10 Aries Personality Traits That Best Describe the First Sign of the Zodiac

Photo: Getty Images/ Vladimir Vladimirov
Of the 12 zodiac signs, Aries is the one that kicks off the astrological calendar. For that reason, if you’re an Aries—born between the dates of March 20 and April 20—it only makes sense that you pack some ambitious, self-starting energy. Regardless of whether you were born during an Aries-Taurus cusp or a Pisces-Aries cusp (aka dates that are very close to the beginning or end of #AriesSzn), folks born under this sun sign tend to share some Aries personality traits.

Experts In This Article

The Aries symbol of the ram, is often reflective of their characteristics, which include being strong-willed, passionate, and at times, stubborn and set in their ways—and considering these, it should come as no surprise that Aries is ruled by the element of fire. Aries also happens to be a cardinal sign, which has earned them the reputation of self-starters with a gung-ho, can-do attitude.

“The sun is exalted in Aries, meaning these people are blessed with certain qualities necessary to be leaders and innovators,” says astrologer Emma Toynbee. “They represent all that is newly born, are movers and shakers, lead-role actors, agents of change, individual and unique, pioneers, inventors, innovators, strong competitors, and fierce warriors.” Granted, a common shadow trait of Aries is that they tend to exhibit some strong “me-first” energy, which can be exhausting. But in general, Aries are people to look to for leading the charge in a positive light.

“[Aries] are all that is newly born, are movers and shakers, lead-role actors, agents of change, individual and unique, pioneers, inventors, innovators, strong competitors, and fierce warriors.” —Emma Toynbee, astrologer

And whether you’re an Aries warrior yourself, or you’re simply curious about how Aries personality traits may factor into cultivating the fiery, highly successful profiles common to the first sign of the zodiac, it’s worth knowing more.

Below, astrologers outline 10 Aries characteristics that encompass the fiery self-starter of the zodiac wheel.

10 Aries personality traits for the self-starter of the zodiac wheel

1. Aries are known to have a pioneering spirit

You know how on Instagram, the first person to comment on a post sometimes feels the need to rush in with “FIRST?” As if that weren’t clear by indeed being the first commenter? Well, that, friends, is a big Aries mood spotted in the wild. “They are the ones who arrive first and so they thrive in the winner-takes-all digital era,” Toynbee says of Aries, who likes to be first and let you know it.

Think about it this way: As the first sign of the zodiac, Aries marks the beginning of the astrological year, and according to its dates, the sign also marks the beginning of spring. As mentioned, it’s also one of the four cardinal signs, which carry lots of can-do, are-doing-it, and it’s-done energy in their own right. Is that enough evidence that it’s in an Aries’ astrological makeup to value being leader of the pack and first in line? Thought so.

Plainly stated, if you’re an Aries, there’s a strong chance it’s in your nature to be a fearless adventurer in action, spirit, thought, or all of the above. Maybe you had the first kiss within your friend group, or you were the first to move out of town—and thrive.

2. Aries are often ambitious

It’s not always enough for you to be first; you also have to be the best. If Aries energy runs through your blood, it probably lends itself to a drive and ambition to be the absolute best in whatever field you operate. Furthermore, Mars is the ruling planet of Aries, and with Mars as your planetary ruler, you’re especially adept at trailblazing in positions like management, software, and C-suite roles.

3. Aries may be ruthless when it comes to conquest

While we’re noting the significance of Mars to Aries, let’s remember that in Greek mythology, Aries is the god of war. As such, the dark side of an Aries’ sense of ambition can be construed as angling for results beyond success, or achievement as just a factor along the quest for dominance. This desire to win—in a holistic sense—can paint you as being exceedingly aggressive about getting what you want. And yes, that also includes making sure you get what you want in the bedroom.

TL;DR: Some may feel you’re a bit too competitive for your own good.

4. Aries places an emphasis on independence and individuality

It’s important to Aries that they’re able to express themselves, which might mean that they own their uniqueness 24/7. “They’re so courageous and brave and aren’t in their heads about who they are,” says astrologer and social worker Monisha Holmes, MSW. “A lot of them allow themselves permission to just be in charge and live their lives to the fullest.”

5. Aries may have an inclination toward self-centering

Aries rams are known for following their head, not their heart. So when you’re climbing your way up the career ladder (or any other ladder in life you can find), it may slip your attention to consider the people you’re stepping on to get to the top. If you’re an Aries, it might be wise to pause for a moment before you crush relationships under the weight of your personal goals and ambitions.

6. Aries are fearless individuals who like to get things done

Those ruled by Aries don’t fear the future or delay trying fresh and innovative things (as opposed to their cosmic neighbor Taurus, who take their sweet time doing anything at all). Because of this can-do attitude they possess, it’s easy to admire and look up to them, despite any less-than-savory Aries characteristics they might present. Yes, they may push their way to the top, cutting anyone in line in their way they can, but their constant successes are undeniably impressive.

7. Aries are ready to action their plans—on their timeline

When it comes to getting what you want, Aries, you’re not afraid to do whatever it takes—no matter what.

“These people don’t like queueing or being stuck in the back or behind. They will often find a way to push to the front,” says Toynbee.

8. Aries may step away from the spotlight sometimes

Even though Aries loves to be unique and independent, Holmes says this sign knows that they live in a society that may not always appreciate those traits. That self-awareness means Aries can also be a bit reserved when they feel like they need to be.

“They can be a bit shy to actually share the details of their life,” says Holmes, adding that Aries may bend their energy how they think it’ll best fit the situation.

9. Some Aries may see themselves as invincible

And that’s the case, for better or for worse. “They might have a little apprehension, but if they really want to do something, they’ll go out and do it,” says Holmes. While that can be great in a number of applications, it won’t always serve the ram. “[Aries] don’t really hone in on the failure of how something could go—like, they will take the risk if they want to take the risk,” she says.

10. Aries might not be strongly empathetic

“They can be compassionate, but I think sometimes they can get caught in their own reality bubble and don’t necessarily recognize where someone else could be coming from,” says Holmes.

How to get along with an Aries

“Aries needs to know they’re free to be themselves,” says astrologer and psychic medium Rachel Lang. “The best ways to get along with Aries are to allow them to be independent. They tend not to be influenced by pressure from others, and they generally don’t like manipulation or control tactics.”

With that said, Aries values direct communication and honesty, says Emily Newman, psychic reader, spiritual healer, counselor and astrologer at Best of Psychic Reader, and they appreciate people who are upfront about their thoughts, feelings, and intentions. Just keep in mind that Aries don’t usually have the patience to linger too long on emotion—they want action. “Aries people tend to be action-oriented and like to get things done quickly, so it is essential to be ready to take action and make decisions quickly.”

While Aries are often quick to act, this also means they can be quite rash—and to get along with the ram, it’s important not to take their actions personally and become upset by their decisions, says Newman. “Understanding their impulsiveness, giving them space to think, offering constructive feedback, and focusing on the positive aspects of their impulsive behavior are essential,” she says, for as long as it doesn’t cause any harm.

Whatever it is that Aries is passionate about, they’ll always tackle it with a great deal of enthusiasm—which is a gift, says Lang, and it’s likely that they want someone to share their enthusiasm and support their pursuits, whatever that may be. “Boost them up,” says Lang. “Be a cheerleader for even their wildest ideas.”

What Aries needs to be happy

“Aries needs to work toward a goal,” says Lang. “An Aries individual usually needs to work through a challenge—they enjoy the energy of pursuit. It fires up their competitive drive.” This makes sense considering that the ram has so much energy to burn and as the sign of the pioneer, it may involve branching out in new directions, exploring uncharted territory, and adventure.

Lang says that the pursuit of their passions is often more important than happiness for Aries, though Newman points out that they may find happiness in testing their limits and achieving success in various areas of their lives.

Although Aries has the reputation of pursuing experiences that primarily benefit themselves, Aries is also a “warrior of justice,” says Constance Stellas, an astrologer of over 20 years. “By being attached to a demonstration, to a cause, to justice that they feel is burningly important, it helps a lot with their Mars energy,” she says. “If [this energy] stays inside, they can become very unhappy.

Aries in love and friendships

Aries’ traits of being passionate, adventurous, and enthusiastic often translates to their romantic relationships and friendships. “In a romantic relationship, they are bold, confident, and energetic, and are known for being direct and honest in their communication,” says Newman. “In friendships, they are outgoing, fun-loving, and loyal.” Aries—and Aries moon signs—can also be quite sensitive, astrologer Natalia Benson previously told Well+Good, with a caveat: “That tender energy isn’t always readily available.”

In any case, “Aries is fiercely protective of their loved ones and friends,” says Lang. “That said, they need space to individuate.” At times, they can also view relationships as pursuits. “They love the chase in romantic relationships, but they can lose interest fast. For this reason, they need partners who have the same love for adventure,” she says. What’s more? “They tend not to judge as much as other signs, but they do have an opportunistic streak. Can you teach them something new? Introduce them to someone influential in their field? These are ways to impress Aries.”

These traits can help determine Aries compatibility—or rather which of the fellow zodiac signs Aries are most and least compatible with.

The zodiac signs Aries is most compatible with

Aries will get along with fellow fire signs Leo and Sagittarius, as they can understand and respect Aries’ fiery energy and need for independence. Leo has comparable characteristics—and the energy to match. “Both are driven by achievement and are ambitious,” Newman told Well+Good. Sagittarius is just as adventurous-minded as Aries. Sag will make for a fun partner that will also respect Aries’ need for freedom, and vice-versa.

Aries will also get along well with air signs Gemini and Aquarius. Aries and Gemini will never get bored when they’re together, and Aries will appreciate Gemini’s charisma, while Gemini will love the ram’s passion. They’re both optimistic and love adventure, too. Aries and Aquarius are both intelligent and independent, and if Aries lets them, Aquarius could use their analytical skills to help Aries achieve their dreams. Libra and Aries are opposite zodiac sides, and they can also get along if they look past their differences. They’ll have no trouble getting things going as they’re both cardinal signs and they both share an enthusiasm for life.

The zodiac signs Aries is least compatible with

Aries may have trouble seeing eye-to-eye with water signs Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces and earth signs Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. Water signs are known to be emotional and sensitive, with a tendency to think with the heart, which might be off putting for Aries, while the water signs may not receive the emotional support they seek in Aries. Earth signs can relate to and respect Aries ambition and drive, but they tend to prefer working towards their pursuits slowly and steadily, whereas Aries moves with a quick intensity. Earth signs can also be stubborn, which might cause friction with Aries, who can also be set in their ways.

Aries at work

“Aries is the quintessential entrepreneur,” says Lang. “Ruled by Mars, the planet of ambition, Aries is often a self-starter. They have a competitive drive that leads them to aim for the top.” Newman echoes this sentiment, adding that they will thrive in work environments that allow them to take charge and make decisions quickly and careers that require them to be active, innovative, and pioneering. “Additionally, Aries are creative, driven, and self-assured, making them successful in various fields,” she says, mentioning sales and marketing, law and politics, competitive sports, and creative fields, like music, fashion, and film. “Overall, Aries thrives in careers that provide challenge, stimulation, and opportunities for leadership and achievement.”

If anything, “Aries is often great at starting projects or leading new initiatives, but they need help staying the course,” says Lang, adding that they can quickly become frustrated if they have bosses or supervisors that exert too much authority over them.

Aries’ likes and dislikes

According to Lang, Aries will enjoy an outlet that allows them to burn energy, like exercise and outdoor activities, or will fuel their passion for adventure, such as traveling and learning new things. They also love competition and enjoy taking risks, says Newman, with Lang adding that they will enjoy “anything that involves a challenge to win.”

Conversely, fiery Aries dislike control freaks and slow talkers, and others’ indecision, says Lang, as well not getting their way and being ignored. According to Newman, they also dislike anything that hinders or slows their progress down, which can include authority figures who try to control them, waiting for anything or anyone, and being criticized or told what to do. As they often strive to be number one in their pursuits, they also hate to lose or be second best, she says.

Aries’ challenges and growth opportunities

Aries’ fiery self-starting energy is as much a strength as it is their weakness. According to Lang, they can stand to learn how to collaborate with others in all aspects of their lives, but particularly in their relationships. “Partnership is a big growth opportunity for Aries, who tends to have an all-or-nothing approach to love,” she says. “The teamwork and collaboration required in a long-term relationship may not come naturally for an Aries.”

Known for their quick-acting nature, Aries is also quick to anger. “Calm, rational thinking” is usually a challenge for the ram, says Stellas. They are also prone to impatience and impulsivity, but if they learn to practice patience and take time to think through decisions, they might find that they can channel their fire more productively—and to better effect. While they have plenty of energy to burn, Aries may find it difficult to see a project through from start to finish. “They have an enormous capacity for trying all sorts of things and sometimes difficulty in sticking to one path or project,” says Stellas.

Frequently asked questions

What are Aries’ famous traits?

Aries individuals are known for being strong-willed, ambitious, passionate with intense self-starting energy. They are also quick to act—and, at times, without thinking—which can make them brash and impulsive.

What are Aries’ personality issues?

Aries can often act before they think, which can come off as impulsive or insensitive. Since they like to act quickly, they can also be impatient. They are also competitive—and sometimes, overly so—and at worst, Aries will do most anything to push their way to the top.

Are Aries emotional?

Underneath their strong exterior, Aries are quite sensitive, although it may take some time for an Aries to open up their hearts to someone, as they aren’t inclined to linger too long on emotions and prefer to act to them, for better or worse.

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