We are dark and light, happy and sad, peaceful and angry, quiet and noisy, still and dancing. We execute things perfectly, we screw up royally. Sometimes I am filled with love and I smile at the world, some days I carry the weight of the world.
The Sun moves into Libra at 14:48 (Universal Time) on the 22nd September 2012. On that day we will experience equal day and equal night, hence ‘equinox’.
Libra is the only sign in the zodiac to have an inanimate object as its symbol. In mythology, Astraea, the Greek Goddess of Justice ascended into heaven to become the constellation Virgo. The scales she carried became the constellation of Libra. Astraea means ‘star woman’.
In ancient times, the stars of Libra were referred to as the Claws of the Scorpion (referring to the constellation Scorpio that sits beside Libra). The scales therefore are the connection between these two signs. The Virgin with a sheaf of wheat represents life – the scorpion, death. How else can we come to know and understand either without an objective eye? The scales remind us that both must exist. There must be death in life and life in death. We walk a fine line between the two. Perhaps symbolically, Libra has evolved into an object because we cannot accurately perceive the invisible force that tips the balance between life and death. It is something beyond us, its face hidden but its actions visible. Libra is the voice of reason that protects us from psychological damage when we move from a state of innocence to be faced with profound mystery.
In Egypt, papyrus drawings and tomb carvings show the great Goddess Maat weighing souls against the Feather of Truth. After death, only those true of heart were allowed to enter Egypt’s version of paradise. Not only was Maat associated with justice (both moral and spiritual) but she also personified the concept of divine order, the harmony that is inherent within the universe without which all would simply be chaos. Libra reminds us that the universe is a subtle balancing of opposing forces – for example dark matter and light.
Perhaps one of the greatest questions we can ask is how our little planet came to have the exact conditions necessary for life. Did a billion factors collide by pure chance or was a divine hand at play?
Deep within the constellation of Libra lies a planet named Gliese 581g. Known as a ‘goldilocks’ planet, Gliese 581g is considered by astronomers to be the most ‘Earth-like’ planet ever found. As an interesting aside, a scientist from the SETI project received a signal from this area of space before the planet was identified.
Gliese 581g only ever shows one face to its Sun. One side of the planet lives in permanent darkness, the other in permanent light. But between these two bands lie a ‘grey zone’, an area where the temperature, available light and conditions always stay the same. This stability provides the perfect conditions for life to flourish. Indeed one astronomer is ‘100% sure’ that there is life on the planet.
So here we have a planet in Libra, exhibiting living conditions echoing the concept of balance. Isn’t it interesting that the ruler of Libra (Venus) also rules the first Earth sign Taurus. Taurus represents the ground we walk upon – Mother Earth. It seems fitting then that we have found a second Earth within the other Venusian sign.
It may be a very long time before we hear another space signal from Gliese 581g and perhaps even longer before we travel there. In the meantime, we can hopefully address our own planet’s delicate natural balance and inequalities between people.
So we return from outer space to inner space, to the fine balance within you mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. At equinox it’s time to weigh up where you are in life, to sort the wheat from the chaff, to implement measures to make you feel whole and complete. What is your life’s harvest like this year? Is it abundant or scarce? Has it been all work and no play? It’s a time for questions and honesty. Even if you can’t speak it to another, your soul knows the truth.
The Sun moving into Libra reminds us that it is time to engage with others, to share what you have, to love and be loved. Whether we are a result of a random act of chance or divine creation, we are all precious. Ruled by Venus, equinox is a time to offers thanks. Gratitude for what you do have fills the space of what you lack.
The Woman’s Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects by Barbara Walker
365 Starry Nights by Chet Raymo
The Daily Mail