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Virgo and Virgo Rising: These Chains are Way Too Long

FIRST WE NEED to talk about freedom and why so many people think it’s dangerous. It is not merely that nearly everyone was conned out of their dreams and talents at a young age; or that we are shamed half to death, to the point where we cannot tell love from guilt until way after the fact; it’s that in a world of supposed “choice” we often take refuge in the absence of love rather than its presence. We think it’s safer not to be free, not to be embraced, and creating this becomes one of the central games of life.


Don’t believe me. Just look around. Look inside. And see if you can think of anyone who has really, genuinely overcome the “games people play” (borrowing from the great Dr. Berne) and actually become an adult, who is meeting the challenges of life in an honest and integrated way. I would hazard a guess that you can count them on one hand. And with love and courage, you are, or will soon be, one of them.

You are now under the influence of astrology that will entice you to do things you’ve never done before; to take risks that are completely alien to your usual frame of reference; and most of all, to let go of the hang-ups that you have, in essence, made your personal religion. It is a religion based almost entirely on the precedents of the past. Astrologers learn that for most of humanity, “the past is the present,” because we carry it around with us, often unconsciously, until it becomes so heavy that we finally have to lay it down.

You have reached that point, or you are close to it, if your charts are any indication at all. All of the significant transits of the coming four to eight seasons are pressing you, perhaps against your will, perhaps reluctantly, perhaps with a sense of adventure, to update your files. Yet as you do so, remember that to step out of the past is to step into freedom, and that comes with its risks. One of those risks is that you may have no precedent for what you do next, except to accept that you are in a new place.

Yet it’s not like you’re entering this time in your life unprepared. The first thing you’ll notice when you actually update those files is that you have, over the past decade or so, established a foundation for yourself. The difficulty is discerning the difference between building on a foundation and living out a pattern based in the past. I think if you’re trying to discern the difference, think of it this way: spiritual and ethical concepts need to be simple and they need to make your life simpler, if not easier. They become the basis for choice.

Living out the past is complicated, and it denies your ability to choose rather than affirming it. Many recent episodes have been an exercise in dealing with the past, exploring it, determining if it was worth your while. Along the way, you have been confronted with the challenge of emotional independence; of reaching downward for your spiritual roots and ensuring that your true nourishment comes from a place much deeper than this world.

There have been those in the past moments when you’ve tried to consciously deceive yourself, or employ some other strategy, to let go of your detailed notions of who you are supposed to be, and discover something new: something that defied reason and rationality and intellect. These prior transformations, so dramatic at the time (circa 1999, 2002, 2007-08) were merely dressed rehearsals for what is coming now, and the real performance is always more fun than the practice runs. Both mistakes and successes count for more at the real production.

Pluto in Capricorn (your 5th solar house)

Virgo is ruled by Mercury, a fast-changing energy. Your planet is retrograde three times a year, and is known for its constant fluctuations. Now, Pluto, the furthest commonly accepted planet from the Sun, has entered an earth sign, and Virgo has come under its direct influence as a result. Instead of moving through a sign in three weeks, Pluto can take between 12 and 20 years. Pluto takes up residence in a sign and never seems to leave. In fact it does arrive and it does leave, and a lot changes along the way.

It has arrived in a particularly interesting angle of your chart: your 5th solar house, which is covered by Capricorn. At first blush, you could not have two more different energies than the 5th and Capricorn. The 5th house takes chances, it wants to play, it’s willing to experiment and it thrives on new experience. Capricorn is usually expressed as conservative, understated, preferring scholarship to experimentation and applying old experience rather than new experience.

When you put the two together, the result is usually something akin to a suppressed childhood. I see this a lot in my Virgo rising clients. Admittedly we live in a society where our childhoods are burdened with responsibility inappropriate for young people and where our adulthoods are aimed at perpetual adolescence. However, it would appear that 5th house Capricorn gives an extra large dose of adult responsibility to children, which is then carried into adult life as frustrating conservatism, propriety and fear of the unknown. Part of the issue is that children with this astrological signature take adult responsibility so seriously.

This makes creative process — essential to any life — difficult because there is psychic liberation involved in creativity; generally having to do things “wrong” in order to get them right; there is an experiment involved; you enter the unknown in order to get to a new place. Creativity is almost always driven by passion, and passion (at least at first) must exist independently of self-control.

It’s not going to happen all at once; Pluto transits never do. This one began with a very strong start: with a lot of Mars in the equation to fire you up. Indeed, the first month of the year is a kind of energy imprint of what is possible if you let your creative energy out, and if you stop thinking so rationally about your life.

Here is a clue that you may be figuring out. From the outside, this process looks like a person seizing their destiny. In reality, one must be submissive to the creative process. You literally give yourself over; you give yourself; you let go. In our control-obsessed world, that’s not too popular. Notice that more people work in cubicles than in recording studios, painting studios or dance studios. We typically work away from sunlight, plants and one another.

There are certain orientations of your personality (accented by your current transits) that can make this extraordinarily uncomfortable. And while it may seem you are trying to break free from a cubicle or a routine, what you are really breaking free from is a state of mind, which mainly is about working at cross-purposes to yourself.

We waste enormous energy running from our creative force. There is data that says that if the world would cut its meat consumption by 10% there would be enough grain to feed everyone else in the world. Meat is inefficient. That’s about how inefficient resisting your creative force is. And it’s how energizing embracing that inner source can be — and how wasteful avoiding it can be. Pluto here is all about liberating joy, freedom and vitality.

Now, here is the catch. This process is going to require you to retrace some potentially painful aspects of your past. The 5th is one of those places in the chart wherein we tend to hide things. There is a reason things are the way they are, and why you are the way you are. Rather than dwell on that reason, you need to understand it. In essence you need to understand your obsession with the past, and you need to be aware of what facets of your past you are concealing from yourself.

I can offer you a clue. You got a lot of information about this between late 2001 and early 2005. It was like having a window into the karma that you’re now about to completely rework. I suggest you look closely at your family relationships, your sexual relationships and how both influenced your artwork or creative work. If you have children, consider carefully what happened to them, and how your relationship to them evolved during that time. What you may have seen is how much you have in common with them; how much you want to share with them; and the extent to which you want to protect them from the loss of childhood that you endured.

The story of your love affairs during this phase will give you a lot of information as well. The past is always a factor in romance; we bring in so many expectations. I would imagine that you let a few of those go during that brief era.

Pluto is here to help you; to open up these dark spaces in your consciousness and help you make room to allow the frightened child inside you to come out and break out of those bindings. We are all dragging around too much baggage from childhood, and much of this adds up to what we call “ego.” It’s time to start letting that go. Enough ego; it’s time to be a Self.

We both know that this kind of process is not easy; and reclaiming yourself does not happen quickly. In truth, you must devote every expression of creativity, of love, of passion, of art, of exploration to this process of reclaiming. Let each gesture of expressing how you actually feel about something, the first time you open your mouth, be offered to this process of reclaiming. Grant yourself the liberty, first and foremost, to be authentic. Know when you are faking anything: being happy, free, miserable or certain.

And for the love of the Goddess, be aware when your parents — or any version of them — are lurking around when you want to express yourself sexually, artistically or as a parent with your own agenda.

Speaking of Relationships

For the past five years, you’ve been under some unusual pressure in your relationships — to be liberated. This has come in two forms. One is that you’ve found it difficult to have any stability. People have seemed erratic, difficult to deal with, unpredictable and unstable.

The second is that the relationships you have attracted have done their part to shake you out of your reality box, again and again. You have encountered people who have come at you with a lot of energy, far more than you think you want. They have called on you to be more adventurous than you think you want to be. They have pushed you to take risks.

This is about Uranus in your opposite sign, Pisces. I would really have to use my imagination to find a transit more challenging for a Virgo. Uranus in Pisces is either surrounding you, coming at you or wanting to dance with you — and it’s all about a kind of creative chaos.

On one level, this has all been extremely annoying, uncomfortable and difficult. On another, it’s gone a long way to reveal just how stuck you’ve been. There have been people in your life who you were not sure whether to hate or envy for this reason. You may have tried to get rid of a few of them, hoping the energy would go away. It hasn’t worked.

With Saturn in your sign for the past year, it looks like you may have gone into a kind of reaction: retreating into conservatism or wishing you could join a convent. But that very retreat has led to a new series of confrontations, this time more direct. I suggest strongly that you listen to what people are saying, the more so if you don’t “agree” with it. What you are being told may not be exactly what you need to hear, but at the worst, it’s the first cousin.

What you may be noticing is that if you listen, you will hear, and if you hear, you will need to adjust. And while it may seem like you can put off the whole process, you are under the influence of outer planet transits. These are the transits that, depending on how you look at it, either change you, or help you become who you are.

What is interesting is how intimately connected the transits I’ve described are. See if you can follow along with the astro-logic. The 5th house applies to your relationships, as well as your creativity, and Pluto is now in this house, which involves Capricorn.

Capricorn is ruled by Saturn — and Saturn is now in your sign. This is making a strong identification with this energy: on the one hand, the past, and the urgency to get yourself into the present. On the other, Saturn is about your 5th house — the need to really dive in and express yourself.

Saturn itself is taking transits from Uranus — we are now in the midst of the Saturn-Uranus opposition. So from two different angles you are experiencing the direct influence of Uranus. And it works out that both involve your intimate relationships.

The point is this. No matter how resistant you may be to a revolution in this area of your life, it is coming. It may come gently or it may come like a storm; you may go with the flow and experience it as a celebration, or as an impact; but the process is happening and in truth, the peak has just begun.

The Work That You Do

The other location in your chart that is getting unusual emphasis right now is Aquarius, your 6th solar house: the work you do, and more to the point, the life that you live. Here again the astrology could not be more interesting — or more challenging. First, we are entering an Aquarius alignment, including an eclipse of which the world has not seen the likes of since the early 1960s.

Because Saturn rules Aquarius and because Uranus also rules Aquarius, this little face-to-face meeting between these two planets is going to spark up some action in your 6th house. Damn, it’s going to spark up some action on the whole planet. But for you, the feeling is clearly one of being either overwhelmed, or simply shocked out of your routines. I suggest you let go of them now and get used to letting go of them over and over again.

But there is a larger point, which is establishing the patterns that you want to create. Aquarius is like Virgo but with an Airy energetic spin. Its patterns begin in thought and descend to the material plane. Virgo begins in the Earth and its patterns ascend to the level of thought.

Aquarius is specifically inviting you to bring something new in, as if from your crown chakra.

Here we come back to the same basic concept of creative process, of going through past patterns to your core identity. As any artist will tell you, one of the biggest challenges is actually applying your paint to the canvas day to day; picking up the guitar every day; writing your book, a little every day.

Time can be a constraint, but applied properly it is really an ally. Indeed, on many levels of perception, it’s all that we have. The 6th is one of the houses, if not the very house, involved with our perception of linear time — and transcending linear time. Though Pluto may take until 2024 to clear Capricorn, and the Saturn-Uranus opposition will endure until 2010, the Aquarius alignment — with its solar eclipse — is happening right now. Therefore this is a time to take a kind of quantum leap to the next level of your perception and experience.

Sublimation is Not a Good Idea

I would caution about one thing, which is sublimation. Sublimation is usually thought of as turning sexual energy into some other activity, like work. Granted, most spiritual traditions will tell you this is wonderful, but we have to check their agenda around sex for more information. And it’s true that energy is energy. What I am talking about is the kind of sublimation where someone says, “I’m sick of relationships. I’m going to work instead.”

Why would I think this is not such a grand idea? Well, as you probably know, I am suspect of any antisex agenda, and any agenda that subverts the most basic need humans have once they’ve eaten and had water: which are relationships. Your charts are all about your creative process opening up, they are all about your sexuality, and they are all about your relationships — all at once. It’s not about one or another; this time in your life is about becoming a whole person.

Aah yes, that bit. Well, this is Virgo at its best: the holistic consciousness represented by Chiron. And that says embrace yourself as one entity, all together, as one expression, not using anything as a substitute. There are reasons you may be inclined to do that: I can tell you that sexuality is potentially very dark territory for you; more complex than it needs to be; more filled with guilt and doubt than is necessary.

I strongly suggest you investigate the role of guilt in your life, particularly as it manifests when you try to express yourself. Pluto in Capricorn through this house may at first magnify the pain that you have been experiencing. It may not be easy to let go of the thought forms that you think are either protecting you from running wild, or which may have barbs attached to them, encoded with the poisonous thought that you are betraying someone in authority by embracing your own need to live, love and grow.

As this transit develops and as your interior walls come down, many hidden shadows will be revealed. Isabel Hickey called the 5th house the house of esoteric karma: that is, of hidden karma. Karma is like excess spiritual and psychic baggage we drag around; it is a collection of the results of what may be unconscious intentions, past intentions, commitments we no longer honor or no longer want, unresolved situations and one last bit: ancestral baggage. This is the mental garbage, fear, anxiety, misinformation, shame, resistance and Goddess only knows what else that is passed down from generation to generation.

We usually think of this as being the material of the 12th house, but the 5th and the 12th share an odd relationship, and that relationship involves sex. We all know that sex has been corrupted by religion, but we take this for granted, much like we too often take eating pesticides and plastic food for granted. We just assume that’s the way it is; vegetables come out of a box, not out of the ground. With Capricorn in this house, it’s as if the repressive intentions of our whole society are packed into your most vital, expressive erotic nature, and this is a long historical legacy that is passed primarily through families.

Such is likely the case with you. The influence of families is largely invisible, until we finally see it for what it is. Part of what blinds us is, specifically, guilt. The fear that we will be punished for setting ourselves free is a relic of the past, and the truth is, a relic of some extremely disgusting aspects of human history. These relics (as I am politely calling them) resemble the torture devices in German museums that were widely used to punish women for being, seeming or being suspected of being sexual during the Inquisition so recently in Europe — from which continent many of us are descended, bearing the cultural and genetic scars of that dark time.

In the true style of an artist, this must become your creative fuel. It’s like the Egyptians of the 19th century burning mummy rags in their steam trains: turning the remnants of their ancestors into fuel for progress.

Just remember though, that progress goes in both directions. There is not a parent alive, no matter how unconscious, who does not have concerns about passing their issues onto their kids. The best though you can do if you have any concerns at all is get therapy (if you have not already done so) and begin the process of unloading this garbage while the unloading is good, and it is very good right now. By therapy, I mean a good two or three years — enough so that your therapist really gets to know you. And I suggest that you read a book called A General Theory of Love, so that you have a functioning theory of how therapy might work. You need to be mindful, in the meantime, of the expectations you have on your children. And if you feel you cannot totally fulfill your responsibilities, ask for the help that you need.

Healing your Inner Child

Looking back over this conversation, the theme seems to be about healing the inner child. Too much has been said about this and not enough understood. Nature will take its course with you — you are well on the way. In terms of a conscious act of healing your inner child, I can tell you that the singele most meaningful thing you can do is make contact with him or her. Find that kid, or the diffrent versions of that kid, inside your awareness. It is true, there is probably more than one, for each major stage of growth that you went through, or at least for the ones that may have been more difficult. Start by saying hello. The rest will follow.

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