Soho Horoscopes: Get back to the grind this Virgo season
This month, astrologer and member Clarisse Monahan explores the diligent and detail-oriented nature of this mutable earth sign
Wednesday 23 August 2023 By Clarisse Monahan Illustration by Spencer Gabor
The to-do list is Virgo’s love language. An eminently practical sign, the maiden represents the zodiac’s ‘mutable earth’ energy. The ‘earth’ aspect makes sense, as Virgo season coincides with the harvest – and hence the land. But the harvest also indicates the transition from summer abundance to autumnal austerity. And it is this transitional quality that speaks to the ‘mutable’ nature of the sign.
When taken together, then, Virgo’s mutable earth energy suggests a time for us to be hard-working, grounded and service-oriented toward community (the harvest, traditionally, has communal associations). If Leo is a season to show-off, Virgo’s is to show-up (and grind).
Astrological tension alert: you’ve got the sun in your sign this season, which usually aligns one to their cosmic nature. For you, this might mean something like increased energy for problem-solving or for detail-oriented work. But this year there’s a catch. Your ruling planet, Mercury (the planet of communication), goes retrograde in Virgo on 22 August – the same day the sun enters it. Mercury retrogrades impede self-expression, so you may feel more stymied for a few weeks when it comes to voicing your desires. Mercury retros are also known for slowing down plans, so birthday parties could get delayed. Projects, too. This retrograde transit, therefore, should be used more for reviewing or editing, rather than starting new endeavours. Retrogrades are also fruitful for self-reflection. Think back on the past year to imagine new paths forward for the one to come.
Your ruling planet, lovely Venus, is in a bit of a cosmic hard place at the moment. Until 3 September, it is going retrograde. Retrogrades are wonky transits, where a planet’s influence gets thrown off-course. Hence when Venus – the ruler of love, beauty, harmony – goes retro, romance tends to get weird. Relationships in general can feel less in tune. This shaky transit will be impacting the friendship zone of your chart. You might start questioning affiliations around this time, or even desire to be alone more than usual. On 3 September, however, Venus goes ‘direct’, meaning its wonky retro influence will end. As Venus will still be in your friendship zone, expect a renewed yen for socialising with your crew. Like butterflies, we usually emerge from the cocoon of a retrograde with a heightened desire for the very things that the retro-transit troubled or denied.
Until 27 August, your ruling planet, aggro Mars, is camped out in precise Virgo. This is a strong placement for your ruler. Virgo is a sign to do with service, tasks and routine – and Mars is a planet that needs and thrives on such things. Indeed, without a sense of direction Mars can make you, in particular, testy and unpleasant. Luckily, Virgo helps provide the kinds of structures your ruling planet requires. Therefore, use the first week of the maiden’s season to be super productive by attacking outstanding ‘to do’ lists as energy for detail-oriented procedures around this time is going to be high. On 27 August, Mars passes into Libra – a sign it doesn’t do as well in. Mars is a planet that sees things in black and white, whereas Libra is all about looking at issues from both sides (its symbol, after all, is the scales). Learn a lesson from Libra and work on achieving work/life balance. Easier said than done, but it needs to be said.
This could very well feel like a season to reset. Why? You have a lot of planetary motion in your career zone (practical sun in Virgo, plus communicative Mercury) but the latter is going retrograde until 15 September. Retrograde transits slow down or debilitate a planet’s influence (a Mercury retrograde is notorious for making communication more difficult). Retros also tend to prompt self-reflection. For your somewhat reckless nature, that isn’t a bad thing. With the Mercury retrograde in your career zone, pump the brakes on big work-related decisions. Should I take this job in NYC? (Do I even want this job?) Usually, Sagittarius tends to rush, rather than reflect. But with Mercury back-spinning, this could be a good time to talk with yourself or others about your career path. The delays associated with a Mercury retro could ultimately benefit you over the next few weeks, as they could provide the proper frameworks to make sure your future moves are the right ones.
One of the most important parts of our natal chart is the career zone, also known as the House of Fame and Public Persona. Whenever planets transit through here we should take note, and so it goes with you this month as go-getter Mars (the motivational speaker of the zodiac) amps up your career sector, starting 27 August. Mars gets a bad rap – it’s associated with divisiveness, conflict and aggression. But all planets have positive and negative aspects: Martian influence also has to do with courage, ambition and drive. These latter qualities fit well with the career zone and Mars transits here usually suggest a moment to take on more responsibility at work (ambition) or ask for a promotion (courage). Ultimately, Mars is about boldness in action. Align with this energy this season to move forward with professional goals.
You have lovely Venus energising your relationship zone this month, but let’s read the astrological fine print a bit more. Venus indicates romance, money and beauty. It would stand to reason that a transit involving planet love through the relationship sector of your chart would be a boon. But the catch is this: Venus is currently going retrograde until 3 September. Retrogrades debilitate a planet’s influence. In the case of a Venus retro, romance might feel more difficult. We may also pine for lovers of yesteryear (as retrogrades tend to have a backward-looking effect on us). Advice: if you’re feeling somewhat shaky in the romance department over the next few weeks, wait things out. Venus goes direct on 3 September, which should bring clarity and a return of Venusian sweetness to the partnership fold.
Until 15 September, communicative Mercury will be retrograde in your relationship zone. Let’s unpack what this means. A retrograde indicates a transit during which a planet’s influence is weakened. In the case of Mercury retros, communication, words, speech can all go haywire. Meanings become misconstrued. Emails end up missing. With this in mind, be extra careful with how you communicate with partners in your life until mid-September as Mercury could be causing trouble in this part of your chart. Slowing down, choosing words carefully, not writing or speaking in anger: these, of course, are always good pieces of advice when it comes to love and romance, but they are more pertinent in your chart until mid-month.
Until 27 August, Mars, your fiery and confrontational ruling planet, transits Virgo. This is an auspicious placement for you and your ruler: Virgo is the sign of tasks, busy work and details – and Mars needs the kind of direction that Virgo provides. Mars with no plan is a bad scene. With that in mind, use the first week of Virgo season to work super hard on little things, particularly stuff you need to do on your own. Let’s call it a ‘me-first’ week. Cosmic fortunes shift dramatically on 27 August, when Mars moves into Libra, where it will be impacting your relationship zone. Battle-ready Mars in this part of the chart can lead to bluster, dust-ups and spats. But Mars is also associated with passion and staying power, both of which are necessary for partnerships and tending to the needs of others. This is the side of Mars you should be mobilising from 27 August onward. So: ‘me-first’ to start Virgo season; ‘not-me-first’ for the rest of it.
You’re the fixed-earth sign of the zodiac, meaning that you favour stability and security over the pell-mell rush of Gemini or Sagittarius. But with your ruling planet, Venus, going retrograde in the home zone of your chart until 3 September, your yen for comfort could be disrupted. Retrogrades are difficult transits during which a planet’s influence gets diminished or even perverted. In the case of a Venus retro, love, beauty and desire can, therefore, get ugly. With this transit impacting your home zone, you might find a roommate situation untenable or maybe experience less harmony with a beloved. All these indications are typical – and also, thankfully, temporary. On 3 September, Venus goes ‘direct’, which is to say, the retrograde ends. No major decisions about any home-related issues until then.
Your ruling planet, chatty Mercury, is in a great place: Virgo (a sign it also rules). But with Virgo going retrograde until 15 September this is one of those ‘glass half-empty, glass half-full’ transits. Why? Retrogrades tend to mess with a planet’s positive qualities and influence. Mercury retros, in particular, are known for making all forms of communication difficult and delayed. For a quick and mutable air sign like yourself, Mercury retrogrades hit particularly hard. You want to dazzle others with wit and wordplay, with social media and executive presence, but your ruling planet is like: ‘Nope: time to slow down until mid-September.’ The glass-half-full side to this transit is that a Mercury retrograde in Virgo is the best place for it. Expect stronger powers related to editing, reviewing, reframing or rethinking your communication (college essays, law school applications, work projects, and so on). Wait until the retrograde ends on 15 September to push forward with any major comms.
Your ruling planet, the mutable moon, will be full and happy in mystical Pisces on 30 August, setting the tone for two weeks of heightened intuition. This could very well manifest in finding satisfaction and closure through a spiritual quest or artistic projects. In sum, expect more emotional connection and attunement to the source of creativity and abundance within you. On 14 September, the new moon transits through no-nonsense Virgo. Here, the moon is less mystical and more practical, indicating a two-week spell for you to put onto paper, canvas or video the kinds of dreamy Piscean intuitions that informed the first two weeks of September. First part of the month: dream; the second: work.
The big news for you is a not-so-auspicious Venus retrograde impacting the selfhood sector of your chart until 3 September. Retrogrades upset a planet’s influence. In your case, money, beauty, and love – all of which relate to Venus – could be affected by this transit. Up until 3 September, your usual boisterous, larger-than-life Leo persona might be somewhat dampened, leaving you feeling more grumpy wet cat than lion. Questions around self-worth – or how you value yourself – in particular could arise with vigour. Ride out these doubts – and the potentially negative self-talk associated with them – and look forward to Venus going ‘direct’ in early September. Celebrate the end of this wonky Venus transit with a new look or a new style, but avoid any major cosmetic decisions until after the retrograde ends.