You can admit it. It’s all right. If you’re like many people interested in astrology, you were tempted to skip this page just because it has “Virgo” in the headline. Of all the Sun signs, this one is the least likely to win a popularity contest, and everybody knows why. Virgos are often so mental that they seem to be all brain and no burn. They’re the A students of the zodiac, so organized that the first person who ever said, “Slow down. You’re making me look bad” was probably talking to a Virgo. Natives of this sign can get so obsessed with the details that they overlook the main theme, and may consider every angle of the topic so carefully that they miss the moment of opportunity. And, most irritating of all, Virgos are classic critics and perfectionists, so fixated on what’s wrong with other people and every situation that they either drive others away, or worry themselves to exhaustion the way H. G. Wells (Sept. 21) did. Who but a Virgo like him could have said, “Some people bear three kinds of trouble: the ones they've had, the ones they have, and the ones they expect to have”? Or could have said, as Lily Tomlin (Sept. 1) did, that “Man invented language to satisfy his deep need to complain”?
How come I’m entitled to lead so many black aces when I’m telling you about Virgo? Because I’m one myself (Sept. 14), and know well the kinds of trouble that Virgos can create for themselves. Once a Virgo begins to catch on to this genius for self-sabotage, there is a bright side to this sign, and it’s not just that a Virgo is in such snazzy company as Sean Connery (Aug. 25), Peter Sellers (Sept. 8), Greta Garbo (Sept. 18), Salma Hayek (Sept. 2), Sophia Loren (Sept. 20), Queen Elizabeth the Great (Sept. 7) and the subtle Sun King, Louis XIV (Sept. 16).
The fact is, Virgos create two things: maps and opinions. When the focus is on the map, and on how it can help others find what they want, then a Virgo like Samuel Johnson (Sept. 18) can create the first really useful dictionary in the English language. Such an act of service is typical of an awakened Virgo, as this 6th sign of the zodiac naturally aligns with the 6th house of healing and of service relationships. This helps explain why Virgos are loyal and devoted, and are the kind of master teamworkers who will readily sacrifice their own interests to the greater good of the whole. It makes sense, then, that service-driven characters like Mother Teresa (Aug. 27), Jane Adams (Sept. 6) and Margaret Sanger (Sept. 14) were all born under this sign.
The Sun is in Virgo Aug. 23 - Sept. 23, the Isis and Hathor month that honors the creative power of the female in the season of the early harvest, symbolized by the ear of wheat that has been associated since very ancient times with the great star Spica in the Virgin’s lap. While this identification of Virgo with fertility goddesses was widespread in the ancient world, more clues to the Virgo personality emerge from other festivals in Virgo month: of Hephaestus/Vulcan, the painstaking Olympian blacksmith, on Aug. 23; of elephant-headed Ganesha at the Virgo new moon; and of Mercury, whose rites on Sept. 19 were derived from a much earlier festival of Thoth, patron of letters and learning.
Most astrologers cite the quick, mutable Mercury as the ruling planet of both Gemini and Virgo; and while Mercury is a close fit for the voluble, talkative Twins, he is a less perfect match for Virgo, who should ideally be embodied by a feminine type like Demeter, or at least by the “wounded healer” Chiron. Someday astronomers may discover a new planet and name it for intellectual Athena, and all of this will get easier.
Until it does, we know that the Virgo nature tends to be practical, industrious and unexcelled at the word work of using language for clarity, concision and for creating structures of language so huge and elaborate that they seem to be an entire world of letters. It is small wonder that Agatha Christie (Sept. 15) crafted so many ingenious traps and mazes, that Goethe (Aug. 28), D. H. Lawrence (Sept. 11) and H. L. Mencken (Sept. 12) were so prolific, and that Tolstoy (Sept. 9) was patient enough to build structures as massive as War and Peace and Anna Karenina.
How do Virgos rate as lovers? Timid and exasperatingly choosy at the top, entertaining when they work up the courage to make their move, playfully sexy at show time. The person who dates a Virgo had best be careful what he or she wishes for. Virgos can be such workaholics in bed, as they are everywhere else, that they can prove much harder to turn off than they are to turn on. So why isn’t everyone lining up to play with their local Virgo? It’s that perfection thing. But if you can keep your Virgo focused on the map of love, there’s hidden treasure all over the terrain, waiting to be found.
Want to know how the year ahead affects people born in your sign? Dan Furst has been a professional astrologer for thirty-three years. He is the author of Dance of the Moon, and his new book Surfing Aquarius will be published by Red Wheel Weiser in September. He lives in Peru, and does astrology and astrocartography readings for people all over the world by phone and Skype. You can reach him at 51 – 984 – 155622, email firstname.lastname@example.org. His astrology web page is Dan Furst Astrology Web Page.