October 2010 New Moon in Libra

What do we mean when we speak of love and justice?

The conjunction of the moon and sun in Libra on October 7, gives us the opportunity to ponder our definitions of relationship and our own, subjective needs and desires and how we engage  with others.

In order to understand the sign of Libra, we must first examine his ruling planet, Venus and how she transmits her energies through this Fall sign of the zodiac.  Venus also rules Taurus, and in this home Venus represents the sexuality and sensuality of the maiden.  It is no accident that, during her time in Taurus, we celebrate the earthy rites of Beltane.  Hers is the new and vital exploration of fecundity and fertility found in the sign of the Bull.  The exploration of beauty, passion and pleasure of coupling and play at the physical level are hers to enjoy.  Through these activities, she develops her physical senses and grounds them into her being.  Sight, sound, smell, touch and taste are taken in in order to draw a boundary around the material being, to find and define its potentials and limitations.  This Venusian early adult, like all late adolescents, can become involved in the expressions of the inferior ego self and fall into the all-too-familiar patterns of jealousy, manipulation and obsession with control over the other.  This is a non-gendered potential that comes with the Taurean terrain of the relationship to possessions, which range from the material (as is traditionally understood) to the psychic/emotional ties that bind the self to other.  To be fully with something or someone is entirely different than “owning” it, and discernment of these two states is the challenge of the young Venus.

By the time Venus develops herself through Summer and lands in the Fall energies of Libra, if all has gone well, she has learned to transmute the dynamics of the individual, desiring self (Taurus) into the mature trustee of the higher mind (Libra).  Here, the exuberant maiden transforms herself into the adult feminine wisdom, functioning within the framework of the rational brain.  She is able to transmit the knowledge attained from the marriage between the concrete, precise left brain domain and that of the intuitive dreamtime domain of the right brain and participate fully in the weighing of needs between self and other.  Venus’ passion becomes an ethereal sensuality and appreciation of beauty born of a union of knowing and sensing.

Libra’s symbol is the sign of the scales of justice and is a masculine elemental.  Venus, the feminine elemental, dons her robes of justice, both in the personal and social realms, in order to bring harmony, peace and beauty through her mature and motherly love.  She has experienced much of the sorrows and joys of life and stands as an embodied testament to the equanimity acquired through them.  As the mother who has born her children, she knows the responsibility of defending the weak with the might of a lion. She often appears blindfolded, holding the weights of justice in her firm and steady hand, a sword in the other.  This blindfold represents the fact that she has developed her five physical senses to the point that they are now able to inform the sixth and higher spiritual sense of equality and fairness unbounded by the demands and obsessions of the physical world.  Compassionate as she is, she is also the trained warrior, ready and able to draw the lines of boundary when needed. Impartial and detached love, informed first by kinesthetic involvement in the material plane and then released  and transcended into the universal, is the highest form of expression of Venus in Libra.

The undeveloped Libran involves itself in the realm of polarities and often clings to relationship at any and all costs.  Like the chick imprinting itself on the first warm and fuzzy object it sees, the Libran may sacrifice individual needs for romantic ties and will often ignore incompatibilities and abuses in order to maintain itself in a relationship of undifferentiated union.  Adult relationship requires discernment with regard to defining the nature and scope of any relationship, whether it be of a friendship, a mentorship, a parental, a collegial or a romantic involvement.  As our younger Venus knows, there is a plethora of combinations of sensation and the integrated and aware adult will use his or her senses to define and honor each one for their own merits.  This is the developed Libran, where a full exploration of the “me” has taken place and been integrated into a dynamic in order to fully participate in the subtleties and nuances of any given “us.”

The Moon and Sun in conjunction allows the subjective and potentiality of the objective to meet and mix together in the cauldron of darkness.  Libra Moon and Libra Sun together give us the opportunity to focus on our deepest ideas of balance in any and all of our relationships.  A ritual here might include red roses to signify our notions of romantic love, an image of hands holding to signify friendships, a firm handshake to represent our collegial relationships, a vessel to indicate our intimate relationship with our mothers, and any other images that allow us to focus on each of them in turn.  We meditate on each individually and allow ourselves to feel and imagine into them fully, honoring them for their unique richness and the gifts they bestow upon us.  After this, we can use the images like tarot cards or a mandala or collage and arrange them in patterns.  This allows us to play with how each moves in and out of our field of vision at any given time and to differentiate how each of them can and does satisfy a different part of ourselves.  This is a Jungian orientation to self and relationship, which acknowledges that different relationships allow us to “have” all the needed parts of expression to develop throughout our lifetimes.  It also assists us in recognizing that no single relationship (particularly our primary partnership) should ever be used to fulfill all of our desires and needs.

Particular to this New Moon is the fact that Saturn is conjunct the Moon/Sun  at 8° Libra, as is Gemini at 7° Libra.  Saturn is an unwanted partner in venusian/libran realms, as love is not often keen to limit itself.  Saturn here is requesting that we narrow our fields of vision (as the ritual above suggests) in order to focus on and clarify our varied relationships.  Saturn does exert a binding influence and mad dashes into the arms of others are not in the offing with this aspect.  In fact, for those involved in the material world, arguments (Gemini) and withdrawals might ensue.  Releasing ourselves from relationships that do not serve our best interests is a powerful manifestation of Saturn in Libra.  It cuts out the no longer useful in order that we may proceed along our own paths of fulfillment more freely. I always recommend focusing on the spiritual and psychological meanings of placements as the mundane manifestations are easier to bear with venusian equipoise when understood at a macrocosmic level.

The lessons we can here learn with regard to considerations of ourselves and the meanings of engagment in relationship are useful in that they provide the learning ground for our ultimate relationship – that with our life and our death.  The scales of Libra are also associated with the judgment that comes after physical life has ended and we are asked to weigh the sum of our lives against a feather.  Contrary to judeo-christian belief systems which tell of this as a time of punishment, this time after death actually provides the opportunity  to look back on  and remember into all of the actions we took, the thoughts we had and the emotions we allowed ourselves to bear in a lifetime.  And it is done with kindness, compassion and responsibility. Contemplating how we have begun, lived through and ended relationships is a useful one at this time.  New Moon is a time to reflect for the physical manifestation that occurred on the last Full Moon and to come into union with our internal and external selves and envision the embodiment we wish to see at the next Full Moon.  This one is about right and fulfilling relationship with ourselves and others.

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