Virgo is a sign known for perfectionism and attention to detail. Yet, there is much more to this sign than meets the eye. For Virgo, life is a series of problems to solve and puzzles to unravel. At her best, there is a deep spirituality to Virgo, which she demonstrates in practical ways. One of her deepest desires is to be of service to others on a very material level.
Virgo by Season
Most Western astrologers use what is known as the Tropical Zodiac. This is a zodiac based on the seasons rather than the actual constellations. The beginning of this zodiac is 0° Aries, which is the Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. The sky is then divided into 12 equal parts of 30° each, and each of the four seasons gets exactly three signs.
Because the Tropical Zodiac is tied to the seasons, you can generally tell the sign that your Sun is in so long as you know your birthday. The Sun is in Virgo from approximately August 23 to September 23 every year. The dates do vary a little at the beginning and the end, so if you were born at the very beginning or the very end of this sign, you may want to have your chart calculated to just to be sure.
Virgo is the sign directly before the Fall Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere, and thus, is the last Mutable Sign of the Summer. While the Spring Equinox is associated with new life, among other things, the Fall Equinox is associated with judgment at the end of life. Indeed, the sign at the beginning of the Fall Equinox is Libra, the scales.
There is a tension to Virgo. She tends to live her life as if she was always preparing for a test. This is also the sign in which the harvest first begins, and one of the tasks of Virgo is to meticulously sort the wheat from the chaff.
There are not really any major religious holidays during the Sun’s sojourn in Virgo, at least not in the West. Filianism has a minor festival, the Day of Werde, which generally falls on the first day of this sign. This festival is concerned with examining the direction of our lives, and it is also associated with resolutions.
Even so, this is the time in the Northern Hemisphere when children return to school after Summer Vacation, and there is a sense to this sign of getting back to work.
Virgo by Element
Virgo is an Earth Sign. Yet, she is a Mutable Sign as well. This means that she is a little less entrenched in the material than the other two Earth Signs, Taurus and Capricorn. Virgo looks to improve life for herself and for others on the physical level. This means that she is always trying to understand and tinker with day-to-day matters.
Virgo’s Dignities and Debilities
Each of the planets is a reflection of one of the planetary principles. Although the planetary principles are perfect and are always in their highest state, the health of each of the planets varies from time to time. One of the ways to determine the health of a planet at a particular time is by what sign she is in. The signs are friendlier to some planets than to others. The comfort or discomfort of a planet in a sign can be determined by her essential dignities and debilities. Below are the essential dignities and debilities of the planets in Virgo.
Ruler – Mercury
Virgo is well-known for perfectionism and tidiness. Yet, Virgo also tends to have quite a bit of intellectual curiosity. She wants to know how and why things work and is fascinated by many different subjects. Virgo has a much longer attention span than Mercury’s other sign, Gemini, which makes Mercury slightly stronger in Virgo than in Gemini.
Exaltation – Mercury
Not only does Mercury rule Virgo, but she is exalted there as well. This emphasized the strong connection between this planet and this sign.
All three signs of an Element are ruled by their Triplicity Rulers. In the Dorothean system, the rulers of Earth are Venus by day, the Moon by night, and Mars is the participating ruler. William Lilly also assigns Venus to Earth by day and the Moon by night. In his system, however, there is no participating ruler.
Detriment – Jupiter
The signs ruled by Mercury and the signs ruled by Jupiter are always opposite to each other. This means that they are always in detriment in each other’s signs. Jupiter is expansive and governs the Harmony of the Cosmos. Mercury governs the genius that can be seen in the microcosm. Jupiter has difficulty being confined in detail-oriented Virgo.
Fall – Venus
Virgo is a difficult placement for Venus, the planet of Love. When one is in love, it is often helpful to be able to see the other through rose-colored glasses and overlook their flaws. Virgo sees faults and weaknesses all too clearly. On the other hand, Virgo’s service-oriented nature is a way of showing love as well, and Venus does have some dignity in this sign.
In addition to the planets that have dignity in a sign in its entirety, there are planets that rule specific degrees of each sign. These are known as the planet’s terms or bounds. There are two main systems of the division of the terms, Egyptian and Chaldean.
Egyptian Terms for Virgo
0 – 7 Mercury
7 – 17 Venus
17 – 21 Jupiter
21 – 28 Mars
28 – 30 Saturn
Chaldean Terms for Virgo
0 – 7 Mercury
7 – 13 Venus
13 – 18 Jupiter
18 – 24 Saturn
24 – 30 Mars
Each sign is divided into three parts, known as face or decantes. Each face has a separate ruler. The faces of Virgo and their rulers are:
0 – 10 Sun
10 – 20 Venus
20 – 30 Mercury
Virgo and the Body
Virgo rules the stomach. Those with Virgo prominent in their chart need to be careful of their stomach and digestive system. This is also the case for those who have an Aries Ascendant because Virgo will govern the 6th House of injury and illness.
Those with Mercury in Virgo need to be especially careful of problems with their stomachs and digestive systems because the strong parts of a person’s chart are the most dangerous. This is also true for those with an Aquarius Ascendant because Virgo will rule the 8th House of Death.
Virgo in a Nativity Chart
When reading a Nativity Chart, most astrologers look first to the placements of the Sun, Moon, and Ascendant, which is also known as the Rising Sign. You can learn these by getting a Nativity Chart report from an astrologer, or by getting a computerized report for free from Astrolabe. Below are brief descriptions of how to interpret a Virgo Sun, Moon, and Ascendant.
Virgo is not the best placement for the Sun. The Sun does not have any special dignity in Virgo, and Virgo is a Night Sign. Among other things, the Sun represents the pure joy and exuberance of life. Virgo is focused on looking for flaws so that she can fix them. The Sun’s energy is a bit dampened in this sign. On the other hand, in the Wheel of the Year, Virgo is within the Mother half, so this strengthens her a little.
Virgo Sun by Day
Anytime someone is born during the day, her Sun will be stronger than if she was born at night. If you have a Virgo Sun by day, your Virgo nature will be obvious. You will likely be in a career in which your analytical ability will shine. This will allow you to exhibit the positive aspects of this sign and to minimize the negative aspects.
Virgo Sun by Night
If you have a Virgo Sun and were born at night, you will tend to exhibit the traits of your Moon sign more strongly. Your Virgo Sun will manifest in nervous energy that may be difficult to verbalize or understand. Perfectionism will be a real struggle for you.
Because Virgo is a Night Sign, the Moon is relatively strong in Virgo. While Modern Astrology often relegates the Moon to Lunar Intuition and emotion, in Traditional/Classical Astrology, the Moon plays a much more expansive role. While the Sun gives us warmth and light, it is the Moon that regulates our daily existence.
If you have a Virgo Moon, you have a gift for organization and planning, and you are able to take care of others as well as yourself.
Virgo Moon by Day
With a Virgo Moon by day, your Virgo ability and need to organize and plan will be slightly hidden, depending on your Sun Sign. You may have trouble recognizing the positive side of your Virgo nature. As you develop self-confidence, however, you will be able to use your Virgoan abilities to great advantage.
Virgo Moon by Night
If you have a Virgo Moon by night, you have excellent analytical ability, and you are able to use your Virgo traits for the benefit of yourself and others. You may or may not have a job in which your Virgo nature can shine, but you will do very well managing the practical matters surrounding your home life.
With a Virgo Ascendant, you will seem nervous and a little shy until others get to know you. People may think that you are critical and judgmental, whether or not you actually intend to be. You may also have trouble with social interactions.
If you have a Virgo Ascendant, Mercury is the ruler of your chart. Her condition and position will determine many things in your life, including your character and your bodily health.
Using Whole Sign Houses, your Ascendant will determine which planet and sign rule all aspects of your life.
Home – Sagittarius
Strangely enough, if you have a Virgo Ascendant, you may very well have a rather messy and disorganized home. With Jupiter-ruled Sagittarius governing your 4th House, you idealize your house, but you don’t tend to stay there often enough to keep it tidy. When you are home, you like to relax and enjoy yourself.
Partnership – Pisces
While Virgo is known to be rather critical, if you have a Virgo Ascendant, you have a romantic nature when it comes to your partner. You are likely to idealize a partner and put them on a pedestal. You are quite devoted when it comes to a partner, and you can be very loving in your own way.
Career and Public Reputation – Gemini
Your career is very important to you. As Mercury governs your 10th House of Career as well as your Ascendant, you will feel like you are your truest self when you are at work. Even though you may be shy on a personal level, you are able to network and socialize to advance your career.