The Decorous Dealings of Libra


Venus in Libra—as she is right now, and through Oct 24—is the regal belle who effortlessly takes reign over whatever space she enters… with raised-and-waving white glove, rather than clenched iron fist.

Her flawless face and dignified carriage turn all the heads, which, murmuring half-awed to each other, wonder how she keeps it all together, looking so polished, nary a bead of sweat or furrowed feature betraying the inner machinations.

This is her charm, the Venus-in-Libra sophisticate: To appear seamless, appealing, smoothed on all sides. To deftly cultivate her position among the other objects of beauty and fine finish she so graciously appreciates, she becomes one of them—and as such, garners the appreciation and affection of others, who are, consequently, only too willing to give her whatever she wants. All the while, everybody's smiles remain.

Venus signifies the more passive and receptive (and thus traditionally feminine) mode of drawing desirable people and things to us… an attractive force, used most effectively through social connection and cooperation. Instead of grabbing at the flag like Mars might, Venus winks, licks her lips, and butters the flag-bearer up until he obediently hands it over. She thanks him with a kiss, then slips away with the goods. Everybody, it seems, wins.

When Venus is in Libra, her ruling air sign (Venus also rules earth-sign Taurus), she's at her drop-dead diplomatic best… eliciting the stares (innocently flirtatious, not blatantly lusty), spinning the witty repartee (always unerringly appropriate, of course) and generally working the room (and everyone in it), cloaked in a dignified aura that radiates its own most flattering glow. This is a Venus who knows what she's doing—though may often choose to 'beautify' her true desires beneath a classy glassy surface.

As Venus continues to happily occupy Libra, we'll best form or fortify our social relationships by leaning on our most appealing artfulness… even if that means spending an extra twenty minutes on hair and makeup, or an extra twenty breaths on flattery and felicitation. One distasteful wisecrack or poorly-thought-out move, and the pleasant communion is shattered. Under this influence, manners are crucial.

Here's the crux of the deal: If we can adequately adapt ourselves to fit into our half of the carefully brokered agreement, the other party will happily oblige our wishes—perhaps without needing to be asked. And Venus in Libra will, once again, have effortlessly worked her magic. Thanks to the considerateness, everybody wins.

Now, during this same current time, Mars is also in Libra (through Oct 23)… doubling the emphasis we're pressured to place on diplomacy and decorum. The thing is, though: Mars is far less content to occupy this zone of the zodiac.

Venus may be all about coming together in relationships, which makes her a good match for ruling Libra, but Mars is the energy of individuating self-assertion. In other words, he drives us to act as we wish toward goals of our choosing, with unabashed self-interest. Mars also symbolizes how we handle conflicts that might ensue, when others block us from pursuing our desires. As such, he hardly likes residing in Libra, the sign of 'peace at all costs', where he's pressured to hold back from straightforward confrontation in order to preserve pleasantness—or the superficial appearance of it.

Too much of any good thing can create problems… and while the cordial, people-pleasing sophistication of Libra may hardly seem like a difficult energy to handle, don't be fooled. As charming and polite as Venus behaves in Libra, when Mars is along for the ride, the situation can feel a little too charming, too polite. Perhaps we're trying too hard to seem accommodating, in order to cover our tracks. Or we can sniff out that, perhaps, we're being played by someone who knows just how to treat us.

With Mars in Libra, there's more to the story than is being overtly enacted. Instead of knocking on the front door and flatly asserting their motives, folks are liable to squeeze in through a back window and wile themselves into an invitation for tea… and only then, after a befitting amount of beating around the bush, might they slip in our indirect, unobtrusive, side-stepping suggestions. In fact, the craftiest ones will implant their desired goal so smoothly into the proceedings, we might even come to believe we came up with it ourselves… that it was what we wanted all along. Smooth, indeed.

For those of us less attuned to, adept at, or fond of the choreographed steps of social etiquette, this ultra-Libra moment could feel stifling, shallow or overly nicey-nice. 'Polite assertiveness' quickly turns to 'passive aggression', should we disagree with each other but try to squelch the unattractiveness of it. Patience could be tried, even lost, if we find ourselves ready to challenge the civil fašade with, 'Out with it already! Don't worry about pleasing me… what is it you really want?'

Alas, be warned: With this Libran tone ruling the roost, such blunt directness come off transgressive—and probably still won't get the response you're looking for, just more unvoiced opinions about you and further attempts, sincere or not, made to appease you.

During the next couple weeks, with Venus and Mars (as well as the Sun) still in Libra, it makes sense to focus on the sanctity of social relations, rather than achieving any specific objective. Be prepared to negotiate. Don't go into encounters with firm final outcomes already anticipated, or else they could be suspicious of your political-seeming chumminess. Keep your tone moderate, your appearance polished, and any overeagerness for speedy solutions at bay.

Who cares if things take a little longer, as long as everybody wins? Once all this Libra abruptly transitions to Scorpio later in the month, whatever hasn't been dealt with will become more urgent, sharp and impassioned. You'll see…