Aries: The Cardinal Fire Sign

Aries: The Cardinal Fire Sign

A glimpse at Aries, the First Sign of the Zodiac
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(A note: Because I am generally writing on the sign itself—and, in doing so, I feel I should avoid gender-specific pronouns and the confusing singular “their”—I will be referring to the signs as “it.” I hope this will not cause confusion for readers.)

Characteristics: active, aggressive, assertive, athletic, brash, brave, careless, combative, confident, dynamic, lively, optimistic, passionate, perseverant, quick-tempered, self-centered, strong

Dates: March 21st – April 19th

Symbol: The Ram

Ruling Planet: Mars

Natural House: The First House

Body Parts: The Head and Face

Aries fits perfectly in its position as the first sign of the zodiac. Having the most active quality (cardinal) and the fastest element (fire), it has an inborn desire to lead in everything it does. The symbol of Aries is the Ram, an animal that will not hesitate to bump its immense, crushing horns against the feeble crown of your head. People with their Sun in Aries were born within the first month after the Spring Equinox, when all plant and animal life revive after the frigid, desolate months of winter. At that point, warm weather comes back with a vengeance.

Aries is ruled by the planet Mars, named for the god of war. Aggression, assertiveness, and combativeness are a few of its biggest traits. Yes, aggressiveness is sometimes considered a negative trait, but we all have to be a little aggressive once in a while. People with a strong Aries emphasis in their charts find it easy to take risks, stand up to their enemies, and fight to the death. You don’t want to mess with them (unless you have a lot of Aries or fire in your chart, yourself; if so, I’ll grab some popcorn and enjoy the show). Aries isn’t necessarily like Taurus—or other fixed signs—that won’t budge or change their mind out of pure stubbornness. It just won’t let you boss it around or tell it what to do.

Like the First House, of which this sign is the natural ruler, Aries is all about the Self. Aries is all about “what’s in it for me,” about what something or someone else has to do with it. Its opposite sign, Libra, is concerned about what it has to do with others; how Libra’s actions affect other people. That’s why Libra is so peace- and compromise-oriented; it puts others before itself. On the other hand, Aries’s main concern is what is best for itself. If the other person does or says something that Aries doesn’t agree with, it will tell them so without hesitation. If Aries doesn’t agree with its spouse about where to move, or how to handle their joint finances, Aries will tell him/her so. If Aries doesn’t agree with its professor on an issue, it will speak up about its point of view. And unless a compromise satisfies it, Aries will not agree to it. Yes, this comes off to others as a very selfish attitude; however, to avoid being a shaggy overused doormat, one should sometimes make use of the self-oriented Aries way of thinking.

Aries’s speed, assertiveness and strength give it an abundance of energy to burn. Its vitality, if used constructively, can make it a natural athlete, leader, and go-getter. It takes practically nothing to get it started in whatever venture it decides to take on. However, a key weakness of Aries is a lack of focus. It often gets passionate about a project in the beginning, only to leave that project unfinished as soon as it comes up with a newer, enticing conquest; this can be true in romance, careers, friends, or any other aspect of life. Aries craves novelty and despises boredom, and as soon as it gets used to something (or someone), it can move on to something new without taking too much time to make a decision. This is a sign that goes with its gut.

With spirit (fire) comes optimism. Because Aries doesn’t have a tendency to ruminate over tough situations, and because it is always eager to go to the next thing, it can bounce back from those situations pretty quickly and easily. It dislikes anything that will get it down emotionally and prefers to look at the positives, paying attention to the here and now instead of dwelling on the past or over-worrying about the future. Such an attitude makes Aries popular among its peers and a welcome guest at parties. People of this sign may be leaders of their group or clique, the first ones on the dance floor, the confident flirts, the ones taking on even the most risqué or intense games. They may be the people who get in fights after drinking too much. One must keep in mind, nonetheless, that not every person with their sun in Aries has all of these qualities. This is just a peek at the kinds of personality traits Aries has in its purest form.

You may be wondering about Aries’s body parts at the top of the page. Aries rules the head and, in general, the face. People with a planet(s) in Aries, or another strong Aries placement in the natal chart, may have something noticeable about their face, such as a scar or a noticeable birthmark. Those with Aries planets and/or Aries on the cusps of certain houses (more on Houses in later articles) are usually more prone to head, brain and face injuries and blemishes than are others. Migraines, eyesight issues, sinus issues, and acne are a few of the problems that can crop up for someone with an Aries-dominant chart. Aries-heavy people should be careful while doing things such as driving, playing sports or doing another similar high-action activity, and arguing. There is a tendency for Aries to overdo it (speed-/aggression-wise) in any of these activities, and it may end up regretting doing so.

Next Article: Taurus, the Fixed Earth Sign

Cover Image Credit: Star Sign Style

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7 Reasons Why Literature Is So Important

"Literature Is One Of The Most Interesting And Significant Expressions Of Humanity." -P. T. Barnum
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Today, there are too many people who believe that literature is simply not important or underestimate its abilities to stand the test of time and give us great knowledge. There is a stigma in society that implies one who is more inclined toward science and math will somehow be more successful in life, and that one who is more passionate toward literature and other art forms will be destined to a life of low-paying jobs and unsatisfying careers. Somewhere along the line, the world has come to think that literature is insignificant. To me, however, literature serves as a gateway to learning of the past and expanding my knowledge and understanding of the world. Here are just a few reasons why literature is important.

1. Expanding horizons

First and foremost, literature opens our eyes and makes us see more than just what the front door shows. It helps us realize the wide world outside, surrounding us. With this, we begin to learn, ask questions, and build our intuitions and instincts. We expand our minds.

2. Building critical thinking skills

Many of us learn what critical thinking is in our language arts classes. When we read, we learn to look between the lines. We are taught to find symbols, make connections, find themes, learn about characters. Reading expands these skills, and we begin to look at a sentence with a larger sense of detail and depth and realize the importance of hidden meanings so that we may come to a conclusion.

3. A leap into the past

History and literature are entwined with each other. History is not just about power struggles, wars, names, and dates. It is about people who are products of their time, with their own lives. Today the world is nothing like it was in the 15th century; people have changed largely. Without literature, we would not know about our past, our families, the people who came before and walked on the same ground as us.

4. Appreciation for other cultures and beliefs

Reading about history, anthropology, or religious studies provides a method of learning about cultures and beliefs other than our own. It allows you to understand and experience these other systems of living and other worlds. We get a view of the inside looking out, a personal view and insight into the minds and reasoning of someone else. We can learn, understand, and appreciate it.

5. Better writing skills

When you open a book, when your eyes read the words and you take in its contents, do you ask yourself: How did this person imagine and write this? Well, many of those authors, poets, or playwrights used literature to expand their writing.

6. Addressing humanity

All literature, whether it be poems, essays, novels, or short stories, helps us address human nature and conditions which affect all people. These may be the need for growth, doubts and fears of success and failure, the need for friends and family, the goodness of compassion and empathy, trust, or the realization of imperfection. We learn that imperfection is not always bad and that normal can be boring. We learn that life must be lived to the fullest. We need literature in order to connect with our own humanity.

Literature is important and necessary. It provides growth, strengthens our minds and gives us the ability to think outside the box.

Cover Image Credit: google.com/images

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5 Quick Tips To Improve Your Focus And Time Management Skills

Here are five easy tips that helped my sense of productivity along the way.

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Lately, I've been pretty disappointed in my time management skills. I've been struggling to not only maintain all of my obligations but also my sense of joy while completing each task. And although I'd love to rain check on my responsibilities, I know that extended mental vacations are not a beneficial solution for long-term purposes. With this in mind, I've recently observed the ways that I manage my time as well as the methods I use to better improve my work ethic.
As a result of my personal inventory, I decided to make a brief list of tricks that I use to better improve my time management skills and focus.

1. Find articles that encourage organization

I've been reading articles about managing obligations and discovering cool methods to better organize my life. A specific blog post that I've found helpful is "Get Your Life Together Tools" by Mariah Dyson. This brief article is extremely easy to read and filled with useful apps to help readers stay focus on their tasks at hand. The link to this gem is below:

https://www.andsoitcurls.com/blog/majorkeys-tools

2. Listen to a podcast that you enjoy


If you're anything like me, you probably work best with background noise. Now, while I love my Netflix account, I've recently discovered that binge-watching my favorite shows is only a distraction when I'm trying to meet a deadline. So, instead of compromising my focus I've recently decided to save my favorite podcasts episodes for when I'm bogged down with work.

3. Approach your 'to-do' list with positive perspective

THIS IS A MAJOR ONE FOR ME! I have a terrible habit of complaining about my workload. And while it's easy to murmur about my obligations the effects of my comments are detrimental. I've been purposely replacing the phrase "I have to" with "I get to," to remind myself that every obligation is a blessing. I'm blessed to have a job and opportunities to fulfill.

4. Color-code your planner to better prioritize your day

I learned this trick while working on my bachelor's degree and honey, please believe me when I say that this tip alone saved my undergraduate experience. I'm a huge advocate for visual representation, and having my planner organized by color is a quick way to check in and manage my priorities throughout a hectic day.

5. Manage your progress

Lately, I've been taking great joy in checking off tasks from my "to-do list." Again, being a fan of visualization, it's rewarding to know that I've completed yet another task. This technique also serves as a healthy dose of encouragement to keep on trekking along, because the reality is if you could buckle down to achieve your goals once before, you can certainly do it again.

If anything, I hope that this list leaves you with healthy options to consider, when trying to tackle a stressful day.

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