Twelve Phases of Human Experience
ARIES - Page 1 of 3
Piercing through the crust of the soil
which the melting of snow softened, the sprouting seed forces its life into the light of the sun. The fervent up-reaching of spring brings forth the wonder of germination. The Day-force now balances in intensity the waning Night-force. The player who leaves the stage will soon be but a memory, however potent this memory may be in the recesses of the human psyche. The new star asserts his right before the foot-lights of the human consciousness. Henceforth, the show will be his. Yet, his voice is unassured; his countenance reveals hidden fears in its very bravado. In Aries the human personality experiences its phase of adolescence.
Until puberty comes to the growing child the horizon of personality is mapped by the walls of some enclosing matrix. First, the mother's womb; then, the more diversified space of the family, holding within its secure walls increasing conflicts. But, whether bounded by physical or psychological envelopes, the personality of the child is still at the prenatal stage. It is enfolded by collective nature. It struggles to emerge. Emergence — the wonder and the fear of it — is adolescence. The adolescent is born as a separate person in a world which seems hostile or alien; which must be conquered; which must not be feared.
Fear mixed with eager expectancy, awkwardness, emotional confusion — this is the adolescent. He rushes in desire; swiftly recoils at the least hurt. He is bold, in a giggling way. Compelled by an inner necessity to go on, he asserts himself with blatancy and daring; yet he wishes he could withdraw to the security of mother-earth. The least wind of fate makes shrink and suffer this "lamb" at heart rushing headlong like a "ram."
This psychological description of adolescence characterizes the basic nature of the Aries type; his emotional instability and his disordinate, fate-compelled desire; his acute sensitiveness masquerading under a "devil-may-care" attitude; his sheer instinctuality and his often bombastic self-assertiveness which is actually not real self-centeredness but rather the outcome of a bio-psychological compulsion deeply and fatefully experienced. The Aries human being is compelled from within to acquire at any cost a self; compelled to force his remote individual soul to assume the burden of incarnation. He does not seek power in order to satisfy himself, but to demonstrate himself to himself — the power necessary for him to become a personality. And if he seems needy for love and fame, for "women, wine and song" it is because he feels weak or uncertain within himself and needs constant re-assurance and outer sustainment.
Because in him the Day-force barely overcomes the Night-force, the Aries person has to throw his conscious ego acutely, at times almost desperately, into his will to live — and he often overdoes it. His nostalgia is as great as his impatience; his sentimentality as romantic as his passion is sharp, direct — yet short-lived and subject to fits of revulsion. More than any other zodiacal type he loves his need for love rather than a particular person. And he needs love because he is fundamentally afraid of the world and lonely; yet he is just as fearful of the bondage implied in a permanent union or association, because he must keep growing, he must constantly extend his budding personality, he must at all cost avoid standing still, which would soon mean lapsing into the past. His pioneer instinct is a disguised fear of routine and of the pull of tradition. He has to keep growing; and changing partners, changing his horizons and his allegiances gives him at least the sense of moving on, the illusion of growth.
The ordinary Aries type would, of course, deny violently these hidden springs of his actions. He cannot stop moving forward and try to understand himself. He is not building consciousness, but personality. He is no thinker, fundamentally; but rather a builder. He has to exert his urge to live. The Day-force is mounting up within him with phallic intensity. It does not matter what or where he builds. But be must feel himself in movement of destiny. He must feel himself acted upon by great energies.
A formed personality can act slowly, quietly, deliberately; because it acts from a relatively set basis of individual selfhood. But the Aries type is constantly in the process of forming himself. He has no sense of set selfhood; no sense of set boundaries. He is ever open to the inrush of universal, non-personified Life. He is never a finished product, and he cares little for finishing what he attempts. He is taken up by the act of creating, not by his creations. And therefore he needs to feel back of him, compelling him to create, more and more Power, more and more Life. All he wants is to dispense this Power to others, the fecundate virgin fields with it — and to pass on, ardent with the impregnating of still vaster and "new" fields.
In that sense he is "impersonal." He is a giver — but not of the things which are "his own." He is a giver of sheer energy, the energy of the Day-force that is bubbling forth in him. It is hard for him to make anything "his own." Yet if he does it, then he clings to that thing (for a while at least) with passion — a passion born of fear and loneliness; because the thing becomes suddenly for him a symbol of his own personality — the personality being actually the only one thing which he craves to "own" and or which he is never sure, for it never can be "finished."
Because in Aries the Day-force and the Night-force balance one another, the Aries person is always in a state of unstable equilibrium, pulled internally by opposites; thus restless, fretful, nervous, often neurotic. But his neuroses are actional ones, born of a sense of failure because of insurmountable obstacles, of weariness before the effort, or lack of personal interest in the actions, in the performing of which he may seem all the while to throw great energy or passion. That energy is not actually "his own." He is not in it. He is constantly seeking to fulfill himself as personality; but that goal is ever elusive — always beyond, beyond. And so he keeps acting, desiring, emoting, creating — barely succeeding in covering up by the stress of activity the emptiness and the fear of an eternal adolescence.
No one may know this among his associates. He is not only all taken up by action, but be is also an actor. He plays parts, and he loves the sense of being directed in his lines by an invisible Playwright; for that gives him a sense of security in his inherent destiny. He can easily become a great devotee; just because he is not sure of his own personality. He has, symbolically, "adolescent crushes" for some "Teacher," into whom he projects his passion for personality. Rather than display a weak personality of his own, he absorbs himself in the devotion to a great Personage — but preferably one that is remote, ideal, absent. This absorption is always a "psychological projection" of his own yearning for personality. If he cannot act by outer show of creativeness and fecundation the part of personality, then be projects that yearning, transforming it in an intense (but often fitful) devotion for an ideal Figure, or for a "great Cause."
By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1943 by David McKay Company
and Copyright © 1970 by Dane Rudhyar
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