The Virgo Shadow
(From the book "Astrology for Lovers" by Liz Green)
With a sign as obsessive as Virgo, you might expect a fairly twitchy shadow. How right you are. Virgo's shadow side is complex, like his ordinary consciousness. One main face of it we might call the 'I know it all' syndrome. It goes something like this:
WIFE: (to Virgo husband) I've just discovered something really interesting. It was in my oil painting class. If you dilute oil paints with turps and float them on water and then dip paper…
VIRGO: Yes, I know all about that. I learned to do it years ago. But you have to make sure you don't use too much turps, or it gets too runny. Next time let me help you with it.
WIFE: But my paintings come out really well. (Feeling slightly deflated because it would be really nice, once in a while, to surprise him with something he didn't already know.)
VIRGO: I'm sure they did. It's just that I might be able to help you to mix the colours better. It's not easy.
WIFE: Oh, and I read in the paper today….
VIRGO: I know. About the new budget cuts.
WIFE: Yes, I really think that if the government expects to help the economy, they ought to…
VIRGO: Before you criticize the bill, you should really learn more about it. I studied political and economic philosophy for years. I'm convinced it's the best thing they could possibly do.
VIRGO: Never mind. I know I'm right.
Sounds fairly innocent on the surface. Just an ordinary know-it-all. But the destructive side of Virgo's shadow takes a long time to bear its fruits. Try this on somebody over a period of a few years and you never allow them ever to learn anything, find out anything, think anything, that they can give you. You've taken it all already. You know it beforehand. It's one of the most insidious and deadly ways of crushing another person's creativity that could happen. And it's one of the darker edges of Virgo. The Virgo shadow slowly and in tiny, unnoticeable steps, completely erodes another individual's trust in their own self, mistakes or not. The Virgo shadow, as one of its compulsions, has a positively horrific fear of being mistaken or wrong. There is something about having something not quite known, labeled, classified, that is intolerable. But life is full of mistakes, and so are people, and so, probably, is God. The Virgo shadow, in its own way, kills life, because it tries to remove life's unpredictability and unevenness.
Another similar face of this shadow is the I-told-you-so syndrome. No great detail is needed to describe it, since we've all met it, in somebody else or in ourselves. It makes you feel like killing. That smug, faintly satisfied look that Virgo can sometimes get - when he warned you about something and you blundered and he knew all along that you would - makes you want to fill the bathtub with piranhas. It's another way of never permitting anything to happen which is unexpected, messy, incomplete. It's Virgo's way of saying, 'But I never would have blundered like that. I know better.'
You get the picture. What is this shadow about? Well, for one thing, it stems from Virgo's fear of the unknown. When a Virgo is really being true to himself, he's ordinarily maybe a little cautious,