Mars in Action (A Theory to be Tested)
Fires are raging in several areas in southern California as I write this, and heavy smoke hangs overhead, but at Dodona our skies are their normal deep blue and the sun is shining. With 13 separate fires still burning, we are thankful that this area has been spared. The current catastrophe, added to the intense economic pressures already challenging California, points up how hard it is to use astrology to predict details.
Everyone saw the likelihood of serious problems for southern California in the May 1993 eclipse chart and in the cardinal ingresses. The solar eclipse had Saturn exactly on the MC in the Los Angeles area with squares to the Sun/Moon in the twelfth house. The Cancer Ingress put Ceres on the L.A. Ascendant within one degree and the Moon on the IC within just over one degree, pointing to an emphasis on the earth and public security issues. Saturn opposed Mars within two degrees and was conjunct the asteroid California within one degree. The Libra Ingress put heliocentric Saturn just over one degree from the L.A. Ascendant and Vesta on the Ascendant within one degree, suggesting a heavy focus on jobs. Heliocentric Chiron was on the Descendant. Mars was trine Saturn, but in the latter part of October it was due to join Pluto in its square to Saturn. Hel and Atlantis opposed the L.A. Ascendant and Hel was also within one degree of William(s) so the asteroid I am testing for Bill Clinton was brought into the network. Karma squared the L.A. Ascendant.
Many astrologers and psychics were predicting catastrophe for California, but they were fixated on the potential for another big earthquake. Instead, we have the fires which seem to have been mostly started by humans; some inadvertently like the transient in Altadena whose little fire for warmth got out of control, but some apparently by deliberate arson. There has been no lightning to take the blame for starting the blazes but once started, they were fanned by wind gusts up to 70 miles an hour and fed by quantities of brush. The extra rains in the early part of the year had produced unusually heavy growth and the drought after mid-April left the brush tinder dry. With 4% humidity and the hot winds from the south which are called Santa Anas, the stage was set for a monster inferno.
The ancient world feared Mars, sometimes even more than they feared Saturn. They had little or no understanding of the psychological principles of astrology so they saw the destructive events which accompanied prominent Mars transits as proof of its malignant nature. Mars is the primary key to fire, heat, and dryness, as well as to anger, rash actions, aggression, etc. Mars symbolizes our feeling that we have the right and the power to do what we want. When we act on this feeling without regard for the rights of others and/or without common sense, we can produce a crisis like the one currently happening in California. The conflict between the astrological elements of fire and earth may manifest as personal overconfidence (fire) while underestimating the power of the material world (earth). We may think that we have the power to handle something like a little campfire built for warmth or to cook food. Or we may just put too much attention on personal desires (fire) and too little on possible consequences (earth).
It is also possible to repress anger over threats to one’s rights, and repression can lead to illnesses, accidents and surgeries. As usual, the synchronicity of life is fascinating. I normally only watch news programs on TV and mostly watch public television. But I had another station on to see what was happening with the fires and I left the TV on while I was cooking lunch. The program was an interview with several women whose stories implied this other side of Mars. The women described their physical problems involving the sexual areas of the body. They suffered intense itching and a variety of burning and stabbing pains which prevented them from engaging in many normally enjoyable activities. They also shared a history of experiences with doctors who did not understand the nature or severity of the problem and who often told them it was all “in their heads,” even though the sexual areas including the vagina and uterus were clearly inflamed and hypersensitive.
One of the three primary subjects being interviewed finally found a doctor who identified her disease and treated it successfully. Her story was presented in Good Housekeeping magazine and it came to the attention of other women who had similar problems. I was fascinated that each of the three featured women was eventually diagnosed as having a different illness despite the similarity of the symptoms. Also interviewed on the program were a male M.D. and a female physiotherapist who are currently specializing in treating related problems though their approaches are totally different. The viewpoint shared by both therapists was the repeated statement that the problem “was not just in the patient’s head.” The patients were assured that they had “real” diseases, and all were very relieved to be told that. Married patients were thankful to be vindicated and their husbands who had suspected the wives of just wanting to avoid sex were frequently guilt-ridden.
The M.D. emphasized that the condition of an inflamed and hypersensitive vagina was often due to medical treatment received by women in an effort to cure other problems such as yeast infections. Doctors call illnesses caused by medical treatment “iatrogenic.” The physiotherapist said that in her experience, the primary source of the problems was hypersensitive muscles, often the muscles adjoining the wall of the uterus though they might be anywhere in the body. She worked to relax and “calm” the muscles and often her patients got relief within minutes from pain they had experienced for years.
So, how is Mars theoretically connected? When we block our urge to assert or defend ourselves, any or many of the Mars symptoms may manifest. Fever or an inflammation anywhere in the body are possible and are traditionally linked to Mars. Fever is one of the techniques used by the subconscious mind which manages the body when the immune system is resisting invading bacteria or viruses. Increased temperatures are usually more destructive of the foreign invaders than of the cells identified as “self.”
Mars also “rules” the muscles. That traditional word “rules” just says that Mars and muscles are associated with the same psychological principle. Exercise is the current “buzzword” being touted as a way to relieve all kinds of physical problems from obesity to diabetes to stress headaches to ??? In fact, a recent book is titled Training the Body to Cure Itself; How to Use Exercise to Heal. Exercise builds muscles which, psychologically, build self-confidence in our personal power.
Mars is also associated with sex, as a co-ruler of Scorpio, the part of life where we learn to share power and pleasure with a mate. Unless we have some confidence in our right and power to defend ourselves, we are unlikely to risk the vulnerability of full sharing. We may try to control the other person by conscious or subconscious manipulation when we are too weak to be open. Or we may retreat, and illness is often an effective retreat managed by the subconscious which manages the body.
Mars has also been traditionally associated with medicine. The research of Francoise and Michel Gauquelin found Mars in their “power” zones more often than chance in the charts of famous doctors. Though this is changing, where illness is concerned, doctors are often the repository of final power. Their decisions are the “last word” on what is true, real, possible, and to be done.
So some of us are over-doing the Mars principle and some of us are repressing it, whether with rape in Bosnia, murder in Somalia, medical treatments which create more pain than the original problem they are supposed to heal, or “trigger-happy” muscles which burn and stab their helpless owner. One of the women on the TV program described above had her version of the problem from early childhood. As a small child, she would lie on the floor and cry and hit her head (Mars) on the floor in protest against the burning pain in her sexual organs. Don’t you wish we could get her horoscope!
Of course, the therapists on the program were quite right. The problem was not in the women’s heads. My theory is that it was in their subconscious emotions, in subconscious habitual reactions brought in from the past which prevented them from engaging in normal, comfortable relationships with other people. The woman who had her problem from childhood described herself as either avoiding people or as being continually “bitchy,” verbally snapping at people because of her constant physical pain. Does that sound like a non-constructive expression of Mars? Another of the subjects developed her problem after the birth of her second child. Did her Mars’ need to avoid losing additional freedom (which would happen if she had more children) take this road to avoid sex? By accent and manner, she seemed soft, the type of woman who would be emotionally uncomfortable if she denied her husband’s pleasure. Good, practical materialists would snort at the idea that someone would subconsciously prefer personal physical pain to “standing up to” a husband.
Astrologers do have to be very careful in how they phrase these ideas. As was pointed out in a recent astrology conference, the astrologer (or other “new age” expert) is not being helpful if he or she asks someone dying of AIDS or Cancer “why are you doing this to yourself?” We do not control the subconscious side of the mind. At best, we can make friends with it and patiently try to replace habits which are producing unwanted results with habits that will produce better consequences. The consequences in our lives are our feedback from the world which let us know how we are doing. Habits (which are mostly subconscious) create Karma (consequences). Habits can be changed, but not easily. It usually takes conscious awareness and persistent efforts to move in new directions, but I think that is why we are here; to integrate our conflicts and to further develop our talents. Astrology is an incredible tool which can help us consciously understand ourselves and life.
Remember, improving a physical problem by means of a physical treatment does not invalidate the possibility of a psychological component in the picture. One’s energy focus is constantly cycling through expression on physical, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual levels of being. We may cycle down into increasing dysfunction and breakdown or up into increasing health, and the cycle can be interrupted and its direction reversed on any of the levels. Healing is most facilitated when we make constructive changes in all four levels. The cognitive level is the least powerful, but intellectual understanding can guide us as we seek to make changes on the other levels.
Obviously, the preceding material is theoretical. Some day we will have access to birth and medical data which will let us test such theories. In the meantime, if we ourselves or associates are experiencing physical symptoms which suggest a repressed Mars, we can try combining the physiotherapy approach of first calming (relaxing and reassuring) the muscles and then can strengthen them with exercise while also taking other actions that build self-confidence and keep it manifesting in constructive ways.
P.S. I put three chili peppers from my garden in my cornbread and cooked my green beans in enchilada sauce made from chilies while watching the fires and listening to the TV show. Are chilies also related to Mars?
P.P.S. Even if we get through the next week without additional crises, southern California is not yet out of the woods. The 1994 Libra ingress in L.A. puts Saturn back on the MC and Pluto quincunx the Ascendant from the sixth house—both aspects exact to the degree. Neptune and Uranus are quincunx the Ascendant more widely to form a yod with Pluto.