The Clever Girl – The Tale of the Star Sign of Libra
' The Clever Girl' is a popular Hungarian tale about a girl, who can give wise and tricky answers to impossible tasks. And it is also the tale of the star sign of Libra. What can it teach us?
- Tales and Their Teaching
- The Features of the Libra Sign
- Libra Type Features and Motifs in the Tale
- Marriage as a Libra Task in Life
- The Right Solution of a Libra Problem
Tales and Their Teaching
As most fairy tales and folk stories 'The Clever Girl' is also a way of initiation. It gives us good advice for certain types of problems and difficulties in life, reveals us a kind of human character and provides good strategies how to handle it. Considering the core of these problems and their solutions they are all related the characteristic features of the Libra star sign.
The Features of the Libra Sign
The star sign of Libra is a constellation of stars and about a month’s long time between 23rd September and 21st October. It starts with the autumn equinox on 23rd September when the length of the day and the night are equal. It is a balanced state between light and darkness for a short time. It used to be a time when after the harvest and vintage times, people had to count what they had and how they would have to manage to survive winter until they get new energy and crops from the earth in springtime.
So, everything that evokes the image of this unstable balance can be the representative of the Libra period: the scales – mainly the ones of old type with two arms –, seesaw, the children’s toy, arks on the water and birds’ nests in the trees or children’s cradles because they all have the same to and fro movement.
If you would like to transform this type of movement to human action or character, you will get measuring, measurement, deliberating, deliberation, hesitating, hesitation, deciding, decision, judging, judgement, agreeing, agreement, engagements, contracts, treaties and marriages. As a human character representing the Libra features, you will get a judge, a person who has to make a decision in a difficult or crucial situation. All sorts of predictions which can be interpreted in two different ways are also having the features of the Libra. As a location, courts belong to this star sign.
Libra Type Features and Motifs in the Tale
In this Hungarian tale ‘The Clever Girl’ we have quite a lot of motifs which show the characteristic features of the Libra. The tale starts with the order of the king, who gives a task to the village, which is impossible to fulfil, namely to skin the millstone. It is not a usual order kings would give their people. It is a punishment as the tale says. So, the king judges some sort of actions of the village people and he punishes them. This is the typical role of Saturn which is the planet exalted in the Libra sign. When a planet is in a ruling position, it determines the setting of the actions. When it is exalted, it starts or interrupts an action.
After getting the order, the people start having meetings and discussing the problem. The tale tells us that ‘they could not agree how to skin the millstone’. This is again typical to the Libra: indecisive, needs a lot of time to make a decision, asks a lot of persons for their opinion and the more people they ask, the more indecisive they get. This is the situation in the tale when the story starts.
The Libra situation has to be tipped out of its balance otherwise it will never start moving or it will never stop moving unless a balance is made. This is the point when the clever girl appears. She has got enough of her father’s being away from home every day and there is no result of their meetings and debating over the problem. She gives a solution to their problem but this solution does not get out of the circle of the Libra situation. The village people actually don’t get a method of ‘skinning the millstone’ but the problem is sent back to the king giving him an equally impossible task: to have the blood of the millstone so that it could be skinned. It is a very clever solution: you do not solve the problem but make it clear for the sender that this is not your problem but his. So the girl starts a seesaw game with the king.
The king realizes that he has been outwitted. First he pretends to be very angry and gives other tasks to her. But the girl returns the tasks to the king again. She always asks for conditions which are in connection with solving the given problem: turning out the pot if it needs mending, having a loom made if the king wants her to make linen from as little material as the king gives her to work from. ‘As – as’ ‘the same as’ are the expressions of the Libra. It is a deal. I give you as much as you give me. I will do as you do. Treat other people as you would like to be treated. Don’t forget, that in the Libra we are in a period of equality in time: this is the autumn equinox.
The last task is a typical Libra task: to do things in a way that it should not be performed: to go up the king but neither on foot nor on horseback, to greet the king and not to greet him, to take him a present and not to take it. The answers are brilliant: she goes on the back of a donkey, does not say a word but bows to the king and takes him doves which she lets fly away just as she opens the bowls containing the birds.
The king would not be a Libra person if he did not appreciate these witty responses of the girl and marries her. Most tales are over at the point of a marriage but this is a Libra tale and marriages belong to this star sign. If it is a Libra tale, it has to give some guidance to marriages as well.
Marriage as a Libra Task in Life
Just after the wedding ceremony the king – because he is a Libra character – gives another order to his new wife. She must not give advice to anybody without the permission of the king. But the poor girl would not be a Libra character if she obeyed this order. The first time she is asked for her advice she forgets about her oath and holds court to two quarrelling men.
We can see Saturn again in exaltation when the king sends his wife away from him because she did not obey him. With this order of the king both their marriage and the tale could have got to an end. But the clever girl would not be a clever girl if she could not solve this situation either. She uses the same old technique again: she obeys the king, leaves the palace taking with her what the most precious thing is for her: namely her husband. So, you, severe king, who makes judgements too early, what is your answer to it?
The Right Solution of a Libra Problem
The answer cannot be anything else but harmony in between man and wife and a new agreement that the king never restricts his wife’s actions because agreement is a typical Libra action and harmony is a superior manifestation of the Libra sign.