Low-Down Archives for May 2011

New Moon & Full Moon Astrology, Planetary Transits

Mascot of The Low-Down on the Far-Lout

 May 2011

For the New Moon in Taurus:
May 3 to 17, 2011

And the Full Moon in Scorpio:
May 17 to June 1, 2011

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May.03 – NEW MOON in TAURUS (12:30 of Aries)

NEW MOON in TAURUS

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

May.03, 2010, 2:50 AM EDT

London, UK:

May.03, 2010, 7:50 AM BST

Sydney, AU:

May.03, 2010, 4:50 PM AEST

"What's a New Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

Read more about how you experience TAURUS energy in your life.

Man pushing a train

Picture this: there's a man pushing a train. He's muscular; built like a bull. There's no doubt you wouldn't want to get on his wrong side in a dark alley. He looks invincible, but that huge train... He's all alone, not much to help him out. Is he trying to stop the train? Is he trying to move it forward? Could be either. Whichever it is, it's a mighty struggle.

This Taurus New Moon is kind of like that. With a Stellium of 5 planets in Aries next door, that's a lot of energy pushing from behind. Slow, stable Taurus doesn't move that fast and, being an Earth sign, aims to slow down that runaway Aries locomotive. That's a tall order, though. That army in Aries includes Mars, still closely conjunct Jupiter, Mercury, Uranus and even Taurus' own ruling planet, Venus. And that train has been rolling since around mid-March, so it has a long time to build up some heat.

The New Moon gets little help from Saturn, to which it has its closest aspect: a confusing quincunx (150°). There is a semi-sextile (30°) to Venus, but this may be more irritating and annoying than helpful. The best aspect to the New Moon is a trine (120°) from Pluto in Capricorn, which is definitely this Moon's best ally. But again, Pluto is not the easiest or friendliest energy to work with either. Pluto says, "If you're prepared to work hard to achieve deep change, without looking back, then I'll help you. But if you hesitate, resist, dawdle or get sidetracked in scrumptious pleasures, you'll find yourself neck deep in bull cookies."

So what's really happening here? What is the work on Taurus' agenda? More to the point, what is on your agenda that is being pushed and pulled between a rock and a hard place?

On one hand, you might be trying to move ahead with something but you're being scattered, distractible and impatient. The Taurus New Moon can slow you down and coax you into being more methodical and focused. Slowing down might feel like you're losing precious momentum, but you'll probably find it gives you time to sort out your priorities. Putting one foot at a time in front of the other will help you stop tripping over your shoelaces.

Another possibility is that you've been speeding out of control, straining to do everything at once and trying to outrun some tidal wave that threatens to crash over you. That speed and haste might be necessary, but unless you pace yourself you risk burning yourself out. The Taurus New Moon is here to show you how to balance your hectic schedule between getting things done and taking some time to recharge your batteries. Don't dismiss this as mere self-indulgence or laziness—it's not. It's practical and necessary in order to extend your endurance so that you can continue to outrun that tidal wave.

The New Moon in Taurus might also bring a new project into your life that is formed out of ideas, inspiration, passion and impulses that have accumulated over the last few months from all those Aries planets. In this case, it is the Aries energy that is trying to light a fire under a sluggish Taurus beginning to get it moving. Taurus is a Fixed sign, which means that getting it up to speed can be an arduous process requiring a lot of energy. Once it's up and running Taurus knows how to sustain its course and pace, but until then it's like trying to ride a bicycle uphill. So all that Aries energy can be used to stoke the fire and start those locomotive wheels turning. This requires patience, persistence and consistent effort—all of which Taurus is naturally good at.

The most difficult scenario could be that something in your life is compelling you to change in a way that scares or overwhelms you, and so you have resisted it so far. Taurus would seem to provide the perfect excuse to slam on the brakes and make it stop, giving you a "get out of jail free" card. In this case, Taurus' tendency to enjoy life first and do the work later might simply be creating more of what you're trying to get away from. Be careful you're not using that Taurus energy to try and stop something that needs to move forward in your life, or to resist something that is necessary or inevitable. There's a difference between something that is a threat to your well-being versus something that you feel threatened by. That Aries push might be trying to get you moving, not trying to overrun you. Your job for this lunar cycle may be to take a closer look at what you're dealing with and decide which is which. If you're in this situation you might need some extra support to keep you motivated and moving.

Whatever your situation, I'm available for private readings to help you find your best direction and pace, and a good balance between your courage and your comfort zone.

The Taurus lunar cycle is an extremely lively one! You might sometimes feel like you're juggling a bizarre combination of ping-pong balls, paper airplanes and chain saws—in other words, there's a lot to keep you busy and it is important to stay focused and pay attention to the changing circumstances. We have an ongoing Rolling Conjunction through Aries and Taurus, as well as the return of the Cardinal Cross for a few months. Mercury and Venus make two conjunctions within less than a week of each other, and Saturn continues to act as the anchor that keeps it all from spiralling out of control.

This is a great time to learn more astrology, with so much happening. I have new classes being scheduled this month, including a 3-week class starting Wednesday, May 3rd: Element and Modality Magic. This is being offered at two different times on Wednesdays, so that you can join in no matter where you are on planet Earth. Register now for this course! And sign up for my new Classes Newsletter to stay informed of upcoming classes and events.

May.09-Aug.06 – Cardinal T-Square (Saturn, Uranus, Pluto)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect)

Cardinal Cross in 2011

Yes, I'm sorry to break the news to you, but we have the Cardinal Cross coming back again this year. The good news is that it isn't nearly as close as it was last year (just over 6° at its closest). Nevertheless, its energy will be haunting us for the next few months. Yes, I know; I heard that groan. Please don't shoot the messenger. ;-)

How is this likely to affect us? For one thing, many of the themes and issues that arose last year during the Cardinal Cross may come back. One glaring example on a collective level is the G8/G20 Summit that took place here in Toronto Canada at the Lunar Eclipse that completed a tight Grand Cross on June 26, 2010. The actions and choices by police and various levels of government concerning that weekend continue to be highly controversial, at best, and deeply disturbing to many Canadians. Persistent calls for a public inquiry into the events of that weekend have been stubbornly blocked by all levels of government. It's very possible that this issue will become inflamed again during this return of the Cardinal Cross. The results of the May 2, 2011 Canadian federal election is likely to greatly effect how this issue re-emerges and what action is taken to address the concerns.

On a more personal level, you may find unresolved issues from last year come back to be dealt with and loose ends tied up. If you fell short of some goals last year, especially involving change that you either resisted or struggled to put into place, this year gives you a second chance to do it again or do it differently. You have now had about 7 months (since the Cardinal Cross went out of orb last year) to process what happened, and become older and wiser about the situation.

Would you do it differently this time? Would you do it the same but perhaps more-so or more focused or with less hesitation? Do you see how you might have been resisting something that might actually be beneficial or necessary to you? Or perhaps you now recognize that you were straining to do something that was never going to bring you what you wanted, and you can now let it go. You might have struggled in an uphill battle to achieve something, and now you are stronger and can tackle it with more wisdom and ability.

At its worst, you might find yourself stuck in the same rut with little more understanding of how to get out of it than last year. Be careful not to overreact from your fear of falling into the same old pattern, since that itself could keep you stuck. A fresh perspective can do wonders to help you avoid that kind of situation, so don't hesitate to ask for help if you need it. I'm available for private readings help you keep moving in the best direction.

It is most likely to affect you personally if you have natal planets between 3-11° of the Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn). While the T-square is in orb, Uranus is at 3-4° of Aries, Pluto is at 5-6° of Capricorn, and Saturn is between 10-12° of Libra. The T-square is closest on Jun.13 when Saturn stations direct at 10°.

Faster-moving planets also complete the T-square as they pass through Cancer, turning it into a Grand Cross at various times:

Moon:  June 3
Mercury:  June 18-22
Sun:  June 25 to July 4
Solar Eclipse in Cancer:  July 1
Venus:  July 7-13
Moon:  July 28

May.09 – Mercury conjunct Venus (22:23 of Aries)  (May.10 in AU)

Social connections, diplomatic communication and receptive awareness mark this transit. It can be a great time to negotiate contracts or agreements because the communication can usually flow easily. Focus your awareness on achieving a mutual balance between you and the other person. A win-win solution is especially easy to achieve now – so much so, in fact, that it might be tempting to only say what you think the other person wants to hear (which may or may not be wise). This can also be a time of appreciating and expressing beauty, pleasure and sensuality. If there's someone you want to get closer to (in terms of romance, friendship, business, partnership, or even an adversary!), talking gently and listening receptively can be the key that unlocks the door. You may also get new creative ideas from your interactions with people or from observing them.

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This is the first of two conjunctions of Mercury and Venus, the second being May.16. Each of these conjunctions distinguishes itself in several ways. During this first pass, Venus is faster and overtakes Mercury. This conjunction is also in Aries, where Venus is in Detriment (contrary to her true nature and therefore at a disadvantage). As a result, Venus' usual welcoming, harmonious nature is running a little hot; more aggressive and directive than usual. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, in terms of your personal experience, since this Mercury-Venus combination could stimulate a more active social life and a more dynamic ability to reach out and connect with others. It can generate strong powers of persuasion and influence. On the other hand, you might also come across as pushy, manipulative or self-absorbed, so this energy should be used wisely.

May.11 – Mercury leaves the Retrograde Shadow (24:21 of Aries, until Jul.15)  ("What's the Shadow?"  Read my articles about Retrograde Cycles.  Read my article about Mercury Retrograde.)

Mercury finally leaves the shadow—the part of the zodiac where it was retrograde. This means the confusion, delays and miscommunications of the last 2 months have mostly dissipated and things should be more or less back to normal (whatever that is). The difference is that you now have the benefit of seeing things from a different perspective after having reconsidered, rethought and rehashed information and perceptions over the past 2 months. This gives you more choices than you had before. In fact, you may find that although you thought something was a good idea a month or two ago, you now realize that a different approach, decision or way of understanding it is better. If you've been waiting until Mercury finished with the retrograde cycle before you made a final decision about something or taking action on something, this is the time to take another look at whatever that is. Just don't forget your common sense, and remember that Mercury is only one factor to take into consideration regarding the timing of a decision. Use your best judgment and wisdom.

May.11 – Mars enters Taurus (until Jun.20)

Making steady progress with your goals and stabilising your energy are among the effects of this transit. In general, this is a good time to move forward with your ambitions, especially doing the "grunt work" of routine, methodical work – putting one foot in front of the other, as it were, and making slow steady progress in your projects. It's a great time to "make hay while the Sun shines" but don't stay out so long you get sunburned. In other words, be careful not to get so locked into one direction or focus that you become stubborn, rigid, counterproductive, overcautious, or burn out from workaholism. It's common for physical energy to sag and slow down somewhat, although it will usually make up for it in endurance. Mars wants to be fast and impulsive; Taurus wants to go slow and steady. The trick is to pace yourself: do a little every day and don't beat yourself up if you can't do it all at once.

May.11 – Rolling Conjunction (Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, at 24° Aries)  ("What's a Rolling Conjunction?")

This is part of a very long term Rolling Conjunction that unfolds from the last Full Moon on Apr.17 (with the Stellium in Aries) until about Jun.01. This segment begins at the New Moon in Taurus on May.03. Mercury, Venus and Jupiter culminate in an exact multiple conjunction on May.11, all at 24° of Aries, and continue together until about May.19 when Mercury and Venus catch up to Mars (more on this in the next update).

As already discussed for the Mercury-Venus conjunction (see May.09), there is a strong energy of persuasion and social interaction, as well as the possibility of manipulation or self-absorption. With Jupiter in the mix, the best potential can be seen in areas like public speaking, teaching and mentoring, or philosophical debate and discussion. You could be filled with a magnanimous and generous nature, and may enjoy a swell of self-confidence and self-esteem. You may be inspired by compassion, caring and a desire to break new ground that could provide a foundation for these to thrive. You could also experience a heightened awareness and sensitivity toward cultures or religions other than your own.

On the other hand, that awareness and sensitivity could also take on a dogmatic attitude that challenges, or is even offended by, other cultures, religions and perspectives. Judgment and blame may lurk closely below the surface of your perceptions and communication. Even the best of intentions could become skewed from caring and generous into manipulation and meddling. And there's always a risk, with Jupiter and Venus, of overindulgence in the pleasures of life.

The best approach is to enjoy the amplified benefits, but also keep an eye out for too much of a good thing or the temptation to impose your own truth and perspective on others, even with good intentions.

May.11 – Venus conjunct Jupiter (24:46 of Aries)  (May.12 in AU)

Romance is in the air, harmony is reflected in everything around you, and love and beauty abound! This can be a time of sweet mercy, pleasure and peace, both personally and in relationships. It can also be a time when your ability to attract money, resources and rewards into your life are especially strong. You might consider indulging in a lottery ticket! Or maybe treating yourself to some creature comforts, like a massage or a double chocolate brownie or anything that gets the endorphins flowing! Unfortunately, this can also be a time when you are prone to over-indulge in pleasures or overestimate your resources. By all means enjoy this lovely feel-good energy, but it's also wise to keep your "addictions" in check. Don't entirely disregard your diet, your budget or your realism in relationships.

May.11 – Mercury conjunct Jupiter (24:49 of Aries)  (May.12 in AU)

This aspect can make you quite talkative and your mind flooded with ideas. Be careful you don't blurt out any secrets! Your stream of consciousness ideas can flow abundantly right now with optimism and visionary possibilities. Write down your best ideas for later development, since you may be having too much fun playing with ideas, to stop and make them manifest. Basic perceptions and simple communication can provide food for thought that feeds your greater understanding and philosophical insight. Your point of view expands to identify opportunities, possibilities and the broader implications of what is happening around you. You might get a flash of vision, insight and inspiration. You could be called upon to form an opinion, consider a different viewpoint, expand your knowledge, or make a judgement call. Your conscious awareness is open to spiritual experiences right now.

May.12 – Mars sextile Neptune (00:47 of Taurus/Pisces)

There is potential for inspired action now. You could achieve a softening or soothing of the blunt force of anger, frustration, confrontation and conflict, without this resulting in powerlessness or passivity. It may be easier to move forward with your plans and intentions based on the power of faith or ideals. It's important to not get lost in those ideals to the point where you lose sight of what's realistic, but this is a time when you may be more inclined to take a leap of faith and say "Oh what the heck!" Your emotional impact on others (or their impact on you) could be greater than is intended or expected, so use this expanded energy wisely.

May.15 – Venus enters Taurus (until Jun.09)  (May.16 in AU)

Venus rules the sign of Taurus, so she is very comfortable here! Your experiences of pleasure and sensuality are likely to be heightened...perhaps even a bit too much! You might be tempted to overindulge in sensory delights. On the other hand, you may feel the urge to be more grounded, practical and methodical in the way you handle relationships, money, possessions, material values, and attracting what you desire. It is also a time when your desires could manifest tangibly or at least become more apparent. It may be possible to see more clearly the ways that your self-worth is tied to material things, like income, savings, possessions and spending. Your finances and possessions could act like a "touch stone" to reassure you in times of stress. The trick is not to let this become a substitute for genuine self-respect. To make the most of this transit, take some time to relax and enjoy life! Take your time, smell the flowers, drink in the sunsets, listen to beautiful music, get an aromatherapy massage or explore new uses for chocolate. ;-)

May.15 – Mercury enters Taurus (until Jun.02)  (May.16 in UK, AU)

Thoughts, communication and analysis work best when they are careful and methodical, during this transit. Your mental attitude and awareness may be somewhat serious and conservative – or down-to-earth, relaxed, and grounded in simple pleasures. Your perceptions may be a little slower to form, and you may have to search a little longer to find the right words. But there is also an increased ability to savour and appreciate your experiences more, and it can be a time when you can relax and recharge your mental batteries. You might find that your body instincts and sensory experience give you more information than your conscious thoughts. This is a good time to plan out how to manifest the ideas that sprang from your imagination in the past several weeks. Take your best ideas, perceptions and words and sow them like seeds. Then watch them grow over time.

May.16 – Mercury conjunct Venus (00:34 of Taurus)

Social connections, diplomatic communication and receptive awareness mark this transit. It can be a great time to negotiate contracts or agreements because the communication can usually flow easily. Focus your awareness on achieving a mutual balance between you and the other person. A win-win solution is especially easy to achieve now – so much so, in fact, that it might be tempting to only say what you think the other person wants to hear (which may or may not be wise). This can also be a time of appreciating and expressing beauty, pleasure and sensuality. If there's someone you want to get closer to (in terms of romance, friendship, business, partnership, or even an adversary!), talking gently and listening receptively can be the key that unlocks the door. You may also get new creative ideas from your interactions with people or from observing them.

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This is the second of two passes of the Mercury-Venus conjunction (see also May.09). Mercury is now the faster of the two (as it should be) and overtakes Venus. This conjunction takes place in Taurus, where Venus is strong in her own sign. (She was in Detriment in Aries before.) Whereas Venus was previously the "louder" energy, perhaps running a bit too "hot" in Aries, she is now grounded, relaxed and realistic in Taurus and not competitively trying to outwit Mercury. Mercury's mental focus and communication may have previously been a bit quick to speak first and ask questions later; however he is now more cautious and considerate in Taurus.

Another difference is that Mercury and Venus, previously tightly conjunct larger-than-life Jupiter, have now pulled away and are catching up to Mars (May.19). So we still have the Mercury-Venus combination of social interaction, harmonious communication and fair-mindedness. This time, though, the context is shifting from aggressive persuasion about (what you see as) higher truth and knowledge, to creating a step-by-step plan that will build a supportive foundation for the growth and utilization of that knowledge. In other words, your mental focus (thoughts, intentions, attitudes) now takes the lead, so pay attention to what you focus on since that is the direction you will be heading in. This is also a time to balance your timetable with the smelling of roses and the enjoyment of other sensory pleasures.

Mercury and Venus are also exactly sextile (60°) to Neptune at this time. Artistic ability and creative imagination are available in abundance for your enjoyment. Add them to your work like delicate spices and seasonings to enrich and enhance whatever you do.

May.16 – Mercury sextile Neptune (00:50 of Taurus/Pisces)  (May.17 in AU)

Your mind is very open to imagination, dreams and compassion under this transit, with a little applied effort and focus. This can be a very creative time, when ideas flow like a magical river. It can also be easy to get caught up in yearning and fantasizing about your hidden wishes, although it is possible to channel this into creative expression. (e.g., writing poetry, dancing, wistful music, singing in the shower, whatever!) The possible disadvantage is that you might want so much to reach a state of inspired intuition, magical outlook and effortless communication, that you are willing to be deceived rather than fall short of what you are hoping for. Listening sympathetically to others' problems may come easily now, and you are more likely to get a compassionate response from others about your own problems. However, it may also be difficult to draw clear and firm boundaries with others, since you are more susceptible to the emotional gravity of others. It is ultimately a time for optimism, hope, creativity and intuition, although it's wise to keep at least one foot on the ground.

May.16 – Venus sextile Neptune (00:50 of Taurus/Pisces)  (May.17 in AU)

Artistry, romance, creativity and faith have the potential to flow freely now. Your creative Muse is whispering in your ear, although it will still take your own elbow grease to turn it into something real. Socially and romantically, things could run smoothly and even a bit magically, so be sure you are clear in yourself about what you really want. This can be a time of blessings and abundance (in all areas of life) ...but there is also the risk of overspending and being overly optimistic in your assumptions about money and relationships. Your natural beauty and warmth can be brought out by this transit, but don't just waste it on creating a façade of outer glamour and charm. Let the essence of your inner beauty and pure spirit shine through your appearance and mannerisms!

May.17 – FULL MOON in SCORPIO (26:13 of Scorpio)

FULL MOON in SCORPIO

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

May.17, 2010, 7:08 AM EDT

London, UK:

May.17, 2010, 12:08 PM BST

Sydney, AU:

May.17, 2010, 9:08 PM AEST

"What's a Full Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

Read more about how you experience SCORPIO energy in your life.

I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone... they will be forced to deal with pain.
James Arthur Baldwin

Did you know that the Full Moon can make scorpions glow in the dark? I'm not kidding! As creepy as that might sound, at least you can see them coming in the dark. ;-)

This Full Moon in Scorpio is likely to be a little like that glowing scorpion. The question you have to ask yourself is: what is visible and glowing in the dark corners of your life? Is it the glow of illumination and enlightenment that sheds light on something that has been secret, hidden or unknown? Or, is it more like radioactivity that looks enticing but is actually dangerous, unhealthy and toxic? The answer might not be as easy to determine as you think.

Scorpio has the worst reputation in the zodiac! Like the arachnid it's named after, Scorpio's intense energy can sting its prey, causing temporary or permanent damage. On the other hand, scorpion toxin is potentially healing and is being considered for potential treatment for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases and conditions, and even possibly treating some forms of cancer.

Scorpio also has a reputation for speaking its mind with blunt directness. I'll always remember something astrologer Anne Toth once said: "Scorpios can do open heart surgery with three words." In other words, a Scorpionic person can do cruel damage or they can perform inspired healing with very few words. It's all in how you use the energy. A knife can be used to perform healing surgery or it can be used to kill or maim. In the right hands, it is an instrument of miracles; in the wrong hands it is an instrument of destruction.

Besides the Full Moon being in Scorpio, there's another reason why this lunation could be either very positive or very negative: the Sun is exactly conjunct the fixed star, Algol. This has been called the most evil star in the sky: the Demon Star. Arab culture called it the Head of the Demon and the wife of the devil. The Chinese name for it means "piled up corpses." It has also been associated with Lilith, Adam's first wife who left him and the Garden of Eden because she refused to be subservient to her husband and who has since symbolized feminine wickedness.

In Greek mythology, Algol is the severed head of Medusa, the Gorgon whose gaze could turn you to stone. Bernadette Brady sees Algol as embodying "...the wild, raw, frightening face of the outraged feminine which has been labelled as demonic or simply evil. ... This star seems to contain immense female passion and power. ... She is female kundalini energy." (Brady's Book of Fixed Stars, also available in Kindle edition)

The physical star Algol actually consists of two stars. The darker star orbits the brighter star, and their combined luminosity varies considerably in brightness over a period of about 3 days.

Algol is considered to be at its most dangerous when at minimum brightness. Thankfully, at the time of the Full Moon, Algol is not in one of her darker moods. However, Algol energy is thought to be intense and tricky to handle at the best of times. Joseph E. Rigor (The Power of Fixed Stars) felt that Algol conjunct the Sun has the positive potential for leadership, character and benefiting one's community. On the other hand, the negative potential could lead you to become confused in your priorities and possibly get into legal problems.

Scorpio energy is generally very intense, with the potential for great good or great ill. Although Algol the star lands in zodiacal Taurus, the story of Medusa is a very Scorpionic one. In one version of the myth, she was born beautiful but was transformed by Athene into a monster, with snakes for hair, because she had been "seduced" or "violated" by Poseidon (Neptune) in Athene's temple. From this perspective, Medusa was twice victimized and judged unfairly—once by Poseidon taking advantage of her, and then by Athene who was so offended by the act in her sacred temple that she blamed and punished Medusa. The outrage spawned from this kind of maltreatment can feel like a bottomless pit and is very difficult to heal. Is it any wonder Medusa's gaze would turn someone to stone?

This Full Moon, therefore, can bring the need to take a closer look at deep-seated rage and resentment, and the outrage of having been unfairly treated or judged. The ensuing unrelenting rage and resentment can turn anyone's beauty and goodness into toxic negativity and a monstrous self-image. This may be your own rage, or you might have to face someone else's intimidating rage. Or, you might be called upon to find ways to right the wrongs done to others who have become paralyzed by bottomless outrage.

In the broad and complex Greek myth, Perseus beheads Medusa and uses it to protect his mother and claim his bride. The whole story seems to speak of the necessity to conquer uncontrolled, destructive feminine rage in order to connect to a more wholesome feminine energy. Interestingly, in the end Athene uses Medusa's head as a protective icon on her aegis (shield or breastplate), suggesting that once you have conquered the rage it can be used as an empowering resource. In addition when Medusa was beheaded, two beings were born from the gaping wound—Pegasus the winged horse ("Hey, I heard that!!") and Chrysaor a sword-wielding giant who became a king.

The myth seems to suggest that you can use that intense Medusa energy as a force for good, but only if you are wielding its power from a place of rational detachment (Athene), rather than being consumed by it from a place of uncontrolled passion. And you must release what you hold inside, letting it take wing, becoming light as a feather and leaving your heavy attachments behind (Pegasus).

Astrologically, this is also reflected by Mars in Taurus, since Mars is the traditional ruler of Scorpio. Taurus is an uncomfortable placement for Mars (in Detriment). This is a slower, more practical and common sense energy for Mars, who would much rather act on spontaneous impulse without a lot of prior thought or consideration. And yet, when the volatile Mars energy can be harnessed under the yoke of Taurus, it can be a powerful and potent force for manifestation and progress.

Like Athene's aegis, Mars in Taurus can take the high octane, volatile Mars energy and use it to power the machinery that steadily gets the job done. On the other hand, Mars in Taurus can also absorb and amass unresolved anger for a long time and then suddenly blow like Mt. Vesuvius! So it's important to process and deal with frustrations and challenges as they come up, lest that outraged Medusa's head comes back to life!

Pluto, the modern ruler of Scorpio, is currently at the apex of the Cardinal Cross that's coming back into formation for the next few months. Pluto is square to Uranus and Saturn, putting it at odds with the Uranian forces of liberating change, and chaffing against the Saturnian need to use conventional means to make that happen.

However, Pluto's prickly placement can also provoke your motivation and courage to make the necessary changes, perhaps by backing you up into a corner with the realization that you have little choice but to do the inevitable work. So this radioactive energy could explode in volcanic outrage, or seize up in paralyzing fear while the world explodes around you, or it can be used to turn the turbines of the machinery of fundamental transformation and change.

T-square: Sun, Moon, Neptune

Neptune forms a T-square to the Sun-Moon opposition. Murky illusion could cloud your ability to determine which actions, attitudes and beliefs form a positive expression of that Scorpio-Medusa-Algol energy and which ones merely perpetuate the negative. Neptune's idealism can inspire and bring out the best in us, but it can also tempt us into mistaking the ideal for something that is merely self-serving or self-soothing.

The fact that Neptune is at the initiatory degree of Pisces, its kindred sign, puts a magical sparkle on whatever that Scorpio Full Moon brings into your field of vision, whether that is inspired and sacred or deceptive and misleading. Neptune is the part of us that longs to surrender to something greater than ourselves, but it's probably best to have a lifeline to someone who can offer a reality check and a way to find your way back again.

To get the most out of this potent Full Moon energy, a private reading gives you valuable tools and knowledge to understand how to work with the current transformative effect on your chart and your life. Let me help you find ways to use this energy as a force for positive change. You can find out more about my personal readings, or just send me a confidential email and tell me what's going on.

May.17-23 – Multiple conjunction in Taurus (Mercury, Venus, Mars)

After these planets formed a Rolling Conjunction in Aries with Jupiter, a week or two ago, Mercury, Venus and Mars now complete their conjunctions. This is closest from May.17-22, reaching their very closest (1:20 orb) on May.19. You will be most affected if you have planets between 1 and 11 degrees. Natal planets in that degree range of Taurus or Scorpio will be most affected, as well as Leo or Aquarius, Capricorn or Virgo, and to some extent in Pisces or Cancer.

After getting all fired up in energized, volatile Aries, the trio of Mercury, Venus and Mars are now manifesting their collective energy in calm, down-to-earth Taurus. The seeds consisting of ideas, impulses, actions and inspiration that emerged in Aries can now be planted in Taurus to begin the longer development of being cultivated and growing. This "planting" of the seed takes form through how you focus your thoughts, the people you consult with and collaborate with, the resources you put in place, and the actions you take to get the process moving.

The drawback of this combination is that Mercury and Mars like to move fast, but this is not on the menu in Taurus. So it's possible that you might feel discouraged, bored or blocked under this energy. Venus, being Taurus' ruler, is definitely the queen of this group. Venus' Taurus side likes to be sensual and is motivated by pleasure. So if you find it hard to get and stay focused and active, try rewarding yourself with a sumptuous meal or a fragrant bubble bath or a luxurious massage. Put on some music in the background to enhance your experience of whatever you're doing. And aim to get into a steady rhythm and routine—one step at a time followed by another step.

Mini-Trine aspect pattern

During this time, this triple conjunction also forms a Mini-Trine aspect pattern with Chiron and Pluto, strongest around May 20-21. This pattern pulls together a potential for healing and deep change through whatever you're working on through the Mercury, Venus and Mars. Pluto also contributes staying power and the ability to keep your focus concentrated in the direction you need to progress in. And Chiron is there to remind you that it's okay if you or your efforts aren't perfect.

May.18 – Mars sextile Chiron (05:15 of Taurus/Pisces)

This transit gives you the opportunity to take action that can bring some healing resolution to some ongoing problems you've been having. For example, if you've been suffering from weakened energy or chronic health problems, this transit could bring a bit of relief, especially if you're willing to invest some effort to move yourself forward. Or you might find that you have extra self-confidence to deal with a dilemma that has not wanted to go away. You might also find yourself in a position where you can help others find some relief or empowerment related to their suffering and chronic struggles. Problem solving of all kinds can benefit by taking an attitude of proactively doing what you can do, and then let go of what you can't.

May.19 – Mercury sextile Chiron (05:17 of Taurus/Pisces)  (May.20 in AU)

Your mental focus and communication could get an injection of healing energy under this transit, as long as you are prepared to put some effort into getting it. Your spirits can become uplifted now, from seeing a light at the end of the tunnel or from finding a light that guides you along the path in front of you. It will not, however, make the tunnel or the path go away; you'll still have to walk the walk. But your mental perspective can become more accepting of inconsistencies and frustrations under this transit, which can alleviate a lot of stress and make the journey a bit smoother. Mental struggles and critical "self-talk" may find some reconciliation and acceptance that brings peace of mind. You have an increased ability to find the right words and understanding to help others with their problems, by providing insightful feedback. To get the most out of this transit, aim to find a mental outlook and communication style that can tolerate contradiction without having to eradicate one in order to justify the other.

May.20 – Venus sextile Chiron (05:17 of Taurus/Pisces)

Although this transit lasts for only a few days, it is possible to make some progress in your healing and rebalancing efforts, although it will take some effort to make it happen. This may show itself in relationships, social interaction, finances, values, health or your spiritual connection to the Universe. You have an increased ability to negotiate with others and with your circumstances to achieve a fair compromise that results in equal sacrifice and benefit for all concerned. However, there is a risk of wanting to avoid conflict and discord so much that you negotiate beyond what you are truly comfortable with – peace at any price. By accepting and embracing the effort or struggle that is required, you can get out of your own way and achieve a more healing balance in those struggles. You now have increased ability to facilitate changes in situations that are within your control. It can also be easier to accept and adapt to that which lies beyond your control. Your effect on others can be potentially healing right now, especially by helping them find a new balance and point of acceptance in the conflicts and struggles of their lives.

May.20 – Mars trine Pluto (07:05 of Taurus/Capricorn)  (May.21 in AU)

You may feel a strong urge to embrace and engage power, assert your desires and act on deep impulses. Your sexual energy could also be very high now (use it wisely). You might feel like nothing can stop you or hold you back. In fact, the ability to create change and take action is especially strong right now. If you have been preparing to put plans into action, this can be a powerful time to do so. But also be aware that too much of a good thing can sometimes backfire – it is possible to overstep your bounds or come on a bit too strong, with this energy. Suppressed anger, frustration or an urge to "vanquish the enemy" may be expressed more forcefully than you intend. It will help to center yourself and focus on acknowledging your emotions, impulses and power – then use your good judgment when deciding whether or how to act on them.

May.20 – Mercury trine Pluto (07:05 of Taurus/Pisces)  (May.21 in AU)

It is possible to dive deep below the surface now, in your perception of situations, other people and yourself. If you have been working on trying to understand the deeper motivations and dynamics of what is happening in your life, there could be a breakthrough now. The light may finally go on in the darker corners that have eluded you, and your penetrating insight. You could find a way to articulate these perceptions and speak your mind in a way that is unusually powerful or intense (so be careful you don't inadvertently blow your audience out of the water). This transit can bring an opportunity to shed and leave behind old worn out perceptions or ineffective forms of communication. Try writing down your thoughts and ideas to capture the energy of this transit. This is the only exact pass for this transit, since Pluto was out of range when Mercury came through this area two months ago.

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May.20 – Mercury conjunct Mars (07:18 of Taurus)  (May.21 in UK, AU)

Spontaneous or impulsive words may come flying out of your mouth under this transit! If you've been struggling to keep opinions or observations to yourself, you might find it hard to keep them quiet, especially if you feel strongly about the situation. You might see things as more "cut and dried" than usual. Although you might feel frustrated if things don't happen in a direct, quick, straightforward way, it can also be a good time to make decisions and move forward with plans. On one hand, this can have a positive effect because it can give you courage to speak your mind and assert yourself candidly and honestly. On the other hand, you might also come across as abrupt, cranky, argumentative or even downright hostile, especially if you've been stuffing down anger or resentment for a while. This transit represents a new beginning in how you can handle self-assertiveness, communication and decision-making. By "listening to" your impulses, passions and urge to speak your truth, you can get an idea how your "inner voice" wants to emerge – and how to do that without annihilating the other person. ;-)

May.21 – Sun enters Gemini (until Jun.21)

Happy Solar Return to everyone born in the sign of Gemini! This is the time of year for the cosmic Twins to party, but it is also a time for all of us to explore our dual nature and our sentient awareness that emerges from it. Communication and exchange of information and ideas are specialties of Gemini, and this period brings these areas into focus for everyone. If you're looking for ideas to explore your Gemini nature, try writing your thoughts down, or listen to the buzz of activity around you, or express your observations in both verbal and non-verbal ways. Pay special attention to conversations with others, and be alert to the new information that can be learned there. Connect with your Inner Imp and let yourself be playful, clever, cheerful and fun! Learn a new word every day. Find out the names of things you never even noticed before. Read a book or newspaper or newsletter...or write one! Ride the bus to an area of town you've never been to and see what you find. And remember that it is largely through our interactions with other people and with the immediate world around us that we develop consciousness, perception and mental focus. Therefore, use this as an opportunity to increase your awareness of your immediate surroundings. Exchange information and ideas with others. Use your ability to communicate in every way you can think of. And let yourself be curious, clever and playful!

May.21 – Venus trine Pluto (07:04 of Taurus/Capricorn)  (May.22 in AU)

Close one-on-one connections with people (close friends, lovers, partners of all kinds) will tend to gravitate to a deeper, more intense level now. Instead of automatically doing the diplomatic, "nice" thing, you may find it is more fulfilling to share more of your authentic feelings. It may be possible now to connect with people on a deeper level, while still ensuring that your interests are equally balanced with theirs. The trick is to do this without trying to control or overpower the other person, and it may be easier to avoid those traps now. You could make some deeply intimate connections with people under this transit. Financial dealings with other people may also go smoothly, although it might be wise to get clear confirmation that you're both on the same page about the fine print.

May.22 – Sun square Neptune (00:53 of Gemini/Pisces)

Your ideals, hopes and wishful thinking may loom a little too large during this time, making you prone to disappointment and disillusionment. You might want a fantasy or dream to come true so much that you disconnect from the reality that seems to be in the way – only to find that the obstacle was serving a positive purpose after all. Your imagination may be very active now, but not easy to control or balance with reality. However, it can be a very creative time if you're able to harness that imagination for productive use. Unconscious urges and longings may be especially close to the surface, so you have an opportunity to learn more about the hidden forces that drive you (and perhaps distort your view of the world around you). Spiritually, you might discover that your yearning for enlightenment is not the straightforward path you had hoped for, but it can be just as valuable (although disappointing) to discover what is *not* your best path. Emotionally you may feel a bit overwhelmed, discouraged or confused. On the plus side, you have an opportunity to observe a deeper part of you, which is usually camouflaged against the distracting background of day-to-day life. There is tremendous creative, spiritual and healing potential to be found by listening to and working with the inner voices from those depths.

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May.23 – Venus conjunct Mars (09:01 of Taurus)

Diplomacy and harmony combine with forcefulness and enthusiasm under this transit. How you experience the results will depend in part on which you value more – winning (Mars dominant) or resolution (Venus dominant). One possibility is being able to negotiate agreements with others in assertive ways; another possibility is being able to confront others with gentleness and diplomacy. The courage to act could become either blunted or enhanced by an increased sensitivity to how your actions could affect others. Your ability to negotiate a diplomatic solution to a problem might be sabotaged by impatience, frustration or too much directness – or that same forcefulness might help by keeping things from getting bogging down or by injecting an infectious enthusiasm to the discussion. Although the effects could look very different in various situations, the best results will likely be found by using the best of both of these opposite energies.

This is the last of three passes of this transit: Aug.20.2010, Oct.03.2010 and May.23.2011. Venus first overtook Mars in August last year. Venus then slowed down for her retrograde cycle and just 5 days before the retrograde station (Oct.08.2010), Mars overtook Venus in a second conjunction (Oct.03). It has taken all this time for Venus to catch up again. What's extra interesting about this little dance they've been doing is that the conjunctions have all occurred in signs that are ruled by Mars or Venus. The first conjunction was at 13° Libra, where Venus as ruler was the stronger of the two (and where Mars was awkwardly placed in Detriment). The second conjunction at 12° of Scorpio was in Mars' territory (where Venus was now at a disadvantage in her Detriment). This last conjunction is at 9° Taurus, where Venus again emerges as the dominant of the two (and Mars again has one hand tied behind his back in his Detriment).

What does this mean? For starters, you have been going through a long-term process of development and gestation for 9 months. Venus and Mars form a polarity: feminine versus masculine, receptive versus active, persuasion versus demand, and strategy versus direct aggression. Both approaches to life have their merits and disadvantages—it's a question of learning which one is more effective in a given situation. So you've been playing back and forth with these energies for several months now. Have you found yourself more comfortable with one than the other?

This series of conjunctions has taken place in Venus' signs more often than in Mars', and Mars has been at a disadvantage (in Detriment) at those times. Therefore, this has also been a process about how to allow your Venus energy to take the lead without being either manipulative or "bitchy." In addition, your Mars has had to learn to take a bit of a back seat, while still retaining his power and without becoming resentful or feeling "castrated."

May.25 – Sun sextile Uranus (03:44 of Gemini/Aries)

You are more open than usual to spontaneity, surprises and "flying by the seat of your pants!" Your sense of humour and fun are more finely tuned during this transit, as is your ability to break out of old outworn habits. It's a great time to try new things and experiment with something that's out of character for you. In fact, it may be surprising how easy it is to break out of your usual routine...so much so that it's good to be careful not to be too reckless under this transit. Just have fun pushing the envelope! You may also find you want things to be spontaneous and new and out-of-the-ordinary so much that it's hard not to feel restless and dissatisfied with ordinary life right now. But remember that trying to plan spontaneity defeats the purpose of the exercise. And if you are hungering for something new but can't seem to find something satisfying, try digging a little deeper to see what is driving that hunger from inside you. You could find surprising answers.

May.26 – Sun square Chiron (05:24 of Gemini/Pisces)  (May.27 in UK, AU)

Your self-confidence and patience may be a bit strained right now, stretched by the urge to break free of chronic constraints. Motivation and self-esteem may seem to sag and suffer from old problems that you thought were resolved. This is probably because you are seeing "the flaws in the system" that are preventing you from getting the results you want. It will help to take a fresh approach to your situation. You may need to let go of what you think the results "should be" or how they should come to you. Be open to getting what you want in a different form than you were expecting. You may have to work extra hard for results now, especially if it means having to find a different route to success. If it seems like a door of opportunity has closed, look for an unexpected advantage or hidden alternative. This could allow you to tap into other opportunities that wouldn't have been possible otherwise.

Jun.01 – Sun trine Saturn (10:33 of Gemini)

This is a great time to apply yourself to serious work. You may feel especially self-sufficient and independent, with a strong and clear sense of self and purpose. There is support for your ambitions as long as you stay grounded and practical in how you approach them, which should come easily right now. Your ability to cooperate and feel comfortable with authority figures is likely to be high, along with your capacity to embrace your own authority and make solid decisions. This is a time when you are more likely to feel grounded and deal with problems in a practical, decisive way. Your energy may be more serious than "party animal," but even if you are in "party mode" it will be easier to realistically know your limits and not overdo it. If you've been waiting for the right time to move forward with or manifest a project or plan that you've been putting together (or wanting to), this could be the time when that happens. The final launch or manifestation may or may not happen now, but you will probably be able to at least move forward in some important steps.

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Next Update:  SOLAR ECLIPSE in GEMINI - June 1, 2011.

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