Aug 29 2013
Wisdom in the Stars
23 August – 22 September
Our Wisdom in the Stars series is taken from Wisdom in the Stars – Joan Hodgson, White Eagle Trust
The traditional symbol of the sign of Virgo is the Maiden bearing in her arms a sheaf of corn. This seems particularly appropriate in the northern hemisphere where, at the time when the Sun is passing through this sign the corn harvest is being gathered.
In Virgo the element Earth manifests in its mutable or adaptable phase. All the Earth signs teach the spirit of man the lesson of service; and the specialised form of this lesson, taught by the mutable phase of the element, is knowledge gained through investigation, which will in turn lead to wisdom in service. Virgo is ruled by Mercury, the planet of mind; and we find that the children of the sign bring their minds to bear on the manipulation of earth (the physical life and its problems,) and thus are naturally drawn to the mathematical sciences which bring matter under the control of mind. An idea or mental concept brought into physical manifestation (if only in some simple piece of carpentry) demands mathematical accuracy in its execution, if the finished product is to work smoothly and be a good representation of the mental picture.
To use the mind to shape and mould matter is instinctive with Virgo natives, as is care over detail and desire for absolute accuracy, without which it is impossible to achieve perfection. In the course of the growth and unfoldment of the spirit, one of the important lessons which must be mastered is accuracy and perfection in every detail of life. If we are eventually to become godlike, we must gradually unfold our understanding of the precision of the Law, which governs not only the motion of the planets round the Sun but also the minutest detail in the life cycle of the smallest wayside flower. Souls coming into incarnation when the Sun is passing through Virgo are, through the Earth devas, receiving training in this quality. Much experience is needed in many life cycles before full knowledge of the perfection of God’s laws can be attained; and when the soul first attempts to learn this lesson it finds difficulty in keeping a sense of proportion.
Because of the connection of the planet Mercury with Virgo, all the children of the sign are mentally active, and constantly seek knowledge which will bring matter under the control of mind. They are drawn to all types of scientific study and often become clever and agile mental, apt at comparison, criticism and argument. Their interest in detail causes them to subject small sections of life to microscopic analysis rather than to consider first the relationship of each part to the whole. This applies to many of their problems also, and the striving after perfection in trivialities may blind the soul to the main issues of life, causing muddle and confusion.
The mind of man, while a good servant, is a bad master; and when it usurps rulership from the spirit, sorrow and anarchy reign in the kingdom of the soul. For the spirit, even when incarnating in matter, retains a memory of the illimitable, which the mind, with its limited horizons, cannot hope to share. The mind by analysis, criticism, and comparison can study the laws governing matter, and master life’s practical details; but if it becomes powerful and arrogant, ignoring the promptings of the spirit, these practical details assume unwarranted importance and blind the soul to its divine destiny. The vision of heaven which is the birthright of the spirit can be destroyed by the process of dissection, criticism and analysis accorded to matter. Man cannot hope to scale the heights or plumb the depths of the infinite with his mind alone, and because of this, seeks refuge in denial of their existence.
This state brings chaos and mental hell. But as soon as the mind acknowledges the direction and guidance of the King within, instead of being fettered and blinded, it becomes illuminated and vitalised by the sunlight of the spirit. It dissects, weights and analyses matter with quickened vision and understanding, so that where before it saw merely dry dust is now discerns living gold. Even in mathematical formulae can be discovered a hidden number, a magic key which gives the secret of transmuting base metals into find gold.
The gift of the spirit to the mind which faithfully obeys its dictates is discrimination; discrimination between the essential and the trivial, the real and the unreal, the true and the false. Without this gift the soul must wander long in the wilderness of illusion, mistaking a brilliant intellect, with its faculty of criticism, for heavenly wisdom, and becoming ever more bewildered and unhappy. Discrimination causes destructive judgement to be forgotten, for the radiant spirit shining through the mind lights up the grains of gold within the dust of earthliness; and the Christlike soul sees only the Christlike qualities in others.
In the horoscope, Virgo is associated with the sixth house, which rules service and employment as well as health. As mind should serve spirit, faithfully executing the tasks which the Master, the Sun within the universe of the soul, commands, so in the outer world the child of Virgo can express his gifts most harmoniously when working under the direction of a leader who will assign to him those tasks which require patience, precision and exact attention to detail. For this sign does not give its children self-confidence, and they are liable to become over-anxious if forced to accept the responsibility of taking far-reaching decisions. Being perfectionists, they are over-critical of themselves as well as of other people. They doubt their own ability to cope adequately with difficulties which may arise and therefore vacillate and are quickly daunted by opposition. This state of fear and tension can only be overcome by the realisation of divine strength. Man of himself alone is powerless to achieve anything, but with God all things are possible. If mental arrogance is laid aside, and the issue humbly surrendered to divine wisdom, light and help will flow freely to that soul so that his powers will be adequate for the task.
The sixth house, which Virgo rules, is also the house of health. It indicates to the astrologer the state of our health, the complaints to which we are liable and our general interest in health matters. In Greek Mythology, the health Goddess Hygeia was often identified with the Maiden who forms the symbol of this sign; while in our own times the symbol of the medical service is the caduceus, the magic staff of Mercury, ruler of Virgo. From these facts, it would seem that the ancient sages were well aware that the mind has an intimate and indissoluble connection with the health of the body. As the matter composing the world outside man must be studied, analysed and brought under the control of the mind, so also must the matter which composes the physical body. For this reason Virgo gives it children an interest in health and hygienic. This may take a negative form, so that they are continually thinking about health, wanting a scientific knowledge of the construction of the body in order to bring it under the control of the mind. If however the mind in its turn is not under the control of the spirit, the interest that should lead to wise care, purity, and wholeness or holiness, leads instead to foolish fears and apprehensions which can result in semi-invalidism. Where the interest takes a positive form, we find children of Virgo drawn to the medical profession, to nursing, massage, chiropractics, dietetics and other forms of healing.
The secret of perfect health is indeed contained in the mystery of Virgo, the sign of service. Under it influence we learn that the body must serve the mind, the mind must in humility and simplicity serve the spirit, while the spirit serves and obeys the Great Architect of the Universe. The light of the spirit illumining the mind gives wisdom. A wise man does not wear out the body’s energies with worry, fret and overwork. He studies the needs of the body and is wisely moderate and discriminating in his demands, while not tolerating laziness or over-indulgence. When the mind serves only the Great White Spirit, it becomes tranquil and confident in the eternal love and wisdom, in the cosmic law which transmutes evil into good, and ugliness into beauty. The body in turn responds to this peaceful mental state by being relaxed and restful, yet ready for action. Thus polarised, the whole being is open to the universal life force, which can flow through every vehicle, cleansing, purifying, healing and re-creating, so that the soul can indeed worship the Lord in this beauty of holiness.
In myth and fairy tale we may compare the Virgin of the zodiac to the pure and innocent princess whom the knight (the spirit of man) with his magic sword of light must rescue from the monsters of ignorance and arrogance. The golden sheaves she carries are the sheaves of wisdom garnered in the fields of experience; for purity is neither the blindness or ignorance nor the fear of contamination. It is full and comprehensive knowledge, transmuted by the power of love into the simplicity of wisdom. The soul thus cleansed and clad in a garment whiter than snow, approaches the mystery of life – no longer with criticism and doubt, but with a childlike wonder and reverence. It sees in all things a manifestation of divine love, truth and beauty; and knows that the humblest service to the least of God’s creation is an act of praise, of worship, and of thankfulness to the Most High.