Ares Mars mythology god Sun photo

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Ares/Mars in Mythology


Ares-Mars large ancient glyph is upside-down Venus


Ares-Mars page 112 by Johfra Bosschart

Aries-Mars by Johfra Bosschart, page 138

In this discussion we must distinguish the zodiacal sign Aries from the god Ares, later called Mars and ruler of the sign Aries. Ares, the unpopular Greek god of war and murder, became associated in Rome with Mars, an old and revered Italian fertility god and the Roman god of war.  The son of Zeus and Hera, Ares not only embodied the act of war but its spirit as well.  He carried on a long relationship with Aphrodite (Venus), who was already married to Hephaistos (Vulcan). Ares and Aphrodite (Mars and Venus) had three children: Harmonia, Deimos (Fear) and Phobos (Panic). The latter two were always associated with strife and battle, and the planet Mars' two moons are named after them.

Disliked by most of the Olympians, Ares was wounded by Pallas Athene in the Trojan War.  After being helped back to Olympus by Helen, his own father Zeus, commented, "To me you are most hateful of all gods who hold Olympus," (The Iliad 5.889). Mars' characteristic qualities of action, egocentricity, individuality, aggressiveness, strife, assertiveness, pugnacity, courage, leadership, sexual drive, survival, passion, force, competition, stamina, independence, conflict and vigor are well depicted in Johfra Bosschart's amazing picture of Aries (page 94 in "You and the Universe") above.

Mars and Venus certainly embody opposite qualities, although they are united in their sensuality and passion.  Notice that the two signs ruled by Mars (Aries and Scorpio) are opposite those ruled by Venus (Libra and Taurus). Any aspect between Venus and Mars in your chart indicates how you relate to the opposite sex, as well as your instinctual sense of when to be active or aggressive, passive or receptive.

Mars’ original and ancient symbol—not the one for the male gender used today—is an upside-down Venus, the cross above the circle.  Shown here above this text, it signifies the subjugation of the spirit (the circle) by matter (the cross), or the primacy of the desires of the flesh over higher aspirations. In Mars the need to be an individual is more important than the need to relate or to be part of mankind.  Notice how Mars is and upside-down Venus, and vice-versa.  In Venus, the need to relate and to be in harmony is ascendant over matter and the flesh.  How well this speaks to a fundamental difference between the genders, or more precisely, to a fundamental difference between testosterone and estrogen.

This Ares-Mars-mythology-gods page and much of this 550-page website are excerpted from the personalized, fine art astrology book You and the Universe.

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© Carl Woebcke: Ares-Mars, God of War, 1991-2014. All rights reserved.