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|Abstract meaning||Concrete and Traditional Meaning||Part of Body Ruled|
The judgement of self and of life upon all creative activities
Discrimination through a critical analysis of the fruits of action.
Critical discrimination of the mind.
Analytical faculties, susceptibility
Readiness to serve or to be served.
|The small intestines and the general food metabolism
The solar plexus.
|I Seek My Self through What I Have|
|positive natural tendency||misuse or exaggeration of trait|
helpful and unassuming
clear and sharp-eyed
dependable and unselfish
precise and meticulous
born researcher and scientist
calm and self-reliant
manipulative and underhanded
indecisive and a hoarder
forgets where things are
superficial and secretive
nervous and utterly dependent
|Physical Characteristics||Mental Tendencies|
average height or a little above
oval face, dark hair, eyes and coomplexion
fond of learning
active mind, good mental abilities, critical
thoughtful, methodical, ingenious
sometimes rather undecided but usually precise though nervous and lacking self-confidence
perceptive and somewhat intuitive
|Emotional Key Words||Mental Key Words|
kindly, humane, a highly evolved type who lives to serve mankind without thought of self, domestic, melancholy, somewhat petty, fussy, superficial in affairs of the heart.
ingenious, witty, studious, dextrous, versatile, introspective, scientific, methodical, skeptical, critical, fears disease and poverty, ulterior in motive, self-centered, scheming.
According to the A to Z Horoscope Maker and Delineator by Llewellyn George, in Virgo, the Sun makes the native modest, thoughtful, and serious, a contemplative and industrious person with a desire to refine the mind and acquire knowledge. They learn quickly and are philosophical, good reasoners who usually have an excellent commmand of language. Virgoans have good endurance with reserve force, recuperating quickly, and as a rule don't show their age. They are quick-tempered but they are not fighters, much prefering arbitration. They love order, beauty, art and literature. Not easily discouraged or kept down, they are somewhat given to worry. Idealistic yet practical, frugal yet speculative, they are ingenious, carfeul and cautious, and unusually endowed with good forethought. Very active, they are seldom contented for a long period at a time. They desire wealth but for some reason they are not able, as a rule, to acquire wealth easily. They are very interested in hygienics, diet and labor conditions.
Taking things apart is also of great interest to Virgo who loves to break things down into their many interrelated pieces, and then study each piece intently while learning how that particular part is meant to function. What practical purpose does it serve, and how is it constructed to do its job? How do the pieces interact, and what happens when certain parts don't interact well? Virgo knows that this in itself can lead to an overall malfunction, as Virgo is the first sign to note the consequences of such disharmony. Details may be important to the understanding of how life works, but Virgo's mind needs to be forever organized to enable it to weed out nonessentials. Whereas Gemini, the other Mercury ruled sign, finds all information temporarily stimulating, Virgo devises a rating system in terms of relevancy, because fussing with less-important details can sidetrack his main objective and fail to help build the momentum needed to successfully move forward in life. When others find themselves stuck in irrelevant matters that eat up their time and energy, Virgo's job is to discriminate, to know what needs attention versus what can be put aside for the moment. Virgo's challenge is learning not to become overwhelmed by trivial issues, and learning to be selective about what to focus its mind on its biggest lesson.
In Virgo the practicality of earth and the adaptability of mutability are combined with the intelligent influence of Mercury to produce a modest yet discriminating nature that is oriented toward service. The maiden in the symbol for this sign is usually shown holding an ear of corn, thus combining the idea of purity with that of fertility. Like other earth signs, Virgo people like to work with the earth and its products, not so much in a spirit of ownership, like Taurus, or ambition like Capricorn, as in a desire to be useful. Although Virgo shares the spirit of service with its opposite, Pisces, it is very unlike Pisces in that it takes nothing on faith. Virgoans are distinguished by their highly developed critical and analytical faculties. They are capable of the finest discriminations, distrusting things that do not hang together logically, or people who are too emotional, for that matter. Their fussiness can be infuriating, but their ability to focus on detail and their willingness to do something over until it is right is what makes them the craftsmen of the zodiac.
The same qualities that make Virgos such good workers can cause them unhappiness in their personal lives. Because they are painfully conscious of all the imperfection in the world (in themselves as well as in others), they are often dissatisfied. They sometimes have trouble learning to trust, and are slow to make a personal commitment, earning them a reputation for being standoffish. However, once they have made a choice, usually a sensible one, they are devoted partners, with all the sensuality of the other earth signs.
There is a misconception about Virgo because it is associated with the Virgin, and because they are cautious about the private, physical intimacies they share with others, and so may refrain from giving in to their sexual impules in pressured, careless situations. Virgo knows that unplanned sex can later prove to be problematic, and rather than let momentary passion invite such complications into one's life, Virgoans let their heads rule their hormones in this regard. Actually, the label of Virgin more accurately implies that this sign strives to remain true to its essence - keeping its honor and virtue intact - rather than allow itself to be penetrated and thus corrupted by the baser energies of others. Virgo wants to retain its real, unembellished nature, and remaining self-possessed is one way to help make sure it will stay relatively uncontaminated.
In Archetypes of the Zodiac, Kathleen Burt tells us that each year as we enter Virgo, the mood of the Earth itself seems to become more withdrawn, introspecitve, quieter. Hermes of the autumn leaves is not the same gossipy messenger-god of breezy spring, of Gemini. In considering Mercury/Hermes as Virgo's ruler, several images come to mind. There is the Alchemical Mercurius who, standing in yellow sulfur fumes with tears running down his face, turns the Wheel of Transformation, slowly and patiently accomplishing the impossible and even irrational task of uniting the opposites, reconciling scientific paradoxes or "squaring the circle." In the process of alchemical purification Hermes' virtues are those of the Virgo archetype: patience, purification or perfectionism, meticulous attention to technique and procedure, obedience to methodoology, industriousness, and most important, humility. Jung, in Alchemical Studies explains that sulfur is a negative symbol, referring to facing the dark side of ourselves, our animal instincts, which are to be tansformed, for it is out of the unconscious rather than from the scientific, rational, conscious mind, that Hermes' magic comes.
To the Greeks and Romans, Virgo was associated with the goddess Astraea, symbol of justice, who reigned on earth during the Golden Age of Saturn (to the Greeks). It is she who was fixed in the heavens when she retired from the world, disgusted by humankinds' decline to its present state of corruption, and where she can be seen to this day holding the Scales of Justice, Libra. However, it has always been the myth of Demeter and Persephone which is most strongly associated with Virgo, for Virgo rules the harvest season when Persephone is preparing to leave the world and seek the darkness once again. The glyph for Virgo is said to represent the harvest goddess holding grain which can only be Demeter (Ceres), and Demeter ruled Virgo in the schema of the twelve Olympians. The round of the seasons has always been symbolized in myth as a cosmic drama involving the earth mother and her child, most often male, and serving as the earth mother's lover as well as her son. The consort of the Great Goddess has his time of fruitfulness, followed by his symbolic death and journey into the underworld. Virgo's occurrence at the turning of the seasons makes it a natural association with this myth. Of course in the Persephone myth, both the key figures, mother and child, are female. To the Egyptians, Virgo was the goddess Isis with the sun-child Horus on her lap, while Medieval Christians saw this same constellation as the Virgin Mary holding the Christ child, the Christian story being simply the most recent version of the myth of the Great Goddess and her dying child. The modern age is permeated with this myth, for Pisces is, in many ways, the dying god, while its opposite sign, Virgo, is the mother. When Michaelangeol sculpted the Pieta, he created the mythic image for an entire cycle of history.
In Virgo we have reached the third aspect of the Great Goddess, having first encountered her in Taurus, then in Cancer. In Taurus she was celebrated with full round belly and breasts, as giver of life; in Cancer her connection was with the young infant, i.e., the mother-child relationship. Here in Virgo, at the third stage, Demeter must sacrifice her young child to another world, and thus we are witnessing the first stage of severing the bond of mother and child so that the child can enter new realms. In the Holy Mother and Child version so important in Christianity, the child is sacrificed to the collective spiritual realm of Pisces, where he is finally one with the Father. It is the final phase of this archetype, the Virgo/Pisces polarity, which humanity is living through at this time. We will encounter the fourth stage of feminine power in Scorpio, where Kore becomes Persephone, a woman initiated into her own realm of power independent from her mother.
Much of the appeal of a 10,000 BCE catastrophe comes from the fact that the Earth did see a major catastrophe in 10,000 BCE. That period roughly marked the end of the Last Ice Age, a period in which it is known that ice melted and consequently water levels rose. Although hardly a Deluge, the fact is that at the end of the Ice Age, species like the woolly mammoth, which roamed the North American content, died extremely sudden, and it remains a fact that the end of the Ice Age did away with a number of species including the megatherium, Irish elk, cave bear, cave lion, and the last of the sabre-toothed cats. (The mammoth went extinct in Eurasia and North America, but was preserved in small island populations until ~1650 BC.) Known as the Quaternary extinction event, it has been ongoing since the conclusion of the mid-Pliestocene epoch, the world's recent period of repeated glaciations extending from 2,586,000 to 9,700 years BCE. The name pleistocene is derived from the Greek pleistos ("most") and kainos ("new"). The end of the Pleistocene corresponds with the end of the last glacial period. and also with the end of the Paleolithic age used in archaeology.
The climate record shows that while the Ice Age was drawing to a close, an event occurred that resulted in an extension of the Ice Age a further 1300 years. What this event was remains a matter of intense scientific speculation. Geophysicist Allen West has proposed that an asteroid or comet exploded just above the Earth’s surface. West argued that an explosion over Canada created a shock wave, setting large parts of the northern hemisphere ablaze. Ken Tankersley, professor of Anthropology at the University of Cincinnati, studied diamonds recovered in Ohio, concluding that these originated from the diamond fields region of Canada. At first, Tankersley proposed that glaciers had brought down these diamonds – as well as gold and silver – from the Great Lakes,but quickly changed his mind in favor of West’s catastrophic approach when he realised that this conclusion was inconsistent with the evidence. For these diamonds to be located so far south requires a truly cataclysmic event like, as West argues, a comet impact.
West believes that the object that exploded over Canada was a three-mile wide comet, creating an explosion equivalent to 10,000 Tunguska explosions going off at once. Tunguska was an enormously powerful explosion near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in what is now Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, at about 7:14 a.m. KRAT (0:14 UT) on June 30 [O.S. June 17], 1908. It is believed to have been caused by the air burst of a large meteoroid or comet fragment a few tens of metres across at an altitude of 5–10 kilometres (3–6 mi) above the Earth's surface. The explosion of a three-mile wide comet over an area where the soil contained diamonds, gold and silver would throw these metals and diamonds into the sky, some of them falling as far south as Indiana and Ohio. Such a shower might have continued for several months after the initial strike. The larger diamonds would clearly have been visible to the naked eye, dropping like hail stones within seconds of the blasts, and might’ve even hurt if they hit you. But some of them you couldn’t see, and animals would’ve been breathing them in, West states. What caused the mass extinction of the woolly mammoth was the heat from the blast seting the air on fire, along wth North America’s grassland, the furs of animals, and the hair and clothing of humans. But it were not merely mammoths that died. Another casualty of this tremendous explosion was man itself: the Clovis culture, a Stone Age culture that had only relatively recently arrived on the American content, ceased to exist as a consequence of this explosion too. How global this catastrophe was, remains unknown.
Going back to the Middle East, it is a fact that, even though there is no evidence of an Atlantis or a 12,000 year old Sphinx, it is a fact that ca. 10,000 BC, there were the first signs of civilisations, especially on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea. It is the timeframe when Jericho was founded, as well as the first building phase of the temple complex at Göbekli Tepe. Elsewhere, there is evidence of harvesting, as well as the cultivation of figs in the Jordan River valley: in short, the earliest signs of that great new human adventure that would become civilisation. Many scientists consider these sites to be the cradles of civilisation, but one can only wonder whether they were merely the remnants – refugees – of a catastrophe. Veritable descendents of Noah that might have survived a Deluge?
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Virgo, the Virgin, from Bayer's Uranometria of 1603.
Courtesy of the Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering and Technology