Grounded, Purposeful Service: Virgo New Moon

The Virgo New Moon falls on Tuesday, September 19th at 10:29pm PDT, and on Wednesday, September 20th at 1:29am EDT. The first New Moon after Leo’s spectacular double take last month, with a mind-blowing full solar eclipse to boot, this New Moon hearkens Autumnal energies and a settling into the changes that last month brought with it. If the changes for you were palpable and full on, this new moon time is one of integration and movement forward with renewed commitment, perhaps carrying with it a feeling of completion of one phase of the journey and the opening of a new one, or clarified intent and purpose.

And I must express this, as well, with all the hype around last month’s full eclipse::  if you did not experience a sense of profound revelation last month, not to worry! We’re certainly not all effected by cosmic events in the same way or at the same time, nor do we need to be! Because each person’s birth chart, often seen as a soul contract of sorts, is unique in its needs, gifts, and ways of expressing, the ways that each cosmic event effects a soul and her chart is unique as well. Thanks to the synchronicity of the Universe and its inherently intelligent rhythm, each person is given just what she needs and is ready for at just the right time. Because evolutionary astrology is personal astrology, we recognize from the get go that while the transiting planets (where planets are currently moving in the sky) are of utmost importance, the ways that this importance is revealed and integrated is absolutely different from one person to the next. So if you experienced the eclipse with many people who have the 2nd half of Leo, Aquarius, Taurus, or Scorpio lit up in their natal charts, you may have all been having epiphanies that wouldn’t quit! But if your experience of the eclipse with people with not much at all in the above signs, it would’ve been an incredible show from nature, but without the energetic fireworks attached. And this is the beauty of astrology, and of Life!

But alas, we’ve moved from the explosive creative energy of Leo to a more concentrated, focused energy with Virgo. Of all the signs in the zodiac, this one is the most interested in and capable of deep and sustained transformation and growth. As a mutable earth sign, Virgo has the ability to see where she is, and simultaneously where she wants to be but perhaps isn’t, and put steady and consistent time and energy into moving toward her aspiration.

What is the driving force behind this characteristic of Virgo? A deeply-seated desire to become skillful at her trade, not simply for the sake of it, but to enhance the ways that she is available to be of service to her people. Virgo is here to become masterful at her craft, or crafts, as the case may be. She is willing to put forth all that it takes to hone and refine her skills, over and again, for the sake of her offering. Be it teaching yoga, playing the piano, calculating taxes, or writing novels, the fruits of Virgo’s labors must be experienced by others. She is utterly tied to her purpose, and she needs ways to express this meaningful work in the world so that she might be genuinely fulfilled. 

Virgo is known for commitment to the craft, as well as a detail-oriented way of being that borders on anal retentiveness. But remember, it’s for the sake of the craft! This attention to finely-tuned detail is absolutely essential to Virgoan energy. For example, if someone is in Trikonasana with her front foot turned in just a bit too much, there could be binding in the front hip flexor, pain in the knee, or an inability to fully integrate the femur bone into the hip socket. Turning the foot so that it’s “‘perfectly” parallel to the sides of the mat tends to create stability in the supporting muscles, proper alignment of the bones, as well as freedom and flow of energy. This is when complete accuracy is important, especially if someone practices the asana everyday! When Virgo can use her knowledge to be of assistance to others in ways such as this, she experiences deep satisfaction.

Virgo’s name might steer us in a certain direction, as it almost fully contains the word “virgin,” but this misses the point of her true meaning. And in fact, Virgo in olden times often represented the bounty, harvest, grain, and fertility. Interesting how the lens has changed, and I’m quite confident that we could have a lively discussion on this! Yet rather than being virginal, this energy is one that naturally moves toward purity and perfection. She is, indeed, the perfectionist. Virgo recognizes that she can always better herself and the world in some way, and she’s wired to find deep fulfillment through evolving in a specific direction. There’s absolutely a part of this energy that wants to make life better through effort and offering. A sentiment here might be, “I came here to add what I have to give.” And this addition isn’t for recognition, fame, or anything of the sort; these aren’t things that fulfill Virgo, and deep down she knows it. Her offering is for the sake of the offering itself, and the knowing that what she contributes can, and likely will, make a difference to the whole. This “whole” can be translated in Sanskrit to “purnatva”. Interestingly enough, this word is also a word that can be used for “perfection,” although it’s from a much different lens than we Westerners might use! Other translations of “purnatva” are “fullness,” “completeness,” or something that is brimming over with perfection that it could never be lacking in any way, shape, or form. When Virgo is able to fully offer her gifts, skills, and “magic” in the moment, completely bringing all of herself to her work, she gains access to this fullness. She becomes it. She’s of course been this fullness all along, but the act of expressing herself skillfully to help others connects her with this deep knowing. And the world is made better for her doing so.

Like Gemini, Virgo is also ruled by the planet Mercury, the messenger god, who, if you remember back to June’s piece, has quite an affinity with Saraswati. Sally Kempton reminds us that Saraswati “is the offering we make to perfection. She has this virginal, above-the-word quality, which teaches us that we need dedication and immersion in order to extract the subtle truths of life and art” (Awakening Shakti 189). A beautiful aspect of Saraswati most present in Virgo is resonant with Kempton’s sentiment here, and it is Virgo’s ability to be articulate — not just with her words, although that may be, and not just with her numbers, although that may be — but with her efforts. As the goddess of flow, Saraswati is the mother of voice, speech, learning, music, creativity, and insight. This borders on Virgoan territory in the way that Virgo expresses her time, energy, and efforts; she does so with great articulateness, efficiency, and effectiveness. She can have a clarity of expression that is direct, precise, and highly refined. Think of someone who’s been perfecting her craft for three or more decades; it’s as though she could do whatever it is she’s good at in her sleep! It seems effortless and almost magical, and she has an ability to express her natural gifts with ease, yet complete refinement; this is a lovely example of the effective energy that lives within Virgo. Yet it didn’t happen overnight — it’s been a long process of distillation, refinement, and transforming the skill into true excellence. 

From the evolutionary perspective, Virgo has come here to learn humility; yet this is different from humiliation. She has come here to be of service; yet this is not subservience. Sometimes this energy, because it is so humble and service-oriented, can border on unworthiness and self-doubt just because she’s not already perfect at the new craft she just picked up an hour ago! Or because she taught a class or wrote an article that wasn’t up to par with some expectation she’s created in her mind. A helpful way of working with this shadow expression of the energy is to celebrate the small things. I like to remind people that the small things are often the big things — remember our Trikonasana example from above! What our mind considers a small thing might have enormous repercussions, and when any shift is made in a pattern or perspective, there is growth and change. This is something for Virgo to celebrate! Yet she might continue looking at where she is and where she wants to be longingly, and perhaps even a feeling of desperation enters her mind and spirit. The perfect chant for her in a moment such as this one sums up all that we’ve explored. It is the Wholeness or Fullness chant that you’ve likely heard or chanted, and perhaps it’s even a favorite:: 

“Om purnamadah purnamidam

Purnata purnam udachyate

Purnasya purna madaya

Purnam eva vashishyate

“That is whole; this is whole. From wholeness emerges wholeness. When you take the whole from the whole, wholeness remains.” All of Life, including YOU, is what this wholeness refers to. Virgo is here to know this. Then everything she does is an expression of that knowing.

Virgo can respond especially well to mentors, as they provide her with the guidance she so craves in moving forward on a particular path. Think of an auntie figure who’s able to show her niece the ropes in a way that mom can’t. And when it comes to the actual craft, if you want to want to get better at something, hang out with people who are better than you at the said task. By spending time closely working with and learning from people whose artistry Virgo admires and seeks to embody herself, she expands. And if she does fall into the shadow tendency of being hard on herself, a mentor is the perfect person to turn to for reminders of just how far she’s come. In time, Virgo becomes the mentor herself.

During this New Moon time, I invite you to steep in the part of you that is already full in the ways that you feel it most, whether it’s through gathering herbs, making potions, writing, practicing yoga, chanting, or anything else! How do you take the time you need to refine your craft, honing your skills so that you can be of greater service to our world? How do you care for and nourish yourself to ensure you have the energy needed to be of service? How do you remember the innermost nature of Wholeness, even when the record player of the mind begins its old script? What meaningful skills do you have to offer, and how can you do so with even greater excellence and effectiveness? And when you remember that you’re already THAT, how does this change the expression of your gifts? Enjoy!