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Slow Global Warming


by Gary Brand - written February 11, 2007,
published in the March 2007 edition of Echo* newspaper

This image of Mercury's Brahms Crater was taken by the
Mariner 10 spacecraft This image of Mercury's Brahms Crater was taken when it was near the terminator - the twilight zone between light and dark - on March 30, 1974 by the Mariner 10 spacecraft.  Large impact craters like this typically have a central peak caused by the rebounding of material after impact.  Mercury is heavily cratered like Earth's Moon because neither have an atmosphere to protect them or to erode their craters over time.  Courtesy of NASA/JPL.

This is a 1491 woodcut of the classical representation
of Virgo as a young woman (virgin). This is a 1491 woodcut of the classical representation of Virgo as a young woman or virgin.  On first glance, she looks pregnant but she is actually lifting the front of her apron.  When the Sun is in the sign of Virgo, it is traditionally the time of harvest and, in more modern representations, the virgin is holding a ripe ear of corn or three shafts of wheat.  In this older depiction, the fruits of the harvest are probably what she holds in the front of her apron.  Her hair is long and wild, symbolic of her freedom prior to marriage.  She wears a garland, probably of laurel, which was a symbol of chastity when consecrated to vestal virgins.  From the 1491 edition of Bonatti (G.B. (c. 1282/1491)).
his is one of a series of articles about the metaphysical meanings of the signs.  Metaphysical astrology is the study of first principles and the esoteric meanings of the signs and planets.  This article addresses the first principles of Virgo and Mercury (ruler of Virgo), which we all have somewhere in our birth chart.  The meaning or energy of each sign of the zodiac manifests in some area of life symbolized in the birth chart of each of us, whether we have planets in a particular sign or not.  The entire visible Universe is based on the 12-fold manifestation of God we call the zodiac (E.H., p. 244 (1974)).

Before I address metaphysical Virgo, I want to mention that beautiful jewel of bright light in the west after sunset, the planet Venus.  About every two years, we are treated to this dazzling sight in the evening twilight and early night so appreciate her while she makes her appearance.  Venus will continue to grace the early night sky until August when she will quickly retreat into the glare of the Sun during her retrograde.  By the way, the words beautiful, jewel, dazzling, appreciation, and grace are all Venus keywords.

I chose to write about metaphysical Virgo for the Echo* issue published while the Sun is in the opposite sign of Pisces because the Egyptian initiates of the divine race of the Sons and Daughters of God (who lived according to the law of spirit, not according to the law of matter like virtually every human being alive today) used as their symbol of initiation the sign in which the tropical autumnal (fall) equinox falls in the precession of the equinoxes, which creates the epochs (Id., p. 259).  The autumnal equinox is thought by many to still be in Virgo and the vernal equinox in Pisces – hence the “Age of Pisces” epoch.  This corresponds to the concept that the divine is the exact opposite of the personal.  When we observe something or someone, we are in a dualistic relationship with it/them, but when we become one with something or someone, we achieve a state of divine unity with it/them.

Virgo symbolizes the potential fertility of the soil (it is an earth sign) and the potential bountifulness of the harvest when plants are tended and nurtured.  In human terms, this sign is the fertility of our human spirit and the potential it holds to manifest a bountiful harvest.  This harvest can take many tangible forms – power, wealth, property, children, or intangible forms such as inner happiness, inspiring others, expressing unconditional love, or making meaningful contributions to the world or in people’s lives.

Virgo is a bicorporial, dualistic, mutable sign so it is dichotomous:  the unplowed, fertile field and the harvest.  It is often depicted as a reclining, young, virgin woman (or queen) holding three shafts of fully ripened wheat or an ear of corn in her hand.  The virgin is symbolic of the fertile potential in the unplowed field and the fully ripened shafts of wheat or ear of corn portray the harvest at the end of the growing season (in most northern climes, harvesting of many crops takes place in September when the Sun is in Virgo).  Ironically, and despite this being an earth sign, Virgo is traditionally considered a sterile sign because the virgin is untested and has not yet birthed a harvest (child) so gardeners planting by the sign of the Moon are advised to avoid doing so while the Moon is in Virgo.  The depiction of the virgin holding the shafts of wheat is actually the Roman goddess Ceres, who was associated with the harvest and things coming to fruition.  The virgin in the depiction of Virgo also symbolizes the birth of our higher faculties or our divine mind because our choice to use our higher faculties is a divine or virgin birth not conceived by earthly pleasure or desire.  In addition, the virgin represents purity (and this is reflected by Virgo's position in the zodiac opposite the sign of Pisces).  Inherent in Virgo as the sign of the harvest is sharing one-tenth or a tithe of one’s individual harvest to help the whole community survive times of famine, natural disaster or pestilence.  Today, this means giving back one-tenth of our income (the fruits of our labor) to the communities to which we belong and from which we derive support.  The ancient concept of libation, pouring some the wine (fruit of the harvest) from our glass back into the earth (giving back or paying homage to Mother Earth) is another representation of the concept of gratitude for a good harvest.  Unfortunately, in the present culture the bounty of our harvest is often measured by the amount of money we earn.

In traditional astrology, Mercury is the ruler of, is exalted in, and rejoices in Virgo so this sign is much more strongly associated with Mercury than Gemini (G.B.I, pp. 66-67 (c. 1282/1994)).  Although Gemini as one of Mercury’s signs is certainly mental and astute, Virgo is the more profound of Mercury’s signs and, as such, characterizes our ability to utilize, analyze, apply, direct, and discipline our thoughts (all Virgo keywords) and ultimately to manifest (it is an earth sign) through our thinking.  The metaphysical meaning of the planet Mercury is the incredible power of our mind to create our reality through directing our thoughts.  The Greek god Hermes (Mercury) was the messenger with winged feet and a winged helmet and could even freely come and go from Hades.  This symbolizes the ability of our mind to freely “come and go” from anywhere to anywhere, including hell, but by directing and disciplining it, we can consciously choose the destination of our mind every time, like Mercury purposefully chose his destination.

Virgo follows Leo, an action-oriented fire sign.  This sequence is a metaphor for the critical analysis of the fruits that come from our actions, especially those that are egocentric.  In Greek mythology, two of the females in the 12-member (6 male, 6 female) Olympic pantheon were virgins (Athene and Artemis) so they need a representative sign in the 12-member zodiac.  Chastity, morality and purity of purpose were very important to these rather austere goddesses and there is some measure of these traits in the Virgo manifestation in each of us.  When these goddesses were slighted or forgotten, they were severe in their punishment just as immorality and demonic purpose exact their toll in the individual and the world.

Reference Citations.

See related article Metaphysical Mercury.

*Echo is a monthly newspaper about community, the environment, health, cuisine, and spirituality that is distributed in central Virginia.
Good Timing and Location are Keys to Success

Gary Brand, Traditional Astrologer
Tallahassee, Florida

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