Libra, the sixth sign of the zodiac, is ruled by the planet Venus and is symbolized by the scales. Libra's defining characteristics are rooted in both justice and balance. They are also great connoisseurs of art and beauty, however this same characteristic also results in a reputation for being superficial.
Since this sign is in the element of air, it seeks to communicate Venus' concern with relationships and beauty as well as the scales' implied concern with balance and fairness. The expression of an individual's Libra energy will depend on how these ingredients are blended and which one is emphasized.
Some Libras express the energy of Venus and the symbol of the scales as love for humanity and a concern social justice. Mohandas Gandhi led the non-violent protest movement against the British occupation of India. He advocated civil disobedience as a form peaceful resistance to force. andhi once said "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."
John Lennon also possessed this streak of Libra idealism, using his music to advocate a more peaceful world, as in the song Imagine. Of course, different people define justice in different ways.
Actor Charlton Heston was a famous advocate for the NRA, emphasizing the Second Amendment right to bear arms.
Of all the Libra characteristics, the eternal drive for justice should probably be considered the most defining and revealing of this signs nature.
The Libra characteristic of balance is also a prominent theme of Libran private lives. This can make them wonderful and caring friends and partners. They often have a natural skill for diplomacy which enables them to get along with diverse groups of people, even when those people are in conflict with each other.
Again, though, the meaning of justice is a matter of personal interpretation. Sometimes Librans can become quite adamant in seeking what they perceive as fairness, even if others disagree.
Libras are rarely single. Most of them, both men and women, tend to suffer emotionally when they are without a partner. They crave an ideal partner who complements them in every way. Some find this early and life and remain with that person forever.
Others spend much of their life trying different relationships, but always feeling the scales wobble rather than finding perfect equipoise. They will reject a partner who leans on them too heavily as this throws off the balance.
Libra characteristics are intimately connected with the concept of beauty. This can take the form of cultivating their own appearance to heighten their natural physical gifts. For some Libras it means investing time and money in creating a lovely home environment.
Creativity in arts and/or crafts is also a frequent endeavor among Librans. Whether or not they work in the arts, they have a rich appreciation for them. Librans tend to strongly support cultural institutions such as art museums, symphonies, dance companies, theatres and opera houses.
The constant shifting of some inner set of Libran scales can make people born under this sign seem fickle or indecisive. In some Librans, the preoccupation with beauty can manifest as shallowness, choosing partners or friends with too much emphasis on looks.
Sometimes Libra's yearning for the finer things in life leads them to social climbing or can cause an aversion to hard work.