March 5, 20115 Comments

“Astrology for the Astrologically Challenged” By Deborah Smith Parker

At first it’s hard to see how the sign of Virgo can produce anything that contributes to a power imbalance. It’s like trying to imagine how you could be hurt by baby rabbits. But remember, Pluto doesn’t cause imbalances, it reveals them relative to the sign it’s in, makes them go viral. Then we have to clean up the mess. Cleaning up messes is one of Virgo’s many callings.

The Virgo archetype typifies hard work, service, health, order, and attention to detail. Virgo just wants to help. Originally it was the sign related to servants, which in modern times has morphed into a more general concept of service. For all the inflated rhetoric attached to service today it isn’t culturally assigned any more material value than it was thousands of years ago. For verification one need only look at pay scales attached to these positions and how they are treated by those industries, institutions and governments they work for. As anyone in a service profession can tell you, this work isn’t done for the money.

Virgo is the Cinderella of the zodiac. So before getting into Pluto in her sign let’s first rescue her from the ashes and centuries of trivialization. Virgo today is one of the most misunderstood and undervalued signs in the zodiac.

Other than the fact that Virgo follows the royal sign of Leo in the zodiac I never really thought much about this sign’s tie with service until I began studying Qabalah. I learned that Virgo is associated with the Hebrew letter yod which means “hand.” At first blush this made sense since royalty and other nobility didn’t work with their hands. That was the task of servants and those working at crafts.

Throughout history, the most beautiful works of all cultures—art, jewelry and other artifacts—were not created by the ruling classes but by those who served them. Over the centuries such works are considered to be of incalculable value. Not only are they the targets of treasure hunters, but of historians who use these many pieces to construct pictures of the paths humanity has taken to the present. It is doubtful that those creating these works received much if any compensation other than a sense of honoring the muse which inspired them.

Here’s where I think the heart of understanding Virgo is. The letter yod (see image to left) is shaped like a flame and is the foundation for every letter in the Hebrew alphabet which in esoteric circles is called the flame alphabet. Since one of the tenets of Qabalah is that spirit is embodied in the flesh (a concept that drives many religious sects nuts), the notion of hand takes on greater significance. Virgo represents the hand of God at work—at work through us in the world.

Hands are what we use to create, to touch, to connect, to plant, to harvest, to lay on the sick to heal them. It can also be the hand belonging to an IT staffer standing outside my office door waving a sheaf of papers and scolding me because my staff and I didn’t submit our data comma delimited.

It’s important to put Virgo’s attention to detail in perspective. Virgo (I analyze) is opposite Pisces (I believe). The trajectory of analysis should not be to get stuck chasing its own tail but should ultimately lead to belief. Likewise, belief not resulting from examination is just a castle in the sky. Virgo without Pisces as a goal can get lost in the tall grass busily counting every blade.  Likewise, Pisces without a Virgo examined foundation drifts like a stoner.

Most of the time we don’t have a clue how we’re doing on this journey, but one guiding point is that Virgo’s humble tasks of serving everything but the ego are the path to Pisces and to wholeness. So in the meantime breathe in, breathe out, put one foot in front of the other, and show up. Volunteer for something. Show some humility. Do those little tasks that help often when we don’t know why. That’s Virgo.

Then it begins to happen. The light starts to go on. The timing of our lives seems to improve. Those rare flashes of insight now become more integrated into our daily process, and we gain confidence in that process. This is the development of belief and its practice which is faith. That’s connection with Pisces, a greater will to good.

OK, school’s out so let’s tap into Pluto in Virgo. Pluto entered Virgo in 1958 and left in 1971. His entrance at first seemed innocuous enough and many people benefited. Massive amounts of information now became available. For the first time large mainframe computers came into use. It was Virgo heaven, the storage and management of detail and, oh happy day—now at our fingertips rapid large scale analysis. On the health and service end Medicare began giving every senior citizen access to affordable healthcare. A nationwide network of kids spurred us all to do better at cleaning up our environment with their “Don’t be a Litterbug” campaign.

That was the good stuff of Pluto giving the masses what they need. However, as this placement in Virgo would soon reveal, Pluto doesn’t live on the surface. He digs deeper than anyone is ever comfortable with and his excavations disclose rotting festering inequities in ways that are scary and sometimes violent.

Virgo and Pisces are great at helping others. Standing up for themselves? Not so much. Pluto is a modern planet, a sort of cosmic Libertarian. He doesn’t equate service with slavery as has been the trend for much of human history. When he enters either of these two signs, the life areas they represent become center stage for examination, censure if needed (always) and eventual transformation.

The Virgo-Pisces polarity is also the polarity of sacrifice (Pisces) to the greater good  through individual martyrs (Virgo). The 60s saw a terrifying and heart-breaking string of assassinations. The civil rights movement erupted when Pluto was in Virgo producing many martyrs to its cause as well as to other causes.

We’ll pick this up in greater detail in the next post along with a look at the Pluto in Virgo generation now dethroning Pluto in Leo leadership. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Barack Obama are two of those.

(Deborah Smith Parker is the author of “Humanus Astrologicus” available on this site. To follow her on Twitter and Facebook click to the right of this post)

About author:

Deborah Smith Parker is re-writing the often impenetrable language of astrology into a much friendlier form. She has spent her 30 plus years as an astrological consultant, writer, teacher and lecturer freeing the rich astrological images and their descriptions increasingly buried under modern clinical and technological descriptions. Her additional work in public policy has provided many outlets for demonstrating her ability to break down highly complex systems into information that’s easily understood.

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  1. It’s fabulous, Deborah. I got goosebumps with the section of the Yod/flame…. and bringing it all back to Leo me, this is SO perfect after my tapestry opening…. me, Venus in Virgo. I’ve sold FIVE this year!!!! Just over $6000!!!! I’ve noticed Venus in Virgo can produce great craftsmanship.

    I’m looking forward to part 2. Obama is our first Pluto in Virgo prez. (clinton and bush being Pluto in Leo of course). When the generation reaches its power point, it brings stuff back to the forefront… and now with a trine to Pluto in Cap. Hmmm.

    You’re such an incredibly good writer, Deb. I’m so impressed.

  2. Jill says:

    You write to my visual ability to learn!!! I am looking forward to the next posts. I am surrounded by Virgos and this information was more informative and clearly understandable than anything I’ve read in any book about Virgo’s!!! Well done.
    Love, Light & Laughter, Jill

  3. Pacific says:

    Hi there! Great post…most revealing. I’m a Piscean with Pluto in Virgo and to say that I have some major issues with the service and martyrdom aspects of this astrological equation would be putting it mildly. I live in a world in which humanity has become enslaved to the works of their hands and the wholeethos of genuine service to creation through creation appears tohave been lost almost in its entirety. In my personal life the Virgos I know are very possessions orientated and their lives or should I say the lack of life in their existence, revolves around the acquisition of more possessions and the status attached to such possession. This presents our relationships with difficulties as as a Piscean while I love fine things there is only so far that I am prepared to go and so much sacrifice I am prepared to make in order to attain possfessions, not withstanding, there is never actually anything I need or want that I don’t have or get in its own time and without compromising me personal godhead.

    Thanks for making things clearer for me because I was beginning to worry that I was somehow missing an important factor in my understanding and implementation of a cohesive strategy for dealing with the phenomena. I now know that I have been correct in my analysis all along I just didn’t have all the science.

    Perfect Peace & Love…& Reggae Music,

  4. Richard says:

    Hey there Deborah! I recently discovered the joys and pains of the astrological mystery tradition (the previous c.18 months has been a veritable roller-coaster of self-discovery!), and I was born in March 1971, right on the Virgo-Libra cusp.

    Lord Hades staked his claim in my nativity pattern on the 8th House in Virgo, together with Lilith…my South Node sits in Leo in the 8th House too, so a heady combination of tapping into Plutonian service to others (I started my own ‘Transformational Life Coaching’ practice here in Nottingham, UK, last September, and Life is Good!) and past-life tendencies toward entitlement.

    I’ve recently started training at ChildLine, as a volunteer telephone counsellor…and as you say…the ‘light’ has switched on :{D

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