When a volcano erupts it spews not just lava, but also ash and particulates called tephra. The smallest particles of this tephra can stay airborne for weeks and travel thousands of miles before falling back to the Earth. In massive amounts it can block out the sun, causing a “volcanic winter”. And where dense tephra falls, it can pollute waterways and completely coat plant life, preventing photosynthesis.
However, over time that same tephra will begin to break down, creating some of the planet’s most fertile soil. This floating pyroclastic hazard, once settled, eventually helps to heal and enrich the ravaged land.
This is the Earth magic of Virgo: The interconnectedness, the wholeness of the planet, the way it mends itself by returning to itself. This is the power of the Maiden.
The fire of Leo season burns down to a smolder this weekend under the glow of the full Sturgeon Moon as we move from Fire to Earth sign, from blaze to ember, flame to soot, Lion to Virgin. Expelled from the inferno, we return to the Earth like tephra, settling to the ground as our manifestations fall into place with the waning of the moon.
Ruled by the communication planet, Mercury, we can expect this season to have a more rational, intellectual vibe than the last. Where the influence of Leo lent us strength and courage, Virgo offers logic, dedication, and a penchant for perfection.
Virgo is a diligent and methodical fixer, editor, and organizer, bringing our focus back from passions to planning, and inviting us to step out of the spotlight and take a turn as stage director. It is the season for editing, decluttering, and arranging your life for success!
The routines and habits you form during this season will have staying power, so take a few notes from the Maiden on how to get grounded and grow with her.
1. Be Picky
Virgo gets a reputation for being overly critical, but honestly, the world needs editors. That discerning eye is what it takes to streamline and fine-tune so things can run smoothly! Under Virgo’s practical, rational energy, we have an opportunity to wield logic over our emotions and make some hard decisions about what to keep and what no longer serves us.
Use Virgo’s analytical influence (and perhaps some mind-sharpening rosemary) to help you identify and let go of what isn’t working. It might be time to put in your two weeks notice, cancel the gym membership you never use, or delete that flakey dude’s phone number. And if you’ve been dancing around thinking about considering maybe possibly quitting that unhealthy habit of yours, this is your sign. Do it now. The Maiden is behind you!
2. Embrace the Hermit
The Tarot card most often associated with Virgo is The Hermit. The card usually depicts a solitary figure, and suggests intentional isolation, contemplation, and introspection. The Hermit is not lonely, though. He is learning.
Virgo energy seeks purpose, yearns to be a part of something bigger, but those who measure their worth by what they can do for others can end up neglecting their own well-being in the effort to feel helpful and needed. It's important to take intentional time and space to be alone with yourself, to be mindful with yourself, to get to know yourself, and to care for yourself.
Being here means you are part of something. You are part of it. You matter. Know that you are enough.
3. Get in touch with the planet
The ancient Greeks associated the constellation Virgo with Demeter, their goddess of grain and harvest, as well as her daughter Persephone, part-time Queen of Hades, part time personification of Springtime. Virgo season is all about getting in sync with the planet’s cycles and being present and engaged in the physical world!
In other words: Get more nature! Go outside! Move around in your body! Eat more plants! In fact, bring plants into your life in every way you can think of, and reject things that harm the environment and interrupt our symbiosis with the planet.
Nature is here all around us, made of the same stuff we're made of, offering us everything our bodies need! We'd be fools not to take it. It's time to set intentions and start forming healthy habits now, under the committed, grounding influence of the Maiden.
4. Know when to leave
The Virgin has alternately been identified as the goddess Astraea, who was the last of the immortals to live among humans on Earth. She really held out hope for humanity longer than anyone else, but ultimately fled our wickedness and became stars.
Like Astraea, you may want desperately to see the best in people, to stay and help, to remain committed and optimistic when everyone else has given up, and sometimes it's going to be worth it. But there will also be times when you will need to save yourself and jump ship, and though Virgo energy is analytical, it can also be dutiful to a fault.
Remember that you do not possess godlike powers to fix people or save the world. (Even if you're a Virgo!) Forgive yourself for not being perfect, for not being everything at once, and for not having the answer to every problem.
You cannot save a drowning person if you're drowning, too, and you can do a lot more good in the world if your cup is full. So put your oxygen mask on first. Drink water. Eat something. Set boundaries, and take care of yourself, Sea Witches.