The First Point of Aries: A Reclamation
Excavating identity before incarnation
On the threshold of motherhood I realize that my present is someone else's past. Even the future I create for myself and my family is the background to someone else's story. And at the same time I find myself revisiting old identities, tracing the threads of fate for the emergence of the self I am presently. Where did she begin? How can I resolve her?
The truth is we are all co-creations of the world around us. Like the colour of our eyes or the shape of our noses, we inherit unresolved energy from generations past. We pick up fears and anxieties from the projections of others. To find love and success, to make life on our own terms, we collect the residual energies of those who have walked the path before.
During Aries season the polarity of self and other falls under the microscope. It asks us to sift through our individuation efforts and determine exactly where we begin and where the influence of others ends. We might expect this process to be linear, beginning somewhere in childhood and traced through the present day. But the early life energy of Aries isn't so simple. On the natal chart, the first point of Aries represents the soul's incarnation, the first stirring of self. Stripped of our modern materialist mindset we find that we began long before we were born to these bodies and will live far longer.
But this is far less mystical than it sounds.
I have always lived reflectively, an observer of my own life. And at some point, this led to careful consideration of the model I want to set for my children even when I thought perhaps I didn't want children at all. There's always been an inherent understanding that one day I'll be a name on someone's family tree, a collection of photographs, a handful of memories talked about over holiday dinners. I think of how my own relatives have shaped my life, often through unspoken communications, situations and traumas so deeply internalized that they became personal qualities.
My First Point of Aries is in the 8th House, a place of death and rebirth, of transformation and hidden meaning. It seems appropriate that during this time I return to equinoxes past to unearth the lives I've buried and the fears and shadows that have ruled me from the depths.
Five years ago I made the conscious choice to free myself of their influence. I was freshly out of a bad relationship with a man who innately understood my fears and how to play them to his advantage. I was on the brink of graduating college with a body of work I knew wouldn't serve my future career and I was uncertain how I'd gotten to the place I was in. Just after the vernal equinox in 2017, I sat on the 6 train scribbling notes about a museum show I knew I'd never think about again. But instead of contemplating the artist's use of colour or his place in academic theory, my mind wandered to a future that felt impossibly distant. I thought about my future children and what I would eventually leave them. I wondered if they'd inherit so many years worth of letters and notebooks and wonder who wrote them, if they'd recognize their mother within the pages they read. Would they contain endless lists of facts and figures, meaningless working data from a life just barely survived? Or would I leave a rich narrative woven from colourful threads they'd trace into their own lives? Would they read the names within and recognize them or would they be long-kept secrets from a life they'd never seen?
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I crossed out my class notes and penned the following. It was a reclamation, a manifesto, a renewal of faith in both my past and future. With this as my roadmap I began an incredible journey. But the 8th House is a tricky place; climbing its slick, stony walls isn't easy and we often slip back into the darkness of our own underworld. I post this once again as a reclamation but also as a call to arms. As we continue to dance into Spring, I encourage you to examine your origins. At which point do you begin? Is it with your own childhood, as you've so likely thought? Or is it in a mother's fear? A father's ideals? Is it a lover's expectation or an institutional aspiration? It's possible that your point of incarnation has yet to come, a purpose still unfound waiting to be discovered.
Wherever you are, throw down those influences and begin anew.
Children are completely genuine. They live entirely by feeling, experiencing each second as something new and precious. There's nothing calculated or controlled, nothing born out of expectation or fear. Anxieties and insecurities haven't infected them yet; those are parasites we pick up along the way to adulthood, passed along as we touch the dead dreams and aspirations of those who came before us.
I have always been sensitive to the world around me. My empathy was never dulled by experience, I simply grew better at hiding it. Unfortunately, this also means I collected fears and worries, plucking them from other people as I learned what was acceptable, what was not. We all want to be talented, capable, beautiful, loved, and we pursue those adjectives with dogged determination, comparing ourselves to everyone else vying for the title. We all want to measure up.
But it's a draining hunt for validation, and we lose the emotional energy it takes to be any one of those things. Worse yet, we lose sight of what and who we really are.
I have not spoken my truth. My adult life has been defined by ideals, standards I've set for myself, models posed by other people. In the last few weeks, I've been forced to confront the fact that I've been horribly dishonest with myself. There are a lot of things I am not, and will never be, and have tried so hard for so long to become.
I am not quiet, I am not complacent. I am not insincere, I am not calculated.
But there are a lot of things I am and have not embraced. There are so many things inherent in our natures that we push aside as we're told they're not conducive to the adult world. We live according to the fears and failings of those before us. And it exhausts me.
I am sensitive. I feel everything. I cry for people I've never met and animals I haven't seen because they don't understand the cruelty they face. My throat gets tight when I meet elderly couples who have lived their lives side by side, and I tear up reading about couples in love. I believe there's a reason in everything but still lament the hard lessons learned. With every move I make, I feel the magnetic pull of the universe around me, the hum and buzz of frenetic energy, the overwhelming collective emotion and experience that unites us. I believe in magic, the push and pull of energy that shapes our fates, brings us closer, drives us apart.
I see beauty in dark places. I understand the awesome attraction of the sublime, the terrifying nature of ecstasy. I know that life is a cycle, that history repeats if we do not learn the lessons it offers. I see few absolutes in the world, and opposites are rarely incompatible.
I rarely carry an umbrella because I believe we're meant to feel the rain. I'm not a good dancer but I can't help being moved by music, physically and emotionally. I want to dance in the street and laugh until my lungs can't take it and kiss the words from another person's mouth and lose myself in the words it takes to appreciate a moment. I relish the freedom of interstate driving at night and the spontaneity of 24-hour diners. I think the strongest communications take place without names, that we connect at a soul level without a need to identify. I believe we are given only what we can handle, but feel that we manifest much of our lives according to our fears and desires.
I do not want to continue to manifest fear. I will not be ruled by anxiety and panic. I am learning that I am enough, that everything I need is already inside of me, and that can be shared but never stolen. Energy is infectious, and I want to transmit strength and optimism.
We are born with infinite potential, the ability to bend and shape ourselves into anything we want. We have wings to spread and soar, or shade and shelter--but we also clip those feathers, condemn ourselves to a flightless existence. But the thing with feathers is they can grow back. We've merely cut them, trimmed them into uselessness, decoration. They still exist under our skin, ready to pin through out pores, to grow back full and fantastic. With each budding plume, we regrow potential. As we leave them to unfurl, we reclaim some of the power we relinquished when we were told it wasn't ours to have.
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