Mars As Singleton
Mars is the archetype of the War God, and from Christmas until Valentine’s Day he was transiting his own co-ruled sign, Scorpio. For many days during that period, transiting Mars was a singleton, usually as the only Water sign planet, often as the only Social sign planet. Only when the Moon was in Water or Social sign would Mars not be a singleton.
We have only to review items in the headlines, both nationally and around the world, for that period to see how a Mars singleton functions on the mundane level.
- It started immediately, the day after Christmas, with the Wakefild, Mass. Office shooting which left seven people dead.
- On January 16th, although Moon was also in Scorpio, a disgruntled and mentally disturbed big rig driver ploughed his vehicle into the Capital Building in Sacramento, killing himself and causing an estimated $8 million damage to the building. Earthquakes leveled cities in El Salvador and India during this time.
- Even the canine species came under Mars’ influence. One went berserk and horribly mauled and killed a woman in San Francisco.
- In San Jose, a college student was arrested for plotting a Columbine-style attack on DeAnza College.
- Another mentally disturbed man was shot and arrested for carrying a gun outside the White House.
- A mail bomb killed another college student. Interestingly, all the perpetrators of the violence were males, including the dog.
Mars symbolizes many things about which there are some very strong social taboos. Anger, rage, aggression, raw sexual energy (libido), are among them. People are fascinated by sex and violence, obsessed with speed (both fast moving and the drug), and competitiveness! What the society tries to suppress comes out from the collective unconsciousness with a vengeance. Survival issues are exaggerated.
Mars singletons are not unusual in the charts of men imprisoned for violent crimes. And they are also frequently found in the charts of athletes. Ordinary men may tend to express excess “macho” attitudes, or act out in daredevil ways. Women with it may tend to attract angry, sexual men, although many times these days women do find positive personal outlets for a Mars singleton. A client has her Mars singleton in Aquarius in the 8th house. She has had many sexual affairs, and her only son is a movie stuntman who skydives and races motorcycles. She was an officer in the military and stayed active in the reserves until retirement. She both did her Mars and projected it onto the men in her life.
There has been a general tendency in the past, and it persists in many cultures still, for there to be a remarkable gender differentiation when Mars is a singleton. It is more of a problem for women than for men. Women tend to deny, repress, and project it a lot. Women, in general, dislike being assertive, yet fear and hate the angry men they almost always attract. Men tend to overcompensate as Mr. Macho, super-achiever. They may be highly competitive in a “cut throat” way. They have exaggerated ideas of what a man should be, such as having a permanent erection and seducing every woman who attracts them. They may prefer the company of men, hang out with “the boys.”
There is a blood-lust quality about Mars. It is the Viking Berserker archetype. It loves to kill and slay and come out on top. Survival issues, combative skills, blood are associated with Mars. It rules the penis and substitute penises: guns, bullets, rockets, missiles. Guns are the sacred artifact for old white men and young “gang bangers,” in America – males who deep down doubt their psychological potency.
Mars is the inner warrior who is willing to assert, to go after what he wants. He is willing to take risks because he is always awake and alert to insure survival. A warrior knows he has to act, to assert, to take a risk, and he knows he cannot control the outcome. When the desire to control comes into the equation, usually prompted by Saturn’s fear or Pluto’s coercion, the Mars expression goes toxic. It is turned inward as depression, or outward as violence. Both victim and perpetrator of violence suffer from repressing anger and healthy assertion.
Distortions of anger include violence, psychological or physical; blaming and interrogating (means not taking personal responsibility); vindictiveness and vengeance; passive aggressive behavior including placating, sarcasm, criticism and temper tantrums. Sadism and punitiveness all involve heavy control issues along with the pure assertive energy of Mars.
Mars is expressed most easily and naturally in Fire signs who are quick to anger and quick to get over it. Earth signs tend to displacement of anger. Taurus eats when angry; Virgo gets busy tidying up or criticizing; Capricorn goes to work, back to the office or to the gym. Water signs are hooked on pain; they tend to cry and act out dramatically, or get drunk. A man with Mars in Pisces cannot express anger or even healthy assertiveness when he is sober. He goes to sports bars to watch the game, gets drunk and then gets into fights! Air signs will rationalize, justify and explain anger, “head trip” it.
Cardinal signs project anger outward in impulsive or compulsive ways. Fixed signs tend to hold it in, “sit on it.” There is a tendency for paranoia and brooding. Mutable’s displacement is verbal and nervous. They are not sure what they are angry about. They can get hysterical, or “fall apart” and “loose it.”
Mars in a Universal sign may tend to be expressed as outrage at the collective conditions. Mars with Uranus or Neptune tend to do this too. For example, Ralph Nader with Mars in Pisces opposed Neptune in Virgo has made a career of outrage at, and fixing up (Virgo), collective problems.
In past articles we looked at charts that had Mars singletons in addition to other singleton planets. These include the Duke of Windsor and Sigmund Freud from last month; both had Venus as a Singleton, too. President George W. Bush’s chart was given in the Sun Singleton article as an illustration of the singleton as ruler of the Mid-Heaven. Mars and Venus together are the “lover” and the “artist.” The Duke played the archetypal romantic lover. Sigmund Freud based his career on pioneering psychoanalysis, with an emphasis on sex and libido as the fundamental drive in life and the source of all neuroses. His Mars falls in the 11th house of like-minded others or colleagues. He demanded to be first and foremost among them and had violent mental disagreements and breaks with Jung and Adler when they began to disagree with his ideas.
Carl Jung pioneered analytical psychology. He, too, had a Mars singleton in the same 11th house, only his was in Sagittarius, a Universal sign. It makes easy aspects, whereas Freud’s does not. Jung’s influence has persisted and is more accepted today then Freud’s. He was more open in his philosophy. Mars functioned in his consciousness through prophetic dreams and visions of wars and apocryphal situations. He “tuned in” on the “world spirit” behind World War II.
We can only speculate at this point about what a Mars singleton in Virgo in the 2nd house means in George W. Bush’s chart. Earlier in his life he was interested in sports and seemed to be somewhat reckless in his behavior. During his administration we may see a lot of focus on military matters such as military spending and updating the armed services (Virgo ruled). Bush talks assertively about tax changes, but Virgo is the archetype of technical efficiency and can be very “bureaucratic.” So his proposed programs may be fought over in congress and picked apart. Mars in Virgo tends to be the “fuss budget” and the “worry wort.” Bush admits he is impatient. There will be lots of nervous tension over the economy (2nd house), during this administration.
A very interesting Mars singleton is found in former President Richard Nixon‘s chart. It is very peculiar because although it is a singleton as the only Fire sign planet, it is in a triple conjunction with Mercury at zero Capricorn and Jupiter at one-degree and forty-minutes. The 29th and 0 degrees are considered “powerless.” Pluto in the 10th house opposes Mars and the triple conjunction; the Plutonian force dominates the chart and is activated by Mars. Pluto is also the “cork” that is the “stopper” for the closed Yod between Saturn in Taurus sextile Neptune in Cancer both quincunx the Mars singleton. This is a very “crazy making” configuration! Nixon had a very dirty mind and nasty mouth. He projected his own evil (Pluto), onto other people. He is remembered for his “dirty tricks” and was nicknamed “Tricky Dicky.” He vilified his opponents and kept an “enemies list.” When a total solar eclipse occurred on his Pluto and opposed his Mars singleton in June of 1974 the “jig was up,” and all his dirty words recorded for posterity on tape came back to destroy his presidency. At that time Pluto was on station turning direct, very powerful, transiting Nixon’s first house. It squared his Mars and natal Pluto. A very interesting book to read with the chart at hand is The Arrogance of Power by Anthony Summers. In the last days of the presidency, Nixon appeared to be totally overshadowed by Pluto. “Nixon was drinking, and his mental condition was troubling. He had been ‘walking the halls’ in the White House, ‘talking to pictures of former presidents, giving speeches and talking to the pictures on the wall.'”
The Marquis de Sade has his Mars singleton in its own sign Aries in the 5th house where it is intercepted. He “pioneered” ideas of self-centered and brutal sexuality. The word “sadism” is derived from his name. He was hated and condemned by the Church, and seems to have actively violated its sexual dogma and doctrine. He spent most of his life in prison for expressing his perverse ideas. The Mars square Venus-Saturn suggests he may have loathed women and/or been frustrated by them. Traditional values were anathema to him. He wrote brilliant pornography with shocking stories of depravity. Perhaps a good part of his sexual activity took place in his mind and was acted out by his pen. (Uranus is also a singleton in the 1st house; so he could hardly help but be a rebel and shocking to the status quo). The recent movie “Quills” is a fictionalized biography of the Marquis.
Women with Mars singletons are interesting characters. They stand out in their fields because of their drive, assertiveness and leadership. They show remarkable ability to pioneer and to survive.
Gertrude Stein with her first house Mars singleton identified herself and her image with the masculine. To quote Lois Rodden, “Stein was a large, heavyset, plain woman, with close-cropped hair and an authoritative, masculine manner.” She presented herself as the classic “bull dyke.” She was a novelist and playwright, and perhaps more important was the intellectual and literary leader for an entire generation of artist and writers.
The former tennis star, Chris Evert, has Mars in Pisces (only Universal sign), in the angular 4th house trining a Scorpio stellium. We certainly would expect to find a high-focus Mars in the chart of a sports luminary, female or male. She was fiercely and successfully competitive from an early age, and pioneered the powerful two-handed backhand stroke.
Clara Barton with her two times singleton Mars in Virgo in the 6th house was a pioneer in the field of health and medicine. She founded the American Red Cross, an appropriate symbol for Mars. She had volunteered as a battlefield nurse in the Franco-Prussian War and the U.S. Civil War. She once remarked that she had to wring the blood from her clothes before she retired for the night on the battlefield. She earned the moniker “Angel of the Battlefield.”
Eartha Kitt‘s Mars singleton in Capricorn (Mars’ sign of exaltation), gave her the will to survive a horrible childhood and rise to the top. She was the daughter of a sharecropper and was orphaned at age six. She grew up with an aunt in the slums of New York. She had to “think on her feet,” be mobile, assertive, and “street smart” to survive. From a start in abject poverty, she earned a scholarship at age 16 and later became a renowned nightclub singer, Broadway actress, and recording and television artist.
The above examples show how a Mars singleton in an individual chart can be the mark of a very energetic and productive life. It can also point to devastating character flaws as in the cases of the Marquis de Sade and Nixon. Mars is a very powerful force in the psychology, and we have to look to its aspects and sign placement to determine how positively or negatively it will likely function. However, on the mundane level, it seems to work at the lowest or most destructive level almost all of the time.
Next we turn our attention to Jupiter: the guru or the fairy godmother, as well as the elitist who commits the sin of hubris.
Example Charts Used in the Article
About the author:
Eleanor Buckwalter has studied, practiced and taught astrology in Los Altos, CA for more than twenty-five years, including three years with the late Richard Idemon, a psychological astrologer. Her primary astrological focus of interest is parent-child relationships and family dynamics.