Taurus New Moon of power and majesty, May 18th

14730934_sIn the astrological pantheon, the zodiac signs are either cardinal (initiation), fixed (control) or mutable (adaptable).  The cardinal signs initiate and inspire action and leadership, the fixed signs ground and intensify, and the mutable signs disseminate and provide a way to move into the next cycle.

Taurus is one of those fixed signs that needs a high level of control and power, and the New Moon in Taurus urges us to ground and find stability in the midst of fluidity.  Under this combination of energies the grounding of the Taurus New Moon will offer a basis from which to experience the flexibility of Mercury retrograde from a more empowered place.  The New Moon takes place just after midnight on the 18th on the East coast of the US and Europe, but late in the evening on the 17th in areas west.

With this Taurus New Moon we move from the Taurus/Scorpio polarity of the Full Moon earlier in the month, to the complete settling into the roots of our experience of the Taurus influence.

Although Taurus is traditionally ruled by Venus and is therefore associated with a love of beauty and the comforts of life in a physical body, I like to think of Taurus as also being ruled by the Earth – Taurus has a fine appreciation for flowers, gardens, and other earthly things. Still, Venus is strong right now – in the maternal and nurturing sign of Cancer where we can nurture our connections with our family and our tribe with greater awareness than ever, and in a harmonious trine to Neptune which helps us to expand our personal affections into deeper compassion and soulful contact.  An opposition from Venus to powerful Pluto intensifies these connections and helps us to bypass the superficial in order to find real meaning of our friendships and romantic relationships if we can avoid the kind of power conflicts that Venus and Pluto together often bring about.

New Moons are a time of new beginnings – a new lunar cycle.  This is an excellent time to create new intentions, and with Mercury turning retrograde in the middle of this fixed Taurus energy we have an opportunity to break free of blockages that have kept us limited for some time.

 

Cross-Quarter Beltane power festival is May 5th

Astrological BeltaneWhile many of your friends may be celebrating Beltane on May 1st as May Day, the actual Beltane festival is one of the “cross-quarter” days – the midpoint between the Equinoxes and Solstices. These cross-quarter days of the ancient Celtic Wheel of the Year actually occur at the 15 degree point of the fixed signs of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius and are thought to be gates of power.
While many of your friends may be celebrating Beltane on May 1st as May Day, the actual Beltane festival is one of the “cross-quarter” days – the midpoint between the Equinoxes and Solstices. These cross-quarter days of the ancient Celtic Wheel of the Year actually occur at the 15 degree point of the fixed signs of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius and are thought to be gates of power and indeed these fixed signs do contain a great deal of power.
The fixed signs are themselves gates of power – groundbreaking astrologer Dane Rudhyar called the fixed signs “the Signs through which power is released.” He went on to say that power is energy ready for purposeful use through instrumentalities prepared for it.” In the Wheel of the Year, the Equinoxes and Solstices the Sun enters the first degree, the most potent, of the dynamic and initiatory signs that we call the “Cardinal” signs (Aries, Libra, Capricorn, Cancer). That energy needs to be contained and grounded for purposeful use through the “Fixed” signs (Taurus, Scorpio, Aquarius, Leo), and the midpoint of the fixed signs is where we find these cross-quarter days of magic and power. The energy is disseminated and completed in the mutable signs (Gemini, Sagittarius, Pisces, Virgo) in preparation for the next energy activation of the Cardinal signs at the Solstices and Equinoxes.
In modern Paganism the Beltane festival is frequently celebrated on May 1st to more conveniently tie in with May Day celebrations, but the actual astrological Beltane takes place around May 5th-6th at the Taurus midpoint. This year a Full Moon occurs at the Taurus power point, giving an extra punch to this festival of fertility and earthly magic.

Scorpio Full Moon May 2015: the Cauldron of Transformation

Scorpio Full Moon May 2015
Art by Jennifer Shearer

Once the Moon enters Scorpio late on May 2nd it will begin to form the Full Moon opposition formation against the Taurus Sun, stimulating the beginning of the lunar experience. All Full Moons are formed by a polarity between the Sun in one sign balanced against the Moon in the opposite sign. Each opposing pair is a cycle of energy that flows from one sign to the other, each sign containing what the other lacks. Scorpio and Taurus are both fixed signs, both are highly personal signs with one being ruled by Mars (Scorpio) and one by Venus (Taurus). Both are concerned with matters of earthly life, but in Taurus we hold on to who we are, and in Scorpio we must let go of who we think we are in order to become transformed in the purging fire. Taurus seeks harmony and serenity, and Scorpio seeks passion and drama.

You can see why a Taurus or Scorpio Full Moon is intense! At the Scorpio Full Moon we find every aspect of our being intensified under Scorpio as the Taurus Sun encourages us to ground into the earth and find pleasure in simplicity. The planet Mercury (mind and intellect) is opposite Saturn (focus and achievement) which inspires us to take all matters more seriously. This can help us to become more full engaged in the process of lifting the darkness within us into light and accepting all aspects of ourselves with greater awareness.

The Sun and Moon both form a challenging square to Jupiter during this lunation (lunar event), expanding our sense of what is possible and helping us to let go of anything that causes us to feel small. In addition, the transformative power of Pluto harmonizes in a trine to the Sun and a sextile to the Moon, assisting that letting go process and empowering us with a powerful understanding. A trine from Mercury to Ceres (self-care) suggests that during this explosive panorama of transformation we can easily find ways to support our relationship to the body (Ceres) that can assist the complete transformation.

Planetary Illuminations for May now posted!

May 2015 horoscopesYou can read the article in its entirety here,  and if you’re on my mailing list you will receive your newsletter with a translation into easy to understand English later today.  If you’re not yet on my mailing list please sign up in the sidebar!

Meanwhile here is the introduction to help get you started!

The effect of the challenging square aspect between Uranus (radical change) and Pluto (destruction and regeneration) that has dominated the astrological news for the past five years is beginning to wane, and now it is time to pick up the pieces of our lives and recreate our reality in ways that better support us.  Although the planetary cycle is complete, the restructuring has just begun.  Pluto is still in Capricorn until 2023, where it is breaking down (Pluto) the structures that underpin the societies in which we live (Capricorn).  Uranus is still in Aries until 2018, and the rights of the individual (Uranus) is expressed more aggressively (Aries) than they otherwise would be.

Mercury turns retrograde at the Taurus New Moon on May 18th. For the first two weeks of May as Mercury’s motion begins to slow in preparation for its change of direction we will start to see communication begin to become more confused and a greater need to turn inwards for answers as the externals lose their focus.  Mercury retrograde periods are essential since they help us to realign our thinking and refocus our energies – however, they can be difficult when we try to push a project through to completion and encounter Mercury-related glitches and delays.

During the month of May we have a nice elemental balance between Earth (grounding), Air (objectivity and reason), Fire (action and inspiration) and Water (feelings and intuition).  There are no major planetary interactions between the slower moving planets which means that the cycles are faster moving and facilitate greater flow.

Meditation: the Discomfort Zone

meditation
Source unknown

Many people believe that meditation will bring peace and tranquility, and at a certain point, when we are freed from the distress of our discomfort, we do achieve the equanimity which many of us long for.

When I began meditating many years ago I was taught that the mind and its thoughts and reactions was the source of all problems, and practicing meditation would free me of its influences.  I spent hours in sitting meditation, working hard to eliminate all thoughts.  I became very good at being numb, but I did not achieve inner peace.  The more numb I became to the insistent chatter in the brain, the more anxiety I began to feel until I finally experienced full blown panic attacks.

I now believe that the real secret of meditation is in learning a mindful approach to our discomfort.  When we feel emotional or energetic discomfort we often reach for something palliative to relieve the discomfort.  Food, drugs, alcohol – all of these are methods of reducing the level of discomfort in the body that triggers distress.   Mindful breathing and focus can help us to befriend the anxieties and emotional triggers to go THROUGH them and release them rather than go BEYOND them as I was taught years ago.

The breath holds the secret to befriending our discomfort.  Many of us hold our breath, either on the inhale or the exhale, in a fear of letting go to the experiences in the body.  This is a learned reaction to stress or unpleasant emotions, and learning to regulate the breath through deep inhalation and slow exhalation can help to decrease the anxieties around our discomfort and slow our reactions to it.

This is coming up for me personally because transiting Uranus is hitting a sensitive system in my own chart.  Uranus transits are electrical in nature and can create a disruption in the body’s magnetic fields, triggering a sudden release of stored memories and emotional reactions.  Rather like a thunderstorm that appears out of nowhere, the disruptive force of Uranus serves to liberate stuck energies in an emotional storm that can be quite uncomfortable.  But trying to put these forces into a box is counterproductive – not only is it virtually impossible, it also creates additional force that causes an even more extreme reaction when they later emerge.

Still, thunderstorms can be frightening and scary with their noise, their lightning and their hail, but the air is never cleaner than after a storm.  The storms that rage inside of the human experience can have the same effect and help us to clear out the psychic cobwebs and debris, and meditation is the key to finding the stillness at the heart of the storm as we use our breathe to release the detritus that is left behind.