Libra

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Libra[1]

Symbol: A48_246.gif

Element: Air

Quality: Cardinal

Polarity: Yang/masculine

Ruling Planet: Venus

Tarot Key: The Justice

Sun in Libra: from about the 23rd September to the 22nd October

Time of Year: Autumn equinox, the full glory of autumn colours, autumn flowers, bird migration

Cultural: Harvest festival, wine festivals, parish fairs

Physical body: Lower back, loins, kidneys, bladder, skin as a contact organ

Star constellation: Libra

Mythology of the constellation

Libra is the only constellation which symbolises an object rather than a person or animal. The Greeks did not recognise Libra as a separate constellation but thought that it symbolised the pincers of Scorpius (Scorpio). The Romans were the first to consider Libra to be a separate constellation - the Sun stood there at the time of the autumn equinox, a time of equilibrium between day and night. This view agrees with Sumerian tradition.

Ancient mythology links Libra to the story of Eros and Psyche which symbolises the perfect relationship finally found after long periods of austerity and many disappointments. The queen's daughter Psyche was so beautiful that even Aphrodite was jealous of her and so she gave her son Eros the task of killing Psyche. However, on seeing her he was so overcome that he let his arrow brush against himself - the same arrow that strikes all those who fall in love. He then took Psyche to his palace and they made love under the cover of darkness, with him not allowing her to see him. However, the time came when she wanted to know who her lover was and she lit an oil lamp and looked into the face of the god of love. As she sat there some oil dropped onto his shoulder and woke him and he saw that she recognised him. In that moment Eros and his palace disappeared and Psyche found herself perched on a lonely rock. After Psyche took on many arduous tasks, including a descent into the underworld, she finally won over Aphrodite who accepted their love and allowed them to come together again.

Interpretation

Libra is the seventh sign of the zodiac. It is concerned with consciously appraising and evaluating one's own intentions.

Libra, being an air sign, has a love of the intellect and collects information in order gain a balanced opinion of any situation. The ability to be fair can also become a burden when the strive to be objective leads to indecision. The situation is often further exacerbated by Libra's longing for harmony.

To come down in favour of something or someone also means deciding against something or someone. This violates the Libran ideals of diplomacy, tact and willingness to compromise. Under difficult circumstances this can lead to a craving for admiration where the most important thing is not to hurt the feelings of others.

The need for harmony is also apparent in the appearance of Libra individuals. They have a keen sense for all the aesthetic aspects of life. The beauty in form should express the inner beauty but can become an end in itself. For this reason, the arts play a major role in the life of Libra individuals.

Relationships to others are central in the life of Librans. They define themselves through their relationships with others, and social interaction is vital for their sense of well-being. They feel incomplete without company and the phrase "my better half" is a particularly appropriate way to describe their attitude to relationships.

Planets and axes in the sign of Libra exhibit typical Libran qualities such as harmony, diplomacy and charm.

Both Libra and its opposite sign Aries are orientated towards others. However, whereas Aries is concerned with proving its personal prowess to others, Libra strives to achieve balance in relationships. The three air signs Libra, Gemini and Aquarius all share an interest in intellectual ideas. Gemini's focus is on gathering information and being well-informed, whereas Libra is more interested in gathering information in order to form an objective opinion. Finally, Aquarius uses knowledge to promote humanitarian ideals and be of service to the greater collective of which it is a part. From the two signs that stand in square to it, Libra can learn the value of empathy (Cancer) and self-reliance (Capricorn).

The sign of Libra in the view of Johfra Bosschart.

Saturn is exalted in Libra, Mars in detriment and the Sun in fall.

See also

Weblinks

Notes

  1. From Liber Astronomicus by Guido Bonatus, 1491.