As a schoolgirl, every year about this time, I’d take out a clean sheet of paper and with a bold, optimistic hand, write at the top: “The New Me.” Then I would list all the wonderful qualities I was determined to adopt in the coming school year: “Smile.” “Be helpful.” “Always say something nice.” In the weeks before entering 5th grade, 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.
I knew nothing about astrology. I was following the Sun’s transit through Virgo quite unconsciously—which is something I’ve done throughout my life. Particularly since the Virgo Sun crosses into my first house of new beginnings, this has always been an important time to reorganize myself. But now, years past my second Saturn return, I’m blissfully freed of “new me” lists. That’s one of the joys of being an elder. You know who who are.
But it’s still a wonderful opportunity to push a reset button. Last night, forgetting entirely about the website, this article, and the coming Virgo New Moon, I was finally moved to erase the list of no-longer-relevant goals on the dry erase board outside my office, something I’ve been needing to do for months. I don’t know what I’ll replace them with–but clearing the space was essential. It shifts the energy.
When the wheat-bearing Virgin enters our consciousness, we’re moved to gather our current harvest and sort what belongs and what’s useful from what’s not. We purify and renew our energetic field this way. Virgo carries the energy of a priestess. She is devoted to serving a more perfect life. As we lean into our Virgo powers of organization, discernment and analysis, we turn toward the future. We ask, how can our lives be improved? Does anything need to change?
Notice if you’re inspired this cycle to bring a new devotion to some aspect of your world that you want to take apart, cleanse, examine, re-work–then polish until it shines. Mercury’s retrograde (from September 26 to October 18) is the perfect time for following your intuition into a second (or third or fourth) look at something important.
Always worth purifying during these weeks is the Virgo shadow tendency to get mired in judgments and criticism–either giving or receiving this. I can get a dozen emails thanking me for my work but of course it’s the one that complains that galvanizes my attention. This isn’t a character flaw, I eventually learned. It’s just the way evolution wired the human brain. We’re made to feel negativity more deeply than our bounties, because we learn from negativity (and not our bounties). For years, like a rosary, I recited every ugly thing my ex-husband, parents, and anyone who ever uttered an unkind word had said about me. Such rehearsals ensure they become how you speak to yourself.
So a fine Virgo project in any year is to turn this tendency around. Change your focus. Enlist the Virgo mind to count your victories instead of your flaws. Now in my wonderful elder years, my dry erase boards are just as often filled with lists of my accomplishments as they are with lists of things I want to get done.
There is an archetypal precedent for this way of being Virgo. Feeling confident, relaxed and powerful is the less publicized version of Virgo. This is the ancient mystery school Virgo, the Virgin Virgo, harassed by no one, pure and unafraid. Known as Diana to the Romans, Brigid to the Celts, Artemis to the Greeks, she’s strong and delightfully free. She’s tuned into elemental forces, knows the secrets of roots and herbs, and in utter relaxation, follows the rhythms of earth and moon.
This is the wild and joyful Virgo. Her spirit is available at this New Moon too. This gives you a wonderful choice. You can pick a corner of your world and clean it up—or relax into the perfect dance of what you’ve already done. Compose the Virgo list that’s most useful to you. We’re halfway through the astrological year. List your triumphs or where you want to improve. Either way, do it with a sense of feminine power and joy.