You may know your "big three" signs, but getting to know the roles of all the planets in your birth chart can grant you a much deeper understanding of astrology….and yourself! In this series, the team at VICE Horoscopes explain each planet, and how it correlates to your natal chart.
Mars is the planet of passion, anger, war, assertion, and separation, and its placement in your birth chart indicates how you pursue your goals, assert yourself, attack and defend, and cut people or circumstances off (think breakups). It also points to the way you weaponize your skills for protection and competition. Knowing someone’s Mars sign can tell you how they fight and what they fight for.
But Mars isn’t all about the battle. It’s also the planet that symbolizes your sex life! In a natal chart, Mars symbolizes the way you tap into raw, primal instincts, including the way you disseminate creative and sexual energy. It’s true that Venus plays a major role in creativity, but Mars offers the fiery energy that disperses that creativity. Venus is the yin to Mars’s yang, meaning Venus is the more receptive energy while Mars is more concerned with projecting outwards. Both have their place in the bedroom.
While Venus symbolizes your experience of harmony and receiving, Mars shows stamina and how you express your libido. Venus is the embrace, and Mars is the thrust! And although Venus demonstrates social and romantic compatibility, your Mars’s placement in your natal chart will clue you in on inexplicable chemistry—the type of attraction that feels powerful, animalistic, and driven by passion. Regardless of sex or gender identity, Mars essentially symbolizes peacocking behavior to potential mates.
Mars can travel far from the sun, so it’s not easy to guess simply based on someone’s birthday! To find your Mars sign, plug in your birth date, time, and location to your preferred birth chart generator and find the symbol that looks like a circle with an arrow pointing up, illustrative of a penetrative force. Once you’ve figured it out, read what our team of astrologers at Astro Guide have to say about your Mars sign!
Mars in Aries
Weapon: Ram’s horns, head-butting
Mars is at home in the sign of Aries, meaning it can do what it does best: act! Act first, then figure out the rest later. Aries is the first of the fire signs and having Mars here points to spot-on intuition that leads to immediate—and often impulsive—action. People with Mars in Aries are great at thinking on their toes and have a knack for working in high-paced environments, so your habit of taking the initiative usually works out. When it comes to fighting and fucking, you like to approach people head-on. You’re very direct, telling it like it is, so people know where they stand with you. Of course, you’re also a bit of a show-off, so it’s not hard to tell when you’re sexually attracted to someone. Whether you play daredevil in front of your love interest or tease and taunt them, you make sure that people know you’re there.
Despite Aries getting much of its reputation for feistiness from the god of war, Ares, your Mars sign is actually named after the ram in the Golden fleece mythology. Nonetheless, Mars is still Aries’s planetary ruler, and is super powerful in this sign! Of course, you’re still a bit of a hot-head, so it’s important that you learn to practice more patience. Considering your drive to always be on top, you also want to be mindful about playing the role of the bully.
All aside, you’re gifted with a fearless and courageous temperament, both of which are a fantastic vehicle for taking action! At your best, you wage a fight for the underdog—believing in their strength (while knowing your own)—and possess incredible willpower.
Mars in Taurus
Weapon: Bull’s horns, bullheadedness, and brute strength
Taurus is a sign known for taking its time with the things it has to do. So Mars—the initiative-taking planet—doesn’t express itself the way it normally would here, making Mars in Taurus a unique and special placement. As a fixed earth sign, Taurus is also known for being stubborn while Mars is all about expressing your will, which means people probably have a hard time getting you to do anything you don’t want to do! Laziness can sometimes lead to your downfall, but you’re also more intentional about how you invest your energy, especially when it comes to who you’ll bone and which battles to fight.
You also prefer to take your time instead of rushing to your end goal, but what you lack in speed you make up for with deliberation! You’re not the type to act impulsively because you’re more focused on spending the least amount of energy while still getting the results you want. In the natal chart, Mars in Taurus is motivated by comfort, but desire itself can often lead you to stray from effort. That said, it’s important that you’re mindful not to ditch endeavors that call for your blood, sweat, and tears for the path of least resistance. Endurance to power through your goals is one of your strengths, but pacing yourself and admitting the value of persistence and consistency is something you’re learning with this Mars placement. When you stick to your pursuits, your talent for efficiency shines through. While Mars is the planet of passion, sex, and anger, your libido and temper tend be slow to arouse, but you don’t lack in stamina and force once you get going!
Mars in Gemini
Weapon: Words, hands, and the mind
Mars in Gemini is often known for playing the role of devil’s advocate. It’s also a sign of great debating skills with a talent for arguing about a broad variety of topics, even if you only have a superficial understanding of them. Your secret weapon? Agility with words! Mars is the planet of strategy and severance, while Gemini is the sign that symbolizes the mind and communication. Mercury-ruled Gemini is often known as the silver-tongued trickster, but Mars in Gemini points to a sharp tongue! You love to learn about everything under the sun, and you’ll even go as far as provoking people just to see what their reaction is and what you can learn from it. Outwitting your competition tends to be your goal, but when you’re the one who is out-smarted, you’re turned on and/or willing to concede with respect for your opponent.
You’re quick on your feet, but your mouth moves even faster. If you don’t slow down every now and then, you’re also prone to cutting people with your words. Just because you can say it, doesn’t mean you should. Speaking carefully is important if you don’t want to hurt others unintentionally or have your own words used against you. When it comes to sex, you’re curious enough to experiment and try out all kinds of things, at least once. New sexual experiences are a big motivator for you, but a healthy dose of dirty talk and new positions can do the trick if you’re in a monogamous relationship.
Mars in Cancer
Weapon: Small but sharp crab pincers, protective shell
Having natal Mars in Cancer is a sign that you’re not a fan of confrontation. Like the side-walking crab, you’re known for playing defense in a less direct manner. Like Mars in Taurus, Mars in Cancer expresses itself in a unique way, contrary to its planetary nature. When you respond to an argument or an invitation to bone, you come prepared, but it also hints that you may have a tendency to overthink things. Your driving force is your eagerness to build a safe and happy home life, making you quite industrious. When it comes to flirting, you enjoy the chase, but again, tend not to make direct moves—you like to take your time, slowly seducing someone with your tender, emotionally in-tune, sensual ways!
Although your intuition tends to be on point, your method of engaging others requires very thoughtful and strategic messaging. Targeting the hearts of lovers and foes is a strength to embrace, but if you let your emotional reflexes get the best of you (which you often do), you can struggle to appeal to other people’s emotional sides in the way you were aiming for. Team building is actually an innate gift that you can lean into when you need support to reach certain goals. Cancer is a sign that needs to belong, so convincing others that they want to join you, instead of oppose you, is your ticket to “winning.” The tricky part is that when you get upset, your reaction is often to become overwhelmed with your emotions and freeze, meltdown, or hide in your cave (you’re not afraid to ghost someone when they upset you). Getting people to side with you is a skill, but it takes time, so you have to learn to demonstrate patience and confidence while you wait for your magic to work. Having Mars in Cancer doesn’t make you helpless, but it does mean you feel extra vulnerable. Unlike Mars in fire signs, your watery Mars placement suggests you need time to take information in and digest it before acting. Having space to figure out what you what to do and when you want to strike is important. Once you do win people over, though, you’re boosted with energy to fight for those you care about—and you’ll do whatever it takes to protect them.
Mars in Leo
No one wants to mess with a lion, so you’re quite proud to have Mars in Leo! Your roar is loud—and your bite is hard, too. You command respect and have a regal air about you. You almost have to laugh when someone picks a fight with you because it’s unbelievable that someone would imagine confronting you! In the wild, lions commonly strangulate prey by crushing their airways with their teeth/jaw force…you do this by stealing the spotlight from your nemeses. Just like lions that hunt in prides, you possess social influence and know how to sway people in the direction you want, particularly to turn on those who have wronged you and others. Humiliating others or singling them out is an effective way to get people off your back, but you also need to watch your catiness. If you’re not conscientious about it, you can become the bully that burns people.
Metaphorically, you know how to snuff out a person’s fire, but you also know how to lift people up, and when you’re flirting, you love to give compliments and see the joy other people feel when they get attention. Generally, though, you prefer the spotlight to be on you, and you aren’t averse to hooking up in public or in front of a mirror! Sometimes you’ll pick a fight for fun, just because you love drama. You love a game of cat and mouse with a fair amount of chase, but you’re repelled by show-offs. You’re also very loyal to those you love, and show up to fight for them without hesitation.
Mars in Virgo
Weapon: Holier than thou, will condemn you
Mars in analytical Virgo strategizes and approaches problems with surgical precision. You love helping people and you’re motivated by being of service to others. With an eye for detail, you’re also talented at finding weak spots, flaws, and holes in arguments—and asking considerate questions is one of the ways you catch your opponents off guard and break through their defense. You work best when you have a to-do list, and lists and spreadsheets might be your secret weapon. You’re either very organized or your place is a total mess because you’re juggling so many projects. Luckily, you always know where everything is!
You prefer to get things done through proper channels, always ready with your paperwork in order. You don’t cut corners and you make sure people know you’ll do things “the right way,” but you’re also very clever—able to find a loophole just about anywhere—using your wits to talk your way into good graces if that’s the only option. Mars in Virgo strives for perfection, and you’re not afraid to point out where others fall short. In fact, it’s one of your most disarming weapons—you can read anyone to filth! Just be mindful about turning your weapon on yourself; self-deprecation is dangerous in front of the wrong company. While you can be quite critical and know what to say to hurt someone’s feelings, you also know exactly what to say to get someone to be interested in you. You’re patient and will always make the effort to find your partner’s sweet spot. Lucky them! Anyone fortunate enough to be your lover knows you’re not stingy in the bedroom. Yours is a Mars sign that aims to please.
Mars in Libra
Weapon: Kills you with kindness, the pen, and contracts
Warrior Mars usually doesn’t care about getting covered with mud during a battle, but dainty Libra would rather not get their new clothes stained. Like Mars in Gemini, Mars in Libra fights with words. Having Mars in Venus-ruled Libra makes you highly aware of how others perceive you—and very good at using it to your advantage! Mars in Libra is about optics, but it’s also about fairness, making it vital that you have wordsmiths on your side (like lawyers, writers, and politicians) if you’re not already crafty with words to defend and drive home your points. But the chances are that you’re actually very articulate. Appearances are important to your Mars sign, which can lead you to be passive aggressive, leading people to conclusions in round-about ways instead of getting to the point. When charm and manners don’t work, however, you’re not afraid to pour your anger and passion into an articulate letter or speech. You like to keep things civil, so your martial talents tend toward diplomacy, compromise, and the art of persuasion. You have an aversion to confrontation, so you usually find the most palatable way to present an argument or disagreement before approaching others. Your ability to see both sides of a situation might be your greatest strength when it comes to anticipating and countering arguments.
You’re highly motivated to win the trust of others, and humility is one of your greatest qualities that helps you achieve this goal. The passive type, you’re more likely to wait for others to make the first move in the bedroom and on the debate floor. As an airy cerebral Mars placement, you’re good at mirroring partners and opponents, intuiting their train of thought and movement. But rather than risking rejection or failure, you prefer to wait and see how you can reach your goal without spending time in the trial-and-error process, which makes the pen (and written word) a more powerful tool to you. You can erase, scribble out, and carefully edit a written message, but actions speak louder than words, and the thought of that being used against you makes you reluctant to say or do anything that can give others ammunition. Committing to a decision can feel intimidating to you because you’re well aware that there are always consequences to actions, and the thought of not being able to undo something often makes you hesitant. But more often than not, that can lead you to gain an unfavorable reputation, so it’s important that you make an effort to earn and maintain people’s trust by following through.
Mars in Scorpio
Weapon: Stinger, poison, secrecy
With Mars in Scorpio, you like to play offense—you’re very calculating and often eight steps ahead of everyone else, making sure that all bases are covered before others have the chance to make a move! Intuition and focus grant you talent in uncovering and addressing every weak spot your opponent possesses, so you’re keen on taking your time to make the right move. Psychological warfare is your game, and no one plays it better than you. As someone who is highly empathetic, you know how to get under someone’s skin, but you also know what to do to make someone desire you. Instead of taking information at face value, you rely on sharp psychic senses to suss out insecurities, weak spots, and hidden desires, and then weaponize them or use them to seduce others. That said, your tendency to fixate on goals and objects of desire can be a double-edged sword, making it important that you embrace detachment and the law of impermanence. Losing and making mistakes are important experiences to acquire if you ever want to win.
A natural sleuth, you often use anonymity or camouflage to protect yourself until you’ve assessed that it’s safe to let your guard down. When threatened, you don’t hesitate to use whatever secrets or insecurities you’ve dug up to sting others—and your targets often won’t know what hit them until it’s too late. People tend to be afraid of the dark because they don’t know what’s around them, but you’re comfortable lingering in the shadows, and you’re fond of luring both mates and opponents there to have your way with them.
Mars in Sagittarius
Weapon: Bow and arrow
As a Mars in Sagittarius native, your fiery temperament makes you both a passionate lover and fighter. If there were one word to describe your Mars sign, it would be “loud.” There’s usually an air of drama about you when you get upset and you’re not one to hold back. It’s not enough for people to know when you’re mad—you also want them to know why! While you often use humor to make your points, you take your beliefs seriously. You’re known for playing the role of both preacher and politician to disarm and attack, giving you the reputation of being self-righteous and philosophical. People will know you’re on the war-path against them not only because you have a big mouth, but because you’re expert at crusading against people. Keep in mind that you need to be careful about getting lost in or swallowed up by your own anger.
People need to be long-winded to keep up with you, especially in a fight—when you show up for a battle, you’re usually found stepping on your soap box. But Mars in the sign of the centaur also points to your love of partying. Despite your moral interests, indulging in a little debauchery can actually be a turn-on and the party scene is where you’ll let loose. If you’re not thoughtful, people can call you out for being hypocritical and try to throw you off your high horse. That said, justice is incredibly important to you and your carrot stick tends to be “doing the right thing.” While your bottom half is all animal (a sign of great instincts), your top half has a brain—one filled with cultured insights from your travels. Whether you’re flirting or fighting, you’re always ready to flex some knowledge.
Mars in Capricorn
Weapon: Will end your career
Mars has access to its greatest power in the sign of the sea-goat, which means you’re the boss in any situation, Capricorn Mars. You make the rules…and you enforce them! Saturn-ruled Capricorn is famous for industriousness and with natal Mars in Capricorn, you possess incredible staying power. A force to be reckoned with, you have the ability to out-climb opponents and strategically make it to the top, the same way mountain goats nimbly leap their way up the steepest cliffs and mountains. Willing to take risks, you don’t let the fear of falling from great heights stop you from pursuing your goals. Even if you fall, you’re resilient enough to take failures in stride.
Patience is part of your strategy and you have the capacity to play the long game, knowing when and where to strike. Yours is a Mars sign filled with wisdom and grit. Everything you do is for a reason, and you have the fortitude to wait out the hardest situations until opportunity arrives. You’re no stranger to pushing yourself to aspirational heights, even when there’s no end or finish line in sight. In fact, there often isn’t a limit for you because you’re always setting the bar higher. Your headstrong demeanor usually leaves a trail of followers and hopeful competitors in your path, inspired to accomplish the greatness that you pursue without fear.
When it comes to sex, you have plenty of stamina—you’re one lusty goat! Playful taunting and teasing, as well as flaunting power in the bedroom are fun ways you enjoy expressing your sexuality. As an earthy Mars, your lovers would also say you’re highly sensual.
Although Capricorn is famous for its business-oriented reputation, you definitely party as hard as you work…that passionate energy has to go somewhere once you leave the office! While you’re not one to take revenge, you’ll end someone’s career if they deserve it.
Mars in Aquarius
Aquarius never cares about fitting in, yet this sign is always in the cool kids club. With Mars in Aquarius, you may exclude people when you go on attack—you know that rejection stings! Aquarius is a rebellious sign, so having natal Mars here also means you don’t care to follow the rules. You’re motivated by causes that make people’s lives better, so you’ll resist the urge to break the rules if that means violating someone’s personal boundaries. Nonetheless, you will try to reason your way out having to abide by them. Despite its misleading name, Aquarius is a rationally-oriented air sign (not a water sign) so having Mars here is an indication that you’re driven to assert your ideas, however wild they might seem. Whether they’re lying in bed with you or going up against you in a fight, people often can’t read you. Keeping the competition on their toes is advantageous, but communication is vital in the bedroom.
Battling with you can be intimidating to people because your judgement doesn’t tend to get clouded by overwhelming emotions. You’re not a robot, but your ability to remain objective during an argument can frustrate others and translate into a lack of passion. But you’re not dispassionate; you’re passionately independent, challenging others to think for themselves. The secret is that you might also act detached because you know it presses people’s buttons, giving you an upper hand in certain situations. This makes it important that you’re mindful not to gaslight your opponents. You love being a rebel, surprising people, and doing things your own way. If you were stranded and needed rescuing, you would probably know how to build a flashlight out of a potato—you’re resourceful and inventive. Why are you stranded in the middle of nowhere with a potato? Who knows! That’s Mars in Aquarius—you’re always up to something unexpected.
Mars in Pisces
Mars is complicated in Pisces: As a Jupiter-ruled water sign, Pisces is all about bringing things together while Mars seeks to seperate. The result often leaves you acting a bit flakey. Your strength is less about divisiveness and more about flexibility and raw emotional power. Water is reflective, and having Mars in this sign makes you empathetic and compassionate. You intuit what competitors and opponents are feeling, but you don’t necessarily weaponize that information. Emotion and sensitivity aren’t a weakness, especially when you have Mars in Pisces. Similar to the other watery Mars signs, you’re driven to fight for who and what you care about, but you need to be mindful about when you play the role of the martyr. The more you believe in something, the stronger your drive. You’re motivated by unity, so you’ll often try to convey your empathy, mirroring what people believe. Like Mars in Sagittarius, you appeal to faith, but water signs have more subtle ways of playing offense and defense. Although Mars is a planet that prefers direct attacks that involve fire or blades, water has its own way of making people surrender. Water can be soft, but it can also crash, knocking down opponents with force. Your ability to tap into and speak to people’s emotions can feel like an overwhelming wave of truth they didn’t see until they were hit with it.
When it comes to sex and romance, you aim to whisk your lovers away with eroticism and fantasy. Pisces is infatuated with the love story of a victim, so you might also enjoy playing out these kinds of scenarios in the bedroom with ties or elaborate role play. Of course, if you want to skip all the pretending, you might simply hop in the shower or a body of water and let the rhythm of the waves do their work.
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This page was originally published on October 18, 2019. It’s been updated for improved clarity on the topic.