Tag Archives: Virgo

Why is the zodiac sign of Virgo called the virgin?

Why is the sign of  Virgo called the virgin?

Virgo

Virgo

This question raises the interesting issue of how the usage and meaning of words changes from one historical period/cultural phase to another. Within our current culture the word virgin when applied to humans generally means sexually intact. However, in ancient times when matriarchal religions were practised, the word virgin and the astrological sign of Virgo held a deeper and more complex set of meanings.

For example, the priestesses who served the ancient virgin goddesses Atargatis and Artemis were anything but virgin in our contemporary sense of the word. They were women who belonged to themselves and the goddess(es), whose duties to the temple were paramount and who owed allegiance to no particular male partner. Indeed, it was commonplace with those priestesses who had children to foster them out. They were too busy with their sacred duties to have much time for motherhood.

(Virgo’s contemporary association with perfectionism, attention to detail, and devotion to work began a very long time ago!)

The eminent astrologer, writer and teacher Dr Liz Greene expresses the essence of what the sign Virgo is about in her “Astrology of Fate” p 215:

“….this issue does not deal solely with sexual matters, but embodies an entire view of life….I would understand it more as an openness to the flow of life, a willingness to trust the natural order, an acceptance of penetration and change….”

In the chapter “Myth and the Zodiac”, pp 211-220, Liz Greene offers a very full account of the complex, paradoxical mythology and symbolism connected to the sign of Virgo. I commend it to you!

If you’d like to read some more factual aspects of this topic, try this Wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgo_(astrology).

Zodiac

300 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2018

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page of Writing from the Twelfth House

Guest Slot : ‘Unruly Tricksters of the Twelfth House’ by Jude Cowell

The planet Mercury – my ruling planet – has certainly earned his tricksterish reputation in my life, never more so than when he turns retrograde, this time in Virgo. Just as he quit dancing around my 9 Virgo Ascendant, disappearing into the Twelfth House this week, I decided to re-visit some articles in my Writing from the Twelfth House blog, an archive since May last year. Just on cue, up popped one of the most frequently read posts on that site: all about trickster Mercury and the Twelfth House!

I love it when astrology does that…

Gorgeous Mercury

Mercury, by Praxiteles – isn’t he gorgeous?

So –I am delighted to be re- publishing this topical article by prestigious and prolific USA fellow blogger, my friend from Georgia, Jude Cowell. During that season of three weeks (13/8 – 5/09 2017) when the ultimate planetary trickster, Mercury, turns retrograde and challenges us all with communication conundrums, Jude poses and answers a few mercurial conundrums of her own…

” Having astrology’s trickster planet, Mercury, or Mercury-ruled Gemini or Virgo, associated with one’s natal twelfth house can be quite a ‘tricky’ proposition for anyone to manage.

When one considers the unconscious nature of the twelfth house and Mercury’s rulership of our thinking and communicating processes, the picture becomes fraught with possibilities for confusion, doubt, and awkwardness.

In fact, in similar fashion to this blog’s creator and author, the gracious Anne Whitaker, I am communicating with you from the twelfth house right now, with sixteen degrees of a mercurial sign directing the show from behind the curtain.

As you know, repressed energies of the twelfth house (12th h) are identified by planets posited there, and by those which are connected by sign and aspect to the house of Self-Undoing and Karma, the 12th h of the Unconscious.

But when fleet-of-foot Mercury is involved, we can be certain that unbidden thoughts will frequently float up into consciousness from the watery depths of the Neptunian realms of the unconscious – some useful and to be acted upon, others not as useful and to be disregarded.

Mysterious Mercury

Mysterious Mercury

A 12th house Mercury may give a tendency to talk to oneself, and the old caution that it’s ‘okay as long as one doesn’t answer back’ may be moot with Mercury involved in the house of the Unconscious – for talk back the trickster will, and often out loud at the most inappropriate times or in awkward ways.

“Foot-in-mouth” syndrome is a common manifestation of the predicament of having connections between the Unconscious psychological 12th house and our thinker-communicator planet.

Plus, ‘The Fool’ card in the Tarot deck illustrates neutral Mercury’s brash characteristics quite well as he/she haplessly opens mouth to insert foot – and usually at the worst of moments…the ‘speak first, think later’ tendency.

Yet that is where Astrology can aid us in understanding these mercurial 12th house dynamics and learning to make productive use of them so that we don’t mistakenly shoot ourselves in the very foot we placed in our mouths. Now that would be a definite ouch!

Directing mercurial 12th house energies outwardly into the wider world may produce a writer or other type of artisan who draws upon knowledge from the collective unconscious and expresses it on behalf of mankind, while remaining the private sort of person that a mercurial 12th house requires.

But before projecting them outwardly, it’s important to replace self-defeating attitudes (such as the repeating loop in our heads of mother’s old discouragements: “oh, you can’t figure that out,” or “what would you know about it?”, etc.) with a more positive attitude; for after all, neutral Mercury can ‘go either way’ – so why not take the high road? Especially since we know that decision-maker Mercury, in his Hermes disguise, is the mystery guide at the crossroads of life, isn’t he?

So aspects to planets in, or associated with the 12th house (or its cusp), show us how and where to use these repressed, unconscious energies to best advantage by ‘tricking the trickster’ and turning them into the talents they truly are.

And developing our verbal and non-verbal creative work is one of the better ways to manage these unruly mercurial scamps of the 12th house while benefiting the collective simultaneously; attempting to push these energies further beneath the oceanic 12th house surface only causes them to fester and become even more distorted than they were from being stifled during childhood by the adults around us who had their own 12th house issues to deal with. And perhaps they didn’t manage it as well as we, with Astrology’s instruction, may now.

So rather than setting ourselves up for subliminally undoing ourselves from the unconscious 12th house, I say: let the 12th house trickster breathe freely, romp with the other kids, take up his quill or paintbrush, and reveal mercurial insights for the benefit of all! “

Zodiac

Zodiac

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(Written for Anne Whitaker to use, with Jude Cowell’s  permission)

700 words Copyright Jude Cowell /Anne Whitaker 2017

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page of Writing from the Twelfth House

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Check out Stars over Washington for Jude’s outspoken astrological and political commentaries on USA’s current affairs….and Jude Cowell Astrology for her varied astrological writings.

Jude Cowell

Lifelong artist Jude Cowell is a native of Athens, Georgia and an Astrology novice since 1996. She attended Atlanta College of Art in her younger years where she studied Fashion Illustration, Layout, and Design, and has exhibited her artwork in Athens, Augusta, and Atlanta, Georgia. She now displays her colored pencil drawings exclusively online.

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How did the sign of Virgo get its name?

While I am away on a short break, here is an early post, from my back catalogue – very rarely commented on ( go on!! ) but very frequently read:

Virgo‑Zodiac‑Sign

To read the post, click below:

https://astrologyquestionsandanswers.com/2013/07/09/why-is-the-zodiac-sign-of-virgo-called-the-virgin/

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  • 50 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2016

    Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

‘The Moon’s Nodes in Action’ – free e-book !

“Never say never!” How true this is. I thought I’d never be able to resurrect the whole text of ‘The Moon’s Nodes in Action’ from its cyber-grave of apparently unopenable files going back to the 1990s. As we all know, that decade is literally prehistoric in Internet terms.

However, I reckoned without the ingenuity of my colleague, Willie Miller of co-occurrence, whose company has thus far published three elegant e-versions of my books. It is about to do the same for the research study I wrote to complete my three-year Diploma from the Centre for Psychological Astrology in London, awarded in November 1998.

At that time, the Centre’s Director Dr Liz Greene described ‘The Moon’s Nodes in Action’ as “…a superb thesis…” I was of course, delighted to have my work described in those terms. But life moved on, other projects beckoned. The thesis gathered dust, the files slowly became antiquated. But I never lost my interest in the Moon’s Nodes…

Many people – myself included – find the Moon’s Nodes fascinating. What you will shortly read is a comprehensive, original piece of research, born from my curiosity and interest over many years. As  fellow writer and astrologer Paul F Newman says in his generous preface to the study:

“… this book is about….  Nodal Returns, Nodal synastries, Nodal ‘trawls’ and Nodal moments.  A knowledge-gathering journey through the lives and charts of the famous and not so famous – yet with the excitement of a personal quest and the inestimable benefit of coming through the pen of a gifted writer.  Herein are facts – not theories – that you can use to enrich your own astrological interpretations and personal understanding of the Moon’s Nodes in Action….”

I have decided to offer out this research as a free gift to any student or teacher of astrology who wishes to add to their existing knowledge of the Moon’s Nodes, not from a theoretical basis, but as they actually operate in the lives of people both famous and ‘ordinary’.

Please note that the study was written in 1998 and I have chosen not to update it, but simply to present the research as I completed it at the time. Being aware that other astrologers have published their own research since then,  I am happy  to make my small contribution, albeit somewhat retrospectively!

The Nodal Return cycle is 18.6 years. When I wrote the study, the North Node was in the sign of Virgo. I have just realised that it returns there in November 2015, the year my research is finally published in its entirety, eighteen years after I first began to write it in the autumn of 1997…

I will let my readers know when the download of  ‘The Moon’s Nodes in Action’, elegantly rendered as an e-book by co-occurrence, is available…likely by the beginning of July 2015… if you want to pre-order a copy, just send your email address to me, at info@anne-whitaker.com

UPDATE  JULY 2015

 ‘The Moon’s Nodes in Action’ IS NOW AVAILABLE!

Zodiac

Zodiac

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500 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2015

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

More about Cycles: planning your autumn with the Sun/Moon cycle

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (i)

Since my recent popular post about the Jupiter Cycle, I have had a few requests to write about other planetary cycles. My blogging friend, Linda Leinen, is interested in hearing about the effects of the planets on plant growth. I aim to track down a former student, Janice Sharkey (are you reading this, Janice?!) who is a specialist in astrological gardening, to contribute a Guest post on this fascinating topic. 

 In the meantime, I thought it might be useful to introduce the fundamental regulating cycle of life on Earth – the cycle of the Sun and Moon. I’ve included a light-hearted ‘guide’ on how best to use the upcoming energies of the autumn new moons in Virgo, Libra and Scorpio.

The Sun/Moon Cycle

The Sun/Moon Cycle

marianneohagan.com

Sun and Moon – heavenly partners

Astronomically, we know that the Moon is a small satellite of the Earth, and the Sun is the great cosmic life-giver, much, much farther out in space. By a planetary quirk, the Moon is 400 times smaller than the Sun, but 400 times nearer the Earth, so we see them as the same size.This is why eclipses can occur, since at the time of a solar eclipse the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, blocking out its light totally if the angle of observation is exact.

Astrologers distill symbolic meaning from the astronomical facts of our solar system. They see the Sun and Moon as of equal but complementary importance in the quest to understand the ever-shifting dance of cosmic energy, and where we fit in.

The Sun is rather like the Greek hero Jason, setting out on his quest for the Golden Fleece; the Moon, the unfolding pattern of the quest and the experiences which arise from it. The Sun is cerebral, seeking to create meaning from experience. The Moon is the body, receiving and interacting with that experience of everyday life from which meaning can be distilled.

The monthly weaving

The movements of all nine planets plus the Moon are plotted throughout the year against a 360 degree imaginary circular band in the sky called the Zodiac, which is divided into twelve thirty degree sectors called Aries, Taurus, Gemini and so on.

The Sun and the Moon have a 29.5 day cycle of relationship with each other, beginning with a conjunction at the New Moon, when the Sun and Moon occupy the same part of the sky. On 25 August 2014, for example, the New Moon takes place in the Virgo sector, which the Sun will occupy for most of September. After about three days the beautiful, fragile waxing crescent moon appears, indicating that the energy of a new cycle of earthly life has begun to take shape.

 

The Moon moves much faster than the Sun. Within a week, it has moved on to Sagittarius. The Sun and Moon are now at an angle of 90 degrees to each other.The Moon has become fatter, more substantial. Equally, the energy of the cycle has established itself in concrete action. Two weeks into the cycle, we have the Full Moon, with the Moon now in Pisces, opposite the Sun.

The energy of the cycle at this point is at its most potent and visible. In ancient times, the full moon point was an important one, eg in the timing of rituals. Symbolically, the energy of that point had a charging-up effect on whatever was being enacted. The contrast between the forces of light and darkness, birth and death, masculine and feminine, was at its most amplified and potent. Even in this era of electric light and rational analysis, many people can detect a heightening of their energy and emotions at the time of the full moon.

By the last quarter, a week before the next New Moon, the Moon is visible in Gemini, 90 degrees apart from the Sun again, returning this time to meet it.The energy of the month’s cycle is fading. The splendidly full moon has diminished markedly in girth. Like the autumn of the year, the efforts of the earlier phase of the cycle have produced results which are now being harvested, for good or ill.

The next New Moon falls on 24 September, in Libra. 21-24 September represents the very end of the cycle which began in Virgo. This period was known to the Ancients as Moondark – a time of ending, as the old cycle dies, and the new one prepares to be born from the dark womb of the night.

Personal timing – some practical tips

Farmers do not plant their corn in the autumn. That is the time for reaping, just as sowing should occur in the spring, when new life is beginning to surge up from the earth refreshed by its long winter rest.

Thus we can use the Sun/Moon cycle in a very practical way, to help us set our own activity in the context of the natural waxing and waning of the energy of life through space and time.The guidelines which follow can only be general; for specific detail we each have our individual life blueprint or horoscope.

The horoscope or birth chart shows, in symbolic form, the characters who enact the play of our lives as the script, ie the ever-changing movement of the planets, unfolds the action of the drama. Nevertheless, the Sun/Moon cycle offers a useful structure in broad terms. Let’s explore how this can offer an aid to planning over the next few months.

Autumn Guidelines

If you are intending to initiate something, eg a business, a marriage, a new project in the home, try to wait if you can until there is a New Moon which reflects the nature of the enterprise.The new moons over the autumn of 2014 are in Virgo on 25 August, Libra on 24 September, and Scorpio on 23 October.

Virgo is an earth sign, its energies strongly service oriented, practical, and good at managing detail. It is also extremely hard working, and analytical.So – the Virgo new moon would be an ideal time to start that blitz on your admin system which you’ve been putting off all year, or for putting special effort into re-organising and cleaning up the garden.

Libra, another air sign, is connected to the arts, the aesthetic side of life, and to relationship. Thus the Libran new moon would be ideal for re-decorating your home, taking up an arts-related hobby like painting or theatre-going – or setting that wedding date…

Scorpio is a water sign, very much connected to emotional intensity and passion.It also has strong links to all those aspects of life which carry a powerful charge: sex, death, psychotherapy and money being just a few. So if you want to embark on a passionate affair, make your will, sort out a deep-rooted emotional problem which has been left to fester, or persuade your bank manager to give you that big loan, this is the month to do it!

At the New Moon point, life’s energies are still fluid, unformed, and the Moon itself is invisible. Initiatives are best taken between three and seven days later – from the first waxing crescent to the first quarter.

Moondark is the last three days of the cycle.The Moon disappears then, as the energy of the month wanes. It is wise to avoid initiating something important during this time; it is best used for winding down, withdrawal, contemplation and reflection, stock-taking, preparing for the new.

Many readers will know some of the stories of King Arthur, the legendary king of ancient times. He ruled just as the old pagan beliefs were being superceded by the rise of Christianity. When he married Guinevere, he did so in a Christian ceremony at Moondark. The pagan priests were appalled at this. “No good will come of it ” was their view.They were right. The marriage of Arthur and Guinevere was barren, and she spent most of it in love with another man, the knight Sir Launcelot.

Applying the cycle to the Big Picture

The metaphor of the monthly Sun/Moon cycle can be used as a template for helping to understand the much longer cycles of human life. The biggest cycle astrologers work with is the Neptune Pluto cycle: those two planets meet only once every 492 years, and this New Moon point symbolises the start of a whole epoch of human development.

The most recent one took place in 1891/2 in Gemini, ushering in the communications revolution which in a hundred years has radically altered the way we conduct life on earth. The previous one, also in Gemini, occurred in 1398/9, prefacing the Renaissance and the Reformation, two major shaping processes in European and world history.

But whether the cycle is huge, like the Neptune Pluto one, or small, like the monthly Sun/Moon one, the same basic stages apply: seeding, germinating, sprouting, flowering, ripening, harvesting, dying back in preparation for the new.

At a deep unconscious level, we all live out the unfolding energies of our era, sensing inner timings without the help of any astrologer. But astrology is valuable in its ability to offer a symbolic framework from which individuals can gain greater clarity, conscious awareness, and confirmation of their personal connection with the Big Picture.

Good astrological practice should support people in their courage to be themselves, help them to see that “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”.

References

(i) The Bible : Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 Verse 1

Zodiac

Zodiac

1600 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2014
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

 

Why is the zodiac sign of Virgo called the virgin?

Question:

 from  ThatHairlessBaby :

Why is the sign of  Virgo called the virgin?

My Answer:

This question raises the interesting issue of how the usage and meaning of words changes from one historical period/cultural phase to another. Within our current culture the word virgin when applied to humans generally means sexually intact. However, in ancient times when matriarchal religions were practised, the word virgin and the astrological sign of Virgo held a deeper and more complex set of meanings.

For example, the priestesses who served the ancient virgin goddesses Atargatis and Artemis were anything but virgin in our contemporary sense of the word. They were women who belonged to themselves and the goddess(es), whose duties to the temple were paramount and who owed allegiance to no particular male partner. Indeed,it was commonplace with those priestesses who had children to foster them out. They were too busy with their sacred duties to have much time for motherhood. (Virgo’s contemporary association with perfectionism, attention to detail, and devotion to work began a very long time ago!)

The eminent astrologer, writer and teacher Dr Liz Greene expresses the essence of what the sign Virgo is about in her “Astrology of Fate” p 215:

“….this issue does not deal solely with sexual matters, but embodies an entire view of life….I would understand it more as an openness to the flow of life, a willingness to trust the natural order, an acceptance of penetration and change….”

In the chapter “Myth and the Zodiac, pp 211-220, Liz Greene offers a very full account of the complex, paradoxical mythology and symbolism connected to the sign of Virgo. I commend it to you!

If you’d like to read some more factual aspects of this topic, try this Wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgo_(astrology).

Thanks for your stimulating question!

Many thanks to my increasing band of new visitors, Followers and commenters out there. Drop by with your observations….. and, of course,  your Questions !

Zodiac

350 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2013

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page of Writing from the Twelfth House

“Astrological” twins: do they exist ?

Linda’s Question:

Submitted on 2013/06/27 at 5:43 pm
I’ve always found twins fascinating. What’s even more fascinating is the kind of relationship that develops between people who aren’t blood relatives of any sort, yet seem to be “cut from the same cloth”. We talk about being “simpatico” – has anyone ever done any studies on such people to see if there are similarities in their charts?

My Answer:

Well, most regular practitioners of astrology do this kind of research at least informally as part of both their work and their own lives.

For example, I used to wonder why most of my close friends and associates, work colleagues and bosses were Sun Virgos, Pisceans and Aquarians. Then I had my horoscope drawn up.

I found that a key axis in the horoscope, ie the Ascendant/Descendant which describes how you meet the world, the persona you present to that world, and key relationships you draw to you – was in the signs of Virgo and Pisces. Thus quite unconsciously I was drawing to me relationships with people whose solar energies symbolically complemented my own….

Furthermore, the sign opposite to Leo in the zodiac wheel is Aquarius, and you know the old saw about opposites attracting!

Anne W Horoscope

Anne W Horoscope

(click on image to enlarge)

Time and again I have known marriage/relationship partnerships where one person is Sun Leo and the other Aquarius, or vice versa.  Or Sun Taurus and Sun Scorpio. Or Sun Capricorn and Sun Cancer. And so on, all round the opposite pairs in the Zodiac circle. I am married to an Aquarian, and his Aquarian brother also has a Sun Leo wife – so we are one small illustration of this!

Also, when I got around to drawing family horoscopes, I discovered my father and mother both had Virgo as their Ascending signs. My brother and sister both have the sign of Virgo strongly emphasised in their horoscopes. My husband has a Virgo Ascendant, as does my (Sun in Pisces) stepson, and my stepson’s stepfather, who used to be married to my sister (work that one out….)

Any set of family horoscopes has similar variations on key themes, where the planetary placements and the zodiac signs in which they fall symbolically tell a vivid story of interweaving energy patterns, both clashing, compulsive and harmonious – as in life lived out.

Furthermore, in nearly twenty years of teaching astrology classes to a very wide range of students ranging in occupation from bus drivers to consultant psychiatrists (who both turned up in the same class one year) I found over and over again that the planetary pattern of the horoscope which I always drew up for the date, time and place of the start of the class was reflected in striking ways in the horoscopes of the students who turned up.

One year stands out in my memory. I began the class when there was a line-up of several planets in the dark, intense and powerful sign of Scorpio. The class composition that year was like no other before or since: all ten of the students had a preponderance of planets in Scorpio and/or strong emphases on the planet Pluto, ruler of the sign Scorpio.

I enjoyed teaching the class , an intense and powerful bunch of people who absorbed every word I said ( I think….!) but said very little. It was exhausting though. Like teaching a black hole!

On a totally contrasting note, there was another year where the dominant energies of the horoscope for that class were much, much lighter and “buzzier”.

The sun and other planets (as I recall) were concentrated in the signs of Virgo and Libra, with the planet Mercury dominant. This symbolism was expressed in a hardworking, charming and co-operative, and highly communicative  group of students who were very easy to work with.

Two students from that group, Doreen and Sheilagh ( just in case they happen to read this – I know they will not mind being mentioned! ) had such similar horoscopes that I asked them to sit beside each other, commenting that they would find a great deal in common. Nearly a quarter of a century later, they are still very good friends…..astrological twins in spirit…..

I hope this gives you a flavour of what it is like observing through the lens of astrological symbolism the shifting dance of interconnected energy comprising our small earthly world.

The great thing about astrology ‘beyond the sun signs‘ is its ability to illustrate – to those of us whose imaginative range is not constrained by reductionism – that there is not only meaning but also teleology embedded in our small lives as they unfold within the vast cosmic dance….

Zodiac

Zodiac

800 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2013

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page of Writing from the Twelfth House