Here's some of the important astrological news this month ...
Full Moon at 11Sc38, 5-1
Jupiter Trine Saturn, 5-6
Jupiter Square Uranus, 5-10
Mars enters Aries, 5-15
New Moon at 25Ta33, 5-16
Chiron Retrograde Station at 15Aq41, 5-20
Neptune Retrograde Station at 22Aq02, 5-24
Jupiter Sextile Chiron, 5-31
Full Moon at 10Sa11, 5-31
An online ephemeris for the month is available.
I'm beginning to sound like a broken record. For the third month in a row, we are subject to long periods of moderate to strong planetary storm activity, with very little down time to rest up and relax some. As it's been since March, the primary patterns in May are built around Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, with help from the faster moving planets. Granted, the storms are nowhere near as powerful as the blast we had at the end of April, but it just seems this pattern won't let go of us. It will, eventually, after Jupiter retrogrades out of contact with the other planets, but that won't happen until June at the earliest. In the meantime, pace yourself. It's easy to take on more than you can realistically handle these days (or have it thrust upon you) and still take care of your own needs. And if you're attempting to be realistic, it's hard to admit the fact that you're just going to fall further and further behind. Sigh. This stuck-feeling holding pattern was exaggerated by the stations of Jupiter and Saturn last month and continues with the stations of Chiron and Neptune in late May. At least Mars is moving from Pisces into Aries on the 15th, his home turf. That should be felt as a significant upturn in basic energy levels, more "oomph!" on your part to jump in and get things done. In short, get ready for "more of the same" as the outer planets continue their spring cleaning on our lives.
May has a large number of interesting astrological events to discuss. There are 3 "big aspects" involving Jupiter contacting other outer planets. Chiron and Neptune both go retrograde towards the end of the month. Also, Mars moves from Pisces into Aries on the 15th -- quite a relief for our Warrior God. That and all the storms and we should be plenty busy this month.
Compared to the near Koz Quake of a few days ago, the full moon is relatively mild. The outer planet backbone (Jupiter, Saturn, Chiron, Uranus, Neptune) is going strong, but of the faster moving planets, only Mars is joining in the fun. It seems that the Sun, Moon, Mercury and Venus are all tilting more towards Pluto now and in coming days. (Curiously, Pluto is the weakest planet in this waveform.) It's almost as though the chart is divided into two, loosely connected camps.
There's a loose T-square in the sky, with a pretty sounding opposition between the happy couple Jupiter and Venus, squaring off to a volatile Mars-Uranus conjunction. Next throw in that Saturn-Neptune opposition to the mix. For all the warning sirens that might be going off in your head, this energy is actually quite upbeat. The universe is giving us a green light to pursue our goals and dreams, but a lot may be demanded of us in the process. It helps to work intelligently, relying on your intuition more than rules and precedents. You may be barging ahead, but the world is likely to change the rules on you in mid-game, so flexibility is at a premium these days. Just keep in mind that the process unfolding in the world now is much bigger than your private and personal concerns. Unless you harmonize your goals with the greater purpose, I suspect you'll find your plans frequently derailed. Besides, we're in the middle of letting go of all that ego-centered baggage anyway -- aren't we, Lord Pluto? Go with the flow and make the most of the options opening up to you. Stay focused on the long-term picture...
Jupiter trines Saturn on the 6th, the second of 5 such contacts that we are in the middle of. Their initial contact was on Mar 16, with 3 more connections coming up in 2008. Normally trine aspects are beneficial and productive, although they suffer from a streak of laziness. Typically things are going pretty good now, so there's less incentive to work at it, fine tuning your efforts. You just kind of float along, taking in the benefits in a relatively passive manner. This works pretty good these days, except when it doesn't. And that's the downside of a trine. Without putting in more of an effort, you have nothing to fall back on when your luck changes, as it inevitably will. You have to work through your laziness and inertia in order to truly take advantage of this influence. Jupiter and Saturn both operate in the broad social arena, ruling over our interactions with other people on the world stage, as well as the affairs of nations. On the personal level, this is a time to get your affairs in order, clearing out the chaos and distractions in your life so that you make room for more constructive influences. Particularly if you are in business for yourself, this is a time to buckle down and make some careful changes that will lead to future expansion. Just don't go hog wild now, as this aspect can be unforgiving of excessive recklessness. You don't want to overextend your resources now and have nothing to rely on if things don't work out as you planned -- there's a lot of that kind of hubris floating around now! Slow and steady makes for better results than flamboyant acts. On the world stage, all the Jupiter-Saturn aspects in this 20 year cycle since the conjunction of May 28, 2000 have related to the situation between Israel and Palestine. The situation is quieter now than during the tumult and shooting wars of the recent square aspect, but it's an uneasy calm. Prime Minister Olmert is currently in hot water due to his handling of the Lebanon war last summer and may not make it in the long run. The situation on the Palestinian side is similarly shaky. At least there's little shooting going on. With some wisdom and courage, this lull could be something to build on. I'm not holding my breath, however...
(P.S. -- Since this was originally written, a major shooting war has broken out between Hamas and Fatah once again, dragging in the Israelis, turning the Gaza Strip into a shooting match.)
Jupiter is square Uranus on the 10th for the second of 3 contacts. They met recently on Jan 22 for the first time and their final contact is on Oct 9. Jupiter and Uranus are both "mental planets", even though they operate on vastly different levels. This square is a tremendous challenge to our paradigms or basic assumptions that we hold about life. Jupiter rules over our "common sense" version of the world, the kind of reality that we all tend to share and agree upon. This is the everyday language we all use to communicate with each other on a daily basis. However, Uranus is zooming way beyond this lower level understanding. Take a look at the vast gulf between our common sense universe and the weird and whacky world being revealed by modern science and technology, just as one example. This Uranian vision of the world is so far removed from Jupiter's version that there is hardly any connection whatsoever. Uranus, as the planet that is farther out, should eventually dominate over Jupiter. That means we need to do a major housecleaning at this paradigm level in order to even comprehend our lives any more. The rapid turn around in people's attitudes concerning climate change the last year or so is a typical example of this kind of paradigm shift. All of a sudden, the unthinkable is not only being thought, it's becoming mainstream. (Remember Al Gore at the Oscars, of all things?) Keep in mind that this series of squares is part of a much larger 13 year cycle between these two planets, a cycle with quite a history behind it, going back to their conjunction in early Aquarius back on 1997-2-15. This cycle has been working on us to lighten up, drop our unfounded assumptions and outmoded habits, and look at the world with fresh and innocent eyes free from our old baggage. It's been a time of amazing changes in the way humanity envisions our world, while people "on the path" have been making rapid leaps in their awareness. The trouble spots of this cycle, the squares and oppositions, have shown us in grand fashion the folly of old style thinking. As Einstein once commented, you can't solve a problem with the same kind of thinking that created the problem in the first place. You need to break out of your mental straitjacket before things become clearer. Anyway, welcome the "aha's" and "gotchas" that life throws your way these days. With each new surprise, you get to wipe away more cobwebs. Don't settle for a cheap understanding...
Mars moves from Pisces into Aries on the 15th for the next 5 weeks. He'll stay here until Jun 24, when he shifts into Taurus. Ah, Mars in Aries -- he is so happy about the change! Our Warrior God loves nothing better than to be in his home territory of ego, will-power and that "just go for it" attitude. Especially after the selfless, looking out for others sign of Pisces, he's ready to rip! This new placement for Mars unleashes your energy and drive, encouraging you to get out there and pursue your plans with unbridled enthusiasm. It feels like nothing can hold you back. Except maybe all the other people out there who are behaving with the same "get out of my way!" enthusiasm that you are. That's the downside of Mars in Aries, a lack of empathy or even awareness of all the other people pursuing their dreams, with no regard for what you're doing. It's easy to butt heads and lose tempers under this placement, since "me first!" is permeating everybody's thinking and actions. That's why Mars in Aries typically works more effectively alone than by trying to cooperate with others. Give other people a wide berth as you go about your business. Enjoy this bold, swashbuckling energy while you can. It feels really alive to run around like this, if only for a few weeks. (Forgive the other "jerks" in your way, however...)
The new moon happens in the middle of the slump period between storms, so the chart is pretty scattered and unfocused. There's a wide T-square consisting of the Sun and Moon squaring Neptune and Saturn, although the Lights are actually moving towards Pluto already. Otherwise, there's really not much going on right now. At least Mars is in Aries finally -- you may feel more like doing something at last.
A Taurus new moon like this one begs us to slow down and relax, if only for a couple of days. Taurus likes it slow and lazy, especially in the midst of all this frenzied energy such as we've been experiencing the last few months. Saturn and Neptune may be duking it out, the Realist vs. the Dreamer, but the new moon seems to tilt towards a more grounded approach for a time. Taurus likes to feel things in his body, since this sign is the most earthy and physical of them all. Give yourself a break -- it gets busy again shortly.
Chiron is standing still at its retrograde station of 15Aq41 on the 20th, about to start 5 months of reverse motion. He will be backing up until Oct 19, when he goes direct at 10Aq27. Chiron frequently represents the parts of ourselves that have been left behind or banished to the "psychic closet", as I like to call it. These are the parts of your nature that are unique and delightful, but not everyone enjoys them as much as you do. We learn to hide these parts away from others after years of being put down over and over again, becoming much more "normal" in the process. It usually takes until about the age of 40 before you start to look in that closet and remind yourself of all the things you've stuffed there. Since Chiron is going through Aquarius these days, much of what we're dredging up deals with the ideals and visions we had in our youth, as well as a passion for ideas and debate. Of course, like all denizens of the closet, our ideas may have gotten a little dated over the years and need to be aired out a little. While forward looking in the abstract, your ideas may be irrelevant to present circumstance in their old form. Further, the notions you have been holding onto lately have lost their tarnish, as wonder lost out to adult jadedness. Combining the wide-eyed spirit of your youth with the wisdom and experience of today is a way to bring these old areas back to life. Keep in mind that Aquarius can become rather oppressive when ideal degenerates into ideology. The weakness in Aquarius is a tendency to become the very thing he is crusading against -- the rebel sets himself up as the new master. All the more reason to lighten up. As you empty out the closet and lighten your mental baggage, you discover a more joyful way of living, a way that takes pleasure in your uniqueness, not shame. It's a much saner way to live.
Neptune reaches its retrograde station of 22Aq02 on the 24th. He will be backing up until Oct 31, when he goes direct at 19Aq15. Like the Chiron retrograde cycle, Neptune's cycle takes place entirely in Aquarius, so the realm of ideas and vision are important here as well. Neptune is the Dreamer, operating at a level so far above mundane reality that he has little regard for practical matters. However, that is a very dicey way to express Neptune energy in your life. Part of the problem is his tendency to wear rose colored glasses, to gloss over the negative parts of the dream and focus only on the good stuff. All this shadow stuff doesn't go away, of course, and eventually it will make itself felt. Second of all, Neptune is a quirky sort of magician. He takes your deepest felt beliefs, feelings and visions that simmer inside of you and projects them out into the world around you. For reasons that don't make much sense to the conscious mind, Neptune can reach out into the world and attract the people and circumstances to you that precisely mirror your hopes and fears, presumably as a way to objectively experience your inner world, warts and all. From Neptune's perspective, the inner and outer worlds are one and the same, intertwined and inseparable, so this amazing magic act is no big deal for him. We are entering a retrograde cycle, a time when this Neptune mirror is especially active for us. Gradually, we are unconsciously creating a world that is our own twin, in a sense. Some of it is beautiful, but way too much of it is messy, dysfunctional and even antithetical to the ego's version of what he believes. Our dreams have unintended consequences and hidden gotchas when they meet physical reality. This is Neptune's way of showing us the weaknesses and holes in our plans, where we need to make changes in our thinking and alter course. In particular, watch out for where your "higher vision" leads you to being a petty tyrant in your realm, a constant problem for an Aquarian on a "mission from God", as they say. This creation business is a lot tougher than it looks. Fortunately, we've got a lot of time and many failings in which to learn how to do it more effectively.
Jupiter is sextile Chiron on the 31, again the second of 3 contacts. This aspect started on 2006-12-28 and will finish on Sep 7. This aspect is certainly echoing the lessons of the Chiron station on the 20th, adding a few clues of its own. Jupiter is how we reach out to the world and make connections with others, enjoying the joys and benefits of living in community. Chiron is the point within that poses the question, "where does it hurt?" It's odd to think of Jupiter as a problem area, but it's more frequent than you can imagine. For starters, being part of community exacts a dreadful price on our psyches. We have to play the game and get along with others in order to be part of the group. Chiron sees to it that the quirky parts of our individuality wind up in the old psychic closet whenever they conflict with social demands. Besides, how many of us truly enjoy all the bounty and blessings that Jupiter is supposed to bestow on our heads? Most of us experience considerable restrictions when it comes to letting the good stuff into our lives. Sextiles are known as an opportunity aspect, a time when you can make things work better if you put in a little elbow grease. So this year is a time to work through the restrictions and kinks, to prosper more in the world while being more true to yourself. I think people become more tolerant of our idiosyncracies as we all get older and unfold our individuality more, thank goodness. Instead of playing the game, you can simply play. Over time, we can come out of our shells. That psychic closet is best empty...
Like the new moon two weeks ago, the waveform for the second full moon is rather noisy and lacking in power. The planets are scattering their influences all over the place, with little to tie them together effectively. In fact, even the backbone pattern is starting to fall apart finally, after dominating the scene for nearly 3 months. The wide sextile fan in the chart is the last of the storm energies for awhile.
The Sagittarius Moon seems to be the strongest feature of the chart. She's about to go over Jupiter shortly, so people's overall mood is rather upbeat and positive, despite the demands on us all month. If anything, the prevailing attitude is somewhat escapist, since there are no earth sign planets anywhere to tie us down to mundane concerns. Recall that Jupiter was sextile to Chiron earlier today, the last of the "big aspects" for the month. This sextile represents the end of storm of the last 3 months, as Jupiter starts to pull away from the other outer planets. This week is the unofficial shift from spring into summer, a time to downshift a gear or two and start to relax. Let your mind wander to more pleasureable pursuits, unencumbered by the need to try to hold everything together in your life. There's a lot of the fire element in this chart, so spirit wants to move and breathe. We deserve a break, no matter how brief it may be.