Like many Canadians, lately, I've been engaged, willingly or not, in the national discussion on male sexual aggression, brought about, not by the hundreds of aboriginal women who've disappeared, but a twerpish radio host and his unsavoury dating habits. Nobody was 'seriously' hurt or killed, but many are feeling betrayed and angry because the public persona they were so familiar with turned out to be a mask. I'm shocked, shocked. Let that be a lesson to us all, we don't know the guy on the radio, we don't know the Queen or the President…much of the time we don't even know our own neighbours, and, unlike on TV, real people are not one dimensional characters. The ones we love to hate simply don't know how to put on a good mask.
Oops, busted: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_b-zpSnoHs
Although I did look at this guy's chart, I'm not going to get into it, except where relevant to my explanation, because spotlight is just what the narcissist ordered. In focusing our energy on him, we are inadvertently trying to 'heal' him, when we ought to be trying to heal ourselves and let the twerp alone to become a man, if that's possible for a Gemini with a Cancer Moon.
The bigger issue at hand is an older one - why women who've been abused on dates don't do or say anything about it, except maybe quietly warn each other. Think about it - even if you've never been abused, have you ever found yourself being passive with an aggressive male, when you actually felt uncomfortable ? Did you automatically take the 'beneath' position - figuratively, but also psychologically ? (This is not confined to just male-female, you can substitute 'woman' in this article for the more feminine partner in a same-sex relationship). How did it make you feel afterwards ? Angry ? Well, anger is a huge part of it. Anger, aggression, power…these are fightin' words, and they belong to Mars.
Aries/Mars by Johfra Bosscha
Mars' sigil (symbol) is the sign we use for man, just as we use Venus' for woman. The problem with that is, within each person's chart, they have both Mars and Venus, masculine and feminine attributes. And either planet can be aggressive or passive, depending on where they are situated and their aspects. Basically, how these two archetypes act out, is in our attraction and attractiveness to others.
For example, Vera has Venus in Gemini, so in the event that she ever settles on one person, she'd want an equal/complimentary partner, someone smart and interesting. Sounds good, but then she also has Mars in Aries (a healthy libido signal), so the men she attracts tend to be more on the macho side, not really into the equality thing. In this case there is a sextile between the signs Aries and Gemini, so at least her archetypes within are in good communication, working together, instead of against each other.
The other thing that happens in any kind of relationship is what we call projection. We project an inner archetype or attribute onto another person, be it a part of us we love or loathe, thus far, un-lived or living only in the shadows.
So with Aries Mars, if Vera were not in touch with or able to handle her own aggressiveness/power/anger, then she might attract a man who is willing to 'bear her load' for her, if she'll bear some of his, like his emotional weakness, for example. (All this baggage trading goes on unconsciously, beneath the surface). They may have a karmic agreement to do this, or it may be just a habit society has taught us, that has become second nature. Either way, when a woman lets a man hold her anger and thereby her power, it's quite possible she'll become the victim of it. And she'll have all the emotional stuff to deal with later, because that was the agreement.
The Sleepwalking Lady MacBeth, by Johann Heinrich Fussli - Mars exchange gone terribly wrong in a case of reverse alchemy
Now, not for one instant am I blaming the victims of sexual violence for their situation. When we project onto people, we tend to pick an actor capable of handling the role, so he's going to have to have some tendencies already in place. And, as stated, it is ALL going on unconsciously, unawares. What we need to do is to become conscious of when it's happening so we can stop the cycle and take our power back.
To give you another example - at a young age, Sally, with both Mars and Saturn in Scorpio, was sexually abused by her father. He wasn't violent, per se, but violated her in the most personal way, inflicting himself to the point of trying to obliterate her (in fact, he was a pimp and intended to make a whore out of his beautiful daughter). Fortunately she was a strong-willed, optimistic spirit and managed to avoid some of the usual pitfalls of trying to blot out the past. But she did later get involved with some abusive men. Not all of her relationships were thus, but carrying the enormous anger at her father sometimes meant she attracted partners scary enough to hold it, while she 'acted out' having sexual power over him, the same way her father did with her. (So many projections and reflections, you can see why people who suffer abuse often develop multiple personalities). As is often the case, each time she tried to leave, she felt incomplete, because she had not taken all her 'belongings'. She had left part of her power with him. When you leave an abusive relationship, it is vital to consciously, visually, even ritualistically take back all of what is yours, the bad and the good, or risk being drawn back in.
Any planets - parts of ourselves - that are shoved deep into the dark will live and be projected as shadow from there, until we are ready to bring them to light. For Sally, Mars and Saturn were like Darth Vader.
Of course, anger and power are not synonymous, but anger is another face of fear and fear is the feeling of having no power. So when we get angry, it's kind of an emotional attempt to re-fuel or re-connect to our power supply. Mars is the power supply. There is no reason that men should have claim to Mars (nor women to Venus), we all have a power source, we all have anger and fear. Aggression is simply the method of expressing it. There's passive aggression, too.
So, getting back to why women don't do or say anything on bad dates (and now I will have to site examples from this particular case we are all so sick of hearing about).
Enter said Gemini male, a boyish man, with no real sense of self, a narcissist who sees everyone else as a mirror, through which he can mimic traits. A trickster with a very wounded ego and duality imbalance. With a Cancer Moon, he's emotionally infantile, and potentially flippy. (Flippy for a Gemini with no sense of self can be Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde, if he's also got shadow issues). From a young age, he's been gulping down his mother's emotions and feelings and resenting it, while never being able to become the man worthy of his father. With Venus conjunct Jupiter in Leo, he's either aggressively loving and protective or, if un-evolved, sexually aggressive and demanding. Black Moon Lilith in Aries has the influence of sexual anger, too (kind of a misogynistic Mars effect). But nobody sees this until he takes the mask off.
All the women who have been coming forward about their encounters with him seem pretty together, intelligent. Did a smokey mirror trick happen, as he became aggressive before they even knew what was going on, thus claiming sexual dominance (Venus in Leo) ? Either the woman had her power stolen, or being uncomfortable with her own aggression, unconsciously submitted it, which only fuelled him with more. This energy exchange happens more easily with physical contact or penetration, hence he always moved quickly, taking them by surprise. In the aftermath, the woman is at a loss to explain why she did nothing. She did nothing because, with her power and aggression (Mars) temporarily snagged, she had no choice. Later, her anger sets in, the emotional attempt to re-charge.
A man that is lacking in manhood or who's own Mars is afflicted might seek out strong women and manipulate them into handing over theirs. It reminds me of this time when I was shopping with my partner. I had just put the last remaining loaf of spelt bread in our cart, when a man with a small child behind me, whined, "Aaw, the last one, I wanted that !" Without a second thought, I just gave him the bread, since he wanted it so badly. My boyfriend was horrified, not so much at me, but how the man was setting an example for his kid that whining will get what you want (and that women will likely appease you). As a metaphor, if the loaf (manna) was my power and a man was whining that he needed it, might I have just handed it over ?
In a wider, social sense, as long as women are uncomfortable with their anger/power/aggression or it is being snagged, men, our living consorts, will continue to carry it and it will be turned against us. This will create more anger and the cycle goes on. Hence, it is vital to take our Mars back. Mars does not belong more to one sex than the other.
"Two Waters Making One" Miniature by Solomon Trismosin, 1582. The four colours of the breastplate represent the colours of the Magnum Opus
How do we do this ?
Well, we can only change ourselves, so we can start by observing our own behaviour and where it comes from. For example, a man is walking toward you on the sidewalk. Do you automatically look down ? What happens when you don't ? What position did you just let yourself take - equal, superior, inferior ? What if he seems like a creep ? One of my psychic teachers told me, "creepy guys are everywhere... there's the mailbox, there's the tree, there's the creepy guy, there's the dog..." it's just part of the usual scenery, in other words, you don't give the dog or the signpost any power, either.
We can also look at where Mars is in our chart and look for clues at how it is snagged and how it can be best owned/expressed. Do you project your Mars or own it ? If it's in a passive/feminine sign (all earth or water signs), do you have trouble expressing anger, and tend toward passive aggression ? Do you attract needy/manipulative or nurturing men ? In active/masc signs (fire or air), do you self destruct when you have no expression for your anger, or have sudden outbursts ? Do you attract control freaks or macho men ? Or just independent ones ?
We can own our anger and aggression and turn it into power by creative means, rather than becoming passive aggressive. Don't give it away, use it. Mars was the God of War and Death in ancient Rome, but as an astrological archetype, he is more than that; he's our outward expression, self-confidence, ego, ambition, health, sex drive, bravado, the instigator, explorer, fighter and sacrificial hero. We need him in our pantheon !
We can try role reversal with our sexual partners and see what happens when we go full Martian. Jane, a shy, small town girl, was in a relationship with a man 20 years her senior so usually took the more submissive role. Then, she got a job that took her on business trips to New York, where she had no choice but to use aggression to be successful, or at least get a cab. At first it was difficult for her, but she soon found it exhilarating. When she got home, her new testosterone carried over into the bedroom and shy Jane found herself on top, pounding away at her man, like a man. Fortunately he was a good sport, some men might not have been.
Remember Vera with Aries Mars ? Well, she always found the men she dated started out normal, but gradually became controlling or angry. After one episode where a new boyfriend aggressively ripped at her clothes in a fit of passion that was a bit too scary, she decided to try and take back her Mars - that is, consciously possess her own aggressive, masculine element, rather than projecting it onto the man. She visualized herself removing it from him (perhaps as a sword or cloak) and returning it to her own body. Though I wouldn't recommend staying with a truly dangerous person long enough to try this, in Vera's case, it worked. Once she consciously owned her Mars, her man slowed down and became a more attentive lover.
Medusa - the terrible face of female fear, anger, power
So, contrary to what we've been taught, men are not from Mars and women are not from Venus. Yes, we are opposite or complimentary in many ways, and yes, even our brains are wired differently, we have different amounts of the same hormones. I was going to say that because of these hormones, and hence our physiques, men generally tend to be the more physically aggressive sex, but how much of it is cultural/social permissiveness ? And because of this social brainwashing, it's ok for men to outwardly express as much rage as they like, which is a rather bad combination, especially if they are also expressing it for the women who can't. Because, as we all know "Hell hath no fury..."
A Buddhist teacher friend once told me she thought men were more prone to craziness because they 'have more space' for it (no womb and ovaries). Tuareg men cover their orifices, so that no entities will come in, for this reason, but believe women don't need to, because menstruating naturally purges them. Very different from our western belief that women are more prone to hysteria, because of hormonal swings. (PMS is very much linked with repressed anger/emotions).
Men need to start taking responsibility for and action on the abusive element within their gender group. Women need to help, not by trying to heal men, but by working to heal our own relationship with Mars, at home.
Triumph of Venus over Mars, detail, Francesco del Cossa
WATCH The Oppressed Majority: A poignant French Short Film About a World in which Men are subject to sexism
Would you like to know more about your own Mars ?
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