Libra as the Sign of Flattery, Charm, Repartee and the Beautiful People
To begin, here is an excerpt from Libran psychedelic pioneer Timothy Leary’s autobiography Flashbacks to illustrate Libra’s attraction to stylish social engagements involving beautiful, interesting or influential people. Of such people you can be sure that Libra either knows them personally, or has heard of them and would like to know them, or at least knows someone who knows them ..
‘The party chez Max and Veronica provided another pleasant introduction to Southern Californian culture and the psychedelic vanguard. There were lots of young movie people, like Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper, and several LA medics who looked like movie producers – suave, hip, casual-but-rich. A dermatologist said grass was good for music and sex but only acid and peyote could get you past the receptionist, through to God on the phone. There were several orange-garbed swamis surrounded by disciples. Then there were the successful dope dealers, confident with their lawyers at their side, and, adding an ominous note, their bail-bondsmen. Jennifer Jones sat on the patio looking beautiful ..
Channelling Libra, beware now as I turn on the fatal charm. Librans really are such nice people aren’t they? So considerate and understanding, not to mention sophisticated, charming, gracious and balanced – the women having brains as well as looks, the men manners and good taste. They know how to treat a woman like a lady. Think Hugh Jackman, star of the movie Australia; pop singer Cliff Richards; the ‘sultan of suave’, Roxy Music lead singer, Bryan Ferry; the one time James Bond, actor Roger Moore; and the urbane former Canadian Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau, and you’ll get the idea.
Remember flattery will get you everywhere with Libra. What a pity the principle of polarity reigns supreme in this world. So alas, ‘tis true, even Librans have a shadow side. Handsome princes turn out to be frogs, fairy tale romances turn into nightmares, and, straight from the pen of that brilliantly clever, yet profoundly wise Libran aesthete, Oscar Wilde, the tragic truth that, “Each man kills the thing he loves – Some do it with a bitter look / Some with a flattering word / The coward does it with a kiss / The brave man with a sword / Some kill their love when they are young / And some when they are old / Some strangle with the hands of lust / Some with the hands of gold / The kindest use the knife, because / The dead so soon grow cold.”
In a similar vein, he writes with bitter wisdom born out of his disastrous love affair with fellow Libran Alfred ‘Bosie’ Douglas, which turned out to be the ruin of his life: “Life cheats us with its shadows. We ask it for pleasure. It gives it to us, with bitterness and disappointment in its train. And we find ourselves looking with a dull heart of stone at the tress of gold-flecked hair that we had once so wildly worshipped and so madly kissed .. In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants. The other is getting it.”
Oscar’s sobering experience, sadly, is an all too common one, for who has not had the experience of a lover turning into an intimate enemy, and even greater horror, of seeing one’s own role in perpetrating this? The fact is, our romantic partners are a mirror in which we get to see ourselves, so Libra, if it’s an enemy you perceive when you look upon your beloved, it might well be wise to take to heart Oscar’s further sage advice: “Choose your enemies wisely, for you will become like them.”
For further exploration of the shadow side of relating from inside the mind of Libra, consider the works of the seminal anti-psychiatrist R.D. Laing, especially Self And Other; Knots; and Do You Really Love Me, in which he exposes how lovers and parents manipulate in the name of love. And for the coup de grace, look at the behaviour of the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, the most influential mythological representation of Libra’s ruling planet, Venus, to see the vanity, spitefulness, and vindictive jealousy Libra is capable of.
I can see Aphrodite in my minds eye right now, dispensing insincere praise, bitchy asides, and cruel put downs at a hundred and one diplomatic functions, gallery openings, magazine launches, charity balls, and after-show parties that Libra has either organized or been invited to. Here the movers and shakers of the top end of town mingle with the beautiful people to see and be seen.
Just for fun now, let’s channel Libra again, and join the beautiful people at one of their delightfully decadent soirees, where, rumour has it, some famous Libran wits have been engaged to perform for the amusement and edification of the invited glitterati. To set the scene, visualize an opulent ballroom setting that positively shrieks class and money, á la Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, foregrounded by stylishly costumed couples sashaying silkily to a jazz trio playing George Gershwin tunes, whilst in the background, the tinkling of crystal glasses punctuates the hum of mirth-filled conversation and the sussurating swish of swirling skirts ..
Okay, I’ve set the scene, now let’s begin our mission, which is to position ourselves at the front line of the action so we don’t miss a single word. [Sotto voce] “Quick, over there, I’ve just spotted Groucho Marx and Oscar talking to Gore Vidal. Hey, how about that, tonight is my lucky night. Oscar and Groucho are my heroes. They mix the perfect cocktail of wit and wisdom, from the hilarious to the sublime. I’ve met Gore before you know, he’s a long time sparring partner of Truman Capote, you know the guy who hosted the Party of the Century and wrote In Cold Blood. He, Truman that is, once dated a gay friend of a friend of mine, apparently he’s a lousy lover, at least that’s what my friend Harry told me, but please don’t repeat that, I hate spreading rumours based on second hand information. It’s none of my business anyway I guess.
[Sound of laughter]
Anyway, enough of that, let’s listen in, Groucho just said something that’s cracked everybody up”:
“I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn’t it”
– Groucho Marx
“It is better to be beautiful than to be good. But it is better to be good than to be ugly.”
- Oscar Wilde
“I never forget a face, but in your case I’m willing to make an exception.”
– Groucho Marx
“Wickedness is a myth invented by good people to account for the curious attractiveness of others”
– Oscar Wilde
“A narcissist is someone better looking than you are.”
– Gore Vidal
Touché. Funny non, and also right on the money, for in that type of Aphroditean milieu, appearance does indeed count. Keep in mind too, apart from getting a laugh and evoking how Libra does a mean trade in bitchy gossip, there was another point to that little divertissement, which was to illustrate that in the Libran scale of value, mastery of witty badinage ranks right up there with the possession of good looks, style, class, artistic talent, and knowing the right people, in its capacity to deliver the social cache that Libra so highly prizes ..