May 2013: Moving Heaven and Earth
The story of May 2013 continues a story begun in late April — that of eclipses along the passionate Taurus/Scorpio axis. This comes simultaneously with a large grouping of planets in Taurus, which will include Mercury, Venus, the Sun and Mars all contributing heat and action, plus the asteroid Pallas Athene contributing a cool, reflective and intellectual quality that will come in handy.
May is also the month of the third of seven Uranus-Pluto squares, which span from June 2012 through March 2015. I call this the “2012 Era Aspect,” and it’s the thing that — whether we see it or not — is shaping our world into the next world we will inhabit. I’ll come back to that — let’s start with the eclipses.
Eclipses are about making progress — they take us from one region of our lives to another. They are like rifts in the landscape of time, dividing one kind of territory and experience from another. They help us shift and create patterns, that is, let go of old ways of living and evolve into new ones. Spring is a perfect time of year for a series of eclipses, as the energy is already rising up out of the ground.
In the time of eclipses, it’s necessary to project your life in the direction you want, and in a sense, to look where you want to be. It can be easy to be caught up in the drama of the moment, though there is enormous creative power in these events.
Most of the time eclipses come in pairs; the current run is a group of three. The first of these was Thursday, April 25, and was a partial lunar eclipse in Scorpio. Think of that as a very precisely aligned Full Moon, but not quite aligned enough to have a dramatic visual effect.Such eclipses can, however, have a significant spiritual influence, and this one is about draining old, clogged-up or sticky emotions. It’s about letting go of attachment to the past, since the eclipse is conjunct Saturn in Scorpio. It’s the first necessary step in the process. Saturn in Scorpio (which lasts into 2015 if you include its retrograde) is about clearing out our antiquated, ancestral, past-life values about the mysteries of existence, principal among them sex and death. There’s a need to unravel the taboos on these topics, and to dissolve the emotional plaque that is clogging the conversation.
Next up is a solar eclipse in Taurus. This is an annular eclipse (what would be a total eclipse, but the Moon is too far from the Earth to block the Sun fully) in Taurus. This is also the Taurus New Moon. It happens as part of a cluster of planets in Taurus that includes (in order of degree) Mars, Mercury, the Sun, the Moon and Pallas Athene. The whole arrangement is loosely opposite Saturn, but implying that we can indeed be free of any emotional blockages, or we have them out of the way for now.
What’s unusual about this eclipse is that it’s conjunct one of the first-discovered asteroids — Pallas Athene. She has a diversity of themes, including strategy, law, government, guardianship and one’s relationship to one’s father. In a sense this calls attention to our relationship with Big Daddy — the government — which is increasingly becoming a spiritual theme.
There’s also something here about living with a conscious strategy. It’s true that various forms of psychology and spirituality are suspicious of having a strategy; it’s often equated with one’s heart being closed. However here on the physical plane, it’s necessary to direct one’s life with intention, and I think this is what Pallas is saying in the most personal sense.Finally, there is a third eclipse — a penumbral eclipse of the Moon — that takes place May 25. This is four days after the Sun has ingressed Gemini, so you might think of it as being on another slice of the orange. It’s the last eclipse on the Gemini / Sagittarius axis for several years.
By this time, much of the sky will have shifted into Gemini — including the Sun, plus Venus and Mercury (in a lovely conjunction), all of which are joining Jupiter. The eclipse has an idealism and optimism to it — it’s exactly square Neptune, the planet of dreams. The Mercury-Venus conjunction is saying: use the whole spectrum of your intelligence. That means mental, emotional and intuitive.
Remember your independence. Remember that you’re free to adopt another point of view than the ones the people around you might be taking. Don’t be surprised if you see the world a particular way and others don’t quite get it — that’s temporary.
There’s one last feature for May, and that is the Uranus-Pluto square, part three of seven. As I’ve written before, this is the first major Uranus-Pluto aspect since the 1960s. Indeed, what we think of the 1960s was all about such an aspect — the conjunction, in Virgo. Nearly half a century later this has evolved into the square, which reaches across the cardinal signs from Aries to Capricorn.
Uranus is about revolution and Pluto is about evolution. Uranus in Aries is encouraging radical self-awareness and expression, and Pluto in Capricorn is provoking deep questioning of ‘the system’, the family system, society and our role in it. Who knows what sense of progress will be in the air, as Uranus and Pluto meet up for the third time in the midst of these glorious, intriguing eclipses.
The spiritual path tells us that all progress starts within. This aspect is the perfect blend of self-consciousness plus a deep need to work the interior, the shadow side, the structures that we’ve internalized unconsciously — and set ourselves free, always mindful of the necessary balance of liberty and responsibility.
Aries (March 20-April 19)
Just the concept that something is or even that it may be valuable is enough to make it so. It works the same way in how we feel about ourselves. Consider the effects of the value you put on yourself. I don’t mean your monetary value, though that will come up eventually; I mean whether you think you matter to others, or whether what you do and offer to the world makes a difference. You’ve had a way of thinking about this theme for a long time. You’ve tried to work out the equation a number of times before, with only limited success. It’s as if you know your own value intuitively but cannot quite articulate it to yourself. Yet there’s a vital piece to the puzzle: values are only valuable to the extent that we act on them. Once acted upon, there’s greater tangibility to what is, in essence, an idea. The dividing line I see in your chart seems to involve making an actual decision about what you say is the most important to you, and then sizing up the effects based upon what happens. We do a lot of jabbering to ourselves about what is so important, though rarely put ourselves through this simple test. Well, it may not be so simple, and you may need to persevere through what seems like an inordinately long time to get your results, though it’s only long in your perception. Assuming you keep at it, you may not have your answer until six months from now.
Taurus (April 19-May 20)
You are surrounded on all sides by potential, and by people who believe in you. Yet you may have an ominous feeling, as if something is brewing that you don’t understand and cannot discern clearly. Yet consider all that you’ve learned about yourself the past few weeks — how many things you would not necessarily have considered, and were probably not expecting. These have worked out well, and many situations are still developing. The ominous feeling is an eclipse of the Sun in your sign on May 9. This is profoundly meaningful astrology that will deliver a clear message to you. You may not be certain if it’s a sign from the distant past or something entirely new; in a way, both are true. What this eclipse signals is a kind of growth checkpoint. There are two questions that I see. One is: what do you ‘take on’ when you engage with someone in an intimate relationship? There’s something suggesting that you become like that person, at least a little, and I suggest that you decide consciously the extent you want to do this. Another image in the chart involves your father, and your tendency to want to live up to what you perceived as his expectations of you, or his image of you. It’s more likely that your highest vision of yourself would take you in another direction entirely. It will help if you notice this negotiation process with full awareness rather than having it run in the background.
Gemini (May 20-June 21)
Have you ever heard someone say they don’t want to go to an astrologer or a therapist because they might find out something about themselves they don’t want to know? Please don’t let that be you. No matter how much you may have to discover about yourself, you have nothing to fear in those discoveries. If you resist potential self-awareness, though, that’s likely to have the effect of echoing around your mind and seeming ‘worse’ than it is. I suggest you go right for clear information as soon as you have a question, and then make sure you persist and work through three or four layers of inquiry before you pause. The idea here is not to go through the motions, but rather to bravely seek self-understanding. If you do that with sincerity and an open mind, you will learn something about yourself and about existence that you’re unlikely to ever forget. This is likely to be something that you already knew but went to some length to deny, for reasons that you might not want to know. In other words, part of the story is why you might have denied this thing that you’re discovering or rediscovering. By why, I mean your actual motives for doing so, since this doesn’t seem to be mere happenstance. There is intent at work on every level, and that’s the thing to track: what is driving the story in any particular direction that it might go, and what is driving you to go any direction you might go.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
You’re about to seem like a ‘different person’ or a ‘changed person’ to many people. This is due to an eclipse in Taurus, your 11th house. From the size and shape of the chart, it looks like you have many options for ‘different’, and I suggest you figure out what they are and see if they are viable options. One reason many people refuse to change or resist change is because they don’t want to be perceived as having done so by their friends. Sadly, most people feel a need to live up to who people think they are. You now have a moment of cover where you can make a significant adjustment not just to how you project yourself but to who you actually are, in substance. People will either not notice or not care, or they will forget that anything was different; or who you’ve developed into will seem natural in the context of so much else that’s changing. The way this looks is something like, you manifest in a revised form as one determined to succeed at what you feel the most called upon to do. You can be much more assertive than you usually are, and you can count on being supported in that, if you remember your charm and charisma and your natural magnetism. Establish your goals, align with your collaborators, then align yourself with the resources that you need to get the job done — and you will.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
You remain in a position of leadership, and it looks like you’re collecting some valuable skills as you mature into your calling. There’s a skill I’ve noticed that’s largely missing from the population around us — that of politics. The dysfunction and cruelty we see career politicians dramatizing is not really political — it’s more like anarchy. What I’m describing is the ability to help facilitate mutually beneficial outcomes; to make sure that collective resources are used in a way that benefits everyone; and to stand guard over what is right and true. You’re refining these skills and you may be feeling a calling to put them to use. Yet there is an essential idea contained in your chart: what you’re doing is not about power; it’s about benefitting people as a kind of public servant, in a way that is also supportive of you. By one reading of this astrology (using only traditional planets), you might be super ambitious to the point of not caring whose head you step on. When we add the influence of the asteroid Pallas Athene exactly conjunct the May 9 solar eclipse, you show up as someone deeply concerned about fairness, and proceeding in a way that is honest and grounded in your real values. The world needs more examples of this, and you are setting such an example in your local world. A Course in Miracles reminds us that “everyone teaches, and teaches all the time,” and you are being called to be a teacher of integrity by example.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
Your charts are calling for you to develop a longterm strategy — and to let go of a set of plans that are no longer valid based on your new goals. You may have a specific goal that keeps slipping out of your mind, something you know you want to dedicate yourself to, then you go back to an old scenario. You probably know exactly what this is; the challenge is that it would lead you to make many other changes, which you don’t necessarily know how to make, or have the energy to initiate. In order to slip out of the gravity of the past, begin with your mind. Begin with the idea. Then take some step to bring the idea into form. Then, size up your life and your environment and begin to sketch out your plan. Overall, you need a slow, steady and extremely persistent approach. Yet the key factor is remembering what you want to do, and then doing it, and remembering what you no longer want to do and not doing that. Getting out of old patterns and into new ones takes some persistence, and fortunately you have that going for you. The sooner you start — no matter how modestly or slowly — the more time you will have to establish the new pattern. Then when the coming eclipses do their work, events will help you not just focus and develop that pattern, but also cultivate the essential ingredient of faith in yourself. That’s the thing; that’s the skill you want.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
You’ve likely been through an unsettling or perhaps tumultuous month or two. Events have challenged you to be flexible, tolerant and to make some peace with the fact that many people are different from you. This also means that you are different from they are. However you look at it, you’re in a position where you have to find common ground with others. You cannot set the agenda exclusively, and obviously you cannot have others set the agenda for you. Without some form of negotiating your way into territory you can share with others, you’ll find yourself at an impasse. This happens when people have intractable values. I suggest you look at your values and decide which are flexible and which you cannot compromise on. Then see if you can encourage partners to do the same thing. You are in a situation where something has to give, and where your flexibility will be called on as a bottom line. That’s why I suggest you decide what you’re willing to give, though while you’re at it, you may want to assess your concepts of ‘mutual’, ‘reciprocity’, ‘exchange’ and ‘understanding.’ In the end you will need to reach a consensus. And any honest consensus always starts on the level of values, which are the fundamental elements of who a person really is. So, said another way, this is about you revealing who you truly are — which implies admitting to yourself who you truly are. And yes, that might be a little intimidating.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
To what extent are you invested in a close partner, and have you considered whether you might be over-invested? This isn’t necessarily an easy question, though you may be getting some new information on this topic in the near future. This is, however, not a new story. Indeed, it’s the latest step in the process of your rewriting what may be a very old story, and that relates to certain fixed patterns of how you tend to think of yourself, your relationship partners and your mutual role in one another’s lives. This question is valid whether or not you currently are with a partner. The underlying material remains the same. The question gets more relevance if you tend to repeat patterns in your relationships. It gets even more relevance if you tend to come up against certain emotional issues and then skip them over, expecting a different result from last time. The current astrology is, to use a strong word, demanding that you be real with yourself. You know it’s also time for you to be relating to others on real terms, and call nothing less than that intimacy. I know there is a temptation to have the pleasure, security and emotional contact of relationships without taking the risk of vulnerability. Yet it’s never long before this runs out. If you’re someone who does value depth and intimacy and who takes emotional risks, the next few weeks promise to be a daring, meaningful and beautiful time in your life.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
Isn’t it time to get over the feeling that if you get close to someone, or allow yourself to connect to them deeply, that your life is going to run out of control? Imagine that the ‘out of control’ factor is really an unknown. That’s not what it literally is, it’s just your equivalent of X. You could, under that scenario, revise the story: “if I connect to someone deeply, something of which I’m not sure may happen.” That is another way of saying that if you make contact, something will change — and it will. Both people will change. That is what happens when humans interact: they learn from one another, influence one another, and often become a little (or a lot) like one another. I suggest you list the reasons you have to trust and not trust the situation; to trust and not trust yourself. From the look of the astrology, you’re the person who is the most likely to have a profound or life-changing influence on someone you respect or admire, though you may not be up to believing how that’s possible. Well, it is possible; making friends with a kitten is enough to have a life-changing influence on many people. This isn’t something you have to try to do, plan on or expect. The most helpful thing you can do is trust, which means not throwing your fear in front of your path as a stumbling block. Said another way, you can use your power for or against your own best interests.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
Sometimes I get the feeling that some people are finally figuring out that sex is a form of play, and sometimes I get the feeling that there’s so much fear that most people are totally in the dark. So I’ll put the question to you: how do you relate to sex as a form of play? Don’t answer too fast — I suggest you ponder it. If you don’t come up with sex as a form of play, then what is it? What kind of activity is it, or what does it represent? If you answer yes to the play question, how does it contrast with other forms of play (music, golf, paintball, finger painting, ultimate Frisbee)? The ‘serious cast’ that sexuality gets is almost always based on a moral trip of some kind. It’s also based on possessiveness and attachment. The play aspect is often drowned out by the fear of what might happen if the attachment is in some way threatened. The current aspects are calling on you to do a few things. One is to relax the sensation that you possess someone. Another is to allow your curiosity to come to the front of your awareness. Yet another is to allow yourself to change. Yes, it’s time to change. If you resist what you know are necessary, timely and even overdue changes, that’s likely to manifest as the sensation of pressure, anxiety and tension. You could just as well invest your passion into something or someone creative.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
You seem to be trying to balance concerns about your home against professional matters that you know are just as significant. You’re more likely to work them out together than separately, as the two are directly related. Yet there seems to be another factor, which is a relationship on which you suspect much will hinge. Well, it could be a relationship or it could be your idea about a relationship — I suggest you sort that out, on your own and if possible with anyone who might be involved. If you leave the matter hanging below the surface of your awareness, it may have a way of running your life from the back seat. If you raise the question consciously, you will take away the negative manifestations of its power and begin to engage the more constructive ones. There’s one theme that comes right back to you: how in contact with your needs and desires are you? How well are you able to articulate them to yourself? By articulate, I mean the kind of thing you can put into sentences that another person could understand. That’s how clear you want to be, starting within your own mind and then extending out to a real discussion with others. One word comes to mind: marriage. What does that word mean to you? What is it about? What did you believe when you were younger and what has life taught you? What would it truly mean to be a partner, and to have one? How flexible is this idea for you?
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
A storm of change and progress passed through your life recently, which rearranged your orientation on existence and seemed to redirect the course of your life. All the fast-moving planets have come and gone; you’re now left with the slow-movers, the deeper influences, remaining in your sign. The changes you make from here on out are less about circumstances and more about the deeper alchemy of your consciousness: that is to say, what you do with your mind. You will get what you tune into. You will make more of what you are aware of, so I suggest you make conscious choices where to focus that awareness; remember that it’s a magnifier. Though Pisces is often described as being dreamy and ethereal, you have a mind that is capable of handling practical, tangible material — and of persisting with an idea or thought process for a long time. You’re about to see some unusual results, which combine many different factors into a focused moment of evolution. It’s as if your whole perspective suddenly changes, and in hindsight, you see all the factors that led up to this. One thing that would help you immensely now is to practice making decisions. It doesn’t matter the scale, though attention to the smallest choices means a lot right now, because you’re in a situation where many seemingly innocuous factors will add up to something unexpectedly significant. I don’t suggest you practice rosy-eyed optimism as much as remain faithful of your ability to guide your life competently.