English author D.H Lawrence is an inspiring example of an evolved Virgo. To illustrate that the Great Earth Goddess is truly the erotic daemon that animated much of his writing here are some quotes from his controversial novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover. These passages follow the first sexual encounter of the lovers, Lawrence using the imagery of the spring forest to evoke Connie’s [that is Lady Chatterley’s] awakening erotic feelings:
“The wood was silent, still and secret in the evening drizzle of rain, full of the mystery of eggs and half-open buds, half-unsheathed flowers. In the dimness of it all trees glistened naked and dark as if they had unclothed themselves, and the green things on earth seemed to hum with greenness.”
“She was like a forest, like the dark interlacing of the oak-wood, humming inaudibly with myriad unfolding buds. Meanwhile the birds of desire were asleep in the vast interlaced intricacy of her body.”
“Today she could almost feel it in her own body, the huge heave of the sap in the massive trees, upwards, up, up to the bud-tips, there to push into little flamey oak-leaves, bronze as blood.”
The three major protagonists in the novel each represent a distinctive Virgo character type, complete with their intrinsic dualities:
Lady Chatterley, the unobtrusive hostess: “Connie was gifted from nature with this appearance of demure, submissive maidenliness .. so modest, yet so attentive and aware, with .. a soft repose that sufficiently hid what she was really thinking.”
The awakened adoring lover: “Another self was alive in her, burning molten and soft, and with this self she adored him. She adored him till her knees were weak as she walked. In her bowels she was flowing and alive now and vulnerable, and helpless in adoration of him as the most naïve woman .. The adoration was her treasure. It was so fathomless, so soft, so deep and so unknown.”
Clifford, [Lord Chatterley], the astute business man, emotionally controlled, yet underneath that control, extremely needy: “.. one gets all one wants out of Racine. Emotions that are ordered and given shape are more important than disorderly emotions .. The modern world has only vulgarized emotion by letting it loose. What we need is classic control.”
“She heard him with his pit managers, with the members of his Board, with young scientists, and she was amazed at his shrewd insight into things, his power, his uncanny material power over what is called practical men. He had become a practical man himself, and an amazingly astute and powerful one, a master .. But this astute and practical man was almost an idiot when left alone to his own emotional life. He worshipped Connie, she was his wife, a higher being and he worshipped her with a queer, craven idolatry .. a worship based on enormous fear, and even hate of the power of the idol .. All he wanted was for Connie .. to swear not to leave him.”
Recalling the virgin/whore polarity so characteristic of Virgo, Mellors the game-keeper, [Lady Chatterley’s Lover], embodies the masculine dichotomy of hermit/lover. Firstly the hermit: “It’s no good trying to get rid of your own aloneness. You’ve got to stick to it all your life. Only at times, at times, the gap will be filled in .. But you have to wait for the times .. they’ve got to come. You can’t force them.”
Then the hermit almost unwillingly drawn out of himself by the power of the erotic daemon: “A man could no longer be private and withdrawn. The world allows no hermits. And now he had taken the woman, and brought on himself a new cycle of pain and doom. For he knew by experience what it meant .. She had connected him up again, when he had wanted to be alone. She had cost him that bitter privacy of a man who at lasts only wants to be alone.” ..
“He felt his own unfinished condition of aloneness cruelly. He wanted her, to touch her, to hold her fast against him in one moment of completeness and rest .. It was not desire .. It was the cruel sense of unfinished aloneness, that needed a silent woman folded in his arms.”
Finally, the hermit transformed into warm-hearted lover: “And do you think it’s important, a man and a woman?” [Connie] asked [Mellors]: “For me it is. For me it’s the core of my life: if I have a right relation with a woman.” ..
“.. I believe in being warm-hearted. I believe especially in being warm-hearted in love, in loving with a warm heart. I believe if men could love with warm hearts, and the women take it warm-heartedly everything would come all right.”
The neat, ordered, almost monastic domestic space that Virgo is adept at creating is evoked in these passages: “He was alone, in a silence he loved. His room was clean and tidy, but rather stark” ..
“He had made the hut tidy, put the little table and chair near the fireplace, left a little pile of kindling and small logs, and put the tools and traps away as far as possible, effacing himself.”
.. “She opened the hut with her key. It was all tidy, the corn put in the bin, the blankets folded on the shelf, the straw neat in a corner; a new bundle of straw. The hurricane lamp hung on a nail. The table and chair had been put back where she had lain .. How still everything was!” ..
Finally, Lawrence, like many a Virgo sadly, suffered from ill health for much of his life, eventually dying from tuberculosis at the relatively young age of 45. He displayed much courage in dealing with this, always affirming life by continuing to write even when confined to bed and by refusing to give his illness undue power by affirming it’s existence: “I feel so strongly as if my illness weren’t really me – I feel perfectly well and all right, in myself. Yet there is this beastly torturing chest superimposed on me, and it’s as if there was a demon lived there, triumphing, and extraneous to me.” His friends collaborated in the fiction of his not being really ill, it ‘being against the rules to suggest that anything was wrong’, and his wife Frieda attested to his remarkable stoicism when she testified ‘I never heard him complain about his health’.
Still, he hated the subjection of illness, not least because of the strains it placed on his already difficult marital relationship. Friends often felt Frieda was a bad nurse though she contended, and not without truth it seems, that “when Lorenzo feels ill, it infuriates him to have me well”. In turn he felt she was “repelled by the death in me”. Also, her health and vitality gave her an energetic upper hand in the relationship which he could not bear, even though at times it was used to his benefit, as when she consciously used her virility to revive and arouse him when he was really ill and depressed.
Above all, he could not bear the kind of living in the fear of death and struggling for health he believed he had observed in Frieda’s mother. He resolved to live every moment he could and to this end refused to place himself in the hands of doctors and their conventional sanatorium treatment, preferring to stay self-responsible and his own autonomous person. Frieda affirmed the wisdom of this, writing “he knew so well what was good for him .. by an unfailing instinct, or he would have died many years ago”, a statement that is applicable to many another Virgo too.
It could also be said that he was a perceptive diagnostician of his own condition when he wrote: “I am not a mechanism, an assembly of various sections. And it is not because the mechanism is working wrongly, that I am ill. I am ill because of wounds to the soul, to the deep emotional self, and wounds to the soul take a long, long time. Only time can help, and patience, and a certain difficult repentance, long, difficult repentance, realisation of life’s mistake, and the freeing oneself from the endless repetition of the mistake which mankind at large has chosen to sanctify. “ [Punctuation modified]
Finally, in a testimonial that compels admiration, a friend commented: “He kept his work and his life free from morbidity, from any sort of unhealthy resentment. He never accepted defeat. He proved to be .. strong as death – or even strong as life. He lived and died as a real man.”