©2-25-2011 by Donna Cunningham, MSW
Skywriter’s readers have been engaged in a lively debate over several possible rulers of Virgo for the past couple of weeks in AstroDebate—What’s the Ruler of Virgo?
As I write this, there are over 130 comments, many of them intelligent and well-considered, a few of them snarky. It seems worthwhile to preserve some of the better ones, as it’s a debate that isn’t likely to be settled in our lifetime.
Let me say that I do not have a theory about the ruler of Virgo, and I’m just fine with that. I do, however, have a theory about people who have theories.
At least in astrology circles, the staunch defenders of particular theories in astrological debates often have chart placements that match their choices. The charts of people who hold strong opinions about THE true US chart often have the same rising sign as the US chart they espouse.
So, if we were to look at the charts of those who’ve vigorously debated one Virgo rulership or another, we might see:
- A Sun-Mercury conjunction in the charts of Virgos who embrace Mercury as the ruler
- A high-focus Chiron in the charts of those who claim Chiron
- Pluto in Virgo in high focus in the charts of those who suggest Pluto
- Other asteroids prominent where Vesta, Ceres, etc. are preferred
Below are representative samples of those who argued for one ruler or another. It’s only a sample, out of the more than a hundred suggestions and observations.
Camp 1: Sticking with Mercury
Cris argues for the traditional rulerships: Why must each planet rule a sign? As we discover more and more planets, we’re running out of signs. And we would end up inventing more signs just to keep it going. Why can’t we have planets that do not rule any sign at all?
Why do we assume that having one planet rule over two signs is ‘iffy’? Is there any reason why all signs should be exactly alike? Yes, we have two signs with the same ruler. Some things are alike; some are different. Life is complex that way. What reason do we have for challenging this, other than our need for simplicity?
It fits perfectly with the archetype of Virgo to be forever unsatisfied with the ‘given’, no matter what it is. This sign’s quest for perfect solutions, this sign’ fussiness over everything and its compulsion to have every tiny thing in its own tiny box with a perfectly written label on it seems to be exactly what this quest is all about. Yeah, Virgo thinks its ruler does not fit perfectly. So what’s new? It does not mean it’s not.
Uhane opines: In horary and mundane applications, I would say the methods brought forth by Lilly, Kepler, Ptolemy, etc and the “traditional” rulers work best and are, indeed the only ones that give accurate readings.
They fussed and fiddled for generations of objective observation to determine which goes with which and how. Further, my own experience of watching these methods play out to good effect leads me to believe that for horary and mundane applications. I was never very curious about Virgo’s rulership as Mercury seems to, indeed, fit. When I bounce around the chart, looking for dispositors, house rulers, and the like, it bears fruit.
All these comment and verbosity about lil’ ole’ Virgo make me smile bemusedly. It confirms the mercury rulership if by no other means than by the sheer volume of mercurial verbiage thrown at the subject and the degree to which the writers are inclined to opine in such certain terms!
Natalie: There’s one thing that’s very Mercury about Virgos; the fidgeting. Every Virgo I know, have so much nervous energy, myself included. I used to bite my nails, then I chain-smoked for years, now I organize bookshelves when the “inner stress” gets over me – even in bookstores.
Camp 2: Considering Chiron
Carole notes: As a person who has lived in the shadow of a Virgo and know their traits very well, I struggled with my first thoughts about Chiron and how it fits in with Virgo – instant thought was no way…. But then thinking more about the life shared with Virgo men, I thought about what I brought to the relationship.
I concluded if Chiron is to be associated with Virgo, it would be because they had certain traits that benefited from others supporting their healing. I am a Reiki healer, and both my Virgo men have proved very challenging over the years – but the bottom line – they both needed a great deal of healing (open wounds) and still do.
For all the practicalities of their Earth traits, they are very good at covering up their open wounds – which to me would explain why the wounds are often missed or not thought of unless with associated planets make a few things more obvious.
NRAY quibbles with Chiron: Chiron the teacher, the healer, the philosopher. Associated with Virgo? The sign of the nurse, the proofer, the editor, the dietician? I don’t mean to demean those roles or jobs, they are essential. But to take a sign like Virgo and link it to Chiron…that makes no sense.
It is beyond my ken to know whether Mercury in fact rules Virgo or not. But the skill and agility required for Virgo tasks are very connected to Mercury. But what drives this sign, gives it a strong impulse to correct, to perfect, to make better? Yes, there we need to look elsewhere maybe. But Virgo healing is of a very different nature than Chiron and its perpetual wound and healing.
Zane B. Stein observes: I’ve been studying Chiron since early 1978, before it was named Chiron… Chiron doesn’t rule a sign, but rather, it rules a process. The process begins at Virgo and reaches its culmination in Sagittarius…Whether we’re discussing if Chiron rules Virgo or other rulership theories … or other facets of Chiron … the open dialogue among everyone interested is so “Chiron’s way.”
He trained heroes to express their unique skills and abilities in those moments they are most needed. Everyone who cares has something to contribute to the continuing discovery. Until the essence of Chiron’s meaning gels to consensus, our understanding remains a work in progress. Open mindedness will be at the heart of continuing to learn about the healing to wholeness process. (DRC: this is just an excerpt from a longer and very illuminating explanation. Visit his site here: Chiron and Friends – Chiron’s Discovery.)
An Assemblage of Asteroids
Remember that old game where people made up collective nouns for a variety of things, like a coven of crows or a horde of misers? Well, I think a good one for the dozens of asteroids astrologers put into charts these days would be an assemblage of asteroids. Several of them were proposed and debated the ruler for Virgo:
Berta writes: As to a specific Virgo ruler, I am leaning to CERES, -Daughter of Saturn, ruler of Divine Womanhood, Fecundity/Harvest– and Bargainer with Pluto…she swings that scythe for a reason- and with the promise of (virginal) renewal. I worked with the planets, nodes, Parts, etc. for 35 years before “delving”, just a little, into asteroids…What I found was quite telling, especially in regard to Juno, Ceres and female life cycles.
Jakub notes: Many European astrologers consider CERES to be Virgo’s new ruler and Proserpina (which they disagree to call “Eris”) as a ruler of Taurus. And I agree with it.
VR says: Before reaching any conclusions about Virgo’s rulership, I think it’s important that we’ve first established a common ground as to which are the basic Virgoan traits.
I may not know much about astrology, but, hey, with Ascendant, Sun, Mercury, and Jupiter, and Saturn in Virgo, I know Virgos! And I’ve got to tell you, most textbook descriptions either don’t fit or are only scratching the surface.
I was just about to mail you, in order to ask you to devote some time/space in your blog about Vesta. I recently read a couple of articles about it, and I feel it might be our ruler. This asteroid pretty much covers all aspects of our duality:
The Mind: devotion to a higher vision, identification with one’s work, task-like approach to every aspect of life, organizing/ strategizing/ processing, perfectionism, competence, analytical skills, quest for patterns/systems, emotional frugality, distancing oneself from society, anti-societal tendencies, solitude.
The Body: the sanctity of the human body, raw/chthonic sexuality, sex that is not about merging or bonding, sex as the physical expression of the body. (DRC: Adds detailed case studies.)
Steven Sandvick writes: As a long time believer that Vulcan, now called Asteroid Icarus, is the actual ruler of Virgo, I have trouble with the idea of Chiron having anything to do with Virgo !
The one problem we have with Vulcan (Icarus) is that it is so close to people’s Suns that it is difficult to discern what characteristics belong to the Sun sign and what characteristics belong to Vulcan – in psychology, this is called “confounding”, and it is also a factor in any conjunction. I have heard of Vulcan indicating lameness in some of the older books, but never a “psychological wound” as has Chiron.
- AstroDebate—What’s the Ruler of Virgo? (There’s still time to join in the debate.)
- WHAT IF….Virgos Ruled the World?
- AstroDebate—Which Sign does Venus Really Rule?
- Mother Earth in your Chart—What on Earth Would It Mean?
- A Terribly Tentative Test for the Earth Element in your Chart
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