Find your balance in the dark As the Sun rose in the constellation of Libra at the autumnal equinox in late September, we came to the point where light and dark were, briefly, in balance. Day was equal to night, illustrating the meaning of the scales, symbol of the zodiac sign of Libra. We are just past the halfway point of the solar year. The expansive, creative, extroverted time of spring and summer is over. Now it is time to go inward, slow down, prepare for the long nights ahead by paring down our activities and commitments. Many of us feel this transition acutely. A nameless, sourceless sense of loss haunts us for a few weeks every fall. While we can point to external events as explanation, the truth is that the feeling is deeper, more diffuse. We often point to the changing of the light as the culprit, yet the growing darkness may be more scapegoat than cause. Before our modern conveniences such as electricity, the longer nights were a time to rest more, spend more time with each other around the fire, or in the bedroom. Yet today we’ve lost much of this honoring of the change of seasons; we simply turn on the lights earlier, set alarm clocks instead of getting up with the sun, and continue the manic pace of summer. Our bodies know we are out of harmony with the seasons and may ask for more quiet time, alone or with friends. Fall can be a welcome transition if, instead of artificially extending our summer energies, we surrender and slow down, and perhaps even take the time to get to know one another. Libra, sign of relationship This seventh sign of the zodiac year points specifically to finding harmony through relationship. Libra marks the point in the zodiac wheel where we transition from self-oriented to relationship-oriented. The first six signs represent themes such as creation of identity, building of material resources, self-expression, and self-development in general. The last six signs, beginning with Libra, take us into the realm of relating with the ‘other’, whether through marriage or another form of partnership. The constructive expression of Libra teaches us to listen intently to another’s needs, and balance them with our own, even if the balance swings back and forth at first. On the destructive side of this sign is indecision, inability to see our own needs, and projection of what is ours onto someone else. Perhaps we are too focused on keeping the peace with someone else, and then blame the other when our needs are not accounted for. Libra shows us that balance and harmony start within, and only then can come into being in relationship. The great awakener weighs in Directly opposite this Libra New Moon is the outer planet Uranus in the fire sign of Aries. Known as the great awakener and trickster, Uranus adds a rebellious, explosive flavor to the Aries/Libra polarity of self and other. While Uranus signifies higher perspective and spiritual liberation, it often feels like a rude awakening out of left field. It is helpful to remind ourselves that Uranian shocks have the purpose of freeing us from illusions and limited viewpoints, even and especially with regard to ourselves. And all relationship starts from within. This season, this year, we may be awakened to where our relationships have gone out of balance. If so, we can begin evening out the scales through our own practice of equanimity. Seek first to understand, before being understood. Listen with the ear of your heart. Practice equanimity.