How TO Make Friends With Your Anger And MARS
In medieval astrology and in some branches of modern day astrology the God of War, Mars, is considered a malefic and bringer of accidents and misfortune. Most astrologers today have a more constructive attitude towards Mars, but then again these are “psychologically correct” days and our thinking has hopefully become a bit more evolved.
Mars represents vital energy, will power, courage, ability to assert ourselves, sexual energy, initiative, charisma, leadership and the need to reach our goals. Without our Martian energies, we would not be able to manifest our dreams. Its role and functions, therefore, are very important.
It is interesting to note that Mars’ astrological glyph, plus its mythological reputation, have contributed to assigning a masculine role to our Martian urges. In other words, Mars is “male”, therefore competing, leading, fighting to reach our goals or for our own principles and ideals have all been considered masculine tendencies. The question is: if we all have Mars in our chart with all the instincts described above, do women have a right to express them, too?
For the past few millennia, patriarchy has obviously had the upper hand, but we can all see how quickly things are changing today. The dividing line between masculine and feminine roles has become a lot more blurred, also because our psychological, emotional and spiritual growth has helped us understand that in order to have serenity in life, we need to reach inner peace and balance. Psychology sees this process as the necessity to contact and express our animus or anima within (depending on our sex), while oriental philosophies describe this concept as the balance of yin-yang energies, the union of opposites, which must ideally be found within.
Unfortunately, women with a prominent Mars, therefore vital and naturally assertive, are often considered “masculine”. It is also true to say that men with a strong Venus (and sometimes Neptune), who are usually artistic and particularly sensitive to beauty, are often labelled “effeminate”. The true story is that such labels belong more to the weaknesses and complexes of our current societal development with its stereotypes and insecurities than to the real status quo.
One of the reasons why Mars has not been all that popular is because anger and aggression are feared and too often misunderstood. Let’s analyse how the “Martian push” functions. When we have a goal we want to reach, our will and determination push us to act to get there – so far, so good. The trouble is that Mars inevitably meets with obstacles in life, and its push gets blocked and frustrated. Our vital energy is frustrated and, naturally, we feel anger as a result, which is a perfectly natural emotion that gets thwarted by our culture’s inability to accept and deal with it. Sadly, we are often forced to repress anger, aggressiveness and frustration, hiding our own emotions from others and even ourselves.
A frustrated Mars often develops a sarcastic edge and behaves with excessive aggression and insensitivity towards others, which does not help Mars’ poor reputation. Another tragic consequence of the repression of our Martian instincts is the notorious and increasingly common ‘depression’, which is really repressed anger turned inward and towards ourselves.
It follows then that anger in itself is not really synonymous with Mars, nor is it dangerous – what is dangerous is our tendency to repress and accumulate this emotion, which eventually brings destructive consequences in the long run, often neuroses and psychosomatic ailments. Logically, if we try to understand and express our Mars, we could help ourselves use our own physical and psychological resources better and live with more health and vitality.
What is Mars’ positive message? How can we learn to optimise Mars’ resources? Here are a few suggestions.
A) LEARN TO DEAL WITH ANGER
1. When frustrated it would be wise to engage in physical activities, sports included. Sometimes running, even if only for a few minutes, can be very beneficial and it really helps to deal with anger
2. Are you a quiet and less sporty soul? Then other gentler methods such as meditation, visualisation, rhythmic and slow deep breathing, yoga or tai-chi may be more helpful in transmuting your emotions
3. If really angry, try writing a ruthless letter with no inhibitions of any kind and then burn it afterwards! I guarantee it is often an interesting and effective way to get anger out of your system
B) LEARN TO SAY NO
1. There are times when all of us might need to remember that making ourselves unhappy in order to please someone else, and saying ‘yes’ against our real wishes is ultimately hypocritical, creates resentment and certainly does not help self-respect. A straight ‘no’ can potentially improve your health, not to mention your relationships, which, at the very least, will become a lot more honest!
2. Saying ‘no’ also means that we learn to give selflessly only when it gives us real joy. And when we do decide to give, let’s do so with no strings attached. For some people this would be an “acquired taste” but certainly worth the effort.
C) AVOID “DOUBLE MESSAGES”
1. Clear communication is invaluable. If a particular situation or attitude annoys you, it would be better to face it head on, clarifying your perplexities with the people involved and preferably with a good dose of diplomacy. Ignoring a small problem creates a giant one and often leads to more trouble than necessary
2. Say ‘yes’ when you mean yes and ‘no’ when you mean no. Other people get the ‘vibes’ and know that you are lying
3. A good book on effective communication potentially helps us train our brain and live better with our fellow humans, not to mention ourselves
D) BE ASSERTIVE WHEN APPROPRIATE
1. A good way to do that is by cultivating an “I win, You win” attitude, which helps you find a solution (yes, a compromise) that is acceptable to both parties. This is, admittedly, not always possible or viable. But it is possible to be ‘compassionate’ or ‘polite’ when you are also being assertive! Putting your rights first does not mean that somebody gets knocked down or that you need to shout or make enemies
2. Behave as if your time were the most precious resource you have. In this way, you will ideally avoid taking things and people for granted and you will certainly accept a lot less inconsiderate behaviour towards you, which will result in more self-respect and less frustration and rage
3. In any situation, specially when you are paying for a service, always expect and ask for what is rightfully yours, politely but very firmly. Practice in front of a mirror, if necessary!
E) PLEASE DO NOT MAKE THE MISTAKE OF DISMISSING YOUR FEELINGS, ESPECIALLY ANGER, BECAUSE YOU CONSIDER THEM ILLOGICAL
1. Give yourself at least 15 minutes to access your deep emotions before you try to rationalise the way you feel
2. When something or someone has upset you, stay with your emotions, even if uncomfortable, and try to find what hides behind your pain, in other words the real cause of your upset, which is rarely the most obvious. If necessary, get pen and paper, add a touch of objectivity and a good dose of self-analysis and you’ve got an excellent recipe for self-healing
In short, whatever helps us develop more self-respect and self-love will benefit our Mars, which, when met half-way, will automatically tame itself a little, be more docile and avoid resorting to excesses to catch our attention. If we co-operate, the Martian side of our unconscious is likely to express the more positive potentials of our natal Mars placement, sign and aspects. With a tamed Mars on our side, after all, we will have a faithful and courageous ally, and we will be able to use our energies to manifest our dreams and wishes in a more constructive and enthusiastic way – why not try to befriend this ancient and feared God of War?
Curious about your own Mars? Please read on. Each chart tells a different story, but, generalising, here is a short and certainly not exhaustive list of how Mars operates through each sign of the zodiac.
Aries = “I want that so get out of my way before I lose my temper, understand?” Quick, charismatic, bossy, impulsive, irritable and full of energy. Not very patient or too good at compromising, but generally generous.
Taurus = “I need to get organised and structured so that I can reach my goal with patience and determination”. Practical, determined, possessive and obstinate, perhaps a bit lazy but potentially good at business deals.
Gemini = “Yes, that seems interesting, but that other project could be good, too and what about this other one?…” Need for adventure and tendency to go off in many directions at the same time, observant, argumentative, versatile and restless, but with great dexterity
Cancer = “This project seems safe – I need to go for it with great tenacity!” Acquisitive, security oriented, temperamental and often emotionally unstable, but usually reliable, compassionate and calm in an emergency.
Leo = “Hey, let’s get out there, win all and be noticed!” Passionate, dynamic, magnetic, generous and fun-loving. A bit of a show-off at times and not exactly humble, but self-willed and confident.
Virgo = “This is my goal and I’ll reach it with discipline and attention to detail” Logical, painstaking, service oriented, hardworking and cool. Could do with a bit more imagination and passion but great at sticking to routine with patience.
Libra = “We could reach that goal together, and if we do things my way I’m sure you’ll agree it’s just perfect!” Persuasive, charming, amiable and seemingly co-operative but not very good at standing alone. Not terribly confident, but sociable and a lover of justice and beauty
Scorpio = “That’s what I want and I’ll simply magnetise it to me!” Intense, strong, self-disciplined and magnetic, reliable and idealistic. Perhaps not too adaptable or flexible and not exactly compromising but a great strategist
Sagittarius = “What a great idea! Don’t have much info about it, but it sounds good!” Enthusiastic, extravagant, idealistic, philosophical and optimistic, catches fire easily but has little endurance. Could do with more depth and attention to detail, but vital and cheerful
Capricorn = “I’m aiming to the top and I’ll get there no matter what.” A great organiser, ambitious, practical, controlled and self-disciplined. An achiever who solicits admiration more than love. Could do with more humour and warmth, but proud and successful
Aquarius = “As long as it’s new and innovative, I’ll go for it” Detached and intellectual, better at abstract thought than action. Experimental and idealistic, dislikes tradition. Likes to lead and has a modern outlook. Could do with a more personal touch
Pisces = “If it is for a good cause, I’ll make sacrifices and work towards that goal” Sensitive, unpredictable, compassionate, receptive and sympathetic. Dislikes confrontations and lacks initiative and confidence at times but artistic, romantic and lover of beauty.