Decades ago I’d written most of a book on something I termed the Void, the ways we malfunction when we deny, distort, or otherwise misinterpret our Lunar needs (those signified by our natal Moon placement). I talked about the Gap, the space between our genuine needs and our misunderstanding of those needs, and our inadequate attempts to bridge the two, with a goal of offering ways to recognize and remedy these imbalances. The book didn’t go anywhere (it was never completed), but it seems like now might be a good time to pick the bones for any tasty bits they may contain, and if I find enough worth passing on to you, dear Reader, I’ll probably also include it in the Moon book (as the fundamental need is based on Luna), with the new book to be finished (I’ve been working on it every day!) sometime before I expire. I hope. Here on the blog I’ll be posting, in no particular order, some of my thoughts on sign needs and dysfunction, for your edification, discussion, and rebuttal, as inspired by that old manuscript. First up, Virgo.
It starts with a fundamental need: for Virgo, the need is to accept ‘what is’. With Mercury as its ruler, we might think that the need would be a mental one, and it is; if we tailor that idea to the proclivities of Virgo, what we find is that the mentality is employed in a function of discernment–and it’s this automatic impulse to judge, sort, categorize, assess, and account for, that is to discriminate via characteristics, that can also describe certain weaknesses, namely a tendency to believe that because the inclination is to judge, that judging is necessary, that every circumstance must be vetted and assessed by the Virgo energy. As in all things, for all people, just because Virgo can, doesn’t necessarily mean Virgo should.
Healthy discrimination and discernment are the ability to perceive differences and/ or comprehend relative worth (‘worth’ being defined as uses and/ or functions) between or among persons or objects. This differs from criticism and judgment in a single, important way: it doesn’t assign a valuation or character of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ to what is. It instead encourages the understanding of what exists and the recognition of its worth without imposing an idea of worthiness, or a moral assessment.
Wherever our Virgo energies are by House, we run the risk of failing or refusing to recognize and accept reality, and when in that state of Beingness we’ll be unable to sort appropriate from inappropriate behavior, or know which is the baby, which is the bathwater. For instance, we can easily discriminate between a butterfly and a moth. We can discern their differing functions and note the variations in appearance. If we make a critical judgment of butterflies and moths, though, we may judge moths to be ugly (no pretty colors) and ‘bad’ (they eat our woolens), while we may judge butterflies to be beautiful and ‘good’.
It’s one thing to recognize disparities and understand differences, it’s quite another to make pronouncements on the worth of, in our example, the moth and the butterfly; that kind of judgment means the conclusions reached aren’t objective absolutes, and if there’s room for disagreement, then one has rendered an opinion, not stated a fact, and so wandered into subjective criticism territory.
To work through the shadow side of Virgo, reality must be seen and accepted; that is, Virgo energy must know all about what makes the butterfly different from the moth, and in acknowledging the factual nature of these differences, let go of the prerogative seized, that of believing Virgo is entitled to judge the value of the life and functions of the moth vs. the butterfly. Two things help in acceptance of ‘what is’: 1) refuse to allow the mind to dictate priorities (as in believing in the rightness of its own judgments), and 2) realize that it’s inappropriate to sit in judgment of anything (and remember, this is much different than discrimination/ discernment). As soon as we give a ‘value label’, we distance ourselves, making the world and others into ‘things’ and reinforcing the proclivity to judge.
The difficult part for Virgo is that the facility for discernment is an asset, a strength–but anything used to excess inevitably warps into a liability–and this is what Virgo faces, the need to learn to accept the way things are, and to use that facility for discernment to determine whether judging is even the right thing for them to do. Assessment is Virgo’s natural response to, well, everything, but not every situation requires forensic dissection, nor is a pronouncement about the state or quality of every component of every situation desirable. Virgo won’t know that until the ability for discernment is firmly focused on reality, and simultaneously awareness is achieved that the autonomy and authenticity of others, and of things, situations, feelings, everything that makes up the fabric of life, has not only its own character, but an unquestioned right to exist, and that those things will be what they are whether or not Virgo judges them. Virgo must learn that the very fact something exists isn’t an invitation for a critique.
For Virgo, this all comes from a pure intent, one that strives to improve everything in its sphere. If we’re talking about a Virgo Moon, then we need to understand that there is an emotional need to feel competent, organized, informed, ready to ‘share the harvest’ in whatever form Virgo recognizes it as taking–and as well, there’s a fear of not having a clear accounting, of not having a sense of who’s responsible for what, and a fear of being in possession of a list of criticisms that aren’t being addressed. These conditions, linked with the Lunar consciousness, will feel like chaos to Virgo, like the Piscean energy of its opposite number has thrown a shroud of fog and confusion over Virgo’s attempt to keep careful, detailed books–and for Virgo, nothing could be (or feel) worse.
Though I’ve focused here on the shadow characteristics of the sign, Virgo excels in some of the most vital qualities to guarantee not just survival, but an ability to thrive. The properties Virgo offers allow us to discern the poisonous berry from the edible one, because Virgo took the time to study the fruit’s characteristics, to note in what ways they differ, and to make remembering (another Mercury function) what we know about these berries important. Virgo’s also the one who wrote down the recipe for berry pie, and paid attention to what conditions the berries needed so that we could plant them close to home. Am I making Virgo sound a little plodding, a little too mundane? But that’s the beauty of it! Virgo knows things, knows the details, and shares that knowledge in a clear and comprehensive fashion–and that’s something we should thank them for.
Things to think about, related to your Virgo energy: consider that interactions don’t need to be tracked on a balance sheet, of who owes what to whom; in what way do you freely serve related to Virgo? Do you ever give anonymously, and keep it anonymous? That would be your Virgo! List things you like about yourself (not physical features) and consider ways you can share these qualities with others in forms that benefit them; what’s the goal, when you offer criticism? How do you feel about partnership and sharing? Those can be two ‘prickly pear’ issues in chart areas where Virgo is located. Do you delight in attending to details, joyously getting lost in the texture of them, or do you resent them, feeling like they slow down progress?
Signs your Virgo energy is operating in shadow mode: overly critical, sometimes using this as the only form of communication, critical of others ‘for their own good’; detail obsessed (and consequently not giving enough attention to the Big Picture; proud of perfectionism; pettiness; lacking a sense of priorities and proportions (for example, making the color of the car as important as its performance); confusing productivity with busyness; fixes and serves even when those efforts are intrusive; the humble-brag of ‘I’m just a worker bee’ (false modesty) no matter what the actual role, accompanied by a laundry list of what the larger organization ‘needs to do to improve’; cattiness or gossip meant to make yourself look informed or better than the one criticized (where Gemini’s gossip is more about spreading info, even when it’s unproductive)
Signs your Virgo energy is operating really well: a rhythm to proceedings/ efforts; not offering an opinion unless asked; being organized in such a way that a larger purpose is served; knowing what information is important, and willingly sharing it; taking on responsibilities without resentment; taking care of the Big Picture simultaneous to attending to meaningful details; having and using good judgment; you know where everything is! work and play are balanced; any debt is well-handled; appreciation of dry humor and word-play; no issues with sorting through possessions, coupled with an ease at throwing out what’s no longer needed; able to edit the life and keep it on track toward goals; the patience to ‘nurse’ things along, when appropriate
Special note for those with: Pluto in Virgo=when activated this can plunge you down a complicated, labyrinthine rabbit hole in matters related to the House where it’s posited, confusing you, stymieing you, causing you to tilt at windmills, or it can make you a genius at organization and research in House areas, with info at the ready to support change, and an always-transforming-according-to-new-information attitude. You’re not scared of change, sex, death, or the Karmic ledger, you just want to always be completely informed about your status with each
Uranus in Virgo=Higher Mind can get bogged down in details or regulations, with this placement, and the group may exert more influence than is healthy, or activation can liberate you from unnecessary constraint, as you read the contract fine print and see that many conditions don’t apply, due to your uniqueness. You can embrace the academic and flow with the serendipitous accident or spontaneous idea or improvisation, just as long as you feel you know what you’re agreeing to
Saturn in Virgo=myopia is the dysfunctional expression of this, where you miss the forest for the seedlings underfoot, but it also means that under other circumstances reality delivers a sparkling, informative load of detail and meaning to you, giving you a navigation and decision-making advantage. Control of information flow or contract terms may be a big deal for you in some way; you’d do well to learn when you can lighten up and enjoy the fruits of your labor, and when it’s paramount you pay attention and buckle down
I hope you’ve enjoyed this! I don’t know when I’ll get back with a post about another sign, but will be back with a Full Moon report within a week. Until then, thank you, and stay safe!