Libra is the 7th sign of the Zodiac and Cardinal Air. Cardinal Signs are initiatory, starting seasons and exploring all that their element has to offer. As the beginning of Fall, Libra marks the descent into darkness, the nights becoming longer than the days. Because of this, we need Libra's Cardinal Air to help us interact with our surroundings when it becomes harder to see it clearly.
Libra initiates interaction with and understanding of its surroundings, wanting to explore all that is around it. It is a sign of relation. Beyond just relating to surroundings, it also relates to the Self. According to Alice Sparklykat, Libra is a self-conscious sign, staring into the mirror trying to see ourselves as others see us, trying to understand who we are. So often, we fall into using labels that have been assigned to us when becoming self-conscious. While labels can be empowering when we claim them ourselves, assigned labels are inherently limiting. But this is the Libra endeavor: to put things into boxes and to use those boxes to understand our surroundings better. By stepping back and gaining the wider Libra perspective, we are able to see things with compassionate detachment. This can allow us to make wiser decisions for the larger whole, but it also causes details to be lost in the process. There are pros and cons to this Libran approach to the world and that, of course, is exactly what Libra is. It attempts to balance, to hold opposing truths in each hand, to see all the possibilities and make the best choice in the moment. Libra builds bridges from where it stands to others as often as it can.
Planets in Libra take on that balancing, bridge building impetus. Take a moment and look at your chart: Where is Libra's influence present? Perhaps it is your Sun sign, or your Moon. Maybe you have another planet or two, or at least it rules one of your houses. (If you don't know your birth chart, you can find it quickly here or here. I also offer birth chart readings if you want more detail!). If Libra is nowhere in your chart, not even ruling a house, then it is an intercepted sign and you will have to access it through deeper digging and learning to work with the sign that comes before it, Virgo.
I don't have any planets in Libra but both by North Node and Chiron reside there and it holds the start of my 5th House. My creative impulse, the 5th house, is often seeking to relate to what is going on around me. I have a hard time expressing anything that has to do with myself clearly or directly (additional thanks to my Cap Mercury for that) but I love to observe and create from the people and places around me. This often takes the form of storytelling, something I love to do. With both my North Node and Chiron, there is a lot of weight in this sign for me. It is the essence of my Soul Potential, all that I am working to evolve into. It is also the deep wounds that I carry and how I can heal them. Out of this healing, Chiron encourages us to become teachers in our own particular art of healing. There is so much I could say about these placements, and so much I feel I still have to learn. But suffice it to say, the work that I am doing now, the work that has me writing this reflection on Libra, that is at the center of both my soul's direction and my own healing.
Libra is represented by Justice in the Major Arcana. The simplest reason for this is the scales in the figure's hand. Both the sign and the card are symbols of equality and balance. But Justice goes beyond this surface meaning. Ultimately it is about dealing with what is directly in front of us. We sit in the same chair the High Priestess, our intuition, sits in, and are invited to relate to our surroundings. We can use both the conscious and unconscious mind, taking into account what is visible and invisible. From there, we can make a decision on how to face whatever situation we are in. This is the combined work of both Libra and Justice. To interact and relate to everything by seeing all sides. We can also meditate on the lessons of the Empress, the card of Venus, guardian of Libra. We saw this card before with Taurus and focused on its embodied and sensual aspects, connected to all we feel and experience on this Earth. When working with Libra, we see Empress as aesthetically creative, the desire to make life beautiful and pleasurable. Libra invokes over artistry and beauty. The Empress reminds us that all things are beautiful when they are heartfelt and natural. Whatever we create, express, embody, that is beauty for us and what we should be pursuing.
The court card I associate with Libra is the King of Swords, Kings being Cardinal and Swords being Air. This King relates to their entire environment, hearing all sides of the issue before making a decision. The image reminds of the story of Solomon and the two mothers who each claim that a child is theirs. He sits, listens to each of their stories, and sets up a situation from which he can determine which mother truly feels compassion for the child by threatening to cut it in two and give each mother half. While this seems quite graphic and threatening, its mythic intention is to show that there is always a way to get to the truth. When we embody the King of Swords, we face life in this way, always looking to understand fully the situation and environment we are facing so we can relate to it in the best possible way. It is the embodiment of the Libran principle.
Libra is also associated with the 2, 3, and 4 of Swords. They tell a story of how to relate to our environment when it is challenging and difficult. The 2 invites us to create strong boundaries so that we can understand the messages our unconscious mind is offering to us. Often, what we face in the outer world reflects something in our inner world and the 2 aids us in exploring our personal truths without external threats or judgement. This leads into the 3 which knows that there is internal healing when the external world causes us pain. Outside situations may bring up these difficult emotions but the work of healing them resides within. It asks us to recognize our triggers so we can explore what is needed to move through them when we are ready. That moving through will frequently look like the 4 of Swords, creating a sanctuary to rest and restore ourselves. In this container, we are able to do the healing that we became aware of in the 2 and faced and fully felt in the 3. As we relate to the world through the archetype of Libra within us, we will face difficult and even traumatic experiences. These cards show one of the ways that we can work to heal ourselves and in doing that, begin to heal the world around us as well.
Libra season begins on the 23rd of September and moves along with a few early squares of Mercury and Venus (already in Libra) to Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn. The Libra New Moon occurs September 28 inviting us to start a cycle of relation to our surroundings and building bridges between ourselves and others. The one day of true intensity this season comes on October 3rd when Pluto stations direct and Mercury moves into Scorpio. As our Plutonic selves begin to move forward again and integrate the revelations of the deep internal healing we need, Mercury invites us to take on that role and live it our in the day to day. This is quickly followed by Mars shifting into Libra on the 4th. Mars, ally of Aries, is not the most comfortable in this sign. However, we are invited to make sure we aren't stepping on any toes or causing friction by the actions we are taking which is always a good thing. Venus joins Mercury in Scorpio on October 8th, taking on the archetypes of Persephone and Innana and making a descent into the underworld. This is a precursor to the Sun's entrance into Scorpio 10 days later. The final major event of the season is the Aries Full Moon, the peak of the lunar cycle, where we find our individuality and impulse for life within all of our relation to others. Awaken to your unique place in your environment.
This spread is designed for Libra Season. You can use your favorite Tarot or Oracle deck (or combine a few decks). Take a few deep breaths before laying out the cards and ask your higher self to speak to you through this spread. Really sit with the imagery of the cards when you have laid out the spread and let it speak to you. Then take some time to reflect on what the cards mean to you. Return to this spread throughout the season and especially at the end to see how these lessons have played out.