Mars in one’s chart: the Path of Integrity

Someone in a Facebook group wrote: “I struggle with anger and flashes of great compassion.”

These emotions are on the same line of energy. Anger arises because one cares intensely about something, while compassion is to care equally about everything and everyone. With the discovery that anger and compassion have the same root cause (caring), one can manage how best to appropriate and express this root energy. Esoteric Astrology explores this, and Mars in one’s chart is where one would look for a “struggle with anger and flashes of great compassion.”

In both mythology and astrology, Mars is spoken of as having more brawn than brain. Descriptions of Mars include: brutish, uncouth, unmannered, one-dimensional, unintelligent, bellicose, belligerent, and impulsive. Mars, like the planets Pluto, Moon, and Neptune are often blamed in astrological interpretations for lesser capacities or errant behaviors. Yet, this shows a lack of understanding the range of expression capable by these planets and signs. This article explores the range of Mars witnessed most readily through its three levels as a ruling planet.

Mars rules Sagittarius hierarchically. Hierarchical rulership signals the highest expression of both the planet and sign. Planets in their royal role have the opportunity, even the duty, to express their exemplary qualities. In so doing, the planet brings forward not only the excellence of itself but also of the sign it hierarchically rules. A person fortunate to have a hierarchical ruler in his or her horoscope (chart). With it, the native is being asked to stretch into an altruistic livingness of said planet; in other words, to live the planet as a Soul or in the highest and truest way that one can.

Yet before Mars can rule hierarchically, it must evolve, or rather the native must evolve in how Mars is expressed and demonstrated. The teaching on rulership focuses on a set of the planet’s qualities and their incremental refinement through the signs ruled through the level of rulership. In Esoteric Astrology, there are three levels of ruling: traditional or exoteric, soul-ar or esoteric, and hierarchical or that related to the highest expression of the planet. In one’s chart, the ruler (on any level) is a demand from one’s inner wisdom and Presence, the same Presence that decreed one’s incarnation. It is a demand to demonstrate the fullest nature and capacity of the planet. I have witnessed that Mars in a ruling position or dignified by house is pointing to a range of capacity developed and inherent within the native, thus available. The same is so for any other planet. This reveals that the placement of the planet in the chart is a directive to live that planet’s qualities in an esteemed rather than a low or common way. Therefore, for example, if one has Mars in Aries, Mars is in a royal role and the native is being asked to live the qualities and attributes of Mars well. Of course, rulership or not, one’s astrology is never an excuse for default patterns or low behavior.

The information in this article on Mars applies to the planet overall, no matter its placement. Therefore, if you have an interest in astrology, your chart, or specifically Mars, please read on. The teaching on levels of rulership, given by Master DK and offered here, helps one understand how to mature Mars’ expression in one’s life. As already stated, if one has Mars or any other planet in a ruling position or dignified by house, one’s inner Presence and guidance is pointing to that planet as a life-long focus of refinement and wider demonstration.

Mars rules:

  • Aries and Scorpio exoterically,
  • Scorpio esoterically,
  • and Sagittarius hierarchically.

On the common turn of the spiral – and thus applying to everyone at every stage of the Path, Mars expresses as vitality, enthusiasm, emphasis, intensity, vibrancy, and personal will. Mars gets things going. It is the blood of life, is warmth, vigor, strength, and sheer capacity. Capacity for what? Look at the sign, the house, and what Mars is in relation with to determine that.

Mars is masculine energy, regardless of one’s gender. The list of expressions given in the previous paragraph as well as synonyms and derivatives of them are represented by Mars.

  • Vitality is strength, stamina, physical power, useable energy plus how one uses energy, strength, force, and drive within the physical life.
  • Masculine energy is yang energy: dynamic, emittive, forceful and energetic; Mars is these demonstrations of and within oneself, of others, and of life.
  • As such, Mars expresses as enthusiasm, excitability (the arising of a penis or equally how emotions and reactions – positive or negative – arise).
  • Hence, Mars is passion, rushing, movement, inspiration, motivation, and aspiration.
  • All of these are intense, and the ways in which the native will feel that intensity, express that intensity, act out or live from that intensity will be indicated by the geometries in one’s horoscope. Mars intensifies anything it touches in the chart.
  • A dignified Mars is a point of intensity demonstrating through the native as passion, rushing, movement, violence, conviction, inspiration, motivation, and/or aspiration. Intensity is vibrant, often thrilling, but can be combustible or explosive. Explosiveness lived as excitability or spontaneity, as a quick temper or rage, or as being courageous and undaunted are determined by how one is living personal will: inclusive of altruistic, with wisdom and thoughtfulness, or from self-importance.

Mars on the second level of rulership (esoteric and related to the Soul) points to how one lives one’s strength of character, is aware of one having strength of character, as well as one’s life as a demonstration of integrity and authenticity. On this level, all of the nouns, verbs, and adjectives that are manifestations of Mars are to be lived as expressions of clarity and truth. Mars’ cuts and, on the esoteric and Soul level of expression, it cuts through falsity. Mars’ intensity is experienced in the stripping away of the layers of ego. Imagery such as Archangel Michael with his sword, or Manjushri with the flaming sword of Wisdom, or Christ overturning the tables in the Temple portray this intensity and realm of the battle within oneself and one’s reality. In this role, quite often, Mars shocks the native to truth as well as provides the inner strength, power, and perseverance to engage lasting change

St Michael Spearing DragonManjushri on a Lion ThroneThe personal will becomes the focus, and automatically includes all the realms and capacities necessary for a person to live one’s will, one’s choices, and one’s decisions. At the core of these is one’s passion, one’s convictions, that which inspires one, and that which one is unwilling to engage. All but the latte provide the power to get things done, the motivation to see things through, as well as the steadfast diligence and self-sacrifice necessary to live from truth and integrity. The warmth of the blood and vitality of common Mars now represents a life of brotherhood/sisterhood and equanimity. Equanimity is lived through the willingness to engage and transform one’s self in the ways necessary to foster clarity and equality in one’s life. Often, that requires standing up, standing for, sometimes standing out, or simply taking a stand. That stand, its integrity and simplicity can be done quietly through living a principled life as well as through decisions and actions that support the same. Mars on this level is the responsibility to lead by example.

One can imagine hierarchical Mars indicated in the chart of the child who would become the Buddha. Sages looking at the celestial signs told his sovereign father, “When this child is a man, he will either rule the world or will rule himself and thus be a great world Teacher.” Ruling, leadership, the ability to conquer inner sources of hostility , and to express the nobility of the highest principles is indicated in Mars hierarchically ruling Sagittarius. Mars has used the sword of clarity and insight to a definite end: a life expressing integrity and authenticity through the highest use of one’s will and directedness. Mars has the design to bring forward indomitable Presence and diamond clarity and to express them equally through love and gentility or through unrelenting boldness. Mars is the scalpel of precision in our thoughts as well as the pick ax getting at the deep roots of self. Mars, on this level, is the capacity to sacrifice knowing that that is how Life is brought forward, like the shell is sacrificed to the germinating sprout. Such ethical teaching is found in the first Law of the Soul: the Law of Sacrifice, and the first Paramita: Generosity). As such then, Mars on the high turn represents one’s engagement of LIFE as the Life impulse itself. It represents the ascent from, and the maturing of, the once ignoble demonstrations of Mars to the freedom given to all as one conquers him or herself.

Yet, let us not lose sight of Mars as passion, aggression, and unbridled mindless energy. Mars is raw which is how, ultimately, it heralds naked Awareness and sharp undaunted Clarity. But, first we express and experience Mars as does a horse: we rear up, as does a sprout: our projections shoot out, as does a moth to a flame: attracted to that which does not serve one’s life.

Vibrancy is Mars. As humans, we mistake many lesser experiences as vibrant as well as unwise or unnecessary things as vital. Yet, such things and habits make us weak. Mars in one’s chart describes what weakens the native and the flame that the moth-native consistently flies into. The chart points out what we rear up about as well as run away from. But, the horoscope also displays one’s Path of Truth and Light. Mars is its messenger.

Mars in one’s chart is no more or less significant than the other planets. However, its range of expression from cruel and violent, through self-focused or weakening, to strength of convictions and courage to see those convictions through are the foundation of a human being living as a benefit to self and others or as a detriment. Understanding Mars psychologically is to understand oneself. Expanding Mars’ expression is to better oneself. Using Mars as the Light of Integrity is to mature oneself.

About Donna Mitchell-Moniak

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7 Responses to Mars in one’s chart: the Path of Integrity

  1. Anne kennedy says:

    As always I thoroughly enjoy how you put things in perspective & clarify information, which to me, can sometimes be confusing. My Mars is in Leo in the 11th house, how I serve. Would you give me some specifics of how I can better do this?


    • Thank you, Anne, for your kind comment. Mars in Leo is an opportunity for authenticity and ethical behavior. The of Mars should be used for cutting through the ego’s obviousness (Leo) such that the strength of the heart (higher Leo) is what is lived. This combination of Mars in Leo could be that of a leader or a conqueror, or of a bully and someone who lives from self-importance. Therefore, by addressing reactivity (Mars) and self-referencing (Leo) one would be able to tend to the needs of others and do so well (11th house).


  2. Lisa Napora says:

    hi,This post was strangely coincidental. Spoke with Dave on Sunday and he told me his weekend was spent pondering anger and compassion and their relationship. He went on and on. Monday I saw this post and couldnt believe it! I asked him if he posted about this on FB but he said no. I sent it to him and I had a chance to skim it. It brought a clearer understanding of my focus on integrity in this life (both living it and teaching it). My Mars is in Sag. thank you!!xo L.

    Date: Sun, 6 Dec 2015 21:35:35 +0000 To:


  3. nalle26 says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed this article and your explanation of Mars. I’m curious though about how you think a Leo Mars would express itself in the 12th house?


    • Thank you for your comment and stopping by. Please give a day or two to get back to you. thank you!


    • thank you for reading the article.

      Mars in Leo can be dynamic, straight-forward, and a leader. It might want to teach or mentor and thereby teach people how to lead themselves as a greater goal. But it can also be tremendously self-referencing, self-interested, even narcisistic. In the 12th house, the native will not have easy clarity on his or her Mars, nor on how the ego (Leo) is calling the shots. Look in the chart for what can illumine the egotistical tendencies (if you live them). Broaden the awareness of the effect that the Mars has on others. And, live the Mars for the uprightness that it can be about in Leo. Use it well for championing the underdog.

      Please consider purchasing my book. I think it will assist in your contemplations. You can do so on this blog. See the main navigation bar. Thank you for the consideration.


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