25 Sep Internal Harmony ~ September 25th-October 1st, 2017
It is the beginning of Libra season and according to the zodiacal myth of the Sun, the symbolic journey into the underworld is now underway. In astrology, Libra is the sign where the Sun finds its fall, meaning that its astrological power is debilitated.
The Sun’s pre-eminence as a symbol of individual identity is darkened during the season of Libra. Internally, this amounts to exalting beneficial relationships rather than focusing so much on the subjective self. You may find that your usual self-interest becomes as isolating and dull as a closed circuit television. But your interest in the perspectives of your friends (maybe even your enemies) will become endlessly fascinating.
If you are wise, you will learn much about yourself through the eyes and ears of other people. It is time to let your glorious summer monologue mature into a constructive dialogue.
The season of Libra seeks to find truth, beauty, and wisdom in the harmony of ideas and in the union of opposites. As such, your life may begin to push you towards sacrificing some of your most self-serving habits for the good your most important relationships. Though it is a thin line for many people walk, the wisdom of Libra encourages you to be shaped and tempered by others without being ruled by them.
The agricultural metaphors of ancient astrology illustrate much of what the meaning of this seasonal shift is all about. If Virgo was the time to sort seeds and gather the wheat, Libra season is the time to distribute the abundant harvest to everyone in a fair manner.
Under Libra, a potent sense of fairness and balance presides, but your ability to benefit from this will depend on how balanced and fair you are to yourself. However, if Libra’s scales of justice were only symbolic of the need to distribute fair rations, then the language of astrology would ultimately offer very little food for thought.
The scales poised in Libra’s elegant hand are meant to inspire the notion that the beauty and harmony of the human soul can be found through the virtue of justice.
“And we have admitted that justice is the excellence of the soul, and injustice the defect of the soul?”
Justice, as a philosophical and spiritual concept, is as ancient as any civilization upon the earth. The truth is that when you imagine the enactment of justice in any human society (submitting to moral fashions, court systems and bureaucracies) either a dogmatic glaze or a bitter lament begins to emerge. The truth is that nobody in any time in history has ever known their society to successfully enact the ideals of justice completely.
With this in mind, during Libra season when you are called to contemplate justice, it is not from the realities of your social order that you are meant to draw inspiration. Instead, the season of Libra is about developing the virtue of justice. To begin to contemplate justice in a philosophical manner, there is no better place to begin than by reading the works of Plato. As the great British philosopher-mathematician, Alfred North Whitehead, once said:
“The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.”
In Plato’s Republic, the character of Socrates’ describes the nature of justice as being born from balance within the soul. Though the Republic is an extensive political dialogue about how to establish an ideal society, the arguments presented within make it clear that any functioning social order can only be built upon a foundation of individuals who achieve inner balance and harmony within their soul. Throughout Plato’s many dialogues in The Republic, Socrates argues that when balance in the soul has been found, the virtue of justice is born.
Thus, the real philosophy of justice laid out in The Republic advises one to take responsibility for one’s own inner balance.
Plato’s Republic was a departure from traditional Greek views about justice. Ancient poets like Hesiod had long ago created a mythic understanding of justice a system of reward and punishment administered by the gods. In this arcane view, the gods rewarded virtue and punished the lack of it.
But by Plato’s time in 5th Century Athens, faith in the justice of the gods had been lost. Much like the world you live in today, the Athenians could easily observe that many unjust people rose up without punishment and that many virtuous people were bereft of reward. In this time of ideological turmoil, where Sophistry had begun to usurp public discourse, the virtue of justice had become a very controversial matter.
But Plato was not impressed with the Sophists, whose rhetoric offered nothing philosophically innovative and only sought to modify behavior through laws, customs and mandates. Instead, through the voice of Socrates, Plato conceived of justice as being a virtue born from within the human soul that could only blossom in one who was willing to seek internal harmony through great spiritual effort.
“…justice is indeed something of this kind, yet not in regard to the doing of one’s own business externally, but with regard to that which is within and in the true sense concerns one’s self, and the things of one’s self.”
Socrates’ presents his theory of justice based upon the idea of the Tripartite Soul, meaning that the soul expressed itself through three essential aspects:
- Appetites: the myriad of desires for physical pleasures, comforts, and bodily ease.
- Passions: the spirited actions that seek honor, victory, and triumph over adversity.
- Reason: conscious awareness, that acts like a charioteer to guide the appetites and passions in a purposeful direction.
According to Plato, the internal state of justice must be guided by one’s reason. With the symbol of Libra in mind, you can imagine that it is the hand of reason that holds the scales, finding equilibrium between appetites and passions. To mediate these is to guard against behaviors, habits and impulses that are born from weakness. And in this perfect poise, the beauty and strength of the soul becomes known.
The most important philosophical ideal presented in The Republic is that to find the internal harmony of justice is to gain rulership over one’s own life. The other alternative is to remain ruled by immoderate habits and/or the will of others.
“He (the truly just man)…rules himself, orders himself, becomes his own friend, and brings the three parts into harmony, just like three notes on a harmonic scale – lowest, highest and middle.”
In Plato’s Republic, justice is a spiritual principle that has nothing to do with attaining the social power to administer punishment. To illustrate the necessity for the internal harmony of justice, Socrates examines the position of tyrants. Though tyrants have the power bless and punish like the gods of old, they are without the virtue of justice. Bereft of this virtue, Socrates sees tyrants as being weak and disempowered, saying:
“In truth, then and whatever people may think, a real tyrant is really a slave…if one happens to know that one must study his whole soul – he’s in the greatest need of most things and is truly poor…”
Socrates makes many further points to express that it is the harmony between appetites, passion and reason that makes for superior strength. Therefore, all the trappings of social status, wealth, and power do not venture anywhere close to the strength that the virtue of justice offers.
“I proclaim that justice is nothing else than the interest of the stronger.”
In the final book of The Republic, Socrates leaves behind his visions of idealized statecraft and turns towards a distinctly spiritual cause. After hearing everything that Socrates has argued, anyone on the philosophical path is aware that devotion to the virtue of justice may never bring social rewards.
But seeking this virtue remains a primary concern because the internal state of harmony, its strength and its beauty, is a reflection of divine order, or “the heavenly way”. And to follow the heavenly way is overcome the forgetfulness of the divine order within.
“Wherefore my counsel is that we hold fast ever to the heavenly way and follow after justice and virtue always, considering that the soul is immortal and able to endure every sort of good and every sort of evil…”
With all this in mind, allow the Sun’s journey through Libra inspire you to cultivate more internal harmony, tempering the wild desires and passions that weaken you.
Monday/Tuesday: Health, Beauty and Well-Being of the Soul
The week begins with Mercury in his exalted place in Virgo making an exact square to Saturn in Sagittarius. Though a square between Mercury and Saturn may summon a sense of being blocked or impeded in your growth, it is important to use the strengths of an aspect like this to face the realities of your situation and use whatever sense of restriction you may face to catalyze more strategic thinking.
In light of Libra’s penchant for carefully weighing facts, this would be a good time to deliberate upon a heavy decision that must be made. Saturn’s influence over Mercury also makes this a good time to seek the counsel of people who have wisdom and expertise that greatly exceed your own.
Wednesday/Thursday: Justice is the Excellence of the Soul
The middle of the week ushers in a time of great culmination and transition. On Thursday, September 28th, Pluto will station direct in Capricorn, having been retrograde since April. The shift in Pluto’s direction brings an end to a five month process of psychological inquiry and internal purgation.
Now that the Plutonian tide has turned, the undulating waves of death and rebirth will turn their attention towards more external and objective events. Over the coming months of Pluto’s direct motion, many external changes that occur will directly relate the level of internal change that you underwent during the retrograde. From the dead and buried matter of the past, many flowers will begin to grow.
But Thursday is truly a red-letter day because Jupiter in Libra will be making its third and final opposition to Uranus in Aries, bringing a grandiose culmination to everything that has been catalyzed over the last ten months.
All of 2017 has been characterized by this series of oppositions, the first being on December 26th, 2016 and the second on March 2nd, 2017. If you have felt riddled with stress in response to these aspects, it might be because you’ve felt an electrifying call to action from both planets, asking you to expand into a higher state of awareness and find freedom from ideological restraints.
The positive outcome from these oppositions between Jupiter and Uranus is the development of a more nuanced philosophical understanding of both justice and freedom. Hopefully over the last ten months, the restlessness and disruptions have inspired you to cultivate inner harmony. From that place of superior strength, innovation, freedom and expansion are fully supported.
On Friday, Mercury will make the transition from Virgo into Libra, sacrificing concern for details and technical skill for the task of beautifying language and balancing your thoughts. When Mercury in Libra, the art of conversation will become more appreciated, offering many opportunities to experience the joy of a harmonious flow between listener and speaker.
In addition, any issues you may have regarding your struggles with maintaining internal harmony may be better observed and understood. Let the influence of Mercury in Libra bring equilibrium to the indecision and conflicting thoughts that you may have. Let some of your hard opinions soften and follow the example of those who keep an open and inquiring mind.
Also on Friday, Venus in Virgo will oppose Neptune in Pisces, a transit that will evoke a little more mystery and magic. This transit will set the scene for the weekend, washing all the colors with soft filters and blurred beauty.
Neptunian influences bring enchantments that will help you to loosen your focus on material life. Enjoy this day in some manner of reverie, relishing in romance or enjoying the healing magic of art.
The week concludes with the first day of October and an exact trine between Mars in Virgo and Pluto in Capricorn, recently turned direct. This trine will offer a great surge of ambition.
Due to Pluto’s dwelling place in the depths of the psyche, you may also become impassioned by a desire to delve deeply into subjects that remains veiled by mystery. If there is a secret that you crave to know, whether it is something that your loved ones are keeping from you or something embedded within esoteric studies, this is a good day to begin probing. When heated by the flames of curiosity,
Mars in aspect to Pluto will deepen your talents for questioning, research and investigation.