Low-Down Archives for May 2012

New Moon Taurus, Full Moon Scorpio, Planetary Transits

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

Annie sits you down to eat,
She always makes you welcome in,
Cats and babies 'round her feet,
And all are fat and none are thin,
None are thin and all are fat,
She may bake some brownies today,
Saying, you are welcome back,
She is another canyon lady...
~ Joni Mitchell (Ladies of the Canyon)

Apr.21 – NEW MOON in TAURUS (01:35 of Taurus)


Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Apr.21, 2012, 3:18 AM EDT

London, UK:

Apr.21, 2012, 8:18 AM BST

Sydney, AU:

Apr.21, 2012, 5:18 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.

To the New Moon, Taurus is like a warm fuzzy nest with an egg that's getting ready to hatch! The Moon is exalted in Taurus, meaning that Taurus brings out the best in the Moon. Some of the Moon's best traits include caring, nurturing, connection, warmth and empathy. The ideal image of the Moon in Taurus is the loving Mom who always has a big squishy hug waiting for you. She bakes cookies and breads that fill the house with aromas guaranteed to melt even the coldest heart.

Sadly, ideal images are like Norman Rockwell paintings � they look so easy and effortless, but rarely happen in real life. The down side of Taurus is that the Moon can also be more concerned with baking and amassing those cookies and breads and keeping them for herself than giving the comforting hug, especially if the latter interferes with the former. Emotional eating and buying�using food or money to comfort your distressed feelings�is a constant temptation, which could result in physical or financial health problems. Feelings can also get stuck in stubborn self-protection mode, so that the Moon's usual ability to give empathy could become a neediness to receive empathy from others.

During the Taurus New Moon lunar cycle over the next 4 weeks, a good way to use the energy is to become aware of the ways you and others use Taurus energy in both positive and not-so-positive ways. Indulge in sensory delights and find new ways to make a comfy, cozy connection with your body�but be careful not to overdo it.

Venus, Ruler of Taurus

Venus is the ruling planet of Taurus. Where goes Venus, there goes the Taurus New Moon cycle. Venus just recently (Apr.12) went into the Retrograde Shadow to prepare for her upcoming retrograde phase. Are you wondering how this will affect you? Perhaps you're not sure what Venus retrograde even means?

The Universe has conveniently provided a tool to help you get focused on the Venus energy � the New Moon in Taurus! Venus being the planetary ruler of Taurus, her energy and the New Moon's energy are woven together.

The Taurus side of Venus is about pleasure, sensuality and abundance. It is focused on the physical world and the material resources that sustain us and embellish our lives. From the food that sustains our bodies to the money that supports our participation in the world around us, Taurus and Venus are about the preservation, enjoyment and growth of our physical existence.

Venus is currently in Gemini and will remain there for the duration of her retrograde cycle (in the Shadow from Apr.12 to Jul.31, and retrograde from May.15 to Jun.27). Venus in Gemini is about expressing beauty in words, both spoken and written. It draws us into experiencing pleasure in communication and sensory perception, and finding value in the sharing and exchange of ideas.

How do ideas sustain your physical existence? How can words support your preservation and growth? For someone like a writer who earns their living through ideas and words, the answer is obvious; but everyone experiences these concepts in some way.

The idea of who you are can certainly affect your physical existence. For example, if you believe you are undeserving of that which allows you to survive and thrive, then this can greatly affect your ability to draw that into your life.

Venus in Gemini is playful, flirtatious and light-hearted. She wants to kick up her high heels and dance in a sassy way. These are wonderful qualities to keep you sane or even to be added to the hard work that must be done to support you. But this could also be a liability if you need to buckle down and get serious about budgeting, stabilizing your material growth or saving for the future. At best, Venus in Gemini can be the "whistle while you work" mentality. At worst, it can be like "fiddling while Rome burns."

This is a very special and rare Venus retrograde cycle because Venus will actually cross the face of the Sun when they conjoin on Jun.05. Astronomy calls this a transit of Venus, in the sense that Venus transits across the disc of the Sun. It is an eclipse of sorts � just as the Moon moves in front of the Sun during a solar eclipse, Venus will do the same, although Venus' distance means the whole Sun isn't blocked like it is during an eclipse with the Moon. Instead, Venus will appear as a dot on the Sun. Think of it as a beauty mark. ;-)

How does an eclipsing Venus affect us? This is a conjunction that is also parallel � think of it as being aligned both left-to-right and up-and-down. This kind of alignment is always stronger and more focused. When a planet is "in the heart of the Sun" (also known as being Cazimi), it colours the Sun's energy with its own. In this case, all things Venus are briefly bumped up in prestige and power.

At its best, it can bring a loving heart full of joie de vivre! But if the Sun and Venus are stressed by aspect to other planets, their combined energy at its worst could sink into manipulation, seduction and self-absorbed scheming. Most of us will experience something somewhere between these extremes.

Saturn, the Cosmic Bad Guy

Meanwhile, back at the New Moon in Taurus, Saturn is opposing the Sun and Moon. Saturn is the "bad guy" we love to hate. He represents discipline, seriousness, responsibility and authority � all those things that tell us "NO" when we want to do something spontaneously, unconventionally or intuitively. So, for example, you might be seized by the urge to buy that new iPad 2 but be blocked by the realization that you won't be able to pay your bills this month if you do. Dontcha hate it when that happens?? "Do I or don't I? I really really want it, but having food in the fridge is also a good thing..."

The quality of indecision is not a trivial one. Saturn is in Libra. Saturn says we must choose; commit ourselves; focus on one path and let the other one fall behind us. Yet Libra is not exactly known for its ability to choose. It sees both sides of the argument so clearly that neither option is the obvious best choice. Each has its advantages and its drawbacks. To be fair about all options, how can you choose just one?

"Do I or don't I?" However, this being Saturn, it might seem more like "Should I or shouldn't I?" Saturn is full of shoulds � it wants us to achieve our highest level of success. And with Saturn there's no shortage of advice about what will work best � and the consequences if you don't follow that advice! Guilt is Saturn's favourite way to make us pay at a very personal level for what it declares to be a mistake.

Since it's an opposition, it can feel like these "shoulds" are coming from outside of yourself � from an authority figure, from sharp-edged circumstances that coldly demand concrete action from you, or from the advice or potential judgment of others. At its best it can be the kick in the pants that gets you moving, motivated and manifesting. However, it can also be a burden that you must carry before you can reap the rewards of your labours.

So, if you've been struggling financially, for example, this New Moon might be experienced as discouragement that you might never get out from under the weight of countless bills. Or you might be plagued with guilt that you haven't done more to turn your finances into a well-oiled machine that cranks out whatever you need like clockwork.

Some of that guilt or discouragement might be valid. It's possible you can do more to stabilize your finances. But you have to live too, and living only to count the number of digits in your bank balance is one of Taurus' most unhealthy traits.

And yet, everything is relative. It's easy to say "money isn't everything" when you have enough to pay for a roof over your head and enough food to sustain you. To someone who loses their home and who must rely on food banks to feed themselves or their family, money is everything! When your physical existence is anything at risk, it's almost impossible to relax and enjoy the sweet sensory pleasures that Taurus has to give when you're constantly worried about the future.

Neptune ~ Don't Worry, Be Happy

Denial is one of the few ways you can blot out the haunting spectre of the worst case scenario. You can join friends and pretend for a few hours that life is fine and you have no cares in the world. Some people indulge in drugs or drink to keep the panic at bay, even though it is counterproductive in the long run. If you're living that close to the bone, the long run seems impossibly far away.

Enter Neptune, who is still (if widely) in trine aspect (120�) to Saturn and in close sextile aspect (60�) to the Sun and Moon. Neptune's gifts can provide a creative alternative to Saturn's predictability.

Neptune is an expert at denial. Don't worry, be happy! Your imagination can take you anywhere and create any reality you want. Sometimes this is very helpful. It can help you suspend your fears enough for hope to boost your spirits and keep you moving toward a better future. This can be a powerful remedy if you're paralyzed with dread and hopelessness. When you're in that state, life can't flow enough to release its natural magic; for example, unexpected events that can change your direction to a more beneficial one.

On the other hand, too much denial can separate you from the world of time and space to the point where you're not able to function very well in it. If rent is still overdue from a few months ago and your landlord is threatening to kick you out on the street, then overindulgence in denial can almost guarantee you'll lose your home. Not good.

Thanksgiving Pie, by Norman Rockwell

So during this lunar cycle, use Neptune's creative imagination, vision and faith to help you get un-stuck from Saturn's less savoury consequences. But remember that a little Neptune goes a long way, and too much can keep you stuck in the very consequences you need to get past.

Counting Your Blessings

Taurus can be very hard working, but it can also be lazy. It's a Fixed sign, which means that if it's lounging and basking in pleasurable relaxation (it's favourite form of exercise), it might take wild horses (or perhaps Saturn) to get it up off the couch to do something productive. Being fixed, it also means that once it's motoring along in productive mode, it usually gets into a rhythmic routine and can stay in that rhythm for a long time.

Saturn might seem to bring out the worst in that fixed nature, but he's isn't always the "bad guy." Saturn can be the undeniable force that gets you moving in an area where you've been getting a bit too comfy or stuck. Or it could be the obstacle that makes you slow down, giving you have a chance to enjoy your Taurus/Venus capacity for pleasure, relaxation and enjoyment.

Venus has a special starring role in this drama, since she rules both the Taurus New Moon and Saturn in Libra. So what's Venus doing? She's in Gemini and square to Chiron. She's got a cold, coughing her pretty lungs out and cursing whoever she caught it from.

On a more personal level, your sense of values, finances, resources and pleasure could be feeling a bit under the weather � perhaps a bit stuck or sluggish or meeting resistance of some kind. This doesn't necessarily mean a lower income � it could also mean conditions that push you to re-evaluate what you're spending your money, your energy, your time or your good will on. The good news is that the upcoming Venus retrograde cycle will give you some time to delve into your Venus issues and find ways to heal them at a deeper level.

The New Moon cycle in Taurus is a time to count your blessings � both those that are already in your life and the ones you want to grow in your life's garden. It's a time to plant seeds � literally and figuratively � so that the good stuff in life can perpetuate itself and so that the bad stuff can get recycled out. Saturn's message is that this will require planning, discipline and some delay of gratification. Venus' message is that old dysfunctional patterns may need to be healed in your life before new growth can thrive. Neptune's message is that hope, faith and creative imagination are available to help you get through it.

Overall, it takes patience to allow the process to evolve and unfold in its own time. So, while you're waiting, smell the roses, drink in the glowing sunsets, listen to the most beautiful music you can find, savour the food you are blessed with and make friends with your body. If you have an abundance of Taurus gifts, share them with others. If you need more of Taurus' gifts, start with what you have and allow more to grow in small steps.

Apr.22 – Sun sextile Neptune (02:38 of Taurus/Pisces)

Faith in the bountiful blessings of the Universe is within reach under this transit...but then, so is the fantasy that you will be magically granted anything you wish for. Although this is mostly a very positive energy, you could become so immersed in your longing for the ideal that you have trouble dealing with the less-than-ideal realities that still must be dealt with. Gaining the benefit from this transit will still require some effort. Hope, optimism and imagination are in the air, which could bring some relief from any depression or discouragement you might be feeling. Your creativity and imagination can be very inspired under this transit. Your sense of self could also get an infusion of uplifting vision, and you may experience a sense of mission, feeling that you are truly a Child of the Universe. There is potential now to lift you out of the ordinary and into the sublime – spiritually, creatively, romantically or compassionately – although this will require your cooperation to take advantage of it. Enjoy it while it lasts, but before you make changes based on what might feel like a permanent condition, remember that this is mostly a temporary influence and you will still have to live within the bounds of the physical world after it passes. Don't make overly optimistic promises now, that you will have to fulfil later when the euphoria wears off.

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Apr.22 – Mercury Direct conjunct Uranus (06:07 of Aries)  (Apr.23 in AU)

Communication and thoughts can be radical, spontaneous, unusual and uncharacteristic under this transit. You may be compelled to speak your mind to say things you've held back from saying before now. However, as the saying goes, there is a risk of "shooting off your mouth before your brains are loaded." It is a time when you are likely to be open-minded and flexible in your perceptions. Our eyes are wide open, and as a result, we may be a bit shocked, surprised or stunned by what we see. This can also release our creative genius and bring inspired clarity, especially as we look to the future. Encounters with groups, friends and the greater community are also possible at this time.

This is the last of 3 passes of this transit: Mar.05, Mar.18, Apr.22. There were a lot of fireworks when the first two passes happened � expect a grande finale!

Apr.23 – Sun trine Mars (04:15 of Taurus/Virgo)  (Apr.24 in UK, AU)

Your energy, purpose, vitality and health are likely to be strong and clear during this transit. Your sense of purpose is supported by your ability to assert yourself and take a stand for what you want and what you believe in. In general, this transit is a great time to take action, especially if you have prepared the way and have all your ducks in a row. If you've been waiting for a spurt of self-confidence or motivation, this transit could give you the push you need to move forward in your plans or goals. Strive to be spontaneous rather than impulsive, and confident rather than arrogant.

Apr.23 – Mercury leaves the Retrograde Shadow (06:49 of Aries)  ("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.

At the moment, Mercury is still in mutual reception with Mars, and the two have shown themselves to be a dual force to be reckoned with! It's possible that the Mercury retrograde trickster effects won't be quite finished until Mercury moves into Taurus.

Apr.23-May.02 – Grand Trine Kite aspect pattern (2-12 degrees in Earth signs and Pisces)

Grand Trine Kite in Earth

The Grand Trine part of this aspect pattern is kind of a repeat of the Grand Trine (Mar.03-26) with Mars (then retrograde), Jupiter and Pluto. This time, The Sun takes up the Taurus corner of the triangle in place of Jupiter (who has since moved out of orb). So we have the Sun, Mars (now direct) and Pluto, all in trine aspect to each other (120�), which is a pretty powerful combination of energies! You might feel courageous and invincible � certainly capable and confident � ready to take on the world in a take-no-prisoners kind of way.

On the other hand, this energy could also conjure the vision of what it would be like to feel like that. Ironically, it's possible that rather than powerful and energized, you might feel discouraged, inadequate or stuck. This is the Kite part of the figure: Mars opposite Chiron. In order to enjoy the benefits of the Grand Trine, it may be necessary to "get over" the discouragement or guilt from having fallen short of your utmost potential. Chiron's message is "It's okay to be human. You don't have to be perfect." Do your best � it's all any of us can do. You are a co-creator of your reality, along with others around you and the Universe. This aspect pattern can remind you how to work cooperatively and effectively with other influences. You don't have to do it all alone. And you're probably better at it than you think you are.

Apr.25 – Mercury Direct square Pluto (09:30 of Aries/Pluto)  (Apr.26 in AU)

You are faced now with a challenge to empower your communication and perceptions, although this may not come easily. It could involve having to face some rather difficult truths that might be a bit disturbing or hard to accept. However in doing so, you gain a deeper understanding and acceptance of yourself, your situation and your role within it. Obsessive or persistent thoughts that are morbid or paranoid are possible, which could be helped by finding something more positive to focus on or a creative outlet. Communication (from others or yourself or both) could be intense, intimidating or even downright damaging, since it may be tempting to get caught up in power struggles and domination. But communication can also be used now to heal, by cutting through hypocrisy and insincerity in order to reach a deeper authenticity and truth – like lancing a boil so that healing can take place.

Apr.28 – Sun sextile Chiron (08:50 of Taurus/Pisces)  (Apr.29 in AU)

This is a time when you have an opportunity to mend and heal the chronic struggles in your life. You may find new inspiration, motivation or confidence that can help rejuvenate waning enthusiasm or reconcile persistent problems, although you'll still have to apply effort to bring it all together. You might get the chance to demonstrate your ability to walk your own path in a new way. Or, you might get a peek inside the hidden shadow of your worries and discouragement, giving you new insight into how you might be unconsciously sabotaging your conscious efforts. You may have to face a bit of your own fear of failure or low self-esteem before you can get beyond these feelings and tap into the benefits of this transit – not because you are failing but because these concerns may arise in response to the new potential now available to you. By tapping into this potential for creative problem solving, you can bring some healing to whatever your situation is.


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Apr.29 – Sun trine Pluto (09:28 of Taurus/Capricorn)

Your sense of purpose is strong now, as you are able to tap into a deeper level of energy and determination. Your personality is likely to be more forceful now, which can be great if you need to make a strong impression but perhaps not so much in situations requiring delicacy or subtlety. Your ability to see below the surface of things is especially clear, and it may be possible to unearth secrets or get at the core of unconscious patterns (yours or others'). This is a time when your personal presence may come across as somewhat "larger than life," so you need to remember that a little goes a long way during this transit. This could be a time when you suddenly find the strength to stand up and assert your personal power in a situation that has felt overwhelming or discouraging. On the other hand, if you are still struggling to learn how to own your power, without using nuclear bombs to make your point, you may still feel a bit overwhelmed or daunted by this transit. In that case, take smaller steps and don't try to push the river.

Apr.30 – Mars square North Lunar Node (05:18 of Virgo/Sagittarius)  (May.01 in UK, AU)

For a week or so, it might feel like the actions you must take to deal with current circumstances are at cross purposes to what you see as your higher purpose or optimal direction in life. You might feel at odds with others, or in the wrong place at the wrong time. On the other hand, this can be a time when being forced to take a temporary "detour" off your chosen path can bring an opportunity to gather new resources, information or insight that can actually help you more, in the long run, than if you had stayed on the main path. However, there's never any one way to experience a given transit. The question becomes: is veering off the main path something that enables you to avoid something you should be facing? Or is does this detour bring you to a new perspective or resources that you are resisting because it's off the main path? Either way, it's a good idea to balance your impulses and passions with mindful awareness.

This is the last of 3 passes of this transit: Dec.13.2011, Mar.19.2012 and Apr.30.2012.

May.03 – Mercury sextile Venus (21:36 of Aries/Gemini)

There is a potential to benefit from social connections, diplomatic communication and receptive awareness during this transit, although a certain amount of effort is needed to make this happen. It can be a good time for negotiating contracts and other agreements, especially if you consciously focus your intent on achieving balance with your counterpart, partner or opponent that results in a win-win situation for all concerned. There is also potential to appreciate and express beauty, pleasure and sensuality. If there's someone in your life that you want to get closer to, try speaking gently and listening receptively, which can be the key that opens the door to harmonious interaction. Creative ideas can also find expression now if you apply your conscious awareness to bring them into focus. The thing to watch for is a tendency to use manipulation to achieve an advantage, which might be done by you or to you. Keep communication straightforward and clear, and find diplomatic ways to deal with manipulation if you sense it happening.

May.05 – Mercury opposite Saturn (24:40 of Aries/Libra)

The time has come to face facts. There may be a reality in your life that you've been avoiding, and you need to accept and deal with it. Or, you might have to conform to the expectations of others because there's no other way around it. Or, you could find that your ability to communicate, say what you want to say, or get your point across is harder for a few days. This will pass, but there may be concrete reasons why this might not be the best time to communicate whatever is on your mind. You might feel a bit as if you're being tested, and in some way this could be true. This transit may bring an opportunity to see how much you really know and how skilled you are at using that knowledge. On the other hand, this could be a time when hard work and preparation that you've done for several months could pay off. You may be able to progress to the next step in a project, or to make plans in an organised, concrete and responsible way. For a few days, taking a structured, methodical or factual approach to whatever you're doing may produce the best results.

Chart for the Full Moon in Scorpio
Chart for the Full Moon in Scorpio

May.05 – FULL MOON in SCORPIO (16:01 of Sign)


Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

May.05, 2012, 11:35 PM EDT

London, UK:

May.06, 2012, 4:35 AM BST

Sydney, AU:

May.06, 2012, 1:35 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.

Hi, this is Wendy. I'm taking a bit of time off and expect to be back again for the Solar Eclipse ~ New Moon in Gemini. In the meantime, fabulous author, speaker and professional astrologer, Kim Rogers-Gallagher, has generously stepped in to write the Low-Down article for the Full Moon in Scorpio. Many thanks, Kim!

Full Moons are always tricky times.

It's the Moon's show, for starters, she's the Queen of Emotions, and we humans aren't notorious for handling that particular area of life very well. When the Moon's light peaks, no matter where she happens to be, our feelings also peak, for better or worse, and we tend to react more strongly than at other times.

Just ask anyone who's ever worked in an ER or a Police Station. Full Moons are "prime-time" for emotional outbursts, and emotional outbursts often lead to emergency or urgent situations. It's just how we roll.

Now, this particular Full Moon happens to be activating Scorpio, a very deep, very focused, very intense sign that's ruled by Pluto, whose reputation precedes him, for obvious reasons. He's the Lord of the Underworld, the head of the astrological Department of Sex, Death, Taxes and All Unseen Processes. Talk about a tough job!

His jurisdiction also includes subterfuge, secrets, obsessions and endings. As his sign, Scorpio is authorized to delve into all those matters and more, and to come up for air only after The Designated Mission has been accomplished. In short, planets in Scorpio are undercover multi-taskers. They function as analysts, assassins and detectives. They love to dig, and they won't stop digging until they get to the core of the matter - again, for better or worse.

Add all these qualities to the emotions of the Moon, bring them all to a peak, and it's easy to see why this weekend may be, as the infamous "They" often say, an "interesting" one, for many of us. Anything that's gone past the point of being fixed or "made better" may break down, irreparably so. That goes for relationships, work situations, objects and lifestyles. If it's not helping you along your Evolutionary Path, it will have to go, even if you don't understand why.

The good news is that you'll be able to see the fatal flaws now if you look closely, and if you willingly release what's no longer working for you, you'll be creating the space needed for new beginnings. The not-so-good news is that the process may not be pleasant. Think of a forest fire. It's devastating at the time, but once it's over, the ground is fertilized and ready to nurture an army of brand new life-forms. It's not pleasant, but it's necessary and inevitable, and in the end, it will have quite positive results.

Of course, the other side of the Full Moon in Scorpio is the Sun in Taurus, and there's no sign that's better at hoarding, on all levels, from the emotional to the material to the physical. Taurus is stubborn, fixed and every bit as determined as Scorpio - and there lies the rub. We hang on to what's comfortable, but we also associate habits and familiarity with comfort, and comfort with happiness, which isn't always the case.

Anything becomes normal after we've endured it for a while, but that doesn't mean it makes us happy. It's this tug of war between the Sun and Moon that will provide the basis for the struggle, but remember � it's the Moon's show. In other words, don't try to hang on to what's "normal" to you if it's no longer working. The harder you grip on to it, the more "un-gently" this relentless Moon will shake you off.

So: why resist? Just let go and look ahead. It's time to rest, reflect and imagine what would be better, and to use your positive intentions to fertilize your future.

This Full Moon may also come up with something that's been covered or hidden, and with Sun's spotlight on her, secrets will surely be revealed. If you've been keeping anything under wraps or hiding something from yourself or others, don't be surprised if it emerges rather unceremoniously now, demanding to be dealt with. Take a deep breath, look at what's emerged, and rest assured that it's a necessary part of your evolutionary journey. Then clear the boards and prepare yourself, because Newness will soon become the order of the day.

Finally, keep in mind that The Universe has arranged for two celestial "Guardian Angels" to get us through this time, and they're quite experienced at it. Generous, benevolent Jupiter will be on duty by the Sun's side, a kindly Uncle with a great, big celestial checkbook who's always only too happy to dole out goodies, especially when you're not exactly on top of the world.

Also, while thoughtful Mercury will be opposite to serious Saturn (the astrological technology behind "goodbyes"), tender-hearted Venus will be there to soften any loss with a sweet peck on the cheek and the promise of new love, new life and the long-term satisfaction that comes from a job well done.

Do what needs to be done. Let go of what needs to leave. This Moon insists on it � but rest assured that your support systems will be there, as will your new paths. All you have to do is reach out and ask for directions.

About Kim Rogers-Gallagher: Ever since Kim fell in love with astrology close to 30 years ago, she's written hundreds of articles and columns, as well as two books: Astrology for the Light Side of the Brain and Astrology For The Light Side Of The Future. She has contributed to several astrological anthologies, as well as several major astrology websites. She writes email horoscopes for Astrology.com and created The Cosmic Caf�, available on StarIQ.com and ACS.com. Kim is currently working on her third book, Astrology for the Light Side of Relationships. And if you haven't yet caught her hilarious daily "Planetations" on Facebook yet, do check her out! http://www.facebook.com/KRGFenix Kim is a well-known international speaker�be sure to catch her at UAC 2012 on May 24-29 in New Orleans! She shares her Florida home with her beloved pets and computer. Kim is available for readings, writing requests and speaking engagements. Contact her at KRGPhoenix313@yahoo.com.


May.05 – Mercury opposite Saturn (24:40 of Aries/Libra)

The time has come to face facts. There may be a reality in your life that you've been avoiding, and you need to accept and deal with it. Or, you might have to conform to the expectations of others because there's no other way around it. Or, you could find that your ability to communicate, say what you want to say, or get your point across is harder for a few days. This will pass, but there may be concrete reasons why this might not be the best time to communicate whatever is on your mind. You might feel a bit as if you're being tested, and in some way this could be true. This transit may bring an opportunity to see how much you really know and how skilled you are at using that knowledge. On the other hand, this could be a time when hard work and preparation that you've done for several months could pay off. You may be able to progress to the next step in a project, or to make plans in an organised, concrete and responsible way. For a few days, taking a structured, methodical or factual approach to whatever you're doing may produce the best results.

May.09 – Mercury enters Taurus (until Jun.07)

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.10 – Mercury sextile Neptune (02:59 of Taurus/Pisces)  (May.11 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.10-16 – Grand Trine Kite aspect pattern

Grand Trine Kite with Mercury

This is the third incarnation of this Grand Trine Kite involving Mars trine Pluto. The first one formed in March with Jupiter, and the second one in April with the Sun, and now again in May with Mercury. There are two important aspects that are present during these aspect patterns: Mars trine Pluto (which forms one side of the Grand Trine triangle), and Mars opposite Chiron and Neptune (which forms the spine of the Kite part).

Mars trine Pluto shows our potential to make our Scorpionic energy work in a positive way. The traditional (Mars) and modern (Pluto) rulers of Scorpio in a prolonged easy aspect gives us a chance to find ways to empower ourselves in assertive ways that are not aggressive or hostile. With Mars currently in Virgo, this can be specifically about learning how to be critical and discerning without drawing blood in the process.

As Mercury forms the Grand Trine with Mars and Pluto, it is our speech, thoughts and awareness that can benefit from this lesson. Need to say something important that requires courage and resolve? This transit could help to empower your communication. Are you in a difficult situation where you need to confront something that's hard to face? This Grand Trine can help you acknowledge and deal with the stuff that you'd rather turn away from.

On May.13 when the Grand Trine Kite is at its closest, the Moon joins in by conjoining Neptune and Chiron. This could be an especially intense day, full of both demanding challenge and potential reward. The trick is to speak your truth from the heart, but to do it in a way that is balanced between aggression and passivity.

May.12 – Chiron sextile Pluto (9:18 of Pisces/Capricorn)  (May.13 in AU)

Chiron is about acceptance of obstacles that don't have a clear solution, and mysteries and paradoxes that don't have a clear-cut explanation. Pluto is the process of transformation that requires something to "die" (move out of the way) in order that new growth and evolution can take place. These two energies work together very well. Both involve a certain level of acceptance of something that seems intolerable or undesirable.

These planets come together over the next 2 years in a sextile (60�) aspect, which combines these energies in a creative, capable and clever way. They actually have been hovering within a 6� orb since about 2010 and will remain there until around 2018. Over a very long period, these energies are forging a gradual process whose purpose is to generate healing and transformation. This could involve physical healing (most notably where chronic health problems are concerned), although more likely it relates to psychological and spiritual healing. In addition, this transit can provide an undercurrent of healing that supports the collective woundedness we are currently struggling with.

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The thing about both of these planets is that things often get worse before they get better. Chiron's message is that by accepting and acknowledging our woundedness, we will find opportunities for healing�and that some wounds can't be healed completely. Chiron is about healing what can be, and finding ways to accept what can't�and to discover that there are hidden gifts that the struggle can bring you. The trick is not to get stuck in perpetual suffering, despair or helplessness.

Pluto's process is to dig below the surface to find the authentic essence that is neither apparent nor fully accessible until you shed that top layer that covers what's underneath it. By letting go of one thing, you gain access to something behind it, and the experience can be transforming�if you trust the process.

Chiron and Pluto together stimulate healing through struggle that can be strenuous and demanding. However, the nature of the sextile aspect is progressive change. Your experience of that struggle might be more resilient or gentler than with a hard aspect. It's up to you to do the work, but Chiron and Pluto can provide some profound tools and resources for the task. Pluto is the planet of hidden riches, and Chiron reveals the gift of wisdom that comes from experience. Look for those tools in unexpected, unusual or secret places.

This is the first of 5 exact passes of this transit: May.12, Sep.06, Apr.04.2013, Oct.28.2013 and Feb.25.2014.

May.13 – Sun conjunct Jupiter (23:10 of Taurus)

Confidence, optimism, leadership, vision and well being characterise this transit. Your self-esteem and self-awareness can be wide open now. Your sense of being part of something greater than yourself may be vivid and bright. And you may have increased ability to identify and act on opportunities around you, which can bring you "lucky" prospects. On the other hand, if you have difficulty embracing a positive sense of self, or if you shy away from believing you are a treasured Child of the Universe, then this transit might stir up those difficult feelings to the surface. You could wind up trying to compensate with over-confidence, arrogance, blind faith, or gambling on what are realistically poor prospects. The trick is to tap into the spirit of who you are. Let go of blame and instead apply some honest yet compassionate assessment. Let your spirit shine brightly out to the world, but not so brightly that you blind yourself or others by your own light. Consult a trusted friend for feedback or advice if in doubt. This is a great time to expand your horizons, whether that is through travel, by learning something new, by sharing your knowledge with others, or by exploring the Meaning of Life.

May.13 – Mercury trine Mars (08:23 of Taurus/Virgo)

It may be easy to find the courage to speak your mind and say what needs to be said under this transit. In fact, your ideas and words may come so quickly and easily that it's hard to stop them from tumbling out of your mouth before you've had a chance to evaluate the best way to say them. Your communication is likely to be direct, concise and right on the mark, even if it might also be a bit blunt or pointed. If you need to confront someone about a difficult situation, this transit can provide courage and clear words to help you do that – although perhaps not as good for a situation requiring a more delicate, sensitive touch. It is a time when you could potentially find the nerve to take risks, or to defend yourself if the need arises (especially verbally). Overall, this is a wonderful transit for anything involving direct communication (e.g., public speaking, writing, debating), as well as mental agility (e.g., generating ideas, finding solutions, making decisions).

May.14 – Mercury trine Pluto (09:17 of Taurus/Capricorn)

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.

May.14 – Mercury sextile Chiron (09:21 of Taurus/Pisces)

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.15 – Venus stationary Retrograde (23:59 of Gemini; until Jun.27)  (May.16 in AU)  ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Venus Retrograde.  Read more about Retrograde planets.)

For up to a week or more before and after this date, you may experience intense energy in the areas of relationships, finances, beauty, self-worth and harmony. Similar to Mercury retrograde, Venus retrograde is a time when we go back over the same ground we just came through in order to refine, polish and adjust the affected areas in our lives.

Venus retrograde can be a time when latent problems in relationships (all kinds, not just romantic) become outright conflicts. Or, previous ongoing conflicts may take a rest and go underground for a while, as everyone regroups and reassesses what is important to them. If you have been keeping the peace at any price, this could be a time when that peace suddenly falls apart and you are faced with having to deal with old unresolved problems.

Finances also can shift direction. Income and resources might become somewhat scarce, forcing you to let go of or rethink your material focus. Or, you might find your material resources booming ...possibly along with your spending. Issues about personal appearance, fashion, beauty and charm may also become conspicuous by their absence or by their sudden importance. In general, it is a time to examine your value system and decide whether the people and things that you have cherished still hold the same high priority for you, as well as whether you are truly living according to your values.

This is a very special Venus retrograde cycle! When Venus is retrograde, she is on the same side of the Sun as the Earth. Venus retrograde conjoins the Sun at the middle point of her retrograde phase, which takes place on Jun.05 (Jun.06 in UK, AU). Normally Venus passes above or below the Sun (from our perspective). However this time, Venus is parallel to the Sun and will actually cross the face of the Sun. In other words, the Sun, Venus and the Earth are aligned so precisely that Venus can be seen as a small dot on the Sun. In astronomy (the scientific branch of planetary observation) this is called a Transit of Venus.

When a planet is conjunct the Sun, within 17 minutes of arc, it is called Cazimi and is said to be very powerful � "in the heart of the Sun." This is especially so when the planet is also parallel to the Sun!

The Sun-Venus conjunction begins a new 8-year cycle. The conjunction will repeat in another 8 years. This cycle occurs in Gemini, and initiates a new process of awareness about what you love, what you value and how you express these qualities. Are you able to speak your truth from the heart, or do you withhold your true spirit from what you need to say? This cycle encourages you to find new ways to express what is in your heart.

WARNING: Do not look directly at the Sun without proper eye protection! Similar to a Solar Eclipse, where the Moon crosses the face of the Sun, you can damage your eyes if you look at the eclipse without eye protection.


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May.16 – Mars trine Pluto (09:14 of Virgo/Capricorn)  (May.17 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.17 – Mars opposite Chiron (09:26 of Virgo/Pisces)

Your efforts and physical/emotional/mental energy may struggle with fundamental limitations and latent imperfections under this transit. Weakness or chronic problems in health may flare up now, especially if you are under a lot of stress. It will help to do whatever is necessary to support and take care of yourself. You may find it works better to minimize or prevent deterioration, rather than to attempt a complete cure of whatever ails you. Emotional health may also be affected, bringing out latent issues related to anger, sexuality, assertiveness or courage. This is a time when you can probably see all these problem areas more clearly, and as a result it can seem like they are getting worse. While this may or may not actually be true, you are in a position to respond to these issues in a different way now – precisely because you are able to see the nature of the problems more objectively and clearly. So don't allow yourself to just be intimidated by difficult experiences you might have now; use them to take steps toward a new well-being.

May.20 – Sun enters Gemini (until Jun.20)  (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!

Next Update:  SOLAR ECLIPSE - NEW MOON in GEMINI, available by May 20, 2012.

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