Virgo (astrology)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Not to be confused with Virgo (constellation).
Zodiac symbol Maiden
Duration (tropical, western) 22 August – 22 September (2016, UTC)
Constellation Virgo
Zodiac element Earth
Zodiac quality Mutable
Sign ruler Mercury
Detriment Neptune
Exaltation Pluto
Fall Venus

Virgo () is the sixth astrological sign in the Zodiac. Virgo is the second-largest constellation. It spans the 150-180th degree of the zodiac, between 152.75 and 180 degree of celestial longitude. Under the tropical zodiac, the Sun transits this area on average between August 22 and September 21, and under the sidereal zodiac, the sun currently transits the constellation of Virgo from September 17 to October 17. Individuals born during these dates, depending on which system of astrology they subscribe to, may be called Virgos[1] or Virgoans.[2] The symbol of the maiden is based on Astraea. 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.[3]

Personality Traits

Different personality traits usually associated with the Virgo constellation include someone who is practical, impassive, and discriminating. Virgos tend to worry about the little things and are very good at detailed work. They are also known for being modest, faithful, quiet, and very persuasive, as well as a good sense of reasoning and memory. Virgos are also known for their intellect and usually enjoy art, literature, science and mathematics.[5]


The constellation Virgo has lots of different origins depending on which mythology is being studied. The most myths generally view Virgo as a virgin maiden with heavy association with wheat. In Greek and Roman mythology they relate the constellation to Demeter, mother of Persephone, or Proserina in Roman, the goddess of the harvest.[4] However, some tell tales of the Greek story of Parthenos, which means virgin in Greek, which explains how the actual constellation Virgo became to be.[7]

In this story Parthenos is the daughter of Staphylus and Chrysothemis, and sister to Rhoio and Molpadia. Rhoio had been impregnated by the Greek god Apollo, once her father had found out that she was pregnant he assumed it was from some random suitor and was greatly ashamed. As punishment her father locked her in box and threw her in a river. After the terrible fate of their sister, Parthenos and Molpadia were very nervous to anger their father in fear of his terrible wrath. On one evening, Staphylus left his two daughters in charge of a bottle of wine, back in that time a very valuable item indeed. When they both accidentally fell asleep one of their swine broke in and broke the bottle. Fearing their fathers wrath, the two sisters fled to a nearby cliff and tossed themselves off. Because of Apollo's previous relations with their sister Rhoio, Apollo saved the two from the cliff and delivered them to the safety of 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 ended up in Bubastus where she was also worshipped as a local goddess. According to the story, Parthenos died at a very young age and after her death Apollo made the constellation after her. In some versions, Parthenos was actually the daughter of Apollo himself which would explain why he made a constellation after her death. [7]

While this is only one story in one myth of the origin of Virgo, she is seen throughout all matter of myths. In the Egyptian myths, when the constellation Virgo was in the sun was when the start of the wheat harvest again thus connecting Virgo back to the wheat grain. She also has various connections with the India goddess Kanya, and even the Virgin Mary.[7]


Virgo is the biggest constellation within the Zodiac. The constellation is in the formation of a maiden holding a grain of wheat. Within the constellation Virgo, the brightest star Spica, represents the wheat grain that Virgo is holding. This constellation also contains Gamma Virginis, a double star called Porrima.[6] In Handbook of the Constellations = Handbuch Der Sternbilder created by Vehrenberg, Hans, and Dieter Blank, several images of the constellation are mapped out along with star charts of the constellation Virgo. This reference is especially useful if readers would like more information on the constellation itself and the stars contained within it.[8]


4. Allen, Richard Hinckley. Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning. Mineola: Dover Publications, 1963. Print.

5. Gleadow, Rupert. "Medieval Magic and Psychology." The Origin of the Zodiac. Atheneum, 1969. Print.

6. Ridpath, Ian. "Virgo." Oxford Reference. Oxford University Press, 2012. Web. 5 Dec. 2015.

7. Rigoglioso, Marguerite. "Artemis's Divine Birth Priestesshood." The Cult of Divine Birth in Ancient Greece. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. Print.

8. Vehrenberg, Hans, and Dieter Blank. "Virgo." Handbook of the Constellations = Handbuch Der Sternbilder. 4th ed. Düsseldorf: Treugesell, 1981. Print.