By Brandon Alter:
Welcome to Virgo Season, dear reader. It’s a mess out there, isn’t it? Conveniently, the sign of Virgo rules over mental health. And I don't know about you, but mine isn't doing so hot lately. Blame a never-ending global pandemic, blame the Patriarchy, blame the Moon (I always do)—but this Tarot reader, dear reader, is on the struggle bus. Which is pretty much par for the course in Virgo Season. You see, as a sign traditionally ruled by Mercury, the trickster planet that governs our mental realm, Virgo Season can make a head trip of us all. The key is to actually take the trip.
Recently, my low-grade depression has become a full-time boarder as opposed to a part-time guest. In the past when I've felt this familiar shadow creeping up on me, I immediately doubled-down on exercise or breathwork. I did whatever I could to clear the grey smoke from my mind and heart ASAP. But right now, I just don't have it in me. I'm tired. I bet you are too. I'm tired of fighting for my life, fighting to keep afloat, fighting to stay positive. So instead, I'm trying something new. I'm surrendering to it. I'm not struggling against the rip-current, I'm letting it pull me under.
Now, that may sound like a very bad idea. But lately, I'm not so sure. Perhaps this morose visitor is trying to teach me something; maybe, just maybe, it even has a gift. So instead of doing everything in my power to make it walk out the front door, I'm getting into bed with it. And this, actually, might be a more honest approach to healing than just circumventing or immediately medicating that which ails us. Tending the wound means entering into it first.
Why am I pouring my troubles on you? I assure you I haven't lost my overpriced therapist, although I do often wonder if that money wouldn't be better spent on massages, facials, and a personal trainer. I share this because Virgo Season is a time to explore our mind and the wounds, the pitfalls, the deep chasms contained within. I share this because you should know that even as an Astrologer who understands the movement of the planets, I’m not immune to their effects.
You see, there's another planet that rules Virgo—well, technically, it's a minor planet, an asteroid, really, that eccentrically orbits between Uranus and Saturn. His name is Chiron. Chiron speaks to the wounded-healer in all of us. Based on the Greek myths of an immortal centaur with a wound that refused to heal, Chiron became a sought-after healer in his own right, having researched almost every possible cure for his own trauma. In seeking his own healing, he ended up becoming a celebrated source of healing for others, like Oprah—except unlike Oprah, he didn’t give out cars.
Chiron serves as the contemporary ruler of Virgo because Virgo is the healer of the Zodiac. And it's true that healers must first heal themselves: again, see Oprah. So Virgo Season is a time to explore our wounds because, believe it or not, our wounds are our work. Just because we didn't ask for them doesn't mean they don't belong to us. We might think of them as a calling. The more we resist them, the stronger they pull. They are a haunted inheritance, but the ghosts are ours.
So the question Virgo Season poses is: What will we do with them? It's like a classic ghost story; to get the ghosts to leave you must first understand them.
Ok, but listen, there's actually another planetary ruler of Virgo. I know, I know. Do you see why Virgo season can make us mental? All these planetary rulers fighting to rule the sign. Ok, again, not technically a planet, the astronomers call her a planetoid.
The asteroid Vesta also shares governance over the sign of Virgo.
Vesta is one of the four largest asteroids in our solar system, and she shines the brightest of them all—so bright that occasionally she's visible to the naked eye. She harkens back to the vestal virgins of Ancient Rome, named after the Goddess Vesta herself who presided over home, hearth, and the shrine of self. These are the virgins for which Virgo was named. But don't misunderstand the true meaning of virgin, here.
The sign of the "Virgin" actually has more in common with the Erotica-era Madonna than the Madonna and Child. Because these vestal virgins were not necessarily chaste. In fact, some of them would sleep with soldiers returning from war in order to cleanse them of their battle crimes and their grief. They were virgins because no man could marry them and, in doing so, own them. These virgins owned themselves.
Virgo is a sign that encourages self-devotion, a purity not of body but of soul. How can we own ourselves? How can we pry ourselves out of the mouth of capitalism, social media, and collective despair? Perhaps by doing exactly what is suggested by the Hermit Tarot card, the one classically associated with Virgo—by turning inward and tending to ourselves and ourselves alone. One way to devote ourselves to ourselves is to allow our wounds to speak to us, to whisper their secrets and their spells.
If we want sovereignty over our mental health, we must first understand where we have mental pain. Capitalism demands we work for others and prove our worth to the world, but Virgo also rules work itself. As the sign that ushers in harvest season, this is a great time to roll up our sleeves and dive in. But perhaps "the work" we need to accomplish isn’t for a company or for a check, it's the work required to express our pure essence for no one else’s benefit but our own. Devoting ourself to ourself is actually quite the opposite of our current landscape where we regularly devote ourselves to others. Even as we post and pose on socials, we are asserting ourselves to others, not devoting ourselves to our own true nature.
The New Moon in Virgo wants us to partner with ourselves for a change. Work with ourselves. Maybe even make love to ourselves. This moon answers to Mercury, the ruler of the sign, who currently sits in Libra with that sign’s ruler, Venus. This is a blessing. A New Moon presided over by the goddess of love and beauty herself, sitting pretty in her home sign, can help us work with ourselves, take ourselves in hand and heart. And to make matters even better, Venus herself also trines Jupiter (ruler of expansion and lucky breaks) in Aquarius, also a blessing. If we can take this invitation, seek our own inner sanctuary, we might find our wounds can bless us.
Virgo energy is sacred.
Vesta, the brightest asteroid in the sky, rules the sacred flame in the sacred chamber of our hearts. Your wounds are sacred, too. If only you could surrender to them, get to know them. Maybe depression, anxiety, despair is only a mask being worn by a more compassionate being, a holy being—if we let them it, maybe they will drop the mask, reveal themselves in full, and in doing so allow us to understand who they really are, once and for all.
New Moon Blessings to all of you!
You’ll find your Tarotscopes below.
Read for your SUN SIGN first.
If you want more, by all means,
read for your MOON SIGN and RISING as well.
Let me start off by acknowledging that this is not a classic Tarot card. It’s actually a bonus card that is unique to this particular deck, the Oliver Hibert Tarot. But Oliver is a psychedelic witch and a true magician who knows what he’s doing, so I keep it in the deck and use it when it shows up. And I think it's important to remind you, dear Virgo, that you are one of the most magical signs in the Zodiac.
People always get jazzed up around Scorpio Season, as if they are the only sign that knows how to cast a spell or read a fortune. But let us not forget that Virgos are inherently magical; they are the herbalists, they run the apothecaries. They know folk remedies, healing recipes, and how to eke magic from all things. So perhaps the Magic card has arrived to remind you that you have access to profound, mind-blowing magic.
Even as an Earth sign, what you see isn’t always what you get. This month is a good time to explore the hidden side of your Virgo nature. Lean in to what feels right as opposed to what looks right. Maybe the recipe needs to be a little messy to let the magic through.
Wheel of Fortune
The Wheel of Fortune waits for no one. When change comes a-knocking, either open your door or prepare for your door to be ripped off its hinges. This is a card that signifies a sharp left turn somewhere in your life. But don’t be scared, it’s a good change, I promise.
Maybe a job opportunity coming in out of the blue, maybe an epic move or a book deal. When the Wheel of Fortune is in your cards, it’s a good time to buy a lottery ticket and take a risk on abundance. The Wheel of Fortune is connected to the planet Jupiter, benevolent ruler of growth and prosperity. As the biggest planet in our solar system, Jupiter wants to empower your expansion, and through the Wheel of Fortune, that's exactly what he’ll do.
Whether it’s a surplus of clients, opportunities, or just a big stack of books and the time to read them, your life is ready to grow. Even if you feel like everything’s going really good in your life right now and you’d rather stay the course, the Wheel has other plans. When the Wheel chooses to spin, you have one of two choices: roll with the Wheel or get crushed underneath it. I’d suggest the former.
The World is one of those cards that rarely makes an appearance. It’s a mysterious card that brings the entire Tarot voyage to a close. As the last card of the Major Arcana, it suggests a completion of an immense nature, inviting us into closure and celebration. Births are The World, deaths are The World, and so too are graduations and anniversaries and quitting smoking and publishing a book or going back to a childhood home.
Somewhere in your life is a big ending that wants your attention and admiration. And somewhere in that ending hides a sweet new start. But before you can plant the new, you gotta bury the old. Celebrate this transition, it deserves it.
The World wants us to notice the cycles of our lives. It’s a card that suggests enlightenment and illumination. Through the lens of the World, we can see ourselves more clearly, more objectively. Through the lens of the World, we can do what we came here to do without getting bogged down in the drama of daily life. Through the lens of the World, we can organize ourselves and, in doing so, organize the cosmos, dancing with life and death, finalities and beginnings.