Mars is one of the planets most well known today. In most people’s imagination, Mars stands as the masculine planet in contrast with the feminine Venus. This is only partially accurate, there are plenty of female deities or qualities that could be seen as falling under the domain of Mars. Things that are of Mars are called martial, like the martial arts or martial law.
Mars is basically the god of war. Fittingly, his glyph is a spear behind a shield:
He rules over conflict, battle, and power – especially physical power. Mars rules over military powers and the acquisition of physical power. In the individual Mars can be said to rule over drive, intense passion, and anger. I would like to add at this moment that in the modern world we tend to think of anger as universally negative. This is simply not the case. Anger and hatred are essential aspects of the universe and the individual. It is good to be angered by injustice. It is good to hate evil. The reality of life is that most great endeavors have a seed of anger or hatred in them, this is a part of life. I am telling you this so that you do not fall into the common trap of thinking of Mars as a “bad” planet.
Mars is associated with fire and shares many of its more aggressive connotations: power, destruction, and intensity. Mars rules over Aries and shares many of its characteristics with Aries. It also rules over Scorpio, and in a sense provides Scorpio with its intensity, power, and one pointed focus.
The metal associated with Mars is iron. This is fitting as iron has often been a tool used to craft weapons of war.
Mars has a special relationship to desire and man’s animal nature. It also rules over achievement, triumphs, strife, adversity, valor, and competition. Its nature is to be forceful.