the mighty warrior...
Rob Tillett, astrologer and publisher of AstroScope Me, has given us a short description of the astrological meaning of Mars, the passionate warrior and lord of war – not to mention destruction, conquest, energy, will-power, fertility and renewal...
Mars, the ancient god of warriors, glowers ominously down from the heavens, easily visible in the night sky. Red is the colour of Mars: the colour of blood, the colour of fire – the colour of action and passion. When the first astrologers gazed at the sky, they discovered that the red planet stimulated the dynamic, potent and fertile drives that power our lives. The motivating force behind conflict, activity and sex, Mars rules physical energy and action. Where he stands in the horoscope expresses the strength and direction of the physical force that drives our ego. Mars fires our emotions, but he also powers our mental endeavours and communicative skills. The red planet governs energy, strength, courage, life-force and expansion. Mars is the cosmic engine of growth.
A masculine planet of instinctive, primeval drives, Mars governs male relationships and associations, risk-taking inclinations, and the physical challenges we are likely to encounter. The word "martial" refers to the upright and soldierly, yet violent, militaristic and controlling side of Mars. Although traditionally classed as a malefic (evil-doer), Mars, when well-placed, endows powerful energy and an indomitable will to succeed. When poorly-placed or badly aspected, Mars can signal accidents, injuries, anger, rage, warfare and other forms of violence, according to the inclinations of the sign and house concerned. Mars generates acute conditions, burns, blisters, cuts, infections and inflammations. A force of fertility and reproduction as well as destruction, Mars shows that sometimes we need to destroy in order to create: to tear down, in order to build anew.
A Subliminal Drive
Passionate Mars is not a conscious force, but a subliminal drive: the urge to reproduce, to bring forth fruit. From a romantic point of view, Mars in a woman's chart shows the most desired kinds of men. His placement in a man's chart reveals the activities or mode of action undertaken in pursuit of romantic inclinations and desires. Though Mars powers our mental efforts, in himself he is instinctive, not intelligent. Remember what they say about the military mind...?
In mythology, sensual Venus, the love goddess, was always getting up to something with macho Mars, a handsome devil, even though he was the fierce god of war. The other Olympians just shook their shaggy heads; they never could work out what she saw in the headstrong, arrogant Mars, but she certainly fancied him, no matter what anyone else said or thought. Good girls love bad boys... Desire meets action – cosmic polarity in motion!
Astronomically, Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun. Around half the size of the Earth, Mars has two small moons: Phobos ("fear") and Deimos ("dread"), though these have no recognized astrological effect. Fear and loathing in the solar system perhaps..? Taking a little under two years to complete his journey through the twelve signs of the zodiac, the mighty Warrior spends around eight weeks on average in each of them. Mars turns retrograde only once every two years and two months, for around 80 days, remaining stationary for some 20 days. Mars is usually noticeably larger and brighter in the night sky during his retrograde phase, as at this time he is closest to the earth, experiencing the phenomenon astronomers call perigee.
Mars, traditional planetary ruler of Aries (leadership; drive), his Day Sign, and Scorpio (intensity; sexuality), his Night Sign, is exalted in Capricorn (ambition; loyalty). People with these signs prominent in their charts are said to be ruled by Mars. The colour of Mars is red, his metal is iron, and his gem is the red coral.
More on Mars, our astrological "Why" chromosome