Astrologers are fond of observing that a Libra is nothing more than an Aries who’s been to charm school. Libra is every bit as determined as his fellow cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, and Capricorn) to get what he wants. But unlike those signs, Libra has the ability to make it look as though serving his own needs is the furthest thing from his mind.
That isn’t meant as a criticism, by the way. I admire the strategy. My mother was born with Libra rising, and she had the iron fist in the velvet glove routine down pat. For years, I watched her put this skill to use securing contributions for fundraising events on behalf of her favorite charity. She overcame any resistance with sunny charm, pretending not to notice reluctance or impatience coming from the other end of the telephone, and refusing to be intimidated. By pretending that others wanted to be helpful, she persuaded them to be so. In the end, she always got what she was after – and nearly always, earned another fan in the process.
With this Libra Full Moon facing off against a Mongol horde of planets (the Sun, Venus, Mars, and Uranus) in ferocious Aries – and all of them square unyielding Pluto in Capricorn - conflict resolution is the order of the day. I’ve been thinking about the best way to deal with people who make me angry, as well as those whose interests are diametrically opposed to my own. One hesitates to call them “enemies;” it sounds so dramatic. But let’s face it, that’s what an enemy is: one whose interests conflict with yours.
As mom was fond of saying, “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” And as every Libran knows, there’s more than one way to defeat an opponent. The 15th century Roman Emperor Sigismund was admonished by his Prime Minister when instead of destroying his captured enemies, he brought them into his court. It’s said that he replied, “Do I not most effectually destroy my enemies, in making them my friends?” It’s a quotation often attributed to Abraham Lincoln, and though I couldn’t find a source for it, it does sound like the kind of thing he would have said, famous as he was for forging unlikely political alliances.
But when I think about befriending people whose opinions, lifestyles, or politics are abhorrent to me, some flinty part of me digs in its heels and refuses to give in, loathe to give the impression of surrender. Why do most of us find it so difficult to befriend our enemies – and why is that those with Libra prominent in their birth charts often succeed where we fail?
In traditional astrology, Libra is said to be the sign of the Sun’s “fall” – meaning, it’s one of the signs in which the Sun’s innate qualities of pride and ego are least able to express themselves. Unlike prideful Leo (the sign of the Sun’s rulership) and headstrong, impulsive Aries (sign of the Sun’s exaltation), Libra has the ability to strategically suppress his ego in order to get what he wants.
With lots of impatient Aries planets on a collision course with Pluto, the potential for animosity and frustration over the next couple of weeks is enormous. It’s the kind of celestial atmosphere that suggests full-scale emotional meltdown. Picture four planets in Aries, like frustrated toddlers, falling down on their fannies, kicking their feet in the air, and screaming until they turn purple.
How to soothe four irate toddlers at once – or even one screaming customer, road-rageous fellow motorist, or internet flamethrower? By first making a friend of the enemy inside you – the stubborn, prideful, impulsive, and ego-driven part of you that stands in opposition to your best interests. Befriend that part of yourself, and you’ll have transformed your worst enemy into a strong, passionate ally. Once you’re fully at peace with yourself, you can respond to the rage, frustration, and stubbornness of others with kindness, even charm—fully expecting them to behave better, to be better. Not everyone will rise to meet your expectations —but at least you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you did.
© 2011, 2013 April Elliott Kent
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