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Symbol: A27_109.gif

Element: Earth

Quality: mutable

Polarity: Yin/feminine

Ruling Planet: Mercury

Sun in Virgo: roughly from 23rd August until 22nd September.

Tarot Key: The Hermit

Time of year: Time of maturity, shortening days, onset of bird migration

Cultural: Harvest, making provisions, Work

Area of the body: Small intestines (Abdomen)

Star constellation: Virgo

Mythology of the constellation

There are various myths associated with the constellation of Virgo, although powerful goddesses are a dominant theme, for example Dike, the goddess of moral righteousness, Tyche, the goddess of luck or chance and Astarea, the goddess of justice and convention who abandoned the Earth as humans became more brutal.

However, Demeter is the goddess most closely associated with the sign of Virgo. She is the Greek goddess of fertility and ruler of the seasons. She was honoured particularly towards the end of summer when the golden ears of corn were harvested. She taught men how to plough and women how to grind the grain and bake bread. She was stricken by grief after her daughter Persephone was abducted by Hades (Latin: Pluto) who was aided by Zeus, and she allowed the land to become barren. Zeus feared that humanity might not survive and that nobody would be left to bring him sacrifices. He therefore made a bargain with Hades for the release of Persephone. However, when journeying back to her mother, Persephone ate a few Pomegranate seeds, the symbol of marriage and was therefore bound to Hades. Demeter had to accept sharing Persephone with Hades, and that barrenness is also an aspect of fertility. From that time forth, Persephone spent one third of the year with Hades and two thirds with her mother (See also Ceres).


Virgo is the sixth sign of the zodiac. It is concerned with evaluating and utilising. Virgo is passionately devoted to details and is a keen observer of the small things, including those others might consider insignificant. Virgoans are very conscientious in everything they do and excel at creating order. They can be of service to a cause or an individual. The word service often gives rise to negative associations when in actual fact there are few individuals who do not serve in some way or another. Therefore, and because the term Virgo is associated with sexual abstinence, the sign of Virgo often has a rather bad reputation.

Typical Virgo associations are in fact misleading. According to the psychoanalyst and astrologer Liz Greene, the mythological virgin is "the archetypal image of the free woman who is first and foremost espoused to her innermost self and only secondly to a man". In this case, the prime emphasis is being true to oneself rather than carrying out the wishes of others. Virgo is especially capable of adapting to circumstances and making the best of them.

Virgo makes use of the Earth's fertility in preparation for the barren times ahead, thus taking on an important duty for the wider community - at the same time modest and aware of how indispensable this service is. She doesn't feel the need to be the centre of attention.

She may occasionally find it hard to see the wood for the trees. If this happens, she can lose herself in the details and have difficulty understanding different points of view. She can be fussy, sterile and small-minded and can be in danger of serving the needs of others while ignoring the latent inner aspects of her own life. The myth of Hades and Persephone shows that both aspects belong together.

Those born under the sign of Virgo also have healing qualities. They are very aware of the relationship between nutrition and health.

The sign of Virgo imparts the qualities of adaptability, common sense and caution to any planets or axes which are placed in this sign.

The sign of Virgo shares with its polar opposite sign Pisces the character trait of being devoted to the wider community. Virgo is dedicated to material needs whereas Pisces is devoted to spiritual ones. Virgo, along with the other two Earth signs Taurus and Capricorn, is orientated towards the physical realm. Taurus' approach is through pleasure, Virgo uses the body in order to understand physical health, and Capricorn makes use of the body to fulfil its life's task. Virgo can learn valuable lessons from the two signs squaring it. From Gemini the ability to take on several things at a time, and from Sagittarius the ability to use visions as a source of inspiration.

The sign of Virgo in the view of Johfra Bosschart.

Virgo is the sign of fall for Jupiter and Neptune.

See also



  1. From Liber Astronomicus by Guido Bonatus, 1491.