Updated: Oct 9
To put it mildly, this Aries season finds us in a much different place than we may have been in, for instance, around this time last year. As the Coronavirus pandemic crosses the United States and the world, many of us are unsafe physically, financially, emotionally, and otherwise. This is not an easy or comfortable moment for anyone, particularly folks working in the service industry, health care professionals, and others who don't have the privilege to stay at home during this time. We want to acknowledge and honor all of those experiences.
In the Tarot, the Emperor is the card associated with Aries. What the card and the sign have in common is their very strong connection to individual expression. When the Emperor shows up in readings, it invites us to express ourselves with radical sincerity, without regard for the norms or expectations of the systems we live within. While the card is often associated with structure, it has much more to do with our own internal structures than it does with external structures. By "internal structures," I mean things like our self-talk, our emotional regulation, and our self-care habits. Through building awareness around the way we address ourselves and handle our feelings, we can create structures that support us in building the confidence necessary to show up as our full, unapologetic selves in the world. The Emperor is where the work we've done internally manifests in the world in our self-expression.
Aries, being the first sign of the zodiac, initiates us into a new year. Ruled by Mars, Aries is a sign that is associated with defending the self. Defending our right to take up space, to exist in the world with what we all deserve but few are entitled to—safety, dignity, and respect. Quick to disregard others' opinions, Aries energy often manifests as direct, refreshing and sincere self-expression.
But due to the nature of the coronavirus pandemic, we want to write about the individuality that both Aries and the Emperor represent in a different way. As the virus spreads all over the world, many of us realize how interconnected we are—each of our personal hygiene practices, ability and willingness to stay at home, and immunity effects everyone we come into contact with. Literally everyone. Not just the people you live with, but also the cashier from whom you buy your groceries. What's more, as this happens, we're seeing the many ways in which the individualistic values of the systems we live under are not set up to support the collective. As employers continue to lay employees off in the midst of a public health emergency and landlords proceed with evictions, we need to seriously reevaluate the way we understand individuality. While individuality creates space for unique self-expression, it also justifies greed and selfishness—the very qualities that may put our healthcare system under insurmountable strain if they continue.
So, what's an appropriate use of Aries and Emperor energy given the pandemic? I think that more than self-interest, we need to tap into Aries' courage. Radical self-expression does take courage, and we need to be brave if we are to create the structures we all need to survive this. We need to use our individual voices to speak about what is right. Call your local politicians to advocate for all evictions in your city or state to be suspended, with no exceptions or to ask that incarcerated folks have access to coronavirus testing and can be released to prevent the spread of the virus in jails. At this moment, we all need to care for each other. No individual is protected from coronavirus; no individual life is more valuable than any other.