Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Happy Birthday, Virgo!

Virgo – from the zodiac window at Chartres Cathedral

Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.
— Mother Theresa, spoken like the true Virgo she was

Today, the Sun enters the sign of Virgo, and so we enter into, according to some traditions, the Month of Isis, a time of the creative and healing power of the Divine Feminine.

We now enter in earnest the harvest season. Earthy Virgo is symbolized by the ear of wheat and the bunch of grapes — or alternately, an ear of wheat and a sickle. According to the ancient poets, the virgin Virgo is also sometimes known as Astraea. She lived on the earth during the Golden Age of man, which is described by Hesiod:

First a golden race of mortal men were made by the immortals who have Olympian homes. They lived in Kronos’ [Saturn’s] time, when he ruled the sky, they lived like gods, with carefree heart, free and apart from trouble and pain; grim old age did not afflict them, but with arms and legs always strong they played in delight, apart from all evils; They died as if subdued by sleep; and all good things were theirs; the fertile earth produced fruit by itself, abundantly and unforced; willingly and effortlessly they ruled their lands with many goods.

But since the earth hid this race below, they are daimones by the plans of great Zeus [Jupiter], benevolent earthly guardians of mortal men, who watch over judgments and cruel deeds, clothed in air and roaming over all the earth. (from Works and Days 109-125)

The “daimones” of which Hesiod speaks are invisible spirits which watch over humanity. Presumably, although it is unclear, Astraea is the daimone whose province is justice. The emblem of Her office was therefore the scales (Libra), which are seen next to Virgo in the sky.

Waverly FitzGerald notes, “Virgo is one of the biggest constellations of our solar system, and represents the harvest Goddess presiding over the sky at the time of shooting stars, vacations, heat waves and the grain harvest.”

And according to Dan Furst’s Hermes World Calendar, the Olympian God Vulcan-Hephaestus is also honored on this day of the Sun’s entry into Virgo. Significantly, some astrologers have long proposed the existence of an undiscovered planet Vulcan, said to be the true ruler of Virgo. He is in the same lineage of alternate Virgo rulers, including Chiron and Demeter-Ceres.

As if that’s not enough, the ancient Romans also celebrated the Vertumnalia this day – yet another harvest celebration. It was held in honor of Vertumnus, the God who manages the change of seasons and also holds the secret by which flowers transform into fruit.

Today, perhaps you’ll take some time to note the subtle signs that Summer is yielding to the changes of Autumn. Or, if you live below the equator, Spring is stirring. For those of us in the Northern hemisphere, temperatures may still swelter, but look closely and see change is coming. What hint of Fall (or Spring) is in the air where you live?

And don’t forget — today is day six of Odin’s ordeal on the World Tree Yggdrasil, to receive the gift of the runes.

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  • August 22, 2008, 8:39 am Rick Loftus

    What a wonderful posting on the harvest goddesses and gods for today! Thanks Beth! And I’m biased (my birthday is day after tomorrow) but I LOVE this time of year.
    And I’d like to mention another, more modern festival held this time of year: Burning Man. Not exactly a harvest festival, but it’s definitely a celebration of abundance (an entire city whose economy is based on “gifting”) and is hot-hot-HOT since it’s held in the desert. Here in SF I’m watching dozens of my patients pack it up for the playa this week.
    And for any interested readers: Vulcan was indeed a hypothetical planet, predicted by astronomers to lie inside the orbit of Mercury (talk about hot! the perfect location for a god of fire). Ultimately, it took Einstein’s theory of General Relativity to explain observed anomalies in Mercury’s orbit. The effects of “Planet Vulcan” turned out to be explained not by a flesh-and-blood/stone-and-magma planet, but by the curvature of space-time. The story is a beautiful illustration of a dance between scientific Intuition and scientific Reason, coming together to find truth.

  • August 22, 2008, 10:07 am Anonymous

    Thanks for the birthday wishes from another Virgo (who owns a scythe btw). I enjoyed your comment too Rick. Linda Goodman wrote a lot about Vulcan. I wonder about your lyric comment about this dance between intuition and reason “finding truth.” Have astrologers dropped the idea of finding a new planetary home for Virgo? And why would earthy folk have a God of Fire for a planet?


  • August 22, 2008, 9:00 pm Hecate RavenMoon

    Blessed be.

    That was a very interesting article.

    I too posted an article that I read earlier today on the net about Isis. I even found a pic of an Isis sculpture that I posted along with it.

    As always, your posts are very interesting and informative. Thank you for sharing.

    Have a great weekend.

  • August 24, 2008, 2:46 pm shamrockwitch

    Hi Beth, interesting post- I and my partner are both Virgo's which can be very interesting indeed- so thanks for sharing.I have a little something to show you on my blog spot, if you have a chance to stop by. Much love & light. Brightest Blessings