Updated: Dec 12, 2020
Rahu and Mars have an important interplay in that Mars rules over our outflow of energy, while Rahu is “He Who Commands Direction”, who directs the mind’s outward projection. Rahu relates to the mind’s curiosity and desire to gain experience in new areas. Mars is our ability and bravery to break into & explore new territory. Rahu’s shadowed nature is dangerous, however, because we rarely know in which direction to command our minds, and many of us do not even try to do so. In that case, Rahu functions with warped perception, causing you to expend your energy into things not in anyway related to your own path or personal development. For example, his uncontrolled nature pulls us into gossiping, spying on others, inexhaustibly scrolling social media, typing criticisms to others while we lay on our couches (so they improve while we stagnate), playing video games (that establish us as something in a fake world rather than the real world), and so on. The planet however on the flip side of this is Mars, the one who excels at causing your energy to outwardly project uncontrollably; Mars triggers, Rahu is the part of us that gets triggered and forces us to involuntarily look at/project towards things through anxiety, apprehension, jealousy, etc. Outflowing energy (triggered by Mars) combined with an undirected projecting mind (negative Rahu) comes together to create a life saturated in perilous distraction.
Mars rules over enemies, competitors, and success in warfare, & is Ucchitan Karma, which is distracting others or driving them out. A very effective way to destroy enemies or overcome competition is to distract them, holding their attention onto something that is not constructive to them. Mars “triggers” a person, suggests they become distracted— through anger, lust, etc.— and if they do, they are placed under Rahu (involuntary projections of energy), and then easily defeated. Advanced warfare revolves around psyops, finding ways to derange your opponent and cause them to distractedly assert energy in the wrong areas, so that you can easily overcome them.
Paralleling Mars’ connection to warfare and bloodshed, he functions similarly through causing leakages of sexual energy. The Goddess Chinnamasta is associated with the Narasimha avatar of Vishnu, who corresponds to Mars amongst the planets. She is the fiercest form of the Goddess Chandi, who destroys the demon Mahatmaya when none of the Gods can. She does this through showing her naked body to him, causing him to involuntarily project his energy, which results in his destruction. This can be considered in that women who possess primary Mars-ruled nakshatra and embody this planet are often sexually-enticing, curvaceous, and “distracting” in that manner, causing uncontrolled outflows of energy of many kinds. Mars’ sexual warfare is said to be his most intense (sexual temptation destroys many before they even enter “battle”— losing the war before it even begins), which is why in this myth it is a Goddess-- through her beauty-- who can overcome the demon destroying the world, that no man can.
Both men & women are especially prone to falling negatively under Rahu when they dualistically divide themselves from their sexuality & libido, because they become unable to tangibly control or direct it. Through demonizing it and ignoring/repressing it, they actually become a slave to it; it thrashes deep inside in total darkness, outside of their awareness, and then allows them to be “triggered” easily by those under Mars who do possess the power to cause outflows of energy. Each Mars-ruled nakshatra (activating a time period saturated in Mars experiences) shows a different form of temptation to trigger the flow of sexual energy. In Mrigashira, the temptation is unintentional. It is the sexually-attractive man or woman who is “fleeing” from beings who are attracted to them, thus birthing temptation/pursuit in general. Mrigashira is the moment when Rohini flees from Brahma who desires his own daughter, and this uncontrolled projection cosmically forced humanity out of the “Garden of Eden” bliss/ignorance state, and into duality in Ardra (Rahu). I’ve explored this with Mrigashira women previously in articles/videos, but it can also be seen in Mrigashira men. In both films “Yes God Yes” and “The Little Hours”, a group of religious Christian women are tempted just be the natural effortless qualities/appearance of a Mrigashira man, to sexually “Sin” (Dave Franco & Wolfgang Novogratz).
In Chitra, a man or woman becomes conscious of “triggering”, and knows that by utilizing their sexuality, they are able to acquire resources and overcome enemies through agitation. In Dhanishta, distraction-warfare reaches a peak in that it is the true Nakshatra of 'celebrity' (with a name meaning “the most famous”)-- largely that comes through their natural beauty-- which allows them to gain Dhanishta’s wish of rising to the summit of one’s peers & benefiting from connections. These individuals then become the world’s biggest “distractors”, having thousands of people criticizing, praising, lusting after, or admiring them at every moment. In our modern celebrity-fueled culture, celebrities are a major distraction for many individuals who can’t control the direction of their outflow of energy.
You can consider that Indra is the King of the Gods, who does not like when mortals gain too much power. His Shaktis are the Apsaras, celestial dancers, who are responsible for distracting & destroying the world’s most powerful & controlled ascetics. This is neither done unconsciously (as in Mrigashira) or for resources (as in Chitra). Here it is done as a kind of spiritual public service (a facet of the sacred female path), to collect and redistribute wasted discharging energy, defeating those who are dualistic and impure or separated from their libidos, like the Apsaras who defeat many ascetics. Mars in itself is simply the churning of activated energy, not good or bad; it is only when the outflow lacks a true “commander” of direction that it becomes dangerous. The difference between a temptress who destroys you and a muse who inspires you, is your own use of the energy she churns within you. This is why apsaras (below left) are often thought to be the same as Muses in Greek culture (below right).
Mars rules the Muladhara Chakra, which is the Earth element. The bija of Indra is LAM, the bija of Privithi (Earth). One can see that through movements of a voluptuous body, the Apsaras agitate the sexual center and minds of those attempting to control themselves, which is why they are Indra’s Shaktis, who himself rules this center. It is not to be taken lightly when it is recommended: control your mind, mind your own business; there are Universal forces embodied and personified around you, which specialize in punishing you for your own inability to channel energy into yourself and your growth.
Energy wrongly bleeding out from an uncontrolled Rahu is a slow spiritual death, as the true key to self-realization begins with concentrating/directing your energy under your Will. Rahu dashas follow Mars dashas; energy is activated, and then it must be immediately commanded. If you learn to discipline your outflow of energy during your Mars dasha— to resist being in an involuntary reactionary state— you will be prepared for the Rahu dasha that comes. If you allowed yourself to be constantly agitated by others, Rahu enslaves you to your shooting projections and you step away from your karmic momentum, experiencing his negative consequences when his dasha begins. Rahu becomes beneficial if you learned through Mars to control your outflow of energy, using it to propel yourself into the right territory you wish to explore, and breaking through obstacles to it. Then, when your Rahu sweeps in, you are able to command your energy within this territory you desire. If your Mars is powerful and you can control your reactions to things, the way Rahu "watches" and observes can actually allow you to learn the deepest secrets through objective observation.
In tradition, they recommend worshipping Chandi/Chinnamasta on Tuesdays when the Moon enters Shatabhisha. This is because she correlates to Mars & Ketu energies, and controls Rahu. Chandi is heavenly and fully understands the dharma; she has no shame for revealing her form to destroy evil. She distracts, and knows its cosmic purpose. Through this, she destroys the enemies of truth, and allows the energy of those who don’t channel energy into their own growth, to go to those who do. This is why Mars is the “bearer of welfare”.