Virgo (♍, and Latin for virgin) is a constellation of the zodiac. Lying between Leo to the west and the Libra to the east, it is one of the largest constellations in the sky. It can be easily found through its bright α star, Spica.
Who exactly Virgo was considered to represent is uncertain; in history, it has been associated with nearly every prominent goddess, including Ishtar, Isis, Cybele, and Athena. Virgo may also feature, along with Ursa Major, and Ursa Minor, as part of the source of the myth of Callisto, either as Callisto herself, or as Hera. Persephone (who in some mythologies, notably the Eleusinian Mysteries, was considered to be a form of Demeter) is often mentioned as well, Virgo being visible mainly in the spring months when she was believed to have risen from the underworld.
According to one interpretation, the constellation depicts Astraea, the virgin daughter of the god Zeus and the goddess Themis. Astraea was known as the goddess of justice, and was identified as this constellation due to the presence of the scales of justice Libra nearby, and supposedly ruled the world at one point with her wise ways until mankind became so callous that she returned to skies in disgust.
The astrological sign Virgo (August 23 - September 22) is associated with the constellation. In some cosmologies, Virgo is associated with the classical element Earth, and thus called an Earth Sign (with Taurus and Capricorn). It is also one of the mutable signs (along with Gemini, Sagittarius, and Pisces). Its ruling planet is Mercury. Its polar opposite is Pisces. Each astrological sign is assigned a part of the body, viewed as the seat of its power. Virgo rules the intestines. The symbol for Virgo is the virgin. Virgo qualities include an ability to organize, attention to cleanliness, extreme restlessness, selflessness, a desire for service, and an ability to get things done.
- Wikipedia (2005). Virgo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgo). Retrieved March 1, 2005