— F. Scott Fitzgerald (Sun ☉, Mercury ☿, and Venus ♀ in Libra ♎)
I’ve officially reached the halfway point of my quest to blog about all twelve signs of the zodiac in accordance to the yearly passage of the Sun along the ecliptic, meaning that we have reached the Autumnal Equinox! Naturally, the Sun entered the cardinal air sign of Libra ♎ on October 22 at 9:49 am simultaneously marking the beginning of Fall 2012.
If the Sun’s passage through all twelve signs represent various facets of personality, The autumnal equinox marks a pivotal shift into temporary equilibrium (as night and day become equal in length) while awareness of others comes into sharp focus. In Virgo, we learn the value of self-sufficiency while Libra introduces the fascinating concept of self-projection; the process of defining ourselves through our relationships with others.
There are a couple of interesting myths surrounding the sign of the scales. The most popular Grecian myth surrounds Astraea, a virgin goddess of justice and law who wielded a sword and scales. Astraea was believed to be one of the last immortals who roamed the earth during the bronze age, determining the fates of men based on their degrees of good and evil with her scales. Eventually, the darkness in the hearts of man became so overwhelming that Astraea fled from earth into the sky as the constellation of Virgo. Her scales remained nearby to form the constellation of Libra.
Another more secondary myth is highlighted by Liz Green in Astrology for Lovers and gives great insight into the dualistic nature of Libra. One day, Tiberias, observes two coupled serpents and asks Hera which of them experiences the greater pleasure. Because Hera cannot answer, she grants him the experience of living part of his life as a woman. In the end, when asked which sex experienced the greater pleasure, Tiberias attempts an act of Libran diplomacy in order to avoid offending either sex. The bold act of Tiberias alludes to the trademark objectivity that Librans often possess as an air sign, allowing them to effectively weigh both sides of an issue. However, coming to a conclusion is a different story!Frederick Woodruff beautifully articulates the nature of Libra in his blog post.
“The symbol of the scales is neither human nor animal. Librans are a Platonic concept made flesh; guardians of ideals, upholders of truth, that engage in the circle of life but are not part of it; they are here to remind the rest of us that we’re more than animals with a neocortex (or worse sub-animals and an embarrassment to the species). We’ve higher callings, like beauty. Like truth. Like eventually learning to think like Librans do.”
Libra ♎, Venus ♀, and House VII – Reflection and Projection
Ancient astrology deemed Venus as the “lesser benefic” describing it as a planet of fortunate influence. However, modern astrology has moved away from the notion of planets with benefic and malefic influences. Personally, I like to think that the position of the planets in a person’s natal chart are not inherently good or bad. Each planet has many different expressions of its energy which people might perceive to be easy or difficult depending on the makeup of the chart and the individual’s level of consciousness.
Astrological Venus represents the process of relationships, pleasure, and our aesthetic tastes; all components that most relate to Libra. Many Librans excel in professions concerning law, strategy, and art. Therefore, it’s not uncommon to encounter cliché charming, attractive, highly artistic Libran individuals who may often identify themselves through the relationships in their lives. After all, we’ve all probably possessed the need to be wanted or approved by others at some point.
“Many Librans are all too eager to live in superficial harmony and can be exasperating in their avoidance of uncomfortable issues. Like the betrayed wife who has good reason to suspect her husband is having an affair but would rather not think about it, or the philandering lover who assures you of total commitment before disappearing off the scene – so long as it looks good”
Furthermore, Libra is linked with the descendant or 7th house in astrology which is the house of relationships. Oftentimes individuals with strong 7th placements strongly identify through their relationships or may continually meet the qualities of a particular planet in that house through others. For example, a woman born with Mars in her 7th house ♂ might find it difficult to assert herself in relationships and consequently attract a quick tempered or domineering partner as a result. Once we begin to understand that positive relationships involve successful awareness and integration of the parts of ourselves that we encounter through others, we are able to take invaluable steps towards self actualization or wholeness. Dana Gerhardt writes the following about the 7th house.
“Left to my own devices, I see nothing Pisces-like in me. I’m Virgo–analytical, organized, efficient. But through my partner’s sundry imperfections, I gain a mirror into the parts of myself I hide. Imagine this: I’ve discovered I can be forgetful, deceitful, and escapist too! Accepting my partner now gets a little easier. What’s more, embracing my darker Pisces side allows the positive one to emerge. I become more relaxed, more present, more at peace. Perhaps my partner, Robert, is my soul mate after all—if by “soul mate” we mean those people who patiently provoke us… into mating with the forgotten fullness of our souls.”
Gerhardt describes the concept of polarities that I always advocate because as Libra knows, it’s important to know each side to every argument. Each pair of opposite signs is deeply connected. Look further and you might find much more common ground than expected. Opposites really do attract, and you can oftentimes identify this trend through one’s 7th house. April Elliot Kent also illuminates the complex issues of “self” and “other” that Aries (1st house) and Libra (7th house) represent.
“Once someone enters our 7th house (whether as spouse, business partner, or mortal foe), they experience a side of us which is often very different from the initial, welcome-mat Ascendant version of our personality. In sifting with us through the rubble of our rejected dreams, impulses, and personality traits, and mirroring us back to ourselves through our own 7th house, our partners are like Peter Pan’s Wendy, sewing Peter’s shadow back on: they “sew” the shadow (7th house) self back onto our personality (Ascendant) and make us whole again.”
Of course there is tons of literature on love and relationships. Is love a projection of our own desires? Are we truly selfish or selfless creatures? The archetypes of opposite signs Libra and Aries shed valuable insight into these questions.
Libra ♎ vs. Aries ♈ – Harmony and Discord
Popular astrology often depicts Librans as harmonious peace lovers. There are certainly Librans who prefer to keep the peace and strive to avoid conflict, yet this is certainly not always the case. By remembering that Libra is connected to Aries, it becomes much easier to recognize the pioneering, controversial, and argumentative qualities of many famous Librans. Obviously, harmony cannot be constantly perpetuated in a world full of so many disharmonies and Libra is acutely aware of this. Yet, there comes a point when one must state their case!
“…If they hold fast to the deeper spiritual principles of their sign, they will not feel obliged to offer concessions in order to avoid confrontation, but will be happy to take up a position of polarisation, to stand with equal force against whatever they are opposed to. In this sense they become the true ‘equalisers’, the children of the scales who, using the weapons of tact, grace, fairness and reason, are unafraid to meet the challenge of negating oppressive forces. Libra is a cardinal sign, underlain with a strong will that inclines towards initiating changes. Yet of all the cardinal signs Libra is the most underrated force; for their non-intimidating personas can often fool us into thinking that they will give up on their goals far easier than they will.”
One of my astrology teachers is fascinated by the mythology of Eris, one of the more recently discovered dwarf planets named after an ancient goddess of discord and believes that the myth of Eris has strong ties to the sign of Libra. In short, Eris aided in bringing about the Trojan War indirectly by throwing an apple labeled “To the fairest” in the midst of Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena which they battled over. Despite her twisted motivations, Eris actually executed a strategic move which stemmed from ill feelings she possessed from not being invited to a wedding. Here, we can see the strength of Libra’s strategic ability and tendency to stir up conflict indirectly when not aware of their inner self.
“The sooner he climbs down from the ivory tower which is his protection against emotional pain and disillusionment, the sooner he can begin his real work, which is first to marry the conflicting opposites within himself. Whether it’s his intellect and his emotions, his maleness and his femaleness, his spirituality and his materialism, Libra will always find deep conflicts in himself which represent the deep conflicts in life. And as he gradually carves for himself the thin road in the middle, he can truly become the bringer of the Good, the True and the Beautiful – because they no longer exist only in his mind.”
Pluto ♇ Conjunct Descendant in Capricorn ♑ – Authentic Relationships
Not long ago, I had Pluto cross over my descendant at 2° Capricorn. Plutonian energy is intense, profound, and penetrating while often characterized by themes of transformation, authenticity, destruction, and renewal. Next month, I’ll go into more detail about Pluto (ruler of Scorpio ♏). However by combining the basic meanings of Pluto and the descendant one can imagine that this tends to be a pretty impactful transit in astrology.
Eventually, I went through a crucial and initially painful separation and purging of inauthentic relationships in my life that wasn’t exactly by choice (the nature off Pluto). As I look back on it now, I clearly see how letting go of toxic relationships was immensely beneficial and it led to a greater awareness of the positive and negative Plutonian aspects of my personality that I tend to project onto others. It helped me to better embrace change and to see the benefit of relenting to the necessary transformational impulses that so often simmer inside ourselves.
“Through 7th house people we become more whole. That sounds nice, but it’s often painful in practice, for the 7th isn’t just a dance floor. It’s a razor too, scraping the rough edges off our personalities. This is in the horoscope’s design: our 7th house partners stand opposite our 1st house self. That is why the 7th rules “open enemies” as well as our “true loves.” (And isn’t it unfortunate how many true loves become open enemies in the end.)”
So here’s an interesting little exercise for you to do over the next month, if you please. Examine the close relationships in your lives and ask yourself about the reoccurring qualities that these relationships might have in common? How can you better integrate these qualities into yourself? If you have knowledge of your natal chart, examine your 7th house and its planetary ruler. Chances are you are meeting the unexpressed qualities of yourself in several of your relationships.
“A good rule of thumb is that any individual who provokes us into a strong emotional response, who affects us, has unwittingly invited a shadow dance with our 7th house. Keep your wits. Hold your complaints at arm’s length and study them. Let them send you on a scavenger hunt for those very qualities inside yourself. Of course this spoils the fun of righteous indignation. But it’s worth the effort.”
Famous Librans via CafeAstrology
e.e. Cummings (Sun and Venus in Libra), Matt Damon (Sun and Mercury in Libra), Zac Efron (Sun and Mars in Libra), Eminem (Sun, Venus, and Mars in Libra), Sarah Ferguson (Sun and Mars in Libra), F. Scott Fitzgerald (Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Libra), Angela Lansbury (Sun, Moon, Mercury, and Mars in Libra), Avril Lavigne, John Lennon (Sun and Mars in Libra), Heather Locklear (Sun, Mercury, and Mars in Libra), Emily Post (Authority on etiquette – Sun, Moon, and Mercury in Libra), Kelly Preston (Sun and Mercury in Libra), Christopher Reeve (Sun and Mercury in Libra), Susan Sarandon (Sun and Mercury in Libra), Alicia Silverstone (Sun and Mars in Libra), Bruce Springsteen (Sun, Moon, and Mercury in Libra), Jean-Claude Van Damme (Sun and Ascendant in Libra), Kate Winslet (Sun, Moon, and Mercury in Libra), Yo Yo Ma (Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Libra), Catherine Zeta-Jones (Sun and Mercury in Libra), Mohandas Gandhi, Oscar Wilde
Tina Dico was born on October 14, 1977 under the cardinal air sign of Libra ♎