Mars ~ Making it Happen

Mars by Velazquez (1640)

 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?  


18 thoughts on “Mars ~ Making it Happen

  1. Hi, CJ. With Mars in Libra, I thought I had no anger when I was young. I thought I was “above” it. Then in my twenties, a counselor told me I was very angry. I had no idea! Sometime later a spiritual master told me I was defensive – gulp! It’s taken most of my life to recognize and respect my healthy desire to protect myself and not to think it was something to be suppressed. I’ve always envied people whose courage was on their sleeve.

    Yeah, Mars! BTW, I love the Velazquez.

    1. Anger has some very tricky ways of expressing itself. I didn’t think I was angry, either, and then found out I was not only angry, but really angry. Just admitting it can help. It leads us toward understanding and resolving it.

      The Velazquez is my all-time favorite Mars. Stunning.

  2. I’m happy to read this post. I think that there is a dearth of information about Mars’s feats- astrologically at least. Yes he was the God of war, but what else did he do? Mars is a character that needs some fleshing out.

    1. Hi, Michelle. That’s why I’m taken with the whole idea of him being a dancer and lover first, and a warrior only after learning the skills of grace. There’s a huge difference between the Greek and Roman myths and it’s easy to fall into the bad Greek guy mode when we’re not at our best. I agree that he needs some fleshing out. It’s one of the reasons I like the rulerships so much. We get to find a lot of different ways a planet’s energy is expressed and symbolized.

  3. I have Mars in Aries, conjuct Jupiter, and receiving squares from Uranus and the Moon.

    And I know, that moderation would do me good at times. However, I am also surrounded by really, really angry people, who don’t know thy’re angry, telling me to cool my jets. What’s a Mars gotta do, what’s a Mars gotta do?

    *goes hanging out with Phobos and Deimos :p*

    1. Figuring out what that Mars gotta do can be really hard, Black Scorpio. Really hard. When I finally figured out that I was mad, I realized that I’d been mad a lot longer than I thought I had. Finally realizing just what it was that made me mad (a million years ago) has helped. I don’t have to be mad at everyone for something that happened a long time ago. We often get angy as children, and we don’t know how to process it then. It just hangs on us and gets more and more unmanageable. Being surrounded by angry people makes it that much harder. And people who don’t know they’re angry, as you mentioned, usually don’t respond well to rationalization. I’ve asked myself several times about certain people who acted as triggers in my anger or emotional pain, “Would my life be better without so-and-so in it?” Then I had to decide. Some are gone, some are still here. It’s sad to give up on a relationship of any kind (there’s guilt there), but living in peace and without them is sometimes better.

  4. I LOVE this post, CJ!! I was not aware of the differences between the Greek and Roman myths about Mars. I’d have to say that my public Mars is very brave and bold, but my private Mars is the sniveling, cowardly one. Donna Cunningham, Skywriter

    1. HA! I think we have the same private Mars, Donna. Mine likes to grumble, too.

  5. Great insights, CJ. I love Mars for being so human and physical. We are here in bodies, after all. Mine is in Cancer in the 1st house. I love to feed people and worked as a baker/chef for many years. Mars makes me get up and mix that darned dip from scratch.

    I find many friends I make also have 1st house Mars. Mars helps sort us out by an inner ranking system and pulls people with similar physical vibrations and affinities toward each other. That Mars recognition and acceptance between two people when there is planetary harmony involving Mars is instant – just as instant and accepted as the aversion between two people who have major Mars conflicts between their charts.

    Mars deserves major thanks for giving us survival instincts and skills.

    1. You explained that beautifully, Dunnea. It’s so true, too. Those instant recognitions are truly amazing.

  6. I have a 12th house Mars in Cancer, so it can get emotional, but I have never been comfortable with being angry. I will let out my frustrations more in private…but occasionally I can let it fly, but it isn’t calm and steely like some people can do. But, I am working on that, as you are more likely to be heard if you aren’t too emotional.

    I am also the one who will get angry at people who are just mean for no people and animals, or whatever. But, my Mars is also the type that says stand up for what you need and don’t back down and be taken advantage of. My Mars loved the peaceful part of the Egyptian protesting…but not the destructive part of any protest. I also loved that they were in the streets cleaning up when things settled down. Don’t know where that fits into my chart. 🙂

    1. You make a good point with “you are more likely to be heard if you aren’t too emotional.” As a Cancerian myself, I truly believe that is one of our major lessons. We have the gift of deep emotion, but just because we have it is no reason to fling it all over the place. As long as we don’t repress or suppress the anger that Mars brings, and learn to manage it in a way that hurts no one, we’ll be okay. Tough lessons, but certainly attainable.

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