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Virgo, by Johfra Bosschart

Virgo by Johfra, pg. 111 in your personalized book You and the Universe

 

 

 

 

 

Links to all Twelve of Johfra Bosschart's zodiac-sign pictures below:

Aries

Cancer        

Libra

Capricorn

Taurus

Leo        

Aquarius

Gemini

Virgo        

Sagittarius

Pisces

 

 

         Having left the simplicity and straightforwardness of Leo behind, Johfra returns to his complex, hermetic symbolism with the painting of the sign Virgo centered about the only female figure in the zodiac. Virgo is the maiden Astraea, goddess of innocence and purity, and daughter of Themis goddess of justice. Almost universally linked to the harvest, Virgo walks through the fields of fall selecting the grain and fruit that is ready and discarding that which is not. Thus we come to Virgo’s defining attribute: discrimination. A great strength and need in all human beings and cultures, Virgo needs to find the balance of the next sign Libra between appropriate discrimination and inappropriate criticism, especially with regard to her or his intimates.

         When Spica (alpha Virginis), the brightest star in the constellation Virgo (and 15th brightest star in the sky) first rose ahead of the Sun, it was a sign in early cultures for the harvesting of grain. The name “Spica” comes from the Latin “spica virginis,” meaning “Virgo’s ear of grain.” In Johfra’s painting we see the goddess holding a spear of wheat in her right hand and what appears to be either an ear of corn or a flame encased in an egg-shaped crystal in her left (Virgo is usually depicted holding an ear of corn in her right hand and a palm branch in her left).

         At the left foot of the painting we see an alchemist’s alembic still for distilling chemicals. Distillation is the process of separating the essential part of a mixture from its more volatile components by boiling off the latter thereby purifying and concentrating the former, a procedure essential to Virgo. Next to the alembic sits an ancient Egyptian Pharaoh dog (modern-day Ibizan Hound) on a manuscript bearing Johfra’s name, the first time it appears in any of his zodiac paintings. On the bottom right is a book open to the Qabalah’s Tree of Life or the Sephirothic Tree over which stand two ibises. One of the most important gods of the Egyptian pantheon, the ibis-headed god of wisdom Thoth was associated with magic, science, writing, and the judgment of the dead. Thoth’s Virgo-like judgment is expanded upon through the appearance of Osiris in the next paragraph.

         In the four corners of the poster—the two lower figures are above the corners, vertically centered on Virgo—are symbols of the four fixed power signs of the zodiac: the bull of Taurus, the lion of Leo, the human face of Aquarius, and the eagle as Scorpio's higher manifestation. In the center above Virgo is Osiris, chief Egyptian god of the dead and the underworld. His depiction is small and dim indicating that he is located in the underworld within this tableau. Osiris not only judged the dead but granted all life including vegetation and the annual flooding of the Nile, thus making him kin to the fertile Virgo. At the top left is Mercury, ruler of Virgo (and Gemini), and on the right is a baboon balancing a feather against something concealed. This is the ancient Egyptian Weighing of the Heart Ceremony, in which Thoth in the form of a baboon weighed the deceased’s heart before Osiris and a tribunal of 43 deities in the afterlife. The feather represented Maat: the principle of truth and justice. If the deceased’s heart balanced the feather he was given a place in the afterlife. If, however, his heart was heavier than the feather with the weight of wrongdoings, than it was devoured by the waiting crocodile-leopard-hippopotamus beast Ammit, and the deceased ceased entirely to exit. Thus Osiris and Thoth discriminated with the dead—or souls of the living—as Virgo did with the harvest of earth.

 

Links to all 12 of Johfra Bosschart's Zodiac Series posters:

Aries

Cancer

Libra

Capricorn

Taurus

Leo

small Scorpio glyph in the Johfra Bosschart sign-links table

Aquarius

Gemini

Virgo

Sagittarius

Pisces

 

 

 

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Pages 2-3 from your astrology reading in a fine art, personalized astrology book: You and the Universe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The personalized Fine Art Book You and the Universe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Carl Woebcke, Virgo, by Johfra Bosschart, 1991-2016. All rights reserved.