The Libra month is here so I need to buy birthday cards in bulk as so many of my friends and family were born under this sign. I’m always amazed at how astrology brings certain signs into your life – it’s as if the universe is telling you something – and with Libra that something is most likely to be concerned with relationships in the widest sense. Libra is about relating and keeping life balanced, so for a Scorpio – well versed in life’s extremes – it’s a good message to hear.
I visited my Libra sister the other week. She lives a couple of hundred miles away from me and due to the pandemic restrictions and her work as a teacher, I hadn’t seen her in many months. So, we were catching up on a few things and she was describing some issues she had with her work. “My job”, she said, “it’s all about relationships”. That’s Libra, totally getting the essence of her own sign.
It’s also a good reminder that we all have Libra in our natal chart – and even if we don’t have any planets in this sign, almost all of us will have a house with its cusp in Libra, so this sign will have an influence in your life somewhere. With this in mind, it’s a good time to remind ourselves of what Libra brings to the table.
Like the other articles in this monthly series, this post contains an extract from the draft of my forthcoming book, ‘Planets, Signs and Houses‘ and as I’m aiming to publish in October/November (after the Mercury retrograde in Libra of course!) this will probably be the last of those extracts published fully in blog form. Those of you who are interested in receiving an update regarding publication, subscribe to my website using the form below this article – I’ll be posting the book launch in due course.
Extract From Planets, Signs & Houses: Libra
Defining the Air signs can be difficult because they are, well, air. How do you hold air in your hands? The answer is you can’t. However, instead of stressing out about trying to do the impossible, relax. Breathe. It’s okay. By the way, the stuff you breathed in? That’s air. Perhaps it is possible to hold it after all. Still relaxed? Good. That’s Libra. The second of the Air signs is associated with calm and, after encountering that stressed-out Virgo energy, it’s just what we need.
When I think of Libra, I think about the importance of balance. Balance is the thing that keeps us upright. It keeps us steady. It keeps things in proportion. Without balance we sway like a drunken sailor on the sidewalk. Without balance we fall and that fall may be physical – or from grace. Either way, it’s damaging. To keep us from that fate? We need to maintain our balance. It is as essential as the air we breathe.
Libra’s energies are always directed at maintaining that state of equilibrium, as befits the sign of the scales. We have all seen how scales balance – too much loaded on one side and not enough on the other causes the balance to tip one way. The object is therefore to keep things equal. There is a technical term for this. It’s the ‘point of equilibrium’ and it is where things are stable.
That fundamental stability is the place where Libra finds it sweet spot. Now, I can hear you thinking, ‘Stability. Isn’t that an earth sign thing?’ Technically yes, so let’s look at how ‘earth stability’ and Libran equilibrium differ. You could re-read the earth signs, but to save you the time and effort I’m going to do a brief-re-cap here. It’s probably easiest if I make the comparison with Taurus as it’s also ruled by Venus, so here goes.
Taurus’s stability is materially based. It’s a tangible bulwark against an uncertain world. Material girl Venus means that as far as Taurus is concerned, you are what you have. Libra isn’t like that. When we look at Venus’s rulership over Libra, we discover the Libra drive is towards harmony. That can be interpreted in many different ways, but the fundamental energy drive is this. Libra is a collaborative, co-ordinating principle that seeks to maintain balance between opposing sides.
Think about that for a moment and you’ll begin to appreciate (good Libra word) how balance, harmony, co-ordination, compromise, agreement (and a whole host of other well-intentioned words) find expression in all parts of our everyday lives – especially for those of us who have a Libra, Venusian or seventh house influence in our natal charts.
At this point I’ll put my hand in the air and admit I have Mercury in Libra. Would I have finished writing this book by now if I wasn’t always searching for the best words? Probably. Has my Mercury in Libra made it easier for me to write about this sign? Actually no. Simply deciding how to approach this section has been, perhaps, more difficult than any other. My only consolation is that indecision is a classic Libra thing too.
However, when I was trying to get my thoughts together, I began to think of all the Libra influenced people I know. Among my close family and friends there are seven Libra Suns alone. Of course, no two Librans are are alike but, in Libra-style, I started to think about what they had in common and I began with my sister and my step-son (who even share a birthday).
One is a middle-aged teacher, the other a student of engineering. Both were/are extremely talented sportspeople – one started out as a sports coach, the other represented his country at international level in his chosen team sport. It’s tempting to think of sport as an Aries thing – but physical and hand-eye co-ordination? Those two Libra Suns have it, as coordination is a major Libra theme, and I suspect many with the Sun or Mars in Libra will express their Libra energies physically too.
Libra gets it together, because that is what Libra is about, getting things together and keeping them together – as long as they go together well. And talking about things going together well, my collection of Librans like the ‘look’ of things. They appreciate things in an aesthetic sense. Things like colour and design awareness are important to them – my Libra niece is a trained engineer and designer.
This is reflected in things like their home decor, how they present themselves (clothes and hair), the cars they drive and even the jobs that they do. Venus and Libra influences abound in their lives in very real ways – another friend’s Libra daughter had a part-time job as a perfume salesperson in the local department store while she was a student. How Libra is that? Venusian influences are many when you have a Libra emphasis in your natal chart.
As I was writing this section, some old friends dropped by for coffee – one of whom was born under the sign of the scales. Like my sister, and several other Libra subjects of my acquaintance, he and his wife have been married forever. I have known them both since my college days. Mrs Libra, as I will call her, is actually a Sun Cancer (in fact you met her earlier…) with large amounts of Virgo thrown in. She is a writer and architectural historian and, fuelled by strong coffee and nervous energy, she schedules their days with relentless precision.
Mr Libra is a retired, successful businessman used to making money and doing deals (Venus-ruled cardinal Libra is attuned to the world of money and business) but where their relationship is concerned, he values not upsetting the applecart. When Mrs Libra is happy, he is happy. He knows when to compromise. His life is peaceful that way – and peace to Libra is a prize to be treasured.
It’s impossible to write about Libra without writing about relationships. (Incidentally , when I was editing this book I visited my sister. We were catching up after months apart and talked about her job as a senior teacher. Her words, ‘It’s all about relationships”. Classic Libra). When we enter a relationship it’s the ultimate bringing together of opposing sides. Without compromise, conciliation and a sense of what is reasonable, we would soon find ourselves back on the single shelf.
Does a planet or two in Libra make you better at relationships? Well, I’ve been divorced so clearly it’s no guarantee, however I’m struck by how many of my Libra friends have enduring relationships that many of them committed to at an early age. I suspect that in-built drive to communicate, co-operate and seek areas of mutual agreement makes it easier for them to stick with a partnership. Whether that’s for better or worse is another issue entirely.
However, sometimes the drive towards peace and harmony comes at a price. Seeking equilibrium can lead to a reluctance to deal with issues that need to be confronted rather than glossed over. When appearances are everything, it’s all too easy to pretend that problems don’t exist. There is an unfortunate Libra habit called ‘sweeping things under the carpet’, a phrase I’m sure many of you are familiar with. Libra energies may be directed towards keeping things together, but sometimes that will involve one compromise too many. The appearance of unity, for example, is not the same as unity itself.
Mismatches are hard to ignore, as not all objects or people (and their values) are the same. Libra may be good at value judgements, but there is also the tendency to apply false equivalence if it suits their purpose. The more direct signs (like Libra’s opposite, Aries) would choose a position and stick with it. Libra energy, however, being predisposed to evaluate all thing on the basis that they are equally valid, has genuine problems with making decisions between one position and another. This indecision leads to the main criticism of those with Libra energy – that there is often a distinct lack of up-front commitment, as they often appear too eager to please and go with the flow.
Many of you reading this will not have a planet in Libra – but you will all have Libra in your natal chart. Libra’s influence on any house with this sign on the cusp colours the affairs of that house and will do so in a way that accentuates Libra’s co-ordinating role. In the first house (Libra rising) a person will often be perceived as attractive and they will generally want to present themselves to the world as stylish or fashionable.
In the tenth house, Libra may influence your career choice. Not everyone with Libra on the cusp of this house will be an artist or a hairdresser – careers which require the negotiation of successful business relationships and ‘people skills’ will also be found here. Libra here often gives you the ability to use such skills in the public realm. In the sixth house? In the house of craft and competence Libra could show design ability or an awareness of the importance of achieving a life-work balance.
Wherever Libra is found in your natal chart, there will be a sense of refinement and a desire for balance. However, you may also need to develop diplomatic skills to achieve that because it’s all about relationships in the Libra house. Keep them well balanced.
© Sara Shipman 2021