Current Transits for May 97

Here's some of the important astrological news this month ...


Mars-Jupiter-Saturn Yod -- all month, practically.
Neptune Retrograde Station, 5-1
New Moon at 16Ta21, 5-6
Mercury Direct Station, 5-8
Uranus Retrograde Station, 5-12
Full Moon at 1Sa19, 5-22
Pallas Retrograde Station, 5-22

General Outlook for the Month

I hope you liked April, because May looks to be a lot more of the same kind of energy. No real ups or downs, no big storms or major aspects, just a bunch of so-so all month. The main news is the large number of planets standing still (there are 4 stations in May), so the feeling of stagnation and difficulty with getting anything moving is apt to continue. Unfortunately, many people found the ho-hum energy of April to be rather draining and hard to cope with -- I suspect they're going to find May no better. At least it's going to be easier to do things, now that Mars is moving forward again. Just keep slugging away...

As I just mentioned, the big news this month is how many planets are standing still. Mars is just past it's direct station of April 27 (16Vi44) and barely moving as May checks in. Mercury continues to back up until 5-8, when it stands still and prepares to resume forward motion. Neptune, Uranus, and Pallas all reach retrograde stations this month. So about 40% of the planets and asteroids in the heavens are going nowhere or else backing up, a sure recipe for stagnation. One consequence of so many pokey planets is that they make very few aspects, the "fuel" of the astrological machine. There literally is very little going on (from an astrological perspective) these days -- and it's going to feel like that.

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Mars-Jupiter-Saturn Yod all month

One of the few planetary patterns of any significance all month is a very wide and unfocused, but extremely long lasting, Yod pattern of Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars. Due to Mars moving so slowly in April and May, this pattern has been hanging around a long time already. I first noticed it in mid-April and it seems to be effective through most of May as well. A Yod, also known as "the Finger of God", has a reputation of being a karmic or "fated" influence, a kind of crossroads in life where decisions must be made and your destiny faced. One of the areas affected by these decisions is described by Jupiter and Saturn, 2 planets that are flip sides of the coin when it comes to relating to society at large. Jupiter is the "goodies" side of the coin, the privileges and rewards for coming out of your shell and making contact with others, while Saturn is the duties and responsibilities that go with social interactions. Jupiter tells us to expand our boundaries and explore the world at large, while Saturn helps us construct our fences and tend to our own garden. They are currently in a very constructive sextile that lasts from February 9th (during the Grand Finale pattern) to next November 14th, which I take as a clue we need to consolidate the Finale energies on a broader social basis during 1997.

So here we are with Mars, pretty much standing still (another phenomenon related to the Finale), linking up with Jupiter and Saturn for an extended stay. The drive to express yourself and make your desires known must somehow mesh with the needs of others if you're to have your way without generating conflict. While Mars was moving backwards (from 2-5 to 4-27), willpower and the power of the ego were held in check. It was very difficult to get anything done, the effort seemed more than the payoff. So now Mars is moving forward again, and the leash holding him back is loosened up a bit. However, there's a caveat: harmonize your efforts and goals with the greater good ... or else. The universe is demanding greater cooperation from us and is allowing us less opportunity to just run amok without regards for how our actions affect the rest of the world. Mars is in the sign of Virgo, a sign of service and helping. He usually fidgits impatiently in a yoke like this, but the universe is not buying his protests. In order to reap the benefits (Jupiter), you must also accept the responsibilities (Saturn). In effect, part of our spiritual wake-up call this year is to grow up out of our spiritual adolescense and take full responsibity for our actions at all levels. This pattern is present as a backdrop through all the stations I just discussed, so I suspect this Yod influence will subtly color everything from now until October.

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Neptune Retrograde Station at 29Cp57, 5-1

Neptune, the Dreamer, is the first planet to go retrograde in May. It reaches its station on 5-1 at 29Cp57 -- right on the doorstep of Aquarius, but without crossing over. (It first enters Aquarius on January 28th of '98.) Typically, when Neptune turns around, it gets much harder to turn dreams into reality. Results come much slower and with more effort than you expected. The usual reason for this is to give you more time to temper and improve your plans. It's possible to go ahead gungho with plans and dreams that are simply not ready to bring into existence, which only creates situations that turn into problems and disillusionments later on. It's better to wait awhile, work out the kinks a bit, and enlist the aid and ideas of others in order to make a more workable end result. Don't be in any hurry -- you've got until October (when Neptune resumes normal forward motion) to reexamine your vision of the future and start it moving. I doubt you'll make much progress if you rush that timetable.

On the more esoteric level, Neptune deals with learning to sense and work with the subtle energy fields that underlie the hard-core material reality of the 5 senses. This level of the life force behind the physical is where all true creativity is started. The image/ideal that you can visualize sets in motion these subtle energies (in your aura and in the world around you), drawing to you the very experiences that will assist you in making your dreams materialize. The fly in the ointment is most people really don't focus on their goals and desires with single-pointed concentration. Frequently, we sabotage ourselves at many levels. Often, the beliefs and expectations we hold on an unconscious level are at odds with what we consciously desire. And since the unconscious is the creative aspect of the mind (literally, the interface between the psyche and the physical is through the unconscious), guess what we actually wind up manifesting in our lives. Remember that Neptune and Chiron are undergoing a long, 3 part square aspect this year, so there's a lot of healing and relearning that needs to take place before we can be effective "Dreamtime Workers" in the subtle realms. Use the coming months to foster your newborn impressions of energies or auras in the world about you (many people I've talked to have "turned on" this new sense capability recently, much to their own surprise), as well as getting to know your own energies and how to work with them. Perhaps the most difficult part of the healing process is getting past the big materialistic "lie": we really are energy beings, not just material bodies. Before you can do any work, the body must be healthy and strong, whether physical or energetic. Take time to know yourself at this subtle level. It's important to to take a long-term perspective however, on the order of the next 14 years. As I mentioned, Neptune's stay in dour, stuck-in-the-mud Capricorn is about to end, and it's long passage through Aquarius is bound to make the subtle much more tangible than it's ever been for us. Don't make plans that simply perpetuate today's activities or you'll find your goals and visions outstripped by reality in no time. Dream big and don't sell yourself short.

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New Moon at 16Ta21, 5-6

The new moon in Taurus is lending its energies to that Yod pattern I just discussed, so the themes of learning to blend your interest with the greater good is being brought to a very practical, down to earth level this coming month. The remaining body in this group of planets is Juno, the relationship asteroid. Juno demands that partnerships be between equals and ruled by mutual respect; game-playing, manipulation, and misuse of power between partners is a perversion of her message and tends to bring out a more shrewish, petty side of relationships. The fact that Juno squares Mars says that partnership and self-expression are likely to be in conflict now. When you find yourself in confrontations with others, check to see if an underlying selfishness is to blame. Be more flexible if you expect to benefit from your relationships.

With Mercury joining Chiron and Neptune, the need to listen -- really listen -- to your dreams and more subtle impressions is emphasized. Often, the only thing preventing us from getting in touch with the subtler things in life is our disbelief that such experiences even exist. Such belief, no matter how "sane" or "reasonable", is ultimately a spiritual sickness, since it stands in the way of understanding who we truly are. Truth (as Vesta would say) comes from within, not from books or authorities or opinion polls. Believing in your true identity (even such a weird notion as "energy bodies", etc.), regardless of the prevailing common sense, is an act of courage for the soul. At many levels, we are being introduced to a new approach to living, a new and deeper understanding of our world, and it puts the usual materialistic, ego-drenched version of the world to shame. You have to be open to living that new lifestyle, no matter how crazy it seems.

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Mercury Direct Station at 29Ar29, 5-8

That pesky retrograde Mercury comes to a halt once again on the 8th (at 29Ar29). This retrograde period (which began 4-14) has been a bigger "brain dead" time than usual, with people reporting they're doing really stupid, mindless things right and left. Mercury rules the thinking, symbol-using mind, the part of the psyche responsible for talking, walking, writing letters and running computers. When it goes into reverse gear, our brains basically turn to mush. Intellectual activity grinds to a halt, or else comes up with a product that is chock full of errors. As always, these "slips of the brain" are an interesting window on how our minds normally approach reality. Trouble is, the normal approach just isn't working so well right now. Even the most "realistic" person is never dealing with reality directly, but rather is reacting to their model or expectations of how the world is supposed to be. Sometimes the world doesn't behave the way it's supposed to -- the problem is with our expectations, not the world. When Mercury is backing up like this, the ability to make sense of the world goes haywire. If you find confusion or dull-mindedness now, or that your expectations are constantly being contradicted, look within yourself to see if you can interpret your world in a more skillful fashion. This is a great time to "debug" your models of the world, even if you can't think straight. The fog clears, very slowly, after the 8th, although the Uranus station (see below) seems to prolong the confusion.

P.S. -- it's been really fun writing a newsletter under this influence!

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Uranus Retrograde Station at 8Aq40, 5-12

When Uranus turns retrograde on the 12th (at 8Aq40), the world takes a turn for the whacky. Areas of your life that feel settled and comfortable may gradually come under some kind of attack or challenge. Life is about growth, not comfort, and when you settle into a rut somewhere in your life, it will eventually be forced to move on. Again, this is a long-term influence, lasting until next October (when Uranus goes direct), so take the time to see where some novelty is needed. Watch out for funny coincidences or accidents in coming months, as they will point you in the direction of new experiences that can broaden your horizons. Above all, if some area of your life comes under stress, don't fight it! You'll be better off in the long run by allowing change to happen instead of trying to perpetuate a status quo that doesn't work anymore. Notice that Uranus, like Mercury, is a "mental" planet, although its specialty is insight and intuition, not mere intellect. Nonetheless, with 2 mental planets standing still now (and Pallas soon to join them), it's probably impossible to think straight this week. Just gather the stray thought and noteworthy flash of insight as they go by, without analyzing or critiquing it. Let your mind simply mull it over awhile and see what gems of wisdom it can find there. Keep you eyes (and mind) open!

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Full Moon at 1Sa19, 5-22

The full moon is drawing together a number of outer planets into our lives, a sign of an upcoming growth spurt for us. Prepare to let go of old behavior patterns and open up to new ones, especially since Pluto is so close to the full moon itself. The clues that draw you to this change in viewpoint may be non-obvious, so keep an eye out for the strange twist in your daily routine that signals the arrival of the unusual. Your mental outlook may be most vulnerable to change, taking on a softer, less rigid structure. It's time to let the gentler, "feminine" side of the psyche have its say for awhile. Mental flexibility is certainly more enlightening than maintaining a determined dogmatism. The Yod is starting to break up finally, though it's still casting its influence on us. Meshing your intentions with others is still a problem to be concerned with, especially with romantic partners. It's hard to see eye-to-eye with partners, but the effort to come to an agreement will frequently shed light on other growth problems. The results of the next 2 weeks may seem meager, but inside us, things are shifting.

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Pallas Retrograde Station at 6Aq32, 5-22

Pallas is the last body to make a station in May. It stands still on the 22nd, at 6Aq32. This is only 2 degrees short of Uranus' position (a conjunction), so there's a strong tie-in between these two planetary energies. Pallas is yet another mental body, representing the powers of wisdom, creativity, planning and artistic expression. Evidently, there's some creative endeavor that needs to be looked at closely, devoting your full energies and attention to the project. Half-hearted approaches will most certainly not make the grade. Unlike Mercury, which likes to "pigeonhole" everything in conceptual categories, Pallas is more concerned with results. Her forte is figuring out how to move from A to B to C, etc. in order to get your goals accomplished. With Pallas retrograde, such planning and strategy may not go so smoothly. Plans may backfire or wind up needing extensive revisions later. It all goes hand in hand with the general mental meltdown of the month, so get used to it. We're all going to be intellectual zombies for awhile.

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Martin Bulgerin
BioPsciences Institute
P.O. Box 11026
Minneapolis, MN 55412

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