The sign of Virgo is intimately tied up with the divine feminine and the enlightened relation between the sexes, and an understanding of these issues has begun to permeate the consciousness of humanity in a new and powerful way over the last few decades.
This relates to synergy, a concept newly emerging in humanity's consciousness, and which is defined as "the interaction or cooperation of two or more organisations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects". In this sense, and in relation to the sexes, what is being progressively recognised throughout humanity is the synergistic capacity of the Divine to express itself through both masculine and feminine enlightened qualities, and this notion has actually been fundamental to many of the esoteric traditions for millennia. In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, enlightenment itself can be understood as the union of wisdom, regarded as a female enlightened quality, and method, regarded as a male enlightened quality. The ancient Egyptians were another culture whose mystic tradition revered the sacred feminine, emphasising its necessary balance with the sacred masculine. The Taoists teachings hold such a position also, and indeed in the ancient Gnostic tradition of esoteric Christianity, spiritual wisdom was always understood as a feminine expression of the divine, and a compliment to the masculine Christos.
In anchoring these teaching in the realm of the practical, a key point to consider relates to our capacity to find the Divine in each other, and in our shared everyday relationships. This involves the recognition of the divine not just in the first and third persons (the divine 'I', that is the SELF within all, and the divine 'it' or 'thing', that surrounds, lies within, and pervades all things), but in terms of the second person also: the divine you. It is this recognition that allows a field of relationship to arise between beings in which all are recognised as souls upon the eternal Way, each innately shining with pure Light, cosmic Love and enlightened Will and yet each faced with particular challenges and tests in being able to fully express this. Here is found the beginning of an understanding of 'Namaste', the Hindu greeting that is an expression of the reverence one may hold for the divine in, and that is, another.
In the academic field, modern day psychology has had contributions to make to this discussion also. In particular, Ken Wilber, drawing on the research of the developmental psychologist Carol Gilligan, has discussed the two particularly masculine and feminine contributions to gender relations to be free will and justice, on the part of the masculine, and communion, or relational love, on the part of the feminine. Wilber discusses how this research suggested that males and females both proceed through the same developmental stages during life, from self-centric, to group-centric, to world-centric, but with females doing so with an emphasis on their increasing capacity to express compassionate communion without restriction, and males with an increasing capacity to extend justice and free will without restriction. In this respect, males are understood to initially only extend the right of free will and justice to themselves (self-centric), then only to the group of which they form a part, (group-centric), and then eventually to the entire world (world-centric). Women are said to move through the same path, though with a different emphasis, firstly only extending care and compassion to themselves, then only to their group, and then also to the entire world. These two lines of emphasis are understood to converge, however, in what Gilligan understood as the highest developmental stage of gender identity. This is intuitively necessary, as for a right and healthy balance to be maintained both require each other. Communion without the impulse to freely act and push the boundaries leads to a static state of non-growth, and demonstrated free will without compassion leads to selfishness and destructive unilateralism. In our world there is clearly an excess of the latter as an expression of the over-empowerment of the masculine half of this equation, but as Wilber notes in relation to the last stage of gender development, both males and females integrate the quality of the opposite gender into their psychological make-up; males retain their emphasis on free will and justice, but they incorporate and balance this with a healthy dose of compassion and communion. Females retain their emphasis on communion, yet they incorporate a healthy orientation towards wilful action. This is something that we can perhaps look to see occurring within humanity at large now that the issue of right relations between the genders has been raised. We may not immediately see an answer, but the important thing currently is that we are living the question.
In a cosmological sense, we can seek out the enlightened relation between the sexes also. An ecologically aware, planetary perspective is fast growing among humanity, and it is one that resonates deeply with an understanding of the Earth as Mother. According to an even wider perspective, however, we might recognise the universe as the Great Mother, for it is this universal field that has birthed, and continues to birth, support and nurture all there is. Searching out the masculine pole in this duality, we can recognise that at every level, human, planetary, solar, cosmic, galactic and universal, there is both the feminine field, and the masculine point of positive fiery Life that lies at the centre of that field, and indeed at the centre of every centre within it.
At all levels there is this Fire of Life and the field within which it flames forth, burns and expresses. And all along this chain, there are lives, resonating with and meditating in the Divine that is SPIRIT - the deepest and highest core of being, and indeed the essential basis of all there is. Within our own planetary life, the focus at the times of the full moon is on bringing the three major planetary chakras, Shamballa, the planetary crown chakra that is the reservoir and distributer of the fiery will of the planetary Being, Hierarchy, the planetary heart chakra that expresses the divine love and wisdom of the planetary being, and humanity, the intelligent and creative centre within the planetary life, into right energetic relations. This necessitates all three centres assuming both masculine and feminine positions of transmission and reception respectively, and it is along these lines that the worldwide meditating group will be working at this time.
Ultimately, Humanity, Hierarchy, and Shamballa, creative intelligence, love-wisdom, and divine will and power, are each aspects of the One Life, sexless, though expressing all along the great Chain of Being in terms of this primary duality of male and female. In a deep understanding of this truth one is reminded of the tantric art of the esoteric Buddhists depicting the sexual union of the male and female deity. The male represents the pure Emptiness of primordial Spirit, and the female the incredible fullness, beauty and diversity of the world of Form. Forever, it is said, these two are in union, and the fiery beauty of the divine world that is right here, and right now, blazes forth.
Blessings of the Virgo full moon.
This piece first appeared in the North Wales monthly publication, Network News: a guide to inspiring events in north wales, and is reproduced here with grateful thanks to the publishers.