Welcome to Aries, the first sign of spring and the start of the astrological year.
After taking time to let go and sense our connection to the whole in Pisces, in Aries we rush off to new adventures. What to eat on our way? Read on.
If you shop in farmers markets, you know it is spring. Baby carrots, fresh onions, new leeks, green garlic, the first fava beans and asparagus all remind us that new life is bursting out of the ground. Taking in these energies of exuberant growth is what time in Aries is all about - a zest for life, the sense of potential, that every day is a fresh start. Why eat packaged food chemically designed to last for 6 months on a supermarket shelf? This is not Aries. Better to have the salad picked yesterday, which sometimes will make you sing. Since Aries is the first sign of the zodiac, we can be aware of freshness. Even those dedicated to eating well are not always used to thinking this way. We eat steaks that have been in the freezer for months, potatoes from last year's crop, water bottled a year ago. This month try making an effort to eat as much fresh things as you can, and sense the new life.
For in Aries we get our muscles moving. Aries along with Leo are the two most physically active signs. Motion is essential to life. This has been proven again and again - those who exercise are in better shape than those who don't. Even people in their 70s and 80s who exercise can have healthier hearts than people in their 20s who don't. It isn't just about living longer but living better. Exercise releases endorphins and according to some studies makes you smarter.
After a good workout, most people know what they want - protein! What food does Mars the warrior, ruler of Aries, like the most? Steak, the rarer the better. It's true. Most people with Sun, Moon or Aries rising love their red meat. Whatever your constitution, with Sun in Aries we move more and so increase our protein and build muscle and blood. Have some spinach or other greens with the meat.
If you want to eat the original warrior food, try steak tartare -raw meat. I've had this dozens of times and because I buy steak from healthy cows raised on pasture near Mt Shasta I've never had any hint of problems whatsoever. People eat raw fish all over town, why not raw meat? Just like we don't eat oysters from polluted waters, I wouldn't dare try this with feedlot cows.
If you want to redden your blood but limit animal foods, there is nothing better than nettles. Due to their very high level of minerals (including iron) and more protein than any other vegetable, they are a traditional spring tonic. Fresh nettles are now in season and can be found at some farmers markets. At the Ferry Building Saturday market in San Francisco, both Star Route farms and Maraquita will often have them. Nettles can be made with onions and carrots into soup, cooked with garlic like any other dark green like chard, or simply simmered and strained as tea. Chez Panisse Cafe in Berkeley even puts them on pizza.
But do not eat them raw or even touch them with bare hands - they sting. Even when cooked, you may feel a slight warming sensation after eating. This is the reason to have nettles in the spring rather than fall; later in the year the burning can be unpleasant. Men, nettles are a traditional remedy for the prostate, suitable for a plant of Mars. Prostate trouble is more and more common so if it runs in your family, fresh nettles and nettle tea is a good springtime habit.
If you have Aries Sun, Moon or rising, you may want to partake of your totem animal and have lamb in the form of meat or sheep cheese. Sheep cheese in particular has a very calming effect and is recommended in Tibetan medicine for its soothing and settling effect on Air and Fire types.
On the other hand, if you need more get up and go one of my favorites is wild boar. Wild boar is like pork from a pig that has been training for a triathlon. Seriously, after eating wild boar my muscles strengthen at the cellular level, and I often set new personal bests in workouts the next day. While less common here it is often found on menus in Italy, a place that knows how to eat.
In the body, Aries is the sign of the head. We might get a new haircut, pay attention to our face in various ways, have a facial or try cranio-sacral work.
May you have good health with Sun in Aries. Watch for the next column when Sun enters Taurus on April 20th.
Jonathan Pearl is a traditional astrologer with a special interest in living with harmony with nature and time. For more information and his free weekly astrology column, please visit http://www.starpearls.com/.
Disclaimer: Consult your health professional (modern Western and/or alternative) for all health related inquires and issues.