|Medicine Woman Tarot Deck by Carol Bridges|
Where do we draw the line between criticism and care? Or, how about fixing and care?
If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard a Virgo-type lament, “how come I’m the only one who cares enough to get it right?!” “Good thing I care so much about_____, otherwise everything would fall apart.” “I’m only on his/her/their case because I care about their welfare, and they need my help to fix their problem.”
Well, I’d have a shit-ton of nickels.
This new moon brings us not one, not two, but all 3 personal planets (Mars, Venus, Mercury, in addition to the sun-moon conjunction) in Virgo. That’s a lot of analysis, purification, service, work, and, yes, care. This new moon opposes Chiron in Pisces. During this lunation we can think of Chiron as a wound (physical, psychic, emotional) that hasn’t quite healed yet, or maybe a recent incident pulled a scab off and here it is exposed. This is sure to get Virgo’s attention.
Virgo needs to be of service and practical use in the world. It needs to create systems of high efficiency for the utmost quality, free from filler. Where it senses illness it aims to restore health…and no one is better at this. When Virgo goes off the rails, due to an imbalance (like the 5 planet pile-up we have in the works), we can be headed for nit picking, anxiety, and creating problems so that there is something to fix. This can be directed at others or ourselves.
Even though it has become a cure-all-catch –phrase, the idea of self-care is wonderful. What could be a more solid foundation for doing all this important work that’s needed out there…in the world? Hope we’re all, at some point getting out there. During this time it may be too easy to fall down the self-care rabbit hole of obsessing over every perceived flaw or problem we encounter: nursing the belief that we can’t move forward until all is perfect. And, perfect according to what and whom? We are on the receiving end of a lot of conditioning about what is acceptable: “care for yourself until you feel like this, look like this. Work on your relationships, your sex life, your career, your children until it produces this, performs like that.” Fix everything until it’s perfect. It is self-care after all, you deserve to indulge in all your fault-finding, and there are a million products and systems that you can subscribe to to help you, all for a low low price. (Can we say “capitalism” ?)
This is a side of narcissism and egotism that is often over looked, but is still egocentric nonetheless. Shyness and self-criticism can be just as egotistical and attention seeking.
Keywords for Virgo are criticism, critical, and crisis. In order to DO Virgo, we DO the words in this family that all involve preparing for a turning point by analyzing what works and what doesn’t. Therefore it’s very important to be clear about our standards; how we measure what’s “good or bad.” We need to use the Virgoan discernment to understand if the yardsticks we’re using for measurement have anything to do with the actual quality and health of a situation, product, or person. Have we adopted sets of arbitrary standards of quality from our early environments, authority figures, or popular culture? When we edit out “the bad parts” of something/someone according to rules that don’t really apply, we might be editing out crucial bits of humanity and authenticity as well. These are Virgo key words too. When we measure ourselves against ideals that we had no part in creating, and make efforts and sacrifices to obtain them we’re left with a hollow perfectionism. (Can we all say “patriarchy”?)
I have this client who has a Virgo-heavy chart (a handful of you do, so this could apply to any of you). They’ve been super-diligent for a major chunk of their lives in all-forms of self-study, therapy, and self-improvement. There has been this eternal quest to kill ALL the demons…to become so clean, and so extraordinary at all they do so they can finally achieve peace. They courageously set up challenges, and knock them down on this relentless pursuit to be pure. This person is approaching their golden years. I had to ask, “Is this what your life is about?” “At what point will you be perfect enough to allow yourself to just live your life?”
We all go to the grave in some state of “incomplete.” We will all go to the grave leaving something unfinished. How perfect do you have to be to do what’s important to you right now? We don’t have all the time in the world. Any Virgo worth their salt would tell you to prioritize and make decisions about what to cut.
I suggested that instead of dedicating the rest of their lives to working at deserving the right to feel good about themselves, they do the work to accept themselves as they are.
This is hardest of work of all. It’s the work that needs to be done if you ever want to have a shot at joining the rest of humanity and being of service…which will inadvertently heal you from any sense of separation.
Care for yourself this season by being kind to yourself…all of yourself. Bring that self to all you do for others. Let's think of self-care as listening to what we need, all the places that experience pain and shame and healing them by including them as we move forward into life.