Mars is the first planet that can move independently of the Sun, which is integral to her meaning. Mars is the planet that is the most deeply associated with Free Will, or the power to choose between the Light and the Dark. As such, she is heavily enmeshed in materiality. Mars’ influence in manifestation is usually harmful, and she is known as the Lesser Malefic.
The Janya of Mars: Sai Vikhë
The Great Angel, or Janya, that governs Mars in the Filianic Tradition is Sai Vikhë. Sai Vikhë is associated with the element of Fire.
In many Traditions, there is a Fall, when our Souls became separated from the Divine. In the Judeo-Christian Tradition, this was when we were driven out of Eden after the disobedience of Adam and Eve. In the Filianic Tradition, it was when the First Maid was tempted by the Snake to call Darkness upon the world in order to experience rest. In a sense, this can be viewed as something bad, but in another sense, manifestation as we know it would be impossible if this did not happen. We could not be Axial Beings without the Fall, because the power to choose is also the power to disobey.
After the Fall, the Great Vikhail, or War between Light and Dark, began. It is deeply embedded in our lives and the way we view the world. For example, conflict is a necessary part of any story. Indeed, a story without at least some conflict would be boring. No one would read a tale in which the protagonist was happy every day and nothing bad ever happened.
A good description of the Great Vikhail is found in Feminine Scripture:
Truly, the world is a field of conflict between the powers of good and the legions of the Dark One. In the cycles of civilizations is the conflict manifest, and in the soul of every maid.
For the servants of the Dark One fasten upon the false self like to the bindweed upon a growing plant. And the radiant Janyati of heaven stand ready to defend the soul when she shall cry upon them.
The Gospel of Our Mother God, Thoughts of the Mind, 25-26
Sai Vikhë is our protector in the Great Vikhail, which always starts within ourselves. Each one of us has a True Self who is turned to the Light, and a False Self who is facing the Dark. In most cultures, Sai Vikhë is depicted as masculine; however, one very powerful feminine image for Her that has survived into the modern era is Sri Durga in the Vedic Tradition.
Mars and Gender
In the Modern West, Mars is associated with the masculine gender. Does this make Mars masculine? I tend to think not. There are many other things that Mars is associated with, such as the metal iron. This does not make Mars itself iron.
In the Western astrological tradition, as it has been passed down to us, the planets are said to have gender. The Moon and Venus are said to be feminine, Mercury is said to be neuter or androgynous, and the rest of the planets are said to be masculine. There has been some interesting work by the astrologer Charlie Obert that suggests that originally Saturn was feminine.
While I find the research into Saturn fascinating, in practice, I believe that the gender classification of the planets is no longer useful, if it ever was, and it may even be harmful. This classification comes to us through the Hellenistic tradition, which was highly patriarchal. There seems to be a strong impulse towards gender classification in the Indo-European tradition as a whole. For example, most Indo-European languages assign gender to nouns. This has been dropped in the English language, but it is still very much a part of other Indo-European languages such as Spanish, French, and German.
At one time, the gender classification of nouns may have had deep metaphysical meaning, but whatever that may have been, it is lost in the present era. For example, in German, a fork is feminine and a maiden is masculine. Mostly, this just serves as a headache for foreign learners of the language.
In astrology, by contrast, the meaning of the gender classification of the planets has become so solidified and taken so literally that many people, including experienced astrologers, believe that femininity is defined by and restricted to the Lunar and the Venusian and that masculinity is defined by the absence of these planetary principles. As both men and women clearly have all the planetary principles, this has morphed into the strange notion in Modern psychology that we all have a masculine side and a feminine side.
As astrology is a language, and like all languages, change and adaption are sometimes necessary. I think that it is perfectly legitimate to use either masculine or feminine imagery and language for all of the planets. There is nothing wrong with using masculine imagery and language for Venus or feminine imagery and language for Mars. On the other hand, I do think that there is a strong tendency to take these classifications literally, and for that reason, it seems best to use one gender or the other for all of the planetary principles. I use feminine imagery out of aesthetic preference and because part of my work is trying to restore the Divine Feminine. On the other hand, when I am working with the chart of a man, I use all masculine imagery.
The Material World and Spirit
The symbol for Sai Vikhë is the Cross on top of Spirit. The Spirit is burdened by the Material World, but the Cross is turned 45°. This is because it is impossible for the Material World to dominate Spirit.
The glyph for the planet Mars has evolved to the point that the Cross has become a Spear. At this time, near the end of the Iron Age, the Vikhelic principle has become much harder and stronger. It could be that the patriarchal revolution came about because of the overbalanced state of the Vikhelic principle that is a defining feature of this Age.
Astrological Associations of Mars
Oriental Element: Ka 火 Fire
Rules Scorpio, Night House
Rules Aries, Day House
Exalted in Capricorn
In Detriment in Libra and Taurus
In Fall in Cancer
Nighttime Triplicity Ruler of Water
Participating Triplicity Ruler of Earth
In Joy in the 6th House
Hot and Dry
Day of the Week: Tuesday
Orb: 7° (Moiety 3.5°)
Plants: Nettle, onion, garlic, pepper, ginger, hemlock, chestnut tree
Animals: Tiger, horse, wolf, hawk, vulture, shark, scorpion
Stones: Adamant, loadstone, bloodstone, jasper
The Way of the Warrior
Each of the non-luminary Janyati has a spiritual path, which if followed, will lead to the Divine. The Path associated with Sai Vikhë is that of the Warrior. In the modern age, this Path can be seen in the various Martial Arts, all of which teach mastery of self in addition to the skills needed to fight an opponent.