Aries vs Libra: Courage and Co-Dependence

ice crystalsHaving a fairly strong Libra / 7th house signature in my chart I have always been uncomfortable with the crusade against co-dependence that began in the 80’s. How can Libra (codependent) be all wrong and Aries (independent) be all right?

Masaru Emoto (the water crystal guy) writes in his new book, The Shape of Love: Discovering Who We Are, Where We Came From, and Where We’re Going:

“… Dependence requires getting closer to someone, and this requires courage. I am positive that you can find someone you feel natural and comfortable with to build such a relationship. Once you become comfortable depending on someone else, you will be able to let others depend on you.”

I like that he has married the opposition between Aries in Libra here by asserting it takes courage (Aries) to relate to the other (Libra).

Is it more courageous to stand alone, or alongside another?

33 thoughts on “Aries vs Libra: Courage and Co-Dependence”

  1. For those who are naturally dependent i’d say not and vice versa. Having my node in 1st house i take as needing to be more independent, having quite a full on 7th house. But then its in pisces which i take as a more dependent sign than virgo and i have a few planets in aries in 1st so i guess for me its about balance. The ideal i guess is to be independent within a dependable relationship, to still fulfill my individual growth whilst still being able to reach full intimacy with another. Dependancy can only work if both parties are dependable, seen too many dependents get dumped and then are totally lost.

  2. i’m all keen on interdependence, which i define loosely as “while having the capacity to stand on one’s own, being able to create a relationship whose whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” or something like that. it’s the magic when two people have their shit together become capable of doing even more mindboggling things when fusing their individual strengths and covering each other’s backs.

    coependence, as i understand it, is where you can’t function independently, and project things all over your partner.

    courage is courage, wherever it is, but i’m sure more inspired when i have someone at my back.

  3. It definatly takes courage to be with someone, but being satisfied by yourself is fundamental to being able to be in a happy and healthy relationship. I know a taurus and cancer who have a vampiric relationship, it works for them, but it’s not healthy and not very happy.
    If you’re too needy, you’ll be a vampire in the relationship. it will be more about taking then giving.
    true love is free. on the soul level (esoteric astrology) uranus rules libra. it makes sense to me. even though with pluto square venus in cardinal signs it doesn’t come naturally.
    So I think this is the ideal, but it rarely happens. People hear to many cinderella stories as they grow up.

  4. Elsa, what you’re describing sounds to me like healthy interdependence. Co-dependence in a pathological sense is more like parasitism: feeding off the other and ultimately draining the other dry. This happens because the individuals are avoiding responsibility for their own lives, for whatever reason, and try to make the other fill that need.

    A co-dependent family member puts the needs and dramas of the alcoholic first (avoiding responsibility for her own life); the alcoholic makes the others take responsibility for the turmoil he’s causing. (This is coming, by the way, from someone who has attended and benefitted greatly from Al-Anon.)

    But to answer the question in the way I think you intended it: I think you’re right. It takes the greatest courage to relate to someone else (Libra) instead of staying safe in an isolation bubble. But relating to a whole self from your whole self (not like a clinging vine) is the trick. Some of us (I count myself), need to work on being whole first (Aries). But my motivation for doing this work is so that one day I can be in a true relationship.

    HOWEVER…I have to wonder why I’m still (at the age of 48) “working on myself” instead of getting into an equal, lasting relationship. I have Aries South Node, Libra North Node (square Moon and Saturn). After reading about nodes lately, it’s got me pondering on how much my Aries independence is running the show here, no matter how desperately I want a close relationship. 🙂

  5. no. dependence doesn’t take anything. unless you’re somehow isolated (literally or because of peers isolating you from them), dependence is easy and natural – it’s what people do. it’s what people feel comfortable with. you’d be insane to truly go at things on your own without the backing or support of someone, somewhere. if nothing else, it’s appropriate to take what we learn from others for ourselves. being afraid of trusting or getting close to another isn’t going to stop the need to connect.

    aries is also not truly independent, either. it can start things but who’s going to finish them? a lonely fire is going to burn quick and die. capricorn is more likely to go at things alone or in isolation, but yeah, they’re still horribly dependent on what everyone thinks about them.

    so, to answer the question, it’s more courageous to try to remove yourself from dependence. and maybe this is my libra mars-saturn-pluto-ascendant talking, but it sounds pointless. (co-dependence, on the other hand, you can throw out the window.)

  6. Being dependable and learning to trust others to be there for you can be very challenging. I think we need to be sure we are all using the same connotations too. I too went through the Al-Anon program like Valkyrie and what I learned there may have literally saved my sanity. As a Libra Sun conjunct Chiron person I spent the first 40+ yrs of my life working on all these issues, and finally found a great partner.

    It has been said there is no greater spiritual path than to find a way to live with another in a happy, healthy, productive way. It’s damn tough! 🙂

  7. I think it takes courage to do either of them.

    I have a very marked Aries-Libra opposition in my chart as well: AsC-Desc and Moon-Mars. I live in a constant struggle to relate or not to relate. Usually the isolation wins, so for me it takes more courage to relate to someone, to take that step, to admit that you might be or might become dependent of someone else.

    You’re absolutely right in what you say, at least from my experience and point of view.

  8. i like wyrdling’s definitions of interdependence. june – i think it depends on who you are. for some, dependence is anything but natural.

    two people leaning on one another isn’t codependence to me, much as i hated the whole buzzword/codependent/inner child rage of the 80’s, i always experienced the phenomena as two people staying sick by infecting each other back and forth, you know? oh i’m out of control. oh, i’ll control you, then. oh, i resent your control. oh i resent the need to control you. on and on, back and forth, basically.

    it can take courage to let someone in, for sure. but it can also take courage to stand alone when the time’s right for that. i see the couarge coming in how you manage yourself with integrity, not in who may be standing there with you.

  9. It takes courage to do both, depending on whatever your natural stance is – to push people out or to cling to them.

    Valkyrie – “It takes the greatest courage to relate to someone else (Libra) instead of staying safe in an isolation bubble.” This really rings true for me. It’s safe not relating to others because then you are always in control and nothing can hurt you. To take a chance and step out of that ‘bubble’ indeed takes courage. You’ve got to have the courage to trust an ‘other’ and learn to share control. The natural stance can be either excessive dependence OR excessive isolation.

    June – You might be surprised how difficult some people find dependence to be. It is far easier to stay aloof and avoid involvements, never having to risk anything or expose yourself. Every pain is private and you’re never manipulated by anyone. Letting go of this safe zone is immensely difficult, and requires lots of courage!

  10. Having both Aries (rising) and Libra (Uranus, Moon, Jupiter…Jupiter is EXACTLY opposite ASC) signatures in my chart, I want to do my own thing while in a relationship. Never cared if it was a relationship in name only…I could say I was in one while being on my own, basically.

    It’s like that with my husband. He goes off and does his own thing while I do mine. He’s not in my hair, and that makes me happy. I KNOW I could never live with anyone who was clingy or codependent. I dated a couple of men like that, and I dumped then very quickly.

    I’ll be the first to say that my marriage is far from perfect, but this part of it works well.

  11. Also, yes, it does take more courage to e ale to relate to people than not. I don’t LIKE being around a lot of people…I’m introverted and prefer it that way. But I’m able to hold my own in social situations.

    It does take a lot of courage for me to get out of my shell, but the people who are in my life have been well worth doing so.

  12. I think you need to be able to stand alone when you have to. Even with the most committed, long-term partner, they can’t always 100% be there when you want them. You have to keep a degree of independence, at the very least to save yourself. I’m a big believer in “put your own oxygen mask on first.”

    I think it’s more courageous to try to function without the safety net of a person these days. A lot of people I know right now live with that net, and some of them are losing/have lost it, and things are bad. You need to be able to function in both capacities if you have to.

  13. There is a book “My dog Sue” that tells a story of a woman who had a drug and alcohol addiction and she had to get away from everybody she knew to get away from her addictions….her story is beautiful! She does get away and moves to an unknown place with no familiar people, but alongs comes a dog to her back door looking for food…a homeless dog…dirty, skinny, pathetic looking animal and she begins to feed him and eventually takes him in and that is when she learns the power of relating and the meaning of dependence….her whole life had been centered on herself and her addictions and for the first time she had to…had to because the dog’s life depended on her and as she learned to trust the dog and the dog her, the love she received in return was overpowering to her….it truly is a beautiful story

  14. I don’t think it takes courage to do either. They’re states of being and everyone has to do them at some point or another.

    I do them without thinking about it, both in times when I’m an island unto myself and when I’m being attached to someone else at the hip.

  15. Avatar
    curious wanderer

    I feel like I have a strong opinion on this topic, as, like another commenter above, I am part of Al-Anon, and this has transformed my life.

    In 12-Step programs, pop psychology, and self-help books, co-dependency is given a negative connotation; it is shorthand for unhealthy patterns of relating where both partners are robbed of the right to be fully functioning adults in the relationship.

    That being said, I think it is equally courageous to stand alone *and* alongside another. For my own personal growth, I had to first learn to stand alone, without a partner to focus upon to the goal of neglecting my own needs and issues. Now that I am able to do that, it is now for me to learn how to stand alongside another, and be able to do that without falling back into the unhealthy patterns.

  16. takes a balance. You must be able to do both–stand alone and yet still realize that you are dependent or reliant on “the other”
    It isn’t brave to go it on your own. It’s brave to let someone in and allow yourself to be at least a small bit vulnerable. It also isn’t brave to be completely dependent upon someone without offering your own type of stability and reliability in your own right. You can’t make someone 100% responsible for your well being and you can’t be 100% responsible for someone elses in a healthy relationship.
    There is an interdependence that is necessary. Together we are better than apart.
    Balance is key.
    No..Libra is NOT all wrong 🙂

  17. @Jennifer nicely said! My biggest lessons have been what you wrote. With moon in libra 1st house, Saturn in Aries 7th house, Sun in Virgo 1st house and N.node in Aries 8th house– I get it!
    It is more courageous to stand alone! Never give up yourself for another!!! Balance is crucial!!!

  18. I’m with you, Rachel (I have Aries SN). For a long time I confused the rejuvenating qualities of solitude with the strengthening exercise of solitude.

    I still feel rejuvenated by solitude but standing alongside someone arm in arm feels like a courageous act at this point in my life.

    Thinking too, about my ‘failed’ relationships– I never give up on love. I always think I’m too cynical to go another round but I like partnership too much, I guess:)

  19. The thing about codependence is if that other person can’t be there for you for whatever reason (sick, breaks up with you, whatever), then you are up shit creek. You need to maintain your ability to take care of yourself if you have no one there to do it. I usually think that is what they are referring to with that.

    But what do I know, I’m afraid to start trusting and depending on others for fear of driving them off with my clingy yet again. Not that I have offers these days anyway, but as far as I can tell people prefer me maintaining myself!

  20. It sure as hell takes tons of courage to enter into a new relationship when you’ve already been shit on twice before.

    It’s scary to be alone and scary to trust someone.

    For right now, I’m good having my bedroom to myself.

    I’m an Aries Sun 2nd with Venus Aquarius on the ASC. I value my independence, but relationships are too exciting to blow off forever. Plus, now that I have kids, there is a member missing in our family – that damn Venus won’t let me forget it.

  21. I think both take courage, it mainly depends where you´re coming from…I come from double sag, aqua moon semisq uranus, with uranus mc aspecting almost everything in my chart and now transiting my IC…for me, it´s the relationship thing that takes the most courage.
    But what brought me to comment was this AMAZING coincidence,yesterday I just posted this video about Masaro Emoto to accompany my last flickr pic

  22. Interesting you bring this up. My MC is Aries, VEnus in Aries, and Today saturn sits on my IC. For me – it takes a whole lot of courage to let someone in.

  23. I think it takes courage and a sense of responsibility to the other person that they *can* be depended on to do something or be there for you. It’s something you choose to let the other person do for you, not something you expect or need the other person to step in to do for you at all times, even when unhealthy or just plain unnecessary.

    Healthy interdependence between two functioning adults sounds like positively balancing Aries-Libra: knowing yourself and relating to others rather than using the other person to get what you want for yourself and being dependent on their role.

    Still not sure if codependence is more Libra or Pisces. Most heavy Libran people seem to relate well whereas some Pisces can get very dependent.

  24. Both take courage when you are young.

    But the older you get, the more courage it takes to trust in a relationship with another, in my experience. Once bitten, twice bitten, and so forth… Less painful to stand alone, and less terrifying in many ways. At least you know where you are.

    It’s not ideal, but so many people behave badly in relationships these days, it’s hardly surprising so many of us find it hard to commit, or even let another in

  25. Be like two pillars at the Temple door, separate but fulfilling one purpose yet not reliant on the other.
    Co-dependence may sound romantic/idealistic, if you are not “leaning”. You only fall when you are leaning. You are either taking away someone elses power at integration, or you are giving away your own. Being grounded in who you are, with all your strengths and weaknesses, makes you a Lighthouse in a storm. It is true however, that lighthouses are not built in safe places. Just show your light but the path of others is not for you to choose.

  26. i was just mentioning to someone how i have no idea how to dance with a partner. apparently i’m a pretty good dancer on my own, but ask me to tune in to someone else, read their cues, and move with them? suddenly three left feet.

  27. Do not know. It’s a hell of an idea. I am cardinal and naturally more comfortable with myself and my home. Being with someone has resulted in friction (Venus Mars opposition).
    I think being vulnerable and open and receptive might require courage.

  28. this is a wonderful post about 7th /libra because i do notice many people dislike co-dependency but without others /helping eachother and having dependence on others how can they be independent later? and with that independence we can help others and this gives us happiness helping? we all start off dependent on our loved ones from a wee baby till adult. if we fall during the times of being an adult when some crisis comes, we need to depend on others. thats the strength and courage. i love that quote from Emoto on dependence and courage ^^ and being partnered, a strong union of teamwork and love.the love has to go somewhere especially if overflowing 😀

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