Judgement to Mercy: New Moon in Libra

“Each trial, every loss, is an opportunity
for you to meet suffering with love
and make of it an offering, a prayer.
The minute you lift your pain like a candle
the darkness vanishes,
and mercy comes rushing in to heal you.”

Mirabai Starr
Libra

In the northeastern United States, Fall has arrived in all it’s auburn glory. As the leaves turn yellow, orange, and red, the winds of change blow.

The natural world orders and governs us with its perennial wisdom. Libra’s balance follows Virgo’s bounty. The harvest is counted, the wheat separated from the chaff, the blessings shared with equanimity.

Libra is the first house above the horizon on the far western axis where we enter the world and partnership. It is the Seventh/Descendent House, where relationship balances the First House/Ascendent’s individuality. In philosopher Martin Buber’s words, it is the “I and Thou”, the art of relationship and what makes us real to one another.

The Sun entered Libra at the Autumn Equinox, and the New Moon occurs October 6th at 7:05 am ET. Libra is an air sign (thought, communication) and is ruled by Venus, the Roman Goddess of love and beauty.

In Latin, Libra means “weighing scales,” and the symbol for Libra is the Goddess Dice, who is depicted as a young woman carrying scales and wearing a laurel wreath. Myth tells us that Dice governed human justice during the agricultural flourishing of the Golden Age. When humans learned to sail, exploration brought it’s shadow – competition, conquest, greed, and disease. As temperamental Goddesses often are, she was intolerant of the messy human condition. She fled instead to the stars, becoming Astraea in the constellation Virgo.

While most of us are familiar with judgment in its finality and retribution, the judge’s less recognized power is discernment. Like separating the wheat from the chaff, discernment comes from the Latin word “discernere,” which means “to separate.”

More compelling than this wise discerning eye, the judge also brings her own balance – the tempering of justice with compassion and finally, the grace of mercy.

The Saturn-Pluto alignment of January 2020 continues to affect us, for both planets are very slow-moving, and the influence of their alignment reverberates before and after. Both these heavy hitters have been retrograding for months now, giving us a review and continuing their themes. This week, they station and go direct, propelling their mission forward.

Pluto is the first to station on Wednesday this week. God of the Underworld, Pluto rules initiations and transformation. Saturn follows with his station on Sunday. Father Time or Cronos, Saturn is the karma keeper, rendering consequence, reckoning, and restriction. Saturn is a tyrant in the shadow, the Wise Old Man or the Cosmic Schoolteacher in his more benevolent state. Together Saturn and Pluto continue to provide a powerful reality check.

In addition to these influences, Mercury is retrograde in Libra, and Pluto and Eris have their 5th and final meeting since they began their duel in January 2020.

Astrologer Pam Younghans describes this challenging square as follows:

“The influence of this square is quite contentious. Basic issues include the power of the authority (Pluto in Capricorn) in conflict with individual rights (Eris in Aries). There is a strong “us versus them” theme that can erupt between peoples and can manifest on a wider scale through social upheaval, civil unrest, and rebellion.

On more personal levels, this square is also making us more aware of our own shadow traits and behaviors. Perhaps you consider yourself a very compassionate, loving person, but conditions over the past two years have brought out strong judgments and a deep anger toward others. As these discomforting responses come to the surface, we have the opportunity to use the powerful energy they represent in positive, life-affirming ways – or to waste our energies in complaining and blaming.”

The planets and astrological energies do not compel us, for free will is part of the earth game. They do, however, impel us, providing the force and the momentum to use and move with them. And while the stationing planets and the final Pluto/Eris square are demanding, Libra’s scales offer much needed justice and harmony, if only we choose it.

And what we choose individually matters. Much like plants emit carbon dioxide and oxygen into the atmosphere, we transmit our own essence energetically. As John O’Donohue says:

“The world is not decided by action alone. It is decided more by consciousness and spirit; they are the secret sources of all action and behavior. The spirit of a time is an incredibly subtle, yet hugely powerful force. And it is comprised of the mentality and spirit of all individuals together. Therefore, the way you look at things is not simply a private matter. Your outlook actually and concretely affects what goes on. When you give in to helplessness, you collude with despair and add to it.”

While the public world continues to be embroiled in polarity, Libra lends balance and equality. She proffers right-relationship and harmonious spirit, entwined in a laurel wreath that joins us.


“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”

Mother Teresa

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