Depth Astrology





This is the seventeenth 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 Taurus-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 5 years from now, Insha’Allah, these articles will immediately be published as an e-book for sale.


Taurus-Virgo resonates most frequently with the trine aspect, although the sesqui-square also occurs between containers in the first half of Taurus and the last half of Virgo.  Out-of-sign squares are also possible and, more rarely, an out-of-sign quincunx.  Trines occur throughout the progression through the two signs.  An out-of-sign square may occur between containers in very late Taurus and very early Virgo, and an out-of-sign quincunx may occur between containers in Taurus on the Gemini cusp and Virgo on the Libra cusp.  Thus, while the relationship between Taurus and Virgo is generally harmonious, there is also a potential for conflict and difficulties to arise.  

Interpreting the Taurus-Virgo combination may also shed some light on a number of related symbol sets.  These include Taurus in the sixth house and Virgo in the second house.  Also related to the Taurus-Virgo combination are Venus in the sixth house, Venus in Virgo, Mercury in the second house, Mercury in Taurus, and Mercury-Venus aspects.

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 Taurus-Virgo, we have the pairing of two Earth signs, one Fixed and the other Mutable.  Signs of the same element are naturally compatible since their energies have the same foundation.  Earth signs are probably the most mutually compatible, as Earth is the most passive of the elements and, so, there is apt to be little friction between the two signs when their elemental nature is being activated in their relationship.  Each container is likely to accept the other with little resistance, comfortable that its own elemental quality is being expressed.  As Earth signs, Taurus and Virgo share many traits in common.  Taureans and Virgoans both tend to be practical, oriented toward the sensate-material, cautious, reserved, and have a strong work ethic (although Taurus may need to be motivated).  These shared traits provide common ground upon which both containers may stand and feel bonded to each other. 

The natural trine between the two signs suggest a spirit of harmony and a free flow of energy between containers in these signs.  There is likely to be a relationship of mutual support between the two.  Often, there will be an easy back and forth and a comfortable association between containers in the two signs.  Whether the containers are people in a relationship or psychological functions, they are likely to support each other, unless one of the more difficult aspects is present.  Because the Earth element is involved, this support is likely to be along solid, practical lines.  Physical/material support is often what is given.  If otherwise, the Taurean container may provide support in the way of appreciation of the qualities of the Virgo container, particularly those qualities that can be discerned at the sensate level.  You may also provide support to your Virgo counterpart through dutiful provision, firmness and strength, always being there for the other, and enduring faithfulness.  The Virgoan container may provide support for his/her/its Taurean counterpart by providing constructive guidance, loving service, handling the details that Taurus may have missed, and gently reigning in any Taurean excess. 

In the world of gender stereotypes, Taurus-Virgo calls forth the archetype of the provider-homemaker couple.  Taurus faithfully and diligently works so that possessions may be acquired and the household may live in material comfort.  Virgo manages these possessions (a quality of Mutability acting on the Earth element) for the well-being of the household.  A link between Virgo and Vesta can be ascertained by contemplating the Vestal Virgins and, in this role, the Virgoan container, indeed, becomes the keeper of the hearth. 

Dysfunctionally, this archetype can devolve to that of the wife who is always cleaning up the mess created by her slob of a husband.  This devolution feeds into the Virgoan susceptibility to service-martyrdom, a shadow cast upon Virgo by its Pisces opposite.  This dysfunctionality can also further develop and manifest into a set of Virgo-Taurus conflicts that are more likely to be manifested when the more difficult aspects exist between Taurus and Virgo containers.  One of the potential points of conflict between Taurus and Virgo revolves around the Taurean tendency toward laxity, indulgence and even sloth set against Virgo's demand for properness, order and perfection.  When these tendencies are highlighted and juxtaposed, pristine Virgo can come to view the Taurean Bull as crude, uncouth, and disgusting.  When you are cast in the role of home-caretaker to a Taurean inconsiderate of the order of the household, who takes it as his/her prerogative to come home after a hard day's work, laze around creating a mess, and expect you to follow after him/her putting everything back in good order, you may become resentful and quite critical of your Taurean counterpart.  The image here is that of the shrew berating and criticizing his/her partner who, frankly, couldn't care less.  The anxiety and frustration of this dynamic is exacerbated when you feel confined and limited in the role that your Taurus counterpart has assigned to you. 

Though given a capacity to ignore the criticisms (or even the well-meaning admonitions designed to improve your character/circumstances/health/well-being) of your Virgoan partner, the archetype of the long-suffering husband may also be brought up by a dysfunctional Virgo-Taurus dynamic.  Part of ignoring Virgo's constant nagging is to develop a trope in which you cast the Virgoan container as over-the-top in his/her concern/demand for your perfection.  This can lead you in three directions.  One is to mentally, emotionally, and even physically block yourself off from your Virgo partner.  The second is a variant and extension of the first, in which you throw yourself into indulgence, which results in accentuating those qualities to which your Virgoan partner is reacting.  The archetype here is leaving your nagging partner to go to the bar and drink.  The third is keeping all of your frustration at your partner's criticism inside until it explodes in a typical Taurean Bull charge.  On the other side, Taurus' persistent ignoring of your attempts to "straighten him/her up" may only cause your own level of frustration to rise.  This can result in your attempts to reach your Taurean partner take on a shriller and shriller tone.  This, of course, only aggravates the dynamic.  As with most descriptions here, this basic dynamic can occur between psychological functions within you just as well as externally with a partner.

While in the modern world, gender stereotypes are outliving their usefulness, it must be remembered that they are still with us in a very real sense.  Many are still actively participating in these stereotypes and for others of us, these stereotypes have been firmly implanted in our subconscious through the parental and social conditioning we have received.  The inherent dynamic described third above paragraph can be liberated from its gender stereotyping by viewing the dynamic in more abstract terms.  Taurus has the basic characteristic of acquiring.  It receives this from its Venus rulership through the evaluative psychological function with which Venus is associated (the psyche becomes receptive to the stimulus, bringing it into her experience as part of the evaluative process).  Virgo has the basic characteristic of managing.  Managing is an end result of dissecting and analyzing, a quality it receives from its Mercury rulership, for to analyze as an end is fruitless, while in order to manage a system properly, it must be broken down into its interrelating parts.  Acquiring/absorbing is consistent with the Fixed nature of Taurus while managing and manipulating (in the positive sense of that word) is natural to the Mutable nature of Virgo. 

The field upon which both Taurean acquisition and Virgoan management act is most often the material, the Earth element (although acquisition and management on other fields is not barred).  Thus, with Taurus-Virgo, we have a harmonious division of labor indicated.  The Taurean container is about procuring the resources needed for the whole, while the Virgoan container is about managing those resources and ensuring that they are practically utilized to their best advantage.  Both serve each other in their own way.  Both enjoy the fruits of this joint labor.  For Taurus, this enjoyment is likely to be more sensual and direct, while for Virgo, the enjoyment is apt to be more of satisfaction at the perfection of the outcome achieved. 

The two glyphs--the Bull and the Virgin--have been alluded to above.  Let us now examine the interaction that they suggest in more detail.  There is first suggested a mutually protective relationship between Taurus and Virgo.  The Bull can be viewed as being in the care of the Virgin.  The Virgin is strong, pure and disciplined (think of Pallas Athene) and fully capable of managing the Bull, as well as protecting the Bull from its enemies.  The Bull is a formidable protector in his own right and will stand firm to defend the Virgin against any attack.

The care in which the Bull is under from the Virgin goes beyond protection, however.  For it is the Virgin who can tame the wild Bull.  She does this from her innocence, which should not be confused for naivete, for she has full, practical knowledge of how to go about domesticating the Bull.  Both Virgo and Taurus are associated with the fecundity of the Earth but, with Virgo, this fecundity is the result of planning and labor.  To furrow the field, the Virgin employs the Bull, directing him and making him plow in a straight line.  There is, thus, a natural order to Virgo being the task-master to Taurus, as long as direction is given well and honestly and as long as the yoke is accepted willingly. 

On another level, the Virgin and the Bull can be viewed in their sacred context.  The Virgin does represent perfection and true perfection is found only in the sacred and Divine.  Yet both the Virgin and the Bull are existing in the mundane world, so the task implied is to reach toward the Divine Perfection while living in the imperfection of the manifest world.  The Virgin is often cast in the role of Priestess and it is in this role that she approaches the Divine and becomes the intermediary between the Divine and the mundane.  In association with the Taurean Bull, her mission is to transfigure the mundane.  While Virgo operates on the Earth element, Taurus is of the Earth element.  At the transcendent level, the Virgo-Taurus relationship becomes one in which the Virgin and the Bull exist in sacred space.  The Bull is the Sacred Bull who must ultimately be sacrificed in order to bring about the Divine Plan. 

We should not think of this as literal animal sacrifice but, rather, that the act of sacrificing the Sacred Bull is symbolic of the spiritual aspirant's sacrifice of his/her animal nature to the Divine Goal.  In ancient, very ancient (like 30,000 BC) mythology, Mithra slays the archetypal Bull, whereupon the Bull is transfigured and takes his place among the stars in the heavens.   Symbolically, the animal nature has been slain and overcome and the higher Taurean qualities, purified of their attachments to the material, blossom forth--devotion, steadfastness toward the Divine Goal, and persistence in the hard spiritual work of purifying the mind and the soul.

Let's look now at the ruling planets of the two signs, Venus and Mercury.  We have seen the interaction of these two rulers in the Taurus-Gemini combination.  To refresh what was said earlier, psychologically, the functions symbolized by the two planets are intimately involved with each other.  It is through Mercury's nervous system that the sense impressions are conveyed to the Venusian function of evaluation and discernment.  The intellect, ruled by Mercury, then takes that information filtered through the Venusian value system, analyzes and categorizes it.  Venus brings form and a sense of aesthetic to Mercury's intellectual construct and Mercury communicates the result to the world, wherein Venus manages the resulting social relationships.  Mercury is of the mental realm while Venus resides in the emotional realm but there are constant points of contact between them  From the basic cognitive level to the social level, both are operating together.

With Mercury ruling Virgo rather than Gemini, the dynamics between the two planets tend to be even more harmonious and smooth.  Because Virgo is an Earth sign, the focus of the mental/communicative function that Mercury represents is practical--to apply the mental analytics to the physical world.  Thus, in Virgo, Mercury's analytical role is taken one step further than in Gemini.  This, in turn, gives Venus' evaluative function more power, as those evaluative decisions, your likes and dislikes, are now not just mentalized but are actualized into the material realm.  Likewise, Mercury's power is also augmented in this relationship.  This is because the sense impressions gathered by your nervous system, instead of being directly transmitted for evaluation (with a Gemini-oriented Mercury) are more likely to be analytically processed by a Virgo-oriented Mercury before your evaluative function receives these impressions.  You have already filtered these impressions through an organized construct, which clarifies this information allowing your evaluative function to operate more efficiently.

With respect to the Taurus-Virgo relationship, this dynamic increases the likelihood that the two containers will be "on the same page" with respect to the basic living-in-the-material-world decisions about what to pay attention to, what to pursue, what to value, and what to act upon.  Thus, the Taurus-Virgo combination has the potential to operate efficiently and effectively when it comes to getting things done and satisfying basic (or not so basic) needs for security, comfort, order and utility.  The direction of this generally positive dynamic is very important, however.  At one extreme, the smooth cooperation and good effect of Taurus-Virgo can be used to support a hedonistic lifestyle that goes no further than indulgence in sensual pleasure.  At the other end of the spectrum, the dynamic is mobilized in noble service to others.  This is not to suggest that Taurus is on the negative pole and Virgo on the positive.  Everything is a continuum and Virgo can descend into obsessive concern over perfectly implementing the evaluative decision ("we have to get this right!") while Taurus can rise to levels of self-sacrificing dedication to service and bringing ordered abundance for all to share. 

To reiterate something that was implied above, when the Taurus-Virgo relationship suggests the more difficult square and sesqui-square aspects, we can generally trace this to conflict between the modalities of the two signs.  When operating positively, Virgo enjoys and requires a certain suppleness.  While not a quick as Gemini, Virgo is all about making adjustments.  Taurus can have a very hard time making adjustments (Taurus adjustments are possible; they just generally take a lot longer).   This can set up a dynamic of frustration and resentment between containers in the two signs.  This can reach a point where Taurus will resist anything proposed by his/her Virgo counterpart.  A way to defuse this dynamic is for you to give your Taurus partner enough time to evaluate the change and get comfortable with it.  If Taurus is reasonable and not reactively stubborn, he/she will usually come around once he/she comes to realize that the adjustment will better his/her situation. 

Of course, Virgo also has the capacity to become rigid when it comes to order.  When Virgo's obsessiveness with perfection is activated, you may turn to your Taurean counterpart and demand that he/she conform to your concepts of order and correctness.  This is likely to be not only too much change for Taurus to take, but the idea of being confined to a narrow set of rules is likely to be disturbing to your comfortable, relaxed natural state of being.  Unless provoked, your Taurean fixity is often expressed as inertia.  The Earth-Venus influence tends to give this inertia a softness and lushness that chafes at undue restriction.  Thus, a likely reaction by Taurus to an overly organized Virgo is to ignore, reject and resist. 

If Taurus-Virgo containers form a quincunx, this will mean that both planets are at the sign cusps--Taurus-Aries and Virgo-Libra.  This would suggest a self-other dimension to the dynamic.  This relatively rare manifestation of the Taurus-Virgo relationship suggests that crises are likely to occur involving the two containers that call for a resolution of the inherent self-other dynamic.  Usually, the Taurus container is likely to be too self-focused, ignoring the need to accommodate others, while the Virgo container is likely to be too other-focused, ignoring the needs of the self.  The crises can be resolved when a balance is achieved between these two interests. 

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