Posted by: Donna Cunningham | October 1, 2010

Why It’s Hell Being a Libra any More!!

©7-19-2015 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

New Insights cvr small

The following is an excerpt from Donna’s ebook, New Insights into Astrology, a collection of well-loved articles from The Mountain Astrologers and this blog. To learn more about the book, download a sampler of its contents here: SAMPLER 2015 NEW INSIGHTS. Order here:

Once upon a time there was a nice little sign named Libra. It was a charming sign, and everyone was happy to be around it. It threw memorable dinner parties with candles and pretty floral centerpieces and tiny portions of trendy gourmet cuisine. There were place cards to tell you where to sit, and the guests to your left and right would be pleasant, interesting companions chosen with you in mind. An invitation from Libra was a much hoped for social coup.

Libra was quite a catch for some lucky partner—easy on the eyes, fashionably and elegantly dressed, and given to the most romantic gestures. You’d smile to find a note tucked in your pocket saying what a divine lover you were last night. You knew you were the center of Libra’s world, the sole reason for Libra’s existence. Libra was all about loving and nothing but loving, you see, in much the same way that Virgo lived to work and Cancer was totally centered on the family. 

That was Libra back then, and the zodiac was a far more agreeable place for its existence. Things began to change, ever so slowly, in 1942, when Neptune moved in with Libra. Oh, at first it was idyllic—a fairy tale, Hollywood movie, happily ever after type of romance that thrilled Libra to the core of its being.

Libra gradually lost itself, caught up in the all-consuming presence of a soft, sensitive soulmate who admittedly wasn’t making the most of those special talents but could become somebody if Libra only found the right way to help.

Over time, Neptune’s frailties and flaws became more and more apparent. The relationship ate up more and more of Libra’s energy, but there was no leaving because Libra was totally committed. And, besides, what would people say? In those days, divorce was just not an option for Nice, Respectable People.

In 1950, Saturn came on the scene and started piling more and more responsibilities on Libra—bills to pay, standards to live up to, deadlines to meet. Neptune by that time was too depressed, dysfunctional—and frankly, drunk—to carry much of the load, as well as only intermittently employed. The burdens all fell on Libra’s shoulders.

That whole era is a muddle of misery. Libra will never forget those wrenching, humiliating scenes in 1951-2 when Saturn confronted Neptune directly. At that point, Neptune—along with the partnership—completely broke down. Though it was the hardest thing Libra ever had done (up to then), Neptune was asked to leave in October of 1953.

For years afterward, Libra was too discouraged and disillusioned to even contemplate getting involved again. But you have to remember that Libra lives to love and feels incomplete without a partner. That NEVER changes. And so in 1968, Libra fell head over heels with Uranus, a younger but more exciting romantic prospect than had come along in years.

Uranus had panache, charisma, and an avant garde style that was utterly impossible to resist. Libra had always preferred intelligent companions and didn’t mind a heated discussion so long as both points of view were considered. Uranus was possessed of a dazzling intellect and a unique viewpoint, though outspokenly scornful of others who weren’t quite so advanced in their thinking.

Then, too, there was the challenge of perpetual courtship. Uranus could be very THERE, 100% present one day and then suddenly disappear for months on end with no explanation. Oh, Uranus was up front about not believing in commitment, but nobody had ever been able to resist Libra’s charm and glamour, so Libra was confident it would work out.

This off again, on again affair lasted until 1975, kept alive by explosive breakups and sudden, whirlwind reunions. It was nothing if not romantic, and Libra secretly enjoyed the intervals of being single and not having to adapt to Uranus’ quirky, erratic lifestyle and forceful opinions.

Besides, Libra’s carnal needs were being met by a covert relationship with a married lover once Pluto showed up in 1971. No one knew about it because Libra cannot tolerate scandal or looking bad.

Pluto pursued Libra, who was slowly, unwillingly seduced into seamy yet steamy couplings whenever Pluto was available. As ambivalent as Libra was about being used as a sexual convenience rather than treated as a treasured partner, the intense passion that never waned kept the relationship going for years.

Saturn returned in 1980 and started nagging Libra about respectability, financial security and the need to find a more permanent arrangement to sustain Libra in those fast-approaching senior years. Then, too, Pluto died in 1984, along Libra’s capacity to believe in a lifelong, committed relationship based on true love and devotion.

Libra has never been the same since, though the charm and style remains and Libra is as attractive as ever. There are lovers and probably always will be, but Libra doesn’t really believe love will last. The romantic game is played half-heartedly, with one eye on an escape route in case things aren’t as good as they look on the surface.

Saturn’s reappearance last October made Libra very sad—maybe even clinically depressed.  The relentless progression of years, even with the aid of cosmetic surgery, makes it so very hard to look good, and those scanty, frankly sexual modern styles just aren’t appropriate on someone Libra’s age.

Being alone has taken its toll—it would be so good to have a companion right there at home without making such an effort all the time. Not to mention that sharing the bills and medical insurance costs with someone would be a relief.   So, yeah, Libra is depressed and worried.

Being a Libra in 2010 is hell. We don’t know the real Libra today, only the frantic, people-pleasing Libra that has evolved since the 1940s. You would have been totally enamored of the charming, loving Libra of a more spacious, gracious yesteryear—one of the highlights of the zodiac, and a joy to be around.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Excuse me, but you’re not getting an accurate picture here.  I’m Saturn, and it’s only fair for me to be able to tell my side of the story.  You’re making me out to be the bad guy that comes around every 29 or 30 years to make Libra’s life miserable. You make it sound like all I do is make demands, criticize lovers, and generally put a damper on relationships.

I’d like to point out that the last couple of times I came around, I was the voice of sanity when Libra was involved with thoroughly undesirable partners. In the 1940s it was that loser Neptune that never carried its own weight. And in the mid-1980s, it was that seamy Pluto that was just out for sex and not for commitment.

Neither one of them treated Libra right. It was never the equal partnership Libra deserved. And Libra couldn’t seem to set any limits, so I had to be the one to do it.

So now another full cycle has gone by, and Libra’s not getting any younger. It’s time for Libra to take a good look at what love is all about and learn to set some boundaries.

Since the last time I was here, I’ve gotten certified as a life coach–actually they grandfathered me in because they’re using some of my teachings.  So Libra came to consult me about how to have a more mature and satisfying relationship.

We’re working together, and in our sessions, we’re looking back at these past affairs to see why they were so tempting.

Mistakes are only bad if you never learn anything from them—better late than never—and Libra’s ready to learn some new ways of connecting now. I’m feeling good about what’s happening, and so is Libra. I’m cautiously optimistic about the outcome.  A mature relationship can be the best one of all.

This has been an excerpt from Donna’s ebook, New Insights into Astrology, a collection of well-loved articles from The Mountain Astrologers and this blog. To learn more about the book, download a sampler of its contents here: SAMPLER 2015 NEW INSIGHTS. Order here:

More Articles about the Zodiac Signs on Skywriter: 

For more detailed information about this series of outer planet transits and how they’ve affected Libra see:  The Long-Term Effect of Outer Planet Transits to Libra.

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  1. Dear Donna, THANK YOU for writing about Libra. I needed to read your article as I’m presently a single parent Living with my Libra son and I’m a Taurus. We are feeling the heat. My son’s Sun is conjunct Mercury and Mars, and those planets squaring Neptune,Saturn, Uranus, Jupiter, Chiron. And to add a little flavor a Pluto/Venus conjunction in Scorpio, squaring a Leo Moon. I needed to read your article and I will now start reading the other about the Transit Effects on Libra. Just what I needed. Thanks again!!! Just what I needed.

    • Very glad if it helps, Jen. It has to be extremely tough being a single mom in this economy and with Saturn in Libra. Donna

  2. What a clever article! I enjoyed it very much. I hope you will write more like this one in the future. Thanks Donna!

  3. My husband has 5 planets in Libra. Now it’s over his penis, errr I mean Venus! I don’t know why he has not become terribly depressed. Maybe it’s his Gemini Asc. Is it possible that having Saturn exhaulted in Libra means that Librans don’t don’t get the full Saturn “smackdown?”

    • I’ve been wondering the same thing. How does Saturn’s exaltation in Libra affect things? (By the way, “exhaulted” is one letter away from “exhausted!”)
      The Sun/Saturn conjunction was on top of my natal Sun, (my birthday was yesterday), but I haven’t felt whalloped by the transit. In fact, things have been kind of good….

      • Well, Saturn aspects are about “reaping what you’ve sown,” and to have that conjunction in your solar return might well signify that hard work of the last year or so is paying off. Donna

    • Hey, I’ve got one of those too (a husband with 5 planets in Libra; ) Mine has a Leo Ascendant and Taurus Moon. I would love to find out the answer to your question.

      My hubby’s Pluto got the Saturn treatment late last year and he finally decided to tackle some long-standing problems. All the other planets are meeting up with Saturn at the end of this year and throughout the next.

      Is Venus your hubby’s first planet to hang with Saturn so far? Any effects so far?

      I have wondered about the synastry of people with such focused charts and their mates. Do you have Libra in your chart as well or many cardinal signs?

      • He has Saturn on the cusp of the 5th. All his Libra planets are in the 5th. The lineup is Merc., Venus, moon, Neptune, Sun. He has already had his Saturn return. So far he has sailed through this like water on a duck.

        My Asc. is Libra, with Pluto transit conjunct my natal Saturn currently, and Pisces sun. Saturn has been kicking my ass for a while. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great guy, but I have to admit I’m a bit dumbfounded.

    • Maybe they’re just too considerate to drag other people down when they’re bummed out?? Or maybe most of his Libra planets are enough further on in the sign that he’s not feeling them yet. I’d have to see his chart to get the picture of what’s NOT wrong, and I’m retired from doing charts. Just offhand, if he’s going to have it on his Venus for a while, you might want to get a makeover. (I’m just sayin’.) Donna

      • LOL, I’ve been workin’ it!

  4. Egad! That’s my life in broad strokes right up and including the last section about learning to value mature relationships!

    I give credit to Saturn in Capricorn squaring my Libra planets by transit 1989-1991 for completing my education. Got married in Oct 1991 for the first time and remain happily married to date.

    Sun in Libra, Moon conj Neptune in Libra

  5. What about having a 1 degree Libra ascendant and getting hit by Saturn, Uranus in Aries, Pluto in Capricorn? Talk about problems!

    • AND you probably have an early Cancer Midheaven, therefore an early Capricorn IC and an early Aries Descendant, if you’re a typical Libra Ascendant. But you’re not alone, because vast numbers of early Libra Ascendants have the same four angles that you do (i.e. at right angles to one another). As I said, it’s hell being a Libra right now. Donna

  6. Great writing, Donna! Enjoyed it very much. I’ve got mercury at 1′ Libra, and Venus a little further along. No worries here! After all that hulabaluba in Virgo, I’ve developed a thick skin. Have a great weekend.

  7. Great article. There are/were so many Libras in my life. My father was a Libra, my brother is a Libra, my friend/sister is a Libra, and I have a Libra ascendent, North Node, Mars, etc.
    The post articulated to a tee, my sister’s love journey. She is such a romantic. What a heart! But she fell for the secure, handsome husband in her 20’s, the rogue lover in her 30’s (while she was still married to her uh-hum, roving-eye husband), and finally the younger lover who physically abuses her, all this as she just celebrates her 50th birthday. She just can’t seem to find the right man for herself. And as you stated, Libras need a partner. She has had a career since the 80’s and has seen extreme wealth to the exact opposite. She has been in an extreme depression for the last decade, only she really hasn’t made the time to look at her life closely – up until now that is.
    Your story illustrates what I believe she should look at. Why does she continue to accept “losers” in her life? Really, at this point in time, with Saturn in Libra, I believe she will finally find some answers. I do hope so. She deserves it!

  8. Brilliant!!

  9. ah, this would explain why I would never ever go on teh dating scene – I hate scandal.

  10. oh, and of course I add my endorsement to the chorus of praise.

    Long live Donna!

  11. Dear Donna, a truly gifted teacher is what you are.
    Nostradamus talks of an evolving peace in the time of balance…hope he means now!

  12. My only Libran planet is Venus, which Saturn will start conjuncting next month.

    My college roommate’s birthday is today and she lost her husband to cancer 5 years ago and is still in mourning. The last of her children will graduate from HS next June and she is depressed. She told me recently that she feels like her kids lives are just starting and that hers is over (at 51). Any words of wisdom on how I might be able to help her out? Solar return wise, she has Mars & Venus conjunct in Scorpio today, so maybe that will bring her a new love this year?

    I loved your retrospective Donna! From the flowers, tiny portions of gourmet food to the steamy sex scenes with Pluto:) I think I’ve lived them all.

    Yes, a mature relationship is what I’m looking for at this point. Balanced, equally loving and committed, with shared values and goals. I still believe:)

    • It sounds more like a Pluto phase of your friend’s life than just a Saturn one–or part of the Pluto-Saturn transit that’s been going on for about a year. With her last child graduating, the empty nest syndrome is adding another layer to the grieving for an important era of her life and the loss of two major roles–wife and mother. You know, I’m much impressed with life coaching as an addition to the spectrum of helping professionals, and maybe she’d respond to that more than psychotherapy. A life coach could help her explore new directions her life could take now that’s she fulfilled one set of life purposes and responsibilities. they focus on setting and achieving goals. Donna

      • Agree w/ the Pluto assessment; I neglected to factor in the square. Brilliant suggestion on the life coach! She’s never been open to my astrological leanings and since her husband died has found God in a big way and isn’t much of a therapy person either. I gave her some books right after he died but don’t know if she ever read them. The life coach would be an ongoing relationship, which as a Libra she would thrive on, and is forward moving / thinking, much like behavior therapy without calling it such. Thanks Donna!

  13. Donna, Being an early Aries, the Cardinal mayhem has brought up a few issues with one or two dearly loved Librans for me. This has given me a whole new perspective just as I have been wondering whether or how best to build bridges. Thank you.

  14. Thank you, Donna. This really is amazing to finally be validated in my so very un-Libra-like disinclination towards marriage. Sure, I’d love to be married, but I can’t find it in myself to trust anyone anymore. I am from the virtually unaspected generation, 1965, and have only a square to my ascendant in Capricorn, no less. I really don’t come across as Libra to anyone, except in my indecisiveness and seemingly total dedication to people-pleasing. Of course, Mercury is all kinds of combust-state conjunct, too, so I really play a hard game sometimes with this Libra stuff. I’ve also read that the Sun is not really at home in Libra because the Sun is all about “I,” and Libra is all about “we.” I was really none too happy to have to add that to the list against me, too. Goodness, what do you do with a chart like that? LOL Well, at least I have some explanation to give myself. And your article really helped with that, so much that I’m actually going to post this comment, something that I NEVER would really want to do. But, I found this article to be so darn clever and so dead on, I can hardly stand it.

    I love Saturn for what it’s done for me. I really, really do. It gives me focus and understandings that I’d never have had, otherwise. I am only a beginner astrologist, so reading your remarkable insights has been invaluable as a goal to shoot for, though somehow I suspect I’ll never quite be anywhere near where you are. I do have a daughter with a remarkable chart for being an amazing astrologist, though, so I’m thinking my own study will be worth something sooner or later.

    Right now, for me, though, it’s doing something that nothing else has ever done-it’s enabled me to use observation instead of judgment, which has been one of my chronic undoings in life. No religion, no psychologist has ever given me what the study of astrology has. And your blogs and commentaries are among the highest in my esteem.

    I have also read your commentary on the lost generation of 1965 or so. Yep, all true that, too. Right dead on target. So sad, really, that I never really learned about astrology until now. But, at least I have finally found something I truly enjoy and can actually use to help others. And isn’t that what we’re all here for?

    God bless you for what you do. You’ve put out so much to read, I’m not sure I’ll ever find time to get through it all. But, I’m for sure gonna try!

    • I’m glad if it brought insight. Astrology is really a superb tool for self-knowledge. I think the reason so many of us study it for so long is exactly that–it tells us who we really are, as opposed to what the world around us wants to make us into. Donna

      • You’re very kind to respond to all that. Yes, indeed, it brought insight. I do want to apologize for posting all that, though. Evidently, Mercury in Scorpio likes to talk too much. Shoulda checked the planets before posting. LOL Thanks again. And best wishes to you.

  15. Thanks so much for that! I have 2 libra daughters 28 and 21…. They both seem to really have a rough time in almost every area of their lives…. but mostly relationships! So this make a lot of sense! They both have a way of driving me nuts (Aries) haha…. I’m worried for my 28 year olds saturn return coming up!!! UGH!

  16. Having been born on Dec. 18, 1951, I found this article to be me. I have Aquarius rising 17 degrees. All my life I just wanted to be loved. My mom was a strong influence in my life, moon-Pluto in the 7th. 21 and 22 degrees. In 1967, I saw my prince. It was an immediate attraction for both of us. But at 15 I was too shy to talk and ran away from his advances. At times throughout the years he suddenly appeared (Uranus). But each time he came up to me, I ran away, still too shy. This lasted for over 10 years. In 1973, I began an affair with a married man that lasted for 2 years. My reputation was ruined because he couldn’t keep his mouth shut.
    In 1977 I married a Aries Sun/Aquarius asc. with a Pisces moon. He appeared strong and confident until life got difficult. In 1984 at the birth of my second daughter, I lost kidney function and went on dialysis. (Capricorn on the 12th. Saturn in Libra conj. Libra Mars and Neptune in the 8th, squared Aries Jupiter, squared Chiron in the 11th.) My husband enjoyed pain pills way too much. During my second Saturn return, he died on Dec. 18, 2010.
    I saw his death coming in his chart months before. In October 2010, I began seeing a therapist; the depression was immense. I can’t seem to get back to life now; I am so lonely. To me, my second Saturn return was devastating. I can’t wait for it to end! One of my daughters is now going through her first.

  17. I’m a libra born 10/18. I feel that I simply can’t take it anymore. I have never had such an ongoing negative period of time in my life. I feel like i’m at the end of my rope, on my very last nerve. I feel clinically depressed and totally unlike myself. It’s gotten so bad I barely recognize myself anymore. Even when all this is over and saturn moves into scorpio I may never bounce back. I’m not being dramatic. Every single thing except for my work life, totally sucks beyond belief.

    • Dear Janet, I am so sorry it has been that hard. You must have more than one planet in Libra or else a strong Venus. People have taken it very hard, especially those with Saturn in Libra natally. All I can say is, do all you can to learn what Saturn teaches and it will make you stronger–and more equipped to deal with life’s realities rather than your wishes and desires–in the long run. That doesn’t help now, I realize. If you have a health food store in your area, you might get a bottle of Sweet Chestnut flower rememdy by Bach, as it helps when you’re in what’s called the Dark Night of the Soul. There are a couple of articles about Sweet Chestnut here on Skywriter. Donna Cunningham

  18. I loved this article. My father is a Libran and I have seen him go from being a confident, attractive a man to a bundle of nerves, confused, depressed and crying and unable to make the simplest decision. (this trait has been amplified because of the problems he has had to deal with) But I think all the cardinal signs have had it tough, especially since 1998. Capricorns have tried to understand why none of their loves and plans have worked out, Cancers have fretted over their homes, work and relationships and Aries with health and foundations. And the change in the Earth’s magnetic field isn’t making it any easier for them. I, as a Capricorn with Venus on the Ascendant of Aquarius and opposition Uranus, as well as being born under the the Chines sign of the Dog which has its equivalent as Libra in western astrology, have never been able to meet a partner who loves ME, because other areas of life have also gotten in the way. And the fact that there is now ongoing squares of Pluto, Uranus and other elements in Libra, just piles on the pressure. I am getting tired of wondering what to do next to get back to some happy balance in home, work, location, health and love. Any other cardinal sign feel the same?

  19. I just scored a 60 on the Venus test. This article describes my life. Saturn transiting libra certainly helped slow me to a stop from which I have not resumed.

  20. Wow–this article could hardly have told my relationship life story more accurately! 1970 23° Libra/Dog (happy solar return to me!) and I feel like I’ve been doing the hard work with Saturn for a long time now. It hasn’t paid off yet in visible fashion, but I, too, am cautiously optimistic, with my Saturn opposition finally fading. Or maybe that’s I’m just drawing on the wishful illusions of a natal Venus-Neptune conjunction. Although on the relationship front it’s all internal right now–I haven’t had a truly satisfying romance since the first Neptunian fantasy long ago dissipated all too quickly into hard realities, or a truly satisfying long-haul, capital-R Relationship in…well, forever. With transiting Saturn conjunct natal Venus (who’s also co-ruler of my 7th and conjunct my MC and moon in the 10th), the outer world seems to be all about work for the time being, but Venus, who’s been retrograde in my chart most of my life, is going direct next summer, and transiting Jupiter is conjunct my Ascendant… yeah, I think cautiously optimistic is the right term 😉

    Donna, I’ve only lately stumbled on your blog, and have been loving all that I’m learning from it as a neophyte student of astrology. Your writing really makes astrology come alive. Although I’m sorry you’re not doing personal consultations anymore, I’m glad we’re all benefiting from your wisdom here. Thanks so much for all your insights and work in sharing your thoughts with us!

    • *clarification: Saturn co-rules my 7th, conjuncts MC and moon in 10th. He’s been a big factor in my world (Saturn score is my highest [but very close to Earth “tentative” score]: at least 62, with no bonuses because my knowledge isn’t advanced enough to compute them. And I know you’re not counting fixed stars, but I can’t help thinking Saturn conjunct Caput Algol has some serious weight as well.)

  21. Thank you for this article! I am a LibraAC with Saturn siting right on it conjunct Pluto & Jupiter. For a long time I thought they were making my life miserable but they we’re actually teaching me about healthy relating and to not settle for less than I deserve. Unfortunately, I didn’t learn my lesson well during my Saturn return. with the Pluto square now, it’s all coming back in the form of my rapidly disintegrating abusive marriage. I never thought I’d contemplate a divorce, but I cannot live with someone who disrespects me constantly because he’s upset and holds grudges and expects me to suffer for sights done to him years ago until the end of time (he has moon, mars and Saturn conjunct in Scorpio, so I don’t think he’ll ever let it go or change his abusive behavior when we have an argument).

    • So sorry to hear of your marriage. For a Libra rising person, that has to be painful. Donna

  22. I am an Aries rising and every time something good is supposed to happen in Libra related to partnerships, it’s like I am invisible to anyone, or I just wind up spending a lot of time alone. It reminds me of one of the Justice tarot card’s meanings, which is indifference. I haven’t seen anything anywhere on this topic, but it’s just something I’ve observed. If something partnership related is going to happen, it’s probably going to happen during a the 5th house transit. I think perhaps the story in your post might be a piece of the puzzle. Perhaps Libra has been fundamentally altered because of those transits.

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