Artful Astrology: Libra Season & Poem-scopes
Libra season is upon us and the Sun, Mercury, and Venus huddle in the Venus-ruled sign of the justice scales. I write to you from the first degree of Libra — the sun poised and already stepping into the masculine Venusian. Libra is an air sign and air is dymanic — it flows and maneuvers into those spaces where earth and water, our more feminine elements, cannot. Air likes to move and be moved, to ask questions, to think about ideas and how to implement those ideas. In short: this is the realm of the mind. (Aquarius and Gemini being the other airy signs.) And so, where the feminine Venus-ruled sign (Taurus) is about the actual earth and beauty made manifest in the Original Art (nature) — Libra’s is the kingdom of art, artifice, art-making, and the conceptual underpinnings to creation’s more physical counterparts. And of course, in the world of the scales — there is no beauty without justice. Or: Justice is beautiful. And so Libra season reading/motto.
Out of the Libra archetype, we get relationships. Making our way through the zodiacal wheel, having just come from Virgo’s solo venturing (prepping for relational interactions, sorting, and harvesting) and not yet entered the underworld of the Scorpionic — Libra curates the landscape of the interpersonal — that is, is ultra-concerned with the Other. This is where “balance, indecision, aesthetic harmony, harmony in general” spring from. Libra eyes see the nuanced rivets of the greyscale, where most of the world exists.
The superpower of the scales energy is that it’s able to see things from other perspectives — beyond the personal. In these times, this is perhaps THE superpower to cultivate. I’m not talking necessarily about “empathy” which is often overused so much that the meaning gets lost in the weeds (and Libra too can get lost in the weeds — the greyscale is murky — one can forget what one thinks when so concerned with the thoughts and feelings of others). This is the intimate knowledge that what society deems “just” is often not just. And so: the inmate or the asylum-dweller no different from the entrepreneur or the monk. The beauty-justice tinged eyes of the Libran understand that we all contain within us every possible level of enlightenment. We are all dregs and queens.
Anathema to this thinking is: “Well I see it this way, so therefore you should.” Closer is: “Well I see it this way but I’m curious: How do you see it?” Closer still: “Well I see it this way, but your perspective is just as valuable and perhaps I can learn something — can refine my aesthetic know-how with yours.” An exchange. There are no levels nor hierarchy in pure Libra land and when the Libran air spots such artifices and imbalances of power, he/she sheds light upon them. The scales of justice are not the “justice system” per se. They are the great scales of beauty and what is humanly just: equity that is beyond the binary.
In our externally-oriented world, the tendency is to not only think in binaries but to internalize them (good/bad, success/failure, sick/healthy, etc.) This season heals that illness. The grace of the scales of justice is, yes, aesthetically-oriented, wanting mental peace and harmony, striving toward a center that can hold, but is also a kind of beauty-justice that we must delve into the backrooms of our mind-souls to find. A kind that is beyond personal preference; to paraphrase the poet-artist Yuko Otomo, “like and dislike has very little to do with art.” And from John Berger: “I can't tell you what art does and how it does it, but I know that art has often judged the judges, pleaded revenge to the innocent and shown to the future what the past has suffered so that it has never been forgotten.” On that note, I give you 16th-century Italian master (and Libra), Caravaggio and his Basket of Fruit (1595):
LIBRA SEASON POEMSCOPES
You’ve a clear line of sight to your illuminated polarity (Libra) and so individualism and interpersonal relationships are the figures and the ground for you. A rose alone is different than a rose at a party. Kind of. With what or whom do you unite?
“There is a time for many words and there is a time for sleep”, said Homer. And you say: “I want to sleep.” Rest is coming but first — work: but make it beautiful. Ask how your pretty earthly heart can be of extraordinary service.
Use your mercurial gifts to CREATE while many planets congregate in your house of art and everything-making. Look not toward old notions about art. Do ask what your art is. Let Venus illumine the path to your Mercurial gifts. One option: Be a channel.
You’re thinking of getting HOME tattooed on your knuckles. Nostalgia, yearning and backward glances tinge you often but lately it’s a yearning so deep it’s ancestral — a home that is both above and below the earth, timeless and interior.
Edward Hopper said, “If I could say it in words there would be no reason to paint.” As our main star illumines your communication station, decide which language is your first and most egalitarian. Use that. Words, visuals, dance, astrology….
Debts and earnings and toils and triumphs are the realm of $$ and karma, and $$ and karma are weird. What are your earnings and your givings? We’re talking here about energy, art, resources, and everything you value — all a direct reflection of your own beauty-justice system.
Many planets cluster at the helm of your ship — offering your favorite kind of technicolor beauty-scape: options. Don’t forget: the light of the sun is as nuanced as the light of the moon. And just around the Libran bend: beauty-through-action i.e. getting woke.
If your hair, to quote Anais Nin, is being pulled by the stars, that’s okay. Let the ether take you to her kingdom above and beyond and speak of your weird travels while holding true to the essence that you’ve come to know as your identity.
Point your fiery arrow toward group consciousness, as your dynamism is needed and quite frankly, very fun. What flecks of your fearless spirit can you disperse and let flow through the air? You’ve some extra heroic energy to spare.
Interviewer: “Andy do you feel that the public has insulted your art?”
Andy Warhol: “Uh well I hadn’t thought about it.” This month, adopt the performed ambivalence of Warholian fame and publicly disregard public opinion in favor of your creations. But, you know, with equity.
Movement and motions and maneuvers and dynamism and restlessness and travels and movements… With the sun in a fellow air sign dazzling your house of foreign travels and new ideas — use the extra electric headspace for spiritual evolution and mind-opening voyages.
“When you stare into the abyss the abyss stares back at you”, said Nietzsche. If you packed that thinker away with your teenage angst, it might be time to dust him off. Or at least, ask nicely the abyss what surprising beauty it can reveal. And listen.
Thank you endlessly for reading and supporting this work, dear friends! Email me with any questions or comments and happy Libra season!
About the Author
Emmalea Russo (she/her) is an artist, writer, and astrologer. After her whole system got shocked by her first grand mal seizure at age 19, she started to wonder how the stars and planets influence our minds and bodies. Her interdisciplinary work focuses on edge spaces in human consciousness, art, and epilepsy. Her books, which combine visual art and writing, are G (2018) and Wave Archive (2019). She received her MFA from Pratt Institute and has been an artist in residence at Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and 18th Street Arts Center.
She has taught classes and workshops on the creative process at RA MA Institute, Parsons School of Design, The Art Institute of Cincinnati, and elsewhere. She writes about astrology, art, and culture at The Avant-Galaxy Journal and hosts The Avant-Galaxy Podcast. She lives between the New Jersey shore and Los Angeles. Book a chart reading or astroplanning session with her here. A version of this piece first appeared on Emmalea’s journal, The Avant-Galaxy.