Liz Greene – Mars Webinars

This series of three in-depth webinars on the planetary symbol of Mars were given by world renowned astrologer Liz Greene for MISPA and the CPA in 2024. Duration: 7 hours 11 minutes

Mars – The Astrology and Psychology of ‘The Red One’

Mars, known as the ‘lesser malefic’, has always had a bad press. Astrological texts throughout history have associated the ‘red planet’ with rage, violence, war, brutality, aggression, and sudden acute and violent illnesses, accidents, and deaths. Yet Mars is also associated with valour, virtue, courage, heroism, and nobility, and was known as the Protector as well as the Avenger. In Western countries we are living in a climate where most Martial attributes – whether negative or positive – are no longer deemed of value. Anger is permissible as long as it is ‘justifiable’ anger on behalf of the ’right’ cause, when the rage, brutality, and dominance of Mars can be projected on a suitable external culprit; and acts of personal valour, courage, heroism, and justifiable self-defence are admirable in the superheroes of the Marvel Comic Universe but have no place in a civilised and ‘enlightened’ society in which all decisions should ideally be made by consensus.

In today’s unstable world, Mars is understandably viewed with suspicion. Yet Jung referred to the war-god as a symbol of the ‘principle of individuation’ in its most instinctive and primal form. We yearn for a champion who can rescue us and fight on our behalf because we have forgotten how to fight for our own individual integrity, our own individual values, and our right to individual self-determination. The war-god is a fundamental dimension of every mythological pantheon, and the planet is present in every birth chart. It may be wiser to try to understand this archetypal figure and work with it creatively, rather than ‘cure’ it, suppress it, or force it into the service of questionable agendas. Mars does not favour any political party, but he can be appropriated by any of them. We may fail to understand what happens, on both individual and collective levels, when we devalue, abuse, or attempt to appropriate an archetype. Perhaps astrologers need to ask the same question of Mars that Parzival was once required to ask of the Holy Grail: what and whom does it serve?

Part One: Desire

In the first seminar we explore the mythology of the Greek god Aries, the Roman god Mars, and the war-gods of other cultures, as well as Mars as he appears in the Kabbalah, the symbolism of alchemy, and the Major Arcana of the Tarot. We then focus on what these images and stories might suggest about psychological patterns on both individual and collective levels, and what they can tell us about ourselves. This includes themes such as the relationship between anger and depression, between impotence and brutality, and between self-assertion and individuation. We also consider Wrath, the Third Deadly Sin, and what happens when the war-god confronts the doctrines of dogmatic religions. The focus in this seminar is on Mars in the natal chart, by sign, house, and aspect, and as the ruler of both Aries and Scorpio.

Part Two. ‘Once more unto the breach’

The second seminar examines the cycle of transiting Mars and its progressed aspects to the natal chart, as well as its retrograde cycle. Bearing in mind the fact that the mythic war-god had no wife but many lovers, we will also explore Mars aspects in synastry and in the composite chart, including the close relationship between anger and desire, pleasure and pain, dominance and submission, passion and violence, competitiveness and rivalry, winning and losing the desired object, and the motif of conquest as it plays out in human relationships.

Part Three. ‘A terrible love of war’

The third seminar explores Mars in the context of collective eruptions such as civil unrest, riots, and the outbreak of wars, crusades, and invasions. Mars as an archetypal pattern in the collective psyche may be expressed in many ways, from innovation and creative enterprise to the desire for conquest and the suppression of any ways of life that appear inimical or heretical. Mars can serve as a protector and defender, but he can also be savage, brutal, and sadistic. We also examine Mars in national charts, and the transits of Mars as ‘triggers’ for the manifestation of the transits of slower-moving planets through collective events.