Weighing the heart: the solar myth of Virgo

The Sun moves into the sign of Virgo tonight – really, it’s that time of the year already.  The days are getting shorter and we even had a conversation about Christmas the other day, yikes!!

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These amazing images can be purchased as posters or cards at http://www.johfraposters.com/

I really love using myth and stories to help people understand the challenges faced by the different zodiac signs.  I know I might have implied in the past that I struggle a little with the more difficult expressions of Virgo…  BUT the myth really helps me to understand what Virgo is up against.  The one I find works best is the ‘Weighing of the Heart’ from the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Egyptian funeral beliefs tell us that after death the soul journeys through Duat, the underworld and faces various challenges before the final judgement.  This final judgement takes the form of a test to see what sort of life the individual has led and what therefor what the fate of the soul will be.  The heart would be placed on a scale opposite Ma’at, Goddess of law, truth and justice who weighed no more than a feather.  If the individual had lived their life correctly, then the scales would balance perfectly, no more and no less.  However, if they had lived a life of excess the scales would tip and they would slip into the jaws of the waiting crocodiles, nice!

In order to achieve this perfect balance, our Virgo friends can become overly concerned with correct procedure and doing things ‘right’.  This search for perfection can mean others see them as being critical or judgemental, but it gives them a sharp eye for detail and a precise mind.  They have an ability to find ways to improve things, but need to learn how to communicate the ‘faults’ they find in themselves and others gently.  Underlying all this is a deep-seated fear of being judged and being found wanting.  Understanding this can help Virgo use the gifts of precision and craftsmanship in a way which allows them to say, ‘I did a really good job there and it’s finished’.  Recognising when their work is ‘good enough’, rather than constantly seeking to improve and therefore never finishing is a valuable skill for Virgo to learn.

Using the myth helps me to understand the challenge Virgo faces and makes me a little more sympathetic and a little less ‘Virgo’ towards them!   Happy birthday to all you Virgos!


Solar myth of Leo

The Sun moved into Leo last night, the sign it rules.  Solar energy in Leo flows steadily and easily with warmth and generosity.  Yes, we all know those Leos who when they aren’t getting what they want can stamp their feet and play the arrogant drama queen!  But who doesn’t enjoy basking in the glow of the Leo in full flow?  The life and soul of the party who makes everyone else feel better just by being in their presence.  This epitomises the planet in rulership, the free flow of energy that gives and gives. sun

Some time ago I wrote about the solar myths and the heroes journey.   The solar myth of Leo is the story of Parsifal (or Perceval) and the search for the Holy Grail.  Perceval is fatherless and raised alone by his mother in the forest.  One day he sees five knights riding through the forest and is awestruck by their shining armour.  He is so amazed and impressed by them that determines that he too will become a knight.  Despite attempts by his mother to dissuade him he packs his bags and heads off to become a Knight of the Round Table (difficult not to form a Monty Python image here but…).

After several adventures along his way he comes to a river crossing where an elderly fisherman tells him about the Grail castle and the wounded Fisher King.  The fisherman gives him instructions on how to reach the castle and explains the kingdom’s need for redemption through the healing of the King’s wounds.  Following the instructions Perceval finds the castle and is amazed by what he sees.  He is asked the question: “Whom does the Grail serve?”  Overwhelmed by the magnificence of the scene in front of him he says nothing and the vision disappears.  Perceval knows he has missed an important opportunity.

Many years pass and Perceval has countless adventures and learns many lessons.  The land is infertile due to the wound carried by the King. Perceval comes to understand humility and to seek things beyond his own glorification (take note Leo!).  Eventually he is able through his own merit to find the grail castle again.  This time when asked the question, he answers “it serves me”.  The Fisher King is healed and reveals himself as Perceval’s grandfather, thus healing the wound left by Perceval’s absent father.  The King gives Perceval the grail, the castle and the kingdom (and presumably a round table!).cat

So what does this mean for those born with their Sun in Leo?  Leo has a strong sense of self, but beneath this lies a hidden wound.  Leos must be wary of being arrogant and self-centred, so assured are they by their natural talents.  Alternatively they may identify too deeply with that wound and become ineffectual.  Somewhere on their journey they will experience their equivalent of the two meetings.  The first time will be an opportunity missed.  It is only by recognising their own talents AND realising that all people are special and unique that they can gain true fulfilment.  In this way they can be the centre of attention, but ensure that praise is offered where it is due and we can all bask in the warmth of fixed fire. So, happy birthday to all those Leos out there.  Enjoy your parties, but no tantrums please!