In Modesty Blaze—Sun in Virgo
Everyone shines, given the right lighting—Susan Cain
There’s a different quality to the light as the Sun moves through the sign of Virgo today. Now, as fields of gold are harvested and the last of the summer fruit hangs heavy on stooping branches, we may get a sense of Virgo’s connection with the slow, careful rhythm of the earth, the perfectly timed arrival of a cluster of black berries or the profusion of jasmine that bedecks the fence at the same time every year.
Where Virgo resides in our birth chart, this is where we hone our craft, where we polish and perfect. Virgo carries an imprint of self-containment and reticence, emphasised by the glyph for the sign of the Virgin which seems to curl modestly inwards. As the light softens in the North and grows brighter in the South, those shy souls who live quietly amongst cacophonous babble of self-aggrandisement and over-share that pervades our culture may feel the need to be introspective. For those of us who were shy and awkward as children, and have emerged as reclusive adults, we may prefer the undemanding company of a good book to cocktails at a trendy pop-up. We may feel more sensitive, more easily affronted by the blustering self-help guru who claims to be able to fix a floundering relationship in just eight minutes, or the “expert” who brandishes unexamined opinions on YouTube.
As a quiet procession of Virgo planets draws us inwards, we may feel the need to clear the clutter in our lives, quite literally “spring-clean” our homes, attend to our body by walking in nature, preparing lighter, easier to digest, meals. The Sun’s passage through Virgo highlights that part of zodiac where we must refine our skills without the compulsion to be seen or validated. We may take little steps. We may need time and gentleness to mop up the mess, attend to the details, mend what is broken or ailing in our lives. Another often overlooked aspect of the Virgo archetype is the Alchemist, the Healer, the Midwife, the Medicine Woman, the Sangoma.
Virgo is attuned to the silent cycles of the natural world. This is where we celebrate those quiet miracles, those very ordinary, often unacknowledged acts of service simply stitched into the fabric of our daily lives. We may meet this archetype in those who serve, those who take care of the details, those who mop up the mess. The driver of the bus who patiently explains to a breathless Spanish visitor the best route to take to the park. The volunteer at the animal shelter or food bank. The young man who drives an ambulance by night as a way of giving back.
It was Carl Jung who coined the term, “introvert” in the 1920s. His either-or-markers for our personality traits seem simplistic and one-dimensional in the context of astrology. The light and shadows of our birth chart depict the nuanced complexity and the challenges of our human experience. Jung’s radiantly “extroverted” Leo Sun in wide conjunction with Uranus in the 7th house would have glowed in the spotlight, but his Taurus Moon conjunct Pluto in the 4th house may have preferred soft lamplight or the dappled shade of the forest.
“Introverts are drawn to the inner world of thought and feeling,” Jung is purported to have said, “extroverts to the external life of people and activities.”
Self-proclaimed consummate introvert, Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, writes “Introversion—along with its cousins sensitivity, seriousness, and shyness— is now a second-class personality trait, somewhere between a disappointment and a pathology. Introverts living in the Extrovert Ideal are like women in a man’s world, discounted because of a trait that goes to the core of who they are. Extroversion is an enormously appealing personality style, but we’ve turned it into an oppressive standard to which most of us feel we must conform.”
Susan Cain’s birth chart suggests that she has enough “extrovert” fire in her belly to become a successful author, public speaker, and Harvard Law school graduate, thanks to an assertive and competitive Mars in Aries and very possibly a Moon in Sagittarius. Her Pisces Sun conjuncts Chiron, Venus and Mercury are in Pisces, suggesting a deeply sensitive, intuitive way of self-expression and relating.
Venus demurely slipped into Virgo on August 21st, to be followed by The Sun (August 23rd) and Mercury (August 29th) and a Virgo New Moon (August 30th).
On August 24th, the relational planets, Venus and Mars, merge their essence, emphasising our human need for consistency in our close bonds with those we care for. They are conjunct on August 24th (at 4° Virgo, an echo of their last meeting at 19° Virgo in September, 2017) breathing soul, vital breath, into those bonds that fulfil our deep desire to belong, to be seen and to be deeply listened to. Author Elizabeth Gilbert who has a Moon in Virgo, describes the cadence of lasting love so beautifully, “to be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow— this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.” The older astrologers say that Venus is in her “fall” in Virgo. An outmoded and rather demeaning term that obscures the luminosity of this vibrant goddess as she appears in sensual, earthy Virgo. She’s anything but “fallen”. She rises strong, bringing the magic of the alchemist to her relationships, the sensitivity of the healer, the receptivity, the fresh uncalculatingly freshness of the Virgin to those who delight in her company. Venus in Virgo is the Earth Goddess who looks her best in dappled light, and as she joins Mars in Virgo this month, we hone our innate capacity for empathic connection, we cultivate and nurture enduring friendships, we mend bonds that may be frayed or broken, and gently place ourselves in just the right lighting.
“The secret to life is to put yourself in the right lighting. For some, it’s a Broadway spotlight; for others, a lamp-lit desk. Use your natural powers—of persistence, concentration, and insight—to do work you love and work that matters. Solve problems. make art, think deeply.” Susan Cain.
If you’d like to know more about your own birth chart, please connect with me by email: firstname.lastname@example.org