Editor’s Note: Mars is about to move into Scorpio, this was originally written last time Mars went from Libra into Scorpio so the info is still legit but the dates quoted are from a few years ago. -Matt
Your Mars placement indicates how you pursue a lover and how you would take down an enemy, where you will save the day and how you would commit a crime. By sign and by house it tells us where, how, and with whom you will act with courage and conviction, energy and enthusiasm, impulsiveness and impetuousness, fearlessness and ferociousness. It’s both where and how you will go in like gangbusters and where you have the potential to act like a mere gangster. It tells us where and how you are susceptible to being a victim yet also capable of being a hero, where you are both predator and prey.
On July 25th of this year Mars will move from Libra (the Lover, the Diplomat) into Scorpio, the sign of the Shaman and the Spy, the Sorceress and the Spell-Caster, the Hitman and the Detective, the Investment Banker and the Contract Killer, the Criminal Deviant and the Depth Psychologist, the Covert-Op and the Deep Cover Cop, the Countess-in-Chief of Mind Bending and the Professor Emeritus of Freak Nasty. This is the sign associated with emotional depth and psychological darkness, sexual intrigue and shadowy underworlds, covert operations and subterranean dealings, ice cold degrees of resolve and atomic bomb levels of anger. Scorpio is ruled by Pluto, the planet of extremes. When Mars is in this sign the person is capable of explosions, both physical and emotional, that take on truly plutonic proportions. The explosion of Russia’s infamous “Tsar Bomb” on October 30th, 1961 – the world’s largest nuclear detonation ever – has Mars in Scorpio in the 10th House of the Public Stage in its event chart. (Chart)
Scorpio is considered the sign of nuclear energy so you’ll see a disproportionate number of people or events related to radioactivity – either actual or emotional – with Mars in this sign. Enrico Fermi (inventor of the atomic bomb) has a Mars/Venus/North Node conjunction in Scorpio in the 8th House of Death in his chart. (Chart) Marie Curie, who won a Nobel prize for pioneering the theory of radioactivity, has Mars in Scorpio right on her Ascendant (the Physical Body). (Chart) She would ultimately die from radiation poisoning because she got in the habit of carrying tubes of radioactive material (Mars in Scorpio) on her physical body (the Ascendant).
People with Mars (fighting) in Libra (fairness) will generally fight according to the “rules of war”, whether they’re engaged in literal warfare or in other arenas of life similar to warfare such as marriage. People with Mars (fighting) in Scorpio (extremes) will, according to astrologer Raven Kaldera, throw the rules of war straight out the door in favor of fighting like a “Berserker in full-on battle rage”:
When Mars in Scorpio decides on an enemy, nothing will do but that it must be entirely destroyed and obliterated. Scorpio loathes halfway measures, and he often lacks compassion and mercy. When Mars in Scorpio does actually get angry enough to lose his iron control, all hell breaks loose. He will do devastating things that horrified onlookers may characterize as complete overkill, and he may lose his sense of perspective – and even morality – when he is seized by this frenzied wrath. (Source)
Mel Gibson has Mars in Scorpio. (Chart) His much chronicled instances of “Berserker battle rage” are extreme but fundamentally accurate examples of the most destructive side of Mars in Scorpio. His capacity to authentically project as William Wallace, a Celtic warrior possessing extreme (Scorpio) levels of courage (Mars) in the 1995 film Braveheart is an example of the most heroic.
A good number of people with Mars in Scorpio will channel their Plutonic energies not into senseless killing or wrath filled rages but instead into speaking truths few others are emotionally courageous enough to voice. To illustrate: using its world premier date of 11/14/76 as its date of birth, the film Network has a Mars/Mercury conjunction in Scorpio. (Chart) Even if you haven’t seen Network you’ve probably at least heard Howard Beale’s famous “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!!!” speech. In Beale’s rant we glimpse the Mars in Scorpio “Berserker battle rage” but this time it’s being used for the purposes of cathartic truth speaking, not senseless destruction:
The association with “Berserker battle rage” is why you’ll find Mars in Scorpio in the charts of historical events that required or demonstrate “Berserker battle rage” run amok, whether in the service of good or evil. The event chart for the French Reign of Terror, which begun September 2nd, 1792 at 2:00 pm, has Mars in Scorpio. (Chart) So too does the chart for the fall of the Berlin Wall and the chart for the nation of Afghanistan, a nation often referred to as “the graveyard of empires”. (Chart) Martin Luther, the 16th century monk who did to the political power of the Church what Afghanistan does to the military power of empires, has Mars in Scorpio. (Chart)
As far as “reigns of terror” go, Mars in Scorpio is most likely to go into “Berserker battle rage” if they feel they have been lied to within intimate matters. According to astrologers Steven and Jodie Forest, this “stems from a reaction to a prior-life dynamic of sexual deceit, and a soul desire to re-establish trust on the basis of the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” (Source) Prosecutrix extraordinaire and modern day Robespierre Nancy Grace has Mars in Scorpio. (Chart) She is best known for pursuing “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” in matters of sexual ethics with every bit as much Berserker battle rage as William Wallace in Braveheart.
In matters of the heart, the Berserker like passion of Mars in Scorpio can totally overwhelm less hearty souls. Astrologers Wendell and Linda Berry refer to Mars in Scorpio as the “Powerhouse of Passion” for whom “the notion of using sex as a means to gain power over another person comes easily . . .” (Source) Scorpio is the sign associated with kundalini energy so when Mars is in this sign it’s “all Chakras a go go”. Actress Grace Jones has Mars in Scorpio. (Chart) Her “When we gonna fuck?!” scene across from Eddie Murpy in the 1992 film Boomerang is an excellent example of just how “a-go-go” Mars in Scorpio’s chakras can get when its “Berserker Battle Rage” is provoked (or rebuffed) by a potential sexual partner:
Of the 12 Mars placements, Scorpio is the one most most associated with nymphomania. Astrologer Stella Hyde tells us that Mars in Scorpio is the Mars placement “most likely to be the star recidivist at the Sex Addiction Clinic. You should be locked up as a sex pest.” (Source) The 1999 film Eyes Wide Shut starring Tom Cruise as a doctor who goes on a bizarre sexual rampage has Mars in Scorpio. (Chart) Similarly, the 2008 film Diary of a Nymphomaniac (released as Diary of a Sex Addict in the U.S.) has a wide but valid Mars/Venus conjunction in Scorpio in the chart of its world premier. (Chart)
In light of the main character’s chosen profession in Diary, it should be noted that Marie-Claude Peyronnet-Masson aka “Ulla” has a Sun/Mars conjunction in Scorpio. (Chart) If Ulla’s name doesn’t ring a bell she is the prostitute who in 1975 attempted to organize sex workers against police harassment in France. According to astrologers Frances Sakoian and Louis Acker, the 300 Spartan soldiers who held off the entire invading Persian army are an example of Mars in Scorpio in action. (Source) Ulla didn’t fend off an entire invading army but she did organize a strike of 300 of Parisian prostitutes who blocked roads and occupied churches throughout France until the government formally recognized their rights. (Source) She would later appear on the cover of her autobiography Ulla par Ulla (Ulla on Ulla):
Scorpio is the planet of extremes while Mars indicates a person’s sexual modus operandi. A person with Mars in Scorpio can thus swing from one extreme end of the sexual behavior bell curve (certified nymphomania) to the other end (total abstinence) and back. According to Astrotheme.com, for instance, the Virgin Mary herself has Mars in Scorpio. (Chart) I’m not sure how they figured out her date of birth but only a woman with Mars in Scorpio could manage to birth humanity’s (alleged) savior while not actually having sex. If nothing else her biography certainly fits the “extreme” tendencies of this Mars placement.
Men with their Mars in Scorpio can be every bit as extreme as the women. To illustrate: in 1999 HBO produced a documentary about men with particularly large penises entitled Private Dicks: Men Exposed. Using its premier date as its date of birth, the film has Mars in Scorpio just like the Diary of a Nymphomaniac film. (Chart) Author Henry Miller also has Mars in Scorpio.(Chart) With his Mars in the sign of sexual and emotional uber-potency, maybe we shouldn’t be at all surprised that Miller managed to carry on an affair with Playboy Playmate Brenda Venus (visible in the below video) until he passed away at age 90. (Source)
On the other end of the Mars in Scorpio sexual spectrum is Mohandas Ghandi who gave up sex all together at the age of 37. He also advised newly wed couples to abstain from sex for several years so they could work on their souls even as he slept besides naked teenage girls to for the purposes of “testing” his commitment to a spiritual life. (Source) Remember, Mars in Scorpio is associated with “extremes” on either *or both* ends of the sexual behavior bell curve.
When Mars is in Scorpio the native is likely to engage in forms creative self-expression that blow Victorian “norms” to smithereens with all the power of the “Tsar Bomb” mentioned previously. You’ll often find artists or writers with this placement often getting themselves into serious hot water with the ruling authority figures in their society or profession. A number of Henry Miller’s works, for instance, were classified as pornography until a 1964 U.S. Supreme Court overturned the obscenity laws used to ban his books. Robert Mapplethorpe, Richard Pryor, Martin Scorcese, Hunter S. Thompson, Paul Reubens (“Pee Wee Herman”), Howard Stern, and Larry Flynt each have Mars in Scorpio. Each is famous (infamous?) for getting into trouble for the taboo nature of their creations. Flynt, of course, was portrayed by Woody Harrelson in the 1997 film The People Versus Larry Flynt:
The source of Scorpio’s potency – both psychological and physical, professional and personal – comes from the fact it has three animal symbols, each of which is very well armed: the Scorpion who can sting opponents, the Snake whose poisonous bite can kill, and Eagle whose talons can pierce even the thickest of skins. It’s thus no surprise that some of the best armed people in history have had Mars in Scorpio natally. Bruce Lee, for instance, has a very tight Mars/Venus conjunction in early Scorpio. If Mel Gibson’s various instances of inappropriately channeled “Berserker battle rage” are examples of the worst case scenario for Mars in Scorpio then Bruce Lee’s responsible handling of these energies might be an example of the best. (Chart)
Lee’s demise at age 32 by way of an accidental gunshot is a high profile but fundamentally representative example of the type of life-and-death situations Mars in Scorpio tends to find itself in. Raven Kaldera tell us that this tendency stems from Mars in Scorpio’s association with the myth of Cuchulain, the greatest of all Celtic war gods who is destined to learn respect for death herself by any means necessary. Kaldera writes in his book Myth Astrology:
Cuchulain dies because he has failed to fully acknowledge that he has no power over death and that he must give some gratitude to the Powers that sustain him. Mars in Scorpio fails to properly appreciate Lady Death and her place in the world; after all that time spent ending other people’s lives, when Death comes along and offers deeper knowledge of what he has been handing out blindly, he rejects here. This is crucial for a Scorpio Mars, who is fascinated with death. However, he needs to learn death’s place in the cycle of life on a deep spiritual level in order to properly respect it. If he has no respect for death, then she will come, in one form or another, to teach it to him directly. (Source)
Mars in Scorpio’s fascination with death will often push it to the edge of self-destruction and sometimes over it. Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, and Joaquin Phoenix, for instance, each have Mars in Scorpio. So too does Charlie Sheen, whose epic meltdowns have shown the world just how self-destructive Mars in Scorpio can be when it gets aspected by Neptune, a planet known for infusing delusions of grandeur, repeated bouts with drug addiction, and a very nebulous cloud of dark glamor to whatever it touches.
Mars in Scorpio: Terror and Eros, Psychological Warfare and Psychological Regeneration
Mars in Scorpio: Terror and Eros, Psychological Warfare and Psychological Regeneration
The connection to sex and death – the two most terrifying forces in nature – is also what makes Mars in Scorpio so effective at psychological warfare. Actor Leonardo Dicaprio has Mars in Scorpio. (Chart) His portrayal of a dream infiltrating corporate hitman in the 2010 film Inception has Mars in Scorpio written all over it:
Ecologically, Scorpio is associated with the composting process that begins in mid-fall when dead plant matter is recycled into new life. On the instinctive level, this is where Scorpio gets its psychological prowess from. Similar to the composting process, a good psychologist (or shaman) can assist a patient in turning the emotionally dead places within their psyche into sources of new life. Something similar can be said for a good sex partner, which is why Scorpio’s public reputation is so intertwined with the generation of powerfully emotional sexual experiences.
Actress Jane Badler, best known for portraying Diana, the man-eating, mind-bending, mega-maniacal chief science officer in the original 1983 series has a Mars/Saturn/Moon conjunction in Scorpio. (Chart) The reason “The Scene” from the original V series was so memorable is because Badler’s character managed to simultaneously combine the death instinct (eating the hamster) with the sex instinct (her orgasmic like reaction).
Pair the two most powerful of primal instincts together in the same scene and you get the psychological equivalent of a heat-seeking missile straight into the most atavistic recesses of viewers’ psyches. Thirty million people tuned in to watch the original V series with probably 10 million being terrified by “The Scene”, 10 million being turned on, and another 10 million having their psycho-sexual circuits totally criss-crossed and crispy-fried. With the planet of psychological heat in the sign of sex and death, it’s the type of audience reaction a Mars in Scorpio actress will relish for a lifetime, as is clear from this 2012 interview with Mrs. Badler (fast forward to 2:35):
Even those Mars in Scorpio natives who are long past their sexy super-villianess years can still be quite effective at subtle yet powerful forms of psychological warfare. Former “Golden Girl” Betty White has Mars in Scorpio. (Chart) In the lead-up to the 2008 election she went on the Craig Ferguson show where she called Sarah Palin “a crazy bitch” who kills the carrier pigeons that John McCain uses to communicate in place of computers. White knew full well she could speak the truth about McCain’s mental feebleness and Palin’s unhinged insanity while an actress in her prime years would have been eviscerated by the Republican powers-that-be. That White is seen as a harmless if ribald old lady made her statements that much more powerful. With her Mars in the sign of psychological warfare I assure you she knew *exactly* what she was doing:
Some people with Mars in Scorpio will use their prowess at psychological warfare to inflict cruelty. They have a will knack for spotting a person’s vulnerabilities and then using those against them. I think the technical classification of this archetype is “Dr. Mindfuck”. This is the person who will mention how wonderfully loving their college boyfriend treated them, knowing that this will both trigger and intensify your memories of just how horribly abusive your college boyfriend was. Obviously the same knack for honing in on people’s pain can just as easily be put to use diffusing those memories should the person be coming from a more integrated perspective. As Liz Green explains in her book Astrology for Lovers, “People with Scorpio [emphasized in their chart] may be found in the helping professions, both medicine and psychology, because they are so keyed in to people’s pain and the struggle of those trapped in their own darkness.” (Source) Nowhere is this more true than when it is Mars, the planet of one’s inner hero and the inner victim, that is placed in Scorpio.
Mars in Scorpio: Psychic-Spying and Psycho-Drama
Each of the three water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces) is endowed with intuitive abilities. Only Scorpio, however, has the ability to weaponize these intuitive abilities. This is why you’ll find a number of individuals involved in psychic warfare with Mars in Scorpio. Ingo Swann, the man who pioneered the CIA’s highly classified program of psychic spying known as “remote viewing”, has Mars in Scorpio. (Chart) So too does Carlos Castoneda, the iconic if extremely controversial author of a number of books on Mesoamerican sorcery. (Chart)
In addition to excelling at warfare both psychological and psychic, Mars in Scorpio natives also excel at generating psychodrama, in both their personal and professional lives. Novelist Robert Louis Stevenson, best known as the author of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Body Snatcher, is one of the all time masters at generating psychodrama by way of his literary pursuits. His Mars is in Scorpio. (Chart)
Their adeptness with sex, death, and psycho-drama is why people with Mars in Scorpio often find their way into the counseling professions, including astrology. Astrologers Robert Hand and Stephen Arroyo, both of whom are world renown for the depth of their psychological insights, have Mars in Scorpio. There are two astrologers I go to when I’m in need counsel and both happen to have Mars in Scorpio. It actually makes a lot of sense a disproportionate number of astrologers would have this Mars placement. Steven and Jodi Forrest tell us that Mars in Scorpio confers “broadband access to the human shadow” and there are few if any systems better than astrology at interpreting what comes across that broadband connection. (Source)
Mars moves into Scorpio Thursday August 23rd for a six week stay followed by the North Node (point of destiny) moving into Scorpio on August 28th for an 18 month stay. This means that from August 28th to October 6th we’ll have both Mars and the North Node in the sign of Plutonic eruptions. Mars (courage/confrontation) and the North Node (destiny) in Scorpio (emotional extremes) is an incredibly potent combination that will likely unearth all sorts of suppressed emotions, scandals, and crisis.
Mars in Scorpio: “Never let your target escape, even when your target is yourself”
Mars in Scorpio: “Never let your target escape, even when your target is yourself”
If you’d like some imagery for what Mars/North Node in Scorpio feels like just take a look at the trailer for the upcoming film Looper. It will be in theaters September 28th but is scheduled to premier at the Toronto film festival on September 6th just a few days after Mars and the North Node both plunge into Scorpio. (Chart) Starring Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon Levitt as time traveling hitmen out to eliminate future/past versions of themselves, the film’s trailer has Mars/North Node in Scorpio written all over it:
Those of you tuned into your inner Scorpionic spidey sense probably caught the narrator’s line, “The only rule is never let your target escape, even when your target is yourself.” That line very much describes the modus operandi of a Mars/North Node conjunction in the zodiac’s most intensely introspective sign. Just keep in mind that for most people reading this the incredibly intense battles in the film stand as metaphors for incredibly intense battles on the emotional, financial, or sexual fronts.
The exact nature of these battles – “struggles” or “crisis” if you prefer something less overtly militaristic sounding – will depend on the house Mars in Scorpio will be transiting in as well as what planets in your chart it will be aspecting. Your battles obviously won’t involve literal time travel. Scorpio, however, is compelled to unearth matters long buried so they may pertain to issues from your past not totally unlike those depicted in the trailer seen above. You won’t be “sweeping the streets” of a dystopic underworld the way Gordon Levitt’s character in Looper is ordered to do but you might want to consider sweeping the streets of the underworld(s) within your own psyche. It’s what Mars in Scorpio does best.
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