Leo-Virgo potentially resonates with the semi-sextile between two planets.  However, planets in the first half of Leo and the second half of Virgo may form a semi-square and an out-of-sign conjunction is also possible between planets in late Leo and early Virgo while out-of-sign sextiles are also possible between planets in very early Leo and very late Virgo.  Thus, the Leo-Virgo relationship can be complex with the potential for either harmony or friction.   Interpreting the Leo-Virgo combination may also shed some light on a number of related symbol sets.  These include Leo in the sixth house, Virgo in the fifth house, the Sun in Virgo, Mercury in Leo, the Sun in the sixth house, Mercury in the fifth house and whether or not the Sun and Mercury are aspected.
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 Leo-Virgo, we have the pairing of two adjacent signs, the Fixed Fire and Mutable Earth signs.  Thus, the relationship between the two containers would seem to be somewhat contentious.  Fire and Earth  traditionally are not friendly with each other and the Fixed and Mutable modalities may generally be seen as not fully compatible.  Images that may be associated with Leo-Virgo include a bucket of sand being thrown on a fire, a glassblower forming a work of glass, the Sun shining on the desert sand being swept by the wind, and a latticed lantern made of clay.

The bucket of sand being thrown on a fire would seem to emphasize the potential for negative interaction between containers in the two signs.  Just as earth may be used to extinguish a fire, so the practical, reserved Virgoan nature may seek, or have the affect of, extinguishing (or putting a damper on) a Leo container's enthusiasm and un-self-conscious energy.  This dynamic includes the mismatch of the Virgo container's tendency to withhold action until all courses are properly considered with the Leo container's proclivity to act impulsively or instinctively and then persist no matter what obstacles (including the obstacles of impracticality and ill-advisedness) are placed in their way. The Virgo container will often try to caution their Leo counterpart against a path chosen simply because it has caught Leo's emotional fancy (or, as is likely, because it fulfills a Leonine need for love, respect or attention).  Faced with your Virgo counterpart's reasoned caution, you may be inclined to react stubbornly, as you will not be told what to do, especially by someone that you consider to be lacking in power and authority.  For the power of analytical thought (along with its progenitor) is likely to be easily dismissed by the proud Leo as lacking stature.  In fact, in self-defense, you may intensify your determination, just as we might imagine a fire might flare up to protect itself against being smothered if fire had such will and power to do so. 

Another consequence suggested by this dynamic is the introversion of Leo's spontaneous and naive (un-self-conscious) energy through the influence of their Virgoan counterpart.  The pure form of Leo energy is at-oneness creativity, which is non-egocentric.  As William Blake proclaimed through his character, Urizen, the dissecting, analytical mode that can be associated with Virgo is inimical to the ego-less spontaneity of pure action and delight which is the true royal nature of Leo.  By being reminded to consider the self-centered practicalities of things, the innocent Spirit that informs the pure Leo energy is lost and the Leo nature is sucked into its trap of self-referenced action.
Of course, all too often the Leo container falls victim to their ego-insecurity and wishes to be compensated for their creativity and energy with attention and approval anyway.
A more positive possible dynamic suggested by this image is the Virgoan container placing some limiting controls on a Leo container whose energy has become too exuberant or heedless of practical realities.  To the extent that you are receptive to the advice of your Virgoan counterpart, this dynamic can have positive results.  To the extent that these Virgoan efforts are resisted, there is likely to be conflict and tension between the two containers.  You may feel that your Virgoan counterpart is attempting to control you, which challenges your sense of authority and autonomy.  Seeing the Virgo container as providing wise guidance, however, is in Leo's best interest for, then, your energy can be productively directed to mutually beneficial ends.

A mutually beneficial relationship between Leo and Virgo is what the image of the glassblower conveys.  Molten glass is quintessential Mutable Earth and it is shaped into a delicate item of beauty with the aid of Leonine Fire fixedly applied to keep the silicone crystals in a malleable state.  Without this source of extreme heat, nothing happens.  By analogy, without the motivating energy emanating from your Leo counterpart, the Virgoan nature may remain stagnant--stagnant in the sense of obsessively repeating the patterns and analyses that fascinate your predilection for endless iteration and refinement without that calculating energy ever producing anything of real substance.  Together, however, the motivating energy of Leo Fire and the careful, precise artistry represented by Virgo can generate works, both physical and experiential, of complex beauty.

The image of the Sun shining on windswept desert sands suggests the Fixed-Mutable component of the Fixed Fire-Mutable Earth relationship.  If the sands were still (fixed), they would bake to a searing temperature.  However, in their mutable, anchorless state, each grain of sand is less exposed to the Sun's baking heat.  This suggests a Virgoan resilience in the face of Leonine insistence.  In other words, you may not be easily intimidated by your Leo counterpart's intensity, authoritarianism, or even bullying.  You may simply shift perspective, change the conversation, or get out of Leo's way. 

If the Leo container finds it difficult to dominate their Virgo counterpart or to pin their Virgo partner into a position from which they can be controlled, this may be a source of frustration to the Leo container.  It would not be unusual for the Leo container to assume that they would be the dominant force in a relationship with a Virgo container and, if their Virgo partner successfully deflects their domineering energy, that could undermine that assumption on the part of Leo.  This may produce insecurity in the Leo container and a common response may be for the Leo container to exert more force within the relationship.  That could then push the Virgo container into more strategizing designed to avoid complying with the wishes of the Leo container.

There can be a happier outcome if both parties take things more lightly.  We can also envision the Sun's light playing on the Virgoan sand particles cast adrift in their mutability.  Leonine creativity combined with Virgoan scope for diversity and organizing multiplicity can result in a sparkling array of whatever the progeny may be from the activity in which a Leo-Virgo partnership is engaged.  Engaging the element of play on both sides of the relationship can have positive results.  The outcome can be especially deep and satisfying when both containers are operating at their higher levels of expression--Leo in innocent creativity and Virgo in continual joyful refinement or polishing off the dross of the ego.

Finally, we have the image of the latticed lantern made of clay.  Leo supplies the shining light of the lantern while Virgo encases it but, through the intricacies of the patterns it creates, transforms the light into awesome display.  Here, the Leo container must learn to give up their attachment to being in control, or more precisely being the primary driving force.  The role of the Leo container is to just Be, to radiate light.  You must allow yourself to be shaped and led by the Virgoan Buddhi (discriminating) nature.

We can now look at the relationship between the two signs as informed by their ruling planets--the Sun and Mercury.  While both the Sun and Mercury are hot, dry planets, Mercury perhaps more so than the Sun, there are also noticeable differences.  Despite these differences, there is much that binds these two planets together.  The fiery Sun certainly can generate emotion but it is a fiery, not a watery emotion--directional and purposeful, rather than amorphous and engulfing.  Yet, despite its occasional outbursts (of which the solar flare is symbolic), the Sun has more affinity for the mental sphere of Mercury than not. 

Mercury and the Sun are practically inseparable, Mercury being the closest planet to the Sun and never more than a sign away.   This would argue for a closer bond between Leo and Virgo than might be indicated by their many points of friction.  Ironically, however, it is this friction between the two signs that may be part of the glue holding them together. 

One aspect of the Leo-Virgo relationship suggested by the relationship of their ruling planets is Virgo's desire to circumscribe Leo.  This is symbolized by the fact that it is Mercury which most closely circumscribes the Sun by its orbit.  It seems to be the Virgoan nature to want to place a boundary between themself and the Leo container.  In fact, one origin of the name, Mercury, is in the Indo-European word for boundary.  This may not only be a boundary putting some "distance" between Leo and Virgo but, also, a boundary to circumscribe the power and reach of Leo, generally.  We can see a hint of why this may occur by looking at the fifth house-sixth house transition.  According to Rudhyar, the sixth house (associated with Virgo) represents the transition from an ego-centered (non-pejoratively used here) self given to the full expression of their potentiality to a more self-reflective state that seeks to trim the excesses of the ego's expression.  Thus, the Virgo container is apt to view the Leo container as being entirely too much (and especially too full of themself) and, therefore, in need of beneficial restriction.  Obviously, the Leo container would tend to chafe at the circumscription of their realm and power.  Yet, acquiescing to the limitations which their Virgo counterpart would impose can be beneficial.  I would put forward that, generally, if the Leo container accepts the guidance and limitation from their Virgo counterpart with humility, this sets up an energy dynamic that encourages the Virgo container to act out of sincerity, with the ultimate benefit of their Leo partner being utmost in mind.

If, however, there is resistance from the Leo container, this is likely to create a negative dynamic in which the motives of the Virgo container become perverted and self-serving.  Their may be an underlying fear of the unchecked power of the Leo energy driving the Virgo container to block and restrain that energy.  One way or another, the Leo-Virgo relationship may become a test of wills, a power struggle, with Leo insisting on exerting their power and Virgo working to defeat the Leo container's aim.  The efforts by the Virgo container to refine their Leo partner then spring not from an impulse toward compassion and benevolence but from a desire to get the better of the Leo container--to cage the Lion and bring them under your control. 

Another dimension of the Leo-Virgo relationship illuminated by their ruling planets is the dynamic between head and heart.  This is not so much a dichotomy between thinking and feeling as it is one between consideration and instinct or between calculation and compulsion.  At its highest expression, the distinction is between discrimination and love, though in the end both will lead to the same outcome.  Thus, the Leo container is likely to be motivated by the pull of the heart, while the Virgo container is apt to act according to logical conclusion, properly analyzed.  At times, the decisions based upon these motivators may be different.  As the saying goes, "fools rush in...."  The heart may not consider practicalities; logic may not respond to human feeling.  When this occurs, the Leo and Virgo containers will wish to take different paths and, if they are tied together, conflict is likely to arise.

At the same time, if there is openness to communication between the two containers, the motivations and conclusions of one may be allowed to inform the other.  Each container having reached its conclusion may then test that conclusion against the process engaged in by the other and, in this way, make a better informed choice.  Through their interaction with the Leo heart-oriented approach, the Virgo container may temper their logically determined conclusion by considering how love and compassion may modify that decision.  The Leo container, having reached their decision by following their heart, can look to the Virgo container for a reality check on the practicality of implementing that path.

Another Leo-Virgo dynamic that is suggested by the Sun-Mercury relationship is one that is also suggested by the glyphs of the two signs (which will be explored shortly).  That is a natural dominant-subservient relationship between Leo and Virgo.  For (although this applies to all of the planets, we remember that it is Mercury which first experiences the Sun's pull), it is Mercury that is the captive in orbit around the Sun.  Mythologically, Mercury was the messenger of the gods and, therefore, in somewhat of the role of a servant.  This, of course, is consistent with Virgo's qualities (and also reflected in the meanings associated with the sixth house).  The Sun, on the other hand, has generally been associated with kingship (even though it is Jupiter and not Apollo who is king of the gods).  This, too, is consistent with Leo's association with royalty and lordliness.  To the extent that containers in the two signs fulfill the dharma of their natural roles, there can be harmonious relationship between Virgo and Leo.  This occurs when the Virgo container acknowledges or at least gives deference to Leo's authority and remains content to serve (ideally serving freely, not as a slave, which would be a perversion of the Virgo-Leo relationship).  It also must be the case that Leo treats their authority with humility and respects the service performed by their Virgo counterpart. 

When the two containers do not respect the dharma of their natural roles, conflict may arise.  This will particularly be the case when the Virgo container resists the natural authority of the Leo container, setting up a power struggle between them.  It will also be the case if the Leo container fails to respect the Virgo container, forcing the Virgo container either into a position of humiliation or into subverting the Leo container out of resentment and anger.  In some cases, the Leo container may be too insecure to fulfill their natural role, looking to their Virgo counterpart for leadership and decision-making and forcing their partner into a situation that is awkward for the Virgoan nature.

Finally, let us look at the glyphs of the two signs--the Lion and the Virgin.  The Lion is associated with royalty (being the King of the Jungle) and the Virgin with purity but also with service, particularly service to royalty.  There is research, or speculation, that the ancient temple "virgins" were not sexual virgins at all but, rather, ritual prostitutes.  If this is true, and we particularly go back to Mesopotomia (a cradle of astrology), we can view the Virgin glyph as representing female temple servants (whatever their religio-sexual function) and, since the Mesopotamian ruler was a god-king, we have the Virgo-Leo relationship symbolized by the the temple virgins/priestesses in service to the (god-) king.  This relationship is also suggested by the Mercury-Sun relationship, as was discussed above.  As also discussed above, when this relationship is in harmony, the virgins serving the king and the king being guided by the wisdom of the temple virgins, all functions well.  However, if the king were to abuse his servants, then these temple virgins might plot secretly against him.

There is another image that comes to mind when we conjure up lions and virgins--that of Christians being fed to the lions in ancient Rome.  This raises themes of sacrifice (for Virgo) and of unbridled passion (for Leo).  It also emphasizes the danger that vulnerable Virgo may feel in the company of fierce and unpredictable Leo and, consequently, a desire on the part of the Virgo container to protect themself from a Leo container.  Another insight may arise when we remember that it is in the lion's nature to attack and eat the helpless virgin laid before them.  If it is somehow in Leo's nature to act with power and dominance, even fiercely and violently; and if it is somehow in Virgo's nature to lie down in sacrifice, might not this dynamic be played out in the relationship between the Leo and Virgo containers?  The question becomes, is there a way in which this dynamic can be transformed and become noble, or will it always play out as a perverse pattern of dominance and submission?

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