When Mars Turns Against You
The red planet's mode of generating movement depends on friction, a condition most of us try to avoid, at our own hazard.
“Action is the antidote to despair.” —Joan Baez
YOU HAVE AN AIM you want to accomplish. Mars has your back.
If you procrastinate and short-shift your impulse, Mars will fuck you up.
First, let’s consider Mars simply: “I’m hungry.” You register your appetite, and you find something to eat. You eat it. Mars has acted—unincumbered.
Now, let’s look at facets of Mars that are more complex.
Mars thrives on friction and frustration. These qualities are innate expressions within nature. Civilized people attempt to step over or around friction and frustration—have you ever considered how idiotic an electric knife is?
Still, friction and frustration compel evolution—how one condition in life transforms into another. Because we each long to thrive and evolve, Mars is our quintessential ally.
All of the inner planets (from Mercury to Saturn)1 are associated with consistent functions of the psyche, only Mars galvanizes and shoves the show forward, onto a desired stage. But this involves friction and frustration.
I’ve written about this before, more recently in a post about Gurdjieff where he noted:
“Only a conflict between two sides is worth something. Only when much is accumulated can something new manifest itself.”
Friction and frustration accumulate gumption that becomes unshakeable once you’ve engaged with the Martian toggle between stasis and disruption. You’ve won a new accomplishment to show the world.
The first thing Persius did after he’d decapitated Medusa was display the creature’s head for all the world to see. “I did this!” The gorgon’s blood fell into the earth, and from the gore, the winged horse Pegasus appeared. This is a shorthand version of Martian alchemy.
You can apply Martian principles to all areas of your life.
You feel out of sorts—that uncomfortable squeeze when the waist of your pants are too tight. That ‘too-tight’ feeling is Mars registering and revving up for action. The first intimations of friction.
Stay home and watch more TV or get off of your ass and take a walk, go to the gym, or commence a diet?
Ignore the alternatives, and suddenly you feel like you’ve turned against yourself. The admonishments from your inner critic grow in volume. You’ve dropped into a stalled Mars muddle.
The fallout shows up in an array of maladies—both psychic (psychosomatic illness) or literal (accidents or meltdowns). It’s not the content or context, it’s the activity—when it comes to Mars.
When you think of the sign that Mars occupies in your birth chart, you need to realize that the high and low expressions of the sign will be pitted against each other once Mars activates.
The planet uses one part of the sign as a ballast—as a sort of launch pad. So it’s never as simple as, “Oh, my Mars is in Gemini, so my physical energy depends on how much I’m expressing my intellect,” or whatever.
No, to go from one condition in life to another, Mars will pit one twin against the other twin and then use that tussle to generate the heat, friction, and force required to move, move. Move!
The Martian function has both a positive and negative expression— and will toggle between the polarities while scrapping out ways to activate the core expression of each sign.
Mars Positive: Courage and willpower applied consciously towards a specific goal.
Mars Negative: Violence as a means towards an end. Impatience and misapplied force.
Let’s consider Mars in each sign and see how this plays out for you.
Understanding the friction between a sign’s high and low markers can help you integrate the part that isn’t interested in disrupting the status quo—the part that’s invested in the security of stasis.