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Sometimes simple questions don't have simple answers. Many parents discover this the first time their child asks them "Why is the sky blue?" The surreptitious Google search gets you to the answer, but the answer requires an understanding of the atmosphere, light waves, colors of light, and how light travels through the air.
Astrology teachers have the same problem. Students ask questions that seem so simple, and are often disappointed when there isn't a simple answer. For example, one of my students asked me if people who have Mars in the Fourth House of the natal chart tend to bottle up anger. It's an excellent question, but not a simple one.
To consider the question, we have to consider the assumptions behind the question and how the astrology relating to Mars and planets in the Fourth House combine. We also have to consider anger, and what it means to bottle it up.
This applies to every question about what a particular pattern in a natal chart means or how it expresses. Each astrological signature can express in an infinite number of ways, depending on the individual's level of consciousness. The most we could say is that the behavior of bottling up anger is one possible way that Mars in the Fourth House could express.
Keep in mind, we haven't come to that conclusion yet. We have to consider the astrology first. But even if the astrology backs up the premise, it would not apply to every person with Mars in the Fourth House.
The connection between Mars and anger is clear. One of the things that Mars represents in the natal chart is how we experience and express anger.
The connection between the Fourth House and bottling things up takes a little more explanation. The Fourth House is the most private, personal house in the chart. But just because planets that occupy the Fourth House express privately doesn't mean that they have difficulty expressing.
The Fourth House is an angular house. Planets that occupy the Fourth House are prominent. They have an easy time expressing and connecting with the outside world. They just keep their behavior private and don't post about it on Facebook.
You can never know with absolute certainty what another person is experiencing. When someone expresses anger, it's usually quite noticeable. But it's possible to feel anger without expressing it or bottling it up. The issue here isn't astrology as much as it's our relationship to anger.
Anger is both a feeling and a level of consciousness. The energy of anger is just energy. It's not inherently negative or destructive. However, when that energy is expressed from the level of consciousness of Anger, the results are never good. Anger, which calibrates at 150, is a part of First Kingdom/Victim Consciousness. Any action taken from the consciousness of Anger will always be counter-productive.
Few people have a healthy relationship with anger. When we experience anger, we see only two choices. We can react from the consciousness of Anger, which is destructive, or we can suppress the anger, repress it, and bottle it up, which is also destructive. When you master your anger, you have a third option: you can take the energy of anger and use it in a constructive, supportive way.
Someone with Mars in the Fourth House already keeps their anger private. Their family may see that side of their personality, but few others ever will. On the other hand when a person with a prominent Mars gets angry, everyone knows about it. When they get angry, it doesn't just hurt them, it hurts other people, too. This is the kind of belief that causes someone to suppress, repress, and bottle up anger.
Williams has an extremely prominent and influential Mars in his chart. His Mars is in the Ninth House, and it's trine his Ascendant, so it shows up as a major part of his personality. Mars also rules his Scorpio Ascendant, and it's the most influential planet in his chart. And his Mars is both conjunct Uranus and Square Jupiter.
Mars conjunct Uranus makes Williams' anger unpredictable, and the square from Jupiter makes it bigger. All of this has a direct line to Williams' front door because of the trine between Mars and the Ascendant. Williams already had to struggle with the size of his personality, and he probably learned at an early age to control his anger.
There are many other contributing factors in Williams' chart to suggest that he had a tremendous reserve of anger. The tragedy for Williams was that he never learned how to express that energy in a supportive, positive way. Repressed, bottled up anger often turns inward and manifests as depression, which eventually drove Williams to take his own life.
Even though planets in the Fourth House are private when they express, they don't have any inherent difficulty expressing. People with Mars in the Fourth House may not show their anger to the outside world, but that doesn't mean they don't experience it.
People bottle up anger because they believe that the only other alternative is expressing anger, and they don't consider that to be an acceptable option. Expressing anger hurts other people, but suppressing it only hurts us.
Ironically, people with a prominent Mars are more likely to have the belief that expressing anger is not acceptable. When they expressed anger as children, it would have been quite obvious. If they were punished or chastised for it, they're likely to decide to bottle up anger in the future.
The real issue is that few people understand how to take advantage of the energy of anger and channel it in productive, supportive ways. Fortunately, it's quite easy to learn. Anger Mastery: Get Angry, Get Happy gives you all of the tools you need to transform your relationship with anger, move out of Victim Consciousness, and become truly happy. Learn more about it at http://getangrygethappy.com.
Rave Reviews for Principles of Practical Natal Astrology: Talented Astrologer Training Book 1
Mary Plumb, in her review in The Mountain Astrologer says:
“An excellent guide to astrology that is far more than a typical beginner book. Not only is Burk a skilled communicator (who has studied how people learn), he is also a funny, self-revealing fellow with an astute foundation in traditional astrology (and human psychology) … His book is an in-depth presentation that is spaciously formatted with color in the text and in the cartoons, charts, and tables. His knowledge of traditional astrology, informed by modern views of human development, and his obvious gifts as a teacher combine in this most useful training manual.”
Donna Woodwell, M.A., former Board Member of NCGR and ISAR says:
“A masterful step-by-step guide for learning traditional foundations of chart interpretation in a way that’s accessible to the modern astrologer. Brimming with tips and techniques, it’s fun and practical — the perfect addition to anyone’s astrological explorations.”
Find out what everyone’s talking about! Print and digital editions of Principles of Practical Natal Astrology are available here. Plus, you can download sample chapters of the book for free.
Kevin B. Burk is the Headmaster of The Real Astrology Academy. Established in 2013, The Real Astrology Academy provides astrology information, education, and training to astrologers and astrology students around the world. He holds an NCGR-IV Certification in Astrological Counseling, is the author of over a dozen books, including Principles of Practical Natal Astrology: Talented Astrologer Training Book 1, and helps clients around the world through his counseling practice.