The only object in the celestial “circle of animals”. It became independent relatively late in comparison to other constellations. Ancient Babylonians knew only eleven constellations; for Greeks this was libra in the hands of Astraea within the constellation of Virgo, whereas for the ancient Romans Scorpio was holding libra with his pincers. Egyptians first recognized this group of stars as individual sign that rises at the East after the sunset. They connected Libra with Chonus, divine child that denoted the beginning of New Year. Chonus had a symbol of New Moon on his head and meaning of the name was “traveler of the night sky”. In the ancient Egypt, Libra was positioned across the point of spring equinox in the moment of temporarily “balanced” relation of the day and night. Its graphic symbol can be explained as the moment of sunset (or sunrise) when two big forces – day and night – are individually or collectively in short term peace. That pause, truce, or temporary balance of forces gives a man the possibility to soar in the sky.
And for deeper understanding of this constellation, ancient Egyptian give us another myth, of the goddess Maat. She was the goddess of justice, morality, law, order…She weighed human souls after the death, on one side soul (or the heart) and on the other side her symbol – ostrich plume. Soul had to be “as light as plume” and in perfect balance with it in order to achieve symbolic liberation, redemption. Anubis, dog-head deity, was in charge for the mere weighing; Toth, the god of learning, was recording results whereas on the left side was Horus (or his father Osiris) who was giving the final sentence.
Justice is human invention, Libra is the object created by human hands. She’s not natural she is exactly the opposite because the nature may seem to the man at moments cruel and unforgiving. In nature the stronger eats the weaker, the incapable die of hunger, bad weather or physical defects. Our ancient ancestors introduced this sign as the last symbol of civilization’s evolution, to show us the path to liberation in the moment when day and night are at peace for short term. Roman Justicia, the basis of contemporary symbol of justice, in one hand holds libra and in the other hand sword whereas she’s blindfold. She must be objective, human justice shouldn’t consider who is “stronger”, who can fight with the sword to survive, she severely separates us from the animal aspect within us. Without that there’s no final redemption and the man goes back to the primitive level of existence. .
Goddes Maat is sometimes directly related to words as Tao, Dharma or Universal Law. These are deeply symbolic terms that come out of philosophy of various ancient civilizations, they talk about our own path, and when we weigh the soul they tell us whether we had the courage to take that path. Here we have another key element of myths related to Libra. To awake our path we must come into interaction with other individuals which (in the hope of majority) brings to some form of partnership. Path to “ideal relation”, as some may imagine, is far from the real condition because the perfect relation is actually Libra, sensitive and hardly reachable balance.
In myth of love (God Eros) in the search for the soul (girl Psyche) jealous of Aphrodite, asked from her son Eros to hit the beautiful Psyche with the arrow of love at the moment when she will notice the demon that she will send. Accidently clumsy and thrilled by her beauty, Eros hit himself and fell in love with Psyche. He started a romantic relationship with her, but with the condition that she wears blindfold when they are together so that she wouldn’t find out that he’s deity. Psyche couldn’t resist for too long and her sisters talked her to into removing the blindfold; Eros ran away and desperate Psyche begged Aphrodite to bring back the love of her life. After many hard obstacles of jealous goddess of love, Psyche succeeded in her fight for Eros and the happy ending of the relationship.
Myth talks about searching, “accidental luck”, romantic love of those who don’t know each other, “opening” the eyes and realistic observation of the partner and eventually strong love if it manages to overcome all obstacles..
Today the constellation of Libra is between 6°11′ of Scorpio and 2°45′ of Sagittarius; some of the more important stars are:
Alpha Librae – pot of North Libra on 15°5′ of Scorpio
Kiffa Borealis – pot of South Libra on 19°22′ of Scorpio
THE AGE OF LIBRA
It lasted approximately between 15 000 and 12 700 B.C. and it’s placed before the end of upper Paleolithic. The transfer from the middle to the upper Paleolithic is related to a small technological revolution of the use of tools in the period of ice age on the Earth. Climatic conditions forced people to live in more organized, social communities and some of the most famous paintings in the caves are from this period – Lascaux. Artistic handcraft is in development, especially figures of the goddess of fertility.