“Libra – sign of harvest and karma’s balance –
is a bridge builder and a diplomat.
She’s charming and graceful,
artistic and refined.
She’s warm and personal
with a quick and active mind.
Seeing all sides to a story
she strives for peace and harmony.
With elegance and style
she’s inventive and adventurous
and never fails to smile.”
- by Silvestra Silvermoon
The sign of Libra didn’t exist in the ancient Mesopotamian zodiac. Instead it was part of Scorpio. Modern western astrology inherited the sign of the Scales from the ancient Egyptians, although the original sign wasn’t quite what it is today.
The Egyptian glyph which the Romans interpreted to represent the scales actually depict “the sun rising over the hilltop”. In other words the sign known to us as Libra originally signified the Ascendant or Rising Sign.
The constellation known to us as the Scales first appears on the eastern horizon when the Sun is in Aries. In ancient Egypt, about 3,000 to 5,000 years ago, this took place in early March, which was the beginning of the harvest or dry season “Shemu”. The first month of Shemu was dedicated to the child god Chonsu (or Khonsu, Khons) and was known as Pa-en-khons or Pashons. Chonsu was “The Traveller of the Night Sky”. He was the new moon that was first seen in the west when the constellation of Libra was rising on the eastern horizon. Chansu represented the vegetation and the harvest.
When the Romans saw the Egyptian glyph that depicted the sun rising on the horizon they interpreted it to symbolise the scales that were used for weighing the harvest. With the month of Pashons being the first month of the harvest season, their mistake was understandable. As in Europe the harvest takes place in late summer, the Romans placed the sign of Libra in September after the sign of the Goddess (Virgo) and before the sign of the Otherworld (Scorpio). In western astrology the Sun enters Libra at the autumn equinox when night and day are balanced and equally as long.
Apart from the obvious weighing of the harvest and the balance of night and day the Romans also gave the Scales a third meaning, that of weighing the souls of the dead before entering the Underworld.
The Romans and the ancient Greeks were great believers in Law and Justice. These concepts and that of personal responsibility and karma were also adopted from the ancient Egyptians. Maat is the Goddess of Wisdom, Time and Fate. She wears an ostrich feather on Her head and carries scales in Her left (heart) hand and an ankh – the symbol of eternal life – in Her right hand. She weighs each heart against the ostrich feather to restore the balance and equilibrium of the universe. Maat often replaces Saturn in feminist astrology, which is very apt, as Saturn is co-ruler over Libra.
Throughout the ancient world and even for us today the concepts of Justice such as democracy, freedom and equality have always been female. To this day Lady Justice stands in front of courtrooms, while her sister Libertas, the Goddess of Freedom, continues to hold the torch as the famous Statue of Liberty.
Justice is female because she IS the Goddess. She is all and everything, and Her law, that of nature, cannot be broken and must be obeyed by every living creature. She is the restorer and maintainer of order and harmony. She is wisdom. She is karma. And Libra is Her sign.
Libra’s Characteristics and Traits
Librans are beautiful people, very refined and incredibly artistic. They are charming, graceful, elegant and sophisticated in everything they do. They abhor vulgarity and rudeness and will try their utmost to restore peace and harmony. Librans love all things beautiful.
True to their Airy nature Librans are real people’s people who thrive within a team or partnership. They have incredible verbal skills and a real flair for presentation. For that reason they make excellent advertising and marketing executives who with natural style and eloquence are highly attractive and can be very persuasive.
Librans are natural diplomats who can see all sides of every story. They are objective and able to empathise with all parties involved. Due to their courteous nature and sense of delicacy, they are natural peacemakers.
Librans are often concerned with social justice and often dedicate their lives to bringing about change and betterment for their communities.
Due to their cardinal nature Librans are driven and active people with a sense of adventure.
Librans are strong willed with a youthful, joyous disposition.
In summary Libran women (and men) are:
- highly critical
- with an active mind
- lovers of beauty
- with fresh ideas
- seeking change
- able to see all sides
- about social justice / equality
- willing to compromise
- with great verbal skills
- with a flair for presentation
- team players
- about partnership (i.e. without hierarchy)
- strong willed
- with a love for life
- with a zest for experience
Libra is associated with pink, blue-green and any colour combination that is stylish.
Within the body Libra is linked to the loins, the kidneys, the adrenals and the lower back.
Libran qualities are most prominent when the Sun, the Moon or the Ascendant (Rising Sign) are in the sign of the Scales.