Once upon a time, there was a nice little sign named Libra. It was a charming sign, and everyone was happy to be around it. It threw memorable dinner parties with candles and pretty floral centerpieces and tiny portions of trendy gourmet cuisine. There were place cards to tell you where to sit, and the guests to your left and right would be pleasant, interesting companions chosen with you in mind. An invitation from Libra was a much hoped for social coup.
Libra was quite a catch for some lucky partner – easy on the eyes, fashionably and elegantly dressed, and given to the most romantic gestures. You’d smile to find a note tucked in your pocket saying what a divine lover you were last night. You knew you were the center of Libra’s world, the sole reason for Libra’s existence. Libra was all about loving and nothing but loving, you see, in much the same way that Virgo lived to work and Cancer was totally centered on the family.
That was Libra back then, and the zodiac was a far more agreeable place for its existence. Things began to change, ever so slowly, in 1942, when Neptune moved in with Libra. Oh, at first it was idyllic – a fairy tale, Hollywood movie, happily-ever-after type of romance that thrilled Libra to the core of its being.
Libra gradually lost itself, caught up in the all-consuming presence of a soft, sensitive soulmate who admittedly wasn’t making the most of those special talents but could become somebody if Libra only found the right way to help.
Over time, Neptune’s frailties and flaws became more and more apparent. The relationship ate up more and more of Libra’s energy, but there was no leaving because Libra was totally committed. And, besides, what would people say? In those days, divorce was just not an option for Nice, Respectable People.
In 1950, Saturn came on the scene and started piling more and more responsibilities on Libra – bills to pay, standards to live up to, deadlines to meet. Neptune by that time was too depressed, dysfunctional – and frankly, drunk – to carry much of the load, as well as only intermittently employed. The burdens all fell on Libra’s shoulders.
That whole era is a muddle of misery. Libra will never forget those wrenching, humiliating scenes in 1951-2 when Saturn confronted Neptune directly. At that point, Neptune – along with the partnership – completely broke down. Though it was the hardest thing Libra ever had done (up to then), Neptune was asked to leave in October of 1953.
For years afterward, Libra was too discouraged and disillusioned to even contemplate getting involved again. But you have to remember that Libra lives to love and feels incomplete without a partner. That never changes. And so in 1968, Libra fell head over heels with Uranus, a younger but more exciting romantic prospect than had come along in years.
Uranus had panache, charisma, and an avant-garde style that was utterly impossible to resist. Libra had always preferred intelligent companions, and didn’t mind a heated discussion so long as both points of view were considered. Uranus was possessed of a dazzling intellect and a unique viewpoint, though outspokenly scornful of others who weren’t quite so advanced in their thinking.
Then, too, there was the challenge of perpetual courtship. Uranus could be very there, 100% present one day and then suddenly disappear for months on end with no explanation. Oh, Uranus was up front about not believing in commitment, but nobody had ever been able to resist Libra’s charm and glamour, so Libra was confident it would work out.
This off again, on again affair lasted until 1975, kept alive by explosive breakups and sudden, whirlwind reunions. It was nothing if not romantic, and Libra secretly enjoyed the intervals of being single and not having to adapt to Uranus’ quirky, erratic lifestyle and forceful opinions.
Besides, Libra’s carnal needs were being met by a covert relationship with a married lover once Pluto showed up in 1971. No one knew about it because Libra cannot tolerate scandal or looking bad.
Pluto pursued Libra, who was slowly, unwillingly seduced into seamy yet steamy couplings whenever Pluto was available. As ambivalent as Libra was about being used as a sexual convenience rather than treated as a treasured partner, the intense passion that never waned kept the relationship going for years.
Saturn returned in 1980 and started nagging Libra about respectability, financial security and the need to find a more permanent arrangement to sustain Libra in those fast-approaching senior years. Then, too, Pluto died in 1984, along Libra’s capacity to believe in a lifelong, committed relationship based on true love and devotion.
Libra has never been the same since, though the charm and style remains and Libra is as attractive as ever. There are lovers and probably always will be, but Libra doesn’t really believe love will last. The romantic game is played half-heartedly, with one eye on an escape route in case things aren’t as good as they look on the surface.
Saturn’s reappearance last October made Libra very sad – maybe even clinically depressed. The relentless progression of years, even with the aid of cosmetic surgery, makes it so very hard to look good, and those scanty, frankly sexual modern styles just aren’t appropriate on someone Libra’s age.
Being alone has taken its toll – it would be so good to have a companion right there at home without making such an effort all the time. Not to mention that sharing the bills and medical insurance costs with someone would be a relief. So, yeah, Libra is depressed and worried.
Being a Libra in 2010 is hell. We don’t know the real Libra today, only the frantic, people-pleasing Libra that has evolved since the 1940s. You would have been totally enamored of the charming, loving Libra of a more spacious, gracious yesteryear – one of the highlights of the zodiac, and a joy to be around.
Excuse me, but you’re not getting an accurate picture here. I’m Saturn, and it’s only fair for me to be able to tell my side of the story. You’re making me out to be the bad guy that comes around every 29 or 30 years to make Libra’s life miserable. You make it sound like all I do is make demands, criticize lovers, and generally put a damper on relationships.
I’d like to point out that the last couple of times I came around, I was the voice of sanity when Libra was involved with thoroughly undesirable partners. In the 1940s, it was that loser Neptune that never carried its own weight. And in the mid-1980s, it was that seamy Pluto that was just out for sex and not for commitment. Neither one of them treated Libra right. It was never the equal partnership Libra deserved. And Libra couldn’t seem to set any limits, so I had to be the one to do it.
So now another full cycle has gone by, and Libra’s not getting any younger. It’s time for Libra to take a good look at what love is all about and learn to set some boundaries. Since the last time I was here, I’ve gotten certified as a life coach, and so Libra came to consult me about how to have a more mature and satisfying relationship. We’re working together, and in our sessions, we’re looking back at these past affairs to see why they were so tempting.
Mistakes are only bad if you never learn anything from them – better late than never – and Libra’s ready to learn some new ways of connecting now. I’m feeling good about what’s happening, and so is Libra. I’m cautiously optimistic about the outcome. A mature relationship can be the best one of all.
About the Author
Donna Cunningham, MSW is internationally-respected for her many books, articles, and columns on astrology, flower essences, and other metaphysical topics. She now teaches writing by teleseminar and correspondence course, as well as teleseminars and a correspondence course on astrology. Order her books at Moon Maven Publications and visit her blog.
- Why It’s Hell Being a Libra (more of Donna’s perspective on the influence of the outer planets for Libras, hosted at her blog)
- How the Saturn-Uranus opposition will affect your love life (the final opposition will be in Aries-Libra)
- Libra, the marriage contract, and unrealistic expectations