General Traits and Background

Modern Ayurveda

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The Virgo Woman has had bad press. Her critical abilities are often resented, her modesty and caution scoffed at, her wit feared, her preciseness usually mistaken for lack of vision. Her sexual loyalty is frequently called prudish or interpreted as the latest sin—uptightness. It seems she can't do right by us. Virgo mirrors our own negativities, illuminates our faults, reflects our own narrowmindedness and faultfinding. In sum, she does us all a great favor!

The Virgo Woman is often strikingly, hauntingly lovely. Her intelligence and cool, sultry beauty are ageless. She tends to be wise, practical, articulate, witty, devoted to good deeds, independent, trustworthy; she is insistently curious, perceptive, honest, and sensitive. She is frequently a workaholic, suffers from lack of self-esteem, and is restless, compulsive, hypochondriacal, anxious, and usually impossible to please.

The Virgo Woman seems born for responsibility, often of the mundane variety. She may tend her garden carefully, following the rules Voltaire suggested in Candide, and find that someone else harvests the profits. She may spend much of her life feeling maligned and unhappy, yet she rarely loses sight of her goals. Productive service work is one; total, perfect health is another.

Our word hygiene derives from the Greek. In Greek mythology, the health goddess was called Hygeia and was often depicted as the Maiden. Virgo is astrologically shown as the Maiden carrying a sheaf of corn in her arms. She is also called the Virgin, signifying her lifelong concern with purity and perfection in human affairs. Our modern symbol for medicine is the caduceus, the magic staff of Mercury. Mercury is the astrological ruler of Virgo and signifies the mind.

The connection between the mind and the body was well known to tire ancients. Virgo is meant to perceive and grasp this link, to help others understand and apply it in their lives. The Virgo challenge is to learn to bring matter under the control of mind, and to do so in a positive way. The Virgo Woman can be earth magician, keeping alive the rituals of cleanliness of mind and body.

Virgo is the sixth sign of the Zodiac, Mutable Earth. Mutability gives the Virgo Woman a restless, nervous, searching, and adaptive disposition. She wants to "do good" and often does. She is hard to please, hard to keep up with, and harder still to know.

More often than she is a leader, she is a taskmaster, teacher, or reliable follower responsible for crucial details. Earth makes Virgo natives utilitarian, down-to-earth, concerned with the material aspects of living, self-effacing, industrious, conservative, accumulative, thrifty.

All earth signs, Taurus and Capricorn included, are concerned with form and are therefore astrologically associated with matters of the body. Fire signs are astrologically linked with the domain of the spirit, air signs with the domain of the mind, and water signs with the soul.

The general health and care of the body, the diet, and the assimilation of food are all primarily Virgo matters. Virgo in medical astrology refers to, or rules, the diaphragm, intestines, bowels, solar plexus, and sympathetic nervous system. Thus, Virgo types tend to be affected by emotional stress in these areas first and foremost.

The Virgo phase of growth is characterized by the following:

1. Insistent concern with the maintenance of one's body and general health; possible hypochondria; faddishness; obsession-compulsion with cleanliness or perfection in general.

2. Circumstances that confine one to disagreeable duties; life or work loaded with detail (property or real estate contracts and court claims may be especially involved); sometimes, a cycle full of petty details and tying up loose ends.

3. Liability to chronic sickness, specifically abdominal and intestinal troubles or illness related to one's place of work.

4. Intense concern with self-care, diet, mode of dress, and educating others about these subjects.

5. A job in the field of criticism (literature, movies, etc.), research, editing, work with small animals, civil service. Many people in a Virgo phase work in health institutions (see Virgo careers, below).

6. Domesticity. The English "mistress of the manor," for example, is a Virgo role; so are such pursuits as growing plants with a green thumb, enjoying cooking, and administering a household.

7. Numerous small trips for utilitarian, educational, or professional purposes.

8. Feelings of being duty-bound, perhaps depressed, inadequate, underqualified, underutilized, constricted (a negative Virgo phase).

Typical Virgo professions are: accounting; administration; work with animals, especially small animals or pets; the armed forces; domestic service; service work of any type; professions associated with the health and care of the body; chemistry; civil service; clerking; crafts, particularly where precision work is involved; criticism; dental work; data processing; diet and nutrition; doctoring or nursing; editing; management consultation, with an emphasis on efficiency; personnel; farming; food industry; gardening; child care; herbalism; healing in general; hygiene; technical illustration; interpreting; labor and labor relations; library work; mathematics; municipal service and politics; treatment of nervous disorders; nurseries; pattern making; physical culture; police work; public health; relief work; work in restaurants or sanatoriums; scientific work; sewing; needlepoint; shopkeeping; statistics; stenography; tailoring; teaching; textile work.

The Virgo Woman is often quietly attractive. She tends to underplay her looks and her charms; she is subtle but strong. She can be hypercritical. She may alienate people with her incessant flow of barbed witticisms and uncannily accurate observations, which she frequently does not know how to stop. One can ignore her if one is surrounded by a bevy of chattering, glamorous beauties vying for attention—but only until Virgo decides to go into action. She has a variety of tricks up her sleeve, not the least of which is her compelling mental power.

The Virgo Woman has the wherewithal to achieve a great deal. She is a stickler for detail, a perfectionist, an independent woman who abhors clinging vines. She is usually extremely demanding and industrious; she tends to be tense, tidy, efficient, practical, incisive, modest. She is often emotionally repressed, compulsive, and judgmental. She is anxious to find and serve causes she believes in, to be available for friends and raise excellent children. In general, she is most concerned with society's approval and can easily slip into the role of Miss Goody Two-Shoes, the girl next door, or the sultry sophisticate, as required.

The Virgo Woman often has two selves: the one she presents for people to see, and a secret self that may be permanently veiled. It is this double aspect that continues to intrigue and challenge people who might otherwise let her go.

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