Taking care of business…


Nan the Vampire: The downstairs is clean…it’s been wiped.

Eric the Vampire: I’m a Virgo, I like to be neat.

True Blood, Series 3

Despite the guilty pleasures associated with this show (ie the eye candy), I gave up watching after the witches and before the fairies- or was that the other way around? Anyways, back to Eric and his neatness…he is always, well, neat. By neat, I mean he keeps himself a lot tidier than the rest of the cast. Lol.

Interestingly, this concept of neatness is the most common phrase you hear in connection with Virgos, yet also the most common reason Virgos will cite when telling you that they aren’t real Virgos.

It’s true, many Virgos, no, let’s make that most Virgos, have issues with house work- whether it is doing it, or not doing it, or worrying about not doing it, or worrying that you think you should be worried about doing it or not doing it.

And really, that isn’t surprising- it’s sort of like painting the Harbour Bridge- housework is one of those tasks that’s never actually finished. Not properly.

Like every day when I clean the kitchen bench of all the mail and yesterdays’ shopping and magazines and stray garlic cloves and birds eye chillis and, by the time dinner is on the table, it’s a mess again.  I’m sure that individual garlic cloves and birds eye chillis breed in our house.

Perfection is fleeting and elusive.

Virgo has two choices- to chase the perfection and the subsequent angst with incessant cleaning, or leave it be and deal with the guilt and come to terms with any fleeting ideas of not being good enough.

I’ve known Virgos from both sides.

At the one extreme was the Virgo who lived in a white tiled and many mirrored and windowed white walled house who was driven nearly mad by the impossibility of keeping all that glass smear free. No matter what else was happening, she’d clean all weekend- sometimes working well into the night.

Another removed all knick knacks from furniture- to the extent that she had completely bare surfaces that she dusted daily and walls that were unadorned. She also used to weed her garden on her hands and knees with a butter knife and eventually concreted the lot- so much neater that way, she said.

At the other end of the spectrum is the Virgo that shrugs her shoulders and decides that there is no way she can make the house perfect, so there is no point in trying.

One friend, a Virgo Ascendant, lives like this. Her house is hygienically clean, but incredibly messy- to the extent that she has no idea where to even start. So she simply doesn’t.

Her space at work is exactly the opposite- because that is a space that she can control.  At work, she is organisation personified.

Most other Virgos of my acquaintance are somewhere in between. And therein lies the Virgo dilemma, the Virgo contradiction, and the Virgo resistance…but the explanation doesn’t make any of my Virgo examples any more or less Virgo. It does make them Virgo. Pure. And. Simple.

To really understand Virgo we need to look at its role in the body… it’s one of critical discrimination.

And no, that doesn’t mean that Virgo is big on discrimination, it means that Virgo has the ability to examine something, critically, break it into digestible pieces and then determine where it will be of best use. That’s the role of Virgo in the body, to apply nutrients to where they will be of the most good- all other things being equal.

The point is, Virgo provides an indispensible service. It’s one of efficiency, productivity, and criticality.

If we take this into real life, we reach the Virgo motivation- to be of use and to be of service. This is the real Virgo deal breaker- it has very little at all to do with how clean your house is.

The thing is, Virgo is about more than housework- regardless of your attitude to it. It’s also about more than routine work or health and fitness- although these aspects are absolutely part of the story.

The second most common myth I deal with in relation to Virgo is:

If Virgo is supposed to be about healthy habits and fussy eating and trying to stay well, how come I’m so fat?

and the third:

If Virgo is supposed to be about work and being efficient and stuff, why am I so lazy?

The nature of Virgo and it’s association with the 6th house means that the opposite Pisces and it’s association with the 12th house of self undoing means that the escape route or shadow for Virgo is 12th house in nature. Instead of developing healthy habits, you might decide it’s all too hard and these diets never work anyway, so you may as well eat crap and put on weight. From a need to be useful, you might take on too much and end up martyring yourself. A simple case of way too much to do and no idea where to start can have you languishing in laziness mode instead of rolling up your sleeves.

When Virgo is in shadow, it escapes beyond discrimination into indiscrimination, and beyond organization into chaos- and both of these concepts are Pisces territory…but that’s another story entirely.