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Planets in Astrology, Chapter 5. Mars, the Warrior Within

390__--photos--Mythology--Ares_717Whether as a planet or as a deity, Mars represents the principle of objective manifestation. It rules Aries and Scorpio, and it’s exalted in Capricorn. As a planet, it orbits the Sun in 687 days, spending an average of 57 days in each sign, and its soil is rich of iron, much as the hemoglobin of human blood – hence the “red planet” epithet. As a deity, it’s Ares, the Greek God of War, and the eponymous Roman God  – which is the only non-human figure to play a significant role in the foundation myths of Rome, whose population was famously proud in war.
Martian energy is raw and masculine, and all of the three aforementioned zodiac signs amplify a different side to it: Mars is impetuous and uncontrolled in Aries, strategic and intense in Scorpio, focused and determined in Capricorn.  Aries is the sign of the Spring Equinox in March, whereas Scorpio is a fall sign; and Mars’s festivals in Rome were celebrated in the spring and the fall—the start and end of both the agricultural and military seasons. The Month of March itself was also named after Mars. The contrast between the impulse and energy of Aries Mars, and the tactical nature of Mars exalted in Capricorn also mirror the two facets of this archetype according to Greek and Roman religions: Greek Ares was primarily considered a destructive and destabilizing force, while Roman Mars represented military power, and was a father of the Roman people.
In the late Babylonian astral-theological system, the planet Mars was related to the war god Nergal, similar to Ares in his destructive and ferocious nature, to the point he was indeed equated to Ares himself by the Greeks.
As Ares, Mars is, therefore, our residual animal part. It’s associated with self-assertion, outward activity, instinct, confidence, willpower, sexuality, strength and aggression. It shows how we take action, how (and if) we attack and defend ourselves, how (and if) we react to external inputs.
The position of Mars in our chart showcases the planet’s mission and the kind of activity, goals and ambitions that make us feel alive, or frustrated and even depressed, should the martian expression be thwarted. Such is the case when Mars becomes a destructive force – if its vibration is not properly harnessed, turned inwards (self-aggression) or channeled in the wrong direction. This is when the violent, self-centered nature of Mars surfaces. But when Mars serves our inner Fire within, a Higher purpose, it becomes a positive force leaving its mark onto the world and guiding us towards the experiences we seek: it does so granting us stamina, excitement and motivation to pursue our goals. Endurance, persistence, discipline also fall under Mars’ domain.
Mars was the lover of Venus, and while Venus rules our expression of affection, Mars is more concerned with carnal impulses. This planet/principle is about expressing anger and sexuality. What pushes someone’s buttons or triggers his/her temper, how does the native handle confrontation and conflict, his or her sex drive, who the native tends to feel sexually attracted to  – all of these elements can be seen in Mars’ placement by sign and house, and in the various aspects made with other planets (what psychological functions does Mars repress, or increase?). An “afflicted” Mars, making many challenging aspects to other planets, can signify trouble in expressing the planet’s attributes: poor anger management or passivity can be traits of someone with a blocked, weak or challenged Mars.
Mars is our survival instinct. It’s the unadultered, fiery side of our Soul, our inner warrior. He asks to be given an outlet, a purpose, a reason to affirm itself.

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