saying 'no' - is often his way of protecting himself against an intolerable insensitivity. His famous meanness - and no doubt about it, many Virgos are really mean with money - is often a cover-up for a streak of innate extravagance. And his insistent compulsion to stick to practical realities helps him to escape the mystic in his own soul.
A queer bird, Virgo. Not far beneath the cool and analytic veneer you find a sentimental romantic. Virgo may be brusque in manner, and don't try to borrow money unless you've proven you can repay it. You'll rarely find Virgo as you find Pisces, who will offer his last pound to the drunk in Piccadilly Circus. Virgo's more likely to deliver a stern and frequently insufferably irritating lecture about self-help. But often this is because he's too acutely aware of the drunks, derelicts, rejects and flotsam of life, and has a real horror that he might become one himself. Planning for and guaranteeing the safety of the future is an obsession with Virgo, because his acute sense of the world as it is often makes it hard for him to have faith or trust in life. He can't cope with that reality he's so plugged into. It threatens his sense of stability. So he shuts it out - discriminating like mad against any elements of it he can't deal with - and looks out for number one. You'll often find Virgo being generous and apparently altruistic, giving freely of his time and skills, especially when it comes to teaching somebody how to do something. He loves to show his competence and is genuinely generous in sharing his knowledge. But you'll rarely find Virgo giving beyond that ring-pass-not. He usually learns his lesson early. It's almost as though he has a secret Piscean in him somewhere. And he's learned Pisces' lesson - with no boundaries comes self-disintegration. After all, it's only realistic.
The Virgo Lover
I once came across a kind of joke horoscope which gave a particularly insulting paragraph to each sign. For Virgo, it said, 'Virgos are apt to fall asleep while making love. They make good bus drivers.' Well, amusing enough. But it reflects the general attitude most popular astrology holds about the Virgo lover. And sadly, many Virgos do nothing to dispel this image.
I once knew a Virgo man who kept by his bedside one of those ubiquitous sex primers which told you which erogenous zone the left hand should be placed on after the first five minutes of foreplay. He actually attempted to follow the instructions, as though he were following a recipe. Virgos tend to like instructions, on boxes, packages, books, or whatever. Take the instructions away and they often panic. This Virgo wondered why it was that he didn't seem to be able to keep his lover's interest. It goes back again to the problem Virgo has with the unknown. And sexuality and love are both mysteries about which we know virtually nothing. As the novelist Robert Musil wrote:
There is still a great deal unknown about this phenomenon capable of transporting an ordinarily 'civilized' man and woman into a state which under other circumstances we would associate only with a frothing lunatic.
This, isn't, however, what Virgo's nature is really about. It's just that he often sees himself as the potential frothing lunatic, and tries to make sure it doesn't happen. Then you get the apparently cool, unromantic Virgo, perhaps sexually skilled but emotionally invisible, who tells you that having it three times a week is good for you because of whatever book he's just finished. Ah, whatever happened to the Great Harlot?
Virgo, unleashing his sensuality, however, is a different creature altogether. In common with Taurus and Capricorn, Virgo is earthy, and that means metaphorically as well as astrologically. His sexual needs are often deep and sensuous, and his sensitivity and delicacy allow him - or her - to be aware of another person's needs