"Mars is cruel, has blood red eyes, is ill mannered, yet generous, is bilious (pitta) in constitution, is prone to anger and possesses a thin waist and body." Parashari 3.25
Mars is the great planet of energy. As Venus governs our affections, our emotional and vital impressionability, Mars relates to our passions, our emotional and vital capacity for self-projection. We could say that Venus governs our incoming emotions, our capacity to receive emotion; Mars rules our outgoing emotions, our capacity to project emotion.
Mars is the male and Venus is the female. They are the positive and negative, the active and passive sides of our feeling. Venus is emotional sensitivity, which can become refinement. Mars is the planet of emotional excitability, which can become violence. Thus, generally, Venus is the benefic and Mars is the malefic side of the emotions.
Whereas the Sun and Moon represent our masculine and feminine natures generally, Mars and Venus do so specifically. They are planets of sexuality and the relationship between the sexes can be read through them, whereas the luminaries have a parental influence, from a more general male and female nature. When the influence of Mars and Venus combines, particularly in fixed signs, the sexual drive can become very strong and may dominate the nature.
Mars is the planet of power, strength, courage, aggression, which measures our ability to project force in life. On the positive side, a strong Mars is necessary to give us the energy, independence, will and self-confidence to carry out our endeavors-qualities it shares with the Sun. Without it we have no real interests, passions, motivations, determination, no real intensity or ability to carry anything out to the end and really accomplish it.
On the negative side, this same aggression brings about competition, argument, conflict--and when not checked by other factors, causes domination, control, violence and injury, a placing of our own personal will-to-power over the good of life. As such, Mars has always been well known as the great God of War. He can make a person militaristic or violent, turn them into a soldier or general, even a criminal if more malefically disposed. He can cause us to inflict death on others. He can also, if he afflicts the factors representing the self in the chart (like the Ascendant and its ruler) bring violence, injury and accident upon ourselves. He can cause our death.
The malefic nature of Mars is well known in most instances of violent death, whether accidental or intentional. Mars also can indicate premature death in a chart, as with the loss of the partner (particularly the loss of the husband for the wife, widowhood). He is the general significator for injury, accident, conflict and enmity. Mars creates misunderstandings, arguments, litigation. In this regard Mars is the selfish will that does not take into account the views and needs of others.
In a more positive light, these difficulties come about because Mars insists upon greater independence, differentiation and clarity of views. He makes us more certain who we are and who our friends are. He causes discontent and seeking until we discover the real source of power within us.
Mars is the significator of brothers, friends and alliances. These include any association of common interest to achieve a common goal. In a lower sense, it is the alliance of soldiers (or lower yet, thieves). But that Mars energy of working together in discipline to achieve a common aim is necessary for any common endeavor. Mars is the leader or the central energy of determination, upon which the right organization of forces depends. All energy requires a focus for its proper application. Mars gives us this direction.
Mars indicates arms and muscles and gives physical prowess. A good Mars is necessary for physical strength and athletic performance. He gives sexual vitality to the male. A weak Mars can cause impotence or lack of manly characteristics.
Mars is a critical, perceptive and discriminating planet. His power of argument may, on the positive side, can give good skills at speech, oratory and the good logical faculties. The lawyer, the politician and the scientist need such a strong Mars. With logic and science, Mars gives mechanical skills. He is the machinist, the engineer, the miner, the chemist, the electrician. He invents things to help us get things done better.
As giving insight Mars indicates knowledge and, in the higher sense, can direct us towards a yoga of knowledge, particularly one that employs much self-discipline or asceticism. A strong and spiritual Mars is good for the practice of rituals and yogic techniques, methods of directing occult and spiritual energies. We find such a Mars in the charts of those drawn to energetic yogas or Tantric practices. Mars types like a more dramatic, challenging and daring path in all fields of life.
Mars rules tools, weapons, machines and their usage. He is the planet of work, effort--research and development. Modern culture based upon technology has had a strong Martian influence; hence our tendency to war and monstrous weapons. Technology and war go together as aspects of Mars energy we have not yet understood or controlled properly. Mars causes us to develop energy but it does not necessarily give us the wisdom or love to use it properly. It tends to regard power as an end in itself when it is only a means.
Mars is the son of the Earth in Hindu mythology. Hence he is called Ku-ja or Bhumi-ja, the one born from the Earth. He is the flame hidden in matter. His energy demands manifestation in material form. But he can also bring out some of the negative or dark sides of the Earth energy, the titanic primordial powers, the Asuras or demons of the abyss, who wish to destroy the creation and brings things back to the state of raw chaos. This inertia or tamasic quality behind Mars energy must not be forgotten.
Combined with Jupiter, the positive side of Mars comes out as the capacity to make great achievements in life in harmony with law and truth. It creates the proverbial good guy who works selflessly for what is right, but who, however, may suffer from self-righteousness.
Combined with Saturn, its negative side usually predominates, creating selfish, perverted or criminal tendencies, particularly when there are no balancing factors. Where balancing factors do exist this combination creates discipline and the capacity for great accomplishments.
Mars is the planet of action. Yet it is not just action for action's sake, it is the planet of goal oriented action. As ones ultimate goal and highest value in life, so ones action. It is important therefore to subordinate our Martian energy, which is indispensable for a creative life, to spiritual principles and to the influence of more spiritual planets. In this way it can give the capacity for the practical application of energy on a spiritual level in yoga and meditation. It can give capacity for insight and inquiry on an inner as well as outer level. In short, most of the qualities of Mars relate to his nature as fire. He can burn or give warmth, give light or create smoke, disturb or illumine, but unlike the Sun who is self-luminous, he requires some fuel to burn. We must make sure that his fuel is not the life or energy of another or the more refined aspects of our own being.
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