Sigmund Freud changed our perception permanently when he suggested and made valid the idea that perhaps all of our behavior was not the direct effect of conscious mind functioning. But he came to these conclusions with the conscious mind, and like all pioneers he misinterpreted a few aspects of the system and origin of this focused consciousness. He set into motion the idea that the id was responsible for some of our more negative or animalistic drives and desires, and that these desires sprang from the unconscious. But the id or animalistic drives are the effect of the preoccupation with ego and physical material focus and the discounting of the spiritual or higher self (Neptune). The effect then is the idea that the physical self is all there is or at least, is the "real" self, where personality and identity spring from. The idea of an individual identity is in itself an archetype and produces conscious awareness as the effect of specificity and focus. This bi-product or persona (meaning mask or false face) is an artificial construct designed as an interface to manifest the entire self in physicality, and is an aspect or facet of the oversoul or higher self, not arising from animalistic "Id" drives. I redirected this idea in my text on self-empowerment with a positive reversal of the consciousness triangle:
As we move in from the Oort cloud at the outer reaches of the solar system, planets become more defined and crystallized. Focus becomes more prominent, and identity takes on the idea of separateness from the "ALL". The vast expanse of the universe is ignored for the sake of specific expression. There is now us and others, time and space, the world of polarity pairs (Aries through Gemini).
Through the natural zodiac, astrology reveals that Mars, Aries and the natural first house are the effect of time and space. A distinct point in time and space establishes conscious awareness at any given moment. The birth of any idea into physical reality establishes consciousness and awareness singularity and the drive to manifest whatever ideas are inherent in the "birth". When time and space(1) are "divided up" (the solstice and equinox) in such a manner the illusion of separateness creates an identity which must manifest its specific conceptual expression. This is known as the ego.
Mars, Aries and the first house reflect this need and belief to prove, validate, and manifest the idea that you are. Self-empowerment and integrity is the recognition that you are as powerful as you need to be to manifest the idea you are, without having to hurt yourself or anyone else in order to manifest it. And that the you you are is not really all you are (Neptune). This is the positive expression of Mars. Action as the conviction of belief. Action is taken as the effect of a recognition of integrity and that the "ALL" knows what it is doing by focusing on this singular idea through you. An idea manifesting in integrity is moved to action by unifying, inspirational, constructive and expansive energy in recognition of its connection with all else. Negative expression or dis-empowered behavior re-acts to perceived threats and to the validity of the idea you are being at any given moment. Action is taken in defense against the "external" and is segregating, separative, limiting and constrictive. Fear (Saturn) is the motivating factor. The belief in thwartation by another idea, and experiencing the negative effects of some other reality, are the signs of the dis-eased Mars and unhealthy ego.
It is easy to see from the above definitions that Natural aggression would be the product of simply acting on what you are capable of acting upon that it inspires you to do with integrity (self-empowered behavior). Unnatural aggression is the effect of fear, doubt, insecurity, repression and NOT acting with integrity and conviction on your beliefs (powerless behavior).
The first consideration in ego health is Mars' sign placement and motion. Next is aspect networks, and finally, house placement, dipositorship and elevation. This psychological health will always be tied to the early environment and parental structure as shown by the first, fourth, seventh and tenth houses and their rulers. A retrograde Mars is a sure indicator of an early environment of repression, restriction and disbelief in the natural assertion of the self without guilt. This has been hypothesized as a carryover of guilt from past life actions. The belief in protection and manipulation may also be evident. This almost inevitably leads to temperamentally based actions that cause trouble at some time in the life, with regard to sign and house placement of the Mars in question. At 0 degrees of a sign, Mars so placed will reflect hesitation, insecurity and procrastination. At 29 degrees of a sign, temperament may be out of control and needs immediate attention. Either way the ego is in an acute and precarious status from the belief the identity is out of control.
A general guide to sign placement is as follows;
ARIES or 1st house Mars is at home and exhibits its most free flowing natural aggression. Unless aspects are complicated, expression is spontaneous. The need to prove the self is ardent and unrepressed. Regardless, the ego is vital and spirited. If the aspects are developmentally tense, there can be accidents. Without strategy and control there is recklessness and belligerence.
TAURUS or 2nd house Mars in Taurus may have some inertia. The need to prove the self ideally can come through values promotion. However, it usually comes through possessions. There is a tendency to try to force obstacles or situations into submission. The ego moves slowly and deliberately out of a need to maintain the status quo. Self orientation because of unsureness resists objective evaluations. The need to prove self worth.
GEMINI or 3rd house The need to prove the intelligence and agility inclines toward movement both physically and mentally. Sense perceptions are acute and active. Whether they are accurate or not can be determined by aspect networks. Generally if the temperament takes over, defensiveness is expressed through unnecessary argument. If positive the application of the intellect can be powerful. Too much diversion is the danger.
CANCER or 4th house Mars is in its fall in Cancer. Emotional security needs trip application up. There is the desire to know outcomes before action is taken. Defensiveness is worn on the sleeve. This is one of the positions that indicates extreme difficulty in healthy ego formation. Being powerless is anticipated. The early environment taught the individual to not trust the self. Mountains are made of molehills and a false bravado fools no one but the self. The need to prove that the identity is secure and can handle things-- something most take for granted. Threats are seen where none exist.
LEO or 5th house The need to prove the self dramatically and forcefully inclines toward self centered energy application. The ego is healthy if aspects are moderate, but arrogance is a sure sign of insecurity. The identity will feel best when creating and performing. When positive the higher ground is taken. There is enormous potential for creative prowess.
VIRGO or 6th house Virgo does not incline toward spontaneity. This position has a negative possibility of judgment complicating action, or positively, heightening analytical accuracy. Details-- it is believed-- can trip the identity up. The rest of the chart, especially the Sun/Moon blend, must be considered carefully.
LIBRA or 7th house Mars is in its detriment in Libra, and for good reason. The ego's health and need to prove the self are based on social acceptance. I'll be whatever you like. There is so much distrust in the self that a stand of opinion may be non-existent. No one can be all things to all people. Thoroughness of exploration and application can be diluted when others have control over the idea that you are. Distinction comes not through mediocrity.
SCORPIO or 8th house Water signs bring much emotion to assertion which does not lend itself to unencumbered natural aggression. Defensiveness can arise out of the fear of being taken advantage of. Other's worth is a threat. The intensity in Scorpio stems from a need to feel emotionally significant and impactual and obsessiveness is not a sign of a feeling of empowerment. However, if the rest of the chart shows more objectivity and ease, this energy could be applied to passive power and self control. The two most difficult aspects to master in self-empowerment.
SAGITTARIUS or 9th house Mars in Fire signs (and to a lesser extent Air signs) is an automatic reflection of a closer alignment with natural aggression. The need to prove the self though the acceptance of its ideas and opinions by others however lends itself to placing the power outside the self. The condition of Mars and the rest of the chart must be inspected carefully. There might be a blurring and exaggeration effect as the mind and ego seek to have the overwhelming final word and opinion. There is more strategy and less zeal needed.
CAPRICORN or 10th house Here we find the ego that has little internal battle going on. Mars is exalted in Capricorn. Capricorn is a cardinal sign so action is not sacrificed. It is the element Earth so utility is important. The need to prove and apply the self is through diligent application. Just the thing that will be effective in manifesting to the fullest extent the idea that you are. Every idea has the right to strategically and effectively express itself just because it exists.
AQUARIUS or 11th house This ego is searching for validity by being different or unique. Health will be indicated if there is a recognition of a worthwhile social goal to apply the energies to. If being different just to be different ignores practical or productive guidelines, then the only thing unique about this placement will be the enormous waste of time and energy the ego spends on "causes" with self-centered motives.
PISCES or 12th house Here the internal battle is great, the thrust goes in before-- if it ever-- comes out. Pisces is the antithesis of Mars. The ego is dissolved in a preoccupation with self denial. Self efficacy is deemed non existent or dependent upon some ideal, which is illusive. The early environment may have not been kind.
Through the above delineations we observe that Water and Earth sign Mars tend more towards repression and therefore negative expression and unnatural aggression as the effect of overcompensation to "wield more power." It is not the expression of natural aggression that is dangerous, it is the repression of it that leads to unnatural aggression expression and irrational and/or violent actions.
The developmental aspects of Mars with other planets (square or opposition) are very telling as to primary issues that the identity believes (either consciously or unconsciously) thwart its expression in physical reality. Basically they reflect the dis-empowering beliefs (where one feels powerless), where we are easily challenged and intimidated, and hence where unnatural aggression is likely to occur. In developmental tension with;
SUN The need to prove the self is at the very core of the being, the powerless perspective is strong, temperament not awareness is the driving force.
MOON The moon reflects the reigning needs of the persona that have come about through deprivation. These needs are then charged with Mars' sign and placement demanding fulfillment and application. The self is not secure.
MERCURY Developmental aspects with the inner and personal planets brings powerless beliefs front and center. The tendency is to answer first, think later, jump first, then look. The eagerness to prove intelligence leads to poor judgment and rash remarks. The ego is too close to thinking, and defensiveness replaces logic and methodical planning.
VENUS Mars in developmental aspect with Venus, is indicative of the conflict between the self assertion, and the reflection of one's beliefs through others in social interaction. There will be defensiveness and the possibility of constant conflicts from the self's disbelief in the validity of the self. Until there is a recognition of one's mate and interactions with others as a part of the self, there will be the push to prove the self at the cost of harmony and reflectiveness.
JUPITER A disbelief in the benefits of methodical application leads to overcompensation through risk taking, exaggeration and a gambling bravado which is just a front. Overdoing things increases failure rates, which in turn increases risk taking. An expensive vicious cycle.
SATURN Since aspects (after sign consideration) tell us the way an individual regard themselves, this is the most difficult developmental aspect. The ego is fearful, limiting, constrictive and generally has a strong negative belief in powerlessness. The glass is always half empty, and were lucky if we can keep that half. Hence, poor judgment leads to limitations that reinforce negative beliefs. Psychological self-sabotage is the trademark of this configuration. At best, bragging and the self's assessment do not match objective analysis. This is the configuration of the true believing materialist.
URANUS This is a reflection of the lack of belief in choice. Temperament arises from the perception of restriction. Somewhat like Mars in Aquarius there is a rebellion against the tried and true. The real lesson is in recognizing the equality and validity of all beings and truths. Rashness, tactlessness and temper are signs of rebellion against the perceived loss of power. I'll never get anywhere anyway so why not cause trouble, who cares? Positively, energy is applied to removing restrictions encountered through innovation.
NEPTUNE The ego is not healthy because it engages in constant denial of the truth about itself, things, people. It is much easier to accept the untrue through rationalization. But a recognition that you are as powerful as you need to be to create whatever you desire to create with a sense of integrity, eliminates the need for camouflage or trickery.
PLUTO Here there is an attempt to overwhelm opposition to the ego. The perspective needs development so the self can see that it has been a lack of consistent effort that has brought it to the point of believing it needs some overwhelming action to compensate. You need to learn to recognize a stopping point-to pick up where you left off. Rome wasn't built in a day. Take small steps rather than none or all of them at once.