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Meeting Mars: Inside and Out

Brightest in the sky at the opposition, Mars is now invisible to us, hidden by the light of the Sun. (1) Mars and the Sun are traveling closely together now for an extended time, most of the month of April. (This is not always the case, since Mars’s orbit is eccentric.)

The synodic cycle of Mars and the Sun is the period between two consecutive conjunctions of these planets. The synodic cycle with Mars is not totally consistent, but somewhere around 25-26 months. The actual length will be between 762 and 819 days, with an average length of 779 days. (2)

On Sunday, both planets were in the 26th degree of Aries, and they come to the all-important conjunction on April 17 at 28º08’ Aries.

Ann Coulter was born a week before a Mars-Sun conjunction. Based on a sunrise chart, her natal Mars is 18º Sag, with the Sun at 16º. (3) Although she has always been known for her sensational rhetoric, this past week she went even farther than usual in making a joke about murdering Meghan McCain (John’s daughter). Most people didn’t find it too funny. (4)

The threat of a missile strike from North Korea, the gun control issue and today’s explosion in Boston show Mars’s current and obvious place in the news.

We may or may not be directly involved with these matters, but we are all coming under the spell of a new synodic cycle.

I know someone with a stellium (including Moon, Mercury, Neptune, and Ascendant) in Libra, with the Sun at 28º. After years of living a rather hermit-like life, in a remote area in the mountains with lots of time spent alone, she has moved to a new state and is currently surrounded by a crew of men who are quickly building her a simple and efficient new dwelling. I know two other people who have been exhausted and ill for several weeks — one with Chiron at 27º Capricorn and the other with the Sun/Moon midpoint at 27º Cancer. Someone else, with three planets in Capricorn, including the Sun at 26º, was suddenly offered a much longed for new job.

As in myth, when not visible, Mars (like Venus) can be thought of as being in the underworld, where real change can occur; we change from the inside out.

Maybe we can get on better terms with Mars and start this round (lasting until the next conjunction in June 2015) with our blood clear, our vitality strengthened, and the essence of courage integrated into our very cells.

I don’t expect to have a fully formed strategy (some of you might), but I’m keeping my attention on an awakening passion and direction from my heart of hearts. I imagine that the pure essence of each of our unique selves is being anointed by the ever ready Mars, who wants to fulfill the purpose of the Sun.

Look at the houses with Aries — and Scorpio and Leo — on the cusp if you want to make this grand archetypal event more concrete or accessible. (Although Mars joins the Sun every two years or so, there are only six times in 200 years when they meet in Aries, where Mars has rulership and the Sun is exalted: March 29, 1902; April 14, 1934; April 2, 1981; April 17, 2013; March 20, 2028, and April 5, 2060.)

You can also set a chart for your place of residence for the time of the exact conjunction (e.g., 5:19:54 pm, PDT), on April 17th, to see connections to your birth chart and how this new cycle is part of your life story.

In the spirit of personal inquiry, the days around April 17 are also suited for observation of anger, or where we feel powerless or victimized. For some, anger can be available to us when other more tender or vulnerable emotions are stored just beneath a more solid edge.

Sometimes the presenting symptom of Mars seeking attention is irritability or depression. We may or may not recognize it in ourselves; others may see the signs as a clue to our state of mind.

Someone I spent time with recently seemed to be in a childlike, almost regressed, state, and I thought about that first Mars return and the self-definition and autonomy that may have been thwarted in this person’s case.

Psychologically, Mars is connected to individuation and a distinct sense of self and autonomy. The first Mars return at around age two is a crucial developmental stage, where things can be amiss, leaving an incomplete or less than fully developed sense of our own autonomy and “right to be here.” There are therapeutic models that aim to recreate and rebuild developmental stages that we may have passed through without having correct or complete support.

The Sun and Mars suggest infusing passion and meaning into life, which sounds simple enough until you spend time with someone consumed by depression or a feeling that life is meaningless or absurd. (5) But onwards we go, each individually tasked with finding purpose in these both fractured and resplendent times.

Mars rules muscles and blood, so physical activity can a good remedy to regulate our Mars; sometimes vigor and a display of strength, or taking a dare, is the right call. But, there are other moments when the movement is subtler. If we think of the Sun as the essence of our being that connects us to all that is, and Mars as the protector whose desire is to serve the Sun, we may have an interior moment whereby we can understand Rumi’s words: “What you seek is seeking you.”

Mars rules knives. As another (I realize, subtle) ode to Sun conjunct Mars, the first century mystic Rabia said (she did not leave anything in writing): “I am so afraid of separation I do not even own a knife.”

Onwards to the next moment, challenging and sweet, all at once.


(1) Last year, close to the opposition, I wrote about The Sun-Mars Synodic Cycle

(2) Astrology, A Language of Life, Vol. V: Holographic Transits, by Robert P. Blaschke, Earthwalk School of Astrology, 2006.

(3) Ann Coulter, December 8, 1961, New York, N.Y. Wikipedia

(4) Huffington Post

(5) AstroFix: the blog of an astrology addict has 146 phrases for Sun-Mars aspects, including: “Fighting against authority. Fighting against yourself. Inner tension caused by fighting against your own best interests. Depression when there are no worthy opponents and nothing worth fighting for. Depression through not reaching your potential. Depression through not taking opportunities. “I could have been a contender. I could have been somebody.” Depression through boredom. Needing goals and challenges to reach your full potential. Needing goals and challenges to feel vital and alive. Seizing the moment. Setting the bar higher and higher. Having a direction. Having aim. Directing your energy toward something. Having things to do. Physical activity as a way to get in touch with your core self. Needing outlets for aggression and hostile tendencies. Needing activities to funnel your competitive spirit into. Identifying with champions, fighters, heroes and heroines, and people who generally kick ass.”

AstroFix: Sun Mars aspects


  1. Hi Mary, Ares to the Greeks and to the Romans he was Mavors.
    Mars is also in the confines (Terms or Bounds) of Saturn which Valens says;”Belong to Saturn; Cold, Barren, Malicious and injured”….Mars was travelling through his own Chariot between 20-25 Aries where he was protected.
    He could act in the best possible ‘Mars’ way.
    But now this synodic Adherence has him burnt, although the Arabic astrologers would say he is in a state of Cazimi, an Arabian astronomical expression applied to describe a planet positioned within seventeen minutes of the Sun or in the heart of the Sun, which gives him honour.

    However the Hellenistic astrologers would not.

    In Homer’s works: The Iliad and Odyssey are raw examples of the wild uncultivated ….Mars energy! …Instinctive –Innate…. Ire…Bile…gratification
    In the Iliad Book V…Athena convinces Ares to withdraw from the battle between the Achaeans and the Trojans.
    “Ares bane of men, bloodstained stormier of cities, may we not now leave the Trojans and Achaeans to fight it out, and see to which of the two Zeus will vouchsafe the victory?
    Let us go away, and thus avoid his anger.”

    Roman – Mavors – who when combined with the Greek myth becomes – Mars – the all
    Conquering Warrior – War God

    A modern version is a poem by Rupert Brooke, English poet – 1914 – To welcome Ares
    Blow, bugles blow! They brought us, for our death,
    Holiness, lacked so long, and loves, and pain.
    Honour has came back, as a king to earth, and paid his subjects with royal wage;
    And nobleness walks in our ways again;
    And we have come in our heritage.

    Kind regards
    Gregory Clare

    • Hello Gregory,

      What a beautiful post, thank you very much for taking the time..


  2. I have experienced quite a bit of intensity from my life throughout the transits of Mars, Venus, and the Sun as of late. It has coincided with the start of a new job which has proved to be quite an exciting and refreshing experience.
    I have quite an intense Libra stellium consisting of Saturn, Jupiter, Moon, Venus, and Pluto. My home life has shifted as well …archetypal Mars has been close to the surface, within and without. However, as an aside, I have experienced moments of infantile rage, which, when channelled properly, have actually helped. Regardless of their hideousness… 🙂

    • Good morning A.j.

      Thank you for the comment..and, yes, I know that these regressed moments can be beneficial…I usually think of pure raw emotion as being helpful to the psyche….no matter if ‘hideous’ or sad as can be..

      Take good care..congratulations on the new job, too..


  3. Insightful and helpful. My build-up to this conjunction has played out the fiery end of this — immersing me in the company of male relatives (cousins, who joined me for a memorial service for our favorite uncle), a gathering that redefined my place in the family system. Traffic and phone foul-ups (and related frustration outbursts) have also been part of the picture. I am going to take your suggestion and run a chart for the conjunction.

  4. Hi Mary,

    Great article!

    I also work with Visual Astrology and the striking feature of the sky the last couple of days has been the Moon moving through the Club of Orion, greatly amplifying the potential for violence.

    : ) Helle

    • Helle,

      Thank you so much for that picture..I love Visual Astrology..

      Best to you..


  5. Had a very passionate ( and potentially but not actually explosive) conversation with a double Scorpio male friend about Pluto – en route to buying a new IPad in order to begin a new creative project this week. On the money, eh what?

    Thanks, Mary, for this thoughtful and enlightening post.

  6. Indeed, the Mars symptoms very often swing between irritability and depression (when the energy is blocked expression). I have current Pluto in Cap opposing Mars in Cance/exact and I am amazed how I am juggling that transit scenario. The challenge is to stay conscious, avoid self-judging attitudes and embrace the entire mess of humanity, including my own. This is an accident prone aspect, however, being aware of that, I made an internal allowance for discharging the intensity of the energy at some point and happened to have a small, but temporarily aggravating accident. I feel lighter now.

  7. Hi Mary,

    I have a 1 Aries Ascendant, Sun 8 Cancer and Moon 6 Libra conjunct Uranus 9 Libra. The transiting Uranus Pluto square in my chart is a story on its own, and I noticed that the Aries ingress of the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars all amplified these themes. It has been a volatile couple of weeks. One symptom has been insomnia, another restlessness and agitation beyond what I am used to even as a naturally high vibe type who does spiritual practices. The day that Mercury crossed my Ascendant I went for a long power walk! Everything has seemed more intense – the overall signature seems to be ‘raise your game’ and ‘step up’ and ‘playing for higher stakes’. Both my connection with my anger and my intuition have become stronger. So has my assertion, and clarity and direction of expression. I have been clearing my throat more than usual and my skin and mucuous membranes have been more sensitive and irritable than usual. I have been in a state of mind to attack my ‘to do list’ and complete tasks and move on with projects. I am much less afraid of speaking my mind and upsetting people, which is unusual for me with my conciliatory Moon in Libra and my at times meek Sun in Cancer. I also have Chiron in Aries so it has been hard in the past, however I seem to have ‘hardened up’ and developed a tougher skin. There have been a number of minor situations which have surprised me by how annoyed they have made me. In the past i would have let them go or put up with them and seethed, but this time I found myself taking action and writing letters to directly address the issues concerned. If I think something is not how it should be, it now seems i will not let it stand without challenging it. My Mars is in Aquarius in my 11th House and I am also currently involved in a group process that requires a considerable amount of mediation to deal with issues generated by the involvement of a Libran. The Sun Mars conjunction brought my personal relationship with the person concerned to a head, and I was amazed by the physical force I felt during a very, very tense discussion. We went to a dance class afterwards, which was a sore disappointment, as we both had alot of energy we needed to work off and the class just felt really bland and insipid. The teacher holding the class also fell out with a friend of hers there who was going to do a presentation to the group!

    In esoteric astrology, the esoteric ruler of Aries is Mercury, and my Mercury in Cancer is my most highly dignified planet. I can see an overall trend in my life at present where I am gathering up my natal Mars, harnessing it and directing it out through thoughtful, considered expression and dialogue, targeted towards specific outcomes, rather than just reacting and flying off the handle. Rather than simply jumping out of the frying pan into the fire and getting myself into circular arguments that leave me feeling angry and frustrated, I am learning to stay in the pot longer, and harness that energy properly. There is a sense of ‘getting in the ring’ more with my Mars in Aquarius in my 11th House, and participating more deeply in the great game of life, when my favoured position used to be more as a spectator.

  8. You are so awesome! I don’t believe I’ve truly read through anything like that before.
    So wonderful to find someone with unique thoughts on this subject.
    Really.. thank you for starting this up. This website is something that is required on the internet,
    someone with a bit of originality!

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