The Goddess Sign for Libra is the Dove, which is an ancient emblem of the Roman goddess of love, Venus, the traditional ruler of Libra. Birds have long been symbolically connected with the Sacred Feminine around the world and viewed as messengers between humanity and heaven. In the Hermetic tradition, what is called the Language of the Birds, or the Green Language, is the province of the Goddess since she is “mistress of beasts.” White doves are ancient symbols of peace and purity; even the ancient Egyptians revered them. Doves are also symbols of love, “billing and cooing.” Doves, sometimes called lovebirds, have no season so they can mate all year.
Libra is a Cardinal Air sign that holds the place of the Autumn Equinox when light and dark are balanced for a time. Libra embodies balance, and the principle of equilibrium, which results from the interaction of Leo and Virgo, the two signs that precede Libra, and form a marriage of spirit and matter. Libra energy seeks to harmonize and is inclined toward cooperation, compromise and partnership, desiring to bring balance, but brings potential challenges from trying to be all things to all people. Libras seek the mirror of relationship and the accompanying lessons, but they can have difficulty standing up for themselves. Sometimes they try to maintain peace at any price, resulting instead in passive aggression and suppressed conflict.
Libra goddesses embody the traditional ideas of love, peace, beauty, art and elegance. Libra is also the sign of marriage, so these goddesses learn to balance the challenges relationships present. Typically, relationships bring more friction than harmony, but it is through these lessons that we learn powerful lessons if we face the shadow, the play of light and dark, that they reveal. Libra is the sign where we can learn how to manage conflict and differences, trying to bring balance and equilibrium. Although Libra seeks peace and harmony, conflict is inherent in relationships, so this dual air sign also includes goddesses who can appear as fierce birds of war. Libra goddesses can seem complex and contradictory as they may embody the qualities of desire and attraction as well as the keen eye and swift action required of a seasoned warrior.
The Roman goddess Venus, who came after the Greek Aphrodite, was a less complex deity. She dealt more with gardens and simple groves of trees that became her shrines. Her rituals were related to the growing things of Earth and enhancing their fertility. Our word veneration comes from her name. Virgins of both genders ritually tended her natural stone altars beneath large trees. The city of Venice was named for her, and the duke of Venice symbolically married her by throwing a wedding ring into the sea. The planet Venus, ruler of the sign of Libra in astrology, likewise has been seen with a dual nature. When Venus rose as Morning Star, she was seen to express the warrior side of her nature, but when she set in the west with the Sun, it was her passionate nature that held sway and lovers called upon her in this form.
Ishtar was the Babylonian version of the planet and the goddess. Her “star,” an eight-pointed depiction of the planet Venus, has been found on ancient seals. Scholars believe this demonstrated knowledge of the eight-year cycle of Venus as she moves through her appearances as Morning Star and Evening Star. Part of her myth included an annual descent into the underworld. Ishtar’s dual nature also included both love and war. Her Phoenician counterpart was Astarte, who was called Mistress of Horses and Chariots.
The Norse goddess Freya was both negotiator and mediator between two warring factions of Norse gods, but she could also be seen in the role of the destroying crone who brought endings and the dark time of the year. Balancing light and dark, it was her role to give birth to the new sun king each year at winter solstice. She was a shape shifter who could appear as a falcon, or fly through the air by virtue of an exquisite cape made of falcon feathers. Eagle Woman is an American Indian goddess in the form of a powerful eagle. Her feathers represent contact with the Great Spirit. To possess an eagle feather is seen as a great gift and also a great responsibility. In ancient Egypt, Nekhbet was a goddess whose form was a white vulture. Her title was White crown, and she was one of the Two Ladies by whose grace the pharaoh ruled. One of her roles was to protect the king in battle.
By contrast, the Roman goddess Pax was the embodiment of peace. She was depicted as a young woman with a scepter and a cornucopia, holding olive branches, which are traditional symbols of peace. Astraea, also called Star Maiden, was the Libyan goddess of holy law who held the scales of justice that weighed the claims of opposing parties in a dispute. She is similar to the Egypt Ma’at, another Libra goddess. She was the last of the immortals to live among humans at the end of a golden age. As the turning wheel of the ages brought the world into cyclical darkness she abandoned Earth to hold the celestial scales that are now part of the constellation of Libra.
The Egyptian Isis is another powerful Libra goddess. She was called Queen of Magic, and after her husband Osiris was murdered and cut into pieces, she assembled all the parts of his body and took the form of a falcon. She magically mated with him to conceive their divine son Horus, also a falcon. She was especially skilled in the magic of hekau, uttering words of power. In one story, she even managed to acquire the secret name of the sun god Ra through her artistry.
The Hindu goddess Radha was the most beloved of the god Krishna and embodies the ideals of a love goddess. Their love affair appears in exquisite and timeless art of India. Radha symbolizes the human soul moving through eternity and seeking union with the divine. Also on the benevolent side, Kishijoten is the Japanese goddess of art and beauty and the patron of the geisha tradition. We can call upon the diverse nature of these goddesses whether the situation requires courage to fight for a just cause, or when skillful finesse is required. But we should always strive for balance.
Excerpts from Goddesses for Every Day © 2010 by Julie Loar. Printed with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA. www.newworldlibrary.com
About The Author: Julie Loar is the multiple award-winning author of six books and dozens of articles. She has a BS in Psychology, has done postgraduate work, and has been certified in numerous professional training and development programs. Julie was a Human Resources executive in two major corporations, and an independent training consultant, working with large companies. Her latest book, Goddesses For Every Day: Exploring the Wisdom & Power of the Divine Feminine Around the World, (available at Satiama) has won three national awards.
Her popular astrology feature appears in ATLANTIS RISING magazine, and she is a featured contributor on John Edward’s web site, InfiniteQuest.com where she has her own internet TV show. She has traveled to sacred sites around the world, researching the material for her books and teachings. Each year she leads a sacred journey to Egypt. Visit her at http://www.julieloar.com