The Signs


Element Air
Mode Cardinal
Ruler Venus
Exaltation Saturn 21
Triplicity Saturn [daytime] and Mercury [night]
Ptolemaic terms Saturn 6 Venus 11 Jupiter 19 Mercury 24 Mars 30
Decans (Faces) Moon 10 Saturn 20 Jupiter 30
Detriment Mars and Pluto
Fall Sun

The symbol of Libra is a setting sun. In our journey through the Zodiac we have reached the Autumn Equinox. It is the “sunset of the year” and the middle point of the annual cycle. The great night is approaching as the power of daytime slowly fades away. This passage is of fundamental importance, because Astrology is basically a game of opposites.

According to the great astrologer Dane Rudhyar, daytime represents the personal power of the individual. Symbolically, the life force of daytime is the personal energy of one’s body, soul and mind. On the other hand, the darkness of the night represents the “energy of the others”; in other words of the community he belongs to. Proceeding through the zodiacal cycle, from this sign on, we can see that the life force is increasingly engaged in the formation of communities, and less and less focused on the single individual.

The first step of this process is to abandon personalism and protagonism—that feeling of being at the center of the world. The detriment of both Mars and Pluto makes it for Libra an easy task (see Aries page for further details, where those planets are in their domicile).

The second step, is to recognize that your individual life force is not everlasting, and that eventually you will grow old. The fall of the Sun—major symbol of life—has that meaning. In addition the exaltation of Saturn, planet of old age, reinforces that interpretation.

Stone balancing in Fall as a symbol for Libra

Once you have put aside your ego, the first form of community can be born. By acknowledging the importance of even just another person in your life, you are creating the smallest possible form of society: a couple. These two little cells have to confront each other and achieve harmony if they want their relationship to work. This is why it is Venus, goddess of balance and love, to rule Libra. But this union hasn’t necessarily to be a marriage (it can also be a working partnership) even though from a social perspective it is far more important.

Libra’s temper is lovable, courteous, and kind—far from the rudeness of Mars. It has refined manners, which will surely make them appreciate the world of art and culture. They are also private persons—politely detached from others—and they often have a formal attitude. At first, they may seem cold but their gentle manners quickly warm other people’s heart.

Interestingly enough, they may be naturally inclined to balance and harmony but they are also disobedient and rebellious (due to the fall of the Sun). The truth is that they feel like they constantly have to question everything, weighing it on the scales, so to speak. They can’t stand one-sided point of views and they always want to check the other side of the coin.

In their opinion they are the only ones who are capable of being objective. This ability—true or presumed—comes from the exaltation of Saturn. Maybe that cold, first impression you get of them is not entirely unfounded. In fact, once they reach a balanced agreement with somebody, they like to crystallize it (another saturnian symbology) on a document or a contract. Libra is the sign of long lasting (Saturn), balanced (Venus) relationships (Air element).

Libra is not only the sign of contracts, but also of justice. When the agreements made between the parties were to break, they want a third party to handle the matter (attorneys, lawyers, etc). This because they love to be objective and can’t stand protagonism. In court cases, Sagittarius (and the ninth house) rules judges, whereas Libra is the patron of lawyers.


Key Words

  • Air, Cardinal, light, balance, harmony, autumn, sunset
  • Partners, consorts, couple, marriage, relationships, love
  • working partnership, contracts, deals, rules, laws, justice
  • kindness, politeness, courtesy, formalities, manners, elegance,
  • alternatives, choices, disobedience, rebellion

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