Virgo New Moon: A Grand Mess
The Virgo New Moon (Aug. 27, 2022, 1:17 am PDT) asks: What does it mean to be healthy? Orderly? Tidy? Or – that most dreaded of Virgo adjectives – perfect?
Like just about everyone else, I’ve had the kind of life that placed perfection decidedly out of reach early on. I’ve never had a prayer of achieving anything close to the perfect figure, the perfect career, or the perfect family life. Imperfection is the human condition, it seems, but it makes me sad that I’ve so often fallen so short of my own standards. Wouldn’t it be wonderful, every so often, to be able to trade in your beat-up old life for a shiny new one as easily as upgrading your car?
Some of my imperfect life is, undeniably, my own fault – a fact my Mars, Pluto and Midheaven in Virgo never let me forget for a moment. I don’t have the right kind of personality for office work, so I probably should have finished college right after high school instead of making the decision to drop out and earn a living as a secretary. I should have found a better method of coping with my childhood traumas than self-medicating with junk food and putting myself behind the metabolic 8-ball. And no doubt I could have avoided some of the credit card debt and bad relationships that caused me so many headaches throughout my twenties.
But some of my missteps were simply the best coping techniques I could come up with at an early age, in response to events beyond my control. By the age of ten I’d lost a parent in a tragic accident, been dragged across country to live in California, seen my family’s financial status plunge to near-poverty, and was living as a latchkey kid long before it was fashionable. Despite this rocky start, I eventually improvised my way to a satisfying career, formed a happy marriage, finished college, and forged a much healthier relationship with money.
Mind you, it’s a far from perfect résumé, and I’m aware a lot of other people have done much more with a lot less. But when I consider that a good deal of what I am was invented on the fly, in response to weird and disorienting circumstances, I figure I haven’t done too badly at all. Perhaps, sometimes, what looks like imperfection is actually a creative, practical response to the hand we’ve been dealt.
Maybe in my next life I’ll take my time and do it all right the first time. This time around, though, I’ve found that there is a certain relaxation that comes with giving up on perfection and making do with what comes your way. That’s not to say one shouldn’t strive to be better. But what exactly does “better” mean? Better than what? I’m not so sure that an earthy, practical sign like Virgo was ever meant to symbolize anything as otherworldly and unattainable as perfection. Rather, I think Virgo’s concept of “better” would simply have us strive to be ever more useful and of optimal service. Of how much use can we be to the world while we’re preoccupied with carbohydrates, injurious credit card interest rates, and keeping our bathrooms spotlessly clean?
I’m lucky at this point in my life to know a number of people who are deeply involved with making the world a better place. They simply don’t have time to mope about their imperfect thighs, shop for the perfect little black dress, or obsess about spots on the carpet. They’re too busy organizing demonstrations, working as mental health professionals and spiritual counselors, and volunteering time for social justice causes. I don’t think they would describe their lives as perfect, either; but then, rather than perfection, they’ve set their sights on effectiveness – an infinitely more joyful and attainable goal.
When you get right down to it, life is a grand mess – and in fact, it’s kind of beautiful that way. Maybe everything is already perfect, just as it is, and your only job is to figure out your place in it, and to do the best you can with what you’ve been given. Become better, urges Virgo; more useful. Be of optimal service. Figure out what the world needs from you, and organize your life in such a way that you’re able to give it. If we orient ourselves in that way, I can’t help but think Virgo will be pleased with us – no matter how messy our houses, how unbalanced our checkbook, or how abundant our cellulite.
Writing and collages © 2006-2022 April Elliott Kent
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