Libra is the seventh sign of the zodiac, and it’s at this point in the zodiac that we start to see a shift. While the first six signs of the zodiac focus on the individual, the last six focus on the individual’s contact with others and with the world. Libras are first and foremost focused on others and how they relate to them. We can call this the sign of Partnership with a capital ‘P’ because these folks do not want to be alone! For a Libra, everything is better if it’s done as a pair. Libras are good when paired up, too, since they epitomize balance, harmony and a sense of fair play. While they are true team players at work, their favorite partnership is at home: marriage. Libras feel most complete when they are coupled up with their lover, forever.
It’s the Scales that symbolize Libra, and just like that balancing mechanism wants to stay even, Libras want to be on an even keel. Think of the Scales of Justice and how they work at striking the right balance. Likewise, Libras are objective, just and want to do what’s best for everyone. It’s possible, though, that this penchant for fairness is for a different reason: Libras abhor conflict. The scales study every possible angle in the hopes of achieving peace and harmony, so much so that others may see them as fickle and indecisive. If that’s what it takes to avoid a confrontation, that’s fine with the Scales. The Libra-born are keen strategists, organizing groups with poise and getting the job done (in keeping with the Cardinal Quality assigned to this sign). Further, you can expect the Scales to be companionable, sociable folks.
Libra is ruled by Venus. In ancient Roman mythology, Venus was a smooth seductress who was at her best amid pleasurable excess. Well, Libras are certainly carrying the torch for her today. The Scales are cultured, refined and love beautiful things. Most of all, they love beautiful people, which is why Libras do so well at cocktail parties or at the theater, opera or ballet. Those born under this sign always have the right thing to say and know how to make others feel comfortable. Suave? You bet. Libras are so adept at charming conversation that they need to be mindful of overstepping their boundaries and appearing vain or gossipy (the Scales do love intrigue). When these folks are on their game, however, they are a pleasure to be with. Libras are artistic, stylish and enjoy creating a beautiful world. The converse of this is that bored Libras can become apathetic and lazy — but they’ll smile anyway.
The element associated with Libra is Air, and that means reaching higher, specifically to the higher mind. Libras like to put their mind to good use, and enjoy communicating their thoughts to others. They like to use their smarts (and talk) to get to know others better — yes, knowledge about people is where it’s at for Libras. You can expect the Scales to make a fair argument, too, since they live by the principles of diplomacy and compromise. When this approach doesn’t work, however, Libras are not above using their persuasive charms to get their way. Manipulative? Nah, Libras really are too nice for that. Plus, any end-runs that these folks use are usually to build themselves up, since the Scales can be easily deterred. Libras are polite and don’t like to fight, far preferring to talk things through. Remember, these folks know how to communicate (they’re Air) so they’re bound to make their point. Libras don’t get in a huff when faced with an opposing viewpoint. Rather, they take a deep breath and consider all the options in the spirit of cooperation.
Libras at play may not be as energized as at work, if you call socializing work (and the Scales do). That’s why exercise for Libras needs to have a social component to it, such as that found at a gym. Alternatively, Libras love the outdoors, so riding and biking can also prove fun. They also love the colors of the sunset sky, that melding of ivory, pink and light blue. In the game of love, Libras are a bundle of energy, romantic and loyal to the core. The Scales need to be on the lookout for their lower backs, though, which tend to shoulder any burdens they may be carrying.
The great strength of the Libra-born is their quest for fairness, peace and harmony. That the Scales are the great diplomats of the zodiac further helps their case. A beautiful journey this will be, thanks to the Libra’s inimitable sense of style. (Source: astrology.com)
Libra, The Scales. Elegance may be said to express in one word the physical peculiarities of the Libran. The body is slender and graceful in youth, it becomes more plump as life advances, but even the portliness of the Libra body is pleasing. The complexion is smooth and clear, eyes are soft and blue with a kind expression; the mouth is unusually well formed and the teeth particularly fine and even.
Libra people have extremely strong conjugal affection, so strong, in fact, that it overshadows all other considerations. The Leos love their families, but their hearts take in all the world besides; not so the Librans; they are ready for any sacrifice to give comforts to those in their own immediate home circle, but they are also prepared to sacrifice any other family for their own, if necessary.
In most other traits the Librans express aptly the symbolism of their sign, a pair of scales, and their characteristics might be expressed in the word: “Changeability.” They are people of “moods,” because Saturn is exalted here and weighs upon the mind; the changes are sudden and extreme; they may follow a fad with as much zest as if their life depended upon it, and them without a moment’s warning, drop it and take up something entirely opposite there are no half-way measures in the swing of the scales. Being naturally given to change, they are most adaptable to circumstances, and do not fret over reverses, but set about with vim and vigor to restore their fortunes.
Aries and Libra may be said to be the battlefields of the Sun and Saturn: Life and Death, Joy and Sorrow. The Sun is exalted in Aries, and vanquishes Saturn; hence the intrepidity of Aries people. In Libra the scales tip the other way; there Saturn is exalted, and conquers the Sun; this gives a softer tone to the Libran, whose kindly politeness contrasts markedly with the Arian’s brusque address. Venus, the ruler of Libra, is not alone responsible for this trait, Taurus people are blunt, though Venus rules. Venus rising in Libra gives artistic ability, Saturn turns the mind in scientific directions.
Librans usually have well shaped hands and feet, and are very proud of them. (Source: rosicrucian.com)
Venus is all about pleasure, especially pleasure shared with someone else. This planet concerns itself with love, romance and harmony in our emotional attachments, marriages, friendships and other unions (like business partnerships). Venus is content to spread happiness and tenderness, all the while teaching us how to love and appreciate others and the things that we possess.
We appear attractive – and we attract others – thanks to Venus’s energy. Socializing with and relating to others are important to this planet.
Beauty is also strongly associated with Venus. The arts (music, dance, drama and literature, to name a few) and a sense of the aesthetic fall within the realm of Venus. Venus beseeches us to indulge our senses and revel in the beauty of our world. This planet is inextricably linked to refinement, culture, charm and grace.
Venus also deals with the pleasure we derive from our possessions. Luxuries (jewelry, paintings, expensive cars), good food and drink, a beautiful home and a sense of refinement all please Venus’s interests. This planet asks us to appreciate the exquisite nature of things. It’s a sensual — though not necessarily sexual — world as far as Venus is concerned.
Venus takes 225 days to complete its orbit of the zodiac; it is never more than 47 degrees from the Sun. (Source: astrology.com)
7th House, House of Partnerships (Spouse). Close, confidante-like relationships. Marriage and business partners. Agreements and treaties. Matters dealing with diplomatic relations of all kinds, including known enemies. Attraction to qualities we admire from the other partner.
Seventh House is the house of the marriage partner, the public in general, competitors, partners, opponents in litigations, rivals.
The Innocent. Every era has myths of a golden age or of a promised land where life has been or will be perfect. The promise of the Innocent is that life need not be hard. Within each of us, the Innocent is the spontaneous, trusting child that, while a bit dependent, has the optimism to take the journey. The Innocent, fearing abandonment, seeks safety. Their greatest strength is the trust and optimism that endears them to others and so gain help and support on their quest. Their main danger is that they may be blind to their obvious weaknesses or perhaps deny them. They can also become dependent on others to fulfill their heroic tasks. (Source: uiltexas.org)
The number 8 – Venus, Reactive/Mental (Air)
– Diplomatic, graceful, peaceful, love all that is beautiful, good managing skills, idealistic, devotion, affectionate, realization, fulfillment, investments, protective.
– Unbalanced, obsessive, superficial, indecisive, unreliable, fixations, negligent, self-pity.
Crowley: Art/Alchemy XIV (Samech – 14, Sagittarius). This card is the complement and the fulfilment of Atu VI, Gemini. It pertains to Sagittarius, the opposite to Gemini in the Zodiac, and therefore, “after another manner,”one with it. Sagittarius means the Archer; and the card is (in its simplest and most primitive form) a picture of Diana the Huntress. Diana is primarily one of the lunar goddesses, though the Romans rather degraded her from the Greek “virgin Artemis”, who is also the Great Mother of Fertility, Diana of the Ephesians, Many-Breasted. (A form of Isis-see Atu II and III.) The connection between the Moon and the Huntress is shewn by the shape of the bow, and the occult siguificance of Sagittarius is the arrow piercing the rainbow; the last three paths of the Tree of Life make the word Qesheth, a rainbow, and Sagittarius bears the arrow which pierces the rainbow, for his path leads from the Moon of Yesod to the Sun of Tiphareth. (This explanation is highly technical; but this is necessary because the card represents an important scientific formula, which cannot be expressed in language suited to common comprehension.)
This card represents the Consummation of the Royal Marriage which took place in Atu VI. The black and white personages are now united in a single androgyne figure. Even the Bees and the Serpents on their robes have made an alliance. The Red Lion has become white, and increased in size and importance, while the White Eagle, similarly expanded, has become red. He has exchanged his red blood for her white gluten. (It is impossible to explain these terms to any but advanced students of alchemy.)
The equilibrium and counter-change are carried out completely in the figure itself; the white woman has now a black bead; the black king, a white one. She wears the golden crown with a silver band, he, the silver crown with a golden fillet; but the white head on the right is extended in action by a white arm on the left which holds the cup of the white gluten, while the black head on the left has the black arm on the right, holding the lance which has become a torch and pours forth its burning blood. The fire burns up the water; the water extinguishes the fire.
The robe of the figure is green, which symbolizes vegetable growth: this is an alchemical allegory. In the symbolism of the fathers of science, all “actual” objects were regarded as dead; the difficulty of transmuting metals was that the metals, as they occur in nature, were in the nature of excrements, because they did not grow. The first problem of alchemy was to raise mineral to vegetable life; the adepts thought that the proper way to do this was to imitate the processes of nature. Distillation, for instance, was not an operation to be performed by heating something in a retort over a flame; it had to take place naturally, even if months were required to consummate the Work. (Months, at that period of civilization, were at the disposal of enquiring minds.)
A great deal of what people now consider ignorance, being themselves ignorant of what the men of old time thought, comes from this misapprehension. At the bottom of this card, for example, are seen Fire and Water harmoniously mingled. But this is only a crude symbol of the spiritual idea, which is the satisfaction of the desire of the incomplete element of one kind to satisfy its formula by assimilation of its equal and opposite.
This state of the great Work therefore consisted in the mingling of the contradictory elements in a cauldron. This is here represented as golden or solar, because the Sun is the Father of all Life, and (in particular) presides over distillation. The fertility of the Earth is maintained by rain and sun; the rain is formed by a slow and gentle process, and is rendered effective by the cooperation of air, which is itself alchemically the result of the Marriage of Fire and Water. So also the formula of continued life is death, or putrefaction. Here it is symbolized by the caput mortuum on the cauldron, a raven perched upon a skull. In agricultural terms, this is the fallow earth.
There is a particular interpretation of this card which is only to be understood by Initiates of the Ninth Degree of the O.T.O; for it contains a practical magical formula of such importance as to make it impossible to communicate it openly.
Rising from the cauldron, as the result of the operation performed ~ is a stream of light which becomes two rainbows; they form the cape of the androgyne figure. In the centre, an arrow shoots upwards. This is connected with the general symbolism previously explained, the spiritualization of the result of the Great Work.
The rainbow is moreover symbolical of another stage in the alchemical process. At a certain period, as a result of putrefaction, there is observed a phenomenon of many-coloured lights (The “coat of many colours” said to have been worn by Joseph and Jesus, in the ancient legends, refers to this. See also Atu 0, the Motley of the Green Man, Dreamer-Redeemer).
To sum up, the whole of this card represents the hidden content of the Egg described in Atu VI. It is the same formula, but in a more advanced stage. The original duality has been completely compen sated; but after birth comes growth; after growth, puberty; and after puberty, purification.
In this card, therefore, is foreshadowed the final stage of the Great Work. Behind the figure, its edges tinged with the rainbow, which has now arisen from the twin rainbows forming the cape of the figure, is a glory bearing an inscription VISITA INTERIORA TERRAE RECTIFICANDO INVENIES OCCULTUM LAPIDEM.
“Visit the interior parts of the earth: by rectification thou shalt find the hidden stone.” Its initials make the word V.I.T.R.I.O.L., the Universal Solvent, to be discussed later.
This “hidden stone” is also called the Universal Medicine. It is sometimes described as a stone, sometimes as a powder, sometimes as a tincture. It divides again into two forms, the gold and the silver, the red and the white; but its essence is always the same, and its nature is not to be understood except by experience. It is because the alchemists were dealing with substances on the borderland of “matter” that they are so difficult to understand. The subject-matter of chemistry and physics in modern times is what they would have called the study of dead things; for the real difference between living things and dead is, in the first instance, their behaviour.
The initials of the alchemical motto given above form the word Vitriol. This has nothing to do with the sulphates of either hydrogen, iron or copper, as might be supposed from modern usage. It represents a balanced combination of the three alchemical principles, Sulphur, Mercury and Salt. These names have no connection with substances so named by the vulgar; they have already been described in Atu 1.111 and IV
The counsel to “visit the interior of the earth” is a recapitulation (on a higher plane) of the first formula of the Work which has been the so constant theme of these essays. The important word in the injunction is the central word RECTIFICANDO; it implies the right leading of the new living substance in the path of the True Will. The stone of the Philosophers, the Universal Medicine, is to be a talisman of use in any event, a completely elastic and completely rigid vehicle of the True Will of the alchemists. It is to fertilize and bring to manifested Life the Orphic Egg.
The Arrow, both in this card and in Atu VI, is of supreme importance. The Arrow is, in fact, the simplest and purest glyph of Mercury, being the symbol of directed Will. It is right to emphasize this fact by a quotation from the Fourth Aethyr, LIT, in The Vision and the Voice.
Waite: Temperance XIV (14). A winged angel, with the sign of the sun upon his forehead and on his breast the square and triangle of the septenary. I speak of him in the masculine sense, but the figure is neither male nor female. It is held to be pouring the essences of life from chalice to chalice. It has one foot upon the earth and one upon waters, thus illustrating the nature of the essences. A direct path goes up to certain heights on the verge of the horizon, and above there is a great light, through which a crown is seen vaguely. Hereof is some part of the Secret of Eternal Life, as it is possible to man in his incarnation. All the conventional emblems are renounced herein.
So also are the conventional meanings, which refer to changes in the seasons, perpetual movement of life and even the combination of ideas. It is, moreover, untrue to say that the figure symbolizes the genius of the sun, though it is the analogy of solar light, realized in the third part of our human triplicity. It is called Temperance fantastically, because, when the rule of it obtains in our consciousness, it tempers, combines and harmonises the psychic and material natures. Under that rule we know in our rational part something of whence we came and whither we are going.
Eliphas Lévi: XIV (14) Temperance – La Temperance. If you desire long life and health avoid all excesses, carry nothing to extremes. Once more preserve the equilibrium; you must neither abandon yourself to the benignities of Chesed, nor restrict yourself to the rigours of Geburah.
So when you have passed beyond the mortal sphere by the allurements of ecstasy, return to yourself, seek repose and enjoy the pleasures which life supplies for the wise, but do not indulge too freely.
If you feel fatigued by the tempting fascination of a prolonged fast, then take food and drink; but if you have loss of appetite from generous diet, then fast by all means. If you are feeling the seductiveness of womankind, seek relief from women.
You must learn to overcome all passions, and conquer all tendencies to folly. But let there be no misunderstanding. To vanquish an enemy there must be no running away: true victory can only follow meeting him face to face, joining in a struggle, and so showing your command over him.
It is related of Paracelsus that he became intoxicated daily, and sobered himself by violent exercise; thus he was found strong as a man with sangfroid, and yet possessing all the animation of alcoholic stimulation.
You should repose for as long a period as is expended in the preparations for and in the actual operations of magic; spend the hours of rest upon the bosom of Mother Nature, and in the chaste embrace of Nature’s sweet restorer, Sleep.
Pass alternately from the triangle to the circle, and from the circle to the triangle.
Temperate the wine with wter, and rectify the water with wine. Wine is the emblem of Truth; yet it is not well to pour out either, in pure form, to ordinary men and women; some dilution with water is very desirable. Know that the Luminous Septenary has as its enemies, and as obstacles, but acting also in some ways as auxiliaries, a Dark Septenary of averse forces.
If a man abuses the high forces of the Septenary of Powers, his errors form the Seven Capital Sins.
Give but little wine to the one who easily gets intoxicated; and, in like manner, give but little occult instruction to those who make light of it, who abuse instead of use, and so change truth into error.