Aries 29° (April 19)
Had a chill morning and met S. for a pho lunch. Then we had a meeting with some branding folks we know to see if we are a professional match on our projects. Then we took a long walk down Commonwealth Avenue, through the Commons, over to Charles Street and up Beacon Hill. We did a little jewelry shopping and then headed up the hill on Chestnut and worked our way over. A old man approached us—he didn’t give his name—but he did name drop his wife, Pamela, who cautions him about stopping to talk to people and delaying whatever errand he is on for them. He was dress all in black—shoes, slacks and a very fine knit turtleneck sweater that looked quite expensive but, I imagine, dates back to the 1970s if that’s possible. He spoke about how they bought a house on the backside of Beacon Hill in the 1960s for nothing. Can you imagine? This occured after they returned from living in Calcutta for years. Funny because we were thinking of having Indian food that night. It was something of a sign. The day has been all signs actually. I had an “episode” earlier today that involved a sneeze and my shoulder getting stuck up around my ear, and I’ve been rather sore all day. We strolled some more—checking out some mewses that (I want to call him Charles or Edward) told us to peruse; and then ended up walking back through the Commons where we saw a white squirrel that wasn’t albino. We had a refreshment at Bar du Midi and then strolled back to the hotel and had our supper at Uni. It was a fun day all in all with lots of food for thought (and just food in general).
Whereas Leo is fueled by pride, which is an imporant positive energy until it isn’t, Virgo’s superpower is humility which, by logic of the upward spiral that is the dynamic (not static flat circle) upward spiral of the Zodiac, is stronger than pride. We’ve said it before but the planetary ruler of Virgo is somewhat in dispute; traditionally it falls under Mercury’s rule, which also governs the sign of Gemini; while others believe it is ruled by Chiron, once a planet which was pummeled by asteroids and “disabled”; and others still believe there is a planet Vulcan out there…or rather inthere, orbiting between Mercury and the Sun, and therefore near impossible to detect. Wigned Mercury, the trickster, messenger god, is a perfect match for the mutable-air sign of Gemini; and it’s fitting for the mutable-earth sign of Virgo too, in a sense: Mercury embodies the two forms of magic—the tricky sleight of hand brand that matches Gemini’s mercurial and prankish nature, but also the more substantial form of alchemy which is the primary watchword of the sign of Virgo.
Alchemy is akin to medicine, in both cases ridding the substance/body of baser elements; and Mercury’s staff, the Caduceus, is, to this day, the symbol for the medical profession. Mercury was called Hermes by the Greeks and we speak of hermits (alchemists working in secrecy) and all things hermetic, meaning: relating to an ancient occult tradition that encompasses alchemy, astrology (hello!) and theosophy. Chiron, too, the wisest of the centaurs who alone among them rose above his beastly nature was taught by Apollo the art of medicine and herbs and is credited with the discovery of botany and pharmacy…….
He was in fact unrelated to all other centaurs, sometimes depicted with human front legs. He is mainly an abomination, at least according to his mother who, at birth rejected him and left him to die. He is akin to Ganesh, the original elephant-man god whose festival coincides with Vulcanalia, which is the first day of Virgo, August 23. Vulcan is the Roman name for Greek Hephaestus who wasn’t born lame but made so by his dismissive father Zeus who, enraged at his son siding with his mother, Hera, in an argument—flung him around the world which he circled endless times before landing and henceforth living without the use of his legs.
What the mythical Mercury, Chiron and Vulcan share is that they are all, like Ganesh, healers. Hephaestus-Vulcan is a potter god, a smithy, an alchemist as befits Virgo’s malleable mutable-earth sign. Despite infirmiry he doesn’t wallow but channels his disability into invention, spending all waking time at his forge, in his workshop, making all sorts of nifty tools, weapons and devices for the betterment of men and gods alike. Virgo’s sign mottos are I work and I serve. Like Prometheus who elevated mankind by gifting them with sacred fire stolen from Olympus—this mirrors the move from the fixed-fire sign of the Leo god-kings (and some fierce queens) to Virgo with its everyman assignation, mutable-earth speaking to the evolutionary effect the stolen fire is meant to have on man. As part of the punishment Zeus doled out for this theft, he had Hephaestus make, out of clay, Pandora who with her infamous box brought all vice, first disguised by virtue, into the world.
Hephaestus is an ironic god of the human condition. He understands humanity and knows loss and humility, rare in a god. He knows that one’s reactions to loss can go either way, from victimization to victory, from self-pity or -destruction, from dysfunction to contribution, to making lemonade from lemons. His crippling becomes the nature of his godhead, his superpowers deriving from being parapalegic if only a metaphor for being cut at the knees. This is true alchemy, the undergoing of personal change on the most human of levels. What is alchemy but getting the lead out? And, both metaphorically and metaphysically, Virgo is about undergoing such internal alteration, not sitting there like a lump of clay but making yourself useful, purifying oneself, removing our baser elements, obstacles, in the crucible of one’s own conscience. Hephaestus is more acurately the god of the human conscience and he is, like Ganesh, a remover of obstacles. The sign of Virgo rules the digestion which is also a metaphor for said conscience—munching on experience it metes out the nutrients in our life from the detritus. In the sculpting of Pandora, Hepaestus utilizes the best features of each of the goddesses, making her a composite of these. Pandora means “all given.” We see the archetypal roots here of the Virgo male character which can lean toward the Svengali, being (a sometime male-chauvinist) Pygmalion, the Henry Higgins molding his Eliza Doolittle; and we see, too, the roots of the Virgo woman being something of a borrower herself—of all the women in the Zodiac she is most likely to cherry pick elements of style and even personality from other women she admires. It came come as a shock to her friends to see her morphing into them before their eyes. Slowly though she will morph out of being a collection of traits into a unique composition of influences, which is true of all of us to some extent. She will also let herself be Svengali’d (if we can make that a verb) doing little to stop it. Get it?
The Virgo virgin, however, is not that Pandora but rather the goddess Kore (who will become Persephone once Hades-Pluto abducts and drags her into his underworld), the “daughter” and thus the maiden-form of Demeter, the goddess of the harvest, coinciding to Virgo’s late-August-early-September time frame which ends the first half of the astrological year, at the Autumnual Equinox that began at Vernal Equinox. Demeter is also called Pandora, but here it means “all giving.” She giveth and she taketh away. That is the power of the Virgo woman, in particular, who makes herself useful in the lives of others but, if unappreciated, she will remove herself, leaving those who’ve come to rely on her lacking. Virgo’s mutable-earth status speaks to substantial change which doesn’t happen in a flash. Virgo reminds us that we are all works in progress and their brand of spirituality is devotional at its core.
To view the original Sabian Symbol themed 2015 Cosmic Blague corresponding to this day: Flashback! The degree pointof the Sabian Symbol will be one degree higher than the one listed for today. The Blague portrays the starting degree of for this day ( 0°, for instance), as I typically post in the morning, while the Sabian number corresponds to the end point (1°) of that same 0°-1° period. There are 360 degrees spread over 365 or 6 days per year—so they near but not exactly correlate.
Typos happen. I don’t have a proofreader. And I like to just write, post and go!
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