Libra Symbolism and Mythology Explained

Libra is the seventh sign in the zodiac. It derives its name from the constellation of Libra. It is also known as «the Scales».

The constellation of Libra is fairly faint and can be hard to see. It’s interesting to note that this is the only constellation that uses an inanimate object to represent it. All of the other zodiac constellations are represented by people or animals, but not this one. Libra instead has a set of scales. It is also considered unique because it is thought to be the youngest of all 12 zodiac signs.

Of course it wasn’t always scales that were used to identify it. At one time the claws of a scorpion represented the constellation. This was because of some confusion in the spelling of it between Arabic and Akkadian. However that has all been straightened out and now it is accepted that the Libra sign is represented by scales that represent balance, or justice.

In Greek mythology there is a story about a goddess named Astrea. She represented not only justice but also innocence. At one time it was said that she walked the earth and lived among us mortals. Her desire was to administer justice wherever it was most needed. However, as we became more and more evil she was forced to flee. Her innocence couldn’t stand to be around us anymore. So she fled to the heavens, and along her way she dropped her scales. These scales were said to be the scales of justice and they now form the constellation we know as Libra.

The element for Libra is «air» and it is considered a «cardinal» quality. Libra’s are good communicators with great powers of concentration and determination. Like their sign emulates, they are big believers in justice and fairness.

Tattoos can vary anywhere from the complex to the very simple. Many of them seem to include a set of scales with other designs built around them. Some might show the «Scales of Justice» being held up by the number 7. The number 7 would be representing Libra’s place in the zodiac system. Another idea would be to show the scales being held up by Astrea herself, often blindfolded to show her sense of fairness and justice for all. To keep it even simpler would be to tattoo the Sanskrit name for Libra, which is Tula.

Whatever you choose, make sure to discuss it with the artist who will be giving you the tattoo. It’s possible that they could help you come up with an idea you’d like even better. A tattoo that could combine several different symbols would remind you of what it means to be a Libra.

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