How Much Virgo Does A Writer Need?

Sunday September 18th 2011
There is something very cool about Agatha Christie
even as a child. Could it be
Virgo Sun, Virgo Rsing and Saturn in Virgo

Many years ago, I moved from  working in (weekly) magazine publishing to editing books. It was truly a move from Gemini-land to Virgo-land. The magazines were all about speed, word-count and interviews; books were all about accuracy, order and corrections. I suddenly found I had time for lunch and a nap under the desk. Those were the days.

And the birthdays fitted the Zodiac types. There are a lot of Geminis in journalism; and a lot of Virgos in the world of books (although generally trampled over to the top jobs).

Both signs are ruled by Mercury, of course, the planet of communications in all forms – writing, talking, letters, telephones. Both signs are storytellers. But the planet’s energy is that of the craftsman in Virgo, and of the messenger in Gemini. One of Virgos greatest skills is the ability to be self-critical, which is absolutely key to writing.

Since those days I have always thought of (roughly) of Virgo as the author’s sign and Gemini as the journalist’s, so I thought I’d look at the charts of the best-selling authors of all time and see how much Virgo there really was. Here is the list from Wikipedia (which seems a little out of date to me) with my additions of chart data from various sources.

  1. Shakespeare is number one all time best-selling author, but (apparently) his birthday is probably made up.
    Simenon: Moon in Virgo
  2. Agatha Christie – Asc, Saturn in Virgo – Virgo Sun – murder mysteries
  3. Barbara Cartland – Mars in VirgoCancer Sun – romance
  4. Harold Robbins – Mercury and Ceres in Gemini, time unknown – Gemini Sun – thrillers
  5. Georges Simenon – Moon in VirgoAquarius Sun  – murder mysteries
  6. Sidney Sheldon – Ceres in Virgo, time unknown – Aquarius Sun – anything for a buck
  7. Enid Blyton – Mars, Jupiter, Mercury in Virgo Leo Sun – children’s books
  8. Danielle Steel – Uranus in Gemini, time unknown – Leo Sun – romance
  9. Dr Seuss – Moon in VirgoPisces Sun – children’s books
  10. Gilbert Patten – nada in Gemini or Virgo except Juno, time unknown – maybe his wife wrote these westerns
  11. JK Rowling – Venus, Uranus, Pluto, Moon in VirgoLeo Sun – children’s fantasy

Hmm, well it helps to have planets in Virgo, but it also helps to have a Leo or Aquarius Sun. That’s interesting. Oh and it helps to write genre fiction – quality…well…

Other authors just below the top ten

Tolstoy photographed by Prokudin-Gorsky,
courtesy Wikimedia commons
  • Leo Tolstoy – Moon, Mercury in Virgo  – Virgo Sun – life
  • Jackie Collins – Mercury, Neptune, Venus in Virgo – Libra Sun – romance
  • Corin Tellado – Venus in Gemini – Taurus Sun – romance
  • RL Stine – Venus, Chiron, Mercury in Virgo; Uranus, Mars, Saturn in Gemini – Libra Sun – children’s horror
  • Stephen King – Uranus in Gemini – Virgo Sun – horror
  • Erle Stanley Gardner – Asc Virgo Rising, Venus in Virgo – Cancer Sun – murder mysteries

Others who ought to there but aren’t for some reason

Charlotte Bronte
  • Charles Dickens – Asc, NN in Virgo, Jupiter in Gemini – Aquarius Sun
  • Jane Austen – Asc, Neptune in Virgo, Jupiter in Gemini – Sagittarius Sun
  • Alexandre Dumas – Venus, Jupiter, Saturn in Virgo – Leo Sun
  • Charlotte Bronte – Asc in Virgo, Mars and NN in Gemini – Taurus Sun
  • Emily Bronte – Venus, Mars, MC in Virgo (not kidding) – Sun in Leo
  • JRR Tolkien – Asc in Virgo, Neptune and Pluto in Gemini – Capricorn Sun
  • Stephenie Meyer – nada in either Virgo or Gemini, time unknown – but she was born on an eclipse!
  • Dan Brown – Uranus, Pluto in Virgo: Mars, Venus, Mercury in Gemini – Cancer Sun
OK, out of 25 authors I have seven Virgo Suns, six Virgo Rising, three Moons. Quite a few have unknown birth times which means there could be more Virgo Ascendants.
That is a lot of Virgo – but there is hope for the rest of us, especially Leo Suns and after all, Stephenie Meyer may not be the world’s greatest prose stylist but she has sold a gazillion books.

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  1. Opal says:

    Interesting, particularly on the differences between Gemini and Virgo. Many moons ago when I was headhunting creative teams in advertising, I was struck by the huge preponderance of Geminis – both copywriters and art directors. Makes sense, I guess, with the need for short snappy spots with a fast turnaround.

  2. Librastellium says:

    Interesting! The editor of a newspaper I used to work for was a Gemini… I’m a Libra with a Virgo moon and was involved in journalism for many years – fashion, lifestyle and most recently news!

  3. Christina says:

    @Opal No kidding!

    @Librastellium – sounds like your job was a perfect fit with all that elegant Libra/Virgo stuff

  4. Anonymous says:

    I so relate to the points made today. My natal Sun is in Gemini in the 9th house. Also in Gemini in the 9th, Mercury is conjunct Uranus and both are conjunct my Gemini MC. My ascendant is Virgo with Moon in Virgo in the 12th. I am an antenna for all sorts of information and frequencies. The Virgo aspect analyses the information received and the Gemini messenger moves it along.

  5. Christina says:

    @Anon You are lucky to have both air and earth working together.

    Interestingly, if you have Virgo rising, you probably have Gemini on the MC (career angle). Very clear writers’ signature. But if you have Gemini Rising, Virgo’s on the IC (home angle), making for a neat house, I should think. But Pisces is on the MC – hmmmm

  6. leslee says:

    Interesting! I have Sun, Mercury, Venus, Pallas and Pluto in Virgo (the last 4 conjunct) and I’ve always made my living writing. It’s always been in training and marketing, now medical writing the past 5 years, which is ungodly detail oriented and demands accuracy. I’m pretty good at it, but I think my Venus, and Neptune/Jupiter (3rd house) sextile to that stellium, would like to crack open that detail and inject more creativity into the mix! My North Node is also in the 3rd house. No Gemini (and no air, save No Node)!

  7. Christina says:

    Surely with that Neptune/Jupiter combo you must have a vast imagination. I hope you’re working on the novel.

  8. leslee says:

    Alas, no imagination for fiction. Dabble in poetry, especially haiku and the like. Tiny crafted things. 🙂

  9. Christina says:

    @leslee – perfect jewels then!

  10. leslee says:

    My online writers group just had a batch of 5 or 6 Virgo birthdays out of 16 active members – and that’s just Virgo Sun signs! We have 2 Geminis and 3 or 4 Pisces. That’s a lot of mutables! I don’t have birth data on everyone. Our fearless leader who started the group is a Cancer with Mercury in Gemini and a bunch of Aries. 🙂

  11. Anonymous says:

    I shared your post w/a friend of mine whose favorite author is Agatha Christie. My friend has Sun/Moon/Pluto in Virgo & she loves mysteries, even names her pets after favorite mystery personas. Not surprisingly, Agatha Christie’s Virgo planets sandwich right down in the middle of her own. Too funny! 🙂

    Great post ~

  12. jojie says:

    i find your website very interesting. been making a living as a copywriter for years but had no formal training. makes me feel inadequate and a bit of a fraud sometimes but it kept me afloat financially. i have sun & venus in virgo/ cancer asc/ mercury, uranus, pluto & mars in libra. i share the same bday as stephen king and hg wells. one day i want to be like them =)

  13. Anonymous says:

    A lot of writers have a Pisces or Scorpio sun/moon or other influence!
    Scorpio:
    Margaret Atwood
    Dostoevsky
    Albert Camus
    Sylvia Plath
    Kurt Vonnegut
    Bram Stoker (dracula)
    george eliot

    That’s just off the top of my head!

    Or Pisces:
    Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    Jack Kerouac
    Anais Nin
    Victor Hugo
    Dr Seuss

    etc

    • Liz says:

      Even if we do have Sun/Moon Pisces and Scorpio influence, we have a house in virgo or gemini that can affect our careers or course of action. I have virgo in my midheaven and I am an ascendent in Sagittarius with my gemini being my descendent.

      The Descendant focuses on the standard “what kind of partner are you attracted to?” angle but it also shows the “other half” of yourself; the side of you that contradicts the persona.

      I am not a professional writer, I just write poetry and short stories as a hobby. But I want to make a career out of what I enjoy in the coming years.

  14. Lis says:

    Hi Christina, I was reading your previous articles on the asteroids (and dwarf planets) where I read that you would give rulership of Virgo to Ceres. I absolutely agreed with that. So when I re-read this post today, I couldn’t help but wonder how different it would be if it were Ceres ruling the author’s sign. It would certainly explain why we have clear cycles of beginning, middle, and end in every story; why it’s so much effort to cultivate our concepts; and why so many describe the finished product as their baby. Mercury is involved in agriculture, sure, but it seems more like a scattering of seeds or pollination, not the actual nurturing and preservation.

    • Christina says:

      That is a very interesting point Lis. It does work very well. Mercury is not a finisher in the same way as Ceres…. I’d like to mull this one.

  15. Aaron says:

    I have a Scorpio rising with Sun, moon, mercury, venus, and midheaven all in Virgo. Does this mean I’m a good writer or that I will sell books or both?

  16. Fleur says:

    Steven King, Roald Dahl and Tanith Lee are all Sun in Virgo, and probably have other planets in Virgo as well. I have long thought of Virgo as being the sign of the Storyteller. I remember one very peaceful evening chatting to a man who was a Virgo, he was just recounting his day at work, very ordinary job, to me and I found it totally fascinating. I think the Virgo art is taking ordinary facts and simply presenting them in their own way with their own reflections, which can be as subtly done as choice of words and details used. We aren’t catalogers, where the imagination is excluded, and details are vital things not extraneous. Saturn is sticking to facts, but Chiron, the ruler of Virgo, is bringing together facts and imagination, subtly and with detail.

    • Gilly says:

      This is interesting. Just in these comments, I see Virgo assigned to Ceres and to Chiron – this discussion seems to have been going on forever, has Virgo been definitively assigned a ruler yet, or is it all still in flux?

      I am a writer and both Chiron and Ceres are strong in my chart so naturally, it interests me.

  17. […] and Virgo in the charts of best-selling authors […]

  18. Valentina says:

    Hello! Great article! Don’t forget about Jorge Luis Borges: Virgo sun. I also want to be a writer and I have both Vesta and Jupiter in Virgo. I think this is good! 🙂 I’m very methodic and detail-oriented. Blessings from this Argentinean Saggitarius sun and moon, Asc in Aquarius!

  19. Bekki Shining Bearheart says:

    And then there is Sir Terry Pratchett. 40+ books, and many written after his diagnosis. Though we have no time for him (would love it if some gifted person rectified his chart- there is certainly enough data for that), he does have that lovely Venus-Uranus conjunction in Gemini, aspecting Mars tightly, and Jupiter as well. I think these describe how he writes and the deeper thoughts he expresses through his stories– his humanitarian agenda, and poking fun at our humanity and a variety of isms. Also his Sun-Mercury conjunction trine Moon. A noon or near noon birth would put all of the Leo planets, including Pluto, in the first house and the Mercury/Sun in the 10th, which fits with his later book photos (love the black clothing and hat!) and his fondness for Death’s character. And I could really see the Sun in Taurus as ruler of his chart. But all conjecture till someone good at these things takes a stab at rectification. I never met a Terry Pratchett book I didn’t like. I think too the really good authors don’t just sell books, those books are re-read many times. I first started reading him in 1989, and have re-read some of his books close to a dozen times. He became my go-to when I needed downtime from my work–self-employment as a healer and teacher, which was often highly stressful despite being very fulfilling, especially in the early years. On a related topic, my partner of many years (now divorced) is a Virgo Sun-Moon with Gemini rising, Venus-Mercury intercepted in Libra trining Ascendent from the 5th. Loves to write and has authored a half dozen books on shamanism, some self-published. Grand Cross involving Chiron conjunct Ascendent, Saturn in Pisces, Jupiter in Sag, Neptune/Sun/Moon in Virgo. Knows his subject well (anthropologist) and a very fine healer. For him I think writing is all about putting down his experience in words, to share with students but also it is deeply fulfilling, driven by his need to be creative. As a Gemini myself (with Venus, Mercury and Jupiter conjunct in Cancer) I feel strongly that Gemini wants/needs to SPEAK, to express. But of course, what we do with all of this Virgo/Gemini is always going to be filtered by Mercury’s placement, don’t you think? As well as the rest of the chart. Some are content to sit in a room typing on the typewriter or the computer, making stories… others need to “press the flesh”, to lecture and travel, to use their gifts to make the world a better place.

  20. […] Jupiter’s not the only planet that counts. According to this astrologer, the more planets you have in Virgo the more support you have in your career as an author (as […]

  21. A wider range of writers could have been included – less focus on authors of murder mysteries and horror, perhaps? At least you mention Tolstoy, Dickens, the Brontes and Tolkien. Not all writing Virgos are sleuths or into cheap horror (speaking as a writer and a Virgo): there’s Jean Rhys, Roald Dahl, Leonard Cohen, AS Byatt, DH Lawrence, Samuel Johnson and many many more…Virgos have multiple interests, are earthy, sensitive and know the world in its myriad refractions, layers and nuance. I believe the god Vulcan,the lame craftsman of the gods, has also been suggested as our ruler. Some similar gifts and vulnerability to Chiron.

  22. Flo says:

    This post is very clear, I want to be a Songwriter but I only have virgo on my 8th house, wish that could help!!! I have mercury in Gemini, on house 4 and I’m a gemini, what do you think, any other aspect I should check?