The Signs


Element Earth
Mode Mutable
Ruler Mercury
Exaltation Mercury 15
Triplicity Venus [daytime] and Moon [night]
Ptolemaic terms Mercury 7 Venus 13 Jupiter 18 Saturn 24 Mars 30
Decans (Faces) Sun 10 Venus 20 Mercury 30
Detriment Jupiter and Neptune
Fall Venus

Virgo is a “mutable earth” sign. You can think of it as a set of gears, a sort of mechanism always running to produce a concrete result. Each piece must fit exactly as planned, since a mistake can cost you dearly in here. Precision, attention and awareness are more than required, because a single, defective part could prevent the entire system from functioning. The purpose of all this pedantry is indeed to keep things going exactly as they are. The life force of Virgo is driven by the secret belief that to keep is to survive.

As always, this view comes from Nature. In late summer (September) we begin to realize that all the abundance of the season is slowly fading away. Since we still have the opportunity to benefit from it, the fruits of the earth are prepared properly to be preserved as long as possible. In order to be stored, the harvest must be first carefully winnowed. That’s the moment for the precision of the sign to kick in, since a single  part of rotten wheat could compromise the entire stock.

A woman in a field as a symbol for Virgo

The exaltation of Mercury, which is also in its domicile, gives the sign curiosity and attention to details. Having both rulership and exaltation assigned to the same planet may be strange for a sign. But the truth is that essential dignities are cumulative. This means we can expect rulership and exaltation to have a similar effect, but on different levels.

In both cases Mercury affects the sign with a “shrinking force”, which is basically the opposite of Jupiter‘s expansive effect. However, in the case of exaltation it becomes focus, concentration and analytical skills (a “shrunk spirit”); whereas in the case of rulership it manifests in the personality as humility (a “shrunk soul”).

Virgo are in fact very humble people. This is so mainly due to their perfectionism, which constantly make them aware of their own mistakes. In the worst cases this can also lead them to think that there is something wrong with them. They’re terribly self-critical, to the point that in their sight something is just fine when it’s good, and it is good when it’s perfect. Being aware of all their flaws prevent them to be openly proud of their achievements. Modesty comes natural to them, as well as insecurity.

Their efficiency, combined with their shy temper, makes them perfect subordinates. Ironically, Nature gives them high skills but not the right temper for leadership. And all this in the name of harmony, otherwise they could easily conquer the world. We could say that basically there’s nothing Virgo can’t achieve. Their lack of confidence is mainly caused by the detriment of the charismatic Jupiter, whereas their irrational fear of the unknown (the unexpected, the error) is the result of Neptune‘s exile.

The fall of Venus is the main cause of their excessive rigidity. Both love and art require letting yourself go with the flow of life, which is something very difficult for them. However, as earth signs, they can still be very sensual, especially women. They find their major issues in relationships, which are likely to be a little bit too cold or restrained.


Key Words

  • Earth, mutable, gear, mechanism, clock, machine, hyperactivity
  • concentration, focus, analytical skills, attention to details
  • efficiency, accuracy, precision, pedantry, perfectionism, conformism,
  • execution, subordination, obedience, tasks, achievements
  • Modesty, humility, shyness, low self-esteem, insecurity, anxiety
  • Sansuality, rigidity, coldness, distance, virginity

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