Aries heralds the coming of the vernal equinox.  The bleakness of winter is past. As daffodils bloom and new buds of life appear, nature seems to have found renewed hope.

In the northern hemisphere, where Western astrology was developed, the light has triumphed over darkness and with it, life over death.  It is fitting then, that Easter usually occurs in Aries for Easter is a time of rebirth when, as Christians, we begin spiritual life anew.

Aries too speaks of beginnings and turning one’s back on the past. Perhaps if we’re struggling with how to implement our renewed spirituality, it is to Aries that we might turn for help.

Ptolemy, whose work reflects the traditions of Western astrology, listed the following as positive Arien qualities: spirited, powerful, venturesome, keen, headstrong, active, with the qualities of leadership.

Indeed these are the qualities we associate with Aries today.   Aries is the successful entrepreneur, the captain of industry, the true pioneer among men.  What then might Aries have to offer besides a place on the FTSE 100 or one’s name in Who’s Who?

All spiritual traditions emphasize the importance of making that initial decision to live the life of the spirit and warn us that we can’t wait for proof that God exists or that the teachings of our religion are true.  Yet today, many of us do just that.  For as children of the Enlightenment, we have learned to believe only in that which we can measure.

Yet if spirited, venturesome, powerful Aries is prepared to take uncalculated risks in order to reach for his stars, then perhaps we could as well.

And what better time to do so than in Aries when ‘the sun (is) mounting with those stars that with him were, what time the Love Divine, at first in motion set those beauteous things.’  *

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* From Dante’s Inferno reflecting the ancient belief (Albumaser, writing  in the 9th century) that Creation took place when the seven planets–Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn–were in conjunction in Aries.

Easter is an excellent time to consider that the doctrine of the resurrection leads straight to that of judgement, which like Karma, leads to the moment  when the ‘rewards’ for your past efforts appear.

Sounds scary, I admit.   But the wisdom of the Tarot suggests that for those who’ve met certain preconditions, judgement is a time of transformation, healing, and – at long last – becoming whole.

So what are those preconditions?  The symbolism on the card makes them clear.

The three persons who are being resurrected from the square grave embody the trinity (divinity), which is now freed from the quarternity (the earthly world).  This suggests that what is authentic, essential, and divine in you is liberated but only to the extent you have been true to yourself.

Through its cross sum, Judgement (XX) connects to The High Priestess (II), to which the cross sum of Strength (XI) also leads.  This link makes clear that commitment and a will to life (Strength) are preconditions of the redemption and healing of Judgment, which comes not from your actions but from the mercy  dispensed by the High Priestess if – and only if –  you’ve allowed yourself to be guided by a higher power than your own.

Easter is the first Sunday following the first full moon that occurs on or after the day of the vernal equinox (the first day of spring).   It can fall on any date (that’s a Sunday) between 22 March and 25th April.  The most likely date is 19 April while the average date is 7th April.

The date upon which it may fall straddles the day  (21st of April) when the sun slips from Aires to Taurus.  Statistically, Easter is much more likely to fall into Aries than Taurus.  But this year, Taurus wins.

What might this mean?

In Old Testament times, at around Eastertime, priests would sacrifice lambs as an offering.   When Jesus arrived, he became the sacrificial lamb – the ‘Lamb of God’.   Blood purifies.  The letting of blood expiates our sins.

This is why Easter is associated with rebirth and resurrection.  Easter is the time to atone for our transgressions and start over again, fresh and clean.

With all the focus on bloodletting, it’s fitting that Easter usually occurs in Aries.  Aries is an ardent, spirited energy.  As the archetypal warrior, Aries is action-oriented and focused to win.

But when Easter falls into Taurus, we’re introduced with a new kind of energy – solid, stable, secure, and settled.  As the archetypal Earth Mother, Taurus gets back to basics.  The Taurean platitude is ‘slow and steady as she goes’.

So this Easter, why not take advantage of the  shift from being active and outgoing to that of  being more self-sufficient and serene.  After all, you’re getting a second chance.  You’re starting over.  Why do it all the same again?