Mars: God of War. The red warrior planet whose energy can be intense, vibrant, excitable, driven, volatile, even violent. When our animal nature stirs we are in Mars territory as we get in touch with our instinctive selves. Aries, the first sign of the zodiac, is ruled by Mars. This archetype represents the primal Self: not exactly ego but the identity we create as we develop grow evolve
When we feel challenged our instinct can be to become angry. We react to emotions that arise instantaneously, such as fear, anxiety and hurt. If you are anything like me, that reaction is often an angry one. Before I know it I am defensive and aggressive, not to mention offensive (lol!) and it is my poorly channelled Mars rearing his ugly head. I am ready for battle, saddled up on my high horse before I can even take one conscious breath. Ugh.
If anger is a Martian energy it needs proper expression. Sometimes, there is real cause for anger (#letthemstay) but venting indiscriminately is not helpful. Becoming identified with an opinion, whether it be political, philosophical, hypothetical or whatever, allows us to get lost in a futile battle of wills with whomsoever was unfortunate enough to give voice to their disagreement. We rant and rave, even rage, as we unconsciously hand the reins to low-road Mars.
In this reactive state, we can make serious mistakes. See crimes of passion #nextstopprison. If only we could turn back time. When we poorly manage Mars energy chronically and find ourselves portrayed as “bad tempered” (or as my partner regularly described me until a couple of years ago “cantankerous” yeesh! i wish i could deny it) we are not using our most vibrant and ambitious planetary energy for its intended purpose. We are righteously indignant “how dare he/she/they?!!” as we defend our position. “i have every right to be angry!”
Perhaps, to some extent, this might be true. But it is irrelevant. We’ve been given a brain so lets use it. There is always a choice. We do not have to allow ourselves to become caught in downward spiral of seething resentment. When we feed those angry thoughts, our angry brain-pathways are reinforced. Every. Single. Time. When we consider an alternative response we create a new piece of neurocircuitry (!) and who can’t use more of that?!
Please understand, we don’t deny our feelings. Once again, employing Buddhist principles is helping me. We accept our anger. But, more than that, we need to scratch the surface. Beneath that over-reaction is something else… hurt, pain, sadness, anxiety. Fear. That old chestnut. In my experience, when I look just a little bit closer and engage in some honest self-appraisal, once I see that I am simply acting our of old pain my anger evaporates. I find inner space to breathe for a moment. I find compassion humility and love. No shit!
If we truly need to act, we must first breathe. Exercise restraint, like the true warrior. Then our actions are more meaningful and considered. They are smarter and less embarrassing. We are courageous. We are in high-road Mars country and the views are epic!