Today we continue with our series of short practices for connecting to each of the traditional planets on each of the days that they rule. Tuesday is the day of Mars. Attuning to Mars can be energizing and activating, and also sometimes challenging. It can bring up harm, frustration, or rage, which are difficult emotions—but those are places that we need to feel in order to heal.
Mars is considered the malefic of the nocturnal sect in Hellenistic astrology. Mars severs and separates, the planet of action and taking charge. It is associated with aggression, conflict, and war. As a malefic planet, it can present difficulties, specifically denying, refusing, or challenging the significations of the other planets. It is associated with the warrior. Mars rules the signs of Aries and Scorpio, and is exalted in Capricorn.
For today—or any Tuesday—you might make a small altar for Mars with the things you have available. You can look to the list of correspondences below for the kinds of colors, stones, numbers, and tarot cards you might incorporate. Add things that you associate with Mars—maybe red candles or things made of iron or steel, like nails or knives, even miniature soldier action figures. Once you build your altar, take some time to be with it as an aesthetic experience. Notice how being with this altar makes you feel. Drop your attention down into your body and observe what sensations arise as you observe the objects you’ve gathered for Mars.
Sometimes, Mars is visible in the night sky. It has a dull, red-ish glow. Right now, because of how close Mars is to the Sun, it is not currently visible, but later in the year, you might consider taking time to go outside and see Mars in the sky. It will be visible in the morning before sunrise from October 16 through the end of the year.
Whether you’re working with or without an altar, I invite you to take some time to meditate with Mars. It could be five minutes, ten minutes, or longer. Visualize Mars in your mind’s eye (you can look up pictures of the planet if you don’t know what it looks like), or visualize the glyph for Mars. Notice what your body feels like as you imagine Mars. Remember or call up experiences in which you have felt stirred to action, motivated to charge ahead, even if that meant conflict or separation. Consider returning to experiences in which what you wanted was denied, and it felt like the only way forward was a fight. Notice what these memories feel like in your body, not just as thoughts in your mind.
In meditations like this, I also work with mantras coming from the yoga tradition. For working with Mars, I use the mantra: “Om Sri Angarakaya Namaha.” I use a mala and repeat the mantra 108 times. I also sometimes use mudra, described below.
However you spend your time meditating on Mars—repeating a mantra, recalling experiences that you associated with Mars’ significations—tune in to the sensations that begin to accumulate. These could be physical, emotional, or they could be more subtle energetic shifts. The practice here is for Mars to become more than just an abstract symbol or something that you think of as “out there” in space. As you begin to notice what Mars feels like within your body, this becomes a state that you can return to and work with in your magic, and how you understand Mars astrologically—in your birth chart or in its transits—will begin to take on more embodied significance as well.
Metals: “red copper and all kinds of sulphur” (Picatrix)
Stones: “part of glass and premonada, and bloodstone and part of carnelian and onyx and in all stones that are red and tawny or speckled” (Picatrix)
Chakra: Manipura, the Solar Plexus Chakra
Mantra: Om Sri Angarakaya Namaha
Mudra: Because the thumb is associated with Mars, and because of Mars’ active quality, I use prana mudra for stimulating and focusing energy, bringing the tip of the thumb to the tips of the ring and little finger, with the index and middle finger extended. There is also a mudra called angaraka mudra which is used to depict Mars in Indian dance traditions, pictured below.
Tarot: Knights, especially the Knight of Swords, but I will often meditate on different Knight cards depending on what triplicity Mars is located in. So, for example, as I write this, Mars is in Virgo—and earth sign—so I might spend time meditating with the Knight of Pentacles. (In the Golden Dawn tradition, Mars was associated with The Tower card.)
Kaitlin Coppock, “Planetary Magic: A Beginner’s Guide,” WellBeing Astrology 2020, editor Kelly Surtees, Universal Media Co, 2019: 92-95.
Austin Coppock, “Intro to Planetary Magic,” https://austincoppock.com/shop/intro-to-planetary-magic-course/[online course].
Richard Fish and Ryan Kurczak, The Art and Science of Vedic Astrology: The Foundation Course (Asheville Vedic Astrology, 2012).
Cain Carroll and Revital Carroll, Mudras of India (London: Singing Dragon, 2013).
Gertrud Hirschi, Mudras: Yoga in your Hands (York Beach, Maine: Samuel Weiser, Inc, 2000).
Thomas Ashley-Farrand, Healing Mantras: Using Sound Affirmations for Personal Power, Creativity, and Healing (New York: Ballantine Books, 1999).
Richard Palmer, “Delving Into Tarot and Astrology in the Golden Dawn Tradition,” Biddy Tarot, https://www.biddytarot.com/tarot-astrology-golden-dawn/.
Joe Rao, “When, Where and How to See the Planets in the 2019 Night Sky,” December 27, 2018, https://www.space.com/39240-when-to-see-planets-in-the-sky.html.