Entries in virgo (10)


Virgo and Soap



The German historian Heinrich von Treitschke, a Virgo (b. 15 September 1834 - 1896) is best known
 for a mere three words: CIVILIZATION IS SOAP. (He actually said something quite different: that the English believe that civilization is soap.)

Still, the well-known connection of astrological Virgo to soap, cleanliness and purity pretty much holds water. William Lever of Lever Brothers, for instance, the inventor of the soap manufacturing process . . a Virgo, and indeed responsible for the proliferation of washing-up in the British Isles, which drew forth Treitschke’s memorable observation. 

 Michael Chiklis of The Shield, classical composer Anton Bruckner, and vegan musician Moby: 3 Virgos!

Arn. Schoenberg, b. THIRTEEN September 1874
I mention Moby's veganism as Virgo is inevitably preoccupied with orthorexic notions of health and nutrition. Boringly precise, endearingly fussy, or pathologically obsessive-compulsive, thus Anton Bruckner's numeromania, also the similar numeromania (triskaidecaphobia) at the root of composer Arnold Schoenberg's twelve-tone system. Virgos may be highly sensible or highly strung, there's always a pitch of refinement.

99 - 44/100% PURE! (reg.) The depth and brilliance of this advertising slogan is the recognition that perfection is unattainable, that the profound fate of measurement and knowledge is to strive and fail and strive again. That truth is only approached by endless asymptote. The very concept of purity "invokes" desecration and frantic defenses. Hence Virgo's urgency and  stubborness. Hence George Bataille (10 Sept. 1897), Antonin Artaud (4 Sept. 1895) and Alfred Jarry (8 Sept. 1873). OCD vs. a compulsion to desecrate is the typical Virgo neurosis.

"I live like a monk: with one toothbrush, one cake of soap, and a pot of cream."The three great screen beauties born under Virgo, Greta Garbo, Sophia Loren and Raquel Welch, are all known for their obsessive beauty ahd health rituals. Vera Stravinsky,  recording her impressions of Greta Garbo,  wrote that Garbo was  uninterested in the conversation around her until someone mentioned discovering a new soap. "Is it good for stockings?" was Garbo's only memorable remark of the evening.



Cameron Diaz (b. Aug. 30, 1972) is arguably Hollywood's most compulsive celeb. Not only does she open doors with her elbows to avoid touching germ-infested knobs - doorknobs, that is - she also admits to scrubbing her Hollywood home scrupulously and washing her hands 'many times' each day."

Heidi Montag (b. 15 Sept. 1984) famous for her unending quest for physical perfection through obsessive exercise and plastic surgeries.

Jeremy Irons, b. Sept. 19, 1948


The British-born star, biding time in Ireland's Shannon Airport, got so bent out of shape over a filthy airport bar that he gave the beer-soaked tables and overflowing ashtrays some desperately needed elbow grease...

" . . .He said: 'I'm just hanging around here. I'm bored and it has to be done. This place is disgusting. . . . I had an hour to kill in the lounge. I had done enough reading, and I looked around me and the place was a dump, so I decided to clean up, I find being delayed at airports quite depressing, and I felt much better after cleaning up. . .'"


Virgo Michael Jackson was, of course, a famous germaphobe.


Virgo Astrology Data





* The painting, Wheelbarrow, is by Morris Graves (b. 28 August 1910 - 2001), a Zen Buddhist and gardener from the Pacific Northwest, much influenced by oriental attitudes toward art and nature.

* Graves named all his dogs and cats Edith, after the Virgo poet Edith Sitwell (born 7 September 1887 - 1964), herself an acolyte and biographer of the Virgin Queen, Elizabeth the First (also born 7 September, but 1533 - 1603).

Graves, who died in 2001, was the epitome of the refined Virgo artist of nature. More of his work is here.  I reproduce the red wheelbarrow because of WC Williams's poem:

so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white

* Word for word, for its brevity, The Red Wheelbarrow is one of the most scrutinized poems in the English language.

* The author, William Carlos Williams (Virgoborn in the Garden State on 17 September 1883,  d. 1961), was a pediatrician as well as a poet, shares the Virgonian tendresse of the artist Graves.

* The poem, essentially a haiku, enters American literary space by spelling out the ellipsis implicit in all haiku: so much depends upon . . . The remainder of the poem contains the traditional seventeen syllables, if "glaz-ed" is read poetically.

 * Virgo rules gardening, farming, pets, flowers and livestock.

Virgo and the Grid 

Modular cube, Sol LeWitt (b. 9 September 1928 - 2007).

Virgo is the concept of the grid: as armature, as classification system, and ultimately, as the woven fabric of human reality itself -- woof of matter and warp of consciousness. Virgo is the natural process of unfoldment along determinative patterns, the interplay of timeless abstraction (logic, mathematics) and temporal developments (organism, culture). The grid of Virgo quietly underlies  the wildest tendrils of nature as under the statistician’s strict bell curve teeming reality flourishes .



Virgo Grid Art 2


Virgo artist Robert Indiana, b. 13 September 1928.


Virgo Grid Art 3

Virgo conceptual artist Robert Irwin (b. 12 September 1928; one day after Robert Indiana) employs the grid as metaphor and plan. His use of both high-tech and horticultural materials unites the mechanical and and natural poles of the Virgo temper.  (Above: Nine Spaces, Nine Trees 1983; below, Light and Space, 2007)


Virgo Grid Art 4



Minimalist Virgo artist Carl Andre (b. 16 September 1935) restricts himself to repetitive rectilinear arrangements.

Gemini artists & writers here

Aries in Red Dresses here



Warhol a Leo, but the grid is Virgo's

An incorrect Scorpio birthdate for Andy Warhol is in circulation. Its erroneous origin is discussed at AstroDataBank. The coyly secretive artist offered several different dates for his birth. The accepted birthdate of August 6, 1928 is therefore dubious.  The birth certificate, not registered till 1945, was probably concocted by Warhol himself to satisfy a college registration requirement and is derived from an affidavit resting on the veracity (indeed, on the very existence) of the alleged birth midwife. This belated certificate has been supplemented as evidence by a "baptismal certificate" which on examination is equally derivative and indirect. Warhol was just the sort of person to shave some time off his age at the first possible opportunity. (“Eighteen years old and still not famous?”). I find it hard to believe that this notably dark Leo had seven planets in firesigns including sun and moon, sure representation of sunny extroversion, and few serious afflictions, as was the case on August 6, 1928. The 1928 horoscope is as much an ironic disguise as the blond wig.

One year earlier, however, we find a precise and powerful conjunction at the Venus/Pluto midpoint, of Jupiter and Uranus at 3 Aries, a degree whose Sabian symbol [M. E. Jone, The Sabian Symbols, 1953] reveals “an utterly naïve assimilation of self into its world and a complete flow of all effort  toward some proper end,” which is consonant with both his gee whiz manner and his remarkable productivity and accomplishment. (That conjunction at 3 Aries appears with equal descriptive accuracy in the chart of John Ashbury, another unique and unsunny Leo genius born a few days before.) A late Scorpio moon, conjunct Saturn and square Neptune, also seems appropriate to his mysterious, dead-pan persona, not to mention his unflinching morbid subject matter: dead movie stars, electric chairs, auto crashes, JFK's assassination, various disasters, criminals, skulls, shadows, etc. That configuration was under the direct pressure of transiting Neptune when Warhol was shot by Valerie Solanas in 1968. 

I also expected to see some Virgo in this Leo’s chart, since he employed the grid device continuously throughout his career, virtually his trademark mode of presentation. As Virgo is adjacent to Leo the absence of Virgo planets in the 1928 chart is conspicuous, but in the 1927 both Venus and Mars are in Virgo. 

More on Virgo and the Grid here.


Virgo Grid Artist #8: Will Shortz

Will Shortz, born 26 August 1952, is the crossword puzzle editor of the New York Times. However, with both Moon and Mars in Scorpio, his interests go beyond crosswords, to puzzles in general; he styles himself an enigmatologist.


David McKirdy: Virgo Grid Artist #7

I met an amazing artist from Tampa named David McKirdy. He told me he was a Virgo. His work is almost entirely grid-based. He punches holes or burns them into his medium with an etching tool. Needless to say, digital reproduction hardly captures the delicacy and devotion in each of his pieces. In a 2007 interview he said, "I'm not doing it for the excitement. There's not a thrill of spontaneity. ... It's about going to work and doing something that I believe in. I really like the field when it's finished, even though it is in some cases very grueling."


Donald Evans, Virgo artist #9

DONALD EVANS (b. 28 August 1945, Morristown NJ, 6:40 am) was another artist born under Virgo whose work is organized by the Grid. The postage stamp and its perforated sheets provided the rectilinear, regulated containment for Evans’s fantasy. He created the postal art for scores of imaginary nations;  peculiarly distinctive, whimsical, exotic or banal, as philatelic images tend to be, executed with microscopic precision and tongue in cheek.  Virgonian imagery predominates: catalogues of flora and fauna, natural landscapes, textiles, crafts, alphanumerics, and daily minutiae.

More of his work is here.

What to make of his premature death at the age of thirty-one, as enigmatic and abrupt as one of his postage stamps? His contained wanderlust led him to expatriate to the distinctly unexotic and safe Amsterdam, where he was ironically trapped in a fire in his neat apartment/studio (on 29 April 1977).

I have two fine copies of THE WORLD OF DONALD EVANS by Willy Eisenhart (1980, paperback, 173 pages, numerous plates) at the store.         $22.00

Order one here: