Libra is the sign, par excellence, of love and relationship. Here’s a riff on that theme excerpted from the Libran chapter of my book Signs of the Zodiac: Clothing of the Self:
‘If you have no love – do what you will, go after all the gold on earth, do all the social activities, try to reform the poor, enter politics, write books, write poems – you are a dead human being. Without love your problems will increase, multiply endlessly. And with love, do what you will, there is no risk, there is no conflict. Then love is the essence of virtue.’
– J. Krishnamurti
“Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise”
– Samuel Johnson
All signs of the zodiac have their prime motivations for leaving the house of their innermost being. For people centred Libra, it is the desire to connect with lovers, friends and potentially valuable contacts in a culturally stimulating setting. For single Librans, the prime motivation is to find that special someone to share their life with, their missing ‘other half’. Despite the Indian Guru Osho’s admonition that ‘you are leaving your house, your innermost core, in search of a woman outside .. and the woman is within,’ Librans compulsively engage in an endless round of social activities in the quest to find true love. It is only the terminally disillusioned who will abandon ‘making the scene’ in the hope of meeting Mr. Right. Even these however, will probably break their vow of ‘never again’ yet again by going to another dinner party, night club, or romantic movie in one last heroic attempt to meet ‘the one’. For such eternally hopeful Librans, the opening of an envelope would get them out the door, rather than, horror of horrors, staying home alone.
‘Aloneness is the presence of oneself; loneliness is absence of the other’ – Osho
Librans you see, believe in love and can’t be happy without it. I’m sure they would whole-heartedly agree with J. Krishnamurti’s leading epigraph that love is the essence of virtue. St Paul’s celebrated First Epistle to the Corinthians, often quoted in Christian marriage ceremonies, expresses the same sentiment: ‘If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become as a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And if I give all my goods to feed the poor, and my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.’
All going well, Librans will eventually find their perfect match. Life for them now really begins. Love-struck Librans are so idealistic it’s enough to make their more cynical – or should that read realistic – friends laugh or cry, as they watch the besotted lovers immediately pledge to build ‘a bridge across forever’. Joseph Campbell, a Sun sign Aries with Libra rising, has some wise words on the subject of marriage, that topic so dear to the Libran heart: ‘[People] don’t realize what it is. They think it’s a long love affair and it isn’t. Marriage has nothing to do with being happy. It has to do with being transformed, and when the transformation is realized it is a magnificent experience. But you have to submit. You have to yield. You have to give. You can’t just dictate.’
Perhaps he was talking especially to his Arien self when he wrote that, for certainly to their great credit, Librans are ever willing to work at making a relationship work. Blessed with a pleasing disposition and a natural instinct for co-operation and compromise, great communication skills, genuine interest in the views of their partner, and self help books such as Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus; Astrology For Lovers; and New Age teacher Shakti Gawain’s Living in the Light, they will do their very best to navigate the inevitable storms of relating as they set sail on the relation-ship of fools. And on the journey of love they will no doubt learn that ‘love is letting go of fear’; that ‘love brings up anything unlike itself for the purpose of healing’; that ‘love is not so much looking into each other’s eyes but looking in the same direction; and that ‘love consists in this, that two solitudes protect, and touch, and greet each other’ – perhaps, the most difficult realization of all for them.
Librans function best in relationships where the complementary qualities of the two equal but different partners combine to form a whole that is greater than the sum of the parts. A good example is Beatle John Lennon who found fulfilment through his song writing partnership with Gemini Paul McCartney and through his erotic relationship with Aquarian Yoko Ono. His signature songs, Give Peace A Chance and Imagine, also express archetypical Libran [and Aquarian] sentiments. In fact, Imagine has become something of an anthem for the whole Neptune in Libra generation, those born between 1942-56, the so-called love and peace generation.
“Life is relationship. To be is to be related, and without relationship there is no life” – J. Krishnamurti
Another influential historical example of a successful complementary relationship is the partnership of Sixties psychedelic pioneers, Libran Timothy Leary and Arien Richard Alpert, aka Ram Dass. Leary writes:
‘We were an effective team – two attractive well-brought up Harvard psychologists, poised, cheerful, clean-cut, blithely using our all-American enthusiasm to generate support for the drug research project .. Ten years older I was the ideological leader, writing the scripts. Dick, an exceptionally talented salesman and diplomat, spoke the lines with the wonderful seriousness of high camp .. He encouraged .. my wild intoxicated strobes into the future, reserving for himself the part of protector and ground control .. Genially we divided the labor. I kept busy directing the many drug-research experiments being performed by our team of twenty-five scientists. Dick concentrated on diplomacy .. Dick and I enjoyed that most wondrous bond: a loving brotherhood, a Sundance-Butch Cassidy alliance of psychological outlaws working to market and merchandise expanded consciousness.’