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Libra New Moon: Breaking Down, Breaking Bad, or Breaking Out?

Looking for the column for the week of October 19? It's right here!

During the long months of the pandemic, I’ve been revisiting one of my all-time television obsessions, Breaking Bad. It’s the story of a mild-mannered high school chemistry teacher who turns to manufacturing methamphetamine following a terminal cancer diagnosis. Underemployed, henpecked, and newly 50, Walter White soon finds within the world of illegal drugs the recognition and power that eluded him first as a scientist, then as a teacher.

When my colleague and fellow Breaking Bad enthusiast Matthew Currie pegged Walt as a Libra early on, it made sense (although as I later discovered, Walter White was actually a Virgo, with Mars in Libra.) After all, the Sun, symbolizing ego and confidence, is in its fall (considered weak) in Libra. Those who embody this refined, intellectual sign can face an uphill battle to gain respect in a world that idealizes strongly solar traits of pride, swagger, decisiveness, and machismo. Someone who loses this struggle is more than capable of “breaking bad” – acting out with temper tantrums, fights, or even criminal activity.

But with this Libra New Moon (Oct. 16, 2020, 12:31 pm PDT) opposed hard-fighting Mars and square the powerful triumvirate of Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto – with so much of our society seemingly breaking down, so many of us demoralized – I’m reminded that there are Libran ways of fighting back that don’t involve breaking down or breaking bad.

Consider Mohandas Gandhi, a sun sign Libra whose strategy of non-violent disobedience was instrumental in gaining India’s independence from British rule. It’s tempting to focus only on the “non-violent” part of Gandhi’s legacy, which fits so smoothly with our preconceptions of Libra as polite, peace-loving, and harmonious. But because Libra is the sign of balance, we need to give equal attention to that part about “disobedience.” Don’t be fooled by Libra’s polite manners; this is a sign that studies the rules carefully in order to more effectively dismantle them.

What Breaking Bad’s creator describes as “Walter White’s transformation from Mr. Chips to Scarface” is one example of a man throwing off the shackles of the law and social expectations, with violent and destructive results. But in Gandhi we see that disobedience, even when it elicits a violent response, is exactly what’s required to change society to any degree of consequence – and that Libra’s gift for strategy is perfect for the job. As always, intention is everything. Gandhi’s disobedience was in service of an entire social movement. Walt’s disobedience, while ostensibly on behalf of the family he expects to leave behind in the very near future, was in fact just as much about propping up his wounded ego.

This Libra New Moon is best thought of as a cue ball breaking against racked-up heavy-hitters Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto in Capricorn, with Mars in Aries chalking up the stick to gain traction. Rebellion is the order of the day, and the stakes are high. The forces we’re rebelling against, whether politicians, titans of industry, racial injustice, or a pandemic, seemingly hold all the power. But then, so did the British Empire, until one slight man in a loincloth brought it to its knees without firing a shot.

The tyranny in our own lives may be minor in comparison – an exploitative work place, an overbearing partner, a manipulative family member. But it takes real courage to resist tyranny in any form, and to reach out for liberation and empowerment. And it takes real character to maintain your ethical center in the process.

When the Sun makes its annual pilgrimage through Libra, we visualize a road to happiness paved with smiles, handshakes, and civilized negotiation. But as has so often been the case throughout this long Jupiter/Saturn/Pluto in Capricorn siege, reality can be harsh, even brutal. But in all our astrological focus this year on big planets in Capricorn, it’s easy to overlook that Neptune in Pisces has been with us all along, the voice of empathetic conscience, laying the groundwork for a new collective dream. Realizing important dreams has never come without a price. Rebelling against the shackles that bind us, and bravely reclaiming power over our lives, is the price we’ll have to pay now if we hope to find real happiness farther along down the road.

Writing and collages © 2011-2024 April Elliott Kent

Jen and discuss all the week’s planetary highlights on this week’s episode of the podcast:
51 | Libra New Moon: Symmetry, Schmemmetry!

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4 comments to " Libra New Moon: Breaking Down, Breaking Bad, or Breaking Out? "

  • I am thriving. Now I say that because all this recently juicy astrology has been so invigorating for my chart. Despite the nonsense humans are doing to politicize things, I’m over here in my rainbow bunker contemplating how we automatically associate balance with equality. Even in school I never truly understood the concept of weight grading tests to appease the lesser learned, to try and qualify the group instead of recognizing individual performance. There are so many things we need to improve and optimize, but it comes with a cost. This new moon is joyously taking place in my 2nd house hee hee. And I am chuffed to bits about it because I feel vindicated. I’ve been rebelling against this societal narrative that my career needs to be equated with merit and experience. And that’s not the case for those privileged enough to blow smoke up people’s asses during interviews. The Shadowside to libra is the gatekeeping or omission of specific ingredients or qualities to skew the perception of value. Ehem flattening the curve rhetoric by displaying a larger font size for death counts vs survival rates stuff like that. It’s often tactics and vanity metrics that I see fakes flaunting around and not enough real unadulterated grit to prove they earned their spot at the Embassy ball. Anyway, right now the astrology is rewarding and the sky isn’t falling, it’s glowing. Glowing with vivid colors that paint a story of transition. Happy llama dancing shall commence !

  • Exceptionally helpful, April, thank you.

  • Ahhhh, April, I was once again delighted to heave my usual sigh after reading your words… a reminder of sanity and the inevitable shifts we get to celebrate and suffer and endure. Thank you.

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