Will Confidence Pay Off or Could Actions Backfire?
Mars represents the instinctive urge to survive as an individual. It is the physical life force striving to remain an entity. As the ruler of Aries, the sign of out-rushing energy, it signifies the aggressive urges, and the point where one feels instinctively opposed. As the ruler of war, in the individual chart, Mars indicates the “front line” in life or where one meets and overcomes opposition. Mars’ energy is most appropriate when facing danger because Mars’ energy is similar to that provided by adrenaline. It gives one the urge to flee or fight back when facing opposition. As pointed out by Robert Hand in Horoscope Symbols, Mars’ Moons are named Phobos and Deimos, Greek for “fear” and “panic”. An individual becomes stimulated, energized, or aggravated under the rays of Mars. Where Mars becomes active, there is confidence in beliefs and actions, and a desire to start something new. Mars rules those in the military, surgeons, those who work with sharp instruments and men in general. It co-rules the husband in a woman’s chart and the sexual urges in all of us.
Dr. J. Heber Smith, first teacher to Evangeline Adams, says that Mars position in the nativity is an afflicted point, and in the Bowl of Heaven, Ms. Adams says that Mars is the most “unbalanced of planets; the one most in need of restriction or direction.” Mars can show itself both in the most rebellious and in those who are respected leaders in courageous actions.
Every couple of years, Mars goes “retrograde” and appears to be moving backward through the zodiac from our viewpoint on earth. During this time period, lasting about two and a half months, there’s an accent on possible reversals relating to Mars issues. Just as retrograde Mercury indicates communications breakdowns, and the need to review or redo paperwork, Mars in retrograde motion can indicate problems associated with our personal actions to increase or preserve our individuality. A most energizing planet, Mars easily sparks to life any significant point in the natal chart that it contacts during transits.
Mars begins its next retrograde cycle on April 17, 2016 when it stations at 8° Sagittarius. Mars then moves back to 23° Scorpio, resuming direct motion on June 29, 2016. Mars then makes it back to 8° Sagittarius on August 21, 2016. Due to the dynamic nature of the planet, the length of time involved, and the concentration in a small portion of the zodiac, these retrograde cycles of Mars have as much impact as a slow moving outer planet.
The probable outcome of Mars’s retrograde cycle or any of its transits can be found by assessing several factors. These include the condition and strength of your natal Mars, made up of Mars’s sign and house position in your natal chart, along with the natal aspects formed to the other planets. Without aspects, Mars will be most influenced by the characteristics of the sign occupied at birth. The aspects made by Mars to the natal planets during its transiting cycle and the natal house it energizes must also be considered. The affairs of the house ruled by natal Mars will also come into play, and are often tied to our efforts to maintain individuality.
A strong Mars assists in affairs requiring courage, passion, and initiative, and if you have a strong Mars in your natal chart, you enjoy a healthy amount of competition and the opportunity to demonstrate your courage. You may be rather more competitive with standards you’ve set for yourself than competing with others and you do not wish to infringe on the rights of others as long as they give you the same amount of respect. Contrary to what might be expected, those people who are overly aggressive, combative, or competitive are not this way because of a strong Mars. Rather, this would come from an afflicted Mars, causing its energies to work inharmoniously.
A healthy natal Mars would be so by a good sign and house placement and also by smooth-flowing aspects to other planets in the chart. This would ensure the easy integration of one’s efforts with the rest of the world. Such an individual is able to withstand nearly any onslaught from Mars, whether retrograde or not. In many cases challenging aspects to a strong Mars correspond with noteworthy achievements and progress. Mars combined with the natal Sun, Venus, or Jupiter by a sextile or trine aspect would bring harmony to the expression of Mars’s energies. With any of these aspects you are able to exert your initiative in a manner that is not threatening to others.
A weak Mars in the nativity could reveal itself by an over-compensating manner, causing inappropriate aggressive actions that bring problems back upon the individual. The “flight” option may also be in evidence with a weak Mars. Another likely manifestation with a weak or afflicted Mars is to experience the aggressive energies of Mars in projected form. In projected form, the individual is rather like a target for someone else’s aggressive qualities and in occasional instances could even become the victim of such. A twelfth house Mars with several adverse aspects is an example of a weakened Mars and one that would need to be monitored closely as it transits the chart.
Most of us have several factors influencing our natal Mars, some beneficial and some that could be detrimental to our actions. Capitalizing on the positive factors and using discipline and direction on the less desirable ensures that we are using Mars to its greatest potential.
Before moving on to Mars transits through the houses, some particulars on the retrograde cycles are in order. For example, if Mars is contacting a natal planet or another important point at the time it makes a retrograde station, there are likely to be two events that are directly related. One of these may fall near the time of the retrograde station and another finalizing event at the time when Mars again crosses the degree where it first went retrograde. Similarly, if Mars is conjunct a house cusp when it makes the first station, events linked to that house will be very prominent throughout the duration of the transits, often with a finalizing event near the last contact to the cusp.
Although the aspects made by transiting Mars to the natal planets will show whether individual efforts are supported or challenged, and by whom, the house position of Mars is important in determining the possible area of ramifications from its transit or retrograde motion. In the latter case, Mars will sometimes move back and forth through two houses. In such instances, it will have an effect in both areas, with the main emphasis associated with the house in which the most aspects are made or, without aspects, where it spends the most time.
Mars House Position
The house position of transiting Mars shows the area of life where you are ready to reach out and take what is yours. This is where you will strive for personal recognition and undertake new enterprise. If Mars is traveling retrograde, there will be a period of waiting before all the results from your efforts are in.
Generally, it’s a good idea to check and re-check your actions relating to the house of Mars’ transit. With hard aspects, this is the time to be most aware of blind or inappropriate confidence. For a woman, the transits and aspects of Mars will at times reflect activities surrounding her husband and for both men and women, it will sometimes reflect upon issues surrounding a male child of mature age.
The most eventful times involve the angles of the chart and in some instances while in a retrograde cycle, Mars will cross one of the angles of the chart three times. The angles are the cusps of the first, fourth, seventh, and tenth house. At such times, the most sensitive and personal areas are ignited by Mars’ incredible energy, and events generally tend to have a more profound effect than in the other houses.
A first house transit of Mars indicates a great effort on your part to impinge on the way others accept you at your face value. You will strive to make an impression and these attempts are either assisted or challenged by the conditions in which you find yourself and by others. Your efforts may be directed toward an individual or a group. Actions you take to demonstrate your unique importance and worth will be the highlight of this transit. Look to the aspects made by Mars to determine the support or challenge you will encounter as you go about these efforts. Your physical appearance may be the target of your efforts with this position and you may do an about face as you set out to improve or change your style. Having Mars go stationary direct near the Ascendant would be much preferred to having it go stationary retrograde on this point. In the latter case, one sometimes encounters delays or setbacks in whatever is being attempted. However, further preparation may be in order, and with Mars’ re-entry of the twelfth house, this preparation may take place behind the scenes. Here, also, the clouds of Neptune tend to veil any concrete results for the time being, and occasionally implies secret enemies, hidden tactics or covert hostility, which could undermine your efforts. This is a good time to remain aboveboard in all activities. If encountering very adverse aspects, a first house position of Mars sometimes indicates an illness or minor accident.
With Mars transiting the second house, you will exert extra energy to secure whatever you feel you have earned in the way of resources. Financial conditions are the subject of this Mars transit and the area may see great improvement, with an increase in both resources and possessions. If Mars is retrograding through the second house, actions taken to build up resources do not usually have an immediate result. Instead, there is a waiting game, at the end of which you find out the success of your efforts. Some routine expense may come to an end at this time; however, actions are required by you to make this happen. New expenses might replace old ones, due again to the initiative you demonstrate. With very adverse aspects, there could be severe setbacks in your earning potential, affecting both your income and the resources you’ve been able to rely on in the past. The work you do may not be as profitable as previously, or there may be unexpected expenses. In either case, you may need to confront some issues and fight to secure your resources since a battle is at hand.
The third house has two seemingly separate areas that it rules. First, it rules your general daily environment and this includes your neighbors, the youth of the area, those you meet at the marketplace, and your close relatives, especially your brothers and sisters. There might be an issue requiring confrontations and compromise with someone from this group. Starting a block watch or car pool in the neighborhood, or some project that benefits the youth of the area are examples of positive Mars’ action in this house. The other area ruled by the third house has to do with transport and communication, and these are key to the more common issues that arise. Basic education, communications of all kinds, and agreements that are binding fall into this category. If Mars is retrograde it is a good idea to be very clear about signing papers, buying a vehicle, or entering into any agreements. Extra caution is advised in driving or anything related to transportation with Mars in the third house. Because it works quickly and dynamically, accidents are the forte’ of this undisciplined Mars.
Mars transiting the fourth house implies dynamic activity centering in the home. With this position it is likely that a very basic element in the home is undergoing some amount of turmoil or change. A positive manifestation of Mars in this house would be new beginnings through buying a home or real estate. The physical energies of Mars would be fulfilled through moving and setting up new housekeeping. Building a home or doing renovations in an existing home, which require physical labor, might also be indicated with such a placement. Relationships within the family could be a source of personal turmoil with many adverse aspects. The fourth is one of the psychological houses, so events that happen here very much affect our sense of who we are and how stable we are. The aggressive characteristics of Mars do not blend well with family life in many situations. This position is akin to having the proverbial “bull in the china closet”. Parents are ruled by the fourth house, and could be a source of disagreement or concern.
With Mars transiting the fifth house, you become extremely outgoing in your self-expression and active in your pursuit of pleasures. These include the theater, hobbies, and other creative outlets of an artistic nature, as well as sports, parties, and social affairs. You will concentrate on activities that will keep you in the mainstream of life. Relationships with others who are naturally creative themselves often become a catalyst to your own inspiration. Depending on your circumstances, a new romance or even a series of romances is quite possible with this position. This is an exciting position for Mars, but also an area where adverse aspects can cause one to become too wrapped up in the frivolities of life, ignoring more serious concerns. Promiscuity is an example of an unrestrained and afflicted Mars in the fifth house. With good aspects, inspiration and progress can be made in creative pursuits. You might also be inspired to new projects that center on children and their activities.
With Mars in the sixth house, you become aggressive on your job or in regard to your service responsibilities. Your services may be in demand and you could make some important strides forward. The alternative to this and the negative manifestation of Mars in the sixth house is in health problems and many times this is a direct result of undesirable job pressures. You might decide to change jobs, and if your work has not been fulfilling in the past, then initiative to make changes should be taken. Such a situation left unchanged could easily result in health problems, just as it could to routinely overwork oneself. Co-workers are sometimes a source of conflict if indicated by adverse aspects. If Mars is retrograde, a situation on the job or with your co-workers may seem to be all consuming of your energies, and some review may be in order. Health maintenance and hygiene also falls in this area, and you may embark on a new exercise or health regimen. Although not often mentioned of the sixth house, it may signify activity relating to the “services” such as the army, navy, or marines. Other types of services, where the monetary returns are negligible may hold particular interest for you with this placement of Mars.
When Mars transits the seventh house you are concerned with taking on a leading or aggressive role within a relationship. You are active in pursuing partners and in the forming of new partnerships. The seventh house is where we first bond totally with another. Unlike the romances of the fifth house, the ones that begin under the influence of the seventh house are likely to be serious. Not necessarily forever, though, unless other factors agree. With heavy afflictions to Venus and/or Neptune, a lost love could be the result of this transit. This is more likely if Mars is in adverse aspect to one of these planets at the time it makes a station during a retrograde cycle. An alternate manifestation of Mars in the seventh house is that you may brush up against another closely enough to stir hostility rather than the forming of a harmonious relationship and the two of you could become immediate enemies. Sometimes the relationships you form are in some other capacity, such as counseling, or where several people come together to perform a project. Physical work or activity is likely to be required in such a project.
In the eighth house, a relationship has already been formed and now you put your efforts into working in cohesion with another and in the pooling of your separate resources. Cooperative efforts revolve around making the most of all the resources belonging to two or more people. This position coincides many times with a time period following marriage, when a couple is learning to work together as a unit both sexually and materially. With afflictions from Mars in this house, it could be a time of separation, calling it quits, divorce, or the break up of a business partnership. Taxes, loans, insurance, wills, and such may be a source of concern and activity. The eighth house also represents our ability to overcome loss, and is usually active when a death occurs. However, even with adverse aspects, the death implied is most likely to be of a situation rather than a person. Issues involving sexuality are usually very prominent with an eighth house Mars, and are sometimes closely tied in with a financial issue.
With Mars transiting the ninth house you become aggressively involved in expanding your basic beliefs and your philosophies about life. Sometimes this means showing active support by joining a religious or alternative group. Activity relating to educational interests is likely. The people represented by the ninth house are those in a teaching or instructional capacity, and you may find someone that you are willing to follow. A major decision might be required involving a long distance move or travel. A move, transfer, or relocation of considerable distance often coincides with this placement. With Mars in adverse aspects, problems could come up with any of the people ruled by the ninth house. Finally, legal situations sometimes arise that must be dealt with. In an afflicted chart this might be in regard to freedom rights. Ceremonies, especially those of a legal or religious nature may hold special significance during Mars’ stay in this house.
With Mars transiting the tenth, you are intent on pushing forward in your career and professional status. The desires and ambitions along these lines are unusually pressing. Being another of the angular houses, events taking place now will have a great bearing on your future and will be long reaching in their effects. You will take a great amount of initiative to further your personal career goals and to make important strides in your overall life direction. It is a time when great progress can be made and personal recognition achieved. You could be put in a position of authority and command over others. Relationships with authorities are likely to be touchy in afflicted charts, and with many adverse aspects there could be reversals affecting one’s public image. This is more common if Mars is retrograde while forming stressful aspects in the tenth. Impatience in pursuing your goals or a lack of control could cause you to step on toes of those higher up or leave them feeling threatened.
With Mars transiting the eleventh house, you will pour your energy into an involvement with groups and friends. The impulses are along very humanitarian lines here. You may take on a position of leadership within a group. This position is very conducive to accomplishments for someone who is already involved in a large group and where the common goal of the group is important to the individual. You may take actions to achieve your more personal long-term goals as well. The sign ruling the eleventh house should be considered. For example, if Taurus, a group may be joined that will result in the achievement of material goals; if Leo, friendships may form with those who act as a catalyst to your own creativity and artistic nature. You may be able to use your connection with an important group to express your individuality. If Mars is forming adverse aspects while retrograde, the friends you choose might prove to your detriment in the long run.
Here the nature of the house is somewhat incompatible with the energy of Mars and more effort is required to pull off the combination successfully. Mars’ energies must be afforded an outlet, and this is an area of concealment. This is normally where secrets are kept locked in tight and activities with secretive undertones often transpire with this position. The twelfth house is known as the house of self-undoing. An involvement with drugs, alcohol, or in covert activities often results in such self-undoing. Positively directed, Mars in this position can be an instrument for successful activity relating to a project that requires one to work alone or in deep concentration. Due to the physical requirements of Mars, unless the project is itself a physical one, frequent exercise breaks are needed. With this position there is also a tendency to negate or ignore feelings of aggression, and not wishing to display them, they are repressed. In this case, problems can occur of a psychological nature from this bottling up of toxic energy and the results can be devastating when they finally do erupt. Allow for an outlet of these energies either through physical work or a needed confrontation rather than letting them boil over inside and possibly bring on an illness. Institutions such as hospitals, prisons, or any rehab center for those who are unable to function in society for the time being are all under the jurisdiction of this house.
Mars Transiting Aspects
The aspects to the natal planets that are made by Mars during transits and especially during its retrograde cycle are quite revealing. If there are several contacts, then each will manifest and should be considered. Exact aspects made at Mars’ stationary points are extremely important. Generally, it is of a more positive note to have Mars turn stationary direct on a planet than stationary retrograde. If other aspects are good at the same time, however, this may indicate new opportunities relating to the planet in aspect. Although some conflicts, delays, or reversals may be expected if Mars is retrograde, any link of Mars to a planet that it was friendly with in the nativity will likely turn out well. Aspects made by Mars to the progressed planets can also be considered, and the following summaries apply to those as well.
Depending upon the aspects, a woman of great dynamics will be a source of support in your efforts at this time or she will act in a way that appears to block and frustrate your energies. Any aspect of Mars to the Moon signifies issues and events relating to the home, family or mother figure and is similar to a fourth house transit of Mars. Fluctuations and changes are occurring within the domestic scene. These two combined indicate the possibility of a new living situation, such as a move or an event that temporarily results in an intensification of activities within the home. There might be some temporary disruption and with a hard aspect, quarrels or some upset within the domestic environment could be expected. Accidents or health problems are other possibilities if in adverse aspect.
Mars in aspect to the Sun describes how well your initiative is working with the aims of your ego and life direction. A good aspect between Mars and the Sun should be considered very strong, able in most cases to provide a certain amount of protection against other challenging aspects Mars makes. Mars is warmed by the Sun and you radiate good intentions through your personal actions. These two in conflict indicates just the opposite and that you could be working against your own best interests. The Sun also rules the father and other important authority figures that are in a position to aid you in your life direction. They either reinforce your efforts in making your statement of individuality, or they act in a manner that challenges you, shown by the aspects. This contact occasionally warns of injuries or health problems either for you or for an important authority figure.
These aspects to Mars are important since it shows how your mental faculties are working with your urges to initiate action. Thought patterns are very stimulated and those whose work depends on mental energy and agility can take advantage. With any of these aspects you have the ability to negotiate, making decisions quickly and precisely. Agreements may be involved in many of your endeavors and the hard aspects suggest confrontations or some degree of verbal conflict with those who might threaten your actions. If you are in a position in which debate is required, you will hold your own and possibly excel. If the aspect is afflicted, you could become hasty or careless in your judgment or too impulsive in speech. The contact between these two is indicative of movement. An opportunity to advance the career might necessitate a transfer and move. Mercury rules young people, relatives, and neighbors who are involved in your efforts to assert yourself. Anything put in writing is of extreme importance. Extra caution in the area is advised with the hard aspects.
The combinations of Mars with Venus often indicate that the passions have been aroused. Such passions could be along the lines of art and creativity, or along social lines. These contacts reflect upon your ability to get along harmoniously with others, especially the opposite sex. There is potential for new beginnings in the area of romance as well as in other relationships, and the contact is very basic to sexual harmony. With any of the aspects one could be “in love with love”, and a thorough study of all the influencing factors is recommended before making serious new commitments. Venus is also representative of material comforts and with any of these aspects, there could be an increased passion for spending. With positive aspects, you are able to go about your business in a way that allows others to see that they too will benefit from your success, thus they are usually very happy to do what they can to support your efforts.
When Mars’ reactivates it’s own place in the natal chart, especially by conjunction, all of the natal potential of the planet is stimulated. A certain amount of energy will arise out of such a contact due to the awakening of the natural competitive urges. Especially in this instance the natal Mars should be examined for potential. Restraint and caution should be applied in regard to affairs ruled by Mars in the natal chart, but with assisting aspects, great accomplishments can be yours. With hard aspects to a natal Mars that is afflicted, matters could get out of hand and you could turn out to be your own worst enemy unless you can curb rebellious tendencies and maintain control. Open confrontations are common with this position and with many adverse aspects such conflicts might become physical, resulting in an accident. Since Mars reflects those of a masculine nature, conflicts with these types are the norm. This contact occasionally corresponds with an illness if other indicators concur.
Mars takes the expansive qualities of Jupiter to the limit. Depending on how this aspect is blended with others, the position can bring you great luck and ease of expression. Generosity and kindness are more practiced and you take action to help others out of a sense of duty and nobility. The benefits of Jupiter are many, including the material as well as those that are spiritual in nature. You may have many links to those in a position to promote you or to be of financial assistance. Afflictions between the two can indicate the careless squandering of resources in attempts to prove your individuality. Afflicted aspects could also indicate other types of losses, such as physically losing money or being the victim of robbery. Expenditures may be increased and with adverse aspects, purchases made could turn out to be a bad buy. Since Jupiter causes one to feel exuberant and inexhaustible for the time, a likely manifestation when in adverse aspect is to overextend or make promises you cannot deliver.
Aspects of Mars to Saturn indicate whether you are able to express your individualistic urges in accordance with what reality demands. There may be a need for some balancing between the two. With any of the aspects, you may feel somewhat abused or mistreated, or have spells of irritable feelings towards others you feel have harmed you. Later, you’ll see that in most cases there was not just cause for such feelings, it’s just that the abrasive combinations of these planets reflect upon a predisposition for feeling victimized and threatened. Try to keep this in mind during the contact. With adverse aspects while Mars is in a retrograde cycle, feelings of revenge can lead to more serious problems, which are likely to boomerang by the end of the period. Authority figures are likely to be the target of negative thoughts and problems involving them are fairly common. Your efforts may meet with obstacles or delays all around and frustration creeps in. In extreme cases, events involving jealousy or treachery could be encountered.
In this aspect, Mars quickens the impulses to action. This aspect can bring you into contact with very new and exciting possibilities and people. You may have opportunities to pioneer into new realms, especially in the areas of electronics, inventions, and all things Uranian. Breakthroughs may come to you in a flash and in the positive aspects, you should ready yourself to take advantage of the sudden opportunities that abound. In the negative aspects it is a reckless time, when taking chances is cautioned. Situations evolve suddenly and the end results of premature actions can be of great consequence. Irritability and feelings of antagonism may get out of control, with the temper becoming vicious. The energies of these two in afflicted aspect is extremely hard to curb, therefore accidents can occur due to the recklessness inherent in such a combination.
The aspects of Mars with Neptune, in all but the very best of aspects, can signify confusion in action. You may take action without having all the facts at hand. Imagination is very much stimulated in any of the aspects and where this leads depends on other factors. In the positive aspects this combination provides inspiration and artistic pursuits are a fruitful area. Daydreaming and indulging in fantasies is more prominent under these aspects and with proper direction the visions can be brought into reality. Sexual experiences often take on a more spiritual quality and fantasies along these lines are likely. You might express these energies positively through involvement with charities and helping the weak, weary, or helpless. Peculiar conditions are sometimes attracted as a result of self-gratification in drugs, alcohol, or some other withdrawal from reality. With adverse aspects, bad judgment in choosing one’s intimates could result in problems. The adverse aspects occasionally reflect a time of physical discomfort, such as recovery after an operation or discomfort leading up to an operation. Travel may be indicated.
This combination can be the best of the best or the worst of the worst. With Mars in aspect to Pluto there is either a line of added support and power or an immovable force barricading the way, and this depends much on the aspect they form. Becoming totally absorbed or even obsessive about your goals is common with any of these aspects, but there is a greater chance that this will be carried to an unhealthy degree with an adverse aspect. Pluto is a lot like Mars in nature and all these primal instincts to push forward could cause one to disregard and run others over while in the pursuit of goals. Sometimes, they or the universe will push back! In extreme cases, erroneous motives can result in plans for destructive actions. With the positive aspects, you show unlimited energy and a powerful will in your efforts to make a personal statement. Progress and success can be made in a short amount of time, especially along the lines of increasing resources. This is also a very sexual contact and these encounters are intensified.
Aspects formed by Mars during its transits should each be considered for the people and issues represented. The personal planets; Sun, Moon, Venus, Mercury and Mars reflect upon more private issues. Aspects to the outer planets are reflective of events of a broader scale.
Learn more about transiting and progressed Mars in my books; Predicting Events with Astrology and Identifying Planetary Triggers. The latter also covers the Mars Return in depth and shows how to determine accidents, health issues, new enterprise prospects and more.