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Home / Astrology / Nightmare / Astrological Mars

Astrological Mars
(with affinities to the Zodiac sign Aries and the 1st house)

In ancient times Babylonian astrologers knew the planet, we now call Mars, to be a (complicated) underworld fertility god of war and pestilence, Nergal. Nergal, let us say, had some very serious "anger issues."

The ancient Greeks likewise named the planet after their feared god of war, Ares. However, as gods go, Ares was a much more simple and straightforward thuggish and violent god of war. According to mythologist, Karl Karenyi, the ancient Greek Homeric hymns (circa 8th Century BC) described Ares, the Greek god of War (known to the Romans as Mars), as a hairy, foul, mean-mouthed, brute standing over 600 feet tall...

So... it probably goes without saying that the Greeks were not all that "comfortable" and/or "at ease" with the archetypal hairy, foul, mean-mouthed, and brutish energy contained within Ares. And, for that matter, neither are most of us ...

Hercules Connection
It is however interesting to note that for a period of time around the 5th Century BC, started by the mystical Pythagoreans, the Greeks began calling this fiery planet the "star of Hercules." (They thought all the planets were wandering stars.) This amounted to a huge step up in status, because even from the most ancient of times in Greece, Hercules had been an incredibly popular Greek hero. He was undoubtedly the number one favorite hero of the ancient Greeks.

One small caution... modern day television has greatly cleaned up the raw, powerful imagery of Hercules for millions of happy and satisfied female viewers. As such, you may be missing out on much of the uncensored, impulsive, gritty, fiery, sweaty, charge ahead, take no prisoners, warrior energy of Hercules.

When the Romans got around to naming the planet, it was named Mars, their (eventual) god of war. However, the Romans, considered themselves to be sons of Mars, and so he (Mars) was prominently worshipped and given honor. Mars, like Nergal, was "complicated."

In early Roman history Mars was a god of spring, growth in nature, and fertility, and the protector of cattle. Mars is also mentioned as a chthonic god (earth-god) and this could explain why he became a god of death and finally a god of war. He is the son of Jupiter and Juno. According to some sources, Mars is the father of Romulus and Remus by the Vestal Ilia (Rhea Silvia). Because he was the father of these legendary founders of Rome, and thus of the Roman people, the Romans styled themselves 'sons of Mars'.

Mars in the Birth Chart
Yep... for better or for worse... we've all got Mars in the birth chart... and if you try ignoring or giving Mars away... and failing to give his warrior energy a channel for healthy expression in your life - then, once Mars falls into shadow, you'll constantly be meeting up with this god of War's anger (in all of the worst ways).

Wherever you go... you'll be encountering astrological Mars in your dreams, in the people you meet, and in your depressions...

In Your Depressions?
Bet you probably didn't know that
anger and depression are related? In the highly recommended book The Inner Planets co-written by Howard Sasportas and Liz Greene, Sasportas points out that Fritz Perl (the Gestalt therapist) used to ask his patients suffering from depression: "Okay, so who (or what) are you depressed at?"

In The Inner Planets, Sasportas vividly describes Ares (Mars) as:
"The Sun's Henchman..." And, as such, a healthy and well expressed Mars seeks to serve the purposes of our Sun!

Mars in the birth chart reflects your instinct to survive... aggression... assertiveness, and how you go about getting what you need to survive! Mars reflects: ME! ME! ME! (or in your case - YOU! YOU! YOU!) And contrary to popular belief - that's not all BAD! BAD! BAD!

Let's chat for a minute about some of the significant gifts that the warrior god, Mars, provides for us...

We're probably already too well aware of (and afraid of) the potential dangers and dark side involved with aggression and rage... however, in the Howard Sasportas/Liz Greene book Dynamics of the Unconscious, Sasportas lists four very powerful, positive purposes for Mars and healthy aggression:

Mars serves as a protection against
predatory attack. (We don't allow other people's Mars to walk all over us)

Mars is a deep force inside us that provides the impetus to learn and master new skills.
(It turns potential talents into reality.)

Mars is the basis for achieving independence and breaking away from those who would
otherwise dominate or overprotect us.

Mars endows us with the will to unfold more of who we are, and grow into what we are meant to become.
(If you're from the United States, then I bet you remember that Army commercial with the slogan: "Be all that you can be!")

Summing Up
Mars is that fiery burst of warrior energy that shouts out to you: "Hey! No matter how bad things get, no matter how hopeless things look... your life matters and you must survive!"

Thanks for stopping by the Mars Do Drop In Saloon. Before leaving - be sure to check out the Martian Manifesto!

Other Suggested Reading:

The Art of War
written by Sun Tzu

As one of greatest classic Chinese texts, written 2000 years ago -
this fascinating book shows the spirit of a true warrior is one who desires victory without engaging in battle.
(Buy it now at Amazon.com)

King, Warrior, Magician and Lover
written by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette

Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine

(Buy it now at Amazon.com)

Women Who Run With Wolves
written by Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype

(Buy it now at Amazon.com)

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