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Listen for Virgo and Virgo Rising

2013 Annual Horoscope by Eric Francis


Sign art by Debra Cortese.

Virgo Part One
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Virgo Part Two
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Music for Virgo Let the Music Come by Blue O’Connell
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Listen for Virgo and Virgo Rising | 2013 Annual Reading by Eric Francis
Full minor planet list for the day that the Sun arrives in your sign.

Perfection is not a value, though for you this is easier said than done. You of all people know that being a Virgo doesn’t make you perfect, but still, you try.

I want to suggest that you not try too hard, despite mounting pressure to do so.

There are many other currents moving through your astrology right now as well. For example, you will benefit from a steady increase in water sign energy that will help with your relationships and your creative journey (they are closely related). Planets in water signs puts an emphasis on intuition, which can be right but it cannot be proven by logic.

You also have significant energy coming through the earthy signs in your chart, primarily Capricorn, which is encouraging you to loosen up, stop trying to impress anyone with how conservative you are and live a bit more daringly. Pluto in Capricorn is saying it’s time to update your files, before your whole biopsychic system is out of step with the reality that surrounds you.

Pluto in Capricorn is an invitation to relax and not cling to an idea of what is supposed to be right before you get some experience with it. It represents a direct challenge to history and precedent. Capricorn is your 5th solar house if you have a Virgo Sun, or your 5th house by whole-sign houses if you’re Virgo rising.

The 5th is the house of fun, art, games and pleasure; you have Capricorn there, which hints at a conservative approach to these areas of life. That may be interspersed with moments when your wild streak comes out, though overall it’s indicative of an approach to existence that is oriented on caution.

Conservatism as practiced today is a philosophy of fear. It pretends to be a philosophy of independence and free enterprise, but this conceals a deeper layer of clinging to the familiar. Pluto in Capricorn is a personal message to give up any tendency you may have to live this way. It is the original “resistance is futile” transit; the structures that hold up whatever you have going on in this house are most likely the result of a childhood with too many adult burdens.

You also may have been surrounded by adults who used guilt a little too casually, or who were subject to it themselves. Pluto is now with you, waging a kind of personal evolutionary revolution. This is about going deeper. And the water sign planets that have been accumulating for a few years, culminating when Jupiter arrives in Cancer midyear, are helping you become more comfortable with that depth.

Yet there is one influence that deserves mention, which is the ingress of Transpluto into your sign. Transpluto is a controversial point in astrology, mainly because it doesn’t really exist. It’s what’s called a hypothetical planet. It has no body. It is an idea. It was developed in Germany in the early 20th century. Transpluto, which exists as a mathematical concept and group of ideas in the minds of a few astrologers, takes about 1,000 years to go around the Sun, spending about 80 years in each of the signs.

It’s now making its ingress from Leo to Virgo, a process that takes three years, of which 2013 is the second year. In many ways, Transpluto is the embodiment of all of the ‘typical’ ideas you hear about Virgo: self-criticism, perfectionism and being centered on others (politely, service).

I recognize that few astrologers use this point, and it’s a bit eccentric even among the ones who use lots of far-out bits and flecks of space matter. I have noticed, however, that Transpluto is an actual influence, worth paying attention to. (If you want to read more about it, here is a study by astrologer Lynn Koiner.)

You have made a lot of progress relaxing your state of mind, your expectations and your disposition; many more influences are headed your way that will help you go further into that process. Yet Transpluto is a reminder that you are never far from slipping into the ways of the past, when you hardly cut yourself any slack. I would propose that beneath that struggle was a creative impulse, something positive that you were trying to teach yourself, or use to guide yourself.

There seem to be two ways to experience Transpluto: neurotically, as a mess of self-criticism; or constructively, using its power of focus, specificity and the rare, odd or unusual event. You might think of this in terms of whether you are in an adult-to-adult relationship to yourself, or a parent-child relationship. There is a big difference. If you treat yourself as a parent treats a child, that will contribute to a lack of respect for yourself. If you treat yourself as one clear-headed adult treats another, you will be on a lot stronger ground with yourself.

I’ll say this another way, again borrowing from psychology. Transpluto is an aspect of your personality or psyche. You are bigger than it is; you are the one who must remain in charge, not allowing it to take over, and putting it to work as a utility. It will make an excellent slave and a terrible master.

I think the core ‘lesson’ or message of Transpluto beginning a nearly infinite journey across your sign is: be open minded. Keep a broad perspective. Yes, you might walk the streets of Manhattan for a whole day and not run into anyone who actually meets that description; you must be the one who does. I don’t know how, exactly, to convey that energetically, or to describe for you what it is, but there is such a thing, it’s rare to find, and it’s possible to cultivate.

One other point. With all of the changes implied by Pluto, including learning how to relax into pleasure and change, and all of the water sign influences telling you to go with the flow and trust your intuition, there’s something here about finding an alternative to the mental level of processing. For you this is a real issue of trust. Mental activity gives you the sensation of control. It would be one thing if you actually had control as a result of all the thinking, however it doesn’t work that way. The control is an illusion, and the thinking burns you out.

Relationships: Encountering Your Reflection

Nearly everything that happens to you this year surrounds activity in the water signs. You may be surprised by the extent to which this is true, and how influential it really is. Water is a different element from earth, and it’s necessary to move differently when you’re surrounded by the stuff. People who grow up near the sea are taught respect for the sea from a young age. Those who do not need to cultivate that respect as a conscious act.

As the poet Adrienne Rich, who died last year, wrote in her poem Diving into the Wreck:

the sea is another story
the sea is not a question of power
I have to learn alone
to turn my body without force
in the deep element.

Remember this as you move through life over the next four seasons. Water, as the poet notes, is the deep element, and it responds to locomotion and intention differently. Water carries momentum in a way that none of the other elements do. Small gestures mean a lot; it’s possible to drift, or to get caught in a current, and it’s possible to sink.

Water takes us deeper than we’re accustomed into feelings that our culture and many other influences tell us it’s best to avoid; fear of ‘drowning’ emotionally is one factor that keeps us in the shallow end of the pool, or out of the water altogether. (Note, this is about vulnerability.) Now, however, so many facets of your chart point to water events, including all three retrogrades of your ruling planet Mercury, that there’s no avoiding it; you’re going in. You will be traveling by sea, at least metaphorically and possibly in reality.

Let’s start with your relationships: you have Pisces on the 7th house, your partnership house; this is the most watery water sign and you’re in an ongoing relationship to it. There are now two planets in Pisces — Chiron and Neptune. Chiron has been working its way in since 2010 and Neptune since 2011. This is recent considering these transits extend well beyond the current decade (in the case of Neptune) and for at least six more years (in the case of Chiron).

The 7th house, particularly near the cusp, often describes the world we see around us. It’s the most immediate, accessible environment, including the people who are among us. But it also has been described as the zone of projection. It’s where we ‘see things as we are’, borrowing from an old aphorism.

With Neptune here, clarity is going to be a challenge. There’s the potential for dreamy situations, for many hopes and false hopes, and a tendency to idealize. This, in turn, can lead to a sense of isolation. With Neptune as a 7th house influence, it’s necessary to monitor how close or distant to contact you feel. Neptune’s effects can set in long before we notice them.

It’s necessary to have a conscious relationship to your fantasy life and your imagination. I strongly suggest you take this year and devote yourself to photography. There are few ways to tap into the considerable influence of Neptune that are better than photography. This is something you can actually do yourself, learn from and grow with; music does the job, but it’s a lot easier to pick up a camera and get results than it is to start studying an instrument, though I would suggest that the more music you indulge in, however you do it, the better. It’s never too late to start studying an instrument, either, though in true Pisces style you have to be willing to give it a while.

Anyway, the thing about photography is that it will teach you to see, to work with illusions and imagination, and to see through these things. Looking at photos of people you will notice things about them that you didn’t notice in ‘real life’. Photographing yourself as well, you will start to see through your layers.

Right beyond Neptune is Chiron. The relationship between these two planets is a nice metaphor for your relationship to the perception of your environment. Imagine a film projector without a lens; the image is difficult to resolve, if not impossible to even recognize. That’s Neptune. Chiron is the lens, which pulls the image into focus. That’s why I’m suggesting you intervene between your ideals and illusions with a perceptual power tool of some kind, like a camera.

Yet this is about your human encounters. The idea here is finding out what people are made of beyond their image. It’s easy to get distracted in the subtle glamour of Neptune. This is going to be the story of your life for quite a while — seeing through the illusions. Chiron, however, is the reality check, the focusing agent, the thing that provides the facts that confirm or deny your intuition in some way. I suggest you learn this skill now.

Whatever your perceptions of someone may be, make sure you have factual data, or rather, that you pay attention to factual data. It’s easy for you to be deceived under this astrology, though Chiron is a kind of deception prevention system. It will send repeated warnings when you’re operating under some kind of illusion or delusion. Its messages will come in the form of, “Pay attention to that.” But you’re the one who has to notice. It’s also your key to understanding when you’ve got enough in common with someone for there to be a real meeting. This really is the thing to check with new relationships, friendships or business partnerships.

If you can get through to the solid people who you really identify with, beautiful things are possible; a real meeting is possible. You resonate strongly with Chiron energy. The person represented by Chiron may not come in the form you were expecting, or even one that you recognize. There may be a differential of age or experience; this is not important, as long as you learn from, honor and consciously relate to those who show up offering themselves in a sincere way.

With all relationships, I suggest you be a kind of alcohol monitor. Neptune can indicate the presence of mind-altering substances in your environment; the two most prevalent in modern society are alcohol and prescription pills. Be mindful of this in existing partnerships and, I would propose, if there is one factor that is a deal-breaker in a relationship with someone new, it’s that person having a problem with alcohol or pills. You could get drawn in, potentially in a helping role of some kind, and this could make a mess out of your life.

A Watery Business

Your sign is ruled by Mercury. There’s a second sign also ruled by Mercury, and it’s prominent in your chart — Gemini. That’s your 10th solar house if you’re Virgo Sun and your 10th house by whole-sign houses if you’re Virgo rising. In our society, we tend to orient and navigate by the 1st house (i.e., your sign) though we often navigate by the 10th — the sense of mission.

Gemini is an air sign, though it’s under watery influences right now. First though, let’s mention what it’s like to have Gemini on this house. This is the one about the dual mission: two callings that sometimes seem to compete, or that you alternate between, and that sometimes you get pulling in the same direction.

Remember that your purpose is your purpose. Keep in contact with yourself, not some abstraction. The outer expression means far less than the fact that you’re expressing yourself. The thing to have in harmony is your underlying sense of purpose. It may also turn out that the various things you do are perfectly complimentary with one another, and supportive of some larger purpose you embrace.

There are indications this is possible now, since Jupiter is moving over the top of your chart. Presently it’s in Gemini, which first of all is accenting that this is a time to stretch into new professional territory. Jupiter in this house grants you visibility, a measure of luck and the ability to resolve certain seeming paradoxes in your professional life. It may represent an opportunity to bring the elements of what you do together, and I suggest you take every opportunity to do that.

It also represents a time of having peer-type relationships with ‘superiors’, in essence because you are becoming one of them — you’re getting a chance to be in the Officer’s Club, and if you make some strong bonds, you will get to stay there.

Now, as for Mercury retrograde. I mentioned that Mercury rules your sign as well as your 10th house, so its movements in any year suggest the nature of your environment. Mercury stations retrograde frequently — three times a year, sometimes four (depending on how the celestial schedule shakes out against the civil calendar).

The Mercury retrograde from Feb. 24 through March 17 is exclusively in Pisces. The Mercury retrograde from June 26 through July 20 is exclusively in Cancer. The one from Oct. 21 through Nov. 10 is exclusively in Scorpio. This makes you something of an honorary water sign this year. To succeed, to get on with others, to make your way, you must apply all of the best skills of the watery element: empathy, intuition, music, art, imagination and a visionary quality. And you must also have boundaries.

The water signs themselves offer that in two forms. One is Chiron in Pisces, which I suggested involves staying close to your sense of purpose and that which you share with others. The other is Saturn in Scorpio, which is about understanding the nature of your commitments. This is a kind of boundary as well — contracts always are, when they do their job. This is suggesting that you monitor and understand the flow of resources, including material and emotional ones.

It will also be necessary for you to discern your feelings from those of the people around you. This will take some focus, and I suggest you maintain that focus carefully. By the time Mars arrives in your sign on Oct. 15, 2013, you will care. You will feel entitled to your emotional and physical space as well as entitled to your own opinions. I suggest that between now and then you make a conscious effort not to let the small things add up while you’re not paying attention.

The key, therefore, is to pay attention, using all of your senses and all of your sensibilities, which brings us back to the theme of being broad minded. It’s vital to remember all the time that the main thing you perceive when you look at the world is your own mind. If your mind is open, you will be that much likelier to perceive a world where your options are open.

I suggest you assume that you’re being more closed than you think; this will continually nudge you in the direction of being a little more open. I am reminded of this every time I glance down at your chart and see the Sun conjunct Transpluto on the day that the Sun ingresses Virgo. There is a message there, which is that it’s very, very, really, truly necessary for you to pay attention to what you’re focusing on; that is, notice where your mind is going at all times, in terms of the feeling tone as well as the subject matter. You are blessed with unusual powers of concentration with this astrology, though you could easily use it against yourself; this is not necessary as long as you are the one who consciously directs your locus of attention.

Notice when you’re being dogmatic. What is that? Well, it’s the opposite of how a dog thinks. Dogs are open to just about anything that looks, feels, sounds or smells interesting. They lead with their curiosity.

Dogmatic is when you’ve made your mind up about everything in advance. That’s the thing to watch for. Read a book about mindfulness or just pay attention. Tell your friends to stop you if you start to act that way. Notice when you happened to be wrong in one of your predictions about ‘the way things are’.

Open minded means you don’t know and you’re interested in finding out more. Your mind may be constantly telling you that you know more than you do. Be grateful that you don’t. That will keep life interesting, and will keep you interesting.

Eric also offers birthday readings and other audio reports here.

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Virgo chart.

Chart for the Sun’s ingress of Virgo.

Handwritten chart for the Sun’s ingress of Virgo.

Virgo minor planets.

90 degree sort of planets in early and mid mutable signs at the Sun’s ingress of Virgo.

Virgo minor planets.

List of major and minor planets in Virgo at the Sun’s ingress.

Virgo minor planets.

90 degree sort of planets in early cardinal signs at the Sun’s ingress of Virgo.

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