May is usually one of the 'softer' months of the year, but this May offers a mixed bag of results due to other, more intense, transits. Still, there's plenty to enjoy with Venus exalted for the first 10 days and the Sun exalted until mid-month. The Moon is exalted too, from May 5 to 7, in Venus' sign, which is a particularly auspicious period because of the strength of Venus, as well as Jupiter's aspect, offering further blessings.
May 6/7 (depending on location) is called Akshaya ('undiminished') Tritiya (3rd lunar day); when the Sun and Moon are both exalted. If you've been planning to start some new auspicious activity, this would be a good time to do so.
The conjunction of Saturn and the south node (Ketu) takes a firmer hold in sidereal Sagittarius, as Saturn and Pluto retrograde, while Mars enters Gemini, joining the north node (Rahu), opposing this powerful configuration. So, there's plenty of scope for beginning inauspicious activity in May too!
The Saturn and the south node conjunction is exact for much of the next 6 months. We've already seen this impact on the highly symbolic destruction of mosques and churches around the world, as this conjunction occurs in sidereal Sagittarius; the sign of religion.
Mars' entry into the opposite sign, Gemini sets the stage for more attacks, with many more things being blown up that hitherto offered us guidance. Although the exact Mars opposition doesn't occur until mid-June, May begins to feel the tensions build. We're seeing this at the time of writing (April), as North Korea tests more missiles and Russia's president meets with the North Korean leader; a case of history repeating, as Saturn and Ketu were conjunct between April and October in 1962, during the Cuban missile crisis.
Some astrologers believe that when a configuration you were born with is experienced again by transit it triggers it in your life. One could argue (and I do) that if you have it in your birth chart, it is a part of your modus operandi and you can manage it better than others for whom this is a new experience.
You can use these challenging transits to challenge yourself, to make efforts to improve your life, especially as Mars enters the lunar sign Ardra from May 17, a sign of righteous rage. Let's face it, most of us could do with a little clearing the air! Mars favours further destruction. Although as individuals we can destroy things more consciously, the world experiences this as what seems to be needless destruction.
Mercury and Venus enter Mars' sign, Aries in May as well, so the end of the month is getting very hot indeed. At least this breaks the spell of Pisces we've been experiencing for months now due to Mercury's retrograde, with a lot of confusion because of its conjunctions with Neptune, as well as some plain and simple deceit. The transits in Pisces have been vague on the details. Mercury first moves out of Pisces, on May 3, while Venus moves on May 10. With the emphasis shifting to Aries for the rest of May, it's a more directed period which offers more progress, as well as lots more exciting and nerve-racking news when they conjunct Uranus.
Saturn/South Node (Ketu) Conjunction
This is the keynote conjunction of 2019 as it happens over a 6 month period. This is because as soon as Saturn and Ketu meet each other, each coming from opposite directions, Saturn stations retrograde (April 30), and they both retrograde along side each other through October. Throw a retrograde Pluto into the mix, and we get a sense of the issues in Sagittarius grinding to a halt, demanding our attention. If you are currently unaware of what area of life you experience this sign, this year will bring it into focus.
If you are prepared for this, there is much to enjoy as previously alluded to. Take some time off in May, if possible. If not, then try to bring more balance into your life with some more down time.
The last time Saturn and Ketu conjoined this close, for as long as they do in 2019, was in 1962, during the Cuban missile crisis. Saturn represents boundaries, which we are particularly aware of when certain countries threaten to send missiles beyond their borders. Ketu represents cutting through boundaries in secret. The Cuban and Soviet governments secretly built missile bases in 1962, bringing the world to the brink of war.
Will the same occur in 2019? Probably, but remember, the world was brought to the brink of war, but war did not break out. Although the lunar sign in which this occurs in 2019 is pūrvāṣāḍhā, a severe lunar mansion that can go overboard sometimes!
As I wrote in my yearly forecasts, there is the likelihood of water damage, contamination and droughts this summer due to this conjunction in a sign that is ruled by the goddess of water, Apas.
Another example of what this conjunction brought in 1962 was the 'probable suicide' of Marilyn Monroe. I think there will be more suicides that grip global attention in 2019. Ketu represents something beyond this physical existence, and death is part of what is needed to get us there. Suicide bombers will also play a part in this.
Suicide is one expression of this conjunction, because the nature of Ketu show the possibility of grappling with an existential crisis. Marilyn Monroe had her rising degree in exact opposition to the start of the conjunction in 1962, as well has having her Moon in the sign the conjunction occurred back then (Capricorn). This was compounded by a particularly challenging planetary cycle in her chart, so Saturn and Ketu's conjunction would have compounded her problems.
It is not everyone that experiences this conjunction as a crisis, of course, but if your ascendant degree or planets are between 19° and 26° of sidereal Gemini or Sagittarius, and you also experience a challenging planetary cycle between April and October this year, especially if this includes Saturn and Ketu, then this needs your careful attention.
On one hand, Saturn represents form, structure and limitation: limitations are inevitable when we face reality; one of Saturn's principle significations. On the other hand, Ketu represents formlessness; who we really are at our core from a spiritual perspective; the part of us that is beyond definition, beyond form. Together, they can be used to focus on what is truly important, but they could just as easily create confusion as to where our attention should lie.
Jupiter Retrograde in Scorpio
Jupiter has returned to Scorpio to reassess the hidden parts of our life. This brings more intense awareness to our secrets, as Jupiter moves back over previous territory, bringing up more insights and opportunities from the past.
Look back to this area of your life, to look for opportunities for further growth. This growth is more internal when Jupiter is retrograde, but growth all the same. Once Jupiter stations direct again on August 11, and moves over the last 10 degrees of Scorpio until the beginning of November, this growth will be more easily expressed.
Until then, the summer months offer an opportunity to find more meaningful pursuits and purpose by reviewing what we like to keep control of; perhaps even what we can obsess over, as Jupiter retrogrades in Jyestha lunar sign. Jupiter adds weight and depth to the issues, as laws and policies are redrafted to reflect the inner change occurring.
Jupiter returns to Sagittarius and Mula lunar sign, by November 4, bringing us back to the domain of the goddess of death, Nirriti, and what needs to be relinquished. Until then, Jupiter in Jyestha is in the realm of the chief of the gods, Indra, giving us the power to rise up and take control of our lives.
One individual in control of him or herself it far more powerful than hoards of people out of control.
Mercury in Aries
Mercury moves out of debilitation, ending many months of confusion as it enters Aries on May 3. It joins Uranus by May 8, bringing with it more twists and turns as we venture forward. Although Mercury in Aries brings more of a sense of direction, it is not the route we expected! As we're always told, 'expect the unexpected' when Uranus is involved, and we have to be more open to this in May and June as Mars meets with Rahu, often likened to Uranus, while planets meet with Uranus in Mars' sign.
Mercury is the planet of communication, travel, everyday business and trade. When it is weak, as it is for the beginning of May, it's the little annoyances that get us. But Aries and Uranus offer new avenues and excitement, while creating a jolt for the nervous system.
The intensity builds once Mars enters Gemini on May 7. Mars is placed in Mercury's sign and Mercury is placed in Mars' sign, until May 18, so the middle of May offers more jolts to wake us up and get us moving. This exchange of signs is in a friendly formation for some signs, although these planets are not friendly to each other ordinarily.
Apart form this exchange between May 7 and 18, we may act impulsively (Mars), without thinking through the details (Mercury). It's like having a Mars/Uranus and Mercury/Rahu conjunction while they exchange signs, e.g. more shocking events and confusing details.
New Moon in Aries May 4
The Moon reaches the Sun's degree in Bharani lunar sign in sidereal Aries. This lunar sign is creative and controlled, ruled by Yama, the god of death, sometimes translated as 'restraint'. This sign is all about forbearance; where we must bear a burden to achieve something. The most obvious example is that of bearing children, but any kind of creative process requires discipline.
This new Moon is a marker point in the year, to set intentions and stick to our guns about what you would like to create for your life moving forward. As always, the new Moon itself is not the time to get moving on that, but more of a pause to set the intention, before setting out on your new journey.
The subsequent days see the Moon exalted, which is the perfect time to make the new start.
There are other helpful transits during the new Moon, with Mars, the ruler of the Moon, placed in opposition to Jupiter in Scorpio, while Venus in exaltation is aspected by Jupiter. Although the conjunction of Saturn and Ketu in Sagittarius is challenging, we wouldn't achieve anything without some struggle. Think of them as growing pains in the process of creation.
Mars in Gemini
Mars moves into Gemini by May 7, and an opposition to the Saturn/South Node conjunction and Pluto. May is very much a build up that explodes in June, leaving us to pick up the pieces as Mars enters its sign of debilitation. When we're challenged we can enjoy the pleasures of May and the simple things in life.
It would be important to make the most of these, especially during May, as the transits suggest more challenges that we need to be well-nourished and rested for.
Mars moves into a particularly volatile sign when it moves into Ardra on May 17; the lunar mansion within sidereal Gemini, getting ever closer to the north node at the end of the sign in June. Mars' entry into Ardra also marks the transition from Scorpio to Sagittarius, in the 9th divisional chart; a complex territory which requires calm and patience, not reactivity.
When things do blow up it is helpful to keep cool, so you can respond appropriately. Keep an eye on the area of your chart Virgo falls in, as Mars and Saturn aspect this sign without any help from the benevolent planets in late May. And expect more fires, stoked by winds, particularly in Australia, but many other countries as well.
Venus in Aries
Venus is exalted for the beginning of May, and this feels even better once Mercury moves into Aries after May 3. While Mercury is placed with Venus, it brings the mood down somewhat, cancelling Venus' exaltation somewhat. The first week of May is an ideal time to take a holiday and enjoy what's on offer, as well as beginning new ventures you have planned for the year, especially during Askhaya Tritiya on May 6/7.
Once Venus moves into Aries on May 10, it is more volatile, especially as it conjuncts Uranus on May 18. This further inflames situations as Mars enters a destructive lunar mansion at the same time, with the Sun and Mercury in Aries adding more heat and intensity.
Venus is our saviour this year, as Jupiter is busy retrograde in Scorpio and caught up in Mars' drama. Venus moves into its own sign, Taurus in June, helping us to appreciate the simply pleasures and the important place they have in a balanced life.
Sun in Aries and Taurus
The Sun is exalted for the first half of May, instilling more confidence, energy and vigour. The Sun then moves into Taurus on May 15, opposing Jupiter which continues to retrograde through Scorpio. This feels more optimistic, despite the volatility building around Mars, Saturn and the nodes.
The emphasis on the self and freedom to be oneself underpins proceedings in first part of May, while the Sun's entry into Taurus by mid-month tunes us into the needs we have to be around others, enjoying fond company and good food.
Mercury in Taurus
Mercury enters Taurus on May 18 and reaches the Sun' degree by May 21. This enhances a more practical approach to our lives. With all the changes happening for the latter part of the month, this grounds us in the very tangible things that make it easier to deal with adversity.
Mercury is opposed by a retrograde Jupiter, exact on May 31, and we are thankful for some sanity within the challenge of other transits, especially the nodes lining up with Saturn and Mars.
Make sure to keep the balance by the end of the Moon, a balance between work and play, challenge and ease.
Full Moon in Scorpio May 18
The Moon is at its degree of debilitation for the full Moon, moving through Viśākhā for the full Moon phase, entering Anurādhā when it is completely full at 22.11 GMT/UT+1 on May 18.
While the previous lunar sign, Viśākhā and the sign Libra is aspected by Venus, the full Moon in Scorpio is more challenging emotionally. Thankfully, Jupiter is also in Scorpio, adding some reassurance. Interestingly, I've noted that while the Moon's transit in Scorpio is usually a period of vulnerability and fear, the presence of Jupiter for the past few months has helped with the issues. On the downside, the Moon's usual brighter and optimistic nature is somewhat curtailed once it enters Sagittarius, because of the line up of malefic planets placed therein which are adding more stress to our lives.
When all is considered, there is more balance possible for the mind, while the things we once trusted are challenged, and the things that usually challenge offer a great solace.
Mercury enters Aries May 3
New Moon in Aries May 4
Mars enters Gemini May 7
Mercury conjunct Uranus May 8
Venus enters Aries May 10
Sun enters Taurus May 14
Mercury enters Taurus May 18
Venus conjunct Uranus May 18
Full Moon in Scorpio May 18
Mercury conjunct Sun May 21
Mercury opposite Jupiter May 31
All calculations are based on the sidereal zodiac and UTC.