Depth Astrology





This is the twenty-seventh installment of a new series of interpretations of the astrological symbol set. For interpretations of Planets in Signs, Planets in Houses and Planets in Aspect, please see the Depth Astrology series at the Smashwords e-publishing site, 

The dynamics of sign-to-sign relationships can be useful not only in the interpretation of compatibility charts; they can also add information to the interpretation of planetary aspects.  As with other symbol set interpretations, the juxtaposition of the essential energies of each sign is the starting off point for exploring their meanings.

This series continues with Gemini-Virgo and will end with Pisces-Pisces, working around the zodiacal wheel factorially with a new zodiacal combination presented each month.  Past month’s articles are archived.  Upon completion, some 4 1/4 years from now, Insha’Allah, these articles will immediately be published as an e-book for sale.


Gemini-Virgo potentially resonates with the square aspect between two planets.  Additionally, out-of-sign trines can exist between planets in early Gemini and late Virgo and out-of-sign sextiles can exist between planets in late Gemini and early Virgo.  Thus, the Gemini-Virgo relationship is generally seems to be one of conflict and obstruction but harmonious and mutually beneficial relations can also exist between containers in the two signs.   Interpreting the Gemini-Virgo combination may also shed some light on a number of related symbol sets.  These include Gemini in the sixth house, Virgo in the third house and aspects between Mercury in either Gemini or Virgo, or the third or sixth house, and planets in the counterpart sign or house.

As a reminder, “container” is used here as a general term designating a planet whether in one’s own chart or another’s.  When in another’s chart, “container” may practically be viewed to mean the other person.  So that the analysis doesn’t wind up seeming too cold and depersonalized, I will sometimes use the personal pronoun (you) in lieu of the impersonal “container.”  Recognize that either term can refer to a planetary energy within you or your relationship with another person.

With Gemini-Virgo, we have the dynamic between Mutable Air and Mutable Earth.  Earth and Air are generally viewed as incompatible elements and, so, it is here that we must look, primarily, for insight into the potential conflict between these two signs.   Both signs are Mutable and their mutual mutability should be a source of understanding and compatibility except that their mutable energies are being directed in different modes by their respective elements.  Both signs are ruled by Mercury, which should be another source of compatibility.  So, in order to understand the potential conflicts between the two signs, we need to explore how the functions symbolized by Mercury are altered in a Mutable Earth environment versus a Mutable Air environment. 

One image that we can use to understand the conflict between Air and Earth in the Mutable mode is that of someone attempting to build an elaborate sand castle in a strong and fickle wind.  Mutable Earth is not like solid rock.  Its form is inherently impermanent, yet Earth strives to be permanent.  So, in a sense, there is already an inherent conflict between Earth and Mutability.  Virgo resolves this potential conflict by adopting tentative form.  Because Virgo naturally strives for perfection, no form is necessarily permanent because all forms can be improved and moved closer toward perfection.  Of course, Absolute Perfection does not exist in material form and, this underlies Virgo's substrate anxiety.  This anxiety can create an urge in Virgo to protect its constructed forms, even as the Virgo energy seeks to modify those forms in order to make them more perfect.  Gemini's Mutable Air threatens the stability what is actually Virgo's fragile and tentative constructs and, thus, triggers Virgo's latent anxiety. 

At one level, Gemini's lack of commitment to any principal or form is unacceptable and inherently threatening to the acceptance of structured mental constructs that are at the heart of Virgoan essence.  The tendency for Gemini to thrive on his/her/its ability to shift position and focus strikes at the roots of the tenuous stability and order that Virgo constantly seeks to impose on his/her/its world.  In operational terms, Virgo is likely to perceive the Gemini container as lacking seriousness, unreliable and dangerously flippant and careless.  Gemini, in response, is likely to perceive the Virgo container as too rigid, uptight, too demanding and without a sense of humor.  The tendency, thus, is for the two signs to view each other in terms of their more extreme stereotypes.  This may lead to a dynamic in which each container, being perceived stereotypically, reacts by adopting those stereotypes in their behaviors.  This, of course, only exacerbates the conflict between the two containers, revolving around upholding structure versus shifting between structures lightly and, thus, undermining their legitimacy.

Another image applicable to a conflicting dynamic of Mutable Air and Earth is a dust storm, or the air filled with choking particulates.  For all the characterization of Virgo containers as excessively neat, tidy and organized, an expression of dysfunctional Virgo energy can be scatteredness, disorder, messiness and lack of responsibility.  This may occur when the Virgoan impulse towards order is blocked or frustrated.  The frustrated Virgoan container reacts by totally abandoning order and structure, giving up, as it were, all attempts to control mutability and allowing the Mutable energy to impress itself undisciplined and unimpeded upon the material element.  This can, then, be the reaction when you are confronted by Gemini's effective inattention to a stable order.  Gemini's Mutable Air winds stir up and scatter the material, the building blocks (or grains) that you would otherwise seek to place in neat and orderly structure. 

The effect can be a compounding of Gemini's tendency toward disorder and scatteredness when it is not subject to some discipline.  This messy and disorderly pair actually obstructs any tendency toward discipline or structure in each other.  For, Gemini normally does not completely lack order and structure.  In fact, Gemini's tendency is to be always ordering and structuring his/her/its reality through classification of experience, though Gemini has no long-lasting hold on any particular pattern, rather moving from one changing pattern to another.  A reactive and dysfunctional Virgo, however, could easily disrupt even this lightly worn sense of order and throw the Gemini container into complete disarray. 

Another manifestation of the image of the dust storm is the contamination of the freedom and clarity inherent in Mutable Air through the permeation of material form (Earth) into the Air element.  The clogging of the air with particulate matter can represent the Virgo container's constant attempts to impose analytical structure and form, particularly rule and regulation, on freedom-loving Gemini.  Air inherently cannot be organized and systematized in the way that material Earth can be.  Attempts to do so, to impose structure and limits, to bind with rules and proscriptions, only lead to a situation in which the Air element is restricted to the point that it is no longer able to move freely and to express itself with mental facility and clarity.  Attempts by the Virgo container to engender responsibility, commitment, routine and order in the Gemini container either will be met with resistance or is likely to result in a loss of Gemini's sense of freedom accompanied by feelings of inadequacy.  Trying but unable to respond to the Virgo container's demand for compliance, Gemini may find him/her/itself "sitting on the dock o' the bay" unable to do what Virgo tells him/her/it to do.  

This dynamic between Air and Earth does not necessarily have to express itself in conflict, however.  There is also potential for mutual support and opportunity between the Gemini and Virgo containers.  This is because each sign has the potential to balance tendencies in the other to over-express their inherent qualities.  They can do this by resonating to a place in the other sign that responds to that balancing quality.  As stated above, Gemini is not lacking a sense of order but that sense of order needs to be cultivated and not allowed to dissipate.  Virgo's influence can support that internal structure that allows Gemini to productively gather and utilize the information it gleans through his/her/its experience of the world.  The key is to be supportive rather than demanding or imposing.

For Virgo, the quality that needs to be cultivated by Gemini's influence is a sense of curiosity and openness to the world.  Virgo is not without this sense of intellectual curiosity, which it generally manifests as an impulse to analyze.  Without the impulse to seek and have new experiences that Gemini brings, Virgo can easily become self-absorbed, dead-ended, mired in detail and rigid.  Gemini's influence can encourage Virgo to keep going, to take fresh approaches and, ultimately, to fulfill its destiny to constantly refine him/her/itself in striving toward perfection.

Looking at the ruling planet of both signs, Mercury, it seems strange that at first that it would rule two signs in natural square to each other.  We must speculate that the function symbolized by Mercury actualizes itself very differently through Mutable Air and Mutable Earth.  Mercury seems quite at home in Mutable Air.  There, it can move freely here and there, resonant to the planet's quick motion and frequent (apparent) changes in direction.  Communication is unimpeded, even enhanced, in this medium (air carries sound, after all, and mutability suggests the back and forth of conversation). 

We generally do not, however, consider Mercury to have much affinity with the Earth element.  In fact, many in the astrological community consider Mercury's rulership of Virgo to be merely as a placeholder until the sign's real ruler can be discovered.  Yet, Virgo does manifest many of the qualities associated with Mercury's identification with the intellect.  These qualities--analysis, the imposition of order (which is essentially an intellectual imposition), categorization and the necessity of attention to detail--are dependent on a stable framework of support, stability that is associated with the solidity of Earth.  Thus, while, in Gemini, Mercury can move quickly across the landscape, gleaning and gathering facts and information, making connections, and communicating, most of the time Mercury cannot be still and stable enough to do the practical work of utilizing all of this data and connection.  It is in Virgo that Mercury takes the next step of putting the intellect to practical use. 

So, we return to some of the fundamental conflicts that we have touched on earlier, which essentially revolve around freedom versus order.  Order, which is necessary for stability and to be able to utilize the intellect to advance toward perfection, necessarily limits freedom (although, paradoxically, there is no real freedom until one has attained the level of the Perfect One).  Unrestrained spontaneity disrupts order and threatens stability.  Thus, Virgo may see the Gemini container as a disruptive influence, someone who disturbs the good order, and/or someone who is careless of the consequences of violating rules and procedures.  Gemini may be seen as making it impossible to maintain an atmosphere that is conducive to progress, to moving forward practically.  While Gemini may not be particularly messy or slovenly, the Virgo container may react to Gemini's tendency to not always pick up loose ends or keep on one track as being disorderly and not very conscientious. 

Gemini, on the other hand, is likely to chafe at any attempt by the Virgo container to impose rules, structure and order on you or your endeavors.  You are likely to look at Virgo and see someone or some approach that is way too constrained and limited.  Virgo's focus can be seen as confinement to a small, narrow world when there is so much to experience, think about and talk about.  Gemini can easily react by thinking, "No way am I going to let myself be like that!" 

Yet each container can productively learn and improve by adopting some of the characteristics and energy of the other.  Virgo can easily become too focused and need to have your horizons expanded.  While Sagittarius can provide that impetus, Gemini can provide it in a different way--by encouraging Virgo to get out, look around and experience something.  Gemini essentially calls out to Virgo to come out and play.  If the Virgo container is so serious that you have forgotten how to play and disdain it as useless and frivolous, that is Virgo's loss.  Gemini offers studious Virgo the opportunity for recess, a necessary refreshing lest the spirit become worn and tired.

Turning the tables, Virgo can remind the Gemini container that life is not all fun and games.  There is a serious component that should be attended to lest, as the fable of the ant and the grasshopper reminds us, we get caught unprepared for what life must bring us.  Virgo offers the pathway toward a meaningful life that runs through practicality and utility, service and self-improvement.  What, after all, is Gemini to do with all your experience and knowledge?  It becomes meaningless if it is not put to some purpose.

This brings us to
look to the glyphs of the two signs for insight into how their energies can interact.  The Virgin can be identified with the Roman Goddess, Minerva (Athena in the Greek pantheon), whereas the Gemini Twins represent Castor and Pollux.  Minerva, a virgin goddess, is the patroness of, among other things, crafts, commerce and medicine--all things useful.  She is also the goddess of wisdom, which is the perfection of the intellect.  They are patrons of travelers, sailors, horsemen, boxers and other athletes.  They have a puer quality, not terribly responsible and somewhat reckless in their actions.  The contrast, then, is between carefree existence and responsible maturity.  An image arises of two young boys and their older sister.  The boys may take delight in disrupting the quiet activities of the older sister and of making a mess of things for their sister to clean up.  To the sister, the boys are a bother and a nuisance.  Sometimes, they drive her to distraction and frustration.  And, when she attempts to discipline the boys, she is likely to be met with rambunctiousness but, if successful, with resentment and pouting. 

The challenge is for the older sister to bring the boys under control, but in a way that edifies them and leads them to maturity, rather than provoke rebelliousness and stubborn, adolescent behavior.   A first step is to inculcate an ethos of usefulness in the Gemini container.  The mere gathering of facts, the accumulation of experience and communicating for the enjoyment of it ultimately proves to engender a feeling of ennui and a directionless listlessness, which is unsatisfying.  Turning these Gemini activities to practical ends so that they are useful to others is what the Virgo container can do for Gemini.  Gemini, thus, rises to a more mature level. 

Yet the existential crisis of finding meaning through utility is not necessarily the end of the journey toward meaning for, upon close examination and with intellectual acuity and philosophical curiosity, Gemini may question the ultimate purpose of his/her/its actions.  Yes, it is good to be of use to others but to what end?  Gemini, through its "here today, gone tomorrow and on to something new" approach to life, has a first row seat to view the impermanence of the world.  When Gemini sees clearly what is right before his/her/its eyes, there can be a realization that, without an ultimate purpose and meaning, all life and all of the activities of life, even those valued as "good," are existentially meaningless. 

Here, Gemini can turn to Virgo again but, here, Virgo is called upon to rise to her/his/its highest potential.  For, perfecting the things of this life, even our character, is finely detailing the sand castle that must be swept away by the tides of Time.  Virgo is called upon to seek and to lead Gemini towards a higher Perfection.  Tools for reaching this goal are likely to include the intellect, with Mercury ruling both signs.  The intellect alone, however, can only take one so far.  Ultimately, both Gemini and Virgo must use the intellect to pierce the intellect.  For Gemini, the ideal of Perfection is likely to be found, or contingent upon realizing, in the resting place of the Here and Now.  This Realization then informs the Virgo container, preventing it/her/him from getting stuck in the quandary that the created world is necessarily imperfect and can never be perfect and, specifically, that the ego--as the observer of Creation--is the fly in the ointment and, thus, can never obtain Perfection.  This leads both Virgo and Gemini to the state of return from fana or samadhi, or in the words of Jack Kornfield, "After the Ecstasy, the Laundry."  It is like Tibetan Buddhist sand art.  The artists spend hours and hours painstakingly producing a mandala of colored grains of sand all the while knowing that it is to be swept away upon its completion. 

Of course, all of the Gemini-Virgo dynamics can play out internally, as well as between two people.  The Gemini-Virgo energy will also be modulated by the planets involved, whether in your own chart or someone else’s.  The depositorship of Mercury may also come into play.  Gargatholil

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