By Anne T. Donahue
Every year, I sit in wait. I go through Pisces season, Aries season, and Taurus season, and then white knuckle through Gemini, Cancer, and Leo, where I watch from afar and whisper, “Soon.” I start a new planner, I color-code it accordingly, and I map out my battle plan for the next year-or-whatever; purging my wardrobe and my books and my office supplies as if preparing for battle. I light a lavender candle and Windex all glass surfaces in my living space. I re-fold all my tops and jeans, and prepare them for months of cold weather and my inevitable resentment. I think about backpacks. I put my emotions in a little jar and delicately place them next to the Paddington Bear in my living room. I gear up to lead with logic and feelings-less decision-making.
And then Virgo season finally arrives.
I, like anyone who has read this far, am a proud Virgo. I am organized and bossy and analytical, and I am convinced that I would make an amazing detective because I can stay cool, calm, and collected long enough to do necessary recon or break the spirit of my enemies. I like work and I like working, and I like burying what’s actually going on in my life with even more work on top of that. And, perhaps most importantly, I also like my birthday. Because I also like attention. And praise. And attention. But that has nothing to do with Virgo season (outside of the fact that my birthday sits squarely in Virgo season), and has everything to do with me reminding you to send me birthday greetings and presents, lest you be one of the enemies whose spirits I break. Bless us everyone.
But here’s the thing about Virgo season: it’s kind of perfectly boring. And not because of who Virgos are or because of our go-to traits (every Virgo rules and all of our traits are the best ones), because our power exists largely in laying out goals and pursuing goals and toiling and never, ever being satisfied with what we’ve accomplished. We’re not dramatic like Scorpios or emotional like Pisces or two ends of the spectrum simultaneously like Libras – we’re a bunch of insatiable work and school and learning freaks whose worth hinges on what we’ve produced. My planner? Concrete proof that I’ve done things. My notebook of to-do lists? A reminder to myself that there’s always something going on. Me writing about being a Virgo right now? A desperate attempt to prove that we’re cool and interesting despite us answering “Eh, not much – lots going on at work!” when you ask us what’s new, typically as a means of seeming important and dodging any/all vulnerability instead of opening up about relationships or friendship fall-outs or any other source of anything outside of “LOOK WHAT I CAN CONTROL!”
In my head, I can control everything. Even though I know I’m wrong.
Virgo season is the ultimate exercise in organizational fantasy. Yes, we work hard, and yes we’re obsessed with getting things done, but so do a lot of people who boast all sorts of signs. And yes, we can be emotionless and way too logical, but that’s hardly a trait reserved solely for those born in late August and early-to-mid September. Ultimately, the beauty of a season dedicated to the stars screaming, “Yes, bitch, get it done!” is that like days reserved for catching up on projects in middle school, it provides the space necessary to sift through goals and channel the first day of school and vow to yourself that this autumn and winter and spring and summer will be different because you will get it done.
And we all know you won’t get it alldone. Hell, we(absolute monsters whose entire identities revolve around “look what I can do!”) won’t get it all done. But myths and illusions are important when it comes to building one’s self and preparing for whatever it is you happen to be preparing for. Ultimately, in the same way Leo season extends to owning one’s confidence and illuminating it accordingly, Virgo season is that annoying friend who says that you can’t go out until you finish That Thing You Have Due. And yes, it’s extra in its Post-Its and page tabs and very particular brand of pen. It’s ambitious to the point of delusion and recklessness. It’s the reason why stress headaches exist.
But damn it, you need us. And you like us. And our season is the time in which you can finish that assignment you’ve been putting off, and if you’ve already finished it, you can catch up on your silent reading like you were told to back in sixth grade. And if you don’t like that, you can lean in to hear actual Virgos talk about all the things they’ve got on the go between admissions that they’re lives are falling apart in between sent emails, but it’s fine, it’s fine, guys it’s fine. We’ve scheduled a 15-minute crying session next Wednesday in the car park of the Eaton Centre. It’s dark there and everyone will assume we just realized how much we spent on shoes we don’t need. Then we can get back to work because that’s the shit we can control.
That, and the entire world. With our colour codes and Post-Its.