Is it fair to characterize Virgo as the bean counter of the zodiac? Yes and no. Accounting for things is a vital service, instrumental in both the fair distribution of goods and the allocation of responsibility. And absolutely no one does it better than Virgo (though Cappy runs a close second!) With that sign on the Ascendant, the individual is well-suited to assess responsibilities in the world–but that very talent may make them less-than-welcome in more casual settings, where others don’t want a spiritual CPA noting their every move. And that’s unfair to Virgo on the Ascendant, as this can make for a modest, quick-witted individual who is always ready and willing to help, who can converse with anyone, and who has a generosity of personality few can match.
Discrimination among various elements, assessing their use and worth, is natural for Virgo, and extremely important from the dawn of humanity: without that ability, we wouldn’t have survived. Virgo told us which berries to eat, and which to avoid, and she still carries that ability to finely, succinctly, and purposefully judge today. But, when frustrated, this skill can turn to pointless criticism and a cutting assessment of the material picture that can be devastating for the target. Virgo always needs a materially-keyed outlet through which to express his discrimination skills, and when it’s on the Ascendant, Virgo will express this through the persona—leaving onlookers to conclude this individual is too busy counting, sorting, harvesting, judging to do much else, and feeding an incorrect idea that Virgo has little creative or imaginative ‘juice’.
That reputation goes by the wayside the moment Virgo starts to explore the nature of her opposing sign, Pisces. From the inside looking out, Virgo has been searching for the creative moment from the very start; after all, how can one imagine something new until one knows what one has on hand? To Virgo, the detailed approach is the only logical choice, and from there the mind (ruler Mercury) is inspired (Pisces) by what is encountered anywhere in the Cosmos, but especially in the world of ideas. Virgo has a facility to translate well from concept to physical substance, thanks to the Merc rulership combined with the Virgoan element of Earth; if you need it done, Virgo can draw up the plans, mobilize the troops, and provide all the receipts and a complete after-action report, with no prompting from anyone else.
Looking out from the inside, Virgo on the Ascendant likely found it prudent to meet the world not just with the mind first, but attempting to organize and account for all that is before her, because knowing the status and disposition of the bounty available allocates the responsibility, as well—and Virgo may have grown up in an environment where who owed what to whom, and who was responsible for what, were the big questions. Too, there may not have been adequate vetting of the environment for the Virgo individual; he may have been left to his own devices, or otherwise not protected sufficiently from danger, thus necessitating development of sharp discriminatory abilities early, not to mention a possible need to tiptoe around caretakers who did not allow themselves to be questioned—and so creating a fine critical ability in accommodating Virgo. On the other hand, to be critical of the Self may have allowed survival and kept Virgo from competing with those in power; and it may take some time for Virgo to shake that and come to the understanding that we’re All One—and we have to remember that’s the conclusion he’s headed toward, when we’re dealing with Virgo on the Ascendant.