The Natal Mars Reveals Go-To Tactics

Your natal Mars sign and aspects reveal your go-to tactics. Tactics for what? Whatever comes up. Threats, arousal, opportunity, challenge, hormonal hotness, turf skirmish, snark-attack, resentment, goal stalking… Any stimulus that revs your adrenals leads straight to the always-on-alert Mars.

It’s your rapid response squad, protective and effective at realizing ambitions but potentially defensive or reckless. You know your Mars right? It’s that radical ‘fuq-inertia‘ force that hauls you out of bad relationships or bed in the morning.

More scared of rust than ridicule, it signs you up for crazy challenges and is reliably upbeat about your potential. Sure, it’s also the hothead lunatic who thinks risk is a benefit, makes endorphin-based mating decisions, loses their temper, lashes out, and considers every cul de sac an ambush.

Your Natal Mars Sign Shows Your Assertion Style, Armor & Preferred Weaponry

The natal Mars sign is your assertion style, armor, and preferred weaponry.  The house that it’s in is your arena – the zone where you’re most proficient, as well as ridiculously reactive. Additionally, the aspects Mars makes to your Sun, Moon, and the other planets show your preferred strategies.

Some examples: The practically automatic Mars-Mercury tactic is communication. They go straight to words and intel. They’re the out-smarters and insider info traders.

Mars-Sun seeks to outshine the opponent, to be brazenly better. The (subconscious?) idea is that obstacles and enemies will be obscured in the billion-watt glare from the Mars-Sun person’s aura.

Mars-Jupiter people go straight for scale, to envelop or minimize the threat. They’re inflation strategists who favor variations of bigger, stronger, richer.

Mars-Saturn strategies veer toward pessimism but are, of course, eminently practical. They’re the cut-back, consolidate and ‘hide out until the terrain suits you‘ style of thinking.

Mars-Pluto Is A Mini-Series – Every Grudge Has An Origin Story…

Mars-Moon tactics are psychological, drawn from instinct and the Mars-Moon person’s assessment of what would be most alarming/appealing to the opponent.

The go-to for Mars-Uranus types is rapid reinvention, which sounds great but has haphazard results and looks deranged to outsiders. Mars-Neptune people are reliant on vision and imagination; drugs or cult-running if you’re cynical.

Mars-Pluto is a mini-series: every grudge has an origin story and irritants become character-transformation catalysts with their own spin-off shows. Life force is the strategy.

Mars-Venus people work their charm to such an extent that if it were a medieval sword, it would have its own name, legend, alchemy jewels, and secret shrine.

When Mars is conjunct something you don’t even know there is a choice not to adopt that tactic. Or perhaps you intellectually understand that it is a decision, but the other planetary energy is profoundly integrated with your Mars to the point that it feels like it’s just…you.

Mars trines are an easy reach and they’re something you’re good at but (helpfully) they lack the non-negotiable urgent-feeling intensity of a Mars conjunction.

Mars Trines Are An Easy Reach

An example: A person with a Mercury-Mars trine would be able to marshal sharp words and deploy them to devastating effect or speedily acquire the info they need. When those same two planets are conjunct, they’re all that and more.

The person with a natal Mercury-Mars conjunction is well aware of their ability to influence via oratory, yet they’re also more prone to unleash it at the drop of a hat. They’re a cancel culture unto themselves but their complaints and cancellations are undeniably eloquent.

If the aspect is a Mars square, the person wants to be able to deploy that style of response but it often flops or goes over the top. And with the opposition, they wield the weapon but are always convinced it’s an external threat. The Mars opposition person ‘others’ it, even as they expend ferocious energy on the things, people, and themes of the planet involved.

It becomes more layered when you have more than one Mars aspect. Someone who has – for example – a close Mars-Venus square and a less-exact Mars-Mercury trine could reach for the Venusian response every time, even when it’s clearly not effective but be less aware of their fabulous wordy acumen.

Squares get all the attention and trines are the genuine “it’s nothing; doesn’t everyone have that?” attribute.  Quincunxes that involve Mars are flukes or freaky outbursts of ‘unlike you’ passion.


Image: Shusei Nagaoka

63 thoughts on “The Natal Mars Reveals Go-To Tactics”

  1. My Mars is terribly afflicted. Conjunct Saturn/Uranus, squaring the Sun and Venus and my ascendant, opposing my midheaven. “Failure To Launch” is my full name.

    1. Sorry but I don’t view this as afflicted. It’s not just my aversion to the term ‘afflicted.’ To me, this config says ‘raised by or with people who taught/modeled oblique strategies’ and so there is guilt linked to assertion/confrontation. It feels off-program. But Mars-Saturn-Uranus is structure, genius, and potentially a brilliant blend of analytical nous + audacity.

      1. Brilliant answer & post, MM. One of the many reasons I love this site is the high vibe focus – everything is really on a non-binary spectrum, planetary aspects included, and this is one of the very few places you’ll find an intelligent, empowering (as opp. disempowering) take on that. Charlotte – hope you feel less like your Mars is under siege, and more like you have a cool personal painting of the Zodiac. My Mars is conjunct MC in early Pisces – am so here for what revamped Astral DNA will say about it!😃 (and Jupiter-Neptune conjunct next year!) Good luck xx

        1. *by the way Charlotte – have often felt failure to launch keenly, too – and that is WITH Mars cj MC, lol!! But I have had to rethink my metrics – it is frustrating to think that a calling (MC) might always – even necessarily – be invisible in ordinary world (Piscean leagues under seas). But for me it increasingly feels right as am introvert – but still have no definitive idea..❤

      2. Needed to read this today after a recent spectacularly haphazard, deranged to others, definitely had its unhinged flavours mars-sat-ura 12th house (square mutable nodes) episode.
        But the pivot was also a rooting and a stripping away of all the tendrils and tangents I’d collected over last year will-nilly (irresponsibly) (venus retro in 8th could have been spent waaaay more maturely and NOT online, oi vey.) tax seasons here and I’m a humble grateful pauper to have escaped the squares I’d been delulu calling stars. The debts may be more than I expected, but what I gained is clarity and agency like never before. And the space to nurture it while recovering from a cannon exit from the last 10 year cycle of my life. *Burrrrp*

  2. This is so good Mystic. The astrology stuff obviously is bang on but the writing itself “chef’s kiss”
    This post made me smile for lots of reasons

  3. Wish Upon a Star

    Off topic: I had a beautiful Leo Season dream last night.

    I was laying down incredibly relaxed and into my view came a beautiful black Jaguars face. I was scared for a microsecond but that turned to love as I could see a few grey hairs. I tickled him under the chin and he purred loudly. All he wanted was a pat.

    We should give all our inner Leo’s a pat.
    I have my Sun progressed in Leo and natal Jupiter in Leo conjunct Venus in Cancer 5th house.🐆🦁

    1. South American Shaman’s would have much to say about that dream Star.
      Music by Porangui would suit the background. Their album Ayauscha might appeal to you. x

      1. Wish Upon a Star

        Yes I did listen to a YouTube video and what resonates was snapped up by my synapses.
        But I will look into SA shamanism.
        I love music, Ayauscha it is.
        Thank you muchly Pegasus.

        1. Wish Upon a Star

          I just got a new bamboo quilt for spring today. I could only get it in queen size (normally I get king). So out comes out the only queen size quilt cover. It’s got a perfect picture of a 🦁 Lion’s face, close up on it. I bought it on sale last year when I was on chemo : to give me strength.

          Perfect timing after that dream.

  4. Gemini here with Cancer rising. Natal Mars in Taurus (11th) semi-square Uranus in Gemini (12th), square Saturn in Leo (1st), Pluto in in Leo (2nd), inconjunct Neptune in Libra (4th), opposite Chiron in Scorpio(4th) and conjunct Jupiter in Scorpio (5th). It’s been a hell of a challenge for me for quite a while but without the heads up that astrology brings to my life I’d be a wreck waiting to happen. At least I have an idea where I’m heading and can keep my eyes open for those roadblocks.

  5. I have Mars tightly conjunct both Saturn and Pluto, all three in Libra, trining my Aqua Sun and Gem rising. My personal energy levels are really deep and feel self-generating, like I have this fiery core inside me burning away. To say I’m driven to be a writer is, um, an understatement. Working on book #6 and trying to get back to working as a freelance writer. Last time I did it, I wrote 1 million words a year. Wordsy, airy Mars indeed.

    1. I am jealous, then inspired, then jealous…and leaving inspired. I have the same combo in Scorpio and struggling to convince the muse to glow through me again. 🙂

  6. Please; I need an addendum to Mars conjunct the points (particularly, in my case, Mars [Scorp] conjunct MC). More specifically, I’m Mars conjunct + Neptune conjunct + MC = zero degree. Oy vey.

    1. I am doing a radically revamped & extended version of the Astral DNA which will delineate them but “Occult Skies” seems like a great nickname for it!

  7. Mars in Gemini here – in crises I find that removing/silencing the idiots and coming to a consensus swiftly works best.

  8. “If the aspect is a Mars square, the person wants to be able to deploy that style of response but it often flops or goes over the top.” YES, I feel this with my horrible t-square–Mars square Venus, and Mars opposite Pluto. The new moon this week will form a grand cross with this whole mess. I feel like I am constantly denying my power, denying my obsessions, confused by Venusian energies and situations where you’re supposed to just be, rather than do/obsess. Ugh.

    Also have Mars trine Neptune, which now that I’m sober (16 months!!) has become a portal to a lot of beauty, getting close to God through embodied experiences etc. It’s my way out of the Mars/Pluto Mars/Venus stuff.

    1. I also have the Mars square Venus & opposite Pluto! My tactics rarely work to the effect I desire, and, more often than not, they just bring up some Shadow aspect of mine that needs healing. I feel like I wound myself in the process, if I’m not ready to face what comes up! In other scenarios, I find the opportunity to grow and see myself as fortunate, and it helps me navigate future interactions with awareness/response rather than knee-jerk reaction.

      The way you use that Neptunian influence sounds divine! My Mars is in the 12th, so disappearing into spirituality is a big tactic for me to deal with life.

      1. Well at least we’re not alone in this! I feel you on the healing–I have been in confront/heal mode for a couple years now, and as all these planets go through Leo and oppose my tsquare it’s been kicked into hyperdrive. I’ll let you know if I reach enlightenment after all this 😉

  9. Sun sq Mars here. Yup, it goes ballsup more often than not. 🤦🏿‍♀️
    Buuuut, I also have a loose Mars-Saturn and looser Mars-Pluto conjunctions in Scorpio. I can stealthily and slowly climb up the trellis of my ambitions, if I can just get out of my own damn way.

  10. Hi that’s funny. Moon mars here. Psychological fuqery moi?
    It’s not that I undermine it’s just that I’ll go straight for the jugular psychologically speaking. I’ll give an example. I went on a Ferrari owners day with a disappointing lover I once had. Anyhoo whilst on the day trip, which was huge fun, I had to swap seats with an 18 year old son of the Testarossa, Magnum styley. So I took up my place for the trip back down the country in his red vehicle. He had all the charisma of an empty crisp packet. He was short and full of himself. So much so that by the time we had got back within city limits he asked me if I would come with him to Portugal for a weekend to entertain him and his friends. I smiled oh so sweetly and said, “ oh that would be fun, how lovely. When is the weekend ??” I let him tell me and then I said “I will check my diary for that weekend but hope it’s free. Oh and just to let you know I charge for my time! “.
    He could not get me out of the car fast enough. I laughed my ass off. The guy was so sure that his invite was just the best thing and that I would leap to be with such a fabulous millionaire and his cronies. I knew simply by his mannerisms and his chat that the ideal way to burst his bubble was to be very business like and say I will charge you as I have no want to be with you. I never heard from him again. Hilarious.

    1. Bwahahahaha! What an entertaining story. 😃And I agree. The principle works in general. Bullies can’t stand being bullied. Twats don’t like being twatted back. Money wants everything for free. 🙂

      1. Or at a very reasonable rate. And because I was charging, that wasn’t reasonable. I have giggled for years about that one.

    2. Wish Upon a Star

      “All the charisma of an empty crisp packet”. Golden.
      If I was Maxwell Smart I would have pushed the eject button on his seat.

  11. The Lion & The Centaur

    Venus in Gemini square Mars in Virgo & that Virgo Mars square Ascendant in Sagittarius. In my mostly Fire & Air ruled chart poor Virgo Mars is the odd one out. I truly struggle to get my Mars on, but Uranus in Taurus and Saturn in Capricorn really backed my Mars. Now as the Cap energy is dissolving I’m once again figuring out how to integrate that Virgo energy to my Leo Sagg Gemini mix.

  12. Scorpio Mars in the 5th trining my ascendant and north node. Quincunx my chart ruler moon. Hmmm…. not quite sure what to make of it since there are no big ties to anything else though I know this is an undeniably big part of who I am. Something about learning how to channel all of this energy and lots of shadow work lol

  13. Mars in Libra in the 6th, with a close sextile to Venus in Sag and square Moon in Cap. I’ve never known what to make of my Mars, tbh!

    1. I have Mars in Libra, too, what I call the “Oscar Wilde” Mars, since it can’t abide any ugliness and will put energy into making it more aesthetically pleasing, haha 🙂 Sounds wacky, but if your work environment (6th house) is ugly, it’ll be too distracting. Replace the carpeting, and boom – your productivity skyrockets 😀

      1. Wish Upon a Star

        I have Mars in Libra 8th house trine Sun in 4th house Gemini.
        It squares Mercury in Cancer 4th house.
        And opposite Saturn in Aries 2nd house.
        It also quincunx Pluto in Virgo.
        Any insights would be appreciated.

      2. I love this, it’s so true for my work environment (which is now also my daily living environment). Thank you!

  14. This post could not have come at a better time for this Mars in Virgo fishie, this past week has been like some illegal energy drink. Honestly, where do I begin with my Mars? According to astro dot com it makes eight aspects. Second house, conjunct (loosely) Uranus/Pluto in the first, trine moon/Jupe/MC, opp Chiron, square my Gem NN, sextile my Neptune. Is that all of them? I’m still not that good at reading the tables. I need a Mars management plan.
    What have I learned in my life? That I can blast over the top without thinking things through, and the fallout is significant. Yet I often leave it too long to speak up about really important things, specifically self-worth/how I am treated. Career-wise, slow and steady wins the race.

    1. You need this book. ‘Transits – The time of your life’ by Betty Lundsted. Best advice for Mars management. Its thorough (it will be tough mentally taxing work) but you will come up with a Mars Calendar with best and best-avoided dates. Your Mars in Virgo will love it.

  15. My Mars is tiring… Gemini 8th house trine pluto and opposite my moon. It’s also conjunct my Lilith. I’m an army of one fighting a dozen battles simultaneously.

  16. ‘hide out until the terrain suits you

    As a Mars conjunct Saturn in Virgo 6th House, I can’t tell you how much this resonates.

  17. Mars conjunct jupiter, sextile moon and neptune, trine pluto and saturn, sun and moon in aries. Semisquare my ascendant,quintile chiron.


  18. Mars-Mercury straight to words & intel. Is a Virgoan Mars a Mercury Mars as Virgo ruled by Mercury? It is my combat method-immediate note taking, drafting letters, exploring their modus operandi to look for the ethical breaches, checking the legalities, THEN i start on the psychology. After edit edit edit until there are 10 lines then aim them between the eyes & take no prisoners

    1. Terrifying. 😃 I am shit scared of people who are good at reading the fine print and using it to their advantages. I am more seat of my pants person and get owned by Virgoish or more exact Merc-Mars-Saturn types every single time.

    2. I am the queen of reading fine print! I realised some years ago that if you read everything that is sent to you, you are about 95 per cent ahead of the pack. But people do not thank me for it.

      1. I feel soooooo much internal resistance while reading legal text, its insane. I would prefer getting dental procedures done than read them. But I must. So, its a learning path. Thank you, from rest of the most people. 🙂

    3. Yes, I have Mars conjunct Mercury, both in Virgo. I WILL find the truth in the google docs edit history (at work), I will make others clarify the words used in their arguments and circle back to the opening complaint if that has now sneakily changed (in relationships). I’m diligent AF when it comes to confrontation lol.

      1. Virgo Mars in 8th house, but Mercury in Sagg 11th. Will not argue, litigate or challenge unless i can win & to win the home work has to be done, every area micro-scoped same as you. If energy is going yo be used changing something it must have results to make it worth the expenditure.

  19. Sun-Mars conjuction sounds weird and like a very unhelpful tactic, even self-defeating. I have this but could not relate to the description. The house of Mars being “where you’re most reactive and proactive”… does that even apply to the 12th?.. No idea how exactly it’d manifest

    1. Well, generally and not applying to you specifically, I’d say Sun-Mars in the 12th would believe whole-heartedly that if they kept faith/did the right thing by their own lights that the scenario or threat would be minimized/neutralized – ‘out-shine’ doesn’t just mean rocking up in glitter regalia. And that people with this placement would be particularly defensive/reactive around religious coercion/guilt-tripping – attempts to commoditize the very soul, also bigotry manifesting as psych treatment.

  20. moon, mars venus conjunct in scorpio third house. I find that I think in images and space have a deep instinctual understanding of people in the movement. I am a body worker that teaches a lot of movement. I find the emotional energy of mindful movement meditative and when I am not moving I feel stuck emotionally and mentally

  21. I also think Mars in good aspect confers resilience and stamina to bounce back as well as ultimately a very positive outlook overall. And loyalty.

  22. Merc Mars* in Taurus 4th. Ummm a Bull that rules the roost. * and 5 other big players Sun NN, Ceres, Juno, Sappho. Aqua rising so I don’t care what they think. Trine Saturn Chiron and Uranus/Pluto Square Neptune, lots of pretty lines

  23. This is the right post for me. I have a Mars Jupiter conj in Leo and they are both conj my Sun Uranus conj in last degree of Cancer. I am super Martian when it comes to creativity and when I want something. It is so intense it doesn’t matter that my Pluto is not aspected. I take unnecessary risks (not so much now licking wounds) and blast my ideas out there as I am in a creative job. This seems to annoy people but I really can’t help it with a 5th house moon creativity is my mode in and out of everywhere. I now try and funnel the energy in the in between times so I can develop a larger commercial folio. I just can’t stop. To meet me though I am calm and gentle (Taurus Asc Virgo Moon) but there’s a kraken raging underneath.

  24. I have mars-saturn conjunct in cancer, 4th house, and I totally agree with your description: They’re the cut-back, consolidate and ‘hide out until the terrain suits you‘ style of thinking. When shit goes down, I retreat, pare back non-essentials, up my self care and hone my focus until the deadline/problem/snafus is sorted. This approach consistently causes problems with my partner who resents being one of the things that are pared back – however, I really don’t know how else to do it!

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