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Zane Maser

To capture the power of Mars, Shakespeare would have written, 'to do, or not to do: that is the question.' And the military's motto for Mars is 'ours is not to question why, ours is but to do or die.'

Of all the planets, Mars is the one principally associated with raw energy and outward assertion. Pure energy is perfectly clear and neutral. It is neither good nor bad, until it is actively used to create or destroy. Think of having an energy savings account for the course of your lifetime. Some constructive, focused uses of energy, like a disciplined, exercise routine, accrue interest and deepen the available reservoir of energies. Such outlets might be called blessed endeavors, when we sensibly care for our precious energy budget.

On the other hand, during unwise moments of haste, we may fall prey to uncontrollable flare-ups of anger, sarcasm, or defiance. These temporary lapses are the beastly, but regrettable, human moments we all experience. White Eagle cautions us:  'learn to conserve energy and to direct it in the wisest way to the greatest purpose, which is sharing in the service of God.'

On the virtuous side, the true purpose of Mars is to enable us to create a strong, dynamic sense of self. In his essence, Mars is the divine fire of the self. Much like the Sun, he is the passion and enthusiasm that fuels our desire and courage to become a distinct individual, who not only survives but also thrives. Mars signifies our capacity to set healthy, personal boundaries, wherein we are able to stand firm and say, 'this is who I am.'

From Mars' viewpoint, his jurisdiction encompasses all issues related to selfhood, from the extreme of selfish desire, to self-assertion, self-confidence, and self-reliance, all the way to selflessness and self-actualization. Shakespeare's other famous saying from Hamlet is a noble personification for Mars:  'This above all:  to thine own self to true.'

Not surprisingly, Mars has a well-justified reputation as the classic 'bad guy' of the planetary lineup. The masculine, driving energy of Mars is not always easy to handle, and he was traditionally known as a 'malefic' agent, an unfortunate 'author of quarrels, strifes, contentions.' As ungoverned excess, the heat and impulse of Mars can inflict ruthless havoc, leveling all those within his range, because the underlying aim of Mars is the essential urge to initiate, assert power, fight, win, and dominate. His archenemy is inertia and indirectness. His greatest asset is the purposeful use of our sacred life force—modulated adrenaline—so we can succeed in manifesting our dreams.

Known as the god of war, Mars has the capacity to overcome obstacles in ways that are aggressive, athletic, competitive, militant, and wrathful. But when suppressed or given no constructive outlet for the natural flow of our energies, the shadow expression of Mars unconsciously emerges. The current triggering event or person is not the cause of the amplified outburst but rather its inappropriate target. While the initial source of the eruption lies in the past, the explosion is ignited by one's sense of losing control of a circumstance. Sadly, in the last year of his life, when he was dying of lung cancer, my dad vented years of accumulated resentments and piercing anger that he had stuffed. With such a reduced reserve of strength, he could not keep his long-submerged feelings in check and also fight the life-draining cancer.

Putting a lid on unrecognized or frustrated instincts can be severely damaging. Being incessantly 'nice' and agreeable can just as quickly flip into its opposite and be expressed as episodes ranging from physical maladies, to obnoxious behavior, to volatile rage. Blocked energy manifests itself through muscular tension and headaches, as well as accidents and feverish illnesses. The person who becomes an abusive spouse, gang member, or terrorist is perhaps the extreme example of a frustrated person. Respecting our humanness and potential for these undesirable blow-ups releases dangerous pressure, while allowing us to control how we express our Martian force.

When properly integrated, Mars provides the strength for us to battle the lower, earthly side of our nature. Full of lofty ideals and loving a mission, Mars helps us engage our valorous, warrior side so that we may create the kind of self and life nearest our heart's desires. Courage, a fitting synonym for Mars, comes from the French word for 'heart' or 'spirit.' Ultimately, it is our own choice whether we express the power of Mars in beastly or blessed ways, which either honor or discredit our divinity (the Sun). Mars cannot follow two masters at once. He will simply follow the master of our allegiance. And when we are on the right path for us, we experience a surge of cosmic joy and well-being on all levels. Simon Bentley wrote that Mars is really 'the light that draws the soul along its path.'

It is the radiance from the inner Sun—source of our Spirit and vitality—that is the basis for the creative energy of Mars. In turn, Mars can be thought of as the physical offspring of the Divine parent, the one who can contain and positively manifest the Divine Will on earth. His highest quest, therefore, is to serve the Christ nature dwelling deep in our hearts.

In the New Kingdom of Egypt, the strength of Ra was expressed through the god Anhur, considered to be the god of war by the Pharaohs, and the Savior or Good Warrior by the common people, hence they invoked his strength to defend them against danger. Symbolically, the heroic task of Mars is to disperse the inner dragons of fear that retard our forward progress. Through discipline and eventual self-mastery, the purified nature of Mars is transmuted into healing power, into service of the Divine Self, and the triumph over our lovable, but entirely human selves. In this way, we experience the perfect wholeness of life in every breath.

Make Mars your trusted ally. Be fearless. Start a new venture. Push your muscles a little further in your physical endeavors. Feel the passion of creativity. Be true to yourself, because, in the end, a goodly part of your service lies simply in who and what you are inside. Let your entire being pulsate with the divine fire!

© Zane Maser 2007.
This article was published in Drumbeat, Journal of the White Eagle Lodge (Canada), Volume 15, Issue 1, pages 7-8 (2007).


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