“All things bear fruit according to their nature.” Goddesses for Every Day
The Goddess Sign for Virgo is the Sheaf of Wheat, which appears in depictions of the constellation of Virgo as the bright star Spica that is held like a staff in the hand of the goddess. The mutable earth sign Virgo relates to the stage of spiritual unfolding which focuses on specialization of forms. Virgo represents the stage in the cycle when the soul’s experience is focused on assimilation of knowledge. In this phase matter is organized, purified and refined into specific and recognizable objects. Here we might say the Grand Plan of the Cosmos is carried out in detail. Metaphysically Virgo is the matrix and represents the womb of the inner spiritual self, containing the seed and eventual fruits of the Spirit. Seeds germinate in darkness, breaking their way out of their shell casings, and sending roots into the Earth. Like the abdomen and intestines, which Virgo has dominion over, this phase distills the qualitative pearls from life.
In every case I have been able to find except Egypt, the Earth is always seen as feminine. She is a great mother goddess who gives birth to and sustains her children from the substance of her body. This expresses through the fertility cycles of the seasons. Virgo goddesses include goddess of agriculture and grain, as well as the harvest, and the annual descent into the underworld while the Earth grows barren for a time. Icons of these goddesses include generous platters of fruits, overflowing cornucopias and waving fields of grain.
Virgo is the only female among the zodiacal constellations, and other than the twins, Castor and Pollux (Gemini), she is the only human figure. Author Richard Hinkley-Allen says, “Those who claim very high antiquity for the zodiacal signs (15,000 years ago), assert that the idea of these titles originated when the Sun was in Virgo at the spring equinox, the time of the Egyptian harvest.” Australian astrologer Bernadette Brady has remarked that, “Whatever image is chosen across time and cultures, what is contained in Virgo is the archetype of the harvest-bringing goddess, pure and good, independent of the masculine. She gives the four seasons and is the source of the fertile Earth.” The more ancient concept of “virgin” described a woman who was independent and free to love whom she chose.
Demeter was the Great Mother earth goddess of the people who preceded the Greeks. Her sacred rites, known the Eleusinian Mysteries, were celebrated for nearly two thousand years, as long as Christianity has existed, in what is now mainland Greece. People came from all over the known world to participate in these secret ceremonies. We don’t know many details of these activities, as the penalty for revealing their contents was death. Some aspects are known or suspected however, as the high point of the ritual was said to be a “sheaf of wheat reaped in silence.” The Eleusinian Mysteries are similar in significance to the annual celebration of the mysteries of Isis and Osiris in Egypt. I believe the deeper meaning is learning move in resonance with shifting seasons of light and dark in order to harvest blessings in their time.
Based on and excerpted from Goddesses for Every Day © 2010 by Julie Loar. Printed with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA. www.newworldlibrary.com