Mars & The Reckeweg Model
This article was first written for and published in the Russian magazine URANIA early 1997.
The planet Mars (and Aries as a sign) symbolizes our vital energy as well as our personal will - and the two ultimately are connected. When saying: "I, me, myself" with Aries and Mars we tend to not take other people much into consideration. Thus the sign of Libra and the planet Venus were created.
Libra in polar opposite to Aries has Venus as its ruler, which also rules Taurus, the sign next to Aries; and on the other side of Aries we find Pisces which is ruled by a planet often called 'a higher octave' from Venus: Neptune. This means that Aries is being enclosed on all sides by way of a Yod by Venusian energies calling for compassion and cooperation with other people. So here we have the basic dilemma of Mars and Aries: how to say "I" , how to express one's own will, how to be yourself in this world without losing track of the fact that many more people inhabit this planet who also have a will of their own which doesn't necessarily conform to yours.
Mars goes places, takes initiatives, and prefers to act independently without interference from others. Since nobody is born fully independent, the planet Mars is the first one that cannot be itself, and is altered (according to the placement in the chart) by means of all kinds of emotional and behavioral processes. Mars can be suppressed (Saturn/Pluto), or totally weakened (Neptune), or can be subjected to Venusian qualities due to one's need to be seen as a nice person and acceptable to others. Throughout this the stage is set for problems later in life, problems that will express themselves through agression or anger (Saturn/Pluto), irritation (Uranus, Aquarius), or because the vital energy in the body starts to become weakened - the iron content in the blood declines, weakening of the life-force occurs (Neptune, Mars retrograde, or Piscean influences). Or the vital energy might be compressed (Uranus, Pluto, Saturn) and feel blocked at the body level, leading to headaches and migraines for example.
All problems essentially flow forth from anger and the inability to express one's own willpower -- not being able through circumstances to assert the self in the outer world where so many things have to be done according to so many rules and opinions of other people, or because of life circumstances. Agression is really nothing other than suppressed assertiveness.
The position of the sign Aries in the horoscope illustrates beautifully how Mars is supposed to be expressed. Aries is the first sign of the zodiac. Aries and Mars represent the principle of 'beginnings'. This means that in correspondence with the celestial order, Aries and Mars principles ought to be expressed directly, immediately, at the start of things, in whatever situation! Being spontaneous, clear, and direct in your relationships: letting other people know right from the start what it is that you want provides a lot of space to actually listen to someone else, as opposed to waiting before expressing your own desires, not being clear, or first putting yourself in other people's situations. This will catch up with you later on, and then anger arises because you listened to someone else, but in the process forgot to express yourself. In other words: anger arieses simply because you waited too long to make your own desires known and to be direct and clear about what it is that you want. From this it follows easily which particular placements in the chart will show a higher probability for problems with unresolved anger.
However, when anger arises, that which is fascinating to realize - upon deeper contemplation of its causes -, is that in reality you are angry with yourself, rather than with anyone else! Aries is the FIRST sign of the zodiac and deals with 'self'. We often believe that we are angry with others, but of all anger there is really only one anger, namely being angry with oneself, the anger that really you have not been clear or were unable to be clear in the beginning of the process and suppressed your own desires, or passed them over to act on someone else's wishes.
It is really important to understand that anger by definition means being angry with oneself, because of not having been clear from the very start. A good illustration of how this phenomenon of Mars and Aries operates, of how they really are linked with Beginnings, is reflected in the system of 'Reckeweg'. Mr. Reckeweg was a German natural healer or homeopath who classified all diseases and stages of disease; his model aligns beautifully with the planetary system. The early stages of disease are characterized by the planets very close to Earth -- the Moon, Mars -- and the stages progress in parallel with the outer planets, reaching, in the final/terminal stages the planets at the far end of the solar system (Neptune, Pluto).
THE RECKEWEG MODEL ASTROLOGICALLY EXPLAINED
Reckeweg found that all patterns of disease follow in principle six consecutive stages.
1. EXCRETION (the Moon)
The very first phase of discomfort of the body is marked by symtomps of excretion which in reality are normal and healthy symptoms of purifying the system from toxic, (i.e. alien) input. Crying or tears are an example, as is perspiration, a runny nose, and the monthly menses in women. Toxins are being released, excreted by fluids, so the very first phase is obviously ruled by the Moon. In fact, the Moon who regulates all fluids in our body is the first and foremost factor to consider with regard to our health. Natural health philosophies say that the principal cause of ill health is toxic substance in the body. What is toxic? It is everything not compatible with out inherent nature and system. Thoughts, in fact, can also be toxic, or lead to manifestations of toxicity on the material plane. In systems of natural healing, diet and emotions are the main factors taken into consideration; elimination of the overload of toxins in the system, of too much negativity in fact, is the goal, which can often be achieved by fasting.
Our bodies are superbly equipped to deal with toxins. Perspiration, menses, tears, all are natural ways of excretion of toxins. In fact, in this first phase, the phase of excretion ruled by the Moon, we can only speak of perfect health.
2. REACTION (Mars).
It is only in the second phase that we can actually begin to speak of the start of disease, but the characteristic symptoms of this phase in reality point to a heightened activity in the body to eliminate toxicity -- quickly and automatically -- by means of an acute reaction, thence to return back to normal. The ability to deal with an overdose of toxins in such an acute manner is in fact a sign of very good health.
We might also call this phase 'preparing for war' ...., if we were to realize what is happening at this stage. If toxic matter (matter inherently incompatible with our real nature) is accumulating in our system, whether these toxins are psychological, mental or physical, with insufficient release out of the system, then acute illness arises as a reaction to cope with the problem. Normally, as mentioned above, the toxins are released and given back to Mother Earth via the emotions (Moon) or excretion of fluids that carry the toxins out of the body. However, if they accumulate and our systems can no longer deal normally with the traffic of incoming and outgoing substances, our entire body will automatically enter into the phase of alarm. It is almost as if an entire army of health soldiers is being prepared for battle to strike down the incoming 'enemies' (alien matter), in the system.
It is clear that the planet Mars who is associated with war (blood), and fighting, is the dominant planet in this phase. Upon reading the descriptions of disease symptoms in a medical text, it is incredible to find so many words that immediately remind one of a true war going on: there are lines of resistance, alien invasions (bacteria), etc. The red blood corpuscles as well as the iron in the body reflect this function of Mars.
Mars is really a reddish planet when observed in the sky. Symbolically, this red color depicts blood, and hence war. It is true at any rate that the body in this phase of acute reaction shows up red as well, because symptoms such as fever, skin irritations and inflammations are typical in this phase. The body is simply on 'red alert'. In fact, this phase is not very sserious, the body will naturally restore quickly to full health, as can be observed in young children who often will run a high fever out of the blue (the high temperature denotes the fiery temperament of Mars/Aries), yet be completely healthy, as if nothing had ever happened, within a few hours' time. Unfortunately, the human being seems to loose this capacity at a later age, the capacity to react and act fast and furious the Mars way, as we become socialized and Mars is all too often suppressed. Similarly, we also tend to suppress all kinds of --red-- skin eruptions later in life (acne, eczema). This will force the toxins into deeper levels of the body, an organic level, deeper than the skin or surface itself. In the Mars phase, the skin -- the superficial outer layer -- is of paramount importance for flushing toxins out of the system in a natural way. It is only when Mars and its symptoms are being suppressed that we enter into more problematic phases of 'degeneration'.
Thus, Mars is the first planet to consider when speaking of our emotional and physical health, after the Moon, which usually operates instinctively and subconsciously. So the question for both ourselves and our bodies in this world becomes: how can we 'go to war' to defeat the enemy without seeing enemies everywhere! I.e. still be friends with the alien matter. One way to look at this is to understand that everything has a place under the sky and should be allowed to exist. However, we need not always identify with 'alien vibrations' and take them into our own system! We have great trouble 'going to war' properly, so suppression is the prevalent attitude. We don't want to know about and examine disharmony for the next phase and I will briefly discuss all of the remaining phases with their planetary correlations, so that the position of Mars in this scheme is understood not only on its own, but also as part of a whole process.
3. DEPOSITION (Jupiter/Saturn)
Examples of disease in this stage are: kidney or gallstones, chronic glandular swellings, high blood pressure through malfunctioning of the kidneys, polyps, early phases of asthma, varicose veins. When the toxic or unnatural matter has not successfullly been cleansed from the system through the actions of Mars, but instead has been deposited deeper into the body due to suppression of Mars, the acute phase will turn into local semi-chronical disease on an organic level.
The deposition phase is represented by Jupiter, combined with Saturn. Up to and including this phase disease is relatively easy to treat and in accordance with homeopathic philosophy: healing occurs by a regression of symptoms from the organic level, back to the skin-/surface level (Mars) and finally back to health (Moon).
4. IMPREGNATION (Saturn/Uranus)
In this next phase we have crossed the boundaries of Saturn, moving further on into the cosmos. This phase is ruled by Uranus in combination with Saturn: the changes in the system are now very difficult to reverse. In fact, the 'acute' has now changed into chronic reality and physically into chronic ailments and from this phase onwards there is hardly any way to cure other than spiritual. What belongs to the transcendental realm can only be cured by the transcendetal realm. Impregnation diseases are for instance: starting paralysis, migraine, asthma, emphesyma, edema, fleshy growths. Impregnation occurs here at a cellular level.
5. DEGENERATION (Saturn/Neptune)
The name is clear: degeneration of cells, of the entire body, and of the immune system. Neptune obviously rules this phase (still in combination with Saturn). Examples of typical disease symptoms are AIDS, tuberculosis, Hodgkin's disease, M.S., Parkinson, cirrhosis of the liver. Nothing other than a total shift of Neptune and Saturn from disappointment and delusion to faith and unconditional love is needed here as the fundamental ingredient for reversing the 'toxic' impregnation and degeneration.
6. NEOPLASM (Saturn/Pluto)
This final phase involves total destruction of the cellular structure to total transformation into a new organism, symbolized by the death-and rebirth process of Pluto (again in combination with Saturn). The disease of cancer is an example of this. Cancers which are cured ALSO are accompanied by a total transformation of the personality!
I hope that it is obvious, but in case it is not: no conclusion should be made that Pluto/Saturn indicates the likelihood of cancer. Pluto/Saturn is the need for total surrender of ego to the power of the soul, and for the ultimate test of standing alone in front of God, fearless -- transcending the fear of death. Obviously this may occur on many levels.
This short survey of the progressive growth of disease from acute (Mars) to chronic (Saturn) clarifies the importance of Mars for our vitality and health, and the necessity of the functioning of Mars with regard to elimination of toxivity rather than succumbing to greater negativity (=suppressing) forces that may bring temporary relief, but will in fact allow the disease to penetrate deeper into the system.
The question here is: how to get rid of emotions of anger and negativity in relationship without causing harm to anyone (including ourselves). Very few people are born with Aries on the Ascendant and Mars in the first house, theoretically perhaps an 'ideal' placement for Mars: in its own sign, its own house, providing the means to express itself spontaneously, harmlessly, naturally and indepedently of others.
However, even if this were the case, even if most people were blessed with such charts .. we would still be confronted with the fact that even though each individual may feel him-/herself to be alone in the world: 1) in fact is not, and 2) is not born independently.
So there are two riddles to be solved here in the course of our lives: how to become independent and simultaneously how to belong to a social whole. As soon as we are born the drive for independence is countered by the process of 'adaptation' (and often even suppression) and 'education' starts soon enough to make a useful and social being out of us; someone who is capable of good relations with his/her surroundings. So, the "I-want-power" and the personal will is modified by the influence of the will of the environment. In itself this form of suppression is not necessarily bad (all in life being a matter of balance).
Now, suppose Mars is 'ideally' placed in your chart and you have been encouraged from point zero to find your own way in life, you were always able to start new enterprises, your power of initiative is well developed and you are accustomed to letting others know your wishes and desires easily and clearly; others always know where you are at. Well, God invented the sign of Libra all of a sudden thereafter, ruled by Venus, a planet that pulls us back to the center, the Sun, rather than moving away from it (Mars). Dualism is a fact of life.The duality of people having been split up in male/female is the most basic reflection of this phenomenon. Aries complements Libra, Libra complements Aries. This already suggests that something which is lacking is Libra's quality of cooperation, listening, and togetherness, rather than the self-assertiveness of Mars and Aries.
It can be clearly seen that the law of polarity operates in such a way that when one principle manifests itself strongly in the world, the opposite principle is called forth of itself. So, someone can be very Aries- and/or Mars like, assertive and spontaneous, but the consequence is that he/she will attract all kinds of Libran types who will try to let this person know that there are more people on this planet. How am I going to be 'first' and 'spontaneous' if my partner already is 'first' and 'spontaenous' ??
Realizing that we AND our immediate environment are a whole, not me, myself alone -- unless I am in a meditation -- allows one to see more clearly how this operates in life. If I act out Mars I will automatically call forth the Venus function in someone else, simply because that is the way Nature works: it always seeks balance. For me to call forth Mars in my partner, I need to be Venusian!! but how will this affect my health and vitality? Thus, it is at any rate virtually impossible to create a situation where all people live out their own Mars.
There really is only one solution to this dilemma:
1) Learn to express Mars where it belongs: immediately, directly, and at the start of things, so that everybody (including yourself) will know where you stand and your will is known.
2) Move from Aries to Pisces: move back immediately after this first step to the wisdom of Pisces which says: "Let go of the result". Do not be attached to whether your will is acted upon or not. It is enough to have expressed it. If someone else has another desire, it is now a lot easier to go along with that, WITHOUT feeling angry later on, because you already made your own will known, it is not suppressed.
You see, many of our problems in relationships simply arise because we do not even let others know what our will is, and many of us rather submit to the will of someone else 'to keep the peace'. This, of course, is fatal. Peace occurs where two wills and two individualities are allowed to co-exist, where we don't mind someone else being different. Such psychological maturity unfortunately can only exist in cases where Saturn is operating as an internal authority rather than as the need for confirmation from the environment. However, each of us has a will of their own, and in relationship we tend to fuse ourselves with someone else, thereby suppressing either our Mars'functioning or the other person's, so emotional 'depositioning' occurs in our systems.. This is the reason that when we start quarreling we will all of a sudden find ourselves reproaching the other person for something he/she did a long time ago! (We never might have mentioned it before, and right from the start, it 'deposited' instead). If we had mentioned straight away what we felt when it occurred there would not be so much negativity in our collective Mars energies. We would have dealt with Mars the 'acute' way, which results in healthy relationships. Mars acting acutely and immediately is pure innocence. A Mars that is expressed too late (and everything other than the beginning is 'too late' in the case of Mars: - Mars in Capricorn, with Saturn, Mars in Scorpio or with Pluto, Mars in Pisces, retrograde or the 12th house) can easily accumulate negative emotions and turn into unresolved anger. This makes it very difficult to give back to Mars its natural innocent, spontaneous and clear quality. And yet it is the only and ideal expression for Mars: childlike, pure, itself, combined with the maturing process of the entire zodiac: Pisces - in the end, that is to say: non-attached to the results.
Joyce Hoen © 1998-2008