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The Labors of Hercules - Labor VII
The Rulers of Libra and Its Opposite Sign

The opposite sign of Libra, with which at-one-ment must be made, is Aries whose exoteric ruler is Mars, while the ruler of Libra is Venus. Exoterically, therefore, there must be at-one-ment between the Will and the higher mind, expressing itself through desire or love according to the status of evolution. The esoteric ruler of Libra is Uranus, and Saturn in this sign is the ruler of that "stupendous creative Hierarchy" which forms part of the third aspect of divinity. It is for this reason that Libra is closely connected with, and explains the third aspect of the Godhead and hence it is a governing sign and a major determining factor where law, sex and money are concerned. The Tibetan further states that, "If students will make a careful study of these three: law, first aspect; relation between the pairs [136] of opposites (sex), second aspect; and concretized energy, called money, third aspect, as they express themselves today and as they can express themselves in the future, they will have a picture of physical human achievement and of future spiritual expression which will be instructive and most worthwhile. The whole process is accounted for by the activity of the three rulers of Libra: Venus, Uranus and Saturn." (Condensation, Esoteric Astrology, p.243 et seq.)

Peculiar beauty emerges when considering the keynotes of Aries and Libra as given by Dane Rudhyar in Gifts of the Spirit. The note for Libra is "ease", but it is far from the ease of luxurious comfort. The author defines it as "an expression of totally accepted relatedness, be it with an object, a situation or a person ... Men can only be free from nature by fulfiling nature; by fulfiling it with ease, with elegance.

"By elegance we mean that quality which the mathematician has in mind when he speaks of 'the elegant solution of a mathematical problem', a solution which moves on with extreme ease', with the utmost simplicity of means, with a minimum of intermediary steps, with inherent logic". A redwood tree is likewise the elegant solution of the problem contained in the seed; a perfectly easy and logical development of the potentialities inherent in this seed.

"Natural growth of inherent potentialities, ease and logic of development, elegance of unfoldment; these are jewels of the art of living; these are the tests of mastery."
Let your mind rest in contemplation of these beautiful words. It is difficult to imagine a more refreshing concept of growth, a growth which unfolds from within as a flower opens, instead of with stress and anxious strain. Here we might note that Libra represents the vegetable kingdom, sex and natural affinity. In that kingdom three rays are said to be vibrating in unison. This results in service, beauty, color and fragrance. Rudhyar's words are not mystical poetry; they are rooted in biological fact, where also creative energy, God immanent, is at work. [137]

Turning to Aries, we find that the keynote is "adaptability", which indicates a method by which the "ease" of Libra may be obtained. We all know of men and women, in history and about us now, who move with poise and power amidst tragic happenings. And what an awesome, inspiring sight it is. We find adaptability also in the camouflage of the animal kingdom, in the coloring of birds and beasts which helps to protect their lives. Man in dangerous circumstances has an equal need for camouflage, in his case, for increased adaptability. This immediately raises a query as to the dangers of compromise, the deserting of principle for safety. But just as the Tibetan has told us that "spiritual compromise" may be a recognition of time and evolution, not involving any treachery to the goal, so we read the following by Rudhyar:

"This type of social adaptation should not be such as to divert or muddy the flow of the release of power. It should not alter the quality of the projected images, or cloud the vision they convey ... This is a difficult task of discrimination. To be adaptable, yet to retain the purity and total integrity of one's vision and one's ideal; to accept detours, yet not lose the direction of the goal; to be understandable and acceptable to those who need the spiritual arousal, yet not distort or lower the character of the message; to use the values born of the past, yet not sell short the future to the uncertain present; to be kind to men, yet uncompromisingly true to the spirit - such are the problems that the Aries person will constantly meet, in one form or another.
The individual who is consecrated and true to the spirit acts as the spirit in terms of human needs." (Ease and adaptability: Libra at-one with its opposite sign, Aries.)

The Constellations and the Stars

There are three constellations in Libra, all of special interest. First there is the southern cross that has never been seen in the Occident since the time of the Crucifixion, when it was seen at Jerusalem. Now the cross is receding. Let us try to grasp the dramatic presentation in this great symbol. Four bright stars make up this cross; four, the number of the matter [138] aspect of man, the quaternary. The southern cross, the quaternary, is receding. The same symbolism is seen in Gemini, with Castor and Pollux. Castor, symbolizing immortality, is growing brighter and Pollux, mortality, is growing dimmer. The cross is receding, and this promise is in Libra, called the open door to Shamballa, the sign in which there is found "the narrow, razor-edged path" which leads the man into the kingdom of the soul.

The second constellation is that of Lupus, the wolf. Down the ages, the wolfs head has been the symbol of the initiate. But it is a dying wolf, and the wolf-nature that has devoured the soul nature until now is symbolized as dying out, for as man achieves balance the activity and power of the wolf dies out.

The third is the Corona, the crown held before man working in Libra. The symbol is based on the story of Ariadne, the mother aspect, who was given a crown of seven stars by Bacchus, symbol of the second aspect of divinity which glorifies matter by making it the expression of the divine mind. (From A.A.B.).

As with all of Libra, interpretations and understanding of the constellations are difficult, but provocative of thought. If the data seems meagre and vague it is perhaps again representative of Libran interlude, which one of the Masters of the Wisdom has called "the master of no-man's land." So we can but ponder, remembering how the wolf appears as the animal that suckled Romulus and Remus; and was the fierce animal which Saint Francis of Assisi tamed by his love for it, and sense of oneness with it.

Some highlights from the lecture by A.A.B.

In Libra we have the man who does not speak, symbolic of the interlude of silence in the life of Jesus. Between the ages of 12 and 30, we hear naught of him. These were years of silence, whether spent among the Essenes in Egypt or in the carpenter's shop, in which that great son of God balanced spirit and matter and prepared for his ministry as a son of man who was [139] also a son of God - demonstrably. The great revelation to my mind is not that we are spirit, but that all is God in manifestation; it is all energy in different categories. Christ was the perfect expression of divinity in form. He balanced spirit and matter perfectly. That is the work we all have to do...

The two good centaurs that Hercules killed are known as Cherion (good thought) and Pholos (bodily strength). This test was to show control of the emotional, astral, desire nature, in whatever form it may take; and it is all the more powerful the more advanced a human being is. You cannot control or guide the desire nature by physical strength or by thought alone. You may succeed for a time and then it surges back up in you again. The only answer is to take the boar of desire up into the high mountains. It is on mountain tops that all the great revelations occur, where the mists of the valley disappear and illumination comes...

Libra is an air sign and is on the cardinal cross which will govern the next solar system and in this system governs the path of initiation, which is trodden by the flower of the race (Esoteric Astrology, p. 279). Again the mystery veils so that we find the sign difficult to understand. But the keynotes of the sign are clear and plain: they speak straight to the heart and without obscurity. To the average man, with no developed spiritual consciousness, the word goes forth again and again throughout the aeons: "And the Word said: let choice be made." The response eventually comes back as a result of the evolutionary process and from the soul. "I choose the way which leads between the two great lines of force." (Ibid. pp. 251, 261). [140]

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