After the big square dance with Pluto, Uranus, Jupiter and Mars last week, we may realize we need to lose a few pounds to keep up with these boat rockers, figuratively of course. Whatever it is they have been testing in us, we now have the opportunity to take stock of and discover what is most important. During the next couple of weeks it is the faster moving planets that help us check in on where we are personally as they interact with the outer planets in quick succession. On the geopolitical stage, tensions definitely mounted in Ukraine going into that revolutionary cardinal grand cross configuration and continue to do so. As there are so many countries with eyes on this situation, it has become a major focal point for diplomats and military leaders alike. How we as a family of nations handle this crisis – the NATO territories and Russia being the primary opposing forces strategizing over the fate of the Ukrainian pawn – will speak to the quality of consciousness of our leaders as well as the lessons we still need to learn as human beings regarding the true purpose for this collective earth life experience.
The Sun trine Pluto in grounded earth signs on May 3rd should up our power game and help us concentrate on what needs purging in our lives. Sensing a renewed life force, we may experience a heightened confidence to flip whatever switch turns us on. In doing so, we make an agreement in that moment to eliminate that which dims our light. The astral version of the Felix Felicis potion on May 6th puts the plan in motion: the Sun sextile Jupiter in nurturing Cancer offers a heart-beaming combination of pure joy and the feeling of being so lucky that all will be well no matter how difficult the task ahead. When we know inside we can do something, that self-assurance practically ensures success.
On May 7th, Mercury picks up strength and processing speed when he comes home to airy Gemini. To Mercury, the world is one big jigsaw puzzle and he is the one who can put it together faster than anyone. He relishes looking for patterns of color, shape and size in each individual piece to figure out how they interlock. He sees the perfect connections and makes them happen. In addition to his astute perception, Mercury delights in sharing the information he gathers. His level of chatter therefore will pick up as well so let’s hope whatever he puts his quick and nimble mind to will be of some substance lest his potential for fascinating discourse descend to mischievous gossip. Additionally, Mercury’s nerves will be on high alert in this well-networked sign for a longer than usual time due to his impending retrograde June 7th to July 1st. With the exception of a two-week window into Cancer from May 29th to June 17th, the Messenger of the Gods will be in the sign he rules through July 12th and bring a welcome balance to the planetary modes of expression. Outside of the Moon that travels through each sign in less than three days, there are now two planets in each of intellectual air, sensitive water, practical earth and inspiring fire.
The personal stock taking during this period peaks when the Sun in value-driven Taurus opposes Saturn in unpretentious Scorpio on May 10th. This aspect occurs approximately once per year and always happens when Saturn is retrograde. This is an appropriate time to assess our current situation, especially with regards to the arenas represented by the natal house Saturn is currently transiting. Have we been disciplined in achieving our goals, or have we cut corners or simply ignored nagging issues that need to be managed? If the latter, those matters may get bumped to the top of our priority lists rather unceremoniously. If we have been consciously doing all we can possibly do, even if we haven’t grabbed that brass ring just yet, this period could present some recognition of our efforts. For Saturn it is truly about the journey, not the destination. He cautions us to play by the rules and rewards hard work. Any obstacles he puts up have their own reason for being and once encountered represent learning opportunities. What are we taking advantage of? What requires more of our focus and energy? What deserves our respect?
Venus in Aries may bring the answer to that question May 11th through May 18th when she traverses through the degree range of the turbulent cardinal grand cross planets. Although she comes to the rave afterhours, Venus will undoubtedly liven things up with her feminine allure. She will also appeal to the softer side of Mars, Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto, and by “soft” she does not mean weak, she means cooperative with an intent to keep everyone in mind when it comes to action or inaction. On May 11th, her sexy alliance with Mars, who is currently traversing her natural home of Libra, could activate inert relationships or bring in new connections, but may also highlight the major differences between the feminine and masculine approaches to relating, you know, the ones we can’t live with and can’t live without. Any sincere attempt to reconcile these opposing forces is where real relating begins.
Always one to have something to say on every subject, Mercury in Gemini inserts himself into Venus’ dance with the planetary dynasty when he squares Neptune in Pisces on May 11th and trines Mars on May 12th. Mind, spirit and body align to get the point across in a poetry slam kind of way. Challenged to incorporate Neptune’s consummate sense of compassion and spurred on by Mars’ physicality, Mercury can bend words beyond rational recognition to speak directly to the soul.
Primed by Mercury’s inspiring interruption, Venus moves into her own square dance with Pluto on May 14th to continue her efforts to transform the patriarchy he has been presiding over since he entered Capricorn in 2008. As if to set the tone for his 16-year transit through the sign that rules society’s structures, Venus gave him a feminist kiss on their way out of Sagittarius back then, whispering in his ear that his destiny would be to reboot the women’s movement. Looking back over the past few years, she seems to have been right. Many more women are speaking out, and the media is covering them more than ever. Women who have reached high levels of success in politics, the corporate world and the arts are telling their stories and encouraging other women to step out of the victimization box and bring their uniquely feminine traits of compassionate cooperation into their rightful place of leadership along side the men who run the world.
The Full Moon, also on May 14th and at the midpoint of Venus negotiating the cardinal grand cross, is imprinted with her imperative to break down entrenched positions that are perpetuating inequality. The Sun and Moon opposing each other in fixed signs will be compelled to relinquish some of their preciously held ground to reach an optimum state of balance. Giving weight to Venus’ mission, the Sun is in her ruling sign and at his highest expression brings the will to sustain that which we value. The passionate Moon in Scorpio values intimacy above all. Can the Sun in Taurus put that will behind valuing people rather than material things? Can the Moon in Scorpio find enough trust in his heart to not only be physically close but also to let another touch his soul?
On May 15th, Mercury tunes us into the feminist zeitgeist when he sextiles Venus and Uranus shortly before the Love Goddess and the Awakener make unconventional sparks together in Aries. With Mercury as her lively and articulate spokesperson in tow, Venus takes her message to innovative Uranus who has no qualms about shaking up the status quo. The Radical One shows up in any social movement and Venus is here to make her case for the women. According to the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media (GDI), although women make up 50% of the population, they only show up in 17% of crowd scenes in films and TV show. (Let’s not go into how they show up!) Funny how that is the same number of women who are the producers, directors and writers of that very same entertainment. The 17% number is so deeply imbedded in the American collective consciousness that it is reflected in real life – yes, women represent only about 17% of the make up of the Fortune 500 board seats, and the U.S. Congress. Its about the same for the Financial board seats even though 85% of all consumer purchases from autos to health care are made by women and women spend about $7 trillion annually, over half the US GDP. If society is going to be blind to these facts, Venus says, let them be gender blind! Perhaps Venus and Uranus will instigate a revolution in the media world to upload gender-balanced images into our minds so we can then download them into the real world. The GDI’s motto is “If she can see it, she can be it.”
Venus’ faith is challenged when she squares Jupiter on May 18th, which may result in her seeking distraction, likely in the over-indulging in her binge activity of choice. Alternatively, she could rise to the challenge and keep sight of her calling to reestablish balance, a role assigned to her by a larger consciousness system that will support any effort she makes. In pioneering and impetuous Aries, however, Venus thinks she needs to fight this battle alone, but Jupiter in Cancer reminds her that the human family, men and women alike, will nurture and protect her as she takes her message into the future.
On May 19th, after 11 weeks traveling retrograde, Mars turns direct and commences retracing his movements for the third time through the degree space of 9° to 28° Libra. Before we shout a collective “hooray!” keep in mind we won’t be going full speed ahead for a while yet. Mars will still be moving relatively slowly and there is that Mercury retrograde coming up in a couple weeks time. As Mars makes his powerful station, focusing his energy in laser like fashion, we could take this opportunity look back on the issues he brought up during his retrograde in Libra. In looking back on the past 12 weeks may see positive manifestations of the energy: that we hung in there and worked on our relationships, that we found a way to channel our frustrations into healthy modes of expression rather than letting anger linger beneath the surface of a socially acceptable demeanor, and that we incorporated others into our plans as we asserted ourselves rather than holding back for fear of alienating those around us. The beauty of the third leg of Mars’ journey through Libra is that it will give us the opportunity to take the lessons of the review period and make any amends required. The natural rhythms of life, mirrored by the planets above, always gift us with these kinds of opportunities. It is up to us to make the simple choice to pay priceless attention.
Here’s the data:
**Times where noted are for the Pacific Time Zone.
**Degrees where noted are rounded to the nearest whole degree.
May 3rd Sun trine Pluto at 13° Taurus/Capricorn at 5:34 p.m.
May 6th Sun sextile Jupiter at 16° Taurus/Cancer at 2:54 a.m.
May 7th Mercury at 0° Gemini at 7:57 a.m.
May 10th Sun opposite Saturn at 20° Taurus/Scorpio at 11:28 a.m.
May 11th Venus opposite Mars at 10° Aries/Libra at 2:27 a.m.
Mercury square Neptune at 7° Gemini/Pisces at 5:35 a.m.
May 12th Mercury trine Mars at 9° Gemini/Libra at 9:02 a.m.
May 14th Venus square Pluto at 13° Aries/Capricorn at 10:47 a.m.
Moon opposite Sun at 24° Scorpio/Taurus at 12:16 p.m.
May 15th Mercury sextile Venus 15° Gemini/Aries at 2:54 p.m.
Mercury sextile Uranus 15° Gemini/Aries at 4:22 p.m.
Venus conjunct Uranus 15° Gemini/Aries at 4:54 p.m.
May 18th Venus square Jupiter 18° Aries/Cancer at 8:31 a.m.
May 19th Mars stations direct at 9° Libra at 6:31 p.m.