Virgo is the Hard Working Nurse, the Long Suffering Nun, the Discerning Analyst, the Humble Servant, and the Health Guru of the Zodiac. In medical astrology Virgo rules the intestines which separate what stays with the body for nutritive purposes from what must be discarded as waste. This is where Virgo gets both its analytical abilities and health consciousness from. When a person’s Sun (identity) is in Virgo they will come to be identified with serving others in a technically proficient but often anonymous fashion. Florence Nightingale was not a Virgo but her image in most people’s minds as a reform minded nurse is about as Virgo as it gets.
Mother Teresa is a Virgo whose life serving the poor and downtrodden of India’s slums is a testament to the Zodiac’s most humble sign. According to astrologer Yaron Livine, Switzerland is a good symbol for Virgo as it is the home of the Red Cross and the Swiss Watch. (Source)
Sitting 150 degrees away from Virgo is Aries, a radically different sign. Where Virgo is prim and proper, Aries is brash and daring. This is the sign of Trailblazer, the Daredevil, the Warrior, the Survivor, the Competitor, the Fighter Jock, the Airborne Ranger, and the Ass-Kicker of the Zodiac. In nature it is associated with the Ram who confronts rivals by ramming its head into them. When a person’s Moon (emotional needs) is in Aries they are emotionally nourished by going head to head against a challenge. Mixed martial arts superstar Ronda “Rowdy” Rousey is a textbook Aries Moon. She’s the fighter ramming her head into her opponent in the below video. (Chart)
So what happens when you combine the service-oriented identity of a Virgo Sun with the high-octane instincts of an Aries Moon? You get what’s known as a “quincunx”, an astrological aspect that’s as difficult to reconcile as it is to pronounce. Signs that quincunx each other are the wildcard combinations of the zodiac, so different they may as well be from different planets if not different dimensions. Consider for the differences between the textbook Virgo and the textbook Aries:
High-risk Aries is the daredevil who jumps out of airplanes. Cautious Virgo is the nurse who tends to the wounds of those who jump out of airplanes.
Combative Aries is the carpet bomber. Care-taking Virgo runs the orphanage for the children left parent-less by carpet bombing.
Head long Aries scarfs down raw meat and guzzles Red Bull. Precise Virgo carefully chews every bite while sipping reverse osmosis filtered water.
Brash Aries rides a Ducati motorcycle. Efficient Virgo rides a sturdy second hand bicycle.
Hard charging Aries blows the door open with explosives. Observant Virgo notices the unlocked window and quietly slips in.
Courageous Aries never backs down from a bully. Nervous Virgo is too self-conscious to defend itself.
Picture an anonymous nun parachuting into a war-zone or a quiet librarian working nights as a stuntwoman and you’ll get a sense for the modus operandi of the Virgo Sun, Aries Moon native. Shelly Beattie, best known as “Siren” on the original American Gladiators television show, is a representative Virgo Sun, Aries Moon. (Chart) If Beattie’s name doesn’t ring a bell, there’s good reason. She was deaf.
Beattie’s dynamic appearance as an adult belies the extraordinarily difficult time she had as a young person. Her classmates, most of whom had never been around a deaf person before, assumed she was mentally retarded and treated her as cruelly as you might imagine. (Source) She spent her teen years in foster homes where she was repeatedly abused. (Source)
Prior to joining the cast of American Gladiators, Beattie had worked as a group home counselor for developmentally delayed teenagers while simultaneously competing at the highest ranks of professional bodybuilding. In a 2006 article on quincunxes, astrologer Donna Cunningham recalled a client of hers with a prominent Virgo/Aries quincunx whose career followed a similar arc as to that of Beattie’s:
. . . how it worked for her was admirable. She volunteered at an Inner City church, coaching a baseball team for young boys. She was giving service (Virgo), but in a positive way that put her in touch with that primal male energy (Aries). (Source)
Beattie’s hey-dey was a good 15 years before the advent of social media so there’s not too many representative interviews or clips of her floating around the internet. If, however, you fast forward to 6:33 of this clip you’ll get a brief glimpse of the humble (Virgo) yet enthusiastic (Aries) persona that made her such an over the top favorite with both abled and disabled fans alike.
Following her time on American Gladiators, Beattie was selected to the history-making all-female America’s Cup sailing team that raced (and beat) a number of all-male crews during the mid-1990s. (Source) The physical demands of the America’s Cup are notoriously extreme but, as Jefferson Anderson tells us, extreme physical challenges are exactly what Virgo Sun, Aries Moon individuals need to stay emotionally healthy:
Like all Virgos, you find great satisfaction and fulfillment through hard work. Industrious and reliable, you combine energetic enthusiasm with thoughtfulness and common sense; bu your work must challenge you. That restless Aries inner nature rebels against boredom and drudgery. If you start to feel as though you’re not getting the excitement you need from your career, you’ll go on to something new, even if it means abandoning a high salary. (Source)
I try to be as objective as possible when doing these Sun/Moon profiles but doing so with this one is going to be tough. Beattie’s Moon/North Node conjunction at 23/29 degrees Aries is similar to my own Moon/Midheaven conjunction at 20 degrees Aries. Her Venus at 8 degrees Virgo is the same as my Mars at 8 degrees Virgo. I didn’t grow up deaf like Beattie but I did have a speech impediment that led a number of people to suspect I was retarded. Between that and the astrological similarities I can’t help but feel a certain degree of kinship, similar to what you feel when you read about a historical figure whose life story resonates a bit with your own. It’s thus with a real sense of sadness I must write that her story does not have a happy ending. In April 2008 The Oregonian reported as follows:
But doctors said Beattie’s bipolar disorder would get worse. And it did. By New Year’s Day, she was so sick she had to be hospitalized. The cycles of the illness became more rapid. Eventually depression and mania crossed paths and became one. She had been in a care facility for six weeks when she hanged herself. She lived four days but never regained consciousness, and died Feb. 16, 2008. She was 40. (Source)
The Oregonian concluded its article on Beattie’s life, “Her corneas were used in transplants for two blind people.” That somehow seems fitting for a Virgo Sun, Aries Moon individual such as Shelley Beattie. At it’s best Virgo is the Nurse who selflessly serves others while Aries is the Knight in Shining Armor who rides to the rescue of those in distress.
According to astrologer Jefferson Anderson, Virgo Sun, Aries Moon is the “Clark Kent” combination due to its aptitude for combining anonymous service and daring adventures. (Source) Upon her passing, Beattie’s former husband John Romano recalled a number “Clark Kent” type incidents from his time with her including a few very Super(wo)manish ones:
I’ll never forget her streaking across the ceiling of Gladiator Arena upside down on “Sky Track” during the taping of Gladiators. She set the record in that event and it was never broken. The first time I took her rock climbing she flashed a 5.7 pitch with her shoe laces untied. No one could believe it. (Source)
Looking at her chart I can certainly believe it. Her North Node (destiny) was in Aries (the Warrior), right on that Aries Moon of hers. According to astrologer Celeste Teal, Moon conjunct the North Node is associated with coming before the public in a big way. (Source) Beattie’s North Node ruler was Mars in Scorpio, which astrologer Judy Hall tell us “is powerfully assertive, unstoppable, will steamroll the opposition.” (Source)
Virgo Sun, Aries Moon and Wild Mood Swings, Quincunxes and Mental Health
The circumstances surrounding Beattie’s passing bring up somewhat of a taboo subject: the astrology of mental illness. On it’s own Beattie’s Virgo Sun, Aries Moon combination is not associated with mental “illness”. It is, however, associated a higher than average likelihood of wild emotional fluctuations. Astrologer Jefferson Anderson writes in his book Sun Sign, Moon Sign:
Affronts to your dignity are often met with disproportionate anger . . . your moods flash hot and cold. Controlling your temper is one of the hardest things for you to learn how to do. Since you cannot hold in your anger, it is usually unleashed immediately. Mentally receptive, you often absorb the tension around you without realizing it. (Source)
Both comedian Lily Tomlin and talk show host Bill O’reilly are Virgo Sun, Aries Moon individuals. You can see the two of them unleash disproportionate amounts of anger at each other during a live television broadcast by watching this clip.
A Sun/Moon quincunx, while challenging, can be dealt with constructively. It’s something to take note of when analyzing a person’s chart but one out of twelve people will have their Sun and Moon in signs that quincunx each other. By itself it’s not that big of a deal. Beattie, however, had much more than just a Sun/Moon quincunx to contend with. Her Moon – the center of one’s emotions – was quincunxed by seven planets, nearly the rest of her entire chart. The only way to deal with that many quincunxes is to make constant adjustments but the amount of energy needed to make so many constant adjustments is extraordinary, even for a professional gladiator. It can be done but explicit awareness of the internal dynamic created by so many quincunxes is key.
Beattie’s Moon was also in a wild but valid conjunction with Saturn (hard work), an aspect that is associated with brass tack self-discipline but also depression. Astrologer Adrian Ross Duncan refers to Saturn/Moon conjunctions as “The Emotional Drawbridge” which hides tremendous vulnerability behind an impression of fortress like impenetrability.
Virgo Sun, Aries Moon: A Kindly Witch Cracks Smart Alec Jokes
It should be emphasized that quincunxes aren’t all bad. As astrologer Bil Tierney explains in his book All Around the Zodiac, there are certain social niches where quincunxes can thrive:
Quincunxes can function well in situations that are otherwise chaotic or unstructured; they are less often thrown off course by things that are disorderly, since such oddball conditions seem familiar to the person on an inner level. If nothing else, quincunxing signs help create interesting personalities.
Astrologer Donna Cunningham tells us that “quincunxes, because they juxtapose ideas that just don’t fit together, are associated with elements of humor. Some of the biggest laughs happen when incongruity between two things is exposed in a bit of shock.” (Source)
Cassandra Peterson, best known for portraying the super sexy yet totally oddball “Elvira, Mistress of the Dark” is a Virgo Sun, Aries Moon. Like Shelley Beattie she also has a number of quincunxes throughout her chart yet he’s still going strong as ever even as she approaches her wise elder years. She too is a bit of an “unknown stuntwoman.” Her alter-ego Elivra may be world famous but when out of her get up she is as unknown as any textbook Virgo. And if making a career out of dressing up as “Elvira, Mistress of the Dark” doesn’t count as pulling off a major stunt, I’m not sure what does. Prior to becoming Elvira, Petterson had worked as a Vegas showgirl, an occupation that is as physically demanding and ruthlessly competitive as the gladiatorial profession.
According to astrologers Suzi and Charles Harvey, a metaphoric image for the Virgo Sun, Aries Moon individual is, “A jolly, rotund monk excels in well-worn Latin says, witty responses and kindly good humor.” (Source) That’s a pretty good approximation of Elvira. She’s not a “jolly rotund monk” but she is a “jolly voluptuous witch” best known for her witty repertoire and kindly good humor.
The Harveys’ image is also a pretty good approximation of Shelley Beattie. She was neither a jolly monk or a witty witch but she was a good hearted gladiator known for her kindly humored demeanor. She too excelled in well worn sayings except hers weren’t in Latin. They were in sign language.
Contact Matt Savinar for a Consultation
Copyright Matthew David Savinar 2012