This is the seventh installment of a new series of interpretations of the astrological symbol set. For interpretations of Planets in Signs, Planets in Houses and Planets in Aspect, please see the Depth Astrology series at the Smashwords e-publishing site, https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/13223 .
The dynamics of sign-to-sign relationships can be useful not only in the interpretation of compatibility charts; they can also add information to the interpretation of planetary aspects. As with other symbol set interpretations, the juxtaposition of the essential energies of each sign is the starting off point for exploring their meanings.
This series continues with
Aries-Libra and will end with Pisces-Pisces, working around
the zodiacal wheel factorially
with a new zodiacal combination presented each month. Past month’s
articles are archived. Upon completion,
some 6 years from now, Insha’Allah, these articles will
immediately be published as an e-book for sale.
With Aries-Libra, we have the combination of Fire and Air, both in Cardinal modality. The character of the interaction between these two signs (and containers present in the two signs) is the natural opposition aspect that exists between the two signs. Out-of-sign quincunxes, although possible between containers in these signs with planets in very early or late Aries and Libra, are not significant.
Interpreting the Aries-Libra combination may also shed some light on a number of related symbol sets. These include Aries in the seventh house, Libra in the first house, Mars in the seventh house, Mars in Libra, Venus in the first house, Venus in Aries and Mars-Venus aspects.
As a reminder, “container” is used here as a general term designating a planet whether in one’s own chart or another’s. When in another’s chart, “container” may practically be viewed to mean the other person. So that the analysis doesn’t wind up seeming too cold and depersonalized, I will sometimes use the personal pronoun (you) in lieu of the impersonal “container.” Recognize that either term can refer to a planetary energy within you or your relationship with another person.
The opposition suggests a strong attraction between the two signs if the addage "opposites attract" is any indication. However, with the Cardinal energy pulling in opposite directions, there is also potential for conflict betweem containers in these signs. It is the very potential for conflict, though, that acts as the attractive force, as the opposition carries within it the imperative to resolve the apparent conflict of opposites. Duality is the metaphysical archetype represented by the opposition and duality cannot exist without opposites. That is, each pole of the duality depends upon the other pole for its existence. Without this polarization, the elements return to a state of undifferentiated Oneness and the dictum that "Everything is Nothing" applies (unless, of course, the state of Undifferentiated Oneness, itself, is transcended--but that State lies beyond the metaphysical realm related to astrology).
Symbolic of the relationship between the two poles of the opposition is the glyph of the Tao--white and black pushing eternally against each other but with a black dot at the center of the white force and a white dot at the center of the black force. Always, each pole contains at its core its opposite, which is the potential for the resolution of the opposition. For, the conflict of duality is not resolved by ending duality but by recognition of the essential Oneness inherent in all duality. This is holding two points of view--two levels of consciousness--at the same time, not letting go of either. At one level, there is opposite; at another level, there is unity. When unity is recognized, there is no longer any cause for conflict. The task of the opposition is to resolve the conflict of duality. It is to this archetypal task that the containers at the poles of the opposition are attracted and, thus, to each other.
This analysis, of course, applies to all the pairs of opposites as the wheel of the Zodiac turns--Aries-Libra, Taurus-Scorpio, Gemini-Sagittarius, Cancer-Capricorn, Leo-Aquarius, and Virgo-Pisces. Each is presented with a unique archetypal conflict and each resolves the conflict in its own way. Of course, the process is aided by the fact that, with each Zodiacal pair of opposites, the elements of the opposition are compatible. Fire and Air, Earth and Water, revolve through the three modalities.
The essential nature of the archetypal duality represented by Aries-Libra is the duality of Self and Other. This might be seen as the basic duality of the Universe. It is the first duality to emerge with the inital projection of Actualized Potentiality from the One. Once there is consciousness of Self, consciousness of Other automatically emerges, for--at least as the Divine Energy is being projected from the One--there can be no recognition of Self without the existence of Other. Thus, all "existence" in the world of Multiplicity is what the great Sufi Ibn al-`Arabi called "contingent existence." The existence of the self is and must be contingent upon the existence of other and there is no "other" without a self to perceive it, without a self to relate to the other, so all "other" is also nothing but contingent existence. Contingent existence is never satisfied with its contingency. Contingent existence always yearns to return to the state of Reality--Existence which is Self-dependent, not contingent upon any thing. Yet, to return to this state of non-contingency means the disappearance, the anihilation of all existence that is contingent--and that is the Cosmic rub. The only solution for the contingent self and the state of otherness to resolve their opposition and to recognize their inherent unity.
Aries and Libra are locked in a mirror
embrace, each perceiving his/her central dot in the other,
which is the lack in him/herself that begs for fulfillment,
the half of the whole that is pulled as if by a magnet
toward his/her completion. Specifically, for Aries and
Libra, in Libra Aries perceives the Other for which he/she
will sacrifice his/her Self; in Aries, Libra perceives the
grounding of Self that she/he has lost by giving him/herself
to the Other. Thus, in practical terms, Libra reminds
Aries that life is not all about him/herself. She (and
I use the feminine here consciously here) shows Aries the
path to embracing the Other, the Beloved. More
mundanely, Libra models to Aries the importance of
relationship, of consideration given to others, of the
balance of putting someone else first at appropriate times.
Libra can (even strives to) introduce Aries to the
world of social relationship, of give and take, of manners
and respect for others. This may be a whole new world
for Aries and the lessons may, at first, be difficult, for
they demand a certain level of ego-sacrifice. Until
the Libra consciousness is developed, Aries is likely
unaware of anyone but him/herself as requiring consideration
or as being of any importance. (Of course, by the very
nature of the duality of this world, Aries innately has that
Libra consciousness within him/herself and it will need to
be developed as the Aries nature matures; but Aries-Libra
catylizes your awareness of your inner Libra.)
If Aries resists the lessons that Libra would teach (or that you would learn from your own Libra nature), there is the danger of polarization and projection. Not wanting to give up your ego-willfulness, you make your Libra partner/container carry all of the weight of responding to the other while you enjoy your own sweet will. You may remain oblivious to others and their needs (and your responsibility to be attentive to those needs) because that is what your Libra partner is for. Libra, seeing Aries' selfish indulgence, can then be prone to overcompensate and play the martyr to appease others and cover for his/her egoistic partner/container. Then, perversely, you may criticize your Libra partner/container for this behavior, attacking him/her for only wanting to please with an ulterior motive of feeding his/her ego. You may say, or feel, that it is only a form of ego to seek the approval of others, that your Libra partner/container is only buying love from others by sacrificing his/her own needs. You may then use this as a justification for your own selfish behavior, proclaiming that "I am not going to play that game." Or, Libra may react to Aries' persistent egotism by passive-aggressively guilt-tripping the Aries partner/nature. If Aries then responds to the laying of blame, a battle can ensue between your need/right to self-assert and your duty to lay down your own ego for the needs of others. This can quickly deteriorate into internal or external conflict involving your obligation to self versus your obligation to the other. Aries will tend to fight this battle by asserting his/her right and duty to be true to his/her self (by, of course, asserting his/her own will). Libra, on the other hand, will likely fall into classic indecision, pulled between your natural bent toward relationship, your sense of duty to put others first and your desire to please others and gain their approval, on the one hand, and your nagging sense that you need to reclaim your own selfhood, your suppressed resentment that your own needs are never met, and your guilt at trading accommodating others' needs for their approval.
Libra can also engage in polarizing projection. A passive Libra whose life has become one of accomodating others in order to secure social and interpersonal relationships can make his/her Libra partner/container carry all of the weight of self-assertion and caring for the interests of the self. Libra can then remain preoccupied with satisfying the needs of the other because his/her partner/container is attending to his/her self-interest. However, when self-interest conflicts with accommodating others, conflict is llikely to ensue. Also, particularly in an Aries-Libra relationship, there may be an expectation on the part of the Libra partner that the Aries partner will take care of his/her needs; but when the needs of the Aries and Libra partners do not coincide, those expectations are not met, resulting in resentment and conflict. Libra may also perversely criticize his/her Aries partner/container for fulfilling the self-assertive role that Libra has projected onto him/her.
For Libra, the positive challenge of the Aries-Libra combination is to reclaim the lost self and establish the correct balance between self and the other. The Libran nature is to be turned toward the other and to engage others in relationship. Because relationship is often so important to Libra, it is easy for Libra to place excessive importance on nurturing and preserving relationship. When this requires that your self-interest be sacrificed for the interests and needs of others, you are likely to make that sacrifice, which you are likely to frame as no sacrifice at all but something that you gladly do for those you love and who love you. Yet, there is often an under-the-surface quid pro quo to be exacted in the form of appreciation and reciprocity in the relationship. Especially if the other party does not reciprocate in line with your expectations, you can inwardly feel resentful that you are always making sacrifices (even though you may deny to yourself and others that you do feel that resentment). Because Aries easily ignores the need to reciprocate in social relationships, Aries may act as a trigger to this resentment. Although your initial reaction may be to feel hurt or even to lash out at your insensitive Aries partner, if you are conscious of this dynamic, it may be the catalyst for you to examine why and how you are sacrificing your own interests and needs, prompting you to assert your self more readily and achieve a healthy balance between self and other.
However, it is not necessary that your search for self and a healthy balance between self and other be the result of stressful relationship dynamics. By using your Aries partner/container as a mirror, you can allow the dynamic of duality seeking its own balance to lead you in the direction of greater self-assertion and a reclamation of your sense of selfhood. In a healthy relationship, Aries can take you by the hand and lead you to a greater appreciation of your own self. Particularly if Aries has responded to Libra's promptings to be less self-engaged and more attentive to relationship, Aries can provide a model of strong, but not selfish, selfhood. Libra can then come to realize that a strong and healthy relationship can only exist when both partners possess a strong and healthy sense of their own self, together with a willingness to give of their self to the other. Libra lost in other ultimately loses the relationship he/she so strives to preserve. in order to mature and to fulfill Libra's longing for completion in relationship, Libra must find his/her inner Aries and learn to cherish and even assert his/her self. While this inner Aries is inherent in Libra and will be developed as Libra develops his/her consciousness, the Aries-Libra relationship is likely to catylize the discovery of the inner Aries and prompt Libra to fnd that balanced integration of self and other.
This positive interchange between Aries and Libra reflects the natural harmony between Fire and Air. Fire thrives on Air and Air is activated by Fire. Libran Air can provide objectivity, balance and coolness to Aries Fire, as well as providing the intellectual, aesthetic and social fuel that can keep Aries interested and active. Aries Fire can keep Libran Air from stagnating or from meandering aimlessly. It can activate and liberate Libran energy.
manifestation of the Aries-Libra combination is the
oppositional tendencies of decisiveness/impulsiveness
versus thoughtful weighing/indecision. Positively,
the Aries container can take the lead and move you toward
decision and action when the Libra container is being
indecisive. The Libra container's weighing of a
decision and attention to an action's impact on others can
curb the sometimes rash impulsiveness of the Aires
container. This dynamic works well when each
container is receptive to the other's aid. However,
a frustrating dynamic can result when the
containers/partners are not consciously aware of the
other's positive counter-balance. In these cases,
Aries can act impulsively but this is followed by Libra's
regrets and second guesing over the action. When
Aries and Libra are partners, this can easily deteriorate
into argument and blame.
another potential manifestation of Aries-Libra is through
the opposed Warrior and Peace Maker archetypes. The
Warrior and Peacemaker can be in conflict but they can
also come to each other's aid. When at odds, the
Warrior energy is likely to be disruptive, at the very
least, to the harmony that the Libra Peace Maker strives
to maintain. Thus, the Warrior is likely to incur
blame and disapproval from the Peace Maker while the Peace
Maker is likely to feel compelled to either step into the
fray to put an end to the conflict or to come in after the
Warrior's destruction has been wrought to pick up the
pieces and create a new harmony. Having no empathy
for the Peace Maker (a consequence of Aries
self-centeredness), the Warrior may hold the Peace Maker
in distain while the Peace Maker views the Warrior as
barbaric. Yet, without the Warrior, there would be
no peace to make and without the Peace Maker, war would
consume even the Warrior in destruction and
However, it is also possible for the Warrior and Peace Maker to join forces, activating the common ground that they share. This may happen once the aggressive Viking nature of the Warrior is transmuted into the Noble Knight in service of the Just Cause. As oximorific as the concept of "fighting for peace" may be, the "Battle of Good and Evil" must be fought at times--we cannot do away with the wrongs of the world simply by wishing them away. The Libran ideals of peace, love, justics and harmony can provide the Just Cause that harnesses the actve energies of the would-be Noble Knight. This is the archetype of "fighting the good fight" and energetically advocating for the rights of others, of working to actualize a world of built upon Libran ideals.
As intimated above, the transcendent
dimension of the Aries-Libra relationship lies in
resolving the duality inherent in their natural
opposition. This requires rising above the
opposition while still embracing the duality. It
also means transforming both the Aries and Libra
energies to their highest potential, finding and
actualizing their essential archetypal meanings.
For Aries, this is the transformation of the self to
become the True Self. For Libra, this is to
transform the self-other relationship to become the True
Relationship, that of the soul and the Divine
Beloved. Rising above the duality of Self and
Other requires the realization that there is no
separation. It is all Self and it is all the
Merging of the Lover into the Beloved at the same
time. Penetrate the mystery and again become
Of course, all of the Aries-Libra dynamics can play out internally, as well as between two people. The Aries-Libra energy will also be modulated by the planets involved, whether in your own chart or someone else’s. The depositorships of Mars and Venus may also come into play. -- Gargatholil
Applies to all pages on this site