After an astrologer friend suggested the notion that Eris was the true ruler of Libra I thought about it (for a very long time – about a year now). It was her opinion that Venus didn’t seem to be the true ruler of Libra but rather Taurus and we talked at length over the course of this year about the legend of Eris and some of the qualities that really don’t fit Libra. First of all there are more Libra generals than pretty much any other sign, they are amazing tacticians and well-known for being fierce competitors, and in my experience they are the most competitive of all signs. They are creative and visual, no doubt which is why they fell under the purview of Venus for so long. However they are not sensual like Venus, Taurus however is. Taurus loves great food, fine wine, beautiful things, and has a curvy sensuality that Libra is missing. Libras are more intellectual, more in their head and often disconnected from their bodies. While it is true that they like nice things as long as they are intellectually stimulated they can do without them. Taurus however needs to eat a great meal no matter how little money they have they will use what little they have on the perfect gourmet spice or amazing wine. They are also willing to work for other people without taking this on as their identity. They can separate work, seeing it as a means to an end – the end being a nice lifestyle where as a Libra would rather be a pauper who works for himself doing what he loves than a rich man who works for a paycheck just to support himself in a luxurious lifestyle. Now I’m not saying all Taurus people live a life of luxury, I’m just saying that work is work and their lives are not defined by it in the same way – it’s just a job. To a Libra its time wasted when they could be busy daydreaming or working on something of value to them personally.
At first I resisted the idea that Eris was the ruler of Libra after all she isn’t really considered a very “nice” Goddess and Libras are generally thought to be very nice – they avoid conflict, they don’t like disharmony and I have Mars in Libra and have many Libra friends so I felt sort of bad thrusting this sort of odd ball Goddess on them. However after much thought I think my friend’s observation is correct. Eris is the sister of Aries. Aries is the other side of the astrological coin to Libra. And in many ways she fits the Libra traits if we strip away some of the judgment put upon her by the ancients.
The legend or myth basically tells the story of a wedding in which all the Gods were invited except Eris (due to her association with disharmony). She was upset by this and came up with a strategy to get even in a very clever and covert way, she threw a golden apple into the proceedings which read: To the fairest. Of course all the egotistical Goddesses thought it was for them, Hera, Aphrodite and Athena. The three women fought over it and then asked Zeus to judge who the apple was for, being the father and husband he decided it wasn’t a good move to judge such a competition and asked Paris to do the honors. Each of the Goddesses offered him a bribe. Aphrodite’s won out and he was given the most beautiful mortal woman in the world to take as his wife Helen of Troy. This of course caused the Trojan war.
Now on the surface this is kind of a nasty thing to do, however one must admit that Eris was prejudged and instead of internalizing the hurt she turned it around in a clever way to make a point. She waged a war against those who had castigated her. If she had been a man, this would have been a sign of strength – she was in fact a warrior. Her strategy used psychology and surprise – very modern war methodology, in fact it very much resembles the Trojan horse that was to come in the wake of this supposed event. She used her enemies vanity and megalomania against them and in fact they are the ones who chose to respond with bribery and promises in order to win this imaginary and empty competition. She used her understanding of psychology to manipulate those who had hurt her, in order to teach them a lesson – after all they had been unfair to her.
Now her strategic genius would make sense in relationship with Libra. It would explain why there are so many generals who have been Libras and (I believe famous chess players as well). It would also explain the competitive spirit Libras have – the challenge they find and need to fuel them in their work, whether it is competing with themselves to do better, or with a rival they want to show up.
I was told by a prominent astrologer I studied with early on (many, many, many years ago) that there were more people born with Libra rising in the US than any other sign. He said it was something close to 50 percent (or something of that nature) totally out of balance with what one would expect, due to the fact that we are far north, and Libra rises for the longest period of time during most of the year. And we are by far the most competitive people on the planet, we take great pride in our work and love being entrepeneurs and working for ourselves.
In many ways Libras have much in common with Aries people, except Libras, instead of being direct and straightforward, work behind the scenes, get their ducks in a row and then strike. They don’t like being in the center of an arguments especially prolonged ones. They prefer to plan their attack and then let nature take its course. This can upset the apple cart, but that’s OK as long as they aren’t there when it turns over (much like Eris).
So instead of seeing Eris as the Goddess of Discord I prefer to take her back to what I imagine was probably her proper place – before her power was taken away due to the change from a matriarchal society into a patriarchal, and think of her as a supreme warrior and brilliant strategist capable of winning even when all the odds and all the Gods were against her!
I’ll dissect how it affects people as individuals and what it means in people’s charts in the next post on her.
Best wishes and many blessings,