Manning Up to Your Mars: Exploring How Your Aggressive Side Operates

Manning Up to Your Mars

Take a good look at your Mars.

Our interactions with others are as different as we are—different relationships, different styles. If you’re looking for insight as to why you respond to others in the ways that you do, there are several factors you can examine in your astrological chart. if you want to take a good look at how you act on your aggressive instincts, you need to look at your Mars. This personal planet is the trigger that sets off your reactions (heated or not) to people in oftentimes stressful situations.

Mars and Your Reactive Style

The fiery red planet in our charts makes its mark on us at the moment of our birth; Mars governs our reactions. Mars is connected to your drive (sex drive included!), how you respond to people and events, how you react when interrogated.

Your ability to speak up and out can have both positive and negative impacts on your relationships. Some of us are naturally aggressive, or more straight-forward. These are the people who put themselves out there and speak their minds. Others wish they were a little more outspoken, or that their voice would be heard a bit more.

When interrogated, some of us do quite a good job with witty comebacks and a calm demeanor. This type manages to stay calm, cool, and collected, even in the most heated conversation. On the other end of the spectrum, some peoples’ aggressions operate in a less satisfying—and more heated—way. If you fall into this category, you could benefit from exploring how your reactive side works, and how to tame your Mars.

Diving in, and seeing how Mars is operating in your chart, can be an insightful exercise. Perhaps you react too quickly, neglecting to think about things before taking action. Or maybe you do react, but just not quickly enough to get your desired results. Alternatively, you could be the type that sits quietly when interrogated, letting your anger stir and build dangerously inside.

By looking at the house your Mars is living in, as well as the combinations he makes to other planets, you can gain some key insight as to how that thing you do is operating. Mars’ energy can be amplified or restricted by the planets touching him through the various aspects. For example, Saturn can slow him down or challenge him, sometimes in particularly difficult ways. Uranus can make him act crazy in a sporadic way. Venus can sugar-coat his aggression. And Jupiter can make him want to accomplish BIG things.

You can also explore the sign your Mars is living in. Note that there are pros and cons to every placement.

Mars in Fire

Mars is a fiery planet after all, so Mars works well (for the most part) in Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius because these signs put themselves out there and have a lot of Mars-type verve and spunk. The element of fire is all about action. If Mars is living in it well, then he’s always going to have a quick reaction, if prompted. A fiery Mars can sometimes act a little too aggressively; this can be both a positive and a challenge. Perhaps you’re quick with a comeback, but it may come out a little too rough around the edges and irk the person with whom you’re interacting.

Mars in Water

Here, Mars can skew Water signs’ vivacious energy into a pool of emotions. Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces are known to get caught up in their feelings. Unfortunately, mixing our emotions with our aggressions can get dangerous. If you have Mars in one of the watery trio, or know somebody with him living in the water element … watch out! These types will nearly always get their emotions mixed up in how they react. An emotional reaction can sometimes be the most severe—and in the case of a Scorpio, Mars could likely feel the Scorpio’s sting in a painful way!

Mars in Earth

These determined individuals (Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn) rarely put up a fuss … unless you start messing with their methodical ways. If you disrupt their system, they might get stirred to the point of calling you out on it—even if it takes some time to draw them out. Don’t be fooled by their seeming passivity though, particularly in the case of Mars in Capricorn, which packs a powerful punch. Under no circumstance should you mess with their need to stay in control! The Earth signs’ determination will prompt them to get ahead, even if it may take them longer than other signs … yes Mars in Taurus, I’m talking to you!

Mars in Air

There can be a ton of verve and get-up and go if Mars is operating in this element. However, the action of this Mars type operates on a more intellectual level. The Air signs (Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius) can have an interesting effect on our aggressive side—thinking fighters who pause before reacting. This can be beneficial for the thinker; however, it can heat up the person at the other end of the conversation, who waits impatiently for a response.

Libra will likely weigh the pros and cons of everything and Gemini shoots a million different thoughts out at any given moment. An Aquarian Mars holds up a sign that says, “I fight for the people.” He’s the one that is always prompted to react for a worthwhile cause. His type of action is an independent one—perhaps even radical at times.

Manning Up To Your Mars

Wherever you find your Mars, it’s an interesting exercise to really take a look at your aggressive side. Examining a partners’ Mars can be revelatory as well; comparing your reactive sides can explain a lot about how you act—and react—within your relationship. The insight comes when we see our Mars and acknowledge the reasons behind the actions we take.

No matter what we do, our planet of aggression and action will always live in the same place. But how we choose to wield his power is up to us. Looking at where Mars is can help you get better in tune with your reactions—and help you make the most out of your relationships.

How does Mars impact your relationships? Let us know in comments below.

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Photo Credit: drbimages via iStockphoto

About Crystal B.

“Modern Astrological Insight With a Twist” is what Crystal B. is all about. She has been around Astrology all her life learning the trade from her father. Her goal is to give the public a fun & special twist on all the benefits of what Astrology can offer – from a predictive as well as counseling standpoint. You can read more about her and her offerings at or check out her blog at


  1. @Crystal B.
    Great article. How do you incorporate interpretation when Mars is also the ruler of your chart?
    I am a Scorpio with Aries Rising, Mars is in Virgo in the 5th house. My moon is square my mars (yikes!). Lol. However, my mars trines my venus and midheaven, also. Any insights? I am very open to learning better ways of effective, healthy, and creative expression.

  2. Mars in Taurus here. You are right about that determination factor…as well as sugar coating. I had to really sit back and contemplate a couple of responses to some things said in the past 24 hours by others…not here, but in my personal life. I do not like for things that are going well to be disturbed and will call someone on it in a heartbeat…albeit it might be surprising and shocking, but much needed. I’m aware that people may not realize how they are coming across and sometimes there’s nothing like a touch of, “here it is” pushed in their face to get them to see it. It’s not something I do often and not something that I would LIKE to do often, but when it happens…whether the person realizes it or not…at that point, it was much needed or necessary.

    Folks may not think that I contemplated my words, but yes…they are very strategic. lol Slow coming, but strategic none-the-less. Another thing is that once I decide on a certain action…I don’t delay it and I do tend to come through like a force all at once to get things done and then everyone can enjoy the quiet afterwards. When I “DO” something, there rarely is anything else for anyone else to do. I get it done and to it’s fullest. No loose ends. I always say…measure twice, cut once.

  3. @NovLady
    Glad you liked the article! Mars being your ruler makes him your most important planet and his operation in your chart is key. Getting to know him better will have many benefits! If you don’t mind send me your birth info so I can quickly look at your chart to Throwing your Moon into the mix brings your emotions into play – even though Mars is in an earth sign. I want to take a look at the full picture and then I’ll give you some insight via the board 😉 Thanks!

  4. MsTeeq1974 thanks for your great comments! I love how you describe your Mars in Taurus. The symbol for Taurus is the Bull and while he may start off slow he always packs a powerful punch and is a force to be reckoned with once he gains speed. Your Taurian Mars will certainly work strategically and you likely won’t waste resources. You will always find the perfect time to strike 😉 Here’s to the bull that lives within!

  5. lol…@ Crystal…you just pointed out one of my pet peeves and I have VERY few. lol ha ha ha ha Wasting resources is a “cardinal sin” of sorts in my book. Those resources can be people, places, things, ideas, etc etc. Methods even. I tend to frown upon people re-inventing the wheel when they don’t have to. Sometimes all you need is some air in the tire or some new rims and “viola!”…there you have a efficient process without starting from scratch. lol

    This is a really good article and I appreciate how you approached the subject. It’s a great read without being too wordy or beyond the understanding of most. Keep up the good work Hun.

  6. @ Novlady:
    Mars in a square with your Moon means you’re a girl who likes a challenge. When interrogated you may become a bit defensive. Your Mars in Virgo can also be a bit critical if irked in the wrong way. This can takes a bit of taming on your part to reign in – but totally doable! I know from experience as I’ve got my Mars in Cancer – which is likely the queen of defensiveness 😉 What complicates things for you a bit is that you’ve got Uranus in opposition to your Moon (which is connected to Mars) and this can sometimes wreak a bit of havoc on your feelings and consequently your aggressions since they are connected to each other. Your Moon in Gemini is going to add to this quite a bit since this is a sign that gives your emotions a dual nature. Depending on what stirs you – will depend on which side of that dual energy comes out. Venus helps to harmonize things – creating a bit of balance to smooth things a bit which is a saving grave. That Venus connection can also helps you relate to other people – which will be helpful in your relationships. At the very tail end of March, the lucky Jupiter will reign in and trine your Mars creating a nice opportunity – as well as energize you. Anytime your ruler is touched off it’s significant. You’ll also have a series of other fortunate things manifesting at that time as well. Keep an eye on it and watch to see how that Jupiter spark plays on your emotions. Good Luck!!

  7. Thanks so much Ms.Teeq1974! Your nice comments really mean a lot and are much appreciated 😉

  8. @Crystal B.

    I like how you interpret that I “like a challenge”. Its a better spin on the Moon Square Mars aspect than others that I have read. Lol. The critical nature of a Mars in Virgo has been something that I have become very aware of in recent times and this awareness has softened me a bit (though I am still learning).

    My moon aspects are very challenging and I appreciate your insights. Understanding that they are related to my mars is helpful in understanding how I express my anger, aggression, sexual expression, etc. My emotional nature can be very ‘dual’ as it feels like it is in flux and I feel like different women throughout a given day even.

    I’ve been encouraging myself in the past few years to allow myself to FEEL my emotions rather than rationalize, analyze them for ‘proper, fair expression’. I’ve been accepting that it is okay to make mistakes (even in expression) and to be a woman in emotional flux. I try to visualize two women (haha, my moon in gemini at work)…one woman feels what is happening, right or wrong- the other watches over in a nurturing way as a guardian. So, there is healthy detachment, but not at the expense of FEELING.

    Also, I have been learning to communicate to people about assumed ‘slights’ quicker and in the moment, so that they don’t build to brooding resentments that I challenge with a sharp critical sting. And, as any one with some Virgo or ‘defensive’ aspects in their chart may relate- the kinder and more compassionate you are to yourself, the more you can share that with others!

    That is a great astrological tip to know about the significance of your ruler being touched! So exciting! Many thanks for the extra forthcoming news!

  9. Ha! This is too funny as a friend and I were speaking about this the other day ago. I’ve noticed that usually I’m a calm person; I usually react with a facial expression. But when I see injustice, or some act I think is hypocritical, a lethal, condescending tongue comes out and it can be so nasty. Sag sun and rising with Scorpio in Mars and Mercury! I’ve had at least three people unrelated to each other say I’m a “violent communicator” when fired up lol

  10. Great article! Thank you Crystal B, unfortunately for my case, it’s a little complicated.

    I have Mars in Taurus. My Moon in Leo is squaring Mars, Pluto (Scorpio) and Jupiter (Taurus) Mars square Venus (Aquarius). And Moon opposition Venus. Oh and my Mars is in my 5th house. Moon is in my 8th.

    I think my Leo moon is aggressive by nature, but my Pisces sun and Taurus Mars are not so much. Full of conflict if I must say, and in my younger day, I react in a somewhat passive aggressive way. Now I am much more self aware and handle myself better. But one thing with Taurus mars is that, we may take forever, but once we are done “thinking”, our mind is made up and there’s no changing it.

  11. Thank you for your refreshing insights!
    My Mars is in Aquarius and indeed I only feel driven when i deem the cause to be worthwhile, usually it’s something that feels bigger than me, or something really creatively inspiring – that may have something to do with it being placed in the 5th house. It also loosely (7 degr) conjuncts my Moon which is actually in Capricorn. Does this mean that my anger comes hand in hand with my emotions? Or that an emotional cause is what prompts me to react? In relationships I have been told that I shut down when I feel hurt or wronged in some way.
    My Mars is also sextile Saturn which I hate because I always feel low on energy when performing duties and according to what you are saying here, this is the “slow down” effect. Ugh. Can’t I do something to anihilate it? It is pretty loose – 5 degrees, but it still makes me feel paralysed at times, when I should be reacting! or working my @ss off. This is one of my biggest issues.
    Oh and it also squares Pluto – is this why when I get angered I feel like i’m seeing black (not red) and it is VERY hard for me to control my physical reactions. I can always control what I am saying but not what I am doing.
    In my chart Mars also quintiles Venus, which I read about as being a “talent in love” but I don’t really get this – or being a minor aspect I should ignore it? I have been told I am an original lover, could it stem from this?
    Wow Crystal i set you up for quite an interrogation here! But it’s your own fault for tapping into something so meaningful to me 🙂

  12. Mars in Cap here…. you totally made me laugh with that “Don’t be fooled by their seeming passivity though, particularly in the case of Mars in Capricorn, which packs a powerful punch.”

    sooo true! I generally don’t bother with people unless they really push my buttons and then they don’t know what hit them. Also as a Virgo Rising…. people really don’t understand their boundaries when it comes to my things. So they really get it when they don’t respect my boundaries. But aside from that I’m sweet as pie, I promise! haha

  13. oh and for the record i’ve got Mars in Cap trine Venus in Taurus … wondering how this relates to this article. I guess I’ve never really looking into that combination as much aside from what might say.

  14. @ quiche – thanks for your comments! I would definitely never mess with a Mars in Scorpio and feel free to use that when you’re all fired up 😉 However – since your words can be used very powerfully – that may very well end up helping you in certain situations!

  15. @ mai – thanks for sharing your experience with your mars! it’s a good feeling to look back and see just how far we’ve come with our understanding of the way we operate. we’ve all got to come to terms with the way we are – regardless if we like it or not lol. just like you said … self awareness is definitely key and i’m glad you are in that place. i’m not sure what degree your Leo Moon is in but if today’s full moon comes close those emotions will definitely be sparked. thanks again mai!

  16. @ Loreley – thanks for your comments and i’m a girl who’s always up for a challenge – planetary style! so thanks for bringin’ it on 😉 tell me … who is the ruler of your chart or what is your rising sign? i want to know that before i answer fully. also … that Moon touching your Mars is going to make your Mars operate very much like a Mars in Cancer … that’s what will slow you down. the sextile to saturn will help you and keep you focused. it’s the more challenging aspects to saturn that would cause you a problem.

  17. @ Jo – glad I was able to give you a bit of a laugh 😉 i’m sure you are a sweetie but i hear you … people better not mess with you! you know with all of your earth element (taurus, virgo & capriconr) jupiter should be delivering some benefits over the course of the next several months as he rides through taurus. as far as your Mars/Venus trine – that’s a good thing! venus smooths things out and “fluffs” them a bit so i bet however you direct people using that mars energy it ends up coming across a little nicer than you think. i’m sure people know you mean business but you likely have a good way of communicating it. looking at your mercury (planet of communications) will give you more answers/insight on this. thanks again jo!

  18. @Crystal B. – wow, Mars in Cancer..-ish! o_O didn’t see that one coming.. I will have to research that.
    The ruler of my chart is Jupiter, which is in Pisces. And my rising sign is Virgo, Mercury being in Scorpio. I am really curious to see where you are going with this, btw.
    I think I have very little of Libra in me – just the Sun sign. Most of me is just waterrrr.. I so would have wished for a Mars in fire sign!
    There is one more thing – I feel very masculine although people tell me the opposite. Mainly physical reactions and interests in driving, flying, military, guns etc. Is that somehow also related to Mars ( it’s square Venus by sign – Sco, not aspect)? If not, I would guess it’s the square Sun-Moon in my chart. I am straight btw lol 🙂

  19. @ Loreley – ok do me a favor if you don’t mind and send me your birth info to we’ve got a lot of things going on here and i must admit i’m totally VISUAL when it comes to a chart. i’ll post back on the board some mars insight.
    also i want to share that your ruling planet is actually mercury. our ruler is the planet that reigns over our rising sign. so if you are a virgo rising then your ruler is mercury 😉 TTYS!

  20. @Loreley

    I have Moon in hard aspect to Mars, as well. Relating to mars in Cancer makes big sense.I appreciate how Crystal B. introduced this way of thinking because it can really help you get a handle on your mars form of expression. You are a Venus in Scorpio, Mars in Aquarius? I have been curious about that combination which seems very dynamic and intriguing!

    @Crystal B.
    So, if Moon in hard aspect to Mars is very similar to a Mars in Cancer then when you find yourself frustrated emotionally and expressing it in unhealthy ways- would it be helpful to try to incorporate qualities from the OPPOSITE sign? Being that Mars in Capricorn is exalted, would it be helpful to take cues from that combination? I have found that seeking the opposite sign has been helpful when examining stelliums and was wondering if that might be useful in this case, too.

  21. @NovLady – I don’t like the descripion to Mars in Cancer one bit, especially the part about being passive-aggressive, because I’ve always criticized my dad for this and to think I could “suffer” from it too.. Yikes! I’ll have to chew on that for a while. Your question about adopting qualities from the opposite sign.. oh man, can you *do* that? I’m curious to see what Crystal thinks. Oh and the Aqua-Scorp combo is really tiresome. And confusing, both to me and the people in my life. Dettached+obsessive, cool+hot, laid back+intense. Aaaargh.. see my point?

    @Crystal – Oops you are right. I confused the chart ruler with the dominating planet – I did my chart on this site and it said that the planet with the most influence for me is Jupiter. Unless this is total bull.. Anyhoo, I’m sending you the info now. It will probably say that I’m “manning up to my Mars” more than is necessary lol. Thanks for this 🙂

  22. @Loreley
    Yeah, I wasn’t too thrilled at having to relate to a Mars in Cancer either. Lol. But, its usually the traits that aggravate us in others that we own ourselves. Ugh. Lol! I also have a Moon Opposite Uranus so I definitely can relate to the hot/cold, polar opposite back and forths. Venus in Scorpio is so passionate and intense and a planet in Aquarius just slices through all of that with its logic and detachment. Since, I am comfortable with the knowledge that I have a great mind- I tend to lean more towards allowing the emotional side of myself to breathe life and take form. So, maybe its helpful to see what ‘extreme’ needs more loving and nurturing.

  23. @ Loreley – ok I’ve taken a quick look at your chart and have a bit of insight to share. first off – start loving yourself the way you are 😉 i have a mars in cancer myself and while i get really mad at it sometimes – i’ve learned to understand it better and help me not be so crabby …. meaning CRAB LIKE not moody ha ha! since you’re a little short on the fire element – you need a little help or boost in the confidence arena – and I’m here to help! i know you’ve got it in you to man up to that mars and put yourself on the radar in a positive way…particularly with that mars living in the 5th house. this placement can reveal that your eager to express yourself in a creative way and with your sun in the 2nd house this may help to drive you more as you probably do want to make your mark on the world in someway. you’ve got leader qualities in you – you just have to find them. now what i want to share is that your moon/mars conjunction could make you alter your ability a bit to be sensitive to others and when your guard is down you’ll see that come out more. that moon/mars complex is also mixed up with pluto and mercury as well since they are conjunct (touching each other). as i said earlier, mercury is the ruler of your chart and with him involved in this mix it intensifies how important that mars is. i bet you are a person who likes an intense conversation and are likely caught up in intense types of communications with others. notice how i’m using intense alot … blame that on the double whammy of mercury not only touching pluto but by living in scorpio as well. scorpio is the natural domain of pluto and with mercury in scorpio you’ve got a double dose! my advice to you is to be more confident and allow your mark to be made – however try not to let your emotions get the best of you & think about what you say before probing too deeply with someone in conversation. you’ve got a way of getting to the bottom of things … just try to do it with more finesse and you’ll be golden 😉

  24. @ Novlady – When the Moon conjuncts a planet – such as Mars – she will mask the energy of that planet’s operation more like her own. The Moon’s natural sign is Cancer – hence my interpretation for Mars taking on some of the Cancer traits. The two energies combine in a way. This would not work the same for the other hard aspects – that would be a different scenario.
    Opposites do attract and I like your thinking and can see a lot of merit to it! Good thinking 😉 There are many interpretations and there are no hard rules. What I do in my own work is I look at the negative traits associated with the combinations at hand and think about how to fix them. For instance a Crabby Mars (Mars in Cancer or caught up with the Moon) is going to operate very emotionally and defensively. While the crab retreats into his shell when threatened – he also can fiercely try to justify his ways. Think about your downfalls before you get heated and when you DO get heated up try to reign them. Practice makes perfect and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get it on the first try .. it’s a process. Really great insight Novlady!
    So, if Moon in hard aspect to Mars is very similar to a Mars in Cancer then when you find yourself frustrated emotionally and expressing it in unhealthy ways- would it be helpful to try to incorporate qualities from the OPPOSITE sign? Being that Mars in Capricorn is exalted, would it be helpful to take cues from that combination? I have found that seeking the opposite sign has been helpful when examining stelliering if that might be useful in this case, too.

  25. Sorry Novlady … I copied and pasted your question into the bottom of my reply so I can read it while writing you back …….. and then forgot to cut it out before posting! Please just disregard everything after great insight Novlady! Thanks 😉

  26. @Loreley
    I have Mars in the 5th house, too. I am learning it to be a very dynamic placement regarding creative expression!

    @Crystal B.
    Thanks for the pointers. One more quick question. You had once mentioned before to me that my chart ruler (mars) with the rising Aries at 29 degrees meant something big as far as my impact on the world. How does one determine that? A planet’s degrees indicates its impact, strengths? I find that fascinating.

  27. @Crystal, NovLady – Dear ladies, a BIG thank you to you both. I love gaining new perspectives. I shall now retreat to my newly discovered crab shell to do some much needed thinking.
    L x

  28. @ novlady
    Yes – the 29th degree is a very important one as it’s the last degree of a sign. When a planet is in the last degree it likes to make a mark before heading into the next sign … you can think of it like “going out with a bang!” You’ve likely got some karmic ties and things you have to accomplish here. I’ve actually got a new article coming out in the next month or so on Sasstrology about karmic indicators in your chart …. keep an eye out for it 😉

  29. @Crystal B.

    I will be sure to look out for that article! Exciting!

  30. @ Crystal B.
    Thanks, i’ll be sure to look into that Jupiter transit! I’m having a very good year so far (way more than I could say for the past 3 years so I’ll have to check my transits).

    I can see how my Taurus Venus can make my Cap Mars nicer … but I guess it can even out with my Aries Sun & Moon lol

    and my Mercury being in Pisces I’m pretty sure hinders my communication abilities. I’ve gotten a lot better but sometimes I still can’t say things exactly how I had them thought out in my head.

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