Quite often in modern Paganism and magical lore the Red Power known as Mars is either designated in a pejorative manner or is at best seriously watered-down. Typical attributes assigned Mars by any astrologer and in most books on planetary magic include strife, anger, and all things mean and ugly on the down side. The sphere is a purveyor of disharmony, arguments, bad luck, accidents, destruction, and more. The planet is even called “the lesser misfortune” (Saturn is honored by the title of “greater misfortune”.).
The upside of Mars, if we are to believe contemporary lore masters, is a pretty narrow band. Action, courage, and the power of will are the major players.
It’s true, Mars is king of strife, and rage, mayhem, murder (Saturn rules death but Mars rules or co-rules death in battle or at the hands of an enemy, dealt by anger, etc.) and similar matters. He is also lord of strength, many kinds of power, valor, the warrior way, martial arts and weaponry, honesty – the “brutal” kind – digestion, some types of erosion and cataclysm, and more.
Some of the domains the Red Star governs are associated with construction and rebirth along with productivity. Furthermore, while we in the candy-ass contemporary era are quick to gasp and express (feign?) horror at the very idea of violence, our spiritual and magical predecessors took a more honest, holistic view of applied force, warfare, and so on.
I’m not an especially violent person, though I have participated, willingly or unwillingly, in a few interpersonal conflicts. It’s silly to me how people who live in a world formed by violent conquests and revolutions and whose lives are governed by the threat of violence at every turn are so quick to virtue signal their disdain for conflict and combat.
I hope humanity does evolve past our brutish nature. We just ain’t there yet, by a long shot. I’m a realist, and I get the irony of such a claim, given the fact that I’m a practicing magician.
“Violence is never a solution.” nis one of the biggest lies ever parroted by well-meaning parents and teachers. It gets results, obviously.
We don’t even need to glorify violence to give Mars the respect he is due. Here are a few cues to help you attune to the Master of Mayhem in a positive way:
- Have the courage to reject the “everything is light and love” delusional barf on sale at the local metaphysical shop.
- Take action and destroy the enemy of procrastination.
- Be bold and express yourself creatively .
- Do righteous battle against self-doubt
- Protect those who cannot defend themselves in a situation, be they weaker humans or critters domestic and wild alike.
Many Facets of Mars
I may expand upon this in a later post, but for now consider the various depictions of the Martial Lord from past cultures. The Greeks, no surprise, gave us Aries, an all-around disgrace to the title “God of War”, he was a coward with a childish temper. Ut is said he represents the worst aspects of war. The Roman Mars, whose name we still use today, was an awesome protector and valiant warrior. Astarte and Ishtar from Mesopotamia were goddesses of love and war, sex and combat. This alone gives much to contemplate and both opens the door to the grandeur of ancient philosophy and gives the philosopher of today a playground of paradox to reconcile – I HIGHLY RECOMMEND AN HOUR IN CONSIDERATION OF WHAT THIS GODDESS IS ALL ABOUT. Murugan of India, warrior of the heart, the bravest of the brave, taught the facing of oneself in the moment. Freya, Odin, Tiwaz, Hermod, and others of the Norse pantheon along with any pick from Japanese mythology provide vivid depictions of the ancient idea of warriorship. Choose any deity from the past and delve into his or her lore, and I think you will be surprised by the depth you find.
Give this some thought, you lovely savage, and hail the day of Mars!