Period: March 21 – April 21
Element: Cardinal Fire
The first sign of the zodiac starts with the spring equinox. The powers of the Day and Night are temporarily balanced. But with the first degrees of Aries the Day gets longer and so it symbolizes physical birth of an individual and his or her struggle for survival.
This process is reflected in budding flowers, whose sprout breaks through the cover of ground and melting snow just in this time of year.
To not burst forth could mean to fall back into the past, into the Night (e.g. Infinity = Individual Death = Not-to-be-individual), so that Aries represents a pure urge towards the individual life. It symbolizes action, electric energy, the Sparkle of Life. It’s an inspiration or a blind temerity (G.Bruno). The desire to live seeks for immortality. One of the key words of Aries is “sacrifice”. To become sacrificed means to become an immortal symbol in the eyes of the others. The symbol is a young ram, sacrificed for the salvation of the whole mankind.
Prague Aries is delimited by the churches of St. Kliment in Klimentská Street and in the Klementinum. The first lies on the initial degree of Aries, the latter on the last. Both churches are very significant for Aries as the saint’s attribute is a ram. It’s also interesting that the first Christian churches in Bohemia were consecrated solely to this saint: as if the Prague Zodiac knew that the saint had opened a cycle of Christian symbolism in this country. However, Christian symbolism also covered much of the older layers, copying and preserving them and thus it will often be our guide on our way to the undercurrent.
In the Prague Zodiac Grand Walk you will see Bethlehem Chapel, where a big defender of “the Sparkle of life” Jan Hus used to preach in the 15th century. His martyr’s death “for the Truth” in a stake’s fire and the conflagration of the Hussite movement risen out of this fire, are Czech symbols of the courage to exist as an individual. The Hussite movement was also a sparkle of inspiration for the European Protestant revolution (revolution of human individuality), which came 100 years later. A big monument in the middle of the Old Town Square commemorates Jan Hus.
At the Old Town Square, which lies entirely in Aries, you can also find one of the most famous Prague artifacts – the Old Town Astronomical Clock. Despite its fame, not many understand its essence properly and hardly anyone knows that the clock is also related to the Prague Zodiac. As an astronomical machine which measures time and depicts the movements of celestial bodies in respect to the zodiac, it symbolically opens the route through the Prague Zodiac from its first sign – the route through the secret of time. In our walks there’s no way you can miss the place.
Another example that you will meet in our walks is the beautiful northern portal of the Gothic church of Our Lady Before Tyn (the main church of Hussite Prague), with a unique and amazing Gothic tympanum made about 1390 illustrating the scene of Christ’s suffering. The initial degree of Aries passes through this place. In Christian astrology the symbolism of the first sign of the zodiac points primarily to the integral Easter sacrifice – the scene of the Crucifixion of Christ. The festival of Easter is always celebrated in the period of Aries. The location on the line between Pisces and Aries is very meaningful: Pisces (see further) represent the end of a whole cycle (of life, of spiritual path, etc.) – while Aries represent the beginning of the new one. Pisces represent the ultimate death (crucifixion being one of the symbols), which is only a door to the next cycle – which starts in Aries (symbol of resurrection, rebirth). It shows us that the Wheel of Life never stops.