Libra, ruled by Venus, is the seventh sign of the zodiac. Libra is the sign of justice, balance, harmony, and the human ability to connect with others. Libra's symbol is the balance scales. Its glyph represents the setting or rising Sun.
Libra's Balance Scales
The Sun enters Libra at the Autumn Equinox in the Northern hemisphere and at the Spring Equinox in the Southern hemisphere. Libra's scales represent the scales on which night and day were weighed. On the day the Sun moves into Libra, day and night are almost perfectly balanced.
The History of Libra's Scales
The history of Libra's scales begins with the Babylonians who saw the scales of constellation Libra and associated them with the judgment of the living and the dead. To the ancient Egyptians, they were the final judgment. But the ancient Greeks saw the scales as the outstretched "claws" of constellation Scorpius. It wasn't until the Golden age of Rome (Pax Romana, or Roman Peace) that began in 27 B.C.E. that the scales became the symbol of justice, harmony, and balance.
The Scales and Libra Traits
The balance scales are illustrative of Libra's personality traits. Metaphorically, the balance scales encapsulate the Libran state of mind and how they tend to go through life. Libra is the Social Cardinal Air sign that represents observing, contemplating, talking, relating, and actively weighing one thing or person against another. Librans think and think and then think again before taking action. Positively, Libras are known to take a thoughtful and considerate approach to questions or problems and they strive to be fair, collaborative and balanced in all things. The scales capture this desire. However, negatively, Libra's scales are hanging and can swing and sway, indicating there is an indecisiveness inherent in Libra.
Although Libra's astrological glyph resembles an equal sign with a bump, it's also considered to be the Sun rising or setting on the horizon. This makes sense because the Sun enters Libra at the autumn equinox in the northern hemisphere and at the Spring equinox in the southern hemisphere. So, Libra is the halfway point in the seasonal cycle. This is when the Sun crosses the celestial equator, and there is a balance between day and night.
The Setting and Rising Sun
As the setting Sun, Libra's' glyph represents Autumn's promise of death. As the rising Sun, it symbolizes Springs's commitment to rebirth. Of course, this sounds a lot like Scorpio and is probably why the Greeks saw the balance scales as the claws of Constellation Scorpius.
Other Symbols Related to Libra
Libra is the only sign of the zodiac that is not symbolized by a human or animal. Still, there human forms and animals that are said to be related to Libra.
Lady Justice, a blindfolded woman carrying a sword and a set of scales, is considered a symbol of Libra. The blindfold represents Libra's need to be impartial and objective, as well as the idea that justice should be applied equally. The sword reveals that a Libra's judgment can be swift, final, and is not always painless.
The White Dove
The white dove stands out for its docility and elegance and has always symbolized Peace. Librans are very eloquent, diplomatic, and strive for peaceful resolutions.
The Swan is a symbol of beauty, grace, love, and elegance, but also symbolizes balance. All of these are traits that are common to a Libran.
The deer is a symbol of agility, gentleness, innocence, and serenity. Like the deer, Librans get around and have a certain kind of gentleness and innocence that endears them to others.
Libra's Function in a Horoscope
Libran's function in a horoscope is to create harmony in relationships and equilibrium in all areas of life. A Libra does this by negotiating and mediating solutions. However, even if you have no planets in Libra, you still have Libra in your birth chart. The house with Libra on the cusp is the area in life where you'll strive to be fair and just. It's also where you should aim for balance and equilibrium.