Libra zodiac sign explained: Dates, compatibility, personality

Libra zodiac sign explained: Dates, compatibility, personality

Ruling the skies from September 23 – October 22nd and riding the line between fastidious Virgo and brood heavy Scorpio is armed with charm Libra.

A Cardinal air sign, Libra is symbolized by the scales and balances, the only sign in the big top of the zodiac wheel represented by an inanimate object. As such, Libra is associated with equanimity and justice, unicycles, the rule of order, tree poses, the golden ratio and divine law. The symbolism of the scales is present in the personality of a Libra as they often require the intercession, or counterweight if you will, of another person in order to act, decide, rebel, define or respond.

Because morality is murky and right and wrong a perpetual shade of gray it pains Libra to make a decision. Natural diplomats, they often forsake or repress their own desires in pursuit of meeting the expectations of those around them.

Highly adaptable with an innate understanding of the needs and drives of others they are easy to like and hard to truly know. Socially fluent they can feel both a part of and utterly outside of the world they walk through. Libra poet and novelist Ocean Vuonng speaks to this, “What I mean is that sometimes I don’t know what or who we are. Days I feel like a human being while other days I feel more like a sound. I touch the world not as myself but as an echo of who I was. Can you hear me yet? Can you read me?”

I see you, I hear you and I will attempt to translate, Libra. Read on to learn more.

Planetary ruler: Venus

Illustration of Venus with visible atmosphere.
Libra is ruled by Venus, the planet of aesthetics and attachment.
Getty Images/Science Photo Libra

Libra is ruled by Venus, planet of beauty, aesthetics, music, art and attachments. The influence of Venus lends Libra a charming, wrinkle smoothing, conflict avoiding, pleasure seeking modality. Libra knows how to please and how to perform. Venus supports and indulges the archetype of Libra as the bon vivant, a socially dexterous, velvet clad vampire, roaming the manicured gardens and heavily tapestried hotels of the world in search of finery, witty rapport, soft lighting and minimal exertion.

Not for nothing, the late great Oscar Wilde was a Libra whose Venusian nature is written all over his last words, uttered at flop hotel in Paris in 1900, “My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go.”

Mythology

Justitia monument - Frankfurt
In mythology, Libra is associated with the prophetic goddess Themis.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

In terms of mythology, the sign of Libra is linked to the goddess Themis. Greek for “order,” Themis is the personification of justice and the interpreter of the will of the gods. A prophetic deity, she reigned over the Oracle at Delphi before passing the privilege to fire god and flagrant rapist Apollo. This resonates in the personality of Libras as they can often predict or intuit the needs of others and sense when social dynamics are shifting.

Themis represented a moral code of conduct and was venerated as a source of reparations and a bringer of balance. Themis is often depicted holding a sword, used to cut the truth free from lies. Very heavy metal. She oversaw ceremony of all kinds, which tracks given the Libra penchant for hosting a feast, orgy, wedding or birthday.

A black and white image of Oscar Wilde.
Libra Oscar Wilde’s last words were a testament to the witty, aesthetically influenced nature of his sun sign.
Bettmann Archive

Themis was the second wife of Zeus and the mother of the Morai, three sisters or fates that spun, measured and divided the threads of life for all of humankind. She was also the mother of the Horai, another set of sisters that governed time and the seasons of the year. Themis represents many of the higher expressions of Libra energy; graceful, socially adept, peace brokering, and concerned with balancing the myriad needs of others with an eye and a scale on what is best for the collective. When the wishes or decrees of Themis were not followed, she invoked her fellow goddess Nemesis, Greek for “to give what is due,” to punish those that defied her. In essence, Themis created law and Nemesis enforced it. A dream team and a balance struck.

Charms/strengths

Lenny Bruce poses with his hands up.
Libra Lenny Bruce found freedom, fame and criminal charges, by defying expectations.
ALPHA/GLOBE PHOTOS

When it comes to charms, Libras trade easy in them. In general they excel at integrating disparate groups, lightening the mood, sweetening negotiations and makings things comfortable for everyone. If Libra was a piece of furniture it would be a richly upholstered chaise lounge.

Equal parts tactful and witty, Libras are excellent conversationalists, peace keepers, social negotiators, cultural critics and writers. Notable Libra wordsmiths include Arthur Rimbaud, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Truman Capote, bell hooks, and William Faulkner. Ruled as they are by Venus they are natural romantics. With the air sign advantage of detachment Libras can easily switch between inhabiting and observing the mechanizations of the human heart. Rumi, the uber popular poet who knew the terrain well, was of course, a Libra.

Marie Kondo in a red polka dot dress.
Libra Marie Kondo exhibits the finer, discerning qualities of her sign.
WireImage

Concerned with likability and levity, Libras really shine when they unshackle themselves from the need to be palatable and lean into their often subversive senses of humor. We see this in Libra comedian Lenny Bruce who came into his own after spending part of the 1950’s performing at seedy strip clubs throughout the San Fernando Valley.

According to Bruce’s biographer, the low billing inspired a creative renaissance, “He broke free of all the restraints and inhibitions and disabilities that formerly had kept him just mediocre and began to blow with a spontaneous freedom and resourcefulness.”

As Bruce demonstrated, Libras can step more fully into themselves by living beyond, and sometimes even boldly below, what’s expected of them. Besotted by beauty, Libras can fall prey to the precarious belief that what is good must be beautiful and what is beautiful must be good.

Cardi B performs during the Wireless Festival at the National Exhibition Centre.
Libra Cardi B is the queen of coordination, seen here decked out in, and backed up by the color pink.
Redferns

At its highest expression, this manifests as an ability to create harmonious space and spaces and an aspirational aesthetic/personal brand. We see this modality in Libra lifestyle gurus like Gwyneth “GOOP” Paltrow and high priestess of folded shirts and joy sparks, banisher of clutter and follower of glow, ladies and gentlemen Marie Kondo.

Libras are often lauded for their personal style. Because perception and popularity are important to them, they know how to dress for the life they want and the impression they hope to make. We see the sartorial prowess of this sun sign expressed in Libra Cardi B coronated by “Vogue Magazine” as “The Queen of Next-Level Coordination” and fashion chameleon Kim Kardashian.

At their best and brightest, Libras believe in equanimity and are interested in bringing issues into focus and justice into being. We see this in the likes of Libras like Kardashian, who has fought for prison reform and the democratization of shape wear and skin care, Judge Judy who has made a career small claims court and writer Ta-Nehisi Coates who eloquently and powerfully brought “The Case for Reparations,” into national discourse.

Challenges/weaknesses

The moon moves in front of the sun in a rare
The sun is said to be in fall in the sign of Libra, unable to fully express itself.
AFP via Getty Images

The sun is said to be in fall in Libra, meaning it is not comfortable in the sign and its natural expression is thwarted. This is understandable as the sun is about individuation, ego and personal purpose and Libras are defined by their relationship to others. Natives are overly concerned with the reaction that their self-expression will elicit, leaving them anxious, and sometimes inert. By comparison, the sun is at home and in its full solar power in the sign of Leo and lions tend to express and perform freely and free from the anxiety of how others will react to them.

The great struggle for Libra is to divorce who they are from how they anticipate they will be perceived. They must learn that they can only control what they create, not what others make of it or take from it. This relationship to others serves to explain the sometimes scattered, people pleasing energy of Libra. Natives must vigilantly question whether their actions are motivated by true desire and real benevolence or insecurity and opportunity, love or fear. In a telling note, Shel Silverstein who penned the”The Giving Tree,” a divisive classic that can be read as unconditional love or emotional abuse, was a Libra. .

Shel Silverstein, barefoot, holds a guitar in a rocking chair.
Libra Shel Silverstein authored “The Giving Tree” a cautionary tale of over delivering.
Getty Images

Because Libra naturally sees both sides of any situation they have trouble making decisions or picking sides which makes them insufferable at a tapas restaurant and lily livered when it comes to loyalty. They are so good at shifting and acquiescing that they lose sight of their own true north.

Public perception is important to Libras and they run the risk of giving the best of themselves to the masses rather than their immediate families or intimate partners. Often, in their attempts to please everyone, they fail to satisfy anyone, least of all themselves. Conflict averse they struggle to take a stand and can be accused of playing both sides and pandering to present company. A fortune cookie I found in a stranger’s pocket deftlu predicts, “A man who trims himself to suit everybody will soon whittle himself away.”

Given to their inherent sense of justice, Libras and especially Libra moons are primed at keeping score. In a healthy scenario this points system is about self-regulation; they want to make sure they’re delivering, pulling their weight and evening their scales. At worst this manifests as manipulation and user-esque behavior, weighing the cost/benefit of relationships in a ruthless kind of quotient to make sure they come out on top, with full pockets and positive PR that paints them as either the hero or victim of any story. Because they understand and can predict the needs of others they can be generous or withholding to acute effect.

John Mayer sings into a microphone while holding a guitar.
John Mayer represents the archetype of Libra as the plighted f**k boi.
Getty Images for Jaguar Land Rov

Due in part to the influence of Venus, Libras can be superficial and vain, preferring to keep discussions topical and requiring the validation and attention of others to prove they exist at all. Self-pitying they are oxygenated by the sympathy of others and fail to see their own faults. Usually in a relationship and usually complaining about it, Libra is the sign of the plighted f**k boi, as illustrated by natives John Mayer and Nick Cannon.

Because they respond more than they initiate, Libras don’t like to be alone and can fall prey to codependency. As Libra bell hooks maintains, “Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape.” Indeed, Libras actualize when they learn to love themselves enough to be alone and to view others as companions rather than cures.

Tarot

Justice tarot card.
In the Major Arcana, Libra is represented by the Justice card.
Shutterstock / Prachaya Roekdeet

Each zodiac sign correlates to a card in the Major Arcana of the Tarot. For Libra, that card is Justice. Depicted as an impartial judge holding a blade in his right hand and the karmic balances in his left, the Justice card suggests the robed magistrate weighs logic and intuition, balancing both before reaching a conclusion or reaching for the blade of decisiveness.

Seventh House

Judy Sheindlin attends the 46th annual Daytime Emmy Awards.
Anvil wielding, justice dealing Judge Judy is a Libra.
Patrick McMullan via Getty Image

Libra rules the seventh house of partnerships. Referred to as the marriage box by some astrologers, this house concerns itself with one-on-one dynamics; marital, business, and otherwise. Ordered, obligatory and legally binding relationships find their home here while the messy, the extramarital and the hot blooded are the domain of the fifth house. It is apt that Libra is the ruler of this house as natives are most comfortable in relationships and joint partnerships where they have something and someone to respond to. Alone they suffer from a kind of inertia; more often than not, they do not initiate but rather respond to the initiative of others.

Yet, learning to be independent within a relationship and complete without one are essential lessons in the life of a Libra. As Libra poet Rupi Kaur writes, “You are not alone /alone would be if/ your heart no longer beat/and your lungs no longer pulled/and your breath no longer pushed/ how are you alone if an entire community lives in you.” Indeed, Libras do well to remember that they are never alone so long as they make the most of the home of the self.

Body

Bruce Springsteen
The album cover to “Born in the USA” was photographed by fellow Libra Annie Leibovitz.
Annie Leibovitz.

In relationship to the physical body, Libra rules the kidneys, lower back and buttocks. Relative to the sign of balance, kidneys remove toxins from the body, regulate fluids and control the production of red blood cells. Similarly, those born under this sign tend to be coordinated and many have notable posteriors, looking at you Bruce “backside on the front of my album” Springsteen and Kim “a** as icon” Kardashian.

Compatibility

True astrological compatibility is divined through synastry, a kind of birth chart cross-examination that takes into account the entire astrological scape of two individuals. For our general, expedited purposes it’s safe to say the following signs stand a good chance of tipping the heart of a Libra: 

Michael Douglas in a suit and tie and Catherine Zeta-Jones in an oxblood dress pose on the red carpet.
Not only do Libras Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas share a sign, they have the same birthday.
CBS via Getty Images

A Libra on Libra relationship doubles down on the finer things in life while also mutliplhing the indecision. When a sign vested in partnership joins forces with someone of the same ilk they are likely to be in it to win it. Twin Libra flames Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas share a birthday and the latter pronounced upon their first meeting that he would father her children. Bold, but prophetic.

In Aquarius, Libra finds their cerebral match and a genius to fawn over. Becasue both signs are a touch aloof it may take time for them to recognize or reveal their true feelings but once they do, they stake joyful claim on cloud nine. Terminally weird and socially polarizing Aquarius will appreciate the ease in which Libra moves through the world and meets their needs. In Aquarius, Libras finds the framework to fly their own freak flag. We see this dynamic at work in the long haired, white clad, band dissolving union of Libra John Lennon and experimental wild child Yoko Ono.

Rihanna in a green dress poses with A$AP Rocky in a ski mask.
Pisces Rihanna met her match in Libra A$AP Rocky.
Getty Images for Netflix

Libras are romantic in theory and love is the drug of choice for Pisces. Both signs are creative and Pisces provides dopamine, inspiration, and enthusiasm and to the sometimes somber Libra. Meanwhile the ever shifting moods and mysterious needs of Libra keep Pisces hooked. As a mutable water sign, Pisces is adept and getting fickle Libra to wade into the deeper waters of the feelings they pretend not to have. We see the fish balance the scale in the power coupling of Rihanna and A$AP Rocky.

Recommended Listening

“She Will” – Lil Wayne

“Brilliant Disguise” – Bruce Springsteen

“When I Was Your Man” – Bruno Mars

“I Like It” – Cardi B

Musician John Lennon and wife Yoko Ono at a press conference from their bed in 1969. The couple announced that they would stay in bed seven days
John and Yoko, a couple of white clad air signs in love and fighting for peace.
Bettmann Archive

Astrology 101: Your guide to the stars


Astrologer Reda Wigle researches and irreverently reports back on planetary configurations and their effect on each zodiac sign. Her horoscopes integrate history, poetry, pop culture and personal experience. She is also an accomplished writer who has profiled a variety of artists and performers, as well as extensively chronicled her experiences while traveling. Among the many intriguing topics she has tackled are cemetery etiquette, her love for dive bars, Cuban Airbnbs, a “girls guide” to strip clubs and the “weirdest” foods available abroad.