In previous posts, I described the significations of Mercury conjunct the outer planets, and the significations of Venus conjunct the outer planets. Let’s take a look at how Mars fares when it is conjunct Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto.
Mars signifies action, drive, energy, assertion, vitality, etc. When this planet is conjunct Uranus, Neptune or Pluto, these Martial attributes are impacted by the outer planet significations.And such impact is not restricted to conjunctions, but can be also seen with other aspects of Mars–opposition, square, sextile and trine–to the outer planets. So you will want to read the conjunctions described in the following really as any aspect of Mars, while keeping in mind that oppositions and squares (along with conjunctions) tend to be more intense in their manifestation than the sextile and trine.
The Mars-Uranus conjunction is a volatile mix. Uranus excites Mars into abrupt, even violent action, and the Mars-Uranus person may be very fast moving, reckless, willing and likely to take physical risks that would daunt others. Mars-Uranus makes a person edgy, like they are about to bolt. It is hard to keep them down or hold them back.
Mars-Uranus people may like to own and use weapons, especially guns, because they like things that go boom. A Mars-Uranus person may make a great athlete, especially in the track and field events where there is a very short buildup followed by an explosive launch such as the sprint, or the pole vault. The body itself might be either noticeably elongated or extremely compressed—Mars is the body, and Uranus in contact with it brings an extremity of degree.
In the post on Venus conjunct outer planets, I cited the example of Greta Thunberg, who has Venus square Uranus. As it happens, she also has Mars (20 Sco 52) square Uranus (26 Aqu 21). The Venus-Uranus square manifests as an adoption of progressive (Uranus) values (Venus). But to actually go out do something about it requires drive and assertiveness of the kind that Mars can bring. Championing a progressive cause is Mars-Uranian, and the gumption to challenge the system is also Mars-Uranian. Uranus is iconoclastic, and Thunberg is an iconoclast who is willing to take the fight to the system.
Actor Tom Cruise has Mars (25 Tau 38) square Uranus (27 Leo 55). Cruise has made a lasting career out of playing in movies where he performs high-voltage action scenes himself. Many of these scenes are highly risky but it is as if he just can’t stop himself from doing them. In his mid-fifties he is as active as ever, still doing those action sequences with dynamic verve and vigor, while most of his peers have softened up, or fallen away. “I can’t do something halfway, three-quarters, nine-tenths. If I’m going to do something, I go all the way.”
Mars is considerably softened in its conjunction with Neptune. It is lent Neptune’s fluidity and grace, with the result that the person may move with ease and perhaps stealth, may enjoy dancing or swimming because of the smoothness and sinuousness of motion. I know of a Mars-Neptune person who enjoys archery—the pulling of the bow and release of the arrow in a measured, graceful manner is a blend of Martial vigor with Neptunian grace. Caeleb Dressel, winner of 5 gold medals in swimming in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics has Mars (14 Can 06) opposite Neptune (25 Cap 37). Celebrated swimmer Katie Ledecky, who has dominated women’s swimming competitions for a generation, with a slew of gold medals to her name, has Mars (26 Vir 53) in a very close trine to Neptune (29 Cap 23).
Neptune’s signification of the perfect or ideal, when impacting Mars (which signifies muscles), can result in a quest for the ideal body with perfectly sculpted muscles. This might push the person to pursue body-building, or any exercise regimen that targets the shaping and toning of muscles (biceps, abs, etc.) for the perfect look. Tiger Woods has Mars (17 Gem 55) square Neptune (12 Sag 53), and is known for his extreme fitness routine which made him the most physically dominant golfer on the PGA tour.
Neptune also brings confusion and bewilderment to action, and eschews force, so that a Mars-Neptune person may often feel paralyzed and unable to act when pressured to do so.
With Pluto, Mars assumes extreme power and relentlessness. The explosiveness of Mars-Uranus and the grace of Mars-Neptune is replaced by a doggedness of a kind that no force can vanquish. Mars-Pluto people can push themselves to go that extra mile long after everyone else has dropped off. There may also be sheer physical courage in the face of extreme odds, taking the person to the limits of their endurance.
Imagine a boxer who hangs in there, round after round, despite being pummeled by his opponent. Which is exactly what boxing legend Muhammad Ali did in his fabled bout against George Foreman. In that historic boxing event called “The Rumble in the Jungle”, which took place in Kinshasa, Zaire, in October 1974, Ali deliberately chose to let Foreman come after him (the “rope-a-dope” tactic), again and again, hoping this would tire Foreman out enough that Ali could then land that knockout punch. It was a risky strategy, because there was no assurance that Ali could take the kind of beating that Foreman would inflict, and still be standing. But it worked. When Foreman was exhausted, Ali went in for the kill and knocked him out for a dramatic win. Ali’s horoscope shows Mars (02 Tau 33) in a very tight square to Pluto (04 Leo 49).
Mars-Pluto people can be ruthless in getting what they want. They don’t always play by the rules, they don’t make nice, and they won’t go down, or go away, easily. They have the “killer instinct: when they sense weakness, they will go for the jugular. Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the UK for over 11 years, was tough as nails. Not for nothing did she earn the moniker of “Iron Lady”. She has Mars (09 Lib 13) square Pluto (14 Can 45). Biographer John Campbell writes this about her: “Margaret Thatcher was not merely the first woman and the longest-serving Prime Minister of modern times, but the most admired, most hated, most idolised and most vilified public figure of the second half of the twentieth century.” The boldfaces are mine, to highlight the Plutonian quality of extreme polarity in how she was seen by others.
Pluto infuses Mars with the energy to pull everything down, and turn life upside down, if needed. With Pluto’s aspect to Mars, active transformation and revitalization may recur at various points in life. Two well-known stories illustrate such late life resurrection and reinvention.
French artist Henri Matisse rose from the dead after cancer surgery in 1941, when he was more than 70 years old. Wikipedia: “The surgery left him chair- and bedbound. Painting and sculpture had become physical challenges, so he turned to a new type of medium.” The new medium was paper cut-outs, which he successfully pursued for several years, until his death at the age of 84. Matisse had Mars (25 Cap 26) trine Pluto (16 Tau 23). Mars was also opposite Uranus (20 Can 23).
American dancer Martha Graham continued to dance through the 1960s, when she was over 70 years old. She finally retired from dancing in 1969, around the age of 75. After she left the stage, she went into deep depression. “I had lost my will to live. I stayed home alone, ate very little, and drank too much and brooded. My face was ruined, and people say I looked odd, which I agreed with. Finally my system just gave in. I was in the hospital for a long time, much of it in a coma.” But she resurrected herself in 1972, quit drinking, and went on to choreograph several new ballets and many revivals, until 1990, when she was 95 years old. She died the next year. Graham had Mars (00 Pis 42) square Pluto (09 Gem 48). Mars was also trine Uranus (13 Sco 02), and square Neptune (12 Gem 23).
Matisse and Graham both had Mars aspecting Uranus as well. The will to climb out of a hole, or resurrect oneself is a manifestation of the Mars-Pluto aspect, but following the emergence out of darkness, the active reinvention in a new direction is signified by the Mars-Uranus aspect.
In closing, remember that the quality of any of these aspects of Mars (whether to Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto) may be intensified, moderated, or diluted by the sign in which Mars is placed. Also pay attention to how the nature of the sign of Mars compares to the nature of the outer planet. For instance, the Uranian vibe can be unsettling because of its quality of jumpiness. If Mars is in a fire sign, it is by nature impetuous so the Uranian quality can take this to the extreme, resulting in regular physical eruptions that come out of the blue, or an extreme inability to relax. But if Mars is in an earth sign, there is a tussle between the steadiness of the earth signs and the jumpiness of Uranus, resulting in an inner conflict that can be very troubling and stressful.
Likewise Neptune is very watery, and can be insidious in how it creeps up and distorts reality. Mars in a fire sign is not necessarily going to be aware of this because fire signs are not typically the self-reflecting types. So a fire sign Mars impacted by Neptune can go about its business without realizing how Neptune is playing on that Mars, while everyone else can plainly see what is going on. There’s no better example of this than Steve Jobs, who had Mars (28 Ari 17) very tightly square Neptune (28 Lib 04) – they are in the same degree! Jobs was famous for the “reality distortion field” that he created around his actions, to persuade others to buy into his point of view.
Check out your horoscope to see if there are any outer planet aspects to Mars, and reflect on how those aspects, if any, have played out in your life. It’s guaranteed to be an eye-opener!