Your Guide to Virgo Season

Illustration: Sunny Wu

As summer starts to wind down, you’ve probably noticed the stores stocked with folders and planners, shelves piled high with tools for organizing your thoughts, for getting your life together. They say it’s all for back to school, but honestly, they might as well be advertising for Virgo season. It’s the final zodiac sign of the summer, the one that leads us away from the wild, hot haze and up to the crisp edge of autumn. It’s the season of taking your life seriously and setting things right.

Virgo season, which lasts from August 23 to September 23 in 2023, marks a departure from the boldness and drama of Leo season. After a month in a creative, dramatic fire sign, Virgo season gives us the chance to come back down to earth a little quieter and more attuned to the everyday material reality of the world we’re living in.

Virgo combines a natural affinity for the earthly and physical with a sharp intellectual streak. It’s an earth sign, closely connected to the body and the tangible world, and ruled by Mercury, the planet of thought, curiosity, and communication. Virgo is analytic and observant, uniquely equipped to deal with the practical details of real life.

This means that Virgo tends to be stereotyped as the fussiest of the zodiac signs, hypercritical and detail-oriented to the point of perfectionism. Like most astrological stereotypes, there’s some truth to it: Virgo notices what others might ignore and cares about doing everything correctly down to the smallest detail. Other signs might be content to haphazardly throw a project together, call the result good enough, and move on, but Virgo won’t be satisfied until it’s been done right. To some, this meticulousness can come across as frustrating, nitpicking pettiness, but you can’t deny the impressiveness of the results: Hello, look at Beyoncé’s body of work!

This means that Virgo season is an excellent time for making plans, setting realistic schedules, and getting organized — whether that means purging your closet or finally organizing the files on your laptop. Virgo is focused on health and care and living a good life inside this human form. Virgo season is also the right time to get serious about treating your body right — by eating foods that make you feel stronger or exercising just enough to steady your mind or finally making that doctor’s appointment you’ve been avoiding or just getting enough sleep. Care for yourself the same way you would for a friend you really love.

But don’t imagine that during Virgo season you need to focus on details at the expense of your big-picture goals. Rather, tending to the small things right now is the best way to bring your grander visions to life. By engaging with the world honestly, without ignoring the facts that are painful or neglecting the tasks that are inconvenient, it becomes possible to turn dreams into reality.

And just as important, don’t believe any stereotypes that imply Virgo is drab or uninteresting. Think about Fiona Apple (who has her sun, moon, and Mercury in Virgo) standing onstage at the 1997 VMAs and calling the entire music industry “bullshit.” Virgo’s conscientiousness isn’t always quiet and undramatic. It can also look brave and, frankly, extremely cool.

Virgo season is a time to get your life back in order. You can tackle the projects you’ve been avoiding, and really do them justice. You can notice the things that are making the world around you worse, and set them right again. Just don’t let anyone convince you that during Virgo season, you have to think small. You can organize your planner, your bookshelf, and your closet, but you don’t have to stop there. You can organize your workplace, your apartment building, and your city, too.

Your Guide to Virgo Season