SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER - Beginning with the Autumnal Equinox, when day and night are once more of equal length, the sun descending into the sign of Libra signifies the start of fall. Higher altitudes become colder, but the valleys stay warm and green under the fading heat of the summer sun. Farmers take pigs into the forest to feast on acorns and beechnuts, hoping to fatten them up for butchering. Sheep and goats are bred so that their offspring will be born in the spring. The harvest season is not yet over; there are still apples, roots, and gourds that need to sweeten under the nightly frost. But the largest summer harvests of grains, fruits, and vegetables have came and gone, and now begin other kinds of preparation for the increasing cold.
For those ancient people who lived with the land, the milling of grain into flour was finished at this time, wine and ciders were made, and weaving began as the field work came to a close. Detailed work was undertaken in order to decide which animals were to be bred and which were to be culled for food and sale; which crops were to be kept and preserved and which were to be sold or discarded. In certain societies, since summer had came and went, and travellers returned home or began to venture south, trade began to increase as more market items became available. A lot of important decision making had to be done at this time, and had to be done right.
Many different cultures across different time periods have celebrated the Fall Equinox - usually with feasts, since this is a time of harvest. Pagans celebrate what is now called Mabon, the second harvest feastival of the year. Germanic cultures associated this time of year with the rye harvest, wine, and changing leaves. The West Frisian Calendar of the Netherlands called this “Wine Month”. Modern autumn harvest feasts, such as the Canadian and American Thanksgivings, are remnants of older traditions passed down from our ancestors onto us.
The Libra constellation was created from the claws of the Scorpio constellation and made into a new Sign: The Scales, a symbol of symmetry and balence, representing the equal length of day and night. But to the Egyptians, this sign was referred to as The Horizon. In their myths, souls were gathered throughout the day by the sun god Benu and taken to the underworld at sunset. There their souls were weighed against an ostrich feather (the only kind of perfectly symmetrical feather) to determine their worth. Alternatively, Greek mythology featured the female immoral Themis, who carried a set of scales and personified justice and social order. Centuries later during the Renaissance, we now have Lady Justice seen in statues outside court houses. She is blindfolded (symbolizing impartiality), with a sword in her left hand (justice) and scales in her right (weighing evidence back and forth).
As Libra (in tropical calendars) is started at the autumnal equinox, when day and night are the same length, it is a symbol of equality. While it has almost always been a female figure holding them in myth, the scales themselves are what Libra is represented by. This is the only astrological symbol that is an inanimate object. The instrument has always been used to weigh items, materials, money, etc. on both sides until equilibrium is reached. For thousands of years the balancing image has been symbolic of truth, fairness and justice, the qualities seen plainly in how both hands tip back and forth. All Indo-European cultures that have used scales have interpreted their symbolism the same way.
The modern symbol of Libra is a pair of lines, the top line having a curve in the middle. This is derived from the early meaning of Libra as the Horizon sign, the curve being the rising (or setting) sun over flat land or sea. From its long history as a set of scales this perfectly-symmetrical glyph also represents the two balancing ends of the instrument. The Latin word “libra” was a unit for measurement in Rome equal to 12 ounces. Also, in medical astrology, Libra is said to rule the hips and buttocks, so the glyph is also a hipbone.
Libra is half Cardinal Quality and half Air Element. Men and women of this Sign each contain their own mixture of masculinity and femininity, usually in equal parts, since they are all about balence. The masculine side of Libra has an interest in politics, government, law, justice, and equality, and finds it easy to express their anger about social and cultural issues through intellectual debates. The feminine side of Libra is much more artistic, sensual, and pretty, expressing talents in the fine arts, music, fashion, design, architecture, hair, and make-up. You might think to stereotype Libra men as the former and Libra women as the latter, but this is a Sign that can't be pigeon-holed into gender stereotypes. The men are artists and the women are lawyers - and all members of this Sign care very deeply about things being fair and beautiful all the time.
The previous Air Sign, Gemini, the twins, represents duality. It feels, thinks, wants, and needs two opposite things at once. Libra, the scales, also can see and feel and understand both opposite sides of an issue, and finds it difficult to chose between them. This is a Sign which appreciates the complexity of every issue, one which understands how nothing is ever as black and white as it seems. They perform a balancing act by dipping back and forth, trying to find the middle way. Talk to a Libra and notice that all their opinions begin with them saying one thing, and then they sharply turn with "on the other hand" and go the other, and then they do it again. And again, and again, until they toss up their hands and let you decide. Those are the Libra scales which tip one way and then the other, negotiating, compromising, cooperating, giving you a most balanced point of view. One that is sure to make everybody happy - and guaranteed to offend no one.
A downside of this is their infamous indecisiveness. Libra is unable to make a decision by themselves without input from other people. They worry about the potential conflict that could erupt by not including some crucial bit of information. Libra possesses a very sensitive and delicate nature, one which is deeply cut by rejection, disharmony, rudeness, ugliness, volatile emotions, or awkwardness. They take it upon themselves to led a group democratically to ensure that the right balance is struck between what everybody wants and needs. But that isn't to say that people-pleasing Libra doesn't low-key have their own agenda in tipping their scales in their favour.
Many people forget that Libra is a Cardinal Sign. They use subtle, but forceful, tactics to get what they want, but they hide their intentions so nobody discovers their selfish intentions. It may be framed as a rational, thoughtful discussion of all the options, with Libra making very kind suggestions towards one thing. It may be coloured very nicely with smiles and charm. They can use their apparent-submissiveness to seduce a person into helping them (a popular choice among women). They can use their words to subtly manipulate a conversation to make you think that they are compromising with you, that they are considering all the options, that they are listening to what you have to say, when really they are steering you towards choosing what they want you to, or just using the conversation to reaffirm the decision they want to make.
Problems only arise when lies are told. And nowhere is that more evident than in the way Libra can rationalize the things they do in order to justify their actions, making everything totally not their fault. If they are every wrong or if they make a mistake - for example, saying or doing something selfish or hurtful and getting called out on it - they have a way of convincing themselves that what they said or did wasn't actually all that bad. By playing these mental gymnastics they can manipulate the facts so they can be better seen in their favour, thereby making what they say and do completely justified...given the circumstances.
Beautiful, lovely, charming, Venusian Libra is unable to see themselves (or let other people see them) in a negative light. They have a very hard time not being liked, and so go to great lengths to get along with everyone. Perhaps it is their low self-esteem, or their delicate senses, or their dependency on other people. But it is something that they need to remedy if they are going to get anywhere in life.
All children are deeply affected by how their mom and dad treat each other. But Libra children pay close attention to their parent's relationship. Their fathers are usually cool headed, rational; he is usually into politics and obsessed with justice, fairness, and equality. The child identifies with his unemotional, clear-headed diplomacy and his logical approach to problem solving. Libra's mother is beautiful, stylish, groomed, and put together; a lover of art and music. She is romantic and deeply loving, but her idealism leads her to be unsatisfied with her relationships. The child takes on her love of all things beautiful and her her latent indecision about love. As they contain elements from both parents equally, Libra children are frequently born to parents who have frequent unresolved issues between them. They become the mediator, taking the initiative to harmonize their parent's relationship in order to keep them together. (Or, when divorce does occur, making sure both parents still get along.)
The Libra child enters puberty earlier than most, growing tall into a teenager a few years ahead of other kids their age. They are usually much prettier or more handsome than their peers, which places an uncomfortable amount of attention on their looks at a time when one is already insecure about the changes going on with their body. For Libra girls especially, their mothers frequently grow jealous of their youth and beauty. While they still love one another as mother and daughter, the underlying resentment is an uncomfortable, unspoken thorn in their relationship, and stays there for a long time afterward.
As a result of all this, Libras grow up expecting to be sexually and romantically desired, knowing they are beautiful and attractive people. But at the same time their young minds are being programmed to believe in the beauty standards taught to them by Western, as well as celebrity, culture, which makes them second-guess their own attractiveness (and therefore, their likeability). Women are told they need fat curves, a skinny waist, long legs, a hairless body; to be happy and compliant at all times. Men are supposed to be well-endowed with a strong jawline, and are told to lose weight and build up their muscles to impossible sizes; tough badasses who are the complete opposite of the "sensitive artist". Even at a young age, Libras are anxious about keeping themselves young, perky, tight, and fit. So while they take pleasure in how they look, underneath their sensuality there is insecurity, low self-esteem, sexual fears, and a negative body image - things they will have to contend with not only as a teenager, but as an adult and as they age as well.
Libras are considered to be the Sign of partnership in the zodiac. Smart, beautiful, funny, charming, artistic - they are the total package of everything you could want in a lover, which is why they usually have many admirers all pining for a chance at love with them! Libras tend to marry (or get into an equally serious relationship) quite young. But while they are totally committed and happy when they are in love, they usually go through at least one divorce or major break-up in their lifetime. Still, even after being totally heartbroken, Libras never stay single for very long. They will just begin a new relationship phase, one where they jump from one partner to the other, exploring their sexuality, before finally settling down once more. This is the Sign of partnership, after all - and they don't find it difficult to find somebody to be with, anyway.
While they are not totally emotionally involved, Libras are very interested in relationships on an intellectual level. They like to study people and personalities, compatibility and psychology, if only to get closer to understanding why things work out sometimes and why they don't others. The reason for this is because Libras themselves have an intellectual understanding of their own feelings. That is, they try to decide on how they should feel about a person, rather than listening to what their heart says. Replacing intuitive knowledge with detached rationality makes relationships all the more confusing, as it takes them out and away from their own instincts; they don't know what they feel half the time, because they don't know what they should feel. This is something Libra inherited from Virgo, the previous Sign in the cycle.
Another symptom of this, aside from their curiosity, is that they are always second-guessing their relationships. They can never seem to decide on whether or not they want to be with someone, or exactly how close the two of them should be. On one end of the Libra scale, they are emotionally detached, needing equality and freedom, wanting to be desired by many others without having a partner that will get jealous of their exhibitionism. But on the other end is their need to be nurtured and protected, emotionally secure, their fear of being alone. They believe that their don't have the right to impose their will on their partner, and they believe the one they love should still be free to do as they please. Then they get jealous and resentful when their partner becomes too independent, and then mad at themselves for feeling those things. Should a partner get too clingy, however, a whole different set of problems crop up, with Libra wanting love and affection and to be spoiled, but feeling smothered by too much emotional closeness. What Libra needs is balence - but finding it with another person can take a lot of trial and error, especially when they take their own feelings out of the equation.
Unlike Gemini, who will jump in and out of relationships, Libra will stay in the same relationship but have repeated flare-ups over these types of issues. To Libras, I will say that more often than not, you are creating problems out of thin air because you are out of touch with how you really feel. Not everything is two-sided, so there is no need to compare both options and create conflict where there needn't be any.
In early stages of liking someone, ask yourself: Do you actually like them, or do you just like that they like you? You need to learn to difference between actually being in love with someone and just liking the attention you get from them. As a Libra, you like to be desired and chased, as it fulfills your desire for people to like you. But you shouldn't confuse attraction for real love, just as you shouldn't confuse friendship for romantic attraction. It sets you up for having unreasonably high expectations about a person, leading to an inability to accept them for who they actually are once you are in a relationship with them. All of these things can be remedied by getting more in touch with your emotions, feeling your feelings instead of thinking about them, and by building up your self-esteem without relying on other people for approval. You need to be happy alone before you can be happy with someone else!
Libra isn't known as a career-driven Sign, so their job is really just an extension of other needs they have - the need to work with people, to forge new relationships, to make things more beautiful than they were, to communicate different ideas, and to debate different sides of an equation. They want money so they can look good and indulge in food, drink, and fine luxuries for themselves. And they want to work somewhere that is chic and stylish, or they want to make something that is.
This Sign usually fall into two lines of work. One makes use of their artistic talents and their love for making things beautiful and harmonious, such as interior design, music, or work in the beauty industry. The other usually has to do with politics or law, where they can argue, debate, cooperate, discuss, persuade, manipulate, or dispute their case with abandon. In both they use their fine sense of balance, harmonizing opposing elements, communicating a message of peace and equality and justice. And in all the work they do, Libra brings charm and elegance to the table, and is well-liked by everybody they work with.
Libra coworkers or employees are easy to get to know. They are outgoing, friendly, and highly sociable, and go out of their way to make new people feel comfortable at their new job. Working for you, you will love how efficiently they get things done, how logically they solve problems, and how beautiful their finished projects are. You will have to put up with them oh-so-subtly trying to push their way into the decision-making process to give their two-cents. But they just want to help you make the decision; they don't actually want the responsibility of making it themselves!
A Libra boss is kind, calm, and considerate person to work for. They will listen to all your ideas and suggestions, weigh it carefully, and thank-you for it. Whether or not they will actually use your input, or even make a decision at all for that matter, is up for debate. They will either take four months to think things over first, or they already made up their mind about what they want to do and are just listening to you to be nice. They also won't take sides in an inter-office dispute, and will procrastinate until the time to act is immediately upon you. So if you work for a Libra, learn how to problem-solve and work on your own as much as possible, and only come to them when it is really important.
There are two things that can most inhibit Libra's success in the workplace. Their chronic indecision and inability to do things by themselves is one, and their need to be liked at all costs is the other. The first issue can be resolved with more time-sensitive work, and by acting more impulsively, rather than getting caught in an endless pit of back-and-forth reasoning that can last forever. The second is trickier. Libra wants to keep the peace at all costs, and so tends not to assert themselves for fear of conflict. A lot of Libras get ignored by louder, more aggressive, more confident personalities who overrun their ideas and don't give a damn about how "considerate" they are being. Libra eventually needs to learn to act by themselves - and stop playing nice - in order to get ahead in their career.
I have a TON of Libra in my family, on both sides. Perhaps that's not surprising, given the amount of divorce and remarrying that has happened between all my grandparents and great-grandparents. Libras are relationship-oriented and unable to function alone; after every divorce that has occurred in the family, both partners immediately jumped into new relationships with another recently-divorced person. But not before giving birth to more Libra kids who need to settle their parent's conflicts and make sure everybody gets along!
My dad has his Sun, Mercury, Uranus, and Pluto in Libra in the 12th and 1st Houses. When he was twelve his parents got divorced, and he ran away to live with his dad while his two younger siblings moved with his mom and new step-dad to Ottawa. He and his dad have lived and worked together ever since then (his dad being the Taurus grandfather I talked about before). My dad is an amazing artist; he taught me a lot about drawing when I was a kid, even giving me all of his old pencils and art supplies to get me started. He wanted to be a tattoo artist at one point, but eventually worked his way to landscaping, concrete work, renovations, and even building houses, which is what he does now. Later on when they moved west to BC, he met my mom. He brought his dad and she brought me, we all settled down, and altogether we made a little family, which they built from there!
My brother has his Sun and Moon in Libra, in the 2nd and 3rd Houses. He is a teenager now, so his personality is becoming more defined, and I can see the Libra in him. He argues about everything, all the time, but in that rational Libra way, not in an emotionally volatile one. He is becoming a talented musician, playing trombone both in high school and our city band. The kind of music he likes is usually something older, either classical or jazzy, the type of music he likes to play. I see him drawn to fancy, classy, more timelessly beautiful sorts of art - but I fully expect him to find his own unique style of dress and music as he gets older.
THE libra TRANSFORMATION
Libra transforms into Scorpio as it grows and matures. Those two Libra scales which balanced harmoniously begin to separate to further extremes. One of the hardest things a Libra needs to learn is that they cannot get anywhere big or powerful by being liked by everybody. In order to achieve any notable measure of fame or success, one has to provoke extreme reactions, be aggressive, and step on toes every once in a while. At first, Libra resists, unable to work up the courage and self-esteem necessary to do such a thing. But as they grow older and wiser they see how a person not liking them isn't the end of the world. They can sometimes do "bad" things without having to justify their actions to themselves or other people. And, in fact, they can't get to the top by playing nice all the time. The swinging between Libra scales becomes more intense, more passionate, and more complex, eventually spinning them into the next Sign in the cycle: Scorpio.