Meditation on Mars
Time to work on the
Mars issues in your life
ranging from aggression and anger
to power and passion.
By Pythia Peay
At the dawn of astrology nearly 4000 years ago, the planets were worshiped as
deities. Each god or goddess represented a living image of reality. Venus was
beauty; Jupiter power; Saturn necessity -- and the reddish planet Mars was the
god of war, passion, and courage.
Though we may no longer regard the planets as gods, they still operate as
invisible energies in our outer and inner lives. Today, Mars can be seen in the
muscular prowess of the athlete; the hero emboldened with courage and
conviction; the ambitious, hard-driving CEO; or lovers stirred with passion for
one another. Mars, in other words, represents the life energy -- what some call
chi or eros - running through all our lives.
Astrology is the art of working with the lessons of time. And the two-month
period when Mars is moving retrograde -- as it is now from July 29th through
September 28 -- is a cosmically-appointed cycle to work on all Mars-related
issues. Are we blindly aggressive, for instance, flying into a rage at the
slightest provocation? Or, do we repress our anger, stifling our feelings of
conviction? Have we become overly fearful, lacking in that energy needed to
address the battles in our everyday lives? Have we lost the courage it takes to
manifest our dreams and ideals? Now is the time to reflect on these issues.
One way to reconnect with the Mars principle is to contemplate its expression as
a mythic archetype. The following visualizations can help awaken such Mars --
related qualities as physical strength, victory, courage, and passion for life.
By working with Mars in a conscious way, we can avoid the negative
manifestations of the god of passion as misdirected anger or depression.
Get Physical With Mars
Mars is a male god traditionally associated with masculine pursuits such as war
and conquest. The natural ruler of Aries in the Zodiac, Mars is the sign of
initiative, risk-taking, and adventure. A true pioneer, Mars takes us to the edges
of all that is known and secure. He endows physical strength, athletic ability,
and in-your-face boldness. His color is red; his element fire; his quality
courage; his animal the ram. He is fierce, warrior energy - something that we
must all call upon at one point or another in the course of our lives.
Mars is the god to call upon when your fear looms larger than your courage, and
threatens to render you paralyzed by shame and cowardice. At that moment, it
helps to simply picture the god himself. You may imagine Mars outfitted in a
royal red tunic, ornate breastplate strapped over his broad chest, leather
sandals, and a brass helmet. His sword glitters at his side, its handle
resplendant with jewels. His eyes flash fire and lightning; his body is all
sinew and muscle.
Because Mars represents raw power and crude energy, however, his is not an
energy to call upon while in a meeting, or even while meditating. Rather, Mars
is a visceral god who is best experienced when exercising: running, fast
walking, hiking, or in the midst of hard aerobic work-out. Then, the fear that
has gripped your body, the anxiety that permeates your being, is melted away in
the heat of Mars' burning energy. Those athletic highs are peak "Mars moments"
when a person is imbued with raw, forceful energy and warrior-like strength -
necessary qualities that support the flowering of courage in your life.
Another "courage ritual" is to dance or sing along to popular music. There is
nothing like the hard beat of rock and roll to stir one's spirit alive. So, if
you feel stuck or blocked, put on a favorite piece of music and dance your
Meditation on Nike Athena, Goddess of Victory
Victory is the crowning outcome of all our courageous efforts. Whether we have
used our courage to overcome personal limitations in order to become
accomplished in an art or skill, or whether we have called upon our courage to
survive difficult circumstances, victory is that one, triumphal moment when we
can celebrate the successful outcome of all our strivings.
Recognizing that courage was an energy that could be drawn forth from even the
most reluctant hero by the promise of victory, the Greeks created a special
goddess, Nike. The constant companion of Athena, Nike was at her side as she led
armies into battle. Beautifully imaged in the 5th century B.C. marble statue of
the Victory of Samothrace, Nike is a study in motion: though headless, enormous,
feathered, graceful wings extend behind her; the whole of her body is a fluid
stream of upward motion, as if she were running forward to leap into the sky.
One can only imagine her head tilted backward, face turned heavenward in the joy
that comes from the sweet taste of victory.
To meditate on Nike Athena, as she is sometimes called, imagine her at your side
when you are facing your most difficult moments: when you are most afraid,
dispirited, or lacking in courage. You may also want to summon her spirit when
you are wondering why you are even trying to accomplish the task set forth
before you - in other words, when life lacks meaning and all your efforts seem
futile. Then is the time to feel the subtle, upward rush of her wings, the
spirit of victory whirling around you, enlivening your energy and inspiring you
with the courage you need to keep on going. She is your constant companion; she
walks beside those whose fate in life is to be called upon to have great
courage. And with her blessing, you can achieve your aim. Indeed, those who are
the victors in life know that it is not the achievement of one's goal that is
sweetest in the end - but the glorious feeling of satisfaction when, in spite of
everything they have had to work to overcome, a person can say to themselves -
"I did it."
Draw Courage From the Stars
Courage not only comes from actions we take in spite of our fears, but arises
from a mysterious source that lies outside and beyond the narrow framework of
our ordinary lives. We can draw power from this wellspring by gazing at the
night sky, drawing energy from the illuminated face of the universe that gazes
back at us like the face of a majestic being.
If you are feeling afraid, go outside and sit beneath the stars. Contemplate the
distant reaches of outer space that surrounds our tiny sapphire globe of a
planet. Take strength from the energy that rains down like light from the stars.
Draw courage into your heart from the vast soul of the cosmos. Be emboldened by
the knowledge that life is much larger, grander, and more noble than you could
ever imagine. If heroes and heroines are bigger than life, it is because they
are aware of the grand scale of the drama of existence. Staring into the night
sky, receive into yourself the courage that comes from being in touch with the
wild, beautiful, miracle of life. See the story of your life writ large in the