The Lunar Review

Disease and The Virgin

One disease, long life, no disease, short life. Traditional Chinese Medicine proverb.

One disease, long life, stresses the importance of taking a close, hard look at your pain. This includes an honest evaluation of medical weaknesses to see what needs further attention.

Ignoring symptoms, in favor of a false view that you are fit and perfectly healthy, invites weakness to fester and grow. Therefore, no disease, short life.

This is where the power of the Virgin, representing the sign of Virgo, comes into play. The Virgin has the ability to discern, evaluate, and painstakingly analyze details. The details that are so very easy to overlook.

She harbors an affinity for all matters related to health, knowing the value of keeping the body healthy and the mind hygienic. This is the sign that desires nothing more than bringing perfection and order into being.

When the sun stations in Virgo, from August 23 to Sept 22, it means the sun just left the sign of Leo. The regal, fun-loving Lion can favor enjoyment to the point of overindulgence. 

In the height of summer, the emphasis is on pleasure, creativity and social activity. Parties, theater and socializing are joyful things, making life juicy. However, taken too far, they can lead to drama and excess, which ultimately puts the party out. 

Before things can get out of hand, the Virgin comes sweeping in, cleaning up the act, making sure everyone is ready for the hard work required to collect the crops from the fields. Enjoyment is delayed, the satisfaction and celebration of a successful harvest comes only after the hard work.

She can’t afford a loss of vitality as the heavy labor begins. It will be evident after her intense scrutiny what needs attention and what doesn’t. Her attention to detail helps her decide what is truly a concern. She carefully observes her own body, just as well as she analyzes the harvest, ready to apply remedies, if need be.

She may come across as reserved when compared with Leo, and be more introverted in nature, rather than take center stage. There is a good reason for this, as she is dealing with the brunt, the final outcome of a critically important, long process that started in the spring. There is no room for theatrics, drama, or at worst histrionics here.

Now is the time of reckoning. Will everyone have enough food to last through the winter? Did the crops grow, were they harvested correctly, are they safely secured until needed?

It’s the Virgin Goddess who has to take Aries and Taurus to task if vegetables, fruits and grains weren’t planted on time, in the right places, and cared for until they grew strong.

If there’s a shortage she will have to confront Gemini, who buried himself in his task of deciding how the commercial side of the harvest will be run. What surplus will be sold, for how much and to whom? What meaning does the beautiful ballad Gemini composed, glorifying the earth, the Goddess, and abundance, have now?

How will Virgo explain to sensitive Cancer, that when the sun was at its apex, the rays burned and wilted the crops. If only the tears of Cancers could be used, by going back in time, to water the fields. 

She will ask Leo, was it really necessary to plant those exotic vegetables, so glamorous-looking from foreign places, that couldn’t thrive in our climate. Where was your leadership when we needed it most?

Maybe Virgo needs to be reminded that perfection is the enemy of good. That looking too hard at flaws will stop the purification process and start the cycle of madness instead. Too critical an eye will turn others off, and cast a cold spell on the joyful aspects of harvest time. Delighting in a task well done is something even Virgo should do.

This is why it is so important for Virgo to maintain optimal health, because her greatest desire is to perfect a skill in order to serve those in need. Hers is the thankless, least glorious task of them all.

Checking over every aspect, from the seeds to the reaping, to the storing of the harvest. Imperfections exist to be corrected through being meticulous, precise and systematic. Abundance is the goal, and should not be left to chance, not when survival is at stake. 

Virgo scrutinizes the daily routine, making sure time is spent efficiently. She likes to manage her day in a way that supports good health. The ever-capable, self-disciplined Virgin reigns in emotional excesses, and changes unhealthy behaviors. She brings order to chaos, in both her inner and outer environment.

She thrives on the challenge of rebalancing her inner forces, and bringing her own yin and yang into harmony. For it is when yin and yang are too lopsided, and out of sync, that signs of illness arise.

Yin is associated with cold, night, winter, passivity, rest and femininity. Yang is the opposite, and is associated with heat, daytime, summer, activity, and masculinity. 

An acute condition or disease occurs quickly, with symptoms presenting themselves rapidly, but only persisting for a short period of time. Rapid onset is one of the defining characteristics of a yang disease. 

This is because the yang principle is fast-moving, active and, when functioning in the extreme, can be out-of-control. An example of an acute condition is an asthma attack.

The symptoms of a chronic disorder or disease, on the other hand, persist over a lengthy period of time. The disease process extends through time, with long-lasting effects. Thus, they are categorized as yin disorders. 

This is due to the fact that yin is heavy, cloying and passive. Extreme yin is seen in a piece of ice, so cold and dense it no longer has the quality of fluidity and movement. An example of a chronic disease is dementia.

To effectively diagnose the imbalance of yin-yang, and further break it down into a more specific category, Traditional Chinese Medicine (“TCM”) utilizes the concept of zheng, which translates as pattern of disharmony. Zheng is a comprehensive diagnosis, and signifies more than the naming of a condition, illness or disease.

Zheng is a precise summary of the cause of an illness, its location in the body, the nature of the pathogenic factor, the prognosis (what course the disease is likely to take), and details the interaction of the pathogenic factors with the body (how the body and mind are handling the situation).

A TCM practitioner derives the appropriate zheng for a patient in a very Virgoan fashion. Careful observation of the patient is a must, with special attention to detail. Does the patient show vitality in the eyes, a reluctance to speak, is the face pale, are the hands quivering? These things are gleaned without having to ask the patient a single question.

Listening to patients describe their signs and symptoms of illness, including their emotional state and general quality of life, is all relevant to the case. Feeling the pulse, on both wrists, observing the tongue and a visual inspection of the patient all factor in.

After analyzing all the seemingly disparate information, the practitioner forms a concise, comprehensive pattern of disharmony. Like a Virgo loves to do, information is whittled down to its most basic, constituent parts, so it can be carefully organized into a viable whole. Then it can be turned into a useful tool or a methodology, that is as elegant as ingenious in its simplicity.

The treatment principle lies within the heart of zheng. For example, a patient with a zheng  known as Heart-Fire Transmits to Small Intestine, requires a treatment plan that consists of clearing heat and small intestine fire. This patient could suffer with intestinal pain, burning urination, intense feelings of confusion, or loss of mental clarity.

Patients suffering from conditions and diseases ranging from urinary tract infections to anxiety, may be treated with similar acupuncture points and treatment modalities, depending on their patterns of disharmony.

It doesn’t matter what the overall disease is called because it all hinges on the zheng, not the illness itself. Thus the TCM adage comes into play- Same disease, different treatment. Different disease, same treatment. 

Known as the healer of the zodiac, Virgo can turn a keen, observant eye onto themselves, observing their own zheng. Aspiring to perfection within themselves, they strive for it through refining, and ameliorating, their own organism. Destined for service, they naturally extrapolate any successful methods to happily share them with others. 

Finding successful ways to cure and heal, they will consider it their duty to share it in the best, most efficient way they can. This is a humble task, performed in the name of service. While payment is graciously accepted, huge rewards, fireworks and light shows are not expected. Although this is a logical sign and thrives on intellect, they can be depended upon to roll up their sleeves and do the hard work!

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