Very, Very Virgo

Grandmother Land. Photo by Eric Francis.

Dear Friend and Reader:

A FEW WEEKS ago, a typo slipped into the Virgo horoscope. The incorrect text read, “Let your dreams guide you, but do your part to shame them, as well.”

“I don’t see how that’s helpful,” one subscriber wrote to Chelsea in earnest, not quite catching that it was an error. What I meant was, “Let your dreams guide you, but do your part to shape them as well.”

In other words, I was suggesting that Virgos actively vision their lives rather than wait around for something to happen. This is Virgo taking on, or applying, the highest attributes of Pisces. Virgo tends to live in a more cut-and-dried world of what must be done. Pisces at its best is all about what can be done, or setting out to do the impossible. Together, the two are unstoppable.

We sent a correction out a few minutes later, but I kept meditating on the concept of shaming one’s dreams, and moreover, what this has to do with Virgo. I believe in typos. Were I a truly honest writer, I would send out my text with all the mistakes, unedited. It occurred to me that that’s what I really meant — that we who have a lot of Virgo in our charts are taught to do our part and shame our dreams.

Virgo is one sign that grounds the energy of necessity. It is associated with service in many different forms, something on my top-10 lists of true astrological truisms. People with strong Virgo attributes (and that includes much of the Pluto in Virgo generation that spans from about late 1956 through about 1972) are often obsessed with service.

Like any astrological attribute, this can manifest in more or less conscious ways. More conscious might be existing in a way that truly serves society, or one’s community; less conscious can be in a way that serves an entity such as a company that is not doing much at all to serve society and may even be doing a lot of damage. In a sense, Virgo does not care; it was born to serve. The shadow side of that service attribute can manifest as easily as the light side, probably more easily in a world where most of the easily available tasks and paychecks are not necessarily through entities dedicated to making the world a better place.

What then happens to our dreams of working for a better world? How do we negotiate wanting or needing to live one way, but being compelled to live another way? This is one of the most profound issues of our times, as people wake up to the fact that the world needs our help, and as we wake up to the desire to provide that help. This is a question of whether the work we do every day actually fulfills our deepest personal or spiritual values.

Virgo is the sign of the Goddess. The Goddess could be described as the living spirit of earthly existence, rather than of celestial. The Goddess is about experiencing life in the moment, in a holistic way: for example, experiencing sex and love as aspects of one another rather than as mutually exclusive; about experiencing food as a gift from the planet we walk on; and experiencing physical life as sacred, rather than being the “enemy” of whatever we think of as divine.

Yet with Virgo the way it’s usually taken, we are still in the realm of one form of service versus another — serving something we don’t like, versus something we value. We may have ideas about what we must do, or what needs to be done — and, off that scale, another idea entirely about the art we want to create, the pleasure we want to experience, and the ways we want to serve the world that are not necessarily measurable (art is one of them). This is the Pisces factor, where our dreams try to find their way into the space of our lives, and to express themselves in the world.

And try they do, constantly soaking into our consciousness like water, which always finds a way to get through. This is especially true when we’re children, infused thoroughly with what we think is possible, with idealism, with a vision for the world — until we are, very often, taught to shame our dreams.

I’ll give you a few examples: being embarrassed to help someone we want to help; feeling like our ideas are too idealistic to be acceptable to others; listening to a parent or other authority who feels that being a musician or artist is too outrageous, and we need to be a lawyer or psychologist instead; or wanting to live in a world of beauty and being told, over and over again, that the world is ugly — until it becomes so.

What would it feel like not to shame our dreams? What would it feel like to not be embarrassed to love? What would it feel like to balance our ideas and concepts of what is right (Virgo) with a sense of what we want and need to do, that is experienced as desire or intuition (Pisces)?

In working with any astrological energy, it helps profoundly to consider the opposite energy and work with the entire polarity, in this case, Virgo/Pisces.

It also helps to consider the whole cross, in this case the mutable cross (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces).

The Gemini/Sagittarius axis seems to have fewer issues on the level of guilt, ethical hang-ups, and the compulsion to do what one does not want to do. These are the two yang signs of the polarity, and they speak to an issue that those born under Virgo and Pisces, or with strong Virgo/Pisces signatures in their chart, would do very well to work on: the theme of integrating polarity, that is, of working consciously to resolve the opposites that we carry around and which so often debilitate us.

The sky is shifting in the direction of Virgo right now, with the Sun there currently, and an eclipse coming on the anniversary of the Sep. 11 incident. On Sept. 2, Saturn returns to Virgo for the first time in about 27 years. Venus stationed retrograde in Virgo earlier in the summer, and after stationing direct on Sep. 8, will move back into that sign, slowly and meticulously. The station-direct arrives at the moment of another grand mutable cross, with the Sun, Jupiter, Uranus and Mars making a cross in the sky. As of this writing, we also have Mercury hanging out in Virgo as well.

All of this emphasis on the mundane and the practical, the mental and that which can be documented, elicits the question — what are your dreams? What would you do if you could do what you wanted? Are you able to even answer that question? If you can, what is it that’s preventing you, and what can you do about it?

The eclipse of Sep. 11 presents us with a moment of dramatic choice. Opportunity may seem to emerge out of nowhere. The chance to live your dreams, or to make a difference, is likely to appear as a real possibility. What will you do about it?

Yours and truly,
Eric Francis

To the Sky. Photo by Sharon Bellenger.




Weekly Horoscope for Friday, August 31, 2007, #678 – By ERIC FRANCIS

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Highly unusual developments and circumstances within your work environment are striving to demonstrate to you that you’re a creator and not a functionary. You are gradually warming up to that big career change, perhaps the one you always dreamed of. Those born under your sign are known for being impetuous, but this particular move is something that you’ve been taking with exacting care and caution. Fear not: when the time comes, you’re going to leap like you have eight legs. Currently, you face a dilemma: the problem with banking on your creativity is how much discipline it demands. When a new vision, idea or opportunity presents itself to you, it does not arrive with a prefabricated structure or book of rules. The more innovative a possibility is, the more you need to focus, refine your plan and apply discipline to make it real.

Taurus (April 19-May 20)
You are approaching a moment of truth, but you’re still too distant from it to see the signs clearly. Conventional astrological wisdom would advise you to hold off on any major decisions or commitments until you have a legible picture of the life you want, and the life you are moving on from. But that is not always possible. What is probable are circumstances you could not have foreseen that allow you to disengage from commitments or entanglements as if they did not exist in the first place. These same developments may, alternately, help you to solidify certain situations or desires that you felt were too ethereal to trust, or which you could not believe were really possible. You are, however, working your way to a region of your life where anything is possible, and also probable, and that is a time to think big — and clearly.

Gemini (May 20-June 21)
You are close to cutting yet another thread that has bound you to your past, in particular your parents and their perception of you. As anyone who has done more than three therapy sessions knows, our loyalty to our parents — in particular, to their perception of who we are — is one of the greatest impediments to fulfillment that exists. Then there come those moments when we are faced with the choice between being loyal and miserable, or disloyal and free. The question in such moments is what we actually value. If you dig down to that strata of consciousness, I trust you’ll see that the choice, though it may seem complicated, is pretty obvious.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
This week’s eclipse of the Moon occurred in the angle of your chart where you work out your long-range visions, long distance travel, and the highest level of ethics that guide your life. By now you are fully informed that too much is in flux to be able to count yourself among those who enjoy the luxury of certainty. But an eclipse in this particular house will help you peel back the many layers of what you may decide was an illusion. All you need is to be honest with yourself from this point forward. If you can do that every day for the next week or so, you will see the light of day not through an open window, but rather through an open door.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
Let’s put it this way. What you have is who you are, but much of who you are is what is important to you. An extraordinary phase of your life is drawing to a close, and a new one is opening. If you reflect, I trust you will see that the past two years have instructed you mainly in one set of data — your agenda. People are important to you, and their role in your life is gradually coming into focus. But you may want to consider the idea that your primary relationship is to the ongoing sense of self-awareness. Look at what you do every day, and where you spend your money. Does it truly match your philosophy of life? I assure you, the sooner it does, the better.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
Saturn’s forthcoming entry into your birth sign arrives with some fanfare, in the form of a total eclipse of the Moon in Pisces — your relationship house. It may seem like a key encounter or enterprise is changing faster than you have time to catch up with, but I assure you that what’s really happening is that people are moving over and making room for the person you are becoming. Who that person is has been more obvious to them than it has been to you. You may feel that you are experiencing a loss of some kind, though if that is true you haven’t yet caught on to the bold and progressive ways that the people who love you are encouraging you, once again, to come out of your shell. You are a Virgo, not a virgin. Life is beckoning you to get it on.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
By now, you are likely to have some sense of the general direction of things, which is inward. While you may feel that many factors of your life are conspiring to isolate you despite your most sincere intentions to participate and express yourself, the purpose of this new phase of your journey is to confront the fears that have prevented you from doing just that. There are few in this life who, to some extent, do not make some sort of compromise with their sense of personal limitation. The first question you must ask is how conscious that compromise is for you. The second question is what promises, commitments or agreements keep your hands and feet tied together. To whom do you think you owe what? This question will take a while to answer, if you insist on looking the other way.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
This week’s eclipse of the Moon in your empathic sign Pisces has helped put your priorities on the right track. Indeed, you were in danger of becoming so focused on work and achievement that you nearly forgot your deeper calling as a passionate, creative person. Yet these traits, of your soul as well as your personality, are newly unveiled. You are free to take risks you would not have dreamed of the past few years, and this will help you on what promises to be an intriguing, challenging path for the next few years of carving out a special place for yourself in the world — a place among your friends, your professional colleagues, and among those whose ideas and visions help shape life on our planet. These may come in small ways, but be on notice, they may come in rather large ones as well.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
The main attraction of the year has yet to happen, but it’s drawing you toward it with all the intensity of the Galactic Core, where it occurs: a conjunction of Jupiter and Pluto in Sagittarius. If you feel like your life has been leading to a deep breakthrough or a revelation; if you feel like you are slowly coming into inheritance of some deep spiritual truth, but on the most personal level; this is likely to be it. That being said, most people miss these things as casually as missing a city bus. What can I say? Well, this is about you, but it’s not entirely about you. As Saturn moves into Virgo, punctuated by a dramatic solar eclipse, remember that your true calling is service. To perform your service, you must be exceptionally self-aware, yet constantly connected to the golden thread that weaves together all people, all cultures, and all humanitarian ideals.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
It’s astonishing the ways that religion has messed us up as individuals and as a society, but there are reasons that people cling to toxic ideologies. It’s the same reason we use Windex — it’s cheap, convenient and it seems to work. Who asks what it does to their liver? However, you are entering an extended phase of your life wherein you need to be exceptionally honest with yourself about the beliefs you hold, and the beliefs that you let enter your mind. Fear not the uncertainty that comes with sweeping away what is false, what lacks any basis in fact or experience, and which serves only to take up precious psychic bandwidth. Devote yourself to seeking the truth of your existence, and you will indeed find it. I mean this in the most tangible and immediate sense.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
Saturn, your first ruling planet (Uranus came later) is gearing up to change signs. You may feel cut adrift at the moment, like you have no concrete direction. That is partially true, but what you are really in is a rare moment of being able to see between the cracks of the world, and of your world. Look through; see if you can find a way to escape from the mental framework that has contained you and, indeed, limited you, for so long. Something much larger, something more bold and daring, is striving to come through and meet you in your world. You may not feel the full effects of this for another few weeks, but you can tap into the energy now. Experiment with doing things differently, at different times, with different methods, and with different expectations of the outcome.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Once again, I would remind you that there is no predicting a particular relationship, but there is in truth no evaluating it, either. You are, however, right about one thing: you are approaching a get-serious phase of your life, and that comes in two parts: you need to be in the right commitments, and out of the wrong ones. While this would normally take a long time to sort out, the factor of an eclipse in your 7th solar house of partnerships promises to accelerate the process. What you can safely avoid doing is pushing that process. Factors in your environment as well as in the quality of your interaction will do exactly what you need them to do, and reveal all that you need to know. Everything is in movement; everyone is changing. Where things end up in two weeks is quite different from where they are today.

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