May Stargazer

Living Now - - Contents - by Stella Woods

The in­con­gru­ous quin­cunx

May is a month of heinous hy­brids… of awk­ward­ness, dis­tor­tion and mis­match. So bet­ter brace your­self to roll with the punches and keep that sense of hu­mour! With com­mu­ni­ca­tion planet Mer­cury ret­ro­grade un­til 22nd May and ac­tion planet Mars ret­ro­grade through­out the month, progress is un­likely to be smooth.

Now what ex­actly is a quin­cunx you may ask? As­trologers are ob­sessed by the an­gles be­tween plan­ets in the skie — plan­ets are op­po­site each other (180°), they clash; if they’re con­junct (next to each other) they work to­gether; if they’re trine (120°) their en­er­gies blend in a de­light­ful way, but if they are quin­cunx (150°) they ir­ri­tate the hell out of each other. With a quin­cunx, the wants and needs of the two zo­diac signs in­volved have no easy affin­ity or res­o­nance. We’re talk­ing about try­ing to rec­on­cile the ir­rec­on­cil­able where a cre­ative leap or lat­eral ap­proach is re­quired to blend two com­pletely dif­fer­ent sets of needs and traits.

When we look at the as­tro­log­i­cal en­er­gies for May, there are quin­cunxes be­tween plan­ets, vir­tu­ally ev­ery day of the month. Here are the main play­ers: • Ret­ro­grade Mars and ret­ro­grade

Saturn in fire sign Sagittarius • Sun, Venus, ret­ro­grade Mer­cury and

new moon in earth sign Taurus

• Uranus in fire sign Aries

• North node and Jupiter in earth sign Virgo

Take the Sagittarius-taurus com­bi­na­tion for in­stance. Sagittarius is a wil­ful mu­ta­ble fire sign in­ter­ested in ad­ven­ture, ex­cite­ment, learn­ing, travel, phi­los­o­phy and free­dom. Taurus is a prac­ti­cal fixed earth sign in­ter­ested in plea­sure, ma­te­rial growth, sta­bil­ity, peace and slow, steady progress. The only thing these two zo­diac signs have in com­mon is a love of na­ture and en­joy­ment of the phys­i­cal senses. Sagittarius tends to find Taurus bor­ing, unimag­i­na­tive and slow, while Taurus sees Sagittarius as un­re­li­able, un­prac­ti­cal and prone to ex­ag­ger­a­tion. Nor­mally they would try to avoid each other, but through­out May a se­ries of quin­cunxes (150° an­gles) be­tween plan­ets in Sagittarius and Taurus will force them to work to­gether. Taurus def­i­nitely has the up­per hand with the sun, rul­ing planet Venus, ret­ro­grade Mer­cury and the new moon all in Taurus in the first three weeks of May. The push will be to work hard, get things done and have some­thing to show for all that ef­fort. Mean­while Mars in Sagittarius will be push­ing equally hard to break free, do some­thing ad­ven­tur­ous and avoid rou­tine at all costs. How­ever be­cause Mars is ret­ro­grade (mov­ing back­wards) and close to re­stric­tive Saturn and there­fore hand­i­capped, he’s un­likely to be suc­cess­ful, but like a guer­rilla fighter or ac­tivist, he’ll strike the oc­ca­sional fa­tal blow against the sen­si­ble and prac­ti­cal plans of Taurus.

It’s a sim­i­lar story with Uranus in Aries (fire) quin­cunx the north node and Jupiter in Virgo (earth). Aries, like Sagittarius, wants free­dom, new growth and ex­cite­ment, while Virgo, like Taurus, is risk-averse and likes to keep things run­ning smoothly and pre­dictably.

What this means in real terms is that what­ever you have planned for May is likely to en­counter some obstacles. The part of you that wants to achieve some­thing con­crete will be chal­lenged by the part of you that wants more ex­cite­ment and free­dom in your life. The best ad­vice is to pro­ceed firmly with a clear plan of where you want to go, but be pre­pared for un­ex­pected set­backs. These obstacles may come from within, whereby you sud­denly lose in­ter­est in a project that had pre­vi­ously seemed very im­por­tant; or al­ter­na­tively, you may find peo­ple around you chop­ping and chang­ing their plans, forc­ing you to change yours. Another pos­si­ble sce­nario is that you know you should be work­ing hard ( Taurus/ Virgo), but you want to cut loose and ig­nore your re­spon­si­bil­i­ties (Sagittarius/aries). Try to main­tain a sense of per­spec­tive and avoid get­ting an­gry or ir­ri­tated when things don’t turn out as you had hoped. Look af­ter

your health and don’t push for­ward too quickly. This is a month of ad­just­ment and re-ad­just­ment and, who knows, by the end of it, you may find your­self on a com­pletely new path. On a global level we can see this ‘rec­on­cil­ing the ir­rec­on­cil­able’ play­ing out in Europe with the clash of ideals be­tween pro­mot­ing racial equal­ity and wel­com­ing refugees (the ideals of Sagittarius) vs the prac­ti­cal con­sid­er­a­tions of feed­ing and hous­ing thou­sands of dis­placed peo­ple from a dif­fer­ent cul­tural back­ground ( Taurus). Den­mark, for years touted as a model of democ­racy with free health care and ed­u­ca­tion for all, is prose­cut­ing over 300 Dan­ish cit­i­zens who ‘smug­gled’ Syr­ian refugees over the bor­der into Swe­den sim­ply by of­fer­ing them a lift in their car.

Mer­cury ret­ro­grade

With Mer­cury ret­ro­grade in Taurus for the first three weeks of May (un­til the 22nd) we will be re-ex­am­in­ing all as­pects of our phys­i­cal lives and mak­ing any nec­es­sary changes. Are we happy with our health and the food we eat? What about our phys­i­cal ap­pear­ance, cloth­ing and pos­ses­sions? Do we feel fi­nan­cially se­cure and does our outer life re­flect our in­ner val­ues? 10th May marks the mid­point of the Mer­cury ret­ro­grade cy­cle, where there is of­ten an ‘aha’ mo­ment as mes­sages from the un­con­scious are un­der­stood by the con­scious mind. As al­ways with Mer­cury ret­ro­grade, pay par­tic­u­lar at­ten­tion when driv­ing, trav­el­ling, sign­ing con­tracts, ne­go­ti­at­ing agree­ments and in all types of per­sonal and busi­ness com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Mer­cury will be form­ing a quin­cunx with Saturn from 16th to 29th May, mean­ing that any at­tempt to put your life in or­der will re­quire metic­u­lous plan­ning and hard work. The sheer scope of your goals may re­quire more ef­fort than you think. So break large tasks into seg­ments and work on them one at a time.

May new moon

The May new moon falls on the 7th in fer­tile earth sign Taurus con­junct Mer­cury and Venus, form­ing an earth grand trine (equi­lat­eral tri­an­gle) with trans­for­ma­tional Pluto in Capricorn and gen­er­ous Jupiter and the karmic north node in Virgo. This prom­ises to be an es­pe­cially abun­dant and blessed new moon. So make sure you plant dreams and in­ten­tions in early May and share your bless­ings and good for­tune with others. The Sabian Sym­bol for the new moon (16-17° Taurus) shows a bat­tle be­tween torches and swords, sym­bol­is­ing the fight be­tween good and evil. With ret­ro­grade Saturn in Sagittarius quin­cunx the new moon, we could be forced to ex­am­ine our own ideals and be­liefs around abun­dance, money, prop­erty, food and the cur­rent lo­cal and global sit­u­a­tion be­tween the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’.

Mars ret­ro­grade

Mars has been trav­el­ling back­wards through Sagittarius since 17th April and will con­tinue to do so un­til the end of June, dip­ping back into Scorpio from 27th May on­wards. As dis­cussed in last month’s col­umn, the sym­bolic pur­pose of the Mars ret­ro­grade cy­cle is to show where our ac­tions and goals (Mars) are out of align­ment with our true na­ture and pur­pose (sun). Once we un­der­stand this, we can take steps to bal­ance these op­pos­ing forces and live a life of in­tegrity. The best way to deal with the Mars ret­ro­grade tran­sit is to think about any area of your life where you are do­ing things out of duty, habit or lack of will or en­ergy to change and then take ac­tion to im­prove things. May and June are ideal months to tie up loose ends and com­plete un­fin­ished busi­ness.

On 22nd May, Mars at 1-2° Sagittarius stands in ex­act op­po­si­tion to the sun at

1-2° Gemini, mark­ing the mid­point of the Mars ret­ro­grade cy­cle and the time when any griev­ances, anger or lack of in­tegrity will be forced out into the open. The 22nd is a par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant date, be­ing the day Mer­cury sta­tions ret­ro­grade and starts mov­ing for­ward again and also the day of the May full moon.

May full moon

A power-packed full moon in Sagittarius on 22nd May con­juncts ret­ro­grade Mars and op­poses the sun in early Gemini and Venus in late Taurus. The op­po­si­tion be­tween Venus and Mars per­fects on the 25th. With the Sun and Moon op­pos­ing each other and Venus and Mars op­pos­ing each other over a two - three day pe­riod, this full moon will high­light any im­bal­ances in per­sonal relationships, but also of­fer the op­por­tu­nity to strike a bal­ance be­tween yin and yang; mas­cu­line and fem­i­nine. The Sabian sym­bol for 1-2° Sagittarius shows Santa fill­ing Christ­mas stockings for chil­dren, sym­bol­is­ing the im­por­tance of pure­ness of heart, in­no­cence and faith. Given that May is a month of in­tro­spec­tion, this full moon of­fers the gift of trust to those who feel caught up in the hurly-burly of the phys­i­cal world.

May moon cal­en­dar

Launch projects at the new moon, bring them to com­ple­tion in the pe­riod from just be­fore the full mmoon to the third quar­ter phase and wind them down and re­flect on de­vel­op­ments in the week be­fore the next new moon. Im­por­tant events such as par­ties, con­fer­ences and weddings are best held close to the full moon or when the moon is in the same sign as your sun (or star) sign.

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