Mars as a planet has always inspired wonder here on earth. From speculation about ‘martians’ and the canals on Mars to our modern-day ambitions to visit the red planet, it’s a planet which looms large in our collective psyche, our art, literature and movies.
In astrology too, Mars is an important planet. Most non-astrologers think of Mars as a masculine counterpart to feminine Venus, and there is some truth in that – but in fact, Mars has a vital role to play in your natal chart for a number of other reasons too.
What Does Mars Symbolize in Astrology?
The astrological Mars is hugely energetic, forthright, ambitious and active. This is potent energy, decisive, aggressive, sexual and determined to win at all costs. Mars in astrology represents the competitive urge and the need to take action – this is not a planet content to bide its time! Mars drives us to be first and to be best. It is powerful energy and can be over-powering if not channelled constructively. Mars in the birth chart relates to our basic drives – what motivates us is ruled by Mars. We get out of bed in the morning because of Mars, whatever that means to each unique one of us. At its best, this planet is motivational and hungry for success; at its worst, Mars brings ruthlessness, selfishness, domination and anger.
What Is the Importance of Mars in the Birth Chart?
In your natal chart, Mars tells us what inspires you to take action. We look to Mars to discover your passions – in love and elsewhere – and your ambitions. The astrological Mars can shed light on what you desire most in the world, and on how far you are prepared to go in order to get that thing or person. Mars in the natal chart also indicates how impulsive you are, and how easily you anger. In relationships, Mars speaks of your sex drive and your desire for attention from your lover; in family life, this planet tells us how patient (or not) you are, and how laid back or high energy your home life is likely to be. Essentially, Mars is crucial in telling us what makes you tick as an individual. It’s an all or nothing planet, but for each of us the line we cross when pushed occurs at a slightly different place. We look to Mars to see what in life you will fight for and how determined you will be to win that ultimate battle.
What is the Mythology of Mars?
The planet Mars is named for the ancient Roman god Mars, the equivalent of the Greek god Ares, god of war. The mythological Mars was a warrior who had a passionate illicit affair with Venus, the goddess of love. He embodies all things masculine; it’s no accident that the astrological glyph for Mars is the same as the commonly understood symbol for a male – a small circle with an arrow extending upwards in a northeast direction, traditionally thought to represent a shield and a spear.
Key Facts about Mars in Astrology
Positive expressions of Mars energy: will, energy, drive, ambition, passion, assertiveness, initiative, confidence, courage
Challenging expressions of Mars energy: anger, impatience, impulsiveness, force, aggression, selfishness, conquest
Mars rules Aries; it also ruled Scorpio before the discovery of Pluto. A ruling planet in its own sign tends to be the purest and most positive expression of its energies.
Mars is exalted in Capricorn. An exalted planet is usually strong and works positively.
Mars is in detriment in Libra and sometimes Taurus. A planet in detriment is typically quite weak, with its energy manifesting negatively or being misused.
Mars is in fall in Cancer. A planet in fall is usually weakened, although positive aspects to the planet will help.
What’s Your Mars Sign?
Your Mars sign is the sign of the zodiac where Mars was at the date of your birth. Each zodiac sign channels the energy of Mars slightly differently, as below.
Mars in Aries
This Mars sign suggests a daring, bold and confident personality, always on the go and needing to take decisive action in life. Passionate and intensely sexual, there is however a problem with temper here, and a certain amount of thoughtlessness.
Mars in Taurus
You are warm and sensual, with a steady energy for life. Your temper is slow to come to the surface, but fierce once ignited. Determination and tenacity are key strengths in your personality, but you can be extremely dogmatic and stuck in your ways.
Mars in Gemini
Scattered energies mean that you bore easily, and you may struggle to see things through to the end. Your mental and physical restlessness can make you irritable – but when you’re interested in what you’re doing, you’re a lively, fun, clever person.
Mars in Cancer
You are driven by a need to protect and defend your loved ones, which can make you very defensive and touchy by nature. Passionate and sensual, you put family first at all costs. You can, however, be rather cold and cruel to those you do not like.
Mars in Leo
A natural leader, you are charismatic, organized and extroverted. You have a knack for finding the joy in life, and your exuberant nature attracts life’s blessings. You do tend to exaggerate, however, and you often create far more drama than necessary.
Mars in Virgo
Very hard working and focused, you take life seriously and you are committed to achieving your goals. You are driven to notice the tiniest detail, which adds to your success. However, you do have a hard time relaxing and you can struggle socially.
Mars in Libra
You have an intense need to be in a relationship and to be loved. This neediness can lead to heartbreak and to bad choices in relationships. You take offence easily and avoid arguments at all costs; you also tend to take the easy way out of a problem.
Mars in Scorpio
You are extremely passionate but with a darker, more intense and sometimes obsessive edge. Hugely resourceful and very determined, you can achieve great things in life, but personal happiness may be difficult to pin down nevertheless.
Mars in Sagittarius
With huge energy resources at your disposal, you are sporty, athletic and passionate, although your physical and mental restlessness can cause issues. You love a challenge, but you do have trouble finishing what you start, and you can be very abrupt.
Mars in Capricorn
Enormously ambitious, you are driven to succeed in whatever you choose to do. Highly motivated and never afraid of hard work, you do however tend to sacrifice your personal life in order to get on with your career. Relationships can be tricky.
Mars in Aquarius
You are driven by a need for freedom and independence, which makes it difficult for you to settle down, conform or play by the rules. Your individuality and pioneering spirit are your greatest strengths, but you struggle to express your emotions positively.
Mars in Pisces
Tumultuous emotions rule your life and you may tend to lurch from one emotional crisis to the next. Highly creative and exceptionally loving, you are imaginative to a fault, but you do make yourself vulnerable by exposing too much of your soul.