The History of Libra
The stars of Libra had come to represent the Golden Chariot of Pluto. The story of Pluto’s abduction of Persephone is a widely known Greek myth, perhaps because it has such a strong astronomical association. Hades was a brother of Zeus and of Poseidon; he was usually ignorant of the happenings of the Upperworld, only emerging rarely from his dark kingdom. It was considered imprudent and dangerous to mention the names of certain gods and goddesses. Thus the Furies, or Cronies, were called Eumenides (Kindly Ones), and Hades was called Pluto (Rich One).
Four jet-black horses pulled his golden chariot. While he used the chariot to periodically visit the Upperworld, in order to seduce a beautiful nymph, he rarely wished the relationship to last. Until he saw Persephone, the daughter of Demeter and Zeus. When he took Persephone back to Tartarus, the deepest part of Hades, the Upperworld would change forever.
Deep beneath the Earth, he owned all its mineral riches, but his favourite possession was a gift from the Cyclopes: a helmet that rendered him invisible. Demeter was the sister of Zeus and Hades, and one of the most important goddesses as she was responsible for Agriculture and all growing things.
Demeter is so distraught about the loss of her daughter she neglected her godly duties and no seeds sprouted. A vast drought spreads throughout the Upperworld. Zeus becomes vexed, for he is owed a certain tribute, and if the drought continues, his tribute will not be forthcoming. In any event, he convinces his brother Hades to give up Persephone, so that the Upperworld can again become green and lush.
Zeus rules that she must forever divide her time between the Upperworld and the Underworld; four months out of the year, she must stay with her husband, while the rest of the year she may visit her mother, in the Upperworld. Thus, every year the world retreats briefly into a cold and forbidding place, until the 21st of March, when Persephone is allowed to emerge from the Underworld bringing Spring with her.
The Romans invented Libra and gave it importance as a constellation of the Zodiac. Libra was “the Scales of Justice” held by Julius Caesar. Later the scales became associated with Virgo, the Goddess of Justice. The Romans choose a scale because when the zodiac was still in its infancy, some four thousand years ago, the sun passed through this constellation at the autumnal equinox (September 21). That is, day and night were of equal length, and the day would begin to lengthen from that day on. However, the ancient Greeks did not recognize Libra. Instead, they saw it as part of Scorpio. Libra made up the two claws of the scorpion. As a symbol for equality, the constellation came to represent Justice in several middle Eastern cultures.
- Personality Traits – Do you have the classic personality of a Libran?
- Compatibility – Which other star signs have the personality to make the perfect match to Libra?
- Relationships – Do you suffer the emotional complexities and compatibility issues of love relationships that are typical among Librans?