The Reluctant Action Hero

The planet Mars in the Astrology chart is symbolic of action, motivation, competitiveness and the cathartic responses involved with anger. Mars involves the cutting-stinging-biting-erecting and decisive motivation away from passivity. But what about the impotent and repressed Mars? There are some indications in astrology that show how a repressed Mars can lead to overcompensating and the idea of the reluctant action hero.

Don Knotts as the Reluctant Action Hero

Using the potential of Mars in the astrology chart usually means enjoying the competitive spirit involved with ambitious drives. If a person is lacking in these competitive drives then do they become couch potatoes? Do they wither away with all manner of atrophy? The answer is obviously “no”, however it might be useful to understand the under-functioning Mars in the natal chart.

It is useful to investigate the different meanings of Mars in Astrology definitions. In ancient times Mars was considered a malefic and he represented wars and other detrimental acts upon oneself in the normal course of life. Mars is the reddish complexion and denotes the more than bold, perhaps vulgar labourer in the village. Mars is the thief in the night or the fight where the damage is caused by the spear thrown. Mars is the male sex organ, potent in its active form.  Modern Mars represents Animus, the authority, objectivity, initiative, courage, conviction, action, aggression, and brutality. Mars is anger, assertiveness, competitiveness, ambition and represents the male hormone-testosterone.

Mars Action

Animus Action

Mars is the “doer” and the inertia buster in the chart, however sometimes Mars can slide down the slippery slopes of inaction or passivity. Mars is most happy functioning in the signs of Aries, Scorpio and Capricorn and less so in Taurus, Libra and in my view the sign of Pisces.

When Mars is found in combination to Neptune or the South Node his usual pro-active potential becomes transmuted, repressed or overcompensated.

Neptune is the “great dissolver” and its influence on Mars tends to create a secondary process for his energy. Mars-Neptune can equate with “failed actions” and the clumsy accident prone nature of actions gone wrong. Mars can also transmute inwardly and feeling response where anger is turned into guilt by psychological self condemnation. It seems easier to blame oneself for getting it wrong than to be outwardly angry at the authentic source.

Mars and Neptune can be the criminal act and the lier personified because the assertive qualities of Mars must work surreptitiously with Neptune. Perhaps pornography and other subjugated sexual acts also refer to Mars and Neptune. Bill Clinton has Mars Neptune at the ascendant and we all remember his cigar exploits. Mars an Neptune can also represent the drug user or alcoholic where by the lack of decisiveness in life  means the person may find another life in – inebriation. Perhaps in one way the person is being decisive by drinking; in that is at least doing something?

Its not all bad news for Mars and Neptune though, the creativity of Neptune utilizes Mars passion for different outcomes. Compassionate motivations towards community involvement is one way of using Mars Neptune. Here the actions are deliberated by becoming involved with a service of sacrifice such as voluntary work.  Working with drug and alcohol issues in the community is perhaps the positive way one can use Mars Neptune to express their own energy instead of repressing that. Mars and Neptune is an unseen energy too; the energy in the ether’s so to speak. The energy of the ‘unseen’ and sensitivities to the “invisible” can provide the person with Mars-Neptune in their chart, the talents of clairvoyance. Perhaps this can also be described as an increased perception or intuitiveness to ones environment. Mars must work in some way and Neptune dissolves Mars truest form and creates a secondary applications for his energies.


Mars and the South Node is a few blogs in length however I will attempt to explore this combination with the help of some other resources. Maritha Pottenger describes Mars and the South Node quite well. Here is a quote by her.

Mars conjunct South Node: This individual may be fearful or phobic about ever taking the initiative. They could be overly self critical. Issues are possible surrounding health (especially relating to repression), violence or assertiveness. They may go to extremes (too much or too little) in regards to personal action or physicality. Learning how to care for themselves and others is the key.    end quote

The South Node in psychological terms represents the developmental issues that result in personality scripting. The somewhat negative script that a person follows in order to reinforce or defend his most vulnerable inner world. Of course Astrology is wonderfully rich with metaphors and archetypal definitions which refer the South Node to past lives, karma and the unintegrated aspects of personality. From the South Node we are continually motivated towards a different ways of operating in life, if we are ever to transcend beyond the scripty life.

The North Node is where “life’s integration” happens and the move away from scripty ways means “change”. Perhaps the South and North Node are the “cosmic Gestalt” indicators and where it is perfectly normal for a person to continually return to the South Node operation in order to develop new progress towards their (North Node) integration process.

Mars and the South Node represents the scripty nature of the Mars attributes for an individual. The negative patterns involving anger may appear as behavioural issues or perhaps the inability to express anger at all. The idea of Mars repressed at the South Node is a difficult one indeed.

Mars and the South Node represent impotency and the lack of assertive response to provocative situations. Perhaps an aspect of the South Node is also about projecting issues (to North Node) and indeed some provocative behavioural patterns on behalf of the person. There are many ways to interpret the Nodes in Astrology however the descriptions all tend to arrive at the same outcome.

The inclination to place ones energy and effort into the past (South Node) can be immobilizing and indecisive for a person. Mars can become frozen over here; competitive, grumpy or indolent situations that serve to reinforce negative patterns in life. The continual adherence to scripty behaviours related to Mars has a number of outcomes. Mars can be docile, burnt out and without any proactive response to ones need to act. This innaction can mean an element of depression. Mars “holds out to expressing his true potential” but the energy has to go somewhere.


Aggression and other indirect expressions of Mars tends to imply there are feelings under laying the overcompensating Mars – behaviours. Take the school Bully for example; with all his pushing and shoving teasing and condemning; Underneath all that huff and bluff he is really a hurt and scared young boy. His scripty behaviours are designed to protect the more vulnerable feelings underneath. Overcompensating for Mars can mean becoming overly active in some kind of behavioural pursuit which is really an attempt to push away from the scripty –  non assertive and past life notion of the South Node.  The Mars – South Node person must beg themselves to be aware of their anger and assertive issues otherwise the old “Ground Hog Day” of repetitive cycles continues without change.

Finding different ways to become the hero of ones dysfunctional Mars is to find a way to go against the unsavoury and repetitive outcomes in life; To invest in pro active groups even if that feels hopeless to begin with. To find someone willing to be competitive with  –  to bounce off and to feel some goodness in that kind of energy. Perhaps working in anger management or stress-burnout fields is also creatively asserting (expressing) Mars and the South Node energy productively in life.

Mars and Souh Node People

Jayne Mansfield                          Peter Gabriel

Ted Bundy                                   Jeremy Irons

Matt Biondy                                Willy Nelson

Henry Mattise                            Sophia Loren

Joan of Arc                                 Michael Caine

Sybil Shepherd                           Mark Spitz

David Hicks

by Kingsley


7 Responses to “The Reluctant Action Hero”

  1. 1 roses November 5, 2008 at 07:05

    This post K, was very helpful. Thank you. I also popped the TA link into ‘my favorites’.

    Most people would fall into this catagory wouldn’t they K? I mean the Mars-Neptune thing? It happens to everyone doesn’t it?


  2. 2 kingsley November 5, 2008 at 07:13

    In a generic kind of way the Mars Neptune symbolism can be a widely incorporated experience that many of have from time to time Roses, however if you actually have the Mars-Neptune configuration in the natal chart then that would be a much more pronounced and character element to ones personality. I think I know about 4-5 Mars Neptune people quite well. The way each of them “work” with that in life is different.

    Good question Roses


  3. 3 roses November 6, 2008 at 18:18

    Thankyou for the training stroke K.


  4. 4 kahless November 7, 2008 at 07:55

    I would love to be Lara Croft!

  5. 5 kingsley November 7, 2008 at 08:10

    Hi Kahless, she does have a way of getting things done doesnt she. I am sure there is some Lara Croft in you. You have your thoughts and write those with assertiveness, rather than not K. Lara would be impressed.


  6. 6 Alexwebmaster March 3, 2009 at 21:50

    Hello webmaster
    I would like to share with you a link to your site
    write me here

  7. 7 kingsley March 4, 2009 at 08:37

    thanks for that Alex

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