Virgo Season is almost over! And so is the summer (for those in the Northern hemisphere). The September equinox arrives late on Saturday as the Sun crosses the threshold of 0 degrees Libra; aligning with the equator and splitting the day and night into two equal halves. We may be busy bees Friday and Saturday, getting some work wrapped up as the Sun and Mercury sit at the last degree of Virgo – like me, trying to squeeze in one last Virgo post that I’ve had on my heart to share before the Sun makes its exit.
This is a post where I want to clear up some misconceptions and stereotypes about the essence of Virgo, the only mutable earth sign. Virgo is one of the mutable signs along with Pisces (water), Gemini (air), and Sagittarius (Fire).
The 12 zodiac signs are divided into four elements (water, earth, air and fire), and they are also divided into three qualities (also called modalities or sign quadruplicities). This means that we have three signs belonging to each element and four signs belonging to each quality…
I think that the elements of water, fire, and air are much easier to conceptualize as having mutable characteristics – spontaneous, transitory, ever-changing, flexible and adaptable. It is more difficult however, to imagine the element of earth having similar characteristics in terms of the zodiacal archetypes.
Earth. This word brings to mind something firm, hard, unmoving, grounded, stable, foundational.
It’s pretty easy to connect Taurus with the qualities of being fixed earth; loyal, consistent, stubborn, rooted and strong. Because of its fixed quality, Taurus is often considered the earthiest of earth signs.
It’s also easy to understand Capricorn as a being a cardinal sign; as reflective of someone who initiates practical building projects and goal-oriented, stable long-term plans. Capricorns lead the way as they climb mountains and create structures from earth.
Virgo though? A mutable earth sign? The widespread images of this sign often deny Virgo’s mutable nature.
Before I go into this further, I want to share some diagrams to further your understanding of the elements and qualities of the 12 signs if you are unfamiliar with them. This is basic stuff, but it’s foundational and is often overlooked.
Although the signs themselves are often studied in isolation and compartmentalized, the symbolism of astrology acquires so much more depth when you understand the organization of the zodiac and how each sign relates to one another based on their relative positions to each other in the wheel.
As you can see below, the four cardinal signs (Capricorn, Cancer, Aries and Libra) form a cross when you connect them with 4x 90 degree square angles – the Cardinal Cross. The cardinal signs with their initiatory and energizing energy, launch the four solar seasons of Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.
Using the tropical zodiac, the year’s two equinoxes (when the Sun aligns with the equator) occur at 0 degrees of the cardinal signs Aries and Libra. The year’s two solstices (when the Sun is furthest North or South) occur at 0 degrees of the cardinal signs Capricorn and Cancer.
In sequential order, moving counter-clockwise around the zodiac, we encounter the four fixed signs, marking the middle of the seasons (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius). These too, form a cross in the zodiac wheel; the Fixed Cross.
Continuing in sequential counter-clockwise motion, we reach the four mutable signs, representing the end of the four seasons with their transient nature of ‘in-between states’ (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces). When these four signs are connected to each other, they form the Mutable Cross (which can also be connected as a large square).
Okay, now back to Virgo. Before providing a counter-argument, I will acknowledge the seed of truth in the fixed and rigid stereotypes of Virgo’s presentation with stories from my own life…
I pretty much have no major planetary placements in earth OR fixed signs (with honourable mention to my Leo rising… which is ruled by my Sun in the mutable sign of Pisces). However, I do have a very prominent and rather challengingly placed Ceres in Virgo in my 1st house of the body (using quadrant houses).
Ceres (an important asteroid) has a lot to do with our approach to self care (particularly as related to food), the 1st house has a lot to do with the physical body and appearance, and Virgo’s domain encompasses that of daily routines and rituals.
Sometimes I wonder if my lack of earth or fixed placements has prompted this powerful Ceres (part of a mutable grand square in my chart) to bear the brunt of my need for groundedness (in addition to some other aspects)…. at any rate, I have a long history of obsessive rituals based around my physical self-care and eating habits (and my monitoring of my eating habits). Certainly when I was younger this veered into OCD territory.
For example, as a child, I was so consumed with ensuring that I had cleaned my teeth thoroughly that I began to wear down my gums because I was brushing my teeth aggressively for 30+ minutes!
My parents bought me this hilarious “toothbrushing timer” – a clock face situated in the middle of a giant tooth figure that sat on the bathroom counter.
During my many years of dealing with digestive issues (Virgo rules the digestive system) it was recommended to me that I track my eating habits for a while to determine what foods were causing issues.
I took this very seriously. I have found notebooks containing lists of every single thing I had eaten recorded every day for well over two years (this was before food-tracking apps existed)! This was completely unnecessary and furthermore, it became a detrimental habit that contributed to disordered eating patterns; cloaked and disguised beneath supposed health concerns. Virgo + list-making is a well known correlation.
I could provide many more similar stories from my own life.
I’m aware of these tendencies now and I try to circumvent these self-care habits before they become too rigid. And yet, for example, I still am quite particular and dedicated with my morning and evening self-care routines – I go to great lengths to avoid ever missing a day (however basic and minimal these routines may be). The consistency of these routines brings me some peace of mind as I close and begin each day.
This all sounds like very “typical” Virgo stuff, a sign known for its perfectionist traits, its attention to detail and its tendency to fret and worry over the small stuff – especially on matters of hygiene, health, food, cleanliness, organization, meeting practical needs (e.g. financial concerns), time management and daily routines.
So far, admittedly, I haven’t made a strong argument for Virgo’s mutability, flexibility and adaptability. It is true, that we may notice Virgo-types trying very hard to control their environment.
Not all of them are focused on cleanliness, but most of them have a certain range of small details that they will focus in on, in an effort to manage their situation, especially when under stress. Maybe this involves sanitizing everything, maybe it involves cleaning obscure nooks and crannies, or maybe it involves a disastrously messy house (with its own particular order invisible to the external observer) that is covered wall-to-wall with post-it notes with directions, lists, warnings, and reminders.
Virgo-types are built to prioritize. So it really depends at an individual and personal level, which particular small details of life are most important to them to monitor and manage. This apparent desire or urge to manage and control small aspects of daily life, can make Virgo-types appear inflexible and rigid.
And yet… one of the highest expressions of their mutable and practical earthy essence is to respond to life’s constant change and transition by continually creating, and recreating, structured daily containers that can make the chaos of life more manageable in bite-size pieces.
Interestingly this mutable characteristic may be one of the reasons many people with lots of Virgo in their chart don’t identify with the sign, because they feel like they are always working more with chaos and change, rather than finessing the art of organization.
Let’s throw a high expression Virgo-type into a few scenarios of disruptive change and transition…
→There’s a big storm and getting to a restaurant or a grocery store as planned is not an option. The power is out and there’s barely any food in the house.
The Virgo-type immediately opens all the cupboards and the fridge and thoroughly assesses the situation. What resources can they find? What synthesis between limited ingredients can they orchestrate?
In less an hour Virgo is herding everyone to a candle-lit table for a simple but nutrient-rich meal that makes the best out of what was available.
→Due to health concerns and allergies, you need to drastically change your diet and cut out many common ingredients.
Your thoughtful and attentive Virgo best friend is on it! They locate the best products and the most amazing recipes that accommodate your dietary restrictions – and they even deliver you a care package of homemade goods that you are able to eat. They offer to help you meal plan the week so that you feel less overwhelmed by the changes.
→Finances are tight and a Virgo-type just moved to an empty apartment in a new city with only a few bags of clothing.
The Virgo-type is immediately scouring yard sales, second-hand stores, and local online marketplaces for the best bargains. In a week or so they’ve collected an excellent collection of furniture. Admittedly some of chairs look like they’d shatter if a cat sat on them, but the Virgo-type has seen their potential. A few YouTube how-to videos later and they are as good as new.
→A company just underwent a huge transition to respond to the ever-changing needs of clients. It’s a stressful time because there are a lot of new skill-sets that are required.
After a long meeting with the boss to address their lengthy list of questions so that they thoroughly understand the new needs and demands, the Virgo-type quickly finds available courses that will increase the expertise of the employees. They create a detailed spreadsheet to organize the employees’ attendance so that there will be no great loss in productivity.
I hope these examples highlight how RESOURCEFUL Virgo is.
Incredibly resourceful. Virgo-types are skilled at honestly, analytically, assessing what raw resources and tools are available in any given situation, no matter how chaotic. They are gifted at being able to then collect and gather the very best of these resources and tools, and working on them/with them with complete dedication to the daily practice of an alchemical process – until these resources transform from their raw state into something that is purified, useful, serves others, improves the target issue, and supports health and wellbeing.
Frequently minimalists who value simplicity, they prioritize only what is most useful. They hate wasting anything because they know that every resource has a potential order, placement or use-value.
They have a sharp critical eye to spot what is unsustainable, inappropriate for the situation, or deteriorating in its use value within the context of the larger goal or response to a need. They appreciate quality and have high standards, but their minimalist tendencies are in accordance with their practical, mutable nature. They do not accumulate more than what they need, and they readily eliminate the extraneous components or things (probably through recycling programs) that are hindering their freedom to flexibly respond and adapt to the next chunk of raw chaos that life assigns to their magical alchemical process.
They never risk becoming complacent (like Taurus may be prone to doing) because they have an innate awareness and understanding of the changing, transient nature of life. This may be part of the reason why Virgo-types like to stay busy all the time. Their activity to improve themselves, the work, the thing, or the situation, is partially prompted by a need to adapt to the constantly shifting sand we walk on.
While it may sometimes feel like curse or a burden for the Virgo-type (and those around them) to constantly be noticing what is missing, what is imperfect, what could be improved upon, it is also a marvelous gift and part of Virgo’s mutable nature to be dedicated to making fine corrective adjustments.
The same traits which can make a Virgo-type more susceptible to being extra critical (of self and others), people-fixing, insecure perfectionists, worrying, and nit-picky complaining, also render them capable of amazing versatility and adaptability.
They can be beautiful, humble healers and thoughtful, considerate caregivers; committed to serving others and helping people meet their practical needs, develop their skills, and take care of their health in the midst of change.
When you imagine “mutable earth”, imagine wet, raw clay on a spinning potter’s wheel; constantly adjusting its shape in response to the slightest touch. You need a steady hand and a sharp eye to ensure your clay vessels become sturdy, upright containers.
Here are three realities: 1) Life is not static – life is unpredictable on a daily basis and change is the only constant; 2) in any situation there are certain practical limits (e.g. limited resources, limited energy, limited time); and 3) all human beings (and the material world) have practical needs that must be met in order to thrive and express their potential.
A Virgo-type knows these three truths deeply and organizes their response to life accordingly. So then why the seeming rigidity, resistance to change, and worrying about the future?
The Virgo-type (and the Virgo in us all) really, really wants to be prepared. They are wired to respond to change with practical solutions and improvements, so they often try to outsmart uncertainty, to have answers and resources ready for possible scenarios and outcomes A, B, C…. P, Q, R… etc.
The thing with life change – big change, little change, minuscule change – is we don’t know exactly how it will play out… what it will look like… what it will ask of us. So naturally, the Virgo-type, the Virgo in us all, may begin to worry and brace against the future instead of embracing it.
The Virgo-type begins to wonder… will I be able to manage the changes that life brings? Will the situation demand more from me than I am able to adapt to? Will I be able to access the resources and the tools that I need to take care of the people who depend on me?
The Virgo-type needs to learn to trust themselves. They were made for this! They are pros! They were designed for making the best of whatever raw materials they are given. They have the innate skill set for shaping life’s rough clay into a vessel with a purpose.
When Virgo-types begin to doubt their capacity to cope with the constant adjustments that need to be made in response to change… or when they begin to feel overwhelmed by some major transition or uncertain outcome (especially when it is of an intangible emotional nature that cannot be addressed directly through practical means and hard work)… then the Virgo-type may start zeroing in obsessively on the tiny, manageable things that they CAN control, fix, or improve upon –>this for me is a clue that I need to check-in with a Virgo-type (and myself) and find out how they are really doing.
Honestly, this isn’t just relevant for Virgo-types. It probably applies to most of us (who all have Virgo in our birth charts somewhere). The more uncertain, unmanageable, and out of control life situations become, the more we may tend to get consumed with expending a huge amount of energy trying to perfect things that really don’t matter in the big picture.
We may think that strict dieting, obsessive daily exercise, and checking off our weekly to-do list will make everything better, when really it’s a distraction from (and a coping strategy for) the grief bubbling up from the major break-up or death we’ve just endured.
We may think that the organizational task of arranging all our books, clothing, dishes, and mugs according to the color of their binding or material, is the major issue we have to deal with… but really it’s an effort to introduce order and calm to a life narrative that has been interrupted with the looming possibility of a difficult diagnosis.
We may think, as I did as a child, that brushing our teeth for over 30 minutes until they are as clean as can be… will make us feel pure and whole, when really it is an effort to deal with life events that made us feel dirty, broken or not good enough as we are.
These are examples of trying to adapt (indirectly) to change that has happened, is happening, or will happen. Many of us likely try to compensate in some manner when life feels wildly chaotic, by fixating excessively on insignificant details. Strong Virgo-types may do it more noticeably, or with a particular emphasis on themes of cleanliness, organization, food, health, and daily routines.
Alternatively those with more of a Piscean orientation in their charts for example, may cope with disruption and change via substances and other mediums (e.g., video games, fiction, dissociative daydreaming), which enable them to emotionally and cognitively escape and numb their reality.
Because productivity is so valued in mainstream society, the workaholic Virgo-type may receive more social approval, respect and validation for their coping strategy (allowing it to escape detection) in comparison to the Pisces-type coping strategy, but ultimately they may stem from the same root and serve the same purpose.
No shame for coping strategies. No shame for doing the best you can in a challenging situation in order to gain a sense of mastery over your environment.
And yet within us all, is the capacity to adapt to change without grasping, to respond effectively without bracing or escaping, to engage in processes of becoming while embracing states of just being, to recenter ourselves on what is truly most important – one day at a time.
Virgo-types who trust in their mutable nature, have the potential to help lead the way in this regard, especially in terms of meeting practical needs in the midst of change.
Virgo-types are tuned into the subtle changes in life rhythms and have the skills to make the “just right” adjustments necessary to match the beat.
Virgo-types can bring coherence to the ordinary mess of daily existence in ways that promote healing, growth and well-being. They can move with chaos and bring practical solutions to transient scenarios; crafting routines of order and containment that shape shift as needed.
A good reflective question for all of us who lean into Virgo-ness might be:
Am I a servant to my routine, or is my routine serving the continual evolution and adaptation of myself and others, in the face of constant change?
Before I share some personal experiences with having Saturn in my natal chart, I’ll point out that the reason I’m sharing them at this time is because we are entering into some challenging Saturn squares, active from about September 22nd ~ 25th, with the Full Moon harshly squaring Saturn on September 24th (Monday). An individual’s lived experience with a natal aspect to Saturn vs. a temporary global transit involving Saturn is different, and yet there are always going to be similar themes when we are working with the same archetype.
I’ve been going through a lot of my old diaries from childhood recently in an effort to investigate and excavate the root causes of some of my conditioned behaviors and responses to life. This, by the way, is an example of how Jupiter transiting Scorpio in your 4th house of origins and personal history may manifest 🙂
It was strange reading old diaries. Because I’m 20+ years older than I was at the time these words were written, it’s easier to see myself at a distance, objectively. And holy!!! What a perfect example of my natal chart was I, even at age 10. I was a Saturnian poster child.
I often interpret the birth charts of famous people in this blog using key quotes or examples from their life history to illustrate the different ways they expressed their cosmic DNA. It felt oddly similar to when I research celebrities and get excited when stumbling across phrases that encapsulate the essence of their birth chart configurations.
I have a Saturn-Moon opposition in my chart with Saturn in the 4th house in Sagittarius and the Moon in Gemini in the 10th house.
Here’s a few example excerpts…
I was 10 years old and I was worried about acquiring a “bad reputation”?! When did I even learn the word “reputation”??
It makes sense though, in terms of my chart. Saturnian children are old before their time. The Moon (symbolizing our inner selves and need for emotional safety) is quite exposed in the 10th house (career, long-term goals, reputation, social roles/status) and is thus acutely sensitive to how others perceive the self in this position. Saturn (naturally associated with 10th house themes) can be very focused on reputation in its early manifestations.
Failure, social embarrassment and humiliation, or being seen as doing something “wrong”, is often Saturn’s worst nightmare (as well as for those with a lot of Capricorn in their charts). Saturn’s expression often seems to be plagued with the “not good enough” syndrome.
The archetype of Saturn is known for building walls and boundaries, literally and metaphorically, in all sorts of scenarios. Saturn creates space between self and others. Walls and boundaries are really important in life, but they can also be detrimental, punishing, divisive, isolating and growth-inhibiting.
When Saturn makes contact with the sensitive Moon (as it will with Monday’s Full Moon in Aries), Saturn tries to protect this part of our inner being and emotional nature by building defensive walls around it and telling it to stay inside, to be self-sufficient and to not depend on others or to trust them.
Saturn’s archetype in general, speaks to the existential loneliness of being individual human beings in the midst of a sea of people, walking through the world with an expiry date. We make friends, we build community, we interact with others, but we must ultimately walk our own path and bear the responsibility for our choices and actions.
Therefore strong natal Saturn aspects (and key Capricorn and Aquarius placements), or major Saturn transits, can really embody this reality and highlight times of feeling like a loner, an outcast, a hermit, marginalized for one’s differences, or as someone living in exile or in isolation. An acute awareness of the passage of time and the limited scope of a human lifespan, is also an obvious characteristic (major Saturn transits often remind us that we are aging and getting closer to “the end”).
Cappy, Aqua, and Saturnian folks, does this sound familiar?
I never attended public school and I spent many hours watching children play from the other side of the window. Now as an adult, I still find myself feeling as though I am hiding indoors watching my peers engage with life. I am introverted to the max – this is somewhat a natural state of being, as well as a response to Saturnian inhibitions and fears.
At its best, Saturn creates flexible protective boundaries that provide grounded definition, with doors for appropriate entry and connection with others. At its highest expression, Saturn (and the signs it rules, Capricorn and Aquarius) give us the strength to stand strong in our beliefs and principles against popular opinion, and to stay true to our calling, solid in our integrity, and firm in our authentic selves.
I did not have a family that aggressively pushed ambitious goals on me (my mom in this story was trying to free me from my obsessions with setting and completing unreachable goals), but I was consumed from a very young age with trying to accomplish something BIG.
Like, CONSUMED. It is really heartbreaking for me to read pieces like this. I just want to hug that little 10 or 12 year old and tell her to go play and be a child – she’d be doing her older self a favour! It’s also a little scary to what extent our child selves can still live within us; I still find myself thinking these types of thoughts over twenty years later.
My family environment did not enforce standards for certain academic success, but I began winning prizes and applause for my writing at a very early age, which helped establish academic and written endeavors in my psyche as a path to external approval and validation (also, that’s just what a 10th house Gemini moon genuinely loves to do – share and exchange words and information with the public). My efforts really were not all that exceptional, however – e.g., the first prize-winning poem I wrote in grade one was about a little boy who died from eating a mouse.
Anyway, in addition to my old diaries I’ve discovered list upon list upon list (written as early as childhood through to teen years) of everything I was going to accomplish by age 20, by age 30, by age 40… I didn’t get much beyond that because my aim was to be a super achiever at a young age – to break records by achieving great things as early as possible.
I was going to have written a best-seller before age 20, I would have my own company by my mid-twenties, I would be a millionaire (of course), I would design and build my own earth-friendly house, I would change the world, I would get degrees at Harvard.
Harvard University?? That seems so absurd to me now. The international student fees would have put tuition through the roof for me and there’s really no need for that based on my interests. But somewhere, probably in a movie, I had heard Harvard University spoken with reverent awe and decided that is where I must go. I lined up all the most elite, socially-approved goals I could think of. I would have had to never sleep in order to reach them all.
I’m 32. Did I accomplish any of the numerous goals I had prescribed for myself at such a young age?
hahahahahahahahahahhahahahaha. Nope. I’m living in my family home, unemployed and buried in student debt with three university degrees I’m not actively using, while I am still slowly recovering from a serious plunge into darkness a few years ago and tentatively (re)growing the faith and trust in my capacity for basic functioning in this bizarre human world. Maybe there’s one goal I checked off, I’m not sure.
At any rate, all those early goals were really out of sync with my birth chart, which is set for more of a slow bloom later in life. We all have our particular speed, our own cycles, our own process, our own journey.
Saturn, nataly or by transit, instills within, this sense that you have some important work to do in this lifetime on this planet – a certain type of test, challenge, mission, or project. You have something to “build” while you are here.
I believe this is truth. I think we all do, have some important work to engage in while we are here.
But what happens is that you have this really pressing, purposeful Saturnian urge to DO THAT THING YOU ARE HERE TO DO, but… maybe you’re not yet sure what it is or how to go about doing it. So that natural urge or inclination to embark on some important life mission gets co-opted by other people (e.g. family, society, culture, religion) who are only too happy to deliver you a list of goals to fulfill and landmarks to reach.
So we are perhaps diverted from our path and dutifully we adopt these goals and standards, and set out to fulfill them and prove ourselves worthy of success. Buuuut…. maybe these goals are discordant with our nature, with our authentic self, with our life’s purpose and vocational calling. In which case, we are not tapping into the satisfaction and fulfillment we are seeking.
Saturn’s (or Capricorn’s) activation in a chart can… a) create a workaholic obsessed with reaching a socially approved version of success that they’ll sacrifice everything for, while living with a huge amount of corrosive fear and guilt, or/and b) someone who is so terrified of risking failure on their Saturnian journey and falling short of some standard, that they are immobilized and stopped dead in their tracks, too afraid to even begin to try.
People can lean to both extremes with Saturn, they may fall somewhere in the middle, or they may alternate periodically between the two responses.
With Saturn (serious reality checks) squaring Jupiter (big dreams, an abundance of naive faith and trust in possibilities) in my birth chart, I have tended to alternate dramatically between the two extremes.
When the infamous Saturn Return arrived as I turned 29, it enacted its duty to return me to my path and my life’s calling, eliminating all that distracted me from this direction with a fantastically awesome identity crisis.
It wasn’t that what I was doing was completely antithetical to who I was. Indeed, born with Saturn in Sagittarius (a responsibility to aim high and to seek out knowledge and universal truths) opposite the Moon in Gemini in the house of career and reputation (a passionate love of learning, activities of communication, while being pulled in multiple different directions with many ideas and competing interests), my diary excerpts are no surprise. Neither was the busy, multi-tasking academic path I traveled for the duration of my twenties.
However, my efforts were being driven by standards that were not birthed from within. At its best, Saturn encourages hard work and perseverance on the path of life – not for external validation but for the satisfaction and fulfillment of honouring your life’s purpose and giving expression to your inner nature in tangible ways that build a better world for us all.
With some Uranian exceptions, Saturn and Capricorn types generally loooooove certifications of all kinds as well as letter grades, degrees, portfolio additions, extra lines on their resume, pieces of paper with a shiny star sticker and a signature of approval. The drive for “official” and “tangible” external validation and public recognition of accomplishments is intense.
This certainly has been true for me. Now I ask myself to pause before I sign up for another course or certification or whatever. I ask myself: Do I really require this to move forward? Do I really want this?
Am I chasing Saturn outside myself, when I should be discovering that archetype within myself?
There is nothing wrong with certifications or getting external validation for achieving something. Quite often a Saturn transit will actually result in a breakthrough of success, a moment of graduation, the completion of some program or task after many months of hard Saturnian labour has been invested. Those moments are worth celebrating!
However, I do think Saturn/Cap types need to be careful though, that they do not become too dependent on this form of approval and make their worth and value contingent on it.
And yet, at my lowest, I know this sort of thing brings me a good pick-me-up. I will choose to enroll in something, work on something, so that yes, I can get that piece of paper with a shiny sticker that basically says “heeeeeyyyyy you are a competent person who can accomplish stuff” – but I do it with full awareness.
Awareness is key to preventing compulsive conditioning from completely taking over your present moment agency and continued evolution.
Okay! So that was a bunch of words about Saturn, shared honestly through the lens of my personal experiences with this archetype. Maybe some of these themes that I’ve already discussed will emerge strongly for you in the next few days with the upcoming squares to Saturn (especially those of you having your Saturn Return), exacerbated by the simultaneous opposition to Chiron in Aries.
However, I thought I’d also give you a Virgoian bullet list of other typical manifestations of Saturn transits. Look to the house placement of early Capricorn in your birth chart for further insight into where you’re feeling Saturn.
What challenges might you experience over the weekend and into the middle of next week?
- Feelings of self-doubt, fears of failure, guilt, regret, discouragement… wanting external validation, approval, and public recognition… and possibly not receiving it or not being able to trust it (or conversely, finally receiving it after much effort).
- Acceptance, love, support… appears conditional, like something you feel you must earn.
- Your inner critic raging up a storm and beating you up from the inside out.
- Experiencing judgement and rejection from others, being overlooked, forgotten and having your efforts go unappreciated (especially by authority figures, those older than you, or those you look up to).
- External deadlines, responsibilities, rules, legalities, and expectations applying time pressure and consequences.
- Bringing something to completion, encountering an ending or a closing of some kind.
- Feeling pressured to make a tough ethical decision and act with integrity and honesty even though it will make you unpopular or make you feel vulnerable.
- Feeling alone, lonely, isolated, and as though you need to do some big thing all on your own.
- Closed doors, walls, boundaries, separations, distances between you and someone else (or society) – either intentional or undesired.
- Realizing and experiencing the consequences and outcomes of past actions and effort in a cause and effect world, for better or worse; a time of reckoning or a major reality check. (e.g., last Friday’s continued #whyididntreport hashtag avalanche)
- Making short-term sacrifices for long-term gain; making big decisions that impact the future.
- Weighing pros and cons and determining top priorities as you consider multiple imperfect choices that each require necessary trade-offs and certain compromises.
- A scarcity mentality (a focus on the limits of resources, money, energy, time).
- Feeling stuck, trapped, like you are barely making progress despite your best efforts.
- Feeling exhausted, lethargic, so tired and burnt out you can’t move.
How can we grow through this?
- Caring less about external validation and approval, and obeying our own compass; listening to our inner authority even if it marginalizes us.
- Recognizing that we don’t have to wear our failures as a measure of our worth. “Failing” (or rephrased as: not achieving the outcome we were initially aiming for) is part of life and does not determine our value.
- Being open to the possibility that forms of No (rejection, closed doors, loss of opportunity, loss of investment) can also contain within them a resounding Yes; thereby opening us up to other opportunities we would never have otherwise experienced.
- Not letting pride, fear and guilt hold us back. There are times to be self-sufficient, and then there are times to ask for help and to reach out for connection and support.
- Using our discernment to figure out what limits, what barriers and challenges are worth fighting, and which ones are asking us to honour these as reasonable boundaries, and to step back into alignment with who we are and the work that lies ahead.
- Allowing the wisdom of our life experiences to grow us into reliable mentors and teachers and coaches for others going through tough shit.
- Humbling ourselves to learn from those with the wisdom gained from relevant life experiences.
- Setting long-term goals, but then reaching for Virgo-ness to break it into doable steps and focusing on one day at a time without getting overwhelmed by the magnitude of the bigger picture.
- Trusting that a way forward will eventually open up.
- Having a heart-to-heart with that mean voice in our head, that inner critic. After perhaps some curious inquiry into where and when they first stepped into their role and why they think berating us with cruel messages is really going to help or protect us… kindly ask them to step aside and stop sending your nervous system into a stressful flight, fight or shut-down mode in response to their internal threats.
- Forgiving and feeling compassion for our squishy human selves doing their best. Every single human I know has times of feeling unworthy, inadequate, not measuring up, not being productive enough, feeling broken, feeling as though there is something wrong with them or they are not enough (or they feel that way 24/7)… it’s like an epidemic of shame and it seems like part of the human condition. But we can really get stuck in feeling like we are the most messed up and screwed over. Everyone’s situation is unique, and subjective experiences matter and are valid, but sometimes it helps to remember that suffering and struggling with “not being good enough” thoughts and feelings is wiiiiidespread. We’re in this together! So connect, rather than contract.
Go easy, move gently into the coming week! Take care of yourself and each other ❤
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