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Traditional Rulerships of the Planets
saturn Saturn
jupiter Jupiter
mars Mars
the sun Sun
venus Venus
mercury Mercury
the moon Moon

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Of the planet MARS, and his several Significations

Adapted from William Lilly's 17th century text Christian Astrology, pp.65-68

Adapted and annotated by Deborah Houlding
References in the footnotes include explanatory remarks
and modern translations of Lilly's terms

Anciently called Mavors [1] , Ares [2] , Pyroeis [3] , or Gradivus [4]

Rulerships by signAries (by day) / Scorpio (by night)
Signs of detrimentLibra & Taurus
Exaltation (sign & degree)Capricorn - 28
Fall (sign & degree)Cancer - 28
Triplicity rulershipWater triplicity by day & night
Associated terms
Ariesdegrees 22 - 26
Taurusdegrees 27 - 30
Geminidegrees 26 - 30
Cancerdegrees 1 - 6
Leodegrees 26 - 30
Virgodegrees 25 - 30
Libradegrees 25 - 30
Scorpiodegrees 1 - 6
Sagittariusdegrees 26 - 30
Capricorndegrees 20 - 25
Aquariusdegrees 26 - 30
Piscesdegrees 21 - 26
Rulership by face (or decanate)
Ariesdegrees 1 - 10
Geminidegrees 11 - 20
Leodegrees 21 - 30
Scorpiodegrees 1 - 10
Capricorndegrees 11 - 20
Piscesdegrees 21 - 30

Masculine, nocturnal, hot and dry, choleric

People Signified:[5]
Princes ruling by tyranny or oppression, tyrants, usurpers, new conquerors. Generals of armies, colonels, captains or soldiers generally; physicians, apothecaries, [6] surgeons, alchemists, gunners, butchers, marshals, sergeants, bailiffs, hangmen, thieves, smiths, bakers, armourers, watch-makers, botchers, [7] tailors, cutlers of swords and knives, barbers, dyers, cooks, carpenters, gamesters, [8] bear-wards, tanners, curriers [9]

Anatomy and Illnesses:
The gall, the left ear, tertian fevers [10] , pestilent, burning fevers, migraines, carbuncles [11] , the plague and all plague sores, burnings, ringworm, blisters, frenzies [12] , mad, sudden distempers in the head, yellow-jaundice, bloody-flux [13] , fistulas [14] , all wounds and diseases in men's genitals, the stone both in the reins [15] and bladder, scars or small pox in the face, all hurts by iron, the shingles, and such other diseases as arise by abundance of too much choler, anger or passion.

Colours and savours:
Red, yellow, fiery and shining. Savours that are bitter, sharp and burn the tongue.

Herbs, Plants and Trees:
Those that are red in colour, whose leaves are pointed and sharp, whose taste is caustic [16] and burning; that love to grow in dry places, are corrosive and penetrate the flesh and bones with a subtle heat. They are as follows:
The nettle, all manner or thistles, restharrow or cammock, devils-milk or petty spurge [17] , white and red brambles, the white vulgarly called by the herbalists ramme [18] , lingwort [19] , onion, scammony [20] , garlic [21] , mustard-seed, pepper, ginger, leeks, dittander [22] , hoarhound [23] , hemlock [24] , red sanders [25] , tamarinds, all herbs attracting or drawing choler by sympathy, radish, castoreum [26] , aresmart [27] , assarum [28] , carduus benedictus [29] , cantharides [30] .
All trees that are prickly, such as the thorn or chestnut.

Smiths, shops, furnaces, slaughterhouses, places where bricks or charcoal is burnt, chimneys, forges.

Minerals & Stones:
Iron, antimony, arsenic, brimstone, ocre, adamant, loadstone [31] , bloodstone, jasper, the many coloured amethyst, the touchstone, red lead or vermilion.

Attributed orb:
7 degrees

Samael [32]

Day of the Week:
Tuesday, and the first and eighth hour of that day [33]

Physical descriptions offered:
Generally middle stature, strong bodies, big bones, more lean than fat; complexion of a brown, ruddy colour, or of a high colour; their visage[34] round, their hair red or sandy flaxen, and many times crisping or curling. Sharp, hazel eyes, and they peircing; a bold, confident countenance, and the man active and fearless.
When Mars is oriental [35] he signifies valiant men, some white mixed with the redness, a decent tallness of body, hairy of his body.
Occidental; very ruddy complexioned, but mean in stature; little head, a smooth body, and not hairy; yellow hair, stiff, the natural humours generally more dry.

Manners when well dignified:
In feats of war and courage, invincible, scorning any should exceed him, subject to no reason, bold, confident, immovable, contentious, challenging all honour to themselves, valiant, lovers of war and things pertaining thereunto, hazarding himself to all perils, willingly will obey nobody; nor submit to any; a large reporter of his own acts, one that fights all things in comparison of victory, and yet of prudent behaviour in his own affairs.

Manners when badly placed:
Then he is a prattler without modesty or honesty, a lover of slaughter and quarrels, murder, theivery, a promoter of sedition, frays [36] , and commotions, and highway-thief, as wavering as the wind, a traitor, of turbulent spirit, perjurer, obscene, rash, inhumane, neither fearing God or caring for man, unthankful, treacherous, oppressors, ravenous, cheater, furious, violent

Notes & References:

  1] Mavors: The archaic form the the Latin Mars, sometimes used in poetry
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  2] Ares: Greek for Mars.
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  3] Pyroeis: 'Fiery One', the secular Greek name.
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  4] Gradivus: Perhaps 'he who marches out', a Latin epithet of Mars.
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  5] Lilly's 17th century list of Martian people focuses upon those who are characterised by violence (soldiers, armourers), oppression or attacks against others (thieves, usurpers); those who work in dangerous occupations (bear-wards: keepers of wild animals); those who work with sharp cutting instruments (surgeons, barbers); and those who work with heat (bakers, smiths). It can be suitable adapted to include modern deviations such as professional boxers, terrorists, firemen, kiln workers, etc.
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  6] Archaic word for Pharmacists.
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  7] Shoe-repairer.
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  8] Gamblers
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  9] From the old English use of 'curry' - to finish and dress leather after it has been tanned.
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  10] A fever occurring every third day.
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  11] Abcesses
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  12] Violent mental agitation
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  13] Dysentery
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  14] An abnormal opening between hollow organs, caused by ulceration or malformation
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  15] Kidneys
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  16] Capable of burning or corroding by chemical action
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  17] A plant with milky sap
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  18] Hartsthorne, also known as buckthorne, used as a purgative.
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  19] White hellebore - also listed under Saturn
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  20] Bindweed
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  21] See Garlic, the embodiment of a Martian Herb for a discussion of the essential characteristics of this herb considered against its traditional astrological rulership
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  22] The broad-leaved pepperwort
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  23] Culpeper lists this under Saturn
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  24] Also listed under Saturn, to which Culpeper concurs.
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  25] Red sandalwood
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  26] Aromatic secretion of a beaver, used in perfumery and medicine
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  27] Water pepper or smartweed; also listed under Jupiter. (Culpeper says Mars and Saturn)
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  28] Assarabacca
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  29] Holy thistle
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  30] A diuretic and urogenital stimulant prepared from the dried bodies of Spanish fly
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  31] A magnetite which is naturally magnetic
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  32] Samael represents the severity of God, and the power to achieve Victory over Adversity. Regarded as a Patron to all those who do battle on the battlefield. Visit this link for more information.
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  33] This is the planetary hour that starts at sunrise, not noon.
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  34] Face, or general appearance
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  35] In this context oriental means to rise before the Sun, occidental means to rise after the Sun. Lilly makes this clear in the section where he discusses the physical characteristics of the Sun.
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  36] Public disorder
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More on Mars

Martian herbs