Libra: The Key to the Horoscope

In “Red,” the play about painter Mark Rothko by John Logan, Libra Rothko and his assistant have this discussion:

KEN [Assistant]: They [Dionysus and Apollo] need each other. Dionysus’ passion is focused –– is made bearable –– by Apollo’s will to form. In fact the only way we can endure that sheer ferocity of Dionysus’ emotion is because have the control and intelligence of Apollo, otherwise the emotion would overwhelm us … So back and forth we go, myth to myth, pulsating.

ROTHKO: And the perfect life would be perfectly balanced between the two, everlastingly on the fulcrum. But our tragedy is that we can never achieve that balance. We exist –– all of us, for all time –– in a state of perpetual dissonance … We long for the raw truth of emotion, but can only endure it with the cool lie of reason … We seek to capture the ephemeral, the miraculous, and put it onto canvas, stopping time but, like an entomologist pinning a butterfly, it dies when we try … We’re foolish that way, we human beings … We try to make the red black.”

Libra’s key phrase is “I balance.”

Is it true that we can never achieve balance? Is tragedy, one’s downfall through a flaw in the personality, the result of imbalance?

If we had balance, would our flaws be kept in check? Isn’t it when we pick at that loose string that the shirt becomes unraveled?

Polarity and Balance

Each sign of the zodiac, including Libra, is in opposition to another sign which is a complementary element (fire/air or earth/water). Libra is the sign of the other opposing Aries as the sign of the self.

Is it only Libras that seek balance?

Balance is in the entire horoscope, not just the Aries-Libra axis.

In her book “Initiation,” Elisabeth Haich has a chapter entitled, “The Twelve Sets of Twin Characteristics. Some examples are: keeping silent/talking, receptivity/resistance to influence, and obeying/ruling.

The individual explaining these twelve sets of twin characteristics explains, “Mastering these attributes means that you use them at the right time and in the right place. The same attribute that is divine at the right time and in the right place is satanically evil at the wrong time and in the wrong place.”

It’s about balance, not the characteristic itself.

I wish someone had explained this to me as a child as I was confused by teachers saying we should have pride in our work yet hearing adults criticize others for being proud.

I was confused for years.

It does seem our tragedy as humans that we don’t seek balance. The ancient Chinese seemed to seek it as the “middle way.” American culture seems dedicated to creating and maintaining a state of duality rather than encouraging a state of balance.

What’s to be gained by encouraging duality?

Like nuclear fission, out of balance states create large amounts of energy which feeds others.

The US is a consumer culture and if we weren’t out of balance with our spending habits, our economy wouldn’t function in its current state. Excess, abundance and largeness seems a cultural characteristic of the US. Balance and moderation are viewed as weakness.

The US has a Jupiter/Sagittarius imbalance.

The Aries side of the Aries/Libra polarity is about self-identity. Promoting “me” often is promoting the imbalances of our personalities. The more extreme the out-of-balance, the more defining.

It’s no wonder that the stereotypical artist temperament seems out of balance. The out-of-balance state is what creates the attention. The excess energy in creative expression throws the scales off balance.

Personal consciousness/social consciousness

The Aries-Libra axis is the horizon in the horoscope, the line that separates below (Aries through Virgo) from the above (Libra through Pisces).

The houses below the line deal with personal consciousness types of things – “me,” my stuff, things I do to keep from being bored, family, home, the kitchen, romance, creativity, food, work and health.

The houses above the line deal with social consciousness types of things – “you,” our stuff, recognition, sex, family money, philosophy, shared world views, career, corporation, shared ideals, volunteering, community organizations, homeless shelters, hospitals and organized religion.

The bottom portion of the horoscope, the areas of personal consciousness, are often in associated with females and these stereotypical things: shopping (2nd house), concerns with details in the environment (3rd house), cooking and home (4th house), romance and children (5th house) and daily work and health (6th house).

The upper portion of the horoscope, the areas of social consciousness, are often associated with males and these stereotypical things: sex consensual and non-consensual (8th house), philosophy and religion (9th house), career and political life (10th house), community organizations (11th house) and prisons (12th house).

Victoria Woodhull: Balancing Personal and Social Consciousness

Libra and Ohio-born Victoria Woodhull, you may recall, was the first woman to operate a brokerage on Wall Street (circa 1870), the first woman to run a newspaper (circa 1870) and the first woman to run for president of the United States (in 1872).

Don’t forget, women couldn’t even vote in the US in 1872.

Trying to accomplish these three feats as a woman or man today, in any nation, is quite challenging. Imaging trying it in the 19th century, in a female body!

These three acts all indicate that Libra Woodhull wanted to be a participant in social consciousness, not just personal consciousness.

After another run for the presidency, persecution for seeking women’s suffrage and a divorce (her second), Woodhull immigrated to England where she spent the rest of her life.

Woodhull’s thoughts on love are still radical in today’s US (quote from Wikipedia):

“Yes, I am a Free Lover. I have an inalienable, constitutional and natural right to love whom I may, to love as long or as short a period as I can; to change that love every day if I please, and with that right neither you nor any law you can frame have any right to interfere.”

Woodhull forced her way into the male domain and social consciousness. You might call that success but she eventually left the country which she tried to change. In the US today, over 100 years after Woodhull ran for president, we still argue about gender roles.

I suppose every Woodhull moves the glacier of human consciousness a centimeter only.

Because Woodhull ran for president doesn’t suggest that women need to do exactly what men do. It merely says that women should not be socially sanctioned in the personal consciousness domain if that doesn’t suit them individually.

Likewise, men shouldn’t be stuck in the social consciousness domain if that doesn’t suit them individually. Often single parenting focuses around the female portion of the “single” parent. The world is changing for men as the other half of single parenting.

I’m surprised that the single-male parents have not been more outspoken about their rights as fathers and their rights in the domain of personal consciousness. Maybe that’s on the horizon.

Balance and Moderation

In nutrition class I learned the key to good eating habits is balance and moderation.

Are good horoscope habits achieved through balance and moderation? Would this be a more peaceful planet if we sought balance through our own personalities?

Rather than hoping and praying for peace in the external world, we could just have peace. Peace wouldn’t be something we wait for from the outside, like waiting for someone to turn on the lights in a dark room.

The tai chi symbol indicates that when qualities are in excess, they become the opposite. Your horoscope is comprised of six tai chi symbols joined in a circle. We all have some imbalance in our horoscope and some spiritualists suggest that is why we are here.

A fun exercise is to read about your opposite sign and know that others see these as the qualities you lack (assuming you don’t have a lot of other planets in that sign).

Maybe to get “Earth in the Balance,” we need to get the inside of people on the earth in the balance first. A road map to balance is the horoscope.


About ohioastrology

I'm just another soul trying to make sense of the world. As I've grown, so has my understanding of astrology. I'd like to communicate that astrology is not occult and not fortune-telling but that it is a fluid, creative description of the life we choose to live.
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3 Responses to Libra: The Key to the Horoscope

  1. Elouise says:

    Excellent piece.
    I’m not sure others see my opposite sign as the qualities I lack because all my houses are reversed; my 12th house Sun Virgo opp 6th Pisces, and so on. I find it mind-bending to contemplate!

    • I’d love to hear how you interpret that, the houses in reverse. Maybe it’s the final stage of processing that sign and seeing its opposite.

      Like Sun in Virgo in the 12th might be moving from understanding the relationship between body health and spiritual health.

      What’s your relationship with health?

  2. Pingback: If You Were Perfectly Balanced, Would You Cease to Exist? | Ohio Astrology

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