Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Your sign is about beauty in its many forms. No matter what a Libra does, it’s got the intention of elegance. Everything is considered in terms of its presentation, which is not at the expense of quality; the presentation enhances the quality and vice versa. But appearances count, and you’re unlikely to respect anything that’s not done both with care and the appearance thereof.
That also means you can hold yourself to a high standard and push yourself in a way that you rarely reveal to others. Their criticism can seem harsh to you because you’ve likely already seen any issue that someone points out and have addressed it in your own quiet way. Libra holds space for an ideal that can only be emulated on this plane of reality. Nothing quite lives up to it; that may be the reason for the famous quality of ‘indecision’ behind your sign. You recognize that there is no perfection, and alternates all have their advantages and disadvantages.
The most important thing you can learn is how to decide, and most often you do that on a gut level. You ‘just know’ something and sometimes you think you’re a bit psychic as a result. Your outer appearance is often deceiving in that it veils your inner intensity. I call Librans the ‘human blowtorch’, because you can be cool, calm and quiet, and then turn into creative powerhouses when you are motivated to turn up the gas. Libra is the sign associated with the concept of justice, which is the meaning of the scales; Aleister Crowley said that the essence of the sign Libra is the drive for justice. I like this theory a lot.
You have a sense of fairness and equanimity that is alien to many people around you. Yours is also one of the primary signs associated with relationships and relating, which are important priorities for you and which must be conducted in the spirit of ethics and integrity. If someone is dishonest, don’t convince yourself to trust him or her.
At the same time, you must remember not to get lost in your relationships — and remember how to find yourself again when you do. Libra is a cardinal sign, coming at the change of a season, though the initiative of this sign can take some time to come out. Libra is associated with the planet Venus, and Saturn is well placed here as well. If you want to know more about yourself, study the positions of these two planets. Venus is likely to be close to your Sun, and Saturn could be in any sign. Most of the signs have one dominant ruling planet that has survived as a carryover from traditional astrology — though Libra has two. Venus is about values and Saturn is about structure and form. To work your astrology, study and learn to master both of these planets.
CREATIVE PROCESS AND BALANCE
There’s a lot of energy coming from Libra. It’s both intellectual and has creative potency; this is the nature of Venus (Libra’s ruling planet), combined with the nature of a cardinal sign — that is, a sign that commences one of the seasons.
Being a cardinal sign provides impact and initiative. Being an air sign provides the vital quality of communication, awareness and contact. In that context, it’s helpful to remember that while astrologically speaking Venus represents receptivity, beauty and love, the planet itself usually runs a temperature of about 900 degrees Fahrenheit.
As mentioned, while Venus is the ruling planet of Libra, there’s a second ruler in the form of Saturn, which is exalted in this sign. This is an interesting, even curious combination, and it was not for nothing that the ancients recognized that Saturn, the master planet, the lord of maturity, limits and structures, was associated with the sign of balances.
Libra’s symbol is a scale. You could say it’s the scales of justice. You could also say it’s the image of what it takes to keep the universe in balance. Libra is a fairly laid-back energy, preferring beauty over crisis, and ease more than extremes — generally speaking.
The implication of scales, however, is that things can go out of balance as well, or that at times, one side of an equation can push itself out and be emphasized — and this is part of the balancing process. Libra has the quality of equilibrium, but it also has the quality of excess in one direction, compensated by excess in the other. Ask most any artist and they will tell you how important these extremes are to their work.
Scales are also used to evaluate. They are a symbol for measuring quantity that belies Libra’s real gift — that of assessing quality.
Quality is something that many Libras want in their lives, almost obsessively, and thus express in their work. Most do so organically. It’s not a learned trait; rather, it’s what they possess in their cells. There is a need to do it well, whatever it is; to do it right; and to make sure that the final result has an aesthetic appeal as well as a logical one. Libra, a member of the air sign family, is a mental sign, not an emotional one, but the world of feeling is never left out.
On the most ordinary human level, those scales may well represent the balance between the mind’s ability to think and the senses’ ability to feel and perceive. Libra does not do art for art’s sake (that’s a Leo or Pisces trait). Rather, Libra is the sign of practical idealism, which must always offer something to beauty as an aspect of its practicality. In other words, I can hear a Libra muttering something like, “If it’s ugly, it’s useless.”
Affecting your creativity right now are Chiron and Neptune, which both moved from Aquarius to Pisces recently (Chiron from 2010-2011, Neptune from 2011-2012). They will be there for several years. This is a beautifully Libran transit in that it combines the essence of creative passion and the quest for beauty with an intensity and craving for experience that work together well.
When one really begins to focus this combination of values, I could see a kind of fire igniting that spreads heat, light and creative combustion.
As mentioned, Libra represents the principle of balance. Yet if there is an imbalance in the energy of your sign as it usually manifests, it’s about feeling the weight of responsibility, of the past, and of a certain emotional isolation that you must constantly work to rise above. These tend to be the things that pull you out of balance.
We know how important it is for you to feel settled; in fact, how you relate to change is one of the underlying themes of your existence. But if you can experience change as a creative process, you will open up unlimited potential to create your life as you want.
Yes, the Libran love of beauty and capacity to make anything beautiful helps; but that does not explain the creative hyper-intensity of a Thom Yorke or an Oscar Wilde, with their distinct ability to cut through the face of reality like an acetylene torch.
The single most evocative commentary I have read about Libra I found in the book Esoteric Astrology by Alice Bailey. As a starting point, it seems appropriate to quote the original. She describes Libra as “the sign in which the first real vision of the Path [of initiation] appears and of the goal toward which the disciple must ultimately direct [his or her] steps. This Path is the narrow razor-edged Path which runs between the pairs of opposites and which — if it is to be safely trodden — requires the development of a sense of values and the power to utilize rightly the balancing, analytical facility of the mind.”
Think of it this way. On one level, Libra is about the polarity of Venus and Mars, which can and often do function as emotional energies in a constant dance of opposition; of meeting and separating and meeting again; of teetering from the expression of one to the other.
Your outer nature, expressed with all the beauty and charm of your sign, conceals a complexity that few people who know you have ever encountered — what is in truth your intricate, delicate emotional core. Part of that complexity is about hiding your vulnerability. Part of it is an attempt to be an individual while honoring something about the past: your family’s heritage, yes, but really the whole past and legacy of humanity. Of all the signs, you stand on this legacy and can get a clear view of the present because you can elevate yourself on all that has happened; but this also exists as a burden for you.
Libra is, I feel, one of those zones in the sky or in the psyche (where astrology is concerned, they are the same thing) from which humanity draws from its deepest creative well. A list of Libra natives reveals some of the people whose contributions we remember the most vividly. As one born under this sign, you have unusually direct access to this well and, moreover, a sense of direct identification with it.
I am going to guess that you have noticed a quality in yourself that allows you to identify fully with both genders. This gift may elude you even as you long for it; as you experience it you may crave polarizing back out into your more accustomed form. Libra, for all its balance-seeking tendencies, tends to sway between the extremes; and with each sway, a little piece of each polarity is acquired and hopefully integrated. It is this ability to push things in one direction with full intensity — not explored in all born under your sign, by the way — that creates some of the truly amazing artists. Yet that pushing must integrate an aspect of the opposite energy as a fertilizing agent.
As the 7th sign, the sign opposite Aries, Libra is about relationships. Alice Bailey says it’s the most significant sign we need to study when striving to understand sex. But there’s a quality to Libra that’s more obvious. Its existence establishes the first 180-degree polarity in the zodiac (with Aries); the first mirror image or reflected sense of identity; the first opposite that comes through direct opposition. As a result, relating and confrontation, love and enmity, coexistence and judgment, are all made possible.
If other factors in your natal chart (which we’re not working with here) are working for you, you have a natural affinity for relationship that many others lack. Just like some people are really good at playing piano and others seem to know about plants from when they are little, Libra is able to access the usual maddening dualism of human consciousness and convert it into something useful: a multiple-viewpoint perspective.
If you ask me, this is because Libra is aware that others actually exist. When people are aware that others exist, they are a lot more careful about how they treat them. But this quality of relating — of putting forth some expression directly to another person — helps us understand why Libras so often can and do excel at anything that requires not only the gift of communication, but also the awareness that its main purpose is to convey love.
Bear in mind that most people you encounter are able to think about the situation of another person, but only when it’s seen as not quite relating to them, i.e., at a distance — or when the subject of “someone else” is all about them. Most people can go back and forth between the perspectives ‘self’ and ‘other’; you can see both at once, as if they are the same thing (they are not, always). So, while you’re seeing both at once, you would do well to notice your impact, and the environment into which you’re broadcasting.
Your sign has such a strong empathy with other people that it’s difficult for you to see the impact you have on them. In other words, your effect on people is so pervasive that it’s often invisible both to you and to them, blending into the environment in which you live. Cause and effect are never separate, but to observe the process working it’s necessary to look from a point of view that’s different from the one to which you are normally accustomed.
I think we do more seeking oneself in the other than we care to imagine; more falling in love with oneself in the guise of the other than we would prefer to admit. And probably the most dangerous, is allowing another person’s love and attention to become a substitute for our own self-esteem.
You are particularly vulnerable to this kind of experience, in part owing to the way your solar chart is constructed and the various arrangements made among the signs ruled by Venus and Mars. Simply put, you need approval. I am not here to suggest you should not have that approval; but rather that you be honest with yourself about when you are seeking that approval as a substitute for endorsing your own cause or validating your own existence.
You have Scorpio in your money house, the sign immediately after your own (called the 2nd solar house). This implies commerce as a source of your income. I don’t think you’re the type to sit around and collect a paycheck from something you feel no direct involvement with. But like many people you may fear over-investing yourself, becoming “too involved” or “caring too much.”
Scorpio is saying that you are going to have a strong tendency to care, and that your wealth is based on the fact that you do care. This, too, is an emotional pull, though its opposite is a pull to be autonomous. Commerce, business and industry of any kind all require the involvement of others in your life and you with them.
PERSONALITY AND YOUR ENVIRONMENT
You prefer to live in an organized emotional world, where everything has its place. Though the air signs are often accused of this kind of mentality (particularly your cousins over in Aquarius), you are better than most at keeping your feelings compartmentalized. You’re also someone who treasures the past, who has an unusual relationship to the past, and who in some ways may be intractably stuck to the past.
Being a Libra grants you certain qualities, particularly a measure of emotional intelligence, if you choose to access it. This, combined with the ordinary kind of intelligence, can get you pretty far in life.
Yet things can get a little screwy when, because of your gift for empathy, you start to identify with the identity crises of others in a way you don’t recognize is happening. And it can get super-duper screwy when, responding to your influence, which you don’t necessarily notice, their identity crisis is sparked.
Most people see themselves as passive elements in their environments; they don’t consciously create their own experiences, and they don’t create the experiences of others. These things ‘just happen’. Well, anyone who thinks about it for 12 seconds realizes they don’t just happen, we make them happen. Most folks don’t realize that their insecurities, blasé expressions, denial trips, playing dumb, and other social games actually create the world in which we live. Those who dedicate themselves to creative living in some way are the ones who have woken up to their power to co-create the world in the constructive sense of the idea. You have a gift that allows you to see through the whole process, and fortunately so. You can use this gift to create a better life for yourself and for everyone around you.
You may feel like that’s a contradiction; if society needs your help, why should you have to build a reputation? This kind of reputation-building process is not, by any means, something that comes naturally to Libras. You think, rightly enough, that you should simply be known for the generous and kind person you are; why should you have to earn your own existence? I hate to sound like grandpa, but that’s just how the world is, my Libra child. Even if people need you, reputation counts for a lot.
There is no big surprise that Libra delivers the likes of John Lennon, Oscar Wilde, Patric Walker, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bob Geldof, Maggie Thatcher, Mahatma Gandhi, Helen Hayes, Susan Sarandon, Truman Capote and Groucho fucking Marx. For this nondescript, allegedly wishy-washy sign, the cosmos serves up some of its most saucy ambassadors, its most clear thinkers and astute rebels; people obsessed with beauty, fairness or just (in the case of Aunt Maggie) getting the job done.