by Eric Meyers
Just in time for Fall, let's take an in-depth look at the 7th sign of the zodiac: Libra.
In my book Elements & Evolution: The Spiritual Landscape of Astrology, I show how each part of the archetypal system has an evolutionary relationship to all of its parts. At the beginning each sign has its own evolutionary purpose. Then, in the great Evolutionary Cycle, every sign builds on the strengths of its predecessor while providing a foundation for its successor. So the evolutionary storyline follows a sequential order in which each sign directly relates to the one before, and the one that follows. The remaining signs provide another “face” to the sign in question. Here’s how it works with the Libra archetype.
The evolutionary task of Libra is to develop the “I—Thou” connection, to be in relationship. In the Evolutionary Cycle, developing competence (Virgo/Stage 6) prepares us to enter equal relationships, which are necessary for us to hold our power (Scorpio/Stage 8) with others, and ultimately, in the world.
We can understand more about Libra by considering the signs in aspect to it.
The opposition between Libra and Aries deals with the issue of behavior, of how we conduct ourselves in response to others. This points us to the idea that the evolutionary purpose here is for an individual (Aries) to learn through the process of socialization (Libra). The Other provides a mirror for self-reflection.
When we consider the trine aspect, the combination of Gemini and Libra produces communication—sharing our thoughts (Gemini) with another (Libra). Information (Gemini) is transferred into interpersonal contexts (Libra). Libra’s other trine is with Aquarius. This pairing brings the interpersonal dynamics of Libra to the collective level. The theme here is sociological—how we can all get along harmoniously on this planet. The integration of this trine produces culture—the collective agreements, customs and behavioral norms that serve as social glue.
Next think about the square. The integration of Libra and Capricorn produces civilization. Capricorn involves institutions, the structure of government, and other social systems. Libra adds laws to bring about fairness, social norms, diplomacy, and outreach. Capricorn cements Libran concepts (liberty, equity, and judiciousness) into form. The square between Libra and Cancer addresses the issue of getting personal needs met (Cancer) in relationships (Libra). Cancer is emotional and wants depth and nourishment, while Libra calls for harmony, agreement, and cooperation—the integration is romantic love.
Through the sextile aspect, Libra has a connection with Leo. These social signs pertain to engagement. Sharing (Leo) supports connecting (Libra), and this aspect lights up interactions in life-affirming ways. The territory here is not exclusively romantic, though the vibe could be like the energy experienced on a successful first date. Libra’s other sextile is with Sagittarius, the sign of direction. The integration of the two is politics, using a broad definition. Collaboration (Libra) supports policy (Sagittarius)—this aspect deals with how people join together to achieve a purpose.
Finally, the quincunx connects Libra to Pisces, which asks us how we could humanly connect (Libra) in Spirit (Pisces)? How do we embrace each others’ souls? With this aspect we unite the scattered pieces of Spirit together through relating. The integration points to the Sanskrit word Namaste, the common greeting that roughly translated means honoring the light of divinity in each other. Libra’s other quincunx is with Taurus. Both of these signs are ruled by Venus, the goddess of beauty. Taurus relates to the senses, the body, and the beauty of the physical world. Libra is conceptual, addressing aesthetics and the airy world of social norms and civility. Their meeting point is art. Integration is found through materializing (Taurus) ideals of beauty (Libra).
Using this approach, we can see that the 10 Faces of Libra are: relationship, behavior, communication, culture, civilization, romantic love, engagement, politics, Namaste, and art. All of the various components of Libra are represented.
Eric Meyers, M.A.
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