Venus, the Moon and Mercury all get lots of attention in astrological circles, perhaps because they have better publicity — but poor Mars is left out most of the time. Yet, it is a strange oversight as Mars carries some pretty important keys to happiness: passions, initiative, and the ability to protect and express basic values and needs. A healthily expressed Mars means more joy and passion for you.
Now, part of the reason Mars gets a bad rap is that it is known to be aggressive, unruly, hot-tempered, competitive, argumentative, and selfish, much like the god for which it is named. In archetypal astrology each planet represents an aspect of ourselves. Mars represents how we move forward, how we assert our truth and how we express our passions, and our physical outlets, in particular the sexual. Due to social pressures many of us have learned to suppress the urges from this cantankerous, active, and aggressive side of ourselves, perhaps not long after our terrible twos.
Yet, for any person to be fully alive, productive and creative, all aspects of the personality need to be expressed. Mars could also be said to be responsible for healthy emotional and physical boundaries, for the beginning any new endeavor, for sport and dance and for the full, lusty expression of sexuality. In short, it’s responsible for growth, development and the acceptance of new challenges.
If we’ve repressed our Mars we may find we’re really stuck in certain areas of our lives. And sadly, repression tends to spread — if someone’s repressed their anger it then dampens their joy and energy in all other aspects of their lives.
There are three facets to getting your Mars energies and potentials percolating:
First, take a moment to imagine Mars as an animal, a car or a person. Close your eyes and notice what comes to mind – make a note of what you saw. This is a quick way to give yourself a ‘reading’ of your Mars energies at the moment. What does this tell you in symbolic form? For example, a dented, dirty, beat-up Ferrari might mean that you’re capable of real speed and drive, but due to lack of ‘maintenance’ and attention you’re not driven now. It’s surprising how much can be learned by this simple exercise, and it provides a visual road map of what needs to be done.
Next, write down with complete honesty, how you would like to express your sexuality. Then with equal honesty, are you asking for and giving this type of passion? If you’re not, well, are you similarly holding back in other areas of your life? It’s far easier to say than to do, but to ask for what you want in your intimate life will create the courage to live more authentically in the rest of your life. And from that point on, your energies will start to flow and you’ll feel more alive.
Then, write down the areas in your life where are you simply uninterested, unmotivated or stuck: Identity, Finances, Communication, Family, Creativity, Health and Nutrition, Relationships, Sex, Intellectual Pursuits, Social Groups, Spirituality? It’s likely that you have your natal Mars and/or the sign of Aries in an astrological house that matches the areas in your life where you aren’t motivated. While you’d guess that the house with Mars or Aries would have an extra helping of energy, often it’s exactly the reverse. Think of one way you can consistently add a tiny bit of effort to these areas, and you’ll find that it almost miraculously begins to change. It’s not at all uncommon to find that with a little ‘priming of the pump’ your overall energy begins to noticeably increase.
The great thing about Mars is that since it is in part energy, a little energy is all it requires to increase motivation and get things unclogged and flowing freely. Mars teaches us that it is important and necessary to ask for what we want, to speak our truth, to begin the projects that have captured our passion, and that it will help us, once we’ve begun to help ourselves.
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