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Modern Views & Old Associations by Deborah Houlding

Who puts you off with promise gay?
and keeps you waiting half the day??
Who compromises all the way???
It is the Libra!!!



Read about

Sun's Transit:
23 Sep - 22 Oct

(hot and moist)


Star lore

Traditional significations of Venus

Libra the Scales Libra symbol

Personality Traits | Dignified Planets | Typical Features | Traditional Rulerships | Traditional Definitions | Famous Librans


Personality Traits

As the sun enters the sign of Libra it returns to the equator, bringing equal day and night to all places on earth. This balancing of light and dark resonates to the symbolism of restoring equilibrium. In ancient times the period was set aside for evaluating the current status of events, estimating forthcoming needs, addressing outstanding problems and calculating a workable plan for the season of hardship that lay ahead. The ancient Egyptians used the scales as a potent symbol of the judgement cast at the end of life, where the soul of the departed was weighed against the Feather of Truth. In Roman mythology the goddess Astraea ruled over justice and law, holding the balance as her means to establish which situations required karmic intervention to restore fairness and equality.

Those born in this period ingrained with the qualities of analysis, judgement and balance are creatures of a celestial environment that shies away from extremes and excesses. Librans have acquired a fitting reputation for being the 'moderates' of the zodiac, with a natural talent for comparison, differentiation, and impartial philosophical reasoning. They are capable of displaying excellent intercommunication skills based upon a fine interplay between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Generally, they can be counted upon to demonstrate a fair and unprejudiced judgement that attempts to temper personal bias through recognition of wider social implications.

One way or another, Librans are driven by the need to find a position of balance and fairness. They recognise that the search for equality and justice must begin with inward reflection and are more than happy to scrutinize their own emotional behaviour or have it analysed by others. In the search for fairness, they consider carefully that others may hold a different viewpoint than their own, and make an earnest attempt to see things from alternate perspectives. The difficulty then, is how does a seeker of harmony best handle a profusion of conflicting realities? Can they be synthesised into a rounded whole, or will they simply lead to inconstancy and indecision, with a wavering from one opinion to the next?

The Librans that live up to the nobler qualities of their sun-signs have learned to exercise true judgement and discretion. First they analyse, and then they integrate into a solution and resolve, holding firm to their principles unless new knowledge comes to light that calls for a re-evaluation. But this of course, requires a form of extremism in itself, and so the Libran must turn himself inside out, and in the process of maturing as a person come to understand that the only true state of non-conflict is inertia. Even in the quest for peace and harmony, one must be prepared to take a stand and hold to it regardless of the discomfort this causes to others, and thus, oneself. Not surprisingly then, Libra is a far more complex sign than many sun-sign snapshots can express. Finding harmony in a world full of ebb and flow, tensions and strains, is no easy task, and rather than living a life full of relaxed relationships and easy contentment, most Librans are very painfully aware of difficult day-to-day conflicts and the discomfort that arises whenever their views are at odds with those of another.

Many sun sign descriptions classify Libra as the most desirable of all the zodiac types, a rather distorted reflection upon the sign where the Sun is traditionally said to experience its fall. The reality is that the Sun, as a symbol of creative self-expression and individuality, is debilitated in Libra, precisely because Librans are forever prone to evaluating their own needs against a complicated backdrop where they must take account of their responsibilities to others. In terms of finding one's true path and asserting one's own standpoint openly, directly, clearly - unfettered by what other people think - this is a major hindrance. Librans are simply not comfortable in that position and have to overcome major instinctive barriers in order to maintain a fixed resolve that centres upon pursuing their own personal needs. 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.

This natural subjugation of clear ego-expression is further compounded by Libra's rulership by Venus, the planet that needs to relate, that needs to be wanted, and needs to be approved of by others. Librans simply cannot get away from the fact that relationships and recognition of responsibilities to others is the major focus that turns their world. It dictates their feelings and propels their actions; so it is often the case that Librans feel beset by relationship problems - or the problem of getting into one. The rulership by Venus adds to their reputation of being a very diplomatic and charming character type. They are renown for presenting themselves to others attractively, with a refined sense of artistic taste and appreciation, and an instinct for adorning themselves with polish and finesse. In Libra, Venus occupies its diurnal rulership, where it expects to be very apparent and visibly expressed, although it can be argued that - living in a world where they want to express beauty and pleasure, and see it so obviously manifest around them - Librans can be too easily swayed by agreeable surface appearances.

Most of us rarely live up to the higher qualities of our sun sign and many of the negative traits associated with this sign - indecision, gullibility, falseness, unexpressed resentment, overindulgence of pleasurable interests, oscillating between two extremes - are readily observed in your day-to-day Libran, with their irritating overuse of 'it's not fair!' and 'on the other hand'. 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 on the surface, Librans can usually convince themselves that all is as it should be. They have a natural talent with words and a predisposition for assuming that, if everything sounds right, it probably is; this makes it easy for Librans to glibly assure others of their sincerity - failing to recognise the actual insincerity of doing so.

Librans can also be very adept at ensuring that 'compromise' and 'negotiation' gives them everything they want. And rather than honestly admit that they are pursuing their own agendas, they will attempt to gain support by expecting others to view the situation through their eyes. When called to question, Librans will attempt due self-analysis and introspection, but reason - not profound realisation and contemplation of deeper motives - will quickly lead them to feel justified and see their intentions as reasonable. Librans are often more concerned about defending themselves intelligently than considering the deeper moral angle: If the words sound right, that's good enough; it isn't a lie if the sentence is cleverly constructed.

The net result is that Librans, unless very wise and tactful, often leave people with the impression that they are shallow in their moral stance, weak in their adherence to principles and disingenuous in their tactics. When they successfully navigate themselves to a position of victory in conflict, there is often an uneasy feeling of manipulation left behind. Most people, being stabbed in the back, would prefer not to have a smiley sticker placed upon the wound; as Oscar Wilde, himself a Libran, observed:

Each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard
Some do it with a bitter look
Some with a flattering word
The coward does it with a kiss
The brave man with a sword!
The Ballad of Reading Gaol, 1897.                        

Yes, Librans do it with a kiss! This zodiac type, so well revered for being considerate, socially acceptable and 'easy to get along with', can often leave a trail of deep frustration in its attempt to sweet-talk its way out of unpleasant difficulties and messy emotional problems. In aiming to be considerate, Libra has a natural aversion to dealing with that painful but necessary stage called 'closure'. Always willing to leave negotiations - and therefore their options - open, the biggest fault of the Libran is that in striving to be fair to others, they are often anything but.

As an air sign, Libra likes to keep things light, bright and positive. The element of air relates to the sanguine humour indicating a disposition that is moderate, well rounded, and by nature optimistic. Sanguine temperaments aim for the middle ground, disliking extreme reactions or innovative, off the wall approaches. Thus, Librans excel at appearing to offer all things to all men, but are less suited to intense and demanding relationships. Earth types will view them as frivolous and uncommitted, water types will view them as unresponsive to their more ponderous emotional needs, and fiery types will generally be unimpressed by a cool and charming veneer if it falls away to reveal an absence of vivacious sparkle and charismatic energy.

As a humane sign, Libra is marked by civility, good manners, a flattering turn of phrase and an absence of coarseness. In professional fields Librans make the born diplomat, the perfect negotiator, the faultless 'meet and greet' face that works well in all areas of public relations. They may also find their niche in artistic fields, where their penchant for moulding light, colour, and shape into a balanced and symmetrical form that offers popular appeal works well for commercial image. Their style is conventional rather than passionate, off-beat or quirky; and they sit comfortably in business settings that demand an attractive and easily appreciated 'front'.

The ideal vocation for a Libran, however, is within the fields of law, government, statesmanship and civil justice. Libra, at its best, is the signature of the true strategist, where reason appropriately overrules emotion and serves the wider aim of redressing inequality and unfairness. Only when the Libran rises to a position where they no longer see themselves as the centre of their own universe, but as an agent of equilibrium within their social environment, can they come close to fully appreciating the cosmic power that they have been given. Balance is easily found in stillness, but serves a greater purpose when it holds us upright through the roughest of storms, with our vision locked to the distant horizon. Not by sticking to the middle ground, but by remaining centred upon ideals can the Libran break free from wavering distractions and find a place of balance and harmony that represents their own inner equilibrium.

Dignified Planets

Planets Dignifed in Libra:
Venus   as sign ruler
Saturn  as exaltation and day-time triplicity ruler.
Mercury  as night-time triplicity ruler.

Planets Debilitated in Libra:
Mars   by detriment
Sun   by fall

More on planetary dignities and debilities 

Typical Features

Well proportioned body, inclines more towards being tall and slender than short and fleshy. The face is rounded and usually attractive with a clear complexion, though there is an inclination towards pimples and dimpled skin in older Librans. The hair is naturally fair, smooth and capable of growing long.

Traditional Rulerships

Direction:  West
Anatomy:  Libra rules the kidneys, lower back, bladder, ovaries, and has a general rulership over the blood.
Illnesses:  Libra is susceptible to illnesses concerning the kidneys, lower back, buttocks, bladder, urinary tract, the joints of the body or corruption of blood. This sign tends towards overindulgence in sugar or other pleasurable things and lacks an outlet for physical energy, so problems can occur through excess of food, drink, and sex. Librans can have addictive tendencies, suggesting problems with alcohol, whilst their natural liking for sweetness combined with a vulnerable kidney offers a warning for diabetes. Illnesses placed under the rulership of Libra include kidney stones, lumbago, venereal disease, and ulcers in the kidneys or bladder.
Places:  As an air sign, Libra governs places that are exposed to light and air or those that are high off the ground. Externally this includes places where the air is clear and sharp, such as mountains and hillsides. It also rules windmills and places that deal with the processing of wind power. Traditionally it is said to rule places where hunting and hawking is used - in our modern world we can extend this to air force bases, airports, and high communication towers. It is also given rulership over sandy and gravely ground, saw-pits, places where wood is cut or stored, and to barns or out-houses that lie away from other dwellings.
Inside buildings, Libra indicates places near windows or off the floor towards the ceiling, ventilation ducts, the upper rooms in houses, garrets, chambers and rooms that lie inside others, such as walk-in wardrobes.
Countries & cities:   Include the higher regions of Austria, Alsace and Arles in France, Estonia and Latvia, Lisbon in Portugal, Frankfort and Spires in Germany, Vienna, Thebes in Greece and Fribourg in Switzerland.
Colours  The colours of Libra are those that are not excessive in shade or hue. Greys, pastels, and subtle tones.
Stones & Metals:  Stones and metals fall under the rulership of planets, not signs, but through its association with Venus, Libra has affinity with copper, sapphires, marcasite, lapis lazuli and chrysolite.

Traditional Rulerships of the Venus 

Traditional Definitions:

Humane:  Humane signs are those represented by human figures. (Libra is included here on the assumption that the scales are held by a human hand). They are renown for their social graces and intellectual skills. They are also referred to as 'manly' or 'courteous' signs. They include Gemini, Virgo, Libra and Aquarius.

Famous Librans:

Margaret Thatcher
Born: 13/10/1925
  View data, chart & notes
Oscar Wilde
Born: 16/10/1854
  View data, chart & notes
Michael Douglas
Born: 25/09/1944
  View data, chart & notes
Catherine Zeta Jones
Born: 25/09/1969
  View data, chart & notes
Mohandas Gandhi
Born: 02/10/1869
  View data, chart & notes

Constellation mythology and star lore of Libra 

© Deborah Houlding

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