Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Radical Virgo Revisited

Information Synthesis and Global Service

Article © 2013 by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved

Radical also means root.

This is a continuation of The Radical Virgo, an article I wrote in 1992 that inspired the name and creation of this blog. It’s an update and an expansion, and if you haven’t read the timeless original yet, I recommend as a prequel to this article.

The Virgo Maria

My mission to revision the public image of the sign Virgo was written in my birth name, an irony I only realized in writing this new article. Before I was adopted by the Mason family, I was born Maria Teresa during the last hours of Virgo on the cusp of autumn. I was literally the Virgo Maria or the Virgin Mary. Along with a full-impact Catholic upbringing that I took very seriously, there are certain aspects of the assignment to see the sign of Virgo in a new light that come to me naturally.

The more I have studied astrology and my specialty Chiron in particular, the more I recognize fulfillment isn’t so much doing what we’re destined to do but having the courage to evolve into and be who we are.

In expressing our own seed patterns, the doing takes care of itself. We offer to others insights about, and reflections of, parts of themselves. Hopefully, I am doing this at some level just being “The Radical Virgo,” which people have long called me as a nickname following the original article of the same name. Everyone has the sign of Virgo somewhere in their chart. Even if you don’t have planets in Virgo, Virgo is on the cusp of one of your houses. It makes sense to me that someone with her Sun in the last degree of Virgo—the culmination of the sign—might have some observations to offer about Virgoness. Since Uranus squares my Virgo Sun, I suspect this is why I have such a sense of where the Virgo energy is evolving and its role in our unfolding future.

Knowing how much Virgos tend to like qualifications, now you have mine for writing on this subject. Onto some of those observations. In the original Radical Virgo article, I wrote at length about Virgo’s connection with sexuality, work and enlightenment. I won’t repeat those ideas here but refer you to Radical Virgo I.  Let’s start Radical Virgo II with a recap and expansion of the definition of a Radical Virgo.

A Bigger Definition of a Radical Virgo

When I speak of a Radical Virgo, I mean the word radical in these dictionary senses, the Virgo energy carried (1) to the utmost limit, extreme; or a Virgo known for (2) favoring or effecting evolutionary or revolutionary changes. I want to add to this definition, (3) A Virgo who expresses the very root of the Virgo archetype, because radical also means root. This doesn’t mean the superficial tics of the “young” Virgo such as being prissy, nitpicky and germophobic, those things we joke about regarding the sign, even when the “older soul” Virgo still may retain some vestiges of them. This Virgo represents the core values of the sign—purity, self-containment, the ability to analyze and act on higher knowledge and to serve humanity, a destiny to which she gives herself as freely as a woman who has saved herself on her wedding night for the man she loves.

This time ‘round, I’d like to focus more on the root imagery of the definition of a Radical Virgo. Imagine your favorite image of the Virgo maiden planted in lush surroundings who morphs into a living composite entity, part human and part plant. She sends her deep taproot into the ground through her legs like a mighty oak. She is the Earth Mother whose feet are planted firmly in the ground and whose head is open to the stars. This is a snapshot of her role, to help us ground divine whispers and direction and to grow things on Earth with the creative inspiration she receives.

To Sort and Know, the Consummate Virgo Quest

Most Virgos cannot stand to “sort of” know. They have to know exactly, to gather information and sort it into knowledge. They acquire as much information as possible, separate what’s useful--what contributes to health and wholeness--and then eliminate the rest.

This skill is absolutely invaluable in the Digital Age where information is flying at us at a pace we cannot begin to digest mentally. (See Information Indigestion.) Another needed Virgo skill is the ability to organize all that information. It’s great to be a Gemini during this era, too, because Gems are wired to handle a lot of informational input. Gemini tends to be more focused on information than knowledge, but this is not to say Gem is stuck there. Obviously, information leads to knowledge.

The general difference between a Gemini and a Virgo, both ruled by Mercury: Gemini wants to know something about a lot of things. Virgo is happier to know about fewer things in more depth.

You might say that Mercury, metaphorically, is the planet Earth revolves around in our current Age. If humanity is already in or on the cusp of the Age of Aquarius as many astrologers contend, our current Mercury-centeredness supports another concept. That’s the idea that Uranus, the ruler of Aquarius, represents the higher octave of Mercury.

If we follow that logic, Virgos, whether they have a Uranus-to-Virgo planetary relationship or not in their natal charts, are likely to become more “Uranized” these days. It’s as though Mercury has deferred to the higher resonance of Uranus to take the lead during our current transitional times. No surprise, transiting Uranus is part of a three-year square with Pluto effecting major, universal changes. This is why the sign of Virgo is becoming “Radical Virgo” as part of a larger cycle of evolution.

Synthesis, the Survival Skill

I have never experienced a time where I have had to sort through more information and make more decisions in a single day. What I do in a week, I didn’t do in a month as a young adult, let alone as a kid. The effect is a sense of time speeding up, of its being more mercurial, changeable or fluid. When I look back on a month, it often feels like I’ve just lived through a year. Some days, time almost seems to stand still; there is so much happening. My friends and I refer to all the growth we’re experiencing, a considerable amount of it painful, as thick times. As odd as it sounds, there’s a sense of time being both faster and slower all at once.

There’s only one way to be able to get through the mental and emotional bombardment of rapid evolution. That’s to be able to process information and synthesize what you need from it at higher and higher speeds. Feelings come from how we think about or perceive things. There is an inexorable link between thoughts and feelings. They are as intertwined as the root structure of the living Virgo Green Woman we have been envisioning as Root or Radical Virgo. Those roots are actually the networks connecting us via the Internet.

How the Internet Figures In

Think of what you do now on the Internet compared to just ten years ago. You probably answer dozens of emails per day and sort through a pile of junk mail from here to the sky. You likely pay your bills, socialize on Facebook or Twitter, and do your banking. While all this is going on, you’re in the middle of a thunderstorm of more information being hailed at you as you try to center yourself to proceed through your day. Your smartphone is probably buzzing with text messages and you might get another buzz from someone trying to Skype you. You take all this with you wherever you go on your various portable devices of phones, pods and pads. There is seldom any downtime.

If you remember the scene in Auntie Mame where Rosiland Russell tries her hand at being an old-fashioned switchboard operator and can’t get a single call straight with wires crossed willy nilly, you’ll know just how much we have evolved in our ability to process information over time. Auntie Mame was set in the 1930s, and 80 years later, we have left her in the dust. We connect, cross-connect and multitask in a heartbeat compared to her all-thumbs switchboard debacle.

The very tools themselves have forced the evolution of our minds to think, process, sort and synthesize faster. These are Virgoan skills. Further, there is very little work done on planet Earth without computers, work being one of Virgo’s major realms. Another Virgo area of influence, medicine and healing, is dependent on patient data bases accessed by doctors from their computer stations. Think of how much we use the Internet to read doctor bios when we’re choosing one or to learn about a would-be complementary practitioner such as a massage therapist or acupuncturist.

Those who cannot develop these sorting skills, who are unwilling to sign up for what I call the sort-it detail, become overwhelmed and immobilized in today’s brave new world. Some of the more sensitive souls I know avoid the Internet and owning a computer because they simply cannot handle the intensity of the information storm and the demand for constantly learning new things.

The New Way of Being an Old Fogey

One of the biggest fears I hear seasoned citizens express is their frustration and overwhelm about keeping up with technology. There’s little you can set out to accomplish in our current world that doesn’t require interacting with it. You don’t have to just understand it enough to work with it; you have to evolve with it.

To stay connected, especially with your younger relatives, you’d better be on Facebook, Grandma. I hate to be so blunt, but this is where it’s happening for them, and this is where you have to meet them, if you want to be part of their lives. Resistance to the electronic world is isolating and deprives elders of the mental workouts that keep them young.

Many baby boomers do not want to retire, can’t afford to, or they morph previous avocations into new vocations once they leave their day jobs. Nearly all their pursuits require constant upgrading of computer skills.

These Virgo—Writing—Times

The Internet has made writers and publishers of us all. When we got more technically oriented, I never thought in a million years that my most loved skill, writing, would come along for the ride in such a big way. I expected oral communication to dominate, that we’d do much more talking into gismos than writing on them. I did not expect our communications to become, literally, so hands-on. Writing is another very Virgo thing. There are many forms of communication, but the way we’ve headed is to take the most advanced technology for communications and to marry it with one of the oldest-fashioned forms of it, writing and print, even if we use electronic forms of ink.

I’m sure you’ve noticed the results of this trend. We have written records of everything, which can be either good or bad, depending on how the information is applied. It’s good if you want to find a tax receipt for any purchase you transacted online; bad if someone wants to steal your identity or if the government wants to spy on you by reading your emails. (I shudder to think of all someone could learn about me in my soulful correspondence with numerous intimates.)

Healing Hands and Global Healing

Virgo tends to heal with her hands, and hands-on-keyboard is the way we’re all getting Virgo. We connect with our minds, but through our hands in a very physical way. The keyboard has almost become parallel to the Virgo’s taproot in the image of her growing out of the earth. Our computers dig us into our place and perspective on Earth, and from our little piece of the planet, we connect with others.

The cyber connection habit that has evolved into a ritual. Ritual is the higher octave of habits. It heals loneliness, isolation and close-mindedness. We have experiences of all kinds of people, places and things in a virtual world many of us would never be able to experience strictly in person. Global healing is already happening through this unprecedented ability to relate one-on-one to so many people regardless of where they are. We know the expression and say of someone truly special, “To know him is to love him.” This is actually true of most, if not all human beings, once you break through his or her barriers to reveal their core self. The Internet helps us learn this all the time. I have developed amazing, close relationships with people who live on the other side of the world. When I have the ultimate joy of meeting some of these friends in person, it’s as though we’ve known each other for a lifetime.

From Self-Containment to Can’t Contain Yourself

A virgo is a woman who is self-contained. The V-sign’s job is to become whole unto herself; then she has her whole self to give to others. The Virgoan aspects of Internet connection support being yourself and sharing yourself. This is what happens at the cusp of Virgo to Libra. I see that shift from self to other expressed daily online.

It’s both the coolest thing on Earth but also somewhat exasperating. On the one hand, I see creativity and idea-sharing on Facebook, for example, that’s everything the Root Virgo image expresses at its highest. People are flowing information from their heads through their hands and sharing it. I learn amazing things every day and see images that take my breath away—people’s photographs, artwork, and videos. It’s like being at an All Night Info and Entertainment Diner. Sometimes I’m so overstimulated by it all; I literally can’t sleep. That’s when I tend to go back to the all-night diner for another snack, which I’m sure only feeds the endless loop. Good thing I’ve had to all but give up caffeine, because the e-world is buzzy enough without coffee beans.

On the downside, it is still dizzying to those of us who did not grow up with these tools are our fingertips. I cannot image what it’s like to be 20 years old and never to have lived without a computer or informational gismo as close to you as your teddy bear.

We don’t yet know all the results of our impulse to share so much. There are boundaries of appropriate intimacy crossed all the time on the Internet. It’s for each of us to decide what we do and don’t want to reveal on the public wall. You’ll know how good your Virgo skills of separating the toxic from the life-affirming are when you see what’s on your feed from others. If you are careful who you friend or follow, your experience will be upbeat and inspiring. If you aren’t, negativity and darkness might creep in, sometimes with an emphasis on the creep.

If Pisces lives in a world with no boundaries, Virgo is the sign that sets them. This is another crucial skill in the world where we now live. Especially for the energetically sensitive, making good choices about who you let into your cyber sphere will dictate the quality of your personal cyberspace.

Revisit and Radicalize Your Virgo

Think about any planets you have in Virgo or the house or houses that Virgo rules in your chart. How does this evolution of Virgo influence you? Is it making life easier? Or is there more to learn about the evolving Virgo energy to optimize your experiences in changing times?

If you were brought up Christian, especially Catholic where the Virgin Mary is the closest we’ve got to a Goddess, Jesus was born of a virgin or virgo. Whether or not you take it literally, I suspect the story of Jesus represents our strongest mythology in the Western world. Remember that myths simply give us archetypes, repeating themes that guide us like the moral of the story in one type of myth, fairy tales. Whether or not something we hold in reverence is true, such as whether Mary was literally a virgin, is of almost no consequence unless it has a figurative, guiding value. The real truth lies in the story, whether it happened exactly the way it has been told or not.

The most amazing thing Mary did at the Annunciation was to say the radical yes. Think of how bizarre that scenario would have been for her in the context of the story. First, I’d faint (or at least swoon), if an angel showed up at my door. Second, if he told me I was going to be a mother, of the Son of God no less, through some spiritual mumbo jumbo that didn’t involve having sex with a man, I’d think the angel came by way of the funny farm.

Yet Mary suspended all disbelief, something many of us have a hard time doing for a few hours when we read a novel or watch a movie. Her faith was complete, her purity of heart without question. Her answer was yes.

You, too, can say yes to whatever Spirit proposes to you. It may change your life and a lot of other lives, as did Mary’s yes in the Bible stories. I have long believed the Second Coming of Christ is the development of our own inner Christ consciousness. To me that means acting from the example of Jesus with kindness, forgiveness, inclusiveness and a strong commitment to social justice. You don’t have to be Christian to want these great values to be part of your own integrity. (In fact, not all “Christians” exhibit them.)

Jesus incarnated through a Virgin (virgo) to express those qualities. You can bring this consciousness to life through Virgo, too.

Use the Virgo archetype in your chart to give birth to the light of the world. The star of the New Testament told us it wasn’t just him. He said, “You are the light of the world.”

This concept sounds just like my favorite Hopi prophecy, that I’ve repeated many times on these pages:

“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”


Photo Credit: Naturverbundenheit © Bernd Ege –


Mads Elung-Jensen said...

How do you deal with already having been so wise 20 years+ ago, Joyce? I'm very glad that you referred to that original Radical Virgo article, I had never read it before. It made me go much deeper understanding why I feel so much at home in Radical Virgo world!

Joyce Mason said...

Mads, I'm glad to know you're so at home here. Thanks for letting me know I hit the mark of deeper understanding with one of my favorite Radical Virgos.

Sigh. I was wise and responsible beyond my years from a very early age. The challenge was not having enough "this life" experience yet to know quite what to do with it. It has been a lot easier since my Chiron Return.

Always love your input!