The entry of the Sun into Libra marks the Autumn Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. The scales of balance preside over the days and nights, marking the equal point on the Sun’s journey from the summer solstice. Now the Sun begins its descent into the winter months.
The archetypal story of Libra is the journey of Persephone, the maiden who was abducted by Hades, the god of the underworld. She takes her beauty down inside the earth, where she agrees to remain for the winter months. Her contract with the lord of the underworld gives us the seasons and cycles of life. In this time of balance, the nights will become longer and the world will become colder as the trees combust in a burst of flames, and the earth goes into her cycle of death and renewal.
The story of Persephone is based on the Sumerian myth of the Descent of Inanna, the Goddess who preceded Venus, Aphrodite, Astarte and Ishtar. The Queen of Heaven, Inanna, goes on a journey to visit her sister Ereshkeigal who is the Queen of the underworld. She goes to pay her respects to her sister whose husband has just died. As she enters the underworld, she has to pass through seven gates. At each gate, she must remove an article of jewellery, starting with her crown. She loses her third eye jewel, her necklace, her breastplate. She loses her wand, her hip sash, and eventually her royal robe. She enters the underworld naked and alone.
Ereshkeigal has no love for her, however, and kills her and hangs her on a spike. When Inanna does not return, her father in heaven sends the “mourners”, spirits who pass through the gates of the underworld to mourn with Ereshkeigal for her husband. She is pleased with them, and grants them one wish. They ask for Inanna to be brought back to life, and be free to return. So Inanna comes back to life from the dead, and begins her ascent, regaining her royal robe, her jewellery and sacred wand, taking her place in the heavens once more.
The story of Inanna is the story of Venus, who ascends through the heavens as the morning and evening star, and then descends into the underworld once more. Venus is the ruler of Libra, and the Libra season we now enter.
Libra is the sign of marriage and relationships, and sacred balance in all things. The relationship between light and dark, day and night, summer and winter. The relationship between inner and outer, upper and lower, hidden and secret. At this time we review our relationships with all things. Relationships with people may need to come into balance. Your inner knowing will tell you how to go about this.
Libra also has another archetype, Lady Justice, who is the Egyptian Goddess Ma’at, the daughter of the Sun God Ra and the wife of Thoth. The 42 principles of Ma’at are designed to keep order in the human world, as she is a representation of Cosmic Order, and the principle of balance and fairness in all things. Ma’at weighs the heart of the deceased against a feather. The heart must be as light a feather to proceed to the next life. It is our karmic imbalances, harmful actions, and guilt and shame that weigh us down. If we have made mistakes, or wronged others, we must make amends and reconcile things within our own heart. It is not that we must never make any mistakes in order to have a truly light heart. It is that we must do what we can to correct them, and forgive ourselves as the Goddess forgives all.
Where there is balance, there is equality. Where there is equality, there is fairness. Where there is fairness, there is peace and harmony, and true beauty. These are all the principles of Libra.
Where does your life need to come into balance? Where do you need to correct your course, and let go of what is weighing you down? Where do you need to stand up for justice and equality, and speak your mind, to defend yourself and others?
The path of balance means to tread lightly, weighing the options, always choosing the middle way. It is the razor’s edge, the tightrope, never going to either extreme. Sometimes we need to take extreme measures to come back into balance. The life path of Libra sees the scales swinging wildly, before finding perfect equilibrium. Don’t be too hard on yourself, just keep coming back to the balance point, keep coming back to yourself. You will find your way.
Katy Sophia 23.09.2019