August Astromusings – Happy Birthday Virgos!Retrograde Planets, Full Moon in Pisces

Demeter & Persephone Illustratated by Sue Robertson


Who knows your secrets
Virgo, pure maiden

whose warm dark womb

protects and nurtures

the germ of wisdom
like a grain of wheat

until it ripens

and is brought to light

Mother principle, worshipped

as Eve, Isis, Demeter, Ceres
and Mary, Mother of Christ

(c) Anne Robertson 1987

Happy Birthday to all the Virgoans who celebrate their birthdays between August 23 and September 22. Virgo rules the sixth house which has dominion over work and health and service to others. It is one of triplicity of Earth signs – along with Capricorn and Taurus. It is one of four mutable signs – the others being Gemini, Sagittarius and Pisces. The ruler of Virgo is Mercury which is also the ruler of Gemini.

The sign Virgo is closely associated with harvests, especially those of wheat and corn. Virgo is the Virgin or maiden who is a source of fecundity, depicted carrying a sheaf of wheat or corn freshly plucked from the harvest; esoterically she represents the Virgin Mary pregnant with the Christ child. The Greeks celebrated Demeter, the goddess of the grain, and her daughter, Persephone, in the Eleusinian mysteries. The Romans worshipped her as Ceres, from where the word cereal is derived. There are also associations with Vesta the goddess who was the keeper of the hearth and protectress of the home and community. Her priestesses were known as the vestal virgins whose duty it was to tend the sacred flame that kept the city safe. There is a common misconception that virgin referred to her being prudish and chaste when it really means ‘one within herself’. The vestal virgins typified the true meaning of Virgo the virgin, leading self-contained, contemplative lives and were held in high regard in the community. The glyph for Virgo symbolises the coils of energy in the Virgin’s essence.


There are also biblical references to the Virgo archetype. In the Old Testament Ruth the Moabite is harvesting the fields of Boaz. In the Egyptian pantheon Isis is said to have dropped the wheat she was carrying across the heavens resulting in the Milky Way. As she travelled she was carrying her Divine Son, Horus in her arms. This image of Isis with her Divine child is a precursor to the Christian story of Mary and Jesus. The Great Sphinx has associations with both Leo and Virgo as, esoterically, it symbolises 0 degrees Virgo or 30 degrees Leo, for it has the body of a Lion and the head of a Maiden. The sphinx demonstrates its potency in that it has learned how to tame the animal passions of Leo through the mental precision and purposeful activity of Virgo.

Virgo Hall of Fame
Being the sign of health, work and service, Virgoans are drawn to careers in health such as medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, chiropractics, hygiene and nutrition. Their keen analytical mind attracts them to careers in education, psychology, psychiatry, counselling, writing, accounting, business management, and computer sciences. No matter what career they pursue they are always, very industrious, efficient, well organised, thrifty and productive.


Famous writers include the German writer and poet, Goethe, D.H. Lawrence, Roald Dahl, Mary

Agatha Christie

Shelley, the creator of the book, Frankenstein. One Virgoan author whose keen powers of observation and attention to miniscule detail were put to good use in her murder mysteries is Agatha Christie, the creator of Poirot, Miss Marple and volumes of detective stories.

Maria Montessori teaching children

Maria Montessori teaching children

A Virgo who made great contributions to modern education is the Italian woman, Maria Montessori. In 1896 she was the first woman to graduate from medical school in Rome. She began her career teaching hygiene and then moved to the area of education, with the particular goal of providing education for the poor and needy children. Today we see the legacy of her work with Montessori schools established worldwide.

Mother Teresa

Another Virgo whose tireless labours brought her many accolades is Mother Teresa. The austere life that she and her sisters led is typical of the Virgoan nature. Virgoan entertainers include Buddy Holly and Patsy Cline. Virgoan actors include Peter Sellers, Lily Tomlin, Anne Bancroft, Sophia Loren, Claudia Schiffer, Lauren Bacall, Sean Connery, Keanu Reeves, Jeremy Irons and Hugh Grant.

Virgo Health and Anatomy


Virgo rules the sixth house whose domain is work and health. The part of the body allocated to Virgo is the solar plexus and intestines. The solar plexus lies directly behind the stomach, and from it twelve different nerve ganglia branch off in all directions: that is how the solar or sun plexus gets its name. Each of the twelve divisions of the solar plexus allocates with one of the signs of the Zodiac, and hence with a certain part of the body. The plexus itself is a little Zodiac. It is sometimes called the lower brain. The solar plexus is the great receiving station of energy from the back brain, while the bowels complete the chemicalisation of the food products ready to be assimilated by the blood. Being connected by its nerve ganglia with all parts of the body, the solar plexus reflects the condition of the entire body. It is not surprising then, that the stomach and bowels are affected when a person is worried or upset, or when the brain is

fagged and weary. Virgoans are known as the ‘worriers of the Zodiac’ with a nervous stomach, making them prone to digestive problems, especially if they identify too much with their perfectionist or workaholic nature. Virgoans need to be able to switch off from their work and learn to relax. Meditation, yoga or martial arts are ideal pursuits to bring harmony and balance to the lives of these industrious, fastidious folk. In the book, ‘Astrology and Biochemistry’, Vanda Sawtell states the Biochemic cell salt for Virgo is Kali sulph., and its function is to manufacture and distribute oil. When the body is in health, little jets of steam are constantly escaping from the seven million pores of the skin. A deficiency of Kali sulph. molecules causes the oil in the tissues to thicken and clog these safety valves of the human machine, thus turning heat and secretions back upon the inner organs, lungs, pleura, membranes of the nasal passages, and all forms of catarrh.

Kali sulph. is also present in considerable quantities in the scalp and hair. When this salt is lacking we get dandruff or falling hair, skin eruptions secreting yellowish oily matter, or inactive dry scaling skim, gastro-duodenal catarrh, ringworm, anaemia, and bronchitis. It is an oxygen carrier to the epidermic and epithelial cells of the skin and membranes, and in this it works with Ferrum phos., which is the salt for Pisces, the polar opposite to Virgo. Vanda Sawtell extols the virtues of Kali sulph., claiming it is a wonderful salt; the oil which it manufactures provides a fuel, a solvent, a lubricant and purifier for the body, just as in a machine. Furthermore, she adds; In old age the human body is very low in oil, and hence looks dry and shrivelled. Skin, hair, intestinal tract, bones all require their full quota of oil. She alludes to the parable of the wise virgins who kept their lamps burning, and the cry of the foolish virgins, “ We have no oil!” Moreover, people deficient in this salt cannot stand a warm room as they feel suffocated and must get out into the cool air. Symptoms are usually worse in the afternoon. She recommends Kali sulph. be given in all children’s diseases where there has been a rash or scaling. It helps to form new skin, and in this it works with the Gemini salt, Kali mur.

Overview for Virgo for 2018
Unpredictable Uranus has moved into your 9th house of travel and study causing potential upheaval here. Jupiter, the planet of good fortune is moving through your communication sector facilitating communication and networking here. Neptune continues it sojourn through your marriage and partnership sector while transformative Pluto, feisty Mars and serious Saturn are inhabiting your creativity and children sector. Your spirituality sector is highlighted by two eclipses and the karmic north node. Your work and health sector is highlighted by two eclipses and the karmic south node.

Gentle Venus will grace your finance sector with her presence from 7 August until the 9 September enhancing your finances. Mercury, the planet of commerce, from 23 September until 10 October facilitating communication and networking.

Venus graces your career sector with her presence from 24 April to 19 May bringing harmony. Mercury, your ruling planet, also pays a visit here from 30 May to 12 June enhancing your communicating and networking skills.

Home & Family
Mercury pays an extended visit to your domestic sector from 1 November to 1 December and then again from 13 December 2018 to 5 January 2019 will promote communication and networking with family members. Part of Mercury’s time here will be in retrograde motion from 17 November to 5 December affording you a time to reassess family issues.

Creativity & Children
Planetary visitors to your creativity sector include Pluto, Saturn and Mars. Pluto, the planet of transformation, continues its passage in your solar 5th house which could cause changes and transformation in the areas of children, romance and creativity. Positively, it can be an ideal time for Virgos to reinvent themselves creatively adding energy and drive to this area of your life causing you to be proactive in pursuing your goals re your children, creativity and romance. Saturn’s presence here until 17 December 2020 brings a serious tone to your dealing with your children and creativity while feisty Mars presence here from 18 March until 16 May and then again from 14 August to 11 September will give you the energy to deal with your responsibilities here.

Your relationship sector will be activated this year with the continued presence of Neptune. Neptune, the planet of spirituality, continues its 14 year passage in your relationship sector teaching you compassion and non-attachment. The lessons learned from Neptune are bitter-sweet but the potential for spiritual growth is manifold.  Other planetary visitors to your love sector are and Mercury and Venus. Quicksilver Mercury pays a visit here from 19 February to 6 March highlighting communications with your partners whether intimate of business associates. Sweet Venus graces your relationship sector with her presence from 11 February to 6 March bringing love and harmony to your relationships.

Your friendship sector is highlighted by a partial solar eclipse here on 13 July. Both Mercury and Venus pay visits to your friendship sector. Mercury visits here from 13 – 29 June facilitating communication and networking. Venus graces your friendship sector from 20 May to 13 June bringing harmony and conviviality to your social networks.

The karmic north node as well as two eclipses highlight your spirituality sector. The first  is a total lunar eclipse on 31 January and the second, a solar partial eclipse occurs on 11 August.  Mercury and Venus also visit your spirituality sector. Venus’s presence here from 27 August to 20 September will bring harmony to your social networks for Mercury pays two visits here from 7 – 25 July and then again 1 – 10 September facilitating communication on matters spiritual.

Retrograde Planets
Retrograde Mercury
Mercury, the planet of communication and commerce, began its retrograde cycle on 26 July at 23 degrees 27 Leo and turns direct on 19 August at 11 Leo 32. This is particularly significant for Virgos as Mercury rules Virgo. We can expect the usual confusion, misunderstandings in communication, missed appointments, strikes and disruption in transport. Positively, it is an ideal time to review issues depending on the position that Mercury falls in your natal chart.

Retrograde Planets – Mars, Saturn, Uranus , Neptune, Pluto
There are currently 5 retrograde planets – Mars, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Mars stations direct on 28 August, Saturn stations direct on 6 September. Uranus stations retrograde on 8 August just prior to the New Moon Supermoon Eclipse on 11 August bringing transformation with profound insights. Neptune stationed retrograde on 19 June and will station direct on 15 November. Pluto stationed retrograde on 22 April and will station direct on 1 October. Not long after Pluto stations direct Venus stations retrograde at 10 degrees Scorpio fifty on 6 October. Retrograde planets give an opportunity to turn inwards – a time for introspection, for reflection and reassessing and re-evaluating situations in your life.

New Moon Supermoon Solar Eclipse at 18 degrees Leo 42 11 Aug
This eclipse coincided with the first anniversary of the Charlottesville riots in Virginia last year when the young protester, Heather Heyer, was killed by a white supremacist who ran over her. Leo is the sign of the heart both in the physical and metaphorical sense which was reflected in the heartfelt commemoration of Heather Heyer and her fight against racism.

Susan Bro, mother of Heather Heyer, visited the site where her daughter was killed,  surrounded by supporters and journalists. She turned to the crowd, and over the hum of a helicopter circling overhead, spoke out against the racial tension she sees in America.

Mother of Charlottesville victim says she won't speak with Trump

Susan Bro, mother of Heather Heyer

“We have a huge racial problem in our city and our country,” Bro said. “We have got to fix this, or we’ll be right back here in no time.”
“The world went crazy when Heather lost her life, and that’s not fair, because so many mothers lose their children every day, and we have to fix that. I don’t want other mothers to be in my spot,” she said, her voice breaking with emotion. “I don’t want other mothers to go through this.”

 Bro Heyer at her daughter Heather's memorial

Full Moon in Pisces – 26 August
There will be a Full Moon 3 degrees Pisces 12 on 26 August at 9.56 pm AEST Sydney time. Pisces is a water sign so it is likely to be an emotional time, especially with the potentially volatile Mars Uranus square. However, with the Sun in the polar opposite sign of Virgo forming a Grand Trine in earth signs with Saturn in Capricorn and Uranus in Taurus this should help to stabilise things.

The impact of the eclipse cycle on Australian Politics
Eclipses brings issues to a head and we can see that playing out with the current political crisis caused by the internecine fighting within the Liberal Coalition with Prime Minister Turnbull’s leadership under attack from the more conservative ranks of the Liberal party headed by Peter Dutton, the former Minister for Home Affairs until he resigned his ministry to sit on the back bench after challenging Turnbull.The government has been forced to front up to a farcical Question Time in the Senate, with a frontbench massively depleted by a raft of resignations.

Fifield, Cormann & CashThe Coalition senators who have quit their frontbench positions are: Mathias Cormann, Mitch Fifield, Michaelia Cash, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, James McGrath and Zed Seselja.

Bishop Dutton cartoonScomo & TurnbullNow there are two more contender for the position of  PM with Scott Morrison and Julie Bishop throwing their hats into the ring. In a press conference called by Turnbull he demanded to see the petition carrying 43 names – a majority of Liberal MPs – before convening a party room meeting. If he gets the petition, the meeting of 84 MPs will be called for 12pm tomorrow Friday. Dutton forces are confident they have the numbers. Turnbull has called Peter Dutton’s section 44 question “very significant” and says the Solicitor-General’s advice, to be delivered to the government on Friday morning, must be a consideration in the contest. If a majority of Liberal MPs want a leadership spill, Turnbull will quit Parliament, causing a by-election. In a veiled dig at Abbott Turnbull said he stands by his view that “former prime ministers are best out of the Parliament”. Turnbull declared this week’s events are a “very deliberate effort to pull the Liberal Party further to the right”. He said the “minority” pushing for that have then, by a process of intimidation, “persuaded people that the only way to stop the insurgency is to give into it”.

Vale Aretha Franklin and Kofi Annan
In the past week the world has farewelled two much loved icons with the passing of Aretha Franklin Queen of Soul and Kofi Annan, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations and co-recipient of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize.

Aretha FranklinAretha Franklin & Martin Luther King jnrAretha Franklin known as the Queen of Soul, will not only be remembered for her beautiful songs that enthralled so many people but also her political and social activism.

Aretha Franklin will forever be remembered as the legendary Queen of Soul but her six decade career (during which she won 18 Grammy awards and was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) isn’t the only legacy she’ll be leaving behind. The musical icon, who passes away at the age of 76 in Detroit, Michigan was also an integral part of the Civil Rights movement, using both her platform and her voice to advocate for racial equality.

Born to preacher and civil rights activist Clarence L. Franklin who organised  the 1963  Detroit Walk ahead of his good friend Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s March on Washington, Franklin grew up singing gospel music in the church. In her youth, she was mentored by Mahalia Jackson, the “Queen of Gospel” and a noted civil rights activist who was also good friends with King. In 1967, Franklin released “Respect,” arguably her most famous song, which became an anthem for the racial and gendered political movements of the time. The following year, in 1968, Franklin sang “Take My Hand, Precious Lord,” a song made famous by Jackson, at King’s funeral. That same year, she also performed the National Anthem at the Democratic National Convention.

According to a Detroit Free Press interview with Reverend Jesse Jackson, Franklin often used her talents to help further the civil rights movement, even going so far as to tour with King and fellow singer/activist, Harry Belafonte.

“When Dr. King was alive, several times she helped us make payroll,” Jackson said. “On one occasion, we took an 11-city tour with her as Aretha Franklin and Harry Belafonte…and they put gas in the vans. She did 11 concerts for free and hosted us at her home and did a fundraiser for my campaign. Aretha has always been a very socially conscious artist, an inspiration, not just an entertainer. She has shared her points of view from the stage for challenged people, to register to vote, to stand up for decency.”

Aretha Franklin's natal chartAretha Franklin was born on 25 March 1942 at 10.30 pm in Memphis Tennessee. She was a passionate Aries with her Sun opposite soulful Neptune, with the Moon in sensitive Cancer in the 8th house and a Scorpio ascendant so was able to channel that soulful passion through her singing. She has a double 7 in her numerology so she is an old soul with much wisdom to share. She was born in the number 3 month endowing her with great creative inspiration. Her life path number is number 8 which has a Saturnian element to it bringing trials and tests in her life. Transiting Jupiter was conjunct her ascendant when she died liberating her from the earthly realm where many ave said to sing gospel in heaven.

Kofi AnnanKofi Annan comforts crying childKofi Annan was born on 8 April 1938 in Kumasi Ghana no known birth time so he was also an Aries. He has a stellium of planets Mercury, Venus, Mars and Uranus in pragmatic Taurus. He has Pluto conjunct the Moon in Cancer endowing him with deep feelings and Jupiter in Aquarius which would promote his humanitarian ethic. He also has Mars trine Neptune which fits in with his description of him as the softly spoken diplomat. He is life path number 6 so nurtured the world’s children with his compassion.

Tributes poured in from around the world for Kofi Annan, the first sub-Saharan African to lead the United Nations, whose work revitalising the organisation and putting human rights at the core of its mission was recognised with a Nobel peace prize.

In a rare moment of unity, leaders around the globe and across the spectrum, from Tony Blair to Vladimir Putin, remembered his charisma, commitment and diplomatic gifts. He spearheaded the global fight against HIV/Aids while in office and after leaving, and championed the millennium goals, the targets that became a focus for improving health and education worldwide.

South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu described his death as a “devastating loss”. Annan was an “outstanding human being who represented our continent and the world with enormous graciousness‚ integrity and distinction”, said Tutu. Annan’s spokesman, Frederic Eckhard “Kofi had an interesting combination of traits, he was reserved and disciplined on the one hand, and on the other he could be kind of playful,” Eckhart said. “He handled things so calmly and with such assurance. He had an enormous amount of charm and terrific political instinct.” “Kofi Annan was a guiding force for good,” the current secretary-general Antonio Guterres said. “In many ways, [he] was the UN. He rose through the ranks to lead the organisation into the new millennium with matchless dignity and determination.”

Prime minister Theresa May said Annan helped make “the world he has left a better place than the one he was born into.” Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn praised his work building a “more just and peaceful world”.

Virgo Greeting Card Illustrated by Sue Robertson
Virgo Poem by Anne Robertson
Esoteric Astrology Volume 3 Treatise on the Seven Rays by Alice A. Bailey
Soul-Centred Astrology: A Key to your Expanding Self  by Alan Oken
Alan Oken’s Complete Astrology by Alan Oken
Astrology and Biochemistry by Vanda Sawtell