The Way of Virgo

imagesThere is a great man who makes every man feel small. But the real great man is the man who makes every man feel great. (G.K.Chesterton)

The season of Virgo includes the lunar cycle when grapes are harvested and processed to become wine and the time when crops are reaped. After the climax of romance, pleasure, heat, rest, inspiration and power of Leo, strength is gathered to return to work and utilize, or store, the gifts and blessing that were received.

This is a crucial time of attention, discrimination and care, as the quality of this labour will have decisive effects in the following autumn and winter seasons.

Virgo is a zone of service and synthesis whose goal is to make tangible and objective the original Intent activated by the climax of the Sun in Leo.

This process requires time, patience, mental discrimination and ceaseless release of blocks to the perception of what is meant to emerge. It is a state that often causes a sacred restlessness and anxiety in Virgo people. The level of reality they experience in their mind apparently requires major labours and activities to be manifested outside.

There is absolutely no problem for Virgo to face hard work when there is clarity of Intent and adherence to one’s primal life purpose. As a matter of fact, this is what makes life ecstatic in this realm. Yet, when there is disconnection from the Intent, existence can be very unpleasant, wearisome, and miserable. Then the qualities of Virgo turn against others or oneself, rather than being used for their higher service.

“The best antidote I know for worry is work. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired. One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, Standing for Something: 10 Neglected Virtues That Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes)

Virgo holds the structural awareness of the distribution of the soul’s fragmented pieces as they can be represented in the physical realm. As a result, this sign has the spontaneous capacity to identify connections and thus operate with a pragmatic service and healing spirit.

Virgo is very analytical, yet its attitude is practical rather than intellectual. The purpose is to put everything in its right place so that it can be acknowledged and found. This allows whatever is needed to be at hand.

Virgo’s concern is to make sure that everyone has its own allocation in the wide network. In this context there is a deeper quality, which is that of finding out what is the authentic nature of all that is perceived and its connection to the original unity.

Virgo considers the essential purpose of each part and how it can contribute to the whole by expressing its true nature and function.

All the signs of the zodiac represent the main fragmented parts of the original unity. The Intention and its connection with our core multidimensional identity, the self beyond the separated ego, constitutes the magnetic board that allow each part of the puzzle to find its place in the larger picture.

Virgo deals with the stage of selection and assimilation. It is a phase that requires an attentive work of discrimination between what is useful and what needs to be released. Discipline, an eye for flaws and the capacity to take things apart and reorder them in better shape are called for. Everything is carefully analysed, classified and allocated to its specific and best usage.

This involves filtering or storing the essence of every form and discarding the rest. Here it is essential to focus on the resources that are extracted rather than on the wastes that are expelled. Otherwise, waste material risks being held on to, blocking the process of assimilation and producing toxic effects.

It is a process of discrimination between wheat and chaff exemplified by the sieve, which is also the originator of most ancient western shamanic drums.

In the physical body the above function is played by the intestine, which is the principal portion of the alimentary canal, beginning at the mouth (Taurus) and ending at the anus (Scorpio). The intestine is part of the digestive tract and comprises the zone between the stomach (Cancer) and the anus (Scorpio). It is divided into two major sections: the small intestine, where most of the digestion takes place and food substances are absorbed; and the large intestine, where waste material is excreted. The intestine is the crucial zone where discrimination is at work in order to discern what is to be released as waste material and what is to be stored to become part of the body.

In traditional shamanism the intestine of animals, especially fish or whale, is often used by shamans as an initiatory first level training aimed at gaining knowledge and acquiring healing tools. Once the shaman has acquired experiential understanding of shamanic anatomy and body parts, she is ready to move to the second level, which involves direct interaction between body parts.

As Mircea Eliade describes, the shaman “descends into the belly of a giant or a monster to learn science, wisdom. It is for this reason that the shaman remains in the fish’s belly for three years: to learn the secrets of Nature, to decipher the enigma of life, and to learn the future.”

© Franco Santoro

Image: by Frederic Leighton, 1st Baron Leighton