Virgo is an astrological sign transited by the Sun from approximately August 24th to September 22nd. Its name is derived from the astronomical constellation, Virgo, which is Latin for virgin. Astrologers associate the sign to the greek myth of Demeter, goddess of the harvest and nature. In the myth, Demeter’s daughter Persephone is abducted by Hades, king of the Underworld. He takes her to down into his kingdom. Desperate to know what has happened to her, Demeter searches for her daughter day and night, threatening to leave the parched earth. This part of the myth is associated with a Virgo’s characteristics, particularly their accuracy, thoroughness and attention to detail. A certain amount of anxiety and anger in the face of unexpected events is also attributed to the sign.
In her search for her daughter, Demeter arrives in the Greek city of Eleusis, where she teaches citizens to cultivate corn in return for their hospitality. A Virgo is associated with a love for work, a desire to help others and creativity. The iconography of the sign is often represented by a woman with a spike in her hand, a reference to both Demeter, goddess of the harvest, and Spica, the brightest star in the constellation Virgo. In Latin, Spica means “ear of wheat”. With the help of Zeus, king of the gods, Demeter manages to find her daughter, who has since agreed to marry Hades. Demeter is allowed to Persephone, but only for 6 months out of the year, after which time she resumes her role of the goddess of nature. This section of the myth stresses the need to respect nature’s rules and rhythms. The sign of Virgo falls at the end of summer, when farmers plow the land and prepare stocks of hay and food in preparation for autumn. Famous people born under the sign of Virgo include the secretive Swedish actress Greta Garbo, the hardworking Italian actress, Sophia Loren, the meticulous British philosopher John Locke, the generous Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and the scrupulous Italian actor-director Vittorio Gassman.