These aren’t the easiest of times. Everyone’s cup is filled to the rim, and living with daily stressors can really wear you down. Paradoxically, stress lowers our tolerance for handling the complexity it brings into our life; science says stress chemicals hi-jack our brains, and narrowing our ability to think we literally become dumber. Under stress, we become reactionary and reductionistic. Even ordinary discussions are bigger, hotter and redder as, we, and the people in our lives, find it all to easy to forego nuance, ambiguity and instead jump to conclusions.
When life resembles a shaken up can of 7-Up, calm Libra rolls in like a smooth ocean breeze, passing out tropical drinks, soothing ruffled feathers. Libra is the civilizing force of society. A mental air sign, Libra rules objectivity, impartiality, neutrality, subtlety. When confronted with the conversational equivalent of a car full of screaming quintuplets who are all cutting teeth, empathic Libra deftly attempts to maneuver the topic onto reasonable ground. By empathically feeling into a situation and thoughtfully, deliberately offering a calming word, a sweet, a gentle gesture, Libra relaxes and pacifies us.
Like an expert hostess or host, Libra accommodates, and often with panache and class. I loved the movie The Grand Budapest Hotel for this reason, as the head concierge of this grand hotel (wonderfully played by Jude Law) exemplified the civility, dignity, sophistication and mutual courtesy of a bygone era. I used to work in the hospitality industry, where accommodation is king. Yet even there I learned that no matter how respectful and helpful, when the there’s a hot-head freight train headed your way “nice” will never stop the train, only slow it down.
It’s a subtle art, being Libra. Libra expertly notices the nuances of a situation, and defuses bombs with sensitivity. Just imagine what this world would be like without Libra. Diplomacy would cease. Red-eyed emotions would run amok. A winner takes all mentality would supersede negotiations. But peace at any price is the shadow of Libra. And in these days of Uranus in Aries, of hard earned Truth-to-Self moments, Libra’s impartial gaze is not always met with warm eyes. When life is edgy, objectivity, graciousness and tact isn’t always welcome. To the hot, urgent, fiery Self it can even feel manipulative, slick.
I experienced this when I recently found myself in a discussion with a good friend who was feeling victimized, angry. Because of my closeness to the topic, I grew increasingly uncomfortable. I found myself playing out my Libra rising: countering her every angry statement with an objective and impartial one, she finally exploded, “I feel so judged by you!” I didn’t see it that way. My Libra Rising was frantically trying to maintain equilibrium and balance, trying to hold two different views instead of collapsing into extremism and self-righteousness. There we were, two people having very different experiences of the same conversation, a classic Aries-Libra scenario (and we were both having Mars transits that day).
At this Libra Full Moon Lunar Eclipse, we need to experience sweet release of tension, a spot of serenity, yet the other planets aren’t being so cooperative. The explosive tensions of Uranus, Pluto, Mars, Mercury and Jupiter loom nearby. Pluto is station retrograde. Old wounds are triggered. Eclipses shine light into the dark shadow corners of our psyche; we need to discover what’s impeding our peace, and because the nature of eclipses are unpredictable, revelations may be unsettling or surprising. With Mercury in Aries conjunct Uranus at this Full Moon, revelations are fueled by fiery veracity; we can no longer ignore our bottom line, our truth. If we’re unhappy in our relationship, we may discover we need new relationship tools. We may realise we’ve been codependent, compromising too much, or conversely that there’s been a lack teamwork, a unified “Us” togetherness. We may have run-ins with people who are irrational, high-strung, tense. We may feel that way. In short, at this lunation we may not feel peaceful at all.
When we’re on edge, misunderstanding looms large especially while Mars is retrograde in Libra and casual social interactions can bring out our heat, fire, sense of injustice. As Mars continues his retrograde journey (thru 5/19, continuing in Libra thru 7/24), we’re being given a crash course in learning the subtleties and nuances of every person and situation. Let’s aspire to keep balanced in the eye of the storm; let’s choose to carry love & peace in our consciousness. Considering another’s point of view is never mandatory, but it is extremely helpful right now. Aries/Mars forever aims for victory for the Self, but that’s a great way to live in a world of exactly one person. Ideally, there’s a setting at the table for everyone’s experience. After all, Libra’s endpoint is peace, love and understanding -and that happens when everyone is honored.