On the Wheel of the Year, we now approach the rejoicing of harvest time and the autumn equinox. The constellation on the horizon is Virgo, from the Latin word for virgin. Its image is that of a goddess holding a palm branch in her right hand and a sheaf or ear of wheat in her left. The Latin word in question also has the connotation of independence and self-sufficiency. The earth in its self-sufficiency supports and provides for us. The goddess associated with Virgo is seen as a caretaker for humankind.
The ancient Sumerians chose The Furrow as the name for the eastern part of the constellation Virgo. To them this section of the sky appeared as an ear of wheat or grain belonging to the snake goddess Nisaba, who ruled agriculture and the harvest. The bright star Spica in Virgo retains the connection, with its etymology from grain in Latin. Due to the star’s relationship with Nisaba and her gift of an abundant harvest, as well as its preeminence in the sky during harvest time, the constellation was associated with fertility. The Sumerians called the western section of Virgo the Frond of Erua and saw it as the goddess holding a palm frond. Thus, the goddess holds a palm branch in one hand and an ear of wheat in the other. Interestingly, Nisaba was also the goddess who gifted mankind with writing and architecture. She was the most learned of deities.
Nisaba’s counterpart in Egypt was the goddess Sheshat, mistress of libraries and secretary of heaven. She invented mathematics and was the goddess of fate. She measured the length of our lives with palm fronds.
Both the Greeks and Romans associated the constellation Virgo with agriculture and fertility. The Greeks connected it with Demeter, daughter of Rhea and mother of Persephone, as well as with Astraea, the goddess of justice. This makes sense, with Libra, the scales of justice, in adjacent placement in the zodiac. The Romans associated Virgo with the goddess Ceres, from whom we get the word cereal. Both Demeter and Ceres are powerful mother goddesses. Harvest time is a cause of celebration the world over, and Virgo heralds the harvest—the reward for hard work well done and the assurance of plenty throughout the long winter months ahead.
The glyph for Virgo looks like the letter M with a swirl through one stem. The glyph represents a maiden. The swirl could be an ear of wheat, or some astrologers think the maiden has her legs crossed.
Those born under the sign Virgo understand human nature. They can see into the core of a situation, as well as recognize the true character of an individual. They are practical and not given to flights of fancy. Realism is their middle name. Sugar coating is a foreign concept. Virgos are discerning, have a strong sense of right versus wrong, and are careful of what they say and do. As perfectionists, they have to get things just right. They think things through and are detailed, methodical, and sensitive. Analytical and highly intelligent, Virgos possess the ability to form and keep positive relationships with others. A Virgo makes a good friend. They are responsible and sometimes overly so. No one can put pressure on herself like a Virgo. Virgos are famous for taking on too much.
My daughter-in-law is a Virgo, as is a good friend of mine. Both are to be treasured as much as the goddess holding the ear of wheat.
Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Fantasy Romance