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Mapping the Psyche

An Introduction to Psychological Astrology, by Clare Martin

Lesson Three: Venus and Mars

Our next pair of planets, which are both complementary and opposite astrological principles, are Venus and Mars. In mythology they are usually either lovers or bitter enemies, often both at the same time. Jung described the complexity of the male/female relationship: "...We are inclined to think of this primarily as the power of love, of passion, which drives the two opposite poles together, forgetting that such a vehement attraction is needed only when an equally strong resistance keeps them apart." [22] From a psychological point of view, these two planets keep each other in balance and harmony. Venus without Mars, and Mars without Venus, are very sorry creatures indeed, and without each other these two planetary principles are very likely to become distorted with the result that everything starts to go wrong.

These two planets become particularly important around the time of adolescence, when we start to explore our own individuality as a way of growing away from, or defining ourselves against, the parental Sun/Moon matrix. Venus and Mars concern the feminine and masculine aspects of desire and sexuality, the extraordinarily powerful forces which arrive with adolescence and which are often quite overwhelming. Venus and Mars are extremely powerful forces in the psyche, with Venus representing the force of attraction and Mars representing the force of assertion. One way to illustrate this is to think of Venus as 'egg consciousness' and Mars as 'sperm consciousness'. Venus seeks to attract and, in fact, chooses. Mars seeks to compete and to win.

A distorted Venus which has become bitter, vicious, jealous and possessive, or greedy, inert, vain and selfish, needs attention. The pure archetypal qualities of Venus, of love, fulfilment and joy, have become lost. A distorted Mars which has become violent, destructive, aggressive and reckless or weak and self sacrificial also needs attention. The pure archetypal qualities of Mars, the gift of strength and potency, have been lost. It is developmentally crucial that the full creative potential of Venus and Mars is explored and developed, since it is these two planets which affirm life and which are the seat of our personal sense of joy, fulfilment, strength and potency, qualities which enable us to live our lives with passion and enthusiasm. The placement of Venus and Mars in our birth charts will indicate how and where we need to develop these qualities to their full potential. As with the Sun and Moon, the principles of Venus and Mars are not gender related, since both planets are found in every chart. What is important, therefore, is for each individual to explore, understand and honour what their Venus desires and how their Mars needs to assert itself.

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The Book"Mapping the Psyche"

First published 2005 by the CPA Press, BCM Box 1815, London WC1N 3XX, United Kingdom, www.cpalondon.com.
Copyright ©2005 by Clare Martin.
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