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Down the Rabbit Hole
Paul Kiritsis, PsyD candidate, DPhil., MA (Psychology), MA (History)

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The Zodiac: Libra the Scales

Paul Kiritsis - Wednesday, April 25, 2012

 

Date of Rulership: 22nd September-23rd October; Polarity: Positive, male; Quality: Cardinal; Ruling planet: Venus; Element: Air; Body part: Back, kidneys, and ovaries; Colour: All shades of blue; Gemstone: Sapphire, jade; Metal: Copper or bronze.

 

Libra is probably the first sign in which we see a comprehensive exploration of the concept of duality and a conciliation of opposing forces like order and chaos, activity and passivity, truth and falsehood, equality and inequality, and so forth. The sign is primarily concerned with this conflicting relationship and interaction between opposites because it inherently understands that opposing forces in the universe facilitate the fruition of equilibrium. Sadly, this is one theme that more often than not eludes all other archetypes standing along the wheel of heaven. With Libra, we begin to acquire a much deeper understanding of the cosmos as an inhabited space of conscious and superconscious extensions and examine questions such as whether or not two things or people can co-habit the same space and partake in symbiosis. If so, can the two be synchronized in such a way as to foster the allusion that the two are actually one? Can two people or things of variant compositions and teleological hardware be made to step, skip, or even march to the same rhythm? According to Libra, such affiliations can be successfully developed and maintained otherwise the world would lapse into a lapsarian state of war and disarray. The psychological and social friction caused by the everlasting battle between thoughts of yes and no and the actions of give and take mediate compromised experiences from which more than a single person learns and grows. Hence, what we find with the Libran formative force is that it is always juggling with two or more conflicting viewpoints and attempting to harmonize them in such a way as to leave the minds from whence they originated mutually satisfied. When this process of unanimity works it has the power to transmute base matter to gold. Alternatively failure to make peace between them results in negative consequences like alienation, disenchantment, and self-destruction.  

“As ye make your bed, so shall ye sleep in it,” says Libra in a stern voice. “Many of the preceding inhabitants of the zodiac–Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, and Virgo–see me as being rather cold, distant and impersonal. I can come across that way, especially when my superego Osiris springs into action. Would you like to know what Osiris tells me every night as I’m drifting off to sleep? He says that everything that exists on the physical, mental, or spiritual planes is subject to the cosmic law of cause and effect. For every action there is a reaction, and for everything that is pushed there will be something pulled away. He also says that irrespective of class, gender, distinction, social rank or privilege, every individual in possession of a soul is born into this world with a dowry. If he or she utilizes this dowry to the best of his or her ability whilst remaining faithfully orientated towards justice and truth, life usually materializes as sympathetic and kind. If, though, egotistic gratification becomes the reason for one to commit social misconduct and misbehaviour, the universe will react by drawing the noose around his or her personal freedom and squeeze the life out of him or her, bit by bit.

On the whole, I think listening to these short lectures on moral and social codes has made me a much better entity. Furthermore, I’m much more apt and skilful at weeding out liars, swindlers, bullies and cowards than I used to be, and can easily detect any irruptions of emotion, cunning justifications and intellectual arguments generated to obstruct pathways to the truth. Don’t you dare think that I’m not a merciful power; there’s plenty of compassion and empathy in me. I can understand how someone’s personal circumstances might compel them to commit a crime against another or humanity as a whole, but that in no way diminishes my belief that violation of another’s rights or social transgression should be punished accordingly.

In any case, I’m a social animal and need to be around people, especially those that share similar interests and are composed of the same moral clay as myself. I feel that people should be treated respectfully at all times; courteous interactions and social etiquette are a must! I cope well with most things, vent occasionally, and can be exceptionally understanding and tolerant of others’ vices. I’m happy to say that unlike many of my co-stars on the zodiacal band, I do fight fairly and respectfully. I also see nothing wrong with looking after oneself. Much can be discerned about one’s personality and character from grooming and personal hygiene. Like attracts like; if I want to attract the beautiful to myself, I too must make an effort to look beautiful. I care what likeminded others think of me; more often than not, looking good steadfast earns their approval so I’m all for it!”

Libra is a sign that is intimately linked to cerebral processes which have governed the evolution of human consciousness and the historic induction of a civilized life based on social parameters, moral codes and conventions. Thus it would be more than appropriate to declare that Libra is a faithful advocate for the acknowledgment of interpersonal relationships between two committed people regardless of race or gender. There is something of the sacred and divine in the love that exists between two committed individuals, and in Libra’s eyes these partnerships should be acknowledged, endorsed and held in the highest honour by all citizens unified under the umbrella of culture. The inclination towards convention is not to say that Libra is narrow-minded, bigoted, or totalitarian in any way, shape, or form–far from it! Libra respects and recognizes all unions of matrimony regardless of the dynamic and nature of the partnership whilst at the same time expressing preference for monogamistic lifestyles. It is not opposed to polygamy, but does not wish to revel in it itself. Libra is a firm believer in the adage that “everyone is born equal” and does not believe in gender-specific roles, colours, or any other qualities quantified and standardized by Western culture in that way.

With respect to its personal life, the Libran psyche can go on forgiving the mistakes and wrongdoings of significant others until it begins to feel a sense of hopelessness. When this threshold is reached, Libra can become cold-hearted, detached and mercilessly unyielding. It should also be mentioned that Librans can be quite charming and seductive and often enjoy flirting more than the sexual encounter itself. They are brilliant schemers and diplomats and will never act on impulse. For a Libran, deliberation is more appealing than immediacy and long-term goals and effects are far more important than fleeting and momentary pleasures. Libra is a cardinal energy and cannot stay inert for too long without becoming restless. Nevertheless it needs intermittent breaks between prolonged periods of activity to diffuse tension and excess stress otherwise its mental health can become afflicted.

There are two symbols associated with the zodiacal sign of Libra. The first, a set of scales, is the only inert object to exemplify a zodiacal sign in the Western zodiac as well as the perfect exoteric expression of Libra’s rudimentary quality–balance. All ancient civilizations, from the Indians and Persians to the Hellenes and Babylonians stood united in attributing to the seventh sign concepts which enabled the universal derivation of order from primordial chaos. The Romans attributed special significance to this sign because the foundation stone of Rome and thus of Italian self-determination was laid on October 4th, a date which falls under the mediation of the Libran house. In ancient Egypt, Libra was inexplicably connected to the concept of maat, a word used to denote the providential state of order, truth, balance and justice and personified as an Egyptian goddess with an ostrich feather strapped to her headdress. In ancient Egyptian society it was widely held that maat had been inaugurated by the gods at the moment of creation and was supposed to be upheld by the pharaoh, the living incarnation of Horus, through temple construction and the enactment of ritual. A surviving body of ancient Egyptian literature coined Instructive or Wisdom Literature illuminates just how vital justice, ethical standards and social etiquette were to the lives of the ancient Egyptians but especially to their eschatological practices and beliefs. Maat played a pivotal role in day-to-day undertakings but it played an even bigger role in the psychostasia, the judgement that was thought to occur following the death of an individual and determined whether or not he or she would continue to exist in an alternate dimension known as the Amenti. According to instructional texts connected to the moral code, any expression of disorder, envy, deceit, rebellion against established authority, laziness, injustice, and ingratitude were crimes against maat and set the individual soul upon the road which led to punishment, an eternal state of non-existence.

The second symbol is an astrological shorthand for the zodiacal sign utilized by astrologers in the creation of astrological charts and looks like a yoke. Interestingly, the ancient Greeks called Libra “Zygos” which essentially means “yoke”. An even more striking parallel exists between this pictogram and the ancient Egyptian hieroglyph used to denote akhet, the horizon or place of the rising and setting sun. In ancient Egypt the just mentioned word was originally used as an ideogram for “horizon” and “mountain of light” until the Ptolemaic Period when Hellenistic culture introduced Chaldean astrology to Egypt and connected the latter with the seventh house of the zodiac. From that moment onwards the word akhet was also a synonym for Libra and was appropriate given that the appearance of the full moon in this sign signals a return of the solar orb to the vernal equinox that might be interpreted as a tipping of the scales in the opposite direction and a reinstatement of universal balance.

In retrospect, both astrological sign and shorthand recall positive elementary and cardinal traits belonging to Libra–tenderness, tranquillity, fondness, orderliness, and sophistication. Dispassion, impartiality, relaxation, and sporadic inertia are also indigenous to its psychic make-up, a notion consistent with a lull in agricultural movement during the transient period of its government. The sign thrives when polar opposites coexist in a state of harmony but any psychological or physiological affliction can throw the scales off balance and result in protean temperaments and wild mood swings. The propensity of this sign to discern both sides of an argument and equate, measure, and quantify all possible trajectories before rationalizing a final judgement marks it as the personal abode of diplomats, judges, governments, and law-makers.

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