Mars Meets Saturn: Sexuality & the Wounded Masculine

mars saturn heat flames

It has never been much of a secret that I don’t like men very much, despite the fact that I am deeply attracted to them. I feel extremely sensitive towards possible aggression, anger, or when they conversely feel like a fatherly figure and act like an authority. One of my boyfriends used to constantly say to me, “I’m not me I’m me,” but to no avail. However, it was this recent Mars-Saturn conjunction (still wide in the sky) I felt myself come face-to-face with my fears and feeling helpless in navigating male and female dynamics, especially around sex. I realize now my resistance to men has most come from my own wounded inner masculine or animus. 

For this, I turn to my own chart to sit with this dynamic duo and seek an expression that elevates this combo instead of the way it has been showing up in its unconscious way of fear of men and sexual insecurity. While the Saturn and Mars conjunction was exact on August 22 and 23, it continues to play out its dynamics in wide conjunction and also squaring the most recent new moon/eclipse and also the full moon next week. When the two most considered “malefic” (never noticed that words beings with “male” before);) come into conjunction, things definitely  get weird. While I don’t believe any planet is only “bad” as all planets have expressions that are both shadow and light, the range of expression possible for Mars and Saturn certainly comes with some negative connotations.

However, I’ve noticed this complex in myself (I have it in wide conjunction in my birth chart) as sexual insecurity. In the past I've felt frustration and judgment around my sexuality, wishing it were more powerful or more prevalent instead it taking a lot of energy to evoke. I feel a grief in noticing the partners I have chosen over the course of my life were in many ways a path to continue repressing my own sexuality. Many of them with their own hang-ups (such as sexual dysfunction or emotional avoidance) or distance physically so as not to come face-to-face for too long with our fears. 

If we think about each archetype individually it makes it a slightly easier to see why they could wreak havoc if unintegrated. Mars as our root chakra, flight or fight, life force impulse, youthfulness, and sexuality tells us a lot about how we move in the world and what motivates or turns us on. While Saturn rules somewhat the opposite, it is slow and very heavy and shows us the realm of age, death, commitment. It slows everything down while Mars wants everything to speed up.

These two combined have myriad expressions that run hot (Mars) and cold (Saturn), but here are a few: 

Shadow expressions

•    Sexual repression
•    Fear of the masculine
•    Suppression of anger
•    Action feeling thwarted or hopeless
•    Tension between what you should do and want to do
•    Frustration and annoyance
•    Control of desires
•    Judgment of youthfulness, impulsivity, etc.
•    Self-denial
•    Resistance to authority

Elevated expressions
•    Mature sexuality
•    Sustained desire
•    Wise anger
•    Disciplined action
•    Resourcefulness
•    Focused energy
•    Persistent effort, endurance
•    Committed passion

When these two planets work together in their highest expression, it can be a magnificent combo offering sexual maturity and that is a slow burn with passion and steadiness. When I choose my actions wisely I come into alignment with this, a sexual maturity develops…one that combines the action of Mars with the sustainability of Saturn—a sustainable (Saturn) flame (Mars). 

These two planets could be experienced in their shadow nature as the polarity of masculine forces with shadow Mars as impulsivity or shadow of Saturn as judgment. However, in their elevated expressions they are a clear divine masculine guidance system of boldness, boundaries (not barriers), and clarity. While these planets are not masculine nor feminine and carry both polarities, the zeitgeist of both these planets has been associated with the masculine and is therefore also a part of the wounded masculine without its acknowledgment of the necessity of the feminine.

A part of understanding this complex for me was also looking at my own relationship to my inner masculine for healing. One of my favorite authors Gareth Hill describes the human psyche as having four poles: static masculine, static feminine, dynamic masculine, and dynamic feminine. In this context Mars often represents the dynamic masculine wanting individualism, autonomy, and has its clearest expression in early adulthood. On the other side of the masculine pole is the static masculine representing structures, achievement, with apex in midlife as Saturn. When either of these pieces are not owned in men or women, we project it outward. More interestingly is that traditionally one would associate Mars with the dynamic masculine and Saturn with the static masculine. This over simplification of the planets and poles means that someone with this combination wouldn’t feel access to the other two.
In my case, I feel a lot of access to the static feminine and dynamic feminine, but not a lot with either of the masculine poles. Therefore creating a fear of my own immature and mature “projected” masculine. Our anima or inner soul is opposite our gender and as a woman, my static masculine AND dynamic masculine have both been projected outwardly onto men.

According to Jung, the number four represents wholeness and completion. I think Gareth Hill’s model speaks to this with the four different parts of the psyche as mature masculine, immature/youthful masculine, mature feminine, and immature/youthful feminine. The unowned elements of my psyche that were masculine continued to perpetuate my fear until I realized how much they were already a part of me. 

For men I can imagine this combination as evoking a fear around their own masculinity or a confusion about how to express it. I felt confused by the messages around masculinity, and pain of so much misunderstanding between the sexes. I heard the messages to women about being scared of men’s sexual advances and can see more clearly that we are all carrying the wounded masculine, just as we all carry the wounded feminine. The way out of this wound is acknowledging the places we have allowed their shadow expression and move more fully into their integration. Mars and Saturn,  unearthed for me the next phase in my animus integration and reinforced for me the non-malefic nature of their being.