Where Dumuzi is Aries and Inanna is Pisces, the archetype of Virgo may be found in Gestinanna, sister of Dumuzi. Spica, the brightest star in Virgo, was seen as Šala: a goddess whose symbol was an ear of corn. The Furrow star was depicted as Šala in a Seleuic astronomical tablet. The Babylonians regarded Virgo as the corn goddess Nidaba. Nonnos in the Dionysiaca, Manilius in his Astronomica and Vergil in his Georgics 1.32 wrote of Virgo as the woman Erigone; Hyginus maintained this association as well.
The Virgin is an image of purity. Nothing has possessed her. She is attached to nothing, wants nothing, fears nothing. Nothing holds her. She is free, unbound by earthly drama. Yet, she is here, on the earth. What does the world offer one who seeks nothing but perfection? What can she do? She waits, aloof as the Madonna. She works on herself. And to pass the time, she helps out where she can. This is one of the least-appreciated zodiac signs, which makes absolutely zero sense to me, but they never seem to mind. Virgo is a humane sign. They are worth the price in platinum.
Virgoans are constantly taking in information from the environment and analyzing their findings internally. From an evolutionary perspective— referring to the revolving motion of the zodiac— this sign needs to learn to be able to discriminate what is pertinent to its reality and discard that which is not. The Virgo archetype is about being drawn inwardly in order to realize and acknowledge the need to be of service outward to something other than the self. Identity here comes out of Leo where the sense is being full of oneself, and into Virgo where that fullness gets popped, deflated, and humiliated, from superiority to inferiority. The puzzle is now missing some pieces. So Virgo looks in all sorts of places trying to fill the void in the effort to finish that puzzle; make it whole. In pursuing those missing pieces though, it has continually missed the mark since perfection isn't quite possible here on earth. But it keeps trying, thinking that the missing puzzle piece is here, or there... in this book, or that one, or even in the form of an apple offered by a snake... and thus we tie back to guilt and symbols such as the Garden of Eden. Trying to fill the missing pieces through a variety of ways (sometimes delusion) is part of how Virgo learns the lesson of discernment: what fits reality and what does not.
So Virgoans are very disciplined, with a strong inner desire to refine their thoughts and actions. Mutable Virgo harvests the fruit of identity which ripens within Leo. It then plants afresh the second half of the zodiac: Virgo is the culmination of the subjective aspects of consciousness, and is subsequently followed by the societal realm of relating to others through Libra. As a gateway between the subjective and objective realms of experience, Virgo represents how the soul begins to reconcile for the guilt that has accumulated from selfish pursuit of perfection, and reaches atonement through starting to care for others. The focus here shifts from 'self' to the 'other.'
From Aries to Leo it is as if we have been building a pyramid with Leo on top. Personality attains a pinnacle. It can be taken no further. Roaring gets old. Consciousness grows tired of fanfare and reaches for a deeper meaning; for purpose. Leo looms large. But gradually our circle of attention widens. The mighty Lion is revealed in a new perspective: against the backdrop of galaxies, of aeons, of life and death, his pride and vanity are absurd. The Lion's roar turns out to be empty. Our next step is nothing less than a leap to a new level of experience. With Virgo the pyramid piles on top of the individual.
Two visions drive Virgo along her path. One (the ideal) beckons her from up ahead. The other (reality) whips her from behind. Together, they give her no rest. The purpose of those two visions is to create a hunger, a need to move toward the ideal. She sees her potential, what she would look like if she shattered all the inner chains which bind her. And she sees what she really is. Clearly. Concisely. With brutal honesty. No sign can dissect itself so coldly. The Virgin may sacrifice herself too much. She may tear herself to shreds on the reefs of her own honesty:
"That is what I should be ... this is what I actually am ... Oh my god!"
The sharp focus of Virgo's consciousness may blind her to larger patterns. Details may overwhelm her. She may become so lost in cataloging the stress points in her life that she loses track of how good it feels to be alive. Fretting, nitpicking, self-abnegation— those are the hazards that arise when her clarity is untempered by perspective and self-acceptance.
Constantly in Mercurian motion, our Virgoan neighbors gather and spread knowledge, enjoy meeting new people and seeing new places, are health conscious and often anxious. They enjoy keeping their mind sharp, their vocabulary up to date; and are detailed and service oriented. Very concerned about the subtleties, and often overlook the overall situation because of the beauty of the immediate. It is very difficult for them to actually enjoy their leisure, because of their need to be of service to others. Yet perhaps they never follow through on that impulse either, because Virgo neither feels good or ready enough. Virgos would benefit from a way to relax their spirits; a free way of expressing their feelings. If they can shift their attention from constant self-blame and introspection, they may be able to have a more open mind.
Drugs have a seductive effect on them. A desire to alter Virgo's rigid consciousness? A need to vacate? La nostalgie de la boue? Virgos must be on guard against self-destructive tendencies.
In its imperfection, this sign seeks the elusive perfection. It naturally seeks the balance of its opposite sign, Pisces, so it can face the truth of reality, and break through illusions, lies and confusion, and the compensations born out of them. A particular dynamic with this sign may be explained through the idea of a to-do list that just keeps getting longer and longer, with the most important things often near the bottom. Making lists, adding to lists, trying to finish everything on the list, never feeling complete since there is always something on the stupid list...or they do finish the list and realize that none of it was what they needed to do for themselves, so they start a new list. Wash, rinse, repeat... Here exists a strong masochistic psychology. At its core, this is derived from the polarity between Virgoan reality and Piscean illusion. This sign must emerge into Libra with the potential for meeting the world as a social equal; not inferior, not superior.
Sagittarius forms a square with Virgo. This relates to their need to live morally and ethically in order to address the faults and imperfections of modern society and its man-made systems. The ideal of living simply, honest and fair. To understand the diversity of life and beliefs. These signs both naturally align with the understanding that their perceptions of life are unique to themselves.
In relation to the earth grand trine, our innate resources in Taurus relate to society as a whole in Capricorn through finding our right work and service in Virgo. There is a an element here that begins to induce humility and knuckles down to a course of action that might benefit others. In this way, Virgo disciplines the zodiac.