The graph for the zodiac sign Libra, the Scales. The sun enters this part of the zodiac sometime
around September 23, and exits somewhere near
October 22. The oldest use of the sign can be
traced back to ancient Greece. Some astrologists interpret this
ideogram as a setting sun, which refers to the fact that the sun, at
the time of the autumn equinox in the Northern Hemisphere,
symbolically sets for the long winter night, and that the sunsign
Libra begins at that equinox.
Libra is symbolized by a person holding a common beam balance, which partly refers to the autumn equinox and partly to the personality traits of detachment and objectivity associated with .
Compare with the common symbol of justice, a blindfolded woman holding a balance, as a sign for impartiality and objectivity.
Compare as sign for the autumn equinox with , the sign for the beginning of the winter half-year on medieval clog almanacs.
Libra's sign belongs, together with Gemini, , and Aquarius, , to the element of air, . The individual characterized by having many planets in air signs will perceive the surrounding world in terms of his thoughts or system of ideas. Such individuals are said to be communicative, easygoing, and intellectual types.
See in Group 46.
Libra is a cardinal sign. See in this group for data about this quadruplicity.
The ruling planet of Libra is Venus, . Both Saturn, , and Jupiter, , are said to be well placed in . Mars, , and the sun, , however, are less favorably placed in .
The signs , , or , have been used in alchemy to signify sublimate, i.e. the result of a sublimation. The process of sublimation in alchemy consists of heating up a substance until it is transformed into a gas. Afterward the gas is cooled so that the substance once again becomes solid, but without passing through the liquid stage. According to modern chemistry this is an impossibility because every substance that is in gas form must pass through a liquid form when cooled enough. The liquid state however, can be very short and pass almost unnoticed. This is particularly the case with mercury chloride, a potent, bacteria-killing poison. The three aforementioned signs therefore also can denote mercury chloride.