Virgo Sun: August 23 – September 22

August 21, 2008 by  

The Sun enters cold and dry Virgo on August 23, cooling down substantially from fiery Leo. The Sun in Virgo is somewhat incongruous, a hot/dry planet in a cold/dry sign. Astrologer Ibn Ezra said that Virgo rules scholars, learned people, writers, and merchants. The Sun is the planet of rulers, the nobility, and “top command” of all types. The two characterizations don’t mesh that well; very few leaders are also scholars, or even learned, for that matter. There are exceptions, but they are rare, like the Romaemperor-philosopher Marcus Aurelius, whose name is enshrined in history. The picture above depicts him distributing bread to the people, true to the Sun (emperor) in Virgo (bread) symbolism.

The Sun is the giver of life, but Virgo is a barren sign, because it is mentally fertile; Virgo is the most cerebral of the earth signs. Virgo thus channels the energy of the Sun, but not perfectly, which is why Virgo is not an optimal placement for the Sun. It is not a terrible placement, but the Sun does not have lots of dignity in Virgo.

What Astrologers Say about Sun in Virgo

Here are other perspectives on this placement, traditional and contemporary.

William Ramesey, in Astrologia Restaurata, writes: “The sixth sign is called Virgo (signifying a maid) because the Sun therein hath his heat diminished, and dryness ruleth, so that things cease to increase, and the earth becometh barren; being of the nature of a Virgin, who is naturally tending to cold rather than heat, and is of herself barren.” The symbolism here is memorable: intellect without the life-giving warmth of Spirit is cold and barren.

In The Consultation Chart, Wanda Sellar describes this placement as giving “a talent for administration and an impressive knowledge of past and present events. There is a tendency to work quietly behind the scenes, which ultimately can lead to great achievement…striving for perfection can cause difficulties.” This is a riff on Ibn Ezra’s characterization of Virgo nature, focusing on Virgo’s Mercurial nature combined with the practical earthy triplicity.

Keep Your Powder Dry

Based on the Virgo Sun’s aspects to other planets, the coming month presents a few opportunities, but none of them will really pan out.

September 4 – Virgo Sun conjunct Saturn and trine Jupiter. Saturn is the planet of restriction, and Jupiter is in its fall in Capricorn (a Saturn sign). Jupiter can present a seemingly tempting opportunity, but it is likely to be hollow. Better to wait for Venus’s transit through Libra, or even better, Jupiter’s exit from Capricorn in January, if you can.

Mercury in Leo: July 26 2008

July 25, 2008 by  

Mercury will enter the fiery sign of Leo on Saturday, July 26, thereby entering combustion. This is a harmful state where a planet is a little too close to the Sun (about 8.5 degrees on either side), and is afflicted by the Sun’s extreme heat. Mercury will stay combust until about August 6th. Read on for the best ways to use Mercury in Leo.

Half-Voiced Mercury in Leo

Leo is one of the half-voiced signs; halfway between being fully vocal and totally mute. It is therefore not the best sign for Mercury, who loves to vocalize and communicate. Also, Mercury tends to not do as well in the bestial signs, of which Leo is one. Mercury brings the gifts unique to humanity: speech, commerce, reading and writing, etc. Being in an animal sign is not exactly his best location, nor being in a fixed sign like Leo. Mercury likes movement and action, and the fixed signs are a little too staid for his fluid nature.

That said, Mercury in Leo is a pretty good placement: half a voice is better than none for Mercury, whose normally smooth speech may change to growls or purrs in Leo. While it is not Mercury’s finest moment, it is still a sign where Mercury can express itself reasonably well. Also, the “bound” or part of the sign, 11 Leo to 17 Leo, is ruled by Mercury, so there is some affinity between this cold and dry planet and Leo, the hot and dry sign! At least they share one quality, that of dryness.

This brings us to an important observation of Mercury in Leo. This is not the most emotional placement. It does not mean that a Mercury in Leo native has no empathy; it just will not come from this planet-sign combination. The dry quality gives a lack of sentiment – an overabundance of moisture increases it. Mercury is not a touchy-feely planet. It is the rational, organizational part of ourselves that is not naturally at ease with feelings. The heat of Leo might give passion or enthusiasm, sometimes mistaken for emotion, but the inward, receptive soul of the native will not be touched when he expresses passion.

Mercury in Leo Secrets

Combustion essentially hides a planet from view in the rays of the Sun. Mercury in Leo, combust, is thus doubly heated – once from the Sun and once from its sign. The combination gives us secret and heated communications, which are none too eloquent, but drive their point home. One growl from the lion is unmistakable in its import. If you wish to talk to someone secretly, or to do something hidden, now through August 6th may be the best time to do so. This is especially true if Mercury rules your horoscope.

[Want to learn more? Visit the Gryphon Astrology Blog Archives, with our best articles organized and easily accessible!]

Free Astrology Readings: Horary Astrology – “Will My Boyfriend Marry Me?”

February 13, 2008 by  

Girl with White Cat illustrating Free Astrology Readings: Horary Astrology  – “Will My Boyfriend Marry Me?”

Horary Astrology Question:

We are both divorced with 2 children each, 3 of which live with us. We are hoping to move house and set up a cattery at the new home so I can be at home more. B is great (most of the time!) very un-emotional and does not show or talk about his feelings, his father died tragically when he was 11.  I would love dearly for some commitment from him but fear it will never happen.  We have been together for 8 years now.  I think he thinks that setting up the cattery is enough commitment, he owns the house, etc., and I feel I have put all my eggs in one basket (again) and will end up on my own.

—L.


Nina Gryphon:

Dear L.,

Your situation is difficult; a certain pattern has been set up that will be difficult to change without an effort on your part. But, let us see what the astrology says.

The horary horoscope for your question is below: 

Horary Astrology Horoscope illustrating Free Astrology Readings: Horary Astrology  – “Will My Boyfriend Marry Me?”

We have an early degree on the ascendant, indicating the situation is as yet underripe. This is somewhat puzzling, because the relationship has been going on for eight years, hardly an immature situation. It may be a reference to the fact that there will never really be a “right” time to take this relationship to the next level, and it may remain in this embryonic state always.

We see that you are very much interested in marriage, and even though before, you were content just to have a stable companion, you are now ready to get married. We see that the Moon in Taurus, which represents your emotions in the situation, is in the sign and triplicity of Venus; Venus rules the Arabian Part of Marriage at 11 Libra.

The most dramatic element in this chart is the extent to which all of the main significators; your planets and his, are in strong dignities of Saturn. Whatever Saturn represents has a huge influence over the situation, and will eventually decide whether you will marry your boyfriend or not. Moreover, we see that Saturn is right inside the seventh house cusp of partners, where it is strongly tied to your boyfriend.

So what does Saturn represent? It can be his children, as it rules the fifth house from the seventh, or it can be something hidden or secret, perhaps the emotional trauma you speak of. Whatever it is, it is harmful to you and your hopes of marriage. Saturn is in the detriment of Jupiter, your main significator, and also in the fall of Venus, the planet the rules marriage and his horoscope. Unfortunately, your boyfriend is very much under the influence of whatever Saturn represents — both of his planets, Mercury and the Sun, are in Aquarius, in Saturn’s sign and triplicity. I wonder if Saturn doesn’t represent the cattery; it rules his sixth house, but because of Saturn’s negative reception to you and to Venus, I would strongly recommend not setting up the cattery, for fear of perpetuating an already difficult situation.

The bigger concern I have is that neither of his planets seem particularly interested in either marriage or your planets, showing something of an indifference to you. If there is true mutual interest between two people, even a roadblock such as Saturn in this chart can be overcome. I am concerned, however, that there are some fundamental weaknesses in this relationship, and it will be difficult if not impossible to marry this man without addressing these issues first.

We see that the Moon is opposite the antiscion of the Sun, and the aspect will become exact about the same time that the Moon trine’s Saturn. It looks as though you will have to make a momentous decision in the near future, one that will make you rethink this relationship, and hopefully will bring out some of the problematic undercurrents more into the open where you can address them.

As always, I like to ask that in return for your free reading, you update me (either by email, or in the comments on this page) on what happened. I don’t mind being wrong, but I like to learn from what I did well or badly.

—Readers who wish to get a horary reading from Nina Gryphon may purchase one at top left, or learn more at the Gryphon Astrology Readings page.

Ancient Greek Mythology, Astrology, and Plato (Part 2)

February 10, 2008 by  

Hercules and Death illustrating Ancient Greek Mythology, Astrology, and Plato (Part 2)

Damascius’s allusions to Greek mythology track the upward order of the planets very closely.

“The soul descends into generation, after the manner of Kore;” The Moon is associated very closely with the principle of generation, because of its watery nature, its speed of movement, and its constant change. Just like all things in this sublunar world, the Moon is constantly growing and dying, never staying the same. Kore (literally “the virgin”) was another name for Persephone, who was kidnapped and taken to the underworld by Hades. The implication here is that at the beginning of its journey, the human soul is forced to inhabit the inhospitable and arid realm of material forms, just like Persephone’s enforced stay in Hades.

“She is scattered by generation, after the manner of Dionysus;” Dionysus himself was scattered by the Titans, who prepared to eat him, having cooked the parts of his torn body. Zeus interrupted the feast, and Apollo buried the body parts. Dionysus was then reborn from his heart, which was preserved by Athena. The relevant Planet in the proper order would be Mercury, the planet of duality, having no gender of its own, and always influenced by planets disposing of or aspecting it. Similarly, the soul on earth becomes scattered, loses the direct identification with the divine principle, and must find its own way back to God. It is important to note that the god Mercury was the patron and guide of travelers.

“Like Prometheus and the Titans, she is bound to body.” Titans were the children of pre-Olympian gods who inhabited the earth; they were defeated by the gods, and humans were said to have been created from the Titans’ smoking ashes. The Titans are of the gross matter of the earth, symbolizing the natural downward tendency of Creation. For the purposes of our planetary ladder, the Titans are associated with Venus, which gratifies the senses and bestows physical pleasure. The more we live for sensation, the more we identify with the body and with matter.

“She frees herself by exercising the strength of Hercules;” In Greek mythology, Hercules is one of the few mortals to become divine, and his story points to a similar function of the soul. With this part of the story, we come to the turning point in the souls journey. This is appropriate, as we start heading toward the outer or slower planets, which are considered superior to the faster inner planets. The labors of Heracles are all concerned with the triumph of spirit or virtue over gross matter, paralleling the efforts of the soul to free itself from its material prison. Hercules’s chief virtue is, of course, strength. As a result, he is associated with the planet Mars, even though the next planet in the proper order should be the Sun. Despite this martial association, Heracles does have some solar characteristics, most notably, his connection with the Royal goddess Hera (Heracles means “the glory of Hera”).

“Gathers herself together through the help of Apollo and the savior Athene, by truly purifying philosophy;” here, we come to a combination of the Sun and Jupiter. Apollo is the god of prophecy, and the ruler of the objective world, as Tim Addey* writes. His name means “not many,” or in other words, “the one.” This is an excellent commentary on the nature of the Sun, which is always associated with things that are singular or unique. Even though all the other six planets are arguably unique, only the Sun is the living representation of the Creator.

Athena is the goddess of wisdom, and therefore the hidden face of Jupiter (Zeus), as she was born out of Jupiter’s head. She was considered to be the protector and helper of man, and this is why the Greek city is named after her. She protects and helps all heroes, who receive magical gifts from her to complete their quest; Perseus, Jason, Theseus, and of course Odysseus, her greatest favorite. Her gift is at once wisdom and divine protection, both qualities associated with Jupiter.

“And she elevates herself to the causes of her being with Demeter.” Demeter, in Greek mythology, was the goddess of fertility (her name means literally “the mother Goddess”), and the mother of Persephone; she rules the harvest and fertility. She is strongly associated with Saturn (who in Greek myth was her father, Kronos). Saturn is not only the god of restrictions and endings, but also the god of farming and the earth. Therefore, in the last phase of the soul’s journey, the soul returns to its true home, which is not the material earth, but rather its primal matter; the endlessly fertile Spirit.

*For further reading on the topic of ancient Greek mythology and its connection to Platonic teachings on the soul, I recommend Tim Addey’s The Seven Myths of the Soul, published by The Prometheus Trust.

Read Ancient Greek Mythology, Astrology, and Plato (Part 1) here.

Ancient Greek Mythology, Astrology, and Plato (Part 1)

February 9, 2008 by  

Persephone illustrating Ancient Greek Mythology, Astrology, and Plato

It has become fashionable to correlate Greek mythology to astrology and the planets, though unfortunately most such analyses merely scratch the surface of myth, as the authors focus exclusively on human psychology. However, Greek mythology functions on many levels, and the Platonists used myth to describe the very nature of the human soul, rather than just the temporal travails of the ego on its passage through life.

The Platonic tradition, springing from Greece, relied heavily upon ancient Greek myths to describe the complex and often paradoxical interaction of man and the divine. Since astrology is a symbolic language describing the divine plan, we will see a very strong correlation between astrological and mythological symbolism, enabling us to access a deeper level of meaning than is common today.

Damascius, the last director of Plato’s Academy (an 800 year-old establishment which closed in 529 A.D), wrote the following lines about the journey of the soul:

The soul descends into generation, after the manner of Kore;

She is scattered by generation, after the manner of Dionysus;

Like Prometheus and the Titans, she is bound to body.

She frees herself by exercising the strength of Heracles;

Gathers herself together through the help of Apollo

And the savior Athene, by truly purifying philosophy;

And she elevates herself to the causes of her being with Demeter.

It is interesting that none of the Greek gods mentioned here are associated with the planets. From my research, I strongly suspect that many if not most of the Greek gods had two faces, one exoteric and mundane, and the other esoteric and celestial. As an example, the overt god of the Sun was Helios, who drove the chariot of the sun across the sky. However, the god embodying the highest intangible attributes of the Sun, such as prophecy and nobility, was Apollo. And so it goes with many of the gods.

The ancient order of the seven planets goes from the heaviest/slowest to the fastest and most changeable. Don’t forget that the traditional perspective gave precedence to those astronomical bodies which were perceived as the most constant and least subject to change, as change is a sign of imperfection and deterioration. Thus, the most elevated planet is Saturn, followed by Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury, and finally the Moon.

One may think of this list of planets as a ladder, with the Moon at the bottommost rung underneath which is this imperfect earth. Therefore, it follows that in order for the soul to reconnect with its maker, it has to start out at the bottom rung and make its way all the way up to the top, to Saturn.

Read Ancient Greek Mythology, Astrology, and Plato (Part 2) here.

Free Astrology Readings: Horary Astrology – “Will I Walk Again?”

February 6, 2008 by  

St. Peter illustrating Free Astrology Readings: Horary Astrology  – “Will I Walk Again?”

Horary Astrology Question:

When I was 3, I got leukemia and Guillian Barre Syndrome. I have been in remission from the leukemia, but I have been bound to a wheelchair since I was 5; I am 22 now. I just would like to know what my future holds for my ability to walk.

—V.

Nina Gryphon:

Dear V.,

I really sympathize with your situation. While there are certainly worse things that could happen, not being able to walk seems to me a particularly difficult cross to bear. Ultimately, regardless of what the astrology reading shows, I think it’s important to remember that everything, including this, is in the hands of the Divine.

The horoscope for your question is below:

Horoscope for Free Astrology Readings: Horary Astrology  – “Will I Walk Again?”

Since this is a health reading, please remember that I am not a doctor, I do not play one on TV, this isn’t medical advice, and you should always listen to your physician first and foremost.

We first notice the late degree on the ascendant, indicating that you may be asking the question out of desperation, or because you do not see a way forward. The good news is that the ascendant is in Capricorn, a Cardinal sign, which implies lots of movement and change in the situation. Because your question is about being able to walk, and the existing situation changing, the more signs associated with movement we see, the better.

The ruler of the first house of self is Saturn, which is on the cusp of the eighth house. As I have noted before on this blog, a lot of the charts I get have important planets in the eighth house of fear, indicating the person’s anxious state of mind about the situation. With Saturn in a double sign, Virgo, we see that the situation may not be as cast in stone as it appears.

The significator of the illness is Mercury, ruler of the sign in which Saturn finds itself. Here, we see the real problem. Mercury is in a fixed sign, it is retrograde, and moving rather slowly. We see that the illness has a strong hold on you, and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere. When we have a planet in a fixed sign that is also moving very slowly or is retrograde, such as this Mercury, it is the perfect image of being stuck. A traditional physician/astrologer would note that Mercury is in the first house of the head, indicating the possible origin of the disease.

Combined with Saturn moving backwards at the moment, I didn’t see any major catalysts in the near future, which is what we would need to see in order to reverse a long-standing conditions such as this. But also note the Moon, which is combust and applying to a conjunction with the Sun for the upcoming eclipse. This is certainly a sign that you cannot see the entire situation, and something of the truth may be hidden.

The combination of these testimonies indicates that while there may not be a dramatic improvement in your condition in the near future, we are still getting reminded that we are not meant to know all things, and that ours is not the last word on your problem. I think it is very important to be positive and to have hope, precisely because we realize that our human means allow us to only see a small sliver of reality. True reality is far more complex and benevolent than it may seem at a given moment.

As always, I like to ask that in return for your free reading, you update me (either by email, or in the comments on this page) on what happened. I don’t mind being wrong, but I like to learn from what I did well or badly.

—Readers who wish to get a horary reading from Nina Gryphon may purchase one at top left, or learn more at the Gryphon Astrology Readings page.

Planets in Astrology: Mercury and the Sun & Mercury in Libra

October 17, 2007 by  

Planets in Astrology: Mercury and the Sun & Mercury in Libra - illustrated by Love Letter

Mercury gets very close to the sun on October 23, and it will be in the heart of the Sun (or cazimi) precisely at 11:56 p.m. GMT on that day. Cazimi planets are within 17 1/2 degrees of the Sun on either side, and are considered extremely strong due to the powerful infusion of the solar rays. If Mercury is just a little bit farther from the Sun than this, it is considered combust, and is seriously afflicted.

As a result, the short period of Mercury cazimi is highly auspicious for all mercurial undertakings. This includes writing, mailing important documents, buying and selling, etc. This fortunate configuration will happen between roughly 8:40 p.m. GMT on October 23 and 3:40 a.m. GMT on October 24.

Shortly after the cazimi period, Mercury will reenter Libra (it is retrograde, so it’s regressing from Scorpio back into Libra), where it has some strength by night. This is because Mercury rules the night triplicity of all the air signs, including Libra. Mercury has special affinity for the air signs, as it is a planet of communication and intellect, and the air signs resonate very well with this, especially Gemini, which is ruled by Mercury.

All in all, your mercurial projects should improve if you start them between the October 24 and November 11, which is when Mercury reenters Scorpio, for good this time.

To identify the best times for your new project or important event, you may wish to look into an electional astrology reading.

Scorpio: the Sign of Mars. Sun enters Scorpio on October 23, 2007

October 13, 2007 by  

Saint George Fighting Dragon illustrating Scorpio: the Sign of Mars. Sun enters Scorpio on October 23, 2007

Scorpio is the sign that is über-Marsy, which is why modern astrology had to assign Scorpio a planet as extreme as Pluto*.

The sign Scorpio is ruled by the planet Mars, and Mars also rules Scorpio by triplicity. During the first few degrees of Scorpio, Mars rules even the minor dignities. There are few equivalent situations in the zodiac, where one planet so completely dominates a sign. As a result, Mars is very happy when it is in Scorpio, but the gentler, softer planets are all but decimated. This is why Venus is in its detriment in Scorpio throughout the sign, and the Moon is in its fall.

The Sun’s entry into Scorpio, a fixed sign, marks the second month of autumn. The Sun is not terribly strong in Scorpio, which makes sense, as we don’t get to see the Sun very often this time of year. In many traditional cultures, Sun’s entry into Scorpio marked the time when the dark forces started ruling the world, and their hold on the earth increased with the longer nights. Frequent house cleansings were performed to keep harm at bay.

If you have solar things to do, such as talking to your boss, attempting to rule over something, or any other activity ruled by the Sun in your natal horoscope, you will do well if you wait until the Sun enters Sagittarius. The Sun will rule the triplicity by day, and it will be considerably stronger than in Scorpio. To top it off, the Sun will sextile Saturn and trine Mars shortly after its entry into Scorpio. Neither is considered beneficial for the Sun.

To find the best time for major events or activities, you can use electional astrology. Learn more about electional astrology here.

* I have a fondness for the belief that violence, extremism, and even death existed before the discovery of Pluto. Just recently, I read a social history of England, which said that the per capita murder rate in medieval England was a few hundred times greater than England’s murder rate today. How the medieval English accomplished this without Pluto remains a mystery.

Astrology – Map of the Planets: Sun in Virgo

August 23, 2007 by  

Astrology - Map of Planets - Woman and the Rising Sun

On August 23, 2007, at 12:08 G.M.T., the Sun will enter Virgo. The Sun is moderately happy in Virgo, having minor dignity in the first 10° of the sign. Certainly, the Sun in Virgo is nowhere near as strong as it is in Leo, where the Sun is in its own sign, and by day, in its own triplicity. And, as if that were not enough, the Royal star Regulus is at 29° Leo, supercharging the Sun even more! However, this year would not have been a good year to take advantage of the day that the Sun is on Regulus. This is because malefic Saturn in its detriment was dangerously close to the Sun, negating most of the Sun’s positive vibes.

Sun in Virgo in Electional Astrology

If you’re trying to find the right time to do something Sun-related, such as having a heart to heart discussion with your boss (the Sun rules people in authority), or another important man in your life (the Sun rules all men), the Sun’s passage through Virgo is a reasonable time to attempt this. The Sun will square Jupiter on September 4, which, due to the receptions among the planets, is moderately helpful to the Sun, but not very helpful to Jupiter. So talking to people in authority today, especially if you’re represented by Jupiter (you have Pisces or Sagittarius rising, for example) might actually end up being more beneficial for them than for you.

Sun in Virgo in Natal Astrology

Because the Sun is not particularly strong in Virgo (though it is by no means terrible), it is probably not going to be the strongest planet in your horoscope. Of course, any planet can be strengthened by favorable aspects and receptions, as well as conjunctions to the favorable fixed stars. So for example, if you have the Sun in Virgo closely conjunct Mercury in Virgo, the Sun is going to be strengthened due to Mercury’s powerful position in Virgo, where it is in its sign and exaltation. It is as though the Sun had a powerful friend that it can call on to strengthen the matter is associated with the house that the Sun rules. For example, if the Sun in Virgo rules the second house of money, that itself is a middling testimony for wealth; but a close conjunction to such a strong Mercury in Virgo would rather increase the chances of gaining wealth in this life.

Famous People with the Sun in Virgo

Queen Elizabeth I, Michael Jackson, Sean Connery, Claudia Schiffer (and David Copperfield!), Beyonce Knowles, Stephen King, Van Morrison.

Planets in Your Horoscope: Saturn enters Virgo on September 2, 2007

July 30, 2007 by  

Voyage of Life - Old Age illustrating Planets in Your Horoscope: Saturn enters Virgo on September 2, 2007

After over two years in Leo, Saturn enters Virgo, which is a much more auspicious placement for Saturn. As I repeatedly harp on in this blog, Saturn in Leo is in the sign of its detriment, so it is particularly malefic in that sign. So we can all breathe a sigh of relief, especially those of us with important planets in fixed signs. This is because by moving through Leo, Saturn either conjoined, opposed, or squared any planets in the fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius).

Now, unfortunately, the mutable signs of Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces will get to experience Saturn’s weight. The good news is that it’s all temporary, and as long as you have done your homework and brushed your teeth, Saturn’s transit should be relatively uneventful.

Electional Astrology Advice

If you are thinking of undertaking some Saturnian activity, such as building a house or planting trees, or something along those lines, waiting until Saturn enters Virgo will be much more auspicious than starting now. This is also the case if Saturn rules an important house in your horoscope. So for example, if Saturn rules your 10th house of career, career related moves will go a lot better after September 2 than before.

An important point is that Saturn’s transit will have some effect on your horoscope regardless of the position of your planets or angles. From my experience, Saturn passing through a house, whether there are planets in it or not, will challenge the affairs of that house, and will force you to “get it right.” For example, if Saturn passes through your tenth house of career, there will be a need to restructure your career.

Some Famous People with Saturn in Virgo

Jesse Ventura, Carol Channing, Giulietta Masina, Betty Friedan, Timothy Leary, Linda Tripp, Squeaky Fromm, King Farouk of Egypt, Charles de Gaulle, Gustave Eiffel.

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