September 2012: Welcome to Virgo
In September, after the turbulence of the past seven months, Eric Francis suggests that you strike a balance between easing off and easing into some real accomplishments. Set your agenda carefully, and make sure you include your most significant goals. Explore the effects of Virgo and Chiron in your life. For this month's horoscopes, see Planet Waves Horoscopes: September 2012.
This month began as the Sun ingressed Virgo, beginning the third and last month of the season. This is always true of the mutable signs, Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces. At the end of each of those signs, the Sun begins a new season. Virgo is an earth sign, ruled by Mercury. Though many people are taking time off from work this time of year, the mental quality of Virgo is a great time to accomplish challenging tasks that require a high level of focus.
In German, the word for Virgo is Jungrfrau, meaning young woman. That's a bit more literal and easier to understand than our word, which implies virginity. However, as you'll read, there is something of a mystery embedded in this sign.
I've said this a few times, though it's worth another reminder: For the first time all year, the inner planets (Mercury, Venus, and Mars) are in direct motion, and none of them are about to station retrograde. While our complex lives never quite facilitate the simplicity we dream of, it helps at least in the midst of complexity to have the inner planets moving forward, and eclipses out of the way as well (the next Mercury retrograde, and the next eclipses, take place in November, both of which will directly affect the American presidential elections—more about this soon).
While it may be tempting to relax after the turbulence of the past seven months, I suggest you strike a balance between easing off and easing into some real accomplishments. Set your agenda carefully, and make sure you include your most significant goals.
Meanwhile, the Sun is opposing Neptune. While the Virgo Sun is mentally focused, its meeting with Neptune in Pisces is calling for some imagination. It may also be inviting you to indulge in many of the things for which Neptune is famous: things that change your consciousness, art, music, cinema, and intense fantasy. The Sun opposite Neptune can feel like a mystical kind of Full Moon, though more inspiring than agitated.
Just remember to keep a grip. When there's a lot of Neptune in the picture, there's a necessity for maintaining your integrity (tell the truth, drive sober, and don't finalize important decisions till the aspect passes). This aspect has an idealistic streak, which will tend to overlook the details; give the details time to come into focus.
That will happen soon enough, as the Sun gradually slips into an opposition with Chiron in Pisces. That is exact on August 30, and is a turning point in the tone for the Sun's transit through Virgo. That's how Chiron almost always works; it's a moment of clarity.
Chiron (relatively new to its visit to Pisces, a sign it occupies for about eight years of every 51) has a strong association with Virgo—not exactly rulership, but rather in traditional terms, something that feels more like exaltation or natural resonance. Chiron is about a kind of hyper-awareness, and in Pisces, it represents a focused spiritual vigilance.
Sun opposite Chiron asks two questions. One is: What is the mode of expression of that vigilance? The Sun is about expression, illumination, creativity, and a measure of glory in what we've accomplished. Chiron is holding up a powerful mirror to the Sun. Do you feel like you're adequately expressing yourself? Do you want to go deeper into what you're doing, expressing yourself from closer to your core?
What arises around the time of this opposition will help you see how you can do that, but beware that you may have to confront a sense of inadequacy as you do. Think of Sun opposite Chiron as the acupuncture needle that guides you to direct your energy with more focus and purpose. What I'm saying is that this will be easier and more pleasant if you maintain your awareness through the Sun-Neptune part of the trip, and don't zone out into denial—to which Chiron invariably serves as an antidote.
As for Virgo itself…in traditional astrology, it's ruled by another planet: Mercury, which is always worth considering when we're mulling over the meaning of this sign. Those of us who know and love Virgos are familiar with intelligent, clever, somewhat nervous people who can never seem to do enough. But this is not mental activity for its own buzz; there appears to be something inherently spiritual, transcendent of ego, and dedicated to world service that is apparent in who many Virgos are and what they represent.
Virgos had best put these qualities to good use. They have a lot of energy to burn and have an inherent need to be of genuine assistance to the world. When they are fulfilling this role, they are generally quite happy and involved; when not, they can become annoying, particularly to themselves. Many astrologers feel that the keywords of Virgo are I Serve, and many born under this sign know exactly what they're talking about.
Alice A. Bailey, in her 1951 book Esoteric Astrology, addresses some of what may be going on beneath this impulse. She writes in her introduction to this sign that “Virgo is one of the most significant in the zodiac, for its symbology concerns the whole goal of the evolutionary process, which is to shield, nurture, and finally reveal the hidden spiritual reality. This every form veils, but the human form is equipped and fitted to manifest it in a manner different to any other expression of divinity and so make tangible and objective that for which the whole creative process was intended."
I think the first sentence of that statement is pretty easy to grasp, but I had to read the second one a few times. Remember, she is writing from an esoteric or occult viewpoint, which takes the view that the physical world is like drapery hung over the inner life. One could just as easily reason that all of nature, including human nature, is the living expression of divinity at every moment.
She is saying, essentially, that every form in nature veils the inner life of spirit, and that the soul is hidden within what we see every day. But there is something in the human form (represented by Virgo) that is in a position to make divinity tangible in a way unique in all the world (or universe), and which is the intent of the entire evolutionary process.
This notion rates human experience as the most important experience on the planet (debatable, and also a position held by some religions). But maybe if we took that seriously, we would be kinder to other living things and the planet herself. Humans really are in the position of noblesse oblige. Many humans claim that we're special; certainly, much has been given to us. The concept suggests that "noble ancestry constrains to honorable behavior; privilege entails to responsibility."
Next, she adds a bit of interesting ancient data, which we don't have any conventional way to verify. "The word Virgo itself is a descendant of and corruption of the ancient Atlantean root name which was applied to the mother principle in those far-off times. This Virgin was the founder of the matriarchy which then dominated civilization and to which various myths and legends bear evidence and which have come down to us concerning Lilith, the last Virgin Goddess of Atlantean times."
In other words, the sign Virgo represents the feminine principle of divinity in its entirety. We might think of that as the spirit that animates mater-mother-matter, our entire earthly life, our bodies, and all we do and create within the material plane.
Bailey also associates Virgo with Mary, "who carries the [evolutionary] process down to the plane or place of incarnation, the physical plane, and there gives birth to the Christ child." She adds that "Virgo is, therefore, the opposite pole of spirit and stands for the relation of these two after they have been brought together."
In other words, Virgo represents the physical embodiment of spirit and the form into which the soul incarnates.
Everyone has Virgo somewhere in their chart, and thus, working in their lives. I would offer the idea that the urge or impulse to bring the divine force into our lives tangibly, as healing and service, that each of us encounters where Virgo is in our charts is the impulse to give birth to something intended to heal the world.