Virgo Season is For Animal Lovers

Astrologer David Odyssey looks to Fiona Apple and Freddie Mercury to divine what Virgo season reveals about your dearest pet relationships.

by David Odyssey
September 15, 2021
Collage of Fiona Apple with her dog in a yellow circle on a blue-green background
Photo-Illustration: Aira Dolfo; Photos: Adobe Stock, fionaapplerocks Tumblr

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Halfway through the zodiac, the sign Virgo shows up to teach us about our boundaries. Summer is ending, and the back-to-school grind beckons. How much do we have to give? What do we want to receive? Virgos get a rap for maintaining obsessive control in the sphere of daily life, as part of a quest for perfection which can never end well. And yet, for a sign whose avatars can be anal to the degree of inhuman, why do the greatest Virgos adore their pets above all others? So what can the Virgos in your life, and the placement of Virgo in your chart, reveal to you about your relationship with animals?

How Virgos in Pop Culture Find Sanctuary Among Animals

Virgo arrives just before Libra, the sign of relationships and social ecology. Consider Virgo, then, the last sign of the self, symbolized by the virgin archetype, the young woman asserting her worth before negotiating the terms of a marriage. Like Elizabeth Bennet in Pride & Prejudice, Virgo won’t compromise for anything but perfection. And so those born with their suns in Virgo seek embodiment at the platonic ideal: Among the earth sign’s greatest hits are Beyoncé, Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, and Freddie Mercury; icons at the mastery of what they do, elevated to a pedestal beyond mortal reckoning. 

And yet. It’s lonely at the top. Michael Jackson, task-mastered as a child show pony, then vaunted to superhuman standards through global stardom, could perhaps never really find human connection after the abuse he’d suffered — and perpetrated. But among animals, he found resonance and peace: his pet rat Ben, Bubbles the chimp, and, to the dismay of animal rights activists, the menagerie of his ill-fated private zoo. Like everything in Jackson’s life, his relationship with animals went way too far, but it did elucidate a sentiment that many pet-owners share in the current era of hyper-exposure: If you are to be consumed by the public, you need a life companion who loves you for you. 

Virgo recognizes that the more we come into our gifts, the bigger the targets on our heads. If we possess something intrinsically valuable, we’re vulnerable to ambush, violation and exploitation. And so, it is through animals, those creatures who offer unconditional love, that many Virgos, at the peak of their talent, find sanctuary. As the leader of The Prodigy, Keith Flint made himself over as a dance punk terrorist, a militant roaring to avenge a dissociated Generation X. Flint retained a delightfully flippant demonic presence throughout his life, which honored his role as an emissary of an era. But in his private life, he hid out in his Tudor home, seeking refuge among his horses, birds, and eight dogs until he died in 2019. 

In 2012, Fiona Apple cancelled her tour dates in South America, on account of her dog Janet’s declining health. Apple’s work speaks for millions, sharing hard truths about betrayal and violation. Sacrificing the illusion of normalcy for a devotion to truth, Apple exists outside of the regular sphere of human interaction. Perhaps she can only be joined, in the dark interregnum she occupies, by a being of service. “She’s my best friend,” Apple wrote of her dog Janet, “and my mother and my daughter, and my benefactor, and she’s the one who taught me what love is.” Shirley Manson, the iconic Garbage frontwoman, a Lilith incarnate and one-time Terminator, shared a similar bond with her dog Veela, as did Freddie Mercury with his legion of cats. “To my cat Jerry,” he wrote, on the dedication of his album Mr. Bad Guy, “also Tom, Oscar, and Tiffany, and all the cat lovers across the universe — screw everybody else!”

Mercury was a global superstar, who shared a name with Virgo’s astrological ruler, the messenger god of Olympus. But in sharing his gifts with the masses, Mercury gave up some of his agency. This is the tradeoff of opening ourselves to others: Once we mean something to the masses, we can’t control how we’re seen. But animals work on a different thread. What do Freddie Mercury’s cats care about his career, when it didn’t involve gifts of fresh chicken and fish from his fans? 

What Virgo Placement Means for Your Pet Relationship

Virgo rules the sixth house of the zodiac, the domain concerned with daily tasks, acts of service, and mundane rituals of the body. Whether you’re besieged by global fame, or perhaps dissociated from dropping into yourself, the care of an animal companion can give daily life a semblance of ritual, structure and solidity. And, rather than having to escape into another person, or be forever confined to your own body — like the cloistered, eternally virginized Virgo Elizabeth I — showering love on a pet makes for a reasonably safe release of affection, where you won’t be compromised in the service of another. 

You may not have any planets in Virgo, but that doesn’t mean its values are inactive in your cosmic hero’s journey. Look to where the sign occurs in your chart, and to whichever planets and signs occupy its original domain — the sixth house — for an understanding of where you seek support through the trials of self-definition. Animal companions are not a catch-all solution, but astrology can indicate the type of journey you and your companion are destined for. In your fourth house of home and foundations, does Virgo invite pets to give you a feeling of solidity and sanctuary? In your ninth house of expansion and spirituality, does Virgo introduce you to a canine travel buddy? In your twelfth house of closure and personal history, does Virgo help you seek healing with the help of a furry empath? 

Wherever Virgo occurs in your chart, its placement, and its season, gives you a chance to decide who you are, and what you have to offer. This is interior work, outside of the light of the public, and perhaps can only be aided by a presence with no judgment and no ulterior motives. Who better to show up for your metamorphosis than a pet? 

david odyssey

David Odyssey

David Odyssey is a writer, performer, and diviner based in New York City. He reads the charts of his favorite icons on The Luminaries podcast, and offers private astrology and tarot readings. You can read his work and book a reading through his site