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5.1.12


As April hands the baton over to May, the astrological dynamism picks up heat… moving us into an intensely active couple of months, carrying us further, and more abruptly, away from the past.

The big astro-news of the year so far has revolved around the retrograde of Mars in Virgo, which spanned from the last part of January straight through to mid-April. Now, we reset the headlines, to announce something different.

Though we remain in its shadow until midway through June, Mars's retrograde has passed… and along with it, the compressed-and-contracted quality with which our corrective or cleansing efforts were colored. Culminating caps and finished flourishes to our Mars-retrograde projects and processes still continue over these weeks ahead, but now alongside a variety of other pursuits announcing their appeal, courtesy of Venus in Gemini.

Grand Earth Trine Redux, May 9-15

Once Mercury enters earthily-pragmatic Taurus next Wed May 9, he forms a weeklong grand trine (or benevolently flowing triangle) with now-direct Mars and transformational-agent Pluto in Capricorn. This harmonious convergence of earth-sign energy succeeds a similar grand trine (with Jupiter, rather than Mercury, forming the third point to Mars and Pluto) which occurred in mid-March, while Mars was still at the height of retrograding. As such, it provides an ideal 'follow-up' opportunity to wrangle and review the practical strategies necessary for integrating and sustaining the perspectival gains reaped during the past few months.

Despite its corresponding challenges, Mars retrograde served an important purpose by essentially freezing our assertive attentions in one certain area of our birthcharts-and-lives, insisting (through protracted delay and/or unforgiving urgency) we do our damnedest to 'get it right' before allowing us to proceed to the next step. Of course, no planetary god will ever force us to strive for such impeccability, to refine our approaches beyond 'whatever gets the job done' into sleeker schemes that reserve more of our juice for innovations, expansions and evolutions. We have to do the work ourselves, voluntarily signing on for extra hours on the front-end, in order to rescue our future from the otherwise-squandered time and effort.

The week of May 9-15 offers an excellent window for stability-focused habit-resetting... a time for grounding conversations that reestablish basic goals and values, set clear results-oriented priorities, and turn abstracts into concretes. Take advantage of it, please—you might not get another chance this good to calmly reason things out for quite a while.

Venus goes Retrograde, May 15

Throughout that entire grand-earth-trine week, Venus will appear to be slowing down… in preparation for her stationing to apparent retrograde motion, which begins on Tue May 15 and lasts six wacky weeks. I use the word 'wacky' not necessarily as a descriptor for Venus-retrogrades in general, but in specific reference to this one. On the heels of our having borne Mars-retrograde's purposeful narrowing of the lens, the contrasting proliferation of alternatives, aberrations and addenda fostered by Venus's retrograde in the multiple-personality sign of Gemini certainly tempts us to depart from the norm. Trying something different—even if it eventually proves to be 'not for me'—will surely increase the likelihood of finding ourselves in wackier situations than we're accustomed to, experimenting with attitudes or character-traits that freshen our relationship to those around us.

Venus retrogrades are notorious, first and foremost, for resurrecting 'unfinished' interpersonal-relationship business and/or exposing us to glimpses of other ways we might form relationship. The appearance of an old flame, an exciting new flirtation or fling, and/or an aspect of our current partner we don't usually witness… all these likelier-than-usual possibilities are meant to spur our internal questioning, so we may affirm or amend how we're assigning our affections. The Gemini influence only further increases our ability to see 'both sides', each option with its virtues and drawbacks. These themes may also play out in financial dealings, when we find more than one offer on the table or multiple assets of interest vying for our investment. Often in such cases, once Venus goes direct again, we more clearly understand the potential shortcomings of one and/or the other (and hopefully haven't signed away too much of value on a lark).

Solar Eclipse at 0 Gemini, May 20

Meanwhile, we're already within striking distance of the next pair of eclipses… 'chapter-markers' (as I like to think of them) that carry a quickened crest of narrative developments into our life-stories, distinguishing one thematic overtone from the next, effectively dividing our tale into six-month-sized chunks. During the few-weeks' eclipse-periods surrounding these celestial events (which always occur in sets of two or three), everything seems to have a more decisively destined flavor. One dangling question-mark gets its answer. Another surprising circumstance suddenly enters the scene. We make crucial choices which will characterize the next turn that the journey of our hero (who is us) will take. Palpable meaningfulness pervades the air.

The last pair of eclipses occurred on Nov 24 and Dec 10 of last year.

This solar eclipse new moon hits the very first degree of Gemini on May 20, placing further emphasis on this twinned-sign: variations and variabilities, multiplicities and multitudes, different truths from different angles or two sides of the same coin. The eclipsed Sun's conjunction to the lunar South Node hints at a recurrence or reappearance of some grey-area exception or alternate-universe that perhaps we thought we'd already ruled out at some prior decision-making crossroads… but here it is again, reminding us how easily we might talk ourselves into or out of almost anything, given the right circumstantial context. Maybe we need to reintroduce what we too harshly eliminated? Maybe we need to be tempted toward a back-slide in order to reassert our previous choice? Maybe there's a dimension we haven't yet looked at? No sure answers; instead, just more questions to consider.

The May 20 eclipse squares off against Neptune in Pisces, another indicator that we shouldn't expect the 'sure answers' to easily identify themselves… not, at least, in terms of cold hard data leading to one clear conclusion over another. What's so great about leaving the door open to simultaneously exploring multiple possibilities is that it affords us the chance to experience a taste of everything, buffet-style—and then, based on how each option feels as we engage with it experientially, we can (hopefully) notice which 'feels right' (for the time being, anyway). What Neptune robs from our rational sense-making faculties, he redistributes to our less-tangible intuitive perceptions. We cannot always explain quite how and why, yet Neptune does beckon us toward (and away from) a certain something.

Lunar Eclipse / Transit of Venus / Neptune Station, June 4-5

The Venus-retrograde and eclipse-period action continues to build toward an astrologically epic couple of days… a confluence of factors ensuring whatever wacky developments that destiny delivers in mid-May will keep stirring themselves into a frenzy well through June. Neptune stands still (in its shift to retrograde motion) on the same day as the lunar eclipse full moon in Sagittarius, the axis of which forms a double-square to Mars (still in Virgo). By this point, what we have been so tirelessly concentrating on in the preceding months must balance itself against both (1) the more recent emergence of alternatives, one or more of which may seem quite appealing though still requires further vetting, and (2) the increasing ethical necessity of straight-line decisiveness in particular zones. Again, thanks to Neptune, this balancing feat is best accomplished when going by feel.

Venus's union with the Sun, on the day after the eclipse, is no ordinary Sun-Venus conjunction. Rather, it is an exceedingly uncommon occurrence known as a 'Transit of Venus'. Similarly to how an eclipse functions, this planetary body will travel across the visible face of the Sun. Venus transits observe a strange pattern: They occur in pairs separated by eight years, then don't happen again for, alternatively, 105 or 121 years. The last Venus transit was in 2004 during another Venus retrograde in Gemini (here's what I wrote at that time), but our world will not witness another one until 2117 (presumably long after we've all turned to dust). For more practical information on this celestial rarity, visit TransitofVenus.org.

Transits of Venus are one of those astronomical events that have long captured the popular imagination, as they are rare happenings and detectable with the naked eye (or, for your safety, the protective-lens-wearing one). They've been linked with, among other things, a macrocosmic turning of historical epochs, collective advancements in the evolution of 'The Global Brain', a reemergence of the Divine Feminine, and a concentrated outbreak of economic chaos and war. (Despite Venus's reputation as a 'benefic', tradition holds that we not underestimate her devilishness during Venus transits.) The Mayans' sophisticated timekeeping system also relied prominently on Venus cycles, which is why it's no coincidence that we're experiencing a Venus transit during this apocalypse-hyped, calendar-ending year of 2012. In fact, the Venus transit has everything to do with the Mayan calendar ending… implying that whatever does transpire in this upcoming period, connected to this transit of Venus, holds an interpretive clue to what this metaphoric 'end of the world' might bring.

And after that… ?

In case this lengthy report about what to expect over the course of a single month hasn't provided enough dynamic astrology to anticipate, there are two more important items I want to mention in passing. (Much of what I've covered in this article will be detailed more thoroughly in my coming writings.)

First, expansive Jupiter makes his annual sign-shift on June 11… and where else would he be headed but Gemini, as if we needed even more focus on this sign?!? Jupiter makes whatever he touches bigger. In the case of Gemini, which is already the zodiacal scene of both Venus's transit/retrograde and the latest solar eclipse, it's just a further amplification of the same themes we've been discussing. By the way, there is such a problem as having too many options. We can overwhelm ourselves with our clever ability to make nearly everything seem like a good idea… though many, in the end, aren't.

Then, Uranus and Pluto finally form their first exact square (of seven) on June 24, this impactful aspect of collective unrest and revolution at last hitting the peak of its generation-defining influence. If you haven't yet heard about the Uranus-Pluto square, you've obviously been asleep under a rock (or certainly not paying attention to everything I've written on this website in the past couple years). We already know what it's wrought so far: economic collapse, growing awareness of social inequality and the tyrannical structures that fuel it, an upswing of populist political engagement. And just think: Only now is it really getting started.