In mythology Mars was the god of war, known for his direct action and lack of sentimentality. In astrology, the hallmarks of a prominent Mars are high vitality, impulsiveness, courage and foolhardiness, argumentativeness and lack of tact.
Two recent obituaries caught my eye which highlight the dramatic effect of a ramped up Mars.
Simone Segouin, French Resistance fighter born 3 October 1925 1am Chartres, France, became a symbol of female defiance when photographs for Life magazine showed her in shorts, brandishing her machine gun at the end of World War 11. She was born into a farming family, a tomboyish only daughter with three brothers, and was largely brought up by her father, a decorated veteran of the First World War. In 1943, aged 18 she joined the partisan FTP, an alliance of militant communists and nationalists, took part in combat missions, helping to derail a train and blow up bridges. After the war she became a paediatric nurse and had six children out of wedlock with another resistance fighter, all of whom bore her name.
She was a Sun Libra conjunct Mars, Mercury with her Sun in an ultra-confident square to Jupiter in Capricorn opposition Pluto in Cancer – a double dose of high-octane confidence and assertiveness. Plus an excitable Aries Moon and a Water Grand Trine of Pluto trine Uranus trine Venus Saturn in Scorpio – she’d be a curious mix of a dreamer and a doer.
The other Mars warrior, recently deceased, who challenged the fates and careered through a reckless life is Paddy Macklin, 18 February 1957. He set out in 2009 from Cornwall, determined to sail single-handedly, nonstop around the world in a wooden, engineless yacht. He had a school atlas, food for 600 days, a supply of whisky and other essentials, but no high-tech gadgets. “I wanted to recapture the spirit of true amateurism in sailing,” he declared. He ran into several hair-raising, near terminal disasters, lost several teeth, broke a handful of ribs and suffered from severe loneliness. And consumed a sizeable quantity of recreational drugs. Being stoned he explained was one of the pleasures of life.
His father, Lance, was a racing driver, who caused the initial reaction setting off the worst disaster in racing history in 1955 when 83 spectators and another driver were killed.
After Paddy’s odyssey on the high seas, he resumed plastering and decorating while living on the boat and succumbed to cirrhosis of the liver a few weeks back in his mid sixties. A rumbunctious life which broke all the rules and was hardly sensible, but in an odd way he evoked respect for his foolhardy bravado.
He had his Virgo Sun conjunct Mars, neither of which were well-integrated into his chart – so he’d be a high-wire, over-reactive, island-unto-himself type. He had an adventurous and lucky Uranus trine Saturn sextile Jupiter which would give him a helpful guardian angel. His Venus, like SimoneS above, was in persuasive and determined Scorpio, in his case conjunct Neptune.
In both cases their Mars was handed down from Martian fathers. LanceM had his Mars in flamboyant Leo conjunct Jupiter Neptune. Though he was also a Sun Saturn in Virgo so would have some practical sense. He died aged 83.
Paddy Maclin’s 7th harmonic was strong which is associated with a ‘seeking soul’ and an inclination to a drug habit.
Add On: Another Mars type gone. Bernard Ingham, Maggie Thatcher’s Press Secretary and known as her ‘personal rottweiler’ was born 21 June 1923. His Mars in Cancer was conjunct Pluto square Saturn and trine Uranus and Jupiter – an explosive mix.