Libra is the first sign of the “not-self,” the complementary opposite of Aries “I, me, mine.” Libra begins with the autumn equinox when there is an equal balance between the length of the still warm days and cool nights. It is represented by the scales of balance, symbol of legal justice. The scales are the only inanimate object used as a zodiacal symbol.
Venus rules Libra, as it does Taurus. The Venus of Taurus is Aphrodite, the sensuous, sensual, voluptuous goddess of the pleasures of the five physical senses. The Venus of Libra comes more in the guise of Pallas Athena, the warrior goddess, protectoress of Athens and civilization, defender of cultural and aesthetic values, the true, the good, the beautiful -and the only self-begotten daughter of Zeus, King of Heaven.
Aries and Mars represent the raw energy necessary for individual survival, especially the desire and aggressive urges necessary to conquer the environment and to propagate the species. Libra, on the other hand, is the sense of relatedness, balance, harmony and co-operation necessary for the survival and maintenance of civilization and culture. For a group, a community, to exist and flourish, there must be laws, rules, and regulations to ensure fair and equitable treatment of all individuals in the collective.
Hence Saturn, the planet of law and order, finds its exaltation in Libra. One of the Libra functions is to prevent the primitive, raw Aries from coming out in individuals so that society can exist and run relatively smoothly without the random disruption of untamed Mars. Where Aries says, “I want what I want when I want it,” Libra believes it is best to “want what I want, and make you think it was your idea.” Libra is the diplomat with an iron fist in a velvet glove. It can also be indecisive, “I don t know what I want until I hear what you want; then we can find out what we want.” Libra is concerned with strategy, thus providing the means to tame and channel Mars’ energy. Many military leaders have been born under this sign.
Libra is best known as the sign of marriage and partnership. It is concerned with social contracts. It is the marriage, or pre-nuptial agreement. Leo was the love, romance, and courtship; Libra is the contract joining two people together for a common, consented purpose.
Scorpio is the wedding night, the consummation, the opening of the joint bank accounts, the sharing of emotional and physical resources.
As an Air sign, Libra has a mental awareness of the other, is objective and detached, and by nature impartial. It tries to be fair, to make peace, to promote “win-win” situations.
On its down side is the tendency toward “co-dependency,” feeling incomplete without a partner or companion, fearing being alone. It is the sign of the politician because it likes strategy and manuvering. It can be manipulative and seductive (Venus). It is also a propagandist, spreading the “sweet truth.” Passive-aggressive behavior is a fault of Libra as well as of Taurus and Cancer.
Libra can be argumentative, playing the “devil’s advocate” because it can see many sides of an issue and not be emotionally involved with any of them. Libra’s arguments are difficult to refute, for they are presented with logic, reason, refinement and a kind of sweetness. Libra has difficulty making up its mind on issues and making specific commitments for the reason that it sees all sides. Its motto is “On the other hand …. “Librans are concerned about what other people think of them. They may put on the guise of agreeability in order to camouflage hostility, repressed anger and fear of assertion. It’s important to Libra to be “nice.” It is easier for women to play the Libra role; to be “nice,” to look pretty, act polite, have good manners and express placating behavior instead of self-assertion. Men are allowed a bit more Aries. They may speak loudly, demand the best table by the window, and in general, are expected to express aggressiveness. A woman who does this is a so-called “bitch.” A man who is too Libra is labeled a “wimp.”
About the author:
Eleanor Buckwalter has studied, practiced and taught astrology in Los Altos, CA for more than twenty-five years, including three years with the late Richard Idemon, a psychological astrologer. Her primary astrological focus of interest is parent-child relationships and family dynamics.