Virgo Full Moon: To Serve Man

virgo-secty_postA classic Twilight Zone episode depicts seemingly benign aliens who have come to earth and pledged their help to mankind. Indeed, one of their seminal texts is entitled “To Serve Man.” Imagine the dismayed surprise of the humanoids who, having clasped these aliens to their bosoms, belatedly discover that the book is not a paean to intergalactic relations, as they’d imagined–but a cookbook!

It’s a clever twist on not just the word, but the concept of service, which in astrology is most often associated with Virgo. The sign of work, of diligent care on behalf of others, nevertheless has a rather nasty reputation–not entirely undeserved–for its hypercritical shadow side. Interestingly, the slang expression “you’ve been served” is a taunt that suggests you’ve been called out and shown up. And certainly, if you get on a Virgo’s bad side you may feel as though you’ve “been served”–or, in the case of those crafty aliens, as though you’re about to be served up!

But Virgo also symbolizes the very noble impulse toward usefulness. It represents the hundreds of people who impact your daily life. No matter how menial the task, another’s approach to his work can have a profound influence on the quality of your day. The barista who serves up your morning coffee can set the day’s tone with a smile and a little joke or can seemingly go out of his way to piss you off. A mechanic who’s having a bad day might forget an important step in servicing your car’s brakes–and that could influence the rest of your life.

I’ll bet it’s easier for you to think of half a dozen people who’ve recently given you poor service than it is to name even half as many who’ve offered help with a smile. Why does it seem so many people are unhappy in their work? Apart from things like sustenance wages and job insecurity, I think it’s mainly for two reasons.

First, it’s because their work doesn’t connect them to the spiritual underpinnings of their lives. The difference between pitching in to wash dishes after a charity pancake breakfast, and washing dishes at a minimum wage job, is that one feels like a contribution to society and the other usually doesn’t. No one likes to feel as though she’s wasting her life. I would argue that no task is demeaning if you’re doing it for a meaningful cause. Any task done over and over, day in and day out can get boring. But washing dishes for my family every day, while it can get dull, never feels demeaning, because it’s a contribution I’m making to my home.

But the other reason for disgruntled workers is a little more subtle. At this Virgo Full Moon, the Sun joins idealistic Neptune in Pisces. This powerful combination excites the imagination toward big dreams for a new and more inspiring world. But the Pisces approach to things has its blind spots, too. Dreaming of a beautiful world is all well and good, but someone has to be willing to roll up their sleeves and make the dreams a reality. Behind every great achievement is some diligent helper wearing sensible shoes and a headset, supervising logistics from the wings. Some good, patient, Virgo-like soul with a knack for untangling messes who can get the printer to work and troubleshoot the problem with the wireless network.

Unfortunately, while every family, every workplace, and every cause needs such people, they don’t often appreciate them. All too often, the tendency is to take them for granted, to notice them only when something has gone wrong, to ignore their sensible warnings about system backups until the computer has crashed and taken with it all of our artwork. We think we can get away with it, because they are such nice people, so helpful, so patient. We splash around in the waters of creativity and big, important undertakings, secure in the knowledge that if we get in over our heads, some kindly lifeguard type will rescue us. And generally, they do. That’s how they’re built.

Until one day, they’ve had about enough. The long-suffering grade school Room Mother receives an early morning phone call from a More Important Parent with no time to bake cookies; surely Long-Suffering Room Mother can do it for her! The overworked IT guy, feverishly attending to the needs of thirty staff members and sixty temperamental machines, gets an impromptu visit from his supervisor, who needs help–urgently!–with her personal email account. The long-suffering astrologer, whose wages barely place him above the national poverty line, gets yet another epic email from someone detailing every problem in her life and insisting the astrologer read her chart for free, because hers is such a worthy and exceptional cause.

And suddenly, the Virgo volcano erupts. Like all earth signs, Virgo has a long fuse… which makes its eventual meltdowns all the more impressive and kind of scary. And because Virgo is ruled by Mercury, he or she can carve you up with an estimable blend of withering sarcasm and impressive vocabulary choices.

And then, of course, it’s Virgo– the unappreciated, overworked, underpaid gaffer on the set of everybody else’s big-budget motion picture–who is the bad guy. And if you’ve ever done a favor that went unacknowledged or picked up the slack for someone who took advantage of your kindness, that “Virgo” has been you. Is it any wonder so few of us are willing to go the extra mile to help another person?

At this Full Moon in Virgo, by all means indulge the desire to dream big, idealistic dreams. These are the visions that move us forward as a civilization. But remember that the millions of people who perform society’s less glamorous tasks, who work hard to develop valuable skills, and who patiently midwife our dreams with push-brooms, wrenches, an editing pencil, and computer code, deserve our appreciation and respect.

So, take a Virgo to lunch. Thank your kid’s teachers. And if an alien tries to coax you into a large, simmering pot of water, just say no.

© 2010/2016 April Elliott Kent

My new book, Astrological Transits, is available wherever books are sold! Hands down, this is the best book I’ve read about planetary cycles.” – Skye Alexander. See this page for details.
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9 Responses
  • Soraya
    February 20, 2016

    As a Virgo who just got a raise after 8 years, because I demanded it, I feel like Vesuvius…one more push and then I’ll blow. We love to serve – but something tells me Vulcan is urging us long suffering Virgos to not take it anymore…and not be afraid to ask for what we need. Thank you April – for taking the time to write this. It’s spot on 🙂

  • helen
    February 20, 2016

    “and if an alien tries to coax you into a large, simmering pot of water, just say no” ha ha ha ha, oh that’s so funny… and i am definitley saying NO!!! read my lips..
    Have had enough of people taking me for granted and so i am just putzing along these days, not volunteering to help with anything, just doing my usual ‘quick, put the fire out’ Aries tactics.
    and yes, i got chinese takeout last night (who can wait for complete full moon – i looked up in the sky last night, and thought, hmm close enough)
    YES, i do appreciate the fantastic mechanic who just did a beautiful job on my brakes – smooch smooch wherever you are!!!
    cheers April…. p.s. absolutely effing love your “fill up the space you;ve been given” saying.. that is so brilliant (going on my bathroom mirror). thanks muchos again xoxo

  • Meg
    February 20, 2016

    This is sooooo true thank you April! I am Libra with Virgo Moon, Rising Leo, Venus Scorpio and Aquarius Mars. Boy, do I struggle with my job as a high school teacher, all the demands, very little thanks. I love what I do, and I love my involvement with my students, but I do become very disillusioned with the unfair balance that is enforced upon us by the system. Wish I had more answers! Thank you for the acknowledgement anyway 🙂

  • Stella
    February 20, 2016

    Great article April 😉 Virgo has a big influence in my family. rising and moon (my mother) the same degree Virgo rising (my daughter ), an actual Virgo (my little grand daughter) and I have Venus/Jupiter conjunction. I love this gracious influence and feel it underpins the very fabric of our lives with its care, sense of detail, cleanliness, health awareness and sensibility. I think Virgo translates then converts most information in to practical reality.
    These qualities stand for a lot in this often chaotic dance called life so let’s celebrate Virgos everywhere!

  • Suzanne
    February 21, 2016

    I think candidate Bernie Sanders (a Virgo) really embodies the idea of your article: the hard-working, little guy who has had enough of getting the short end of the stick. Similarly, I think his populist rhetoric is a bit Piscean in that it is long on dreaminess and seemingly short on realistic processes. But I still thank Senator Sanders for starting the conversation, because I think we all sense that we’re about to get eaten if we don’t pay attention.

  • Dione Carroll
    February 21, 2016

    Haha, this is so funny. I’m a Virgo Sun, Taurus Rising and have a pretty long fuse. I’m often overly tolerant of bs but once I reach capacity and “suddenly, the Virgo volcano erupts.” it’s usually epic. It doesn’t happen very often but when it does it can be rather scary…

  • Liliana
    February 22, 2016

    As a Virgo Sun with Aquarius moon, this article is spot on! I do love to serve/help, but the minute I sense I am taken for granted/used I’m outta there. And you are going to know about it in a not so nice way!!! Virgos are great at calling people on their sh*t, so don’t take advantage of their good nature.

  • Alice
    February 22, 2016

    Hi April, great writing and thanks for making us think! I especially like your newsletter when you add a personal account/story to it. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and insight with us!

  • Jill
    February 23, 2016

    Love your posts April, this really resonated with my Mercury in Virgo
    “And because Virgo is ruled by Mercury, he or she can carve you up with an estimable blend of withering sarcasm and impressive vocabulary choices”.