by Joan Kiley
As May began, we couldn’t help but see the Cardinal Grand Cross still in its blooming glory, none of the squares exact any longer, yet definitely a powerhouse signature in the chart. We also saw a water Grand Trine between Jupiter in Cancer, Saturn in Scorpio, and Chiron in Pisces. These two major structures will remain with us throughout the month of May.
April may not have been “the cruelest month,” but it certainly didn’t lack for excitement, with the Mars retrograde, the Cardinal Grand Cross, and multiple eclipse phenomena. Let’s look at some of the pieces of collective debris that we have gathered so far under the grand cross, and with which we continue to cope. I cannot find a better example of the “wildness” of the phenomena, albeit not a pretty sight, than to look at the Cliven Bundy uproar in Nevada.
Bundy pushed the boundaries of sanity for sure, but also manifested the shadow side of this Grand Cross in a very blatant way. He asserted his freedom from any type of government law that isn’t to his liking, using armed vigilantes to “protect” his large ownership of land and cattle (Jupiter in Cancer) and says he “stands up to” (Uranus in Aries) government taxation, and definitely assumes authority (Pluto Capricorn) that is not his to take. Then, just when we thought it couldn’t get crazier, he manifested the shadow side of Mars retrograde (assessing behaviors we may need to change) in Libra (in regards to relationships and how we treat other people) plus Pluto (transformation) opposing Jupiter in Cancer (deep societal/family conditioning) plus Uranus (need to break out of old patterns) with his press conference rant, questioning whether blacks in this country might have been better off as slaves. This put right in our faces, the ugly, ingrained, conditioned racism still running rampant in far too much of our society.
Mere days later, we listened to the unauthorized tape of a private conversation between Donald Sterling, owner of the LA Clippers, and his young biracial mistress, where he spoke from a similar conditioned racist madness afflicting Cliven Bundy. These two “rich old white guys” in total denial of their outdated and hateful frames of reference, one rural and one urban, were mirrors to all of us. Yet, far too many of the people listening to these news items told themselves “that isn’t me—I’m better than that.”
However, if we are willing to look closer into that mirror, we see the reflection of our own denial, the outdated and yes, perhaps hateful frames of reference with which we continue to live, but need not. These conditioned beliefs may or may not be about racism. They may relate to our unacknowledged privilege, unjustified judgments, rigid beliefs about relationships or “right” behavior, the use of resources that are unevenly shared in the world, or literally wasted.
This is not a time to be self-critical or overly judgmental for its own sake. Rather, it is a time to realistically evaluate which of our behaviors has no sustainable usefulness and needs to change. There are a variety of reasons for our beliefs and behaviors. As we evolve, many of them change. This month, the water Grand Trine shows that there could be a bit more ease in making additional evolutionary alterations. Some of our behaviors that are the result of family and cultural conditioning (Jupiter in Cancer) and others which are the result of trauma or woundedness in our past (Chiron in Pisces) are ripe for change. In each case, the water trines can be of use in owning up to our capacity as adults to look honestly at what we can change. Trines help move emotional energies that can assist us, in other words, make it easier to do what we must do.
On May 3, Venus moved into Aries, a rather vibrant placement for Venus, giving her an unexpected quality of assertion. She and Mars were then in mutual reception, in opposing signs ruled by the other, and by May 11, they will exactly oppose one another. The feisty Venus, plus the retrograde, and perhaps more thoughtful or cautious Mars, make for an interesting relationship dynamic this month. Venus will want what she wants when she wants it, and Mars may be somewhat reticent to take that action, bringing about possible frustration and friction.
Mercury may have added to the problem, or helped to solve it, depending on one’s self-awareness, when it moved into its own sign of Gemini on May 7. Brainpower is maximized during Mercury’s stay in Gemini, but unfortunately, the tendency can often be over-verbalizing rather than thoughtful and careful communication. Given Venus in Aries, opposing Mars, and approaching a conjunction with Uranus, it may behoove us to zip our mouths more often than open them, at least without careful consideration, particularly in important negotiations.
The weekend of May 10-11, Mercury will be in a tight square with Neptune. This aspect encourages a conscious awareness of others, the capacity to listen and not just speak, an acknowledgement that there are points of view other than one’s own. Mercury with Neptune enhances the imagination as well, so storytelling time could be a hoot! Yet it can easily go awry without the conscious intention of being truly present. Neptune can so easily reflect the tendency to deception, illusion, and delusion. Be skeptical of things that sound too good to be true. They probably are.
The May Full Moon in Scorpio arrives at 12:16 PM PDT on May 14. This is a powerful Full Moon. The Moon is conjunct Saturn and therefore in connection to the water Grand Trine. Meanwhile, Venus is conjunct Uranus and square Pluto as well as Jupiter, emphasizing relationships. Mercury is sextile the Venus/Uranus conjunction and loosely trine Mars. This brings the outer planet tensions into the tremendously personal sphere of the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars.
A Moon in Scorpio is deeply emotional, a Full Moon even more so. The square between Venus/Uranus and Pluto speaks to the breakup or breakdown of relationship in order to bring a new freedom and new life, either to the relationship itself or to the individuals involved. It may indicate changes that must be made, in order to stay true to that which is being born. The Moon/Saturn conjunction reveals the deep emotions involved, which have been resisting, but now can let go. The Mercury/Venus sextile tells us we can talk about how we feel and the action we need to take.
As you exchange stories with people of difficult big changes in your lives, and issues with resources and finances, it may feel like the screws are tightening. And then there will be a story so lovely, so touching and heart opening, you feel once again that all is right with the world. So it is with these amazing times we’re living through. They are transformational, death and rebirth times. There is great suffering and equally great innovation and creativity. This is the essence of the Pluto/Uranus square. The details of its working itself out in our lives unfolds with all the aspects each makes with all the other planets, at various times, by transit during these few years.
The Sun is in Taurus for the first three weeks of May, and opposing Saturn for at least 10 days. This has us questioning our very survival, and at the same time, enchanted with the incredible beauty of life and of nature.
On May 19, the event we’ve been waiting for occurs. Mars stations direct at 6:32 PM PDT at 9 degrees Libra. The end of the retrograde period will not necessarily jump start Mars, for it will remain in slower motion than usual, and in the same degree through the end of the month. Nevertheless, there will be an energetic shift, and with the Sun entering Gemini the very next day at 8:00 PM PDT, that shift is strengthened. There may be a new lightness, a new hopefulness, as if now, finally, projects we’ve been waiting to get off the ground, can start moving forward.
On May 21, the Moon conjuncts Neptune, and we may find ourselves in an overly sensitive space, but happily daydreaming where we wish we could be. No problem, because the Sun is beginning a trine aspect with Mars, and thinking/planning ways to get there will be right up your alley in the next week, conflicts and difficulties be damned! Enjoy this buildup to the New Moon, due to arrive on the 28th.
The water Grand Trine is still strongly in effect, Jupiter at 18-19 degrees Cancer, Saturn at 19 degrees Scorpio, and Chiron at 17 degrees Pisces. If you have anything around those degrees of water signs, this could be an important time to expand on Jupiter’s faith and hope, Saturn’s stability and persistence, and Chiron’s capacity to heal. Maximize your time for personal self-care, meditation and healing ritual. If, on the other hand, you find yourself feeling traumatized by fear and loss, try finding someone with whom you can share your grief, get some body release work, and/or work with a group that can provide you with emotional/spiritual support.
The New Moon arrives at 7 degrees Gemini at 11:39 AM PDT on May 28, exactly square Neptune at 7 degrees Pisces. Because New Moons are times for new starts, pay special attention to your night dreams and daydreams, calls from artistic and creative parts of yourself. Your imagination is working overtime to help you drop some of the drama of the past and start anew. Experiment with ideas, literally try on something new (like clothing, makeup, work-out routine). This is an opportunity to think differently, to feel differently, to act differently, and still be YOU.
Later that same day, Venus enters Taurus, her own sign, and will love it if you want to indulge your senses with lovely food, a new piece of clothing, or a walk in the park to smell the roses! Early on May 29, Mercury enters Cancer, and all that mental energy that was prone to thinking and talking, will become more emotional and reticent to share. On May 30, the Moon comes up to connect with Mercury and emphasize the more sensitive and emotional energy shift. Both the Moon and Mercury will be sextile Venus in Taurus, making this a prime day for safe communications about relationships, finances, and changes you want to make. The next day, however, the final day of the month, the Moon will oppose Pluto and feelings could get more volatile, so if you sense things getting dicey, do back off, and let emotions cool. June is on the way!
See you next month!