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 Virgo August 10 – August 30, Best Location All Year

July 30, 2008 by  

Mercury in Virgo August 10 - August 30

Mercury will enter its own sign and exaltation, Virgo, on August 10th. This is great news for Mercury, which has been in a relatively weak position since it left Gemini in early July. But Mercury could not be any happier than it is in Virgo, a mutable/double earth sign, where the Trickster gets to apply all he’s learned to the real world. Mercury is right at home in mundane affairs, indeed. The only problem is that he rarely looks at the big picture, so busy is he running to and fro.

Mercury in Virgo

Virgo is an earth sign associated with the harvest, which is odd, because it is also a barren sign. Its qualities, cold and dryness, are not exactly associated with massive fertility. The harvest association likely came from the days when the extremely benefic fixed star Spica (the Stalk of Wheat) was in Virgo, despite the fact that Spica is now at 24 Libra, and was last in Virgo over 1,700 years ago. Indeed, many depictions of Virgo today still show a young woman with a stalk of wheat.

Ibn Ezra, a medieval astrologer, writes that Virgo rules writers, comedians, women and eunuchs, and mathematicians. This is convenient, because Mercury rules these as well, with the exception of women (the eunuchs could be Mercurial, because they are neither fully male nor female). [from The Beginning of Wisdom by Avraham Ibn-Ezra, trans. Meira Epstein]

If you have Mercury in Virgo, this is very positive, and unless your Moon is much more prominent than Mercury, you can rely on your left brain skills pretty well. The exact way you use your Mercury in Virgo depends on its position, rulerships, and aspects. As an example, a Mercury-Saturn aspect might show a tendency to serious, scholarly thinking, and negative influences might tend to depression and gloom.

Larry Ellison has Mercury conjunct Mars in Virgo, if memory serves, which probably makes him very sharp and quite critical.  Princess Kiko of Japan, originally a commoner, has Mercury in Virgo as her significator of wealth, and Mercury’s position probably makes it quite helpful to her in surviving the rule-laden Japanese royal household.

Now, let’s see what Mercury will do in August, and what it means for us.

Mercury Aspects in August

August 15 – Mercury conjunct Saturn in Virgo. Probably not the best day for your Mercurial tasks, such as important communications, journeys, or merchandising of any kind. Saturn is restrictive and produces denials and delays. However, the day is favorable for solitary, deep thinking, and scholarly pursuits.

August 18 – Mercury trine Jupiter in Capricorn. A day when Mercurial things seem to turn out better than they really did. Jupiter in Capricorn is weak, and because it is a benefic, it appears rather better than it is in reality. Lots of things are going on, and you may want to do make your big Mercurial move, but your expectations are bigger than is warranted.

August 19 – Mercury in Exaltation Degree (15th degree). Mercury is very strong today, so if you don’t mind the applying aspect to a weak Venus, now’s a good day to do your Mercurial errands and tasks.

August 21 – Mercury conjunct Venus in Virgo. Venus in Virgo can have trouble letting her hair down, and Mercury is happy to communicate that. This might be a good day for fun without consequences, or fun…but not too much of it. Not the most favorable combination, as Venus is another debilitated benefic, like Jupiter.

[Missed Mercury in Leo?  Here it is.]

Astrology and the Planets: Mars and Saturn Conjunct on July 10, 2008

July 5, 2008 by  

What will happen when Saturn and Mars conjoin in Virgo on July 10, 2008?

Every couple of years, the two malefics, Mars and Saturn, conjoin in the sky. This is considered a malefic cycle, because of the problematic nature of Mars and Saturn. The most ominous of these conjunctions is when Mars conjoins Saturn in Cancer, because the planets are each in their fall and detriment, respectively. On July 10, Mars and Saturn will conjoin at 5° Virgo; this is not considered as bad as the conjunction in Cancer, because neither Mars nor Saturn are particularly afflicted in the sign of Virgo.

However, the conjunction of the malefics is still bad, and we can expect it to manifest in the summer or autumn of 2008, specifically in places where important points in the Cancer and Libra Ingress horoscopes fall on this conjunction. I will keep an eye out for this and point out any such connections to the Mars Saturn conjunction.

Effects of Mars and Saturn in Virgo

Whenever we have the malefics in Virgo, we can expect some of the following effects:

Saturn in Virgo brings:

Wholesome and beneficial gusts of wind, especially during the harvest

Droughts of fountains and a scarcity of water

Women miscarrying

Acute fevers

Rulers will be ultimately helped by their enemies

Mars in Virgo brings:

War and bloodshed in the North

Vision and eye problems

A good harvest (or injury to the harvest, depending on Mars’s position in a given location)

Death to many women

The death of old men and illnesses of men

Strong winds

The good and prosperity of the rich and famous

In the next few posts, we will discuss the connection of the Mars-Saturn conjunction to upcoming important charts for the United States, and possible effects of the conjunction in this country. I would be interested to hear from non-US-based astrologers who are investigating this conjunction relative to their own countries.

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.


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.

Queen Elizabeth I: Astrology of Her Speech to the Troops at Tilbury

October 14, 2007 by  

Queen Elizabeth I - Horoscope & Portrait + Speech at Tilbury

Queen Elizabeth’s horoscope is subject to some dispute, though it is known that she was born around 3 p.m. on September 17, 1533 at Greenwich.

Queen Elizabeth I - Horoscope - Astrology of Her Speech to the Troops at Tilbury

Queen Elizabeth’s chart shows her temperament to be strongly melancholic, influenced by the humor of black bile. The two most indicative planets for melancholics are Saturn and Mercury; in Elizabeth’s case, Saturn is in Cancer, the sign of its detriment. It is angular and aspects the Sun, so her faults will be quite evident, and may well harm her relationships with others (Saturn is in the 7th house of relationships), but will also come across as tough and shrewd. Mercury, on the other hand, is near the Royal star Spica, the Spike of the Virgin. It is this Mercury that put Elizabeth on the throne; she was only third in line, after all. The Part of Fortune on Regulus, trine Jupiter in Sagittarius did not hurt matters, either.

In her famous speech to the troops at Tilbury, Elizabeth famously said: I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too. Quite literally, she did: Mercury on Royal Spica rules Elizabeth’s 5th house, which governs the heart and stomach. Elizabeth’s Mars is on the star of the female warrior, Bellatrix, and it trines Mercury on Spica. It is thus fitting that Elizabeth spoke of her royal heart to the troops, dressed in white with a silver breastplate. And that this should be her most famous speech; Mars rules war, while Mercury, natural ruler of speech, with a Royal star promises lasting fame.

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.

Astrology of the Full Moon: Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse of March 3

February 14, 2007 by  

City at Moonrise

Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse of March 3, 2007

The full Moon on March 3 will also be a total lunar eclipse at 13° Virgo. You can read more about my analysis of the lunar eclipse and its effect on Iraq. However, we also need to look at the effect of the eclipse on individual and national horoscopes.

Below is the full Moon/lunar eclipse chart set for Washington, DC:

Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse March 3, 2007, Washington, DC

We see that the eclipse is angular and because it is right on the ascendant/descendant axis, it will not be visible in DC. However, this does not mean that the eclipse will be without effects in the United States; in fact, when we see that an eclipse is on the first/seventh house axis, it can affect the given country powerfully. This axis concerns primarily the people of a nation rather than its rulers, as the people of the country are shown by the first house and the rulers by the 10th.

The ruler of this lunation is Mercury, which is retrograde and in the malefic sixth house, but at least it is in its own triplicity, so it is not entirely without its virtue. Mercury also rules the first house of the people and the 10th house of the rulers. Its next aspect will be an opposition to a very nasty Saturn retrograde in the 12th house. Saturn also disposits this afflicted Mercury, and thus has power over it.

The sixth house as such can indicate disease or enslavement. This eclipse may bring these issues to light, particularly as they affect the American population at large. We also note that the applying Jupiter-Saturn trine falls in the fourth and 12th houses. I would take this as a general indication of important political shifts affecting the US population as a whole.

This full Moon/lunar eclipse chart is not particularly auspicious, with its emphasis on the sixth and 12th houses, both of which are highly malefic.

Effects of the Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse of 3/3/07 on Individual Horoscopes

If an eclipse falls within a degree or two of important points in your natal chart, you may feel some effects. The exact nature and duration of the effects will have to do with the strength or weakness of the natal points that the eclipse activates. Therefore, if your horoscope shows that you will win a lot of money in the national lottery, an eclipse triggering some sensitive point in your chart may well set that event in motion. On the other hand, if your horoscope shows a tendency toward violent mental illness, an eclipse may presage a serious attack. As a result, it is impossible to tell the exact effect of an eclipse on your chart without first having thoroughly analyzed the horoscope.

In the absence of a complete natal workup, one easy way to tell the general nature of a certain point in your horoscope is to examine how your life has been affected in the past when those points were contacted by transit or secondary progression. As an example, if you have noticed that every time your Sun is triggered, you receive some money, then we would assume that an eclipse contacting that same Sun would have a similar and powerful effect.

— Readers who are interested in a natal reading that would encompass the effects of the upcoming eclipses on their natal charts, may learn more about this option on Nina Gryphon’s astrology readings page.

Astrology of Eclipses: Iraq and the Lunar Eclipse of March 3, 2007

January 29, 2007 by  


The lunar eclipse of March 3, 2007 will be visible from all continents, and the entire event will be visible in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Asia, Australia, and the Americas will only see portions of the eclipse. The eclipse will occur at 13° Virgo with the totality (the total obscuration of the Moon’s disk) lasting about 37 minutes. According to Ptolemy, all countries and cities ruled by the sign in which the eclipse occurs will be affected. However, those places where the eclipse is visible are especially strongly influenced.

Places traditionally ruled by Virgo:

Africa, Arezzo (Tuscany, Italy), Assyria, Babylonia (part of today’s Iraq), Basel (Switzerland), Bratislava (Slovakia), Brindisi (Puglia, Italy), Croatia, Cuma (Asia Minor), Erfurt (Germany), Gallia (France, Belgium, etc.), Jerusalem, Lyon (France), Mesopotamia (see Babylonia), Milan (Italy), Papia (Italy), Paris, Rheine (Westphalia, Germany).

Modern states and countries (those founded since about 1700) are not going to be found in the above lists, so we must include all places from which the eclipse will be visible. This lunar eclipse will be visible from all continents, so we cannot exclude any country.

Lunar Eclipse’s Effect on Iraq, March 3-June 4, 2007

Given the terrible situation in Iraq today, it is particularly disturbing that the lunar eclipse will affect modern-day Iraq (Babylonia/Mesopotamia), because the country falls under the rulership of Virgo. Moreover, you can see in this horoscope for the founding of Baghdad that the eclipse will be about 5° from the midheaven of Baghdad itself. The potential for serious and dramatic changes stemming from this eclipse is substantial. The horoscope for the lunar eclipse as seen from Baghdad, Iraq is below:

Lunar Eclipse March 3, 2007

The effect of the eclipse will be felt for a little more than three months after the fact, so we can expect any event related to the eclipse to occur between March 3 and June 4, 2007. The eclipse is at the top of the chart, which means that the effects will be particularly strong between April 3 and May 3, 2007, the second month of the period in question.

The Lord of the eclipse is Mercury, because he rules the sign of Virgo. Mercury is somewhat debilitated in the above chart, as it is retrograde, but at least it is in its own triplicity in Aquarius. Interestingly, in Baghdad’s founding horoscope, Mercury rules the country’s enemies or invaders. As I explain in this article about Baghdad’s horoscope, the city was founded at a time chosen to prevent conquest of the city by enemies.

I do believe we are going to see some serious changes in the way that Iraq is administered during the three-month period, and may even see the beginning of withdrawals from Iraq. Mercury is retrograde in the eclipse chart, which makes me think that there will be some backpedaling regarding the United States’ involvement in Iraq. Moreover, the same eclipse falls right on the ascendant-descendant axis in Washington, DC, often a sign of dramatic changes in the country in question.

Astrological Predictions for 2007: Saturn’s Effects on Leo, Virgo, Aquarius, and Pisces

January 8, 2007 by  

Old Man Reading

As any reader of this blog knows, I am not fond of Sun sign or transit predictions. Usually, they are pretty generic, simply because the rest of the complex factors in the horoscope are not taken into account. Give me a good progressed chart or solar return over transits any day. But even I cannot deny that the transits of Saturn are always felt, if not in actual events, they do set an oppressive or dark mood.

This year, Saturn will cover the range between 18° Leo through 8° Virgo. If you have any important planets or points in this range, you will likely feel Saturn, which of course, is the most oppressive, and generally unpleasant planet. If you know your horoscope pretty well, you will know if your ascendant or midheaven is in the above range of degrees.

If you were born between approximately August 12 and September 1 (plus or minus a day on either end), Saturn will be conjoining your Sun this year. Hurray. This is considered the least pleasant transit of all, simply because the Sun is such an important part of us — it represents our physical vitality, our standing in society, plus any meanings it acquires by its location in or rulership of a house.

If you were born between February 12 and March 1 (again plus or minus a day on either end), Saturn will be opposing your Sun. This is also unpleasant, because there is a sense here that you’re fighting Saturn; whether he is incarnate as a literal bad guy whom you’re battling, or simply faulty wiring in your house. Of course, Saturn always wins — this doesn’t mean that you will lose your battle against said bad guy or wiring, just that you will have to earn every success you do get, probably many times over.

However, I would hasten to add that Saturn is only going to do its nasty bit on you if your progressions, solar returns, and other methods indicate this as well. Transits are pretty much at the bottom of the celestial pecking order. As a result, they cannot do a thing to you unless more important indicators give them the nod.

Finally, remember that Saturn itself does not cause anything to happen. Rather, he just indicates that we have been remiss in something in our lives. If you haven’t been brushing your teeth, Saturn’s transits indicate cavities. It’s not Saturn that gave you cavities; you did. Saturn just indicates when the karmic bill comes due.

— Readers who are interested in a complete prediction for this coming year, may submit their request for private reading through the Reading Requests page.

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