Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Chart Ruler: Virgo Rising (Mercury)

In continuing the chart ruler series, we’ll be talking about the Virgo Ascendant in this article. What is the chart ruler? It’s the ruling planet of your Ascendant sign. And the chart ruler – by sign but more so by house placement and aspects – ends up influencing the unfolding of your life on a very powerful level. I like to say that, if you were writing your life story, the chart ruler would be how that story would progress, from chapter to chapter, and what kind of protagonist you would be. Would you be a heroic protagonist, a funny protagonist, an idealistic one, or a downright tragic one? Well, with a Virgo Ascendant, Mercury is the chart ruler, as Mercury rules the sign of Virgo. And with Mercury ruling the chart, you make for a very shrewd, intelligent protagonist.

Mercury is the planet of the mind, of intellect, and of communication. It’s how we think and speak, as well as the ways in which we comprehend things. This is why Virgo Rising people are born with such a natural intelligence. The Ascendant is your point of view and with this Rising sign, your point of view is very clear and logical. Not all of those with this placement will be noticeably brilliant or full-on intellectuals, though many of them will display these traits. But, I feel like it would be very difficult to find a slow-witted Virgo Rising. It’s no coincidence that the huge majority of those with this Rising sign (at least, that I know of) also have a Gemini Midheaven, which gives them an overall reputation for being smart and a mission in life to gain and share as much information as possible. To the Virgo Ascendant, life is about constantly feeding the mind.

Speaking of Gemini, this sign is also ruled by Mercury. So, like with Taurus and Libra, we get an Earthy and an Airy expression of a ruling planet. Gemini’s Mercury is Airy in expression, as Gemini is an Air sign. So, Gemini Rising people live their lives by gaining lots of information in ways that are based on sheer stimulation. They communicate for the sake of communicating. Meanwhile, the Earthy Mercury expression via Virgo, an Earth sign, takes this communication and intellect and puts them to good use. So, with this Rising sign, you approach life with an intent of saying what needs to be said. It possibly gives you a better verbal filter than Gemini Rising but it doesn’t mean that you are reserved in this manner, either. Virgo is sometimes seen as being sort of quiet in comparison to chatterbox Gemini, since Virgo has more of a common-sense, low-key intelligence. But, I don’t think that’s true. I think Virgo Ascendant can be just as talkative as Gemini. With Mercury ruling the chart, regardless of if its Earth or Air, your whole demeanor is going to be of that of a talker.

I just think that Virgo is more articulate and more precise in its talkativeness. While Gemini can blabber on and on, in an often scattered or circular manner, Virgo knows how to get to the point. So, at certain times, this Rising sign does give you a demeanor that can be somewhat “short” in speech, if not downright curt. If you were the author of your biography, you would know how to trim the fat, as you make an almost ruthless editor. You edit your speech in this same way, not saying anything you feel is stupid or unnecessary, which keeps you from seeming like an airhead. You also are a strong editor of other people’s speech. Virgo Rising is usually quite a Grammar Nazi, quickly correcting the people around them. Even things like misspelling in texts or e-mails can throw you off, as well as anything else that’s just intellectually lazy. It’s pretty out of fashion nowadays to type in shortcut form, like “R u going to the store 2morrow?” But, back in the day, when a lot more people texted or e-mailed like that, it probably drove most Virgo Ascendants insane.

Yet, you do have plenty to say and that comes off in your whole demeanor. The ruling planet/Rising sign determine your behavior and demeanor; the way you carry yourself and put yourself out there. With Mercury as the chart ruler, your behavior is that of endless curiosity and analysis. It’s why Virgo Rising people have a “resting face” that is quite analytical, often to the point of scrunching their faces. Other people might ask you “what are you thinking?” on a regular basis because your default expression just seems to be lost in thought. But, you are very apt to tell them exactly what you’re thinking. Gemini Rising is more ADD in their Mercury-ruled behavior. So, not every single thing around you will catch your attention. In fact, the sensible nature of Mercury’s rulership over you means that many of those temporarily interesting things are a bit of a distraction or deemed unimportant by you. There are many times when you appear to be downright bored and disinterested, just due to your face, mannerisms, and body language.

Yet, when something does catch your interest, you really light up. Mercury is about duality, after all. And in your case, this means that you can either come off as uninterested and bored, to a downright chilly or disapproving degree, or totally engaged and inquisitive, with those shrewd eyes of yours taking in everything that’s going on. Some Virgo Rising people let one side of their Mercury dominate the other. That’s why some of you with this placement have that “resting bitch face” and just can’t help it. You can easily appear to be coolly judging someone else, sometimes without even meaning to (more on that later). But, the others will have this curious, light, chatty aura about them that makes them so fascinating and interesting to talk to. Yet, even these types can switch into the icy demeanor, while the icy types can suddenly melt when faced with great conversation and will end up winning the other person over with their brainpower and verbal flair.

Either way, it’s all about how your mind is being engaged. Since Mercury is your chart ruler, life has been this way for you since the beginning. The Rising sign shows how you were born and the ways that you developed during your infant and toddler years (before you begin developing ego-consciousness around the age of about seven). With the Ascendant in Virgo, one’s birth may have been “flawless” somehow, with everything going as scheduled. You might have been one of those babies whose mother just showed up to the hospital on the planned date and delivered you. But, you might have also been a highly stressful birth. On this end of the spectrum, everything could’ve gone totally un-according to plan, creating a frenetic, tense scramble for this perfect moment to happen. In either case, there was a lot of thinking surrounding your entry to the world. This influenced you by making you feel like you always had to be thinking and planning things.

In those first several years of your life, things could have been heavily organized and even regimented. Many Virgo Rising people grow up in an early environment where there is a lot of order and discipline. And since the ruling planet determines your role in life, you figured out, from the start, that you had to act in ways that lived up to these guidelines. So, this could have turned you into a highly well-behaved child. Even if your early environment was not very orderly, you still sought out this sense of organization. It doesn’t have to mean neatness, either. It could just mean making sure that everything around you made sense in your head. Mercury ruling your chart, through the practical element of Earth, gives you a highly constructive approach to life.

This is a role that was implanted within and that you’ve been playing out your whole life. Whatever house Mercury is in shows where and how you like to be constructive. If Mercury is in the 2nd House, you are going to live with this point of view of being constructive with your money and the things that bring you pleasure. Mercury being in the 7th House ruling the chart shows that your constructive approach will bring balance to your personal relationships and help you both seek a wonderful partner and be a wonderful partner. Yet, if you take Mercury too far, you may begin over-thinking and over-criticizing the area of life of your Mercury house. So, Mercury in the 2nd could make you obsessive-compulsive about money or possessions while Mercury in the 7th can make you nitpick and judge the people close to you, which, in turn, attracts nitpicky, judgmental people.

A point of view that is too judgmental is something that Virgo Rising individuals often have to work on. Not only does Mercury rule your life by making you analyze everything around you but it compels you to communicate these criticisms. And they’re not always constructive, in spite of what you might think! Your perspective is just so level-headed and smart that you think they are. But, sometimes, you’re just picking someone or something apart. It’s why you can make an impression on other people as being very judgmental, to a level that turns them off or scares them away. Your criticisms can, at times, be written all over your face.

In the end, you want to engage with your environment in a very helpful way. Mercury brings clarity of thought. Think of how much better we often feel when we use our mind, our sense of reason, to relax, to stop stressing out, to let go of certain emotional states, and to find solutions. With Mercury as your chart ruler, this is ultimately the part you seek to play in any given situation. It’s just that the critical tone or outlook driving what you’re saying can end up thwarting the communication between you and the other person. Because of this, you need to step back and think even more clearly to figure out if you are actually helping the situation or if you’re hurting it. If what you say or do only causes more problems to solve, then you’re not actually helping!

This also extends toward the problem-children that you can gravitate toward so easily. Since you seek to bring clarity to any situation, as a child of Mercury, you can be compulsively drawn to messy, chaotic, or destructive types who need your help. That also plays into your Pisces Descendant, which makes you the kind of self-sacrificing partner who can, on the negative end, attract overwhelming or draining relationships with lost causes. But, the good thing about you is that you do have such a discerning eye. You may lose that sense of judgment, sometimes, when you’ve fallen in love or made a really good friend. Yet, generally, you are quite choosy about who you extend that help to. It’s why you can sometimes hold back when you don’t know someone that well. You’re trying to figure out if you really want to invest the time in being of assistance to them.

Once you do, you will be a very useful presence. Mercury’s rulership makes you very quick and sharp, in terms of dealing with new situations and people. So, you can immediately figure out what problems need to be solved, even if it’s as simple as the air conditioner being turned on or getting someone a drink. It’s why you do enjoy doing things like throwing dinner parties or gatherings at your house because it’s a situation (Ascendant) that constantly provides you with someone to do (Virgo). In fact, you can be the classic host who is so busy helping, organizing, or fixing that they don’t even enjoy much of the party. It’s true that, no matter how introvert or extrovert you are, there is something low-key, humble, and unassuming about your demeanor. Most Virgo Rising folks are shy and nervous people, regardless of if it shows or not. Some of them are just clever enough to deal with their situation rationally and push through the anxiety. Often times, focusing on a task (Virgo) is what helps you overcome that shyness. If you feel it, in any situation, you just find something to do that’ll distract you or someone else. This distraction can also come in the form of your excellent conversational skills and that wonderful wit of yours that can take on a life of its own.

Mercury is also one’s sense of humor and this gives Virgo Rising people an excellent sense of humor. You see all situations through this veil of humor and levity. In spite of the reliable and down-to-earth air you have, there is a somewhat flighty, frivolous side to you that just wants to laugh and joke. This is, again, the duality of being ruled by Mercury. It can surprise people, sometimes, as your earthy demeanor makes it seem like you’re to be taken seriously. And you are! But, you often times work so hard (Virgo) and put in so much strenuous effort into things that you do need some lightness. Mercury’s humor, expressed through Virgo, is quite particular. It is of the sarcastic, sharp, smart-assed variety. So, when you joke around, people need to be smart enough and quick enough to keep up, as well as to not let themselves be ruffled by the potential bite of your jokes. You enjoy a certain banter that is very clever and that often results in a good ribbing. This is especially true if you also have Mercury in Virgo, especially on the Ascendant and/or in the 1st.

But, the thing is that you’re just as capable of taking it as giving it. You’ll be the first person to point out your flaws. Most people with this placement have a great sense of humor about their imperfections. So, this results in being the kind of “protagonist” who has enough humility to admit when they have screwed up or fallen short. In the end, this is just analytical Mercury at work. But, of course, you can also end up being too hard on yourself, if you take it too far. There is a line between harmless (and sometimes even healthy) self-deprecation and full-on beating yourself up. You can often take a look at your life and only see the mistakes you’ve made and the things you’ve done “wrong.” Yet, this is just a sign that Mercury is causing you to over-think. And that can occur within the realm of Mercury’s house. With Mercury in the 4th, you can beat yourself up in private and over your past and how you treat your family. Mercury in the 9th could cause you to beat yourself up in terms of the greener grass that you think is elsewhere and has gone unexplored.

Of course, I will tell you that this is nonsense; that you should count more of your successes than your so-called failures and that you should realize you’ve achieved far more good than you give yourself credit for. But, also, you should realize that this is not the way that other people see you! With the Rising sign ruling your appearance, being a Virgo Rising often results in looking like downright perfection. And if your Venus happens to be in the 1st or in aspect to the Ascendant, that’s even truer. I think it’s because your point of view is so focused on achieving some standard of perfection that this is the aura that you’re surrounded by. It could be through the way you dress, it could be your good looks (and this is usually a very good-looking placement), or it could just be the impeccable way you present yourself. It could be all three! But, somehow, you will seem to have a lot going on, if not everything. And you may be saying, “Perfection doesn’t exist.” I always like to argue that perfection does exist. But, it’s something that you must personally define, instead of subjecting yourself to someone else’s idea of perfection. And, as a Virgo Rising, if you aim for a “perfect” that is attainable and realistic, and that you trust that be appreciated by someone, you will resolve that troublingly critical outlook that you have.

Since Mercury is your chart ruler, it’s like your entire life is a Mercury Return. Whatever the chart ruler is, we live our lives as if it’s a constant Return of that planet. It’s felt very powerfully. For the rest of us, the Mercury Return is a time where we get sharper, think clearer, and place more emphasis on good communication in our lives. For you, however, those are already things that you focus on strongly. So, when you experience your actual Mercury Return, you will see the benefits of being such a thinker. You might find yourself actually stressing out a whole lot less than you usually do. The Mercury Return occurs once a year and during this time, as a Virgo Rising, you may feel a lot less anxiety and nervous tension. You’ve done enough thinking! This is the time to gain more peace of mind and to trust in your highly active mind to guide you toward the right choices.

The house that Mercury is in is where things will begin smoothing out a lot more. Let’s face it: you do have a tendency to create chaos, even though you intend to do the opposite. This is because you can obsess over the little things that could go wrong in your Mercury’s house, like relationships if Mercury is in the 7th, and end up causing more problems. But, when you have your Mercury Return, there might be a lot less problems to solve in this life area. If Mercury’s in the 7th, your partnerships can finally achieve balance, without you needing to try so hard or think so much. I also have to add that Virgo does rule health and being a Virgo Ascendant gives you a very health-conscious way of viewing and approaching life. This all goes back to your active, sensible intellect. And when you have your Mercury Return, you can experience some major results in terms of that diet or that exercise regime, seeing how all that hard work and concern over your health pays off.


  1. Great as usual :) I have the feeling you made sure to be extra detailed in this one, am I wrong? Spot on all of it!
    The greatest weakness of a Virgo ASC is being addicted to information!We sometimes can't decide what matters- everything needs to be in our brain- the entire internet. That being said our shadow side is Picses so we do inside need and want to run away and be wild and dream. My Mercury is in the 8th house so collecting knolwege on a deep level is my thing but it also means my abileties or thoughts are hidden from view and take time to show. I wonder if Virgo ASC attract a lot of Airy partners?

    1. Sometimes it feels like I'm getting high on information :) Also it feels that you never know enough, but this might be more because of my Mercury in Virgo. But yeah, I think for Virgo rising there might be a tendency to remain on the surface-level of gathering the information. Not as much as it would be for Gemini, but I think we need an extra push to commit ourselves towards only one area, as there is always something catching our eye in different fields.

      I do attract a lot of "airy" partners, but it's not the best combination as far as in my case...We both are into taking and discussing ideas, but I need to ground those ideas somehow, to connect them with something practical (like examples, metaphors, stories, especially personal experiences), otherwise I tend to disassociate from the conversation.

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  2. Thank you so much for this article Wayman, described Virgo rising perfectly. :)

    I just want to thrown in that I would love to see a Saturn in the 1st House article in the future! I can't find too much info on this placement elsewhere.

  3. Hey! This could not be more spot on. I have Virgo rising in Aries and mercury in the 10th house in sign cancer. I'm a chemist a poet a singer a musician a jewelry maker... Im talkative and calculated, my mind expressing creatively through cancers watery traits. On the outside i could seem perfect yet on the inside in see so many imperfections and often ovethink when alone to the point of extreme anxiety. I am always involved in a side project helping a person who I will literally bring into my life and help them come to their next stage and find their feet. And then I move on from that friendship when I am no longer needed. This was even an unconscious act until i spotted the pattern :) thanks so much for your article!! ")

  4. Hey! This could not be more spot on. I have Virgo rising in Aries and mercury in the 10th house in sign cancer. I'm a chemist a poet a singer a musician a jewelry maker... Im talkative and calculated, my mind expressing creatively through cancers watery traits. On the outside i could seem perfect yet on the inside in see so many imperfections and often ovethink when alone to the point of extreme anxiety. I am always involved in a side project helping a person who I will literally bring into my life and help them come to their next stage and find their feet. And then I move on from that friendship when I am no longer needed. This was even an unconscious act until i spotted the pattern :) thanks so much for your article!! ")

  5. Hi Wayman, thank you so much for yet another highly informative post! I was wondering if you could maybe discuss the other houses Mercury might be in, and how that colours the manifestation. I'm a Virgo rising with Mercury in the 12th house (in Leo). I must admit I'm having some difficulty interpreting what that position of Mercury as a chart ruler might mean. Some people say it means having difficulty expressing oneself, but that would seem to be in conflict with having Gemini on the MC. What are your thoughts?

  6. Thank you for this article, Wayman. Really spot on. I'm an Aries with Virgo rising and for all of my life I have never been a 'true' Aries. Your article described the Virgo characteristics perfectly and resonated a lot within me. I have Mercury in the 7th House, which has been both a blessing and a curse. I seem to have attracted people who need help, and been in relationships with men who had health problems, or a member of their family did. My life pattern has always been about gathering information - the more the better, and I am an eternal student. I can be obsessive about the details and a stickler for correct grammar and punctuation, but I have learned to be forgiving of other peoples grammatical errors, as the meaning of what they say is more important than spelling. It is very true about attracting Airy types. I'm married to a man with his Sun in Gemini and intelligence and intellect have always been more attractive than looks. In the past, I found it difficult to settle and had a rough childhood, but I came through it stronger and with more compassion than I might have done with an easier placement. I developed skills as a healer, which is Mercury in its Earth expression, and through writing and physically using the hands to channel healing, I have a very defined path through these acts of service. True to the Virgo nature, I stay until the work is done and then move on. Virgo and Aries are not traditionally easy together, but I wouldn't change having Virgo rising for all the tea in China. After I had my first Saturn Return, I began to understand what my life was all about, and once I was no longer resisting, the Virgo and Aries traits within me started working together and I am happy with that. Once again, many thanks. Great article!

    1. Wow! Thats crazy, i am Aries Sun with Rising Virgo and mercury in 7th house Pisces! And you have just described me! I hate the Aries and Virgo combination, and i have to say i hate the Virgo ascendant. I am not impulsive like an Aries should be, i question everything and very indecisive. Found it fascinating how similar your life is to mine. Brian