It’s another new moon: when wishes can be super-charged with sparkling fresh energy. Yet if you don’t have a strong relationship with the archetypes, don’t expect buckets of fairy dust. New Moons are potent times to forge alliances with the gods. But you must be willing to meet the invisible world. Bow and open yourself to their touch. Make an offering. Humans have been rendezvousing with these archetypes for thousands of years. When you call out to the gods, they do respond!
Call Virgo and she’ll appear with the fresh grace of a virgin. This goddess wants nothing, is attached to nothing, and fears nothing. She walks the ripening fields, knowing that when the Harvest Moon rises, round as a pumpkin above the waiting barns, it’s harvest time. Her eyes are honest and appraising. The smallest details can’t escape her. Call her in at this New Moon and she’ll help you scrub your floors, organize the family photos, alphabetize your spices, and empty the medicine cabinet of old prescriptions. She likes to plan for the future and knows the most efficient method for everything.
People sometimes feel worried or guilty when Virgo is around. In small doses such feelings can have a purifying effect. But one year, guilt had me hiding in the closet. “That won’t do,” she frowned. “Take a salt bath and clean your room, discard whatever feels too dark, then pick one or two useful objects to give away.” Her magic worked. Next year, when I was overwhelmed with worry, she handed me a small black bag. “Fill it with sticks and stones from your backyard, one for everything you fear. Pass it through a cleansing smoke, then bury it in your front yard, where it will transform.” A week later, above the buried bag, a dozen pure white moonflowers suddenly appeared.
Usually I call in the signs, but this year Virgo calls me. She asks me to join her on an Oregon back road, where the blackberries thrive like weeds; just now, they’re ripening. You should join us too. Five geese are squawking overhead, speeding somewhere… but let’s just amble, past the occasional picker with her Tupperware bowl, so absorbed in her task she doesn’t notice us. Berry picking requires concentration. If you don’t move carefully, the thorns will harvest you, grabbing your clothes and dragging you into the bush. To do it right, you have to work the Virgo way: With discrimination. Unhurried. Absorbed yet industrious. Reverent. With a quiet mind. You’re tuned to perfection: finding gifts from Nature that are perfectly ready to eat.
Your eyes will tell you a lot. Leave the red ones alone. Scan for those whose purple is so intense it’s almost black (hence the name “blackberries”). If the berry looks like it’s about to burst, it’s a good candidate. If it has the sad look of a deflated tire, it’s too late. Study the finish. The ripe ones aren’t too shiny or too dull; their sheen is a vibrant cream. Out of the fifty berries you scan, you spot a likely candidate. Now here’s the real test. Tug on it. If it instantly releases into your hand, it will be delicious. If you have to tug a second or third time, if you yank it off the stem, when you pop it into your mouth, it will repay you with a tart explosion. “Ha!” It says, as your mouth endures a sour rush: “You can’t fool Mother Nature.”
I wish I could tell you that I only pick the ones that are ready to eat. But I am impatient by nature. And more often than I can count, I’ve yanked the ones my eyes have determined should be ready. I eat them and get the appropriate reward for my impatience. Virgo has blessed me with a new resolution this year—to harvest more wisely in my life. I want to tug only on those things that are truly ripe. I want to let everything else take its sweet time.
Virgo brings a precise, analytical, and useful energy to our September New Moons. We’re invited to survey our lives and sort what is useful from what is not—like the Virgin, separating the wheat from the chaff. If you call Virgo in, she may gift you with the humble willingness to work or an impulse to get newly organized.
I have Virgo rising—which means she rules my basic personality and approach to life. As a schoolgirl, every year when the Sun entered Virgo, I’d take out a clean sheet of paper. With a bold, optimistic hand, I’d write at the top: “The New Me.” Below it I would list all the wonderful qualities I was determined to adopt in the coming school year. (“Smile,” “Be helpful,” “Always say something nice.”) One year I read Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People and following a suggestion in the book, made note cards of its winning slogans and strategies. Each time I conjured my New Self, I felt like this act of conjuring was itself new. It wasn’t until I became an astrologer that I realized I did this every year at Virgo’s insistence! Which house does she activate in your chart? What important message does the Virgin have for you this cycle?
If you’d like to explore the archetypes in even greater depth, if you like to journal and/or muse on the positions of the Sun and Moon, you may enjoy my enrolling in my Twelve Moon workshop (by snail-mail or email). It’s designed to deepen your relationship with the guardians of natural time, the Sun, the Moon, and the zodiac.
© 2010 Dana Gerhardt
Painting by Johanna Uribes. See more of Johanna’s work at her website.