New Moon in Virgo: The Editor

Posted & filed under New Moon, Virgo.

by April Elliott Kent

virgo_editor_post2As a writer, I’ve worked with my share of editors. I’ve appreciated every one of them. A couple of them, I’ve downright loved.

The editors I’ve loved working with have had something important in common. Their focus was on what was right with my work, instead of what was wrong with it. I mean, eventually we got around to refining the disjointed thoughts and cleaning up the sentences that occasionally trailed off without any ending at all. In this, they were every bit as exacting as their job required. But the process began with their enthusiasm for the best of my writing, followed by coaching designed to help me bring the rest of it up to the same level.

All this is soothing for the writer’s ego, of course. But there’s also a practical lesson in there for any of us who find ourselves in a position of critiquing others, as parents, bosses, coaches, or even friends: most of the time, high standards combined with encouragement inspires better results than criticism alone.

The New Moon in Virgo is a good time to meditate on one of the keywords commonly associated with Virgo: criticism. Virgo’s criticism is a consequence of two other keyword qualities, discrimination and discernment. Like its opposite sign, Pisces, Virgo is idealistic, embracing dreams of perfection – but Virgo can be a bit pessimistic about the capacity of mere mortals to live up to these ideals.

While Pisces is blessed with the ability to overlook imperfection, Virgo is tasked with seeing each failing that stands between us and the vision. Sometimes, it must be said, Virgo indulges in negative criticism; the world is full of faults and mediocrity, and Virgo’s inability to ignore these things can turn her into a cranky scold. But sometimes, Virgo criticizes because she is enraptured by a vision of greatness that lies only a few punctuation marks away.

People behave the way you expect them to

My mother was born with the Moon in Virgo. When I tell astrologers this, they tsk-tsk – “You poor thing!” they say, imagining a childhood spent practicing hospital corners and declining verbs under the supervision of a scowling prison matron. It’s true that Mom’s standards for us were high. Get good grades. Be polite. Always do your best. Be the bigger person. These were hard to live up to, and when we were small and learning these lessons, Mom was tough, and tolerated nothing less than our best effort.

Expectations like these could be pretty rough coming from someone who doesn’t like you and has little hope that her opinion will improve with prolonged exposure. But luckily (and perhaps this is the influence of her Venus in Pisces peeking through), Mom made us feel that she really liked us. And even when she scolded, she prefaced her comments with something like, “I know you’re better than that.” Even when we really, truly weren’t.

Mom used to say that most people behave just about the way you expect them to behave. If you treat them as though you assume they’ll do the right thing, then they will go out of their way to prove you right. I never figured out whether she was right about this, or whether she was just a really good judge of character and surrounded herself with diamonds in the rough. But for whatever reason, for more than three decades, I watched the unlikeliest people blossom in her presence. People loved her – not just because she was friendly and funny, but because she made them feel like better people than they had ever imagined they could be.

Honesty and criticism

I thought of Mom when a Virgo friend posted about honesty one day on Facebook. She wrote something like, “People think that being honest means criticizing people for everything that’s wrong about them. But I believe honesty means that when someone is really wonderful, or has done something amazing, then I should tell them that.”

I like this perspective. My friend was not advocating that we massage others with condescending, Hallmark sentimentality. Rather, it’s a reminder that criticism doesn’t have to be brutal, and that the ability to perceive the faults that prevent others from being great is no more important than the ability to make them believe that they are capable of greatness at all.

If you find yourself in a position of being someone’s “editor,” I propose beginning not with a litany of errors and failings, but with a vision of what she might become – and more importantly, the ideal she envisions for herself. What if everything were to come together in just the right way – if she found the true center of herself, committed to the hard work of being and doing better, of humbly serving her vision? What would her paradise look like?

And how can you help her get there?

©  2012/2013 April Elliott Kent

24 Responses to “New Moon in Virgo: The Editor”

  1. Lindsay | The Daily Awe

    My moon is in Virgo, too! Are people going to “poor thing” my children?! ;) I am with your mom – people behave the way you expect them to. I am looking forward to what this full moon brings, as my chart is just full of Virgo! So far, so good for me!

    • April

      Ha! Yes, Lindsay, it seems to be one of those Moon signs that brings out the “ewww” face in astrologers. :) I’m an unabashed fan of all things Virgo, though!

  2. flip

    Appreciate the kind words about your virgo moon mom. I am also a virgo moon mom and I do not think that I am overwhelming critical.

    • April

      Thanks, Flip. My Moon isn’t in Virgo, but it squares Pluto in Virgo, and I’m afraid I have to really fight my critical side. I’m not always successful. Wish I’d taken after my mom a little more!

      • Tanene

        Have you tried moving your Venus to Pisces, April? I so appreciate your ‘picture’ of your Mother’s ways; it helps to see the ‘role’ my Mother played for me.

        Thanks for your way with words.

  3. fern feto spring

    This is one of the nicest things anyone has ever written about Virgo energy-thanks April:)

    • April

      That’s one of the nicest things anyone has ever written about something I’ve written about Virgo – so thank you, sweet Fern! :)

  4. Rachelle

    Lovely post, April, and tribute to your Virgo Moon mom. I am a Pisces with a full moon in Virgo and most of my Virgo moon’s criticism seems to have fallen on me (still working on that one) rather than on my kids. I think they’re wonderful and fortunately they think I am too. :)

  5. Pamela Archambault

    April, another lovely post. :)) I think you were very lucky to have had a mom like that! One of the things I have noticed with my Virgo friends is that they are good listeners. They really mean well and you can learn a lot from them.

    • April

      Agreed on all counts, Pamela. :) (Not necessarily about the lovely post part, that would be pretty tacky of me to agree with. But… co-sign on all the rest!)

  6. Sharon Rose

    Delicious post. My Mom also has a Virgo Moon, with Pisces Sun and ASC. Living this Full Moon polarity is a tightrope walk for her, and I don’t envy it. She could have used some Virgo-esque coaching to overcome her uncertainty and self-doubts. She was always doing for others what she most needed for herself in her teaching, volunteering and community work. Her mother was more like a child, and I think that skewed my Mom’s ability to separate and build her own vision, her own dream, of how life would be. Virgo works so much better when there’s already a structure to work from, some support. They pay it back so effortlessly.

    • April

      That’s interesting, Sharon. My Mom had to be the grownup in the family too, since my grandmother wasn’t the most together person. When my grandfather was dying it was my mother who did most of the nursing, while she was pregnant with her first child, no less! A characteristic of the Moon in Virgo, perhaps… having to do a lot of heavy lifting at a young age (sort of like Moon in Capricorn)…

  7. Gia

    Thanks April. This was such a thoughtful commentary on Virgo. As you said, Virgo seems to get a bad rap for being hypercritcal. But I’ve always found them to be truly optimistic, believing the best does exist in people. I’ve found that people with the sun or moon in Virgo are true, lifelong friends, and the ultimate support system. Their tendency to “organize” has helped me through some really tough times. And I agree about the Pisces/Virgo tension. One of my closest friends has a Virgo sun and Pisces moon and she has struggled her entire life with putting everyone else before herself, self-sacrificing to a fault. She’s still trying to figure it out but I’m confident she will.

  8. nawa

    my moon and jupiter is in virgo im 15 this is so true and we are good counselors

  9. Steve

    I’ve had quite a few Virgo friends, all of whom have loved to rant, and I recognise some of the less-mentioned traits you’ve described here. It’s great to see them specified for once, actually!

    My current Virgo friend has, over the years, helped shaped me into a much better person through what sometimes feels like her constant nitpicking, which she combines with withering sarcasm or perhaps childish mockery, just to drive the point home. It’s meant to be entertaining, and I love it that she feels comfortable enough to do that. It’s never difficult to accept what she’s saying, although sometimes she can seem overly stern, which doesn’t make her wrong just, y’know, it’s nice to dream sometimes!

    Like your Facebook friend, she believes you should always let someone know when they’re doing well, or looking good, or hitting the mark in whatever way. This is a lovely trait, and makes up for having everything you do judged or sent back with red pen marks all over it. And, if things are getting a bit too cranky (this is usually caused by excessive worrying, I notice), then all you need to do is wheel her along the axis towards her Piscean opposite by placing a glass of wine in her hand. Stereotypes? Me?! Never! ;)

  10. Doris

    Thanks – great post on the Virgo New Moon. Like you and other posters, my mom also has Moon in Virgo (and the Sun and Mercury too.) I had to laugh when you mentioned being taught hospital corners because she was big on that. She was (and is, even though retired) a consummate nurse both professionally and in her personal life. I watched her care for her 3 children while holding a job AND caring for her sick relatives (3 of whom lived with us.) She also nursed many sick or injured animals that found their way to our house. Although she could be critical (ahem!) and her standards were high, she gave (and still gives) 110% of herself to service.

  11. Mand Maud

    Hi April, I follow your blog when I haven’t time to read most! :) Before I knew that astrology meant more than sun sign(!), I thought my Virgo-esque tendencies came from growing up with my grandmother who had a Virgo Sun with Mercury, Venus and Jupiter all in Leo (my mum and I are both Sun in Leo and the three of us had some clashes ;) while being emotionally close as well). Since learning that I have Venus in Virgo, this seems to make more sense of my clear-sightedness, let’s call it, let’s not call it pickiness…

    My gran’s Moon was in Aries. I’m no expert but I think her chart says a lot about what a complicated person she was.

    And for the record, she always tried to encourage us to greater things, by way of making you feel you were born for great things. Standards too high to live up to, but always a deep feeling of being believed in. She only criticised negatively when at the end of her tether.

    I wish I knew her time of birth in order to see how the houses related to it all. :)


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