Chart created using TimePassages Astrology Software
The May 2000 Alignment
by Henry Seltzer
May Alignment Chart

This article, written as the May 2000 alignment was about to take place, mentions the new energy of that month's Jupiter - Saturn conjunction coming in. Jupiter meets Saturn every twenty years, so this conjunction in Taurus represents the twenty year cycle we are currently still in the midst of.

In May 2000 a powerful alignment of planetary forces takes place in Taurus and Gemini. On the day of the Taurus New Moon, no fewer than seven planets line up in that sign, within an arc of 26 degrees, the closest such planetary pattern since 1962 and the last in our present century. Various dates are given for the main event, but the one we favor is May 3rd, the date of the actual New Moon, close to the ancient festival of Beltane and the traditional birthday of the Buddha. At the actual moment of the New Moon, Mars has moved into the sign of Gemini (see chart at right).

The New Moon of May 3rd (actually slightly after midnight May 4th on the East Coast) occurs at the 15th degree of Taurus, the same degree occupied by Saturn at the time of the heralded Grand Cross Eclipse of last summer. This eclipse (dated August 11, 1999) was a stressful period for all of us humans struggling to emerge out from under the shadow of the last 2,000 years and into the half light of a new dawn. We are all of us on the road to freedom, and we may find it pleasant and full of enlightenment or rocky and full of challenges as our spirit takes us through. But one way or another we are all going to get through - we have no choice - and this is strangely comforting.

What are the star signs that point to this emerging new age? The major outer planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, as well as the recently discovered planetoid Chiron, are sign-posts that help to light our way into the future. As we enter this exciting new century, Pluto and Chiron are conjunct each other in Sagittarius, the sign of philosophy and the Higher Mind, while Neptune and Uranus are found in Aquarius.

Neptune represents idealism and compassion, while Uranus symbolizes revolutionary vision for change, and these planets are leading us collectively to new levels as a society. It is extremely significant that they are both found in the sign of Aquarius, which Uranus rules, referring to the potential for a new humanism to emerge in our times. Not since the sixties, when Pluto pumped up Uranus by conjunction, has there been such a favorable set of symbols for the dawning of a new age of enlightenment. Uranus is associated with the archetype of Prometheus, bringer of the fire of the Gods down to mortal man, and hence represents all forms of rebellion against the status quo in the name of progress and the future. Aquarius is also associated with the tribe of (Wo)Man, the web of global interdependence and the world wide web of computer connectivity. Uranus in its own sign thus represents a potent symbol for the dawning of a new collective self-concept.

But Uranus in Aquarius is squared by Saturn in Taurus during the period from last summer to May 2000, and this means a certain tension between the urge to go forward to a new level of consciousness and the urge to hold back and maintain old ways of thinking and being, represented by Saturn in Taurus. Taurus is the quintessential sign of the concrete, the practical, the here and now. Seven planets massing in Taurus this May, including Sun and Moon, represents a powerful focus on brass tacks, business as usual, sticking with the outmoded status quo.

We feel the tension at all levels, individual as well as cultural, as these vast changes in collective consciousness begin to percolate down to every person on the planet. The grand cross of last August which preceded the transition to a new millennium, with all its angst-ridden questions and hopeful horizons, reflects the challenge we all face to make individual personal changes more in line with our ideals. This is the essence of the Saturn-Uranus square, appearing the chart of August, and again in the chart for the May Alignment. In the last part of the old century, and right through to today, corporate power has become ever more entrenched. At the same time - as consciousness has become much more broadened of how and where the corporations have failed us, in part due to the rapid spread of knowledge made possible by the Internet - we are beginning to learn what we must do in order to help bring a better world to life. What more cogent representative for this maverick notion of human freedom and dignity, in rebellion against the corporate status quo, than Uranus/Prometheus?

Nowhere was this basic controversy more evident than at the disrupted meeting of the WTO held in Seattle last December, when thousands of environmentalists, activists and members of organized labor took to the streets in an ambitious attempt to send a message of protest to the powers that be. The anti-WTO demonstration represents perfectly this fundamental split: the top down hierarchical power of the multi-national corporations versus the will of working people everywhere on the planet. Local autonomy and quality of life issues are being threatened at all levels and for people in all walks of life, and this is not really new, but the response in Seattle was. The protests were so massive that the city itself shut down, the keynote speech for the conference had to be abandoned - instead protesters for one brief moment took the stage - and leading citizens as well as peaceful protesters were detained and harassed by a police force run amok. We note that the Saturn-Uranus square was still quite active during the period of this demonstration, as well as an exact inconjunct to Saturn from Pluto and Chiron, the harbingers of drastic change. These patterns are also featured in the chart of the May Alignment.

Massive protest at such a level of intensity has not been seen since the radical sixties, when Uranus and Pluto were in close conjunction in the earth sign of Virgo. The Bob Dylan anthem from that period, "The Times They Are A'changing" is very apt here also as a statement for current paradigm shift and societal metamorphosis, in a cosmic moment of incredible and exciting challenge and opportunity. Dylan has the Pluto-Chiron conjunction (of 1941) in his own birth chart, and significantly has been coming back into popularity, winning the 1999 Grammy award for best album of the year and starting the new century with a dynamic series of concert appearances.

It is also very interesting to note that the Pluto/Chiron midpoint in the chart of the May Alignment, at the 15th degree of Sagittarius, is exactly inconjunct the New Moon in the center of the Taurus configuration, and sextile to the Uranus/Neptune midpoint in Aquarius. This conjunction, exact in the chart of Y2K, heralds the painful and potentially revitalizing changes being thrust upon us. It is very significant that this conjunction is exactly in aspect to the May 3rd New Moon, and in stressful aspect. This symbolizes that the changes we are facing are dynamic and challenging, and deeply affect our way of thinking and understanding, and our very philosophy of life, represented by the sign of Sagittarius. Such intense restructuring won't come easy. At the same time, these challenges are in our own best interest in terms of the necessary forces of our individual evolution.

Another feature of the May Alignment is the incipient conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in Taurus. This conjunction happens every twenty years, usually in an earth sign (at least for the past two centuries) and represents a time of crisis and change in the socio-political climate, such as with the conjunction of 1960, ushering in the Camelot years of the JFK administration, and the most recent conjunction in 1980, which accompanied the shift to the decade of corporate looting brought on by Ronald Reagan and the politics of greed. The present conjunction will become exact on May 28th, as yet another American presidential hopeful takes center stage. Since it occurs in the tenth house of sitting Vice President Al Gore, perhaps his name will come to be associated with the job at the top. If he can remember what he wrote in his book, Earth in the Balance, his administration may yet come to represent a shining era of restored environmental promise on the political landscape.

Although political action is very important, in fact the necessary changes must come from each one of us, individually, as we confront the corporate power parts of our own natures. As we begin to make these evolutionarily necessary changes in our own psyche, we help to bring about change on a global level. As Walt Kelly's 50's era comic-strip character Pogo said, "we have met the enemy and he is us". It is the individual changes we are confronting that is the real crux of the meaning of these planetary patterns, both from last August and in the current May Alignment.

Keeping in mind these powerful forces for evolution in our times, it is instructive to take a look at the important degree symbols for the May Alignment chart. The symbols used here are both the Sabian Symbol of the degree, published in the 1950's by Marc Edmond Jones and also the Chandra Symbol, made available in the form of a pithy paragraph for each degree by visionary astrologer Elias Lonsdale, in his recent text Inside Degrees. For the New Moon degree of the May Alignment, the 15th degree of Taurus, the Sabian Symbol reads: "A man muffled up, with a rakish silk hat" and Marc Edmond Jones comments "(this is) a symbol of absolute self-integrity - the keyword is SOPHISTICATION - a superb aplomb arising from the constant rediscovery of greater powers inherent in self-hood". The corresponding Chandra Symbol is "His best friend sings a song at his funeral" which Lonsdale equates to "the rich and sustaining power of love." It is certain that something is dying and something is coming to birth as a consequence of the changes we find ourselves in the midst of.

The Sabian Symbol for the degree of the Pluto/Chiron midpoint is "A ground hog looking for its shadow" and both this symbol and the Chandra Symbol, "A tidal wave approaching", speak to the massive evolutionary changes thrust upon us all at this time. Lonsdale's text confirms this idea, speaking of: "The momentum of collective events (that) runs toward floodtide when there is a major transition from one cycle to another- mastery or bust. The infinite future or wipe-out. A spine-tingler all the way."

The Sabian Symbol for the Uranus degree in the May Alignment, the 21st of Aquarius, is "A woman disappointed and disillusioned" which Marc Edmond Jones calls "the self's inherent gift for pressing on and gaining increased powers with every setback", while the Chandra symbol is more hopeful: "A beautiful woman dressed in white, wearing a large silver crescent on her head. The crescent is pointing upward". Lonsdale writes:

In the dance of time, there comes a fresh cycle, where the high feminine spirit comes into her own. She is Queen of the Heavens, yet she belongs in the Earth. And as she comes to herself, she brings the worlds together, repolarizes and articulates the power of love. She is the caller, inaugurating the future. Yet early on she stumbles and falls, for what she is carrying is immense, and it is too much for her personally. She must discover how to find a true form to harness, discipline, and distribute what she knows and who she is. As she gets her greater bearings and embraces multi-dimensional selfhood she shall indeed find that destiny situates her right where she needs to be. And that becoming a collective fount of real-life inspiration is her very nature, her path and her complete liberation from the misunderstandings and fragmentations of the days when she just could not get out of the way with sufficient grace and authentic conviction.

The degree symbols for the Uranus degree two months before the date of the May Alignment, and at the time of this writing - when it was directly opposite the degree of the Grand Cross Eclipse of last August - are also quite interesting in this regard. The Sabian Symbol, for the 19th degree of Aquarius, is: "A forest fire quenched" which Marc Edmond Jones elucidates as "regenerative relaxation after extraordinary effort" and says "The keyword is CONCERN. When positive, the degree (represents) special skill in bringing personal interests to some larger point of effectiveness". The Chandra Symbol is: "Loud crushing noises as a glacier moves" and Lonsdale's commentary reads in part:

Purpose hugely takes precedence. Whatever is changing and whatever is staying the same are the two forces you track with, and report back to cosmic center upon. You are being driven to the utmost to observe and witness dispassionately all the decisive and epochal shifts and pressures in the collective mix. Eyes wide open in the dark. Attention riveted to trends and turning points, and yielded up to a long-ago agreed-to code of recording and evaluating all the relevant data- so that all concerned can synchronize with the greater ways and be released from anything and everything that runs counter to the bright promise of Earth evolution.

As the cosmic moment of these challenging and potentially rewarding transformations comes upon us, we can only pray for the courage and the actualization of our true inner nature: Let it be so.


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sun astrology The Sun

The Sun represents the Self, one's way of being in the world. It can represent, on different levels, both the ego and the higher Self or soul purpose. It rules Leo and is exalted in Aries. The Sun is the most important 'planet' in the chart and symbolizes one's will and sense of vitality. When the Sun is afflicted (poorly placed or poorly aspected) it could indicate problems with the father, or male role model. The Sun energizes your entire chart, and planets in close relationship to the Sun (by planetary aspect) are emphasized in your personality. If your Sun is prominent in your chart, you will exhibit great power to do and to be.

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moon astrology The Moon

The Moon represents the personal self, the feelings and the unconscious. It is a reflection of the true self, represented by the Sun. The Moon also stands for security and instinctual or habitual patterns, as well as the ability to relate to others, and to be nurturing to others. The Moon rules Cancer and is exalted in Taurus. It is often contrasted with the Sun as the female receptive principle versus the masculine or positive principle. The Moon represents the feminine and nurturing part of oneself. In a male chart, the Moon represents the feminine within, or the 'anima' and also indicates the type of partner you will attract. The Moon also represents an attunement from the past, which operates at an instinctive or habitual level in your present life.

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mercury astrology Mercury

Mercury represents the mind and intellect, and rules Gemini, sign of duality also Virgo, and has its exaltation in Aquarius. Mercury is an airy planet, associated with all forms of communication and the in-flow and out-flow of intelligence. Its position indicates how your mental function will be expressed, and where techniques and skills are available to you.

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venus astrology Venus

Venus is the planet of love and relationship. Venus is in-taking, rather than out-going (as represented by Mars), and rules the signs Libra and Taurus. Venus has its exaltation in Pisces, and is associated with aesthetics, beauty, refinement and romance. Its position in the chart indicates the area in which the give and take of love, affection and sensual pleasure will be expressed.

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mars astrology Mars

Mars is the planet of outward activity and animal passion. It rules Aries and is exalted in Capricorn. This fiery planet is masculine in action, versus softer more receptive Venus. When strong in the chart it can indicate a volatile temper, and also great courage. Its position indicates how your personality will assert itself, and what modes of activity will stimulate your physical energies.

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jupiter astrology Jupiter

Jupiter is the planet of faith, positivism and optimism. It rules Sagittarius and is exalted in Cancer. Jupiter represents the principle of expansion, versus contraction (as represented by Saturn) and the aspirations of the higher self. Its position in the chart indicates how your faith will be expressed, and what modes of activity will stimulate self-confidence.

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saturn astrology Saturn

Saturn is the planet of limitation and contraction, and the trials of life experience. This includes disciplive, punctuality, and the conservation of material resources. Saturn rules Capricorn and is exalted in Libra, and is limited and material, versus unlimited faith (as represented by Jupiter). It indicates areas where the personality will be restricted by fears and lack of confidence, and also areas which are important to be worked on in this lifetime.

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uranus astrology Uranus

Uranus is the planet of freedom and revolutionary vision, the urge for change and the ability to visualize new possibilities. Uranus rules Aquarius, and is exalted in Scorpio. It is also associated with mental studies, electricity and astrology. Its position indicates the arena of originality and freedom from conventional thinking in your life.

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neptune astrology Neptune

Neptune represents the universal ocean of oneness with all beings. It is thus highly compassionate, also idealistic, imaginative and self login or even self undoing, and can be associated with drugs or media, as fantasy expressions. Neptune rules Pisces, and finds its exaltation in Cancer. Its position indicates where there may be confusion and also great creativity in poetic or musical fields. Neptune has been called the higher octave of Venus.

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pluto astrology Pluto

Pluto is a force for change that can be destructive in its power. Pluto rules Scorpio, and is exalted in Leo. Pluto is related to will, and intense passion, and has a reputation for ruthlessness. As god of the underworld Pluto brings the deepest compulsions into the light. Its position indicates areas of life that must ultimately become transformed as part of the soul's evolution.

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chiron astrology Chiron

Chiron is a small planet, or 'planetoid' that was only discovered in 1977, and which has already shown itself to be quite powerful in an individual's chart. Occupying an eccentric orbit between Saturn and Uranus, and named for the centaur physician of Greek myth who taught ancient wisdom to mankind, Chiron represents the archetype of the "Wounded Healer" and is associated with shamanism and going within to heal oneself. Its discovery is synchronous with the rise of the holistic health movement. Chiron's position in the chart reveals where one has been wounded, and where also there is the opportunity for discovering healing from within and sharing this discovery with other people, since from our wounds arises our compassion for the suffering of others. The position of Chiron, by house and sign, can also show where we have talent and access to ancient wisdom, as well as where we may depart from the mainstream in service to a higher practicality. Those with prominent Chiron are likely to be educators and spiritual healers.

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ceres astrology Ceres

As goddess of the harvest and the natural process of fertility and renewal, Ceres represents the process of nurturing and motherhood in an individual chart, and has been attributed to the sign Cancer as a co-ruler with the Moon, as well as to the signs of Taurus, Scorpio and Virgo.

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pallas astrology Pallas

The astrology of the asteroid Pallas indicates the creative use of the mental faculty in combination with ageless wisdom, and is also involved with the arts, especially the plastic arts such as sculpture and pottery, and with medicinal remedies.

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juno astrology Juno

The astrology of Juno indicates partnering energy of intimate relationships, as in the more modern issues of where the boundaries are with another person, how much sharing is appropriate, versus holding back, are there issues of bitterness and jealousy, or projected authority and control onto another person, and intimacy needs in general.

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vesta astrology Vesta

In the astrology of Vesta issues of sexuality and completeness unto oneself predominate. Possible associations are the woman (or man) who chooses celibacy, but as a nun or monk takes on a higher purpose than normal family life, also issues of sexuality and who is ultimately served in the process, self or other.

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eris astrology Eris

While the lower expression of Eris might manifest as the lust for struggle and violence, there is also a more positive manifestation in the most basic defense of one's rights in standing up to established power, by violence if necessary. By recognizing and coming to terms with this potentially violent factor in ourselves we can grow as humans and become more whole.

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haumea astrology Haumea

The astrology of Haumea seems to be related to love of the natural world and to the fecundity of natural process. This archetype thus signals profound connection to Nature, connection to Source, and a form of natural charisma.

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makemake astrology Makemake

The astrology of Makemake is related to love of the natural world and to the activism associated with defending the environment. This archetype thus signals a profound connection to nature that is quite similar to the archetype of Haumea, his fellow traveler in the Kuiper Belt, with the same astronomical designation and also named from the pantheon of indigenous gods and goddesses.

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part of fortune astrology Part of Fortune

The Part of Fortune (from the Latin Pars Fortuna) is the only Arabian astrology part still commonly used in modern astrology. It indicates an area of life that is a fortunate one for the native. The house in which the Part of Fortune is placed indicates an area of your life which is likely to be a successful one for you; an area where the applications of your skill will bear fruit. Its is where you will find good luck and happiness.

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north node astrology The North Node

The Nodes of the Moon indicate areas of life that are of special concern to you. Also referred to as the dragon's head, The North Node indicates your goals. The placement of the North Node indicates work that needs to be done in your life, or new faculties that need to be developed in the present lifetime.

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south node astrology The South Node

The Nodes of the Moon indicate areas of life that are of special concern to you. Also known as the dragon's tail, the South Node indicates areas of mastery, often from a previous lifetime.

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aries astrology Aries

Aries people tend to be energetic, forceful and outgoing. They are good at getting things done, although they prefer starting to finishing. Like the energy of the first rush of spring, they move into the world in a headstrong, pioneering way. Aries people are likely to rush into things before reflecting, and may also be impatient or unwilling to sit back and allow events to mature.

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taurus astrology Taurus

Taureans revel in the pleasures of life. They crave the security and comfort of relaxing in the warmth of their home environment. They value the senses and the enjoyment of material things. Taureans are likely to work hard to make their home an attractive one. They also have the makings of a healer and have a large capacity for kindness.

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gemini astrology Gemini

Gemini is the sign associated with communication, logical thought processes (based on duality) and the conscious mind. Gemini people tend to be airy and intellectual, glib of tongue and curious about life and other people. They can experience two sides of things at the same time, and may tend to be flighty.

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cancer astrology Cancer

Cancerians are nurturing and protective of others. Their ruling planet is the Moon, and they tend to be moody, with constantly changing emotions. Cancerians are also likely to be security-conscious and highly value their home life. They may appear passive, and tend to rely on their feelings to make decisions. They are subtle, rather than direct, and are likely to reflect the moods of those around them.

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leo astrology Leo

Leos are likely to express themselves in dramatic, creative and assertive ways. They are also likely to enjoy the warmth of the physical Sun. Leos have great energy, courage and honesty. They are likely to be self-confident and maybe even a bit self-indulgent as they expect to be the center of attention, and often are. Leos can be quite determined and usually get their way when they really want to. They also possess great integrity, and are a natural leader.

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virgo astrology Virgo

Virgos love work, service to others and the gathering of the fruits of the material world, as symbolized by the harvest. They are also likely to be a good conversationalist, with wide-ranging knowledge and interesting ideas. They can be analytical and perhaps overly fond of detail, with perfectionist tendencies, and they may miss out on the big picture by concentrating on the micro. It also benefits them to learn the fine line between discrimination and criticism.

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libra astrology Libra

Libra is the sign of harmony and relationship. The Sun in Libra is at the time of the Equinox, when day equals night, and similarly Libra strives for balance between polarities. Librans are known for their good taste, elegance and charm. They are seekers of harmony and beauty.

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scorpio astrology Scorpio

Scorpio is the most intense sign of the Zodiac, and is associated with sexual activity and with the symbolism of death and rebirth. Their emotions run deep. Scorpios have great personal magnetism and great powers of persuasion or even the ability to coerce others.

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sagittarius astrology Sagittarius

Sagittarius is an optimistic, positive-thinking sign associated with the quest for freedom from all restriction as well as idealism, religion and philosophy. Sagittarians are direct and forthright, good-natured and affirmative in their outlook.

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capricorn astrology Capricorn

Capricorn people are ambitious and practical, and are likely to have an excellent sense of social responsibility. They also tend to be conscious of social mores, perhaps to the point of over-concern. Their natural caution allows them to advance slowly and steadily to the top.

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aquarius astrology Aquarius

Aquarians have a rebellious nature, and are eccentric, spontaneous and original. They are forward thinking and detached, and can seem conservative though they really are not very much so. They are scientifically minded and logical, and confident in manner.

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pisces astrology Pisces

Pisceans are friendly and likable, and yet can be very moody and introspective as well. Pisces is a watery sign, concerned with subtle emotions and secret mystical depths. Pisceans are not entirely at home in this world.

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