Libra’s symbol is that of the scales, and it is the sign of balance. To Libra, the ultimate ideal is harmony. Everything must fit in its proper place. There is nothing more important than this.
Libra is often accused of indirectness, sometimes to the point of dishonesty and manipulation. Yet, Libra rarely means harm by this. It is a part of how this sign views the world and human interactions.
For Libra, social interactions are a dance in which each person should take their proper part. Their personal feelings are a private matter, not to be aired in public. They do not think about what they want to do or say in public. Instead, they focus on what they are supposed to say or do so that they do not fall out of step with the dance.
Libra by Season
Western astrology uses the Tropical Zodiac which is tied to the seasons. Libra is the sign that is on one of the Equinoxes, which are the two times of the year in which the length of day and the length night are of equal. In the Northern Hemisphere, Libra is on the Fall Equinox. In the Southern Hemisphere, it is on the Spring Equinox. This makes Libra a Cardinal Sign.
Using the Tropical Zodiac, it is possible to know your Sun Sign from your birthday alone. The Sun is in Libra from approximately September 23 to October 22. There is some variation at the beginning and the end of each sign, so if you were born near the starting or ending dates, you may want to get your birth chart calculated to know for sure.
In the Northern Hemisphere, Libra is the middle of the harvest season. This is the time that we are both bringing in the good and clearing out the bad. Scales are used for weighing, but they are also a symbol of justice and judgment. The decisions made at this time of the year have long-term consequences.
One of the negative traits associated with Libra is indecisiveness, but that is based on the awareness of this sign of the enormous impact decisions can have. Libra wants to weigh and consider all sides of an issue before coming down on one side or another.
Because decisions are such a time-consuming process for Libra, she tends to avoid them whenever she can. She would much rather someone else made the decision. It would be even better if she can wait long enough, and the decision makes itself.
The major holiday of Libra is the Autumn Equinox festival. In Deanism/Filianism, the name of this celebration is Cuivanya, the Feast of Divine Life. This is associated with the harvest, which symbolizes life coming into its fullness as well as death.
The Jewish High Holidays also sometimes occur during the Sun’s sojourn through Libra, although they can also occur when the Sun is in Virgo.
Libra by Element
Libra is an Air Sign, and so it operates primarily in the world of ideas. Because Libra tends to be charming, diplomatic, and self-effacing, it can be easy to underestimate just how intelligent this sign can be.
Like the other two Air Signs, Gemini and Aquarius, Libra is very social. Libra excels in social graces. Indeed, it is hard for Libra to be herself when she is alone because, in many ways, this sign is defined by its interactions with others.
Libra’s Dignities and Debilities
Planets are happier in some signs than in others. Some signs support the functions of a planet, and some oppose them. A planet is stronger in signs that are friendly to her and weaker in signs that are unfriendly. The strength or weakness of planets in signs is known as their essential dignities and debilities. Below are the essential dignities and debilities of Libra.
Ruler – Venus
Given the natural charm of Libra, it would seem to be rather obvious that Venus is her ruler. Yet, Libra is not Venus’ best sign. Venus is a Night planet, and therefore, she does better in her Night sign, which is Taurus.
There is a certain logic to this. In modern times, the significations of Venus have been watered down to the extent that it can be easy to think that she is superficial. This is far from the case. Venus rules Love in all of its forms, and as such, she governs manifest existence.
Venus is also associated with fertility. In Taurus, she is the first flourishing of life in springtime. In Libra, she is the fullness of the harvest in the fall. Yet, in the fall, there are also the overtones of death, which are not seen in the spring.
Exaltation – Saturn
It may seem strange that Saturn is exalted in the charming sign of Libra, but Libra has some harsher aspects as well. She is the one who weighs and determines those that are fit to be brought in from the harvest and those that are cut down to make room for new life in the coming year. For this reason, Saturn finds a pleasant home in this sign.
All three signs of an Element are ruled by their Triplicity Rulers. In the Dorothean system, the rulers of Air are Saturn by day, Mercury by night, and Jupiter is the participating ruler. William Lilly also assigns Saturn to Air by day and Mercury by night. In his system, however, there is no participating ruler.
Detriment – Mars
Libra is the sign of harmony, and Mars is the planet of conflict. Because of this, it is easy to see how Mars would find itself quite uncomfortable in Libra.
Fall – The Sun
In astrology, the Sun represents who we are on a fundamental level. At its highest expression, the Sun is where we find our connection with our Creator. In its ordinary expression, it is our sense of ego and identity. Libra’s role is to blend in and harmonize, which makes it hard for the Sun to shine fully in this sign.
In addition to the planets that have dignity in a sign in its entirety, there are planets that rule specific degrees of each sign. These are known as the planet’s terms or bounds. There are two main systems of the division of the terms, Egyptian and Chaldean.
Egyptian Terms for Libra
0 – 6 Saturn
6 – 14 Mercury
14 – 21 Jupiter
21 – 28 Venus
28 – 30 Mars
Chaldean Terms for Libra
0 – 6 Saturn
6 – 11 Venus
11 – 19 Jupiter
19 – 24 Mercury
24 – 30 Mars
Each sign is divided into three parts, known as face or decantes. Each face has a separate ruler. The faces of Libra and their rulers are:
0 – 10 Moon
10 – 20 Saturn
20 – 30 Jupiter
Libra and the Body
Libra rules the lower back and the kidneys. This means that if Libra is prominent in your chart, you have to take special care of these areas because they are prone to illness and injury. This is also the case if you have a Taurus Ascendant because in that case, Libra governs your 6th House of injury and illness.
If your either Venus or Saturn is in Libra, you need to take injuries or disease to these areas even more seriously. This is because of the axiom that the strong parts of your chart are the most dangerous. If you have a Pisces Ascendant, you also must be careful, because Libra rules your 8th House of Death.
Libra in a Nativity Chart
When reading a Nativity Chart, most astrologers look first to the placements of the Sun, Moon, and Ascendant, which is also known as the Rising Sign. You can learn these by getting a Nativity Chart report from an astrologer, or by getting a computerized report for free from Astrolabe. Below are brief descriptions of how to interpret a Libra Sun, Moon, and Ascendant.
The Sun is in Fall in Libra. This means that if you have a Libra Sun, you will have some difficulties in expressing your Solar nature. In Sun Sign astrology, Libra is often portrayed as much weaker than it really is. While some of this may be because the natural traits of Libra, such as cooperation over competition, are not as valued in the West, some of this could be because of the Sun’s debilitation in this sign.
Yet, Libra is a day sign, so the Sun still has some strength in Libra, despite its debilitation.
Libra Sun by Day
If you have a Libra Sun, and you were born during the daytime, the debility to your Sun will be mitigated. This is because your Sun will be in a condition known as Hayz, which means that she is in a Day Sign in a Day Chart, making her perfectly at home. You will be better able to express your Libra nature in a positive manner. You are a natural peacemaker and diplomat.
Libra Sun by Night
If you have a Libra Sun by night, you could have a difficult time expressing yourself and knowing who you are, depending on the sign of your Moon. You will tend to defer to others to an extent that could be detrimental to you. It will be important for you to surround yourself with people who are pleasant and harmonious, and who share your desire for harmony.
If you have a Libra Moon, your desire for harmony will express itself as an emotional dislike for conflict or rudeness. If your Moon is in the first 10 degrees of Libra, she is in her own face, which is a minor dignity. If your Moon is between 10 and 15 degrees of Libra, she does not have any special dignities or debilities.
On the other hand, if your Moon is in the second half of Libra, she has a special debility known as in Via Combusta, also known as the Burning Way. In Libra, this tends to make you more sensitive to conflict around you, meaning it will be more distressing to you emotionally.
Libra Moon by Day
Depending on your Sun Sign, your Libra nature will be more hidden. You will desire harmony and freedom from conflict, but it may be difficult for you to create the conditions that you need to be happy and healthy. You could get drawn into being a mediator for the conflicts of others to the detriment of your own well-being.
Libra Moon by Night
The Moon is the dominant luminary for those born at night, and you will have a greater ability to create harmonious conditions for yourself. You will have an intuitive sense of what you need to be at your best. Beautiful surroundings will be essential for your well-being, and you will have an instinctive sense of what is aesthetically pleasing.
If you have a Libra Ascendant, Venus will be the Lady of your chart, and you will have the full measure of the charm and grace of this sign. You will excel at entertaining and will be the consummate host or hostess. Skilled at the art of conversation, you will be able to talk with anyone, no matter who they are or where they come from.
Using Whole Sign Houses, your Ascendant will determine which planet and sign rule all aspects of your life.
Home – Capricorn
With Libra Ascendant, Saturn-ruled Capricorn governs your 4th House of the home. You take your home-life very seriously. You want to have everything just right in your home, which could mean that you do not get as much pleasure from your home as other signs would. You could see your home as a burden, rather than than a sanctuary.
Partnership – Aries
As Mars-ruled Aries rules your 7th House of Marriage and Partnership, you can be surprisingly direct and assertive when you find someone to settle down with. You will also be drawn to someone who is strong and combative. While this may seem like it would be uncomfortable, you will be able to balance each other well.
Career and Public Reputation – Cancer
Cancer, which is ruled by the Moon, governs your public image. Although you have a natural charm and grace, you worry a great deal about what others think of you. You have a great fear of anything that could harm your reputation. On the other hand, you naturally have a nurturing image, and people will naturally go to you for support and encouragement.