A s you may or may not know, it will be Passover (Pesach in Hebrew) in a few weeks. It is known as a time of elevation, but before this elevation and being able to receive it comes a process of cleansing. During certain times in the year things that usually remain hidden from us come to the forefront — and this month is one of those times. The couple of weeks between now and Pesach, you may find that anything that needs to be cleansed, changed or addressed will begin to reveal itself to you — and usually in the form of conflict or confrontation.
This intensity is the energy of Aries. Ruled by the war planet, Mars, Aries is symbolic of conflict, but just as the anti-venom is contained in the venom, this month’s energy supports reconciliation and peace. Kabbalists explain that those born under this sign share a strong sense of competitiveness, impulsiveness, and forthrightness. They are leaders in ideals and pioneers of new advancements. They are inclined to be very headstrong and stubbornly immoveable.
The energy of the month affects us all, not just those born under the sign. So, watch out for your reactions this month, particularly if someone questions your decisions or motives. An intolerance of opposition is a hallmark quality of the month.
On the positive side, Aries knows what they want and are not afraid to go after it. Their desire is unparalleled (just make sure you don’t get between them and what they want). But, in the pursuit of their goal they can lack the tact of some (most) other signs.
Sometimes a goal can be achieved solely on our own efforts, usually not though. Like their animal symbol, the Ram, an impassioned Aries can alienate the very people they need to persuade to their way of thinking with their blunt, straight forward verbal assaults. You catch more flies with honey, and knowing that confrontation is a big player energetically this month, here are a few tips for the sometimes-too-blunt Aries and a good refresher for the rest of us:
Be Conversational, Not Dictatorial
We’ve all known that person, either a family member or co-worker, who believes that if they say the most words the loudest that they’ve ‘won’ the discussion.
When an Aries has a plan, they feel the need to lay it all out on the line, plainly and in one go. This level of energy is the same whether they are planning a family vacation or pitching a work project. With all their research and the weight of their absolute belief in themselves, they tend toward fast-talking and not very much listening. They may entertain questions or alternative ideas only after they have shared the plan A to Z (though in all honesty, they would prefer to skip the Q&A entirely, as to their way of thinking, they’ve told you all you really need to know.)
No matter how stellar or bullet proof your argument, your efforts can fail without the support of others and this communication style isn’t conducive to the buy-in you may need. Instead, make a point of creating spaces for others to insert their thoughts and feelings, induce an atmosphere of give and take, a flexible flow of information that goes both ways.
What is Your Body Language Saying?
At times, everyone struggles with empathy. In the midst of our own excitement or pursuit of an idea, it’s not unusual to turn into a steamroller, flattening any opposition and completely forgetting to cultivate empathy and consider how things look from another’s perspective.
One tip for staying connected to the person you are speaking to, is to mirror their body language. Social scientists have found that ‘truth wizards’ — people with a higher than normal ability to detect a lie — can be so empathic that they almost morph into the person they are listening to, assuming their body posture, inflection, and stress levels. Mirroring not only connects you to another person’s feelings and perspective, but it creates feelings of warmth from them back to you! One study gave the mirroring strategy to a group of job seekers to use during their salary negotiations. The study found that they were more successful in their negotiations than the group who was not given the advice to mirror the interviewer.
Ask, Don’t Tell
We can all learn an important lesson from Bob the Builder (for those readers without children, Bob is a cartoon character on a children’s television program). When Bob wants to motivate his crew he doesn’t shout, “We can fix it!” Instead, wily Bob, master of influence asks, “Can we fix it?”
This runs completely counter-intuitive to the confident Aries. “Of course we can fix it. Why would I instill doubt by asking, as if I question whether we could!?”
But what Bob knows is that our brains react very differently when we hear a declarative statement or a question. Declarative statements are processed and perhaps checked for veracity, and maybe pondered for a bit. Questions, however, send the brain on a search for possible solutions and recall memories of similar incidents that occurred with success in our pasts.
This is a powerful way to talk to yourself, too. When confronted with a challenge, often we’ll think, “Okay, I have this!” Researchers suggest to instead, ask yourself, “Okay, do I have this?” The interrogative self-talk is the better way to go and will yield better results than affirmative self-talk because the question prompts your brain to start looking for solutions.
These are great tools for persuading others to your way of thinking while minimizing confrontation. However, with planet Mars at the helm, provocation will be coming right at you. Try to be open to other’s thoughts and feelings, and not be reactive and impulsive. Take the time to sit with what may feel like potential antagonism and hostility, but don’t get caught up in it. It’s not coming AT you, it’s happening for you, to enable change.
Be open to conflict as a means to find resolution, not to create animosity. It’s a powerful time to build bridges, make peace and be the pioneers of something remarkable in the world.
Thought Into Action
Is there a person or situation with whom you have recurring conflict? What might be the opportunity? How could this help you to change? There is no better time to resolve an ongoing conflict than now!
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