26 Sep Lightness of a Feather ~ Libra Season 2019
It is now the season of Libra, the beginning of autumn, where the Sun begins to fall. As the day yields to the night, the year begins to die. The abundance of the harvest is shadowed by the impending death. Zodiacal mythology illustrates that Libra season represents a gateway that begins the Sun’s annual journey into the underworld.
The sign of Libra is symbolized by the scales of justice. The equinox that begins the autumn season is an image of these scales in perfect balance. But when the darkness overtakes the light, the Sun falls into the underworld.
Weighing of the Heart
The relationship between the scales of justice and the process of death has long been illumined in mythology, most notably perhaps in the stories of ancient Egypt. The Egyptian Book of the Dead describes a death ritual involving the scales of justice called the weighing of the heart.
The goddess Maat was said to weigh the heart of a deceased person against the principle of divine order. It was said that if a person’s heart balanced against the lightness of a feather, then the deceased would be granted a place in a glorious afterlife. If it was heavy with the weight of regret or cruelty, the heart would be devoured by a terrifying beast.
The point of this story is to understand that no matter how heavy life may become, the purpose of the journey is to balance the darkness with lightness. And if you can remain lighthearted, even in the face of death, eternity awaits.
To learn to respond to life’s darkness with lightness is the gift of Libra season. As an air sign, the secret to creating the lightness of a feather is discovered in the worship of beauty.
The Ideals of Libra
Beauty is a form of genius–is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation…It has its divine right of sovereignty.
As one of Venus’ signs of rulership, Libra is devoted to beauty and love through the creation of mutually beneficial relationships. Wherever there is discord and opposition, a search for unity and harmony begins. Thus, it is in Libra where manners and diplomacy become an art.
This is a season that lets the human imagination take flight upon the breezes of intellectual beauty and high ideals. No matter how rare these qualities may be, the lightness of Libra imagines a better world where peace, truth, beauty, and justice can flourish.
Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope.
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. But 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.
In Libra, this potent sense of fairness and balance presides to weigh the heaviness in your own heart and soul. The scales poised in Libra’s elegant hand are meant to inspire the notion that beauty and harmony within the human soul is best expressed in the virtue of justice.
Justice is an ancient philosophical and spiritual concept that has only rarely been enacted in history. In fact, when you imagine how justice is enacted 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 justice.
As Plato says in The Republic:
“And we have admitted that justice is the excellence of the soul, and injustice the defect of the soul?”
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 as an expression of your soul. To contemplate justice in a philosophical manner, there is nothing more classic and traditional than by reading the works of Plato.
In Plato’s Republic, the character of Socrates’ describes the nature of justice as being born from balance within the soul.
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 Two Sides of Libra Season
In 2019, the first half of Libra season, Venus will also be in Libra, cultivating perfect conditions for harmonious relationships and intellectual beauty. Conversations will seem easier, more pleasing and more harmonious. With all of its lofty notions of sovereignty and justice, the ideals of Plato’s Republic will resound.
But when Venus moves to Scorpio on October 8th, the shadow will arise. In the second half of the Libra season, your conversations will become filtered through instinctual senses that keenly perceive deceit and flattery.
One can always be kind to people about whom one cares nothing.
Thus the high ideals of the season are tempered by the raw facts about human nature. Venus in Scorpio reveals the truth that harmony is not always possible where people are concerned.
When one is in love, one always begins by deceiving one’s self, and one always ends by deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.
As a meditation upon the highest Libran ideals of truth, beauty, and justice underscored by acerbic insight into the darkness of the human soul, I recommend reading Oscar Wilde’s Picture of Dorian Gray.
Picture of Dorian Gray is a Faustian story about a beautiful young man who is wealthy, cultured and ‘impossibly beautiful’. Seduced into the idea that life should be about pleasure alone, Dorian is terrified of aging and losing his beauty. In revulsion, he offers his soul, asking that his portrait grow old while he remains young forever. His wish comes true. And as he degenerates into a cruel and evil man, his face remains youthful and untarnished. Decades pass and it is only his portrait that reveals the darkness and corruption in his soul.
Born October 16th, 1854 Oscar Wilde was a Libra, most famous for observational wit that is still on pointe two centuries later. Wilde’s sense of humor was his Venusian offering of lightness to balance the darkness and heaviness of life. As he said:
Humanity takes itself too seriously. It is the world’s original sin. If the caveman had known how to laugh, history would have been different.
Picture of Dorian Gray
As a student at Oxford and a gifted Greek scholar, Oscar Wilde was very much acquainted with the works of Plato. Thus, Picture of Dorian Gray is a perfect Libran dialogue with Platonic philosophy.
As the preface to the novel says:
All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril…It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors.
In the Republic, Plato describes earthly beauty as being a dim reflection of a metaphysical ideal. Because of this, he also claims that art is a corruption of Truth, because an image of an earthly form is too many times removed from metaphysical Truth.
As a Libra, Oscar Wilde was certainly a lover of beauty and ideal forms. But he differed with Plato on the nature of art. In Oscar Wilde’s view, art was not a corruption of truth, but a discovery of it.
In his essay, The Critic as Artist:
“Life is terribly deficient in form...it is through Art, and through Art only that we can realise our perfection.”
The aesthetic theory of Platonic philosophy exalted beauty as something that embodied the higher dimensional forms of truth and goodness. This way of thinking supposed that beautiful things represented goodness: a noble face indicated a noble spirit.
But in Dorian Gray, the young man’s noble faces conceals a corrupted soul. Only the painting reveals the truth of Dorian’s soul: it is art that offers a window to truth.
It is perfectly monstrous the way people go about nowadays saying things against one behind one’s back that are absolutely and entirely true.
In the world-weary Victorian era, many art movements began to value beauty for the pleasure it gave.
It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.
Dorian Gray lives his life through aesthetic hedonism, escaping all the consequences of his actions as well as the ravages of time. And he loses his humanity, feeling no empathy for others, objectifying people as if they were just tools for his personal pleasure.
“I can’t bear the idea of my soul being hideous.”
By living through a purely aesthetic experience, Dorian Gray makes the internal harmony of body and soul impossible to realize. As a consummate Libra, what Oscar Wilde reveals in Dorian’s tragic journey is that the ideal of beauty expressed in art must include internal harmony.
Once again, Plato’s idea of finding balance within the soul is evoked. As decadent and hedonistic as he may have been, Oscar Wilde upheld the value of finding internal harmony, a balance between body and soul, pleasure and compassion.
Like all of Oscar Wilde’s wit and humor, this novel is still quite provocative for modern readers since the commodified culture of decadence that he knew in Victorian England has only increased and become more extreme.
Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.
This Libra season, in an effort to balance the darkness with light, you may find yourself seeking distractions in the bliss of beauty and pleasure.
Libra is very attracted to aesthetic experience, a quality easily exploited in this era of late-decadence. In Libra season, the deeper desire to create lightness can become misguided by the narcotic delights of fantasy, flattery, and escapism.
But the deeper wisdom of the season reveals how isolating and dull self-interest can be. Friends and lovers are not there for aesthetic pleasure.
True love and beauty can only be realized through connection and compassion. Thus, the path to internal harmony is not one of aestheticism, but of finding equilibrium between body and soul; self and other.
This Libra season, set the intention to find internal harmony. It is in this way that your heart will become light as a feather.
I. September 23rd-October 3rd ~ Pleasure and Leisure
The first part of Libra season is lovely. The Sun is joined by Venus and Mercury in Libra, inspiring refined and diplomatic energies.
Libra is the season of balance, meaning that you will be asked to be fair to yourself and others. Inequity and injustice will begin to resolve through deeper understanding and compromise.
September 28th: New Moon in Libra
To be in love is to surpass one’s self.
New Moons happen every month when the Sun and the Moon unite in the heavens, fusing their polar energies together. This is a fertile moment for potent creativity. Astrologically speaking, it is helpful to imagine the Sun (Sol) and the Moon (Luna) as being lovers, whose intimate exchanges catalyze the undulating cycles of generation upon Earth.
The New Moon in Libra will summon a wave of good fortune in your relationships. Venus in Libra will be sextile to Jupiter in Sagittarius, creating a beautiful mood of love, generosity and benevolence. There is a lot of opportunity to experienc eThe value of your friendships will suddenly shine brighter, making you appreciate the supportive people in your life with new enthusiasm. Your appetite for romance will also increase, encouraging love to flourish and blossom.
This New Moon will oppose Chiron Rx in Aries, letting some of your old relationship wounds find the attention and healing they need. Forgiveness will seem much more possible as you feel encouraged to release the pain of the past. On this same day, Saturn will cross the south node in Capricorn, influencing you to make a final decision about what you are leaving behind so that you can evolve into the next phase of life. Commit to this path now. There’s no point in looking back.
At this New Moon in Libra, set the intention to nurture all the love in your life, inviting it to flourish and grow.
October 1: Venus in Libra Square Pluto in Capricorn
There may be some unbalancing clashes regarding love and money arounf this time. Likewise, you may find that it becomes difficult to maintain equilibrium between your personal ambitions and your relationships. Both will be demanding your attention.
October 2: Pluto Direct at 20° of Capricorn
A lot of regenerative healing has occurred while Pluto was retrograde. But Pluto’s retrograde period can feel like a prolonged dissolution, where much is being broken down but little is being created. Often, you feel like your real motivations in life have become buried and that your true desires have been lost in a haze. But when Pluto goes direct, you will once again feel your destiny calling! Suddenly you’ll realize how much progress you’ve made and you’ll know what the next steps have to be.
II. October 4th-13th ~ Secrets
There is a stark shift in the tone of things in the second part of Libra season. Both Venus and Mars will be in their signs of detriment. And the high ideals and intellectual beauty becomes darkened by transits into Scorpio. The lightness of Libran refinement and elegance will now reveal its shadow of courtly secrets and manipulation.
The sign of Scorpio goes beneath the rational mind of Libra, diving into the subconscious layers. Therefore, with Mercury and Venus in Scorpio, more primal feelings and instincts will seem to seize power. Appetites will grow, claws will sharpen and fangs will emerge.
October 4th: Mars into Libra
Mars is the planet of war and triumph. And Libra is the sign of compromise and diplomacy. You can easily imagine how uncomfortable Mars is in this high-minded peace loving territory. For the remainder of Libra season, Mars will be stir up aggression to force peace, love and harmony. The humor of this will definitely play out. But these are the energies that everyone has to work with and some good will arise.
Mars in Libra may motivate you to take action on behalf of just causes. And you might also develop you a different mode of argument, transforming disagreements and verbal assault into something more akin to formal debate.
October 6-7: Mercury in Scorpio Opposing Uranus in Taurus
Strange words and ideas will emerge from the subconscious today as Uranus electrifies Mercury in the dark waters of Scorpio. You may not be able to tell the difference between absurd foolishness and genius today. Expect strange and surprising communications with others that inspire you to think very differently than you have been. Cultivate an open mind by remaining receptive to new dimensions of thought today.
October 8th: Venus into Scorpio
“The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself
Scorpio is in fact one the signs where Venus is in her detriment, meaning she has a bit of a rough time expressing herself here. In Scorpio, Venus must shine through a glass, darkly.
So, why is Venus considered to be in her detriment in Scorpio, the sign of sex, death, and transformation? Succinctly put, Venus is in her detriment here because a plunge into the realm of Scorpionic emotion summons up aggression and obsession. That ebullient Venusian charm can be somewhat obscured by these murkier aspects of the psyche.
Mars traditionally rules Scorpio, a planetary energy typified by the act of war, representing the human inclinations towards possessiveness and conquest. Typically during wartime, Venus gets lost…
Though the Sun is still in Libra, pleasantries will no longer be so pleasant. Venus’ time in Scorpio will unleash dark desires and raw emotions. This may be uncomfortable, but it can also be refreshingly honest.
Deep conversations and shadowy confessions will abound. For those who want to know someone’s heart and soul in the deepest way possible, this transit will open a door for you. And if you love to uncover secrets and get to the bottom of things, then Venus’ time in Scorpio will be enjoyably revealing.
October 12: Venus in Scorpio Opposing Uranus in Taurus
When Venus in her detriment face the volatile energy of Uranus, a lightning bolt of creation and destruction. This is a revolutionary energy, asking you to break out of a rut or routine that is holding you back. As exciting as revolutions can be, they also bring some things to an end. Relationships will be tested and many fragile ones will break apart. But for those who are invested in quality relationships, a spark of new romance may arise.
Every Full Moon represents the moment when the Sun and the Moon are exactly opposed. This is a moment of culmination in the lunar cycle, a climax before the exhale and release.
This Full Moon in Aries is blessed by the Sun’s sextile to Jupiter in Sagittarius as well as Mercury in Scorpio’s sextile to Saturn in Capricorn.
The sextile between the Sun and Jupiter will bring a feeling of optimism and generosity, a taste of the holiday spirit before they actually arrive. Likewise, Mercury sextile to Saturn offers you the ability to make serious plans based upon a very deep thought process. The beautiful balance between optimism and realism, expansion and contraction is a perfect climax for Libra season.
At this Full Moon, set the intention to choose optimism as a philosophical foundation. Your future will not always be bright, but optimism is the only path that invites you to solve problems and evolve.
III. October 14-23rd ~ Crossing the Threshold
The third part of Libra season represents the conclusion of the Sun’s journey through the sign of Libra. This means that Scorpio, the season of death, is fast approaching. The Sun’s final days in Libra take place at the threshold of the underworld.
This period of days at the threshold is the time to unburden yourself from any lingering heaviness or darkness that weighs upon your heart.
October 14th: Sun in Libra sextile Jupiter in Sagittarius
The sextile between the Sun and Jupiter will give you lots of faith and optimism. But the Sun will also be square to Pluto in Capricorn at this time, summoning some kind of struggle with darkness. Perhaps you have been giving in to escapism, resulting in the empty listless feeling of ennui. Whatever struggle arises, let the Jupiterian spirit lift you up and influence a deeper more enriching communion with life.
October 15: Mercury in Scorpio Trine Neptune in Pisces
The ancient muses are awakened on this day. The transcendent waves of Neptune will inspire great waves of creativity and compassion. Music and film will be especially immersive. And your own impulses to express your visionary side may emerge.
October 19: Mercury in Scorpio Sextile Pluto in Capricorn
Power, corruption and lies will be the favorite topics of conversation today. Your appetite for secret information will be high, making this a perfect day for deep conversations or studying the mysteries. You will penetrate into deeper layers of knowledge today, so use this gift wisely.
October 20: Venus in Scorpio Sextile Saturn in Capricorn
Venus and Saturn have a very harmonious relationship. And when they aspect each other today, their energies will influence conditions to become favorable for business and negotiations. There will be viable solutions that arrive to strengthen partnerships and alliances. Marriages will stabilize. And solid financial plans can be made.
October 21: Venus in Scorpio Trine Neptune in Pisces
Like a light caressing breeze, Venus in Scorpio’s sharper edges will be softened by an exact trine to Neptune in Pisces. This is an influence that calls you to drink deeply from the wells of compassion. Raw wounds and unresolved conflicts may find much needed comfort and healing. You will feel invited to realize a moment of internal harmony.
This softness is a perfect influence to help you attain the light heart that Libra season challenges you to find.
Venus trine Neptune is to become immersed in the aesthetic experience of beauty without ever losing touch with the deeper levels of soulful compassion.
October 23rd: Sun into Scorpio
The Sun finally leaves Libra, finally crossing the threshold into the underworld where balance and harmony are subsumed by the season of death.
Until next time…