Mars is the fourth planet by distance from the sun and the fifth planet by movement speed across the sky. Due to its distance the physical effect it has on our lives is miniscule at best, but its psychological impact on our ancestors was quite immense due to its menacing red color which was seen as a dreaded omen of things to come. Ever since the dawn of history the red color of Mars was associated with blood, war and disasters, and in most cultures it became associated with the gods of war.
In western astrology, Mars represents action and strength, courage, energy, men in general and the husband in particular. It has very similar meaning in vedic astrology as well, but there energy is represented by the Sun and the husband is represented by Jupiter. Other significations of Mars include brothers and friends, military and police, firefighters and surgeons, tools and weapons, competitions and sports, hunting and cooking, aggression and determination, arguments and wars, accidents and injuries. Anatomically, Mars represents blood and especially the red blood cells, muscles and bone marrow, testosterone and adrenaline, and the male sex organ.
So why action and men?
The symbolism of Mars is primarily centered around his distinctive red color, which was associated with blood and as a result with hunting and war, both of which are aggressive, bold actions which historically were mainly performed by men. The red color of muscle tissue further cemented the association of Mars with action.
The association of Mars with men is even clearer when it comes to historical division of labor, with the main physical difference between men and women that facilitated it being men’s larger muscle mass. The reason for this difference is that a men’s body produces much larger quantities of testosterone, which is a natural steroid that increases both muscle mass and aggression. And while today machinery, gyms and artificial steroids made this difference far less significant and the historical division of labor all but obsolete, this equality was achieved artificially and only applies to recent times.
Historically, the larger muscle mass of men meant they were much better suited for certain activities such as war, hunting and hard labor and this was the true reason women were mostly barred from such roles instead of cultural or religious discrimination as many believe today. Another important reason was the fact that men could not bear children, which made them far more expendable than women and hence more suitable for hazardous activities.
The hazard levels are also the reason Mars is connected to firefighters and policemen, as generally speaking running into burning buildings or confronting armed criminals is not exactly beneficial for one’s health or longevity. And as one can guess, such activities require courage, determination and physical strength, all of which strengthen their association with the crimson planet.
Neither cooking nor surgery sound very hazardous, unless you are the one on the table, so why the connection to Mars?
The most basic reason that Mars is connected to surgeons is the fact that they deal with blood, tissue and muscles in their daily work. In addition, scalpels for all intents and purposes are as deadly a weapon as any, with the difference being that in the hands of a surgeon it is used for saving lives instead of taking them. Even the surgery itself is a traumatic and invasive procedure, two more terms that are closely related to Mars, with its results often being a matter of life or death.
Making food on the other hand, is rarely seen as a manly activity. Yet carving up animal and plant carcasses, and then proceeding to chop, mince, burn and boil them up into various dishes is definitely quite a violent and bloody affair. In addition, the fact that the main tools of the trade include sharp knives, open flames and boiling oil, really helps one appreciate the connection of Mars to the rather hazardous culinary arts. Think about that the next time you hear the phrase “a woman’s place is in the kitchen”.
And what does all of it have to do with adrenalin or the male sex organ?
While testosterone increases muscle mass and aggression, it’s the adrenaline that is responsible for getting the body ready for a fight by increasing its strength and reaction speed, hence the connection to Mars. In addition, adrenaline is mainly released when we sense danger, this is why adrenaline junkies are constantly driven to rusk their lives for the rush.
While Venus represents most of the reproductive organs in vedic astrology, the male sex organ is represented by Mars. In the most basic sense, this connection stems from it being an offensive tool that just like a weapon is designed for penetrating the bodies of others. In addition, its function directly relates to blood, which is necessary for filling it up and making it functional, emphasizing the connection to the red planet.