Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles
In laughter, in strife
In truths that she learned
Or in times that he cried
In bridges he burned
Or the way that she died
In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure a year in the life
What about love?
Ah, how pleased am I to open my last Astrology for the Seasons post, with one of my favourite songs from one of my favourite musicals.
“Seasons of Love” sung by the cast of Rent.
No song is more fitting to reflect the spirit of Virgo. Virgo asks us to take pause. Turn around and reflect on what has just passed. Squint forward and connect the dots to what’s appearing on the horizon. Look underneath, in-between, all-around, at everything – obvious and invisible – that is present in a year, a day, a moment.
And no zodiac sign is more fitting to end this particular series of blog posts I’ve written, than with Virgo. I’ve learned so much from writing about each sign for the last 12 months, from allowing each spirit to move through me, guide me, hold me, change me, propel me forward. I found out something new about each sign, just by taking the time to write about them. In opening myself to this process, each unique piece of the sky gave me their indistinguishable gifts, lessons, and wisdom.
I started this series as an experiment to figure out how to align myself to the spirit of each astrological season, for the sake of strengthening mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health. Remembering that while each us may identify with certain signs more than others based on our particular astrological breakdown, still, everyone has each sign somewhere in their birth chart. That means every sign has something important to teach us about a particular area of life, or our overall well-being.
Virgo, more than any other sign, is about learning to live in alignment with the seasons – on our planet and with life itself. Virgo is here to build meaningful relationships with the earth, our bodies, and the cosmos. Virgo is allergic to anything that isn’t genuine. Virgo carefully discerns, evaluates, and labels each ingredient that works in conversation with one another, in alchemy, to create a delicious whole.
Virgo reminds us that we are nothing but specs of dust amidst magnificent galaxies.
But if, in a fleeting moment, we can recognize how each imperfect detail adds up to a body that miraculously knows how to breathe, a universe that miraculously knows how to keep moving, that equation surely must be perfection itself.
Like the song from Rent, Virgo takes note of every, single, damn thing that happens in a year. Not just the cups of coffee, but the designs in the foam. Not just the midnights, but how the moon was giant and orange when it sat on the horizon. Not just that he died, but the way he used his last breath to pry his eyes open one more time, so she would be the last thing he saw on earth.
See, life is not just about the stuff that happens, it’s the meaning we give to it that makes a life well lived.
Virgo is helplessly devoted to making meaning. Meticulously gathering and sorting all of life’s details into different piles, trying to make sense of things, trying to find rhythms and patterns amidst the chaos. Yes, it’s as crazy-making as it sounds, but there is always an important method to Virgo’s madness.
Both Virgo and Gemini are ruled by Mercury, the planet of communication. The messenger God. Mercury bustles around, a channel and transmuter of information. Mercury is pretty crazy himself. I mean he’s carrying a whole solar system’s worth of information in his tiny, ferocious brain. He can hear the ancient ancestors speak to the future ancestors. He knows everyone’s gossip and drama.
It was too much, so he split himself in half. One part continued to carry the sky (Gemini) and one carried the earth (Virgo). If Gemini is the free-writer, Virgo is the editor. Gemini is the word vomit, Virgo is the architect of carefully constructed sentence structures. Virgo strives to be concise, precise, no-nonsense, to the point, never wanting to waste your time.
Gemini is the nervous system and Virgo is the digestive system. Both can go into system overload very easily. Gemini overloads from the infinity of the abstract; thoughts, words and stories. Virgo is constantly bombarded with as many simultaneous sensory details as there are grains of sand on a beach. Each moment has a sound, smell, sight, taste that demands Virgo’s unwavering attention: “I’m important! Figure me out! Don’t take a step without me!”
People assume that Virgos are neat and clean and organized. Ha! Not so. They want to be, but there’s too much to keep track of.
To live with the spirit of Virgo is to live with the To-Do list that never ends. The work day that blends into the work night and then back around again. The project that is never complete. The piece of writing you can never publish because you always find something new to tweak every time you look at it. And you’re always looking at it “one more time.”
Virgo can prepare, and prepare, and prepare, and still never feel ready. Without the ease of the sky, it is hard to find flow. Gaining the momentum to move forward in life can be anxiety-inducing and frustrating, because there’s always something in the present that says, “No, deal with me first!”
Wesley: Remember the three key words for any slayer. Preparation. Preparation. Preparation.
Buffy: That’s one word three times.
In last month’s post, I talked about the spirit of Leo as the embodiment of our divine gift, our raw talent, the thing we do amazingly that nobody else does. The thing we can pull out of our ass and wow audiences without even trying.
Virgo follows Leo and says – you’re talented, that’s great, but aren’t you going to work on your craft? It’s not that our talent isn’t important, it’s just that it’s too important.
What we have to do, to give, to experience in our lives is too important. There’s too much at stake. We can’t just leave ourselves alone to our natural devices, however genius they may be. Whatever it is, we need to work on it. Refine it, re-visit it, re-organize it. We need to prepare it, pursue it, pull it back down to earth. Give it a little reality check. Break it down just a little bit. Break ourselves down just a little bit. So we can all do and be just a little bit better.
Here’s the thing: Virgo didn’t come here to nit-pick and criticize and be perfectionists and complain about how nothing you do is ever good enough…beat themselves up about how nothing they do is ever good enough. To be fair, this is their reputation. They can come across like this, and they themselves can even get lost in this.
The truth underneath, is that Virgo came here to contribute something sacred.
Before Virgo reincarnated, they were already aware of how sacred the earth is. How sacred daily life is. To be given the gift of a body, made from the flesh and bone and juices of the earth. To touch all of life’s textures…the smooth, the crunchy, the slippery, the hard. Before they even got here, Virgo made a promise to the earth and to the work it takes to keep the earth alive – I will devote myself to you. I will honour my body, and all bodies, as the temples, the holy places they are. I can’t love the earth any less than it loves us. I can’t give to life, any less than it has given to me.
Both Pisces and Virgo, opposites on the astrological spectrum, are all-ways searching for something bigger to offer themselves to. Some kind of divine love. Pisces is the dreamer; they look for unconditional love in the fantastical, the impossible, in subspace. The paradox of Virgo is that their search for something bigger can only be found through the smallest things. Virgo frantically rummages through their work, their things, the clutter in the their mind, through every-day matter, trying to find that secret of magic, buried deep inside the mess of everything.
In this sense, Virgo’s greatest downfall is they themselves. True for all the signs, our greatest genius is also our greatest weakness. Virgo never misses a beat, no detail escapes them. The details also take them down spirals of anxiety, depression and struggles with self-worth. Never reaching satisfaction. Worried about everything that might go wrong if they are not completely on top of everything. Exhausted from working so hard on a million different things, yet still not reaching a sense of accomplishment.
The answer is once again in the paradox of Virgo. The connection between the simultaneous expansiveness and minutia of the earth and of life.
The lessons of Virgo remind us not to forget about the bigger picture. Check in with yourself: What makes life meaningful? What are my priorities? What is really important to me? Where do I want to go and what do I want to experience in life?
Evaluate the small details alongside your larger goals, visions, and hopes. Many of us have clear and passionate ideas/ideals about what we want in life: fulfilling relationships, a badass career, money that flows, loving families, creative adventure, liberation for our communities. We get frustrated when we are not where we want to be, individually or collectively.
But we forget to look at what we do every day. To evaluate our habits deeply and honestly. How do we spend our time? Where do we put our energy? Where do we focus our thoughts and actions? The little, mundane details add up. What are they adding up to? Are they taking you where you want to go, or are they holding you back?
Like, are you publishing think pieces on feminism and then acting like an ass to the women and femmes in your life? To your mom? How does that add up to anything liberatory, transformational, or divine? (#weallknowthatdude)
Once we can keep the small and the large in alignment with one another, we have the ability to create both the finest and grandest piece of architecture. We know what to keep and what to let go of. This applies to our relationships, careers, artistic aspirations, and social movements. We re-remember that transformation, abundance, ease, grief, release, peace, expansion, regeneration, reciprocity, collaboration, intensity, passion, play, creativity, rest and liberation show themselves to us all the time in the seasons. In the life and death of the smallest creatures.
Even deeper still, Virgo wants us to remember that we are not here to live by the rules, we are here to honour the process. We are here to find ritual in routine. To plant seeds, water them, remember that life exists even when it is underground. Know when to get our hands dirty, when to be patient. To be present for growth so small, we only are able to notice it when we show up every day and pay attention. And one day, we see abundance, we harvest, we enjoy the deliciousness of completion. And start over again.
We are not here to be swallowed by the devil in the details, we are here to find God in the details.
Whatever you want to call it: God, Goddess, the sacred, divine, source, spirit, magic, the Universe. Yourself.
I’ve been nerding out hardcore on my connect-the-dot astrology book by Gareth Moore.
The spirit of Virgo, like the systems in our bodies, is about honouring a sacred process: conception, preparation, digestion, discernment, release. We all have these internal organs that we will never be able to see, but that keep our bodies alive. The systems in nature that keep the earth breathing. Beautiful, diligent parts of ourselves, parts of life, who show up day in and day out, with or without acknowledgement or gratitude. When things are out of alignment in any part of our lives, if we are rushing or dishonouring parts of the process, our bodies will tell us. The earth is telling us.
We already know. What we forget to do, is listen. We forget to listen to our own interiority. To a divine process we must follow. To our unique pacing and rhythm. To the language in the earth and within ourselves that already knows how to keep us alive and find magic every day.
Virgo says: When you’re spiralling, look inward. When you’re in pain, look inward. When you’re frustrated and angry with the world, look inward. When you can’t figure it out, look inward. The answer is somewhere in what has already happened. It is somewhere in your body. It is looking at you, waiting for you. The answer is not “the” answer, or the ultimate be-all-end-all for all humankind, but it is the answer you need.
Virgo’s magic is not something that will ever answer you all at once. It unravels itself on its own time. It reveals itself to you because you listen, every day. You listen to patterns that make themselves known over long periods of time. I didn’t know when I started this blog series how I would be moved and changed by taking the time and effort just to be present with the gifts of each season, by listening to each season’s textures, wisdoms, pain and resilience.
Virgo is the kick in the ass we all need sometimes, even (especially) Virgos themselves, that says…Wait. Just stop for a moment. Pause. Where do you see magic? Where do you see the Universe? If you are going to measure a year, how do you measure it with love?
I will admit, this past year has asked me to get to know my inner Virgo quite ferociously. My hermit, my interiority, my quiet. For my #ENFP #Gemini self I will say that it hasn’t been easy. For most of us, being alone with our quiet can be excruciating. It is lonely.
So many of us go through hard times, lonely times, waiting and wishing for them to pass. We long for a time that things could be better, individually and collectively, and we deserve that. We should never stop moving toward where we want to go.
It just would be a shame if we missed this moment, and every piece of wonder and beauty it has in its palms, stretched out toward us.
Right now my cat has just jumped on my lap, half sprawled out across the keyboard, making it very difficult for me to type. One day, I won’t have this moment. This quiet with my words, this warmth on my lap. And I will be devastated. Because it is perfect.
Stop. Pause. Breathe.
Exactly in this moment, exactly where you are.
Listen to the smallest thing.
Where do you see God?
That’s it. The secret of magic. It’s all you need to know perfect love.