Virgo Mythology

topic posted Sun, September 18, 2005 - 3:02 PM by  Wendy
Though Virgo is currently co-ruled with Gemini by Mercury, the true ruler of Virgo is said to be Vulcan. The asteroids Chiron, Ceres, and Vesta are also associated with Virgo and have been argued as better representing the archetype of Virgo.

Chiron, is also considered to be a powerful archetype for Sagitarrius. Those of you with Sagitarrius rising or another major astrological indicator in Sagitarrius might find the Chrion archetype particularly interesting.

Though Vulcan is said to be the true ruler of Virgo, there is not actually an astrological body to represent it. You can look up the placement of the asteroids Chiron, Vesta, and Ceres in your chart, however, and read up on the meaning of their placements by going to the following threads:



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  • Re: Virgo Mythology - Vulcan

    Sun, September 18, 2005 - 3:05 PM
    The ruler of Virgo is described in astrological tradition as "the negative side of Mercury", an expression which tells us that this aspect of deity cannot be positively connected with the power of any known planet. Some recent astrologers have put forward the theory that the true ruler is Vulcan, a planet whose existence is suspected by astronomers, and whose invisibility is accounted for by the smallness of its size and by its nearness to the Sun whose radiance eclipses it (Astronomy of late has been inclined to shelve this theory. Astrology clings to it yet.);

    The Smith of Olympus is, in truth, an excellent symbol of the form of energy most apparent in those who come under the Virgo influence.

    Vulcan is the craftsman, the artificer, the practical worker among the Gods. He forges their armour, fashions their ornaments, and builds their palaces. In serving them he obeys the essential impulse of his own nature, never drudging mechanically as a slave, even when working under orders, but always with some originality, accepting commissions, but executing them according to his own designs. In fact he works as a great artist does, obeying the dictates of his patrons without troubling his bead about why the order is given or whether it should have been given at all, and concentrating all his energy and intellect on the manner of its execution.

    His will is enough to set his great bellows in motion. His glowing furnace tries and tests and purifies the materials at his disposal, separating the true metal from the dross. He wields his hammer with power and might, and gold and silver and shining steel leave his hands fashioned into forms so fair, as well as so strong and lasting, that all Olympus marvels. His frame is powerful, his muscles firmly knit, his right arm is ever bared, and ready for work. As he stands at his forge he is a grand and impressive figure; but when he leaves it to join in the festivities of the Gods, and, true to his instinct for serving others attempts to carry round the cup of nectar, he does it so awkwardly that Olympus rings with laughter - for this strange, strong deity of the forge is lame.

    His "one-sided" tendency is also expressed by the poets in the legend that he had no Father, but sprang from Juno alone, the inner meaning of which becomes clear to the student if he calls to mind that Vulcan’s wife (according to the Iliad) is Charis, or Love, the Mother of the Graces.

    The type of energy expressed by Virgo needs Grace to complete it. Service, to be perfect, must be loving service; otherwise it becomes uncouth, unwelcome, and even, at times, ridiculous. And note that Charis signifies love at its purest and most passionless; the self-sacrificing, self-effacing love expressed by the power of Pisces - the sign opposite to Virgo in the horoscope.

    In the Odyssey Vulcan is mated with Venus - unequally and unhappily mated, for she prefers Mars, and is false to her lord, who punishes her by turning upon her the ridicule of heaven; and the gods themselves amid their laughter, acknowledge that after all, the erring pair are well-matched. A strange and puzzling story to the student of mythology, but one pregnant with meaning to the astrologer; for Venus and Mars are the true wedded couple - Libra balancing Aries; and Virgo and Pisces, which complete and harmonise each other, expressing service with devotion, are both, in their highest human manifestation, celibate signs.

    The Vulcanalia, or chief festival of the lame god, was held in Rome on August 23rd, at which time the Sun is in Virgo - an interesting and suggestive coincidence. In Greek mythology Hephaestos corresponds to the Latin Vulcan, and both are closely related to the various Gods of the anvil or the furnace who are found in almost all religions. In Christianity this power is represented by St. Clement, the patron saint of blacksmiths, and finds another sympathetic saint in St. James, the apostle of good works, who is a special favourite with the serving orders of monks and nuns.

    The chief characteristic of the fully developed Virginian is his marvellous power of discrimination. He tries everything in the furnace of his criticism, separates, sifts, classifies and arranges his materials and his men, recognising at a glance the potential value of each, and organising the work entrusted to him so as to make the very best practical use of everyone and everything.

    Hand and brain generally work together in people of this type, especially in all matters in which accuracy and method are important. Their clear heads and thrifty ways make them excellent managers, enabling them to shine as public servants, and qualifying them to bear the burden of much anxious and responsible work in connection with large enterprises and important undertakings.

    The Virginian is not always doomed to work without reward or appreciation from his fellow men. Untiring industry, practical ability, clear vision and critical acumen are bound to bring a man to the front sooner or later; and though it is often later - for this type generally seems to start handicapped in some way - many a son of Vulcan has inscribed his name on the Honours list in life, thanks to his Virgo qualities. Success has been achieved notably in the lines of criticism and literature, and also in art - especially painting. These people work best "at the forge" - i.e., alone in studio, study or workshop - have small patience with underlings, assistants and apprentices, and no patience at all with the critics, unless their comments show exceptional discrimination and are practically helpful.

    Astrological tradition associates this sign of Virgo with the Holy Hermits of old, and though such an idea seems to contradict the above, the two forms of religion are not really irreconcilable, for the hermitage is generally associated with the closing years of a life that has been full of activity. Saints of this type were generally believed to have played their part in the world before leaving it, and were, not infrequently, reputed to have suffered much through the affections. Elderly Virginians will generally own that the descriptions of these pure and peaceful lives appeal to them very strongly. The rocky cave for shelter, the, limpid stream for the daily bath, the simple diet of nuts and fruits, with the milk of the hind - emblem of purity -for all luxury. The practice of such austerities hardly smiles upon us in our northern clime; but in far-away forest and desert and cave many a Virginian follows the calling still, and lives out his declining years in the lap of nature, resting after labour, and learning, who can say how many lessons in the process.

    Manifesting physically, the Virgo type is associated with a somewhat wiry build, generally strong and muscular, and capable of enduring long hours of steady work, and much physical fatigue. The hair is usually dark brown or black, the eyes very clear and often hazel or grey; but colour varies, as always, with race and climate. The mouth is small, the nose rather long, the expression always intelligent and sometimes keenly critical. The type at its best is exceedingly handsome, but there is apt to be a "faultily faultless, icily regular" flavour about it. The beauty depends on regularity of feature and fineness of form, and lacks plastic grace, unless one of the softer and more loving elements in the horoscope - Libra, Venus, Pisces, etc. - is strongly emphasised, in which case there is great personal charm, ready repartee and a sparkling wit.

    Even at its gentlest this type is always critically alive to the faults and failings of those around it—its dearest friends included. Though France and her children generally are ruled by Leo, the city of Paris is said to be specially under the influence of Virgo. It is certainly a city of detail, the home of encyclopaedists and the centre of an organisation of the most finicking type: The French Government dictates the very hours of the children’s lessons with such precision that the little scholars in the East of France have to attend their classes by Parisian time, rising winter and summer an hour earlier by the Sun than their contemporaries in the West. The Parisian is generally handsome and always tastefully and suitably dressed, has few illusions and no cherished beliefs; is sceptical, practical, makes an excellent craftsman, and is very often exceedingly witty. There is more Leonian tolerance than Virginian purity associated with the life of the gay city; but it is an oft repeated assertion that the foreign elements of the population are responsible for its doubtful reputation, and not the nativeborn Parisians, who are usually hard-working, frugal and temperate.

    The irritable bachelor uncle of the comic papers is a burlesque of this type, and another is the Angular Spinster of the caricaturist, with her sharp speech, dislike of children and weakness for cats, which animals are traditionally said to be ruled by Virgo.

  • Re: Virgo Mythology - Chiron

    Sun, September 18, 2005 - 3:10 PM

    Chiron (pronounced Kai-Ron) was a centaur - half-horse, half-human. Chiron was unusual because he was wise and civilised. While the other centaurs were a rowdy bunch, given to much partying - as well as rape and pillage - Chiron poured his half-animal, half-human nature into the study of astrology, medicine, music and the warrior arts.

    He was the child of Cronos (Saturn) and Phyllra. Saturn, king of the gods at the time was highly sexed and chased all the goddesses. Phyllra was a nymph who tried to escape from him by turning herself into a horse. But Saturn found her, turned himself into a horse and raped her.
    Phyllra refused to even look at her baby, calling him an abomination. So Chiron was rejected by his mother.

    He was the priest king of the centaurs and was adopted by Apollo, the Sun God who was his teacher. Chiron became brave, warm hearted with healing skills. He was the astrologer-teacher, the mentor who initiated heroes including Achilles, Orpheus, Jason and Hercules. He became their mentor and like a foster parent to them.

    He was a renowned teacher. Among his many students was Hercules, whom he taught how to make the poison-tipped arrows that guaranteed his triumph in battle. One day he accidentally dropped a poisoned arrow on his left foot (in some versions, it is Hercules who accidentally shot him). He became violently ill, but was not able to die because he was immortal. He retreated to his cave and in trying to heal himself, created the healing arts.

    Despite this valuable contribution, his wound never quite healed. Eventually, he made a deal with Zeus to die in place of Prometheus, whom Zeus had chained to a rock where vultures picked at his liver every day in punishment for stealing fire and giving it to humanity. This act of heroism was rewarded by the gods who placed him in the heavens as the constellation of Sagittarius.

    The Chiron Archetype

    As a centaur, Chiron brings together the animal (instinctual/unconscious) and the human (intellectual/conscious). Chiron is one who removes himself from the baser expressions of his nature - the rowdy living of the other centaurs - and transmutes his nature into that of the healer, teacher and diviner. In particular, Chiron is the archetype of the wounded healer, one who in trying to heal his own wound, creates a gift for others.

    Chiron's story is about shame. Chiron is rejected by his mother simply for being himself. And often Chiron's placement in the natal chart indicates where we are carrying some deep shame about who we are. What isn't perfect about us often becomes an incredible cross to bear. And even if we work hard to hide it or deny it, that shame lurks in the shadows, waiting to erupt. And when Chiron connects with a personal planet it gets triggered.

    Maverick, Holistic Healer, Ecologist, Mentor, Rainbow Bridge, Shaman.

    Chiron has an affinity with Sagittarius and also with Virgo as the sign connected with healing and medicine. It has a very elliptical orbit of 50 years and it originated from the Kuiper Belt near Pluto. This area is full of cosmic debris, thought by many to be left over from the Big Bang, the Creation. Pluto represents the Underworld, or what lies hidden and buried from us deep in the unconscious mind.
  • Re: Virgo Mythology - Ceres

    Sun, September 18, 2005 - 3:16 PM
    The Myth of Ceres

    Known to the Greeks as Demeter, Ceres was the goddess of agriculture who worked unceasingly to bring food and nourishment to the people of the earth. One of the great classical myths tells of her daughter Persephone's ravishment and abduction by Pluto, lord of the underworld. Grieving, Ceres wandered over the earth in search of her missing child. In her grief, depression and anger, she caused a famine, withholding production of all food until her daughter was returned.

    Persephone meanwhile had eaten pomegranate seeds, a symbol of sexual awareness, thus giving Pluto a claim over her so that she could not be returned permanently to her mother. A compromise was reached whereby Persephone would spend part of each year in the underworld with Pluto caring for the souls of the dead, but each spring would be reunited with her mother in the upper world as she initiated the dead into the rites of rebirth. For over two thousand years, this drama was celebrated regularly in ancient Greece as the initiation rites of the Eleusinian mysteries.

    Ceres Within Us
    Ceres represents the part of our nature that longs to give birth and then to nourish and sustain the new life. She represents the essential bonding or lack thereof that occurs between mother and child. She is the impulse not just to nurture, but also to be nurtured by others through the giving and receiving of acceptance and unconditional love.

    The story of Ceres and Persephone speaks to the complex mother-child relationship, emphasizing the interplay of closeness and separation, of nurturing and eventual letting-go as the child becomes an adult able to function on her or his own. Once the letting-go is accomplished, the child is free to reestablish the bond in a different key by becoming a friend to the parent and by producing grandchildren.

    The Ceres myth also contains the themes of major physical or emotional loss, separation, abandonment, rejection, and estrangement that occur between parents and children, and later in life with other loved ones. One example of this is the anguish we face in cases of divorce or adoption when we need to share our children with their other parent. Ceres symbolizes attachment to whatever we have given birth to or created, and also the agony of losing it. If her myth is one of loss, however, it is also one of return, of death but also rebirth. Reminding us that loss makes way for new birth, Ceres can teach us the lesson of letting go.

    A central part of Ceres bonding is the giving of food as an expression of love. In our early experiences as children, this food and love may be freely given. In other instances, however, it is conditionally awarded, withheld as a form of punishment, pushed upon us, or simply neglected. Then the self-love and self-worth of the child are undermined and underdeveloped, causing a host of psychological problems.

    The mythological Ceres withheld food in the midst of her grief and depression. Correspondingly, one typical kind of Ceres wound is an obsessive relationship with food, including the whole range of eating disorders and food-related illnesses. Related to this, there can also be problems with a poor body image.

    In her grief, Ceres became immobilized. Thus another Ceres problem manifests as being plunged into depths of depression or despair, making us incapable of daily functioning, work, and all other forms of productivity. To the extent that depression is associated with incomplete mourning, working through the stages of grief (shock, anger, bargaining, depression, and ultimately acceptance) can help to promote healing in times of loss.

    An additional theme comes from Ceres's daughter Persephone being raped by Pluto, her mother's brother. This points to fears that parents may have in protecting their children from similar harm. Certain Ceres placements in the chart may also point to one's having oneself experienced incest or other sexual abuse as a child.

    On a transpersonal level, Ceres as the Mother of the World moves us to care about the homeless and hungry, and also about the destruction of the earth's resources. She urges us to take compassionate action to provide for fundamental human needs, and to care for the body of the earth which supports and sustains us.

    Ceres not only gave birth to the living, but in her aspect as Persephone she received the souls of the dead back into her womb to prepare them for rebirth. Thus Ceres can also express as a vocation for either midwifery or hospice work, facilitating the transition from death to life and back again on either the physical or the psychological level.

    Ceres embodies the great truth of transformation, that from death comes new life. This comes not just from the Persephone part of her story, but also from the nature of food, which always requires the taking of plant or animal life in order to sustain our own lives.

    Ceres also teaches the wisdom that over-attachment and possessiveness can eventually bring loss, whereas sharing and letting go lead ultimately to reunion.

    Ceres in Your Chart
    The zodiacal sign of Ceres shows the particular quality of nurturing that you experienced as a child. This sets the stage for how you presently nurture the child within yourself, and ultimately determines how you nurture others. The sign position of Ceres can alert you to possible problems with nurturing, and can direct you to the kinds of experience that you need to feel unconditionally loved and accepted.
  • Re: Virgo Mythology - Vesta

    Sun, September 18, 2005 - 3:23 PM
    The Myth of Vesta
    To the ancient Greeks, Vesta was known as Hestia, a name derived from the word for hearth, and it appears that she had to do with the domestication of fire for human use in the home and in sacrificial offerings.

    As the eldest of the Olympian gods, she was the most venerated, and was always given the first sacrifices and libations. There are few stories about her deeds, and the few depictions of her show her in repose, indicating an inward, contemplative nature. She refused the marriage offers of Apollo and Poseidon, and under Zeus's protection vowed to remain a virgin forever.

    In Roman mythology, Hestia became Vesta, always veiled, but known as the most beautiful of the deities. In the home she was venerated as the protectress of the hearth and its flame. In public life, she was thought of as the protectress of the state, and her priestesses were the six Vestal Virgins of Rome. Dedicated to spiritual service, the Vestals were responsible for keeping the sacred flame burning which was thought to ensure the safety of Rome. They enjoyed great prestige, but if they let the flame go out, they were whipped, and if they violated their oath of chastity during their term of office, they were punished by a public whipping, and then buried alive.

    Vesta became the prototype of the medieval nun. However, several thousand years earlier in the ancient Near East, the predecessors of the Vestals tended a temple flame but also engaged in sacred sexual rites in order to bring healing and fertility to the people and the land.

    The original meaning of the word "virgin" meant not "chaste," but simply "unmarried." Whereas Ceres and Juno required relationship to complete themselves, Vesta's priestesses represent an aspect of the feminine nature that is whole and complete in itself.

    When the old goddess religions gave way to those of the solar gods, sexuality became divorced from spirituality, such that a woman desiring to follow a spiritual path had to remain chaste. Earlier, however, a priestess, representing the Goddess, could enter into a state of spiritual transcendence through sexual union with an partner in a manner that did not call for marriage or commitment.

    In the later patriarchal culture, ecstatic illumination was experienced as the descent of the spirit of the god into oneself, and the now-chaste Greek priestesses became the brides of the god Apollo in the sense that the Christian nuns became the brides of Christ.

    Vesta Within Us
    In the human psyche, Vesta represents the part of each person's nature that feels the urge to experience the sexual energy of Venus in a sacred manner. This may occur in several different ways.

    If we are a typical product of our culture's mores, we will most likely internalize this sexual energy. We may devote ourselves to following a spiritual, religious, or meditational path, even following in priestly or monastic footsteps. Or, in our lifelong therapeutic work, we may experience this union with the Self as the process of psychological integration. In one way or another, we turn inward to attain clarity, and in this way we energize ourselves. The vision that arises when we reach the whole and self-contained core of our being then enables us to follow a vocation in which we can be of service in the world.

    Vesta the virgin speaks to us of the importance of the relationship we have with ourselves. This may lead to a single lifestyle. If we are married, we may not be comfortable with the total surrender asked for in the merging with another. In Vesta's realm we may find our most satisfactory sexual encounters in being our own best lover.

    Alternatively, we may hark back to the earlier cults of priestesses in the Ancient Near East, and periodically find ourselves in sexual encounters with those who pass briefly through our lives or to whom we are not married or committed. These couplings are often marked by a sense that something special, healing and sacred has occurred. To the extent that our society has no context in which to validate sexual unions that do not lead to becoming mated, we may be left with a sense of shame, guilt, and incompleteness. To free ourselves from this burden, we must understand the inherent nature of Vesta's virgins and how they unified sexuality and spirituality.

    Vesta protects not only the inner flame of spirituality and sexual energy, but also other precious things that ensure the continuation of human life. As "keeper of the flame" she preserved the state and the institutions of society. She also guarded the home and hearth, including kitchens and the preparation and purity of food. Today she could be seen as a librarian, museum curator, or other sort of worker who preserves the sparks of human culture. She could also express herself in an occupation that deals with housing or food.

    Through Vesta, you integrate and regenerate on inner levels so that you can then focus and dedicate yourself to work in the outer world. In the human psyche, Vesta represents the process of spiritual focus that can lead to personal integration. In a broader sense, she signifies the ability to focus on and dedicate ourselves to a particular area of life. When our focus becomes too narrow, we can sometimes feel limited and hemmed in. When our capacity to focus is obstructed, we can feel scattered. This, too, may cause us to experience limitation in the area of life represented by Vesta's sign or house position.

    To sum up, Vesta is the archetype of the Sister and the Temple Priestess, whose virginity signifies her wholeness and completeness within herself. Her sign, house and aspect placements in your birth chart show how you use the basic sexual energy of Venus to deepen your relationship to yourself.

    Vesta in Your Chart
    The zodiacal sign of Vesta in your chart suggests how you can best cultivate the spiritual flame within, and then use it in service to others. It can alert you to ways in which the intense focusing quality of Vesta can become too narrow and hence counterproductive, and it can also provide a key to exploring the spiritual qualities of sexual energy.

    The House that Vesta Occupies
    Vesta's house position shows the areas of life where you are most likely to experience your desire for self-integration and your dedication to a calling. This can be a place of dedication and commitment, and also a place where you experience limitation of some sort in order to realize that commitment.
    • Unsu...

      Re: Virgo Mythology - Vesta

      Fri, September 23, 2005 - 2:17 AM
      What a beautifully informative thread Wendy! Thank you for posting all of this information! I've been cut and pasting it into a new document for in depth perusing later!

      On, i see the placement of Chiron listed, but i don't see Vesta or can i find out what they are in my chart?

      • Unsu...

        Re: Virgo Mythology - Vesta

        Fri, September 23, 2005 - 2:25 AM
        ok, so i went to the site you mentioned for finding out your chiron, and correct me if i'm wrong, but one's Vesta and Ceres are the same?

        gonna go read more poetry for class now...instead of reading fun myths about Virgos:)

        • Re: Virgo Mythology - Vesta

          Sat, September 24, 2005 - 3:01 PM
          Your Vesta and Ceres might happen be in the same sign, if that's what you're asking, Storm. Otherwise, no, they are not the same.

          If they are each in the same sign then you may react similiarly in both matters of personal spiritual growth and giving and recieving nurturance.

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