Mars Road Warrior

What a terrible reputation Mars has. Because it glows red in the sky (a result of the iron oxide in its rocky soil), the Babylonians associated it with death and destruction, Pacific Islanders thought of it as the home of a giant red pig, and New Jerseyites, listening to Orson Welles on the radio in 1938, ran screaming from their homes in fear of invading Martians. Yet people have always fantasized about living on the red planet.

To the ancient Romans, Mars was the god of war, and many festivals were held in his honor. Ares, the Greek equivalent, was not admired. Throughout Greek mythology, Ares is constantly put down by the other gods — except for Aphrodite (Venus), the goddess of love, who adores him.

Early astrologers saw Mars as the planet of violence and bad temper. As late as the 15th century, astrologers associated it with theft, murder, battle, lechery, dishonesty, and seething malice of all sorts. Astrologers continue to associate Mars with anger, accidents, and injury. They also see Mars as the planet of action and desire. It brings will, stamina, drive, strength, energy, and the courage to go after what you want. Mars makes things happen.

The fourth planet from the Sun, Mars takes almost two years — 687 days, to be exact — to spin through the zodiac. It spends about two months in a sign. (Once every year and a half, its pattern changes, and it lingers in one section of the sky, giving that particular sign an extra jolt of Martian energy). No matter what your Sun sign is, Mars can be in any of the 12 signs of the zodiac. To discover its position in your chart, turn to the Appendix.

The position of Mars in your chart indicates an area where you're energetic and forceful. In biology, this figure represents the male, just as the symbol of Venus corresponds to the female.

The position of Mars by sign describes the way in which you take the initiative, assert yourself, and dive into a new endeavor or involvement. It represents your drive and your desires. After you have located your Mars in the Appendix, you can look it up in the list that follows:

1 Mars in Aries: As the ruler of Aries, Mars endows its natives with energy, sexual charisma to burn, and an occasionally explosive temper that you must learn to control. Fortunately, you don't hold on to your anger. After you explode, it evaporates. Enthusiastic, assertive, and daring, you're a natural leader who commands attention even without seeking it.

1 Mars in Taurus: You're a hard-working, down-to-earth person with plenty of stamina. Determined and sensible, you can be distracted by the desires of the flesh. When you finally do commit yourself to something, whether it's a relationship or a job, you're in it for the long haul — and for the money. Born with a serious practical streak, you care about material possessions and status, often more than you're willing to admit.

1 Mars in Gemini: With the planet of aggression in the sign of the twins, you're high-spirited, argumentative, nervous, and irritable. Your energy waxes and wanes, sometimes with startling speed. And although you love to debate, you aren't always able to distinguish between major principles and minor points. Still, you enjoy the back-and-forth. You have a lively, ingenious mind, and you're loads of fun.

1 Mars in Cancer: You're an inherently emotional person who needs to get a handle on your moods before you can successfully accomplish your goals. Without realizing it, you tend to sulk. You're highly sensitive, but you may project signals so subtle that many people miss them. In a relationship, you can be possessive and tenacious when you ought to be angry and out the door. You stew. You bury your emotions and need to learn to be direct. You're also responsive, protective, devoted, and imaginative, in bed and elsewhere.

1 Mars in Leo: Confident, impassioned, and tireless, you have presence and real follow-through. When committed to a cause or an activity, you're virtually unstoppable. True, you can be egotistical and arrogant, and your need for an audience can be wearing. Nevertheless, your warmth, high spirits, and willingness to take the first step bring you many admirers. You create excitement.

i Mars in Virgo: Control is an issue for you. You're hardworking, calculating, and willing to look reality dead in the eye. Sensible and methodical, you can detach yourself emotionally when your success depends on it. That quality is advantageous in your career. In your personal life, it gives you the ability to turn your sex drive on and off, seemingly at will. (Several famous military men share this placement, including Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, and General George Patton.)

i Mars in Libra: At your best, you're friendly, flirtatious, charming, and stylish. But you're at a loss without a partner. In your love life, and even at work, you're happier when you have a partner. Also, although you pride yourself on your logical mind, you tend to cover up your uncertainties and insecurities by defending your ill-considered statements with more passion than logic. At times people are forced to agree with you, just to end the discussion.

i Mars in Scorpio: You're courageous and cunning, determined and self-sufficient. Blessed with fierce willpower and unwavering desires, you're highly sexed and intensely emotional. You may struggle with jealousy and the desire to seek revenge. Although adapting to changing circumstances isn't easy, you have a reliable source of internal energy and a great deal of personal power, making this a beneficial placement overall.

i Mars in Sagittarius: Independent and enthusiastic, you have strong convictions, a love of the outdoors, and a deep desire for adventure. But you can be slapdash and defiant, and your crusades, so eagerly launched, don't always reach completion. Early 20th century astrologer Evangeline Adams, never one to pull her punches, claims that this placement makes people "scintillating rather than solid, dashing rather than enduring." Be that as it may, you're also fair, direct, and idealistic, and you can gather your energy quickly — especially when you're off on an adventure.

i Mars in Capricorn: Your desires, sexual and otherwise, are strong, your ambitions focused. When you feel recognized, your energy is reliable and steady. When you feel thwarted, your vitality fades. Efficient and systematic, you respect tradition and authority and often rise to the top. You understand hierarchies, and in many ways you're a natural leader. But when you don't get the obedience you demand or when things simply don't go your way, you can be surprisingly cool. You usually hide your anger. On the rare occasions when it slips out, however, it's nasty.

i Mars in Aquarius: Whenever possible, you prefer the road less traveled. You're enterprising and impatient, and you don't mind taking a risk. Convention bores you, and you value the idea of progress. You're independent, idealistic, and friendly. But emotionally, you can be on the chilly side, and you occasionally rebel just for the pleasure of making a statement.

1 Mars in Pisces: You fall deeply in love. You're generous, moody, restless, and highly intuitive. But when the emotional din becomes more than you can tolerate, you shut down. When that happens, your willpower evaporates, you have trouble getting motivated, you drive friends insane with your passivity, and your physical energy disappears. One of the central challenges of your life is regulating your energy. It's not easy to do when you're a slave to your feelings.

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