The Virgo Poem

       Ouspensky Addresses A Congress of Virgos

Will you permit me
to expose
certain dangers
those born under the sign of Virgo
often are done in by.

The clouds of pot and ale.

But if Masters work
they move behind
the scenes.

All of them. There are no
that are not dangers.

I am talking of course,
man to man,
Virgin to Virgin.
Others need pay no further attention,
unless of course certain configurations
are predominate: Mercury
in the Eighth House
if it is Virgo;
an afflicted Venus
or Capricorn on
the ascendant.

A Virgo dis-
-believes in Astrology, refuses
his own Virginity
and is often putting mud or paint
of tasteless colors
on his body,
his cock
into women

he cannot touch.
He is a man of letters.

Or the clouds of pot and ale.

He moves in every,
distressed he is not touched by any

To be a woman
and be a Virgo
is not lucky.
She never was
and will always love
a virgin.
No one touches

She is beautiful,
her body is Virgin
with the promise of Virgin earth
and given the fortune 

she will run to the top of a mountain.
It is in her lips
she is discovered.

Clearly no Virgo can give a lesson
or advise.
He rescues his sentiments
before he knows them.

In the time of Virgo
the earth looks
through the sun
into an empty region
of our galaxy. The heat
of the center, lost at right angles—
drafts of cosmic darkness
fill his birth.

Distance and coldness are
his quickness and his brightness
of appearance.

But I will advise you.
Gathered in one place
your collective intensity
does not grow by addition.
And the Hermit on the tarot mountain top
holds his lantern,
his old back to black sky, feet
deep in ice-high peaks, eyes
looking downward.

Curious formulae of wisdom
pass into the speech and gestures
of the youngest among you,
down in thin crystal rays from the Hermit’s lantern.

And any of you
weary of the failure of categories
will experience a longing for blind old age
—invisible silent wisdoms.

Or ancient golden ages
(for which you are sentimental)
and think the world is ordered
by the hushed pages of a sage’s tract.

The books are not inaccurate
when they tell of “cleanness”. There are
many of you (you will not grow
self-conscious as I point you out to yourselves,
but smile at the success
and exquisiteness
of any category) many of you
wear tight vests and trim suits, as I do,
the negative ordering energy of your birth
composing your wardrobe.

But such scrupuloscity
is another species of sleep.

The Master would often say to me—
once a small voice opened like a smile in my chest—

“These intelligent Virgoan men of science 

sleep with flashlights on the ceiling
searching the ceilings
for stars

“and their sleep passes into their waking.

“They are beset with understanding,
and their eyes will hold your own
as you explain
but your words will be transformed to crystal ciphers
and returned to you
at some time thereafter
neither refurbished by elaboration
nor used.

“The clouds of pot and ale
at times extract them
when clarity becomes a numbness
even to their own intelligence.
They are of many beginnings
and few conclusions.”

But the Master was no Virgo
and for him the system which he erected
late in his years of teaching
was neither a system in our sense
nor had the calculation of a myth.
It was the event
sprung from his touch
to things.

You of all the signs will therefore understand
why I was called upon to abandon him.
It is a system I present you with
and the truest among you will soon abandon me.