Since I am already mentioning him in this post, and then in more detail here, I decided he needs a post of his own. He is known as Ares to the Greeks, and as Mars to the Romans*, and is the deity of war, strength (brute force), and courage. Definitely not an all Love&Light God, he can be violent and destructive as the things he represents, but is also a fierce protector and a brother-in-arms who leads us to act with courage and stand our ground in life.
(*there are slight differences between Roman and Greek mythology. In this post all mythology referenced will be from Greek mythology.)
I first met him in a dream. I was barely starting out on my spiritual path. In my dream I was in the scene of an impeding battle, in historic times. I felt afraid, because I knew our enemies were strong, I was a scout and had observed them. I needed to report what I have seen, and went to my superior who assigned me to another commander and pointed me im the right direction. When I found him, I was intrigued immediately: He had a simple yet regal helmet, shoulder and arm guards, and I could see he had fought and lived through many victories and defeats. He had a sort of ageless look. I asked myself who he was, and why I had been sent to him, and in response, as if he heard my mind he looked me in the eye and said: “you were born under my sign, and we are brothers* in arms”
(*brothers. well. brother/sister. is there a word for that? excuse my english)
When I woke up I hit the internet immediately. It did not take long to find the association of Aries->Warrior type->ruling planet Mars->Ares. Found you~ :3 I read about the mythology surrounding him and found that I did indeed feel connected to him. (check out the bibliography after this section) Apart from being the archetypal warrior, two traits I noticed stood out a lot to me:
- His main aspect is the taker or life, yet the the people he loves he will fight side by side with and defend fiercely. Thee are numerous examples of him supporting and fighting alongside, and avenging, his children or followers, such as the Amazones, his son Kyknos, his love Aphrodite, etc… he also avenges his daughter’s rape by killing a son of Poseidon.
- Sometimes he is victorious, sometimes not. He is wounded multiple times, for example by Athena and Diomedes during the Trojan war, or by Herakles in one of their fights. He is sometimes the hero, as when he rescues Thanatos from Sisyphos, or slays multiple giants. Sometimes he walks into traps, such as getting trapped in a jar by the Aloadai, or getting caught in a net by jealous Hephaistos as he had an affair with Aphrodite. He is indeed the archetypal warrior, along with scars, setbacks, mistakes, but also triumphs. He always recovers and resumes his quests with the same ardent passion, fury and valour.
(bibliography: Theoi, http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/Ares.html . Ancient History Encyclopedia, http://www.ancient.eu/Ares/ . Mythagora, http://mythagora.com/bios/ares.html . )
Since our first meeting I have indeed felt a brother/sister in arms relationship, and he has lead me a lot of times to overcome challenges that required discipline, courage, will and strength. What I am perhaps most greatful for is the ongoing encouragement and pushing that led me to realise that the warrior character living inside me can also become physical reality. The dedication and effort I put into training comes from the knowledge that this is indeed real life, and it is my physical body, not my fantasy, that is doing/learning to do whatever it is I am doing at the moment. And yes, occasionally I will get hurt, I will experience defeats, but I refuse to go down. I am also often too cautious, but he teaches me that sometimes it is best to charge headlong into the midst of it.
Ares appears in many different forms, through dreams, visions or clairaudience, but often I can just feel his presence. He may appear as certain birds, especially birds of prey, or birds that can often be found circling battlefields. His traditional bird is the vulture. His energy can be felt in a ritual also through fire, through gemstones such as red jasper, bloodstone, obsidian and garnet, and through iron or steel.
I wear my arrowhead pendant as a symbol of the Warrior, as a dedication to my path as an archer and as a devotion to Ares, who’s sign I was born under, and who fights by my side in the battles of my life.
Do any of you have a connection to a warrior deity? Let’s share experiences :3
kitty hugs to all~