May 2019: Spring Rites


Herne The Hunter: Sally Fryer

The month opens with the joyous pagan fire and fertility festival of Beltane on May 1, celebrating high Spring, around 15 degrees Taurus. We’re halfway to Summer, shoots are sprouting up from the ground, and light is filling the land. Traditionally, Beltane is when animals were let back out to pasture. From the Old Gaelic meaning “blazing fire,” great bonfires were lit on April 30, May Eve, and burned all through the night. Cattle were hearded from one fire to another for purification and to increase fertility. People jumped the flames or ran between them for the same reasons. This was the 2nd most important holiday in the Celtic world after Samhain (Halloween). Both are cross-quarter days of power; the mid-point of Taurus and Scorpio.

Samhain is the time when the veil between the living and the dead is the thinnest, and the Welsh believed that on May 1, a doorway opened into faeryland. This is a time of heightened magic when it’s easier to visit the Sister Realm (where the faeries live). This holiday celebrates the marriage between the Goddess and the Green Man. The Green Man, also called the Horned God, is the divine masculine manifestation of Mother Nature/Gaia. He is protector of the forest and its beasts. He loves the land, lives in harmony with its rhythms, and plays a central role in the continuation of life on the planet. When the Goddess and the Green Man come together all the creatures on earth rejoice. Beltane rituals celebrated the May Queen, the Goddess in her fertility phase. Dancing around the Maypole, which represents the virility of the Green God, is a practice that has survived into modern times. On May Day, we join together with what we love to create new things. It is time to celebrate transformation through sexuality and a day to make merry.

A RITUAL TO JOIN YOURSELF WITH WHAT YOU DESIRE:

What you’re seeking is also seeking you. This is never more true than during Beltane. Taurus season is about resources. Prudent use of the Goddess’ abundance pleases her. Everything we need already exists on earth. The Goddess creates it all; we’re simply agents of transformation. Seek to align yourself with what you desire using this simple Beltane ritual.

Imagine what you want to join with. It can be something tangible, like a new job, or a quality, like unconditional love. Take three ribbons, pieces of yarn, or branches from a pliable tree. Weave them together, imagining you are one string, the quality is the other, and the Divine is the last. You can recite to yourself as you do this, I join myself with XXXX. Imagine the Divine weaving you all together in an inseparable mix. When you’re done, hang the braid outside on a tree or shrub and let the wind carry away your want. Don’t wonder when the thing will manifest. Trust that the Divine is handling it all.

Many personal planets are moving through Aries and Taurus in May, squaring and trining the retrograde heavyweights Saturn, Pluto, and Ketu (the South Node) in Capricorn. These transits draw your awareness into where you need to let go in order to move forward with what you’ve been building in the Capricorn realm of life. It all starts with the one closest to the Sun, Mercury, who rules our mental habits. The God of Communication determines what and how we perceive, observe, learn, and move through life. On May 1, Mercury sextiles Mars and squares Saturn, and, on May 2, Mercury squares Pluto and trines Jupiter. Saturn and Pluto are throwing up some mental blocks, but Jupiter will help us find creative work arounds.

Pluto stationed retrograde on April 24, on the 23 degree of Capricorn (look to see if you have any planets there or on that same degree in cardinal signs). Pluto transits are times of truth. It becomes impossible not to be honest with oneself when the God of the Underworld comes to call. Saturn stationed retrograde on April 29, on the 20 degree of Capricorn conjunct Ketu for a delicious little karmic sandwich. Ketu represents the energetic resonance of past lives; the patterns we formed that no longer serve us today. The adaptive strategies that helped but now hinder so we must learn to live without them. As I wrote in my Plutonian Power post on Patreon, Pluto has been moving through Capricorn since November 26, 2008, and will be there until January 20, 2024. Saturn moved into his home earth sign of Capricorn on December 19, 2017, and will remain until December 17, 2020. Saturn transits mature us. Grow us up. Anywhere you’re shirking responsibility, Saturn will make you feel the consequences of those actions. Saturn will be retrograde for the next five months, until September 18. The karmic past is very present right now. Many of us are going through it, and it’s a lot to digest. Mercury will help wrap our minds around it, and the trine from Jupiter will give us faith we can get through it. 

Dark Moons are reflective times of quiet energy, but the Taurus New Moon on May 4, is electric due to its proximity with Uranus. We’re initiating a new cycle in the Taurus area of our lives and Uranus wants it to be revolutionary. The Full Moon in Taurus on October 24, 2018, was conjunct Uranus. What was going on for you then? What is up now? Uranus has come to shake us out of our unconscious habitual patterns around food, money, sex, pleasure, love, production, capitalism, and security. No big deal. This is the first New Moon of its kind, but for the next 7 years, no lunation in Taurus will be like any we’ve known. The seeds you plant during this time are radioactive. They may grow into things you never imagined possible. Take a long view with your intention setting and leave lots of room for Divine play.

On May 5, Mars in Gemini will oppose Jupiter in Sagittarius. This is a great day to take on a challenge. You may feel called to prove yourself and you’ll have the resources to come through. This can be a lucky day, but its not dumb luck. Be smart in your dealings, and don’t go to every battle your invited to (unless it’s the Battle of the Bastards). If desire overwhelms you, that may be a sign to take a step back and consider what you’re hungry for vs. what you’re really seeking? Often when focus on people or things when we really want an experience or feeling. Satisfaction will be found at the essence of the matter, not the simulation. Anything you do that increases self-esteem will multiply so play to win by playing nice (you can have boundaries and be nice, but you can’t have boundaries and put yourself last).

The fire in the sky starts to decrease when Mercury enters Taurus on May 6, moving towards a conjunction with Uranus on May 8. The amount of planets in earth signs creates a grounded and plodding feeling, but Uranus keeps it interesting. Mercury has just been reminded of the rules by the Capricorn gang. Uranus says, Good for them, and blows it all up with dynamite. You may feel overstimulated during this time and experience a heightened sense of intuition. Breakthroughs are possible at work, but avoid jumping to conclusions. Test results twice before presenting them to anyone. If possible, move your body to release the extra stimulation on the nervous system and go easy on the caffeine.

Venus is busy the week of May 6 as she squares Ketu, Saturn, and Pluto. This is the same rocky terrain Mercury has just crossed, but now our heart is involved. Our feelings are already in a tough spot because Venus is in her detriment in the fire sign Aries. There may be an edge to relationships right now, especially romantic partnership. Anger is closer to the surface than usual. It is advisable to cultivate patience. You can use this energy to assist with honesty, but don’t let the ego to crowd out love. Our hearts become hurt when we allow arguments to become the central method of communication. Give your feelings an outlet, and then share your thoughts with the person involved. During the week of May 6, we may experience some loss or confront serious issues, but it will be for our greatest good because Venus will make a fire trine to Jupiter on May 9. This is one of the best transits possible, and would be one of the best days of the year, if not for the restricting influences. Nevertheless, there will be unexpected boons and boosts of hope. Enjoy the feeling of the wind blowing in your favor.

The weekend of May 10 is a great time to get things done, as the Sun trines Ketu, Saturn, and then Pluto on May 13. You’ll feel called to bring yourself closer to your goals by taking tangible steps. The Sun is getting intel on Saturn and Pluto’s retrogrades, so this could mean letting something go or revising a past decision. It will be easier to discipline yourself so if there’s something you don’t want to do, wait till Saturn’s Day on May 11, and he will help you get ‘er done. The trine to Pluto may raise questions about inner motivation and what’s fueling your work. You’ll get great satisfaction from the transformation that’s occurring.  

Mars gets a sextile from Venus on his way out of Gemini on May 14, and enters Cancer on May 15. Mars doesn’t enjoy being in the sign of the ever changing Moon. Cancer is moody, fickle, and emo af. Mars likes to start a fight but doesn’t want to watch your tears fall. Over the next six weeks, you’re desire may feel stymied. People will act more defensive and overprotective, and be inclined towards passive-aggressive behavior. Our task is to show up with compassion for the emotional work that presents itself and tap out when you need. Mars will be in Cancer until July 1, and is conjunct with Rahu (the North Node) and Mercury at the Solstice on June 21, lending an edge to the start of Summer. This isn’t as bad as last Summer when Mars was retrograde in Aquarius the entire time, but from May 15-July 1, it’ll be easier to get your feelings hurt. Keep the focus on yourself and trust that this too shall pass.

The good news is that Venus will enter Taurus, her domain of earthly delights, on May 15, giving us a feeling of abundance and prosperity. Everyone is happy when mama is happy, and Venus will be in Taurus until June 8. This will help offset some of the Mars in Cancer crankiness and give us a feeling of support as we go through it The weekend of May 18 has an electrifying buzz because Venus will make a conjunction with Uranus at the Scorpio Full Moon. Wowza. Talk about Big Witch energy. This is a day where anything can happen in the areas of love and money. Have fun with it and let yourself feel free.

This energy is a follow up to the Scorpio New Moon of November 7, 2018, when Jupiter was taking his final lap through the dark waters, and a retrograde Venus ruled from Libra. Jupiter in Scorpio brought to light painful enshrouded secrets, and gave birth to the Me Too movement. For the next 7 years, Uranus will be opposing Scorpio. We will not be allowed to forget, nor will we be allowed to conduct business as usual. Whatever arose for you last fall may show itself again in a new form. People with planets in fixed signs (Aquarius, Leo, Scorpio, and Taurus) will be feeling this the most.

The Sun and Mercury engage in parallel play as they move into Gemini together on May 21, and form a perfect conjunction that morning. The double-bodied sign of the twins is social, inquisitive, and chatty. The Sun and Mercury meeting here is a nice reset that will blow away the old and stagnant, and bring in some fresh air for the end of Spring. You may feel inspired to change things up. Mercury is moving fast and will only stay in their home sign until June 4, when they enter Cancer. Make the most of this quickening energy that may feel like a flash of inspiration across your eyes or a hundred galloping horses in your brain. Gemini season is about dispersing so scatter your seeds far and wide and enjoying the rise to Summer.

March 2019: Begin Again

The first two days of March belong to Venus as she departs Capricorn and the powerful forces she encountered there for the still space of Aquarian air. On March 1, Venus in Capricorn squares Uranus in the last dangerous degree of Aries. This dynamic tension may produce interesting results in your love life and creative world. Stay flexible and be spontaneous. The following day, on March 2, Venus enters the calm, cool, and collected fixed sign of Aquarius where she’ll stay until March 26. This transit lends relationships an analytical and detached vibe this month.

Venus also sextiles Chiron in the first degree of Aries on March 2. This passing note offers an indication of what the Chiron’s time in the cardinal fire sign will encompass. Chiron re-entered Aries on February 18, where he will stay for the next 8 years. Chiron reopens old wounds to allow in greater healing. The shadow of Aries is the ego: violent, selfish, and petty. We’re grappling with the results of this force unchecked in the collective. Chiron has arrived to bring a balm and shepard us towards greater expression of the healthy ego.  

On March 5 the world turns upside down as Mercury stations retrograde for three weeks. Just kidding. It won’t be that dramatic, but it will be almost that dramatic. Not all Mercury retrogrades are created equal and this is one for the classic playbooks. Mercury is in their detriment in Pisces so we’ve already been at a disadvantage around communication, technology, and travel since they entered on February 10. This experience is similar to trying to find a penny you dropped in the ocean. You’ll probably find a bunch of other stuff, some great, some not, but even if you really look, you won’t find that coin. Neptune, the outer planet of psychedelic trips, is adding some additional haze to Mercury’s mind. The retrograde will last until March 28, and Mercury will station direct conjoined with Neptune. The combined effect of these bewildering influences is that March may feel like you’re trying to find a penny in the ocean while tripping on acid wearing flippers put on backward. Chances are you’ll fall down even in small waves. This is a great opportunity not to take life too seriously. What’s a plan or a deadline really? Things are only as important as we decide they are. If time is rubber then allow yourself to be stretched.

The Sun in Pisces will amplify these far out vibes with a conjunction to Neptune on March 6, the Pisces New Moon. This is a fertile Moon ruled by Jupiter in his home sign of Sagittarius, and an excellent night to set intentions you’d like to see come to fruition over the next six months. March 6 is not a chill day though, as the earth shaker Uranus will ingress into Taurus for a seven year stay. Wherever Uranus goes he brings innovation and upheaval. Taurus is a Venus ruled earth sign associated with all things Gaia: food production, money, animals, sexuality, and environmental stewardship. We can expect big changes in these sectors on a global scale. Uranus has an affinity for technology so expect an increase in debates over crypto currency, lab grown meat, and the global labor force. Check your chart to see where this energy is going to land for your personally, and then notice if there’s any activity around the New Moon.

Water facilitates earth the weekend of March 9, as the Sun sextiles Saturn in Capricorn, and we gain better perspective on what was initiated in early January. Mars in Taurus gets slippery with Neptune on March 10, and we lose an hour of sleep but gain some joy as the clocks spring forward. This is prime retrograde time so don’t schedule anything crucial if you can avoid it.

The week ahead is not light and fluffy, but full of potential. The Sun will square Jupiter and sextile Pluto on March 13 and Mars will trine Saturn on March 14. This energy came to work and does not play. It’s important to cut through the Neptune fog and have a plan because you’ll want to make the most of these days of power. Illumination comes at the end as the Sun conjoins Mercury, and our beloved messenger is reborn in the waters of eternity.

The seasons magically and mercifully change, once again, as the Sun enters Aries on March 20, initiating Spring. Aries is first sign of the Zodiac. Symbolized by the ram who crashes through the gates of winter. There’s a struggle to emerge inherent in the sign of the warrior. Aries asks, Who am I? And, indeed, we may all be wondering that ourselves, as we shake off the doldrums from our long winter’s nap. The Sun begins moving into a conjunction with Chiron that will perfect on March 22, so this Wiccan sabbat is rooted in the fiery healing of our wounds around identity. With the ruler of this Sun, Mars, in earthy Taurus, we may explore the connection between our consumer consumption and personal values this Aries Season.

The Vernal Equinox, known as the pagan holiday of Ostara or Eostre, celebrates life returning to the land. The Goddess has rested and is now renewed. The God has matured, and desire stirs between them. This is a young time of year, but one bursting with promise, excitement, and a passion for experience. The fields are greening and the Sun’s strength is gaining. Ostara is one of two sacred days of the year when there is perfect balance between day and night, dark and light. This is a time of beginnings, taking action, and planting seeds for future goals. Traditionally, pagans dyed or paint hard boiled eggs and then balance them on their ends to symbolize equilibrium. Part of this practice was incorporated into the Christian holiday with a similar name, Easter.

Appropriately, the Libra Full Moon takes place on Ostara on March 20. Libra is signified by the scales because it’s the sign of justice, harmony, and the collective good. This is an excellent night to work magic to rectify any imbalance in our lives. This Moon is ruled by Venus in Aquarius in a sextile with Jupiter in Sagittarius and a square with Mars in Taurus. This mixture of spiritual empowerment and healthy friction will point us towards what we need to harmonize in relationships and the resources we have to do it.

A RITUAL FOR OSTARA

Go to a green space and celebrate the life springing forth by noticing and appreciating each bud and leaf that you see. You can begin by grounding into Gaia using these video instructions. Walk in nature with no other intention than being present with her. Tune into each flower/tree/shrub you’re called to by approaching slowly and staying with it for several minutes. You can connect with its life field by intending to have your consciousness merge with its own. If you relax your eyes enough, you may be able to see the white outline of its energy field. Ask if the flower/tree has a message for you about Spring. Walk deliberately, aware of your steps and breath, collecting your missives from nature. Bring a journal to record any words or images you’d like to capture. Make this walk a ceremony in reverence of life: yours, Gaia’s, and every being that you encounter.

If you can’t get outside, you can work with the earth by planting an indoor magical garden in a box. Imagine you’re planting qualities you’d like to grow in your life with each bean or seed you press into the soft brown dirt. Or, make a sacred meal out of seeds, sprouts, nuts, leafy green veggies, and salad with flowers. Thank Gaia and the thousands of hands that brought the meal to your plate. See if you can sense through smell, taste, and vibration the unique life force of each food.

Mercury will conjunct Neptune on March 24, as they slow down and prepare to station direct on March 28. The worst is over by that point, but we have yet to reach the shore. Expect to feel the ripples of this retrograde for longer than usual.Venus enters Pisces, the sign of her exaltation on March 26. Normally this is an unequivocally lovely time, but adding Venus to this bubbling cauldron may improve things or cause you to feel it more deeply.Mercury will conjunct Neptune for the 3rd and final time on April 2, and will not move into Aries until April 17. Splish, splash, we’ll be in this befuddling bath for nearly another three weeks.  

The month closes out with Mars entering the mutable air sign of Gemini on March 31. Life takes on a quicker and more dynamic speed as he moves into an opposition with Jupiter. There’s still a lot of heavy earth in the mix, but we’re planning what we’re going to make with it.

Ostara Blessings to all of you!

Ostara Goddess by Helena Nelson-Reed