Astrological Archetypes with Avalon100
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Mythology of Libra

The seventh sign of the modern zodiac, Libra, is represented by a set of scales and is the only sign of the zodiac that is not representative of a living species.  Libra is also the one of the last zodiac symbols to be recognized.  The constellation now referred to as Libra was part of Scorpio in the Babylonian zodiac.


The Egyptians referred to Libra as Chonsu, the divine child, which symbolized birth and renewal.  The Egyptians believed that at the time of death the scales were used to determine if the soul would reincarnate. The goddess Maat placed the soul on one scale and a feather on the other.  If the scale tilted even slightly the soul would reincarnate.  Thoth, in the Underworld, would use the scales to measure a persons heart.  Thoth was similar to Hermes, as he was the only Egyptian god who could travel between the three realms of Heaven, Earth and Underworld.  The constellation of the scales of Libra occurs immediately before Scorpio, the sign associated with the Underworld and death.


The Greeks represented the Libran scales as being held by Astraea, the goddess of justice, which connected it to Virgo.  Over time, Libra has been associated with Hephaestus (Vulcan), blacksmith to the gods, Eros and Psyche, and Hera, as well as Aphrodite (Venus), the modern ruler of Libra.


When Uranus the sky god was castrated by his son Kronos, some of Uranuss sperm fell onto the sea and Aphrodite was born.  She was carried by the waves to Cyprus, where she was clothed and presented before an assembly of the gods.  She was awarded to Hephaestus by Zeus for his handiwork in creating lightening bolts.  Thus the most beautiful of the goddesses was married to one of the least likely of the gods.  Hephaestus, the son of Zeus and Hera, walked with a pronounced limp, was physically very unattractive and was very depressed which caused him to be angry much of the time, the result of having been rejected by his mother as an infant and later by his father.


Her marriage to Hephaestus was less than satisfactory to her and she fell in love with Aries, who was also a son of Zeus and Hera.  Aries and Aphrodite were not discrete in their rendezvous and Hephaestus fashioned a golden net and in the midst of their lovemaking cast the net over them and left them on display for the other gods to see.  Eventually they were released by Zeus.  Librans tend to fall for unavailable lovers.


Libra is linked to the seventh house of the horoscope, the house of marriage and partnerships and is ruled by Aphrodite (Venus) the goddess of love and harmony.  Though she was born on the sea, and water is generally concerning emotions, Aphrodite was given the choice to live in the water (the realm of emotions) or in the air (the area of object thought).  She chose air.


Aphrodite, vain in her own beauty, was angered that a mortal woman, Psyche, was being praised as the most beautiful woman in the world, more beautiful than Aphrodite herself.  Men came from far and near to look at her, but none fell in love with her and, unlike her two older sisters, she remained unmarried and alone.  Aphrodite asked her son, Eros (Cupid) to send an arrow into this mortal woman and cause her to fall in love with a man who would be judged the most vile of men.  Eros, always eager to help his mother immediately set off to strike Psyche with one of his arrows, but when took aim and looked upon her, he dropped his arrow, piercing himself, and falling madly in love with her. 


Psyches father went to the Temple of Apollo and inquired what he should do to help his youngest daughter find a husband.  Eros had already confided to Apollo what had happened and how he had fallen in love with the girl.  Apollo told Psyches father to take the girl to a high place and bind her to a rock.  Her future husband would come for her, but he would be monstrous looking winged serpent. 


Psyche was taken to the place, chained there, but her future husband, Eros himself, came up behind her and blindfolded her.  He told her she must never look upon him or all would be lost, as she would find him so grotesque that he would have to flee forever.  If she would agree to never look upon his face, all her needs, indeed all her desires would be provided.  She agreed and he took her to his palace.  After some time, her sisters came to visit her and they chided and ridiculed her for not ever having looked at her husband.  They convinced her to do so and after they left, she secretly approached Eros while he was sleeping and looked at him.  Oil from her lamp dripped upon his shoulder and he awakened to see his beloved standing over him.  Before he fled, he told her where there is no trust, there can be no love.  Eros fled to his mother, who tended to his wound. 


Angered that Psyche had betrayed her son, Aphrodite gave Psyche three impossible missions to complete.  Much to Aphrodites shock Psyche successfully completed them all.  Not to be bested by a mere mortal, Aphrodite decided to try to rid herself of Psyche all together.  Hearing of Psyches trials, and believing that his mother would never stop interfering in his relationship with Psyche, went to Zeus who declared that Eros and Psyche would be married and that he would bestow immortality upon Psyche.  With these events even Aphrodite could no longer complain. When the Soul (Psyche) and Love (Eros) finally unite there is complete happiness.


Hera (Juno), goddess of married women, seems to have an influence in Libra. She was married to Zeus (Jupiter) who was involved in a series of indiscretions. The Libran faced with an unfaithful partner most often reacts as Hera did by lashing out at the other man or other woman, blaming them for indiscretion rather than the unfaithful partner.  Hera raged, enacting vengeance against her husbands lovers, even when Zeus took them by force or trickery, as often happened.  Hera stayed with Zeus regardless of his indiscretions and Librans usually follow suit, staying in less than happy marriages out of their dedication to the marriage commitment.


Another myth often associated with Libra is the story of Paris and the golden apple.  Zeus commanded Paris to judge between the gifts of the goddesses Hera, Aphrodite and Pallas Athene.  The one to whom Paris awarded the golden apple to would be the winner.  At first, Paris tried to run away and avoid the whole contest all together.  Zeus prevented his departure.  Then he tried to cut the apple in three.  Again, Zeus prevented him.  Finally, Paris had no choice but the judge the gifts.  Hera offered him all of Asia as his to rule.  Pallas Athene offered him prowess in battle and military power.  Aphrodite offered him true love.  Paris gave the golden apple to Aphrodite and his love for Helen of Troy was rewarded when Aphrodite delivered Helen, a married woman, into his hands.  Thus started the Trojan War. Helen stayed with Paris for more than twenty years and they had three sons.  Paris and all three sons were killed at the end of the Trojan War and after their deaths Helen, who was a daughter of Zeus, returned to Troy where the people continued to honor her until her death.  Librans are attracted to lovers who are unavailable either emotionally or because they are already married.


Modern Libra occurs on the autumnal equinox, a time of transition when days are moving away from the balance between hours of light and hours of darkness with an increase in the hours of darkness.  Aries, Libras opposing sign, has disparity between hours of daylight and hours of darkness.  With the advent of Aries the hours of daylight are increasing, as the Arian quality of Self is emphasized.  Those issues relating to Self are increased.  With the advent of Libra Self becomes lesser and that outside of Self others gains prominence.  We begin to understand others and that recognition stirs our need for balance between Self and others.


Librans spend a lot of time assessing the pros and cons of any situation or problem they encounter. They are very concerned with fairness and can be quite miserable if they see unfairness that cant be corrected.  Since unfairness exists on all levels of life, it can be a very unhappy Libran who goes to work day after day.  They value feelings and feel the need to connect with other people, but they tend to go out of their way not to hurt other peoples feelings.  There is a tendency for Librans to be very shrewd in business matters, but lack realistic views in relationships. They tend to have unrealistic expectations of lovers and once the newness has worn off the relationship and they begin to see how their lover really is, full of faults and shortcomings, as all human beings are, they begin to look for a new ideal lover.




1.   Mythic Astrology:  Archetypal Powers in the Horoscope  by Ariel Guttman and Kenneth Johnson

2.   Archetypes of the Zodiac  by  Kathleen Burt

3.   Asteroid Goddesses  The Mythology, Psychology and Astrology of the Reemerging Feminine  by  Demetra George with Douglas Bloch

4.   Bulfinch's Mythology:  The Age of Fable  by  Thomas Bulfinch

5.   Mythology  by  Edith Hamilton