Mars image courtesy of ESA. CC 3.0

Mars is a planet that demands a lot of attention. In traditional astrology, it’s one of the two malefic planets. The term malefic is used to suggest that this planet can bring about undesirable experiences.

However, a lot depends on specifics.

For example, take the concept of sect. In natal astrology, sect takes into consideration whether a person was born by day or night. This matters because certain planets like being in a day chart, and others like being a night chart.

The time of day brings out their best or more challenging side, depending.

Mars likes being in a night chart much better than it likes being in a day chart.

So let’s say person A has a night chart and a sweet Mars, a Mars that’s both accidentally dignified — it’s direct in motion, not retrograde, and in a strong angular house. Let’s also say it is essentially dignified and it is placed in one of the signs it likes to be in.

When Mars in the sky comes around the natal chart wheel and makes an aspect to planets in person A’s chart, their experience of Mars is not always going to be difficult in a way that is out of their hands. They might enjoy the additional energy. They might find it stimulating. They might make headway on some projects, and get much more done than usual as they ride the Mars wave.

Sure it’s possible that they might be on the giving or receiving end of some sharp, pointy energy, but it is not likely to be anything that’s insurmountable.

Now, let’s take person B. Person B has a day chart. Their Mars isn’t in bad shape essentially, but it’s aspecting Saturn from one of the more challenging houses of the chart. Let’s also say that person B is having a period of their life where Mars is emphasized, because it is the Time Lord of the profected ascendant.

Stay with me through the astro jargon, here.

For that year, whenever Mars in the sky makes an aspect in the natal chart wheel, person B’s Mars experience is going to be qualitatively different than person A’s. It will involve situations that are challenging, and maybe their unfolding is out of the person’s hands. Person B might not necessarily be as in control of steering the constructive nature of the situation.

In both of these examples, a lot depends on the composition of the entire chart. The Mars experience in a day chart can be enhanced or mitigated. Person B could have Mars sandwiched, aspectually, between Venus and Jupiter, sweetening the whole deal and making their day Mars experiences easier.

Or, they could have a mutual reception with a planet in another part of the chart, providing access to a resource or opportunity to circumambulate around a situation.

So, for those of you at the intermediate-advanced levels, who are new to this concept and want to take it a step further, take a look at your chart and note if you have a day time chart or a night time chart.

Day charts are those with the Sun above the degree of the ascendant in houses 1 or 7-12, and night charts are those with the Sun below the degree of the descendant in houses 1-7.

Use planetwatcher.com to track Mars’ movements and compare them against your chart. For bonus points, keep an ongoing log of your experiences, and your friends’ experiences too.


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