The sign of the Critic, the Technician
The Archetypal Virgo: Cinderella, Enslaved by her ugly sisters, Cinderella’s devotion to duty was finally rewarded when she met Prince Charming
Key Quote: “It is much easier to be critical than it is to be correct” – George Bernard Shaw
August 23 - September 22
Ruling Planet: Mercury, Ceres
Symbol: The Virgin
House Association: 6th
Colour: Grey, navy blue, soft browns and greens, dusky hues, pale green
Gemstones: Sardonyx, pink jasper, chalcedony, agate, tourmaline
Keywords: Critically, analytically, dutifully
Rules: The Sixth House (work, service, working relationships, health, diet, the balance between mind and body).
Positive traits: Discriminating, fastidious, analytical, meticulous, modest, precise
Negative traits: Fussy, self-conscious, cynical, hypercritical, finicky, over-conforming
Compatibility: Taurus and Capricorn Sexual partner:
If you are female: Capricorn – Perfect understanding
If you are male: Capricorn – Slow sensuality
Parts of the body ruled: Intestines, abdomen, bowels, nails, spleen
Glands, nerves & Arteries: Lower dorsal nerves
Acupuncture meridian: Large intestine
Possible ailments: Anorexia, bowel problems, indigestion, intestinal infections, appendicitis, malnutrition, hernia
Beneficial foods: Lemons, caraway seeds
Diet: Write down all food eaten in a notebook and work out the calories; stop eating once you have consumed your daily allowance
Flowers, herbs & spices: Buttercup, forget-me-not, mimosa, lily of the valley, Larkspur, lavender, oregano, azalea, balm, caraway, fenugreek, endive, fennel, hazel, marjoram, myrtle, sage savory, valerian
Trees/shrubs: Hazel, mulberry, southernwood
Healing with herbs: Caraway, myrtle, fennel
Comfortable surroundings: The Virgo home often features a great deal of white, with subdued complimentary colours
Stress areas: Success/publicity, divorce, loss of job, public speaking, bereavement, moving home, accident/illness
Attitude to shopping: Careful, critical
Objects: Practical clothing, domestic pets, reference books, small objets d’art, miniature paintings, stamp collections
Party costumes: Alice in wonderland, lady of ill-repute, scarecrow
Sports/Hobbies: Ballet, collecting, evening classes, handicrafts, housework, languages, model making, pastry cooking, reading, writing
Professions/Trades: Accountant, craftsman, critic, dentist, doctor, gardener, inspector, nurse, policeman, secretary, statistician, teacher, writer
Countries: Greece, Turkey, Switzerland
Cities: Basle, Boston, Cheltenham, Jerusalem, lyons, Paris, Reading
The constellation of Virgo immortalizes the goddess Astraea, who was sent by her father, Zeus, to live among mortals and instructed to teach them to obey the laws of nature. For a time, all went well and the world enjoyed the so-called ‘Golden Age’ when peace reigned and there were harvests in abundance. But eventually, mankind began to fall into increasingly evil ways and Astraea, disgusted, resumed the rightful place among the gods.
Virgos are typically labelled as perfectionists. But their concern with high standards has little bearing on the pursuit of ideals; It is more a reflection of a need to have a tight grip on their environment. Virgos will also tend to immerse themselves in the minutest details of how something works in order to enrich their understanding. Virgos can find it difficult to unwind and open up emotionally, for they tend to worry that they will lose their composure: physically, this can sometimes make them seem very aloof. Taut facial muscles and a habit of clenching the jaw expose this unfortunate tendency they have of bottling up all their anxieties inside themselves.
Virgo is the intellectual, mutable Earth sign that combines patient, adaptable practicality with the enquiring energies of mercury, its ruler. Virgo is the craftsman par excellence who pays scrupulous attention to detail and produces superbly finished items which have a practical application as well as decorative appeal. Dependable and sincere as lovers, Virgos have few illusions about affairs of the heart. Rather than lavishing affection on their partners, they prefer to show their love in small gestures and are cautious in the extreme about making a first move. They are also often far too down-to-earth to be swept away. As far as their wedding is concerned, domestic frolics do not really suit Virgos, and they are liable to send their delicate digestions into spasm.
The classic signs of a Virgos jealousy are carping criticism of the person upsetting them, and an obsession with trivial day-to-day details like who left the toothpaste top off or forgot to empty the ashtray. Virgos are often rather good at flirting in their own quiet, modest way, although indiscriminate liaisons rarely appeal to them. Virgo flirtations usually have a definite purpose in mind and are planned down to the last detail. Their approach is more method than madness, and as a result they often succeed where others have failed. Cautious Virgos do not take to people who ‘come on strong’, and generally prefer to start their affairs by exercising their minds rather than their bodies. Cleanliness, good manners and discretion are important in a prospective lover, but once Virgo’s trust is earned, the passion will not be far behind.
Having a strong resistance to earth-shattering passions, Virgos can experience difficulty in letting go in the physical side of love-making. They have a very strong desire to be loved and needed. However, a stable relationship will allow them to express their emotions, to open up sexually and let go in a moment of intense passion. Virgos have in-built standards of perfection and always seek the perfect mate in the ideal marriage. These standards are often impossibly high, leaving Virgos striving to live up to them, meaning that they are usually prepared to work very hard to make the marriage successful. Virgos usually like to socialize with other couples. Virgo is an extremely faithful sign and Virgos often manage to remain friends with their ex-partners despite the differences that led to a separation. Practical Virgo often becomes the reliable friend who mends the leaking tap – or who continues to do the washing for their ‘ex’, since they almost certainly will have kept the machine. The self-effacing manner of Virgos is not a pose or a deliberate piece of deception to confuse rivals by giving them a false sense of confidence. Virgos often genuinely undervalue themselves and underestimate their abilities. This is because of the very high standards which they always set for themselves, as well as for other people. Virgo is an extremely practical sign but one which has the mental stimulation of Mercury. The two are combined in Virgos’ fantasies, which energetically weave their practical skills into their dreams. The idea of designing and building a new house, or renovating an old property, is one way for a Virgo to pass the time happily fantasizing.
Anxiety and fear are a Virgo’s greatest source of stress. yet when confronted with the unexpected changes and difficult circumstances which are part of life, Virgos actually react well. This is because the Mutability of their sign means that they are adaptable, while their natural intelligence and practicality help them to plan for the future. Virgo is a modest and introverted sign and Virgos do not court fame even though they would like to enjoy good fortune. As they are usually competent, methodical and productive, success often does seem to seek them out, but this will change Virgos very little and they will always retain their humility and good sense.Virgos often surprise others by the amount of passion which they feel for matters that seem quite trivial! Sometimes it is the smallest details which succeed in arousing them most. One subject guaranteed to raise the temperature of most Virgos would be falling standards in the use of grammar, spelling and punctuation.
They tend to shun power for themselves, but nevertheless love their efforts to be acclaimed or acted upon. They rarely accept that success is exclusively their own personal achievement. Modestly, they prefer to thank the system which they have discovered or formulated. Not surprisingly, their systems are very often worth following. Self-contained Virgos see no wrong in their cautious, and occasionally even fearful, attitude to adventure. Indeed, they are prone to criticise those they feel might have behaved in an irresponsibly spontaneous way. Someone, argue Virgos, must be reliable and remain in the background. In the normal course of events, it is usually them. With their intelligent, ingenious approach to life, environmentally conscious Virgoans will happily find practical ways to live in a friendlier relationship with the earth. Taking bottles and other items to be recycled, saving power where they can, and using non-polluting cleaning materials are all typical of this sign.
Working for a Virgo boss is not always easy. As well as being sticklers for punctuality and formality, they can extremely fastidious about their working conditions; they may, for example, drive staff mad by insisting their desks are kept clean and tidy. On the other hand, Virgos in the hot seat are extremely discreet, and anyone who goes to them with a problem can be sure of a sympathetic hearing. In fact, Virgo bosses rather enjoy minor dramas – especially if they involve romance; taking part themselves may be out of the question, but for Virgo, hearing about it is almost as good as doing it! Shy and retiring Virgos are more concerned with the minutiae of a project than with taking a broad overview. As a result, they tend to leave the initiative and impetus to others, while immersing themselves in the systems of the organization; to them, of course, the details are just as important.
Virgos like to take things to pieces to see how they work – a tendency which applies to mental as well as practical problems. They have a deep need to sift, analyse and understand every detail before coming to far-reaching conclusions – an approach which may sometimes get mistaken for mental slowness. Information alone brings no satisfaction to them, since these people need to use their potential for thinking to serve society. They also like to harness and direct their energies with an eye to posterity, believing that their work will benefit not only the present but also future generations. Renowned for tidiness, many Virgos find it impossible to live with a mess and are critical of anyone who fails to meet their high standards. They should try to share with people who are compatible in this respect, otherwise their tendency to nag will make life difficult for everyone else. With their ability to see the practical implications of any issue, they are well aware of the pitfalls of making quick decisions. They are particularly cautious over personal matters, for they know how much they will worry – sometimes to the point of becoming ill – if things do not turn out as hoped.
Crises are things which creep up on them. Although other signs may see them coming, Virgos will carry on doing what they do as best they can, a little at a time, until the moment when all further progress is impossible and the world comes crashing down around their shoulders. They can make problems for themselves by being over-critical of things that other signs find irrelevant. To them, of course, such details are tremendously important, but they can help matters by realizing that those around them do not necessarily see things their way, and that it takes all sorts to make a world. Just as Mercury rules them, so the sign shares the ageless quality of this eternally young god. At the same time, earth adds an aura of responsibility to the youth of Virgo which counterbalances Mercury’s mischievous immaturity. The result is a blend of the freshness of youth and the wisdom of experience. As children they are both gentle and helpful, and hate to see anybody suffer. They will go out of their way to make life a easy as possible for other people, but can become tense, or even ill, if they are constantly subjected to chaotic circumstances; they need a sense of stability and order in their lives. Living with the inhibitions which they have to suffer can be less than fun.
Even as youngsters, they sense that their ultimate purpose is to serve the needs of others, but finding a way to do it without compromising their own values can prove to be very difficult. Adults should encourage young Virgos to think of themselves more, and point out what they are doing right as well as wrong. Otherwise there is a danger that disillusionment will set in, turning these normally well organized and eager-to-please youngsters into the most untidy and rebellious teenagers on earth. The twilight years are usually happy ones for Virgos, who often experience an inner sense of freedom that may have been lacking in the past. With their duties and responsibilities to others behind them, they suddenly find they are at liberty to serve themselves. Some will take the chance to catch up on the studying and quest for knowledge which as youngsters they never had time for. Others may venture forth and travel the world, slightly dazed that life still has so much to offer. To Virgo’s credit, this is the brother or sister who is always there to help out, especially where practical matters are concerned. Young Virgos are a whizz at making things out of string and Sellotape, and on the rare occasion when their efforts fail to produce results, they are likely to be unrelentingly apologetic about it.
Although the Virgo father may find it difficult to express his affection for his children physically, he will spend time with them on things which he views as important, such as homework or hobbies. The Virgo mother shows her love through her fussy behaviour, particularly by paying attention to cleanliness as she values this so highly. Virgos love activities which bring tangible, useful results. They particularly like sharing these practical projects with friends. They may make friends through their work or through classes, as they are great ones for learning new skills, particularly practical crafts. They demand high standards and expect friends to be equally dedicated. Virgo drivers have no great desire to show off and most would not dream of buying a car purely on the basis of looks. Practicality and quality are their chief concerns, and a mid-range hatchback from a manufacturer with a reputation for engineering would suit most members of this sign nicely. Their final choice would probably rest on who offered the best after-sales service, since peace of mind is more important to them than other signs. A good insurance policy would be valued for the same reason. Anything that upsets their orderly plans worries them, and what they often fail to realize is that order and disorder come and go of their own accord – you can’t always control them. Once they learn to let things take their course and ‘go with the flow’ a little more, they begin to worry less. They also begin to worry fewer people. At first sight, mild-mannered, unassuming Virgo doesn’t appear to possess the ring of confidence that you would expect of a proficient cheat. Yet behind the cautious veil, there is a piercingly observant mind that rarely misses a trick.
Faced with defeat, the standard Virgo reaction is to think of all the reasons why it doesn’t matter – and then to trot them blithely, as if the experience has left them unmoved. This, of course, is far from the truth, for losing hurts them more deeply than they care to admit. Yet ironically, it is often the painful surges of emotion which accompany their losses which fire them up to succeed next time around. A fired-up Virgo may not be a common sight, but it is a formidable one all the same. With their interest in health and what makes the body ‘tick’, they enjoy using sophisticated gymnastic equipment, especially the type which gives them feedback so that they can monitor their own progress. Failing this, they are happy doing simple exercises or using a re-bounder – mini trampoline – or exercise bike at home. Fastidious Virgos can be very self-critical, and this can wreak havoc on their sensitive stomachs. These upsets relate to a desire to be in total control and also to fear of letting go. Regular stretching exercises and massage should ease such tension. They can also take preventative measures by sticking to a healthy diet and relaxing. They can benefit in their efforts to slim by learning to be more assertive and putting themselves first. They should get into the habit of stating their needs to their friends and colleagues instead of burying their frustration by turning to food for comfort. This in itself can result in a dramatic and permanent weight loss.
They will inspect the workmanship of a garment and would not buy it if the seams or hem were not finished neatly or if the fabric did not conform to his or her high standards. They often enjoy selecting quality items from chain stores and mixing them with more expensive good quality, well-designed accessories in an ingenious way. They have a great love of precision, and any hobby which combines this with their natural dexterity – for example model-making or needlecraft – is likely to appeal. Some of them take the process a step further and venture into design, producing creations with complex patterns and colour combinations. When Mr or Mrs Virgo decide on a working lunch at the pub, there is no mistaking them. Having ordered their (probably non-alcoholic) drinks, and asked the person behind the bar to wipe their table, they will make a beeline for the food counter to check out the most wholesome fare. Heaven help the staff if the service is sloppy or the food badly kept; Virgos keep customer complaints departments in business!
Organizing and preparing a party with very little notice would present them with no problem at all, but with their lack of confidence they would be far happier doing it for you than for themselves. Of course, they will always get upset over minor imperfections which catch their critical attention, but these will only be noticeable to other Virgos. Not the most sociable of people, they prefer to feel useful than to take it easy and need plenty of encouragement to relax. Once they realize you are genuinely interested in what they have to say, they may warm to you and let you into some of their secrets. They are more comfortable around old friends than new. Despite their more negative traits, they can make surprisingly entertaining dinner companions – especially after a few drinks have loosened their normally closely guarded tongues. Warmed by a good meal and some lively conversation, they might even be able to stomach a little crudity along with their crudits – and even if they do not, they will certainly have fun criticising the assembled company at a later date.
They prefer to bake, steam or grill rather than fry, use whole foods when possible, and make healthy low-fat dressings and toppings. The gourmet Virgo – and there are quite a few of them – will also go all out to achieve a good balance between considerations of health and flavour, making them perfect hosts for weight-watchers. Their entertainment tastes often reflect their inability to release their pent-up emotions, and many Virgos will ‘live’ through the opera or ballet they are watching. Raucous, noisy pastimes seldom appeal, for however much they might like to, they are too carefully controlled to let their hair down. They are practical, cautious travellers and like to ensure that journeys are meticulously planned. Their lack of spontaneity can make them rather tiresome companions, although they do make very calm and patient travellers. They understand that travel broadens the mind and can often have a voracious appetite for it.
Because they are intensely critical of themselves , they have a tendency to let the struggle to come to terms with their imperfections take over. This can sometimes drive people away from the Virgoan home, spoiling the friendly atmosphere they have created. But don’t be alarmed. Generous compliments will work wonders for their confidence. Their ability to analyse everything and to look within themselves for the meaning of life can pay great dividends when it comes to understanding the destiny described by the Nodes. On one or more level they seek a more perfect world. The challenge is to turn this lofty ideal into reality. With their orderly, analytical minds and love of detail, they love to collect facts and figures which they can easily store in their retentive memories until they are needed. They also enjoy the mental exercise or challenge of compiling rather intricate systems, whether for the office computer or the roulette wheel. They tend to be as organized and meticulous in their financial affairs as they are in other spheres of life. They also like to know exactly what people expect from them for their money. ‘I analyze’ is what they declare: and they will work hard at applying their practical minds to the efficient running of a business enterprise. They are tidy and well organized, compiling endless lists to help them. The loss of their filofax is likely to upset them far more than the breakage of an old porcelain plate, but things might be different if the plate was part of a service – they particularly like their belongings to be in sets.
They dream of a discreet but good quality house with acres of carefully tended lawn, row upon row of beautifully kept flower beds and, of course, not a weed in sight. The place would be instantly recognizable by the smell of fresh paint and the paved or asphalt drive (gravel is too untidy!). If money were no object, there would be a separate room for each hobby, plus a library with double-referenced checking system and a live-in librarian to keep everything in its proper place. The combination of their earth element and ruler Mercury gives them a natural ability to apply their minds to practical matters. This often shows itself as an interest in health or diet, and many of them are drawn to jobs such as nursing which allow them to make a contribution to society. They crave order in their working lives and will continually strive to increase their efficiency and productivity. They are also very self-critical and will put maximum effort into ritualizing working habits to achieve job satisfaction. This can give the impression that they feel superior to the work done.
Their psychic sense may sometimes manifest itself as a tangible sensation in their body. This may take the form of pins and needles, a tensing in the throat or a feeling in the pit of their stomach. If they learn to recognize, understand and take notice of this physical sign, it can be a valuable way of tapping into their own innate wisdom. When you trust your secrets to them they will want to be told every minute detail, with no glossing over the insignificant bits, because to them all details are important. They need orderly information and cannot stand vagueness – that trait of Pisces, their ‘shadow’ sign. They very rarely share their own secrets. Their fear of chaos works on an emotional level too. They worry that by letting their feelings show they may lose control altogether, so they tend to keep them in check. This can be counter-productive, causing them to become ill with worry. Emotionally, they must learn to relax and go with the flow. The healing power of laughter is a particularly appropriate subject for them, linked as they are with service and working for others. When they bring their undoubted ability to amuse into everyday life, they can help others to realize the truth behind the old maxim ‘laughter is the best medicine’. A good laugh can also help tense Virgos relax. Sleek, smooth-haired cats (but not the temperamental types) or small dogs, perhaps even miniatures, such as dachshunds, miniature poodles or Chihuahuas often appeal to them, Other small mammals, such as white mice, guinea pigs, rabbits, gerbils or hamsters may also be popular. They like lively pets. They shop intelligently. They read labels and small print, and inspect the goods thoroughly, rejecting any that do not come up to their high standards, whether it be fruit which is slightly bruised, a can of baked beans which is dented or a blouse with a badly-finished seam. They are thrifty but will always pay for anything of quality.
ARIES: While you may be envious of Arians’ emergetic, enthusiastic approach to life, you appreciate the peace and quiet when the depart!
TAURUS: A calm, happy combination. You share similar interests and philosophies, although you may find the bull a bit inflexible at times
GEMINI: Despite Gemini’s unreliability and inability to sit still, there is a mental rapport between you which guarantees that life is never boring.
CANCER: There is a true understanding between you which will provide a solid basis for your relationship through thick and thin.
LEO: You always seem to end up trying to teach Leo something. Usually the ‘something’ has to do with modesty, which is asking for trouble.
VIRGO: You feel a strange attraction, possibly because it is fascinating to come under somebody else’s microscope. And they are so clean.
LIBRA: Watching Librans in action makes makes you realize you have a lot to learn about other people – and just when you thought you had it all worked out.
SCORPIO: There is no lack of conversation between you, and you love the way they trust you to give them advice on their emotional problems.
SAGITTARIUS: You may admire their fiery spontaneity, but you hate the way they make you feel such a stick-in-the-mud.
CAPRICORN: Here is a real friend – someone who will always be supportive and understanding. Effortless harmony for ever and ever (and ever)
AQUARIUS: There is no denying it – those chiselled looks promise something you cannot wait to explore. Be careful, though – you may have to!
PISCES: Fishes are wonderful when you feel like deep, meaningful conversations. It is just that they never know when to call it a day.