The Virgin

Before I was Virgo, I was Dikē .

Some forget my given name, as it was also my Earthly name. A name given to me by the same people who I grew to distrust, maybe even despise. I was no normal mortal – not at all. Tasked to come to Earth to watch over the creatures that Zeus had created, I made sure that they provided justice for themselves properly. I thought the task was stupid, of course, but no one was ever able to say no to Zeus. Especially after he overthrew his own father, Cronos…

But that’s a different story.

No one could have known the changes that the overthrow would bring. Before the coup, there was an everlasting spring, an age where humans were so close to the gods that I didn’t know the difference. They did not grow old, they were beautiful, and for a moment, everything was at peace. I loved the humans as I loved my fellow gods and goddesses; living with them was similar to living with my own kin.

Zeus, however, decided that the humans were doing too well. He did not care about these mundane creatures as I did, and it saddened me. He gave them the four seasons, and with them came death and hardships that the humans did not know how to handle. In a world where spring had lived eternal, they now dealt with scorching heat, dying crops, and a winter so cold it seemed to freeze their very hearts into ice.

It changed them.

They grew disdainful of the gods that they once adored. There was no love, no honoring; only an internalized hate that festered inside of them and threatened to kill them with its strength. I watched as these beautiful creatures grew hard, and cold, and in return, I grew to be the same.

Zeus was hard on me; he came to me, telling me to fix the problem that he had created, as if it was my fault the humans had decided to despise him. He warned me of what would happen to them, if they continued down the path of destruction. I wanted to scream, to throw a fit, because this was not the humans' fault. No, this was Zeus’. His greed had caused this. But, as I said before, no one ever said no to Zeus, and so I took on the task.

I gathered my darling humans, who were agitated and suspicious about being brought all together. I could feel their tension – having so many of these mundane creatures together was a dangerous task. They had grown wary of one another, had grown as greedy amongst themselves as their creator had become.

“My loves,” I had said, standing in the front of the crowd. They all knew who I was, the mortal sent from the gods to keep them under control. While they had once loved me, they now despised me. My words fell on deaf ears. They shifted, their gazes full of a hatred I had never experienced before. It broke my heart, and when I spoke, I was sure that they could hear it in my voice.

And I think it fueled their detestation.

“You are in danger, if you continue down the path that you are leading. The gods have been angered. All of you must follow the ideals set before you by our predecessors; love the gods as you once did, and nothing will come of harm to you. But if you do not...” I had paused, for emphasis as well as to get myself under control. If I had been created as a true god, and not a mere mortal to perform Zeus’ dirty work, maybe I could have helped in a more useful way. “There are worse things than death, my darlings. And these misfortunes will welcome you with open arms.”

They did not care; they waved me off and left, continuing on their defiant ways.

With this betrayal, I could not stick around and watch as they destroyed themselves from within. Because Zeus chose me, I allowed myself to turn my back on the people who were once my own. I flew to the mountains, overlooked the humans as they started to war with one another...

At the sight of these beautiful creatures killing for no other reason than to kill, I could not handle their hate any longer. I left Earth, flying to the stars and making a home amongst them. There was no hate there, only bright and bitter longing.

I left Dikē behind, and I became Virgo – the Virgin.

Despite myself, I still watch over the humans. From my place in the sky, I watch as they destroy themselves and one another, unable to stop them, however much I had tried.

Some say that I abandoned them, some think that I was a coward, a fool to believe that the humans would listen to myself or any of the gods that they used to worship, but how can you help people that do not want to be helped?

The answer is: you cannot.

Author’s Note: The story of Virgo is pretty mundane. Her original name was Dikē, which is pronounced DEE-kay. She was sent to Earth for Zeus to try and keep the humans in line with their own justices; she was adored just the same way as all the other gods, despite her earth-dwelling status. I kept the story the same for pretty much every aspect, but you are told the tale from first person, so that you’re able to get inside of Virgo’s head and understand that she had tried to stop the humans from destroying one another. I made it seem as though it was the humans’ choice in the matter, while most of the problems were because of Zeus. Part of me believes that Virgo would have a slight disdain for Zeus, who was truly the reason why the humans fell into such destruction. Virgo seems to be a selfless entity, who only wanted to help the humans that she had grown to love. The theme of this story is that of the last few lines: you cannot help someone that does not want to be helped, and that is ultimately the reason why Virgo gives up on the humans and finds her place in the stars. Unlike the other woman in this Storybook, she placed herself there by choice, and not as punishment.

Bibliography: Virgo Constellation Myth, link to online reading.

Image Information: VIrgo Constellation Painting by Ahmad Alromeadheen Kuwait on CGTalk.

Image Information: Virgo Constellation. Found on The Horoscope.