The Autumnal Equinox, where we are suspended in the delicate balance of light and dark, is marked as the sun crosses into Libra. The beginning of fall.
Libra rules balance. When functioning well it’s able to manage multiple forces and energies. It weaves beautiful harmonious states through the blending of energies. It rules cooperation, peace, and justice. As a dancer I know that embodied balance, true Libra-ing is a constant negotiation of a thousand tiny falls. It’s a delicate dance WITH gravity - an honoring of what pulls from below.
Out of alignment, Libra seeks balance by simply avoiding the fall. As keeper of the peace, it's not surprising that avoiding conflict is one of Libra's more problematic attributes. But sometimes conflict is unavoidable. Sometimes Libra accepts the shellac of toxic sweetness to avoid the stink of shit when so much of now is actually about accepting that much of what we thought was "just fine" is actually very, very sick.
As I was thinking about Libra, I remembered the Edward Albee play A Delicate Balance. It follows the unravelling of an affluent white couple, Tobias and Agnes. Their breakdown begins when two terrified friends, Edna and Harry, show up late at night unannounced. Shaken by an unnamable fear, they request to be taken in as guests. Harry and Edna spend much of the play invisible, locked away in a bedroom. A physical compartmentalizing of the terror they represent. A fear that is never investigated. A necessary shadow coming to disrupt the white knuckle vigilance that likes to masquerade as harmony. It’s an awkward and incredible scene of the profound potency of unconscious terror colliding with the ossified plaque of mundane propriety, truly dangerous decorum.
Libra rules decorum. The play’s leading character and very Libran figure, Agnes concludes the play,
“What I find most astonishing, I think, is the wonder of daylight, of the sun. All the centuries, milleniums–all the history–I wonder if that’s why we sleep at night, because the darkness still… frightens us? They say we sleep to let the demons out–to let the mind go raving mad, our dreams and our nightmares, all our logic gone awry, the dark side of our reason. And when the daylight comes again… comes order with it.”
Libra sits in the Zodiac square to Capricorn. Currently, Saturn, Pluto, and the South Node claim the Capricorn seat. Formidable and powerful, they are positioned to stare down Libra placements with penetrating intensity of all that dark side of reason.
With Saturn and the South Node conjunct again there’s a palpable energy speaking. It’s been gut-punch intense especially April through late July. Saturn and the South Node throw us into deep reckoning - it shows up at our door as the terrifying nothing that haunts the play. It throws us into shadow, the past, residues of what has already happened. It announces itself as the smell of shit. Unpleasant, yes, but a necessary part of processing. To Libra, this feels unsettling. To Libra, conflict feels terrifying. To Libra, falling feels like failing.
As Libra season begins and Saturn and the South node are conjunct it’s time to seek a different kind of balance, to carve out a brave space that activates a more nuanced relationship to harmony and justice. Libra needs to be reminded in all its diplomacy and decorum that there is no such thing as neutral. It’s important for Libran energy to remember that being led by cooperarion is a liability in a world that seeks to control. Yet avoidance is not peace. Not choosing is its own answer. Some fear cannot be run from but must be faced. While some terrors should not be invited into the house. Some no’s are very necessary. True balance means a direct engagement with that formidable dance of gravity and gravitas. The thousand tiny falls that make up balance. This Libra season what do you consent to collaborate with? What balance is worth the risk of the fall?
*cover photo taken by Robbie Sweeny