When including fainter stars, visible to the naked eye, the area resembles the head of a ram, having a general herbivore head shape and a spiral horn.
In Greek mythology, this is believed to represent the ram which carried Athamas' son Phrixus and daughter Helle to Colchis to escape their stepmother Ino. Helle fell off into the sea which later became the Hellespont. On reaching safety, Phrixus (rather ungratefully) sacrificed the ram and hung its golden fleece in the Grove of Ares, where it turned to gold and later became the quest of Jason and the Argonauts. It appears that Babylonians, Greeks, Persians and Egyptians all agreed on the name of the Ram for this constellation.
The main area of the sky constituting the sign of Aries, containing part of Pisces, the Pleiades, and the constellation of Andromeda, may be the origin of the myth of the girdle of Hippolyte, which forms part of The Twelve Labors of Heracles.
The astrological sign Aries (March 21-April 19) is associated with the constellation. In some cosmologies, Aries is associated with the classical element Fire, and thus called a fire sign (with Sagittarius and Leo). Its ruling planet is Mars. It is also one of the four Cardinal signs (along with Libra, Capricorn, and Cancer). Its polar opposite is Libra. Each astrological sign is assigned a part of the body, viewed as the seat of its power. Aries rules the head. The symbol for Aries is the ram. Aries qualities include an aggressively extroverted nature, childlike curiosity and playfulness, resilient innocence, and a restless and wild spirit, but some negative traits are bluntness and feistiness.
- Wikipedia (2005). Aries (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aries). Retrieved March 1, 2005