Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

May 2012

by Kerry Shamblin
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Calculations are done using the Chitrapaksha ayanamsha and the mean node. Timings are based on Mountain Time Zone, US.

Mars Moves Forward Through Leo May 1 - May 31

Mars spends his last full month in the Sun's sign of Leo during May, moving in forward motion through the middle degrees of Leo. Mars continues to receive the positive aspect of Jupiter until May 17, when Jupiter progresses into Taurus.

Further energizing Mars through mid-month is the Sun occupying Aries, Mars' fire sign. This condition of exchanging signs is beneficial for both the Sun and Mars and will promote energetic actions through mid-May.

A great deal of fire energy is being generated by the Sun-Mars state of sambhanda, complete connection, which occurs when two planets exchange signs. Mars occupies Leo, the sign of the Sun, and Sun occupies Aries, a sign of Mars. This has been in effect since mid-April, when the Sun entered Aries. The presence of Jupiter in Aries has acted as an amplifier to this combination, as Jupiter's main action is to expand. We may feel an actual energetic lull during the middle of May when both Sun and Jupiter move into Taurus.

This Sun-Mars connection can generate a great deal of energy and action, but be aware that both planets are very self-centered in nature. This could cause an unconscious disregard for the well-being, space and interests of others, so be careful about where you point that fire hose.

Full Moon in Libra May 5

The full Moon in Libra on May 5 is both a celebration of the Sun-Mars conjunction and a prelude to the energetic shift we may feel as May progresses. The strong Mars energy will wane as the power of Venus prepares to blossom.

The evening of Saturday, May 5 will reveal the Moon at the apex of the cycle begun in Aries on April 21. The Sun will share the sign of Aries with Jupiter (and Mercury, transiting to Aries the same day) and the Moon will share Venus' air sign, Libra, with retrograde but exalted Saturn.

This creates a situation that really highlights the passion created by the interaction of Mars and Venus. Mars represents the manifestation of masculine human energy while Venus represents the manifestation of feminine human energy. While Mars is focused mainly on gathering resources for and protection of the self, Venus is concerned with the well-being and celebration of the other and our ultimate oneness. They have different goals but are both essential for healthy human expression. Finding the balance between these two energies is our task. From Venus' point of view, finding this balance is an artistic act of creativity and compassion. From Mars' point of view, striking this balance is a feat of engineering and management of power.

While the first two weeks of May will strongly express this masculine-feminine tug-of-love, we may especially feel this manifesting during the full Moon, when the chief feminine planet, the Moon, reaches full strength in Libra.

A sense of transition is evoked by Mercury and Saturn during this full Moon. Mercury will be at 0° Aries while Saturn will be exactly opposite at 0° Libra, moving in retrograde motion toward Mercury's sign of Virgo. When planets are at the transition between signs, we call this condition sandhi. This can create uncertain results for the actions of those planets.

This transitional state could have something to do with the focus on Mars strength beginning to wane and the expression of Venus strength moving toward rebirth. Mars moves out of Leo (an eight month transit) and into Virgo in June. Venus begins a retrograde cycle mid-May which marks the beginning of a new Venus cycle while she is strongly in occupation of her own sign, Taurus, through July.

Mercury Transits Aries May 5 - May 22

Mercury is funny. After three months in his sign of debility, Pisces, including a very watery retrograde cycle, Mercury runs out of the gates like a rocket. Mercury's reputation for flexibility and variability is something we can see literally in the transits of Mercury through the signs. In the period of one month, we will see Mercury race through Mars' sign Aries and Venus' sign of Taurus, ending up in his own domain of Gemini on June 3. Ever the diplomat, Mercury spends equal amounts of time in Mars' and Venus' signs during May.

What we can expect during the two weeks that Mercury dashes through Aries is perhaps a quickening. An urge to move and transition from one thing to another. Mercury will, in fact, usher both Jupiter and the Sun out of Aries and into Taurus, following them about a week later.

This could be a great period for work involving logic, planning, networking, communication, information technology and design. Though Mercury and Mars aren't technically friendly with one another, they both offer skills that are beneficial for these types of projects. Mars helps Mercury focus and Mercury helps Mars see and think beyond the self.

Sun Enters Taurus May 14

The Sun exits his sign of exaltation, Aries, and enters Venus' earth sign, Taurus, on Monday, May 14. Here begins an interesting transition into a new set of astrological influences. The Sun joins Venus and Ketu in Taurus, and the three will be joined by Jupiter and Mercury as the days of May unfold.

When the Sun moves toward Ketu, the south node of the Moon, we can expect eclipse action during new and full Moon time. The Sun moves toward a solar eclipse which occurs on May 20. Ketu is considered to be inimical to the Sun, as it has the ability to swallow the power of the Sun.

Venus, a benefic planet and lord of Taurus, is with the Sun during the Sun's entire Taurus transit this year. The two will be joined by another benefic planet, Jupiter. The Sun is well supported as he proceeds toward his meeting with Ketu, especially considering Mars' mature transit through Leo, the Sun's sign. This gives the Sun strength through the changes to come.

Venus Retrograde in Taurus May 15 - June 27

It would be hard to miss the brilliance of Venus in the western sky during the evenings these days. For awhile, Venus and Jupiter were conjunct, which was spectacular, and Venus has kept on shining as the evening star. As she reaches the end of her current 584 synodic cycle as seen from Earth, we will see Venus begin her "descent into the underworld” as she begins a retrograde period on May 15.

The Venus cycle begins during the “inferior conjunction” of Sun and Venus. This always happens when Venus is in retrograde, during the transition from evening to morning star. The current cycle began on about October 29, 2010, when Venus and the Sun joined in Libra, Venus' air sign. As Venus begins her retrograde cycle on May 15, as with all other retrograde planets, its a good time for review, retreat and reassessment of the fields of life represented by the planet, especially as relates to an individual's birth chart.

Venus rules love, beauty and connection between beings. Through Venus we learn how to regard and cherish the other as a part of ourselves, whether it be another human, animal friend or the earth itself. Through Venus we learn how to express the love that grows through these connections through creative and social pursuits. Through Venus we learn how to make our lives more beautiful and savory.

What have been the Venus-related themes of the past 1.5 years for you? How have you expressed, refined and grown your own attempts at reaching out and connecting with others or at expressing love? This currently ending cycle began when Venus was with the Sun in Libra. The Libra expression of Venus has much to do with social change and creating new philosophical paradigms. And though the Sun is our strongest, brightest planet, it is debilitated in Libra, so Venus had the chance to start the cycle by being stronger than the Sun, perhaps giving more weight to the importance of the other than to the importance of the self.

The new cycle that begins with the inferior conjunction on June 5, 2012 will see Venus conjunct the Sun in her other sign, Taurus. We will see a similar strength of Venus versus that of the Sun during the beginning of this new Venus cycle, also. The Sun will be weakened by proximity to Ketu and Venus will be strong in her own sign; the focus for the next Venus cycle may be more material and less idealistic due to the Taurus influence. More exploration on this during June's forecast.

Suffice it to say that come May 15, you will see Venus quickly slip closer to the horizon each evening, disappearing from sight by about June 1. Enjoy Venus as the evening star and let her guide you into the underworld for your own reinvention.

Found a great exploration of the Venus cycle.

Saturn Retrogrades into Virgo May 15

Saturn is in the middle of a retrograde cycle that began February 7 in Saturn's sign of exaltation, Libra. Saturn has traversed backward through the early degrees of Libra and dips back into Virgo on May 15. Saturn will resume direct motion on June 25 and proceed forward again through the last two degrees of Virgo, re-emerging in Libra on August 3.

This return to Virgo may act as a reprise for many of what Saturn's effects in Virgo were for them. The main collective themes of Saturn in Virgo, which ran from August 2009 – October 2011, had to do with bringing balance and responsibility into the realms of health. If you thought all was said and done and everything is in place for your new approach to health, you may find yourself back at the review board for a few months.

With Saturn and Venus both retrograde in earth signs, we may really be forced into confronting things in the material realm during the six weeks between mid-May and end of June. We may feel a sense of slow progress or back-stepping as far as health and resources go. While this may be disheartening, try to dig deep and truly regard what may feel like loss. Sometimes when we cling to that which doesn't truly serve us any longer, painful situations arise.

Try to transform negative feelings about what is not present, or what is slipping away. One of Saturn's greatest gifts is one that is difficult to embrace: detachment. What can you let go that will create lightness, mobility and freedom in your life? Are the material things in your life supporting or trapping you?

This retrograde motion of Saturn encourages us to create boundaries and foundations that support sustainable growth. We may see things slow way down in order to give us the chance to truly review what is contributing to healthy balance and what is disabling us from moving with grace and freedom.

Jupiter Enters Taurus May 17

The planetary excitement that we will experience in May keeps growing. Jupiter moves from Aries to Taurus on May 17, joining the Sun, Venus and Ketu. Jupiter moves through each sign in about one year, so his transits of signs can be significant for individuals as Jupiter brings positivity and expansion to the areas of life that he influences.

Jupiter's presence in Venus' sign with Venus during the beginning of her descent (which marks the ending of this cycle and the beginning for the next) is a positive influence. While we may feel an initial pinch or slowing as far as material resources go due to Venus and Saturn's retrograde motion, this may be only temporary. With Jupiter's presence in Taurus, the general trend for the next year may be expansive in regard to resources.

Saturn and Venus are providing the opportunity for using wisdom and restraint to consolidate and assess what we already have. When we have a good handle on what our resources are and how they can be best used, it gives us a better starting point for how to grow safely and wisely. Jupiter's expansive nature, while positive, can sometimes over speculate and get too big too fast. This is an interesting start to a year-long transit that may see more rapid growth toward the end than at the beginning.

The last Jupiter transit through Taurus was from June 2000 – May 2001. What were the themes of expansion, abundance and resources during that time? Similar situations may arise during this next year while Jupiter moves through Taurus. The difference this time is that Saturn and Jupiter will not be conjunct as they were at that time, which could create a bit more freedom but also a bit more instability.

New Moon in Taurus - Solar Eclipse May 20

As the planets stream into Taurus during May, the Moon quietly wanes after the apex of the cycle on May 5. Aside from a brief encounter with Rahu, the north node of the Moon on May 7, the Moon is on her own until she catches up again with Mercury in the late degrees of Aries on May 19. This could create some lonely Moon feelings for the couple of weeks between May 6 – 20.

The Moon represents the mind, specifically the part of the mind with which we sense, receive and feel. (Mercury is in charge of the intellectual and analytical part of the mind.) The Moon receives and transmits the light of the Sun and generally indicates our level of mental stability, happiness and capacity to nurture life.

The Moon's energy grows weaker as the moon wanes, and stronger as the Moon waxes. Without other planets surrounding it, the Moon can cause feelings of loneliness or isolation. This may manifest for individuals as well, causing us to feel that we are facing changes without support or disturbed by feelings of loss or isolation.

The Moon reaches the nadir of her cycle on the evening of May 20, joining the Sun at 6° Taurus in the lunar mansion called Krittika, which spans the last degrees of Aries and the first ten degrees of Taurus. The Sun/Moon combination is close enough to Ketu to produce a solar eclipse.

Krittika's planetary ruler is the Sun, and its symbol is a flame or razor. Krittika fosters sharpness and is associated with cutting. This eclipse will bring us the opportunity to cut through that which is bringing darkness or obscurity to situations and to find our own internal flame that acts as our true guide.

Eclipses are traditionally viewed by astrology as sensitive times that can cause situations of instability. Ketu is known as the “dragon's tail” and is especially dangerous to the Sun. The action of Ketu is the internalization of energy, and it is a planet associated with intense spiritual practice and self-inquiry.

The general indications for the new Moon, due to the weak state of the Moon, are generally to avoid important actions and to conserve energy by restricting movement and focusing on meditative pursuits and self-care. This eclipse energy multiplies those indications.

Amavasya, the day of the new Moon actually starts during the afternoon of Saturday May 19 and ends in the late afternoon of Sunday, May 20, when the actual conjunction of Sun and Moon occurs. This is the time period to stay put and not plan too much. You will be free to wax and grow with the Moon starting on Monday, May 21.

Mercury Transits Taurus May 22 - June 3

Mercury, after seeing the other planets safely into Taurus, jumps in himself and races past Jupiter (May 22), Ketu (May 26), Sun (May 27) and Venus (June 1), exiting stage left to his own sign of Gemini on June 3. Mercury, which represents communication and exchange, is flexible, quick and easily influenced by others. His rapid move past four planets almost makes us believe that he really needs some time to express himself uninfluenced by others.

The rapid speed of Mercury may cause some feelings of conflict due to the retrograde motion of his friends, Venus and Saturn. Watch out for feelings of impatience and impulsiveness that may run counter to the plans that Saturn has in store, for he is retrograding through Mercury's earth sign. Just because we think we want things to happen faster doesn't mean that speed is the best course of action.

We may get the gift of clearer communication and easier exchange as June comes over the horizon and Mercury gets to transit Gemini June 3-21.

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