May is a busy month in this year’s astrological calendar. We begin with a strained Last Quarter Moon in Aquarius on May 3 which comes right on the heels of a Sun-Saturn square. With the Moon tightly conjunct Saturn, the feeling of social duty and responsibility and restrictions around freedom may feel heavy compared to the ease that the Sun in Taurus longs for. Somehow we need to find a happy medium between the fast pace of a technological world and the slow pace of the natural world.
Mercury’s entry into home sign Gemini on May 4 puts the onus on communication, neighbourliness, making connections, education, clarity of thought. However, this is going to be a longer than usual transit through this sign as Mercury will station here later in the month. It means that there will be more questions over what we know for sure, perhaps missing information or uncertainty over our decisions. It’s best that we keep an open mind and dialogue during this time to make room for reassessment later down the line.
May 5 sees Jupiter moving to the last, critical, anaretic degree of Aquarius where it will remain for the next 9 days. We may find that issues connected to Aquarius are magnified – everything from big scientific breakthroughs to rule-breaking due to radical beliefs is possible during this time. We could find ourselves feeling like it’s all too much, too people-y (as a friend would say!), overwhelmed by social media, straining at the bit to be free, free, free. There’s electric anticipation which can turn to anxiety if we don’t ground ourselves.
Chiron moves into a sextile with the North Node on May 6, giving us an opportunity to pursue individual healing work necessary for collective evolution. Maybe we decide to initiate a conversation that makes us feel vulnerable, share our problems, write down our story. Obviously with the pandemic still present in our lives, we are still very conscious of health matters generally. Hopefully this aspect will see us feeling more optimistic than of late.
Mercury, the dispositor of the North Node, goes out of bounds on May 7 though and this puts us in touch with the Trickster side of our Cosmic Messenger. In the myths, Mercury’s clever mind managed to undo many a misdeed by naughty Gods, but he could also incite the wrath of others by his antics. Mercury Out of Bounds can certainly trigger some brilliant ideas, enlightening conversation or bring up information from unusual sources. But we can also be misled by this influence or taken by surprise. The mental realms are working in unconventional ways which can lead to genius thinking or bizarre brainstorms.
Venus then moves out of home sign Taurus and into Gemini on May 9. Whilst some may be driven wild by a lover’s vacillating, we might enjoy a bit of a break from things getting too serious. For pleasure we like reading, learning, talking to friends, meetings, writing letters. For a date to keep our interest, we need to bond on an intellectual level. It’s not the cosiest of transits but it can be a sociable time.
May 11 is the date of the New Moon in Taurus which is wrapped up with Black Moon Lilith (True position). The need for tangible security and comfort feels visceral. Lilith carries with her issues connected to being exiled and demonised so the wide square from this lunation to Saturn could exacerbate a feeling of being denied something we desperately need. A square between Mars and Chiron also forms on the same date as this lunation which also brings up feelings of vulnerability, defensiveness and not feeling strong enough. Yet the Moon and Sun are sextile Neptune and trine Pluto suggesting that the more connected we feel on a spiritual level, the more chance we see that we have the power to provide for our own needs. Pluto also invites us to eradicate that which disempowers and keeps us feeling unworthy. Any new start now is about building security, inner and outer and needs to be a practical step towards survival.
As Mars moves away from the square to Chiron, it engages in a sextile with Uranus on May 12. What hurt yesterday may have fired us up to see new possibilities and different goals. We have a chance to take some kind of new action to jump start us out of perceived weakness and failure and get life moving again.
May 13 is the biggest day of the month as this is the date that Jupiter enters Pisces. This will be a preview initially though as Jupiter will station retrograde on June 20 and re-enter Aquarius on July 28, 2021. Jupiter will then remain in Aquarius right up until the end of the year, only re-entering Pisces on December 29.
Jupiter co-rules Pisces alongside modern ruler Neptune so the Great God is familiar and comfortable in this place. Positively, we could see an increase in compassion, a growth in meaningful connection, spirituality, intuition, faith and charitability. Jupiter in Aquarius has been working on society learning about one another, developing groups and humanitarianism and progress in the fields of science and technology. But Aquarius is an unemotional sign so all the work we are doing here must be balanced by a strong sense of spiritual and emotional connection – something that Jupiter in Pisces will encourage. This transit will teach us the benefits of peace and unity – indeed, help us believe in the very possibility of that happening! But the downside of this transit is that there is an increased idealism. Mix together Jupiter’s natural optimism with the Piscean tendency towards escapism and fantasy, this can become a colourful mix of losing ourselves in dreams, drinking too much, floating off on waves of wishes and plenty of spiritual bypassing. There can also be an increased sense of victimhood and self-deception as well as emotional overwhelm so we need to keep revisiting Saturn, wherever he is in our chart, to ensure that we aren’t getting carried away – or running away.
On May 15, Mercury will enter the shadow zone of its upcoming retrograde period so we start to experience a slow down as Mercury himself slows in the skies. We are also now covering ground that will be revisited later so it’s important that we bare this in mind as any decisions made now may also need to be revisited at a later date.
May 19 is the date of the First Quarter Moon in Leo, the first turn of the lunar cycle. The Sun is still in slow moving Taurus, a sign that prefers to take a safe and well-trodden path. But the Moon is in entertaining, playful Leo so we could feel torn between carrying on with what we are doing which doesn’t expose us to insecurity or taking a risk to get life moving again. As the Moon opposes newly ingressed Jupiter there’s more chance of taking a gamble as we could feel like fortune is on our side. But it’s important that any risks we take are calculated ones as Jupiter’s optimism could tempt us to risk too much. Note that the Sun is about to enter the anaretic degree of Taurus, a point associated with ‘the weeping sisters’. We don’t want to give ourselves something to cry about.
Gemini season begins on May 20 as the Sun moves into the sign of The Twins. The spotlight is now on what we think and how attached we are to our thoughts and ideas. During this period, we naturally absorb information that helps us understand ourselves better. Maybe we can use this time to consider the language we use to describe ourselves, the labels we wear – willingly or unwillingly. Naturally, as Gemini is symbolised by The Twins, we are also looking into the nature of duality, our ‘evil twin’, the parts of ourselves that are conflicted. We need to get a dialogue going to find a way to meet in the middle. Generally speaking, when the Sun is in Gemini, we’re drawn towards being more sociable and light-hearted. Even if we are still socially distancing, it’s likely that we want to catch up with friends by phone and keep our minds occupied.
Saturn begins its yearly retrograde on May 23. The station of Saturn allows us time to contemplate our responsibilities, consider our priorities and how we are doing at the game of life. We become aware of the consequences as to how we have spent our time in the last seven months. During this period of reflection, we have a chance to mull over mistakes, make new plans and tie up loose ends. As Saturn is travelling through Aquarius, we are working on issues such as our responsibilities to the group, our contribution to humanity, the part we play in the whole. Some may find themselves doubting their position or feel out of step with what is ‘normal; or indeed the ‘new normal’ that Saturn’s transit in Aquarius has created. Still, whatever the situation, Saturn simply presses that we acknowledge what is difficult and commit to working on it.
Also on May 23 Venus goes out of bounds and for 24 hours we have an unusual situation as both Mars and Mercury too are still out of bounds. With all these personal planets beyond the ecliptic, beyond the guardianship of the Sun, beyond rules, regulations and norms, this could feel like a very strange day where nothing goes as we expected. Venus out of bounds tends towards doing her own thing when it comes to relationships. Positively, it could mean that we are no longer glued to convention and free to explore different types of relationships if we’re drawn to experiment. But negatively, it could also manifest as not knowing where we stand, more so with Venus currently in dithering Gemini. Once Mars returns in bounds on May 24, hopefully we may feel clearer as to what we want or more decisive about our actions.
But – we are headed into eclipse season with the first eclipse on May 26, a lunar eclipse in Sagittarius. Lunar eclipses tend to bring realisations as Earth’s shadow blocks out the light of the Moon. The dynamic of this eclipse is concerned with thoughts, education, facts and figures (Gemini) and higher truths, beliefs and philosophy (Sagittarius). The eclipse brings a realisation that shifts our belief system which then challenges what we thought we knew. But allowing for new vision and insight will lead us to a more accurate conclusion.
But (again!), hold that thought because Mercury stations retrograde on May 29. Whatever was revealed at the lunar eclipse may bring one chapter to a close but also it opens the door to a new story. Something else needs time to unfold. I have an image in my mind to describe this movement from the Sagittarius eclipse to Mercury retrograde :-
Imagine you’re reading a book and suddenly you realise that the page you just read was the end of the story, the very last page! Huh? Oh no, looks like someone ripped some pages out of the book! But now you’ve read the last page anyway, you know how the story ends – right?
Wrong. Because when those errant pages turn up, they will throw a whole new light on what you thought of the ending.
The month ends on a quiet note as Mars forms a trine to Neptune. It aligns action with intuition, soul with passion. Maybe we might even want to take a rest from all the fighting, striving, goal setting and go after a little peace instead. Sometimes it’s best to surrender to the tide.
Painting – Eclipse of the Sunflower by Paul Nash