The Virgo’s symbol represents the maiden or the virgin, manifesting as the letter “M” with a loop at the end. As you can see above, there are many ways to stylize the symbol when drawing it, so long as it has the “M” paired with a loop on the right-hand side.
The “M” represents what is within—physically, emotionally, and/or sexually. The loop is often seen as a pair of crossed legs, as portraying the Virgo symbolism of chastity and purity. The loop serves as a filter of the negative and the impure. It’s as if that in order to get to the true internal self—the “M”—must once first pass the initial emotional screening of the loop. Some will fit and pass through seamlessly, while others will be unable to cross the Virgo’s decisive and concrete barrier.
The Virgo glyph, like any form of symbolism, is up to interpretation, so though this reading is the most common, it is only one of many. Other astrologers interpret the M-loop completely differently. For instance, one reading identifies the three vertical lines in the “M” as representing hurdles or barriers on a person’s path, with the loop serving as a vehicle to return to some sort of beginning, new or old, experiencing more pathways and the inevitable trials one faces throughout life.
Virgo and the Virgin
In addition to the M-loop glyph, Virgos are often paired with a visual symbol of the maiden carrying a shaft of wheat. They have the soft purity of the virgin as well as the hard maturity and wisdom of the provider and caretaker.
The Virgo’s representation in the Virgin can be understandably misunderstood. The Virgo’s energy is not puritanical or naive. In fact, the Virgo is typically associated with self-assuredness and wisdom. The Virgo Virgin instead represents the Virgo’s resistance to being defined by a partner. The Virgo’s identity is crafted largely through what she makes of herself, rather than the experiences she has through/with others or how other people perceive her. She is wholly individual, not tainted by the external or other.
As far as the wheat goes, it may seem like a small, easily-overlooked part of the Virgin image, but it is as representative of the Virgo’s nature and priorities as the Virgin herself. The Virgo Virgin holds wheat in her hands because she is industrious and resourceful. She serves the world, and herself, through tangible, utilitarian means. The Virgo at her core roots her actions, values, morals, and relationships in the practical and the completely real. Though she is 100% individual and not defined by her relationships or experiences with others, she finds value value in providing for others and being the physical caretaker.
The Virgo and Her Symbolism
The Virgo is not represented by these particular symbols arbitrarily. The representations behind the glyph go hand in hand with the analytical, guarded, and critical Virgo. The elongated stature of the “M”expresses that self-assured and confident trait—the ability to stand tall against adversity and the wisdom to feel comfortable against inevitable barriers.
Virgos are also often seen as one of the more well-rounded and balanced zodiac signs, as they are self-assured yet always growing, practical yet impulsive, guarded and skeptical yet fiercely loyal. The loop on the edge of the “M” reminds us of that Virgo tendency to make things feel grounded and whole, rather than turbulent and unsure. The Virgo understands the cyclical nature of life, relationships, and sense of self, and is comfortable adapting the way things circle back around to good, then back around to bad. They never accept anything as permanent except for the inevitably of change and the new cycle.
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