I'm a Swedish writer and astrologer. I've written several books about astrology. I'm also a historian of ideas, researching the thought patterns in creation myths. Google Profile. Here's my personal website: stenudd.com
Books by Stefan Stenudd:
This book presents an imaginative reading of the divination cards, which is the most appropriate for the Tarot, consisting of symbolic images. Several spreads are introduced, as well as the meanings of all the 78 cards and their pictures. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.
The philosophers of Ancient Greece and what they thought about cosmology, myth, religion and the gods. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.
Qi (chi), prana, spirit, and all the other life forces around the world explained and compared. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.
Try the old deck of Tarot cards for free divination online. How to use the Tarot and what each card means.
Try the ancient Chinese divination online for free. The 64 hexagrams of I Ching, The Book of Change, and what they mean in divination.
The Libra Symbol
Its meaning and origin
The above image is the established symbol (also called glyph) for the Zodiac sign Libra, the Scales. It's a simplified drawing of a scale. Both the Zodiac sign and its symbol have been along for ages.
The Zodiac division of the ecliptic into twelve parts, each assigned a Zodiac sign, is probably of Babylonian (Mesopotamia) origin. They were very early with astrology, mapping the sky and noting planetary movements thousands of years ago. The Zodiac very much like the one we know today, might have emerged in Mesopotamia around 1000 BC, but Babylonian astrology is probably far older than that.
Already the Babylonians connected this Zodiac sign and the constellation to a scale and called it so. They may have gotten it from the shape of the constellation in the sky.
The constellation of Libra is not that hard to see as a picture of a scale, if the right stars are connected with lines. There are the two equal sides and a center piece, just like the very old equipment used to weigh things. Through history, this has been the image related to the constellation. Several of the Zodiac constellations are much more vague in depicting their Zodiac sign. Here's the constellation Libra:
Below is an antique illustration of the same constellation, where the figure of a scale has been added. It's from a 17th century book: Firmamentum sobiescianum, by Johannes Hevelius, 1690.
Anyway, here's that ink again, this time in the original black and white (click on the image to see a bigger version):
Libra the SignAs for the picture commonly used to represent the Libra Zodiac sign, it's been an image of scales for as long as that has been its name - surely longer than the symbol described above has existed. Below is one typical example, where the stars of the constellation Libra have also been marked. It's an illustration from Poeticon astronomicon, a 1482 book by Hyginus.