We understand courage for what it is defined to be—strength in the face of pain, fear or grief. It’s supposed to be that force (for lack of a better word) that often springs up when we need it, although there are those times when it does not.
It’s a rather fluid word, really, because what constitutes it for someone might not be that at all for another. It’s the flip-side of many things, too, like our feeling of comfort, the sense of freedom, vulnerability. So understanding and having a grasp of what these mean for us, can then result in how we relate or exert courage, too. They’re the flip-side of the same coin. And it’s up to you to know what monetary value you’re going to give it.
We can write about courage, try to teach our kids to be it, too. But understanding it for how and what it manifests is another story. A story you have the ability to narrate. A reader asked why courage, and although my response was simple, “because it is Aries season after all…” it’s also that we’re living in a world and realm and culture that’s requiring we tap into this superforce.
Who’s Already Done It
When I think of where I want to go, regardless of whether it’s been done before, I look to the person closest to that definition. Maya Angelou, Aries author, born Marguerite Johnson and fireball if ever there was one described, where even her voice demanded attention, held rooms hostage. But what can we say about Maya’s courage that hasn’t been said before?
Honestly—nothing. And that’s where we’ll continue this post from.
She was an Aries force, the fire and warrior and focused soul kind. Aries, and its ruler Mars, have long been associated with the concept of war and battle, and Maya faced many battlegrounds growing up. A Black woman, raised in the south with few resources but always a desire to do more. She went on to become the first of many, across many industries and platforms, often lending her voice to injustices everywhere. Traveled, a singer, artist and performer, it’s easy to see now why her words on paper require more than to simply be read.
Courage in the Birth Chart
Maya’s Aries sun is right next to her Jupiter in the 9th house of higher education, publishing, travel, spirituality and wisdom, and she was able to cross all those checkpoints through her work in this lifetime. Both planets are opposite the moon, balancing her energy with her emotional and more nurturing essence in Libra. Her chart’s ruling planet is the sun, with an ascendant in Leo, giving her Aries sun another nudge to go ahead and achieve greatness.
With everything Maya accomplished, she knew how to work on that sun energy of hers, creating a blueprint for others seeking courage to follow. Her poems read like mantras, her music and history as a dancer, singer and activist, allow us to see the width of what it means to live.
This all means we have a strategy to follow: her work.
We start off with an excerpt from Still I Rise, one of her most popular poems, and move on to On Aging, which focuses on the strength of the soul and honors the natural process of getting old. Finally, we wrap up with a poem-turned-children’s book—illustrated by the also-great Jean-Michel Basquiat—Life Doesn’t Frighten Me about the many things one little girl’s isn’t afraid of in the world.
After you’re done with the reading material, be sure to download this Manifesting Courage Week 1 handout for you to document what you’ve learned and also dig back to understand your own, personal courage. When has it flared up for you? And why do you want to manifest it? We encourage you to seek out your own Mars and Aries in your birth chart and work with the storylines and energies coming out from there.
Still I Rise
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise.— Maya Angelou, Still I Rise
When you see me walking, stumbling,
Don’t study and get it wrong.
‘Cause tired don’t mean lazy
And every goodbye ain’t gone.
I’m the same person I was back then.
A little less hair, a little less chin.
A lot less lungs and much less wind.
But ain’t I lucky I can still breathe in.— Maya Angelou, On Aging
Life Doesn’t Frighten Me
I’ve got a magic charm
That I keep up my sleeve,
I can walk the ocean floor
And never have to breathe.— Maya Angelou, Life Doesn’t Frighten Me