Venus & Lakshmi:: Beauty, Relationship, & Grace in Libra's New Moon

The Libra New Moon falls on Thursday, October 19th at 12:12pm PDT and at 3:12pm EDT. The feeling of this moon is Venusian in nature, as Venus rules, or has a great affinity for, the sign of Libra. The Cosmos seemed to have perfectly planned this New Moon, aligning it on the same day as the Hindu celebration Diwali, or the festival of lights, a time of venerating the goddess, and most explicitly the goddess Lakshmi. Venus to the Romans, also known as Aphrodite to the Greeks, is in some ways synonymous with Lakshmi of the Indian tradition. Each of these goddesses remind us that this is a time of uplifting our hearts, coming together in relationship with those we hold dear, and recognizing that we as humans hold much more in common than not. In meeting each other with kindness, reciprocity, and grace, choosing to acknowledge the divine beauty in ourselves and in each other, we are able to connect soulfully and lovingly. We are able to connect in a Libran way.

Venus, the goddess of love and relationship, is the aspect of us that both seeks and is able to establish bridges of rapport and deep connection with others and with life. When it comes to relationship, she is the best friend and the lover who is always there for us, and the part of you who knows how to be fully present in your most intimate relationships. She holds reciprocity as one of her core values, so naturally shows up in relationship in this way, knowing when and how to give her care and grace to the beloved people in her life. There is an authentic ability here to truly see and experience others as who they are, no matter what they’re going through. It often reminds me of the movie Avatar, in which the line, “I see you” is used rather than, “I love you.” This evokes a feeling of completely recognizing and honoring the full experience of the person with whom you are sharing space, andyour ability to offer kindness and grace regardless of what that experience is. I’m sure you know just what I mean:: these are the times when you and your best friend or partner completely meet each other in the moment, and are able to hear, see, and understand each other in a way that breaks down any barriers that may have been there. There is a real soul connection that’s felt between both people. This is Venus’s way and her magic. In so being, she invites us to be the soul mates and soul sisters that we naturally are; and to find relationships that fill us in just the ways that her energy can. The archetypes of the best friend and the lover are Libra’s archetypes, as energies of knowing and honoring the truth and beauty that are experienced and expressed when two open and receptive people meet each other, and share a moment of divinity in the space of connection. These moments are precious to Libra, and she cherishes them as such.

Both Venus and Lakshmi are known as goddesses of divine beauty, and Lakshmi as the abundance of this beauty that pervades life. Living inside of us and inside of all beings and all experiences, she reminds us that it’s often only a matter of subtly shifting our perspective that gives us access to this way of knowing reality. I remember being younger and, partly because I’m inherently Venusian in nature, seeing beautiful clothing, jewelry, and altar pieces, and wanting them so badly for my own. I’d curse myself for having human tendencies and wanting what was in front of me rather than being content with what I had already. Instead, I turned away from the beauty in life and in myself for a more “monk-like” approach to living…until this approach came back full tilt, initially in quite an unhealthy way. Consumerism and materialism are real things, of course, and certainly a shadow tendency of Venus and Lakshmi! But what I was denying in myself was my ability to recognize the abundant beauty that is alive in reality. Once I began to honor the presence of Venus and Lakshmi in my own life, welcoming this energy and reminding others of it, I remembered that it’s not bad to be attracted to or to desire beautiful things. But it’s important to identify where the desire is coming from. Is it coming from the place of lack that we discussed last month in the shadow aspect of Virgoan energy? Or is it from a place of recognizing the beauty in something and wanting to honor it by adorning ourselves or our homes and lives in remembrance of this? So I stopped refusing to buy ONLY baggy, over-sized and secondhand clothing (although still a fan of this part!), and began treating myself to items that would remind me that this body is a vessel of the divine feminine, and an expression of its grace. The way that I feel in my body and in my home allows the energy of abundance to be present. It took some years for me to come to a healthy balance in this regard, but the recognition behind it was a huge one. Constantina Rhodes, a Lakshmi scholar who published Invoking Lakshmi: The Goddess of Wealth in Song and Ceremony reminds us that, “Every woman is an embodiment of the Goddess.” The Hindu texts she references absolutely say so! These goddesses want you to remember your inherent divinity, beauty, and grace, and to adorn yourself accordingly in attitude, intention, and even in materiality, but authentically, of course. How does it feel when you acknowledge and honor your body and home as temples, and act in a way that reflects this?

John Lennon, a true expression of Libran energy, once sang, “Imagine all the people living life in peace…”. And the words have echoed on through the decades since, perhaps a call and a reminder to embody this ideal, even when it seems impossible. This sentiment is Libra in its expression as the peacemaker; the one who knows that there is almost always a way to let go of our perceived differences, even if it’s only for a bit, to find common ground that’s really closer than our limited minds would have us think. There is an energy of the peaceful warrior here, one who stands in the face of disharmony and chaos, yet knows that peace is always a choice. “YOU must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Gandhi has been a huge and inspiring example of this choice we have in each moment. It’s not that the “demons” of suffering and pain don’t live within us all. It’s that we can choose how to engage with them, facing them in ourselves so that we can BE the peace that “passeth all understanding”, especially when it seems the most challenging choice available. More on confronting demons next month, but this being the peace is one facet of Libran energy at its finest. How do you support yourself in life so you can BE the peace as you walk down the street, interact with your family and community, and with yourself? How does peace express itself as you?

As the sign of the scales, Libra is often recognized as representing the energy of fairness and justice, and rightfully so. Libra recognizes the paradox that both this AND that are accurate representations of the truth simultaneously; one being right doesn’t negate the other. And in doing so, Libra reminds us that it always takes at least two parts to make up the full truth in the world of duality….or perhaps as many parts as there are people! “Devil’s advocate,” anyone? Two people can of course be right at the same time, and these opinions can sit side by side without needing to prove their validity to the other. When two people are having a challenging go at relationship, it’s generally this way:: one isn’t right and the other wrong. They’re simply both experiencing reality from their own perspectives, and are also hopefully open to what the other is expressing, for no one opinion is ever the sole opinion! Libra the Mediator is the aspect of the energy that gives access to this remembrance, establishing connection even when none seems available. How do you approach situations that challenge your perspective? Is finding middle ground a tendency of yours? 

Evolutionarily, Libra’s aim is to create an unshakeable, unbreakable inner harmony. For those of you who are part of a yoga, meditation, qi gong, or any kind of inwardly-focused practice, you know the place within. But sometimes it’s hard to maintain a connection with that innermost space, as we likely well know! And Libran energy is a very sensitive one. As an air sign, it’s sensitive to the symbolic wind blowing, making its finely-tuned scales all caddywampus! The Libran nervous system is easily left in quite a state of overwhelm, so tactics and techniques can be used to re-create or maintain this space of equilibrium in the ever-changing world. One such technique is creating beauty in one’s environment that allows for a deep sigh of relief and calm. Imagine having had a rough day, feeling flustered with a shaken nervous system, and walking into the Cistine Chapel, or approaching the Taj Mahal (or any place that evokes radical beauty to you). As you allow the experience to envelop you, the stress of what created a disheveling of being melts away. The beauty takes your breath away, then allows it to return to a natural, even rhythm. Perhaps a tear is shed in utter astonishment as part of this melting. Perhaps the sense of harmony makes a direct connection with your own innermost harmony, and you remain in that space, almost entranced, for the rest of the day. Either way, Libran energy has been balanced and returned to its “resting tone,” so to speak. She has been made herself once again. This little ditty reminds us to surround ourselves with beauty during this New Moon and Diwali celebration! Is it time to reinvigorate your altar space, creating a feeling of artistry in your practice space or home in general? How can you remember Libra’s, Venus’, and Lakshmi’s beauty by allowing your home to be an extension of their grace that calms the heart and soothes the soul? And if you’re an artist by trade or pastime, have at it! What’s created during this experience of connection with your inner artist permeates all levels of being, as you well know! The practice of creating beauty pacifies in a way that is as lasting as the aforementioned experience, and you even have physical results to boot! That may not necessarily be the goal, but the piece created might be the one that renews your harmonious spirit when you need it most.

Another amazing tool for Libra is the connection with the best friend, lover, or both. So for this strategy, see above in the paragraph with Libra needing Venus as her ally, establishing bridges of rapport that allow her to feel completely “seen,” when she’s feeling frazzled! Sometimes a bear hug really IS the best medicine! Yet when this phone call or in-person connection isn’t possible in the moment, it’s helpful for Libra to have some tactics that allow her to hit the reset button on her own. Maybe it’s striking a pose like down dog when the kids go off to school or their friends’ houses, opening to your breath and softening. Maybe it’s closing your eyes for 10 seconds and connecting with the always harmonious inner space, or picturing the beautiful altar you’ve created at home and imagining yourself sitting in front of it, drinking in its beauty. It might even be carrying a little Lakshmi or crystal or picture around with you, and pulling it out at just the right moment when you need reminding. The more you steep yourself in this space of inner equanimity, the more readily available it is, no matter what.

And a word of caution on the shadow of this sign, as all signs have. Because the energy of the scales and their accompanying goddesses value connection and peace as much as they do, sometimes they compromise too much. Being a doormat is not what this energy is about when in balance, although it can be when it’s not! My teacher Steven Forrest often gives the example of a couple sitting together and being hungry. One asks the question, “what do you wanna do for dinner?” The other answers, “oh, I don’t know…what do you want?” The answer, “oh, I’m not sure.” And the response, “I really can do whatever you wanna do.” Imagine this going on ad nauseam, and you get the point. Being so without opinion that one loses herself in her partner’s or friend’s views, needs, or feelings can be tricky territory, and can have quite negative repercussions. The idea here for Libra is to perhaps compromise in a certain scenario or on a certain subject, but never to compromise herself or her ideals. These remain intact and clear so that the peace, beauty, and reciprocity she so stands for can be embodied and expressed. 

Wishing you blessings during this Libra New Moon and Diwali! Enjoy this time of grace, artistry, and relationship! Let it come alive in ways that nourish your heart and soul, and remind you of the inherent harmony that always lives inside. Do this, and you’ve tasted Libra’s essence, and likely won’t forget it!