Each year at the Aries New Moon, I imagine the great mass of humanity bursting out of the starting gate like the bulls running in Pamplona – highly charged with vim and vitality, impatient to get on with the business of … what, exactly? At the New Moon, we’re never exactly sure. We’re long on energy, but short on perspective. And Aries, of all the signs, exemplifies this New Moon spirit. At the Libra Full Moon (April 6, 2012, at 17.23 Libra), our task is to cast the cool eye of appraisal over the ideas and ventures that were initiated at the Aries New Moon (March 22, 2012, at 2.22 Aries). Do they seem revolutionary and creative, or merely impetuous – even reckless?
Without the restraint and perspective for which Libra is famous, the unleashing of Aries energy can occasionally lead to real danger. My sister, born at the New Moon and with Aries rising, was a bristly, calamitous child. Once, impatient to be let in the house, she slammed her palm on the glass pane of the front door and cut her hand badly. On a particularly memorable spring morning, as we crept through a neighbor’s yard to get a look at their baby bunnies, she suddenly cried out in pain; when I turned to find out why, I saw that she had stepped on a large, iron rake, and a prong had impaled her big toe.
Her lack of caution occasionally got her into trouble, but still, you had to admire her spirit.Aries-like, she simply didn’t know the meaning of fear. She harassed her baby sister with real vigor, but she was just as fierce on my behalf when mean kids messed with me on the playground. And she loved an adventure. When our mother announced that we were moving 3,000 miles away to California, my brother and I crumpled in despair, devastated to leave our friends in Indiana – but my sister’s eyes lit up, and her toes tapped with excitement.
On the other hand… well, the blood. The cut glass, the punctured toe (and in later years, the thumb caught by the sewing machine needle; the hand neatly sliced by a broken water glass while she was washing the dishes). So while I applaud the je ne sais quoi of the intrepid Aries, I’m relieved to take a moment during this Sun in Aries cycle to rest, sip a cool drink, and meditate for a moment on the balancing attributes of Aries’ opposite sign – the measured restraint of Libra.
Where Aries is spirited, Libra is smooth. Aries rushes, but Libra glides. On the playground, Aries shoves a kid off the swing so she can have her turn; Libra sweet talks the kid until he not only vacates the swing, but agrees to push her while she takes her ride. Aries and Libra are each determined to get their way – they are, after all, cardinal signs, and like to be in charge – but they differ stylistically. Aries favors the direct approach; when Aries wants something from you, it is plain what it is and how he intends to get it. Libra, on the other hand, is a master strategist, flattering and charming his way to victory.
This is not to say that Libra’s approach is perfect. Libra’s job is to consider all possibilities before acting; but while Libra may have more perspective than Aries, this does not necessarily translate into great clarity about which course should be pursued. In fact, Libra can find herself overwhelmed by these possibilities, weighing first one, then the other, then the first one again… until Aries is jumping up and down in frustration: “Just! Choose! One!”
But while Libra’s careful weighing of options can be maddening, it is the perfect astrological antidote to Aries’ most unfortunate tendency: the failure to take other perspectives into account while dashing madly through life. It’s usually passion rather than a lack of caring that makes Aries behave this way. If you are a tad insensitive from time to time, or if your pursuit of some object, person, or goal occasionally blinds you to the wants and needs of others, then you are acting from the untempered Aries side of your nature. What’s needed at these moments is a bracing draft of Libra, the quiet voice of prudence that reminds you of the needs, rights, and opinions of others.
When we embrace our inner Aries, we can get so charged up that we don’t care who or what stands in our path – we just keep ramming into the obstacle until it gives way. This single-minded determination to overcome obstacles can be employed to invaluable effect. Formidable activists Cesar Chavez and Gloria Steinem, pioneering statesman Thomas Jefferson, and visionary artist Leonardo da Vinci and Vincent Van Gogh were born when the Sun was in this sign. But as these famous examples suggest, the unbridled enthusiasm of our Aries instincts are often most effective when tempered by the Libran traits of strategy, diplomacy, and artistry.
Each of us possesses both Aries and Libra tendencies, although not necessary in equal measure. Often, with maturity, the youthful impulsiveness of Aries naturally gives way to the measured approach of Libra. My sister’s rash Aries instincts still get the best of her on occasion (though it’s been years since she impaled herself on any sharp objects), but as an adult she also possesses a Libran sensitivity to the feelings of others. And hers is one of the finest marriages I know – probably beause she was already a feisty, full-realized individual before she became someone’s partner. It’s exactly this kind of positive Aries self-confidence that makes full Libra partnership possible.
At this Full Moon, Mars and Venus – ruling planets of Aries and Libra – are in square aspect to each other, and hard aspect to Neptune as well. More than usual, conflicts arise between what we want (and with Venus square Neptune, we may have only a tenuous idea of what that is) and how best to get it. Where in your life are you an impatient Aries, charging out into the world with enthusiasm but occasionally in need of direction and feedback? (Look for the house in your birth chart with Aries on the cusp.) At this Libra Full Moon, introduce that wildish part of yourself to your Libran alter ego. Somewhere in you lies the balancing instincts that know how to restrain your impulsiveness, where to maximize your creative zest with keen artistic sensibilities – and when to put on heavy shoes, to avoid getting a rake stuck through your toe.