The Sun has moved into Virgo and that brings happy memories for me as it marks the birthday of one of my children. He was born when the Sun was only a few minutes into the sign – and it was as if his soul waited for that transition from Leo as he couldn’t be more of a Virgo if he tried. The Sun is strong in Leo and there are those who claim that those born ‘on the cusp’ may feel more of an affinity to Leo even if the Sun has technically changed signs. That’s an astrological argument for another day – all I can say is that Virgo is not a sign known for indecision.
As you will recall from previous posts, I’m working on a new book on the planets, signs and houses in astrology. That book will be released later this year (October) so it seems appropriate to give you my take on Virgo from the draft manuscript of that book. The extract is not specifically about the Sun in Virgo, but it’s an exploration of the motivational energy that is embodied by this sign.
You may be thinking, “how does that affect me? I’m not a Virgo”. However, you may have some Virgo planets in your birth chart – and, even if you don’t, you will have Virgo in your natal chart influencing at least one house by being the sign on a house cusp. So, don’t dismiss Virgo as irrelevant to your life. We all have an organised, health conscious, hard working inner Virgo somewhere – even if we find her difficult to access at times! So, if you need to locate your inner Virgo? First, you need to recognise the sign. Read on.
Extract from Planets, Signs & Houses: Virgo
To say that Virgo is the second of the Mercury influenced signs is doing Virgo a certain injustice. As astrologers we have ordered the Zodiac in a certain way – but, like many other ways in which we organise things, it’s a construct based on whatever the prevailing wisdom was at the time. In the eyes of some people (not me by the way) this has resulted in Virgo becoming one of the Zodiac signs that suffers from an excess of reputation over fact.
Is ‘virginity’ (and the inevitable sniggers) all that Virgo has to offer your natal chart – and your life? No. Not at all. To discover the reality of this sign we need to get back to basics – and getting back to basics is what Virgo does best.
Like the other Earth signs, Taurus and Capricorn, Virgo energy keeps your feet on the ground. Planets that land in this sign are there to take root, flower and bear fruit. When we think of the image associated with Virgo, the virgin is usually portrayed carrying ears of corn. There’s a subtle message carried in this and what it tells us is that Virgo not only represents the harvest, but the harvest is also a metaphor for the energy in our lives that enables us to plant our seeds, nurture them and reap the benefits at the end of the day.
Of course, the seeds I’m referring to are not vegetables or flowers (though Virgo is one of the signs with horticultural or agricultural inclinations). The seeds are those we carry within – the skills, talents and responsibilities we need to develop if we are to lead productive and fulfilled lives. A fundamental part of this task involves working out what is productive in the first place.
Imagine. You have a planet or two in Leo and they love to have a good time. Every night is party night. Then a planet in Virgo, the long-suffering next-door neighbour, pokes its head over the fence and says, ‘I’m glad you’re having such a good time but you know you need to clean up afterwards’. That’s Virgo. The eternal party pooper otherwise known as the voice of good sense.
Of course, Virgo is not about a lack of fun or being so damn good all of the time. Far from it. Virgo is, however, about planning, organisation, and finding out what works – and what doesn’t. The reason the Virgin is usually pictured carrying a bushel of corn is that Virgo energy is best deployed sorting the wheat from the chaff. Keep what’s good and useful – and let the rest go.
There’s an earthy realism in Virgo that recognises the value of application and hard work. However, Virgo’s essential mutability enables the process to be educative and selective. Unlike fixed Taurus, Virgo doesn’t plough a furrow and stay there. Virgo’s energies are directed towards refinement and improvement, developing a skillset and mastering the trade. There are always inevitable comparisons to Gemini, where the Mercury influence seems more obvious, but planets in Virgo are also mercurial – just in a more serious way.
Mercury in this sign is often intellectual, analytical and often has a great appreciation of how things are put together – whether that’s on a theoretical or practical level. Venus in this sign loves order and beautiful, functional design. That’s no surprise as Mercury’s influence on Virgo often emphasises manual dexterity and those critical mental connections between ideas, visualisation and implementation.
Virgo may be Mercury influenced, but the connection between mentality and earthy physicality is just as emphatic. Let’s look at Mars in Virgo for example. At a mental level, if you need an assertive administrator then look no further. Virgo Mars is great a chasing the detail. However, Mars in this sign will just as happily express those energies physically in the gym. The pursuit of physical perfection is as good a description of Mars in Virgo as any.
And that is the point of Virgo. It’s an energy that strives towards perfection. It drives us, as individual human beings, to improve ourselves through learning by experience, by engaging with education (often in its broadest sense) and by recognising that there is an ideal lifestyle that enables us to flourish. Virgo is, therefore a true Earth sign, with nurturing and growth as its primary motivation – with the added bonus of that mutable, mercurial analytical mind thrown in for good measure.
Where does that take those of you who are influenced by this sign? There’s a word I associate with Virgo that marries the earthy and mercurial qualities and it’s this. Competence. To be competent, at a skill, at a job and, most importantly, at life itself lays the groundwork for success. Those with planets in Virgo regard basic competence as a virtue to be prized. We achieve a level of competence through testing and developing our critical faculties. We improve by recognising and eliminating flaws – or the things we perceive to be flaws – and that’s not necessarily the same thing.
Planets in Virgo may find their expression in the world of detail, but that can be taken to levels that may become counter-productive. The critical faculties that are so useful when put to the service of improvement can become hypercritical or self-critical. When that occurs, nothing is ever good enough. Constant ‘nit-picking’ is a sign of a Virgo planet (or planets) that are not being expressed well. That motivational energy has somehow become distorted and negative. This is especially damaging when self-criticism is the outcome.
Not feeling ‘good enough’ because you can never attain perfection in what you do is psychologically unhealthy. Those with a significant Virgo influence need to learn that being good enough is perfection in itself.
Many of you reading this will not have a planet in Virgo – but you will all have Virgo in your natal chart. Virgo’s influence on any house with this sign on the cusp colours the affairs of that house and will do so in a manner that demands an eye for detail – regardless of the dominant emphasis in your natal chart. The affairs of the house influenced by Virgo is where you need to keep things in order. That’s not as onerous as it sounds in many cases as you may have learned the hard way that its best to submit to Virgo energies – and do so willingly as they are no pushover.
So, Virgo on the cusp of your fourth house will incline you towards being orderly at home, though you may have to deal with other peoples mess on a regular basis. You may also find some space in your garden for a vegetable plot. Virgo houses are where we also connect to the earth in a productive sense. So, what about the ninth house for example? How does Virgo connect to the sky? Surely that’s a greater challenge for such earthy energy?
Let me tell you. Virgo here is great at organising long distance travel. I’m going to close here with a short tale. I have a son who is a Sun Virgo, with his ninth house cusp also in that sign. With Jupiter also in the ninth and Sagittarius rising, the kid was a global traveller as soon as his wings were strong enough to fly the nest. As you will have noticed, his Virgo/ninth house synergies are huge. His ability to long-distance travel plan is awesome.
If you want to know the best flight discounts or best airline routes? Forget the comparison sites, just ask him. He never misses a flight. His packing is both economical and efficient. You will never have seen a better organised suitcase in your life. And that’s on the journey home. He is the king of the capsule wardrobe.
Sometimes, astrology is that literal and down to earth – and with practical, efficient Virgo an a house cusp, your life experiences in that house may manifest as literally as the example above – particularly if there are synergies with other parts of your natal chart. Virgo energy does that. It would be inefficient and unproductive to be any other way.
© Sara Shipman 2021