"Big iron kitchen scales
and a full set of weights
aren't carried lightly."
~Terry Pratchett, The Truth
Zeus has been traditionally associated with a series of symbols, such as the thunder bold and the eagle. However, “loudly thundered from mountain Ida” Zeus is portrayed two times in the Iliad holding and consulting his famous golden scales. In a few days beyond and higher than mountain Ida, “Zeus of the Skies”, planet Jupiter is going to hold up for almost a year another pair of scales, transiting through the sign of Libra.
In the Iliad at the beginning of Book 8, Zeus lifts up his scales and he weights the fates of the Greeks and Trojans; later in the poem he consults once more his scales to weight the fates of Achilles and Hector. Scales should be of course impartial and objective, but we usually forget that Zeus has already made his decision who will be victorious in the end. He already knows what the future holds. The fact that Zeus consults the scales doesn’t indicate a submission to fate, rather points out the equilibrium before one the contestants proves superior in the battlefield. Zeus is just the beam of the balance.
Issues of balance, fairness and equality in relationships and partnerships are among the many things that Jupiter in Libra places in his scales during this transit. Jupiter in Libra embodies the above qualities, but he doesn’t control the scales. Like any other planetary transit, this depends a lot on the way us as individuals approach our lives and assess this transit, when our endeavors fall out of balance. Jupiter in Libra may determine the weight of things, but he’s not the one weighting the fate.
Scales can be a devious object, leading to anxiety over their accuracy. Every time we hop on a scale the possibility of perfect justice and equity is dubious, which makes the question of “how much we weight” a very provocative subject. So, what makes Jupiter in Libra a perfect motif for equality of balance between two contending parties, is that the scales both stand as a metaphor for ideal and impartial justice and leave room for the possibility of doubt and anxiety about the outcome.
In the ancient world, there was a special class of administrators, the metronomoi, who were responsible for inspecting and testing the commercial scales, weights and measures. In the case of suspected tampering, the metronomoi could file for complaint or appeal. That said the transit of Jupiter in Libra calls us to become the metronomoi of our relationship-related issues, even the ones we literally have with our bathroom scale. Just as Zeus did not interfere with the verdict of the scales in the Iliad, we cannot expect the transit of Jupiter in Libra to lift one’s bad deeds out of the scale-pans, or to expect impartial scales to begin with. To be sure we may experience the “anxiety and fear of the scales” during this transit. But by including them in this transit, Jupiter in Libra offers us a chance to be more able to fully appreciate the strong fairness and justice resonance that the image of the scales provoke.