Mars is the Roman God of War and guardian of Agriculture. He is one of the early roman Gods and is second only to the great Jupiter (Zeus).
Mars’ festivals were always held in March which in Latin is Martius and in October when the military & farming seasons started and ended. Being reared on a farm and having a love for the male Gods, Mars is one of my favorites. I don’t know what it is but I have always leaned into the arms… I mean… towards the masculine spirits instead of the feminine ones, but I’m sure that will change if I become a mother.
March God Mars
Apparently, in one story Mars sired Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, which made the Romans his children. Shortly after their birth Lupa the She-Wolf would raise them.
Symbols for Mars are the wolf, wood pecker, and the lance. Mars usually brings personifications of of war, Bellona, Discord, Fear, Dread, Panic, and Virtue with him when he shows up. Which seems fitting since we are currently in a Mercury Retrograde until March 17.
In ancient times human sacrifices, usually prisoners of war, were offered to him. But that was discontinued at a later period due to its cruelty. Wild animals associated with Mars were also sacrificed in his name. And you certainly shouldn’t be doing either of these today. Cato prescribed in the farming section of his book a sacrifice to Mars to promote the heath of your cattle:
Make an offering to Mars Silvanus in the forest (in silva) during the daytime for each head of cattle: 3 pounds of meal, 4½ pounds of bacon, 4½ pounds of meat, and 3 pints of wine. You may place the viands in one vessel, and the wine likewise in one vessel. Either a slave or a free man may make this offering. After the ceremony is over, consume the offering on the spot at once. A woman may not take part in this offering or see how it is performed. You may vow the vow every year if you wish.*
* Cato the Elder, On Farming 83, English translation from the Loeb Classical Library, Bill Thayer’s edition at LacusCurtius.
So what should you offer Mars when you need his assistance in storming your battle field? Fashion a bull, ox, or ram (all common ancient offerings to Mars) out of traditional clay or flour clay and leave it as an offering on your alter. You can also cook Mars a fantastic meal and share it with him. Cook something similar to Cato’s suggestion, cornmeal muffins or bread, red meat or pork wrapped in bacon and top it off with loads of red wine.
I often choose to worship in the kitchen style by cooking meals for the gods and sharing with them. This is also a great way to get your partner to worship with you. Cooking is also a great bonding activity for a coven.
Have you ever felt the presence of Mars or called upon him to help you storm the battlefields in your life?