and on that farm he had a….

Pic by me
Pic by me

‘and on that farm he had a …. crocodile!’ announced Sarah.

‘But there aren’t any crocodiles on farms, Sarwah,’ pointed out A.

My daughter and my niece were singing “Old Macdonald Had a Farm” in the back of the car. Both girls were about 4 at the time and very cute.

‘Well, there was on this farm.’

‘But what sort of farm was it Sarwah?’

‘The sort of farm that has crocodiles on it I spose….’ Sarah thinks carefully before announcing with great confidence:  ‘I know… it must have been a crocodile farm.’

By this point my husband and I were giggling. Two more different cousins you could not imagine- our brown eyed Sarah is a typical Aries, whilst blonde & blue eyed A, is Virgo personified. Sarah, like most Aries, has problems with detail and quite simply can’t be faffed with anything that isn’t jumping around singing “notice me”. A, like most Virgos, can’t understand why Sarah wants to move on so quickly. As different as they are they have always got on beautifully, with each complementing the other.

‘OK.’ A seems unusually accepting of this response. The back seat is silent.

‘But what sort of noise do crocodiles make Sarwah?’ she eventually asks.

‘Crocodile noises, I guess,’ replies Sares.

‘Are there any other animals on crocodile farms?’

‘Of course there are,’ says Sares.

‘But wouldn’t the crocodiles eat them all?’ asks A.

‘How about we sing another song?’ I interject from the front seat.

A has Mercury in Virgo- and has the quick, yet supremely analytical, mind to go with it. Sarah has Mercury in Aries and can’t be bothered looking below the surface.

Mercury is about how you communicate, the way in which you process information, and how you think, how you learn, the questions you ask. And, if you have Mercury in Virgo, you will ask an awful lot of questions! Mercury in Virgo concentrates on the details- every single little detail. Nothing is below the notice of Mercury in Virgo.

Mercury rules Virgo and is strong, smart and extremely sharp in this position. From one who has the worst Mercury in history, the only (and rather mean) comfort I take is that during Mercury retrograde periods, you are likely to be substantially more affected than I am. During Mercury retrograde periods, your thought processes become more internalized…more like a Piscean. And guess what? We have a retrograde period coming up in just a week…but more on that later…

Mercury in Virgo is the ultimate record keeper and statistician, forgetting nothing, and having a place for everything. This placement has a quick and brilliant mind (although sell themselves short), and the ability to make conversation on numerous subjects (but think they could be smarter). They write beautifully (yet edit themselves constantly). I once gave a friend with Mercury in Virgo a journal with the instruction not to re-read or edit anything she had written, as that would be tantamount to editing her own thoughts and feelings. Mercury in Virgo is humble.

Where others simply see problems, Mercury in Virgo breaks them down into readily digestible pieces and organizes that information into categories where it will be most useful. Once she can see a logical order she can proceed. The danger with this approach is paralysis by analysis- a tendency to over-think an issue, but the up side is an extremely well articulated response.

Like Mercury in all the Earth signs, the urge to be practical can sometimes mean that communication is not as sensitive as it could be. This is simply because Mercury in Virgo likes to be matter of fact- don’t call her with problems unless you want her to offer you a straight forward and very practical solution…and to ask you multiple times how that solution is going. This placement has a great desire to be helpful, but may find it difficult to empathise.

When she asks about your health, she is genuinely interested in your response. The issue may be that she simply doesn’t know when to stop asking you or when to stop talking about that argument that you had with your husband and happened to mention in passing two months ago and now just want to forget ever happened. As far as you are concerned you never want to talk about it again. As far as she is concerned, she has some information in her head which hasn’t been properly categorized and can’t be filed away until it is complete…and she will continue to ask questions until (in her mind) it is.

As tough as it may be for the one on the receiving end, imagine life in the head of Mercury in Virgo as situations and words and questions are played over and over. Like all Earth Mercuries, Virgo does worry…but not about the unknown- the unknown is, well, unknown. She will instead worry about the detail of what is known until it is all known…and then she may worry about whether there really is more to know about it. OK, I may sound flippant and a tad exaggerated, but this is what it is…

Mercury in Virgo is critical, picky, and may come across as being negative. Again, she is just telling it how it is. Never ask if your bum looks fat in those jeans- she will tell you it does and what you need to do to make it better. Not because she wants to be mean spirited, but because she truly believes that perfection can be attained and if you asked, you must want to know. It is this idealism, and an awareness of how things are versus how they can be that drives this analytical and very literal placement.

But to those of us with a weaker Mercury and a more expansive arse, a little less analysis and a little more dishonesty would be nice!

These days A’s questions are around my astrology. It fascinates her, but not in a metaphysical possibility way (Mercury in Virgo leaves possibilities for those with a weaker Mercury…like PiscesJ) but in a “I’m going to keep asking questions until a get a practical understanding of what it is you do and why it is that you do it” sort of way. I can’t answer these.

Other questions like “can you tell what I will do when I grow up?” or “can you tell me who I will marry?” or “can you tell me when I am going to die?” I won’t answer. And my responses of “I can tell you where your potentials and challenges are” or “I can tell you what type of relationship will suit you” or “why would you want to know?” are, to A, unacceptable and inconclusive. I know that she will continue to ask until she gets answers that she can do something with, answers that are useful. I quite simply don’t speak Virgo.

A couple of months after the car incident, my sister and I take the girls to the Opera House to see a kids play called “the Flying Babies.” Sarah is laughing very hard at their antics, but A seems thoughtful.

‘Aunty Jo?’ she whispers loudly, ‘They are very big babies.’

‘That’s because they aren’t really babies, they are grown ups dressed up as babies,’ I explain.

‘So, they are really grown ups dressed up as babies?’


‘But, Aunty Jo, why would grown ups want to dress up as babies?’

I look across at Sarah, she is still completely focused on the stage.

‘Because they are actors.’

‘What are actors?’

‘People who pretend to be something or somebody else,’ I reply.

‘But why would people want to pretend to be something that they aren’t?’ she asks, ‘Isn’t that like fibbing…and Mum says it is bad to fib?’

Without denying her absolute logic, I reply in the only way I know:

‘A, I think you better ask your mother!’

Gotta love ya A!

Mercury moves into Virgo at approximately 4.10am on Friday 29/7/11…that’s Sydney time, if you want to be exact-ish…