Mars: Pele, Goddess of Drive, Passion and Courage (Hawaii)

The planet Mars is the first of the outer planets, which means that unlike Freyja-Mercury and Inanna-Venus who from our vantage point never stray far from the Sun and either appear as morning or evening stars, Mars stays with us throughout the year. The so-called “red planet” glows bright orange in the night sky and can be easily spotted with the naked eye.

Mars energy is similar to that of the Sun: It is free, unbound and available for action. This planet is the planet of “doing”. Her main themes are: action, passion, drive and courage.

Traditional astrology considers Mars energies to be “typically” male and, yes, it is certainly true that after a few thousand years of patriarchy men are able to access those qualities much more easily and readily from within themselves than many of today’s women can. For a very very long time our society thought our foremothers to be everything BUT active and driven. Unfortunately, even in today’s world where girls and boys are brought up alongside each other and schools and work places offer equal opportunities for both sexes (although still not always!), those memes that tell us that little boys are active, wild and brave, while little girls are cute and good and gentle continue to stay with us.

Memes are cultural norms that are passed on within a society just as genes are passed on from parents to children. Memes are the reason why we dress little girls in pink and little boys in blue. They’re what tell us that little girls are made of “sugar and spice and everything nice” while little boys are made of “snips and snails and puppy dog tails.” They’re also what tell us that girls are quiet and cutesy, love flowery dresses and want to grow up to be princesses. Boys on the other hand are wild and rough, they like to climb trees, do sports and play-fight. None of this is true, but nonetheless we teach our children to act like that. For instance, most fairy tales and even adult stories are based around a male hero who saves the damsel in distress. When was the last time you heard a traditional children’s story where the female lead was heroic all by herself and saved the prince and the queendom (not kingdom for a change!)? Memes and cultural norms are very slow to change, but they do eventually. Today’s European-American society takes it for granted that women can vote and conduct business in their own names. This was unheard of only 100 years ago! And so will the old Grimm’s fairy tales with many of the overtones of the time (the Grimm brothers lived in Germany just after hundreds of years of witch burnings had finally come to an end!) be superseded by new tales that are not as sexist and puritan as the original ones while retaining all the valuable Goddess imagery.

And so, in order to make my own little contribution towards our brighter egalitarian non-sexist equal-opportunities future for all, I declare that action and passion and drive and courage are situated right there within EVERYONE’S heart and that includes all women. (And I refuse to call this “animus”, our little man inside!) We only have to remember heroines from days gone by like Celtic Boudicca and Eleanor of Aquitaine to KNOW what we’re capable of. These so-called “male” attributes are very much part of the female psyche. We just have to remember that truth and KNOW that we’re courageous and strong and capable of anything and everything we put our minds to.

For that reason I have assigned Pele, the Hawaiian Fire and Volcano Goddess to replace Mars, the Roman God of War, as the new archetype for the fiery planet of action. I initially considered Boudicca to be the Goddess of Drive and Passion, but then decided that I didn’t want to use a war-faring image to represent a trait that is positive and good and so very vital. It’s those very traits that allowed our Cretan and Indus Valley foremothers to create beautiful, peaceful societies with scientific feats of indoor plumbing for all! It’s what’s driven every creative, artistic, scientific advancement in the world. It’s a positive energy of the will that should never ever be misused in the pursuit of war and violence!

The other heroine I considered was Pohaha, the young Hopi-Tewa warrior maiden from the Cottonwood Clan, who successfully led the defence attack against raiders and who lifted her skirts to declare to all that it was a woman who was defeating them. Again, I decided against this particular story, as like Boudicca it associates the fiery qualities of Mars with war and fighting.

For more info on Pele, please check out my post entitled “Pele – The Hawaiian Volcano and Fire Goddess“.

Pele‘s traits and what She is about

Pele is hot and fiery. She is the planet of doing as opposed to thinking about it. Pele‘s character is actually very similar to that of young children: she is not afraid to try something new. Failure or success are not something Pele worries about, rather it’s the experience of doing something that’s important. Pele is a natural risk-taker.

She is passionate and driven, but also selfish. Pele is all about wants and desires, She’s the planet of the will.

Pele‘s energies are focused on ourselves, on what’s important to us, the individual. In effect Pele is about getting our own way. She’s also about protecting what we consider to be ours. [1]

Her main areas of focus are:


– doing not thinking
– physical energy
– vitality
– personal power
– strength (body and mind)
– go-getting


– will
– motivation
– competitiveness
– assertiveness
– ambition
– enthusiasm

Pioneering (leading to progress)

– creativeness
– instigation
– initiation
– taking a chance
– risk taking


– daring
– courage
– endurance
– taking something on the chin
– fiery
– “having guts”

Me, myself and I

– selfish
– “I want”
– child-like
– young spirited
– positive
– this is “mine”
– defending what is “mine”


– desire
– love for life
– survival
– instincts
– wildness
– excitement
– raw animal sexuality

Pele‘s metal is iron.

Within the body Pele governs the sexual organs, the muscles and the oxygen-rich arterial blood.

Pele in a Horoscope

Pele is a personal planet, which means that it’s possible to affect or alter Her traits through will power.

Pele is our active expression of our life force, of our sexual energies.

Within a horoscope, the sign that Pele was in at the time of birth tell us what exactly gets us going, what makes us want to assert ourselves. It tell us how we go about doing things and what actions we take.

Pele describes what we want and how we go about getting it. She tells us what we consider to be “ours” and how we go about defending that.

Pele rules Aries, the sign of the Ram, the fiery pioneer of the zodiac, as well as Scorpio, the passionate and possessive Water sign. Pele exalts in Capricorn, the practical “doing stuff” Earth sign, which means that Her energies feel at home and comfortable here.


[1] Pele‘s traits are actually part of those once attributed to the original Venus Goddesses. To find out more, please check out my post entitled “The Original Venus – Goddess of Heaven, Earth and the Underworld“.


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