Who Attacks With Vicious Gusto? Analyze This Behavior!

Dear Elsa,

I was just wondering about a strategy that I have watched other people deploy. This is the tactic of: when threatened, particularly with having to take responsibility for having screwed up, the person goes on attack with serious and sometimes vicious gusto. I used to watch this behavior in my ex a lot, and in the end his inability to take responsibility was a big factor in our breaking up (he was having an affair he kept denying despite an unbelievable amount of hard evidence to the contrary). This is so foreign to me that I’m fascinated by it. Is this all a Saturn thing?

United States 

It doesn’t sound like Saturn to me. As written I get a Mars Pluto type hit off this, like a virile attack. Something like a killer (black) dog coming at you, teeth bared. Saturn is more inclined to put the screws to you and turns slowly.

Anyone else?

42 thoughts on “Who Attacks With Vicious Gusto? Analyze This Behavior!”

  1. My novice astrological response would be neptune. My SO has his on his desc, opposite asc and square his venus so he can get into mind blowing denial over things related to his person. On a good note, he has sat/moon conj so he acts in a way that is sincere and honest (to him). He just doesn’t see clearly. I on the other hand have one measley neptune aspect so it’s hard for me to take his not seeing what I see which is crystal clear. black and white.

  2. This sounds exactly like my older sister, she had mars cnj mercury in aries and opposite pluto and when she went on the attack . .

    It was deadly and overwhelming and poisonous. I used to compare it to being in a nuclear bomb blast. You’d do stuff and agree with stuff just to make it stop.

    She knew her power too, and I never once saw her take the blame for anything. (I was going to say for Anything she could get out of, but, uh. I realised the shorter sentance was just as accurate.)

    Afterall, its your fault you made her mad/that she’s exploding in rage at the very least right? if the entire thing wasn’t your fault to begin with.

    Eventually though (capricorn mars) I started to win because I refused to fight back. It took about 2-3 years, but eventually whenever there was a parent mediated fight? I won. Automatically. Because everybody knew I didn’t fight. Hahahahah!! I fought by not fighting! And it put the screws on her (and enraged her even more) fer’ sure.

    1. Great way to deal with a passive aggressive/narcissist. If you don’t react, you don’t feed them and they have nowhere to go. It can be hard to do, especially when the attack is vicious, but is very effective if you can manage it. I learnt the hard way with a boyfriend, but it stood me in good stead when I met a woman who deployed the same tactics some years later. I knew exactly how to deal with her, and it worked.

      1. Kathy and Foxy – both – good advice. I will note it and keep it. I have learned how to go into spook mode when dealing with this type of thing….disappear into the woodwork – never allow them near me again.

  3. ^Gem
    Good call on the neptune too, my sister has it trining her mars/merc cnj, and it would make sense in never really thinking you’re to blame/being deluded into thinking you always deserve to win

  4. Very probably a Mars/Pluto aspect. I’ve met enough to spot ’em a mile away… I run in the direction opposite this kind of energy nowadays. The EGO on these people…
    Case in point, my ex… Pluto/Mars conjunction, rising… It did not end well, eh!

  5. Forgot to mention this, for some reason… it was a Mars/Pluto conjunct, rising, and square Mercury… god, he could talk his way into or out of ANYTHING.

    The key to winning against these types is to not let them phase you, and not to give ground. Interacting with them requires very strict boundaries. (Saturn! Don’tcha love Saturn?)

    Come to think of it… they’re like children.

  6. i think the guy i’m dating is like this…sun, mercury and venus in aries all oppose his pluto in libra. moreover, his north node is libra, south node aries…he can be overbearing, pushy and manipulative. due to an injury and 2 operations in the past 6-7 years, he is currently not working and receiving $ from his family.

    conversely he can be VERY charming, and a bit of an attenion-hog in social situations. any attention he gets, though, is short-lived because while women are initially attracted to him, they’re turned off by his cheap, me-first attitude. i let him have it last night, called him irresponsible because he asked me to take a few days off from work this week on short notice to spend time with him. when i told him i got it approved, he backpedaled and said he’s waiting on a check from his brother so he can pay his housemate rent and doesn’t want me over there because his housemate is already mad at him…wtf?!?! its MID-JUNE for crissake…it’s inconceivable to me to not pay bills timely (mars, saturn in virgo). why didn’t he mention this initially? that’s what i mean by manipulation. it’s as if he loves to see if he can convince me to do something but then won’t follow through like he’s supposed to.

    so i called him irresponsible and he blew up…signed off IM and i haven’t talked to him since. this was last night and while i did call him a few hours after, he didn’t pick up. i’m kind of glad i did that because it seems to me a rather preemptive move on my part because now the ball is firmly back in his court. it’s up to him to get back to me.

  7. I definitely have the capacity to be like this (Aries Mars/ South Node opposed Pluto).

    I couldn’t tell you how many times in my life I’ve had to restrain my own rage through Herculean effort. Luckily I have Taurus Sun/Mercury and there are warning signals. I have not been as psycho as I secretly know that I could be. 125% I could be.

    If I were to come after someone like an animal it would NOT be because I don’t want to take responsibility for something I’ve done. I don’t get protective in that way. It would be because someone has seriously fucked with me.

    I used to rage when I was a child, rage rage rage scream scream scream. I was physically abused by a family member and over time I learned that screaming bloody murder would not help me: it was ignored.

    Interestingly, I have Pluto/North Node in Libra; my Dad is a Libra.
    There’s my Mars/South Node in Aries; my mum is an Aries.

    My Mum’s Saturn is in Taurus, while my Dad has a Taurus Mars/Mercury conjunction that sits EXACTLY on top of my Sun (he also has a Taurus Moon).

    As if the Libra NN and parental connection didn’t give it away, a major life lesson for me is to learn to control this powerful, powerful impulse to annihilate what is in my way. I am a real freedom lover and want to be FREE.

    I do not want responsibility that ‘holds me back.’ So jobs and relationships and commitments are always at risk for me, even when they are going well.

    I can feel this internal vibration that gets me frightened, because I fear, I deeply, deeply fear (Pluto) the internal rage will have me destroy everything (Aries Mars) so that I can be free of it. I’d throw my computer out the window, burn the house down, whatever. I wouldn’t kill someone though, I’m not that kind of psychotic. But I would definitely kill myself if I was pushed far enough, under the wrong circumstances.

    I learned my lessons about control from my (Libra) Dad. You will not meet a more controlled man, in terms of conducting yourself in an emotionally responsible way.
    But even his lessons were learned the hard way: short-term imprisonment for beating the daylights out of a person who made the mistake of challenging him to a fight.
    He went all medieval and ended up in a cell.

    I see myself like this, definitely. I resent being provoked, which I’m trying to get over because let’s face it, life is provocative.

    (To give an example: a woman who I met through my workplace came to a party I was at, she got very drunk and out of nowhere threatened to punch me in the face.
    I hadn’t even spoke to her at that point. I didn’t even know her name. I promptly left the party. And I was very upset, for a long while. I was so upset and freaked out I had the encounter: I was scared what I would have done if she actually had done it!)

    I wonder where this person’s Mars and Pluto are. I am willing to bet that the 1st/7th axis is at question.

    I wrote all this because I think I’m doing well at learning to own my Mars/Pluto energy. The trick to me is that I’ve had to learn to NOT BE ASHAMED.

    I spent too many years feeling ashamed of what was within me, and that is no way to learn how to handle your personal power.

  8. I have Mars square Pluto and I am nothing like this (I think!!??).
    I suffer from a major case of _accountability_.
    Don’t know what to look for in my chart to explain this.

  9. I am going to look at the chart of my ex, who matches this description to a T. I’ll get back to you, observer. Yes these people are so weird when they deny what is obviously right out there for all to see.

  10. Hey Shell, I’ve mars square pluto too, and I’m pretty accountable. Usually before I get mad at anyone I run it by my friends (“Hey uh, was this my fault or what?”) because often I think I’m more to blame than I actually am. While I can be vicious once I’m riled and truly upset/on the attack . . and I can kinda enjoy kicking someone ass once I think they deserve it.

    I’m not a psycho.

    I probably should have mentioned that when I spoke about my sister. Still the person in question based on my experiences definitely sounds mars pluto-ish to me.

  11. I have Mars (in Scorpio) trine Pluto. I don’t recognise this particular trait in myself( the trait of not taking responsibility).

    I suppose if I were to be accused unjustly of something I saw as important, then I’d wade in, all guns blazing. But I’d be very sure first that whatever the issue was, it wasn’t my fault.

  12. Actually, my husband is a lot like this. Ohh he hates to be wrong and gets very defensive when he is. If I shown any signs of “calling him out” on something, I better be ready for the wrath of denial and stubborness. I checked his chart and I spotted a Pluto square Mercury. So I looked it up and it pretty much fits to a T.

  13. yep Foxxy, I used to do this too.

    “You’d do stuff and agree with stuff just to make it stop. She knew her power too, and I never once saw her take the blame for anything. Afterall, its your fault you made her mad/that she’s exploding in rage at the very least right? if the entire thing wasn’t your fault to begin with.”

    Frankly, this sounds like my Mom. She has a grand trine in fire with Venus/Mars/Pluto. I couldn’t have said it better myself. She is a good person and I love and forgive her, we get along much better now that I’m older. But I never want to be on the receiving end (or giving end) of so much anger EVER again. It’s just terrifying. Just like you, I would do and say anything to make it stop. All she had to do was scream loud enough and inflict enough damage and I would just give in for some peace.
    She dominated the whole house this way: rage = power. And then when it was over she would deny anything happened. I hated this – like being gaslighted, you wonder if they are crazy or you are. And I learned to deal with it the same way you did by not fighting back (Mars/Saturn). The best way to defuse these people is to avoid/not respond/escape. If you engage or fight then it is fueling the fire.

    To this day the sound of an angry voice, uncontrolled rage of any kind, makes my hair stand on end. I’m terrified of anger, my own or anyone else’s – I never ever want to be this way towards anyone. I’d rather chew my arm off than yell at someone and make them feel the way she made me.

    I can’t help but wonder though, if these types ever bend to anyone – those who’s fury is scarier than their own perhaps?

  14. Maybe the dragon’s tail comes into play as well, along with Neptune. Dissociation of one’s actions based on old outmoded behavior.

    I have a stellium of Mars/Pluto/Venus/Vesta. I know rage. I know the power of will. I intimately understand obsession. But I’m not a projecting denier and never have been.

    Because Mars/Pluto DOESN’T CARE about blame. I’ll blow you off, but I won’t deny.

  15. Sounds like Pluto to me. Projection and denial but then I guess there are a few considerations for denial. Its like a “parental flip” where the person goes along about their business in an ok way and when they get something wrong (that is pointed out to them) they take on a vastly critical parent voice somewhere in their past life for getting it wrong. Of course the severity of the parent lashing in their own mind is way too much and better to be harsh towards an external thing, and the person closest.

    I am not sure whether we can label it Neptune or Pluto or saturn but it could have historical connections to parental behaviour (saturn) and of course some pluto to transmute the shame elsewhere. There is one thing for sure, there is less thinking-logical capacity for a person having these responses. A bit of brain power is very helpful. Mercury Saturn stuff.


  16. I dunno…such anger and abuse is damaging to others, and I feel empathy for people on the receiving end.

    Yes…some Mars/Pluto types can bend. Not just to people who are scarier than they are. Some people learn to accept what they’ve been given an assimilate it. I’ve become involved with energy healing, chakra balancing, reiki…very positive and transformative expression.

    It’s interesting to me that there is no one else who reads here who has had a similar experience at working to ‘own’ their energies as I have. I don’t go around brow-beating and abusing people. In fact this energy usually imploded. I feel sad about this.

    Bulimia, suicide attempts, cutting, migraines, ulcers, rashes, you name it, my body did. I’m much happier owning my Mars/Pluto.

  17. My 15 year old son is incapable of admitting any mistakes. And like Foxxy’s sister and Ana’s mother, he is toxic and his rage = power. From the aspects you all describe, the closest he comes is a Pluto (Scorpio) – Mars (Cancer) trine. I can find all of his best and worst traits tied to that – this trine is part of a Grand Water Trine along with Mercury (Pisces) which turns into a Kite encompassing the Neptune-Uranus conjunction in Capricorn. He can generally talk his way out of a lot of things and other people (people who don’t represent authority) find him charming.

  18. I had someone do this to me big time a few years back, and he’s got Mars trine Pluto and Mars opposite Neptune.

  19. I’ve got Mars opposite Neptune and while I can try to shirk responsibility, I never attack others viciously.

  20. Avatar
    Little Miss Hermit

    Someone I wish I knew better does exactly what you’re describing. He has the Sun in Scorpio and the Moon in Gemini opposite Uranus in Scorpio and Mars in Sagittarius. Points to both the sudden temper and the lack of perspective, I think!:) Add the pride of Leo rising to the mix, and it just figures;)

    I have Mars conjunct Pluto in Libra and I would never blame others or attack them when I screw up. I tend to retreat, think it over and pull the other one;)

  21. There is some serious hate-on for Mars-Pluto here. Why? A Scorpio Mars doesn’t seem to engender this amount of virulence.

    I’ve got Mars-Venus-Pluto conjunct in Libra trined Moon. I don’t have a problem in taking responsibility for my actions and have even *le gasp!* admitted I was wrong. There has been only one time in my life that I’ve attacked someone below the belt and as soon as I realized what I was doing I stopped and apologized.
    Yeah, Mars-Pluto tends to explode. We got some tempers, y’all! But there are some of us who realize this (like kashmiri) and try to channel it to where it can work for us and not against us.
    But I’m not going to bottle it because if I do I start having psychosomatic health problems. Basically, by asking me personally to contain this energy all the time, you’re causing me damage. I think not! I’d rather rail at social injustices and have people who can’t take it pike off. 😀

    And, as an upshot, I’ve never had to deal with head-games as an adult. There’s been a lot of people on here in the past asking advice about conflict where both parties are playing pissy-ass games and being passive-aggressive. If Mars-Pluto is mad, you’re gonna know it and then it will be over — either because they’ve cut you out or because the sun starts shining again. Either way, no games.

  22. Stacey – my Mom has the grand fire trine as part of a kite too, with sag. mars opposed jupiter in gemini. Grand water trine as well with scorpio moon, pisces mercury and uranus in cancer. She’s a charmer with a temper!

    Regarding the original post asking if this was associated with Saturn, it got me thinking about Mars/Saturn and what ‘flavor’ that tends to have. I think Mars/Saturn is about having control over how anger/aggressive energy is expressed and being able to put boundaries around it. Reminded me of Elsa’s series on Mercury/Saturn and controlled thoughts/speech. Same thing with Mars. It seems Mars/Saturn gets a bad rap but perhaps it has its benefits as well.

    Kingsley – I agree. They don’t think during the explosions, only afterwards when the damage is done, and then it is too awful to want to take responsibility for. They do show remorse, but the problem is that it’s oftentimes too late and they do not remember it when they get ready to explode the next time.

  23. SaDiablo- thank you. And thank you for pointing out the suppression/psychosomatic connection too. I’ve also been fortunate in my adult life, and enjoy good communication with many different types of people in my life. I’ve never thought of it as a Mars/Pluto thing but I see it now.

    I think the only person who understands my ‘I’m not a psycho but I know I could be’ is my sister, who has has Pluto Rising. (She also has 8th House Sun/Moon).
    12th House Pluto types feel this a lot: a depth of emotion/energy that can be disturbing or startling or incredibly revitalizing. Depends where you aim it.
    My sister is extremely controlled but not in a robotic sort of way. Just an inherent knowing of when to let it fly…and she rarely, rarely lets it fly. I appreciate her ability to own her potential as it helps me do the same.

    My family is full of very strong Pluto types. I just received my grandparents birth charts and they have them too.

  24. No biggie, kashmiri, I just knew where you were coming from. I didn’t have all the symptoms you did, but I’m certainly depressed if I try to tamp my Pluto down and will get unexplained rashes, acne, tics, etc. It just never went the ulcers/anorexia route for me (although it did for my sister); I’ve got Sun-Neptune, so I can’t worry that much or work that hard, honestly. *chuckle*

    Interestingly, my family has a Pluto signature as well. I think I might be the healthy model for the rest of my family, though, since it was my mom’s lack of control that showed me how not to be.
    And, again, although I’ve got a certified clean bill of mental health I know without a doubt that I could be completely wacko if I chose to be. My hubby’s the same way and it’s nice to have this kind of validation. 🙂

    Lots of correlation here!

  25. I agree with Mars Pluto… have seen Mars in Aries do this too.

    Saturn is all about what the person will reap from this behaviour I think…

  26. I definitely have this tendency, having Mars, Mercury, Venus conj. in Aries, opposite Moon conj. Pluto in Libra. In my case i feel it tends to come out when i feel unjustly treated, or if there is hypocrisy in someone’s criticism of me. I wont explode but will definitely go on the attack the moment i start feeling defensive. There is this tendency to match everything said and escalate, and i always have the most cutting comebacks possible in reserve. As far as rage goes though, that tends to stay hidden. I hate to think of myself as lacking control and losing it is a cause for embarrassment (Saturn in Virgo?). The few times someone has pushed me to that point, and i got doomsday angry, the antagonists have always backed down right away. That kind of anger feels almost supernatural in its intensity.

  27. agree with elsa on this..had an ex like this..with a very tight mars/pluto conjunct..but she also has a lot alot of oppositions in her chart (majority of her chart actually) so she used to attribute some of her harder traits onto the people around her..she would realize she crossed the line with her attack a lot of times but what do u say to someone after they already inflict pain on you? a bit late no?

  28. Something makes Mars attack. The only connection to Saturn I can think of, is a history of getting wacked for making mistakes and fear of that repeating. You know like over exposure to the “punishers.”

  29. This is very healing for me to read this.

    My stalker had Uranus/Pluto/Mars conjunct my Virgo Moon. She acted exactly as described above.

    She couldn’t be wrong about anything, and was more than happy to belittle someone in front of others.

    Wow. I need to let this soak in…..

  30. Wow, blast from the past. The woman I wrote about almost 4 years ago (comment #7)? I saw her today. She has quit drinking! 😮

    “a major life lesson for me is to learn to control this powerful, powerful impulse to annihilate what is in my way.”

    I am still working on this. Getting better. Therapy has helped.

  31. I have Uranus/Pluto/Mars closely conjunct in Virgo in my 12th house tightly squared by moon, venus and mercury in Gemini. It’s not an easy position by any means. I have a hard time confronting anyone. I’m more likely to amputate, disappear or break down emotionally than lash out in a rage. In the past I was capable of saying very cruel things that would wound other people to the point that they never forgave me but I’m much more careful now.

  32. i would say neptune with some pluto thrown in (but hey, we’ve all got the neptune pluto sextile, so, really, if something aspects the one…)

    not to bang up too much on mars pluto…

    i will note one of the sweetest men i have ever had the grace to know had a mars pluto square. (he was a virgo sun.) and i never once saw him get mad. i have heard that it was something best avoided, however. and he made marksman in every single hand and man-portable artillery weapon the army had at the time. so well they pulled him out of combat to train people to shoot.

    my child has it too. he has a deep need to learn to control his anger. but he is learning. i imagine if someone with this aspect didn’t get certain influences growing up (namely, some wise saturn) they could be really unpleasant, also. i have a lot of pluto aspects (though not that one) and i know i need to watch myself and fight fair. (libra pluto)

  33. Pluto – Saturn…

    Think of it like this, when Pluto went into Capricorn, we could have had insight into the banking system but instead of that we got attacked and “vampired” by the banking system.

    That was Pluto being about to show you what the bankers themselves are up to and then they push back at that. Which is why Pluto’s arrival corresponded with psychotherapy and dictators!

    But it is negative Saturns rules that are considered broken! So the Saturn tries to discipline to arrive back at the original/ preferable to the persons, way of thinking.

  34. My housemate does this. He has Mars opposite Saturn. But then again it could be a number of his other oppositions and squares. It’s a real shocker. Has never said sorry for the simplest things, such as a missed phone call. Refuses to take any responsibility in his life. Long term unemployed, sleeps all day. Blah

  35. I am putting your class on my list. Entries seem to understand these placement of planets.If 6 coming years of change here, I think I may need an update to how I interpret, at least a wider angled lens.

  36. Lots of people who mention Aries planets here and I have seen this in 3 or 4 Arian Sun (or afflicted Aries moon) people I have known – they will do something atrocious/transgressive and if you call them on it, calmly, to say it is unacceptable they go on the attack, acting as if you are the aggressor and they are the victim.
    It’s the old attack as best form of defense thing – but often shocking in terms of the willful denial of actual events/responsibility involved.
    I don’t think it’s a Pluto thing as none of them I’ve known have Mars squ Pluto (although one has Aries moon opp Libra Mars and the other has Aries moon in 7th opp Libra rising).

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