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METAPHYSICAL LIBRA

by Gary Brand - written March 13, 2007,
published in the April 2007 edition of Echo* newspaper

Composite of radar images of the surface of Venus, taken
by the Magellan spacecraft. Hemispheric composite of radar images of the surface of Venus centered at 180 degrees east longitude and color-coded to represent elevation (blue and green areas are low elevation).  Taken by the Magellan spacecraft.  Courtesy of NASA/JPL/USGS.

This is a 1491 woodcut of the classical representation
of Libra as a balance or scales. This is a 1491 woodcut of the classical representation of Libra as a balance or scales.  Note that the scales are not in balance in this depiction - in fact, they are only balanced when they are empty or when each cup contains something of equal weight to the contents of the other.  From the 1491 edition of Bonatti (G.B. (c. 1282/1491)).
his is one of a series of articles about the metaphysical meanings of the signs.  Metaphysical astrology is the study of first principles and the esoteric meanings of the signs and planets.  This article addresses the first principles of Libra and Venus (ruler of Libra), which we all have somewhere in our birth chart.  The meaning or energy of each sign of the zodiac manifests in some area of life symbolized in the birth chart of each of us, whether we have planets in a particular sign or not.  The entire visible Universe is based on the 12-fold manifestation of God we call the zodiac (E.H., p. 244 (1974)).  There is also a sidebar at the end of this article about the rare “grand sextile” occurring at the end of April.

I chose to write about metaphysical Libra for the issue of Echo* published while the Sun is in the opposite sign of Aries because the Egyptian initiates of the divine race of the Sons and Daughters of God (who lived according to the law of spirit, not according to the law of matter like virtually every human being alive today) used as their symbol of initiation the sign in which the tropical autumnal (fall) equinox falls in the precession of the equinoxes, which creates the epochs or “Ages” (e.g. the Age of Aquarius).  This corresponds to the concept that the divine is the exact opposite of the personal.  When we observe something or someone, we are in a dualistic relationship with it/them, but when we become one with something or someone, we achieve a state of divine unity with it/them.

Libra is the only sign of the zodiac represented by an inanimate object – the scales (occasionally, a modern representation will depict a blindfolded woman “blind justice” or a beautiful woman holding the scales but this depiction has no basis in antiquity).  In fact, to the Hellenistic Greeks and the Romans, Libra was referred to as “the Claws” of the scorpion and this is the origin of the misconception that the zodiac at one time consisted of only 11 signs.  However, “the Claws” of the scorpion was indeed a separate sign so the scorpion actually spanned two signs – Libra (the claws of the scorpion, which precede the body) and Scorpio (the body of the scorpion, including the stinger – more about that in my next article about metaphysical Scorpio).  The human soul is weighed in the balance – the seven mortal virtues (chastity or virtue, wisdom, love, hope, courage, faith, and prudence) are weighed against the seven mortal sins (envy, gluttony, lust, indolence, wrath, pride, and covetousness) and we are judged at death accordingly (Libra precedes Scorpio, the sign of death).  Nicholas deVore described Libra as “the sign of cosmic reciprocity, of cooperation rather than competition, of consciousness objectified through associations and partnerships” (N.D., p. 368 (1980)).

Themis is the Greek goddess most closely associated with the sign of Libra, although Aphrodite (Venus) is most closely associated with the symbolism of the planet Venus (ruler of Libra).  Themis was a Titan, daughter of Uranus (Heaven) and Gaea (Earth), and was goddess of balance, equilibrium, justice and wisdom (the latter traits from her association with Jupiter).  As such, her attribute was a pair of scales.  She was the first consort of Zeus (Jupiter) before Hera arrived in Olympus and this association survives astrologically in the form of Venus (as Libra’s ruler) and Jupiter as the benefics (most beneficial) of the planets.  Themis’ function on Olympus was to maintain peace and harmony and to call the gods and goddesses to gatherings, both Libran traits.  She also served as advisor to earthly judges and they gave their verdicts in her name, so this function (the position of Libra in our birth chart) is symbolized in each of us as the innate ability to distinguish between justice and injustice or, more basically, moral right from wrong.

In traditional astrology, Venus is the ruler of but does not rejoice in Libra because Venus is nocturnal and feminine while Libra is diurnal and masculine.  All of the five planets of antiquity (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter & Saturn) rule a masculine and a feminine sign.  The feminine domicile of Venus is Taurus and the masculine domicile is Libra.  Although Venus is more closely related to Taurus, her association with Libra represents the innate desire in each of us to restore our lives to a state of harmony or equilibrium following imbalance, upheaval, or extremes.  In a more mundane sense, Libra is a symbol of the balance of the seasons and of day and night since the beginning of the sign is marked by the autumnal (fall) equinox, one of only two days in the year when day and night are equal everywhere on Earth.  Fall begins when the Sun enters Libra, the onset of nature’s contractive phase, balancing and opposite the beginning of spring when nature’s expansive phase bursts forth.
Grand Sextile of April 30, 2007
On April 30, 2007, a rare alignment of the planets will occur.  Called a “grand sextile” or six-pointed star (hexagram or Star of David) because each of the points of the “star” is the distance of a sextile (60 degrees) from the previous and the next point (see the figure to the left).  In traditional astrology, the sextile aspect is ruled by (associated with) Venus and, since the grand sextile has six sextiles, this is a very auspicious configuration for ease, facilitation, enhancement, cooperation, playfulness, and connection.  The planets in the configuration are Moon, Venus, Ceres (a “dwarf planet” like Pluto), Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune, all of which except Saturn are of a beneficial, fruitful, and soft (easy) nature.  The configuration also contains two grand trines for a total of six trines.  The trine aspect is ruled by Jupiter so the configuration is ripe with opportunities, expansiveness, openness (to new adventures), and good outcomes.  The most important trine in this figure is between Jupiter and Saturn, a portent of success, manifestation, and achievement of goals and this trine blesses the solar return (birthday chart) of all those born from late February through late May with these potentials during the coming year.  Note the incredible hexagonal figure in the center of the accompanying chart that contains two large equilateral triangles (and six small ones), a number of smaller symetrical and asymetrical triangles, three large rectangles (and six small ones), and six kites!  This chart is deliberately calculated without houses because they are meaningless in this context.  Because the grand sextile consists of 12 aspects with a beneficial nature, good outcomes are assured.  The remaining three aspects are oppositions, which is Saturn’s aspect (we usually need a little struggle to succeed or to bring something to fruition).  Unfortunately like so many wonderful things in life, the grand sextile is short-lived and will only be in effect during the morning and afternoon of April 30 because one of the six planets is the Moon.  Despite this brevity, the other five planets are within favorable aspect with one another for 3-4 days before and a couple of days after April 30.
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Reference Citations.

See related article Metaphysical Venus.

*Echo is a monthly newspaper about community, the environment, health, cuisine, and spirituality that is distributed in central Virginia.
Good Timing and Location are Keys to Success

Gary Brand, Traditional Astrologer
Tallahassee, Florida
850-656-5758


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