HOMER’s ODYSSEY, Ch. VII- LIBRA
Libra is a CARDINAL AIR sign ruled by Venus. Like the scales which it represents, its vibration is attuned to balance, marriage and harmony. Of course the symbolism of the scales brings in the whole notion of the LEGAL SYSTEM and the virtues (truth, honesty, integrity, justice, etc) inherent there. It’s season is AUTUMN, its cardinal direction WEST. Libra is the marker of the AUTUMNAL EQUINOX, the beginning of Fall.
Let’s see, if Odysseus is the man of the hour (as he is in each new chapter, with a new wardrobe celestially selected by Athena for each episode), and Libra is the sign currently under scrutiny, then we should have someone wanting to marry Odysseus.
Father Zeus, Athena and lord Apollo! if only- (lines 356-359)
seeing the man you are, seeing we think as one-
you could wed my daughter and be my son-in-law
and stay right here with us.
As Odysseus enters the city, he looks about himself and is stunned by the sight he sees about him. Like an accurately calibrated set of scales, everything seems to be . . . balanced!
And he (Odysseus) marveled now at the balanced ships and havens
the meeting grounds of the great lords . . .
Like astrology, many of the patterns of life are laid out at birth. We are reflections of our tangled stellar WEB, so the Divine can know and experience each moment of life from all of its many variations.
There in the future he must suffer all that Fate (lines 232-234)
and the overbearing Spinners spun out on his life line
the very day his mother gave him birth . . .
It is their des-ti-ny.
In Libra, courtesy and etiquette are his (or her) calling cards.
“Your majesty,”diplomatic Odysseus answered . . . (line 346)
In fact, there are other pieces of a courtroom setting described in this chapter. According to Odysseus,
“Queen, (line 172-174)
Arete, daughter of godlike King Rhexenor!
Here after many TRAILS, I come to beg for mercy . . .
Trails are the preliminary step of the courtroom proceedings. This was how they did it three thousand years ago. In these lines Odysseus is throwing himself on the mercy of the court.
There is the power of the legal system (our archetype) to enforce its rulings as required by law, and in this chapter it is expressed though the characteristics of the Queen.
Are you ready? This is an important one:
The queen is the first you’ll light on in the halls, (line 61-63)
Arete, she is called, and earns the name:
She answers all our prayers . . .
Arête: An important concept in Greek philosophy, “virtue, excellence,”
especially of manly qualities; literally “that which is good.”
Alcinous made the girl (Arete) his wife and honors her (lines 77-86)
as no woman is honored on this earth, of all the wives
now keeping households under their husbands’ sway.
Such is her pride of place, and always will be so:
dear to her loving children, to Alcinous himself
and all our people. They gaze on her as a god,
saluting her warmly on her walks through town.
She lacks nothing in good sense and judgment –
she can dissolve quarrels, even among men,
whoever wins her sympathies.
Whoever wins the sympathies of the Judge in a court of Law (Libra) has the socially condoned scansion of making it so.
If only our queen will take you to her heart, (line 87-89)
Then there’s hope that you will see your loved ones,
Reach your high roofed house, your native land at last.
And finally, here’s one that caught me by surprise. As indicated at the outset, Libra marks the start of Autumn, together with all of the qualities that this sign (constellation at the time) has to offer. How would you like to live . . .
. . . in Eternal Autumnal Farms?!
Try this one on for size,
Outside the courtyard, fronting the high gates, (lines 129-149)
a magnificent orchard stretches four acres deep
with a strong fence running round it side-to-side.
Here luxuriant trees are always in their prime,
pomegranates and pears glowing red,
succulent figs and olives swelling sleek and dark.
And the yield of all these trees will never flag or die,
Neither in winter or summer, a HARVEST all year round
For the WEST WIND always through will bring
Some fruits to the bud and others warm to ripeness-
pear mellowing ripe on pear, apple on apple,
cluster of grapes on cluster, fig crowding fig.
And here is a teeming vineyard planted for kings,
Beyond it a open level bank where the village grapes
Lie baking to raisins into the sun while pickers gather others;
some they trample down in vats, and here in the front rows
bunches of unripe grapes have hardly shed their blooms
while others under the sunlight slowly darken purple.
Are there by the last rows are beds of greens,
Bordered and plotted, greens of every king,
Glistening fresh, year in and year out . . .
Of course, this island is located somewhere in the Mediterranean (Middle of the Earth), and the closer one heads to the tropic regions (as one heads closer to the equator) the more streamlined and moderated the seasonal activity becomes.
Judge for yourself.