Virgo: The Astroherbology Profile

You missed a spot in that galaxy over there...

It's time to explore the sign of Virgo! You're getting a snapshot into the ever expanding astroherbology magick of the Lunar Apothecary - amazing! 

I will be exploring all twelve signs from a medical astrology perspective with an emphasis on herbal healing. Learn more about the series and what all the correspondences mean check out the introduction to The Introduction to Astroherbology Zodiac Series. Missed the other signs of the Zodiac? Find out about the astroherbology wisdom of AriesTaurusGeminiCancerLeoVirgoLibraScorpioSagittariusCapricornAquariusPisces.

Element: Earth
Mode: Mutable
Guardian Planet: Mercury
Direction: West
Season: Autumn
House: 6th House / Cadent
Lunar Mansions: 12th Mansion, 13th Mansion, + 14th Mansion
Solar Gemstone: Moss Agate
Tarot: The Hermit, the Magician, 8 of Pentacles (8/23 - 9/1), 9 of Pentacles (9/2 - 9/11), 10 of Pentacles (9/12 - 9/22), King of Pentacles
Tissue State: Tense Tissue State

Body Systems: Abdomen. Gut brain and intelligence. Intestines, lower liver (especially the purifying functions), alimentary canal, spleen. Digestive enzymes. Absorption and assimilation. The nervous system as related to digestion. Diaphragm. Spleen. Pancreas.

Imbalances + Diseases: Indigestion, malnutrition, intestinal weakness and disease, colic, constipation and diarrhea, flatulence, colitis, ulcers, acidity and reflux. Nervous stomach and indigestion caused by emotional upset. Irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulitis. Intestinal parasites, worms, and dysentery. Hernias and ulcers. Dysfunctional liver. Pancreatic diseases including pancreatitis and cystic fibrosis. Diabetes, hypoglycemia, and blood sugar issues. Thymus and immune system dysfunction. Hernias of the diaphragm. Melancholy, anxiety, and depression. Premature gray hair. Hepatitis. High-strung energy. Overly critical, picky, and trivial. Selfish and difficulty feeling sympathetic. Workaholic, neurotic, self-denying, and lack self-confidence. Obsession with “cleanliness” from germs to deep feelings of being “dirty” or what is labeled “disgusting.” Too fastidious and feeling confused. Not listening to their gut.

Disease Degrees: 1 degree: duodenum; 2 degrees: small intestine; 3 degrees: appendix, caecum, appendicitis; 4 degrees: ascending colon, appendicitis, asthma; 5 degrees: transverse colon, asthma; 6 degrees: descending colon; 7 degrees: rectum; 8 degrees: abdominal cavity; 9 degrees: right hepatic lobe, rheumatic fever; 10 degrees: left hepatic lobe, bile, enteric fever, rheumatic fever; 11 degrees: falciform, coronary, ligament of the liver, bile; 12 degrees: abdominal aorta; 13 degrees: hepatic arteries; 14 degrees: cystic arteries, feet; 15 degrees: bare area of liver, feet; 16 degrees: groover for inferior vena cava, appendicitis; 17 degrees: abdominal muscles, appendicitis, diabetes; 18 degrees: oblique abdomen muscles, appendicitis, diabetes; 19 degrees: esophageal groove; 20 degrees: bile duct; 21 degrees: cystic duct, enteric fever; 22 degrees: gall bladder, insanity, appendicitis; 23 degrees: capsule, ligaments of liver, spine, appendicitis, defective vision; 24 degrees: capsule and ligaments of liver, defective vision, cancer, gout; 25 degrees: liver, cancer, gout, arthritis, neurasthenia; 26 degrees: abdominal veins, suicide, neurasthenia; 27 degrees: iliac veins, chronic glomerulonephritis, Bright’s disease, eczema, tuberculosis, diabetes; 28 degrees: hepatic plexus, tuberculosis, Bright’s disease, eczema, tuberculosis, diabetes, drowning; 29 degrees: quadrate lobe of liver, tuberculosis, drowning; 30 degrees: hepatic duct.

Remedies for Imbalanced and/or Weakened Virgo: Inviting a softer perspective on life beyond “this or that” or “clean or dirty.” Creating spaces of healing through your organizational gifts. Finding a cause to be of service to or pursuing a healing, service-oriented discipline.

Gifts of Virgo: Purification, practicality, discernment, organization, analytical pursuits, discipline, health-conscious, and efficient.

Rituals of Virgo: Healing and creating new healthy habits, goal-setting, creating functional systems of change and well-being, developing discernment.

Virgo Guardian Herbs: Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), Lavender (Lavandula officinalis), Peppermint (Mentha piperita), Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora), Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Anise (Pimpinella anisum), Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria), Thyme (Thymus vulgaris), Bee Balm (Monarda spp.).

Virgo Remedy Herbs: Lavender (Lavandula officinalis), Chamomile (Matricaria recutita), Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis), Dill (Anethum graveolens), Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora), Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis), Valerian (Valeriana officinalis), Milky Oat (Avena sativa).

Flower + Gem Essences: Fig (Ficus carica), Centaury (Centaurium umbellatum), Rock Water (Aqua petra), Pine (Pinus sylvestris), Crab Apple (Malus pumila), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), Vervain (Verbena officinalis), Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis), Moss Agate, Amazonite.

The Sun in Virgo

Stubbornly kind might be one of the most succinct way of describing Virgos. I think it is interesting to know that the Virgin has not always been the default symbol of Virgo. Judith Hill has pointed out that the one of the alternatives to the symbol of the “Virgin” for Virgo was that of the donkey (blessed be the Sacred Donkey of Holiness). I agree with her, that the donkey, which is a highly intelligent, herd-oriented animal that is stubborn and ready for challenge describes Virgo better than that of a mystical virgin. Not because a virgin is any less powerful or clever, but because there a virgin is a person “unto themselves” while most Virgos, even through their stubborn grumpiness, are far more community-oriented. 

I think many Virgos are identified as and would self-identify as introverted, but I think there is something a little more complicated going on. First of all, none of us are solely introverted or solely extroverted - we’re all some sort of mix, no matter how slight. Instead of understanding introverts and extroverts as “the quiet ones vs the loud ones” I think it is more useful to understand where each seeks recognition or feedback most of the time. Introverts are often more directed to seek inner feedback and self-recognition, or those same things from a much smaller group of people, whereas an extrovert often seeks feedback and recognition outside of themselves or from a much larger group of folks. So how does this tie back into our beloved Virgos? Virgo folk can appear to be introverted since many tend to be more quiet (initially, at least, when meeting them), but because of their community-bound loyalty, they act far more like extroverts when seeking feedback, recognition, and satisfaction with self. Such a disposition is part of the reason Virgo folk make such good community healers, organizers, and heart-centered rabble-rousers - they feel deeply and are acutely aware of the needs of others at the same time. They get in trouble when they misplace their loyalty, overcommit, and feel a lot, but don’t take time to really understand what they are feeling.

Virgo folk have to be very conscious of not getting in their own way. They can be detail-oriented to a fault, have difficultly seeing the broader vision, and let their stubbornness turn into stonewalling. They have to learn how to be flexible, give way, let go, and be gentle with themselves as much as they are to others in their most centered moments. Once they get over their skepticism and tone down their cynicism, their magick can finally have enough space to unfold. For Virgo folk teach us how to create the healing temples and spaces we so desperately need in these times of growing complexity and conflict. They remind us, as wisely mutable earth signs, to come home to ourselves again and again, wherever that home may be.

Within medical astrology Virgo folk need to be very conscious of their digestive help and paying attention to their second “belly brain.” A disturbed digestive process, from missing a meal or chronic issues of malabsorption, can lead to disease and illness. Virgo folk need to provide themselves with the same healing and attentive care that they provide others in order to experience longevity. The sign does have a tendency towards melancholy and retention of emotions, so making sure that they are practicing regular release-oriented activities in their life (whether exercising by spending time in the woods or a beautiful city park or regular therapy). Good food choices are paramount. The gifts of Virgo folk are discerning what we really need in a noisy world, practicing balanced selflessness in service of others, and living the wisdom that Sweet Honey in the Rock has so succinctly summarized, “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

Virgo Guardian Herbs

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)

Many Virgo herbs are fragrant and sweet with just the right amount of bitter and usually containing a high volatile oil content. They are herbs meant to sweeten the disposition as well as the digestion, which Fennel does very well. A classic carminative, Fennel soothes inflamed intestines, alleviates nausea, clears toxins from the gut, and relieves cramping. Chew the seeds after meals to relieve flatulence and distention of the gut because of gas and irritation. For those with sluggish and stagnant digestion (which can be brought on by the tightening and dampening effect of the Tense tissue state that Virgo folk are prone to), Fennel can help to reignite the digestive fires.

As a sign of Mercury, Virgo guards our body’s physical intelligence, including the second brain in our gut as well as our consciousness filter or the brain settled in our skull. Fennel helps nourishes both brain centers by acting as a nervine on an overworked nervous system (and it is very, very common for Virgo folk to be overworked).

Fennel also supports the gift of Virgo folk which is learning how to be a source of nourishment for others within a balanced and healing context. One way that Fennel does this in the body is by supporting breast/chest feeding by increasing milk flow, alleviating mastitis and clearing out tension and obstructions in the body. Ultimately, Fennel is very calming and grounding and helps us to glow from the inside out.

Virgo Remedy Herbs

Lavender by Fir0002/Flagstaffotos

Lavender (Lavandula officinalis)

When Virgo folks feel out of balance, Lavender can be a great herb to help them find their center again. The herb reduces anxiety, soothes the nerves, alleviates agitation, and has an overall calming effect on the mind, body, and spirit. While Thyme is a warming digestive herb (discussed further in the full Virgo profile in the Lunar Apothecary), Lavender is a cooling digestive herb, when the digestion is too hot, leading to nausea, heartburn, and irritation of body and mood. 

Lavender is similar to Lemon Balm (which we look at in-depth in the Lunar Apothecary) in its ability to uplift the mood and release poor self-esteem. It is excellent for stress and tension accompanied by headaches and migraines.  The herb is also clearing - clearing congestion from the chest, remnants of colds from the body, and brain fog from the head. The topical uses of Lavender seem endless and it fulfills its duties as a topical panacea well. The herb can be used for a variety of skin irritations such as eczema (a common skin complaint for Virgo folks), bug bites, burns, infections, varicosities, and acne. It relieves the pain of arthritis, bumps, bruises, and sprains, and it excellent in baths and steams. In mouthwashes it is great for infections of the mouth and throat, including tonsillitis and mouth ulcers.

Sun in Virgo Flower Essence

image via wikipedia

image via wikipedia

Moss Agate is an earthy, grounding stone for our earthy Virgo folk. It enhances their ability to ground and, more importantly, re-connects them to their ability to ground when they are too caught up in their heads. Moss Agate is the security of forest floor and rock bed, breeding in our spirit a mobility of gentleness that allows our soul to move while still feeling secure. It is very useful for Virgo folks who have forgotten or denied their inherent earthiness. Moss Agate is especially good as dissolving the false dichotomy of nature versus culture. The essence is for when someone is afraid to come home again, helping them to re-connect to the gift of profound vulnerability.

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