The Libra Dark Side

Shadowy Libra
John Rensten / Getty Images

Libras get painted with the beatific brush, but they are secretly the agent provocateurs of the Zodiac. 

Libra makes out that they are all love and light, and the peacemakers of the Zodiac. A closer look at the dark side, reveals that harmony is sometimes imposed in a tyrannical fashion. And like the smile of a predator, it may not mean they like you! 

Libra is the sign of the Scales and that's what they do, weigh things. They are watchful of others' reactions and adapt like a shape-shifter to calibrate to just right.   

If that need for balance goes too far, they become controlling, sneaky and subversive. It comes from a Libra gift taken to its extreme—the ability to win others over. 

Charming the Pants Off Others

More than other Zodiac signs, Libras are people pleasers and vigilantly tuned into others. And Libras have the reputation of being manipulative, when possible using charm to get what they want. 

The young Libra John Lennon, for example, won over his Aunt Mimi Smith with kisses on the cheek, when he wanted a guitar and had no money. In a 1981 clip, she told the interviewer, "He's a bit like yourself, a soft soaper."  To soft soap someone is to use flattery and sweet talk to manipulate. 

Libras are hyper-aware of their effect on others and have an instinct for what others want to hear. 

This leads to charges of being fake and makes it hard to know how they REALLY feel about you. 

As Sylvia Sky writes in her article on Dark Side Libra, "Like the diet sodas they love, negative Librans are 'artificially sweet.'

It is interesting too, to see the fake smile as a kind of 'baring the teeth.'  And how in the animal kingdom, that's considered a threat. 

Libras are a cardinal sign, and that amped up sociability can be a forceful, even aggressive experience if you're on the receiving end. I've seen Libras control the scene with their friendly chatter, which can be a kind of defense.

Public Face Vs. Private Face

Libras may present one side to their intimates, and another to the public-at-large. 

Sylvia Sky uses the example of Mohandas Gandhi, born Oct. 2, 1869

"Libra shies from conflict everywhere—except within the family. Hero though he was, Gandhi ignored his wife and refused to send his sons to college, disowning his eldest because he got married instead of being chaste; and I guarantee there was as much yelling in his home as in every Libra home. But then if the phone rings, Libra will answer it calmly and sweetly."

Some Libras will have secret lives that shock others when they find out. They seemed so nice, and like the perfect family! 

The Price of Denial

Libras are Venus-ruled, and naturally gravitate to what's artful, pleasurable and makes them look good!  The love of leisure can make them decadent and self-indulgent. 

Libras that deny anything dark will paradoxically go dark side when all that's repressed finally busts out in the open. 

As air signs, Libras are big thinkers, and if they're avoiding pain, they'll talk themselves out of dealing with something that's building to crisis levels. They can create complex justifications, and be blind to the suffering of others when it doesn't fit the picture they want to see. 

Without meaning to necessarily, they can censor others rudely, and be judgmental and act above it all.  They can cause pain to those closest to them by denying a situation and even be condescending about it. 

My Mom is a Libra Rising, and she's been scornful at times when topics she deems negative have come up. "I'm just a positive person," she'd say.  But it felt oppressive when there were very real problems within our home that she couldn't deal with. 

Subversive Libra

Libras use their intellect to spar with others, and when negative, use words to bend the will of others.  Some use that cunning to ingratiate themselves, as friends or into a group, for a particular personal goal.

Negative Libras pretend to be your friend, so they're a classic frenemy. 

In love, a shadow Libra is narcissistic and only out to be adored and have their beauty reflected back to them. They can leave a string of broken hearts, and be cursed afterward as phony.

Some Libras are obsessed with how you make them look, and reject all but the impossible idea of perfection. They also impose this on themselves and may suffer from the propaganda of culture, for a certain standard that's never reached in real life. 

Everyday misdeeds can include blaming others for what they've done, to deflect the conflict (another thing Libras like to avoid). They can weave a web of lies if they're not able to face the consequences of their actions. 

Other Dark Side Possibilities

  • Talking behind others' backs
  • Being vain, shallow, and materialistic
  • Keeping everyone slightly off-kilter
  • Provoking arguments for the sake of arguing
  • Overwhelming others with chatter, the wall of sound