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Mars is commonly referred to as "The Red Planet." and resides as the first planet outside Earth's orbit in the solar system. Mars is known in mythology as the god of war, and in astrology as the planet of personal aggression. On a psychological level, however, Mars goes far deeper than that.

Aside from ruling over aggression, Mars also governs over the quality of basic assertion we express in our day to day living. If we didn't have natural assertion, we would not be able to get things done, hold a job, or make decisions in our lives. Mars is the symbol of the masculine archetype, which is by definition "to give" or to "assert." Mars is the ruler of the first house and of Aries, which is the first sign in the astrological zodiac, which can be seen as the ultimate assertion in life: beginnings and birth. This is the importance of Mars, and the healthy way to express its symbol. Mars problems, however, are one of the most common in our lives. Many people have a hard time living with their Mars placement, and this is a common reason that many people have when they seek out an astrologer or counselor.

There are many different degrees of what a Mars problem entails, from being too shy and introverted to aggressive and over-bearing. Mars, like Venus, can be often be found as a symbol that is either lived out or projected onto others. While everyone doesn't do this, we can often find that people with strong Venus tendencies do not use their Mars placements beyond the basic need for assertion. In other words, they draw people to them who have a similar Mars placement who are living their Mars out to an extreme level, so that these people will live out their Mars for them. This way, if they were a young person brought up to feel that their personal assertion or aggression was negative, they could unconsciously use another person to live out these needs for them, while not having to take responsibility for the feelings themselves. This can often lead to dangerous and abusive "pattern" relationships if a person continues to draw the Mars energy into their lives via others rather than live it for themselves. This is becoming more and more common and publicized among young people, and with the recognition of domestic violence as a crime, we realize there have to be answers to end this. Finding out the personal Mars placement of the person and then counseling them on how to use it effectively is one way to help end the cycle.

Someone with a Mars problem might have, for example, Mars in Pisces in the 6th house. Mars is in a hard place in Pisces, because Pisces represents the dissolution of reality. This person may have never been shown how to be aggressive and stand up for themselves and their rights. They were not born as an aggressive person, and would have a tendency to try to escape reality through their imagination, books, and later, possibly even drugs or other substances. Without a parent or other mentor to teach them the importance of basic assertion and where to express it in their lives, they might be lost on what to do with those feelings. Later, they might end up in a pattern of relationships that are restrictive or even emotionally or physically abusive. They need to find a place to put their own assertion in a healthy way. Looking at the Mars placement, an astrologer might suggest that they focus upon work and service, 6th house issues. The house placement says "where" in your life you will best express the placement. In this case, the person might do well learning about assertion by being in the service of others. They might take up an important cause. With Mars in Pisces, they might lobby for getting more health services for drug rehabilitation programs. They might fight to save wildlife in their area, or write imaginative books for children. Once the assertion has a place to go, and the actual advice will correspond to the entire natal chart not to just the one placement, that is when the healing begins. The person will then, with counseling and effort, be able to find their own assertion and heal, drawing healthier people, like themselves, into their lives.

This goes for all of Mars' problems. Whether it be shy or aggressive, finding the placement, learning the appropriate Mars lesson, and them learning how to implement it into every day life can begin the healing of the problem.

Note: Though this information is a stepping stone to healthy aggression, it is not an attempt to imply that a session with an astrologer is all that is needed. Especially in severe cases of abuse, ongoing help and counseling is imperative for a solution. Knowing your Mars placement will certainly be a huge first step to help you on your journey, but it is not to be used alone. Using this information with counseling combined or working with an astrologer who is also a counselor or psychologist is recommended. As always, please beware the astrologer, psychic, or other healer who would claim they are all you need or the only one who can help.

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