The real meaning of Mars in so-called detriment is that it’s not actually a thing. The same goes for Mars in ‘fall.’ How many of you have, as avid potential astro-fiends or seekers of self-mastery, felt dejected upon finding out your Mars was apparently defective?
The concept comes from an ancient system known as planetary exaltation. Namely, that the Sun, Moon, and planets each had a sign of the Zodiac that they were exalted in. The opposite sign to that was the apparent ‘fall’ and if a planet was in the sign opposite that which it ruled, it was in detriment.
So, for example, Venus is supposedly exalted in Pisces and in its fall in Virgo. In the case of Mars, it’s exalted in Capricorn, in fall in Cancer. And, in Libra, it’s technically in detriment as Libra is across the galaxy from Aries, A.K.A. Mars Central. Some throw Mars in Taurus as well, it’s a Venusian sign and opposite Scorpio, the sign co-ruled by Mars.
Mars In Detriment? – No Way
By this logic, the people thus afflicted would be lazy, cowardly or malign. A super archaic way of talking about it was in terms of “thrones” and “prisons.”
But I don’t buy any of it. The origins of this system are dubious and besides, ‘ancient’ does not necessarily mean amazing and worthy of our adherence.
As Mars is such an oomphed up, immediate-results, what-the-fuq-just-happened (?) Yang vibe, it is always the most obvious when ‘bad.’ Medieval Mars descriptions read like a rap sheet: sedition, plunder, piracy, quarreling at pubs, stealing your neighbors’ oxen because you gambled yours away, blasphemy…Or, if you’re the slacker sort of bad-Mars character, you fall asleep under hay wagons and shun church.
Now, the exaltation system was bought to us by the same people who bought us “could cause homosexuality” as an example of a shitty astro-transit and declared the magical 12th house a lunatic asylum. It’s the language of Madonna versus Whore, ‘out of wedlock’, Fallen Angels, and exile for anyone outside of an incredibly narrow norm.
Medieval Mars Descriptions Read Like A Rap Sheet
Their version of a malfunctioning Mars was that a man could be ‘effeminate’ or a woman might seek to ‘wear the pants.’ Not wanting to fuq off to yet another Crusade would presumably also count as a dodgy Mars.
Mars is our assertive instincts, the aspect of the psyche that comes into play when trouble comes. It’s your fear-conquering arena strut. It’s also, of course, violent and turbulent when ill-expressed.
But the way you channel your Mars vibe is your choice; every Mars placement has strengths and weaknesses. It has nothing to do with exaltation or detriment. It’s irrational and it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.
Here are some people who have/had Mars in Cancer. You may not admire all of them but they’re certainly not lacking motivation: Noam Chomsky, Patsy Kline, James Hunt, William Wallace (the Scottish independence fighter, memorably portrayed by Mel Gibson in Braveheart), Benazir Bhutto, Hope Solo, Odette Churchill, Al Capone, Malcolm X.
And, team Mars in Libra: Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher, Genghis Kahn, Arianna Huffington, Abraham Lincoln, Frank Ocean, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jeffree Star, Colin Kaepernick, Malala Yousafzai, Gore Vidal, Julia Gillard, Winston Churchill, George Orwell, Sigmund Freud, Eminem, Kobe Bryant, Danica Patrick, Louis Armstrong.
It’s really just old-style sexism – that Mars in the Moon and Venus-ruled signs is mysteriously compromised.
Image: Thierry Mugler