What Turns You On, According to Astrology: Discover Your Mars Sign

In your life, what turns you on? And how do you go about getting it? The answers to these questions can be found in your Mars sign, an essential part of your astrological birth chart that can tell you how you express anger and sexual desires, what fuels your passion and drives your primal instincts, and where you gain energy and what drives you. In the below take on the masculine planet Mars, get introduced to the “red planet” in astrology, explore its significance in the birth chart, and learn how it manifests through each of the zodiac signs.

Mars in Astrology

Mars, often referred to as the “red planet” due to its crimson color, is associated with action, conflict, the sex drive, and assertiveness. It’s also how we get things done or go after what we desire. It describes how we like to have sex and even what we’re sexually attracted to. In ancient Roman mythology, Mars was the god of war. In your birth chart, it describes how this cosmic warrior archetype shows up in your life.

Mars is classified as a malefic, or a trigger for challenges, and rules over both of the zodiac signs Scorpio and Aries, which are known for being reactive and argumentative when provoked. Scorpio connects with the strategic side of battle, while Aries aligns with the physical and explosive side of conflict. Therefore, Mars is in its detriment when it is placed in the opposite signs it rules: cooperative air sign Libra or indulgent earth sign Taurus. Mars also thrives in the structure of earth sign Capricorn, yet is uncomfortable in the emotional waters of Cancer.

a collage of mars, a comb, a flower, and a gem

Getty + Design Leah Romero

But Mars is not just about anger, war, and conflict. It’s also the match that lights the creative life force within—governing our physical energy, stamina, primal sexual desires, and ability to assert ourselves in various aspects of life. It can indicate how we approach competition and confrontations, as well as how we channel that aggression. Mars can also give insight into your hobbies, passions, talents, and even what type of exercise or physical activity is right for you.

Mars spends around six to seven weeks in one zodiac sign, depending on the retrograde, which occurs roughly every two years. During the retrograde phase, Mars appears to move backward in the sky, causing a temporary shift in the way we express our desires, motivations, and assertiveness. Be careful when it comes to conflict or accidents during a Mars retrograde; you might also notice that progress you’ve made might slow down. This is all especially true for Mars-ruled zodiac signs, like Scorpio and Aries, as these placements are affected the most.

There is also your Mars return, which happens every two years. This is when Mars returns to the same zodiac sign and degree it was in when you were born. This transit can indicate a time for reflection and recalibration of your goals and actions, bringing change and ramping up progress.

Understanding Mars Through the 12 Zodiac Signs

Understanding Mars’ placement in your birth chart can provide valuable information about your motivations, desires, and approach to life’s challenges. It essentially shows you what (or who) turns you on in life. As you explore how Mars’ energy manifests differently through each of the 12 zodiac signs, keep in mind that Mars is also influenced by your unique birth chart. You can determine your Mars sign by using a birth chart calculator of your choice, which typically requires your birth date, year, and location.

Mars in Aries

This is a potent place for the god of war. As a result, these individuals are bold, impulsive, and quick to take action; there is less lag time with this Mars placement when it comes to choosing themselves. They are fearless leaders who love a good challenge and thrive in competitive situations. However, they can also be impatient and prone to visible anger when their desires aren’t met. They are extremely passionate about what they do and dive headfirst into projects or new ventures. They ask questions later.

This placement has a lot of energetic drive to achieve desires—and they’re not afraid to take risks to make their dreams a reality. Mars in Aries individuals are also known for their high sexual libido, and they approach physical intimacy with the same fire they apply to other aspects of their lives. They view sex as a form of meditation, making them active and passionate partners in the bedroom. Strong, confident, and independent types turn them on. Many often engage or love sports or physical activities as a means of channeling their boundless energy and competitive spirit.

Mars in Taurus

Those with Mars in Taurus tend to be driven by the senses, stability, and security; what they love is often rooted in the physical world. They have a deep appreciation for material comforts and might find themselves passionate and motivated by finance, art, food, the earth, or sensual pleasures. These individuals thrive when they are building and accumulating resources, whether it be wealth, possessions, or stable relationships.

Although they might seem slow to anger, Taurus also represents values. When Mars is here, it can create conflict with others’ value systems. When it comes to their sexual nature, Mars in Taurus individuals enjoy physical touch, indulging in sensory pleasures, and a romantic atmosphere. Their sexual desires take time to build, and they seek someone who can match their physical passion with a strong connection. They might also be aroused by creative or artistic types.

Mars in Gemini

People with Mars in Gemini are naturally talented debaters: sharp, quick-witted, and always armed with information in the face of conflict. They enjoy mental challenges and are often gifted multitaskers, becoming restless when they have no variety. When they’re focused on something they’re not passionate about, they often get bored or disinterested. However, they love writing, speaking, and other hobbies that stimulate the mind and allow them to talk. They might engage in verbal battles when angry, but they can also logically manage conflict.

In terms of their sexual nature, Mars in Gemini individuals approach intimacy with a playful attitude. They like to be intellectually stimulated by their partners, valuing a mental connection as much as a physical one. Variety and novelty are important to them in the bedroom, as they enjoy experimenting to keep the excitement alive in their relationships.

Mars in Cancer

Mars in Cancer individuals often excel in creating a stable home environment, channeling their energy into maintaining a sense of familiarity, comfort, and security. They are sensitive and emotionally reactive. Even if they are slow to anger, they can appear moody as a result of conflict. These individuals are deeply motivated by their feelings and tend to prioritize their family (especially children, if they have them) and loved ones above all else. At the same time, their aggressiveness can also show itself in family life, creating conflict with the familial line, especially feminine figures in their life.

In terms of their sexual nature, Mars in Cancer individuals approach intimacy with a need for deep emotional connection and a strong desire for bonding. They seek partners who can provide them with a sense of emotional closeness and security, valuing trust and intimacy above all else. While they might not be as overtly passionate as some other Mars signs, their sexuality is deeply tied to their emotions.

Mars in Leo

Those with Mars in Leo have an immense amount of energy, and vitality. They naturally put on a show everywhere they go. Mars in Leo individuals often possess a big personality (for better or worse) that draws others to them, and they excel in situations where they can take center stage. However, their strong sense of self can sometimes border on egotism, and they might be prone to dramatic outbursts of anger when they feel their pride or honor is at stake. They’re drawn to what will put them in the spotlight—whether that’s in the arts, entertainment, business, or politics.

In terms of their sexual nature, Mars in Leo individuals bring the same fiery intensity and enthusiasm into the bedroom as they do in other aspects of their lives. They view sex as a form of self-expression and take pride in their sexual prowess. They prefer partners who can add spice (and a bit of exciting drama) to their sex life.

Mars in Virgo

The devil is in the details for Mars in Virgos. These individuals are naturally methodical in their approach to their routine, work, health, wellness, and problem solving. They have a strong drive for perfection, and their aggression shows when they become overly critical of other people. They might struggle with this and find it challenging to delegate tasks or accept less than perfect outcomes. Mars in Virgos love improving themselves and others.

In terms of their sexual nature, Mars in Virgos are still practical. They seek to please their partners and are attentive to their desires and needs, but they also find fulfillment in creating a routine, orderly, and structured sexual experience. While they might not be the most spontaneous or passionate lovers, they bring stability and grounded energy to sex.

Mars in Libra

Mars in Libras are the charmers of the zodiac. They’re typically slow to visible anger, and can use their charisma to resolve conflicts. They have a strong appreciation and passion for beautiful environments, art, aesthetics, and relationships. They are driven by collaboration, partnership, and cooperation, but their pursuit of balance and their desire to please everyone can lead to indecisiveness. They might have difficulty asserting themselves. They might also find it challenging to make decisions—missing out on opportunities as they strive to avoid confrontation and keep everyone happy.

In terms of their sexual nature, Mars in Libras approach intimacy with a strong desire for romance. Rose petals, champagne, and surprise gifts all turn on this Mars placement. While not be the most assertive in the bedroom, they do bring a sense of grace to their sexual encounters—focusing on mutual pleasure and emotional connection. They prefer a nice, comfortable, aesthetically pleasing place for a steamy rendezvous.

Mars in Scorpio

Individuals with Mars in Scorpio are deeply driven by their desires and passions. They are determined people with a strong stomach for conflict, not afraid to delve into the darker side of the human experience. They are drawn to research and anything that allows them to uncover the taboo or what lies beneath the surface. Mars in Scorpios are masters at strategy, only striking at their opponent when it’s the perfect opportunity.

Their sexual nature is very primal, and they approach intimacy with a level of fervor that is unmatched; Scorpio quite literally rules sex and intimacy. They seek partners who can match their level of intensity and are not afraid to explore the depths of physical and emotional connection. Their sexual energy can be all-consuming.

Mars in Sagittarius

People with Mars in Sagittarius have a strong desire for learning through travel and new experiences. Those with this placement tend to crave freedom and thrive on the excitement of exploring uncharted territories. If you can teach them new things, you’ll really turn them on. While they are optimistic, they can also be impulsive and overly blunt when reacting in anger.

Their sexual nature is free-spirited, much like their overall approach to life. They are aroused by those who share their zest for adventure and are open to exploring new horizons together. They must have excitement in their sex life or else their interest will cool off. While they might not be focused on emotional depth, they do bring a sense of enthusiasm and lightheartedness to their intimate lives.

Mars in Capricorn

Mars in Capricorn individuals exude a strong work ethic and a responsible approach to life; they’re naturally disciplined, structured, and grounded. They are typically slow to react to conflict, and they might struggle with letting loose and relaxing. Individuals with Mars in Capricorn are known for taking action, and they are driven by a desire to attain positions of authority and establish themselves as pillars of responsibility and reliability.

On the surface, their sexual nature is characterized by their dedication and seriousness, but they do have a primal sexual appetite, too. While they might not be the most overtly passionate or spontaneous lovers, they bring a sense of security and dependability to their intimate relationships—valuing a strong emotional connection and a shared vision of the future.

Mars in Aquarius

Mars in Aquarius is an innovative and forward-thinking Mars sign. These individuals are future-oriented, with a deep desire to change the status quo through their actions. They are unconventional in the way they structure their lives. They are passionate about their independence. As an air Mars, they tend to prioritize logic and reason over their primal anger; they would much rather channel their rage into protests, developing new transformative technologies, or writing a think piece on why a certain facet of society is broken. They are passionate about changing humanity, and this fuels their passion, regardless of what life path they align with.

Their sexual nature is characterized by their open-mindedness and willingness to explore unconventional experiences in the bedroom. One moment, they might have one preference, and the next, completely change what turns them on out of boredom. They seek partners who are emotionally secure, non-traditional, and take a detached approach to sexuality. While they might not always express their emotions in the traditional sense, they value a cerebral connection as a key element of their sexual fulfillment.

Mars in Pisces

Mars in Pisces are compassionate, creative, and empathetic souls. These individuals are driven by their dreams and idealistic visions; at times they can even seem “out of it” as they move about their daily reality. They typically are creative and intuitive, but might struggle with boundaries and assertiveness as one of the least aggressive Mars signs. Their empathetic nature means they might prioritize the feelings of others over their own.

Mars in mutable water tends to go with the flow, taking the path of least resistance like the ocean. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t prone to conflict; it just takes time to build and then comes quickly like a passing storm.

Their sex and emotions are also deeply tied together. They typically approach intimacy with a focus on emotional connection. While they might not be the most assertive or aggressive in the bedroom, they bring a sense of sensitivity and emotional depth to their intimate relationships that can be deeply fulfilling for both themselves and their partners.


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