What Your Mars Sign Means About Your Energy, Anger, and Sex Life

Here's how to interpret your Mars sign, which speaks to your energy, anger, and sex life.

Whether you feel seen by memes about being a stubborn Taurus or you're left rolling your eyes at posts that assume you're a quirky Aquarius, the most basic astrology info anyone knows is their sun sign, based on their birth month and day. While, yes, your sun sign offers valuable intel on your core identity, confidence, and sense of self, it's just one tiny piece of your whole, unique astrological picture, aka your natal (birth) chart.

This chart is a snapshot of where the sun, moon, and planets were at the moment you were born, taking your birth location into consideration. Pro astrologers can tell you what all of these placements — and how they relate — say about your personality, strengths, challenges, relationships, and more.

And while it's best to get that big-picture overview at some point, there's quite a bit you can learn by zeroing in on the placement of Mars when you were born — aka your Mars sign. Here, get the scoop on your Mars sign meaning, and how it might influence your life.

your-mars-sign
Alex Sandoval

Mars' Meaning In Your Birth Chart

Every celestial body speaks to a particular aspect of your personality and wiring as you move through your life. For example, Venus, the planet of love, beauty, and money, in your chart speaks to how you relate to others, how you express yourself romantically (aka how you flirt) and artistically, how you experience pleasure as well as what you value and see as aesthetically-pleasing.

The placement of Mars — the planet of energy, action, and sex — can shed light on your sexuality, your energy, the desires that light you up inside and how you make moves to fulfill them, and how you cope with and express anger and aggression.

How to Figure Out Your Mars Sign

As Mars moves through the signs, it covers about half a degree per day. That means it spends about two months in a sign. It also goes retrograde about every 26 months. For that reason, the best way to pinpoint your natal Mars is to look at your chart or use an online Mars sign calculator to identify where it was at the time of your birth.

Your Mars Return

Okay, say you've figured out that your Mars is in Aries. (Ooh, fiery — more on that in a bit.) And your partner's Mars is in Aries too. Cool, but there's yet another layer to consider here. As planets move through signs, they traverse 30 degrees of that sign. (Imagine a highway that has 30 different exits all in the same city.) So, when you were born, Mars was in one of the 12 signs as well as a degree of that sign. For example, Megan Fox's Mars is at 19 degrees of Capricorn. Serena Williams' is at 15 degrees of Leo.

About once every two years, Mars spends time in the exact spot it was in when you were born, which is referred to as your Mars return. If you can pinpoint this period of time and tune in to how you're feeling and what you're experiencing at the moment, it could offer clues on how you'll take action and your energy level in the year ahead. (Related: What Your Solar Return Means — and How to Make the Most of It)

Mars Signs, Explained

Once you pinpoint your natal Mars, take a look at your mars sign below. Here are the characteristics you might identify with, depending on which of the 12 signs it fell in at the time of your birth.

And if you want to astro-nerd out further, consider the degrees of your Mars sign, which could further influence its expression. For instance, if your Mars occurs at 0 degrees, you're something of a "newbie" in this realm, so there's a sense of curiosity and desire to learn in order to grow into the characteristics of your Mars sign. If it falls in the middle degrees (14 to 16), you'll feel very much in tune and entrenched with the vibe and purpose of your Mars sign. And if it is in the final degree (29), you might feel like a seasoned veteran in your ability to harness the strengths and embrace the weaknesses of your natal Mars.

Aries Mars

The sign of the Ram is one of two signs Mars rules (the other being Scorpio), so it's very comfortable here, and therefore, Mars' go-getter vibe can't help but be an integral part of your personality. With Mars in the cardinal fire sign, you tend to take action in a blazingly impulsive, excitable way. Your anger could bubble up quickly, but you have no interest in brushing off anything that's upsetting you; you'll want to handle it STAT. And when it comes to getting after your greatest desires, you do so in a driven, even competitive way. Your sex drive is probably high, but you're not the biggest fan of foreplay, preferring to get down to biz at the same pace you tend to tackle everything, which is fast.

Taurus Mars

With Mars in the sign of the calm, steady, fixed earth sign, you'll tackle anything that fires you up — for better or worse — in a slow, deliberate way. Given your particularly long fuse, it takes a lot for you to get angry. But once you are, you could have the tendency to dig your heels in and make sure you fully address whatever has fired you up. You'll be this way with pursuing your goals well. Taurus is, after all, the fixed (aka stubborn) earth sign, so when you're in, you're all in. In bed, you're sensual, and you prioritize pleasure, preferring to take all the time you need as a proudly languorous lover. (Hello, spooning sex.)

Gemini Mars

If you were born with Mars in the loquacious mutable air sign Gemini, your proficiency with language and communication comes through in how you take action and get aggressive. You have the ability to talk your way into a job opportunity, use words as weapons, express how passionate you are about something by talking about it animatedly. Your energy is a bit frenetic, energetic, airy, so you might be easily scattered and bored. In bed, you adore dirty talk, making sexy noises, and discussing your fantasies, and you'd like to switch things up as much as possible, experimenting with everything from positions to locations to toys.

Cancer Mars

If you were born with Mars in sentimental cardinal water sign Cancer, you tend to process your anger by swimming in the emotions that its rooted in. Anger really is just a fiery expression of sadness, and that's something you seem to understand innately. You're energized by caregiving, fired up to nurture just about anyone and everything, and creating a sense of security is a must before you can move forward and achieve your goals. This applies to your sex life as well. If you're not feeling emotionally connected to a partner, you're just not going to be as satisfied physically.

Leo Mars

If Mars was in the charismatic, driven, fixed fire sign Leo at the time of your birth, you're a passionate go-getter who believes they have everything they need within them to make their dreams come true. If you can help it at all, you would never just let things happen to you; you get after what you want professionally, fitness-wise, and sexually, striving to maintain control of all the moving parts. Your philosophy could be summed up with Ariana's "7 Rings" lyric: "I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it." You're driven to create, to make your mark, to express yourself, and to be seen. And in bed, you're playful, direct, and prefer romance and luxury to be a part of the package as well. (See: How to Manifest Something You Really Want)

Virgo Mars

Being born with Mars in the analytical, supercommunicator mutable earth sign Virgo means you take action in a service-oriented, research-savvy way. You feel most effective and like you're on track when you're truly helping and proving yourself useful to others. You tend to enjoy getting into the weeds of organizing, planning, and tracking goals. And because Virgo is ruled by messenger Mercury, language and communication are interwoven with your basic energy and how you take action. You'd prefer to stick with pragmatism over passionate displays of anger, but if you are irritated, it'll come out in the form of cutting criticisms. Between the sheets, you're thoughtful, potentially in your head at times, and interested in pleasing your partner just as much as being pleased.

Libra Mars

If you have Mars in the cardinal air sign, known for being diplomatic and beauty-loving, you might actually struggle a bit with being passive-aggressive. You'd prefer to prioritize balance and peacefulness and fairness above all else over aggression or anger, which can come at the expense of you expressing how you truly feel. You could be driven to channel your energy and any fiery feelings toward fighting for justice and equality. And you'd prefer sex to be romantic, lighthearted, sweet. For instance, you're more apt to be turned on by a heartfelt love letter or posh dinner date versus raunchy sexts.

Scorpio Mars

Fixed water sign Scorpio is one of two signs Mars rules (Aries is the other), so the planet of sex is comfy in it, and therefore, you're also innately centered when it comes to Mars' themes. (Scorp is actually co-ruled by powerful Pluto as well.) You move through life with an intensity, strategizing and steering toward your goals with a razor focus on what you want — and, TBH, what you usually want is power. If you're angry, you'll ice your opponent out and play mind games versus blow up. You'd prefer to prove that you have the upper hand in a cool, controlled way. If sex doesn't feel all-encompassing and bring you even closer to your partner through the act, then you'll struggle to stay engaged and invested.

Sagittarius Mars

If you were born when Mars was in the adventurous mutable fire sign Sagittarius, your philosophy while setting goals is "go big or go home." You're stimulated by long-distance travel, learning opportunities, exotic anything, and any eye-opening experience that requires getting out of your comfort zone. When you get angry, you get restless, preferring to jet off to a distant location than have an emotionally heavy, frustrating confrontation. After all, Jupiter's energy is joyful. But if you must butt heads with someone, you'll do it through a philosophically-flavored diatribe, using the soap box — and blunt, unfiltered opinions — as your weapon of choice. And between the sheets, you're passionate and present, wanting to feel like you're soaking up knowledge (maybe experimenting with tantric sex or aromatherapy) as well as entertaining your partner and being in the moment.

Capricorn Mars

If you were born when Mars was in industrious cardinal earth sign Capricorn, slow, steady, and industrious are all words to describe how you exert your energy and take action. You're extremely driven but you express it in a way that comes off as cool, calm, and in control — or at least that's what you're always aiming for. You pick a mountain to climb and then take it one step at a time. Cap is ruled by serious Saturn and so sharply focused on achievement and recognition that expressing anger feels unproductive, so you often just funnel it back into your work. But you'd do well to tackle it head-on, as it'll end up coming out one way or another. Sexually, you're an attentive, practical lover who aims to please your partner — and might also find it fun to experiment with power play.

Aquarius Mars

If you were born with Mars in the futuristic fixed air sign Aquarius, you're motivated by humanitarian, progressive, individualistic, and community-oriented causes and endeavors. Because Aquarius is ruled by quirky Uranus, you set goals that might be perceived as offbeat or eccentric and then get after them in a similarly unconventional way. You thrive on being different and opposing the mainstream — to the point that you can be super-contrarian, particularly when you're angry, and get into a debate with the sole purpose of disproving someone else's opinion. When it comes to your sexuality, you could be a perpetual friend-with-benefits (platonic bonds tend to be Aquarius' M.O.) or interested in connecting with a partner in a way that's uniquely, quirkily, undeniably your own.

Pisces Mars

Born with Mars in the romantic mutable water sign Pisces, you tend to sit back and see what direction life flows in, preferring to sit in the moment and dream about your goals. Your energy is extremely empathic, intuitive, and maybe even a bit psychic, and you could channel your gifts as a healer into your work. Anger can be painful for you to work through, because you realize just how rooted it is in your emotional wounds. But dealing with your anger is essential to preempting it from getting internalized and morphing into sadness or depression. And having the planet of sex in the sign of the Fish means you're spiritual-minded in bed, aiming to pull romance, magic, poetry, and pure love into the act of lovemaking. (Also read: What Your Moon Sign Says About Your Emotional Personality)

Maressa Brown is a writer and astrologer with more than 15 years of experience. In addition to being Shape's resident astrologer, she contributes to InStyle, Parents, Astrology.com, and more. Follow her Instagram and Twitter at @MaressaSylvie.

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