as such even at the end of the middle ages when Johannes Schoener listed Virgo through Capricorn as the principal houses of planets and Aquarius through Gemini as the planets’ secondary houses.

This division of the signs is the foundation of the rulership scheme with which we're all familiar. Each of the five planets was given lordship over one masculine and one feminine sign, and each planet has a primary sign and a secondary one. The planet’s primary sign was the sign in which it functioned in accordance with its more natural nature. These signs are all on the solar side of the zodiac.. It's very interesting that astrologers have assigned the more recently discovered planets-- Uranus, Neptune--to the lunar half of the zodiac, and sidereal astrologers have assigned Pluto there as well (Aries).

It's possible that the so-called lunar half of the zodiac will eventually all have co-rulers which will represent a more advanced form of consciousness either in the metaphysical or scientific sense. At the present time we have Neptune-Pisces (psychology and the depths of the unconscious), Uranus-Aquarius (electricity and the technical and psychic sciences) and Pluto-Aries (plutonium, new and potentially dangerous explosives, nuclear power, etc. as well as inward horizons expanded to a more universal understanding of God as the central unifying force among mankind.) Obviously, Pluto has not yet come into its own in the realm of human consciousness.


Returning to Aries, we note that Aries is the secondary sign of Mars. By nature, Mars is aggressive, active and outgoing, but in its secondary sign—Aries—Mars behaves in a more inner manner as quiet will power. So we get a tenacious stubbornness as well as a quiet determination and resolve as an approach to life. These traits, of course, have been noted in Tropical Taurus, which overlays sidereal Aries. (However the lord of Taurus, Venus, and the exalted planet, Moon are anything but stubborn and determined.) We see this tenacity and single-minded concentration in the late race car driver Dale Earnhardt, who had Mercury, Sun and Mars in Aries in the 10th house.

Aries stelliums are common in the charts of executives, both for the single-minded concentration in getting to the top (the Sun) and in being surrounded by wealth. Enron CEO, Kenneth Lay, is one of the most famous of these executives. Lay has the Sun and Moon in Aries with their dispositor Mars conjunct Jupiter in the 10th house.


Tropical astrologers generally don't consider the role of number symbolism in outlining the meanings of signs of the zodiac. However, number symbolism plays a key role in defining the sidereal signs. Since Aries is the first sign of the zodiac, the numeral One relates to Aries. One has always had a relationship to the unmanifested, that is in the metaphysical sense, Spirit, the unifying principle behind the visible world. In the more practical sense, One relates to what is what has not yet grown and flowered into manifestation, what could be called 'the seed state.' We can see below how this meaning harmonizes with the symbolism of the Ram and Pluto as co-ruler of Aries.


In Your Character in the Zodiac Rupert Gleadow has some amusing words about the characteristics of rams. He comments that he consulted a Dorset shepherd, who remarked that rams "are very nearly as sheepish as sheep!" Gleadow also notes that the Ram was not part of the early Babylonian zodiac, but came instead from Egypt. The Ram was the sacred animal of the god Amun, “who was originally the Hidden One, that is to say the Unknown Force—an expression which might mean either the life-force or the Most High God—for the universal God was known in Egypt and India....”

This interesting bit of history brings us directly to Pluto as the new co-ruler of Aries, according to some western sidereal astrologers. The ancient Zoroastrian Fragment derived from Gregory of Nicaea assigned Pluto as the coinhabitant of Aries along with Mars. As a plausible co-lord of Aries, Pluto’s history is particularly interesting. Called Hades in ancient Greece, he was given the portion of the underworld as his domain. The one-eyed cyclops (an interesting reference to the numeral One—Aries is the first sign of the zodiac)—presented Hades with the cap of invisibility, a symbol that his realm was not visible to mortal eyes. It can be noted that those with many planets in Aries often don't feel the need to share thoughts or feelings with other people. They can be maddingly uncommunicative.

The role of Hades became greatly expanded as the link formed between Greece and Rome. Re-named Pluto, the god of the underworld was called the all-receiver, who gave rest to those who had toiled for a lifetime on earth. People prayed to Pluto to bless the seed placed in the earth, and depended on his help for plentiful crops.

No doubt this changed role of Hades-Pluto came about because of his link to Persephone, his wife, and daughter of the corn-goddess, Demeter (Kore). Persephone aided her mother in keeping the earth fertile and the plants green.

So what conclusions can we draw from Pluto’s possible link with Aries? For starters, since Pluto’s realm lies beneath the earth, we might expect Aries to be associated with earth-sciences—archaeology, paleontology or any activity connected with rocks, gems, stones or the metals that are associated with Mars, the traditional lord of Aries. Virginia Beach clairvoyant Edgar Cayce made the thought provoking statement that "Pluto and Vulcan were one and the same." If so, then Pluto may also be related to volcanic eruptions and underground explosions. Vulcan was the smith for the Olympian gods and worked daily at his fiery forge beneath the earth.


His is the steadfast mind, unshaken in adversity, and his is the power of quiet persistence in the face of difficulties. He has found his true position with regard to the universe, and that position is the center. Identified with the Self of allselves, one with the very heart of things, he refuses to be hustled or hurried or frightened or pushed....” (Isabel Pagan, From Pioneer to Poet, p. 23)

Well, this is a very good description of the solar individual, except that in Pagan’s book, this is her partial description of the Tropical Taurean type!

Here we see again the principal of steadfastness associated with Tropical Taurus, but which makes much more sense in a sign whose lords are Mars and Pluto and whose exalted planet is the Sun. Like the Sun, sidereal Aries is steady, self-reliant, with faith in itself and confidence in its abilities. Both Aries and the Sun tend to be single minded and determined. It's supremely logical that the first sign of the zodiac should be the most agreeable place for the universal symbol of heat, light, power and unity: Oneness which takes us back to Number One.

Summary of Aries Concepts:

Aries is the first sign of the modern zodiac. Number one traditionally represents unity, strength and centerdness. Monotheism and the tendency to look at life in simple, skeletal terms are distinctly Aries concepts that can be related to number one. Complexity is not a trait of Aries. Those for whom Aries is a key sign will have clear-cut interests and motivations.

Co-ruler Mars: metals, tools, machinery, technology (with Uranus); Activities involving machinery or metals: railroads, automobiles, bikes, motorbikes, etc.

Co-ruler Pluto: the wealth of the earth: seeds ready to sprout, metals, rocks, stones, gemstones, archaeology (coal and oil?) Explosions in the earth (volcanos?)

Ram and the Numeral One: Unity; What is not yet manifested (hidden in the earth or the psyche), the oneness and wholeness of spirit beyond creation.


On the masculinity and stand-out quality (Sun exalted) of Aries:

Katherine Hepburn, Actress: Mercury and Sun in Aries (four other planets in masculine signs: Mars, Uranus in Sagittarius; Jupiter, Neptune in Gemini)

Hepburn, a Hollywood icon, is described as being willful and independent; As a child she cut off her hair and called herself Jimmy. She has said, “In some ways I lived my life as a man, making my own decisions...” Hepburn cared little about fashion and insisted on wearing pants in the 30s when women still wore dresses. (Reference: AstroDababank)

Jack Nicholson, Actor: Venus, Sun, Uranus, Mercury in Aries in 10th

Known as being "smug and sexist to the core;" A major "one of a kind" star who has been nominated for the Oscar ten times, Nicholson is supremely talented and charismatic, an expression of a well placed exalted Sun. (Reference: AstroDatabank)

On Aries, Pluto and the wealth of the earth:

Pluto was in the early degrees of Aries when the California gold rush of 1849 began. In April of 1849 Uranus entered Aries as well, adding to the general hysteria of the discovery of gold in California. (Sun—gold, and exalted in Aries)

On Aries, machinery and technology:

May, 1851: Saturn, Uranus and Pluto in Aries: Britain holds the gigantic Industrial Exhibition in London; Displays included all kinds of machinery plus the electric telegraph.

In 1851 the sewing machine was invented. Other industrial inventions appeared during this time period.

On Mars as co-ruler of Aries:

1940: Jupiter and Saturn in Aries; Hitler’s invasions of European countries (Hitler himself had Mercury, Sun, Mars and Venus in sidereal Aries in 7th. Again we see the charisma of an exalted Sun in an angular house.)

This article is condensed from the Aries chapter in The Zodiac of the Stars

© 2004 East-West Publishing, Therese Hamilton; all rights reserved

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