A Time To Consider. To Be with the Stars

Libra holds a unique place in the zodiacal wheel. It is a sign full of paradox. As the only sign in the zodiac not represented by an animal or human figure, we might expect it to be less possessed of animal instinct than the other signs, somewhat aloof, too from the emotional roller-coaster of human experience. It is possible to recognise both of these traits in the Libra, yet here we have the sign that is the representative of relationship and marriage in the zodiac. It is through the Libran perspective that two people are drawn together in union, in matrimony. Libra is the sign of marriage, the marriage of opposites. It is the sign that holds the tension of the polarities – male and female, light and dark, yin and yang.

People born under Libra often describe how they cannot make their minds up, find it difficult to decide which way to go, which lover to choose, when to act. During my 18 years as a practising astrologer, I have observed a predominance of clients with strong Libra (and 7th house) themes in their charts, looking for guidance. Whereas a strong Aries type will just act, and then work out the consequences later, the Libran must consider the consequences first, weigh things up, assess the pros and cons, and perhaps seek guidance for others as to what to do.

During our recent Libran weekend on The Alchemical Journey, we addressed this issue through experiential play, and what emerged was quite revelatory, especially for the two strong Libra-types that we had present in our group. The gift of the Libran perspective is to resist the tempatation to act, to suspend judgment, to hold the opposites in tension, to hold the middle ground. This is why Librans make natural mediators of course, why they can facilitate individuals and groups with violently conflicting points of view to sit down at the table together and “air” their differences. Libra belongs to the element of air, the element of communication, dialogue and exchange of ideas. People who can stand authentically in the Libran perspective have to ability to hold up a mirror for each side and enable each side to cultivate an attitude of reflection, to see themselves reflected in the other, to enable self and other to remain engaged, in relationship. This is Libra’s great gift and it is a profound one. It is little wonder however, in a culture that values action over reflection, that Libra has such a hard time!

This does mean, of course, mean that Librans should just avoid make decisions. But it does seek to honour value of reflection and consideration. Libra is the 7th sign of the zodiac, and it offers us the first opposition in the wheel, the opposition with Aries, the first sign. So the “I” of Aries becomes the “We” of Libra. The desire (de-sidere – to be separated from the stars) of Aries becomes the consideration (con-sidere – to be with the stars) of Libra. As astrologer Darby Costello has noted in her beautiful essay “Desire & the Stars”, (http://www.darbycostello.co.uk), the gift of consideration, is the gift of union with the other half of our being, the heavenly half. Our two Librans found this realisation to be extremely helpful, as they were both anxious that they should be making a decision – and perhaps hadn’t really given themselves permission to truly “consider” their options before resting upon an actual decision.

As with all the sign perspectives, the gift of Libra is not just for Librans. It is a perspective that we all have the ability to hold, and during the month when the Sun travels through that sign, as it is now doing, we can draw strength from nature, which mimics the Libran disposition and thus teaches us how to integrate that perspective into our lives. That great Libran figure from Greek mythology, Themis, teaches us that the social order is derived directly from natural order. Themis is always depicted blindfolded with a pair of scales in one hand and a sword in the other. As daughter of the original pairing of Ouranos (sky-god) and Gaia (earth-goddess), she is close to the centre of things, and it is her wisdom of balance and natural justice to which the divine hierarchy of the Greeks must always defer. In the Libran cycle of the year, initiated by the equinox of equal day and night, Summer turns to Autumn and nature is held in a delicate balance. So the Spirit of Libra invites us to imitate this situation in our lives, and consider what is in the balance for ourselves, and to both recognise and allow the tensions to exist, for these are creative tensions, tensions out of which beauty, insight and opportunity may emerge.

Bless you Libra!

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