Astrologically speaking, do you know what makes you tick? I mean really, when it comes to the universal energies being reflected in your natal chart (or as I like to refer to them, the individual cosmic clauses in your very own “contract with the universe”) do you know what single birth energy, all by itself, can get you to stand up and be counted all by yourself? You should. After all, wouldn’t it be useful to know just why you’re inclined to jump up off that couch when you really don’t want to; get in someone’s face when you really don’t have to; or go out on a limb when you really don’t need to before the regrettable fact? Well, then perhaps it’s time you turned your attention to the only place in your natal chart that reflects the only energy in your natal sky with enough cosmic clout to do all of the above---Mars, the astrological planet of action, energy and desire. Why? Fitting question. Ironic too, because as the unavoidable “let’s get physical” clause in your soul’s contract with the universe, Mars is, without question, the “why you do” chromosome in your astrological makeup.
But then as any astrologer will tell you, the universal reason for that is simple. Mars is on a mission. As every astrologer will warn you however, the mission itself is a bit more complex. Mostly because it’s our Sun’s mission. A solar assignment in which the Cosmos requires nothing more of Mars than making sure our natal Sun has whatever it takes to keep us actively involved in the game of life and, apparently, nothing less of us than celestial seat belts and a good health plan.
We shouldn’t be surprised. From the moment our ancient astrologers first discovered this very fast, very red and very fourth planet from the Sun, they knew it was a force to be reckoned with in the medieval heavens. Which is why (after years of observation) they then determined it to have the very same impact in the horoscope. To them it was simple: while the Sun was the most significant influence at our birth because it was the brilliant energy that illumined our immortal spirit, Mars was the most critical to us here on earth because it was the driving force that empowered our human ego. The very part of us (by the way) that was intentionally spawned by the spirit for the sole purpose of prevailing in the physical world. An objective (by the even bigger way) that could never be accomplished without first conquering it. Understandably then, in their scientific opinion, Mars had to be the birth influence that represented our personal power to function on this material planet. Based on their universal findings, it was the only one up there reflecting the brand specific kind of energy our spirit needed to survive on it. You know, the self-serving kind. The “me-first,” “outta-my-way,” “you-wanna-piece-of-me?” kind. The human kind.
Not surprisingly then, of course, this planet’s placement in our natal chart identifies what causes us to take physical action, face physical danger and conquer physical obstacles during the course of this physical lifetime. Its presence in our natal sky is really just illuminating all the earthly ambitions and human desires that are now empowering our very unearthly (and even less human) souls to get out there and actually live it. How? By instilling the cosmic “fire in our human bellies” that we all need to eventually succeed at it.
So where’s the fire in your soul’s belly? Or more importantly, why is it there to begin with? As I explain in my book Cosmic Karma: Understanding Your Contract With The Universe, there’s a karmic “ back story” to every planet in your natal chart and it always begins (where else?) in the stars. More specifically, the constellations. That’s because just like any planet in your natal sky, the constellation that Mars was occupying at the moment of your birth is more than just the astrological sign it happened to be moving through at the time your soul reported for duty in this lifetime. Much more. In fact, karmically speaking, this constellation is actually a celestial reflection of a job well done in your most previous one. That’s right, cosmic kudos if you will. You see, from a spiritual perspective, because your Mars sign reflects just how your soul acquired the necessary skills and abilities to survive in your last incarnation, from an astrological perspective it now reveals just why you’re most qualified (and likely) to spring into action, rise to the occasion and make it across the finish line in this one. Therefore, in this particular life, you can’t help but assert yourself and pursue your ambitions through the energies of this particular constellation. Having previously earned and physically perfected what they cosmically represent, Mars instilled them in you at birth for just that purpose.
Needless to say, powerful stuff. Dangerous too, because while that means your Mars sign will always dictate the manner in which you characteristically (and impulsively) display courage, express anger and exhibit passion, it’s for that very reason that it also predicts just how you’re most likely to annoy others, ignite tempers and push a few provocative buttons along the willful way. But then this is your Mars sign. Its energies were astrologically instilled in you for no other purpose than to provoke and challenge your self-absorbed ego down that self-centered path to your self-serving objectives. It’s what they were universally designed to do up there because, when they do, it supplies exactly what your human “will” (and natal Sun) desperately need down here. Willpower. The personal drive to accomplish your physical goals. Or, as we tend to experience it, that determined sense of “self” that easily pushes us on to inspired acts of greatness on those really good days and, on those not so good days (even more easily) pushes everyone else over the edge. Is it any wonder then just why this sign is duly acknowledged as the astrological equivalent of a very-much-needed (but seldom proportionate) shot of universal testosterone? It shouldn’t be. Not when you consider the only universal reason for having such a celestial steroid at our soul’s disposal to begin with: to empower our “why” chromosome. That turbulent planet above (Mars) that sparks our masculine energy within (ego) and not only forces us to identify our desires, but inspires us to aggressively pursue them as well.
So pursue them we do, because this is the Mars clause in our contract. Our soul made a physical commitment to the Cosmos before coming into this world and Mars was put in charge of making sure we keep it. In fact we’re only reminded of theses specific earthly goals that were chosen on our behalf because Mars is constantly infusing us with the burning ambition to achieve them. So while we think we’re doing what we can to live up to our earthly potential, it’s only because Mars is doing what it must to make sure we do. It’s really quite an ingenious plan when you think about it because by “inspiring” us to live up to the Mars clause in our birth chart, Mars is actually forcing us to roll up our earthly sleeves and push our natal Sun to stardom. The stardom our soul promised it would achieve the moment we came into this physical world. A promise reflected in our natal Sun. The one our whole contract revolves around.
Evidently, the ancients got it right, Mars is more than just the fourth, fiery planet from the Sun. It’s the astrological stuff solar wingmen are made of, and human egos are fueled by because apparently, it was cosmically entrusted with the one universal mission that requires both. What is that? Providing our brilliant, creative Sun with a direct path (and a full tank) to the only thing in this world it needs to shine: personal satisfaction. Not to worry, Mars, obviously, has this one covered. Testosterone anyone?
Mars in Aries
Your actions are fueled by an overwhelming desire for personal independence and physical involvement. Driven by an intense passion for conflict, challenge and opposition, your skills and abilities were earned through courageous acts of leadership and skill in times of great physical danger. You assert yourself by winning and express your ego/anger through confrontational, headstrong or inconsiderate behavior when others won’t let you (or get anywhere ahead of you).
Mars in Taurus
Your actions are fueled by a strong sensual appetite and a deep desire for physical satisfaction. Driven by a passion for value and stability, your skills and abilities were earned by reliably holding on to assets and skillfully producing tangible results. You assert yourself through ownership and express your ego/anger by being unmovable. You’re surprisingly willing to fight for your values (and even harder for your “things”).
Mars in Gemini
Your actions are fueled by an overwhelming desire for mental stimulation and physical spontaneity. Driven by a passion for the discovery and exchange of words, information people and ideas, your skills and abilities were earned by cleverly investigating your immediate environment and skillfully networking it. You assert yourself through data (not always accurate) and dialogue (always nonstop) and express your ego/anger through argumentative and irresponsible behavior when you can’t.
Mars in Cancer
Your actions are fueled by a deep desire for emotional nourishment and domestic security. Driven by a passion to create belongingness for others and intimacy for yourself, your skills and abilities were earned by providing emotional nourishment, protecting your family or preserving the past. (Not living in it). You assert yourself through feelings (and resentments) and express your ego/anger through demanding, smothering or clingy behavior when you can’t.
Mars in Leo
Your actions are fueled by an overwhelming desire for individual attention and creative self-expression. Driven by a passion to celebrate life, power, love and talent, your skills and abilities were earned through your heroic acts of leadership and brilliant creative achievements. You assert yourself by being in charge, in love or in the spotlight (your favorite) and express your ego/anger through domineering or arrogant behavior when you can’t.
Mars in Virgo
Your actions are fueled by a relentless desire for physical improvement and intellectual perfection. Driven by a passion to analyze and repair data, policies, procedures and us, your skills and abilities were earned by expertly performing the routine tasks that are desperately needed by others. You assert yourself by applying clinical solutions (yours) and finding foolish mistakes (ours) and express your ego/anger through faultfinding, fussy or neurotic behavior.
Mars in Libra
Your actions are fueled by a profound desire for cooperation and a strong preference for acting with someone else. Driven by a passion for law, diplomacy, arbitration and marriage, your skills and abilities were earned by creating beauty, attaining harmony and establishing justice. You assert yourself by keeping the peace and seeking approval. You express ego/anger through indecisive, quarrelsome or vain behavior when you don’t get them.
Mars in Scorpio
Your actions are fueled by an overwhelming sense of purpose. Driven by a passion to find and manipulate powerful resources, your skills and abilities were earned by demonstrating great emotional strength and resourcefulness during times of crisis or catastrophe. You assert yourself by being in control of everything and getting to the bottom of anything and express your ego/anger through uncompromising, secretive or nuclear behavior when you can’t.
Mars in Sagittarius
Your actions are fueled by a burning desire for intellectual growth or physical challenge. Driven by a passion for truth, knowledge, justice and adventure, your skills and abilities were earned through noble acts of generosity, idealistic crusades and your heroic defense of the underdog. You assert yourself by spreading your beliefs (and overbearing opinions) and express your ego/anger through preachy, pompous or self-indulgent behavior when no one listens.
Mars in Capricorn
Your actions are fueled by a deep desire for material success and worldly ambition. Driven by a passion for power, authority, respect and status, your skills and abilities were earned through acts of great self-discipline, professional integrity and public leadership. (Hence, the current lack of humility). You assert yourself through public achievement and parental recognition and express your ego/anger through domineering or rigid behavior when you don’t get it.
Mars in Aquarius
Your actions are fueled by a profound desire for social change, creative individuality and your own freedom. Driven by a passion to provoke innovation and progress, your skills and abilities were earned by upsetting the status quo and making ingenious contributions to mankind. You assert yourself by being different, embracing the future and acting weird. You express your ego/anger through rebellious and inflexible behavior just because you can.
Mars in Pisces
Your actions are fueled by a deep desire for psychological wholeness, emotional healing and nirvana. Driven by a passion to dissolve boundaries, soften the harshness of reality and heal suffering, your skills and abilities were earned through acts of great physical sacrifice or emotional service. You assert yourself through profound intuition and empathy and express your ego/anger through lazy, paranoid or deceptive behavior when no one notices.
Did you know that before you were born, your soul made a promise with the entire universe to aim higher and do better in this life? Sounds like a tall order! Not to worry, taking care of your contract with the universe is really about taking care of yourself and bringing some balance into your corner of the earth. Your astrological birth chart reveals your soul's contract with the universe. By connecting the cosmic dots, you can figure out where you came from and the destiny you chose for this life. Fulfilling your contract is just a matter of knowing where to look.
In this section, Marguerite Manning, author of Cosmic Karma, offers up
some of her thoughts and discoveries on this subject.