Virgo (astrology)

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Virgo
Virgo symbol (bold).svg
Astrological sign Virgo at the Wisconsin State Capitol.jpg
Zodiac symbolThe Maiden
Duration (tropical, western)August 23 – September 23 (2022, UT1)[1]
ConstellationVirgo
Zodiac elementEarth
Zodiac qualityMutable
Sign rulerMercury
DetrimentJupiter and Neptune
ExaltationMercury
FallVenus
AriesTaurusGeminiCancerLeoVirgoLibraScorpioSagittariusCapricornAquariusPisces

Virgo (♍︎) (Greek: Παρθένος, Parthenos) is the sixth astrological sign in the Zodiac. It spans the 150–180th degree of the zodiac. Under the tropical zodiac, the Sun transits this area, on average, between August 23 and September 22,[2] while the Sun transits the Virgo from approximately September 16 to October 30.[3] Individuals born during these dates, depending on the system of astrology in question, may be called Virgos or Virgoans.[4] They are also represented in newspaper horoscopes with other astrological signs.[5] The symbol of the maiden is based on Astraea. In Greek mythology, she was the last immortal to abandon Earth at the end of the Silver Age when the gods fled to Olympus – hence the sign's association with Earth.[6]

Origins[edit]

The constellation Virgo has different origins depending on mythology. Most myths generally view Virgo as a maiden with associations to wheat. In Greek and Roman mythology, the constellation is related to Demeter, the Greek goddess of harvest, or her daughter Persephone, queen of the Underworld. [7] Others associate it with the myth of Parthenos (meaning virgin in Greek) which explains how the actual constellation Virgo came to be.[8]

In the legend, Parthenos is the daughter of Staphylus and Chrysothemis, and sister to Rhoeo and Molpadia. Rhoeo had been impregnated by Apollo, but when her father discovered her pregnancy, he assumed it was by a random suitor and was greatly ashamed. As punishment, he locked her in a box and threw her in a river. After the terrible fate of their sister, Parthenos and Molpadia lived in fear of their father's terrible wrath. One evening, Staphylus left his daughters in charge of a very valuable bottle of wine. When they both accidentally fell asleep, one of their swine broke the bottle. Terrified of their father, the sisters fled to a nearby cliff and threw themselves off. But because of his previous relations with Rhoeo, Apollo saved his two sisters and delivered them to the safety to the nearby cities in Cherronseos. Molpadia ended up in Castabus where she changed her name to Hemithea and was worshipped as a local goddess for many years. Parthenos settled in Bubastus where she was also worshipped as a local goddess. According to another story, Parthenos was a daughter of Apollo who made the constellation to commemorate her death at a young age.[8]

Another Greek myth states that Virgo is the Athenian maiden Erigone, daughter of Icarius. After Icarius was murdered by his shepherds in a drunken rage, Virgo hanged herself in grief, while her dog Maera threw herself off a cliff in grief.[9] Zeus or Dionysus pitied the family and placed them in the sky as constellations: Erigone became Virgo, Icarius became Bootes, and Maera became Canis Minor.[10]

In Egyptian mythology, the time when the Sun was in the constellation Virgo marked the beginning of the wheat harvest thus connecting Virgo back to the wheat grain. In Christianity, Jesus was born to a virgin in the town of Bethlehem ("bread"); the ancient Zodiac ended in the constellation Leo and began with Virgo. Virgo has the equivalent sign in Indian astrology as the Kanya (which also means "maiden") and has even been connected with the Virgin Mary.[8]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

Works cited[edit]

  • Allen, Richard Hinckley (1963). Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning. Nineola: Dover Publications.
  • Astronomical Applications Department (2011). Multiyear Computer Interactive Almanac. 2.2.2. Washington DC: US Naval Observatory. Longitude of Sun, apparent geocentric ecliptic of date, interpolated to find time of crossing 0°, 30°....
  • Atsma, Aaron J. (c. 2015). "ASTRAEA : Greek goddess of justice".
  • Rigoglioso, Marguerite (2009). "Artemis's Divine Birth Priestesshood". The Cult of Divine Birth in Ancient Greece. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Shapiro, Lee (2011). "The Real Constellations of the Zodiac". International Planetarium Society. Retrieved September 9, 2018.
  • "Virgo (constellation)". Encyclopedia Britannica. n.d. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  • "Virgo". Oxford Dictionaries. n.d. Retrieved December 23, 2018.
  • "Virgoan – Dictionary definition and pronunciation - Yahoo! Education". Education.yahoo.com. Archived from the original on October 8, 2012. Retrieved August 15, 2012.

External links[edit]