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Johannes Vermeer ‘Woman Holding a Balance’ c1664 {{PD}}

Relationship is everything to Libra, not just with other people, but with everything in her world, including pets, inanimate objects, and the unseen forces of the Universe. This may sound unusually scattered, if we assume each person, object, or factor is given equal weight by Libra’s attention–but of course, it isn’t. What’s important to Libra is the stance of the Self in relation to all else, with the sense of a relationship to an Other, a kind of sonar that places Libra in time and space, and so knowing where she stands, in all senses, with her world.

Initially, her viewpoint focus is on what others do. Then Libra looks at the way she relates to others–that is, she looks closely at her role in the interaction–and finally she takes a broader look at how individuals balance interaction, responsibility, and reward. This is what ultimately becomes Libra’s point of attention, where she becomes one among equals. This is all in service to fairness, which could be Libra’s rallying cry; maturity sees the viewpoint move Libra’s focus from ‘others’ to ‘me plus others’ to ‘we’re partners’. The ultimate Libran responsibility brings it home via incorporation of the Aries Self-responsibility, so that ‘I’ becomes the master of Libra’s own fate, replacing the early dependency on ‘we’.

From the outside, Libra on the Ascendant looks hesitant, as if he can’t make up his mind. That’s not what’s happening, though (and with Venus as ruler, it’s sure that Libra has a very strong opinion on wants and aesthetics!) Instead, one is observing the Libra compulsion to weigh and measure, to make sure that the choice is fair and right. Libra wants to be right so that equality is achieved according to his yardstick—but it can seem to others that Libby is wishy-washy, lacking an opinion, or (if they don’t like him) trying to manipulate. Libra is one of the more easily misunderstood Ascendant signs, simply because the fixation on fairness can make for an introspective nature, while the Venus rulership and like for good manners can make him loathe to speak up and let others know what’s what. Libra never forgets others are in the room, involved, that they matter; but until he matures, a lot of his time may be spent in these kind of awkward weighing sessions, stymied by worry about how his choices will affect his relationship to others. Those who would manipulate this Ascendant do so by accusing Libra of being unfair—nothing strikes more closely at their secret heart, and their secret fear, unless it’s being accused of being unloving, or even unlovable–then Libra feels shame, which is a direct product of accepting another’s opinion as more valid than their own.

Early in life Libra was likely made to feel that what he or she wanted was secondary to what others wanted; it’s also possible she was made to feel wrong if she filled her own needs first or thought of herself without deference to others, chiefly those who viewed her as existing to please them—and in an attempt to accommodate, Libra typically absorbs this idea, and spends the rest of her life trying to get back to and feel good about placing herself first (Aries complementary energy)—until she does, relationships will be more quicksand than support for the Libra Ascendant.

This Ascendant position offers charm and a pleasing manner as givens. Libra on the horizon meets the world ready to cooperate, which can make for an early spate of incidents where dear Libra is treated as gullible by harsher or more opportunistic others. Libby Ascendant may have to swing repeatedly to total selfishness, or at least a stringent Self-interest, before once again being able to partner or even love another; that temporary Self-focus isn’t a bad thing, but a necessary one, until Libra learns that to love others it’s necessary to value the Self as much as one values the relationship.

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