Raven Kaldera is a pagan priest, intersex transgender activist, parent, astrologer, musician, homesteader, and the author of "Hermaphrodeities: The Transgender Spirituality Workbook" (XLibris Press). He is the founder and leader of the Pagan Kingdom of Asphodel, and the Asphodel Pagan Choir. He has been a neo-pagan since the age of 14, when he was converted by a "fam-trad" teen on a date. Since then, he's been through half a dozen traditions, including Gardnerian, Dianic, and granola paganism, Umbanda, Heithnir, and the Peasant Tradition. He is currently happily married to artist and eco-experimentalist Bella Kaldera, and they have founded the Institute for Heritage Skills.
...'Tis an ill wind that blows no minds.'
Sun in Aries In the ancient land of Khent-the Black Land as its occupants called it-the greatest of all gods was Ra, the burning sun. He ruled over all the land like a great father, dispensing wisdom and putting down rebellions. Ra was the creator, the first god of the people of Khent, which today we call Egypt. Before there were any others there was Ra, the all-seeing eye in the unremitting hot sky over a parched desert land. He was the First, just as the Aries Sun is the first, and always will be. In his legend we see the sun with early eyes, those of people who first looked up and saw divinity, the source of life. Aries is primal instinct, survival, and he is very good at it.
Ra, as the sun, spent half the day soaring in the air, inspecting his kingdom below. In the morning he and his boat rose out of a lotus flower, and at night he sank into the depths of the underworld, bringing light for its dead inhabitants. This daily voyage was not without peril, however; there was a great serpent, Apep, living in the Nile, who sought to swallow Ra's boat and had to be constantly fought off.
In the underworld there were other terrors, each attempting to devour his light. In some allegories, he is born as a little child each morning and ages to an old man each night.
We tend to think of Aries as a simple, straightforward sign, rather one-dimensional, without much depth. Nothing, however, could be further from the truth. For one thing, Aries combines apparently contradictory archetypes within him: the Innocent Child of springtime and the Warrior of Mars. We will come to the Warrior in a moment, but first we should look at Ra the sun god who lives each day as if it were his whole life, present in the moment. This is one of the gifts of Aries consciousness, especially in the solar placement. Ra also needs to fight daily battles in order to survive and bring light to both worlds, and here we can view the quintessentially Arian trait of courage. This is the energy of the daily battle that one emerges from victorious every time, and awakes fresh to every morning, all demons defeated for the time being. It is part of the Aries fire, and it is sustained by innocence. He does not believe that he can lose or that each day may not be an event to be lived with wonder.
Ra had a secret box locked away, which was the source of his power. In it, as his unfortunate grandson once found, were two items: a poisonous snake and a magical lock of blue hair. The snake had a tendency to leap out and kill anything that opened the box, and the lock of hair could heal any wound, even that of the deadly snake. The two together can be read as both the Achilles heel of Aries-the anger that leaps out impulsively, not caring who its random targets might be-and its salvation, the lock of hair as blue as the wide sky. The sky, in Egyptian mythology, is the place of the crying hawk, Ra's symbol, and Horus's as well. The flying bird looks down on things from a distance, a quality the tempestuous Aries Sun needs to learn-using his head (from whence comes the lock of hair) rather than his leap-and-strike survival instinct.
However, Ra made a few errors. Among them was his rather strange attitude toward children and grandchildren. He drew from himself the first two children, Shu the god of the air and Tefnut the goddess of the dew, as if they were a mere experiment. When they proceeded to have opinions and desires that did not mirror his, he was rather surprised and annoyed. Shu and Tefnut mated and produced two more children, Geb and Nut, and this upset Ra so much that he ordered them permanently separated from each other, a task Shu performed. When they managed to thwart him and produce five children, however, he gave in and grudgingly accepted his new brood. Aries likes new things, but only new things that go along with his idea of how things should be, which seems like an impossible contradiction and in fact is one. In spite of this, he recovers quicker than many signs and does not hold grudges.
When Ra grew old and weak, his subjects began to mutter against him. This is the worst fear of Aries the Child, who hates the idea of old age and lack of control. Ra decided to teach his rebellious subjects a lesson and sent Sekhmet after them, but she ate so many of them that he had to resort to getting her drunk in order to stop the extinction of his entire kingdom. This shows that even when Aries' anger seems like a good idea at the time, it often gets out of hand and has repercussions that the enthusiastic Aries never seems to guess at beforehand. Isis also took advantage of his old age, playing the feminine Venus-ruled Libra Moon to his masculine Mars-ruled Aries Sun and charming the words of power out of him. Once she had them in hand, she nullified his power and took it for herself,...(Continues)