The Lesson of Libra

Date Range: September 23 – October 22
Symbol: Scales
Element: Air
Quality: Cardinal
Planet: Venus
Tarot: Justice


Traits and Characteristics

ThemisLibra is an air sign and the only sign in the zodiac symbolized by an inanimate object.  The scales are the perfect representation for those born under Libra as they are highly concerned with balance and symmetry.  This isn’t surprising because, the sun enters Libra at the fall equinox, also known as Mabon.  This is one of only two times a year - the other being the spring equinox - in which we experience equal darkness and light.  To further the connection between the scales and the general attitude of those who are Libra born we examine the Greek Titan Themis who carries the Scales of Justice.  Her law is divine, not mandated by city or state, but centered around morality, hospitality, justice, and the laws of nature.  Libras are often concerned with the same matters, being fair-minded in nature and possessing a disdain for gossip, violence, and inequality.  Though Libra is disturbed by these shortcomings, they are naturally peaceful and avoid confrontation at all cost.  This is both boon and burden as they often allow the blame to fall upon themselves rather than compromise a relationship. 

And relationships are very important to the Libra born.  As an air sign, they are excellent communicators and people often find themselves at ease in their presence.  Libras are social creatures, tactful and cooperative.  They enjoy relationships of all types and befriend people from all walks of life.  They are especially good to have in groups as they work well with others and are naturally disposed to diplomacy.  Libras make good judges and lawyers.  As able communicators, public speaking is a breeze and they are more than capable of inspiring others with their words.  Libras also make great lovers as they truly seek to understand their partner's perspective.  They are empathetic and romantic, but also possess a need for independence as they maintain their own personality.

Libras have a refined, expensive taste for the better things in life – fashion, music, art, and travel.  This can lead an idle Libra to ruin, but their keen intellect and natural indecision often halt a potential shopping spree.  Libras are easy going by nature, but coupled with their characteristic uncertainty, they become underachievers, some would even venture to call them lazy.

 

The Work

With Virgo, we learned the importance of dedication, focus, and attention to detail.  We cut out what did not serve to make room for something that needed more of our attention.  With Libra, we will fine tune this work and learn to balance the elements of our lives and ourselves.  It isn’t easy finding harmony as we rush about our busy schedules – to counterbalance our work with family, friends, and personal pursuits.  Not only must we learn to schedule our time and distribute our energy wisely, but we must also work to keep our inner selves in balance – learn to walk that fine line between control and abandon, bravery and foolhardiness, compassion and necessary boundaries.  The meditation below can be done in a full ritual if you’d like, in a simple circle, or with any other meditation preparation you are comfortable with.

But first, a bit of background: 

The Egyptians had their own personification of truth, morality, and harmony in the goddess Ma’at.  Not only did she govern justice in the realm of the humans and gods, but she was also the personification of cosmic order – reigning over the turning of the seasons and other natural cycles.  Ma’at played a large role in the Weighing of the Heart, a moral test performed upon humans after death to determine if their soul would pass on to the heavenly paradise of Aaru or remain in Duat, the underworld.  Ancient Egyptians believed that the soul resided in the heart and so it was the heart that was placed upon the scales.  While Anubis, or Osiris, tended the scales, it was Ma’at’s ostrich feather, usually worn in her headdress, that the heart was weighed against.  If the heart weighed less than the feather, the soul was allowed to pass into paradise.  However, if it weighed more or the same as Ma’at feather, the heart was fed to Ammit, the soul-eater.

You may be weighing your heart in this meditation, but be reassured that you are safe from the soul-eater.  We will examine our own imbalances by placing certain aspects of ourselves upon the scales.

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 Relaxation

Find a comfortable, quiet spot for this meditation.  You can use relaxing music or ambient sounds if they will aid in your work.  Arrange your body in a way that is most comfortable for you, but place your hands facing palms up in an open, receptive manner that imitates the formation of the scales of Libra.  Breath-work is always important to meditation.  If you are unfamiliar with the proper breathing techniques that aid in inducing a meditative state, take a few moments to research this and do a little practice before beginning the work.

  • Take a deep breath, pulling sky energy down into your crown chakra and feel it move through your body to be released into the earth. Release the worries and thoughts of the day.
  • Take a deep breath, pulling earth energy up through your feet and feel it move through your body to be released into the sky. Release the tension in your body.
  • Take a deep breath, pulling the love of the gods and/or your guides in through your heart chakra and allow that energy to move up through your crown and down through your feet.
  • Take a few moments to relax every part of your body, starting at your head and moving down to your toes. It may take longer to relax any of your trouble spots.  Be patient with yourself.
  • With deep, even breathing, count yourself down into a meditative state. For the sake of balance, my own tradition uses a 12-step count for god energy, visualizing the numbers as they work themselves down to one.  This brings us to a ritual mindset.  Here we state our intention to be safe and successful in our journey.  We then do a 13-step count for goddess energy, with no visualization, only using the numbers to draw us farther into a meditative state.  Many people simply use a 10 count.  It may be helpful for you to add visualization to your meditation.  A popular technique is to see yourself walking down a set of stairs and going through a doorway at the end of your count.  Use whatever method works best for you.

 

Meditation

When you reach the meditative state, you find yourself standing before the World Tree, the largest tree you’ve ever seen.  Its branches reach high into the heavens and the roots dig down into the underworld.  Place your hands upon the tree and whisper your intention - to be guided to the Scales of Justice where you may weigh the appropriate portions of your life against one another as you seek balance in all things.  A guide, known or unknown, emerges from behind the tree.  This can be an animal, angel, ancestor, god, or other trusted entity.  Your guide, if unknown, introduces him/her/itself, before leading you to an opening in the tree.  You find a doorway in the bark or a crawlspace among the roots.  Make your way into the World Tree.  The guide may take you down into the Underworld of Duat to Anubis or Osiris and the goddess Ma’at.  Or it may guide you through the tree or up into the branches to a Greek Temple to the Titan Themis.  No matter what path you take, you find yourself in a room with a stone altar decorated with a set of scales.  The god or goddess inhabiting the room gestures for you to move closer and nods to the scales.  They may indicate what is to be placed there or they may leave that decision up to you.  How does your work life weigh against the time you spend with your family?  Responsibility against recreation?  Are you impatient or a little too laid-back?  There may be more than one set of concerns to place upon the scales.  Take as much time as you need.  Once you’ve gotten a fair account of how you measure up, spend some time discussing the matter with the deity and your guide.  Perhaps they have some wisdom for you, encouragement, a warning, or some advice.  When you’ve completed your conversation, thank the deity for their time and guidance and make your way back to the tree.  As you leave the tree, offer your thanks for the experience and don’t forget to thank your guide as well.  Count your way up out of the meditation. 

 

  • If you feel spacey or ungrounded after your meditation, be sure to ground any excess energy into the earth or eat a high carb meal.