Each year in the northern hemisphere during the solar month of Virgo, grains, fruits, and vegetables are harvested to be preserved and stored to sustain life throughout the winter. It seemed quite appropriate, therefore, when I once heard a planetarium director refer to Virgo as the “Mother of the Harvest.”
In esoteric astrology, Virgo is the mother of another type of harvest: the harvest of the perfected Soul from the womb of form. It is one of the lessons of Virgo that the very purpose of form life is to enhouse the life of the Soul, while facilitating the personality’s experiences, growth, and education. The body is indeed the “Temple of the Soul.” And the personality, which unfolds and reaches a high degree of development in the sign of Leo, becomes the “mother of the Christ principle” in Virgo. This is a symbolic way of saying that in this sign, the personality assumes the role of nurturer and shielder of the inner Christ Self which lies latent until the personality is prepared to give It birth.
In Virgo, one begins to make one’s personality useful to the indwelling Christ which one is learning to recognize. One purifies one’s motives and redirects one’s talents and mind toward service – the service which results in a higher level of consciousness which stimulates the inner Christ Light.
The Soul and the body, which are distinct and separate in Gemini, begin to be blended in Virgo.
In Virgo, the Word of God/dess begins to take form through the infant Soul which is, as yet, hidden. It is said that this Hidden Spiritual Reality, this indwelling Christ, is eventually and finally manifested in the sign of Pisces.
There is a reason why the form must be gradually prepared, adjusted, and aligned before the consciousness, or inner Soul, can be awakened. If higher spiritual energies are registered by an unprepared form, the form becomes shattered and destroyed. This is why the nervous system, the glandular system, and the brain must be developed and brought to certain degrees of perfection before they can safely receive the highly refined energies from spiritual realms.
In orthodox astrology Virgo represents the processes of assimilation and digestion, the taking in of food whose nutrients are stored for future use. (This meaning is contrasted with that of Cancer, which, in orthodox astrology, represents the process of ingesting food for instant gratification.)
By analogy, in esoteric astrology, Virgo rules the assimilation and digestion of life experiences, those life experiences which contribute to the growth and eventual perfection of the personality.
Virgo is related to the concept of the “womb of time”. Just as the harvest must be stored and hidden away for a period of time, Virgo represents the gestation period of the Soul, a time during which the Soul is hidden.
Sheltered in this womb of time, Virgo has many opportunities to distill practical, everyday wisdom from the variety of experiences she encounters in adjusting to life in an earthbound environment, while learning to give loving service in this environment.
Virgo, the “Virgin Mother”, represents the mothering of the unborn Christ through the purification of her physical, astral, and mental bodies. In this sign, the nurturing mother hides and protects the indwelling Christ within her own substance. She simultaneously nourishes two lives: that of the form and that of the Christ hidden within this form. Her esoteric ruler is the Moon, the mother of all earthly forms. The Moon absorbs and receives the energies of the Sun and other planets in order to transmit nurturing energies to physical life on Earth. In the same way, the life of the personality form in Virgo absorbs, receives, and subordinates itself to the inner spiritual Will to transmit nurturing energies to the hidden Christ Self.
To put it another way, Virgo represents the process whereby matter and form life are purified so that they can eventually reveal Divinity. This is the true reason for the continual striving toward perfection that is so characteristic of this sign. It is necessary for Virgo to constantly adjust, analyze, and discriminate in order to produce the type of form that will be able to nurture, and eventually bring forth, the Christ within.
We can now see Virgo’s seemingly obsessive attention to detail, her incessant discriminatory observations, and her often misunderstood particularities in a new light.
By devotedly nurturing her physical body, her personality, and the physical environment in which she lives, Virgo is also nurturing her Soul, for her Soul, though hidden at this stage, is, in turn, being sheltered and nourished by her body, personality, and environment.
By nurturing and refining the physical environment, she is not only nurturing her own Soul, but also the Soul of Humanity, producing the conditions that will pave the way for the collective Christ consciousness to be born on this planet.
The analogy between Virgo’s traditional and esoteric meanings now becomes clear. Just as the small intestine, which Virgo traditionally rules, assimilates food and prepares it for use by the physical body, esoteric Virgo assimilates the experiences of life and distills their inherent wisdom in order to feed and refine her personality. In this way she is preparing her personality to receive the full impact of her Soul’s energy.
When this full impact is finally achieved, her Soul blossoms, her personality becomes Its devoted instrument, and the indwelling Christ Self is fully born.