The Astrology of May features Venus, Mars, Neptune, Chiron and Pluto, and Mercury is retrograde most of the month, meaning this could be a frustrating month as well, with a spate of missed communications and mechanical breakdowns. These apparent difficulties could even be magnified, since Mercury aspects Pluto as it stations, and because the issues of limitation represented by Saturn are still very active. Pluto in Capricorn is still very much with us throughout the year, and triggered by this month’s configurations. This Pluto transit represents necessary albeit painful restructuring. Saturn remains singular, on its own side of the Zodiac apart from all the rest of the planets, and therefore also emphasized. The lesson here is for all of us to pay careful attention to everything that happens to us right now with a minimum of reactivity. If we hold on tight and stay the course we will eventually see the benefits of our striving.
Mercurystations retrograde on May 6th in the early degrees of Gemini, and aspects Pluto as it changes direction. The period of the retrograde lasts about five weeks, counting the time of the “retrograde shadow.” May 15th to the 17th, when Mercuryconjuncts the Sun, represents one highlight of the retrograde. Mercury turns to direct motion on May 30th, but does not re-enter Gemini and regain its lost zodiacal longitude until mid-June. There will be a gradual easing off of the retrograde condition, but it is best not to push things until then. Also on the 30th, the direct motion will be accompanied by uncertainty of a different kind, since Mercury also squaresNeptune, Chiron and Jupiter for nearly two weeks at this time. This is likely to be an extremely powerful Mercury retrograde period due to the aspects made with Pluto and with Neptune. All in all, this will be a difficult time, but one that is terrific for introspection and journaling, as we attempt to come to grips with our deeper issues both individually and collectively.
Neptune is featured in these May skies as well, especially as a participant in a forming triple conjunction with Jupiter and Chiron. This symbolism is full of healing potential, and is especially strong from the 17th until around the time of the GeminiNew Moon of May 24th in the middle of Memorial Day weekend. The configuration is active to the end of the year, staying extremely close through late summer. As these planets draw nearer to each other in the current timeframe, we begin to feel the effects in terms of idealistic social values and also greater awareness of our separation from this ideal or from our spiritual essence. Ironically, this separation is only an illusion, albeit a powerful one. Could we but see our world – and ourselves – as whole, our supposed fall from grace could flip in an instant’s epiphany, which is something that Eckhart Tolle has famously been promoting in his recent epic best seller, A New Earth.
Venus, newly direct, remains in conjunction with Mars for this entire month and squaresPluto from the 1st to the 8th as Mercury retrogrades. Our relationships will be on our minds for most of this month and we will be looking into our hidden motivations regarding the way that we relate. Right relationship with each other – and indeed with ourselves and with our planet – represents the only way out of our current set of almost inconceivable dilemmas. Perhaps it’s time we got started.
Transits to the U.S. Chart
Last month we stated that April 2nd to the 9th would be a time of trials and tribulations for the American administration and its military machine, with the possibility of deception surfacing. This was due to transits affecting U.S. Sun and also its Mars – Neptunesquare. It turns out that April 2nd was the day of massive protests at the G20 summit in London, as world leaders gathered in the midst of an increasing economic melt-down, and after the Obama administration had put so much money into the banking system with so little actual oversight. One group of protestors wrote “thieves” on the wall of a London bank, and one person died in the protest. The next day, NATO’s 60th anniversary summit in the city of Strasbourg met with hundreds of protesters. Police used tear gas and rubber bullets.
In the week to follow it became clear that violence was increasing in Iraq, even as President Obama requested nearly $84 billion in war funding. There were also tens of thousands of Iraqi protestors on the 6th anniversary of the invasion.
Of course the biggest story involving deception and the military from April would be the release of the Bush administration’s torture memos, authorizing torture and making arguments for its legality, together with the assurance from the Obama administration that CIA operatives who followed these guidelines with prisoners would be spared from prosecution. This story significantly broke on April 17th, the same day as the Last Quarter Moon which exactly conjuncted U.S. Pluto. The timing on this was quite similar to that of another related story, namely that the Spanish attorney general has recommended against prosecuting six Bush administration officials for promoting the torture of Guantanamo prisoners, yielding to pressure from the Obama administration.
The above stories indicate that the Neptune–Marssquare in the U.S chart is alive and well, if ‘well’ is the applicable word. The transits of April highlighted this aspect.
In the current month, the dates that stand out are May 8th and the 16th - 17th, and May 24th. May 16th is when Saturnstations direct in sextile to U.S. Sun. The Full Moon of the 8th as well as the New Moon of the 24th aspect transiting Pluto, just as Plutosquares the U.S Midheaven and opposes U.S. Venus. We might unfortunately see further revelations during this month regarding the eroding situation for the U.S. economy.
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