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Updated: Aug 31, 2023

The sun entered Virgo at 5:02 AM New York Time (9:02 GMT) today, on Wednesday, August 23, 2023, initiating the final third of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.

Virgo is an earth sign that is represented by The Maiden. It is associated with Persephone in Greek mythology. Virgo is very much associated with the wheat crop, as the ancients thought that Virgo—the second-largest constellation in the sky—appeared to be a woman with wings carrying a sheaf of wheat.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the final third of summer has historically been the time when the most crops are reaped. In order to reap crops, it requires discipline, planning, and pragmatism. These are three qualities that the sign of Virgo models for the rest of the Zodiac.

Virgo means virgin in Latin. The sign of Virgo is also associated with purity and self-sufficiency. The Virgo glyph is an 'M' with a tail that turns inward, representative of Virgo's ability to introspect and discern. It also may represent sexual shyness, as Scorpio, the most outwardly sexual of signs, has a glyph that is an 'M' with a tail that is an outward-pointing arrow, representing a phallus.

Virgo is a mutable sign in Western astrology, because it comes at the end of a season. In many parts of the Northern United States, Canada, and Europe, the deciduous leaves change colors (or at least start to) during Virgo season.

Virgo is the ruler of the 6th House—the House of Health. This house is the realm of health, daily routines, and repetitive tasks (including those that are involved in work/career). Communication and routines are the major themes of Virgo season.

You may already be feeling quite a difference in the ambient energies from yesterday to today; with Leo season ending, people are now much more serious, practical and meticulous. You can best take advantage of Virgo season by being practical and detailed yourself—and by taking steps toward improving/refining your physical health, as this theme falls under the realms of Virgo and the 6th House.

The sun’s entrance into Virgo also coincides with Mercury stationing Direct—let’s discuss!


Mercury is currently stationed Retrograde in Virgo, initiating the third of four Mercury Retrograde periods occurring in 2023. This Mercury Retrograde will be much stronger than usual, with it occurring in Virgo, one of the signs that Mercury rules over.

This Mercury Retrograde in Virgo is a great opportunity to readdress projects and to-do lists from the past—as well as your physical health. All of these are Virgo/6th House matters; this Retrograde phase brings a wonderful opportunity to get stuff done and to address (or readdress) physical health issues that need to be addressed.

With this Mercury Retrograde coinciding with Venus’s Retrograde in Leo, this will be the best time all year to reconnect with old friends, distant family members, and ex-lovers. It’s a very strong ‘time machine’ energy—not only do we want to communicate with people from our past, but we also want to consume music, movies, shows, books, etc. that we have enjoyed in the past.

This Mercury Retrograde in particular is the strongest of the year for three reasons:

(a) It is occurring in Virgo, the sign of communication (that Mercury rules over)

(b) It begins in earnest on the same day the sun enters Virgo (though we have been feeling the Pre-Shadow Phase effects for the past 10-14 days)

(c) It coincides with Venus Retrograde

Communication issues will be the worse all year, and electronics are likely to break down more than at any time throughout the year. It’s really important to back up your files.

You’re likely to hear news about something you’ve been waiting on during this Mercury Retrograde. Travel will be difficult; there will be a lot of flight delays, and a lot of cars will be breaking down.

By the way, if you were born under a Mercury Retrograde, it's not going to affect you as strongly--and in fact you might even feel more ‘at home’ during this time.

Here is some general advice for navigating a Mercury Retrograde period:

  • Make sure that all the 'I's are dotted' and 'all the T's are crossed' when signing any contracts. Consider Murphy's Law during Mercury Retrograde: what can go wrong, will go wrong. Consider holding off on signing contracts until late September, if it's something that isn't time-sensitive.

  • Be extra clear in your communication with others. Give others more leeway than usual. Inquire to clarify what someone means by something if you're unsure, especially if it's via text message or e-mail.

  • Avoid purchasing big-ticket items (e.g. a new car) until late September, if possible

  • Back up all of your computer files and your smartphone!

  • Triple-check travel plans and appointment times. Verify times with others.

  • Release expectations of others, especially when it comes to people responding in a timely fashion. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Expectations of others may go unfulfilled.

  • As always, use Mercury Retrograde as a time to refine your communication--rather than to be afraid of miscommunications, or electronics breaking down, or travel plans getting interrupted.

This Mercury Retrograde phase officially concludes on September 14 when Mercury stations Direct—though in reality we will feel its effects through September 24-28. The most potent effects are felt in the seven days before and after the Station Phases—so August 16-30 and September 7-21.

Have an amazing Virgo Season!

With Love,

Matthew John

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