Mars – revisioning in times of cultural change

Mars, god of war, testosterone-fuelled and so competitive he would kick his father out of the way to get ahead, may have had a heroic image in ye olden mythology. But he/she is struggling to revision themselves astrologically in these non-binary, tree-hugging, #metoo sensitive days.  

  Broken down into simple words Mars is 1) assertive; 2) argumentative and competitive; 3) bolsters identity in ‘I want’; 4) provides forward gear; 5) is an essential factor in decision-making); 6) necessary for sex drive; 7) generates will-power and the life force. Without Mars there would be no life, no reproduction, no progress.

  Mars is usually thought of as angry. But anger is only stored up assertion. When ‘I want’, ‘I intend’, ‘I will do’ – all of them reflecting the core identity of the individual – gets blocked or remains unexpressed Mars slowly starts to boil until it erupts. Synonyms for assertion are – decisive, believing in oneself, self-assured, confident, forceful. All of those can be subtly conveyed – or not – depending on the sign Mars sits in.

  Mars in the Fire signs – Aries, Leo and Sagittarius – will be loud, inclined to flare up, outspoken and unselfconscious about demanding their own way. In Aries and Sagittarius squalls never last long and are soon forgotten. In Leo, being ego-centric and Fixed, there can be a prickly defensiveness hanging around after arguments.

 Mars in the Earth signs – Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn – can be slow burn and is usually focused on a practical or financial outcome. Mars in Taurus is slow to anger but earth-shaking when the lava erupts. Money will be what motivates them into action. Mars in Virgo, the workaholic, is a perfectionist. In Capricorn is super-ambitious, climbing ever higher up the ladder with steely determination.

Mars in the Water signs – Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces – is more problematic. Fire makes Water boil is quintessentially true of Mars in Cancer, which is volatile and gets over-emotional when provoked. Scorpio, secretive as ever, harbours a grinding resentment which is kept under control until the time is right and then the scorpion sting is let loose. In Pisces, Mars gets flummoxed since Pisces hate confrontations. Where the pair come together most effectively are in artistic ventures especially dance and yoga. Forward march to Pisces means taking the roundabout route.

 Mars in the chatty Air signs – Gemini, Libra, Aquarius – pumps fire into thinking and speaking. All good debaters and adept with words. Mars in Aquarius can be ornery, awkwardly stubborn.

 How Mars integrates in the chart and which planets it sidles up to or clashes with makes a difference. The essential nature of Mars in its chosen sign gets modulated, watered down or the opposite, depending on which other planetary energy it has to work beside.

  Sun conjunct Mars is competitive and courageous; in square and opposition doubly so, headstrong, willful, reckless and noisy.

Moon Mars – comes from the angry mother who blocks the child’s assertion, leaving issues with women/domestic life behind in adult life, quarrelsome. Alcohol tends to lift inhibitions so flare ups follow.

Mercury Mars – quick thinking, fast-talking and sharp-tongued, inclined to argue endlessly and stir up controversies.

Venus Mars – in conjunction can be passionately enthusiastic and, in some, leads to a tendency to promiscuity. In square and opposition it leads to strong ‘romantic’ attractions but not always sensitivity to the other’s needs.

Jupiter Mars – high vitality plus positive thinking = good luck. Helpful for starting new projects.

Saturn Mars – blocked assertion can have positive outcome in self-discipline and promoting a military turn of mind where suppressing personal needs and identity for a specific purpose is helpful. Can be destructive, violent, unfair, even cruel. Tends to be passive-aggressive. Simmers with resentment and then blows a fuse.

Uranus Mars – rebellious and freedom-loving plus fiery zeal can be an explosive and self-willed combination. Good for high-risk ventures, adventure and thrills. Bad for tolerating interference and compromise.

Neptune Mars – can attract publicity and glamour, common in showbusiness types. Has a hint of Mars in Pisces so not always good at full-frontal demands.

Pluto Mars –  a challenging combination stemming from a dominating, scary father who at times would feel life threatening.  Leaves behind an adult who is good in crisis situations and is do-or-die determined. Some turn ruthless since it was what they knew, others remain suppressed and attract difficulties because they are unsure how to live out the super-charged, heavyweight and can feel brutal energy.  

  Discussing sex nowadays is a minefield. But I recollect years back reading a study by zoologist Konrad Lorenz about ducks and he found the ones lacking aggression/assertion didn’t/couldn’t mate. Aggression gave them propulsion but had to be diverted at the final moment to allow coupling to take place. Which suggests the Mars drive is essential for reproduction but has to be under control. Not that humans are like ducks or other animals – no rape in the animal kingdom. Female lions repel over arduous approaches with a snarl if they are not in the mood; and zebras with a well-aimed kick. The alpha males in rut have Mars in overdrive. But the ladies are in charge.   Not sure where humans went wrong as they mutated away from chimps.

20 thoughts on “Mars – revisioning in times of cultural change

  1. Mars in late Pisces. I dislike confrontations and will seek to avoid them if possible.However, you would be advised not to push it as Mars also rules the last Decan of Pisces and I might not be answerable for my actions if provoked. My Sun Saturn conjunction means you should be wary of crossing my personal boundaries either emotionally or physically.

  2. In male homosexuality, in synastry would one favor synastric Mars -Mars in reading sexual attraction between the two, or would one party naturally chanel Venus in the relationship?

  3. Thank you, this is really interesting. It sets off a question I’ve been pondering for many years though – how far can nurture overcome difficult aspects? Looking at my family charts, I can see your descriptions playing out in some people but not others. I struggle with the idea that we are predestined in some way by our birthchart in a way we cannot escape. I feel we are not, and look to the story of the psychologist studying the brains of psychopaths who discovered he had the exact same markers in his own brain.

    • I am starting to think that the difficult aspects sign-post us to the areas we are ‘predestined’ to work on to overcome in our lifetime and that’s how we ‘escape’. Still working through that idea in my head but it makes sense in terms of astrology. The solutions may be the easier aspects and the work is to learn to integrate them. I guess some people find this easier than others, and some don’t try at all. (Or something like that). Just a thought.

      • Thanks, Jennifer, you may be right. One lovely relative of mine has a very tight Mars/ Pluto trine with Mercury conjunct the Mars (in Cancer) and Neptune tightly opposite the Mars. Mars is literally on the IC with Neptune on the MC. Nightmare of an emotional bully? Not at all! She’s an early years specialist beloved by her class with a happy marriage and a shed load of friends. She does love a good debate and can be a bit sharp at home, but so can we all.

    • Houses will make a difference in certain cases. A flamboyant Mars in a hidden house will have trouble making itself felt.
      It’s a conversation for another day – but a birth chart does not mean we arrive like robots pre-programmed and never deviate.

    • I saw the guy who did that documentary, he recognised the traits in himself but felt that they hadn’t been triggered by a difficult home life, instead he had been well nurtured. His significant other was also quick to say she saw something a bit ‘dark’ in him flash occasionally as well. It was interesting but I look at the work he did; Marjorie talks about the energy being soaked up somewhere (I think I recall!) and if not then I guess it could be turned inwards or outwards negatively. Generally I like to think of us acting as conductors of our individual planetary orchestra.

    • Apart from transits, progressions etc. I suppose astrology would somewhat point to developmental differences too. For example I was born in the mid 70s and I have Mars in Leo. My parents, teachers and most adults in charge while I was growing up had Pluto in Leo.

      Whether that means I’m more or less “flamboyant” etc is hard to know 🙂 But it perhaps suggests one different life experience to other earlier/later Mars in Leo’s.

      • Interesting point! I’m also wondering if these aspects in hidden houses might go back further through the generations. Looking at the Mars/Pluto description, my relative’s father is a lovely, playful soul, always ready to help out; her maternal grandfather, however, could fit the Mars/Pluto description above.

  4. Thank you Marjorie for this. I find that Mars puts energy into things and events which can be both good and bad.
    What I wonder about is when Mars stays in one sign for more than its usual six weeks or so. So last year and this we had a very long stay of Mars in Gemini (6 months or so) when things were typically frenetic. These long stays do seem to cause tension in the world.
    For myself I am a mars uranus in twelfth house cancer but saved by a cancer sun trine saturn.

  5. I love this Marjorie, thank-you.

    I have Mars, Venus, Mercury conjunct in Scorpio straddling the 10th and 11th house. It’s true, people are sometimes scared of me but I’m also the person everyone runs to in a crisis or when the cops need to be called on child abuse or animal abuse, and the “lesser mortals” in my neighborhood are too afraid of retribution from the abusers, so they tag me to do the dirty work and I gladly take immediate action. I have mortal enemies but no one harms an animal or child in my vicinity. I’m 5’5”, 115 pounds, blonde & charming so no one suspects the volcanic rage until they are being handcuffed and I’m grinning from across the street.

    Winston Churchill had Mars in Libra so it’s not true that these people are weaklings across the board.

    I’m really learning a lot lately about the relationship between power and responsibility. Can you touch on these things in a natal chart, Marjorie? Thx-!

  6. I have mars in libra it’s very hard asserting myself I always think afterwards what I could’ve shoukve said until betting. Same thing happens again and then some. I hate it! Otherwise I love love this whole mars issue Marj

  7. I am a Leo Mars conjunct Mercury in the 3rd house. The 3rd house is ruled by Gemini, so not only am I combative, I can’t make my mind up, which side I am on, when I become combative. On he other hand?

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