Mars: The God of March
Paroles Paroles by Zap Mama[audio:http://astrolosophy.net/universe/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/ParolesParoles.mp3|titles=Zap Mama Paroles Paroles]
Since this is not a leap year, the month of March has begun. March is named after the Roman god of war MARS. Mars is also the name of earth’s next door neighbor, the 4th planet from the sun. Spring in the northern hemisphere begins on the equinox on March 20th at 11:21 PM UTC at the Prime Meridian or 3:21 PM Pacific Standard Time (PST) for those of us in California.
The Equinox is the point on the calendar where we witness equal day and equal night from most places on earth (especially the locations that are closest to the equator). After the Vernal Equinox (spring in the north), days begin to become longer than night, and in the southern hemisphere, nights become longer than days. This is also the time that the sun moves from Pisces into Aries in “Western Tropical Astrology.”
Aries is ruled by and associated with the planet Mars because Aries is considered the cardinal-fire (initiator) force that ignites (or reignites) the zodiac cycle. In Rome, Mars was seen as a military god worshipped by the legions of its soldiers. Mars was the first day of the year in the ancient Roman 10-month Calendar. At that time, the month was called Martius and winter time had no months at all. There was usually a Mars celebration of military wisdom combined with agriculture the last week of March in the northern hemisphere.
Mars myths are considered reinterpretations of the myths of Ares from Greek Mythology. This also can be seen in the Egyptian god Amun, Amen or Amen-Ra. A major difference is that in Greece, Ares was considered a more negative archetype who did not have the same reverence as his counter-part Mars enjoyed in Rome. In English, Tuesday is associated with Aries, Scorpio and Týr, the “god of war” in Norse mythology. Today, it is easy for some to see the Mars connection in many of the romance languages from the origin Latin ‘dies Martis’ (day of Mars).
You can also see the Mars connection in the name of the month. French language calls it Mars in plain language.
- Spanish March = Marzo
- Italian March = Marcia
- French March = Mars
The planet Mars is a large red planet next to the earth that has an orbit of 686 earth days. So it takes almost 2 earth years for Mars to make one trip around the sun with its two irregular shaped moon children, Phobos and Deimos (sometimes spelled Phobus & Deimus). In mythology, the twins Phobos and Deimos are considered to be the “love” children of Mars and Venus. Mars always brang the twins Phobos (fear, dread and terror) and Deimos (panic fear, flight and battlefield rout) into battle to spread fear in his wake. Mars can be seen with the naked eye or by using Google Earth. You can see Google Mars online here
In Astrolosophy, Mars is considered to be the pioneering force behind starting projects, asserting our will and how we manage our conflicts. Mars is associated with the sign of Aries creating what we know as “the house of self” or ascendant. These extroverted characteristics are often associated with male personality traits. Thus the symbol that represents Mars is also a universally recognized symbol for the male in the same way the mirror of Venus is the universally recognized symbol for the female.
There are female gods in many cultures that represent an equal or GREATER strength and force of will associated with Mars. It is important to recognize that all archetypes associated with men could easily be assigned to women. Because we live in a male dominated society, written history often conveniently forgets that there is a female equivalent that could be used in place of the universally recognized male name. Perhaps we can consider March the month of Minerva or Eris since it is now seen as women’s month in the western world? Below are just a few names of female equivalents to Mars. It is also important to note that most cultures have a “goddess of love” that is also seen as a “goddess of war.” Ix’Chel in the Aztec/Mayan pantheon, Oya/Yemaja in the African diaspora, Venus/Aphrodite and Astarte in the Sumerian/Babylonian pantheon are great examples of this idea.
- Minerva (Rome),
- Athena (Greece),
- Kali (India),
- Sekhmet (Egypt, Kemet),
- Inanna (Sumer),
- Morrigan (Celtic),
- Agasaya (Semitic),
- The Valkyries (Norse),
- Oya (African)
- Ixchel (Mayan Goddess of love and War).
- The Orishas (African Angel/Goddesses)
Mars can also be seen as the “god of love,” agriculture and wisdom; traits often associated with the with femininity or the “green man” festival. Social media creates a greater access to peer-resources and learning over the internet. Currently, the concept of Mars being the sole god of March will, in effect, be marching towards a more diverse way of understanding concepts of masculinity in the western world. The protective aspects of Mars can be seen as the positive non-patriarchal aspects of the “sacred masculine” that are shifting to complement the re-emergence of the divine “sacred feminine.” I close this post with a picture of Kali the destroyer as a harbinger of change that archetypes such as Eris, Oya and Ix’Chel will bring in the “Age of Enlightenment” we have dubbed the “Age of Aquarius.” Let’s hope the energies associated with Kali can help deliver our changing world to a safer, just and more auspicious place as we refine our tools of change and transcendence.