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Mars Symbol

Mars - God of War

  1. The Myth
  2. The Astrology
  3. The Sky

The Story of Mars

Ares Replica, Villa Canope, Tivoli, Italy
Villa Hadriana, Italy

Mars was to the Romans what Ares was to the Greeks.  The Greek Ares was the handsome and vain son of Zeus and Hera, who both detested him.  He was cruel and murderous,  but strangely fearful of being wounded himself. 

Ares' greatest joy was the thrill of rushing into battle not caring who won or lost as long as much blood was shed.  He drove a chariot pulled by four immortal, fire breathing horses that could travel anywhere there was a conflict. 

Charioteer, Bronze Sculpture
Bronze Sculpture

Ares had a sister named Eris, the goddess of discord.  They spent much time together, along with her son, Strife.  His own sons, Phobos (fear) and Deimos (dread), would often accompany him into battle.

Ares is also well-known for having an affair with, Aphrodite, known to the Romans as Venus.  Zeus had married her off to Hephaestus, god of the dusty and dirty blacksmith's fire, but her true love was Ares. 

One day, while Aphrodite and Ares lay naked in each other's arms, Hephaestus caught them up in an invisible net that he had forged.  He hauled them before the other Olympian gods for retribution but was rewarded only with their laughter.

Ares and Aphrodite had four children, including Eros (cupid, Harmonia (haromony), Deimus (dread) and Phobus(fear).

Mars and Venus
Mars And Venus, 1827
Alexandre Charles Guillemot

The Roman Mars, on the other hand, was a little better character.  Rather than being mean and cruel, he was invincible and magnificent in his shining armor.  He inspired his troops to fight to a glorious death for some great cause...sort of like General Patton, you might say. 

Romulus and Remus
Agostino Carracci, c1590


Mars was the the father of the twins, Romulus and Remus.  The twins were abandoned and tossed into the Tiber River when their mother, the Vestal Virgin Rhea Silvia, was imprisoned for breaking her vows of chastity. 

The twins were subsequently raised by a she-wolf for a time and then by the shepherd Faustus.   The she-wolf suckling the twins is the symbol of Rome to this day.

When they grew up, they determined to found a new city on the same river where they had been cast adrift.  However, they got into a dispute over which of the two had the support of the local gods.  Eventually, Romulus killed Remus and the city was named Rome.

Mars in Astrology

The position of Mars in your chart describes your level of aggression and your ability to handle anger.  And,  it describes your sex drive.  We're not talking love here.  This is about  physical passion.  When that drive is suppressed, it turns into anger and aggression.

It's important to understand that we all have Mars in our chart.  It's not exclusive to men, or even to those with the male ideal of strong, muscular bodies.  It's just that the strong, muscular bodies of some men are especially suited to expressing the Martian energy.

If you want to understand Mars, take a look at some modern-day examples of aggression that surround us every day. 

Mars Aggression

You need this Martian drive and energy to achieve the goals that your Sun has in mind for you.  The trick is to spend this strong energy on useful things instead of just wasting it all on angry exchanges.

Everyone gets mad from time to time.  The sign that Mars is in shows how you handle that anger when you do feel it.  And the house it is in shows where it comes from.  

As one of the planets inside the orbit of Jupiter, Mars is classified as one of the Personal Planets.   And you can't get much more personal than a passionate embrace.  It's been said that passionate love always involves strong physical attraction. 

Yes, physical attraction matters.

Mars in the Sky

Mars - NASA Photo Image Courtesy of NASA


Mars spends approximately
two and a half months in each sign


Mars is the first planet beyond Earth, in relation to the Sun.  It has an eccentric orbit that takes it more than 25 million miles farther away from the Sun at some times of the year than at others.

Its day is only slightly longer than one Earth day, but it takes nearly twice as long to make it around the Sun - almost 687 days.

Mars turns retrograde every 26 - 28 months.  The retrograde periods last from a little under two months to about two and a half months.