Mars at home

River water reflecting city lights at night

With Mars now in one of its home signs of Scorpio, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the strengths of the planet in this intense water sign.

Like Jupiter, Mars is at home in the elements of fire and water. Mars is the traditional ruler of the signs Aries and Scorpio.

Mars is easier to understand in the fire element. In Aries it’s much more direct, for one thing. Fire doesn’t even try to hide; it gets right up in your face to intimidate you. Aries is the ram, busting headfirst into whatever the world has to offer. Mars the fighter is obviously natural here.

Scorpio offers a very different side of Mars, but no less powerful. It leads with the same degree of intuition, but internalized rather than externalized. Mars in Scorpio is a natural at gathering intelligence and developing strategy, at conserving energy and waiting for the right moment to strike a fatal blow.

Most people find this side of Mars frankly scary, and for good reason. Water can be a ruthlessly destructive force. But it’s also deeply healing; Scorpio is the sign of medicine and surgery, of transformation. It’s the sign of psychotherapy as well, another form of deep healing that can be painful to go through.

Something I think both signs have in common is an individualistic streak. In Aries, this is unmistakeable: they’re independent creatures and they know it! Scorpio is more subtle, and the individualistic nature comes more in the form of desiring privacy, particularly when processing something. To understand something, they need to work with it on their own without interruption, until something clicks. This is why they’re such good tacticians and strategists: unlike Aries, they won’t charge into territory until they’ve gained some intelligence about the terrain, and they won’t trust information from just anyone, either.

Mars in Scorpio is a powerful placement, and sometimes difficult to work with — largely because it’s emotional work, something that gets worked out at a psychological level, and it can be hard to justify that work in the day-to-day grind or to show results on any kind of timetable. Water energy is like that. But when the insights do come, they’re transformative.