With the current motion of Mars, it is a particularly important time to examine the placement of Mars in your birth chart. In the coming New Moon, Mars conjuncts the new planet Eris, precisely squares the Saturn/Pluto midpoint, and opposes new planet Haumea representing Natural Law. On September 9th Mars retrogrades in Aries for a subsequent return to these aspects, his retrograde period lasting until November 13th. Mars is in his rulership in Aries, which makes him strong and pronounced in this sign! Aries is bold, quick paced, fiery and directive, just like Mars. While Mars is retrograde, however, he will operate on a more internal level. We will likely see a flare-up of confronting energies during August and September, and be challenged to step more deeply into taking action that is in support of our core beliefs and values. While Mars is prominent in the sky your natal position will also come to the forefront.
Learning about Mars’ placement in your birth chart is one of the keys to understanding the nature of your motivation, your ability to take action, and your inner-masculine, involving libido and will power. It also can give insight into how you relate, at times, with anger to frustration, and illuminate patterns in your life that might be somewhat destructive in this regard. While Mars can tend to bring a degree of challenge, understanding his planetary energy in your birth chart can help you channel and orient to this fundamental archetype in a way where you can be clearer and more at choice in your volition, self-assertion, and aligning your will with a sense of higher good.
In order to fully understand your natal Mars, if you don’t have it already, you’ll need to access your birth chart. You can do that for free here in the TimePassages mobile app or here in the TimePassages online membership.
For a basic understanding, you can look at the zodiac sign Mars occupies in your birth chart, as well as the house that he occupies. This gives a two-fold perspective on your Mars placement; it illustrates what kind of flavor he will have with the zodiac sign, and what area of life that will express the most in, as symbolized by the house placement. In the TimePassages mobile app and online membership, you can simply look at your birth chart, and read the interpretations for Mars (written by our founder Henry Seltzer). If you scroll down further this article, we will provide these same interpretations there, as well.
Understanding the sign and house position that your Mars occupies is a great start, and beyond that we can look at other approaches and techniques like rulership, dignity, sect, angular houses, aspects, and more.
Mars will be of particular importance to you if your rising sign is Aries or Scorpio, because that means he is the ruler of your first house and in traditional techniques considered the ruler of your entire birth chart! If Mars is rising in your chart, then by modern Western methodology he could also be considered the chart ruler. In either case, Mars would therefore have a lot of influence in your personality and life circumstance. Wherever Mars lies in your chart gives you additional insight into the house that is thus involved, which would be traditionally interpreted as representing an active area of your life, where your Will to Purpose could manifest.
Luminaries: The Sun and Moon
The same can be said, but with slightly less emphasis, regarding your Sun sign or Moon sign if either of them are in Aries or Scorpio. Mars will have greater influence for you if either or both of the Luminaries fall in Mars’ signs, and especially the Moon in a nocturnal (night time) chart. See below.
Without going into complexities, sect is basically the idea that depending on if you were born at night or during the day, the planets will operate slightly differently in each circumstance. If you were born with the Sun below the horizon (at night), Mars will behave a bit better. If you were born with the Sun above the horizon (during the day) Mars will likely be a bit more of a trouble maker.
If Mars is in the 1st, 4th, 7th, or 10th house, pay attention, as he will have a stronger influence for your life in general, and play a larger role in your personality and life circumstances. This is because these houses relate to the angles of the chart – the ascendant, IC/Nadir, descendant, and MC/Midheaven– which are essential points to consider in interpreting the birth chart.
Dignity is the concept that the planets have different ways of operating in different signs, apart from the simple correlation of the planetary archetype with the zodiacal archetype. Mars has his rulership in Aries and Scorpio, so he operates strongly and with more authority, there. He is “exalted” in Capricorn, meaning he operates well there, but can also signal some unconscious tendencies that might manifest as blind spots. Mars is at his “detriment” in Taurus and Libra, meaning he’s not quite on his A-game in these signs, and might translate the challenges with Mars themes. And lastly, Mars is in his “fall” in Cancer, which is the most challenging place for Mars to be, and indicates an area of personal work and growth around Mars themes for a person who has this placement.
Aspects are the relationship between two planets by geometric angle. This is another good thing to refer to your birth chart in the TimePassages mobile app and online membership. Just visit your chart, select aspects, and scroll through to look for all the Mars aspects present in your chart.
Extra Credit: Sabian Symbols
Sabian symbols are basically a symbol for each of the 360 degrees of the Zodiac, so looking at the Sabian symbol for the degree that Mars occupies in your birth chart can give you yet another dimension of meaning. FIRST: there is a very common mistake made with the Sabian symbols to avoid. Let’s say your Mars is 14 Virgo; you would actually look up the 15th degree Virgo Sabian Symbol, because while the zodiac signs start at 0º and goes to 29º, the Sabian Symbols start at 1 and go to 30. It’s a little confusing, but basically whatever degree your looking for, go up one and that’s it! The classic resource for this is the original Sabian Symbols book by Marc Edmund Jones. We are also planning to launch a new Sabian Symbol feature in the TimePassages mobile and desktop apps very soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that!
We hope you enjoy learning more about your Mars, and please let us know in the comments how your Mars explorations are going, or any questions you have about Mars!
Mars through the signs and houses
(From the TimePassages interpretation paragraphs):
Mars in Aries or the 1st House
This placement gives an independent and positive nature, and an outwardly directed and ambitious orientation. You possess great strength of character as well as an inordinate degree of self-assertion. You are a formidable adversary, tending to react aggressively when threatened. You are extremely courageous and enthusiastic, traits that will take you far in life, but you may need to work on a tendency of being quick to anger and you can behave impulsively at times. You may also cause trouble for yourself by being unwilling to give way and make concessions, especially if Mars is afflicted in your chart by challenging planetary aspects. It benefits you to learn the art of compromise. You can also benefit from cultivating patience and tolerance to offset your occasional short temper. You will gain in the long run when you practice self-control and display a great degree of unselfishness in your dealings with others.
Mars in Taurus or the 2nd House
This Placement gives a persistent and patient nature. You can be extremely stubborn. You can also be jealous and possessive. You value money and other forms of security. You possess an enthusiasm for the pursuit of sensual pleasures. You are likely to be an ardent and loyal lover. You enjoy the good things of life. You may find that you have a desire for luxuries, but lack the conservative attitude toward finances that would help to secure them. If Mars is afflicted in your chart by planetary aspect, you may need to work through pride and acquisitiveness in your nature, or there could be problems with possessiveness, or even resentments towards others. You have an artistic flair to your nature, and function well in the realm of the material and tangible world, with the stamina required to get what you want out of life. You benefit from cultivating an attitude of sharing.
Mars in Gemini or the 3rd House
This placement gives an alert, witty and energetic nature, possibly inclined toward sarcasm. You are adventurous and physically active, although potentially inclined to be nervous and "high-strung." You are glib and communicate very well with others, although you may be a better talker than listener. If you have any weaknesses in this area, it is in being somewhat sharp with friends and relatives, or possibly indulging in gossip. You have a natural mechanical ability and do many things well. The outpouring of your energy is strongly centered on siblings, friends and associates, possibly stemming from early educational experiences, and in communicating your truth to others around you, perhaps by means of writing. You benefit by practicing kindness in speech, and by learning to focus and concentrate your considerable energies.
Mars in Cancer or the 4th House
This placement gives a sensitive, sensuous and emotional nature, gentle and peaceful, with a tendency to internalize conflict. People with this placement of Mars may have trouble with their digestion. You also may need to work through being overly concerned with your private life to the detriment of public enterprise. Your energy is centered on your home environment, and you may spend time and money remodeling or fixing things up just the way you want them around the house. You may appear timid or shy, but are actually quite determined and readily take action although when you do you tend to act from an instinctual level rather than from the basis of your conscious will. You may try too hard to achieve security, or other unconscious goals, and suffer anxiety as a result. You benefit from relaxing more, and diverting some of your energies outward, toward the world around you.
Mars in the Leo or the 5th House
This placement gives an energetic and passionate nature. You are dramatic, enthusiastic, ambitious and proud, with tremendous vitality and courage. You usually put your best foot forward, being possessed of an innate charm and animal magnetism that other people immediately recognize. You have strong opinions and are not shy in voicing them, and may have a tendency to be extremely stubborn and convinced of your own point of view. You are likely to be physically quite active. There is a creative streak in you that must find its outlet, or you will suffer from energy sublimated into anger or unnecessary aggression, for the urge is strong to produce works of art or commerce that are uniquely yours, the fit expression of your ego. You may need to work through being selfish, or jealous of the success of those around you. You benefit from initiating a spirit of greater concern for others.
Mars in Virgo or the 6th House
This placement gives a kind nature, and an energetic worker, with a tendency to be fussy over details. You possess a tremendous desire to be helpful to others, and have a practical and hard-working orientation that assists you in making good on your intentions. You may however need to evolve through getting into conflicts over trifles. At your best, you have a real focus on the simple issues of life, and of the health of the body temple, and just showing up for what comes, day-to-day, that is essentially good natured and constructive rather than ego-oriented. You tend to be somewhat narrow in the application of your effort, and may need to learn to learn to start opening up to the bigger picture. It benefits you to take a more relaxed attitude and a wider and more tolerant worldview, rather than getting hung up on the minutiae of a project.
Mars in Libra or the 7th House
This placement gives a sensitive and emotionally impressionable nature with an inclination to get very involved with other people. You are likely to have great charm and poise, and an ongoing attraction to love and romance. You can be a persuasive talker, and enjoy getting your own way, although you also are truly committed to making sure all parties in a dispute receive just and fair treatment, and will go out of your way to make sure that they get it. You are potentially a rash and ardent lover, and you may marry early. You are likely to seek an active partner, one who will match your own fiery independence that is a part of your basic nature you may not always show. You might need to work through quarreling with others as a way of standing up to being overly influenced by them, and benefit from exploring a greater degree of self-reliance. You also may be attracted to the idea of partnerships generally, as a way of life. You profit from cultivating moderation and objectivity in your dealings with others.
Mars in Scorpio or the 8th House
This placement gives a passionate and intense personality, proud, strong-willed and stubborn. Your sexual nature is very important to you. You feel the instinctive level of your being powerfully, and you are quite sure of yourself. You have a noticeable presence and a strong influence on those around you, and like to get your own way. You also enjoy giving the gift of your affection, and partnership sharing is an important mode of activity for you. Your urge for personal security is strong. If Mars is afflicted by planetary aspect, you are likely to be quarrelsome and self-indulgent. When you begin to engage with the higher levels of your consciousness, you have the capacity to be a great healer. In any case, you benefit when you cultivate self-discipline, and strive for objective over selfish motivations.
Mars in Sagittarius or the 9th House
This placement gives a friendly and optimistic nature. You are likely to lead a physically active life, and are fond of sports and gambling. You are idealistic, outspoken and honest with your opinions. You are also likely to be spontaneous and even a bit impulsive. You can be scattered in the application of your energies, and it will perhaps benefit you to work at becoming more reliable. You have a great propensity for learning. Your energy is most naturally invested in adventures of the higher mind: travel, education, perhaps publishing. You like many different pursuits, and have a kind of haphazard way of going about things that can get you into trouble. You may tend to miss the details, by fixing your gaze on "the big picture." You also can be dogmatic at times, when you get too carried away with your own point of view. You profit by learning to slow down your enthusiasm and focus your concentration on reachable goals.
Mars in Capricorn or the 10th House
This placement gives an ambitious, vigorous and persistent nature. You are conservative and careful but always able to reach the goal. You are fond of responsibility. You will achieve much in life, being naturally controlled and a good follower as well as a good leader, although your actions are more likely to be guided by social convention than personal ambition. You seldom speak without a purpose, and can have a reputation as the "strong silent type." In your highest manifestation, your energy is invested in satisfying collective needs, for the betterment of society around you. You may have to work through issues of pride, even arrogance, and you can sometimes arouse opposition or even hostility from others. You suffer from tunnel vision at times, and benefit from cultivating broader and more unselfish ways of looking at things.
Mars in Aquarius or the 11th House
This placement gives a freedom loving, socially oriented and idealistic personality. You can be abrupt and eccentric in speech and action, and may have a tendency to jump to conclusions. You have your own way of looking at things, and are also stubborn in your outlook, so that it may be difficult to get you to change your opinions. You are enterprising and ambitious, with a future-oriented and scientific mentality. The unknown possibility excites you more than conventional activity, which you may consider slightly boring, and you therefore tend to invest your energies in the upcoming event not yet realized. You get along well with groups of people, but you may be less comfortable one on one. You may need to find a balance between too great a focus on personal issues, and on the other hand directing all your activities outside yourself, toward social and humanitarian goals.
Mars in Pisces or the 12th House
This placement gives a sensitive and retiring nature. You have a tendency to be withdrawn. You are easily influenced by others, and can also sometimes be moody and introspective. You can also get lost in your dreams at times, and it may be that for you, at these times, only your inner world is real. You tend to resent and be discontent with your situation or that of society. You tire easily, for your physical energy is somewhat variable. You may need to work through a lack of straightforwardness with others, and it benefits you greatly to stand up for your beautiful sense of truth, and to learn to be more decisive in relation to the affairs of the world around you. Your quiet exterior masks a restlessly searching interior process, which strives for nothing less than the transformation of yourself and society into a more ideal system.
What do the celestial skies say about you?
Deepen your self-awareness and introspection with your own personalized Natal Report. This report was written by astrologer Henry Seltzer.
Includes a colorful birthchart with complete interpretations of zodiac signs, planetary positions and aspects. Chart patterns are also noted and delineated, a unique feature of this report!Learn More