March 21 – April 19
If he can’t find a crisis, he’ll make one.
From the book “Astrology for Lovers” written by Liz Green.
Let’s begin our description of Aries with a little scenario, which will illustrate some of the qualities of this first of the fiery signs. The scenario might be entitled the Knight in Shining Armour Syndrome. It can be found in both male and female Ariens – although in the case of Aries women, it might be subtitled the Joan of Arc syndrome.
ARIES: (to friend) I notice you’re smoking. I suppose you realize that it would kill you? Give you lung cancer, heart disease, arteriosclerosis, emphysema…
FRIEND: Thanks, I’ve read all the literature. But I still think I prefer to smoke. Now about those books you were talking about….
ARIES: Wait a minute. Have you really read the literature? Look, I don’t mean to sound pushy, but really, it’s for your own good. I mean, I’m really concerned about this smoking issue. Every time I take a train or ride in a tube, and I see all these people smoking…I’ve started a group in my area called Death to Smoking committee. We’re doing a quiet little street demonstration in front of all the local tobacco shops. I figure if we put enough pressure on maybe they’ll get some sense in their heads.
FRIEND: (Lighting up a cigarette in annoyance) Did it ever occur to you that people may like to choose whether they smoke or not? We’re adults, you know.
ARIES: But I know what’s best for everybody. You say you’re adult, you can choose, but have you really read the literature?
The subject might be smoking, or anything small or great which concerns the public weal. Give him a mission, a cause, a battle in which he can trounce the enemy, an evil which he can challenge, and out comes that old suit of armour, kept clean and polished in case of emergency. We don’t know whether Joan of Arc was really an Aries or not. The date of her birth is lost. But her absolute conviction, her courage, her bravery, her fanaticism, her vision, her devotion to the cause of the French nation, and her defense of the underdog – an important point, that last one – make her pretty Arien. You may notice the emphasis on championing the underdog. Aries just doesn’t feel really right unless there’s an underdog to take care of. If we ever really enter a truly utopian society, Aries will be in a sorry state, because he lives and breathes for the great battle. And the great battle must have an ideal. Remember that Aries is a fire sign, and all fire signs tend to mythologize life. The ideal justifies the battle, brings out his courage, draws forth his genius at quick action. And the ideal, ideally should be the protection or defence of the weak, the downtrodden, the abandoned. Joan of Arc could hardly have become the mythological figure she did without having a poor neglected wreck of a disinherited king to defend. That was what gave her cause pathos and meaning. The restoration of the lost king to his kingdom, the return of justice. Does it all sound a little fast and furious for ordinary life? Never mind. Aries doesn’t really believe in ordinary life. There may not be anymore lost kinds to restore to their kingdoms (although one never knows), but Aries can find a cause in social welfare, in any form of life or human expression which is overlooked, underestimated, or neglected, or hasn’t a chance. Aries is the natural enemy of collectivization, because collectivization destroys myths and takes away the whole drama of the oppressor and the oppressed.
There is definitely a chivalric quality about Aries. Not that he’s unsophisticated; some of the most polished, brilliant, intellectually aware statesmen and thinkers are Ariens. But deep in the Aries soul, the age of Courtly Love isn’t over. He’s still looking around for the knightly order, the Round Table which can join to declare himself a True and Devoted Knight, and also for the damsel in distress that he can rescue. You might notice that Aries is very concerned for damsels in distress. Half the fun of a relationship for Aries is the whole chivalrous display of the rescue. Then the knight rides away again, of course. Knights never stay home and fix the fuses in their castles. They need adventure; otherwise they go pale and lifeless and distressed. And Aries needs adventure. It might be making money, or establishing a school, or developing any new idea which is bound to change or alter the world around him. But adventure he must have. Contentment and serenity and sameness give him psychic indigestion.
The ruler of Aries is the planet Mars, the mythological god of war and passion. All his qualities, when you read about them in such sources as the Iliad, sound like Aries exaggerated. He’s courageous to the point of foolhardiness, and his courage is mixed with the liberal dash of personal glamour. (Behind-the-scenes courage is more a Scorpio trait, the darker face of Mars). If you read history, you will come across some interesting descriptions of the age of chivalry, and one of the most interesting is the Hundred Years War. The flower of French knighthood lost some disastrous battles at Crecy, Poitiers and Agincourt. They all behaved like Ariens. There was no discipline in the French ranks, largely because each knight was so committed to his own honour and prowess that he couldn’t receive orders from a superior. They fought constantly among themselves, because there was no real spirit of cooperation; every knight was a nobleman, and every nobleman an autocrat. They overweighed themselves with flamboyant armour and banners to the point where if a knight fell off his horse there was no way he could get up again without the help of a couple of squires – or a crane, which hadn’t been invented yet. Notice the Aries trait? Naturally the English armies, much better disciplined although far less colourful, mowed them down. Not all Ariens get mowed down, of course. But often this quality of foolhardiness takes a few years before it’s tempered by the realities of life. Ariens tend to grow up late. It takes a few hard knocks and a few confrontations with other people’s stubborn resistance to teach them that it can’t all happen right this minute according to their own unique creative vision.
Aries will always behave with honour toward both friend and enemy alike; he will be generous and loyal to his friends, and, although scathingly contemptuous, will rarely stoop to revenge or petty behaviour toward his enemies. He does tend to make a few enemies, though, and not just because he’s inclined to be rash and impulsive. He also inspires a kind of mean jealousy in other people, because in one way or another he’s just a little larger than life. He tends to mythologize himself, and act accordingly. There is also a strong streak of impatience bordering on arrogance in Aries; he doesn’t suffer fools gladly, or insubordination, or slowness, or stupidity, or indirectness. In fact, he just doesn’t suffer gladly at all, unless it’s noble suffering.
Like all the fiery signs, Aries is a child at heart. This sometimes means he can be childish; at other times it means he’s childlike in the most spirited, warm-hearted way. He can get wildly excited and heated up over things which other, more jaded souls simply miss or overlook; no matter how old he is, from six to eighty, he can still throw himself into his work or his special projects with enthusiasm and energy. Many Ariens are so infuriatingly energetic that you get tired just watching them. They rush about with eighteen irons in the fire, all heating, as though they had some kind of invisible pill which made it unnecessary to eat, sleep, rest or contemplate. This quality of dynamic energy is one of the most noticeable things about Aries. That, and the fact that he’s
usually in a hurry from the living room to the kitchen. He must have movement and colour and life around him, because he gets bored easily. Then you get the notorious Aries querulousness, the irritability and edginess and bad temper which often flare up. Now, the Aries temper can be a little frightening. Have you ever tried confronting Mars on the battlefield? But it helps to remember that for Aries, gestures are stylized and often dramatized. All that fire and smoke and explosion is like a child throwing a tantrum. If he’s really, really angry he won’t explode so much; he’ll just quietly move to destroy what’s in his way. But the temper is just that – temper. And once it blows over, Aries hold no grudges. He’s too chivalrous for one thing, and too absent-minded for another. It just isn’t that important.
I had an Aries client who once told me about his behaviour in childhood. He said that when he wanted his mother to buy him something – a coveted toy, or a sweet – and she had the bad manners to refuse, he had a simple tactic that always worked wonders. He would throw a tantrum right on the street in front of the shop. Not a yelling tantrum, either – all kids do that, and Aries isn’t all kids. He would announce in his most heraldic voice, ‘I’m going to hold my breath until I turn blue.’ And he would do just that – prone on the sidewalk, where everyone would have to stop and crowd around to see what had happened to the poor child. His mother, naturally, never waited to see whether he really turned blue. Also, she obviously didn’t know anatomy, or the fact that if he did fall unconscious he would, of course, begin to breathe again. She simply bought the toy or the sweet. Cowed by the god of war, every time.
Naturally one thinks these things end with childhood. But my Aries client made it painfully obvious that although the nature of the tantrum had changed – after all, who would fall for a forty-five-year-old man saying he was going to hold his breath until he turned blue? – the tactics were the same. He had everyone in his household benignly terrorized. But usually Ariens contrive to get everyone else to do what they want. And their approach isn’t subtle. No emotional blackmail like Cancer, or long strategic planning with deals and financial viable pressures, like Capricorn. Or gentle, diplomatic statesmanship in the spirit of cooperation, like Libra. No, Aries has a simple approach. ‘Do it.’ If you don’t, you get the tantrum, in one form or another – maybe a slammed door and an evening of frosty silence, or a harangue, or a few smashed plates.
One way to describe Aries is self-willed. He’s unquestionably unaware, a good deal of the time, of the fact that other people might wish to pull in a different direction. It’s hard for Aries to understand compromise and cooperation. When he’s fired up about something, nothing else seems as right, as true, or as relevant. He’s dogmatic. That means that he simply doesn’t notice conflicting opinions, unless you shout them at him. And then he’s often genuinely hurt that you think he’s being selfish or egocentric. In fact he’s no more selfish than anybody else, and frequently less so. Because he tends to be generous to a fault, he’s an easy prey for a sad story, and can be easily taken advantage of. He’s also not a particularly astute judge of character, since he’s not a suspicious type and will usually believe the best about people until unpleasantly surprised. Disloyalty, backstabbing, and meanness of any kind can really bewilder and wound him. It’s just that he tends to be a little oblivious to the facts of situations, since he lives in his world of ideals. What he sees isn’t how things are. It’s how they could and should be. And even if everybody else is too tired or too jaded or too apathetic to do anything about it, Aries will go out there alone if necessary (he prefers support, but can do without it) and fight the dragon. And doesn’t demand repayment for it either. A little applause, appreciation, perhaps. But no strings are attached to his gifts.
Trying to live with an Aries can often be difficult, if you’re the type who likes the status quo to remain the same and the partner unchanging. Aries needs action; he needs something to pour his splendid energies into, something that stimulates him and has open possibilities. Ariens do not work well as complacent employees for strong bosses. They need scope and challenge and plenty of personal freedom to follow their visions without interference.
Now, there is a type of Arien who suppresses all this, just as anyone can suppress the natural qualities of his nature. You might see a meek, mild, docile Arien led along by a powerful wife or husband, or kept in his place by a powerful employer. All that fire goes inside, and eats at him from within. Headaches are a common Arien symptom, when the anger goes inside. You can’t expect the god of war to be happy tending geraniums in the greenhouse. He’ll either tear himself apart, or make life miserable for everybody else instead.
Not all Ariens display the physical prowess of the mythological Mars, although a lot are fond of sports and physical competition. The spirit of competition and winning is there, but it may be on an intellectual level instead. Many Ariens seem to have this quality of dynamic energy in the mental realm, and whether they are scholars, philosophers, prophets, artists, religious leaders or one kind or another, you are immediately impressed by the vivid life of their minds. They love mental challenge, difficult problems, impenetrable texts which they can battle. Don’t think all Ariens wear armour and ride horses physically. Some do it very unobtrusively. But watch out for the glint of the steel cuirass someplace. You’ll always find it.
Like all the fire signs, Aries has a problem coping with the facts of the situation he finds himself in. Some Ariens are terribly impractical, about very mundane things – like food, money, taxes. Some are sufficiently protected by an army of secretaries, agents, cleaning ladies et al. so they appear to be models of efficiency when in fact, if left alone with their own resources, they would make a hopeless muddle of the material world. Some are a little better with the things of this world, but are oblivious to the limitations of things. For Aries, anything is possible. Of course, anything isn’t possible. But you can’t tell an Aries that; he’ll simply think you’re cowardly, unimaginative, frightened or weak, and walk away to prove that it can be done. And he gets himself into a lot of trouble as often as he wins honours and accomplishes the impossible at the same time.
One of Aries’ most dangerous problems is that he can be easily disillusioned and made bitter. Because his reality is so often tinted by the values of the chivalric code, he may be injured over and over again by other people who refuse to recognize the code themselves. Aries doesn’t compromise gracefully with either people of life. And if he’s unlucky, or pushes too hard, or has visions which are too wild or impossible, he can wind up in a very bitter state. He needs more than anything else, to learn to see people as they are and to let them remain as they are without crusading. Conquering the infidel didn’t work in the thirteenth century; it’s certainly not going to work in the twentieth. It’s important for Aries to learn balance, a happy medium between his noble visions of how the world might be and the limitations not only of himself but of the times he lives in. If he can find this balance, he sets his aims low enough to be achievable, without abandoning them to the kind of black despair which overwhelmed the knights when the Holy Land was lost.
A strange creature, our fiery Aries. He’s capable of profound thought and considerable tenderness; but without warning he’ll be leaping on his feet again to stir up another crusade. Life is certainly not boring with an Aries. If he can’t find a crisis, he’ll make one. There’s a certain mischievous streak in him too; he’ll poke and goad people and situations which are too staid, too prissy, too stagnant, until the whole thing burst into a conflagration. He, of course, is out the door first, so that he never gets burned – or almost never. But Aries can be a tease, a gadfly nibbling away at whatever has grown fat and complacent and too sure of itself. He likes to play the role of the Devil’s advocate, and doesn’t mind having everybody else thoroughly annoyed at him for doing it. At least it generates a little action; and action, for Aries, is synonymous with life.
The Aries Lover
Aries in love is what you would, of course, expect. Love is Courtly Love, and Knights in Shining Armour–don’t love either meanly or half-heartedly. Often, however, they love the shining ideal, rather than the actual princess who may be a little hot and uncomfortable sitting and watching that bloody joust set up in her honour.
To Aries, half the joy of love is the pursuit. It might be said that for many Ariens, love is the pursuit, rather than the arrival or the catch. Have you ever looked at medieval tapestries of the hunt? It’s the hunt in every possible form–the horns, the dogs, the wonderful horses, the ladies in their towering headdresses…but never the catch. What would be the point of a tapestry showing the catch? How boring, how banal. Once caught, it’s eaten, or hung on the wall as a trophy. The hunter is already, from the moment of success, contemplating the next hunt.
Some Ariens follow this pattern very closely in their relationships. This is why it’s often a good idea to be a little reluctant in the face of the chivalrous Aries pursuit. You must know how to play the game. Courtly Love is a remarkable stylized ritual form of human relationship. The handsome, young knight falls in love, always, with an Unobtainable Lady. The obtainable ones are in his life, of course – they may be his wife. But they don’t really count. It’s what he can’t have that he truly loves and adores. He writes her poetry, paints her miniatures, sings her troubadour songs, disguises himself as a poor minstrel so that she can throw him a rose from her balcony. He pines and mourns and watches the moon a lot, and spends lots of time wandering through forests in a kind of sad languorous melancholy. He wears her colours at the joust, and offers his life to perform deeds of terrible danger on her behalf. Eventually, it’s hoped, the lady is won. But you never hear about what happens afterward.
It’s not that Aries is incapable of either loyalty or fidelity or a constant relationship. It’s just that he tends to get a little fidgety if the relationship never changes or provides him with any challenge or conflict. It may seem, knowing the Arien character, that this extremely masculine sign wants a passive, frail, submissive partner – of either sex. Not true. Those happen often enough, but they’re practice runs. Aries will stick when he’s found a relationship he can’t completely dominate. So, submissive souls, take warning.
Aries, like the other two fiery signs, Leo and Sagittarius, is a born romantic. The more prosaic aspects of love don’t really interest him, like grilling fish together over the fireplace. Unless the fireplace happens to be a snowbound cottage in the Alps and the rescue team won’t arrive for three days, or the fish has just been caught at enormous risk from a capsized yacht where you both had to swim like mad holding the fish between you to reach the shore. As soon as things lapse into routine, Aries – male or female – starts to yawn. Now it may seem an impossible task to always provide excitement and stimulus to an Aries mate. It doesn’t actually mean you have to provide the stimulus. It does mean that you have to be careful not to try to tame the urge for excitement and change and challenge, physical or mental. And it means having your own life and your own interests, so that he – or she – never feels you’re totally and utterly a possession. At that moment, the rot sets in.
One way or another, you won’t be bored. Unless you have one of those completely repressed Ariens who have turned all their energy and dynamism inside against themselves. Aries is never boring. And even the injured, introverted Arien isn’t; even his neurosis is interesting, if taxing. If you want a stolid, placid, contented mate, stay away from Aries. His business is not contentment. It’s challenge. Try a Taurus or a Cancer. Otherwise you might get burned.
The Aries Man
The Aries man is the original Knight. He’s also the original male chauvinist, because you have to hit him with a veritable brick to remind him that his protection and interference may not be welcome. And you have to virtually turn him inside out to get him to notice that you can protect yourself.
Now, many women don’t particularly want to protect themselves, or they are smart enough to know that they can do it quietly without bruising that rather fragile Arien ego. No question about it, Aries has an eggshell ego, to use the phrase coined by Beata Bishop in Below the Belt. He’s as male as male can be: the original macho man. He often feels obliged to keep this image up even when he doesn’t feel very macho: knights get tired too, and cranky, and hurt, and vulnerable, but there too, you never hear about it. Nobody ever describes Sir Lancelot when he has a head cold and needs cosseting. So the Aries man often pushes himself beyond his own limits trying so hard to be the ideal image of male. It helps him a lot to relax and recognize that he’s human too. But Aries has a lot of difficulty acknowledging his own humanity, because he’s so caught up in the world of myth.
He’s capable of alternating between grand gestures of generosity that are downright poetic and hard to beat, and some pretty crude insensitivity and trampling of others’ feelings. When he’s bad-tempered, he doesn’t realize how he can injure others who are more sensitive, and when he’s on his hobby-horse, he expects everybody around to believe so totally in what he’s doing that they should drop their own goals and visions. But if you do believe in his dreams, he’s an unflinching friend and will defend you and protect you literally to the grave.
What you may have to suffer most with an Aries man is the queer feeling that the goddess he worships, the princess he adores, is some vague glimmering figure just behind your left shoulder. When you try to tell him you’re human, individual, he often can’t see. Aries is prone to idealization of women. The Eternal Feminine is very much a reality to him, and he perceives and generally loves it as well as desiring it. But the individual personal qualities of a particular woman are not always so noticeable. He generally likes what he considers to be feminine women, and he’s inclined to stereotype them, just as he’s inclined to stereotype himself into the macho-role. It’s hard to bring him down to earth enough to let the outlines of two people emerge from all the mythologizing. And sometimes – if he’s a more extreme fiery type – the outline of the real person is disturbing, and can send him off on the next quest. It’s easier to be in love with an ideal image than a real woman, because the real woman needs to be related to as an individual. That means slowing down and seeing, considering, feeling, adjusting. We’ve already mentioned that Aries is not particularly gifted at the art of adjustment.
With Aries, there’s no lack of passion. And no lack of romance either. This isn’t generally a once-every-Saturday-at-ten man. Aries can be a Don Juan or a Casanova, but he certainly isn’t a quotidian lover. You must appreciate his romance and play to it. Too much realism kills his fire, and too much routine crushes his spirit.
Aries likes to sweep women off their feet. This may be basic and physical, or it may be subtle or intellectual. He also loves to play Pygmalion – change you, create you, fill you with his ideas, stimulate your intellect. Many Aries men love to believe that they begin with unshaped clay and create a goddess. Pygmalion was undoubtedly an Aries. Once again, if you’re strongly feminist, this can be annoying.
If you’re comfortable with yourself and don’t need to prove the point, it can be amusing, charming, touching, endearing, and still annoying. The trouble with being the object of Pygmalion’s endeavours is that, while you retain the shape he’s sculpted, he’s fine; but if you develop any ornament or quality which wasn’t in his design, he can be hurt and offended and, yes, threatened.
The truth is that Aries is a very vulnerable sign when it comes to relationships with women. There is an amusing film which Clint Eastwood starred in and directed called Every Which Way But Loose. The hero, like all Clint Eastwood heroes, is the original macho man – who is tough but sensitive, strong but poetic, able to beat all the bad guys but still capable of tenderness towards old ladies and pets and able to appreciate the scent of summer flowers. He’s completely duped and mashed about by a hooker disguised as damsel-in-distress. She looks so frail, so needful, so injured, so abused. She really wants a little money and then a quick farewell. His look of baffled injury at the end of the film is a classic Arien look. Yet it’s his own lack of insight, and his blind persistence in taking the feminine at face value as an image rather than seeing and understanding the actual woman, that is responsible for the mess. Because he’s so vulnerable to Woman, he often has to be a little heavy-handed to women. This is a paradox peculiar to the fiery signs, and in particular to Aries.
On the other hand, the Aries man has one superb quality which should be emphasized again and again. He loves change, and that includes changing himself. Although capable of arrogance, petulance and downright bloody-mindedness, he’s never complacent. This means that, if he can understand that a relationship is a thing which grows and changes and needs insight and attention, he’ll happily make that his cause. And then you get all the benefit of the best side of the Knight in Shining Armour. And they are, truly, sadly needed these days.
The Aries Woman
It isn’t the easiest thing in the world to be an Aries woman- in a world which burns Joan of Arc. The attitude which prevailed in Joan’s time is not over yet. When you read the judgments and pronouncements of her contemporaries on her, you find an astonishing thing: what really upset everybody about Joan wasn’t her visions, her charisma, her wild myth, her drama, her strange capacity to predict victories. It was her insistence on dressing in masculine garb. Virtually every pronouncement against her mentions this, as the worst, the most unforgivable of her sins.
The Aries woman, however feminine she is, however devoted a wife and mother, also needs a crusade. She needs challenge too, and projects which stimulate and inspire her, and a cause to follow, and a goal to reach. She also needs to feel she is doing something to promote change and progress, on however small a level. Aries women are naturals for executive positions and positions of leadership, because their strength, courage, directness, and conviction give them both personal charisma and authority. They are action people. You can’t expect them to sit quietly behind the typewriter, or in the kitchen baking bread twenty-four hours a day. In a way, the world is only just becoming able to accommodate the clear fire of the Aries woman. Traditional astrological interpretations in the past have emphasized her masculine qualities as though these took away from the essential femaleness.
Aries is not, of course, the type of woman who fulfills the fantasies of the lovers of geisha girls in paradise. She is not likely to be pliable, submissive, and an empty vessel into which a man can project all his fantasies. She is not likely to hero-worship or smile sweetly when her mate is behaving insufferably. She’s more likely to argue, shout, show a temper tantrum, storm out of the house, or place her own career first. And quite rightly for her, for this is a spirited sign which has suffered from the weight of social conditioning placed upon it.
Aries may not be also particularly maternal. Mars-ruled, her energy may need direction through other kinds of creativity. Often Aries women, if they are mothers, are dedicated and devoted, but essentially impatient and much better as companions and friends when the children are older. They lack the quietness and capacity to put up with noise and confusion which needs to be present along with the love in the early years of a child’s life. They are also apt to push the child, if it is moving in the direction contrary to the parent’s wishes. But Aries women, as mothers, have the unique virtue of not being likely to live their own lives through their children. This is an inestimable gift. It spares the psyche of the child, so that it can develop as itself.
You might say, and of course there are exceptions among individual Ariens, that the Aries woman is a much better mistress than she is a wife. This is because she must have romance and a certain amount of challenge in her relationships. And she is also sometimes ferociously independent, and all too likely to attract an easily dominated mate looking for a Joan of Arc.
The chief difficulty with the Aries woman in relationships is her competitiveness. She is apt to see a man as not only a challenge, but a fellow contestant. One-upmanship can be a real problem for the Aries woman, and her natural egocentricity can also be a terrific bruise. It isn’t any worse in the Aries woman than it is in the Aries man. But it seems that the male ego, at this stage of our development, is less equipped to cope with an Aries assault than the female, which has a few thousand years of practice.
The Aries woman is also apt to try to take over and change her loved ones. This kind of interference – known popularly as bossiness – is amusing to some people and infuriating to others. It depends on your taste, and on whether or not you can deal with it productively. Better to fight it, because Aries understands a good fight where she doesn’t understand sly inferences and undercurrents and subtle emotional pressures. Often the Aries woman is defenceless against the veiled barb, the indirect hostility; this is why she is often a much better friend of men than of women. It is typical of Aries women to prefer the company of men. In part, it’s because she’s peculiarly inept at the little undercurrents, subtle jealousies, and inferences which are so much a part of the shadow sides of women’s friendships. In part, it’s because there’s always the sparkle of the challenge and the flirtation of her.
This woman is noble, and has a noble spirit. She can be extremely difficult to live with and relate to, for all the reasons we’ve discussed. Unlike the Leo woman, who prefers the role of the queen, or the Sagittarian woman, who prefers the role of the hetaera, Aries is capable of tremendous loyal commitment. She will fight for those she loves, devote herself to them, work for them, believe in them, inspire them. She’s capable of being side by side on the battlefield while preserving her innate femaleness. Men with fragile egos which need cosseting, stay away. I have a good friend married to an Aries woman who once, after discussing some trivial complaint about her bossiness, said, ‘There isn’t anybody like her in the world. I would never want to leave her. It’s because she’s herself, her own person. She’s doing something with her life. She’s interesting and exciting. I admire and respect her.’ If you are the sort of man who is reluctant to offer admiration and respect to a strong woman, try another sign. But you’d be missing an awful lot.