Virgo is the sixth sign of the zodiac, the second Earth sign and is Mutable (or changeable by nature). Virgo is often represented as being nervous, worrying and always on the move. However, there is a comforting down to earth feel about Virgo - for all the rushing about, Virgo is reliable, practical and thorough. Virgo may worry all night about doing a particular job, but when it comes to doing it, it will be done carefully and properly. No half measures for the perfectionist Virgo. Often modest and shy, the Virgin can be her own worst enemy - self-critical and lacking in confidence. Virgo needs to relax and keep grounded, using strengths to overcome weaknesses. Capable of great analysis and intelligence, Virgo can be very critical - beware the lash of this sign's tongue should you fail to reach the required standard!

Planets placed in Virgo bring practicality, diligence and nervousness. Analytical and critical, any planet placed in Virgo will add insight, a need for perfection and often a lack of self-confidence to the individual. Care must be taken not to be too fussy about other people, for there is a tendency to nag in some cases. Planets in Virgo suggest nervousness and a great deal of energy, although this must be used wisely to avoid being stuck in a morass of detail and over-elaboration, which is all too possible with this Earth sign. By focusing the natural energy of planets placed in this sign, the individual can achieve a great deal, as long as the big picture is not forgotten in the rush to find perfection.

Virgo, like its cousin across the zodiac Gemini (see June newsletter), is ruled by Mercury (May newsletter). Traditional Virgoan associations include many similar plants to Gemini (although perhaps with a more bitter taste). Flowers are often small, bright and detailed, such as the buttercup and alkanet. Herbs include cardamom and aniseed. Trees are those that bear nuts (like Gemini) but not always edible - the oak and acorn are a good example. Foods grown in the earth are often associated with the sign of the Virgin. It has to be said that Virgo has not always been the Virgin, but in ancient times was considered the Earth (or Great) Mother, which is just as apt. The gemstone is the sardonyx, red/brown in colour. Coinciding with the harvest (in the northern hemisphere at least) Virgo is often linked to the Egyptian goddess of grain, Nidaba.

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