Libra has a reputation for being nice and for putting other people first. But Libra also symbolizes comparison; to some extent, most of us gauge our relative success by looking at what others have accomplished. Even when we’re smiling on the outside, our inner Librans are keeping score and making sure the scales balance. When they don’t… no more Mr. Libra nice guy.
Some of our earliest shocking realizations about the world are about fairness. “It’s not fair!” squeals the 5-year-old whose older brother gets a later bedtime. “It’s not fair!” objects the teenager who is denied her own car, even though all her friends have one. “It’s not fair!” shouts the employee who has been let go in his company’s latest round of firings, even though his laziest coworker gets to keep his job.
Life isn’t fair, at least not according to our (probably limited) understanding of fairness. And it’s especially galling when you’ve played by the rules and done everything you were supposed to do, and have not been rewarded for it but in fact punished. Like young people who were pushed to attend college, sometimes incurring massive debt in the process, only to graduate and find there are no jobs for them. Or workers near retirement age who find their guaranteed pension has vanished into thin air. And while I’m personally grateful for the Affordable Care Act, I do understand why some feel that it’s unfair to be compelled to buy health insurance.
For many of us keeping score at home, the scales don’t seem to balance. When our internal accounting system triggers a fairness audit, we have a range of options. We can attempt to steer the world toward greater fairness through activism and education. We can surrender to cynicism, anger, and laziness. We can turn to faith; Venus, Libra’s ruling planet, is after all exalted in Pisces, the sign of spiritual awareness. Maybe the currently popular adage is true, and “Things always turn out right in the end. If things aren’t right, it’s not the end.” Or we can simply ignore everything that makes us unhappy.
The chart for this New Moon (October 4, 2013, 5:34 pm Pacific), with the Sun and Moon opposed radical Uranus in Aries and square transformational Pluto, demands that we exercise the first option. Aspects like those fairly scream, “State of emergency! Threat level orange! All hands on deck!” But after a couple of decades of fighting hard for a better world, I’ll admit that these days I’ve retreated into the second, and possibly the fourth options. I’m dimly aware of the catastrophes running rampant in the world at the moment, but I’m doing my level best to ignore them. I’ve had a few health problems this year, and I find I’m not willing to risk more by fretting over politicians behaving like the craven idiots we always knew they were.
I feel for the Pluto in Libra generation, now reaching key astrological ages – the youngest are 29 and reaching their Saturn returns, the oldest have hit 42 and their “mid-life crisis” aspects (Uranus opposition, Saturn square, Pluto square). They’re gotten kind of a raw deal, and they know it. But along with the Saturn/Uranus/Neptune in Capricorn generation born in the 1980s, the eldest of whom are now within a few years of their own Saturn returns, Team Pluto in Libra is probably our best hope for sorting out the messes now facing us.
It’s always been the young people who have had to fight for justice, for more or less the same reason we send young people to fight battles on foreign soil: they’re young enough to believe they’re immortal and can’t fail. Besides, each generation defines itself by working out its own outer-planet astrological signatures at the macro-level, through railing at the government, wars, and economy that they inherited from previous generations. The Saturn/Pluto in Leo Baby Boomers dealt with the Uranus/Pluto conjunction in the 60s, mostly by blowing up society as we knew it (not necessarily a bad thing); my generation (Pluto in Virgo) dealt with the collapse of the dot.com bubble and with the horrifying rise of the Bush idiocracy while Pluto was in Sagittarius.
And now we’re facing the ongoing square between transiting Uranus and Pluto, and problems that are far beyond the sincerest gestures of well-meaning individuals. Selfishness and isolation and the very worst, most childish shadow side of the Pluto in Leo era are in their death throes; Pluto in Virgo can offer triage to stem the bleeding, and perhaps build some much-needed infrastructure. But these are times that call for collective action, and we’re fortunate that the generation born with Pluto in Libra has a gift for collaboration that surpasses anything we’ve seen in my lifetime. It’s going to be up to them to help us remember the power, responsibility, and redemption of living as a society.
And no, that isn’t fair to them. But as much as we yearn for fairness, the best we can probably hope for is a kind of logic to the way things work out. As individuals, human beings are wildcards, but as a species we seem to move in a fairly linear way toward more or less logical conclusions. Each moment of epic societal fail has a pedigree, a family tree that you can trace to understand its origins and to identify the point at which its DNA became corrupted. But the tree also has new branches and leaves that represent new generations with fresh energy… and that is a source of hope, a promise that wounds can heal and that day will inevitably follow night. It’s not fairness, exactly, but there is a kind of symmetry to it, and balance. And for a New Moon in Libra, that’s not such a bad consolation prize.
© 2013 by April Elliott Kent