In the book, Esoteric Astrology, published under Alice Bailey's name but attributed to a Master of the Wisdom in the theosophical tradition, Djwhal Khul, there is an extraordinary statement about the sign Libra. It has always made me sit up and wonder, what on earth does this mean? How should this influence the way we think about our time in history and the processes we observe in law, in human relations, particularly in the field of sex and in the relation between the sexes, and in economics?
In this transition period through which the world is now passing and in this interlude between two activities that of the Piscean Age which is passing and that of Aquarius which is coming in Libra will eventually rule, and the end of this century will see the influence of Libra steadily coming into pronounced control and into a position of power in the planetary horoscope. There is, therefore, no need for real anxiety. [p. 238]
No need for real anxiety? This was written somewhere between 1939 and 1942 and it is difficult for us now to even imagine the level of anxiety of those who were reading these words at this time. This was the early period of global warfare from 1939 to 1941 Germany and its Axis allies, blinded by the Nazi vision of superiority and fascism, conquered or subdued much of continental Europe. In June of 1941 the Axis powers began their invasion of the Soviet Union, the largest "land theater of war in history", and in December of 1941 Japan (which had been at war with China for four years) bombed the United States naval base in Hawaii. It is in this context that the Master suggests that because Libra is coming into a position of power in the planetary horoscope there is no need for real anxiety!
I am no astrologer and have not researched the literature on Libra's position in the planetary horoscope now, in the second decade of the 21st century. Yet I am struck by the thought that looking at issues of human identity and selfhood as well as issues of the world and society through the lens of the scales will reveal something of where we are and where we are headed in the great initiation that is the transition into Aquarius.
So what do we see when we look at human affairs now, in 2011, in relation to law and legislation; sex and the relations between the sexes; money and economics? As we look we need to remember that Libra speaks to us of deep pondering and reflection (often so deep that it is barely conscious) building up, over decades, to moments of choice, decision and re-direction. Balancing leads to choice and in initiatory terms it is the act of choosing a future path that is of primary significance. At a time when Libra is in the position of power in the planetary horoscope we need to be looking out for the sort of deep reflection of where we are headed that will lead to a major reorientation in the culture as well as in the intimacy of our sense of who we are as human beings.
Law and legislation is occupying a hugely significant position in human affairs right now. There are great problems in our time: problems of inequality between wealth and poverty deriving from the fundamental lack of a will to share; imbalance in relations between human beings and the Planet Earth, the animals, plants and even the minerals and soils leading to all the issues of climate change, industrialized food that not only gives no nourishment but actually fosters disease, and pollution of waters and oceans; and deep problems in adapting to life in an increasingly globalized world. Response to these problems is largely playing out in 'battles' of law and legislation: political battles for or against regulation; battles to assert the rights of local communities in their relations with state, provincial and national government and corporations; battles between national sovereignty and regional or global priorities.
There is such a thing as fundamental, universal Law the spirit of the Law deriving from ageless principles of Goodness, Beauty and Truth; of the golden mean 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you'; of the outer measured against the inner as above so below.
The huge amount of energy focused on law, legislation and the role of government in responding to, for example the economic crisis, can seem disconcerting. It is a battle swinging one way and then the other without any apparent common ground. Yet this is classic Libra, and behind all the noise of the political and economic gnashing of teeth that dominates the headlines it is possible to discern a deeper meditation that is the true source of there being no need for anxiety.
To legislate our actions for the good of the whole as well as the good of the part suggests more than what we call laws although it includes laws. It suggests more than lawyers though it includes lawyers, and in particular it focuses attention on the training and education of lawyers. To legislate our actions for the common good is to carefully think through what is right and good and appropriate to the problem we face and then to choose to act in accord with this. And I believe that all the thoughtful movements of our time movements like the Global Commons, Alternative currencies; Millennium Development Goals; Spiral Dynamics; Transition Towns; Organic and Biodynamic Agriculture; renewable energies; Otto Sharma's Presencing and so on are signs of this deeper Libran action thinking beyond left and right, intuitively and often poetically. This approach to legislation looks glamour in the eye with reason accompanying intuition, and it leads to choices in the way individuals and societies regulate their lives.
What to say about sex and the relations between the sexes? Clearly there is, in our time, a Libran approach to issues of sex and the relations between the sexes. It can be seen in all the battles over gender discrimination, sexual violence and the rights of the gay community. Libra makes us look at sex in terms of the balancing of the pairs of opposites and perhaps we can see the huge amount of energy devoted to discussion and legislation on the relations between men and women and the ending of laws seen to discriminate against the gay community as a sign of this balancing process at work. The extremes of hatred or fear of sex and of an over-stimulated glorification of sex and pornography are very much a part of our time yet both extremes are somehow less hidden, more open to observation and careful judgment than in previous eras. In the internet age repression is being eroded as a human response to sex. Therapy, counseling and psychology are helping human beings to understand their sexuality and this, it would seem, is a very Libran process leading to balance and an organic wholeness in which sex is a part of life.
Money is hugely in focus right now throughout the world as the developed economies face banking crises, an absorption with national debt and as fluctuating prices of food threaten to upset the progress many societies have made in recent years on the Millennium Goals. Behind the scenes of the politics and the big headlines about government regulation of banks, executive pay, unemployment and what government can do to stimulate employment through environmentally sustainable industries, energy sources and infrastructure there is a deep Libran meditation underway as people and institutions rethink their attitude to money. This rethinking is as much about what is valued in life as 'how much' money is needed for a meaningful and sustainable family life or to best serve the purposes of an organization. It is the rethinking at the personal level (especially amongst families) as well at the level of institutions, communities and cultures that is I think the core Libran process. A part of the rethinking is in the emergence of a new breed of super-star philanthropists alongside socially responsible business, cooperatives and Fair Trade products and the rising importance of the non-profit world in every sphere of living. Subtly, our view of competition is shape shifting and the good of the whole is becoming desirable in new ways. And, more fundamentally, I suspect that there is a new search amongst more and more people to discover authentic generosity the generous spirit has been so missing, so under-valued in the modern culture and economy. Today people are finding new ways of being generous and celebrating the abundant gifts that flow from generosity. This is part of the story of the human response to disasters, but I suspect it is more than this. The way we relate to money, currency and income (personally, locally, nationally and globally) will increasingly include a desire to find ways of expressing generosity. And this can only come from the place of poise and balance for authentic and genuine generosity flows from the soul. It is more to do with getting out of the way, than contriving to be generous or wanting to 'appear' generous.
In conclusion, can we ponder this brief summary of the Libran keynote from the Lucis Trust web site? Remember the keynote for the disciple is: I chose the way which leads between the two great lines of force.
Libra is a sign of balancing, of careful weighing of values, and of achieving the right equilibrium between the pairs of opposites through the right utilisation of the balancing, analytical faculty of mind.
Libra governs the legal profession and holds the balances between so-called right and wrong, between negative and positive. Libra has been the "sponsor of the law". The law must become the custodian of a positive righteousness and not simply the instrument of enforcement. Just as we are attempting to eliminate force out of our national relationships, and just as it is obvious today that the process of drastic penalties has not succeeded in preventing crime or in deterring people from violent selfishness (for that is what all crime is), and just as the social attitude (in contradistinction to the anti-social position of all law-breakers) is being regarded as desirable and taught in our schools, so it is beginning to dawn upon the public consciousness that the inculcation of right relations and the spread of self-control and the growth of unselfishness (and these surely are the goal, subjective and oft unrealised, of all legal procedure) are the needed approach to the young. The key for growth is the cultivation of harmlessness. Harmlessness is not negativity or inaction; it is a condition of "perfect poise, a completed point of view and divine understanding". www.lucistrust.org/en/arcane_school/twelve_spiritual_festivals/libra