The Low-Down on the Far-Out

New Moon in Taurus, May 2015

Chart for the New Moon in Taurus
Chart for the New Moon in Taurus

We're fascinated by the words—but where we meet
is in the silence behind them.
~ Ram Dass

May.18 – NEW MOON in TAURUS (26:55 of Taurus)

Have you ever carried out a boring, repetitive or seemingly meaningless task? If you haven't, you're probably the first. ;-)

The thing about tasks like that is that eventually your brain goes on auto-pilot and your mind starts to wander. If you haven't experienced this, you should try it sometime. In fact, this New Moon may be the perfect time to do just that!

Taurus lives for pleasure, and part of that pleasure comes from being productive. Seems ironic, since productivity usually involves hard work which is regarded by most of us as anything but pleasurable.

On the other hand, to be productive is to be useful, to have a purpose and feel needed. And of course, the fruits of your labour are often sweet, satisfying, or just bring you some relief – it's done and there's one less thing to stress out about.

In any case, there's a reward at the end, even if it's only to remove some negative pressure in your life.

People who claim that they're evil are usually no worse than the rest of us... It's people who claim that they're good, or any way better than the rest of us,
that you have to be wary of.
~ Gregory Maguire, Wicked: The Life and Times of
the Wicked Witch of the West

This New Moon in Taurus chart speaks of creating and producing something difficult or challenging while having to stretch your mind into a different shape or attitude. Rewards can be had, but first there must be effort—maybe even facing your deepest fears in order to move forward.

Let's start with the Sun-Moon conjunction (otherwise known as a New Moon). They are exactly conjunct the fixed star Algol – the Eye of Medusa. Algol is generally regarded as a pretty heavy energy by many cultures, current and ancient. Bernadette Brady sums up Algol as "the wild, raw, frightening face of the outraged feminine which has been labeled as demonic or simply evil."

While this New Moon is not necessarily likely to manifest in such a dramatic or aggressive way, it does suggest a challenge to reach deep into your feminine energy (regardless of your gender). Deep feeling. Deep grounding in undeniable, unavoidable reality.

Check into your body and see what you're feeling; what you're sensing. This is a time to get grounded—not in your head, analyzing and thinking about implications and what-ifs, but simply to BE HERE NOW. What is happening in this moment? What is it like to be in this moment? You may or may not feel compelled to do something about it or with it, but this is a time to access that part of you that is simply HERE NOW.

There is probably something deep, difficult or dreaded that you need to acknowledge. To do so could be life changing. It could be a way to let go of resistance and embrace acceptance of WHAT IS. Thoughts, analysis, meaning and speculation about it can come later – right now, your job is to discover what is HERE NOW and just BE WITH it.

Sadness gives depth. Happiness gives height. Sadness gives roots. Happiness gives branches. Happiness is like a tree going into the sky, and sadness is like the roots going down into the womb of the earth. Both are needed, and the higher a tree goes, the deeper it goes, simultaneously. The bigger the tree, the bigger will be its roots. In fact, it is always in proportion. That's its balance.
~ Osho, Everyday Osho: 365 Daily Meditations
for the Here and Now

You might find you're tempted to leap away into your head into the whats: What is this? What comes next? What does it mean? What should I do?

To be sure, these may be important questions, and there is a time and place for this kind of brain activity—but first it's important to just take in the thing that you're speculating about. And to do that, you will need to suspend your monkey mind and just be in the moment.

This comes from a number of places in the New Moon chart. For one thing, Venus (planetary ruler of Taurus) opposes Pluto—not the most comfortable placement, but it does mean that whatever is happening under this Taurus Moon can't just be a surface thing. There are depths to delve, feelings to forage and seeds to sow.

As with all things Pluto, it may be necessary to let something go in order to make room for something new to grow. Or it could be time to spread out own the fertilizer—composted from the residue of old wounds, self-destructive attitudes and power games—from which new awareness and meaning can sprout.

The Venus part of you will do well to stay grounded in your feelings – real, down to earth and lacking in sensational overreaction. Venus and the Moon are in mutual reception, meaning they're each in a sign that the other rules (Venus in Cancer and Moon in Taurus). This allows them to support each other, especially in areas of the heart, comfort and emotional security.

And yet, the Moon and Venus are in a rather tight semisquare aspect (45°), which indicates some tension, struggle and discomfort. This New Moon, for example, could show you ways that you aren't supporting yourself enough. You might see problems or complications in areas where it would help to take better care of your feelings and ensure you have enough pleasure in your life.

Life always waits for some crisis to occur before revealing itself at its most brilliant.
~ Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes

The Sun and Moon are opposite Saturn and widely conjunct Mars. The orbs are 5:04 to Saturn and 7:20 to Mars. Both aspects are out of sign, but applying toward exact and therefore building in their energies.

Mars is just 3 days past his opposition to Saturn (May.15). He's still feeling the pinch of squeezing himself through the eye of the Saturnian needle in order to turn the raw threads of ideas into a tapestry of meaning and knowledge. As a result, Mars' message is "Quit lazing around in your Taurus pleasure palace and get up off the couch and go do it!" (whatever "it" is for you)

Hard Wedge aspect pattern - Mars, Saturn, Uranus

Uranus forms what I call a Hard Wedge aspect pattern with the Mars-Saturn opposition. Uranus is semisquare to Mars (45° or half a square) and sesquiquadrate to Saturn (135° or a square-and-a-half). All of these aspects are part of the square aspect family, which means it involves struggle and difficulty, and requires effort and strength to get to the other side.

The good news is that this is also motivating energy. No one wants to just sit there and feel the pressure, so Uranus (the apex of the pattern) sends a lightning bolt to wake you up and get you moving. If you're stuck or feeling inhibited about what to do, Uranus can split the rock in front of you so you see a path from here to there.

At the end of the day, it might feel like life has become kind of crazy and impossible to make sense of, but you may look back on this later and realize that the universe was simply giving you a big push to go in your best direction.

Don't be afraid to be confused. Try to remain permanently confused. Anything is possible. Stay open, forever, so open it hurts, and then open up some more, until the day you die, world without end, amen.
~ George Saunders, The Braindead Megaphone

Mercury is watching all of this from his sidelines with great amusement. He's been enjoying an inspiring conversation with Jupiter through their sextile (60°) aspect, exploring intriguing and innovative ways to weave Gemini ideas and information together with Leo optimism and sense of the dramatic.

However, for Mercury the room is spinning, as he turns to go Retrograde just 21 hours after the New Moon. Jupiter's booming voice is echoing in Mercury's ears and he has to keep asking Jupiter to repeat himself. But there's no time left – Mercury must leave.

Yod aspect pattern: Pluto apex, Mercury, Jupiter

Finally he yells at Jupiter to "Hold that thought!" as Mercury turns around to backtrack through the next 3½ weeks. He can finish the conversation later when he catches up to Jupiter again on Jul.03. In the meantime, Mercury has to process, rethink and remember what Jupiter told him about the connection between power and heroism, the sunny side of cloudy days, and the ethics of personal power.

Scratching his head in bewilderment, Mercury realizes that he and Jupiter are all tangled up in a Yod aspect pattern with Pluto. Now it starts to make sense! Pluto was lurking in the shadows, just waiting for them to come close enough to get caught in his web.

What Pluto does is challenge the Mercury-Jupiter brain trust to go deeper in their thoughts, ideas, speculation and exploration. There are golden nuggets of wisdom and growth to be mined from within the dark caves of feelings and self-honesty.

The most confused we ever get is when we're
trying to convince our heads of something
our heart knows is a lie.
~ Karen Marie Moning

As we already saw, Venus is opposite Pluto and forms most of a Boomerang aspect pattern (also called a Yod Kite). Here's how the energy flows:

The shortcut version of that twisted path is this: when dealing with issues or challenges in the area of relationships, affection, finances or pleasure, you might feel the need to control the situation before it gets out of hand or else revel in it obsessively. This isn't necessarily a bad thing (control is sometimes necessary) but a lighter touch is often better than a heavy handed one when dealing with the sensitivities of Venus.

Therefore, it can help to balance out the situation with some increased awareness, mental analysis or brainstorming solutions. In other words, widen your field of responses and your understanding about what's happening and what could be helpful.

On the other hand, be careful not to escape into your head at the expense of igonring something your heart is trying to tell you. Feelings are always real – the meaning you give to them in the real world may or may not be accurate, but your feelings will always tell you something about who you are…and maybe about who someone else is.

I'm not confused. I'm just well mixed.
~ Robert Frost

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It seems that no matter which direction you take at this New Moon, the best decision is probably one of practicality, grounded realism and keeping it simple. That's not to say that things aren't complex or multifaceted – on the contrary! With Mercury currently stationary and then retrograde for 3+ weeks, it may not be possible to advance or progress the way you would like to do during that time.

Think of it as a gestation period after planting a seed, when you must have patience to let it do its thing in the dark before it's ready to push its head above ground and grow out in the open.

Therefore, it helps to regard the turmoil, frustration, urgency and discomfort of the New Moon as the stretching and opening up of your awareness, to make room for something new to be born. If this feels dark or scary or overwhelming or out of control, this may be showing you the depth of the potential in this coming time of growth.

This is a time when productivity, results and something concrete is required to emerge from whatever you invest your energy, resources, passion and pleasure in. That said, it's important to also embrace the reasoning, understanding, theory and open-mindedness of what that means to you. It won't work (as well) if you just jam your nose into the grindstone and do merely what's necessary. And if you find that that's all you can manage right now, that's okay – the rest can come in time when you're ready for it.

Just for now, stay grounded. Listen to your body. Feed your feelings and needs with healthy energy. And remember that the best stuff grows out of stuff that really stinks.

Our whole spiritual transformation brings us to the point where
we realize that in our own being, we are enough.
~ Ram Dass

May.18 – Mercury Stationary Retrograde (13:08 of Gemini; until Jun.11)   (May.19 in UK, AU)  ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Mercury Retrograde.  Read more about Retrograde planets.)

Mercury now goes retrograde for the next 3+ weeks. For up to a week before and after today, Mercury is moving very slowly or stopped during the station. During this time, you may experience intensity, frustration, confusion, miscommunications, or feel like you're getting bogging down in your progress. Mercury retrograde is usually a time when it is best to rethink, rehash, reflect, and tie up old loose ends, rather than begin new ventures.

It is typical for new insights and information to emerge later in the retrograde cycle that you didn't anticipate, which can change the whole picture. Because of this, it is usually advised to avoid making final or permanent decisions (e.g., signing contracts or putting new projects into action), during the retrograde and even up to 2 weeks after Mercury goes direct. However, it is an excellent time to do fact-finding, research and investigation to prepare for major decisions, which are usually best put off until well after Mercury goes direct.

In the meantime, while Mercury is retrograde, expect the unexpected, and leave lots of extra time when planning your schedule (to minimize any disruptions from delays and complications). Stay flexible; for example, it's common to have to reschedule appointments. Do some things that use your intuitive, creative, non-rational mind for a while until Mercury goes direct again.

Mercury is retrograde in Gemini, which is likely to give you lots of interesting or unusual ideas. You may find yourself looking at things from many different angles and collecting as much information as possible, so that you can pick up clues that help you figure out what's what. Your curiosity might lead you to some strange but enlightening perceptions, ideas and information. However, it is also possible to become mentally scattered, fragmented or ungrounded during this time. You could be easily distractible and leave off sentences half way through, as your mind chases off after a new thought. Write down your best ideas, observations, insights and even your dreams during this time, so that you can figure out later (after Mercury goes Direct) how they can be analyzed and used. This could also be an especially good time to do your research and gather information in preparation for decisions and projects down the road.

The key dates of this Mercury cycle are (for North American Eastern Time):

May.19 – Mercury leaves Out of Bounds (13:08 of Gemini; until Nov.27)   (May.20 in HAST)   ("What does Out of Bounds mean?"  "What does Declination mean?")

Mercury now returns from soaring beyond the declination of the Sun. After a time of being able to access new ideas, thoughts and perceptions beyond your usual familiar range, you are now challenged to see how you can manifest these or incorporate them into your world view.

May.21 – Sun enters Gemini (until Jun.21)   (May.20 in HAST)

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 opposite Pluto (15:15 of Cancer/Capricorn)   (May.22 in UK, AU)

Under this transit you could experience great intensity and challenge in your relationships or financial matters. It is a time to delve into the depths of your personal issues that associated with relationships, finances, resources and values. That means being willing to examine the under-the-surface dynamics and hidden patterns that affect these areas of your life. These emerging patterns could indicate a need to come to terms with your "Shadow" – this could include unconscious hidden agendas, secret desires, obsessions or power games. You have an opportunity now to learn more about how you project this "Shadow" onto others through your interactions, expectations, hopes and fears. At its best, this can be a time to transform fear into fortitude and powerlessness into endurance. By being willing to negotiate and work with your fears, feelings of intimidation or efforts to gain empowerment through self-honesty, you have the potential to create a win-win situation.

May.22 – Sun opposite Saturn (01:38 of Gemini/Sagittarius)   (May.23 in UK, AU)

You may be obligated to fulfil the expectations of others or of society under this transit. A situation or project (which may have begun around 6 months ago) might require that you start to implement the plans and preparation you've been building. Or you might find that problems you've been putting off must now be dealt with. Although you could experience this as stressful or heavy, it can also be a time when you are finally able to move ahead with a project or goal. All commitment requires some degree of limitation and pruning back, since we must choose one path and leave other options behind. This may therefore feel like a time when you are pressured by obligation, necessity or restraint...or it could feel like the rehearsals are finally over and it's time to launch the rocket. If it seems like you're only seeing blocks or obstacles in your way, this might be a reflection of not having done enough preparation (in which case you will need to draw on your experience to solve the problems or deal with the reality in front of you). This can be a time when you reap whatever you have sown in the past (especially the last 6 months), so if your current situation seems negative or punitive, it might be a time when you need to look back over your actions that lead to this and be accountable for past actions and decisions. Whether you are taking the final step to implement your plans or are facing the results of poor past judgment, this can be a time when you are called upon to move forward in your personal growth and maturation. Use it to strengthen your responsibility (response-ability), and don't let fears of inadequacy erode your self-esteem.

May.25 – Venus square Uranus (19:02 of Cancer/Aries)   (May.26 in AU)

Under this transit, you may be tempted by impulse spending, or you might be somewhat erratic in your use of resources. This can result in unpredictable or unstable finances, so double check your bank accounts and credit cards before you draw on them. It is also a time when the way you relate to others (or they to you) could be somewhat inconsistent, fickle or impulsive. If your relationships or financial situation have been struggling with difficulties for a while, this transit could bring a lingering problem to the surface and require attention. On one hand, this could be a welcome breath of fresh air that cuts through the complexity of your problems and puts the cards on the table (despite the stress and conflict that likely triggered it). Or, you might feel resistance to making these changes and instead experience this as a time of unwelcome instability, upset and adjustment. However, this may be a good way to break free of excessive restraint, control or structure, which allows new possibilities to emerge that couldn't do so otherwise.

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May.25 – Mars square Neptune (09:44 of Gemini/Pisces)   (May.26 in UK, AU)

For up to a week before and after today, you have a chance to discover and work with your blind spots and the hidden motives that trip you up. It may feel like you are spinning your wheels or "shadow-boxing" and not even sure why. You may be fighting a hidden agenda or unconscious motives (yours or someone else's). You might also be trying to apply a concrete solution to an ambiguous situation, and then wondering why it isn't working very well. Responding to conflicts in a passive-aggressive or manipulative way can be tempting under this transit, since you may not know how to take direct and effective action. Resentment might become a defiant way to express toothless anger. Part of the problem may be that you are fighting against your own idealism, and resisting the acceptance that the other person or situation can't be the way you want them to be. Feelings of disappointment or helplessness may trigger much deeper feelings from your unconscious, making it difficult for you to know how to respond effectively in the here-and-now. It will probably help to work on owning your feelings, needs, longings and (hidden) agendas. Being honest with yourself about what's really going on inside you will go a long way toward increasing your empowerment.

May.27 – Mercury Retrograde conjunct Mars (10:44 of Gemini)

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.27 – Venus trine Chiron (21:12 of Cancer/Pisces)   (May.28 in AU)

Healing and rebalancing are possible now, especially in the areas of relationships, finance, resources and values. Any problems that have persisted in these areas lately could benefit from an influx of helpful and healing resources now. Relationships and interactions of all kinds can benefit now, since it can be easier to see the beauty and value in others whom you might usually dislike or feel ill at ease with (or they with you). Negotiations and strategic efforts to resolve conflicts may go smoothly now, especially when you balance the results in everyone's interests. You may also be able to attract what you need to heal your wounds (physical, psychological, spiritual, etc.). Like it says in the "Serenity Prayer," you may now find it a bit easier to accept that which you cannot change, while finding you make progress with the things you can.

May.29 – Mercury Retrograde square Neptune (09:45 of Gemini/Pisces)   (May.28 in HAST, AKDT)

Your mental focus may be a bit clouded, confused or lethargic right now, as your conscious mind struggles to grasp the formless, limitless expanse of the Universe and the unconscious. You may experience some disillusionment or disappointment, in your observations or communication with others. However, what is flowing under the surface of events right now is the need to dissolve away the crust of old expectations that blocks your view from seeing a greater Truth. If you're feeling off-balance, try to listen more than you talk, so that you can be receptive to your inner sensitivity. Left-brain analysis might be difficult to work with right now unless you balance it with a lot of right-brain intuition. You may have to let go of a rigid mindset, or give up what you think you understand about a situation in your life, in order to open yourself to a new perspective that is difficult to define but is ultimately in the best interest of your spiritual growth.

May.30 – Sun conjunct Mercury Retrograde (08:58 of Gemini)   (May.31 in AU)

When the Sun conjoins Mercury Retrograde, there is a new beginning in the areas of awareness, communication, use of information and exchange of ideas. This may or may not be heralded by a recognisable event or experience, although for a day or two your consciousness may shift. Your awareness and mental concentration may take a dip into the unconscious, becoming unusually murky and muddy, or it may rise into ultra-consciousness and become suddenly clear and lucid (afterwards returning to the usual Mercury retrograde fog). A new awareness or perspective on what has unfolded during the retrograde cycle thus far may surface now, or an unworkable attitude or perception of these events may fall apart under the weight of new information. This shift of awareness may be obvious or subtle, sudden or gradual, but this transit marks a turning point in the Mercury retrograde cycle. It also marks a time when mental awareness often goes further underground, for the rest of the retrograde period, making it a little harder to operate objectively and rationally in the outside world. Spend some time in your right-brain, intuitive, non-rational mind, which can coax your mental creativity and inventiveness to the surface.

The Sun-Mercury conjunction also exactly squares Neptune, and is in orb for several days before and after today. As with all things in life and astrology, this has its ups and downs. On one hand this can be a time of great inspiration, creativity and renewal of faith, especially if triggered by hardship or struggle. On the other hand, it could be a time of great disillusionment and disappointment, as well as misconceptions, confusion and too much wishful thinking. If you must make an important decision around this time, it's probably a good idea to run it by a trusted friend before you commit.

May.31 – Sun square Neptune (09:46 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.

May.19 – Venus leaves Out of Bounds (26:26 of Cancer; until Jun.11.2016)   (May.20 in HAST)   ("What does Out of Bounds mean?"  "What does Declination mean?")

Venus now returns from soaring beyond the declination of the Sun. After a time of exploring interaction, relationships, pleasure and values that lie outside your usual norm, you are now challenged to find ways to weave your experiences into your day-to-day life.

Next Update:  FULL MOON in SAGITTARIUS - available by June 2, 2015.

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© 2015 Wendy Guy. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied without the author's written permission. Most or all of the quotes on this page were found at GoodReads.com. Taurus: Bringing Heaven to Earth © Carol McCloud, Galactic Alchemy; used with permission. Photo of Native American woman by Kalliope94041 via CanStockPhoto.


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