Planets & Astrology: Mars

The heat is on! Mars is the second smallest planet in our solar system that governs passion and sex drive. With its blood red color and raging dust storms, it’s little wonder that Mars is also the planet associated with anger and combat. 

Named after the Roman god of war and agriculture, our virility and fertility is influenced by Mars’ placement in our natal chart. Although Mars is the second smallest planet in the solar system, his nature is #fierce. One might say he even has a bit of an astrological Napoleon complex! Ironically, Mars boasts the tallest mountain (the Olympus Mons) in the entire solar system. We could make all kinds of naughty jokes about this, but we’ll spare you for now.

“Life on Mars” may soon be more than just a classic David Bowie jam, since satellite photos have revealed that some of Mars’ ice formations have melted into liquid water, which could evolve into organism-supporting conditions over time. Mars hovers in a single zodiac sign for an average of seven weeks. Every other year, however, the red planet goes retrograde and can linger in a single sign (or pivot between two) for nearly nine months!

Instinctual Mars is the ruler of aggro Aries—the first sign of the zodiac. (Fun fact: Mars is actually the Roman version of the Greek god Ares.) He spawns a primal energy and a desire to dominate. What’s your fighting style? Are you combative, passive, manipulative…? The zodiac sign your Mars falls in your chart will show how you do battle. To find out your Mars sign, run a free chart here:

Mars’ influence in your chart can liberate your lusty nature and help you enjoy a fulfilling sex life.

Whenever you feel threatened, that’s when your survival instincts (fight, flight, feed and f**k) are tweaked by the placement of Mars in your chart. When the going gets tough, Mars kicks in! People born with Mars in sensitive Cancer may use emotional tactics to dominate, forming alliances with people in power (or keeping enemies closer than friends). They may also respond to stress by cleaning out the refrigerator! Someone with Mars in steady Taurus, however, could be a bit of a street fighter, quick to throw a punch when they see red. Retail therapy can be also be a vice for these folks. If you have Mars in Taurus, lock up the plastic when the going gets tough!

Mars—and his cosmic cohort, sensual Venus—are the lovebirds of the solar system. While Venus is the seductress, Mars is the raw, animal force of pure lust. No surprise here: Mars has a secondary rulership over seductive, sex-driven Scorpio. What happens when the prefrontal cortex goes silent and the reptilian brain takes over? Time becomes meaningless; we act on urge rather than thought.

Pole-dancing priestess Sheila Kelly (of helps women discover their “erotic creatures,” the persona that emerges when the sexual self is uninhibited. For many of her students, that creature bears little resemblance to their everyday personality (the self that is governed by the Sun). This is Mars in action. While this aspect of self is not widely embraced by society, it’s an urge that pre-dates upright man. Gaining awareness of Mars’ influence in the chart can liberate our lusty natures and help us enjoy fulfilling sex lives.

Mars also directs the sacred masculine force. Regardless of gender, all humans embody some form of male, or yang, energy. The position of Mars in your chart can reveal how you express this—and how you don’t! If you are a lover of men, Mars reveals the type of guy you’ll be attracted to in the romantic sense.

Mars may be impulsive and kind of a train wreck when left unchecked. But he is also a great motivator. If you’re low on drive or struggling to start a mission, lean in to his energy for a power boost. Mars in communicative Gemini people might benefit from finding a “project twin,” for example; someone who can act as a sounding board or a literal partner on the venture. While those born with Mars in lavish Libra may require a beautiful or decadent environment in order to get the ball rolling. Nothing wrong with a work-from-patisserie day, here and there!

Your Mars sign dictates how comfortable you feel when taking initiative with others. If you have a passive Mars sign, like dreamy Pisces, don’t stress. Practice makes perfect in this arena—plus, you may find that charm works better than the direct hit.


Planetary Stats: Mars

  • Changes Zodiac Signs: Every 6-8 weeks
  • Zodiac Sign It Rules: Aries (and secondary ruler of Scorpio)
  • Day of the Week: Tuesday

Mars governs:

  • Combat style
  • Motivation
  • Lust, Sex drive, Virility
  • Competitiveness
  • Sacred masculine energy


Special positions of Mars: 

Domicile: Aries
The planet’s home base, an easy flow if placed here in the chart.

Detriment: Libra
Opposite sign of home base, may need to work harder to integrate the planet’s energy if placed here in the chart.

Exalted: Capricorn
The planet’s most powerful position, indicates ease and added fortune with using the planet’s energy if placed here in the chart.

Fall: Cancer
Opposite sign to the exalted position, can indicate struggles with utilizing the planet’s energy if placed here in the chart.