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Astrological highlights by Danielle Blackwood
No less than five planets are currently retrograde right now, and while this may sound a bit unsettling, it is not particularly unusual. The outer planets go retrograde every year for months at a time, and Mercury, as we know, backtracks at least three times over the course of a year. However, we do have two personal planets retrograde right now – Mercury: communication, and Mars: action, assertion and sex. What does this mean to you and me? The first thing to reflect on, is that when a planet goes retrograde, it’s archetype is felt as an internal dynamic, a chance for a more concentrated look at that energy and see how we express it individually and as part of the collective.
All New Moons are a chance to set new intentions, and to begin afresh. The New Moon in Taurus on May 6th is an opportunity to make goals that require staying power. Taurus is a fixed earth sign; it does things slowly but surely and is famed for both its perseverance and endurance. What vision do you have that would benefit from a boost of stamina, and a slow but steady build towards attainment? What do you yearn to create that will require both patience and steadfastness through the inevitable obstacles that life brings? Yes, there are five planets retrograde right now, and it may take some time to get things off the ground, at least in the beginning, but in six months’ time, you will see the efforts you are making now bearing fruit. Remember too, Taurus is an sign that centers around our nonmaterial resources. Perhaps this New Moon is a gateway to committing to cultivating more self esteem. What choices can you make that will enhance your self respect? Is there something that you have been wanting to do, but have been procrastinating because of self doubt? What small step can you take right now that will lead you toward your goal while building your sense of self worth? This particular New Moon is plugging into a grand earth trine, with jovial Jupiter in Virgo, and transformational Pluto in Capricorn, providing a theme of abundance, growth, and taking it to the next level.
Jupiter stations direct on May 9th, after backtracking through Virgo since January. This is welcome news, as Jupiter is the energy that represents faith, hope, optimism, and meaning in our lives. There are as many answers to what gives life meaning as there have been beings on this earth, and ultimately, I think it comes down to this: the meaning of life, is to make life have meaning. Many great minds have pondered this ultimate question, here are two of my favorites:
“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being” C.G. Jung
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls”
May 20th at 7:37 am (PDT) begins the Sun’s yearly sojourn through the sign Gemini, where it will highlight the Gemini part of our chart for the next 30 days. For Sun sign Gemini, happy birthday! This is your personal New Year. We all have every sign somewhere in our birth charts, and wherever Gemini is in your chart, is the area in which you will experience this versatile, fluid energy for the next month. Gemini is a Mutable Air sign, meaning that it is a sign that bridges one season to the next, (in this case, spring into summer) and resonates with the communicative and social energy of Air. Gemini energy encourages us toward thought experiments and wild imaginings. We have the urge to try on multiple new ideas and paradigms.
As an air sign, Gemini is connected to the realm of the mind. The archetype is associated with imagination, communication, language, culture, and networking. Gemini connects ideas and people, and has insatiable curiosity about what makes someone tick. Even if they do not happen to agree with a particular viewpoint, Gemini wants to know why someone thinks a certain way or holds a particular opinion. Then, once they have satisfied their inquisitiveness, they are off like a butterfly to the nectar of knowledge on the next flower. Gemini is the Shapeshifter, and has the ability to walk between the worlds while holding the space between polarities. Gemini plays with ideas and gender roles, and loves to question entrenched assumptions. Associated with the androgynous god Hermes, the psychopomp who could move between the world of the gods and the Underworld, Gemini evades definition, and instead chooses to dance in the spaces in between. During Gemini season, we are encouraged to play with new possibilities in self expression, and try on new ways of being in the world. While the god Hermes is associated with Gemini in traditional western Astrology, Goddesses associated with the Gemini archetype are: Rhiannon, Blodeuwedd, Melissa, Psyche, Hina, Saraswati, and Butterfly Woman.
The only Full Moon of the year in Sagittarius is on May 21st at 2:14 pm (PDT). Something is illuminated or culminated. Answers can arise to conundrums, and someone could arrive in the nick of time to save the day. Mercury is stationing direct on the 22nd, which is still in the light of this Full Moon. We feel hopeful, buoyant, and ready to hit the ground running. The Full Moon in Sagittarius is about the Quest. Big, soul searching questions like, “What is my purpose” “Why am I here” arise spontaneously and require answers. We want to expand when the Moon is Full in the sign of the philosopher, to enlarge our scope of the world and search for ultimate meaning. Travel, study, anything that opens our worldview is highlighted now. Maybe it’s time to plan that trip to India. Or, perhaps it’s time to finish your degree. This Full Moon will illuminate the path of your next steps.
Venus moves out of sensual, languid Taurus into quicksilver Gemini on the 24th. The energy is palpably picking up, and we can see that things are starting to move forward. Venus in Gemini is socially nimble and multifaceted as a crystal. She is also experimental and not particularly committal. Intelligent, charming as a spring breeze and turned on by everything and everyone while her attention briefly alights. This is a good time to network, make contacts, connect the dots, and take a workshop or two.
Mars moves into the Scorpio portion of his retrograde on May 27th. Let’s not forget that Mars is not only the Warrior, he was also considered the Lover and the Dancer in Greek mythology. Perhaps it is time to pull the covers back on this facet of Mars. After all, he is the symbol of masculine energy (in all genders) and reclaiming these other more positive and life affirming aspects of masculinity can go a long way in healing the destructive patriarchal paradigms that have shaped so many cultures for so long. As I stated earlier, when a planet goes retrograde, its archetypal energy is experienced more like an inner shift. We have the opportunity to reflect on the energy and how we express it as part of the collective. Applying the usual Mercury retrograde wisdom (anything that start with the prefix “re” being favored) let’s try the same with Mars. We can reclaim his aspects of Lover and Dancer; remember his role as the Lord of the Dance; reassess where we want to invest our energy; redirect our libido; retrace our steps; and because Mars will be in Scorpio (sex, transformation, regeneration) until early August, we can reshape our relationship with sacred sexuality.
Blessings on Your Quest!
Planetary Ingresses and Lunations (PDT)
May 6th New Moon 16 Taurus 41’ 12:29 pm
May 9th Jupiter Direct 5:16 am
May 20th Sun into Gemini 7:37 am
May 21st Full Moon 1 Sagittarius 14 2:14 pm
May 22nd Mercury stations Direct 6:20 am
May 24th Venus into Gemini 2:45 am
May 27th Mars Retrograde enters Scorpio 6:51 am
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