Mars in the Houses

Mars is planetary ruler of Aries and, therefore, the natural ruler of the first house. It is also the co-ruler of Scorpio and the eighth house, so there may be a secondary connection here as well. There will be a connection in some way between this house and the houses containing the signs Aries and Scorpio. If this planet is posited in a sign other than Aries, there will also be a connection with the house containing the planetary ruler of the sign this planet is placed in.

This planet is a masculine force and is considered to be an energizer. Whatever it touches by placement and aspect it tends to energize or activate. The house position will indicate the area of life that we will use this energy in most instinctively. It is this department of life where this planet will express itself most naturally before it goes on to exert itself in goals and objectives in other areas of our lives.

This planet is sometimes considered a problem child of the zodiac and, just as some children are prone to do, its battle cry can be – "Me first!" But like anything else in astrology, it has a negative and a positive expression, and this means what we need is balance. Mars is the force that enables us to achieve. With its energy, we can learn new skills, achieve independence and be assertive when we need to stand up for our rights. If this is taken too far it can easily become aggression, belligerence, too much competitiveness or, in extreme cases, possibly violence. This is the nasty side of its energy when its expression goes beyond healthy self-assertiveness and acquires amnesia where the rights of others are concerned. Sexual energy as well is indicated by Mars and can suffer the same problems of duality.

The house position is the primary focus of this sometimes over-abundance of energy and it is dealing with these house issues that we will find Mars' energy most readily observable. Another factor to keep in mind when dealing with Mars is anger or inner-directed anger. Depression is believed to be an indication of bottled-up or inner-directed anger and, in extreme cases, may be life-threatening. An antidote could be using this energy positively as well as learning to express anger in a healthy manner. Physical exercise is always a good antidote for Mars' frustration.


The first house is associated with our personality, our view of the world, physical characteristics, and how we go about achieving and expressing our personal identity. It is symbolic of characteristics people seem to notice about us almost immediately.

Mars in the first house is considered to be accidentally dignified because the first house is its natural position. This planet is symbolic of energy and in the first house it will give a good deal of strength and ambition as well as energy. These people are usually self-assertive, but can be impulsive and headstrong. Patience is not normally one of their stronger qualities and this lacking could lead to trouble. These natives should discipline themselves to think before they take action, but since they are headstrong this may not come easily for them. This is a good position for athletes or anyone in need of burning off excess energy with a good physical workout. Physical activity could have a soothing effect on these people and help them to gain control of unbridled energy.

Often they have leadership ability, are self-motivated and, combined with a desire to rule their own destiny, can use this initiative to positive ends. One problem they may be faced with, however, could be harnessing their energy and giving it direction. Some of these individuals may have such a problem with their control of Mars' energy that this position is often equated with the accident prone.

Although a first-house placement usually bestows a good deal of ambition and a keen desire to be the master of one's destiny, there can be negative manifestations as well. This can make for a person that tends to be egotistical, combative, and belligerent and having a total disregard for the rights of others. This individual may have a quick temper and may be prone to violence, particularly if they feel something is standing in their way. This is characteristic of Aries the Ram leading with the head, but sometimes before engaging the brain, which is also why this position is equated with scars to the head.


The second house is associated with personal finances, how we go about handling financial affairs, our personal values, our innate and inner resources, and may have a bearing on how we go about pursuing inner security.

With Mars in the second house we might expect to see a good deal of activity where money-making is concerned. Some feel this position indicates losses due to this planet's impulsiveness, but more likely is indicative of constant movement of funds with little left in reserve. This may not mean living beyond your means, but probably comes quite close to it. These people will, however, attack financial affairs with vigor and initiative and that is as it should be. Planetary placements in a house indicate where these energies are best used and how the affairs of the house should be approached.

Mars is also symbolic of our desire for independence, and with it in the second house we will usually not want to be financially dependent on others. This will mean, for some, a desire to run their own business or in some way have more personal control of their finances perhaps as an independent representative or in some sort of freelance work. The second-house stage of our development has to do with how we perceived others valued us as children. This is usually relayed to us through how much we are touched, cuddled or held. With Mars in the second house, this individual will not only be energetic and courageous where financial interests are concerned, but may tie their value as a human being into how much they can acquire materially. Some may take this to be their due while others may feel this is vindication of their worth. Aspects will give greater insight into this matter.

Placement in the second house can indicate a strong desire nature or a sensually oriented person, as the second is Taurus' natural house, but the world of finances will still be an active and energetic one. Whether this is entered into as the spirit of adventure or a symptom of being overly competitive, with Mars here the second house will not be short of activity.


The third house is associated with how we think, our learning aptitude and reasoning capabilities, primary education, short-distance travel, commerce, siblings and other close relatives, neighbors, and our style and abilities of communication, whether verbally or in writing, and our immediate environment.

Mars in the third house energizes mental activity. These people can be quick thinking and mentally alert, but should not let the impulsive Mars lead them to draw the wrong conclusions. They will assert their opinions with a good deal of vigor, but should avoid aggressively shoving their opinions onto others. They may be caustic in speech if they meet with disagreement and are often noted for sarcasm. The intellect can be quite sharp and the mind very quick and, in discourse, is armed with a strong vocabulary to do battle with if necessary.

The third house is associated with siblings and neighbors and Mars is associated with combativeness. In this light, a third-house placement might be an indication of sibling-rivalry. Whether the native was the aggressor or Mars was projected onto a sibling will be shown by aspects which will also show how the native fared in this rivalry. This same situation could come about in our association with neighbors later in life. This rivalry need not be bitter; this could merely indicate a good deal of activity in third-house matters. Teachers as well could either have had to put up with a little Martian demon or had a very stimulating effect on the native. Short-distance travel is also a third-house issue and a degree of caution is advisable with this placement. Impulsiveness and impatience lead to recklessness and the typically aggressive driver can cause accidents, injury and even death!

With placement in the third house, these people will probably try to impose themselves in some way on their immediate environment, and this may be done in the area of communication. If this is the case, some precautions are in order. They should always remember the use of tact and should keep in mind that if someone attacks their ideas they are not necessarily attacking them. This, however, may be a typical third-house Mars reaction to what they perceive as an attack on them as a person and a precursor to verbal, if not physical, battle.


The fourth house is associated with the domestic scene; how we perceived the home we grew up in and the home we are likely to establish for ourselves as adults. It describes how we end things, including conditions at the end of our lives. The fourth house is also one of the parent houses and usually is descriptive of the parent in the background; the one that had a lesser influence or less obvious influence on our development.

Mars in the fourth house is usually indicative of an individual that is quite active on the domestic scene and may have a desire to impose their will upon others in the household. These people may be the proverbial handyman around the house. They can direct a good deal of energy into household projects; be it adding on an addition to the house or gardening. The household, in childhood and as an adult, for these individuals is usually quite active. For some this may include a home-based business enterprise or working from the home in some capacity.

One of the negative possibilities for this placement could manifest as a household strewn with quarrels and strife. There may have been competition between family members on some level and this may not have been good-natured. Seriously afflicted, Mars could turn to violence and this could possibly be an indication of an abusive atmosphere. This abuse may have been directed at the native or possibly the native witnessed one parent abusing the other or one of their siblings. Of course, this is a dark manifestation and will not apply to everyone, but for some this possibility could exist.

Where the fourth house parent is concerned, as always the response can be twofold. This parent may have been perceived as masterful, courageous, ambitious, etc. The flip side of this coin could be a parent who was a bully or tyrant flying into fits of rage to impose their will. This latter would then indicate a good deal of hostility (Mars) directed toward the parents, and particularly the parent in question, and the native should be warned against similar behavior later in the home they make for themselves.


The fifth house is associated with artistic/creative self-expression, romantic affairs, hobbies, leisure pursuits, financial speculation and children. Conditions of the fifth house can tell a great deal about how a person likes to play.

Mars is associated with aggression and the masculine sex drive, so in the fifth house of romance we might expect to find an individual in pursuit of passionate and fiery romance. Depending on sign placement and aspects, however, these affairs could be quite brief and the native more concerned with conquest than cultivating the territory. Whatever the case, due to the nature of this planet, these affairs are quite often riddled with conflict. In the natural house of Leo, a sign synonymous with drama, here we may see the extreme of melodrama that might make a soap opera appear tame. Maybe that is a bit harsh, but the passions can rule the head where Mars is concerned; hence, the proclivity for impulsiveness which, in my experience, often leads to disaster. Then again, this planet does thrive on conflict. I guess what it boils down to is if you prefer to make love or war; never a tough decision for some to make!

Creativity could be expressed through the use of sharp tools (Mars) for such pursuits as woodcarving, sculpting or possibly metalworking. This could include teaching these subjects, as the fifth is the house of children, and when placed here there is an abundance of energy for fifth-house affairs. With this placement, there is usually an interest in physical and particularly competitive sports. This is a good placement for athletes as well as coaching staff and, with children in mind, teachers in the field of physical education. These people can be looked up to by their students whatever they teach, but should avoid any authoritarian tendency if they do not wish to alienate those in their charge.

Due to impulsiveness, this is not normally considered to be good for gambling or financial speculation. Relations with children could be rebellious and strife-ridden. First-born would tend toward male offspring.


The sixth house is considered the house of health and work and service to others. Here we find indications of our approach to work, how we get along in the workplace with fellow employees and employers as well as our own employees if we are in charge. Our approach to maintaining a healthy body and indications of problems we may be susceptible to may be found here, too.

Mars posited in the sixth house is commonly indicative of a person that has a strong work ethic. These people are not lazy and usually do not have room for people unwilling to fully apply themselves on the job. They are capable workers, but due to the impatience of this planet they should maintain safety standards at all times. Work could entail typical Martian symbolism such as sharp tools and could manifest as machinists in industry. In the health field, this could indicate surgeons that use sharp tools and work their hands in blood – a keyword for Mars. The atmosphere at work could be competitive or strife-ridden due to the combative nature of this planet. But if this energy is productively used, they can accomplish a great deal.

If afflicted in this position, the most likely health problems to arise could be the result of fatigue. These people have a desire to go full-speed-ahead, but without adequate rest they may suffer headaches, muscle strain or irritability. Also, fatigue could be the underlying cause for industrial accidents. Unexpressed anger could be a precursor to high blood pressure or possibly gastrointestinal disturbances.

This could manifest as conflicts with co-workers or employers. Employees could be rebellious for the self-employed, and possibly labor disputes could result. For a sixth-house Mars, working independently might avoid some of these issues as they do not like having to answer to others. These people do tend to take a good deal of pride in their work, and this planet's energy could lead them to take up the cause of worker's rights, or working within a union, to ensure better working conditions and benefits for themselves and others.


The seventh house is the house of marriage, partnerships and dealings with the public in general. This is the house of committed relationships and includes those not formalized in marriage. The seventh house is also said to include the lower court system. This house and its conditions will describe the perspective the native has on relationships through planetary energies that are present here. This could also describe characteristics we project onto others, and through our interactions with them we may attempt to get in touch with these energies within ourselves so we can express them for ourselves. When this is not done on a positive level, we can easily see why this is also considered the house of open enemies. These enemies reflect characteristics back to us that we would rather not see in ourselves. With Mars here these negative traits could be aggression, hostility, anger, impatience and so forth.

With placement in the seventh house, it is through the sphere of relationships that the native must learn to be assertive. This could be done in a round-about way. Some of these individuals are attracted to aggressive people and then, sometime during the course of the relationship, tire of having others rule over them. This situation, in turn, makes them express Mars' energy for themselves by making them stand up for their rights. In this way, the individual that has trouble doing so learns to become self-assertive themselves.

Some of these people marry quickly and at an early age. However, divorce may come just as quickly; both due to the impulsiveness of Mars and the need for independence. Placement in the seventh house need not always denote conflict but, early on, probably will. With a greater degree of maturity, relationships usually become more peaceful. Mars does indicate a good deal of energy directed toward seventh-house issues. These people should be forewarned about expressing anger, hostility or aggression toward their mates. This could be a possibility, as its placements denote where these characteristics are likely to surface.

The seventh house shows what we are looking for in a mate, and this sometimes denotes what we are looking for in our self. With Mars in the seventh, it could be that we are looking for someone else to recognize our worthiness. If we see the seventh as the lower courts, we could find a champion for the accused such as public defenders.


The eighth house is associated with joint financial resources, inheritance and legacies, sex, death, taxes, astrology, the occult and, as a water house, the unconscious. This planet is considered accidentally dignified in the eighth house, as this is the house ruled by Scorpio naturally, and Scorpio had Mars as its ruling planet until this position was given to Pluto and Mars was relegated to co-ruler.

With it in the eighth house, the native is inclined to be aggressive in the area of joint financial interests. They are not the type of people that would be content in the role of a silent partner. This planet does not like to take a back seat and can easily become contentious if asked to do so. Its energy is aligned with our desire to assert ourselves and to establish our identity to ourselves and to others. This assertiveness, however, can be the source of friction with partners, particularly if the native suffers from a lack of tact.

Mars, in this position, will often give a good deal of intensity to the emotions as well as indicate a strong sex drive, in most individuals, so these natives are apt to be sexually aggressive. Sex, for some, may become a contest or a displacement of hostility and anger and Mars does not like to lose. If seriously afflicted, this may erupt into fits of rage or jealousy and may possibly prompt violence - another dark expression of this planet. Whatever is stored in the eighth house usually holds a powerful intensity (Pluto) because it is usually buried in the unconscious. When brought out into the light of day unexpectedly these issues, which are usually intensely emotional, can become explosive. For most of us, it is these very issues that the more mundane trappings of the eighth house mask.

This planet is symbolic of energy and the warrior, however civilized, in all of us. Although the eighth house symbolizes many things hidden in our past, in the unconscious, Mars here need not be so volatile. This could, and should ideally, be symbolic of the courageous nature this individual can bring to bear on anything in the unconscious and ferret it out. They possess the energy not only to dig these things up, but to transform (eighth) them into understanding.


The ninth house is associated with higher education; philosophy, religion, higher courts and the law, publishing, foreign cultures, long-distance journeys, right-brain activity, and relations with relatives of marriage and business partners.

Mars in the ninth house of long-distance travel may prompt wanderlust. These people may travel for, or to seek, adventure. This could also be associated with travel due to military service. If this latter is the case, and this planet is afflicted, there could be accidents or injury while traveling abroad.

With placement in the ninth, the affairs of this house become active interests. It will not be mere philosophizing but perhaps writing, teaching or preaching their personal philosophy as well. These people can be too aggressive in promoting their ideals if this position is afflicted. Then these individuals can become narrow-minded and thrust their beliefs upon others. This, in the house of foreigners, could possibly lead to war and bloodshed if taken to the extreme.

Ninth placement, for the most part, signifies a questing mind or a person that is motivated to travel. These people will act on their beliefs and share them with others. Learning as well as travel might be looked upon as a great adventure. They may become professors, writers, or military leaders and in this way support and share their beliefs with others. They may actively support universities they attended or publish books that espouse personal beliefs that are meaningful to them. They should, however, keep in mind that others are entitled to their beliefs as well.

Thsi planet is associated with anger, hostility and friction. Where relatives of marriage and business partners are concerned, this could be an indication of less than favorable relations.


The tenth house is associated with worldly ambition such as career and business interests as well as our reputation in the community and how we wish to appear before the public eye. The tenth is also one of the parent houses and is indicative of the more influential parent in our development.

When Mars is posited in the tenth house, it is an indication of a very ambitious person. These people are highly motivated in pursuit of achievement and are more than willing to fight the battles they may be faced with along the way. They want a place in the world and will expend a good deal of energy to carve out a niche for themselves. This is considered a strong placement for this planet because of the tenth house association with the sign of Capricorn, and Mars is exalted in Capricorn, thus its accidental exaltation when placed in the tenth.

Though this position fosters initiative and capability, the desire for power can have a dark expression; if afflicted this position can be symbolic of a person sorely lacking in ethical scruples. If this should be the case, prestige can easily become notoriety. Some of these individuals are capable of walking over anything, or anyone, that stands in their way having no regard whatsoever for the rights of others or anything resembling rules of fair play. This lacking can bring ruthless people to ruin. Some, however, concern themselves little with what others think. Whether famous or infamous is of little concern for some, just so they receive the attention of the public.

This negative mentality could be traced to the parent in question that may have been looked upon as a bully or tyrant. If this should happen to be the case, this native may carry on their rebellion against this parent by rebelling against anything representing authority later in life. If, however, the relationship with this parent was a positive influence, this native will have seen them as energetic and the master of their destiny and probably go on to emulate this themselves.


The eleventh house is associated with friendships, group associations, and professional organizations and is said to be representative of goals and objectives and hopes and wishes.

When Mars is posited in the eleventh house, we may see two differing manifestations of its energy. This planet is associated with autonomy and independence, and for some of these natives it could mean a desire to go one's own way and be somewhat of a loner. Some of these people may want nothing to do with the rules and regulations of anyone else except themselves. If this is the case, they may lead somewhat solitary lives and have few close friends. Those people that are their friends, and probably male, are usually capable of helping the native achieve their goals. Mars in the eleventh, in this regard, may need his independence.

The eleventh house is also a social house, and is symbolic of the human need for contact with our own kind. In this case, s/he will express his/her energy by joining groups with a common interest to the native. It does usually indicate a degree of friction so that interactions with friends and groups may be somewhat discordant. Possibly, a rivalry could ensue as to who will have the upper hand or leadership role in the group. Used more positively, this could indicate an individual that is good at stirring a group to take action on their beliefs. This could take the form of championing the rights of the masses or possibly by bringing attention to social injustice. This is considered a good position for reformers.

This energy will also come into play where this individual's goals and objectives in life are concerned. Providing that they harness their energy to keep it from being scattered, these people will have few qualms about what it is they wish to pursue in life and, even if they do not join others in this quest, they can usually hold their ideals before them wherever the journey leads.


The twelfth house is associated with confinement such as prisons, hospitals and asylums. Also included here are museums and libraries and those that work in these and the above institutions. This is the house of secret enemies as well as repressions and things that are hidden. In this regard, the twelfth is related to the unconscious and energies we tend to have difficulty expressing. These energies we are uncomfortable with may have been denied expression when we were children. As a result, we have to learn to express these things later in life. Until we learn the appropriate expression of these qualities, they will usually tend to trip us up. When we do learn to express these energies, however, they can be a vast source of wealth in our lives. In the twelfth house, we may find hidden treasure.

Traditionally Mars in the twelfth house is considered an unfavorable placement because we use this planet's energy to assert our individuality and to establish our own personal identity. When posited in the twelfth house, there is the likelihood that assertiveness, independence, the display of initiative or anger were frowned upon or sorely curtailed in childhood. For instance, maybe one person in the household cornered the market on anger and if the native tried to express anger the atmosphere became explosive and the native was set upon.

Accordingly, this could be an indication of violence in the family history and an indication of a person that equates disagreement with danger and physical injury. This condition could haunt the native as a form of post-traumatic stress disorder. Thus, the native never learned the healthy expression of anger and now feels uncomfortable with being assertive. In some cases, this could mean sexual abuse in childhood. Whatever the cause, placement in the twelfth house can be symbolic of a person with a vast amount of unconscious anger and rage. This is important to keep in mind if we do not want to trip ourselves up because placement in the twelfth is also an indication that the unconscious will have a powerful influence on the person's actions.

People with placement in the twelfth house may operate best when alone or when acting behind the scenes, usually. They may exhibit a strong need for personal privacy. They can be very self-motivated and may prefer to carry on their pursuits in secrecy. Some may be solitary, and this may be to deflect the open opposition of others as they may be uncomfortable with confrontation or feel it is a needless waste of energy. These people may also prefer to work in secrecy in order to thwart their competition and circumvent adversaries. These individuals can easily give themselves to causes they believe in and twelfth-house energies are usually most beneficial when shared with others rather than solely for the self. They should be warned about any self-destructive habits and this would be of particular note where any form of substance abuse is concerned.

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