Date of Rulership: 23rd August-22nd September; Polarity: Negative, female; Quality: Mutable; Ruling planet: Mercury; Element: Earth; Body part: Solar plexus and bowels; Colour: Dark brown, green; Gemstone: Sardonyx; Metal: Mercury or nickel.
Up until now, the formative forces expressed by the zodiac under the signs of Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, and Leo have been orientated towards the inner realm of self-expression and self-actualization, and particular an expression that doesn’t wish to be hindered by external influences or contingencies. This all changes with Virgo, a sign whose potency derives from the ethereal element of earth and mutability. Virgos are quite like a combination of metal oxides, minerals, and organic matter otherwise known as clay. They adapt quickly to the pulling, pushing, thrashing, twisting, folding, and overturning caused by the protean elements of the environment through sharpened faculties of common sense and level-headed thinking. If Virgo were a cosmic process, it would be an accelerated version of natural selection; if it were an animal, it would be a rainforest chameleon; and if it were a person, it would more than likely be a molecular biologist. The three just mentioned things partake of the same methodology when it comes to encountering reality and the world: they all start by apportioning a state, condition, or situation into its respective subcomponents; then studying the composition of each piece, its practical purpose, its relation to the other parts, and all possible forms of interaction; and finally pondering all possible outcomes and consequences should any unforeseen mechanistic failure or breakdown in communication between the parts ensue. Moreover, the mutable energies of Virgo are meticulously practical and conscientious; they will measure, demarcate, and map out their worldview before ruffling through to weed out items of information that are superfluous, insignificant, of no intellectual or creative interest, or of no practicable use. Virgo is a focused sign and sees no value in going off on wild goose chases or intellectual tangents that are merely products of curiosity rather than data aligned into a chronological tree of final causes.
Thus Virgo is the “analyst” of the zodiac, the sentient filter that gathers, stores, retrieves, analyses and prioritizes information in a mental filing system designed to sharpen the conscious will and force the ego along its chosen path and trajectory of evolution. To arrive at this state of being, Virgo had to sift through an array of primary characteristics from preceding signs and single out the ones it wanted: from Taurus it borrowed willpower, diligence, and focus; and from Cancer it acquired the desire to mother and nurture others, especially those beings that seem helpless and in need of protection or attention. Virgo’s innate tendency towards analysis, its sedate disposition, and its agenda rendered the traits of the other three signs–Aries, Gemini, and Leo–both undesirable and incompatible, and hence it bypassed the lot without a second thought.
“You know guys and girls, I’m a bit like extra virgin olive oil,” says Virgo. “I am well aware of my own composition, texture, colour, and taste. I know my own essence, what I mix well with, and what I don’t mix with at all. I can also tell you without the slightest doubt that I’m good for you, and that I probably know what’s best for you better than you do. The endeavour that we call life is best approached from an angle that involves formulating plans and putting them into action. Throw in a bit of salt and pepper in the form of self-discipline and hard work and you have a recipe for instant success and satisfaction. It’s as simple as that. Those of you who say or do otherwise are either naïve, ill-informed, delusional, or plain stupid, and you can be certain that I’ll be giving you the “I-told-you-so” lecture somewhere down the track for taking detours onto dirt roads which lead to oblivion. We never, ever let our hearts usurp the position held by our heads–this sentiment extends to all areas of life, including family, love, sex and relationships, profession and career, finance, and so forth.
In any case, if you’re not quite sure as to how the mechanics of this little secret works I’d be more than happy to forfeit some my own time and give you a demonstration. There’s nothing more satisfying than giving to a fellow projection of the conscious universe, a brother or sister, and you can be more than certain that God, salvation, and peace are to be found in such moral, selfless, and loving acts. I do have some insight into my own psychic makeup, and understand that my love of perfectionism, my sense of righteousness, and my “know-it-all” approach can intimidate, irritate, and anger others. This has nothing to do with conceit or being up myself but rather a love for the world and my devotion to it. Why can’t people wake up and realise what’s good for them I say? Why do they make the same mistakes, over and over, without learning from them? How can the most intellectual of earthly creatures be so incompetent and inefficient sometimes? We need to listen before we speak, prepare before we do battle, and look before we jump. If people adhered to these very simple guidelines, there’d be a hell of a lot less grief in the world!”
From what we can see, Virgo is obviously a reflective sign that places a colossal emphasis on education and learning. And what Virgo aptly sees in this temporal and sometimes chaotic world of change and evolution quicker than any other sign is that self-preservation is dependent upon doing things in moderation. When physical, mental or emotional energies are utilized to extremes for prolonged periods of time, the individual will manifest wear and tear that inevitably leads to burnout. The best way to avoid hitting a wall, according to Virgo, is to engage in periodic exercise, eat a nutritious diet high in protein, complex carbohydrates, fibre and coloured vegetables, and cordon off a few hours each day for solitary endeavours intended to cultivate the soul. Learning new skills and refining natural talent is way more important and meaningful to a Virgo than being a social magnet or an energy vampire. From this perspective it’s easy to see why the Virgo man or woman admires, respects and holds in the highest esteem individuals who are intellectually and academically inclined.
In neural physiology, we might align Virgo with the rational, mechanistic, and dominant scientist that lives in the left hemisphere of our brains. Like the latter, Virgo is only interested in knowledge pertaining to reality that is collected by the sense faculties and categorized through deductive reasoning. Unlike the latter though, Virgo discriminates between knowledge collected on the basis of its usefulness. If theory or knowledge cannot be applied in some concrete way to improve the present conditions of life, then there’s no point in even knowing about it. As far as Virgo is concerned, anything abstract and speculative or anything that evades human comprehension and classification is simply not worth any vested time or effort.
There are two symbols associated with Virgo the Virgin. The first is a reclining woman, an obvious allusion to the Great Mother Goddess in all her guises (i.e. the virgin, the crone, the good mother, the temptress or seductress, the whore, and so forth). She is the stellar goddess of innumerable names: for the ancient Babylonians and Assyrians she was Ishtar, the all-encompassing deity of love, war, fertility and sex; for the ancient Egyptians she found expression through the feminine triad of Nut-Hathor-Isis; for the ancient Greeks she was a triune spirit encompassing the Olympian deities Artemis, Athena, and Hestia; and for the Imperial Romans she was Ceres, the maternal goddess of agriculture, grain crops and fertility who was always depicted holding a sheaf of corn. One would have to say that the most recognized religious iconography associated with this zodiacal sign is that of the Christian Mary, the Immaculate Virgin and Queen of Heaven who brought forth the incarnation of God the Father in Jesus Christ the Son.
In classical mythology, the stellar constellation of Virgo was inextricably linked with Astraea, the goddess of justice and innocence. According to the Hellenes, there was a time when the immortals were thriving alongside the mortals on Earth. Back then the world was largely devoid of diseases, plagues, burdens, and other conditions detrimental to general health, wellbeing and contentment. This was to change with the curiosity of Pandora, who made the tragic mistake of opening a cursed box gifted to her by the immortals themselves for the sake of testing her willpower in consort with her ability to toe the line and follow simple instructions. Save for being the source of all misfortunes for mankind, Pandora also became the reason for the gods and goddesses to desert their corporeal posts. Even Astraea, the most tolerant and patient amongst them, surrendered all hope of a swift redemption for mankind and fled to the mount of heaven when she saw that the ravages of war had escalated to a degree of barbarity that left expired mercenaries without dignity. It is said that Astraea will descend from her celestial throne to Earth again when the human psyche returns to its former Adamic state of spiritualization.
The second symbol, an astrological shorthand for the zodiacal sign, looks like the small letter ‘m’ with a curved projection linking the top and bottom parts of the third leg. As a sygil, it bears a great many resemblances to two subsequent signs, Libra and Scorpio, both of which are intensely concerned with the collective social and psychospiritual evolution of humanity. On a great many occasions we find that the uroboric loop formed by the final leg is represented as a fish, the Piscean totem. Therefore we can infer that the glyph is denoting an ethereal condition where spirit or vital essence is in the process of incarnating in the dense, lower world of physical forms.
Both symbols together recall characteristics central to the Virgo archetype–discrimination, intelligence, refinement, serenity, self-control, dedication, assiduousness, orderliness, and self-discipline. Over and above the positive connotations linked to them, these qualities are typical by-products of highly evolved and spiritual states of consciousness mediated by Virgo’s formative energies. We can be certain that both signs place immense emphasis on ascension and specifically the ascension of the human soul because the totemic figure is often shown with a pair of angel wings. The position of Virgo on the great cosmic wheel also reveals that both signs have to make do with maternity and fertility, as well as the condition of having fulfilled all prerequisites leading up to any undertakings meant to test physical, psychological, or spiritual parameters.