A Taurean Downshift


These recent hazy-crazy days of Aries super-saturation are numbered.

Over the course of the week ahead, Mercury, Venus and Mars will all move out of Aries, the firestorm where this latest action's been going down… and into Taurus, a slower-and-steadier earth sign.

This shift in the astrological tides should be fairly noticeable, not only due to the obvious differences between Aries (impulsive, assertive, fast and hot) and Taurus (deliberate, conservative, gradual and solid). It's not every day that all three personal planets travel together across a zodiac-sign border, their energies operating in unison, concentrated in focus. When they do, there's a palpable change in the air.

Mars is the first to make the move on Wednesday (May 11), leaving a sign it rules (Aries) to enter one where he's in detriment (Taurus) and somewhat less at ease. After nearly six weeks as the planet ultimately running the show (i.e., the final dispositor), Mars relinquishes his starring role, backing off from the incessant thrusts of initiatory impulse, to begin settling into a more consistent routine.

Mars in Taurus likes to confirm the sensible efficacy of its approaches before proceeding, a rather marked contrast with Mars-in-Aries's daring willingness to dive in with brave self-confidence. Mars in Taurus wants to ensure it possesses the necessary provisions, food in the cupboards or money in the bank, instead of recklessly rushing into risky situations. He tests the ground's sturdiness in advance of each step… and once it's taken, he pauses again to reassess, to regain familiarity. If provoked or prevented from proceeding, this ultra-prudent Mars may not respond right away; he might even squelch his angered first-reaction, ceding a potential battle while in wait for more reliable clarity.

For those of us who thrive in the rapid-paced, revved-engines, activity-level surge that all this Aries heat has fueled, Mars's arrival in Taurus could seem like something of a buzzkill. We can no longer expect responses and results as quickly. We must curb our instant-gratification urges, to responsibly address logistical concerns and accept material realities. Though the progression from Aries's stirrings to Taurus's securings is a necessary evolution if we want what we started to endure past the inspiring moment, it can feel like a crimp in the wild creator's style… like the sobering appearance of an auditor who requires us to explain how we intend to keep it all functioning on any ongoing basis.

But for those who've experienced a certain burnout thanks to this energy surge, Mars's sign-shift thankfully provides us a chance to catch up with ourselves. Lingering practicalities that were left at the wayside when we jumped ahead, knowing (even in spite of our preference for 'a bit more time to think') the situation required our immediate engagement and that we'd be able to clean up the unattended-to details later, now demand our returned attention. Supportive habits and standardizing methods that were recently shortcutted around must now be reasserted. Maybe we need to sit down at the table and concentrate on a solid well-balanced meal for a change, or sleep in late one morning, or take a leisurely walk. (Frankly, a 'leisurely' anything would be welcome.)

Meanwhile, as Mercury and Venus continue their voyage toward Taurus, they conjoin each other (Mon May 9) and both conjoin Jupiter (Wed May 11) for a finale of ultra-Aries vitality. A triple-conjunction of Mercury, Venus and Jupiter in any sign would be cause for celebration: Ideas, expressions and communications take on a blessedly exuberant, positive-possibility quality, which only increases the likelihood that others will get on board and/or buy what we're selling. The Aries influence amps up the spontaneity factor, encouraging us to just throw in our two cents, eager as we may be to voice our personal stance… both to stimulate a creative free-exchange and to vie for an unashamedly self-satisfying outcome. This, therefore, is a most excellent week to boldly put your words and thoughts into the public dialogue, clearly exposing your stake in the matter. Even the grandest of notions, marked with your individualized style, will likeliest fall on friendly ears.

Both these planets reach the Taurus border on Sunday (May 15), a transition that essentially hands off the keys to the kingdom to Venus, happily at home in a sign she reigns over. Just as Mars was dispositing all the other planets during the Aries lineup, so too will Venus claim this final-dispositor honor once she arrives in her earthy homeland. In this position, she favors our reconnection to the tangible, the sensual, the palpable tokens of material abundance. We'll want to touch down again into our bodies' securest rhythms, feet squarely planted, hungers tended to, the restraints of physical reality respected rather than rebelled against.

Venus in Taurus brings earthly rewards, financial incentives, the deserved fruits of our consistent efforts… but only if we stick with what we started, seeing it past its initial promise to a bankable state of maintenance. Do we have what it takes to last? Without it, the excitement merely passes, leaving us back at square one.

For the remainder of May, then, the astrological outlook charges us with rooting ourselves into this altered landscape that's been created by the relentless dynamism of these past few months, which was sparked into motion by both Jupiter and Uranus entering Aries earlier this year [click here to review]. Haven't enough developments already transpired since 2011 began to warrant this badly-needed anchoring? Here's the moment to filter out what's now proven to be merely fleeting, while clinging firmly to what's built for the long haul. Bolster the supports. Lay on another protective coating. Dig our heels in.

Though Uranus has several years remaining in Aries, Jupiter's only got another month or so. Within the first few days of June, Jupiter will hit Taurus—the same week we witness both Mercury's arrival in Gemini and a solar eclipse also in Gemini, another notable transition marker. Until then, let's stabilize this wagon: kick the wheels, oil the gears, realign the mechanisms. In this life, there's always further to travel. For now, we must smartly tend to our vessels so we may persevere, unfettered by carelessness or fatigue.