The Sun Sign Mythology
By Lidia Fassio
The myth of the Amazons
Speaking of the sign of Aries we can try to understand certain psychological drives connected to them, and particularly, analyse this type of purely masculine energy when it is embodied in the feminine world. To understand that properly, we take inspiration from the myth of the Amazons, which has always attracted the attention of all women and men, since it is something that has been strongly interiorised on a level of collective psyche.
The Amazons were a race of women who, according to the myth, directly descended from Ares, the god of War, better known as Mars (which astrologically rules the sign of Aries) and Harmony, daughter of Aphrodite and Ares. Their reign, according to the ancients, was in Northern Greece, on the slopes of the Caucasus.
The main characteristic of this people consisted in the fact that it was made of just women, able to carry out all tasks and to rule themselves without the help or participation of men, obviously a symptom of the lack of "reason - logos".
Perhaps, we may think of this reign as that of Eris, the new planet discovered recently and named after her; Eris is Ares’s sister, a warrior goddess better known as the goddess of Discord. Actually, in Eris we can find certain Amazonian features: independence, strength, fighting skills; great aggressiveness and cruelty in battle, without any possibility of agreement. The feminine side not integrated well with the masculine side can lead to excessive irrationality and aggressiveness which can easily result in a destructive behaviour.
Of course, the Amazons are governed by Queens; it cannot be considered a fantastic reign, since inside of it men were considered non entities that only did the humblest jobs; the servants were the only men to be accepted in the city.
Of course, in this part of the myth of the Amazons we can find a feminine nature that loses its qualities to take the masculine ones; in fact, it seems clear that they were more revengeful than conciliatory, especially towards men, which reminds us of the treatment women suffered in the patriarchal context. Undoubtedly, a real integration is missing and therefore the goddess of Discord does not manage to see a possible harmonisation between the masculine and feminine, but only a contraposition that leaves everyone unsatisfied and willing to fight.
What is told about this reign is tragic, however, we don’t know whether the myth is consistent with facts or, since it is the only exception within a patriarchal world, reality has been strongly distorted for fear of their strength. In fact, according to the myth, the Amazons used to mutilate their male children, even kill them. Obviously, their female offspring were treated differently, however, they would have their right breast mutilated so that they could handle the lance properly and draw back an arch without any impediment. Thus, their passion was "war" and their name meant "without breast".
Undoubtedly, this characteristic of their nature reminds us of something Martian, which is meant both as an extreme difficulty with the "feminine" world and with "nurturing in general", and as aggressiveness and real mutilation of the organ that par excellence indicates the relationship with the Moon; however, if we consider that the Moon is Cancer, then we can clearly understand how much this symbol can be distant from the Martian psychology, which is focused on competition and war, which needs battles and enemies to fight.
According to the myth, the Queen Hippolyta fought against Heracles. The latter had to take possession of the Queen’s belt to carry out one of his famous labours; however, just when Hippolyta agreed to give him her belt, Hera (the wife of Zeus), jealous of this submissive behaviour, phagocytised the Amazons to the point that Heracles, to take possession of the object, was forced to kill her.
In this part of the myth we can find another typical characteristic of a feminine nature that is still unresolved: that of rivalry and jealousy between women. In fact, it was a woman, Hera, who created the conditions that led to the murder of the Queen of the Amazons. Jealousy is a flaw of Aries resulting from an underlying insecurity which fuels the instinctive and impulsive side that is not able to deal with situations in a calm manner, since it lacks “reflection” and “direction”, as well as “respect of the other”, which belong to the Venusian feminine: these three characteristics might have saved Queen Hippolyta.
Heracles was accompanied by Theseus who, during a battle, kidnapped an Amazon called Antiope, and took her away with him. This fact stirred the anger of the Amazons once again, who declared war on Athens. Unfortunately, they were not successful against the army led by Theseus and retreated, undergoing many losses.
According to the myth, the Amazons also intervened in favour of Priam in the war of Troy against Athens; although Achilles was struck by the beauty of Penthesilea (the Queen), he did not hesitate to kill her.
All these defeats seem to confirm the difficulty that the Amazons had in winning their battles; this can happen to Aries and to the masculine when they are not in contact with their feminine side and cannot benefit from the advantages offered by strategy and assessment, which can channel the Martian force in a constructive and effective way.
The goddess who was most popular and worshipped by the Amazons is certainly Artemis, who is the only one who did not have her breast mutilated, and the only one who can help women when they are in trouble.
This last aspect of the myth seems to leave a strong potential to the Amazonian psychology on condition that these people manage to develop the ability to nurture and accept, as well as that special sensitivity that Artemis showed when she rescued Iphigenia when she was about to be sacrificed by Agamemnon - her father - to the god Aeolus. An Aries or Martian woman must develop these characteristics without relying too much on strength and aggressiveness which, without direction and heart, cannot lead to any type of evolution or even stability.