August 27th, 2011

New Moon Watch: Virgo’s Tantric Sphinx Riddle

“Adopt the pace of Nature, Her secret is patience.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

I often hear from friends and clients: “I can relate to the other signs, but I don’t understand Virgo at all.”

My response: “Well, you’re really not supposed to, that’s part of Virgo’s mystique.”

The Virgin’s smile is minxian and Sphinixan — a sexy cryptogram. Rams, lions, goats, bulls — what’s to question? But virgins? How exactly do they fit within a circle comprised mostly of critters? The months ahead offer several opportunities (and tests) to solve this oddity; starting with tomorrow’s lunation — which is very Virgo. In other words very human. It’s time to begin a shift from the instinctual to the intellectual. Bestial to hominal. To pause, assimilate and follow the guidance of a higher wisdom, a more inclusive approach.


A Sun Moon conjunction (a New Moon) is similar to an insemination, and that’s a big deal for a virgin. Myth decrees what follows: An avatar. So the time range following a Virgo New Moon is important to track. Viewed alchemically, we could say that what’s cultivated tomorrow brings forth a golden result nine months from now.

In keeping with this tantric theme, Venus via conjunction, colors the Solar Lunar nuptials, adding an element of passion and longing to the nexus. True, Venus is in her fall in Virgo — but tomorrow her trine to Jupiter in Taurus (the sign she rules) denotes an earthy libidinal theme. Dane Rudhyar notes that symbolically this particular degree of the Zodiac is “sexual in its implications” and reveals how the life force “provides us with the opportunity of demonstrating some type of skill and mastery.” So this involves a passion for aptitude, navigation and planning ahead. (Winter’s coming!)

Venus in Virgo people understand the concept that the brain is the body’s largest erogenous zone. Whoever wrote that book Think and Grow Rich must have had Venus in Virgo (actually he didn’t, but Napoleon Hill‘s Moon was there, close enough). They miraculously ponder and plan things into existence — with a zeal for problem solving. The more complex and hidden the solution, the brighter Venus in Virgo shines. And we’ll need this kind of Mercurial edge to deal with the remainder of the year — which promises to be a motherfucker.

This agility is echoed with Virgo’s overseer, Mercury, in mutual reception with the Sun. Double plus good: A solar pulse of shrewd precision to guide you forward. Intelligent grace; a discriminating temperament that can soothe irrational reactions to the din of dark news the media constantly dispatches. A business model that is also suffering economically and (to counter this) needs a constant stream of worried eyeballs (potential consumers) scanning the bandwidth.

I particularly like Dane Rudhyar’s holistic approach to astrology. It’s holographic. You can take one element and amazingly comprehend all of the other components by studying the position of the particular. In other words, if you comprehend the style and function of Aries you can understand Pisces too, which proceeds Aries and describes what qualities Aries is separating from. Taurus, which follows Aries is understood in the same way — as a style Aries is incorporating, moving towards. This is because every sign, every planet, every aspect within a holistic matrix is referring back to a central source; each particular mirrors the universal. Nothing goes it alone. And this realization is what we encounter, for the first time in the circle, with Virgo.

If we start with Aries, the Zodiac’s zero point, one arrives at Virgo after all of the valiant efforts towards self-expression (typified by the first five signs, in other words me and me and me and me and me) have been played out. What’s been initiated with Aries, consolidated with Taurus, disseminated via Gemini, conserved in Cancer, and illuminated by Leo, collapses — having ‘arrived’, spent, at the Virgo point of the cycle.

You could say that all of that Zodiacal huffing, puffing and snorting was not aligned with a human perspective, a broader vision that considers other: community and culture. Virgo reminds us that: “Sometimes it’s not all about you.” As a sign of initiation (coming before one of the equinoxes), the virgin instructs us in patience, discernment, refinement and finally purification. With a little tempering our creative visions can come to life, materialize, have an audience — are witnessed and appreciated, something every Leo artist desires. We are creating not only for ourselves, but for the betterment of the whole. Virgo is all about the concept of the Bodhisattva vow.

Ruhdhyar uses the Egyptian sphinx to symbolize Virgo, explaining that the it is a ‘fitting tradition which says that the point of the Zodiac which ends the sign Leo and begins the sign Virgo carries the symbol of the Sphinx. This mythical creature … has the body of a lion and the head of a Virgin — this is indeed the meeting point of Leo and Virgo.” I’ll drink to that.

So what does the Sphinx impart to the initiate who inquires about her failed attempts to actualize her self expression? According to Rudhyar the creature says this: “Look at me, become like me. My lion-like passions are strong. I am a huge feline in whose groins ardent power lies. But my head is that of a virgin. I am still, waiting for that which must come. I behold the stars. I wait for my time, which is written. In me, there is no pride and no haste. In me, power and purity are polarized toward the fulfillment of purpose and destiny.”

I have to admit that’s a pretty highfalutin Sphinx; nevertheless, you get the idea. What’s spoken here, maybe in code, is a form of tantra. Passion wedded to purpose, but first held still, so as to breathe deep, center and take root. If you’ve ever done actual tantric practices you know what I’m describing here. Orgasm isn’t what it’s about. It’s the energy itself, as astrologer Austin Coppock notes: “Energy refers to that which carries the potentiality for change but is not manifest.

Have you ever watched an outdoor cat stalking a bird? I’m always spellbound by the cat’s complete, stone-like stillness. Not one hair or whisker flinches. Her gaze is pure, focused attention. Concentration that is milliseconds from a precise, lusty pounce. This is the posture of Virgo. This is your mudra for tomorrow’s New Moon.

Opening painting: The Questioner of the Sphinx, by Elihu Vedder 1863. Oil on canvas, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

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