Hygeia, Virgo and the 6th: sheer perfection!

Hygeia by Klimt

Hygeia by Klimt

Ceres, Pallas and Vesta are somewhat understood in the astrology, and all seem worthy of attention based upon size alone (for those who consider such factors significant!), but far less is understood about Hygeia, the fourth largest asteroid in the belt between Mars and Saturn. It is not a great deal smaller than either Vesta or Pallas in truth but it is almost completely ignored as an influence, with some vague notions that she rules health, sanitation and is a healing goddess of one form or other.

I am going to make a very bold statement now and suggest the possibility that Hygeia is the natural ruler of Virgo and the 6th house. I know that this particular domicile is much contested, traditionalists will say Mercury and that might be fine if it were not for the fact that Gemini is so clearly a natural fit for Mercury that there really is nothing left for Virgo to offer. Others make a case for Chiron, and this seems more apt in some ways, the practical healing arts that Chiron taught were unquestionably Virgoan, but what of his astrology, his hunting, his teaching skills in such matters as war? There are aspects of Chiron (and major aspects at that) which appear to be decidedly anti-Virgoan! If anything you might make a case for Chiron ruling the second decanate of Virgo, but that’s a discussion for another day.

Who was Hygeia? Without getting into too much detail she was a daughter of Asclepius, who was himself the God of Healing, and the original Greek sources assign to his daughters various aspects of healing process with Hygeia being given rulership of cleanliness specifically. More broadly, she ruled over matters of clean-living, of washing, eating well, looking after yourself; actually of having a preventative attitude toward disease, preventing the onset of illness in the first place rather than trying to cure; although good sanitation is an important aspect of healing in its own right.

I often struggle to convey the archetypal ambience of the 6th house, but really this is exactly it. The 6th is concerned – at its heart – with principles of right-living, in a near Buddhist sense; right livelihood, right intention, right speech actually. It speaks to the principle that we should live according to a certain simple philosophy, of eating right, of looking after our bodies and taking care that our habits are conducive to a good state of mind and a healthy outlook. Thus if we are burning the candle at both ends, drinking too much, eating junk food and not washing enough we are offending Hygeia, and her judgement will be handed down in the form of illness, disease, degeneration and habitual instability. This is why Hygeia and the 6th house are a perfect fit; it is why Virgo and Hygeia are very comfortable together. Here is the exact kind of specific, attentive, habitual, nutritional and service-minded concern that is so beloved of Virgo. Virgo is Hygeia.

Consider the music of Bob Dylan. It is simple, it speaks to simple themes of human life, it gets down to the basics. It is not grandiose, overblown or showy, it is astonishingly simple, human and humane. Dylan has a peregrine Hygeia. As does Betty Ford, and we are talking here about clean living, right? Marks and Spencer, the British food and clothing retailer too has a peregrine Hygeia.

Anyone with a stressed, angular or debilitated Hygeia probably has quite chaotic lifestyle habits. They may not attend to personal hygeine well, they may eat badly, drink too much, get little exercise. As they grow older and work out their issues they will probably improve. Look to aspects with other placements and consider the quality; my wife has Hygeia closely conjunct to Mercury in Virgo; her mental habits are quite simply beyond reproach, she has a very healthy mind, and has never been depressed in her life. Not even for a day. If she is upset about something, she deals with it, thinks it through and gets past it; a characteristic that is explained precisely by this conjunction.

I finally managed to quit smoking some 5 years ago when Hygeia was conjunct the Moon in Virgo. This speaks to an emotional need for healthy habits that combined with a stellium transiting the 8th house of giving up and letting go really did the trick.

Anyone have any interesting Hygeia placements and possible interps?

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28 comments on “Hygeia, Virgo and the 6th: sheer perfection!

  1. Lisa says:

    I have Hygeia in gemini in 10th house right before 11th house cusp and then Mars in Gemini inside the 11th house – not quite conjunct though. Both trine my moon. I have no idea how to interpret. I’ve always exercised, good…but I smoke, bad. Lots and lots of broken bones.

  2. Dunya says:

    I’ve just cheked my Hygiea – 3rd house in aquarius, opposite my sun, sextile quiron, quincunx my venus virgo AND trine my uranus, its ruler! I think that trine Must be important (it’s 20′ from being exact) – however I can’t offer an interpretation.

    (Humm, unless this one – I need to feel free to be healthy…)

    What I found interesting:

    - on 11 november 2004, the day I radically changed my diet and, thus, my entire life – progressed moon was at 13º aquarius and progressed hygiea was at 14 aquarius (3rd house still). I got the diet from reading several foruns on the internet (aquarius).
    It changed my life.

    Transit wise: transiting Hygiea was at 24º virgo, past a conjunction with my natal venus in virgo (18º) – in the 10th house.

    However I think the most relevant aspect is the progressed one.

  3. chirotic says:

    Lisa, I would imagine that has something to say about social and conversational habits. Gemini though rules the lungs and in easy aspect to the Moon which rules habits then a smoking habit is probably something you do due to your social life (11th house).

    Dunya, Sun opp. Hygeia is tricky, in Leo you would need to look after your heart, Aquarius affects the circulation so it would be important to maintain that good circulation. The trine to Uranus which also rules circulation of course suggests abrupt health changes if you take your good health for granted. That is a fundamental quality of the trine: all aspects are squares really. A trine is easy providing you work with it; if you are lazy with it then it reverts back to a square (to all intents and purposes). It sounds like your diet though enabled you to make a sudden change for the better, you used your trine to good effect, so I’d say that’s very good news :)

  4. Dunya says:

    Chirotic, I never thought I could have heart problems o_0 First, I’m young and, second, I have a good diet. But you’re right: I do take my health for granted… :p

    I guess I should restart my exercice program…

    ******

  5. wintersprite1 says:

    I was expecting to find Hygeia seriously compromised in my chart…(I would have to clean up just to be messy) But sitting nicely at 3 Taurus in the 3rd. Back to pointing the finger at the Juno/Neptune conjunction I guess. Wait a minute… the Antiscion for Hygeia in my chart is…. 27degree Leo… Haaa haaa haaa

    I do want the chance to say, the artwork you have included with the blog is much appreciated. You have outdone yourself with such appropriate and beautiful examples!

    TK

  6. Denise says:

    I have Hygeia conjunct Chiron/jupiter in Pisces in the 8th opposite Uranus in Virgo in the 2nd and sextile my sun in Capricorn in the 6th.

  7. Jess says:

    Hi Chirotic, thanks for your article. Hygeia is quite strong in my chart. I have Hygeia, MC, Venus all at 14 Cap, cunjunct my north node and Jupiter (all in the 10th), square my Aries AC/Chiron cunjuction, quincunx Saturn at 14 Gemini in the 3rd.
    I have a Virgo moon in the 6th and really resonate with your statement of Hygeia being the natural ruler of Virgo.
    I would say I have many ideas about right living, but would have to admit that I find it difficult to put them into practice :) I think I lean more toward the chaotic side at times. Hopefully this will improve with age!
    Thanks again for your article

  8. suzanne says:

    I just learned that I have Hygeia (7 degrees 30′ Scorpio) conjunct my Ascendant (6 degrees 18′ Scorpio). These trine Mars (8 degrees 34′ Cancer and square Pluto (6 degrees 24′ Leo). I have no idea what this means. Incidentally, my Sun is in the 6th.

  9. chirotic says:

    Suzanne, with Hygeia that close to rising I’d be more than interested to see a photo of you :)

  10. suzanne says:

    Please send me your email…also, what do you expect my photo will reveal?

  11. chirotic says:

    Any planet that close to the Ascendant will modify the appearance and Hygeia should be no different of course; I will send my email along now, thank you.

  12. jay says:

    i don’t think hygeia rules Virgo clearly you people don’t read enough that’s y people will fall anything mercury clearly rules Virgo because of our intelligence and reasoning skills hygeia doesn’t nothing to do with that also if you read more it states mercury carry the caduceus that’s is healing that is Virgo field not Gemini before you so call astrologers claim ruler ships for signs maybe you should study the sign a bit more and have your facts in order lol. Virgo is a mutable sign an earth ruled by planet mercury. Thank you

  13. John (in Calif) says:

    Jeremy, I mentioned somewhere else that my Hygeia is exactly conjunct midheaven, in Libra, a little beyond my natal Virgo Sun.

    Love your writing and your work, and the Klimt (many of which, by the way, have recently come to live in Los Angeles, where the rightful heir now lives. A little wierdly synchronistic for me, as I had by chance seen them many times in Vienna, and admired them hugely, over the last decades.)

  14. miss v. says:

    Jeremy,
    I don’t know if you are still providing assistance with the interpretations.

    I have Hygeia in Gemini at 17 degrees. It rents the second house from Taurus, along with the Gemini sun at 10 degrees, along with Jupiter in Gemini at 5 degrees 25′.

    It is neighbors with Mercury at 20 degree, and mars at 21 degrees in the 3rd house.

    Lately I have experienced extreme disregard for any type normal conditions of health and cleanliness.

    It’s shocking. It’s as though i have been beset by deep depression which manifests as complete disregard for health.

    Normally careful with diet, prevention even though I smoke.

    This is very odd…

  15. miss v says:

    Thank you Jeremy for your response. The idea of a asteroid defining our definition and perspective on health and cleanliness is amazing.

  16. This is amazingly written and helps me understand Hygeia better.

    I have Hygeia at 27 Deg. Libra Conjunct Pluto & Saturn on my MC…it trines my Mars in the 2nd and Squares my 1st house Sun and Mercury in Cap.

    My 2nd house Mars Squares Jupiter, which is my charts final dispositor.

    I have Ceres on my Asc.

    I’ve never considered myself a “health expert” or an “athlete” but I recently realized that I am kind of the nutrition and fitness expert to my friends!

    I lost a lot of weight after being a chubby teen all on my own (diet and exercise…unstructured (Mars in Aqua!!:P)about 5 years ago and in the past few years my most successful jobs were working in a sports store and working as a weight loss counselor.

    I have recently been hoping to get a job at a gym, who would pay my way to a personal trainer certification. I think it would be good and satisfying work for me, along with getting some kind of nutrition certification.
    :P

  17. Jilly says:

    The only aspect that it makes in my chart is exactly trining my Virgo Venus. Hygeia is in the 1st house (cap).

    Looks like Pluto is going to roll over it in about 4 years.

  18. Jilly says:

    I was born on the day that hippies tried to levitate the Pentagon in Washington DC USA, LOL.

  19. Dr Hilary Bond says:

    I have Hygiea 17 Libra conjunct my 19 Libra Moon which is conjunct Neptune 28 Libra. They are all in the 2nd house. They are at the apex of my Sun 24 Capricorn 5th- Chiron 28 Capricorn sixth house and Jupiter/Uranus 24 Cancer. I have a wide air stellium- Hygiea trine Vesta 17 Gemini in the 10th and Mercury in sixth in Aquarius 7 degrees. I have always been interested in health, studied nutrition to help my counselling and teaching.I have never smoked, drank alcohol, taken drugs. I eat very healthy food and don’t eat junk food. Not being tidy and clean upsets me. I have mostly used energy healing to cure migraines since I have had since i was 14. They were cured finally last year in September, 2008 when Chiron was 16/17 Aquarius, North Node was 17/18 Aquarius, Neptune 21 Aquarius all in my sixth house and Mars was mid Libra and Uranus 20 Pisces. Saturn my ruling planet was in Virgo in my first house. My ascendant is 28 Leo with Pluto at late 26 degrees Leo. I am a professional astrologer as well as a psychotherapist and I mainly look at psychological astrology and health astrology. I hhave taught chilldren with problems since 1981 and now teach part time in human services at university in counselling. I also counsell chilldren who are in trouble psychologically and parents who can’t cope with their children.
    I hope this posting help your readers. I have been researching Chiron since the early 1990s. Laughter and joy- Hilary.

  20. Good Morning. That last comment Jan 09 and here it is Oct. 09. I have hygeia in my 6th.I am 65. Since the 70′s I’ve done yoga, and later 1992 bike riding, mountain climbing, quit smoking, toking and drinking other than a social glass. Gone back to school a few semesters for a Moa, learned computor, took a doula course and transcended, beat B. cancer. All of which netted me today 2009 feeling angry, giving up most of those interests because they just fatiqued me and hoping that when prog. sun meets prog. moon in 2011 I will revive.
    Or is it that close conj. to Neptune Jupiter chiron that is causing it all??????
    The anger, the weakness, the wounding……all too much for an old body?

  21. Leah says:

    This is very informative! I believe I have an interestingly posited Hygeia:

    She’s in my 6th house, in 21º Pisces, very closely conjunct my Vertex and almost exactly opposite Mercury in Virgo in my 12th house. Hygeia is also, to the degree EXACTLY, the midpoint between the first and last planets of my chart’s locomotive pattern.

    And if that weren’t enough, intercepted Chiron in Cancer trines Hygeia almost exactly.

  22. Promethee says:

    Hygeia conjoins Mercury (21′ orb) and is right on my DSC in Capricorn. I have known depression in my life…However, I am completely dedicated to the purification of my personality and soul to better relate to people. I have an acute consciousness of the need to clean myself mentally and emotionaly :-)

  23. [...] and preservationists who believe keeping the Earth clean and pollution free.“Jeremy Neal makes a good argument for Asteroid Hygiea ruling Virgo and the 6th house, “if we are burning [...]

  24. Luke~ says:

    I have Hygiea in exact conjunct with the Sun in the 20th degree of Pisces. Except for skin, which might relate more to placements in the First House and the Ascendant, I have always been remarkably healthy and lived an active life. I’m not involved vocationally in medicine, but I can think of one substantial occasion where I was able to make a subtle lifestyle change in order to effect a physical recovery rather than use allopathic medicine.

  25. [...] Jeremy Neal makes a good argument for Asteroid Hygiea ruling Virgo and the 6th house, “if we are burning the candle at both ends, drinking too much, eating junk food and not washing enough we are offending Hygeia, and her judgement will be handed down in the form of illness, disease, degeneration and habitual instability. This is why Hygeia and the 6th house are a perfect fit; it is why Virgo and Hygeia are very comfortable together. Here is the exact kind of specific, attentive, habitual, nutritional and service-minded concern that is so beloved of Virgo. Virgo is Hygeia“. [...]

  26. jillness1 says:

    I have Leo rising at 10 degrees. Hygiea is at 16.51 degrees Leo conjuncting the Sun at 17 degrees. What’s your interpretation?

  27. Ilmatar says:

    I have 8th house Hygiea tightly conjunct Mercury in Virgo at 9 and 10 degrees, not doing much except loosely squaring Saturn in Gemini in 5th. I think I have always been abusing Hygiea by staying up nights and not exercising regularly. I don’t smoke or drink much though, never have and am partial to veggies over greasy foods (special aversion to bacon and melted cheese, gross)… Dabbled with Reiki years ago but haven’t practised it for a long time. Recently have taken up Pilates but will see how long my interest remains alive… My irregular habits might have something to do with a minor semi-sextile aspect with Uranus, never been crazy about rules or routines :)

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