Modern Libra

Libra Part 2
                                                       Libra as a Stage of Development

Libra is the sign reflective of the mechanisms of polar function ‘par excellence’ and as a process, or stage of development, this sign signifies the point at which the ‘shadow’, or at least some form of imbalance, is often to be met and addressed.   

In what is even a modern ‘psychological’ cliché regarding this zodiacal figure, here lies the themes regarding the complexity of
harmonising the experience of relationships, particularly concerning polarised aspects of the psyche.  The relating principles of this sign can tend to reflect the promoting of an involvement with the disowned content of the psyche, that which is alien to one’s ego-consciousness and thus not identified clearly within the self and the self-experience.

In the growth of anything into holistic balance, it is considered that the polarised aspect must ultimately become seen and well-adjusted, or well- integrated within the self, for the process to succeed in any fulfillment.  It is popularly stated, in contemporary self-process style work, that the process of ‘owning back’, the traits possibly ‘disowned’ in the self, is a crucial dimension to the ongoing development of personal individuation.  The nature of a Libran phase is also a point which carries the opportunity for reconciliation and such like, in the unfolding of any sequence.

In terms of the general human developmental model, the thematic of the astrology of Libra within this sequence, can be seen to correspond to the years spanning from puberty (about 14 yrs) and into a more self-responsible reality; which ideally seems to galvanize at a truer maturation point, which is just out of the transition of young adulthood (at about 28 yrs).  Through this period, the dynamics of relationship tend to come more to the fore, the young person is usually afforded the opportunity to become more gregarious, via their affiliations and groups and through other social symbols that are considered of  harmonious resonance.

The ‘other’ is also more likely to be more noticed and early forays into the experience of relationship and closer alliance can take place, as this is a time when social strategies and habits are developed, tested and generally further reinforced, or modified.  When unadulterated, this cardinal/air zodiacal function is generally active, refining itself through the different experiences of interaction, as an essential part of the maturation process.  The individual is seen to be learning about the self through the other and further defining the nature of their belief systems, regarding the self in one-on-one social interaction.

Some Characteristics of Libra

“Libra’s ego and essence seems to grow by reflection; the greater the audience, the brighter the mirror of his personality shines.”[iv]

The polar sign to Aries is composed of the element of air, within a quality of the cardinal expression. When unmitigated, this ‘connective’ element is said to be in an active state. Libran energy is thus generally actively promoted to meet and interact; therefore this is usually one of the most social of the signs.  

Libra’s basic principle embraces the harmony of cooperative, shared activity and such like.  Those with this zodiacal sign prominent are often very naturally aware of others within their immediate environment.  This awareness of relating may classically may make for a likeable, pleasing and fair-minded person.  The individual is able to be considerate of others positions and points of view, thus due to this characteristic, modern Libra has been nominated the ‘diplomat’ of the zodiac.

The Libran-type tends to learn and grow the most directly, through transactional dynamics, as interaction is a primary urge of such archetypal astrological energy.  It is in the one-to-one dynamic of personalised relationship that Libran awareness’s can excel, as there is such a strong capacity to truly ‘relate’ carried within this sign.  Hence Libra is considered an ultimate sign in governing the principles of one-to-one interaction and therefore the commitment of marriage.  Libran-types are considered to make great ‘partners’, ideally able to shift and adjust positively to the sensibility of the ‘other’, on personal, social and business levels.  

The ‘airiness’ of this sign represents the ability to consider, think and negotiate, rather than just react unthinkingly and impulsively, as its polarity Aries may tend to.  Generally the expression of Libra instinctively seeks to
harmonise that which may confront it and thus may be creative of sharing experiences, rather than separating or abrasive ones.  Thus, well-balanced Libran energy may coordinate things in an equal fashion, ideally for the balance of mutual benefit and satisfaction.

Traditionally Libra is associated with a refined, sanguine, ‘courtly’ demeanour and this can express as a ‘romantic’ sign, which can possess a heightened sensitivity to beauty, symmetry and art in general.  A strong Libran factor is also generally seen to be adverse to anything unpleasant, abrasive and ‘base’.  

This sign can often be very present in the charts of artists and also of those who may generally express through relationship to the feedback of others.  It is a potential Libran skill to create harmony and ambience, which is driven by the metaphysics of a motive to express the soul/spirit in the form.  Therefore this can be an artistically creative sign, especially in regards to line, symmetry and balance, hence the association with drawing and design.  

The Libran association with the principle of symmetry stems from the essentially ‘intellectual’ perspective, which is also a part of this energies symbolic dynamic.  The unadulterated Libran energy may be the epitome of impartiality, possessive of a delicate equipoise, infused with the peace and harmony of the ‘middle way’, in perceiving both sides.  

A Libran-type is potentially the most objective of individuals, able to observe polar aspects of any situation and drawn to objectively equate and thus to potentially
harmonise any dissonance.  Libra is considered the ‘pacifist’ of the zodiac, with equality and fairness two of the main keywords.  Thus this zodiacal archetype is also connected with the law and its courts, particularly at the domestic levels, where relationships, transactions and others are most often involved.

When Libran energy is over-compensated and unresolved in the negative, it can become stereotypically reflective of a very light, even quite superficial type of person.  Due to the urge to keep peace and be ‘liked’, a pleasing facade may therefore be often erected and the individual may be highly social and immersed in relationship, but devoid of depth and tangibility (especially on an emotional level).  In the extreme there is the type who appears completely invested in seeking their ‘other half’, in another ‘out there’ (or even another ‘thing’).  

The over-compensated Libran-type usually becomes too reliant on the projection and feedback of others, to give a sense of the identity and the beloved may tend to become over-idealized, as a projection of the self.   Such a person may therefore adapt the sense of self to what they ‘think they should be’, particularly in attempt to remain likeable and to attain what may perceived as pleasing, thus ‘loved’.  Eventually it is realized that the ‘self’ has been lost and often it is through a realization as to how resentful/angry one actually is at giving the self to such an extreme.

Although this sign reflects all manner of polarization, the afflicted Libran psyche is noted to hate to be alone and cannot bear the concept of creating separation.  This is the stereotypical face of this zodiac sign often pertaining to potential thematic of codependency in relationship.  Negative Libran-types find themselves often in a repeating cycle of the same relationship patterns, usually not even perceiving the similarity of the thematic between them.  

This lack of perception is often due to focusing on the object of the projection and not the self and then tending to focus upon the next other, again any view of the self may become overlooked.  Understanding the symbolic relationship principle of the ‘mirror’ is also paramount for those with this astrological energy very strong, as usually magnetized are those who may carry what one actually seeks to develop, or heal, in the self.

Thus negatively over-compensated Libra is also often to be guilty of the dynamics of ‘overlapping relationship’ that is, not clearly ‘closing doors’, to open the new ones.  As a ‘masculine’, active zodiacal energy and of the airy triplicity, the Libran activity does tend to be projective in essence.  This very cardinal sign can become ‘busy’ and in this case, can never be left the space to find the authentic self.  In having a fear of becoming a single entity and in being inherently adverse to solitary experience, the dysfunctional Libran-type may totally forsake themselves for ‘peace at any price’.  All stops may be pulled out to promote the other’s well-being and needs, as long as a parting does not take place.

Libra is also a sign that is considered essentially ‘soft’ (Venus rulership) in nature, especially in the model of modern astrology, the fact that there can be ‘two sides’ to the symbol of the Balance has often been completely overlooked.  Again, this is a ‘masculine’/’yang’, cardinal, air sign and a prime archetype of polarization, thus is not only reflective of a sane, civilized diplomacy, or superficial, pleasing facades and demeanors.  

The sign of Libra also concerns the kind of objective realization that can reflect themes of conflict, battle, one-to-one open opponents, enemies and the like.  Thus the association this zodiacal principle also has with the likes of strategy and ‘battle’, in the law courts, open debate and other realms of polarized argument.  The holism of the horoscope depending, the component of Libra can even stretch its symbolism of such an archetypal dynamic into martial and military context, plus therefore reflective of the likes of two players in any one-on-one game, from tennis to chess and so on.

It seems all of the zodiac signs that are classed as cardinal active quality, can carry variations on the essential principles of offense and defense, etc.  Thus in the psycho-emotional context, those with the sign of Libra very dominant and not integrated well, are most usually finding issues with assertion and anger and such like.  

Thus, not only may one over-please and bend the identity, but find the self at the other extreme, polarized and possibly forcefully relating, even from a position of overt anger, therefore tending to push the self, even ‘undiplomatically’ on to others.  This is not only a zodiacal symbol concerned with themes regarding peace and harmony, although the point becomes that the Libran astrology, even distorted into conflict, is still essentially dealing with these principles.  As according to the laws of duality and polarity, often to know peace one may find oneself having to know conflict and lack of balance, to hopefully and ideally embrace the potential equilibrium that this sign is fundamentally reflective of.

The classic dynamics of caring and pleasing of others that this sign is typically known for, in actuality, can often mask a deeper agenda that is primarily selfish.  This regards the pursuing of someone to care for them, or to ‘care’ for, from the infantile position of seeking to fulfill one’s own needs and self-definition.  As discussed, this ‘cardinal’ sign is not always to be proved that ‘soft’ in its expression and can be seen to become ‘socially aggressive’ and use its talent for strategy, most superbly in social manipulation, for positive or negative.  

Clever games can take place, as the Libran-type can be so charming and polite in the general manner and therefore disarming.  Nevertheless, there can be a manner of ‘splitting’, or ‘swinging both ways’, when the psychological environment is unhealthy, underneath such skills of veneer and façade, it is usually a passive-aggression that proves to somehow be at play.  This Venus-ruled zodiacal energy can certainly attract and it is the intent behind the attraction that becomes of note.  An example of such dynamics, when negative is captured in the following statement;

“’You see how I want to please you,’ he says, ‘You must sit back and let me entertain you.  You be the audience, relax and enjoy my skits.  But you must be attentive, c’mon now and feed me some good ‘one-liners,’ initiate some activity so that I can react to it.  I’ll be the complement to anything you want me to be.  You see how easily I can integrate myself with you.  You see how well we work together.  You see how we need each other.  You see how I’ve manipulated you into playing a role in my life.[v]

The greatest lesson that the modern zodiacal expression of Libra may supply, is the recognition of the self’s projection onto others and reciprocally, of others back onto the self.  Thus those invested in this archetypal energy are often particularly called to stand independently, individuate and create a balanced relationship, first of all within the self.  When there is more inner accord, more positive and regenerative relationships may become constellated in life.  In taking a point from the polarity of Aries (instead of toxic Arian-style experiences leaking into the psyche through the function of polarity) and recognizing the independent self, one must also recognize the need no longer exists to compromise the self in order to feel connected and get love.  

Another great task for the Libran-type is often to admit honestly to any anger and what this may, in reality, involve.  There is quite often the requirement to learn how to cleanly assert and express the self directly and decisively.  Plus to see that confrontation and dispute can be handled openly and functionally.  After all, the symbolism of Libra ultimately possesses the archetypal epitome of adequate arbitration and negotiation talents.  Rather than polarizing extremes, the astrological gift of Libra is to objectively harmonize them.  This mentally balanced archetypal symbol is, in its purity, concerned with the ‘harmony of ideas’ and the fairness/clarity of judgment.  

In its purity of expression, this astrological archetype may naturally seek and apprehend the best of an impartial and fair state, thus may add grace and charm to all that is touched.  To ultimately fulfill the promise of functional relating dynamics, it is said that Libra must balance and integrate the elemental energies of the other three signs that share the ‘cardinal cross’ pattern on the wheel.  This involves themes regarding the sensitivity/emotiveness of Cancer, the self-responsibility/reality of Capricorn  and the assertion/independence of Aries.

Libran Energy in the Horoscope

Libran energy is dynamic and airy, as a frequency within the birth chart chart, tending towards generally projective expression, yet generally of a Venusian tone.  Planets and points wihin or on this sign will be potentially drawn to somehow relate to other chart components concerned with the cardinal quality and the element of air.  Zodiacal Libra’s field of vibration may contribute to the further workings of a birth chart as follows;


            As an air sign Libra is considered to be a potentially ‘light’ field of energy, nonetheless it is cardinal, thus dynamic and active, particularly on the mental/interactive plane.  Planets within the boundaries of Libra may be given a certain social urge; therefore they may turn their functions toward interrelationship and possibly a more compromising mode of expression.  The Venusian aspect of this sign can tend to soften and beautify things, lending a tone of a certain malleability and charm.  

This is also the sign of the strategist and may reflect the objectivity of a fair-minded approach regarding the planetary principle in question.   Astrological bodies and points in the sign of Libra may be utilised rationally and with balance, often in the hope of creating a sense of equanimity and harmony in their expression.  Libran-placed planets may express themselves best when things are perceived as in balance and resonance.  The more abrasive astrological planetary archetypes are therefore, often not too ‘comfortable’, when posited within the stream of this zodiacal frequency and can be generally indicative of much adjustment to integrate their dynamism.


            The house cusp(s) with the sign of Libra on them can be regarded as places where equilibrium and balance may be often required to be applied or experienced.  This is the area in which there may manifest dynamics regarding the themes of cooperation, compromise and ‘relating to’.  

In the extreme, the self may become lost here, in pursuit of some manner of the ideal harmony.  Where Libra is placed may be where the tendency may be seen, to ‘project’ focus from the self and to seek relationship with the other.  This place in the birth chart can be where the desire to create the ideal ‘partnership’ may reside, if not, an ideal state of relationship with something regarding the affairs of that house.

The Libran house and what it may reflect,  is where there may be the typical reflection of charm, refinement, beautifying and addressing the ‘art’ of things.  Such an area is also often where relationships and their dynamics are somehow involved.  As well as the possibility of meeting the personal ‘shadow’ through the affairs of the house where this sign resides.

There may also be the choice to function, or experience, in the superficial impression, for instance, creating ‘acceptable’ facades in order to please.  Or even to keep up shallow appearances, usually in the pursuit of some distorted perception regarding the nature of balance, or acceptability.  As prime themes of Libra concern adjustment and
, given the charts entire astrological picture, the typical likes of vacillation, indecisiveness and ambivalence may manifest regarding the house of the horoscope in question.

                                                                                                   Ruling Planet

When delineating Libran-placed astrological components in a horoscope, it becomes essential to view the condition of the sign’s dignified ruler, the planet Venus.   This planet’s chart position and interrelationship with the rest of the astrological components will greatly colour and deepen the further analysis of the sign.  

Through this planet values are usually constellated, thus are themes regarding what one believes one is worthy of relating to, and as to what may be worthy of drawing, as a ‘mirror’, into one’s life.  The overall astrological condition of this ‘lord’, or more appropriately ‘lady’, will shed much light on the underlying motivations, agendas and other responsibilities, regarding the houses, points and planets involved with Libra

Other Libran Correspondences

Physiology & Health

In the physical context Libra is known as the sign that is the greatest potential ‘beauty’ of the zodiac. The unadulterated archetypal symbolism of this sign is said to lend a graceful, attractive and well-proportioned appearance (particularly in regards to being involved with the ascendant/1st house etc).  

Most often, those with Libran energy thus prominent may typically present as well-groomed and tasteful in dress, classically there is a refined, even slight, build and the individual is noted to possess a certain ‘symmetry’ of  face and form.  Of course, not all Libran-types are necessarily model material; nevertheless there can usually be a general sense of likeability, thus ‘attractiveness’ of some form.

As Libran energy is connected with aesthetics and decoration, make up and accessorizing the appearance is often notable in some individuals.  Sometimes this sign’s Venusian element can appear to have an extremely ‘frilly’, or ‘floral’ in the aesthetic sensibilities and expression.  There may seem some manner of over-investment in decoration and refinement and taste is still the central theme.

As well as being contributive to ‘balance’ in external appearance, this sign is concerned with maintaining the equilibrium and ease of bodily function.  Afflicted Libran energy is said to be reflective of forms of disharmony, which may cause an imbalance in the system and eventually disease.  

Internally the sign of Libra relates to the kidneys and is also associated with the bladder and urinary tract function in general.  All aspects of the renal system come under the banner of this astrological energy and this regards the distillation, filtration, secretion and sublimation of urine.

Thus the health afflictions of this sign can be related to these aspects and areas of the body.  Via the relation of its planetary ruler Venus, Libra is also connected to the venous system and involved in the astrology of venereal diseases.  The Venusian aspect can also relate strongly to the appearance and condition of the skin, thus afflictions in the birth chart may concern skin issues and such like.


This zodiacal energy is particularly connected to all pastel and soft colours, especially the ‘baby’ blues, corals and pinks etc (shades of Venus + ‘air’).  The shade of yellow-pink is a very Libran in expression and the combination of blue and white is also considered a reflection of the sign.  In the astrological tradition Libra is also classically connected to ‘dark’ crimson and tawny brown and on the chromatic colour scale, interfaces with the vibration of green.

                       Minerals & Gems

Beryl, alabaster, coral, white quartz and marble, crysolite, opal, jade (especially white), soft powdery stones .

                      Plants & Herbs

Primrose, violets, pansies, vines, strawberry, watercress, lemon thyme, pretty bouquets, well-perfumed flowers.

                        Typical Vocations

The arts, music, fashion design, modelling, careers somehow involving elegance and line, makeup artist, interior design, architecture, lawyer, strategist, tactician, host/hostess, meeting and dating agencies, conflict resolution, counsellor, arbitrator, diplomat, negotiator, consultant, advisor, sales person, public relations, vocations connected to marriage and its associations, hospitality, florist, those involved with perfumes and cosmetics, vocations concerned with aspects of pleasure and harmony, beautician, socialite, debater, social commentator, whose vocation involves significant partnership and such like, work dealing with various aspects of relationship and partnership, weighing and adding, work involving measuring, proportion and portioning, draftsperson, engineer.

Associated Tarot card

Key 8/11, Justice - a card of adjustment, equipoise and return for what is ‘put out’.


                     Some Modern Libran Keywords
Projection, transference, reciprocation, realignment, reflection, reply, argument, strategy, one-sided/taking sides, opposition, denial, contrary, complementary, social, transaction, intercourse, relative to, façade, appearances, floral, ‘art’, weighting, contracts, deals, regulation judgment, attraction, liaison, balance, relationship, ‘us’, ‘we’, doubles, partner, companion, harmony, polarization, standoff, impartiality, tactics, game-playing, adjustment, accord, pleasing, fairness, equal, sharing, cooperation, détente, peace-loving, peace at any price, compromise, wavering, swinging, ambivalence, indecisive, codependent, ‘nice’, beauty, refinement, diplomatic, suave, charm elegance, genteel.

[i] Monetho, cited by Firmicus Maternus, Matheosis, Bram trans., note #22, p. 305.

[ii] Ibn Ezra, The Beginning of Wisdom, Epstein trans., p. 53.

[iii] Guido Bonatti, Liber Astronomiae, Zoller trans., p. 22.

[iv]Alan Oken, Alan Oken’s Complete Astrology, p. 115.

[v]Ibid, p. 115.

Donna OConnor is writer and facilitator of The Mercurius Tutorials,a series of classes in Astrology, ranging from foundational to advanced levels. Donna is recognised as an Accredited Astrological Teacher with the Federation of Australian Astrologers, tutoring many people over the years, including some award-winning students. She also holds a Diploma Honours, with the Astrological Guild of Educators International, for a thesis on the ancient doctrine of “Planetary Sect in Astrological History.”

 Donna is especially interested in astrology’s historical and cultural perspectives throughout all human development. Her particular focus is upon the Art’s essential philosophical tenets, what this produces, thus why and how it may ‘work’. She believes astrology is evolving towards taking true postmodern form in times to come. This will regard the further recognition of the real astrological tradition, reinforcing the subject to stand in its own right as a salient body of knowledge – and therefore how astrology may grow in respect of this authentic traditional construct, to effectively meet our ongoing requirements in the current age.

She states :

Astrology still survives in our global and psychologically complex times – testament of an essential construct, although largely distorted in modern parlance, still holding profound natural truths, - and also testament to instinctual aspects of the human intellect echoing, which are ultimately primal. Astrology is hybrid knowledge, encompassing the rational and the irrational, the objective and subjective, the intellectual and intuitive, science and art. Here mankind has looked to the heavens and become inspired enough to validate a perceived cosmological relationship. Astrology is awesome in its scope, and in its breadth of application, thus reflective of a certain esoteric genius. It is a paradoxical entity, full of riddles and truths; it is exceedingly complex, yet elegant in essence.

 Donna writes and lectures, for both the professional astrological community and those who are interested in any aspect of the Art. She is also an astrological consultant and offers specialist service to those creating any work or articles involving the subject


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