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Learning about the Ruling Planet Mars
Mars is one of the big players in Astrology. It rules over two dominant signs: Aries and Scorpio. The planet was named after the warring deity in Roman mythology.
- Aries is the first sign of the zodiac. It is a cardinal fire sign that rules the beginning of spring. People born under Aries are described as instinctive, passionate, direct, confrontational, and blessed with strong leadership skills.
- Scorpio is the eighth sign of the zodiac. It is the fixed water sign that rules autumn. Scorpios are commonly described as loyal, fierce, passionate, cunning, manipulative, jealous, and moody. Scorpios relate to the root chakra and have an extra boost in sexiness.
Mars rules the Judgment card in Tarot. Some people consider Pluto the card's ruling planet. The question is: will we end in fire like Aries or in ice like Scorpio?
The Planet in Our Solar System
The red planet rules desire, action, and energy. It represents survival instinct, something that Aries has in abundance.
Mars is the second smallest planet in our solar system after Mercury. The planet has the tallest mountain of all the planets, Olympus Mons. It's the first planet us Earthians have decided to extensively explore. Multiple robots have been sent to scout out the planet for life, to better understand the vast landscapes of the red planet, and learn more about our solar system.
Mars in Your Natal (Birth) Chart
Everyone in their natal chart has a placement with Mars. You can easily find information about your natal chart online.
If you have Aries and Scorpio in Mars, you likely are a confrontational and driven person. If you have Aries and Scorpio in your chart at all, then you are a more passionate, intense, and aggressive soul.
Mars counters Venus, the planet and goddess of love. Where Mars seeks to go forward, to fight, and to accomplish tasks, Venus connects people together and melts away conflicts.
Mars = fire.
Venus = water.
Earth is in the middle of these two planets and tries to balance things out.
Mars, Sulfur, Alchemy
Mars in alchemy would be a sulfur property. Sulfur represents properties like dryness, heat, and masculinity. In alchemy, it represents evaporation, expansion, and dissolution. Sulfur symbolizes the soul. The element is seen as the middling element: salt (high) and mercury (low).
Even though Scorpio is based in water, Scorpios are more fiery than that of Cancers or Pisceans. Scorpios are like fire signs when it comes to desire, action, and even heat.
Scorpio has the most diverse palette for emotions among all the signs. Scorpio can go down to the depths of the Mariana Trench. It knows how to turn into a block of ice. But Scorpio also knows how to soar to impressive heights as the burning phoenix. It knows how to turn into steam.
- Scorpio has three animal symbols: the snake, the scorpion, the phoenix (sometimes called the eagle)
- Water has three states of matter: solid, liquid, gas.
Scorpio is metamorphosis in all its stages. Scorpio is the alchemy we all seek. It is the time of year when the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest. Scorpio is the first in the zodiac to encounter death, and the sign is open-minded to the possibilities beyond our temporal lives on Earth.
Mars represents the energy Scorpio has that the other water signs don't. Scorpio is similar to Aries to the point that if the two cross each other on a bad day they may start fighting.
Mars Rules the Root Chakra
The red planet rules over sexual energy, essentially the root or red chakra. In meditation, you could vision the root chakra as the planet Mars instead of the core of Earth.
Venus controls romantic attraction. Mars is more about physical attraction. The planet is about initial actions, not reactions. Those who have a lot of Mars energy will jump right into conflicts and not contemplate it too much. Those with a lot of Mars jump right into relationships: they don't wait for things to heat up.
Tarot Cards: Knight Cards
In Tarot cards, the knights are considered to have fire energy. They're hasty, the jump quickly into battles, they have instincts that help them to win, and they're ready to attack.
Knights don't sit on the throne and wait for people to come to them. They're not typically known for long term strategies. Their known for having fantastic impulses, they're risk takers, and they crave movement.
The fire knight, or the Knight of Wands, is pure Mars energy. The card represents the full, raw power of Aries.
Mars = Yang Energy
Mars rules anger. We relate the planet to yang energy. Some anger can be an excellent guiding force, but if it is not managed correctly it can be highly destructive.
Both Aries and Scorpio will need to work harder to keep their impulses in balance. They need to work harder to not let their anger control them. Aries may have a harder time than Scorpio, who gets some yin energy from the water element.
How do you know if you have too much yang energy? Here are some symptoms:
- Constantly feeling hot, short tempered, easily annoyed, frequent headaches, frequent migraines, higher than normal temperature, dry skin, insomnia, anxiety, temper tantrums, constipation, restless leg syndrome, trouble with focus, overly passionate, screaming, red flush to skin, breaking out in hives, road rage.
For those with Mars as a guiding force, I would encourage having routines to help support you. You need regular exercise, a healthy diet, and good sleep in order to keep your anger at bay. Walk away from issues when you get too hotheaded and be patient. When anger is balanced, it can be constructive rather than destructive.
Mars Rules Masculinity
Mars directs the masculine force of nature. It is connected to testosterone. Even if you are female, cisgender, transgender, etc., we all have some degree of testosterone. Mars in your astrological chart can reveal how you express your masculine force.
The red planet takes two years to complete its orbit in the zodiac. Mars can make you feel impatient, forceful, and rash. But it can also help you to be more assertive, forthright, and intentional.
You want to harness the lessons of Mars for good not evil. You want to apply yang-like characteristics to your ambitions and dreams.
Fate or Free-Will?
Can we blame Mars for our anger and rash decisions? No. Mars represents a core of ideas, but we can't simply blame the planets and stars for all the interactions among humans.
We have to learn balance. We have to learn how to come off autopilot and manually direct our emotions and thoughts. It's not necessarily easy, and we don't always have the most leverage when it comes to self-control.
Keep in mind Aries and Scorpio are constellations. Your sun sign is based on the position of the sun in space when you were born. The idea is that the energy of the cosmos has an influence on us and our seasons. The thing is we don't just have influences from large planetary objects and burning balls of plasma. We're also influenced by tiny microorganisms that we can't see. We're influenced by the infinitesimal and the gargantuan.
We still can take ownership of ourselves and our choices: you were not under the influence of Mars when you decided to kick a trash can. . . that was your bad choice. Learn how to not be out-of-control and find more agency through calmness.
We as humans have pulped together several concepts and put them on the shoulders of the planet Mars. Humans love to personify things in order to better understand them.
Metaphorical language can sometimes be easier to remember than plain data. We can remember the stories of mythological characters: we can learn to make better decisions through the faults of heroic characters and deities. With that: let's learn more about Mars the Roman god, the namesake of the red planet.
Mars the Roman God
Mars was the Roman god of war and second only to Jupiter in the Roman pantheon. The Roman god was also a guardian of agriculture. Most of the myths involving the god were borrowed from the Greeks. Mars is Ares in Greek Mythology.
The Original Purpose of the Zodiac
The zodiac in Western Astrology dates all the way back to the Babylonian times. The zodiac was used by agrarian societies to better understand the seasons. The zodiac was an early development in creating a calendar system that could help prevent famines, droughts, floods, and the like. People's lives were deeply connected to food, particularly the harvest. Without tools to determine the seasons, the harvest would be chaotic and unpredictable (leading to death and sickness).
Mars was one of many Roman guardians or gods of agriculture. These gods were almost always considered significant.
Important Aspects of Mars Mythos
- Mars was the son of Jupiter and Juno.
- Mars was the most prominent deity among the military gods worshiped by the Roman army.
- Most of his festivals were held in March, the month named for him (Latin Martius). There were also festivals in October, the month that started the season for military campaigns and ended the season of farming. Aries begins in March. Scorpio begins in October.
- Other names: Mavors, Mavorte.
- Symbol: The Spear of Mars.
- Siblings: Vulcan, Minerva, Hercules, Bellona, Apollo, Diana, Bacchus.
- Consort: Nerio, Rhea Silvia, Venus, Bellona.
- Children: Romulus and Remus, Cupid.
- Mars as Ares in Greek culture was often treated with contempt and revulsion.
- Mars' altar in the Campus Martius was supposed to be dedicated to Numa, the peace-loving second king of Rome.
- Augustus helped make Mars a major focus in Roman religion.
According to legend, Mars was the father of Rome. He impregnated Rhea Silvia who gave birth to the twins Romulus and Remus.
The priesthood of the Arval Brothers would call on Mars to drive off "rust", the wheat fungus and red oxides that affect metal, which was a threat to iron farm equipment and weapons. Mars the planet connects to this rust idea.
Mars was likely originally a thunder or storm deity. Those traits were picked up by other gods, like Jupiter.
The animals considered the most sacred to Mars the deity were: the woodpecker, the bear, and the wolf.
The woodpecker was revered in Rome. It was one of the most important birds in Roman and Italic augury, the practice of reading the will of the gods by examining signs in the sky from clouds, stars, colors, and the like.
The wolf is often seen in Roman myths as the animal of Mars. Romulus and Remus survived thanks to a she-wolf who nursed them.
Sacrifices to Mars
The most common animal sacrifices to Mars were: pigs, rams, and bulls. The ram is the symbol of Aries and the bull is the symbol of Taurus.
- In Roman art, Mars is often depicted as either mature with a beard or young and clean-shaven. He wears a helmet and carries a spear.
- He appeared on coins in the late 4th and early 3rd century BCE.
- His helmet is a plumed neo-Attic-type.
- His spear is often depicted with a garland or laurel, symbolizing victory.
- Legend has it his spear would tremble or vibrate ahead of an impending war, as was reported to occur before the assassination of Julius Caesar.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2021 Andrea Lawrence
Andrea Lawrence (author) from Chicago on March 25, 2021:
I enjoyed writing this hub. It's amazing to me how similar Aries and Scorpio can be.
Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on March 25, 2021:
Scorpios can be a very confusing mix of fire and water tendencies. This explains why. Interesting info!