Mars ~ the epitome of power and passion. As the god of war and aggression, Mars has an iffy reputation, but without his strong qualities we would all be unmotivated lazy slobs lying around wishing someone would pass the chips and dip. We’d never get anything done or make any progress toward our goals.
Mars has been called the red planet, but it’s only the atmosphere that makes it appear red. Mars actually looks more like a cannonball ~ scarred from being blasted through the barrel, an analogy for how you might feel when Mars is out of control.
The power of the warrior must be harnessed. Otherwise he will run amok, overwhelming everything that stands in the way of his very determined march to victory. He can lose sight of the fact that advancement isn’t necessarily progress and can compromise his ultimate goal in an effort to weaken or wipe out the competition.
He will engage every weapon available to accomplish this goal, whatever it may be. He will draw on emotion ~ powerful memories from your past or promises for the future ~ to win your heart. He will use logic and cunning to convince your intellect. He will prove to you that treasures exist only on the material plane and that, by golly, if you want something you’ve got to get out there and take it. His can be a “no prisoners” attitude. You must be cautious of the freedom you allow him because he will turn on you and show you with the flash of his terrible sword just how naive you were to trust him so completely. Nasty fellow sometimes.
This focused determination to meet the goal can be used in constructive ways, of course. It can be used to wipe out injustice or to make a show of strength for right and honorable intentions. Mars is your prime energizer, your motivator to achieve your goals. So when you loosen this cunning fellow, keep a watchful eye on him. He wants to win, no matter what, and must learn how to be a good sport. It is up to you to tame and civilize him so that he irrefutably understands the difference between strength and force, because he really loves what he does.
Greek or Roman? Ares or Mars?
Ares and Mars were actually quite different fellows. The Greeks didn’t care much for Ares. They thought of him as a bloody, murderous, whiney coward crying about his boo-boos and running away when he was wounded. Discord, Strife, Terror, Trembling, and Pain were his homeys. Nice crowd.
The Roman view of Mars was much more palatable. He was a courageous and invincible knight in shining armor who was a dancer and lover before he became a soldier. Those killed in battle were honored to die in his service. This Mars killed only once ~ in defense of his daughter who was raped by one of Poseidon’s sons. He was acquitted of the murder.
These are two very different views of the same character. The question to ask when facing a conflict or moving toward a goal might be, “Is my Mars Greek or Roman?” It will have a great influence on the outcome of your battles.
Hymn to Ares ~ Homer
I was a bit surprised to find such a gentle hymn honoring the god of war.
Hear me, helper of mankind, dispenser of youth’s sweet courage, beam down from up there your gentle light on our lives, and your martial power, so that I can shake off cruel cowardice from my head, and diminish that deceptive rush of my spirit, and restrain that shrill voice in my heart that provokes me to enter the chilling din of battle. You, happy god, give me courage, let me linger in the safe laws of peace, and thus escape from battles with enemies and the fate of a violent death.
Honoring Your Mars
Mars asks that we take action to get what we want or need. We honor him by attending to our causes in a rational way and by standing firm in the face of crisis. Repressing his intense desires is to timidly retreat and find ourselves stewing in a cauldron of anger and irritability that will soon boil over and explode into rage.
Mars in his various roles could be:
- Fire ~ The Soldier or Protector ~ Someone who isn’t afraid to jump in to defuse a tense situation and bring resolution to the problems at hand.
- Earth ~ The Athlete or Dancer ~ A person who has developed physical stamina and graceful movement, advancing in their goals without stepping on anyone’s toes. Slow, sure, rewarding progress.
- Air ~ The Strategist or Pursuer ~ Someone who enlists ideas to further their agenda or the desires of the group. They enjoy an intellectual exchange of ideas and plan a course of action to bring balance rather than turmoil to unsettling or unfamiliar situations.
- Water ~ The Lover or Supporter ~ The person who is fueled by emotional needs, bringing peace of mind and a kindred spirit as the spoils of his actions.
Where is Mars in your chart? How do you use him to best advantage?