Ruled by cerebral Mercury, thoughtful Virgo is the straight-A student of the zodiac. 

By Maressa Brown
Jun 19, 2020 @ 9:00 am
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As summer winds down, we embrace the last poolside days and retrain our eyes on the prizes to be won from returning to school or refocusing on the job. With the warmest days of the year moving to the rearview mirror and fall ahead, daily routines — that workout plan you want to stick to through the rest of the year or that volunteer opportunity you’ve been meaning to spend time on — come into focus. It must be Virgo season. Annually, approximately between August 23 and September 22, the sun moves through the sixth sign of the zodiac, Virgo, symbolized by the Virgin or the Maiden.

Encompassing summer’s last hurrah and leading into the Fall Equinox, we’re eager to soak up every last moment of what might be the most playful, carefree season of the year while planning ahead in a major way. This pragmatic energy and striving to be present is brought to you by Virgo, an earth sign associated with cerebral thought, honing in on the details of life, a propensity to be of service to others, and a sensitive heart. These traits are owed to Virgo’s ruling planet, Mercury, which oversees communication, transportation, technology, curiosity, and research.  

A few brainy, dedicated, perfectionistic, big-hearted Virgos: Zendaya, Beyonce, Blake Lively, Melissa McCarthy, Michelle Williams, Taraji P. Henson, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Hudson, Amy Poehler. These celebs are astrologically influenced to use their super communicator powers and self-expression to make their mark and difference in the world.  

Here, everything you need to know about the practical, thoughtful, down-to-earth sign. 

Virgo Personality Traits

Those born between August 23 and September 22 can generally assume that their sun sign is Virgo. (It’s not definitive, because the sun moves between signs on different days annually.) Also note that while we tend to refer to ourselves as our sun sign, it’s just one detail of a natal chart, which is basically a unique snapshot of the sky when you were born. But it’s a detail that helps color your core sense of self, identity, personal style, self-esteem, and confidence. 

The master organizer of the zodiac

Typical sun in Virgo traits include being detail-oriented, perfectionistic, a fan of routine and lists and organization (although they can be conventionally neat and tidy in certain ways, like drooling over spreadsheet design, and totally sloppy in others, like leaving piles of clothes on their floor for days on end), health-conscious, mercurial, sensitive, giving, analytical, masters of research, and shrewd communicators. Their characteristics reflect themes covered by the Sixth House of Wellness & Daily Routine, which Virgo rules. The Sixth House oversees your daily grind, everyday routines, how you manage your regular schedule, as well as how you care for your fitness and health. 

The mutable earth sign

Every sign is assigned a quality (cardinal, mutable, or fixed), which explains the sign’s basic energy. There’s a cardinal, mutable, and fixed sign within every element (fire, earth, air, water). Virgo is the mutable one of the earth group, which makes them more flexible than other signs and interested in hearing many sides of an issue before making a decision. In fact, it’s for this very reason that they can struggle to reach a conclusion, but once they do, you can rest assured they’ve left no stone unturned while gathering pertinent information.

Virgo's best personality traits:

Grounded empaths and lovers of language, knowledge, and being of service to those they love, you can trust that a Virgo in your life will be brimming with helpful information and action steps while also being one of the first people to offer a shoulder to lean or cry on. They are the brainy A students of the zodiac, quick to share what they know to steer the ship in the right direction — and if they don’t, they’ll go on a merciless hunt for those “just-right” details. They’re the friend who feels more like a big sister or the yoga instructor whose flows and speeches seem intuitively, perfectly attuned to the moment. If you’re dating a Virgo, they’ll make sure they’ve scoured all of Yelp for the perfect spot with the best reviews, call ahead to ensure you get the best view, or offer up a gift that’s so incredibly thoughtful, personal, and sweet, you’re left shaking your head in awe. 

Virgo's worst personality traits:

Virgo’s perfectionism and tendency to be their own worst critic can take a toll in just about every area of their life. Overthinking and overanalyzing, their Mercury-guided minds can often switch into overdrive, turning up the volume on their insecurities. This can manifest as procrastination or projecting their inner nitpicking onto others. They’re also super-prone to high functioning anxiety and often worry themselves sick. If they’re having trouble self-soothing, these Nervous Nelly, high-strung tendencies could make it challenging for people who are on a different emotional wavelength to be around them. 

What Virgos Are Like in Love & Bed

Virgo's romance style

If your date seems to dig all the little things about their day-to-day routine — from caring for a pet to watering their plants, taking their favorite spin class to writing lengthy emails to friends — you’re likely seeing someone born under the influence of kind, information-gathering, helpful, downright sweet Virgo energy. The earth sign is pragmatic and perfectionistic, and while this might not be the stuff big, sweeping, cinematic romantic fantasies are made of, Virgoan energy is sure to appeal to anyone who values communication skills and being shown they’re loved in thoughtful, service-oriented ways on the regular. 

Anyone who would like to forge a lasting bond with a Virgo would do well to lean into intellectually-stimulating conversation, taking care of their own bodies, minds, and souls as part of their everyday routine, and recognizing their lover’s concerted efforts offer help and healing. They’ll appreciate even the tiniest tokens of affection that prove you’ve paid attention, e.g. their favorite flower or a specially curated playlist.  

Virgo's sexual style

While some might tease Virgos — aka the Virgin — for being too uptight and picky to let loose between the sheets, a Virgo who is comfortable, confident, happy, and ideally in love (they know they deserve it all) will easily put any heady hangups aside in the bedroom. Instead, their sensitive, service-oriented nature will be on full display. They’ll think through all of the subtle aspects necessary for setting the mood during a sexy evening, like adding sensual essential oil to a diffuser or making sure they have their lover’s favorite wine on hand. 

Given how cerebral they are, their favorite form of foreplay is nerding out over that book they just read, the documentary you both watched, or the op-ed everyone on Twitter was buzzing about today. And if you start trading notes about the ways you’re giving back to your community through volunteer work or political action, steel yourself for fireworks. 

Once they’re in the throes of a passionate encounter, they’re eager to please, deriving a lot of their own pleasure from feeling like they’ve given their partner exactly what they want. Feeling chill enough in their own skin to speak up and share what they want can be a struggle for some Virgos, but once they’ve gotten cozy with it, they’ll be extra specific, basically giving their lover a treasure map to bring them bliss. And by the way, that Virgoan specificity can extend to having a very particular fetish, whether it’s for a particular type of restraint, position, or their go-to CBD oil. 

Virgo Compatibility

Wondering how Virgo matches up with your sign as a friend, a lover, a colleague, or in terms of any other one-on-one relationship? Here, their most simpatico partners as well as clash-prone pairings: 

Signs most compatible with Virgo:

Signs that share the same element tend to be the most in sync (e.g. two water signs, like Cancer and Scorpio). This is especially the case for two earth signs, both of whom have an innate appreciation for keeping it real. 

Earth is also traditionally compatible with water, because the two elements complement one another. Water signs help earth sit with their emotions and hit the pause button on rational thought in order to dream, while earth signs can guide water signs to plan and organize. That said, a Virgo often hits it off with a similarly pragmatic, thoughtful Taurus, heartfelt and sensitive Cancer, or industrious and tradition-minded Capricorn.

Signs least compatible with Virgo:

As with most of the zodiac signs, opposites can attract — and Virgo and Pisces often bond over being empaths who care almost too much for others (and perhaps one another) at times. This can make for a deep, otherworldly connection, but as Virgo is informed by Mercury and guided by reality, facts, and concrete data, and watery Pisces is ruled by spiritual, dreamy, and escapist Neptune, they might struggle against their core natures to get in sync. 

Virgo is also square (the most challenging angle that can exist between two signs) curious Gemini and philosophizing Sagittarius. Unless they have other positive aspects in their natal charts, Virgo can respect the other mutable signs for their adaptability and similar love of soaking up knowledge at every turn, but emotionally, Virgos might wince at Gemini’s dualistic and flighty nature and interpret Sag’s unfiltered preachiness as insensitivity. 

What If You Have Virgo Elsewhere in Your Chart?

As mentioned previously, the sun sign is one of many aspects of a natal chart. When you were born, the moon and all the planets in our solar system were in one of the 12 signs and a particular position — all of which help to inform your personality and areas of your life. Here’s what it means if Virgo shows up in any of the main areas of your chart: 

Virgo Moon

The moon, which spends about two to three days in each sign, influences your emotions and intuition. If it was in Virgo at the time of your birth, your head and your heart are inextricably linked. On a good day, this can make for a love of life’s most minute details, thoughtfulness, and helpfulness, and on one that’s not as good, hypersensitivity rooted in overthinking. 

Virgo Mercury

Mercury, which spends about two to three weeks in a sign, shapes your communication style. If it was in Virgo when you were born, you likely have a way with words and language, love making detailed lists,  and can throw together a gasp-worthy spreadsheet like nobody’s business.  

Virgo Venus

Venus, which remains in a sign for about three to five weeks, influences how you behave in relationships and how you attract others. If you were born with the planet of love and beauty in Virgo, you will go to the ends of the earth to help someone you care about and offer gifts and gestures that were extremely thought out and well-researched. You appreciate when a partner matches you on that and shows they care in everyday, practical ways.

Virgo Mars

Mars, which remains in a sign for six or seven weeks, affects your energy, strength, sexual style, and how you experience courage. If you were born while the fiery, dynamic, fighter planet was in mutable, earthy Virgo, you’re a bit of a workaholic, content to plug away at one project after the next, as long as it’s part of a routine you enjoy sticking to. That said, you’re also capable of adapting and shifting when necessary, and multitasking is your forte, thanks to your ruler Mercury. Feeling like you’re contributing and making a difference on the job is crucial for you to stay interested and engaged. Colleagues likely lean on you for your research-savviness and willingness to lend an ear and sage advice.

Virgo Ascendant (or Rising)

Your ascendant or rising sign influences how you present yourself to the world. As a Virgo ascendant, you come off as down-to-earth, approachable, social, communicative, and eager to find solutions at every turn.

Upcoming Astrological Highlights for Virgo

August 22-September 22:

While the sun moves through your sign, you’ll get to revel in the annual festival known as your season. You’ll feel confident in your own skin and fired up to take steps toward turning that big picture vision into a reality. This could also be a sweet opportunity to put in time off and connect with your nearest and dearest.  

September 17:

The new moon in Virgo is a special chance for you to key into a long-term goal and set yourself up for success by mapping out the game plan you’ll need to enact to cross the finish. Because the moon forms a harmonizing angle to three outer planets — Jupiter, Pluto, Saturn — this is a time when dedication, hard work, and optimism can pay off in the form of a true transformation. 

October 2-27:

Venus, the planet of romance, beauty, and money, moves through your sign during this period, making it the perfect time to experiment with your look, connect with loved ones and friends, and be especially pleasure-oriented and playful in how you’re connecting with someone special.

December 19-May 13, 2021:

Jupiter, the planet of fortune and expansion, will move through your sixth house of wellness. (For a recent point of reference, consider what happened from January 5, 2009 to January 17, 2010, as that was the last time the benefic planet spent time in this zone.) The huge planet brings an amplifying effect to anything it touches, so your focus on and fortune within your home zone of routine and wellness will be magnified, making it easier to see results from your fave new fitness plan or taking a lucky leap that boosts your daily business.