Cosmophilia: You Belong Here for Virgo
By Eric Francis
Virgo Part One
Virgo Part Two
Technology has taken over the world. True, that started with the written word, then the printed word, which changed everything: took humans out of tribal consciousness, shaped the destiny of empires and redefined what it meant to be human.
I am on a mailing list devoted to the study of the digital revolution. Today one participant sent out this idea: “Unlike the ‘civilizations’ or ‘nation-states’ of the past, we are now dealing with a technological sphere capable of producing autonomous machines, total surveillance, artificial life and unheard-of material abundance. Traditional geo-politics and economic structures simply cannot deal with any of this.”
I would add that our emotional and mental capacities cannot deal with it, though we try. Our delicate sense of Self cannot handle this, really, and the result is that just about everyone is in overload, nearly all the time. We try to integrate our experiences, our different levels of wisdom, a massive amount of sensory inflow and a central nervous system that is spread around the world by electronic media. All of this feeds back into every individual who is alive today, on some level.
In astrology, the sign Virgo is the central processing area for any experience of this kind. Virgo is the sign of integration — of the senses, mind, emotions, ideas and our responses to all of these things. Those born with a Virgo Sun or rising, or any strong grouping in Virgo, are likely to be extraordinarily busy addressing this integration process.
And it’s not a strictly personal matter. Consider the possibility that anyone with strong Virgo placements (including everyone born during the 1960s) is likely to be involved in doing this work on behalf of the people around them — that is, the work of making sense of the world, no matter how senseless it may seem. You might be doing this as a writer, as a thinker, as an artist, as a composer, as a Web developer or any other task that involves applied intelligence — the keynote of Virgo. This is a fantastic service to provide for the world, and it can fairly easily be turned into a lucrative enterprise because so many people are lost, and struggling for a sense of meaning, purpose or even orientation.
But right now this mission, or background activity (however you’re experiencing it), may have you under some unusual strain. You may be feeling the overload, wondering how you’re going to keep your conduits open wide enough to handle this influx of data.
Since you cannot change your environment (by which I mean the world itself), nor are you in a position to crawl under a rock or likely to relocate to a hut by the beach in Indonesia, the one thing to focus on is your perspective; another is how you respond to your environment; a third is how you define your mission. You can also learn techniques for data overload, including methods like pattern recognition.
Whatever you do, an understanding of your situation will be vitally helpful. This means understanding your relationships to your environment and the people in it. Most of all it means having enough inner awareness to know how you feel, and to discern whether your current strategies are effective. I would say the next steps are the most significant — do you have any idea how much you can accomplish? You may have a hunch. I suggest spreading out your mind, and tuning into how much strength and wisdom you possess, how eager you are to grow, and how amazing it would be to bring yourself fully into this unusual moment you are in, with your creative capacity working at full strength.
The Wide World of Pisces
Pisces is your opposite sign. Of all the sign pairs in the zodiac, Virgo and Pisces seem to contain one another the most thoroughly. Seen one way the polarity runs from the intellectual/integrative (Virgo) to the intuitive/expressive (Pisces). Imagine how amazing it is to get both of those working together.
Let’s start with a look at Pisces, currently under the influence of four slow-moving planets — potent forces of nature that are coloring, shaping and defining your environment and your experience of it. They include Chiron and Neptune, which are focusing and magnifying the qualities of Pisces in your environment and your relationships.
Neptune at its best can act like a flood of creativity, idealism, beauty and unspeakable meaning. It’s difficult to ground this, or to physically embody it; it’s as if you are looking out at pure potential and wondering what you could possibly do with it.
When strained, Neptune can seem like all image and no substance; it can have an alienating quality, which leaves you feeling like you’re the only person who understands. Neptune can also verge on confusion, misunderstanding and the sense that everything is too slippery to hold or to understand; the idea that there really is no truth.
You must be the mediator here. Neptune transits are tricky because they tend to be invisible; they have an anesthetizing quality that can block discernment, or lead to a state of denial. If any one state of mind is at the bottom of the list of what would help you, denial would be the one. This is a luxury you simply cannot afford.
Fortunately you have considerable help in this regard, in the form of Chiron, a planet long associated with your sign. This too is in Pisces and is providing an awakening effect; a focusing effect. In much the opposite way that Neptune can cloud, deny or diffuse, Chiron can focus anything into clear, documented thought. That Chiron is a Virgo factor means you can project yourself into your environment, go past the denial or idealism, and get right to the truth.
Yet to do this you need to be working this quality consciously, with a kind of vigilance. This is nothing less than the vigilance you would expect in someone you engaged as a healer or technician to assist you with a problem; you expect the dentist and the dental assistant to be fully alert when they’re working on you. You expect an airline pilot to be focused on their task. You expect a teacher to be clear, mindful and honest. That is the ethic of Chiron, though it’s also a mode of thought and of relating that will serve you well. It will serve so well that your natural gift for conducting yourself this way will multiply as you practice.
What is better, the more you devote yourself both to clarity and active learning, the more the profound, encompassing influence of Neptune will manifest as inspiration and love rather than as confusion and denial.
It is fair to say that these are the two basic options you have. The influence of Chiron and Neptune in your relationship/environment house is so strong that on some level you must engage with them. The promise of what they offer is so beautiful that you would be wise to take them on the highest level — to fully embrace their teaching potential. Yes, these are long transits, lasting years; yet the learning processes they describe are equally deep and vast. And despite the seemingly long length of the transits, they constitute not just a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity but one that comes once in many lifetimes.
The shadow side of this could manifest as giving your power away to teachers, leaders, gurus, experts and anyone you perceive knows more than you. There is a way to embrace the learning and the learning opportunities and still maintain your integrity and your power of choice.
In your personal relationships, you may have an idea of the incredible potential that you have, yet at the same time know how conscious you need to be for those experiences to develop in a loving and creative way. That is not a given. Yet to make up for that, your power of awareness and its counterpart, choice, are very much in your hands — and once you learn that skill, of handling awareness and choice as two parts of the same thing, you will gain a skill you will not want to leave behind.
At the essence of that skill is knowing when you know something. That something might be about yourself, about another person or about the world. It does not matter — in the end it’s the same thing, which is confidence in your own knowledge and wisdom.
Transits to Virgo: Give Yourself Room to Grow
Transits to your sign are encouraging you to stretch your idea of who you are so you can fully experience what your world is offering. If you are feeling overwhelmed, your chart is saying you will benefit from thinking of yourself in wider, larger, more creative ways. Your chart is saying spread your mind out like a sail and catch the gust of creativity coming toward you — and from you.
Jupiter arrives in your sign later this year, and will have some of this effect. Yet Jupiter, the traditional ruler of Pisces, counts as more Pisces, which might seem to flood you. Before Jupiter arrives in your sign on Aug. 11, I suggest you do everything in your capacity to stretch your mind and to expand your ideas of who you are.
This may be easier said than done. However, exploring ideas about existence and your relationship to it will help you in this stretching process. The thing to stretch is whatever you encounter when you feel overwhelmed or restricted. The clearest way I can say this is that you can stretch your idea of who you are, not merely as a personality or as the role you play, but as an astonishingly complex, perceptive matrix of intelligence. If you were to slow down and think about how it is that you can guide your body through a crowd along a city street, you would be amazed. Imagine the many millions of lines of code that it would take to teach a computer how to do this. You can just do it. Your senses and your mind work together and guide you through an astonishingly complex, variable maze.
I am describing developing your ability to observe yourself and see how much intelligence it takes for you to do what you already do. You are most of the way to your highest potential. To get there, you need to think of that highest potential, whatever it may be in that moment, in some clear terms that you can actually describe. Then set out some steps that would take you in that direction.
Part of this has to happen on the level of feeling. Sharing a story of how that would work may be able to convey that idea. About 10 years ago, I was summoned to London by Jonathan Cainer, the British horoscope writer. He was about to change newspapers, vacating a spot at the Daily Mirror. I was his choice of successor.
The British horoscope business is very different from the American one — the earning potential for a daily horoscope writer is huge. I knew I was up to the task of the writing. I knew from a diversity of experiences that I could handle and indeed thrive on a job that demanding, with that many readers, at that level of visibility.
I identified that I had a potential energetic issue — that I could not imagine the money potential, which Jonathan said was around half a million dollars a year. I did not want my own lack of capacity for that kind of financial volume to block me from getting the job. So, walking around the streets of London, writing the column I would be writing (as Jonathan had gone “on vacation” so I would get two solid weeks in at the Mirror), I imagined what it would feel like to earn $500,000 a year. More than imagining what I would do with the money, I focused on how it would feel to be that wealthy. I stretched my earning capacity from the inside.
I did not get the job. But from that point forward, I have been able to turn my astrology into a more lucrative business, never compromising quality, selling out or putting money over integrity. It was at that point that I was able to expand my vision for myself as an astrologer and for Planet Waves as a company. Yes, we have all worked for it, but the thing at the essence is, I believe, about being open and feeling how real the potential is. It’s a little daring, I know, because it’s the challenge of exceeding your own beliefs about yourself.
This kind of thought exercise does not apply only to financial capacity. It also applies to creative capacity, the ability to manifest beauty, freedom, feeling better about yourself, and your ability to focus your efforts into something that in your opinion is real and worthwhile.
As I said, Jupiter is coming and will have an expanding effect. But in the eight months before that happens, beginning right now, I suggest stretching your inner capacity to accommodate whatever it is that you want. To do that it will help brilliantly if you envision what you want to become. Then you will get the maximum benefits of Jupiter, because you will have the inner ability to contain and express that energy, that potential, that gift — however you may experience it.
Resolving the Career Non-Dilemma
I have written many times that one of the great gifts of Virgo is the capacity to have two distinct careers. Yet I’m aware that this can create plenty of confusion and may not be seen as a gift. Which is the real you? Here we come back to the central theme of Virgo, which is integration.
Transits through your career house — the 10th house, which for you is Gemini — describe a bold adventure. By that I mean that if you let yourself, you will wander into, dive into, be dragged into, or curiosity will get you into, all kinds of interesting activities. The key here is letting go of your concept of the fixed ‘career’. We are past the days of ‘cradle to grave’ care of IBM, the days of Generous Motors, and other corporate relics.
You, anyway, are probably not cut out for that kind of thing — that kind of ‘one company forever’, gradually escalating the ladder of ‘success’. You need to apply your multiple professional personality assets; your multiple curiosity affects; your absolute need for a fast-changing environment. You were born for the Internet age; for the post-postmodern era when everyone has to make up their own reality as a matter of elementary survival.
And yet you may always feel like you’re confronted with the ‘what to do’ dilemma. I will give you a clue: whatever you do, you are always doing the same thing, which is expressing your best ideas and being as helpful as you can. Whoever you are, you are always doing the same thing, which is expressing yourself with integrity.
The thing to keep in mind is the property of synergy. These many things that you express — be they talents, intentions, drives, ideas — are more than the sum of the parts. I know you may at times feel like your attention is divided. Yet your role is to see yourself relating to the world in an integrated way, where you bring your whole self to everything you do. This means bringing the talents you express one place to another place, and experimenting with applying things that may be wildly divergent to different circumstances.
There is an intensity and a drive to your professional needs right now; to call them needs may be an understatement. Yet it’s vital that you not see your activities as being outside of yourself. Bring yourself fully to whatever you do, no matter now trivial, and you will start to reach the place you’re craving to go.
I would say that more than accomplishing anything in particular, you would benefit from the goal of having faith in yourself. You might say, “If only I could have faith in myself, I could do that.” Give yourself reasons to have faith. Try it as an experiment. Give yourself credit — plenty of credit — for what you’ve accomplished, for the difficulties you’ve come through and the difficulties you’ve avoided. This is an ACTIVE process, something you do, not something that happens to you. You do it, in part, by the messages that you send to yourself.
I would note that one of your greatest assets, available to you or to any organization you serve, is your ability to relate to others. I say this despite any challenges you may have chalked up, any struggles that have indicated otherwise, anything you were told about what you could not do — you have a natural gift for communicating, coordinating and getting clear.
True, to use that gift you must rise to the occasion, with planets filling up your relationship house. Yet you can do that, and I suggest you focus on what a benefit this is to yourself and others. When you make the claim to others, it would be better to show rather than to tell.
The Trap of Specialization
Given the transits that describe your inner space and your outer environment, I see a potential that I think merits comment. One easy response would be to opt for some form of specialization. That is, you may feel with the world in such a chaotic, kaleidoscopic state, and with everything changing so fast, the solution is to become a specialist of some kind. You would do one thing very, very well and not bother with everything else. You can just do what you do best.
Apart from the fact that this will not work for you — your mind and your interests are more diverse than that — it’s not going to stand up to the very onslaught of the environment it’s intended to defend against. Still, it’s a temptation.
The term “Jack of all trades” is not used much anymore, but it was until recently, and it was a real insult — the implication being that if a person is not a specialist, they’re presumed to be incompetent or to lack commitment. Indeed the full expression is “Jack of all trades, master of none.” Who would want to be that? And yet in the present environment, it’s necessary to master many different skills.
Until fairly recently, a massage therapist could be a massage therapist. Now, a massage therapist — to do a real business — must master all of the technology associated with the website, booking, client communications, billing and in some cases payroll. A massage therapist must be a marketing expert, at least of their own business. You’re not just ‘competing’ against other massage therapists; you’re competing against every other holistic practitioner in your area.
Once your business is on the Internet, you’re competing against every other website or delivery method; every other messenger. So just on that level, you have to do something rather different besides assist people with knotted muscles, injuries and the need to relax.
Specialization leads to myopia. It is, in a real sense, a shutdown of adaptation skills, which always insist on existing in real places and times. Specialization also leads to a distortion of one’s experience of the world, which is not only growing more diverse — we are exposed to more of that diversity. Rather than being a specialist of one thing, I suggest you be a specialist at whatever you do. Whatever task you take up, learn at least the basics and plunge in a few core samples and go deep enough to get some context. Indeed, the problem of specialization is lack of context.
Your charts describe a superior ability to focus your attention, though they also describe an environment that is flooding you with experience, sensory impressions and information. You need to be a wide-enough conduit to hold that experience, to see the patterns and also to focus on any one thing and see it for its own value — all in the context of your total environment. The way to drown in the flood is to specialize in one thing. The way to ride the tide in your craft is to be able to do everything you need to do, to keep your craft afloat and your crew safe.
Creative and Sexual Freedom: Respond, not React
There is a facet of your astrology that’s been developing for years, which involves a kind of personal sexual revolution. Sex in the contemporary astrological system is connected to two houses. One focuses on art, fun, play, creativity and games — the 5th house. The other focuses on money, contracts, taxes and the profits of partnership — the 8th house.
These two houses are among the most disjointed in astrology, as people experience them — for example, the near-total divorce of creativity and making money on one’s creative endeavors. Many people just give up on doing their art for business; that is, on doing what they love as a gesture of not just spiritual self-support, but of basic sustenance of one’s life.
This is one of the most serious issues weighing on one’s sense of belonging and participation on Earth. True, most of the great art, music and literature was created in the midst of some kind of huge struggle. But is that really necessary? Why do we take that for granted?
The ground-shaking Uranus-Pluto square is moving through these very houses in your chart. This aspect — influencing everyone and everything, like one of those before-and-after events — is a portable revolution. It’s having two main effects on you.
One is to liberate your sense of identity from the resources and monetary values of other people. That is Uranus in Aries. This is the image of total independence within any relationship — specifically independence of values from those who would make you compromise. The disturbing discovery is how easy it’s been for you to do just that. Now, you may be reacting, or overreacting, to claim back your independence.
Some of that is natural enough, though it’s necessary to watch a tendency to be reactionary. It is possible to establish your independence without throwing everyone out of your life who vaguely offends you or who contradicts your values. Sure, try it once or twice, but rather than being effective, you may find it works against you. Independence is subtle, and some argue it does not even exist. They have a point. We are all interdependent.
Uranus at its best leads you to invent and innovate rather than revolt. Yes, it can wage revolution when necessary, but most revolutions end terribly. What I suggest is tuning into the other half of this aspect pattern, which is Pluto in Capricorn in your 5th house. This is the part of your creative process that says it’s really about an internal evolutionary experience — beginning with clearing space and setting yourself free from antiquated values — about both sex and art.
The place to establish your independence is within yourself. One way to look at this is a kind of inner colonization process. I’ll leave you with an image: let’s say you found out that you had inherited an old warehouse building. It’s a sturdy, old structure, in pretty good shape, but it’s loaded with clutter from past enterprises, going back many years.
You want to use this building as a creative space, and it’s big enough to use as a business space and even to share with others on some terms. But you have to clear it out first.
Based on your astrology, you’ve cleared out the whole first floor. Now I suggest you move in and take over the space. You will, for a while, need to both clear additional space and do your work. As you do that, try considering them the same thing. Make art out of the debris. Sell off what you don’t have use for and toss the rest. But keep clearing space out. Don’t stop till you’ve done every floor, and the basement, and the attic, and the yard. As you clear space, put it to use, including space designated as empty, open space.
And keep making art, or doing business, as this goes on. After a while, the clearing process and the creative process will morph into the same thing. They always were and will be. The more you immerse yourself in this idea, the more liberated you will feel.