The sign 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. — Alice A. Bailey
The Sun leaves Leo and enters Virgo today just before 1:07 pm EDT, about ten hours after Mercury leaves its echo phase and the Moon enters Scorpio. The Sun in Virgo it signals the beginning of the last sign in this current season (summer in the northern hemisphere, winter in the south).
All seasons end with a mutable sign (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces), after having been ‘fixed’ by the previous sign. The mutables can behave like a fixed sign or a cardinal sign, though when the Sun passes through, there tends to be a palpable sense of the season gradually releasing its hold in preparation for coalescing again in a new form.
This year, the Sun enters Virgo and immediately squares the lunar nodes, which reminds us that there are eclipses coming in about three months.
The Sun opposes Neptune, and then several days later, Chiron. At its best, Sun opposite Neptune can provide a kind of push-pull dynamic that spurs very imaginative, creative achievements. Sun opposite Neptune can feel like an extra mystical Full Moon (the Sun is opposite Neptune instead of the Moon.) However, this aspect is also known for its propensity for delusion, projecting one’s own emotional ‘stuff’ onto a partner, and subsequent disillusionment. It is key to use the creative, dreamy, idealistic power of Neptune in Pisces in service of some sort of artistic process. If you can use your creativity for some larger purpose in some way, all the better – you’ll be enlisting the power of the Virgo Sun in this opposition.
Chiron’s presence in the equation gives a greater sense of purpose (potential healing) to your ability to harness your dreams and creativity. It also emphasizes the need to be honest with yourself and others in the process. Chiron is going to lend some focusing power to the Sun’s light in the face of Neptune’s attempts to diffuse it, and will make sure we see just what we’re dealing with, if we let it. If we don’t, Chiron will remind us again down the road – possibly with less art to the message.
Notably, Chiron is strongly associated with Virgo, accounting for that sign’s ‘higher levels’ of dedication to healing and service better than Mercury can. In fact, in 2004, Eric wrote a landmark article on Virgo and Chiron, in which he explores just what exactly AAB meant in the quote at the top, and its deeper implications. We’re republishing the first half of it below, and will post the second half in tomorrow’s Daily Astrology.
Before and After Chiron
By Eric Francis Coppolino — Bamberg, Germany, 20 August 2004
Virgo is what’s called a human sign, being one of the few regions of the zodiac represented by a person, specifically a young woman. According to Fred Gettings in his Arkana Dictionary of Astrology, the symbol for this sign has, among its sources, “been derived from the merged letters of M and V (Maria Virgo) as part of the important Marian symbolism associated with this sign.” Maria, or Mary, is the living vestige of goddess-worship within the Catholic church and indeed all of Western civilization, after Catholicism took over the more gender-balanced, nature-oriented Celtic religion.
The Sun enters this sign each year in late summer as the harvest approaches. Like the other earthy signs Taurus and Capricorn, Virgo is associated with stability, sustenance and nourishment. In the northern hemisphere, the shift from Leo to Virgo is one of the most visceral sign changes we experience; the quality of light changes distinctly, there is a different feeling to the air, and late summer is very much a season of its own. The sweet touch of melancholy associated with summer’s end is an important part of the emotional signature of the Virgo soul.
William Lilly, the great horary astrologer who wrote the first astrological text in English, Christian Astrology (published in 1647), says that amongst physical locations in the world, Virgo signifies a “study where books are, a closet, a dairy-house, cornfields, granaries, malt-houses, hayricks, or of barley, wheat or peas, or a place where cheese and butter are preserved and stored up.” This sign, in its worldly expression, is about food and its preservation, and food for the mind.
Traditionally, its ruler is the planet Mercury, the closest to the Sun and the messenger of the gods, which shuttles back and forth across the sky during its many retrogrades all year long. This is symbolic of the mutable nature of Virgos: they can change and adapt.
Apropos of Mercury, Gettings, in his excellent dictionary, describes Virgo as a sign “deeply committed to the intellectual process.” 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.
“The sign Virgo is one of the most significant in the zodiac,” she writes in her introduction to this sign, “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; 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, and which is the intent of the entire evolutionary process. This notion rates the human experience as the most important on the planet (debatable, yes?), but maybe if we took that seriously, we would be kinder to other living things and the planet herself.
Next, she adds a bit of interesting, ancient data. “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.”
I would offer the idea that the urge or impulse to serve that each of us encounters where Virgo is in our charts is the impulse to give birth to something intended to heal the world.