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  • Writer's pictureLelia

Mars as Imaginary Friend and Creative Muse

Updated: 4 days ago

Fire, Adriaen Collaert after Maerten de Vos, 1580-1584

In an interview in The Guardian, Maxine Hong Kingston describes a male alter ego from her memoir I Love a Broad Margin to My Life. Kingston says:

“‘If I were a man that's the man I would be. He's also my imaginary friend, the way I had when I was a child, and then I brought him back in this new book because he's like Beatrice taking Dante through the underworld. So he accompanies me to these places in the middle of nowhere where a woman can't go, and then at a certain point I have to go on alone because we face our mortality alone. I picture him as quite tall with a beard,’ she says.”

The idea of being empowered by a male alter-ego made me think of George Sand wearing men’s clothes and discovering the sense of freedom cross-dressing conferred on her. Belinda Jack quotes Sand:

“I can’t describe how delighted I was by my boots; I would willingly have slept with them, as my brother did when he was very little, when he was given his first pair. With their little metal heels I was firmly grounded on the pavement. I flew from one end of Paris to the other. I felt I could have gone round the world. There was nothing to harm my clothes and I went out in all weathers, I came home at all hours, I went to the stalls of all the theatres. No one took any notice of me or questioned my outfit.”

Relishing this freedom and styling herself a “workman journalist” and “boy-copyist,” Sand began her professional writing career.

How marvelous that both Kingston and Sand create a persona that supports and galvanizes their writing. They exemplify Jill Badonsky’s recommendation that we personify our Creative Muses, the imaginary beings that encourage us to embody our bolder, stronger, more independent and creative selves. As Badonsky writes,

“Many obstructive and scary intruders emerge as we walk down the garden path to our creative awes… Mortals need valiant protection against these forces… So [the Muses] proposed the Bodyguard Act, which stipulates that Mortals Will Be Supplied with a Full-fledged Bodyguard for the Thwarting of Any Evil Force That Prevents the Expression of Creative Magnificence.”

Of course, your Bodyguard doesn't have to be male or even human. Astrologically, you could consider Mars, planets in Aries or planets in the 1st house as Bodyguards. These are the energies that allow you to take up space and to claim your desires. In Care of the Soul, Thomas Moore describes this energy: "All people... have an explosive force ready within them to be unleashed into the world. Simply being oneself - letting one's individuality and unique gifts come forth - is a manifestation of Mars."

How does this archetype act in your chart and life? In Cancer, you might have the protective ferocity of a mother bear. In the 9th house, you may feel an explosive force propelling you to explore, expand your horizons, quest for meaning.

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