The Signs and Accomplished People – 12 Part Series – Virgo
Virgo is the 6th sign of the zodiac. Its key phrase is “I Analyze”. It is defined as mutable earth. This means that it symbolizes qualities that are flexible and practical. The positive side of this sign is analysis. The negative quality of Virgo is criticism; analysis carried too far and made harmful. This can come from them or be directed toward them.
The season associated with Virgo is the end of summer which brings in the idea of the harvest. Produce and productivity are both Virgo words and concepts.
The constellation associated with the sign Virgo is the harvesting maid. From this picture we associate things and concepts like work, food, health, purity, and industriousness. As a harvester and a virgin we see Virgo as selective, discriminating and clean. Ptolemy describes her as having wings. So now we see her as an angel, divine, and on a mission from God. Every day cloistered religious communities pray for the day’s work to be blessed, so, work is made to be a holy thing. Virgo is one of the bicorporeal signs and it is the least obvius. What are the two bodies? Is it human and wings? This suggests earthling and angel. Virgos usually need a boost and we can tell them that they are an angel. Cite Ptolemy.
Virgo is the celestial Virgin. We associate her with all divine females and some goddesses. Mary, Isis, and Ceres, the grain goddess, come to mind.
Each sign is “ruled” by a planet and Virgo’s planet is intelligent Mercury. Now we add skill and competency to the meaningful qualities of Virgo. We are starting to understand that Virgo is a noble, capable, and productive sign. Mercury is about thought, communication, travel, and ability. Virgo needs to value these things and do them well.
Mercury and Virgo are associated with the 6th house of the horoscope. Houses are directional areas of the sky that have meaning. This area is a little north of west and the place where the Sun would be for the first 2 hours after sunset. This area is hidden and comes after the big daily sunset show. So, Virgo is humble. Each house is associated with one of the 12 signs. Since the 6th is associated with Virgo, it is is about work, health, illness, and hygiene. Go into a health food store; this is a Virgo and a 6th house place.
Each sign is associated with a part of the body. Virgo is the intestines, so we see the discrimination function of this body part added to the meaning and nature of Virgo.
Inspired by the notions of Mercury and Virgo I give my students the image of a draftsman working at his drafting table. I have taken drafting. And as a dreamy Pisces, Virgo’s opposite, it almost killed me.
Every sign contains the seed of its opposite sign. Virgo’s opposite, Pisces is ruled by meaning seeking Jupiter and mystical Neptune. While Virgo is working and bringing home the bacon, Pisces is in the collective unconscious looking for the meaning of life. When we can get past the conflict that can come from differences, these two signs create a beautiful complementary axis. Piscean insight and Virgo’s willingness to work give us the Axis of Vision and Mission.
Additional Virgo/Pisces contrasts are the real vs. the supernatural, the practical vs. the ideal, facts vs. belief, science vs. religion, and competency vs. incompetency. Mother Teresa’s life is an example of the Pisces/Virgo axis in that she was a believing saint and one dedicated to humble service.
Stories associated with Virgo, focus on work, workers, virgins, puritans, angels, saints, and earth life vs. paradise. Stories about Ceres/Demeter give us insight into Virgo. The Demeter Persephone story symbolizes the reason for the planting season. But this Pisces loves the marriage of the contrasts between grain goddess Virgo Ceres and drunken Piscean Dionysus/Bacchus. She is the bread, he is the wine. She created the Eleusinian Mysteries to deal with the reality of the death of her daughter but the desire for the soul to be immortal and for there to be life after death are the driving force of the Pisces. It is easy to see the natural relationships of mythological stories through studying the relationships between the signs. Virgo/Pisces is Demeter/Dionysus, Mary/Jesus, bread and wine. (Joseph Campbell says that the mysteries have been kept secret. But as a member of a modern mystery school, the Church of Light, this Piscean has a pretty good guess about the secrets.)
Some stories as we can see combine Virgo and Pisces. Let’s remember that the Piscean magician Merlin was born in September. And the Garden of Eden combines a Virgo garden with Piscean paradise.
The dynamic of Virgo is the drive to work and contribute. For this, Virgo is compensated. The gift of Virgo is skill which comes from the ability to pay attention to and care about detail.
For a better life, Virgos should pat themselves on the back, celebrate their noble qualities, always be productive, define and pursue their mission, and develop positive complementing Piscean qualities.
Let’s see what other astrologers say about Virgo.
Kustesky refers to Virgo as industrious, practical, and worldly. He notes that Virgo is knowledgeable, studious, scientific, mentally alert, ingenious, witty, fluent, discerning, thoughtful, modest, careful, and is focused on how to accomplish results.
I would add that of Mercury’s signs, Gemini is theoretical and Virgo applies the theory.
Kustesky implies the Virgo/Pisces axis when he notes that the Virgin was impregnated by the Holy Spirit. And adds that Virgo is the descent into matter.
He also cites the tarot card, Veiled Isis, the immaculate virgin as Virgo.
He notes that Mercury rules mind and sight and that Virgo, as the night sign of Mercury, represents night sight or clairvoyance.
Finally he mentions that Virgo finds faults and weaknesses and that it would benefit Virgo to look for good also.
Allan Oken says that Virgo’s shaft of wheat and ear of corn represent the fruitfulness of women and their latent power.
He states that Virgo’s sensitivity to God produces a divine child and that virginity represents dedication to god and impregnation with knowledge.
Virgo is about work and its rewards, the mind at work, and having a remedy for any problem.
He lists these as positive qualities: helpful, unassuming, clear, sharp edged, dependable, unselfish, precise, meticulous, scientific, research oriented, calm, and self reliant.
And he lists these as negative qualities: underhanded, fault finding, indecisive, superficial, and nervous.
Finally, he notes that Virgo is detail oriented and could benefit by seeing the main idea and big picture.
Z. Dobbins places under Virgo, the details of the job and puritan virtues. She says that Virgo is learning to be: conscientious, responsible, practical, productive, thorough, well organized, and competent.
In health matters, Virgo represents the effective functioning of the body.
She makes some interesting statements about the elements; namely, that earth tries to change the world except for Taurus who enjoys it, fire does what it wants, air sees others objectively, and water wants to be taken care of.
Alan Leo says that Virgo can be materialistic and skeptical. Since Virgo is one of the 6 feminine signs, it is retiring. He says that Virgo is capable of good and evil due to intelligence. And Virgo is able to adapt to requirements and conditions.
Evangeline Adams notes that Virgo wants the simple life and that aims are influenced by material advantage. Virgo senses his own failings and works for little pay. He is too practical to be religious.
C.E.O. Carter notes that mutable earth is practical mentality.
Martha Pottinger says that the Sun in Virgo needs to shine in work and health, but being proud of being humble can prevent recognition. The Moon in Virgo finds security in doing a good job.
Matthews says that Virgos can be debunkers. (Virgo is opposite the sign of belief, Pisces).
Jeanne Avery notes that Virgo goes into a room, sizes it up, and starts to ask questions.
KISS Guide to Astrology cites that Virgo can have paralyzing self criticism and sexual inhibitions. And it contrasts Virgo realism and Pisces benefit of the doubt.
Isabel Hickey says that Virgo represents the Christ in man and the seed in the earth. According to her Virgos look 10 years younger. She notes that Moon in Virgo feels inferior but has superior intelligence.
Moore and Douglas note that Virgo does the drudgery of the world. Their fastidiousness makes them a great nurse or food preparer. He says that they would rather do good than get recognized.
Dare I cite Heindel, who says Virgo is cynical, cold, unforgiving, and chicken hearted.
Let’s look at charts of people who have a prominent Virgo.
“Like a Virgin”. Madonna has Pluto, Mercury, the Ascendant, and the Moon in Virgo. The 1st house, where these planets are, shows identity, and her name is Madonna, a Virgo and a Moon name. The Moon, a female celestial body, shows by this placement that a woman is impotant in her life and that she is important in the world. Incidentally, her Moon squares Saturn, planet of loss, which is in one of the parent houses. Her mother died in Madonna’s youth.
Johan Von Goethe has the Sun in Virgo and the Moon in Pisces. Goethe was a very famous writer who was both a scientist and a poet. These are respectively Virgo and Pisces. He also had Pluto, ruler of Hades, and Saturn, the major malefic, with the Ascendant in Scorpio. He introduces us to the devil in Faust.
Joe Kennedy had Sun, Moon, and Mercury in Virgo and he was noted for his realism and practicality.
Mother Teresa had the Sun and Mars in Virgo. She is a shining star for her work and service. The Mars presence shows her to be driven to serve.