“Humility is the prize of the leaf-world. Vain-glory is the bane of us, the humans.”
“You, too, can be carved anew by the details of your devotion.”
Mary Oliver praised the leaf world for their humbleness. Day after day, leaves do their magic, turning solar energy, water, and carbon dioxide in nutrients for growth. They are sensitive and intelligent; they can be paper, food, clothing, shelter. They can heal us, feed us, or poison us, they enchant us with their shapes and luscious greens shades and mesmerize us when their end comes: a waterfall of deep gold yellows, burned smoky oranges, and sunset reds warming our hearts in the chilly Falls day. Their only waste is oxygen which is our life source. Essential, humble, hardworking, and dedicated; leaves & grass qualities are dear to the symbolism of the earth sign of Virgo. They are strongly constellated in the first part of this month with the Virgo New Moon first, and with Sun, Venus, Mars, and Mercury plowing through the Virgo celestial fields until September 15th. On that day, the Moon will be full in Pisces, and Mercury and Venus will move in Libra. (If you are born with planets and points in Gemini, Virgo, Sag, and Pisces, between 3 and 19, you might experience some aspects of this post more intensely than others.)
Humbleness is especially significant at this time, a quality we cherish when we say "stay humble!", but that is often hard to embrace, pushed, as we are, by a culture that values competitiveness more than cooperation, "doing and be best" rather than embracing who we are, and growing organically. Been humble allows for being open to learning, and change, qualities that Virgo appreciate. Humble people are modest, unpretentious, and …down-to-earth. And to be "humble" literally means that, to be "close to the soil." The Latin word is "humilis," which comes from "humus," that means "the earth and the soil."
To forget to lay low on the ground, and to believe oneself to be like the Gods, up high, was to commit the sin of hubris. For the Greeks, that might have rightly understood the human tendency towards self-glorification, hubris called for the punishment of the Gods. And while hubris might have a root in "up and out," it's worth using some critical skills that Virgo is so gifted with, to re-envision what "low" stands for.
To stay " low" is to be humble like a leave. Its association with inferiority seems the expression of patriarchal western values, shaped by White men that thought themselves as the pinnacle of power, and considered everyone else, such as women, Peoples of Colors, and the more-than-human-world, inferior.
But in the astrological world, the contact with the ground seems one that Virgo has maintained all along. This new Moon in Virgo shall be an ode to "re-envision" the meaning and experience of "been low." Stay humble, stay close to the soil, observe those laborious ants that show us how to cooperate with one another, be inspired by the leaves apparent simplicity. To be on the ground, to forget the vain glory of the "height of power," and to cherish in amazement at the unassuming rich details of the world under our feet. Likewise, you might take time to observe with attentiveness your life, your health, your body, your routines, your habits, your emotional responses, and harness this gift of clarity, simplicity and capacity to differentiate, so to find more authentic purposes for your self.
But beware of confusing "low" with "not smart," or with "indiscriminate obedience." Virgo's gift is that of keen scrutiny and analysis, meant as differentiating, breaking apart, and putting back together in a way that serves a better purpose. While this sign was associated with "servitude," reframing Virgo awareness in the service of greater equality is the task of our time.
The Square between Jupiter, Neptune and the Virgo Stellium
Jupiter in Sagittarius in a square aspect to Neptune in Pisces and to the planets in Virgo suggest a dynamic time, ones that might reshuffle collective beliefs. While this square has been active since last January, the Virgo energy might act as a catalyst. Through the experiences of these days, the practical energy of Virgo might "burst the bubble" and help to see a situation clearly. While there might be disillusionments, it's likely that new desires are born out of embracing new philosophical, religious, and spiritual beliefs that ultimately reshape your decision-making process. Neptune's touch might have perhaps affected you by allowing you to embrace new realms of consciousness, and you might be confronting the edges of our inner cultural landscape. Or maybe a new relationship has felt both ecstatic and disappointing or has shown you other ways of loving that you might now see with greater clarity.
Mary Oliver, who wove the invisible realms of hope, love, grief, compassion with the visible
richness of the natural world, masterfully described them through carefully chosen words. She was born with the Sun, Venus and Neptune in Virgo, and Saturn in Pisces. Her precise attentiveness to the surroundings, the particulars, the edges, and nuances are the gifts that are often associated with this sign. To observe, taking note of the details, of the workings of nature is one way to enrich our imagination, sharp our inner and outer eyes, and make us present to ourselves and our bodies, as we are embedded in this vast world of relationships.
As with every new Moon, you may let go of whatever feels ready to be let go of. Let's learn from leaves and trees to harness the energy of Virgo. We may be mindful of proceeding slowly, when possible, used as we sometimes are, to move on so quickly and abruptly from ourselves. But how can we listen to the unspoken language of sensations in our bodies if we move quickly? How can let go of what is no longer necessary if we can't feel what warms our heart, what makes our bodies feel safe?
Trees teach us that dead branches, or leaves, do not fall immediately to the ground. It takes them time to dry up completely, and drop onto the soil. Likewise, we might let go of the unnecessary, the accomplished, and plant our intentions for this cycle. At the same time, we may "stay humble," like leaves, and notice what among those intentions are nourishing us and giving us oxygen and energy. Let's observe with kindness, and "devout attentiveness," so that we may grasp the purpose behind our actions, thoughts, and responses with openness to the subtle nuances of change. As Virgo calls for being productive, we may also notice what feels soothing, what feels energizing, what feels enlivening, and through this new awareness, we may come to create new rituals, habits, priorities, and commitments rooted in new beliefs.
Perhaps, as we sit in stillness, we may ask ourselves, what is the purpose of this? What does this behavior or response serve in me? Or maybe, does it serve others? You might find that fears are great motivators, or might discover old beliefs that still have a hold on you. Be aware of your judgments, for no decision is made without the input of our cultural background rooted in domination and inequality.
As Virgo symbolizes health, and the proper working of all parts within an ecosystem, this time is right to begin or deepen commitments to health and spiritual practices, bringing awareness to our sensations, images, dreams and what might be communicated to us wordlessly. The dynamic aspect between Virgo, Sag, and particularly Neptune in Pisces, might inspire us to access the dimensions beyond our ego, that deepens our sense of belonging and interconnectedness.
At this new Moon, you may enjoying staying "low," and take notice, with devout attention at your emotional responses, at your reactions to life around you. Ultimately, you may come to a clear sense of what truly fills your existence with enlivening oxygen.
Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable. (Mary Oliver)