May is a 'sweet spot' in the year. The Sun, Moon and Venus are all exalted. Jupiter and Saturn are in their own signs. It's a great time to begin something new.
Sun conjoins Uranus by May 5, before conjoining Rahu by May 13. Both Uranus and Rahu are like live wires that could trigger something explosive in Aries. We can channel the erratic energy for productive purposes, using the clearing that is possible in inspired ways.
Mercury stations retrograde in Taurus on May 10, bringing a need to reassess and revisit issues in relation to resources and personal relationships, as well as global supply chains and diplomacy. Sun enters Taurus on May 14, joining Mercury retrograde to bring further attention to the review. The Sun moves to the other side of the nodal axis after 6 months of much change and uncertainty.
While there are many issues between wanting our personal freedoms and having to live in a society being remoulded around excursions, there is much more to enjoy in May. Venus makes it to its exaltation degree by May 21, a sweet spot in the month and year.
We need all the sweetness of an exalted Venus after a total lunar eclipse in Scorpio on May 16, with the Moon in debilitation and totally eclipsed. This can show a mind lost in catastrophizing. Yet there are likely many revelations we had not even imagined. Mars moves into Pisces by May 17, joining Neptune and Jupiter. This could lead to even more extreme weather and flood damage, or simply a sense of having to drift for a while.
Venus enters Aries by May 23, transiting the last and first degrees of the zodiac, bringing endings and new beginnings. Mars joins Jupiter by exact degree on May 29 reflecting the possibility of more fortunate actions - a lucky break.
Venus exalted Apr 27 - May 23
Venus in Pisces, conjoined Jupiter and Neptune is a little dreamy. This can be very enjoyable, but it could also be completely and utterly confusing. I don't know about you, but I'd rather be confused about something this good!
On its own, Venus in Pisces is a time to 'stop and smell the roses', to appreciate the finer things in life, the simple pleasures. Arts, social life and love are all ways we can find expression for this.
Yet its conjunction with Jupiter and Neptune shows a need for something more. Jupiter shows a need for something more meaningful, and connected, while Neptune shows an ideal, maybe even a fantasy. At the very least, it can show an ideal situation that may never become a reality.
So, here's where a question might be appropriate to ask: Do our fantasies fulfill a purpose? Do they give us something we need in our imagination, beyond actualising something? I think so! However, if we tune out of reality completely, and live in a fantasy world, we know where that leads!
There are many good things about a Venus-Jupiter-Neptune conjunction in Pisces we can enjoy. Yet there is always the potential for conflict; between what we wish to do in the moment, and what we know we should probably do for all concerned. As I write this, I'm spending the weekend at a writer's weekend, listening to some amazing writers about their work. Yet some of the talks have me drifting off in reverie. I feel a bit space out. It's a New Moon and eclipse, of course, so there's that.
Thinking about what is real and what is not, as well as the benefits of fiction, is probably as good as any way to spend the time. Be mindful of your interactions thought and see if you can assuage one of the pitfalls of this configuration; that is, being so 'out there' on something, either a substance or ideal, that you disconnect from reality, and others, in the process.
The flipside of this (there is always a flipside to Pisces) is feeling more connected to others, and being at one with the universe. It's just that sometimes it's easier to feel at one with everyone and everything when you're all on the same page (pardon the pun).
In Pisces, there are many pages, many ways of seeing the truth, from the glitter of the sand on a sun-soaked beach to the glitter from a glass of an alcoholic drink, there are many ways to see, and many more ways to look away.
Whatever you are seeing, however you are feeling, we are all the One enjoying the many manifestations of Being.
Akshaya Tritiya May 3
The 'undiminished third lunar day' is when both the luminaries, Sun and Moon, are exalted. When there is light, there is life and clarity. When the Sun and Moon are exalted, there is an auspicious present that we can all make the most of.
Traditionally, Indians buy gold and perform auspicious acts on this day. If you buy something expensive, the value of the item will not diminish. If you begin something, it will last.
This year, we have the added bonus of an exalted Venus, with Jupiter and Saturn in their own signs. Saturn is particularly strong in its 'root strength' in Aquarius, although it is hanging out at the first degree until the end of the month. It hasn't fully settled in as yet.
And there's more strengths up ahead. By the end of June, all planets are in their own signs: Mercury in Gemini, Venus in Taurus, Mars in Aries, Jupiter in Pisces and Saturn in Aquarius.
Although exalted might sound like the best situation, and it is many times, sometimes, exalted planets have their own issues. Their exaltation can be diminished by other factors. Exaltation itself may show an ideal that life simply cannot match. An exalted planet may show the bar being set so high that there may be disappointment when it doesn't work out that way. I've seen this many times in readings, where a client expresses how much disappointment they feel with regards the area of life the planet represents.
Yet if we had the choice, I'm sure we would all choose exalted planets over debilitated ones. Although both can be altered due to other indications, having planets at their peak expression makes it easier to express their highest ideals. As long as we can bring these down to earth, we can enjoy the many benefits.
There is no such issue with planets in their own signs. This is where they preform well. The best situation is when a planet is in mulatrikona or 'root strength'.
The following are the planets root strength positions:
Sun in Leo 0-20°
Moon in Taurus 3-30°
Mars in Aries 0-12°
Mercury in Virgo 15-20°
Jupiter in Sagittarius 0-10°
Venus in Libra 0-15°
Saturn in Aquarius 0-20°
If you have any of these positions, you are likely to express the planet easily. The planet is seen to work well, generally. Of course, you must factor in things such as retrogrades and aspects that may hamper their effectiveness, but it should generally work well for you.
Saturn is in its root strength position until Jul 13. Mars will move into its root strength from Jun 27 to Jul 15. This shows the 'cruel' planets are more able express themselves in an effective manner.
This bodes well for any new beginnings in May, as we put our exalted thoughts to work.
What will you begin on May 3?
Mercury Retrograde May 10 - Jun 3
It's that time of the year again, folks. It's time to step out of time, for a time. Whatever you have begun on May 3, there is a need to review some of the details from May 10.
Mercury stations retrograde at 10 degrees of Taurus and will backtrack to the first degree of the sign. It entered this zone in the last week of April, so whatever you have been planning during this period is likely to be reviewed in a big way in May.
Mercury retrogrades are at least a little annoying; when things don't run smoothly in our day-to-day lives. But it's just a temporary setback and not usually something to get in a twist about. The problems begin when there are already other, bigger issues to deal with. Throwing a Mercury retrograde into the mix can exacerbate the issues.
Add Mars' aspect to Mercury in Taurus and we're probably more than a little annoyed this time around. If we can keep a sense of humour, we can mitigate much of the upset, but we must be mindful of others' reactions to things not working out as planned.
Each Mercury retrograde has its own challenges apart from the usual communication and tech issues. Mars' aspect can add more tech problems. In Taurus, these can be related to finances as well, including the markets. Cyber attacks may increase. Security may need to be tightened further.
At least Mercury has moved to the other side of the lunar nodes, breaking the uncertainty of the 'serpent of time', the Kalsarpa yoga. Yet some astrologers opine that Rahu aspects the 12th house from itself, as if leaving its shadow behind in Taurus. This means, we are not done with the shadows in Taurus as yet. Add Mercury retrograde into the mix and it brings more complications.
Venus is strong in Pisces as Mercury stations, so that's a plus point for this particular retrograde. It shows an underlying ideal situation, whether or not it is born out in practical terms initially (it's probably not).
Venus moves into Aries by the time Mercury stations direct in June. At that point, Saturn squares Mercury as they both move to the first degrees of Taurus and Aquarius. This can be tense and pressured, less excitable and 'nervy' than the Mars-Rahu combined influence on Mercury in May. And because Saturn itself has stationed retrograde, as Mercury stations direct, they stay in this tense alignment for longer.
Whatever new twists and turns develop in May, there is a sense of pressure build ups in June. This may mean more mental tension, combined with anticipation, leading to a sense that time is running out on some key issues related to finances and diplomacy, supply chains and famines.
As always, look to the signs involved in the retrograde in your own chart., including Gemini and Virgo in your deliberations. Add these issues to Taurus to see where you experience the review.
And do just that: review, redo, rework, reflect and remember what is important to you in these areas of your life.
Sun in Taurus May 14 - Jun 13
The Sun leaves its sign of exaltation, leaving the initiatory sign Aries behind in favour of the good life in Taurus. What is a good life? Well, it's many things to many people, but it all starts with the basics. It all starts with Taurus. Taurus represents food, family and finances, the things in life that give us a sense of stability and safety. Without them, life is hard. And yet with them, we create other things to worry about.
If you don't have the basics, you cannot even think about anything else. If you are not supported, you will find yourself wanting. We may find ourselves wanting when we have more than enough, probably because our nature is the strive for something. If having any more money above a base level does not increase happiness levels, then having more than enough can actually create more problems. We search for things we cannot always get. No one believes this, of course, especially those who are without. Yet all you have to do is look at those with lots to see this is indeed the case.
The Sun in Taurus is like a walk in a park, looking around and realizing everyone is of the earth, whether they are homeless or billionaires. Each person is held on the earth. The Sun in Taurus gives us this sense more than anything. We feel all connected to the earth, which connects us to each other, to the abundance Mother Earth grants us.
Next time you are with a gathering of people, acknowledge the simple pleasures that allow you to connect. When our bellies are full and we're supported by others, life feels kind. It becomes easier to think about helping those who are left wanting. And indeed, this is what this year's Taurus Sun is asking us to look at.
The Sun in Taurus, with Mercury retrograde and Rahu's aspect shows there are complex issues that need to be dealt with now around famines and resources around the world. While there are many problems the world is facing, it doesn't mean we cannot appreciate and give thanks for what we've been given.
We can give thanks for our patch, whatever resources we have. And we can commune with each other.
We're all in this together.
Mars in Pisces May 17 - Jun 26
Mars leaves a tricky exchange with Rahu and into Pisces, where we sense anything can happen. And while thinking anything can happen can be nice, knowing what is possible is necessary if we prefer not to delude ourselves.
This is because Mars is meeting with Neptune as it enters the sign. Mars-Neptune combinations are confusing. Mars likes to keep things very logical. It's the part of us that likes to make things happen. Yet Neptune is diffuse. It's like writing down your plans on sand, only for the tide to take it away as soon as its written.
Mars in Pisces joins Jupiter, the sign's ruler. This is a better indication. It can lead to lucky breaks, fortunate actions that bear positive fruits. But in Pisces, it's almost as if you have to let it go as soon as you do something, if anything is to be positive. By trying to pin anything down right now, you are likely to have problems.
Mars in Pisces is a better time for meandering about, not necessarily for pin-pointed focus. And because Saturn no longer aspects or conjoins Mars, we may feel so much possibility that we end up all over the place. Your attention may drift for a while. And here's where the more positive expression of Pisces comes in; the more you can left things drift, the more likely you are going to see things possible you hadn't planned for. The more open-minded you can be, the more potential for positive outcomes.
Allow something to come to you. As soon as you do it, let it go. And expect good things to come back to you. Yes, expect the unexpected, and expect to be a little confused for a time, but keep an open mind and you may be surprised where life takes you.
Full Moon in Scorpio (Viśākhā) - Total Lunar Eclipse May 16
Okay, I'm probably going to use the word 'intense' in this forecast! A Full Moon, totally eclipsed, in Scorpio, moving to its degree of debilitation is, well, intense.
Yet it can be intensely good - if it's good. But when it's bad, it's really bad. The challenge here is to not lose perspective. We may end up trying to prepare the mind for the worst and end up catastrophizing. It's probably not as bad as you imagine. It's never as bad as you imagine. You'll probably feel better in a couple of days, so is it worth losing your mind over? Is it worth losing everything based on how you are feeling now? Probably not.
It's probably better to wait for this tide to recede, for the emotional intensity to lessen, before making your move. Eclipses are not ideal for starting something new, anyway, and a total lunar eclipse is a culmination point of what has already begun during the previous New Moon and eclipse in Aries.
Look to Jupiter sitting five signs away for guidance on what is the right thing to do - if you must do something. Look to the Sun in Taurus for more guidance, also. But don't expect all the details to be worked out as yet, with Mercury retrograde.
Take some time to be still and observe the mind. Better still, find the stillness at your heart. There is nothing to do here, just observe. Place your hand on your heart and dive deep, beyond the stormy seas and deeper undercurrents, where there is a stillness at your core.
Feel it. Sense it. Be it. Then, transcend it.
For timings and visuals on this eclipse, click here:
Venus in Aries May 23 - Jun 18
Venus moves from its exaltation degree in Pisces and across the sensitive juncture between Pisces and Aries, the juncture known as gandanta. This is a Sanskrit word to mean 'knot ending'. Something must come undone. Like the Duran Duran song asked, 'Who do you love when you come undone?', this transition asks us to let go a little more, to get what we want.
Financial and relationship matters may unravel for a time. But they need to. We need to start again. This new beginning always starts with Aries, the natural first sign of the zodiac. And while the receptive Venus is less likely to attract what it needs in Aries, as opposed to bulldoze it's way forward, we can channel the energy to find more balance.
The balance of Venus is Aries, as it is for every sign, is the opposite sign. All signs are polarized in a way. We just need to reach for more of its opposite to find more balance. Yet reaching for the opposite is not going to the other extreme. That would just polarize us on the other side and what is meant by an overcompensation.
When planets are debilitated or exalted, or the nodes are involved, the polarization can seem more extreme. Yet any planet, in any sign, is polarized.
This means, Venus in Aries is about thinking about our own needs for a while. And while we can reach for more compromise in doings so, it doesn't mean we have to overdo that impulse either. If we do, we may end up resentful of giving something up, when really, we wanted something for ourselves.
If we don't go for what we want, we have nothing to give. And yet, if we over it and only think about ourselves, we have no one to share what we have with. This is the problem with Venus in Mars' signs or being influenced by Mars in any way. Getting what you want is one thing - keeping someone around who has their own needs is another.
New Moon in Taurus (Rohiṇī) May 30
The Moon enters its favourite lunar mansion for this New Moon. Yet as myth tells us about keeping favorites, there is a price to pay. By overdoing anything, we end up without. The compromise that was given to the Moon for favoring Rohiṇī was the Moon would have to wax and wane. The Moon would have to increase and decrease in size. The mind and emotions must rise and fall through various states of being.
Nothing, no matter how enjoyable, can last. Whatever enjoyment you wish for, you must give your attention to other things you may not wish to. In doing so, you can come back to your favourite things and enjoy it more. The more you try to hand on something, teh less enjoyable it becomes. Leaving it for a time, it becomes all the sweeter when you come back to it. Like two lovers parting ways for a time, the heart grows fonder. If you overindulge anyone or anything, the enjoyment wears thin.
This New Moon comes at an important time, in relation to the Mercury retrograde that finishes on Jun 3. It's a mental and emotional reset in the sign Taurus.
Generally, I imagine a reset around resources and the economy, and in our intentions around what is important to us individually.
After the past few weeks of reviewing what makes us feel safe and secure, we can begin to move forward with more practical plans.
As always, I wish you all the very best for the month ahead.
Om Tat Sat
All calculations are based on the sidereal zodiac and UTC.