Welcome, Virgo, to the Art of Becoming, your 2018 annual reading.
Here are the contents:
- Your 2018 annual reading | A4 PDF | US Letter PDF
- Charts for your reading
- In the Shadow of the Moon — our 2017 midyear video for your sign
- Your latest birthday reading
- Book of Your Life for Virgo
- Links to previous annual editions
The Art of Becoming for Virgo
“The goddess awakens in infinite forms and a thousand disguises. She is found where she is least expected, appears out of nowhere and everywhere to illumine the open heart. She is singing, crying, moaning, wailing, shrieking, crooning to us, to be awake, to commit ourselves to life, to be a lover in the world and of the world, to join our voices in the single song of constant change and creation. For her law is to love all beings, and she is the cup of the drink of life.”
There’s a book from 1951 called Esoteric Astrology by Alice A. Bailey, which I consider the best source material for information on the 12 zodiac signs. Her chapter on Virgo begins, “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.”
In essence, Virgo contains, in its cryptic way, all the inner truth of the goddess, and what Bailey calls the Christ life. This includes its manifestation as Mary, who is a facet of the threefold goddess.
There’s a legend in the voluminous mythology of Ceres, the Roman goddess of grain (and patron of the Plebes, an aspiring underclass, and many other facets of life) that equates her with the Blessed Virgin, mother of the Christ. Shorn of its pageantry, religiosity, marketing and cheesy music, the Christ is an organizing principle, located within the mind, that can order and transcend the chaos, fear and insanity that we live with on Earth. Virgo, ruled by Mercury, references the mind, and its nature as an earth sign references manifested life on our planet.
That Virgo is ruled by Mercury, an androgynous planet, may seem confusing; why isn’t it ruled by Venus? However, this may be a comment on the multivalent nature of what we call the Goddess, which clearly seems able to gender-bend. Mercury as an astrological concept is the result of Virgo. It’s akin to what one text refers to as “the mind of the senses, the consciousness of creatures” — a coordinating and unifying agency in the mind, which can penetrate the persistent fog of war (based on dualism) that spans, at least, the physical, astral and causal planes.
In the legend referenced above, the Goddess is traveling with her child through the countryside. Bad people are after her, trying to kill her baby. She passes a farm, and tells the people there that men will soon come looking for her and her child. She instructs them to tell those searching for her that she passed by — but a month ago. She then causes the wheat in the fields to develop appropriately for that length of time.
Virgo describes the fruit of the Earth as well as the fruits of thought. Virgo is one of the most difficult signs to understand. This relates in part to how the Goddess has been vanquished from our society, though in reality, how the result of the Goddess has been all but vanquished — for example, clear, honest thinking; the reasoning process; the responsible use of technology; and, in our day, literacy.
Virgo is the sign that’s polar opposite of Pisces. As such, the two signs function as one entity (as do all the polar opposites). Pisces, which serves as the most important relationship house for those with Virgo Sun or Virgo rising, provides the essential stuff of spirit; and Virgo grounds that into consciousness and allows it to propagate.
On the polarized, astral-level of astrological thinking, Pisces is unfettered belief (who knows; anything could be true so why bother figuring it out) and Virgo represents analysis, scrutiny and, at times, obsessive ideology (including skepticism, which is a defense mechanism). As we move through the planes of consciousness and take a less polarized approach, it becomes noticeable that Pisces is spawning something and Virgo is where it manifests. The mind itself is useless without something to consider. Thought forms are useless without someplace to take up residence, and be applied in reality.
Yet one concern about Virgo is how easily ideas and the energy of others can take root in its soft, porous material. This may account for the cynicism or skepticism that many under this sign cultivate, perhaps as a means of warding off “bad” ideas or defending what they think cannot be proven (very little actually can be). And it may account for a kind of radical quality that Virgo possesses, which can manifest as the potential to reverse viewpoints on little notice.
Like all the earth signs, Virgo can struggle with self-criticism that requires some training, commitment and practice to get out of. Virgo has a husk-like quality, similar to the coating of a seed. And influences from the watery realm are doing what they can to soak and soften that husk, so that the seed may sprout.
A Study in Relationships: Virgo/Pisces Axis
Let’s begin with the current status of the Virgo-Pisces axis, the one that influences you the most directly. In the simplest description, for you, Virgo (and what is in your sign) represents “self” and Pisces (and what is in that sign) represents both “other” and “environment.” It’s essential to understand how much of self gets projected, and then is experienced as other, or environment.
Virgo has been relatively quiet these days (though you might not have noticed that). By this I mean there are no well-known slow-movers passing through, such as Saturn, Chiron or Pluto. There are some interesting and useful energies moving through, which I’ll get into in a moment.
There’s a lot of influence coming from Pisces, however, to a degree that may be overwhelming. At least there is going to be strong emphasis on relationships and on variations in your environment.
Given the planets involved, this is more incoming influence than usual; the most palpable threshold point was approximately 2010, when Chiron entered Pisces. Chiron’s influence has been to create relationships as transformational experiences, or as struggles — usually some combination of both. Where Chiron goes, there will be a strong emphasis on healing; and, therefore, the accompaniment of healing crisis.
Chiron has a strong connection to Virgo. It does not “rule” Virgo (rulerships end with Saturn; they only apply to classical planets) though it’s an extension and functioning part of Virgo, so there’s been something about yourself that you’ve been seeking or striving to understand.
Through 2011 and 2012, Neptune transitioned into Pisces. It’s good that you already have Pisces as your relationship house — you’re accustomed to its nebulous energy. Neptune has flooded your relationship house with its wide-reaching qualities, which can blur boundaries, allow infiltration and create a fog around one’s relationship life.
Chiron has provided a hedge against this. It has taught you a new level of self-awareness in your relationships. Your “before and after” stories of the years 2010 to 2018 will help you see this.
Yet the thing about both Chiron and Neptune is that they can be isolating, and at times even overwhelming. The isolation patterns they present work in different ways, and this is difficult to spot in an era that is easy to describe by a general feeling of alienation. We are accustomed to a cold, impersonal social environment fueled in every way by the robotic nature of the digital sphere.
Neptune can be a bit “underwhelming” in that it might take a long time to figure out something is happening in a relationship, though by then, it’s taken hold. As Neptune reaches the midpoint of Pisces this year, you’re reminded to be aware of early warning signs in encounters with others, including any form of unavailability that they may present. You must study everything, from their use of alcohol to whether they respond to calls and emails, as well as their propensity to truth or lies.
If someone is positioning themselves as in any way unavailable, you must notice, and respond appropriately. This is not about changing the other person, but about adapting your expectations to what is actually so: that is, the actual character of another person. Under these influences, it’s way too easy for you to blame yourself for another person’s behavior or attitude.
You must learn to see through that. While your primary option is your choice to grow, that in itself is not going to change someone else’s perspective or behavior — though it will influence your future choices.
Under the sometimes-isolating influence of Neptune, in particular, it’s easy to feel that you have to do what you can to get some love into your life. It’s challenging to think you might have to take a more discriminating approach rather than less. A number of constructive factors in your chart are suggesting you take an approach to relating that’s off the spectrum of romantic or marriage-oriented expectations. I’ll cover those in the chapter on the 5th house.
There’s one last factor to consider, moving through Pisces for many more years, and that is Nessus. The third-discovered centaur planet (found in 1993), you might call Nessus the planet of consequences. As such, it demands something akin to total accountability, which is difficult in our environment — where the usual tendency is to blame others. Notice that in the version of feminism most often encountered in mainstream media, the primary emphasis is on changing the behavior of men, rather than consciousness-raising and self-development of women.
The way the conversation is structured, the moment those things come up, the next topic is how we’re “blaming the victim.” But you can only blame the victim where there is one. Nessus is about a full accounting of responsibility, including for the karma that one takes on, passes to others, resolves on one’s own, or resolves with others. While it may not be easy to see where the karma begins (often, this is a chicken-and-egg-type question), your part can be putting a stop to what needs to end.
For example, this can include any cycle or pattern of abuse; any atmosphere of deception; any game where people choose to disregard the consequences — and where sex and consequences are concerned, this can be serious. Yet a defensive posture is not going to help you or anyone. You must use approaches that actually work — that get the result you want. To start, you need to describe to yourself the kind of intimacy that you desire.
Agents of Awareness: What’s Now in Virgo
Though there are no well-known outer planets moving through your sign, there are some truly interesting points to consider, most of which ramp up the mental quality of your sign and your character. On the day of the Sun’s crossing of the Virgo midpoint, for example (when the Sun is opposite Neptune), you have an extra brainpower boost from Pallas Athene, the goddess of strategy, law and warfare; from Mercury, your ruling planet; and from Icarus, which is about peak experiences.
These show that you’re responding to your Neptune-dominated environment by using your awareness and intelligence. You will need to do this as a daily, even hourly, yoga. There’s a caution about pushing too hard, or moving too fast.
There are two points that stick around Virgo for a while. One is called Transpluto, which is a hypothetical point: a planet without a body. This point has a strong affinity with Virgo and has only been in your sign for a few years, after spending some 70 years in Leo.
Here’s something I’ve never written before, and did not know till today: Transpluto was developed by a German philosopher named Theodor Landscheidt, who was an astrologer and climatologist. He based the 1,200-year cycle of Transpluto on observed variations in the orbits of physical planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto (similar to how the physical planet Pluto was discovered). This research was conducted in the 1960s and he first published his ephemeris and findings in 1972. At that time, it was not known that there were many planets beyond the realm of Pluto, though I know of none with an orbit of 1,200 years or anything in that range.
Transpluto recently entered Virgo, and will be there for about 70 more years. This is probably the most important point to watch, because it’s a thought-form, and Virgo is like a propagation ground for ideas. Short of any life-extending techniques developed by medical science, it will be in your sign for the rest of your life.
Transpluto works on two distinct levels. Its more loving vibration is the quest for wholeness and integration, a Virgo-like quality. You might think of Virgo as being like Gemini, only instead of two twins in the psyche as distinct entities, they are trying to integrate as one. Transpluto is facilitating this, though it’s not easy for many people to access.
There is a force in the mind that resists wholeness, integration and integrity, probably best described as fear. And when that takes over, Transpluto can be a serious problem. On the less loving side, it’s about putting oneself above someone to make oneself feel better. This is why it’s been associated with the rise of various hate movements and “rise of the master race” events over the years.
This critical quality can also turn on itself. Like the other earthy signs, Virgo is endowed with an extra dose of self-criticism, and you’ll need to guard against this with Transpluto in your sign. The critique or teardown can also manifest as a response from the environment; that is, seemingly from outside oneself.
Working on this section, I got curious for more details, and I checked in with Lynn Koiner, one of the best (and only) writers about Transpluto.
She describes the quest for wholeness as being about reassembling yourself after you’ve been criticized or critiqued.
“After being subjected to criticism, you have to put you back together the way you want yourself to be, not the way others want you to be,” she said. “The goal is wholeness and integration whereby you’re elevated to the point where you’re not subject to their perfectionism.”
She suggests that one approach or response is, “Doing something that you love so much that you could care less what other people think.” Well, this is the approach of the artist, and one who does not have to meet the specifications of a client. If you do what you love, AND that thing provides a service to others, you need to find some common ground between the two. For example, you can set up a process for review with your boss or client, or work collaboratively to modify that process.
Transpluto enhances specialization. It can lead you to believe that you have one mission or that your life is guided by one idea. As such, it comes with a kind of tunnel vision. So you need to work for a wide perspective, and to constantly shift your point of view.
The critical thing about Transpluto is that, lacking a physical form, it’s difficult to identify as an influence. And possessing much in common with Virgo, it can disappear into the background.
Orcus: The Process of Shaping Yourself
Let’s consider one last point in your sign, Orcus. Discovered in 2004 by the same team that bought us Eris, Quaoar, Sedna and many others, it was named for an Etruscan (pre-European) god of the underworld. For the Romans, Pluto was the ruler of that realm, but Orcus was a punisher of the damned. He is one of many gods associated with the “enforcement of contracts” genre (another is Varuna, now in early Leo). Orcus’ journey through Virgo spans 2008 through 2038.
Whenever a planet is associated with the keeping of contracts and agreements, that’s what I recommend — primarily for yourself. Keep your promises, without having to be asked.
However, I want to propose another theme for Orcus, which is: what you shape yourself to be. Many people are in a constant process of forming and sculpting themselves, and Orcus is about raising your awareness of that process. Efforts to “be a better person” are often misdirected, solving a problem that is not there, and creating others at the same time.
It’s essential to take a gentle approach to the process of shaping yourself. Also, you might take to heart that unlearning is just as important as learning. Rather than forming yourself into something, you might let go of the forms that don’t work, and then proceed to experiment with who you want to be — rather than attempting to follow strict rules.
Orcus is encouraging you to take a warm approach to this rather than cold. Other astrologers have reported the chilly energy of Orcus, and the way to work with that is to bring the temperature up. This means allowing more passion and heart-energy into your feelings and into your life.
If you feel any push-and-pull that you identify as being a factor of Neptune transiting your opposite sign, you might consider whether being more open on the heart level will ease some of that pressure. The challenge for Virgo can be vulnerability, though you might appreciate making the discovery that what we call vulnerability is one of the strongest states a person can experience.
Saturn, Pholus and Quaoar in the 5th House
Here we get to the heart of the matter, when it comes to your transits for 2018 and well into the future. In many ways the 5th house is the core of the chart — of any chart. It is, if you’re at all attracted to art and creativity, to adventure, or if you’re a pleasure-seeking being. The 5th covers the general subject area of “the kind of fun that kids like to have,” including the kid-like aspect of adults.
The fact of having Capricorn on this solar house is one of the defining properties of your astrology. Capricorn is in many ways the very opposite of what the 5th house wants to be: it’s usually about work and responsibility, and about family. Some would say that unless work is your pleasure, it’s the least-fun sign to have associated with the 5th house. If Virgo has a husk around its seed, this would be Capricorn on the 5th house — and now that is about to crack open.
In recent months, three significant influences moved from Sagittarius to Capricorn. The Sagittarius trip was about your home and your family of origin. In particular, the past three years of Saturn in Sagg focused this area of your life, and there may have been a kind of clearing and opening of space. Saturn always clears the area wherever it goes. If at times your home life has seemed unduly complicated or overly intense, you can thank Saturn; though the time to assess the transit is now that it’s over.
And a very new one has begun. Getting down to business, Saturn and a collection of hot-blooded slow-movers moving through your 5th house is about you becoming a 21st-century sex goddess. First, imagine what that means to you, before I add any thoughts. You might write yourself an essay in the “what this means to me” genre.
The 5th is sex for fun and pleasure. Contrast it with the 12th, fantasy and surreal sex (for you, Leo, where it must be all about you); and the 2nd, physical aspects of selfsex (for you, Libra, where you have a physical relationship with yourself); or the 8th, sex as an attribute of commitment, or preference for total surrender (for you, Aries, meaning you take initiative).
The 5th is the simplest of the partnersex houses. There’s not any agenda other than to have fun, because you can. As The Mountain Astrologer astonishingly let me say in an article on their pages, fucking on the art studio couch is 5th-house sex. Where sex is concerned, it’s good to start the process of consciousness-raising with simple. The combination of planets working through this house will help you clear a wide diversity of fun-interrupting obstacles out of your way.
For example, if you’ve ever had the sensation that your grandmother, her sister, your mother, your father and an uncle or two were spying on you whilst you were having sex — and you’re not into this — help is on the way.
The thing about sex is that it is a family affair; or rather, the family is a sexual affair, since it was fucked into existence — but sex has more to do, and more to say, than that. What most religion does is make sure the sexual conversation goes no further than matters of procreation, which in essence denudes sexuality of its specific role as a way to have fun, and its creative rather than merely procreative expression. There’s more to this than it may seem — the notion of sex as an instigator of psychic development, self-exploration, collaborative pleasure, and entertaining visitors to your art studio doesn’t need to exist (in that world). In your world, these things probably do exist, or you would like them to.
What they have in common is touching without guilt, and without a license. The license is the Official Relationship that allegedly sanctifies the experience and allows it to be guilt-free. This would take it out of the category of “casual” sex, though in all probability out of the 5th house and into the 8th, which is more relational in the sense of an exchange of commitment. The 5th is where Saturn is: Saturn the mighty, the sculptor of worlds, the ruler of Capricorn with a nocturnal feeling, Saturn of Saturnalia fame, Saturn in its feminine manifestation, completing Capricorn for the first time in approximately 27 years.
There’s a lot of Earth Girl to your 5th-house lover, or you dig those types: a little brooding, softer-spoken and inviting. On other days, there’s the harsh mistress, who likes to take charge or be taken charge of. In Tantra, this describes the Dark Girl manifestation (archetype is too strong of a word, but sort of like that). All of these beings move with consent and, more significantly, with intent: with specific desire.
Saturn will awaken you from ever having been lulled into thinking you didn’t have that. Saturn, though astrology rarely whispers this, is about action. And, in Saturn’s world, slow, steady progress is what’s called for and what’s rewarded. Yet progress is the purpose, and the 5th picks up momentum of its own, in the form of luring you to submit to pleasure as your privilege.
Of those two hot-blooded planets, one is Pholus and the other is Quaoar. Pholus is about release: such as of pressure, or that which is concentrated being released to the environment. The Sacred Wine of the Pholus myth is the blood of the ancestors, and you are invited to trip through your genetics and make contact with people in the distant past, perhaps feeling the thoughts and responses of your ancestors, and maybe repairing damaged places that you find. A little intention to heal can go a long way — what A Course in Miracles calls “the small willingness.” The Great Rays bring “the great willingness,” meeting your desire for transformation and allowing it to happen.
The 5th IS FUN when you’re really there. However, the presence of Capricorn, one of the most guilt-ridden signs, suggests that you have something to work through. The chances are, though, that you’ve well begun, as Pluto has been working this territory for a while. You may discover it’s a lot easier to make changes than you expected. Pluto at least has served as a reminder of your core nature, even if you were not able to access it all the time.
Still, if you encounter guilt, take it as something to work through as a conscious yoga. It may come in the form of embarrassment, false modesty, false conservatism, or some more palpable form of shame. Burn it like fuel. This is a skill, and an important one, for anyone seeking sexual enlightenment. The way you learn it is to get in the habit of violating taboos rather than being controlled by them. This takes some training but once you have it, it’s easy: when you encounter embarrassment, go toward it rather than away from it. Maybe try this for a while and see where you end up, what you become and what you learn.
Quaoar with a 5th-house configuration is about the cosmic origins of sex, and sex as a vehicle of cosmic creation. Think of it this way: it’s fucking all the way back. Your genetic line, and that of the whole human race, is surfing along on a wave of cumshots back to the dawn of time, and long before. Quaoar is the story of the creation of the gods, goddesses and the divine family of humanity — all of us here. No storks were involved, nor turkey basters, or fetus farms or anything like that. Yet this is not sex in the reproductive sense but rather the existential one.
Discovering this has been a layering process for you. Chiron came through this region from late 2001 to late 2005, a time that contains many clues about the nature of your life today. There were clear messages that you needed to move more toward the values and desires of the child whose experience of life you may have missed. Then Pluto began its trip through Capricorn in 2008, which continues today. You can think of those phases as the planting of a seed, and Saturn’s arrival as your discovery that the seed has grown into a tree.
A Salty and Salacious Place of Healing
Now that we’ve had so much fun in the 5th, let’s go to the 8th. The connection is an aspect structure: Pholus and Quaoar in the 5th are talking to Salacia in the 8th, which is about to be joined by Chiron.
With Aries on the 8th, one key to the sexual riddle of you is that you dive into sexual commitment with the understanding that the core purpose is to find yourself. Seen one way this is selfish, and seen another, it also works well as a way to bond with someone. In other words, this approach is likely to create strong bonds, though they come at a risk. Losing a relationship can be devastating, because it involves a loss of self at the same time.
Chiron will put this process under a microscope. Spending more time in Aries than any other sign, you will be experiencing nine years of Chiron through your 8th house. This will take your consciousness for a walk down the line between life and death, existence and nonexistence, self and other.
Essentially, under the influence of Chiron, you’re likely to learn what it is that you’ve been doing, and trying to do, all these years, in terms of finding yourself through intimate relationships. You may decide it’s time to shift that and bring your focus more consciously onto yourself. The 8th is the house of what is exchanged in intimate situations, and you’re likely to be evaluating that carefully.
Yet another influence is affirming the level of this experience that’s about sexual self-discovery, and that would be Salacia. Another planet with a 2004 vintage, Salacia is one of those high-impact objects out in the Kuiper Belt. Part of how we can witness its impact is that all through 2017, and up until today, Salacia has been conjunct the Aries Point and the news has been: salacious, to a degree nobody has ever seen before. There has been an explosion of news about sex (primarily about abuse) worthy of a Pholus-Salacia square, which is exactly what’s happening.
If we take this personally, though, it’s not about the public realm or all those celebs, it’s how you relate to your personal sexual history and that of your family, and how these things influence you today.
With Chiron and Salacia involved, there’s something here about claiming your existence back, from anything you’ve invested it in. This is not to say that your relationships will not continue, but rather that they will contain a new element of independence — this being a real degree of making your decisions wholly on your own rather than needing to consult with others so much.
Fire in Mind, and at Work: Mercury Retrograde Pattern
Gemini, another Mercury-ruled sign, is placed on your 10th house of professional reputation, achievement and responsibility. One thing I’ve seen true for many Virgos is a need to have “twin careers” — two distinct but related lines of work. This is true of more and more people; though for you, it’s a tool you can use to your advantage; for example, as a way to keep your life interesting.
However, this year, focusing on one career may be enough. Choose what is the most promising. Mars retrograde in Aquarius, your 6th house, describes you as someone in the role of problem-solver. This looks like some kind of systems administration work, though there’s a social dimension — that of keeping people organized. To do this, you’ll need either to break some rules, or to establish new ones.
It’s important that you do what you can to get out of survival mode where work is concerned. It’s easy to get into a mentality where you have to hold on and hold out, and you’re good at that. What distinguishes this moment from many prior ones is the pace of change. It’s true that we’re all trapped in the digital world to some degree, though the inherent mutability of this realm is enough to make anyone feel like they’re drowning in change. Nothing stays the same for long, and this is not exactly compatible with the human spirit, which is adaptable but needs something consistent and dependable.
You can play games such as trying to guess what is the next thing that’s about to be re-created, and how much of that is going to land in your lap. You can use your own mutability and turn your adaptability up to the maximum; though still, recognize how so much movement and so-called progress wears on you. Do what you can to compensate, though similar forces are at work in your life.
One way to get on top of this is to take initiative. All three Mercury retrogrades take place in fire signs this year. That puts you in a position of being one who precipitates events rather than having to be responsive or reactive. Of course you’ll need to do a lot of each, though Mercury in the fire signs gives you a kind of prescience. One problem with anything involving the fire signs is the constant need for fuel and oxygen, or the fire burns out. The retrogrades put Mercury in Aries, Leo and Sagittarius for approximately half of the year, so you’re unlikely to have that problem. Just be careful not to burn out.
Often any success in business or profession has a connection to Saturn and Capricorn. Now the two are together in one of the most creative angles of your chart. This is encouragement to stay grounded in real tasks, and to take a creative approach to everything — meaning, don’t let yourself get stuck in methods of the past, when so much is changing so fast.
At the same time, there are certain traditional approaches that will work well for you, such as your slightly old-fashioned ideas about integrity. Referencing back to Orcus in your sign, this could be said to begin and end with honoring contracts and agreements, and holding others to their commitments.
There are factors in your chart encouraging you to do this, and giving you tools — and there are factors making it more difficult. So you will need to handle this consciously, and if you slip off course, bring yourself back to center.
Much is said about the importance of agreements (from various notions of ‘sacred contracts’ to all the talk about consent). But people don’t seem to get it. You are no longer a seed; you are becoming a tree, and you can afford to give a little more than you’re asked to, a little more than is expected, a little more than you think you should. You will need to bring your enthusiasm and your work ethic into every situation — and more than anything, your dependability. You’re on the long-term plan; you know that life is not about quick rewards. Your strength of commitment will come back to you many different ways.
Virgo 2017 Midyear Reading
Virgo 2017-18 Birthday Reading
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