7th House Mars: Projection And The Tar Baby

The Tar Baby“For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.”
–Sun Tzu

Mars is the expression of our animus. It is the energy with which we go about getting what we want or need, how we fight. Planets in the 7th house are prone to expression through projection. Examples of projection are usually negative, such as projecting one’s distasteful qualities onto another and persecuting them. It is also possible to project one’s positive qualities and exalt the other. What is stultifying about either of these manifestations its unconsciousness, particularly so when it is Mars in the 7th. If you don’t know what you’re doing and why, you can never be truly effective. If you consistently blame others for actions you incited how do you grow and move forward? By the same logic, if you give credit elsewhere for the beauty within you, how do you develop your better qualities?

C.G. Jung said, “until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” Conversely, if you become conscious of your actions and the motivations behind them, you will control your life. There are ways to make projection work for you. One of those ways is exemplified in the fable of The Tar Baby.

In the Uncle Remus stories Brer Fox was always trying to catch and eat Brer Rabbit, but Brer Rabbit was always too clever for the fox. One day Brer Fox got an idea how to trick Brer Rabbit. He took a mess of tar, shaped it into a body with clothes, button eyes and a nose, and set it on a log where Brer Rabbit was sure to pass by. When Brer Rabbit came upon the tar baby he greeted it, and when it didn’t respond, again and again, to his escalating attempts at conversation he got so angry that he punched it. When the tar baby didn’t respond to his demands that it let him go he hit and hit again till he was entirely caught up in it and immobilized.

Brer Fox didn’t have to lift a finger. He set a plan in action where Brer Rabbit did all the work for him. In order to make this work for you, you have to be very conscious of what is them and what is you. Brer Rabbit exploited this rule to get away. Brer Rabbit was safest in his own home, the briar patch. Brer Rabbit knew how badly Brer Fox wanted to make him suffer so he told him, “Do anything you want to me, boil me, slice me up, but please, Brer Fox, please don’t throw me in that briar patch!” Since that was the last place Brer Fox wanted to be thrown and he was not conscious of who wanted what he ended up losing his prize.

“Know your enemy” (or other), and know yourself. Know which is which. With a 7th house Mars this is most important. Without consciousness this placement can be badly expressed in covert, passive-aggressive bullying. When conscious, 7th house Mars can achieve through motivating others.

Go ahead and use the carrot-stick to motivate someone to pull the cart. Just don’t beat them while they do it.

Do you have planets in the 7th? How prone are you to projecting?


38 thoughts on “7th House Mars: Projection And The Tar Baby”

  1. Mars in 7th in Taurus – square Venus, Uranus and Pluto.

    Guilty as charged when it comes to projecting. Have mellowed a bit over the years, but I can still blow up pretty fast and pretty good.

  2. Thank you for this post! Words I needed to hear – I have a 7th house Mars, and I have been guilty of passive aggressive bullying….

  3. 7th house Mars here, I could be a pro at passive-aggressive bullying – good thing I generally find it a waste of time and energy and totally low on the priority list. Plus owning my Mars is fun.

    Uranus in 7th as well – I think I don’t really project that, I’m kind of in love with my Uranus, I own that too.

    Now unaspected Jupiter in 7th – I’ve asked why I can’t seem to experience Jupiter energy in myself – I think I may actually be fully projecting it! I search out that energy in men, my best friend is sort of Sagittarius to the extreme too. Interesting…

  4. I don’t have this placement, but enough people around me do. I have my own trouble discerning what is me and what is them (not sure why, astrologically, but I’m prone to blaming myself when things aren’t going well), so I was the perfect foil for the projections of the others with Mars in the 7th, who were all too happy to blame me. Learning about this placement has helped me deal with these people SO much! First, to accept that they will deny what they are doing, because they actually don’t know. (It used to be crazy-making, being accused of agression that over and over came from them.) And second, for me to learn to not play the other half of the projection as much. (Since in close relationships, it generally takes two to tango, doesn’t it?)

    Thanks, Satori, for stating this phenomenon so well. Mars in the seventh. It is the single clearest and most valuable lesson I’ve learned from astrology.

  5. My girlfriend has Mars in Aries in the 7th house. My Aries sun is conjunct her DSC. I have never met anyone who has so strongly brings out my Aries traits!. She really knows how to push my buttons and most of the time I’m pretty sure she does it on purpose, lol. The passive-aggressive bullying only works to an extent with me though. My Uranus is in a tight opposition with her Mars. I’ll let her get away with it for a bit. Then just when she thinks she’s in charge I go do what I want. It keeps both of us from getting bored, lol.

  6. uhm, mars, and yeah. have had to do a lot of work on the projection stuff over the years.
    interesting take on how to apply it usefully. i’ve long chewed on what it might be good for.
    oh, yeh, and it’s in pisces too. did i mention passive aggressive tendencies? πŸ˜›

  7. I have trouble learning about this. I have Mars in the 12th and an empty 7th house. Also, in real life I don’t really get to talk about this much. I’m also not particularly good at sussing out people’s motivations so the analysis of them is pretty enlightening. It’s literally a blind spot, kind of. Plus I have Moon/Mercury opposition Neptune.

    How did Brer Rabbit project on the tar baby? (Sorry).

  8. no need to be sorry, Dina! I’m happy to explain! Brer Fox projected HIS mars outside himself in the form of the Tar Baby. instead of directly using his mars to fight Brer Rabbit, he essentially got Brer Rabbit to fight and defeat himself! then, when Brer Rabbit was caught he defeated Brer Fox by tricking the fox into projecting what the fox feared most onto Brer Rabbit. πŸ™‚

  9. I have sun conjuct chiron in my seventh house, I think I hero worship my partner and probably give far too much! I have definatley in the past put others needs before my own.

  10. I have the moon in my seventh house… so I subconsciously project… my subconscious?


    How very meta. And now I have that song stuck in my head.

  11. excellent post!
    i have 3 planets in the 7th… i can project like a mofo. and i was thinking about that very thing right before i came here and read this… it’s freaky how often that happens.
    love the tar baby story! great way to illustrate this.

  12. Avatar
    sadge fella aka g

    Passive aggressive: check.
    Projections (with women): check. TouchΓ©.
    Mars in Aquarius/7th house. Square Moon/Pl/Saturn.
    I’m bookmarking this thread, thanks Satori.

  13. Venus in Pisces in the 7th! Exalting the other definately applies – put them on a thrown on a cloud and wash their feet. Exit my self and enter their self and think it was me. OOOOOO nooooooo! So my solution to this is to not be in relationship intimately with anyone except my self, have some primary relationships with children and at work and lots of plants to project upon.
    (have never been able to understand ‘projection’ Satori until recently and your article also gives the pathopsycho positive spin which helps me to get it. Could never get the negative Saturn/Mars path) thanku

  14. Avatar

    I project so hard, so often, and I’m just realizing it. I -am- caught in the tar and need to un-tar myself, but can’t figure out top from bottom and it’s doing me in. I want to stop. I don’t know how…. soul searching I suppose.

    I actually have a packed 7th house, with scorpio on the DSC, Pluto conjunct within a degree, and also conjunct my scorpio moon. Mars in the 7th in Sag. Happened to browse old journals today (from high school and even before), realized I have been obsessed with being in a relationship since my adolescence and beyond. Just imagine.. always being concerned with someone else, always outputting your emotions into someone else.. The compounding effect is devastating to my psyche. This realization, if I were even more ridiculous, would have the effect of ruining my current relationship… I feel like I want to just quit EVERYONE and retreat into myself, but I’m so uncomfortable there that I can’t stay very long, and so there’s my predicament.

    Heavily eastern chart for sure… have always been about “others” and now I’ve lost myself. But I know I’m awesome and amazing and intelligent somewhere in there, I just can’t access her right now, but I want to get to know her again so bad.

    I’ve got tons of unconscious stuff going on. I need a personal session with Jung to get it all out in the open. Maybe I’ll have a pisces new moon seance.

  15. Hi all,

    I’m going to go against the grain a bit and say EVERYONE projects in the 7th house of self AND other (cusps included). It’s not a one-way street.

    Mars in the 7th means that there’s more “overt” aggression, assertiveness, boldness, and activity. If you own the house themes, you will have more conscious knowledge of what is yours and what is others.

    Yes, if you have Mars in the 7th you will see the other person’s (for example) aggressive actions towards you but you may not see your own. Having said that you are NOT crazy or just *plainly projecting*, “other” IS being aggressive, active, bold, etc. as well.

    Other may not “normally” have their buttons pushed in that way so they don’t realize they might be negative stuff onto the 7th house Mars person. They don’t “own” that part of themselves.

    The 7th house is insidious because of the mirror, double projection, and sub-plots. It’s really really really hard to unravel…

    but projection belongs to EVERYONE, not just the native with planets in the 7th.

    What’s your 7th house cusp? What are “you” projecting on to other and what is “other” projecting on to you and know you are doing that to each other? It’s a “double projection”!!


  16. Chiron in Aquarius is in my seventh house, and I just had my Chiron return.

    I recently got to the bottom of an early wounding. It’s empowering and if I’m gonna project anything I’d rather it be empowerment.

  17. As i know having mars in the 7th in Libra is actually good for barristers because they can see both sides of the argument.

    Now i have three planets and three signs in the 7th- mars in Libra, saturn and pluto in scorpio. What i’ve learned that its enough to have a couple of deep friendships and strictly no more. With others talk politely and with an ‘imaginable’ wall. Why? 1. Politely, because you are simply a social animal and have to adapt to everyone, want it or not. When its really hard, look at it with philosophical resignation. 2. Imaginable wall to protect oneself from psychological vampires. If projecting is really working in my case, then i am doing a favour to others too- not sucking their energy with my ‘wall’ πŸ˜€

    Another thing i can tell i don’t need to relate to people on a too personal level. I best relate with groups of people or masses. Perhaps this is due to my most planets being around MC and stelium in sagittarius- moon, jupiter, uranus & neptune in 9-10th houses.

  18. Uranus in the 7th. Trying to interpret. Can only say I attract the type of man who pursues, I make myself 100% available (whenever they call), and then they get all friend-like on me. I’m thinking if *I* were the one who held onto my independence, instead of being too available, it’d give them something to pursue. (of course, this was dating I did a decade ago). Or maybe I was too independent, and they didn’t/couldn’t see me as serious enough for them.

    Why’s it so damn hard for one to see themselves? I’m all confused at which one I am. If the men are all hot and serious, and then cool off…..am I the cool one? It’s a bit cognitive. Wish I could wrap my brain around it. (Currently going through the a quadruple whammy of a neptune transit—-just realized the other day, TNeptune has been hitting 4 of my natal planets. 2 squares, one opposition, one inconjunct). Uhhhh-DUH!!! πŸ™‚

    I’ll have to come back to this tomorrow, when I’ve gotten more sleep. πŸ™‚

  19. Thanks Satori

    what about the empty 7th house… like empty Pisces DC… would it be sorta like neptune is in there?

  20. Natally, I have Venus in the 7th. But, right now, Mars is transitting there. So, I probably needed ot hear this πŸ™‚

  21. Great post Satori! I’ve got an empty 7th house ruled by Taurus. I love Taurus energy- I have very little earth placements. I’ll have to pay more attention because if I’m projecting, it’s definitely unconsciously.

  22. Hmm, interesting. What if it’s terribly aspected? I have it squaring Pluto, Uranus and Saturn. And there’s not even a semi-sextile to ease it up. But I do also have Jupiter in the 7th, so I’m guessing that helps.

  23. ehhhh…I have to observe this

    I have 7th house mars in aries

    in general I think I can be very aggressive, in an aries way – meaning it’s usually nothing personal, I’m definitely not “out to get you” or anything of that sort – I can just lack tact or finesse as I go straight for being as straight as I can possibly be. Yes it often comes out wrong, but truly and sincerely I mean no harm. On the rare occasion I do mean harm there’s no question I’ll just do that too, and it will also be in the most direct way possible.

    And yet, often people seem to think I’m up to something – that I really mean something other than what I said, or that I’m somehow being tricky or merely oppositional or similar. I am often baffled in these cases as I just don’t get how someone can turn something like “I don’t like spinach” into “you’re a horrible cook!”

    Meanwhile I am also very paranoid about what other people are up to. I’m very very sensitive to, and have less than no patience for, passive aggressive behavior. If I think someone is being passive aggressive I usually just disengage if at all possible, or if really cornered I may indeed respond with a brer rabbit move of “oh yeah? well take that!” but it does often backfire as I can easily be sucked into a quagmire/tarbaby with skilled button pushers πŸ™‚

    so I can’t say for sure. I do recognize how I can get sucked in by passive aggressive types, but I don’t see so much how I am projecting in those cases. So I have to think about it and observe.

    great stuff satori!

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