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.

April 2019: Rebirth & Revolution

April is a month of blessings and challenges. Much was unearthed during the Mercury retrograde and now it’s time to work with the debris that is left on the surface after the tides have receded. Three planets go retrograde, and we move into a firm commitment with Spring.

April 2 begins on a dreamy note with the Moon in Pisces conjunct Venus in the sign of her exaltation. Venus loves to be in this water sign where she can connect and express freely. We have a sense of being all one; a small but integral part of this glorious human family. The good times are strong with the ruler of Pisces, Jupiter, in his home sign of Sagittarius. The entrance of Venus into Pisces on March 26, gave us some sweet relief at the end of a trying Mercury retrograde. On April 2, Mercury conjoins Neptune for the final time, weaving in some final threads to the retrograde lessons.

Mercury retrograde in Pisces was one of the defining features of March (5-28). Pisces is the ocean and the outer planet Neptune is God of those waters. Many of us felt like we were being pulled under, and we weren’t sure if we’d re-emerge or where. Mercury retrogrades are periods of reflection, revision, and reordering; but Mercury is the trickster God. The journeyer who guides us through the subconscious, so these processes are non-linear. In ordinary life, we’re focused on details and progress, but Mercury retrograde brings our awareness into the larger whole by slowing us down and tripping us up. If we don’t take ourselves too seriously, and we shouldn’t, we can enjoy the surreal experience of time melting a little. If we remain attached to the status quo and doing things the “right” way, these trimester sojourns can make us quite miserable.

The experience of Mercury in Pisces has been a long one. Mercury entered on February 10 and glided into a conjunction with Neptune on February 19. Depending on your inclination, this was like your mind being submerged in the dreamy, cosmic womb of the divine mother or the scary, psychedelic waters of the River Styx (some of us got both). Mercury moved to the last degree of Pisces, and stationed retrograde on March 5. From there, they began to move backwards through the sky, retracing their steps, but with a bit of mischief in their heart. On March 24, Mercury moved into their second conjunction with Neptune, and hung out there as they prepared to station direct on March 28. Mercury slowly began moving forward again, and will encounter Neptune for the final time on April 2.

Generally, Mercury retrogrades are times when conversations are continued and information is added. We’re shown where there are leaks in our boat and directions we could head that were hidden to us before. This Mercury retrograde has been an intense one for many of us. Personally, I had my laptop screen crack (the second time that’s happened in a Mercury retrograde since I started doing astrology–ha ha), and of course there were the typical technical errors, typos, delayed transactions, and confused details. Most significantly, old narratives of a difficult emotional nature resurfaced in our collective psyche. Mercury will remain in Pisces until April 17. Mysteries have been unveiled and changes have occurred, but it will take awhile to assimilate and embody this long strange trip. I’d love to hear how it went for you so drop me a line and tell me your retrograde story.

Mars broke free from stubborn Taurus and entered the freebird sign of Gemini on March 31. On April 3, he will sextile Chiron who’s begun moving through Mars’ home of Aries. The energy of Chiron in Aries is new, but the healing he’s bringing is long overdue. Aries is the sign of the warrior. The one who desires to demonstrate valor and courage, but who would rather go it alone and risk death, than compromise their ego and admit vulnerability. Chiron has come to treat both the symptoms and root cause of this patriarchal mindset. Collectively, we’re moving away from the ancient pattern of achieving security through dominance-over others, towards a model of power-with people. The Moon is with Chiron at the sextile, moving towards the Sun, so the energy of this transit is carried forward to the Aries New Moon. 

Pluto is conjunct the South Node on April 4, which is also heavily influencing this Moon. Pluto is the God of the Underworld; creator and destroyer. He breaks things down so he can build them back up again. The cycle of death, decay, and rebirth are under his purview. Pluto transits often force us to change, transform, or take control of something that has gotten out of hand in our lives. Like the gorgeous and formidable Indian Goddess, Kali, he restores balance through decimation and regeneration. The South Node of the Moon, known as Ketu in Vedic astrology, is a place of fear and loss. It is a karmic position of attachment where we’ve brought in energy from past lives. April is a unique month because both Pluto and Saturn are conjunct with the South Node, which hasn’t happened since January 1985, when they all met in Scorpio. The combination of these planets in Capricorn means that we won’t be able to effort our way out of this configuration; although hard work will be required. In April, change may occur that is out of our control, and we won’t be able to alter the course. We’ll see and feel where we’re restricted, and though we might want to fight like hell, it’d be better to go slack and simply slide out of the bonds (like how they teach you in self-defense class).

The Aries New Moon is in a square with Saturn, the South Node, and Pluto in Capricorn highlighting themes of power, limitations, and what we’re up against. This Moon is showing us where we need to let go so we can break on through to the other side. Aries is a time of new beginnings; the ego that springs forth and says, I Can! Saturn is the law of karma that says, No, you can’t. Questions of why are not helpful in this situation. We’re all born with baggage. The best course is acceptance and a prayer to show up for your part. The seed we’re sowing at this Moon is one of surrender and strength through submission. What we initiate in the Spring carries through to the Summer Solstice (3 months), and all the way through the yang part of the year to the Aries Full Moon in October (6 months), but the Saturn-Pluto conjunction is in effect for all of 2019. The energy of this Moon will influence the entire astrological year until Ostara next March, 2020. Here is a ritual if you would like to consciously work with this energy:

Aries New Moon Ritual
Adorn your altar with red candles, spring flowers, and anything with rams or horns. Ground into Gaia, cast your circle, call in your deities and supports, and take a moment to consider where you are right now. Give thanks for what you’re grateful for, and be sure to include yourself for creating time for magic in your life. Look at the topics ruled by Aries and Capricorn in your astrological chart (if you don’t know you can email me ahead of time). Do a meditation or visualization on how those areas feel. Are they connected? How? Spend some time checking in with yourself, and then consider what you’d like them to to look like. How could they be harmonized and optimized? Ask the Divine to show you what ego patterns or belief systems are holding you back from being truly free or in your power. This is less about getting material things that you want and more about transforming how we relate to these concepts so there’s more grace and ease.

It does not have to be a long meditation or visioning, ideally 10-15 minutes but whatever feels right to you is best. When you’re done, write about what you saw or heard in your journal. Pay extra attention to the emotional qualities that arose or that you’d like to cultivate. If you’ve gotten an indication of something that’s ready to go or be surrendered, write it down on a piece of paper, and make an offering of that thing to whatever form of the divine you connect with (could be a formless one). Then burn the paper in your cauldron or other fireproof container of your choosing. If nothing came, no problem. The important part is that you brought your awareness to reside in the connection. More will always be revealed.

The second week of April brings closure around the Mercury retrograde process. Slowly moving forward, Mercury begins sorting through the debris. Venus goes over the chaotic waters with her magic wand, but even the goddess may get confused here. The week of April 7, Mercury sextiles Saturn, the South Node, and then Pluto. On April 10, Venus conjoins Neptune, clouding our perception of the emotional truth. Don’t believe everything you feel because with the Sun square Saturn things might feel worse than they are. The Sun is in angular configuration to the planets it conjoined in January. You may reflect on where you were at the start of the new year and what has changed over the last month. The reapings of winter may be apparent now or you may be given a clue about the next step on your path.

Jupiter stations retrograde on April 10, and will be backtracking until September 13. We’ve been blessed with his gifts and abundance, but that flow may be slightly constricted as he retraces his steps over the next five months. This is an excellent time to consider what you’ve expanded into since he entered Sagittarius in November 2018. The Sag part of your chart has been stretched. You’ve been challenged to grow, and now we ponder the why and the how. Jupiter rules teachers and attorneys. He facilitates learning and justice, and he’s powerful. If we take this time to consider our individual responsibility, when Jupiter stations direct in the fall we’ll begin moving forward with greater wisdom. The week of April 15 starts out on a lively note when Venus in Pisces squares Jupiter. Both are in places where they like to party so you may be tempted to take a personal day and enjoy some fun in the sun. If there’s no negative consequences then let yourself enjoy, but beware that the Moon in Virgo won’t like it if you shirk your responsibility.

On April 17, the entire world rejoices because Mercury moves into Aries just in time for the Libra Full Moon on April 19. I haven’t felt this glad since Mars left Aquarius last year. Enough is enough of the watery slog. The cardinal fire does a good job drying Mercury out, and they are in position with Chiron for the Libra Full Moon. This is the second Libra Full Moon of Aries season. The first occurred on the Ostara, the Vernal Equinox, when the Sun was at 00 degrees. The second occurs the day before the Sun enters Taurus at the 29 degree of Aries. What a bookend. What balance. With Mercury so close to Chiron, our minds are fully immersed in the wound that lingers here. The Sun is close to Eris, so we may feel the way in which our pain keeps us feeling separate and apart. This is a great day to purify through fire. Steam baths or saunas are a nice ritual to open up the pathways and get the toxins out. Time starts to speed up when we enter the solar time of the year. Reflect on how much has grown in just a month with the increase of light and heat.

On April 20, the Sun enters Taurus and Venus enters Aries. They can’t see each other, but they can feel one another because he’s in her sign and she’s in the sign of his exaltation. Taurus season is an earthy sensual time when we make real on the promise that burst forth at the equinox. The sign of the bull likes to buckle down, work hard, and revel in life’s natural rhythms. Taurus is tuned in the body’s clock and won’t rush for anyone. Venus in Aries adds some heat to our relationships, so even with the Sun getting grounded, our passions will be running high. Things aren’t all placid in Taurus country because the Sun immediately encounters Uranus on April 22, and Venus meets Chiron on April 23. We may seek a heightened sense of freedom and autonomy that week, and long to walk down the road less traveled. The meeting of Venus in Chiron could have us running from our wounds, but don’t gallop off into the sunset too quickly. Give yourself a couple weeks and see if the inspiration lasts before buying your tickets.

The intense Saturn-Pluto energy this month culminates at the end when Pluto stations retrograde on April 24, and Saturn does the same, conjunct the South Node, on April 29. These two are dangerously close to one another, activating the archetypal principal of power and control. Pluto empowers and intensifies Saturn’s impulse towards reaction and constriction. Together they believe might makes right, and advocate punishment for our own good. This configuration has implications for the United States of America in particular. The USA is a Cancer Sun, Aquarius Moon, and Sagittarius rising, and is going through it’s Pluto return, which only happens every 250 years (Pluto was in Capricorn on July 4, 1776). Saturn and the South Node are impacting the USA’s Pluto return, and many speculate what new rebellion against tyranny will be launched. Check the news to see how these elements play out in the collective through stories of religious fundamentalism, political conservatism, repressive violence, religious intolerance, and anti-environmental policies. Fear mongers may attempt to increase conformity and xenophobia through scare tactics. Over the next two years, we may see an increased attack on freedom of speech, religion, culture, and sexuality. With Uranus in Taurus, Gaia will certainly be fighting back against polluters, but they will still continue to try and exploit her. Let us all do our part by continuing to show up for the causes we hold most dear. All of us are essential; now more than ever.

P.S. The birth time of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was recently released and she is a Libra Sun, Aries Moon, and Sagittarius rising with Venus on her ascendent. Check out this article to read about the synastry of her chart with the USAs, and why astrologers predict she could be the first woman president.