Once, long ago, I was really really ill and no one knew what was wrong with me. I now know that myriad issues of basic self-care ie not eating properly, getting enough rest, and the inability of my parents to model a hygienic lifestyle along with the spiritual crises of many life changes – well, it all piled up like a mountain of broken bicycles. It was a Virgo pile-up of massive proportions and the only thing that could save me was a cataclysmic and life-changing lesson in ‘how to’: how to do this thing called Virgo. But back then, all I could think was that my body has turned on me, that my body was the enemy. Turns out the real enemy was hidden from me (I have Virgo on the Twelfth house cusp), so hidden that it was invisible. I was missing a relationship to Virgo. So I did what most people do in that case: I got sick. And then I did the thing people who get sick do: I found someone who specialized in fixing these things. Someone who was really good at classifying, analyzing, categorizing, and differentiating and curing. Someone good at learning systems and then using those systems to educate and help, someone good at that mysterious art of Virgo. I found someone to do it for me, until I could do it for myself.
This may be a Libra rising approach; we Libra risings will bring other people into the fold of our lives, enlist them to teach us about our self-experience. But one of the mixed blessings of being a Libra rising is that you get to experience each of the signs and it’s opposite, both at once, and so have a remarkable opportunity to do that Virgo thang called growth & personal integration. See, the natural order of the signs is Aries rising and that’s reversed for a Libra rising. Libra falls in the natural house of Aries, Scorpio in the natural house of Taurus and so on. No one (except Aries rising) experiences the natural sign of a house, but in the case of Libra rising, we hold the tension of opposites. In fact, the ability to hold paradox and ambiguity applies to all areas of our life. The Twelfth House is Piscean, and I have Virgo there, it’s opposite sign. This is a notoriously vague and confusing house, even before you confusingly add discerning Virgo into the picture, and that’s not because Pisces doesn’t care that a B12 deficiency causes lethargy, that an organized living environment leads to productivity & sanity, or even whether having pets is great for the heart, but because all these would require scientific levels of planning, method and cataloging, which is not on the average Twelfth House agenda. The Twelfth House agenda is about being, not categorically doing. So where does this leave me? Spacing out the window while mindlessly doing the dishes, brushing one’s teeth while contemplating God in the details of such everyday acts, or helping others understand the language of God (astrology). There are crossovers between Pisces & Virgo, and the Gods of Necessity politely suggest that we Libra rising people find them. Then balance those two seemingly contradictory opposites…on the head of a pin.
Now the world at large is being asked to do just that.
How we do reconcile irreconcilable differences, as a people, is a subject of great debate in healthcare right now. If our government were a marriage, it’d be filing for divorce. As any of us who have had a successful relationship will understand this: that a relationship with basic underlying disagreements ultimately won’t agree on anything. Take any relationship argument over anything. We say one thing (like ‘I don’t want to fight’) but our partner – because they know us so well and can read what everything else is saying in not so many words, ie our tone, presence, behavior, and how we really feel about last night – they’re onto us. We can’t get away with that in our marriage, so how in the world could our government? To integrate two opposing principles we need to move from polarity to integration. Something’s got to give for growth to take place. Given, that’s often easier to do as a person, than as a bunch of people, ie collectively. Or is it? The collective is made up of individuals, our individual lives comprise those drops of the Piscean Ocean, the Ocean of Everything and Everyone. As April E. Kent so succinctly points out in her Virgo essay, we can look at congress, and then we might look in the mirror. We might ask our self: how good are we at honoring the Gods of Progress and the Gods of Necessity without blaming someone or something outside of our self?
We all have our own unique relationship to the Saturn in Virgo-Uranus in Pisces opposition. Their currently strained relationship reminds me of the nursery story of Goldilocks and the Three Little Bears. When we’re presented with choices, we need to be open enough to trying new beds and porridge or other things, on. If we’re holding on too tightly to control in some area of our life, we will feel too cramped and tight and too small and defensive. This is a sign we haven’t yet found the right bed, or formula, to settle into. If we’ve learned anything during the course of this opposition, we’ve learned that as with all mutable signs – it’s about the process, people. We need to experiment, to try things on for size and yet really allow our self be discerning during the process. Do we have limits -do we listen & what are they? How do we manage ongoing tension and stress in our life – healthfully and methodically, or haphazardly, chaotically? If we’re looking for a big change, just maybe we can afford to wait…for something that fits ‘just right’. Because that’s the nature of this long and drawn out opposition, and frankly, because we have to.
As Saturn in Virgo transits my Twelfth House, Uranus in Pisces, my Sixth, squaring my Ninth House Saturn, I’m reminded of the phrase I’m borrowing from Steven Forrest, ‘if it ain’t growing, it’s not working,’ a true Virgo mantra (and maybe even a mantra for the nation right now). Yet, no matter how much we may think we want change, growth cannot be forced. Sometimes we need to experience the full extent of our duality, where we’ve been split in two, before we can move into a new paradigm. Personally, I’m asking my self where I need to grow, while knowing I may not grow in that precise direction, while being fully able to accept that I actually may not be growing at all (after all, this reality may be one massive hallucination or dream). Part of me needs to prepare for the future, to use anxiety in a healthy way – to plant those Virgo seeds and give myself options should I need them. So I’m taking a prerequisite for graduate school, an online abnormal psychology class, just in case I want to go back to school in the future. I’m also working the ground of the present, similar to the way a farmer works the same plot of land every year, checking out what I can re-seed, making sure I’m not throwing away anything prematurely. Preparing for an unknown future, and working the same plot of land, it’s a Virgo-Pisces strategy.
I also realize, in a Saturn square Saturn sort of way, that I’m ‘graduating’ my relationship with reality to a new level. Okay, yes, I’m exhausted – and pretty tired of hearing myself complain about being exhausted all the time. But (unlike some folks in the public eye), despite one minor late night cry in the bathroom that proved more cathartic and cleansing than anything, I’m really not melting down. Not really. As such, I’m appreciating how far I’ve come in managing what is turning out to be at present, a very demanding life.
How am I graduating? I’m discovering that, over the years, I have adopted some health routines that really work for me and are (so far) keeping me in good steed as this Pluto transit kicks some serious Sun-Mars-Pluto T-square a**. I’m doing my annual cleanse Virgo season cleanse. I’m dusting off my 2007 4 Hour Workweek dreamline and writing up a new one. I’m drawing good boundaries, saying ‘No’ to find my ‘Yes’ (of which Virgo truly elevates to an art) in many respects, professionally and personally. Doing this delays gratification to some degree, but also keeps me clear on my priorities. Some decisions at first appear to run counter-intuitive to Virgo’s efficiency creed, but actually prevent me from self-sabotage. Like, this morning I had a ton of studying to do, yet I refused to ignore my body’s craving for the experience of walking in the invigorating fresh earthy scent of early morning dew. I said ‘no’ to that self-undoing action of ignoring the body in favor of the mind. I exercised the self-restraint walk away from a pile of homework and to do so I had to walk through a house that looks like a tornado hit it to even get to the front door. I refrained from letting my thoughts spin out in negativity while walking by the dirty chicken coop, mangled fence, broken hot tub and one smashed up car port – a fallen tree casualty. If Uranus in Pisces is all tornado-like, Saturn is often just trying to holding onto a semblance of order. So (hands on hips). I could look at our life critically, as though it were one big, broken hot mess (which is exactly how it looks right now) or as a work in progress. I choose the latter. That’s about not dividing life right down the middle, but choosing both, and embodying the optimal blending of two opposing forces moving in both directions at once.