Mars Symbolism

Symbolism of Mars in Literature

Mars as a symbolism in literature is prominently seen in Roman mythology as a god of wars and is similar to the Greek god Ares. In the scientific community, Mars is a symbol of the masculine gender, and as a barren land, it is considered a symbol of hardship. It is represented by a shield and a spear as a planetary and gender symbol. The Celtic god of healing, Lenus, is closely associated with Mars from Roman mythology. Hence, Mars has always been used as a representation of war and aggression. In pop culture, especially in literature and films, Mars is depicted as a technologically advanced and invading species, and in most of the work, the Martians’ main motive is to cause annihilation and destruction of the human race. The word Mars comes from Middle English word ‘Mars’ with no change in spelling or pronunciation, and is derived from the Latin word Mārs means god of war, and from the older Latin, Māvors used before 75 B.C.


In Roman mythology, Mars is the son of Jupiter and Juno, and he symbolizes strength as a warrior. In Hindu mythology, the planet Mars is called Mangala and is also identified with the war god Karthikeya. In art form, he is shown with six heads and twelve arms, who rides a peacock. In Greek mythology, the Goddess of Ares is associated with Mars, and he is also the war of the god.

Pop Culture

In Pop culture, Mars is usually called the red planet for its barrenness and color. In the 1950s, Abbott and Costello go to Mars as a symbol of adventure. As a documentary, the successful mission to Mars was produced in 1965, called Mariner 4 mission. Here Mars represents hope and journey as it was the first time NASA took pictures from space. The critically popular films John Carter of Mars, Martin Chronicles, Stranger in a strange land, and The Red Planet symbolize hope and survival. The films such as The War of the Worlds, The Invaders, and Mars Attacks are symbols of hostility, danger, power, and invasion.


Mars is called a Red Planet, and its red color reflects passion; red is also a symbol of courage. In Vedic astrology, Mars symbolizes the lord Karthikeya’s courage and determination. Mars takes 18 months to complete the cycle and spends 45 days in each zodiac sign. Hence, it is considered a symbol of courage and patience. Also, according to Hindu mythology, Mars also represents a demi-god Lohit who symbolizes courage and strength; it includes a negative representation of rage and celibacy.


Mars is the planet, and it symbolizes desires, actions, energy, and passion. In Ancient Roman mythology, Mars was associated with the god of war and symbolized ambition, passion, and energy. According to astrological science, the Sun rules the creative energy, but Mars rules the personal energy, which influences a person’s personality as well as future. Mars in Aries represents courageous energy. Mars in Gemini symbolizes adventure energy. Mars in Cancer exhibits extreme emotional energy. Mars in Leo represents the energy of freedom personally and professionally. Mars in Libra symbolizes fiery energy. Mars in Scorpio is considered passive and aggressive energy. Mars in Sagittarius is a symbol of energy, and hard work, whether physical or mental. Mars in Capricorn represents the energy of cunning and practicality. Mars in Aquarius symbolizes the energy of an idealistic and intellectual personality. Mars in Pisces is considered the energy of understanding and transformation.


According to Vedic Astrology, Mars offers the ability to fulfill our needs and desires and is associated with energy and passion. Mars is represented with different symbols which describe the different astrological aspects. In the 3rd century kingdom of Pallas used  Mars in a coin with the reverse with a lance and shield to symbolize protection. Mars with spear and shield was also a symbol used in Pomeii in Italy. Mars symbolizes iron mining in the municipal coat of arms of Karlskoga in Sweden. In Finland, Mars is depicted with a circle and an arrow cross, and it is placed on the municipal coat of arms of Loppi. Based on Astrology, Mars planet is associated with iron.


Mars, in a dream, represents a warrior, an army, and the power of force. Dreams about Mars mean the beginning of interpersonal relationships. Dreaming of living on Mmars symbolizes that life is going to be unstable. Dreaming of the Red planet also represents the threat to life.

Examples of Mars as Symbolism in Literature

Example #1

Mars By Patrick White

A “Seeing night” astronomers would say,
No moon, no mist, a cod tranquillity.
Mars now makes its slow triumphant way
Above the trees’ their colours struck, a fee
Of oaks, leaf-legions dead upon the field;
Mars now strides through ruin and defeat.
Bright minister of war, red ant,
Are you assured your carnage is complete?
I recognize those faces on your shield;
Before you, even love must yield:
Your tactic? Feigned retreat. Your orbit? Aberrant.

In this example, a first stanza of the poem, the planet Mars is a symbol of abandonment, anger, and desolation.

Example #2

Here’s Mars By William H. Dickey

Over the office building rising across the street
from my parents house
in the warm August night
Mars comes as close
as I Shall see it.

Not Knowing much
about stars and planets
I have loves them:
that Pluro’s called Pluto
to fix in the night sky
the initials of percival Lowell.

And now here’s Mars
Just west of the street light,
bright enough even my father
shading his cataracts
with his left hand
can see it plain.

In this example, Mars is a symbol of hope and sight or fascination.

Example #3

For a Map of Mars By E. Preston Dargan

When the Earth-king came to woo her,
Long after the Earth was one,
Queen Phlargis, in Mars Planet,
Had treatied with the sun.

She had riven the ice forever
Out of the Sirens’ Sea,
Had bridged the Hyberborean
And raised sky-towers three.

In this poem, which has fantasy elements, Mars is a symbol of refuge and growth.

Example #4

“Roll on, sad world! not Mercury or Mars” By Frederick Goddard Tuckerman

Roll on, sad World! not Mercury or Mars
Could swifter speed, or slower, round the sun,
Than in this year of variance thou hast done
For me. Yet pain, Fear, Heart-break, Woes, and Wars
Have natural limits.

In this example, Mars is paired with Mercury and is compared to Earth for their revolution cycle. Here Mars, along with other planets, symbolizes time, patience, and chaos.

Example #5

Mars Beckons by John Noble Wilford

Mars tugs at the human imagination like no other planet. With a force mightier than gravity, it attracts the eye to the shimmering red presence in the clear night sky…

In this example, Mar is a symbol of hope, fascination, and beauty.

Example #6

Red Rising By Pierce Brown

There is a flower that grows on Mars. It is red and harsh and fit for our soil. It is called haemanthus. It means “blood blossom”.

In this example, Mars is a symbol of danger, hope, and life.

Example #6

The Martian Chronicles By Ray Bradbury

The thing that makes me happy is that I know that on Mars, two hundred years from now, my books are going to be read. They’ll be up on dead Mars with no atmosphere. And late at night, with a flashlight, some little boy is going to peek under the covers and read The Martian Chronicles on Mars.

This example expresses the hope for artificial life on Mars. Here Mars also means hope and life.

Example #7

The Martian By Andy Weir

They say once you grow crops somewhere, you have officially ‘colonised’ it. So technically, I colonised Mars.
In your face, Neil Armstrong!

In this example, the narrator is talking about his success in growing vegetables on Mars. Here Mars is a symbol of dominion, hope, and life.