From Duty to Devotion: The New Moon in Virgo

Here in Pennsylvania, Fall has arrived unexpectedly early with temperatures in the low 40’s the last two nights. Although nature most often follows a gradual pattern, these drastic changes are reminders that natural order is sometimes severe and sudden. 

Mother Teresa and Child

Caroline Myss calls astrology the Science of the Heavens, a title that embodies God’s description as both Law (Science) and Mystery (Heaven). What I most appreciate about this study of the heavens is its abiding guidance. We are of the same matter and energy as everything around us. Just as the moon changes the tides, the stars and planets enact their force on all below, including us. Faithful in both it’s consistency and its disruptive phases, the cosmos reflects and directs us – a loyal guide through chaos to the order of the soul.

We’ve been under the Virgo Sun since late August, and the New Virgo Moon occurred today. Most of us recognize the New Moon as a time for setting intentions for the month ahead. The full use of this force though, is to set the moon’s intention through to its sign completion, which is the Full Moon in the same sign six months later. So, this New Virgo Moon will reach fulfillment with the Full Virgo Moon, which occurs in March 2021. There is a longer, slower grace to this expanded cycle. It brings us closer to the true rhythm of the signs and planets and how they each build upon each other. I include this somewhat cumbersome detail because I think it’s significant. It speaks of patience and the power of time and alchemy — we put in our ingredients/intentions and then allow the necessary forces to do their job.

Virgo is an earth sign – grounded, firm, stubborn. In traditional astrology, she is ruled by Mercury, both the messenger and the higher mind. Analysis, judgment, and organization are attributes of those born under Virgo as are criticism, judging, perfectionism, and anal/obsessive behavior. In contemporary and expanded astrology, Chiron (The Wounded Healer) is considered a co-ruler of Virgo, which speaks to the sign’s Mother/Healer aspect. While specific elements of the 6th House include work, health, and habits, this house’s inner tide moves from the inglorious to the holy.

Virgo is also the Virgin, the High Priestess, perhaps even the Nun. Another side of this pragmatic sign is purity, not sexually speaking but distilled to its essence — the virgin point. With a focus on what is most needed and the wherewithal to do it, Virgo is solitary and sacred discipline. Service is not just duty; it is devotion.

Mother Teresa was a Virgo and embodied this selfless devotion through her life and work. While we all have access to this energy, few will aspire to her level of sacrifice. But pets also lie in this house, and it is here that we often see our capacity for this unconditional care. Virgo is the sign that reminds us, especially in these times when so much focus is on the self, that there is sacredness in the ordinary and in ministry to others.

The astrological chart is a circle with twelve equal houses. It represents the sky above and below the horizon line. The first six houses below the horizon are internal and personal, while the houses above it are collective. Virgo is the 6th House – the final house below the horizon which completes the personal houses. When we leave Virgo next week, we step above the horizon line into Libra’s 7th House. We take all we have gathered and move into the collective, beginning with balance, beauty, social justice, and right relationship. So, it seems to me that Virgo’s energy is the point where we gather, purify, and focus all we are and then move out to make, hopefully, fair use of it.

For much of the Western World, the pandemic began in March with fiery Aires, the first astrological sign, ruled by Mars. A week before lockdown started, the last newsletter I wrote was for the Virgo Full Moon. I was encouraging us all to find dry land and ground ourselves. Like most of us, I had no idea what was coming. We are still affected by the alignment of Saturn/Pluto in Capricorn, Uranus’s disruption, and Jupiter’s expansiveness. The upcoming Pluto Return of the United States (February 2022) heralds a time of continued disorder. 

These planets’ mirror and influence remind us that these stages are natural, necessary, and cyclical. This same perennial power rules our lives.  We need not just surrender to these forces though; we can align with them – use them as the allies they are just as we’ve learned to harness the sun, the rain, and the wind.

Virgo energy in its highest forms calls us to service not as the low-end of a hierarchy but as an inspired act of devotion. We commit to serve what we can and make good use of ourselves (Virgo) as we go out into the world to balance and better it (Libra).

There is one more significant aspect of this lunation and solar cycle. In Vedic Numerology, the 9th month of the calendar year (September, which is spent mostly in Virgo) is the review of the year so far. It’s a time of reassessing and re-experiencing the energies behind us. It can often feel like going backward, especially if the year has been challenging. October follows as a window into the year ahead. Thus, Virgo is the harvest that we turn into offering.

May you honor this harvest time and summon its devotion as a companion you take into the months to come. Showing up and humbly doing what is needed is more than just enough; it is a reminder that we are all in sacred service – to each other, the world, and life itself.

“When you look at the inner workings of electrical things, you often see small and big wires, new and old, cheap and expensive, all lined up. Until the current passes through them there will be no light. That wire is you and me. The current is God. We have the power to let the current pass through us, use us, produce the light of the world. Or we can refuse to be used and allow darkness to spread.”

Mother Teresa

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