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Virgo: If it works, don’t fix it




I was re-reading some of my earlier posts and I decided to re-issue this one about Virgo. It’s one of a series of posts I published while I was writing Real Life Astrology: Planets Signs & Houses, and if you’re a Virgo or have significant placements in that sign – or you’re close to someone who has Virgo written all over them – it offers some real insights into the way that Virgo energy works. And that’s the whole point of Virgo – it’s about making things work. So, re-acquaint yourself with some Virgo energy. I hope it works for you.


When the Sun moves into Virgo, it 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 – he couldn’t be more of a Virgo if he tried. The Sun is strong in Leo and there are those who claim that souls born ‘on the cusp’ may feel an affinity with Leo even if the Sun has technically changed signs. That’s an astrological argument for another day.

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 2022) so it seems appropriate to give you my take on this sign from the draft manuscript of that book. The extract is not specifically about the Sun in this sign, but it’s an exploration of the motivational energy that is embodied by the sign of the Virgin..

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, or contained within a house So, don’t dismiss this sign as an irrelevance. 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 life planner, read on.

*Update* Real Life Astrology: Planets, Signs & Houses is now available! Click here for the link to purchase.

Extract from Planets, Signs & Houses: Virgo

To say that Virgo is the second of the Mercury influenced signs is doing this sign 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 this sign not only represents the harvest, but ‘harvest’ is 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 this sign has horticultural or agricultural associations). The seeds we carry are latent skills, talents and responsibilities that we need to develop in order to lead productive and fulfilled lives. A fundamental part of this task involves working out what is considered to be 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 or – as many would say – the voice of good old-fashioned common sense.

Of course, this sign is not a killjoy 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 this sign’s energy is best deployed sorting the wheat from the chaff. That means you keep what’s good and useful and you let go of the rest. Virgo does not do excess.

There’s an earthy realism about this sign 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, this sign doesn’t plough a furrow and stay there. Virgo’s energies are directed towards refinement and improvement, in practical terms (and this sign is practical) developing a skillset and mastering the trade are, for example, some of the core expressions of this sign in action.

There are always inevitable comparisons to Gemini, where Mercury’s influence somehow 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 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 emphasises manual dexterity and mental connections between ideas, visualisation and implementation.

The connection between mentality and earthy physicality is 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 this sign. It’s an energy that strives towards perfection. It drives us, as individual human beings, to improve ourselves through the learning process. We learn by experience, we learn by engaging with education (often in its broadest sense) and we learn by recognising there is an ideal lifestyle that works for us and enables us to flourish. Virgo is, therefore a true Earth sign, with nurturing and growth as its primary motivation and it has the added bonus of a mutable, mercurial analytical mind thrown in for good measure.

What does that mean for those of you who are heavily 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 lays the groundwork for success. Those with planets in this sign 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 they are not necessarily the same thing.

Planets in this sign may find their expression in the world of detail, but that can be taken to a level 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 used to excess. When that occurs, nothing is ever good enough. Constant ‘nit-picking’ is a sign of a Virgo planet (or planets) that is not being expressed well. That motivational energy has become distorted and negative. This is especially damaging – especially mentally – when relentless 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 this sign in your natal chart. This sign’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 this sign are the activities that require you to keep them in order. That’s not as onerous as it sounds, as you may have learned the hard way that its best to submit to Virgo energies – and do so willingly. They are not as ‘soft’ as you would imagine them to be. Let’s look at some examples:

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 (this sign’s association with the sixth house gives it an affinity with service). You may find some space in your garden for a vegetable plot, as Virgo-ruled houses are where we connect to the earth in a productive sense. So, what about the ninth house ? How does Virgo connect to the sky? Surely that’s a greater challenge for such earthy energy? That may seem a challenge but all signs ‘work’ wherever they are found – and this one is no exception.

Let me tell you that Virgo ruling the ninth house 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. And his ability to plan a long-distance voyage is awesome.

If you want to know about the best flight discounts or best airline routes? Forget the comparison sites, just ask him. He never misses a flight. His packing is economical and efficient. You have not 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 literal and down to earth and with 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 unproductive to be any other way.

Further Reading

Virgo: August 23rd – September 22nd

Lunations 2023 | New Moon in Virgo: 15th September

Mercury Retrograde in Virgo: August 23rd – September 15th 2023

Lunation | Full Moon in Virgo 2023

Further Information

Real Life Astrology: Planets, Signs and Houses is available in digital and print format from Amazon and other booksellers.

Real Life Astrology: Planets, Signs & Houses is also available as a .pdf download from this website.

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© Sara Shipman – updated 2023

Picture Credit: Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay 

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