Mars and The Elements

The four Elements– Fire, Earth, Air, and Water – are represented through the twelve signs of the zodiac and each planet. When we’re analyzing a chart to understand how the planets will operate, pay attention to the Elements. They provide an additional layer of meaning to the planets according to the signs they occupy. Below is a brief look at the planet Mars through the elements.

When Mars is positioned in one of the Fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) there tends to be a particularly powerful, passionate, and strong force and these individuals must be careful not to create too much heat and lose themselves in the billowing smoke of their own creating. These people are ‘playing with fire’ and may not realize the double-whammy packed behind every action, until it’s too late. (Double-whammy because here in one of these three signs Mars, a fiery planet, is operating through Fire signs.) They are the movers and shakers, the innovators and adventurers, the conquerors and leaders eager to inspire and fuel passion in others, but they need to monitor their own power and strength in order to be productive and not destructive.

Earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) may wrestle within themselves due to a dislike and unwillingness to change. They tend to be too stable (perhaps lethargic) in their comfort zones, too slow to react, and therefore, may miss their chance to fulfill their goals. But the Earth signs, particularly Capricorn where Mars is exalted, offer the steadfast, practical, solid structure for Mars to blast full speed ahead and create things of lasting value. When these individuals have charted their course, the energy of Mars can charge head first to its destination. They need to be sure of their plans first, however, because once they’re on their way, they’ll find it difficult to turn back.

Air signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) often think before they act, which is a good habit for dealing with Mars energy. This gives them a heads up, a pause to evaluate first, but they must be careful not to get caught up in the intellectual process and therefore miss the opportunity to act at the effective moment. These individuals constantly think of things to do, to make, to build, and have an impulse to go out and achieve, but they must put their thoughts into action in order to experience the manifest results of their creative mind. If they want to create anything, they must harness all of their conceptual ideas and maintain the discipline required to see it through to completion.

Water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces) act from intuition and feelings but must be careful not to drown in excessive and uncontrolled emotion. If they take on too much and try to protect too many people, causes, or beliefs at the same time, any positive result may fizzle out before having had the chance to ignite into something truly illuminating. Mars reaches its debility in Cancer, where the full impact of this emotional tidal wave can ‘put out the fire’ of Mars, making it challenging to act and react effectively. Due to Cancer’s sensitivity and open heart where it is all too quick to take the plunge, they can become deeply vulnerable and wounded. Overall, these ‘big feelers’ need to skillfully navigate through their own feelings and monitor their emotional reactions. They have the greatest capacity to love. If they can learn to surf the waves of their emotion, Mars can bring them to new heights and love will be the foundation for all of their accomplishments.

Look at the planets in your own chart and the charts of family and friends- especially the Ascendant, Moon, and Sun signs: what signs are the planets in (and the planet that rules the Ascendant), what element are those signs, and combined with the elements of the planets, can you recognize relevant characteristics, behaviors, talents or interests?


Renate Maria Bell is a certified Vedic Astrologer, Jyotish Visharada, and approved teacher with the Council of Vedic Astrology. She can be reached at

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