The virgin over 5000 years: from the goddess of air to the sea of all possibilities
The idea of this "ethereal element" attached to Virgo has taken different forms over the millennia:
The Goddess of Air in Sumer
NinLil was the Sumerian name for the virgin goddess of the air. She represented tender, delicate, vulnerable and devoted love. Her husband was EnLil, the tempestuous god of air. Their marriage was the first tragedy in the heaven of the gods. She turned NinLil into EreshKiGal, the ruler of the underworld.
Greece and the quintessence of ether
Also the Greek mythology knew the "Aither" as the personified "upper heaven". Aristotle spoke of a "quintessence" as the fifth element, which can hold together the four elements, fire, water, earth and air. These thoughts went over later into the alchemy.
The miracle-working Virgin Mother in the Church: potential and reality
In Christian churches, the Virgin is often depicted as a mother with the child in her arms. This in itself is a "miracle" which contradicts human experience. For a mother who has given birth cannot still be a virgin. However, as a symbol of potential, with the child as an indication of the new reality, she is unquestionable (see below). Fittingly, the Virgin was also attributed supernatural, miracle-working and healing powers by the Church.
The ether and the diffusion of light
In the Enlightenment and 17th century physics, the "ether" as a unifying element became the mental explanation for the spread of light. This also contains strong symbolism. Thus it is indeed love(ether) that promotes awareness (spread of light).
Albert Einstein, the ether and the proximity effect
Albert Einstein described the ether in connection with his theory of relativity  as indispensable for the proximity effect. Thus, as at the time of the Greeks, the element still has the property of standing outside of space and time.
The sea of all possibilities in quantum physics
The potential that quantum physics speaks of also has properties of an invisible and connecting element. It is called the "sea of all possibilities". In fact, water belongs to the feminine. Its different aggregate states also fit in with this: as a liquid life-bearing substance ("water") it serves as an image for the mother element, while as a gas ("air") it fits the VIRGIN. Thus, according to the biblical creation account, on the second day, water "in heaven" (potential) was separated from water "on earth" (reality).
(The solid form, ice and snow, symbolises the negative anima, see The Ice Dynamic).