The Shadow of Virgo, the Woman Unto Herself
While we revel in the image of the Woman Unto Herself and the new release of Virgo’s force of nature into our lives… we must not forget that every archetype has its very challenging shadows and initiations which we will be confronted by and must contend with.
This is the cycle to enter into these Mysteries, welcome the initiations, and be supported by them. It is from leaning into this moment and the sacred wild forces of Nature that are with us, that we more fully realize this archetype’s wholeness within us.
One of the shadows of the Woman Unto Herself is loneliness.
The Tarot card that is related to Virgo is the Hermit. The Hermit card usually represents wisdom, prudence, and illumination, as well as philosophy, introspection, and meditation. The card also illustrates the concept of solitude and the power of silence.
Yet we don’t begin here. We don’t start off with embodying this capacity to feel at rest and peace with our solitude and silence and be illuminated by it. The grit of sand that begins the process of our stepping into this sacred WILD power, is through our experience of existential loneliness. Through our feelings of not being fully met, seen, held when we need to be, loved and supported when we most want it. When this doesn’t occur, we are thrown back upon ourselves.
There is a natural state of aloneness which many of us reveled in as children.
We didn’t feel alone or lonely. We communed with nature, our stuffed animals, our imaginary friends. We believed our parents loved us and saw us for who we really were. And yet for most of us, we soon began to realize that our parents could not be there for us always, or reeeeeeeally understood us, nor did our friends, or our lovers. They saw what they wanted to see.
And when we didn’t live up to their projection, they shunned that aspect of us… exiling it into the shadows. And thus the gap between really being seen and understood and loved for who we really were/are began to widen. And that exiled one became the black void of emptiness and loneliness we fell into in moments of despair.
I stand in the place of receiving the inner travail of so many.It IS a ubiquitous cry!
We don’t feel seen we don’t feel loved…. or cared for. The world doesn’t understand us. We feel we serve and serve and serve… and who is here to serve us? Where is the reciprocity? Where is the One who we can fully let go into the arms of?
This is the other side of Virgo… the shadow side, the challenge. What does the Woman Unto Herself really mean? It looks exhilarating to be dancing in the forest, or swimming in the sea alone. But the initiation of this force carries us to the existential truth of… I am alone… and lonely. It is through this pain and facing it, having to provide for ourselves what others cannot or will not do for us, that the Woman/Man Unto Herself is fashioned from.
There is truly no one who can fully embrace all that we are but ourselves.
No one who can fully grok our eccentricities, hold compassion for all of our vulnerabilities, understand where it all stems from, fulfill our needs at all times, but ourselves. This is the truth of human existence which we all must turn to face and begin a relationship with. And in so doing, we discover the Mystery.
In his beautiful and tragic essay ‘God’s Lonely Man,’ novelist Thomas Wolfe connects the intense loneliness of his own life to this universal aspect of humanity. He writes:
“The whole conviction of my life now rests upon the belief that loneliness, far from being a rare and curious phenomenon, peculiar to myself and to a few other solitary men, is the central and inevitable fact of human existence. When we examine the moments, acts, and statements of all kinds of people — not only the grief and ecstasy of the greatest poets, but also the huge unhappiness of the average soul…we find, I think, that they are all suffering from the same thing. The final cause of their complaint is loneliness.”
The beauty of this journey with Virgo is that when we do turn to meet ourselves on these levels… hold ourselves… be with ourselves… it is then that we begin to feel met in our relationships.
What our lover cannot provide in the moment due to his/her own challenges and vulnerabilities, we can provide for ourselves. No longer are there holes that need to be filled by another, for we take responsibility for filling them. And like magic, the relationship grows stronger and we are more deeply met.
The great Mystery is that the next sign in the zodiac after Virgo is Libra, who rules committed relationships. Those who have not met the initiation of Virgo struggle terribly here because of the wild projections, complexes and wounds which are seeking to be healed and get projected out on our lover, rather than brought home for us to devotedly tend to.
When we know how to tend to ourselves when conflict arises or our lover cannot meet us, we are able to move through the challenge of the moment and care truly for the One. Me.
When I am fulfilled, I can meet another where they are. This is the place where true committed relationship is realized.
Virgo’s opposite is Pisces and the 12th House.. the archetype that pulls us into the deep and we dissolve into the unity of the collective unconscious and experience the truth of our eternal interconnectedness and unity with alllll.
Virgo and the Hermit’s dark face of existential loneliness is one of the most challenging initiations that humanity faces.
Many do not make it because of the horrible despair their loneliness carries them into. If you and I can embody this deeper truth of our existence, not only do we fulfill ourselves, we can truly serve and support others in finding their way in the darkness.