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Mythology of Mars


Mythology of Mars:  Mars (Roman) Aries (Greek)

Mythologically, Mars is deeply woven into the fabric of the ages, coming down from the most ancient of times. In Babylon, Mars was called Nergal, the god of war. He was the scorching noonday sun, the god of plagues, epidemics and disasters. Nergal, seeking power, stormed the Underworld, deposed or forced a compromise with the Queen of the Underworld, Ereshkigol, ruling along side her, as the later Greek gods Hades and Persephone later did. Nergal was associated with both the Sun (at its hottest point, noonday) and with darkness (the underworld) which made it similar to Roman Mars, who was connected to both the Sun and Pluto (God of the Underworld).

In Hindu mythology, Mars is associated with Kartikeya, who came into being out of a need to fulfill a prophecy. The gods were being terrorized by a demon, who, according to the prophecy, could only be slain by the seven-day old son of the great ascetic, Shiva. The gods created a beautiful illusion in the form of a woman so beautiful that even Shiva involuntarily ejaculated at the sight of her. His fiery sperm fell into the ocean where it was nurtured by the Pleides, the wives of the seven Rishis (the stars of the big dipper). They made a womb of earth and water for the unborn child and in seven days, Kartikeya, the god of war, burst forth to slay the demon.

In Greek mythology, where we primarily get our Mars mythology, he was called Ares, more often spelled Aries. Ares was the son of Zeus and Hera and was detested by both his parents. His sister, Athene, called him "a thing of rage, made of evil, a two-faced liar." He enjoyed combat and violence above all things. In battle, Ares was not the cool, commanding strategist his sister Athene was. Ares easily lost his temper and would rush into battle hotheadedly. He was driven by his emotions and because he showed no restraint he hated by man and disliked by the gods. He murdered, destroyed cities, and behaved as a coward when wounded. When he was wounded in battle by Diomedes, he fled angrily back to Olympus, complaining to his father, Zeus, who rejected him again.

Because the Greeks did not hold Ares in high regard, there were no sacred places built to honor him. His shrines were the battlefields where there was only pain, death and destruction. He was commonly associated with Thrace, a region north of Greece that was inhabited by barbaric tribes.

Ares was not totally friendless, however. He was loved by Aphrodite, who shared his passion for sex and enjoyed the friendship of Hades who recruited the war dead for his underworld kingdom.

On the battlefield he was accompanied by his sister, Eris (which means Discord), and Strife (Eris's son). The goddess of war, Enyo (Bellonain in Latin) walked beside him and her attendants were Terror, Trembling and Panic. Ares was also only given a small place in mythology. He was imprisoned by the twin sons of Iphimedia and Poseidon in an attempt to destroy the gods. Hermes was eventually sent to break him out of prison. In the Trojan War, Mars sided with Aphrodite against his mother and sister, Hera and Athene.

With Harmony, a nymph, Ares fathered the Amazons a race of warrior women who took after their father's unbridled ways and not their peace-loving mother's. This is small mention considering the attention given to Venus, Mars's archetypal counterpart.

Ares's Roman incarnation was Mars, the god of war, for which the month of March was named, the month when Rome mobilized her legions. The Romans ranked Mars second only to Jupiter and revered him as the father of Romulus and Remus, the founders of the city of Rome, for which he was considered the patriarch.

Mars means "bright and burning one" which fits the name of the planet since Mars appears to be a bright red color, indicating a planet burning brightly. Mars is considered independent and quick, and when activated, unstoppable. In a natal chart the Mars placement is regarded in the same way, which makes it a dangerous planet. Depending on the aspects and house placement it can determine whether you succeed in life or fail miserably.

In its primal state Mars is directionless. For direction Mars needs the energy of another planet. Mars governs your energy, assertiveness, the will to succeed, the ability to turn ideas into action, the sex drive, forcefulness and aggressiveness. Mars excites and stirs the imagination. It signifies ambition, courage, desire and strength. A strong placement indicates an aggressive, energetic personality. Afflicted, Mars can bring strife, conflict, tension, anger, accidents and injuries.

Mars represents the power and purpose we need to slay the inner dragons. The power of psychological fears and phobias fester within the inner darkness until finally it explodes (Mars rules explosions) to the surface. The destructive force of Mars is evident as it surfaces in the consciousness, bringing with it all the negative forces of the inner demons which can cause quarrels, strife, and warfare.

When the power of Mars first emerges (Plutonian subcconsciousness) it is as an intense sexual force. In Mars we see the connection between sex and aggression, between desire and action. In the body, Mars governs the sex organs. In nature it rules heat, fire, earthquakes, violence, war and explosions.

The Mars archetype of the male corresponds to the Venus archetype of the female. Mars represents quick action from the gut, not the head. A weak Mars is evident in the charts of writers, artists and musicians. A prominent Mars produces individuals who can excel at sports, science, medicine, military and business careers. Until recently, these fields were almost strictly ranked with men. With the advent of Pallas Athene, Mars's sister, one of the prominent asteroids of recent interest, this is one of the areas her appearance has helped to change. Her phenomenal part on behalf of women has elevated women into fields dominated or exclusive to men in the past.


Mythic Astrology Archetypal Powers in the Horoscope by Ariel Guttman and Kenneth Johnson