“An eye for an eye just makes the whole world blind.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
Now we have reached a subtle turning point in the evolutionary process. The first six signs deal with the fulfillment of personal needs, reaching the pinnacle at Virgo. We’ve fulfilled our personal desires to the point of burden, and feel the urge to lighten the load. The compass of self-hood gently shifting into the populated land of otherness as Libras sense a growing awareness of the importance of cooperation in order to co-exist, but also to grow. The soul can no longer function as a self-propelled “me”, but must venture into uncharted territory of “we”, making Libra no less pioneering than the brash and headstrong Aries. Funny, I’ll bet you Libras never thought of yourselves as courageous, now have you?
Libra occurs during the autumnal equinox, when the days and nights are equally as long, with a natural balance – a virtual yin/yang of daylight and night as we transition into the closing of the year. It is also during this season we reap the harvest planted so long ago in spring. The first six signs have all provided their own unique bounty, which collectively can be brought together to be shared and celebrated. But as we frequently learn in life, there’s only so far you can go alone. Libra has learned that self-propelled motivations prove to be only so satisfying and have learned the richness of sharing. Libras know how to do this without greed or manipulation. They can be incredibly gracious, finding supreme pleasure in the enjoyment of another’s company. They have a welcoming demeanor and a generous spirit. They’re magnetic with a subtle charm, they find themselves a walking nucleus for social circles due to their sincere interest in getting to know people from all walks of life. But it isn’t mere curiosity (like their Gemini cousins) as much as the intention to bond, to form open and meaningful connections with others. It’s as if they have a brimming banquet table and realize the tragedy of having such abundance go to waste, and waste it will without the company of fellows – to share, to offer their own gifts, to give company and support.
Libras are probably the best diplomats and negotiators you will find, for they know how to rise above the personal judgments and see the situation from all sides – sometimes annoyingly so. My friend Steve will frequently defend the motivations of someone the group desperately wants to find without any merit whatsoever. We kind of hate him for that, but in the end have to admit he’s right. They have the right to their experience, just as much as any individual. This ability for fairness and impartiality, can lead to a realization that differences are a beautiful part of the human condition, and the only true victory is a final outcome where everyone benefits, or at least can agree to compromise. Whether or not we like to admit it, we live in a very interdependent existence. There will come a time when we need others, or we simply need to escape the boring minutiae of ourselves. Some may find a difference of opinion to be challenging, but Libra invites them. Our differences are what make us all fascinating to them, and more importantly present an opportunity to learn more about ourselves. It’s not that Libras can’t act alone, they simply prefer not to. Their joy and pleasure is in combining their talents with another to create a magically harmonious product. Also being ruled by esthetically pleasing Venus, you’ll find many a successful partnerships to include a Libra. Mickey Rooney (September 23rd) paired with Judy Garland. Paul Simon (October 13th) spent years making music with Art Garfunkel. And then there was John Lennon (October 9th) who was modestly successful collaborating with a bloke named Paul McCartney.
Mahatma Mohandas Gandhi (October 2nd) was one of the first to put a face to the power of peace. As a young attorney, he led nationwide campaigns to ease poverty, expand women’s rights and worked toward building religious and ethnic amity. But this frail and gentle man is best known for leading India during its independence movement against foreign domination. His commitment to the practice of ‘ahimsa’ (total nonviolent resistance) in all situations was highly inspirational to another peaceful giant named Martin Luther King Jr. sending waves of fairness and equality across countries and generations. Sadly their assassins did not share the same philosophy.
There were many First Ladies before Eleanor Roosevelt (October 11th), but none elevated that position to one of such noteworthy influence through her partnership with Franklin D. Roosevelt. Highly respected by her husband, he frequently sent her as an emissary throughout the country to meet with citizens for a more personal understanding of Depression Era America. But she continued to be extremely active in political service long after FDR passed away in 1945. She was a champion of the New Deal policies, worked toward civil rights, women’s’ rights and spent seven years as a founding delegate of the United Nations– the international body aimed to facilitate cooperation, human rights and the achievement of world peace. During her time at the U.N. she chaired the committee that drafted and approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. So well respected was she that she was consulted by many presidents including John F. Kennedy and Harry Truman, who referred to her as “the First Lady of the World’ in tribute to her human rights achievements.
The woman most noted for paving the way for female journalists is Barbara Walters (September 25th). She spent years as a popular news co-anchor, eventually hosting ABC’s news-magazine 20/20 before she became the first female co-anchor with Harry Reasoner on ABC’s Evening News. But most notably she’s known for ‘personality journalism’, one-on-one interviews she scored with countless politicians and celebrities. Her gracious nature genuine and interest in learning about her interview subjects seems to set the mood for casual and disarmingly intimate discussions , and in turn, audiences learned more than ever before about many a private people. Most recently she co-created The View, a daytime talk show hosted by a forum of women (Venus!) of different generations, backgrounds and views.
We hear the word relationship and immediately our minds jump to the ideal of romantic partnering in all its soft focus glow. But relating is so much more than what the jewelry industry would like us to believe. We relate on a daily basis; it happens as soon as you walk out your door with the first person you greet. Relating has to do with how you treat another, how (or if) you see another. The rapidly advancing technology of our generation has introduced us to the global community like never before, with a seemingly incessant obsession with ‘social networking’. Personal opinion seems more important than ever – so much so that it deserves an immediate mass Twit. (Yes, I know they’re called Tweets, but this term seems so much more apropos). The problem with that is that there is no real discussion, no discourse, and little opportunity for a true opportunity for learning or resolution. It’s a one way street, not a forum. Little do we realize that our social network is actually disintegrating. I’ve always questioned if this connective web isn’t doing more to destroy relationships than enhance them, for I’ve never seen people so intently glued to their electronics. Power phone players seem trapped in perpetual distraction, oblivious to the wealth of social opportunity at arm’s length. Not only that, but with all the new ‘connections’ we’re making, I find our society to be increasingly intolerant. Differing viewpoints are attacked before others are allowed to complete their sentences as we desperately try to label and compartmentalize others to avoid getting to know them, really know them. That takes time, an open mind, and compassion, mixed with the humility of knowing that perhaps we’re all wrong at times. If only we could learn to embrace our differences. Would you really want to live in a homogenized Orwellian society? So I encourage you to strike a blow at intolerance by using that fancy phone to actually call someone and make a date to actually meet face to face. Waste away the time over coffee, a meal, a movie – anything can be a warm return to the lovely Libran art of human contact. So sorry, but keeping abreast of their Facebook page does not qualify as a relationship building act. And when you do meet, turn off the phones. (Gasp – the horror!) Nothing displays the utmost respect and appreciation for their company than to offer your complete undivided attention.
Sometimes I wonder if the only way we’ll learn to get along is through an invasion of little green men, for it seems we need a common enemy. Fifty years ago the United States called the evil Japan, but most likely they thought the same of the US. Now evil resides somewhere in the Middle Eastern – I’m not sure where anymore. I can’t keep track, and it doesn’t matter, because it’ll probably change anyway. As long as we need to find a reason to hate, we will, and the only thing that wins is hate. There will always be a ‘them’ until we learn to embrace the grand ‘us’. I don’t have illusions of world peace in my lifetime. History has shown that we’re a pretty slow study, still committed to warfare and annihilation as a solution. As hokey as it sounds, world peace has to start simply, micro-cosmically. It may not seem as profound, or look good on a bumper sticker, but it’s the kind of good will we actually can affect. It has to do with how we treat one another, and in order to so, we have to be open to one another. We can only see the world from our personal vantage point, and when we become rigidly committed to our own viewpoints and behaviors, we become fragmented and isolated – a sharp edge antagonist in a hostile environment. It can be a dark and lonely world, crashing from the hangover of our selfish motivations, and worse, our own lack of growth. As I said, there’s only so far we can go alone, and that includes within ourselves. Through another we find a doorway to a wider vista, to understanding- a loosening of the bondage of self. It can be such a relief to lighten our own load through a selfless act or give someone the give to being seen and acknowledged without judgment, condemnation or trying to win them over to your ‘side’. To simply see them for whom they are and give them your complete attention and validation. It’s probably the most powerful thing you can do, not only for them, but for you. By opening up to such a connection, both people are changed, for at any given moment we are all mirrors for another, even the ones who drive you so crazy you indulge in intricate ill-will fantasies. It’s OK, we’ve all had a few. They’re probably the best for they can show us where we need to grow. They can challenge the rut of our beliefs and resistances, for how will we see them without someone’s sand in our oyster? No one said relationships would be easy, but together we can smooth out the rough edges we never even knew we had. Kind of brings new meaning to the expression ‘Life’s a beach’. Just call me Sandy.