Thou Art the Mars of Malcontents

Sect refers to the division of charts, signs, and planets into two, groups: day (diurnal) and night (nocturnal). In the day-time, the Sun will be found above the horizon but will be located below it at night.

The Sun and the Moon preside over day and night (the sect-light), respectively. Saturn and Jupiter are diurnal, and Venus and Mars are nocturnal. Mercury is neutral becoming determined based on whether he rises before, or after, the Sun.

If you are familiar with astrology, you will immediately note that each sect receives a benefic and malefic planet. In charts, the malefic that is contrary to the sect is often the most troublesome and challenging planet “working against the native (Brennan, 2017).” [1]  Sometimes, the way this plays out can be interesting.

Below is a chart from my files. [2]


The ascendant is 3° Libra and we see the Sun at 12° Cancer in the tenth house. The chart is therefore diurnal, and Mars is the out of sect malefic.

If we look at Mars, we find him at 14° Taurus in the eighth place. The eighth place is one of the traditional dark places, associated with “death, benefits from the deceased, the Inactive Place, law, sickness (Riley, Trans. 2010).” [3] He rules both the second and seventh houses.

At 14° Taurus, Mars is not in-any of his rulerships (albeit he is the third triplicity lord). Consequently, this will exacerbate his difficult nature and the problems we can expect. These problems will form part of the chart’s natal promise for the seeker in their life. In astrology, the birth chart gives us the natal promise. Prediction is solely concerned with timing when these will occur.

In such a poor state, we should expect that the native suffers martial problems in both their finances and relationships (and for money to be a big source of conflict in their relationships). However, the native is financially successful and has not had a negative martial relationship. So, what is going on?

In such configurations, the planet can be helped by its rulers. Taurus is ruled by Venus, and the Moon (by exaltation). Venus, in the ninth house, is cadent but is conjunct Jupiter, and both are in a partile trine with the ascendant. Unfortunately, Venus is in aversion to Mars.

However, we find things fair better with the Moon.  The Moon is in Capricorn, which is Mars’ exaltation, strongly advancing, [4] and in a tight trine with Mars. When two planets in each other\’s dignities and in aspect this is known as mutual reception. We also find that Saturn, Capricorn\’s domicile ruler, is in Cancer with whom the Moon is in a wide opposition. Taurus also obeys Cancer in concord and esteem. [5]

If we look at the seventh house, Aries, we find both the Lot of Fortune and Lot of Spirit. That means Mars rules these two Lots.

Taking Aries as the first house, of the Lot of Fortune, we find that the Moon is its tenth house. This further increases the Moon’s prominence.

Consequently, we do find that Mars’s difficulties are constrained by several mitigating factors.

However, we cannot change Mars’ essential nature and what he promises.

The native has had a successful career in a profession that promises a good salary, albeit one that takes up much time, involves dealing with difficult people, and it sometimes feels that the salary is \’earnt three-times over.’ They have never been in an abusive relationship and the native has not dated particularly difficult or abrasive people. However, their partners have all held professions associated with Mars.

Sadly, however, the native was widowed in 2011. Their partner died of a pulmonary embolism secondary to an infection. The death resulted in complaints and significant compensation (note the eighth house, and because Taurus is a fixed sign, this would usually be a sign of being widowed once).

The Lot of Marriage is in Leo. The native met their spouse when the annual profection reached Aquarius, which is one of the Lot\’s angles. They married when the profection reached the eighth house, but and the partner died in a solar year when the profection was in aversion to the Lot, and Mars was conjunct Saturn opposing a retrograde Jupiter who was conjunct the Moon in the twelfth in the solar return.[6]

Astrology is no different to any form of divination. The essential nature of something always functions according to the context set. It can be mitigated, but Mars will always be Mars just as the Ace of Pentacles is the Ace of Pentacles, and the Cloverleaf a leaf on the clover.


Journal of a Fortune-Teller © abCartomancy 2010 – 2021

Title: Shakespeare, W. Merry Wives of Windsor.  Featured Image: Endurance, Mars (NASA/JPLCaltech).

1. Brennan, C. (2017). Hellenistic Astrology: The Study of Fate and Fortune. 1st ed. Denver, Colorado: Amor Fati Publications, p.430.
2. I no longer use the tropical zodiac.
3. Valens, V. (2010). Anthologies (Riley, Translation), PDF:
4. Abū-Maʻšar Ǧaʻfar Ibn-Muḥammad., Dykes, B. and Qabīṣī, A. (2010). Introductions to Traditional Astrology. 1st ed. Minneapolis, MN: Cazimi Press, pp.118-123.
5. Abū-Maʻšar Ǧaʻfar Ibn-Muḥammad., Dykes, B. and Qabīṣī, A. (2010). Introductions to Traditional Astrology. 1st ed. Minneapolis, MN: Cazimi Press, pp.55.
6. Dykes, B. (2009). Persian Nativities Volume I: Māsha’allāh & Abū’Ali al-Khayyāt. 1st ed. Minneapolis, MN: Cazimi Press, pp. 148.