Low-Down Archives May 2008

May 2008

For the New Moon Cycle in Taurus :
May 5 to June 3/4, 2008

May.05 � NEW MOON in TAURUS (15:22 of Taurus)


Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

May.05, 9:18 AM EDT

London, UK:

May.05, 1:18 PM BST

Sydney, AU:

May.05, 10:18 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.

What's your pleasure? What makes you feel good? What allows you to relax and bask in contentment? Which one of your five physical senses wants to be pampered first? What delightful goodies await your purchase so they can be taken home and given a special place in your personal space?

Welcome to the world of Taurus! This New Moon focuses on the things that allow your pleasure centres to feel well fed. This could be anything that delights the five senses: music for your ears, exquisite art for your eyes, massage for your skin, aromas for your nose, or delicious food for your tongue.

To truly enjoy these things, your mindset must be open to enjoying and indulging your desires. If you're frenetically rushing around, or anxious because of what might happen in the future, or feeling guilty for indulging yourself, or bored because you're focused on "then and there" instead of "here and now," then those pleasures will barely register on your radar. To reap the benefits of Taurus gifts, you need to be grounded in the present, centred in Now and completely open to taking life one delicious moment at a time.

It's not always easy to allow yourself to relax. Anxiety can threaten to disrupt your tranquility. What if something happens? What if danger catches you off your guard? What if you slow down to smell the roses and enjoy it so much that you fall behind and can't get back up to speed again? With the New Moon sesqui-quadrate to Pluto, these kinds of anxieties may be lurking as the Moon waxes over the next two weeks.

What's more, those lurking fears may have some validity to them, making it difficult (and ill advised) to simply dismiss them as "just" worries. The caution, hesitancy, apprehension or pressure you feel now probably has an important message for you. However, a warning sign on the highway of life doesn't mean you can't enjoy the view or stop and pick berries by the roadside.

Venus, the planetary ruler of the Taurus New Moon, is also in a tight semi-square aspect to Uranus. This is likely to add to these uneasy feelings, making you extra sensitive to unexpected, unsettling or disorderly things happening around you. On the other hand, it could also spur you to be more spontaneous and to allow that Taurus "vice grip" on order and regularity to loosen up a little.

Neptune is still conjunct the Lunar North Node (May.04), giving the New Moon a promise of something greater than what meets the eye. Neptune invites you to take the practicality, order and physicality of Taurus and see the further possibilities and implications; to see the macrocosm within the microcosm. Your garden is not simply an enjoyable hobby; it is a way to commune with and contribute to the natural unfolding of the Universe. By nurturing your flowers into bloom, you are actually supporting your own personal growth and that of others. You don't have to be something, you can simply be.

Taurus understands the pleasure to be found in tranquility, but also knows well that it's a lot easier to achieve it when you're not worried about paying rent and putting food on the table. The trick is not to become so obsessed with material security that you lose sight of the greater context of life purpose and your connection to the Universe. It's important to look at the concrete reality that supports your physical existence, as well as at the vastness of the Universe that extends beyond your little corner of the world.

Saturn is still stationary, having turned direct just 3 days before (May.02). This puts extra emphasis on the priorities, demands and rewards of the physical world. Saturn is actually making two "almost" aspects, which add some intriguing colour to the New Moon and the coming lunar cycle.

First, Saturn is very close to a trine to Pluto. Saturn had only one exact pass to Pluto back on Aug.06.2007, but is now stationing less than one degree from an exact trine aspect again. Structure and discipline (Saturn) can be easily combined with power and passion (Pluto). While this is beneficial, it can also be a lot to deal with�a bit like riding a beautiful and powerful horse that requires a lot of skill to handle it well. Your efforts to gain control over your life circumstances might come across as a bit heavy-handed, even if done with the best of intentions.

Venus still forms the last of the Earth Grand Trine (Apr.15-May.05), which grounds this powerful potential in the events that unfold throughout this lunar cycle. This could emerge through your finances, income or possessions, or it could impact your sense of self-worth, your values and the internal resources you have to draw on.

The second interesting thing about Saturn right now is that it's not far from an opposition aspect to Neptune. We had about a year of the Saturn-Neptune opposition in 2006-07 (Aug.31.2006, Feb.28.2007 and Jun.25.2007). Saturn now stations about 7� degrees shy of opposing Neptune again. It's kind of wide and out-of-sign (not in naturally opposing signs), but we're likely to feel its influence in the background. It seems to echo the same themes we've been talking about here�how to manage the priorities of physical reality while still reaching for a context of greater meaning.

Events and situations during this lunar cycle may therefore have their roots in events that began two years ago. At that time you may have struggled satisfy practical considerations while still reaching for higher purpose and meaning in your life. This might have started to take form in August of last year, but the plan still needs to be fleshed out or you have needed to gather your resources and skills before committing to action.

This lunar cycle could be the time when you can put your dreams into practice or at least formulate concrete plans to make them happen. Start by making room on your priority list for both doing the work to get your garden growing and the time to enjoy the fruits of your labours. It will help to find ways to get out of your own way, so that you don't sabotage your best efforts. A personal reading can help you understand and conquer the resistance, worry and doubts that hold you back.

May.06-22 � Mini-Trine aspect configuration (Sun/Venus, Jupiter, Uranus)

You have opportunities to blend spontaneity with freedom, hope with liberation and knowledge with insight. These expansive experiences can be channelled first through your self-expression and how you perceive yourself (Sun), and then through your relationships, interactions, sense of beauty and creativity. It's easy to let this energy slip by. You might feel little more than a bit of well-being, feeling lighter than usual and a little more inclined to see the positive side of things. Or, you could tap into it and discover creative inspiration and a new lease on life. Just be open to the possibilities and allow the planets to surprise you!

May.09 � Jupiter stationary Retrograde (22:22 of Capricorn)

For up to a week before and after this date, you may feel expanded by ideals that inspire you, visions that require more work, judgements that require rethinking, and relationships and strategies that need to be reassessed. In the next 5 months (while Jupiter is retrograde) you will have the chance to reconsider and reassess these areas. Right now is a turning point that will take you back into issues that have been developing for the last 3 months (since Jupiter went into the Shadow). This will allow you to explore theories, possibilities, philosophies, ideals, principles and perspectives that will bring new understanding and hope.

May.09 � Mars enters Leo (until Jul.01/02) (May.10 in AU)

Fire meets Fire during this transit! Physical and emotional energy tends to run high and hot. This transit is great for doing work that requires a creative, dramatic, courageous or confident focus. This is also very playful energy that spurs you to throw off inhibition and express your most brilliant self. Sexual energy can be aroused, as well as anger or aggression. Assertiveness may emerge as more confident, edgy and dramatic than usual. If these emotions are based on defensiveness, lack of self-esteem or automatic reactions to unconscious assumptions, your effect could go overboard and come across as arrogant or sensationalist. On the other hand, if you tend to be a "shrinking violet" and find it hard to express yourself openly, this transit could provide some courage, inspiration and motivation to help you break free. To make the most of this transit, find ways to bring out your playful, creative, expressive side.

Mars is finally out of Cancer!! It has been in mushy Cancer for over 7 months (since Sep.28.2007, except when Mars moonwalked backwards into Gemini in Jan. and Feb. 2008). For Mars this has been like trying to charge through a swamp, having to deal with people's sensitive moods and feelings. Now that Mars is in Leo, our passions, directness and drives should start to get back to normal again. 

May.11 � Sun square Chiron (21:03 of Taurus/Aquarius)

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.

May.11 � Mercury enters the Shadow (until Jul.04) ("What's the Shadow?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read article about the Shadow.  Read article about Mercury Retrograde.)

Mercury now enters the area of Zodiac where it will later go retrograde (May.26 to Jun.19). During its retrograde cycle, Mercury travels through this span of the Zodiac three times (called the Shadow). The first time through, it is going in direct motion (moving forward), then retrograde (looks like it's going backwards), and then direct again. This means there is a more involved process of development and change involved with things that Mercury influences�ideas, thoughts, frame of mind and mental focus. It also concerns the collection, exchange, analysis and organisation of information. All forms of communication are also affected�email and snail mail, the Internet, the media in general, books and magazines, as well as public transit (buses, trains, etc.) and neighbourhoods. The situations developing over the next 2 weeks (leading up to when Mercury actually goes retrograde) will likely require further research, deeper consideration and adjustments to unexpected discoveries over the next couple of months. Expect changes in your plans, increasingly disrupted communication, and new information coming to light that may not fit conveniently into your plans. It's wise to leave lots of extra time to do things, plan future projects and get to wherever you're going. If you must make important decisions during this time, try to build some flexibility into your plans to allow for later changes�or if possible, you may want to delay final or irrevocable decisions until well after Mercury goes direct (Jun.19).

May.12 � Sun sextile Uranus (21:50 of Taurus/Pisces)

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.12 � Sun Trine Jupiter (22:21 of Taurus/Capricorn) (May.13 in AU)

This is a time when your understanding of the Big Picture and your place within it can click into place. As a result, your confidence and self-esteem can be quite high right now. Your ability to see opportunities and possibilities more clearly can produce an experience of being "lucky." Your insight into life and the world around you may be especially bright, optimistic and inspired. This is a "feel-good" transit, when your sense of self can seem to expand and become free. You may feel especially connected to spiritual energy during this time, finding new meaning in your live and the events that unfold around you. Self-confidence can run high now, and you could feel inspired to fight for justice or some cause. At the same time, there is a chance that all this self-assurance and "knowing" could go overboard into over-confidence, dogmatism or over-indulgence if it's not grounded in realism and humility. Just use your best judgment and enjoy this warm, shining energy!


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May.14 � Sun square Neptune (24:13 of Taurus/Aquarius) (May.15 in AU)

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.17 � Venus square Chiron (21:07 of Taurus/Aquarius) (May.18 in AU)

You may be forced to make adjustments to relationships and/or finances now, as you face situations in these areas that just don't want to balance out the way you want them to. You may feel a bit like you're in a catch-22 (no-win situation), where the more you try to find balance and harmony, the more you feel like you're chasing your own tail around in circles. This is a time when healing in relationships and financial problems may be difficult to obtain. Harmony in these areas can seem impossible or blocked, yet it is still necessary to keep trying. By trying anyway, it may be possible to find a solution that meets your needs, even if it may not be what you wanted, hoped for or expected. Strive to find a creative solution that draws on your best side.

May.18 � Venus sextile Uranus (22:02 of Taurus/Pisces)

Relationships, finances, resources and pleasures could benefit from spontaneously trying a completely different approach. If these areas of your life have been getting a little stale or too routine, this transit could shake things up a little...just enough to make things interesting and breathe some fresh air into your familiar routine. Unexpected income could come your way, or you might discover something you just can't resist buying, or you might have an opportunity to make new social connections. The upside of this transit is that it's possible to break free of old habits and enjoy spontaneous interaction. The downside could come in the form of impulse purchases that are beyond your budget, or behaving a bit recklessly or making snap decisions that you can't live with later. This energy is best used to break free of what restricts you, without shattering the foundation you're standing on.

May.18 � Venus trine Jupiter (22:14 of Taurus/Capricorn) (May.19 in AU)

Your luck and opportunity to attract money, love, resources and self-esteem are high right now. The flow of attraction (whether that is magnetizing people, things or opportunities) is riding a strong current right now. You could find it easier than usual to get the resources and abundance for whatever you need right now. On the other hand, "your eyes may be bigger than your stomach" (as mother used to say), meaning your desire may magnify your sense of need beyond what is wise. You may be tempted to spend, flirt or bluff your way through situations, preferring to ignore or avoid hardship, boundaries or drudgery. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but be careful you don't get your hopes up so high that you set yourself up for disappointment or make promises you can't keep. It's probably wise to balance this easy flowing energy with some discretion and good judgement.

May.19 � FULL MOON in SCORPIO (28:27)

Sabian Symbol for the
Full Moon in Scorpio

Scorpio 29

Children in Halloween costumes indulge in various pranks .

This Sabian Symbol ("What's a Sabian Symbol?")) shows the playfulness that can emerge from heavier, more serious energy.

Pagan tradition teaches that the veil between the worlds is especially thin at Samhain (pronounced SAH-wen), known as Halloween in modern western culture. This happens while the Sun is in Scorpio, as well as its opposite point, Beltaine (pronounced BELL-tane), when the Sun is in Taurus. What was traditionally seen as a time of spiritual reverence has become an expression of mischievousness and caricature in modern mainstream western culture.

Beyond the historical politics of this transition, Halloween has become a socially acceptable outlet for "release of the buoyant energies through which an individual ... is freed for the moment from life's insistent demand on him that he live according to some ideal beyond his potentiality." (Marc Edmund Jones in The Sabian Symbols in Astrology) In other words, it's a chance to step out of our usual serious roles and have some fun!

Halloween also provides a way to deal with death and the unknown by making fun of it. Laughter and playfulness can be a powerful remedy against fear. These reactions can sometimes emerge spontaneously from heavy situations, like comic relief can relieve tension and stress. However, this can bring out the trickster or rebel in us, which may get out of hand � "unintegrated energies playing tricks." (Lynda Hill in 360 Degrees of Wisdom)

In the context of this Full Moon, this playfulness can provide a potentially positive, healthy way to counterbalance the heaviness and demands of the Grand Cross. There is a risk of going too far and using that playfulness merely for avoidance of the real issues. Keeping both sides in balance will help.


Find out more about the Sabian Symbols in these recommended books:

The Sabian Symbols in Astrology,
by Marc Edmund Jones

An Astrological Mandala,
by Dane Rudhyar

The Sabian Symbols: The Original Symbols Fully Revealed,
by Blain Bovee


Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

May.19, 10:11 PM EDT

London, UK:

May.20, 3:11 AM BST

Sydney, AU:

May.20, 12:11 PM AEST

"What's a New Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

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

Once more with feeling! This is the second Full Moon in Scorpio in as many months. It's a somewhat rare event to have two New Moons or Full Moons consecutively in the same sign (on average, about every 2 years or so). It's a bit like a so-called Blue Moon. (Read the article on the fascinating history behind this common term.)

On  Apr.20 we had a Full Moon at the first degree of Scorpio. Now we have another Full Moon in the last degree of Scorpio. The alpha and the omega. We've come full circle but now experience this Scorpio energy from a different perspective. The first degree of any sign is strong, pure and open. It's similar to a New Moon in the sense that it embraces initiation into the energy of that sign. It's new, untested, spontaneous and natural.

By the time we get to the last degree of a sign, we've been through that energy and are ready to move on. The last degree is the end of a cycle, and in that sense is a little like being in "the dark of the Moon" just before a New Moon. We're looking forward to the next cycle but aren't quite there yet. We're looking back on the current cycle but we're not there anymore either. There can be a lot of tension and frustration in that last degree of a sign because you're kind of between worlds. There's also a lot of anticipation and imagination about what lies ahead.

In this Full Moon's chart, that tension is reflected by a Grand Cross aspect configuration. ("What's a Grand Cross?") This is rather different from the abundant potential that was found in the Grand Trine Kite at the previous Scorpio Full Moon. In the Grand Cross, the Sun-Moon opposition square off with a latent Saturn-Neptune opposition. This is an intriguing contrast to the Sun and Moon's connected to Saturn and Pluto at the last Full Moon.

The Grand Cross aspect figure is made out of all stressful aspects. It tends to bring struggle to resolve problems and ambition to achieve some goal that is believed to be the answer to those problems. Its energy is a driving force of perpetual motion. As such, it is easy to get stuck going around in circles. The Grand Cross knows what the problem looks like and knows how important it is to solve it. However, the satisfaction or fulfilment from doing so may be elusive, and therefore it can be hard to recognise when you've reached your goal. Instead, you tend to keep going, always pushing toward the next carrot dangling in the direction of your destination. As an example, the Grand Cross is often associated with people who are "workaholics."

With the Full Moon being in intense Scorpio, this could push the driving force of the Grand Cross into downright obsession. Add to this the fact that right now Mars (the traditional planetary ruler of Scorpio) is the only planet in a Fire sign, and it might be hard to tear yourself away from ardently pursuing whatever you desire. This can give you enormous motivation, passion, energy and fortitude to do just that. However, there's a very fine line between having the courage, drive and endurance to keep moving toward your goal versus being so obsessed that you forget how to let go and appreciate what you have achieved. It's important to balance the striving and persistence with taking some time out to stop and smell the roses. The Sun and Venus, both being in sensual Taurus, can help with that if you let them.

Saturn and Neptune continue to linger in a wide opposition at the time of the Full Moon, just as they did at the New Moon in Taurus (May.05). This is an echo of the Saturn-Neptune opposition we saw in 2006-07 (Aug.31.2006, Feb.28.2007 and Jun.25.2007). Interestingly, at that time, Saturn was virtually stationary, having just turned Direct 3 days before the New Moon. This time it's Neptune that is almost stationary, getting ready to turn Retrograde on May.26 (below). While at the New Moon, Saturn was especially strong, at the Full Moon it is Neptune whose energy is intense and dominant.

Saturn and Neptune bring logic, structure and realism (Saturn) head to head with imagination, idealism and the unknown (Neptune). These opposites are not easy to reconcile. At the last New Moon, it was the structure and groundedness of Saturn that was dominant. This time, it is Neptune's aura of influence that we are likely to feel the most. The striving, ambition and sense of purpose inherent in the Grand Cross could be driven largely by the promise of what the result will bring. The problem is that a vision of possibilities is not necessarily real or realistic. The struggle of the Grand Cross could involve facing some disillusioning truths before you're ready to push on toward an attainable goal. However, the potential achievement in the Grand Cross can also manifest a depth of inspiration and vision, if you're willing to ground it in specifics, practicality and attention to details.

The Sun and Venus are conjunct at the Full Moon, which encourages sensual pleasure and a desire for material security. However, Venus is in a very tight square to elusive Neptune, warning you that "all that glitters may not be gold." In other words, it pays to examine the gifts and blessings that come your way with a critical eye, in case you are seeing what you want to see rather than what is really there. However, this can also produce creative tension that motivates you to go the extra distance to acquire the very best results possible.

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Finally, we're approaching a time when Mercury, Chiron and Neptune all station (change direction) within a mere 2 days. Mercury and Chiron are in exact trine aspect when this happens! These alignments are still a week away, but the intense collective energy of these stations is building now and is imprinted in the Full Moon effects. It's probably easier than usual to see the healing and beauty in suffering and struggle. This can go a long way to offset the discomfort, frustration or hardship that the Grand Cross tends to bring. (More about this below.)

And remember that all this exists in a context of the 29th degree�longing to be in the new cycle and feeling ready to jump off the edge of the cliff into the unknown, but stuck in the old one where you are still living out the events and effects of the last four weeks. Don't be in a hurry to dismiss this in-between space. There is enormous power in liminal spaces because you are immersed in deep potential. The decisions, focus and commitments that you give your passion to now can take you further than usual. The trick is to be guided both by where you want to go as well as where you have been.

Want to know more? A personal astrology reading can help get you bring your destination into clear focus, as well as helping you do closure on what has been that you're letting go of. Find out more...


May.20 � Venus square Neptune (24:15 of Taurus/Aquarius)

Money, material resources, relationships and pleasure could be subject to confusion, deception, or unrealistic wishful thinking under this transit. It may seem that what you thought you had (love, friendship, pleasure, money, resources) has suddenly disappeared or isn't as dependable as you thought it was. You might feel disappointed, disillusioned, sad or alone, but this is more likely to be a passing phase than a serious crisis. The question is: what are your secret longings and subtle desires that may be operating unconsciously? These could be clouding your ability to relate to people and situations in your life. Old addictions, depression or idealism may surface as way of dealing with feelings. A better outlet would be to channel your feelings and experiences into creativity, beauty, inspiration and compassion; for example, art, music or helping others.

May.20 � Sun enters Gemini (until Jun.20/21) (May.21 in AU)

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 � Jupiter sextile Uranus (22:08 of Capricorn) (May.22 in AU)

Brilliant ideas, breakthrough insights and unconventional opportunities! This is a very creative transit�not just artistically, but especially in terms of combining ideas and possibilities in innovative ways. At its best, you could feel like unseen hands are lifting you free of hopelessness and cynicism, opening up new potential and vision. On the other hand, you might also feel that you're being asked to live up to a lot more than you feel capable of fulfilling; and it might feel that this vision lies just a bit farther than your reach. Allow it to unfold in its own time, and watch for opportunities to take steps toward that vision. You don't have to give up your old depression, cynicism or pessimism all at once, but let yourself become open to a different way of seeing things a little at a time. Let this change come to you; you don't have to force it.

This is the second of 3 passes of this transit (Mar.28, May.21, Nov.13). Its effects can be felt up to 6 weeks before and after the exact dates. At this second pass, the Jupiter-Uranus sextile is still involved in a Little Eye aspect configuration with Chiron, the North Lunar Node and Neptune. This configuration is still quite close in orb (within about 3 degrees). This is a good time to look at your creative and philosophical possibilities a little differently than you did 2 months ago. If you've been letting go of old patterns during that time, you might be in a "bargaining" phase where you attempt to salvage the best of those patterns rather than believe you must lose everything. There's nothing wrong with this; just remember that it's likely just part of the process, not the destination.

May.22 � Sun square Saturn (02:01 of Gemini/Virgo) (May.23 in AU)

It is necessary for you to come to grips with limitations, boundaries or expectations. If you have been avoiding some task or obligation, this transit might bring consequences from that avoidance or a warning of consequences to come. You might also encounter a situation that requires you to accept unwanted responsibility or restricts your freedom in some way. You might be faced with some part of your life being pruned back, either to rein in something that is out of control or to make room for new growth. This is likely to be more or less stressful depending on how comfortable you are dealing with responsibility, authority, limits and hard work. If you have a hard time with authority issues, you might find yourself in conflict with someone in authority under this transit -- perhaps in part because your buttons are getting pushed. On the other hand, this could also be a time when you are challenged to take action or make a decision that involves taking on more responsibility. It is also a time when you may have to find better ways to deal with personal boundaries -- accepting others' or learning to assert your own. You're bumping up against reality, so try to work constructively with it, not hurl yourself against it.

May.23 � Mercury Direct trine Chiron (21:09 of Gemini/Aquarius)

Your mental focus and communication now get an injection of healing energy. Cynicism and depression may soften now, as you become more receptive to a more optimistic viewpoint. If you have been caught up in escapism or "stinkin' thinkin'" (thinking you're more in control of your impulses than you really are), you may now find some relief and healing. Mental argument and critical "self-talk" can now find some reconciliation and acceptance that brings some peace of mind. You have increased ability to find the right words and understanding to help others with their problems. Compassion and empathy may be more accessible because you can identify your own experiences with what you see in others. You might also find someone who can give you good advice or support about your own problems -- possibly a teacher or mentor -- or you could become this to someone else.

This is the first of three passes: May.23, May29 and Jul.03. Both Mercury and Chiron are stationary during this pass (May.26 and May.25, respectively). Read more about this under Multiple Stations, below.

May.24 � Venus enters Gemini (until Jun.18) (May.25 in AU)

Relationships, finances, resources and values take on an air of curiosity, communication and cleverness. It is a good time to discuss, think about and create strategies to improve these areas or make them more enjoyable. You may be especially curious, flirtatious or easy-going now -- so much so that you might drift into superficiality (which might be a welcome rest from more intense or committed social activity). It can be a good time to exchange ideas and information with others, especially in a social context. Schmoozing and networking with others are prime examples of this. This can also be a good time to negotiate contracts and agreements with people, in this atmosphere of information exchange. Just remember that it's one thing to use charm and humor to influence the direction of the discussion, but it may not be wise to indulge in blatant manipulation of others.

May.25-26 � Multiple Retrograde Stations (Mercury, Chiron, Neptune)  ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read articles about Retrograde planets.)

Over the span of just 2 days, we have 3 planets making a retrograde station. That's a lot of energy grinding to a halt and changing direction all at once! It's like getting caught in a series of whirlpools while going down the rapids. First Chiron, then Mercury, then Neptune make a U-turn. A station makes a planet's energy especially intense and prominent. Having three planets doing this at once will create some very concentrated energy. Chiron contributes the challenge to find healing through the acceptance of imperfection. Mercury moves us to rethink the old ways and come up with new ways to do just that. Neptune urges us to surrender to the healing process through dreams, meditation, music and compassion.

What is even more interesting about this multiple station is that Mercury is in an exact trine aspect to Chiron and the North Lunar Node when this happens. And even the Moon joins in the party when it conjuncts the Chiron-Node-Neptune trio on the 26th. This trine can greatly enhance your creative imagination and intuitive perception. It could also amplify your tendency to see the very best or the very worst in things, neither of which is entirely accurate.


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May.25 � Chiron stationary Retrograde (21:09 of Aquarius)  ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read article about Stations.  Read articles about Retrograde planets.)

The Retrograde station can be felt for up to a week before and after this date, especially through intensity and concentrated energy. Since Chiron is often about health, you may find health issues coming to the foreground now. General issues about wounding, healing and hurt�physically, emotionally and/or spiritually�may come to a turning point now, making it necessary to take some time for healing, reconstruction, and reconciliation of the energies that are out of balance in your life. The station begins this process, which gradually unfolds over the next 5 months. Focus your energies on acknowledging the areas that need healing work in your life�literally or figuratively. Don't forget that, although there are areas that need healing, there are also areas that you have made progress on in the past. It's important to balance acknowledgement of the work to be done with recognition of what you have already achieved in the past.

May.26 � Mercury stationary Retrograde (21:32 of Gemini; until Jun.19) (May.27 in AU)  ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read article about Mercury Retrograde.  Read article about Stations.  Read articles about Retrograde planets.)

Mercury now goes retrograde for the next 3-3� 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 its own sign of 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. You could change your mind about ideas, situations or people, as you come to rethink and rehash these from a different point of view. Your curiosity might lead you to some strange but enlightening perceptions, ideas and information. However, it is also possible to become unusually mentally scattered, fragmented or ungrounded during this time (even for Mercury retrograde!) Communication is likely to be especially tricky, and you might find your mouth says something very different from what your brain intended. You could be easily distractible and leave off sentences half way through, as your mind chases off after a new thought. However, this can be a good time for intuitive or creative communication. Good ideas and astute perceptions might come to you in flashes of insight. 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.

May.26 � Neptune stationary Retrograde (24:15 of Aquarius) (May.27 in AU)  ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read article about Stations.  Read articles about Retrograde planets.)

For up to a week before and after this date, you may feel a thick concentration of Neptune energy. This could include vivid dreams and imagination, foggy confusion or fluid intuition. You might experience unusual sensitivity to the people and situations around you. The station could create a turning point in situations that have unfolded over the last few months, especially those in which you need to surrender to something greater than yourself, whether that is the creative process, a stressful situation or the Universe in general. This can be a time when you come to an internal acceptance (or resignation) about what needs to be done in your life. As a result, you might feel a sense of longing, dissatisfaction, disappointment, sadness, depression, fatigue or low energy. Or, you might feel a sense of unburdening relief, inspiration, hopeful possibilities or deep beauty. The next 5-6 months will be a time to probe the spaces in between the facts and the uncertainties � to learn about that force greater than yourself, as well as the (unconscious) part of yourself that longs to merge with it.

May.26 � Venus square Saturn (02:10 of Gemini/Virgo) (May.27 in AU)

Finances, relationships, social contacts and/or pleasures may seem blocked or require extra effort right now. Manifesting your desires may require added hard work, but this struggle could also bring you closer to your goals. It may feel like there is a huge rock blocking your path that keeps you from fulfilling your heart's desire. It may be necessary to face some difficult aspect of your situation before it is possible to know how to proceed. This is ultimately a problem to be solved by confronting that which is unrealistic, unworkable, or just not in your best interest. This can also be a time when you arrive at a crossroads and must make some firm choices, or when circumstances might force you to change your direction. This transit can make your choice clear, although it might not be the one you hoped for.

May.29 � Mercury Retrograde trine Chiron (21:08 of Gemini/Aquarius) (May.30 in AU)

Your mental focus and communication now get an injection of healing energy. Cynicism and depression may soften now, as you become more receptive to a more optimistic viewpoint. If you have been caught up in escapism or "stinkin' thinkin'" (thinking you're more in control of your impulses than you really are), you may now find some relief and healing. Mental argument and critical "self-talk" can now find some reconciliation and acceptance that brings some peace of mind. You have increased ability to find the right words and understanding to help others with their problems. Compassion and empathy may be more accessible because you can identify your own experiences with what you see in others. You might also find someone who can give you good advice or support about your own problems -- possibly a teacher or mentor -- or you could become this to someone else.

This is the second of three passes: May.23, May.29 and Jul.03. Mercury and Chiron are both still stationary. Read more about these multiple stations above.

Jun.01-11 � Multiple Conjunction (Sun, Mercury Retrograde, Venus)

This is an alignment of spirit, heart and mind�of purpose, pleasure and perception. It's not uncommon for these three planets to be in the same sign together, but having the three of them closely conjunct is relatively rare. (The last time was August 2007.)

The Sun and Venus have been within orb of conjunction since mid-May. Then, starting at the beginning of June, Mercury moves backwards to conjoin them both. This triple conjunction is at its most exact Jun.07-09. The Sun and Venus go on to trine Chiron and Neptune (which Mercury did in late May when there was a triple station). This multiple conjunction will be featured in the coming New Moon in Gemini (Jun.03).

Jun.02 � Chiron conjunct Lunar North Node (21:07 of Aquarius) (Jun.03 in AU)  ("What's the Lunar Node?")

What does healing mean for you right now? What wounds do you carry that are ready to be healed? These might be physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual or social. Or perhaps there is a situation in your life that probably can't be completely resolved, but could probably be managed with the right strategies? Or, maybe you are in a situation where you feel you have to be something you're not, or where you don't seem to entirely fit in with the surrounding environment. This is a time when these issues are likely to be more prominent than usual. You might find people who can help you work through these areas. Or, perhaps you will encounter people who bring out that woundedness in you by aggravating those wounds somehow, giving you the dubious but authentic opportunity to learn more about what you need to heal and get past those problems. Remember that Chiron heals by giving you a nudge in the direction of the problem, rather than away from it, so if it seems like things are getting worse, you may be closer to finding a remedy than you realise. Try looking at the situation from a different perspective.

This is the first of 3 passes of this transit: Jun.02, Aug.10 and Oct.16. This pass is in it strongest effect from mid-May until mid-June. Overall, this transit stays within a wider orb from the end of March through to December, making it one of the prominent themes of this year.

Next Update:  NEW MOON in GEMINI - June 3, 2008. Available by Jun.03.

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