Some initial thoughts
With the imminent Mars/Sun opposition on April 8, 2014, heralding the beginning of a new synodic cycle of Mars, it’s time to consider the implications. Mars entered Libra on December 7, 2013, and remains in Libra until July 25, 2014, almost an entire 8 months. It is important to note that Mars always stays in a sign a long time when a new synodic cycle is beginning. This happened in 2012 when Mars began a new cycle in Virgo and in 2010 when Mars began a new cycle in Taurus.
Shamanic Astrology envisions the actual birth of the Mars archetype to be at opposition, or when Mars is rising in the evening sky as the Sun [2010 April C and D 00888] is setting. This will happen again on April 8, 2014. Each Mars cycle features several developmental phases of its cycle. These beginning phases include conception, gestation, incubation, and metamorphosis that occur prior to Mars opposition to the Sun.
Following the birth of Mars in his new journey, the phases of puberty, education, and the initial expressions of a youthful quest are next. Please reference the other recent articles on Mars for more details on these phases. Or better yet, join Erik Roth and me, on our upcoming Mars tele-class series (beginning June 6th) that will deeply explore the 2 year Mars cycle.
Mars In Libra
So what might be the intent and purpose of Mars in the sign of Libra?
In Shamanic Astrology, Mars symbolizes the masculine principle in both men and women. It is worth noting that this Libran overtone is relatively rare. The most recent Mars in Libra journeys were in1982, 1967, 1950, 1935, and 1903. The initial speculations and ideas presented here will be further expanded on over these next months, as the synodic cycle unfolds, all the way up to the spring of 2016.
Shamanic Astrology places the Libran Mystery School in the Householder or Culture Bearer category, along with Aries, Cancer, and Capricorn. Historically, the purpose of the Libra Mystery School has been to create sustainable forms of partnership and relationship that serve the needs of the particular tribe, clan, culture, or society. This has included any and all forms of agreement-based relational structures, including the more recent understandings about what has been called “marriage”.
A primary essence of Libra is the attempt to create sustainable forms of relationship that work for the greatest number of people, as well as serving the practical needs of the secular/householder aspirations of that particular culture. Thisessence is quite different from content.
One example of content is the recent views of monogamous “Christian marriage”. Another view of content is arranged marriage, that allows for “minor wives” or concubines. Some cultures even allowed for village or group marriages. These are just a few examples of different types of “content” that have been tried by global humanity throughout history.
How can anyone legitimately judge what is the absolute right “content”? The purpose of the Libra Mystery School is to explore what forms best reflect the intent of the essence of Libra at any given time in history. The forms and the “content” can change, but the essence remains the same.
At this time, the leading edge of Libra, for both men and women, is to create “non-hierarchical, conscious equal partnership”. Truly collaborative male-female (even female-female or male-male) partnerships are about loving each other and working together without hierarchy.
The Mystery of Personal-ness
The Libra Mystery School is not just about partnership and relationship within the context of secular/householder/culture-bearer intentions. From a spiritual perspective, Libra is dedicated to discovering the nature of the personal, or what can be called “personalness”.
Who are we really, when the outer masks are stripped away? When we remove our resume, our appearance, our minds, our personalities, our knowledge, and our contributions; what is still there?
A Buddhist and celestial-world perception says the Self is empty, that all we are is constructed and transitory. But from a human perspective, there is still an essence, the “personal essence”, there is still someone there.
In Sufi traditions, and in the Diamond Heart work, this is called “the Pearl Beyond Price”. It is the specific inquiry to discover this personal essence, this Pearl. The paradox is that it cannot be developed like a muscle or discovered with a technique. It just “IS”, and is part of Great Mystery.
All human beings long to be “gotten”, to be seen. It is possible to give practical suggestions about how different archetypes of the masculine and feminine desire to be gotten and seen. Another way to say this is from a psychological perspective, is that we have a desire to be mirrored accurately. Few of us were accurately mirrored by our parents. Some of us may enjoy with gratitude – being accurately mirrored by a friend or spouse.
For example, Cancer desires to be seen as loving and giving. Aries desires to be seen as noble and committed. Taurus desires to be seen as ravishingly desirable, and so on. But what about Libra?
Actually, Libra wants to be seen as this Pearl, as their personal essence. This is like when you say “I just want to be loved for me!” And who is that me?
This is the Libran quest. This is beautifully summed up in the magical Libran song “Nature Boy” (written in 1948, the year of my birth).
“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return.”
Libra desires to be mirrored, not by God, not by nature, not by spirit. Libra desires to mirrored by another human being, in surrendered simplicity.
The Masculinity of Libra
The escalating predicament of masculinity fueled by the stagnation and uselessness of the current hierarchically patriarchal system that runs the planet, is a huge issue and beyond the scope of this article. What I want to focus on is the highly misunderstood Libran version of masculinity.
There are no significant stories of Libran masculinity that show up in the three mythic streams underlying our culture, namely the Judeo-Christian, Greco-Roman, or Celtic. Modern archetypal expressions of the essential masculine usually speak of: Father, King, Warrior, and Priest (and sometimes Lover), but never about Libran masculinity. So what is it?
The Libran God is the Partner.
This is not necessarily husband, unless it’s a non-hierarchical version of husband. The number one issue for this god is his relationship, and his prioritizing of the relational process. He not only wants to work on the relationship, but is even willing to do more “work” on the relationship than the woman! This is remarkable different that the current mainstream views.
In our current culture, it is generally assumed that it is the woman who does the relationship work. Additionally, certain well-known teachers of relationship will assert that if a man is more into the relationship than the woman, it can’t last. This view is actually true for most of the archetypes of the masculine, but not for Libra. The strength of commitment to the relational process is the essence of the Libran God.
The Shadow Expression of Libra
There is a shadow expression, of course. These have been difficult years for Libra. In mainstream astrological circles, Libra is often the target of ridicule and jokes. Why? It is because immature, undeveloped, or unrecognized Libra can be deeply codependent.
Women know this guy as being lost without a girlfriend, or a woman on his arm. This is the man whose identity is weakly based on how he is doing in his relationship. He is miserable without a partner. He lacks autonomy. He does not know himself without the other.
Libran codependency will always appear whenever more than 50% of his energy or attention is merged into the field of his partner. If his happiness is based on her condition, he gets lost. Even without a partner, if more than 50% of his energy is expended in trying to get someone to be with him, it’s the same problem.
There is a very fine line in the development of healthy Libran masculinity. This is because somewhere in their development, there must come a time, when the Libra male must be completely on his own, developing his relationship with himself. To the extent that this inner relationship with self is developed, there will come, in due time, the next opportunity to partner, to bond, and to be valued for his partnership essence. This essence is a uniquely masculine and actional commitment to having the relationship itself, as the prime mission and purpose statement of his life.
The Feminine Experience of the Libran God
These observations only apply if a woman has Mars in Libra, or has the Libra-Aries Ascendant-Descendant axis, or has North Node, Venus, Mars, Sun, or Moon in the 7thhouse. In these cases the longing, the projected desire, is to have a partner that wants to work on the relationship, enjoys the relationship process, and in many cases, actually wants to do this more than the woman.
This can actually free the woman to pursue other creative and contributing activities rather than primarily be focused on the relationship. This is particularly true for women who happen to be one of the Amazonian or “Solar Feminine” type. These are women who have strong Leo, Sagittarius, Aries, Capricorn, Scorpio, Virgo, Gemini and Aquarius. These women do not have as a primary function to be doing the relationship work. In these cases it is the role of the partner. And the greatest gift that this type of woman can give to the Libran man is to value him for his commitment to the relationship, and really appreciate the gift he brings.
Feminine Libra Shadow
There is the female equivalent of the Libra shadow. Some women simply want a husband or a boyfriend on their resume, resembling the old roles of relating we grew up with. This can satisfy a mental picture, and can possibly promise a measure of security.
However, most women today find these old pictures of “husband” or the clinging boyfriend to be objectionable. No wonder many intelligent women choose autonomy and sovereignty over being in that type of relationship.
The Yoga of Conscious Equal Partnership
Most archetypes will find the relationship dynamic that I am advocating of limited value, but should you have Libra as part of your projected masculine image, or part of your sacred marriage process, then it is helpful to be on the lookout for the emerging and evolving Libra god.
The evolution of the Libra God at this time is a significant part of why conscious relationship is the yoga of our age. This is why the older versions of role-oriented, hierarchical husband/wife or boyfriend/girlfriend relationship modalities are fading away.
This is why the Libran God now arising during this upcoming 26-month Mars synodic cycle, represents the very real possibility of “non-hierarchical conscious equal partnership”.