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Libra and Libra Rising: With Love From Astraea

YOU ARE EMBARKING on what I will call your Creative Age, my Libra cousin: a time when your true talent can and, if you cooperate or at least stay out of the way, will emerge. Libra is, I feel, one of those zones in the sky or in the psyche (where astrology is concerned, they are the same thing) from which humanity draws from its deepest creative well. A list of Libra natives reveals some of the people whose contributions we remember the most vividly. As one born under this sign, you have unusually direct access to this well and moreover, a sense of direct identification with it.


Activity in your 5th solar house (the house of daring creative enterprise, sexual exploration and childlike curiosity) is a light burning bright in the darkness of the world. What develops over 2009-2010 is the culmination of nearly a decade of development and preparation; now it’s time for the garden of your heart and soul to flower into an impassioned vision and the boldness of spirit to manifest what you see inside.

If you’ve struggled in this realm of life for any length of time (for example, having wisps of ideas that did not seem whole, or interesting ideas that you could not focus), get ready for something different. Bear in mind that it takes true courage to bring beauty into this world; and it takes honoring a sense of not knowing, of uncertainty and indeed of insecurity. True creativity is facilitated by a mixture of both. Like the poles of a battery, the potential difference between being brave and insecure is what allows the energy to flow. It would seem you have this going for you right now, and for the foreseeable future.

Therefore, I would encourage you to use your fear as a source of strength. I would suggest you use your sense of being displaced, or uncertain of where you need to be on the planet, as another source of strength. Whatever you may be feeling on the most ordinary levels of consciousness, you are the inheritor of a deep taproot into your ancestry, which is allowing your struggle for grounding to finally unfold in a tangible way. This is liberating your strength; because you don’t know, you have the power to look and see what might be so.

The Goddess of Libra: An Asteroid Story

I’ve spent most of my afternoon today doing research for this article, and I would like to share a story from the history of the asteroids that may have some bearing on your life. Normally this would be left out of the final text, but I’ve been investigating this thread for months and it’s finally starting to make sense. Follow along for a moment — I trust you will at least find this interesting. You can decide if I’m really talking about you.

After Vesta, the 4th asteroid (the celibate sacred whore, the goddess of the hearth and the core creative fire) was discovered in 1807, there were no asteroid discoveries, or planetary discoveries, for another 38 years. (Science had only discovered one planet by that point, Uranus, in 1781, and four asteroids). Then finally after this long delay, an asteroid called Astraea arrived in 1845. It was named for the goddess depicted in the tarot card Justice and is often associated with this concept; she is the woman holding the scales for which your sign is renowned. Venus traditionally rules Libra. Astraea is its actual goddess. This short Wikipedia article gives an overview. The image, from a Vermont courthouse, is contemporary with the discovery of Astraea, the asteroid.

Less than one year after the discovery of Astraea, Neptune was discovered. Neptune’s discovery is significant to Libra for a couple of reasons, one being that it occurred on the Libra equinox and when the Moon was in Libra, as were the North Node and Chiron. (Neptune itself was in your fellow air sign Gemini.)

The discovery of Astraea predicts the discovery of Neptune. Had there been asteroid discoveries every week as there are now, we might not be able to say something like that. But if there is a 38-year gap in all discoveries and then something like Neptune follows an asteroid by less than a year, the two are eminently connected.

Neptune is a complex archetype. It can represent the thickest fog of self-delusion, or the subtlest level of spiritual or creative perception. This is about one’s method or purpose of devotion, a Neptunian theme if there ever was one. Neptune has a strange amoral quality. More than most planets, it is what we make it. If we bring sincerity, we get it pouring back to us. If we bring denial or idle dreams, we get more of those.

One thing I love about Neptune is how many pre-discovery sightings there were, though in true Neptunian fashion, it eluded the mental grasp of science literally for centuries from its first recorded sighting to its actual discovery. So impressive is Neptune at this trick of disappearing that it skirted the perception even of Galileo, who recorded its position in his notebook during the eventful winter of 1612-13, but thought it was a fixed star. In my years of reading astrology, I’ve lost count of how many times Neptune seemed to disappear from the chart, only to “reappear” at the precise moment it was needed.

Here is my take on this. Neptune is about what we can perceive truly when our spiritual eyes are open. Those eyes don’t open until we have a sense of worldly justice, suggested by Astraea. We acquire that sense of justice by using our discernment, rather than merely obsessing over how things appear, or what our preconceived opinion is. We need compassion as well. This confluence of your spiritual eyes opening, of compassion, of your sense of justice and your ability to allow in the flow of beauty are all delicately intertwined in your charts this year.

Here is one last note on the discovery of the asteroids. The next body to be discovered in sequence after Astraea and Neptune was the sixth asteroid, Hebe. Hebe is the Greek word for youth, or prime of life. She was also the cupbearer of the gods, delivering their drink to them (and assisting in other ways) and is for this reason associated with issues of codependency, which is a subtopic of addiction. Neptune, in its lower vibrations, is associated with this same theme. So we have a suggestion of what may compromise our sense of justice and our subtle creative perception: addictive patterns and how they affect our creative flow and our relationships. While I see no special cause for concern in your charts, I do see a need for anyone whose life is devoted to creative ends to monitor these themes on a daily basis.

Your relationships must support your work; and your medicine, so to speak, must be taken on the level of food and not a drug. This is to say, at this formative stage of your growth, you need to pay close attention to who and what depletes you, and who and what nourishes you.

The Quest for Yourself in the Other

One of the distinguishing features of 2009 is Venus (the official planet of Libra) retrograde in your opposite sign Aries. Another way to say this is that your ruling planet spends an unusual amount of time in your relationship house. Libra is the sign of relationships; Alice Bailey says it’s the most significant sign we need to study when striving to understand sex.

Venus retrograde in your opposite sign is an image of seeking the self in the other. Most people familiar with romance novels or quantum metaphysics will recognize this theme. It seems to be something inherent in the programming of the human ego: to identify primarily with what exists outside ourselves.

I think we do more seeking oneself in the other than we care to imagine; more falling in love with oneself in the guise of the other than we would prefer to admit. We usually have unkind words for people in whom we perceive this to be true; but it happens to everyone. There are other options where relationships are concerned, but our culture has a way of banning self-awareness and pushing narcissism on us in a way that, in the end, alienates us from ourselves and one another. Whatever may be happening in the outer life of your relationship(s), I suggest that you observe this process happening, as it develops. I suggest that you do something bold and see your projections; and make a conscious choice to call them back and take full ownership of them.

In practical terms, there are many disguises that projection takes, which we can easily see once we know what we’re looking for. One, probably the most dangerous, is allowing another person’s love and attention to become a substitute for our own self-esteem. (One shade worse would be allowing someone’s anger or rage at us to substitute for our own inwardly directed anger; but it works out that whether you’re talking supposed love or hate, the fundamental structure is the same.)

You are particularly vulnerable to this kind of experience, in part owing to the way your solar chart is constructed and the various arrangements made among the signs ruled by Venus and Mars. Simply put, you need approval. I am not here to suggest you should not have that approval; but rather that you be honest with yourself about when you are seeking that approval as a substitute for endorsing your own cause or validating your own existence.

We all need support. We all need to see some reflection in the universe; something and someone familiar that we recognize as home. There is something about this aspect that suggests you allow your relationships to point you back to yourself. You will know you’re really doing this when you begin to make discoveries about the people around you, particularly if you have known them for a while. This is to say, as you begin to make inroads into yourself, you will see and experience the people you love differently.

One thing that will be dancing around marvelously are gender roles. When a child is born, it’s generally raised with a set of rules and regulations about how to think, feel and act that have nothing to do with biology. We tend to confuse these roles, color preferences, ways of moving our bodies, ways of speaking and ways of (so-called) thinking with what is natural and inbred. True, the human race has been percolating for a few thousand generations, and some of this is likely to be getting encrypted into our DNA. But it does not mean we need to be its prisoners, nor prisoners of cultural rules.

To some extent, most of us are. We set limits on how unladylike or unmanly we will allow ourselves to be. These rules extend into our emotional realms and sexual experiences in deeply intrusive ways, which deny us access to our whole being.

You Are Not a Commodity

We live in unusual economic times, and unusual times in general. The economy is changing; many people are losing jobs they don’t like. Others are finding out they are ill prepared to do much in the world besides what they do, which is not what they wanted to do. The way the global economic crisis shows up in your own chart is Pluto working its way into your 4th house of personal security. This personalizes the matter for you; whether or not the ground is moving under you, it will at times feel like it is moving, and this you need to take note of.

Pluto in Capricorn is here to do two things for you, both of which will help you deepen your relationship to existence and feel safer on the planet as a matter of reality and not idealism.

One is that it’s going to subvert all of the Great Depression-era consciousness that was handed down to you, and outdated values from many other eras in history that you have collected like so many chachkas in a curio cabinet. The problem begins when these chachkas tell you what to do or think, or that if you sell them on e-Bay they are going to make your life miserable. In other words, you need to consider carefully your relationship to antiquated ideas about what makes you safe, secure or worthwhile.

Next is that you need to consider carefully your relationship to anyplace wherein you strive to take shelter, including your own feelings. This includes your physical dwelling and all of its characteristics and all of your beliefs about them. You may be developing a profound sense of your need to be emotionally independent and secure in your own space. Remember that security is a concept. If you think your front door is locked, you are more likely to feel safe. If you think it’s unlocked you are less likely to feel safe. This has nothing to do with the actual status of the lock on the door.

This independence may, by desire or circumstances, be putting you in a position where you feel a need to sell yourself in some way. The logic is, if you must be emotionally and structurally self-sufficient, then you are what you have to offer, so you have to put that on the market. But what I am here to tell you is that you are not a commodity. You are not the item being sold or transacted; you are, rather, a participant in the process. You are not selling yourself; you are selling your wares. There is a difference and making the distinction will help you make the issue of economy a little less personal.

A wise old owl once said to me: “In this world, it’s possible to sell your time, your labor or your ideas. You sell all three.” I suggest you look at this equation and determine to what extent you offer which of these. Is something out of balance? Are you selling too much time and labor, and not enough ideas?

You have Scorpio in your money house, the sign immediately after your own (called the 2nd solar house). This implies commerce as a source of your income. I don’t think you’re the type to sit around and collect a paycheck from something you feel no direct involvement with. But like many people you may fear over-investing yourself, becoming “too involved” or “caring too much.”

Scorpio is saying that you are going to have a strong tendency to care, and that your wealth is based on the fact that you do care. This, too, is an emotional pull, though its opposite is a pull to be autonomous. Commerce, business or industry of any kind all require the involvement of others in your life and you with them.

The integrity piece here is a balance of independence and involvement; which is another way of saying that clarity is vital to the process. With Venus doing one of its rare retrogrades early in the year, you may decide that this is the last thing you can attain. The retrograde is going to affect both you and relationship partners (professional and personal), potentially creating the sense that everyone is uncertain.

What I suggest is that you work with a process of elimination and decide what you don’t know first, and allow that to influence your perception of what you do know. Second is that if you recognize that everyone’s views and values are shifting, that will leave room for both experimentation and for finding unexpected common ground.

Bear in mind, though, that as much as your emotions may be saying you need to be “independent,” there really is no such thing, and you know this. We are all eternally dependent upon one another. The question is how we use this fact: to our mutual gain, or mutual detriment.

The Risk Factor

All of your astrology, be it centered on your growth, creativity or economic fortunes, comes back to one guiding principle, which is the risk. No matter what you do, you’re being called upon to take a chance of some kind. Not a random chance, but an actual chance: an attempt that there is the potential for gain and the potential for loss. Where both are not present, neither may be present.

My hunch is that you’ve been working with this factor for a long time, though you are finally becoming clear about the necessity factor. At different times recently, you have idealized it, denied its existence, jumped in recklessly or been irritated by the potential loss involved in anything that you do.

What comes into focus over the next few months is some sense of confidence that this is a necessary fact of your environment, and one that you can put to work for you. I suggest you enter any situation knowing what you stand to lose and what you stand to gain. And there is one more factor: what you have to share. Sharing yourself is perhaps the biggest risk there is because after all, you may not be accepted.

Yet gathering from your astrology — particularly the most magnificent imaginable alignment in your 5th house (creativity, passion, children, games, for you symbolized by Aquarius), you likely want and need to take any necessary risk involved in increasing your level of participation in the world. Other factors suggest that you may at times perceive yourself as less than accepted, less than required, less than welcome. Don’t take this seriously. The world is a tough place when it comes to anything collective, because we are still so far from understanding the idea of collective needs. Among the few people who do understand collective needs are many who are willing to take advantage of this fact.

Remember that we are all in this together. While you personally are likely to be feeling an enormous craving for change, for restructuring your beliefs and for expressing yourself, not everyone is so far along. Not everyone feels the depth of necessity that you do, and they, too, are taking a chance both on themselves and on you.

Because so much happens in Aquarius, you need to focus on the group dynamic involved, and strive for as much experience as you can gain here. This dynamic will find its way into some seemingly odd places, like one-to-one relationships, including ones with an erotic factor. I am inclined to say “romantic” but I don’t mean that at all. Candlelit dinners being what they may, I don’t think you want to do things in the fashion of the Romans.

I would propose, rather, that you want to do things in the fashion of the most progressive future that you can imagine. Progressive means progress, not doing things unconsciously the old-fashioned way. Progress means creating something new, participating in ways that are unfamiliar for you, and making sure that you hold close to your heart the relationship between awareness and adventure.

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