Mars by Willian Lilly ancient Astrology


Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second-smallest planet in the Solar System, after Mercury. Named after the Roman god of war, it is often referred to as the “Red Planet” because the iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance. Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere, having surface features reminiscent both of the impact craters of the Moon and the valleys, deserts, and polar ice caps of Earth.


Mars represents strength. If unguided by wisdom it is a dangerous planet, inclined to deeds of violence, acting rashly and without consideration. It is a principle which causes anger and wrath. It has been regarded as the god of warriors, soldiers, lawyers, causing also the effects of violent medicines. Its action may become moderated by its union with ♀. Among the metals Mars is represented by iron, in the kingdom of spiritual powers by the god of war. It is of a feiry nature, and as fire does not combine with water, likewise an irate temper and the assertion of self-will is incompatible with that calm and peaceful thought necessary for the perception of truth.


In ancient Roman religion and myth, Mars was the god of war and also an agricultural guardian, a combination characteristic of early Rome. He was second in importance only to Jupiter and he was the most prominent of the military gods in the religion of the Roman army. Most of his festivals were held in March, the month named for him (Latin Martius), and in October, which began the season for military campaigning and ended the season for farming.

Under the influence of Greek culture, Mars was identified with the Greek god Ares, whose myths were reinterpreted in Roman literature and art under the name of Mars. But the character and dignity of Mars differed in fundamental ways from that of his Greek counterpart, who is often treated with contempt and revulsion in Greek literature. Mars was a part of the Archaic Triad along with Jupiter and Quirinus, the latter of whom as a guardian of the Roman people had no Greek equivalent. Mars’ altar in the Campus Martius, the area of Rome that took its name from him, was supposed to have been dedicated by Numa, the peace-loving semi-legendary second king of Rome. Although the center of Mars’ worship was originally located outside the sacred boundary of Rome (pomerium), Augustus made the god a renewed focus of Roman religion by establishing the Temple of Mars Ultor in his new forum.

Although Ares was viewed primarily as a destructive and destabilizing force, Mars represented military power as a way to secure peace, and was a father (pater) of the Roman people. In the mythic genealogy and founding myths of Rome, Mars was the father of Romulus and Remus with Rhea Silvia. His love affair with Venus symbolically reconciled the two different traditions of Rome’s founding; Venus was the divine mother of the hero Aeneas, celebrated as the Trojan refugee who “founded” Rome several generations before Romulus laid out the city walls.

The importance of Mars in establishing religious and cultural identity within the Roman Empire is indicated by the vast number of inscriptions identifying him with a local deity, particularly in the Western provinces.

Ares is the Greek god of war. He is one of the Twelve Olympians, and the son of Zeus and Hera. In Greek literature, he often represents the physical or violent and untamed aspect of war, in contrast to his sister the armored Athena, whose functions as a goddess of intelligence include military strategy and generalship.

The Greeks were ambivalent toward Ares: although he embodied the physical valor necessary for success in war, he was a dangerous force, “overwhelming, insatiable in battle, destructive, and man-slaughtering.” His sons Fear (Phobos) and Terror (Deimos) and his lover, or sister, Discord (Enyo) accompanied him on his war chariot. In the Iliad, his father Zeus tells him that he is the god most hateful to him. An association with Ares endows places and objects with a savage, dangerous, or militarized quality. His value as a war god is placed in doubt: during the Trojan War, Ares was on the losing side, while Athena, often depicted in Greek art as holding Nike (Victory) in her hand, favored the triumphant Greeks.

Ares plays a relatively limited role in Greek mythology as represented in literary narratives, though his numerous love affairs and abundant offspring are often alluded to. When Ares does appear in myths, he typically faces humiliation. He is well known as the lover of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, who was married to Hephaestus, god of craftsmanship. The most famous story related to Ares and Aphrodite shows them exposed to ridicule through the wronged husband’s clever device.

The counterpart of Ares among the Roman gods is Mars, who as a father of the Roman people was given a more important and dignified place in ancient Roman religion as a guardian deity. During the Hellenization of Latin literature, the myths of Ares were reinterpreted by Roman writers under the name of Mars. Greek writers under Roman rule also recorded cult practices and beliefs pertaining to Mars under the name of Ares. Thus in the classical tradition of later Western art and literature, the mythology of the two figures becomes virtually indistinguishable.


LXIV. TO MARS.[1][2]


Magnanimous, unconquered, boistrous Mars,
In darts rejoicing, and in bloody wars
Fierce and untamed, whose mighty power can make
The strongest walls from their foundations shake:
Mortal destroying king, defiled with gore,
Pleased with war’s dreadful and tumultuous roar:
Thee, human blood, and swords, and spears delight,
And the dire ruin of mad savage fight.
Stay, furious contests, and avenging strife,
Whose works with woe, embitter human life;
To lovely Venus[3], and to Bacchus[4] yield,
To Ceres[5] give the weapons of the field;
Encourage peace, to gentle works inclined,
And give abundance, with benignant mind.


CHAPTER X Of the Planet MARS, and his Signification.

MARS doth in order succeed Jupiter, whom the Ancients sometimes called Mavors, Aris, Pyrois, Gradivus;

  • COLOUR & LATITUDE: He is lesse in body then Jupiter or Venus, and appeareth to our sight of a shining, fiery, sparkling colour, he finisheth his course in the Zodiack in one yeer 321 dayes, or thereabouts; his greatest latitude North is 4, 31 min. his South is 6 degr. and 47.
  • MOTION: His mean motion is 31 min. 27 seconds. His diurnall motion is sometimes 32. 34. 36. 38. 40. 44. min. a day, seldom more.
  • HOUSES: He hath Aries for his Day-house, and Scorpio for his Night-house; he is exalted in 28 degr. of Capricorn, and is depressed in 28 Cancer, he receiveth detriment in Libra and Taurus; he is retrograde 80 dayes; stationary before direction two dayes; after, but one day.
  • TRIPLICITY: He governeth wholly the Watry Triplicity, viz. Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces.
  • TERMS: In the whole twelve Signs, Ptolomy assigneth him these degrees for Terms, viz.

    In ARIES, 22, 23, 24, 25,26.
    In TAURUS, 27, 28, 29, 30.
    In GEMINI, 26, 27, 28, 29,30.
    In CANCER, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
    In LEO, 26, 27, 28, 29,30.
    In VIRGO, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30.
    In LIBRA, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30.
    In SCORPIO, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
    In SAGITTARIUS, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30.
    In CAPRICORN, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25.
    In AQUARIUS, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30.
    In PISCES, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26.

  • FACE: He hath allotted him for his Face these degrees.

    In ARIES, 1, 2, 31 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.
    In GEMINI, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.
    In LEO, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30.
    In SCORPIO, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.
    In CAPRICORN, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.
    In PISCES, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30.

  • NATURE: He is Masculine, Nocturnall Planet, in nature hot and dry, cholerick and fiery, the lesser Infortune, author of Quarrels, Strifes, Contentions.
  • MANNERS & ACTIONS, WHEN WELL DIGNIFIED: In feats of Warre and Courage invincible, scourning any should exceed him, subject to no Reason, Bold, Confident, Immoveable, Contentious, challenging all Honour to themselves, Valiant, lovers of Warre and things pertaining thereunto, hazarding himself to all Perils, willingly will obey no body; nor submit to any, a large reporter of his own Acts, one that fights all things in comparison of Victory, and yet of prudent behaviour in his own affaires.
  • WHEN ILL: Then he is Pratler without modesty or honesty, a lover of Slaughter and Quarrels, Murder, Theevery, a promoter of Sedition, Frayes and Commotions; and Highway-Theef, as wavering as the Wind, a Traytor, of turbulent Spirit, Perjurer, Obscene, Rash, Inhumane, neither fearing God or caring for man, Unthankful, Trecherous, Oppressors, Ravenous, Cheater, Furious, Violent.
  • CORPORATURE: Generally Martialuts have this forme; they are but middle Stature, their Bodies strong, and their Bones big, rather leane then fat; their Complexion of a brown, ruddy colour, or flaxen, and many times crisping or curling, sharp hazle Eyes, and they piercing, a bold confident countence, and the man active and fearlesse.
  • ORIENTALL: When Mars is Orientall, he signifies Valiant men, some white mixed with the rednesse, a decent talnesse of Body, hairy of his Body.
  • OCCIDENTALL: Very ruddy Complexion’d, but mean in Stature, little Head, a smooth Body, and not hairy; yellow Hair, stiffe, the natural humours generally more dry.
  • PRINCES: Ruling by Tyranny and Opression, or Tyrants, Usurpers, new Conquerours.
  • QUALITY OF MEN & PROFESSION: Generals of Armies, Colonels, Captaines, or any Souldiers having command in Armies, all manner of Souldiers, Physitians, Apothecaries, Chirurgions, Alchimists, Gunners, Butchers, Marshals, Sergeants, Bailiffs, Hang-men, Theeves, Smiths, Bakers, Armourers, Watch-makers, Botchers, Tailors, Cutlers of Swords and Knives, Barbers, Dyers, Cooks, Carpenters, Gamesters, Bear-wards, Tanners, Carriers.
  • SICKNESSES: The Gall, the left Eare, tertian Feavers, pestilent burning Feavers, Megrams in the Head, Carbunckles, the Plague and all Plague-sores, Burnings, Ring-wormes, Blisters Phrensies, mad sudden distempers in the Head, Yellow-jaundies, Bloody-flux, Fistulaes, all Wounds and Diseases in mens Genitories, the Stone both in the Reins and Bladder, Scars or smal Pocks in the Face, all hurts by Iron, the Shingles, and such other Diseases as arise by abundance of too much Choller, Anger or Passion.
  • COLOURS & SAVOURS: He delighteth in Red colour, or yellow, fiery and shinning like Saffron; and in those Savours which are bitter, sharp and burn the Tongue; of Humours, Choller.
  • HEARBS: The Hearbs which we attribute to Mars are such as come near to a rednesse, whose leaves are pointed and sharp, whose taste is costick and burning, love to grow on dry places, are corosive and penetrating the Flesh and Bones with a most subtil heat: They are as followeth. The Nettle, all manner of Thistles, Rest-harrow or Cammock, Devils-milk or Petty spurge, the white and red Brambles, the white called vulgarly by the Hearbalists Ramme, Lingwort, Onion, Scommony, Garlick, Mustard-seed, Pepper, Ginger, Leeks, Ditander, Hore-hound, Hemlock, red Sanders, Tamarindes, all Hearbs attracting or drawing choller by Sympathy, Raddish, Castoreum, Arsolarr,Assarum, Carduus, Denedictus, Cantharides.
  • TREES: All Trees which are prickly, as the Thorn, Chestnut.
  • BEASTS, &c: Panther, Tyger, Mastiffe, Vulture, Fox; of living creatures, those that are Warlike, Ravenous and Bold, the Castor, Horse, Mule, Ostrich, the Goat, the Wolf, the Leopard, the wild Asse, the Gnats, Flyes, Lapwing, Cockarrice, the Griffon, Bear.
  • FISHES, BIRDS, &c: The Pike, the Shark. the Barbel, the Fork-fish, all stinking Worms, Scorpions.
  • BIRDS: The Hawke, the Vultur, the Kite or Glead, (all ravenous Fowle) the Raven, Cormorant, the owle, (some say the Eagle) the Crow, the Pye.
  • PLACES: Smiths, Shops, Furnaces, Slaughter-houses, places where Bricks or Charcoales are burned, or have been burnes, Chimneys, Forges.
  • MINERALS: Iron, Antimony, Arsenick, Brimston, Ocre.
  • STONES: Adamant, Loadstone, Blood-stone, Jasper, the many coloured Amatheist, the Touch-stone, red Lead or Vermilion.
  • WEATHER: Red Clouds, Thunder, Lightning, Fiery impressions, and pestilent Airs, which usually appear after a long time of drinesse and fair Wheather, by improper and unwholesome Mysts.
  • WINDS: He stirreth up the Western Winds.
  • ORBE: His Orbe is onely seven degrees before and after any of his aspects.
  • YEERS: In man he governeth the flourishing time of Youth, and from 41 to 56; his greatest yeers are 264, greater 66, mean 40, lesse 15.
  • COUNTRIES: Saromatia, Lumbardy, Batavia, Ferraria, Gothland, and the third Climate.
  • DAY OF THE WEEK: He governeth Tuesday, and therein the first hour and eighth from Sun rise, and in Conception the third moneth.
  • ANGEL: Samael.
  • His friends are onely Venus; Enemies all the other Planets.


  • In the days and hours of Mars thou canst make experiments regarding war; to arrive at military honour; to acquire courage; to overthrow enemies; and further to cause ruin, slaughter, cruelty, discord; to wound and to give death.
  • The hours of Saturn, of Mars, and of the Moon are alike good for communicating and speaking with spirits; as those of Mercury are for recovering thefts by the means of spirits.
  • The hours of Mars serve for summoning souls from Hades, especially of those slain in battle.
  • The hours of Saturn and Mars and also the days on which the Moon is conjunct with them, or when she receives their opposition or quartile aspect, are excellent for making experiments of hatred, enmity, quarrel, and discord and other operations of the same kind which are given later on in this work.

Deposit the image in some place perfumed with evil odours, especially those of Mars, such as sulphur and assafoetida. Let it remain there for one night, having duly asperged it, observing the proper hour and time.


These pentacles are usually made of the metal the most suitable to the nature of the planet; and then there is no occasion to observe the rule of particular colours.
Saturn ruleth over lead;
Jupiter over tin;
Mars over iron;
the Sun over gold;
Venus over copper;
Mercury over the mixture of metals;
and the Moon over silver.

They may also be made with exorcised virgin paper writing thereon with the colours adopted for each planet, referring to the rules already laid down in the proper chapters, and according to the planet with which the pentacle is in sympathy.
Wherefore unto Saturn the colour of black is appropriated;
Jupiter ruleth over celestial blue;
Mars over red;
the Sun over gold, or the colour of yellow or citron;
Venus over green;
Mercury over mixed colours;
the Moon over silver, or the colour of argentine earth.


Bk. I Ch. XXVII What things are under the power of Mars, and are called Martial.

Things are Martiall,

  • amongst Elements, Fire, together with all adust, and sharp things:
  • Amongst humours, Choller ; also bitter tasts, tart, and burning the tongue, and causing tears:
  • Amongst Metals, Iron, and red Brass; and all fiery, red, and sulphureous things:
  • Amongst Stones
    • the Diamond,
    • Loadstone,
    • the Blood-stone,
    • the Jasper,
    • the stone that consists of divers kinds,[6]
    • and the Amethist.
  • Amongst Plants and Trees,
    • Hellebor,
    • Garlick,
    • Euphorbium,
    • Cartabana,
    • Armoniack,
    • Radish,
    • the Laurell,
    • Wolfs-bane,
    • Scammony,
    • and all such as are poysonous, by reason of too much heat,
    • and those which are beset round about with prickles,
    • or by touching the skin, burn it, prick it, or make it swell,
      • as Cardis,
      • the Nettle,
      • Crow-foot,
    • and such as being eaten cause tears,
      • as Onyons,
      • Ascolonia,
      • Leeks,
      • Mustardseed,
    • and all thorny Trees,
    • and the Dog-tree, which is dedicated to Mars.
  • And all such Animals as are warlike, ravenous, bold, and of clear fancy,
    • as the Horse,
    • Mule,
    • Goat,
    • Kid,
    • Wolf,
    • Libard,
    • the wild Ass;
    • Serpents also,
    • and Dragons full of displeasure and poyson;
    • also all such as are offensive to men,
      • as Gnats,
      • Flies,
      • Baboon, by reason of his anger.
  • All such birds, that are ravenous, devour flesh, break bones,
    • as the Eagle,
    • the Faulcon,
    • the Hawk,
    • the Vultur;
    • and those which are called the fatall Birds,
      • as the Horn-Owl,
      • the Scrich-Owl,
      • Castrels,
      • Kites,
    • and such as are hungry, and ravenous, and such as make a noise in their swallowing,
      • as Crows,
      • Daws,
      • the Pie, which above all the rest is dedicated to Mars.
  • And amongst fishes,
    • the Pike,
    • the Barbell,
    • the Fork-fish,
    • the Fish that hath horns like a Ram,
    • the Sturgeon,
    • the Glacus, all which are great devourers, and ravenous.
Bk. I Ch. XXXI How Provinces, and Kingdoms are Distributed to Planets.

Mars with Aries governs Brittany, France, Germany, Bastarnia, the lower parts of Syria, Idumea and Judea; with Scorpio he rules Syria, Comagena, Cappadocia, Metagonium, Mauritania and Getulia

Bk. I Ch. XLIV The Composition of Some Fumes Appropriated to the Planets.

For Mars take euphorbium, bdellium, gum armoniac, the roots of both hellebores, the loadstone and a little sulfure, and incorporate them all with the brain of a hart, the blood of a man and the blood of a black cat….
To Mars, all odoriferous woods, as sanders, cypress, lignum balsam, and lignum aloes

Bk. I Ch. XLVII What Places are Suitable to Every Star

To Mars, fiery and bloody places, furnacnes, bakehouses, shambles, places of execution and and places where there have been great battles fought and slaughters made and the like.

Bk. I Ch. XLIV Of Light, Colours, Candles, and Lamps, and to what Stars, Houses, and Elements severall colours are ascribed

Red colours, and burning, fiery, flaming, violet, purple, bloody, and iron colours, resemble Mars.

Bk. II Ch. XL Of the Images of Mars.

From the operations of Mars

  • they made an Image in the hour of Mars, Mars being in the second face of Aries, in a Martiall stone, especially in a Diamond; The form of which was a man armed, riding upon a lion, having in his right hand a naked sword erected, carrying in his left hand the head of a man; they report, that an Image of this kind rendreth a man powerfull in good and evill, so that he shall be feared of all; and whosoever carryeth it they give him the power of enchantment, so that he shall terrifie men by his looks when he is angry, and stupifie them;
  • they made another Image of Mars for the obtaining of boldness, courage, and good fortune in wars, and contentions, the form of which was a souldier armed and crowned, girt with a sword, carrying in his right hand a long Lance; and they made this at the hour of Mars, the first face of Scorpio ascending with it.
Bk 2 Ch. LVIII Of the names of the Celestials, and their rule over this inferiour world, viz. Man.

The names of Celestiall souls are very many, and diverse according to their manifold power and vertue upon these inferior things, from whence they have received divers names, which the ancients in their hymnes and prayer made use of. Concerning which you must observe, that every one of these souls according to Orpheus’s Divinity, is said to have a double vertue; the one placed in knowing, the other in vivifying, and governing its body. Upon this account in the Celestiall spheres, Orpheus cals the former vertue Bacchus, the other a Muse. Hence he is not inebriated by any Bacchus, who hath not first been coupled to his Muse.

in the sphere of Mars, Bassarius, and Clio

Bk 2 Ch. LIX Of the seven governers of the world, the Planets, and of their various names serving to Magicall speeches.

Moreover they did call those governors of the world, (as Hermes calls them) Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury, and the Moon, by many names, and epithites;

Mars is called Mavors, powerfull in war, bloody, powerfull in arms, a sword-bearer, magnanimous, bold, untamed, generous, lightning, of great power and furious haste, against whom none can defend himself if he resist him, who destroyes the strong, and powerfull, and deposeth Kings from their thrones, the Lord of heat and power, the Lord of fiery heat, and of the planet of blood; who inflames the hearts of contenders, and gives them boldness.

Bk. 4 The familiar forms of the Spirits of Mars.

They appear in a tall body, cholerick, a filthy countenance, of colour brown, swarthy, or red, having horns like Harts horns, and Griphins claws, bellowing like wilde Bulls. Their motion is like fire burning; their signe Thunder and Lightning about the circle. Their particular shapes are,

  • A King armed riding upon a Wolf.
  • A Man armed.
  • A Woman holding a buckler on her thigh.
  • A He-goat.
  • A Horse.
  • A Stag.
  • A Red Garment.
  • Wool.
  • A Cheeslip[7].

Additional Reading

  1. TT: This deity, according to Proclus, in Repub. p. 388. perpetually discerns and nourishes, and constantly excites the contrarieties of the universe, that the world may exist perfect and entire from its parts. But he requires the assistance of Venus, that he may insert order and harmony into things contrary and discordant.  ↩

  2. Ares  ↩

  3. Kypris  ↩

  4. Lyaios  ↩

  5. Deo  ↩

  6. Literally ‘laspis multigenius’, I suspect granite or a geode.  ↩

  7. Latin text gives Multiceps.  ↩