Frederick Woodruff’s career as a professional astrologer spans four decades. Artists, writers, and creatively motivated folks consult with him regularly to better comprehend the cycles that define their unique narratives.
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Mars and Getting to Where You Want to Go
Stop for a moment and consider how much of your life revolves around satisfying different desires. You’ll be amazed to note that almost every waking moment is invested in fulfilling one goal over another. Energetically, there is little difference between retrieving something from the refrigerator when you’re hungry and achieving a career objective that’s captivated your imagination. The only difference is the quantity of energy expended. Grabbing an apple requires far less concentrated force than landing a new job opportunity—but the dynamics are the same.
In astrology, different planets and lights correspond to different psychic functions within each of us. The Sun relates to your originality, purpose, and central concerns in life. The Moon to your emotional reactivity and feeling nature. Mercury is how your mind reads and interprets the world around you. And Venus indicates what you most value and are attracted to. And the planet Mars shows you how you go about getting what you want.
As autumn commences, it’s a good time to evaluate what we’ve achieved earlier in the year. And to lay out rudimentary plans for what we wish to achieve in the coming new year.
“The problem with holding too tight to the status quo is that we might miss the opportunity for change when it presents itself.”
The Martian Paradox
The tricky part when it comes to Mars is that taking action always involves disruption. We must upset an existing condition whenever we move from one desire to another. There’s no way to avoid disruption when Mars is activated.
Some Mars signs enjoy rearrangement and disturbing the moment. In contrast, other Mars signs are more inclined to try and maintain the status quo. Neither approach is better than the other. A conservative Mars achieves its aims by holding steady, although there always comes a moment when the past must be abandoned, regardless of how our desire nature is oriented.
The problem with holding too tight to the status quo is that we might miss the opportunity for change when it presents itself. Mars isn’t an intellectual force; it’s connected to our libido—our instinctive life force. Thinking too much can stall Mars and turn an inspired moment into a muddle.
For all of us, getting back into the flow requires taking chances— allowing Mars to do its thing.
And so it benefits each of us to comprehend how Mars in our chart is oriented. To focus on what comes easily to its natural expression and how we respond when thwarted by our fear of disruption and change. Keep these ideas in mind as I outline some central concepts and keywords associated with each position of Mars in the Zodiac. I’ll highlight what comes naturally to your placement and what complicates your efforts when Mars is thwarted.
If you don’t know the sign position of Mars in your chart, you can figure that out easily by casting your horoscope for free from this page on astro.com.
Mars through the Zodiac
What comes naturally: Affirmative impulsivity. A seasoned spirit of enterprise. A courageous, one-pointed movement towards a goal. A gift for starting the ‘new’ and rallying allies to one’s cause. The libido or life force is easily redirected and channeled into artistic pursuits. Fighting for the rights of the underdog and winning. The complicated side: A dependence on conflict for forward motion. Childish belligerence. Seeing everything as an either/or position. Impatience to the point of courting mishaps. Sexuality is seen as a mode of conquest and domination. Temper tantrums erupt when frustrated.
What comes naturally: An instinctive ability to stay the course no matter the distractions. A slow but steady accrual of energy that can be applied at the opportune moment. Being a champion and defender of beauty. Stamina that’s administered conservatively and wisely. A conscientious possessor and administrator of power. The complicated side: Sloth as an expression of pent-up aggression. Disregard for the intuitive wisdom that the body supplies at the start of any new undertaking. Staunch defiance that turns irrational—unreasonable. A tendency to set off earthquakes when desires are thwarted.
What comes naturally: An expert tactician. Mental skills are applied like a game of chess. A forceful need to communicate and stimulate others in the environment. A humorous rabble-rouser. A clever forger of connections that enlighten and inspire others. The complicated side: Thinks endlessly about outcomes rather than engaging in procuring them. Diversion to the point of mental exhaustion. Collapsing beneath a surfeit of half-baked ideas. Gossip as poison. Sarcasm applied as a type of poison.
What comes naturally: A heightened imagination that’s expressed tactfully and carefully with an awareness of its impact on the environment. A competent pursuit of goals that relies on vibes, premonition, and inner guidance from the unconscious. A keen ability to venture anywhere and quickly create a semblance of home or a ‘secure base.’ The complicated side: The fear of expressing aggression if it might upend one’s security. Too much dependence on the perfect mood or setting before taking action. Dependence on the support of others before initiating change.
What comes naturally: An optimistic and undaunted belief in one’s innate abilities and talents. Dramatic expressions of self that inspire others to support one’s efforts. A confident command of one’s creative capacities. Undaunted by pessimism or lack of faith. A heart the size of the Sun. The complicated side: A regal demand for recognition that can verge on tyranny. Arrogance related to comparative assessment of others. Theatrical displays related to hurt pride. An inability to apologize when required. Envy or jealousy goaded by comparative judgment.
What comes naturally: A keen and optimal expenditure of energy when carefully pursuing a goal. Focused attention to detail allows one an advantage by seeing what others ignore. Tactical gifts of strategy and pre-planning. Using carefully devised systems and techniques to achieve outcomes. ‘Tortoise and the hare’ wisdom. The complicated side: Overly dependent on strict routines. Micro-managing to the point of blocked or collapsed energy source. Criticism that becomes caustic rather than constructive. Psychosomatic symptoms morph into avoidance strategies.
What comes naturally: The rational ambassador. Asserts via the art of cooperation. An ability to argue while seeing both sides of an equation—and still emerge the victor. Initiative that illicit harmony and fairness. Seductive application of charm to gain desired results. Discreetly competitive but hides the contradiction beneath a placid demeanor. The complicated side: Shying away from making one’s case for fear of being considered boorish. Ardent affections one moment can turn chilly and impersonal the next. The search for a perfect balance (an impossibility) can leave havoc in its wake—relationships become mental battlegrounds.
What comes naturally: Headway gained by removing outmoded or superfluous impediments. A powerful alignment with the unseen or unconscious forces that underpin appearances. Purpose is experienced as a religious or spiritual calling. Intuition merged with desire is applied deliberately and often ruthlessly with outstanding results. The complicated side: Lack of self-control triggers depression. A tendency to escape into energy-depleting pastimes. Black moods disrupt whatever cooperation might be procured from the environment. Misapplied psychic sensitivity flips into paranoia. Obsession leads to psychic constipation.
What comes naturally: Boundless enthusiasm fueled by visions of inspiring others. An unsurpassed skill to assert oneself with a touch of magic and glamour. Honesty and forthrightness become touchstones to ensure personal freedom. Humor employed a teaching strategy. Motion and physicality are inseparable from the spiritual dimension of life. The complicated side: Tendency to proselytize. Name-dropping in the spirit of upward mobility. Delusions of grandeur that prove impossible to achieve. A trail of discarded dreams (as there is always another untried adventure in wait). A snobbish tendency to generalize and put down what appears basic or common.
What comes naturally: A keen ability to use resistance as a goad towards greater achievement. No becomes yes. Practicality as a centering strategy. Uncompromising dedication towards one’s purpose, although this sometimes appears later in life. Steady persistence that’s hardwired to nature’s mainframe. Tenacity as an art. Self-reliance becomes one’s crown jewel. The complicated side: A merciless approach towards one’s goals. Seeming progress that’s trapped in stasis and overthinking. Depression as a ruse for planning. Caution and circumspection devolve into stasis.
What comes naturally: The innovative eccentric. A scientific Mars—on steroids. A fine-tuned will that’s guided by principles and ethics that seem to come from another dimension. Attainment of goals via revolution. A powerful need to feel that one’s efforts are influencing and enriching the lives of others. The complicated side: The Ice Man Cometh. Uncompromising rationality applied to the point of appearing unfeeling. Scattershot efforts at originality that backfire into frivolity—wrong place at the wrong time. High-flown theories avoid realistic applications. Becoming trapped on the wrong side of the looking glass.
What comes naturally: Peculiar ability to reach goals by following paths (or diversions) that appear to be unfounded. Discursive planning that delivers results. The spiritual warrior—galvanized by injustices against the weak (children and animals). Ability to ride the seamless place between dreams and reality. Psychic sensitivity verges on omni-dimensionality. The complicated side: Diminished capacities related to moods and bad vibes. Waiting for ‘the perfect moment.’ Or staying too long at the fair. If everything is everything, nothing is anything. Energy is wasted through brooding, introspection, and catastrophic thinking.