Anybody who has watched a film about the Romans is likely to be familiar with the phrase, ”Mars, the God of War.” Which nicely describes the planets characteristics for it is the God of war and bloodshed and its symbol is that of a spear and shield. Self-assertion, aggression, energy, impulsiveness and sexuality are all associated with Mars. It governs physical activities like sports and competitions along with battle and war.
|Mars, God of War. Marble statue ”Pyrrhus” on display at Capitoline Museums in Rome|
In Roman times, Mars was second only in importance to Jupiter, the King of the Gods. The month March is named after Mars (from Latin, Martius). Unlike war gods from other cultures, such as Ares (Greek), Odin (Norse) and Badb (Irish), Mars is seen as a god who wars to bring peace. There is a noble purpose to his battles and bloodshed.
Mars is often described as the ”red planet” due to the presence of iron oxide on its surface gives it a reddish appearance. It has two moons, Phobos and Deimos. Mars has been known about since ancient times – Egyptian astronomers noted it in the sky as a wandering object and by 1534 BC they were familiar with the retrograde motion of Mars
In medicine, Mars governs the genitals, muscular system, gonads and adrenal glands. Because it was viewed as a ”hot” planet traditionally, it is associated with fevers, accidents, trauma and surgery.
Mars rules the first and eight houses. Prior to the discovery of Pluto, Scorpio was also governed by Mars and some astrologers still hold Mars as co-ruler of Scorpio.
When reading birth charts, the position of Mars gives us an indication of what makes an individual angry, what raw emotion will erupt in which sphere of life. Positioned in a house, Mars indicates where we will apply our drive and aggression.
Tuesday is attributed to Mars and the planet is ruled by the element fire.
Herbs and plants attributed to Mars are ash, aloe, dogwood, buttercup, witch grass, vervain. Red stones and gems are also associated with Mars such as Ruby, onyx, sardonyx and orange calcite.
It is benefic in Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius, Aquarius and Pisces. It is malefic in Taurus, Virgo and Scorpio.
In astrology, Mars and Venus go hand in hand in the sense that they provide a balance to each other – at once at odds and in love, bitter and yet passionate. In art, they are often depicted as either lovers or enemies. Without Mars, Venus becomes possessive, selfish and jealous. Without Venus, Mars becomes destructive and reckless to the point of becoming weak. Taking notice of the placement of these planets in a birth chart can tell us a lot of the romantic nature of a person (Venus) and the sexual nature of a person (Mars).