Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

May 2016

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.

Retrograde Planets

By May 1, we have four of our visible planets in retrograde motion: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, and Mercury. Although I don't give much mention to Pluto, Neptune and Uranus, we can also add in Pluto's current retrograde status.

Because the retrograde energy is both adding strength and reversal into the behavior of these planets, it may not be the best time to lunge forward into new projects. That said, some of us are faced with moving forward anyway. If that is the case, give ample consideration to your actions and allow large margins for error, miscalculation or failure due to circumstances beyond your control.

How can all of this retrograde energy be utilized? It is a good opportunity to revitalize that which is already established. Restructuring, revisions, re-organization, reversing decisions, trying again on things that didn't work the first time, going deep into past events that may be bearing on the present, re-connecting with people, finding the inner reasons for outer behavior.

Due to the overall retrograde weather and the still operating conjunctions between Jupiter/Rahu and Saturn/Mars (all moving in retrograde motion), we should exercise patience and caution in our actions, communications and even thought processes.

In May, the retrograde will begin to reverse. Jupiter resumes direct motion on May 9 and Mercury follows on May 22. The end of May could seem much more fluid than the beginning.

Mars resumes direct motion on June 30, and in true fashion, Saturn wins the stare-down contest, going direct on August 13. We then have a short retrograde respite until Mercury does another retrograde cycle from August 30 – September 21, 2016 (in Virgo-Leo.)

Saturn Aspects Jupiter

Saturn is currently in Scorpio and Jupiter in Leo, both are retrograde. From Scorpio, Saturn is able to see Leo and the planets there (Rahu and Jupiter) but they do not return the aspect, so we can say that Saturn has the power to affect Jupiter/Rahu at the moment without them returning the favor.

While we consider whole-sign aspects, they do become more intense when the planets involved share the same degree. Both Jupiter and Saturn move slowly, and it happens that for this entire month, the aspect from Saturn to Jupiter gets very close and tight.

Saturn begins May at 22° Scorpio (Jyestha nakshatra) while Jupiter is at 20° Leo (Purvaphalguni nakshatra.) By May 6, Saturn moves back to 21° Scorpio and on May 9, Jupiter stations direct at 20° Leo. Jupiter holds at 20°, Saturn joins him at 20° on May 20 and they hold this configuration until May 31.

So really, the month of May is the period when this aspect of Saturn to Jupiter really becomes the most intense. And in the middle of it, we see Jupiter change from retrograde to direct. The slow-growth effect of this aspect will become quite intense, but in the middle of the month we may feel some type of shift that signals the opportunity to begin some tentative forward motion.

The play between Saturn and Jupiter is that of contraction and expansion. Finding the right balance between these two principles is essential to almost any pursuit in life. Let us listen to Saturn this month so that we may learn how to adjust our growth according to our limitations.

New Moon in Aries May 6

The Sun and Moon join this month at 23° Aries, in Bharani nakshatra. Venus will also be present in Bharani while retrograde Mercury is in the later degrees of Aries, Krittika nakshatra. This will be Friday, May 6 around mid-day.

This brings six planets under the sign rulership of Mars, due to Saturn and Mars being currently placed in Scorpio. Mars is the foundation of this new Moon, with strong aspects also coming from Jupiter and Rahu in a close aspect to the Sun/Moon from Leo.

Bharani nakshatra is ruled by Venus and by Yama, lord of death, an interesting combination. This also brings up the point that at this new Moon yes, six planets will be in Mars' signs, but also five planets will be in nakshatras ruled by Venus (Venus, Sun, Moon, Jupiter and Rahu.) Since nakshatras are associated the Moon, our mental perception, this is reflective of our collective desire to move forward and get things going. We are looking for fruits and flowers and seeing only a furrowed field, however.

Bharani therefore carries strong themes of transitioning that which is no longer vital into the next phase. The Venus energy pushes to keep moving into new cycles of creation and vitality. The act of sacrificing or letting go could be quite potent during this new Moon.

If Mars is really the host of this new Moon, we have a strong signal. Mars in own sign of Scorpio and retrograde is in a position for deep research and planning. Saturn's assistance to Mars is to keep things slow and point out the flaws, which may be annoying, but Saturn is just concerned that the foundations being built remain intact. Go deep and move slowly. Take the time to research; Mercury in Aries will assist with the data collection and analysis while Venus keeps us reminded of aesthetics and comfort.

The Sun is also exalted during this time, which brings in a strong suggestion to do the right thing. Jupiter's aspect will support positive choices and righteous behavior.

This is a bit of a fiery bed for the new Moon, but flanked closely on either side by Mercury and Venus. Both Bharani and Krittika nakshatras have a sharp tone, so whatever depth or darkness we may face around this time, it will be the friends and social circles that can help us through.

A reminder that amavasya, the day leading up to the moment of the new Moon is a good time for withdrawal from activity if possible. When the Moon's energy is low, it can manifest as dullness or fatigue. Nurture the Moon rather than taxing it. This will be mid-day Thursday, May 5 – Friday, May 6.

Jupiter Resumes Direct Motion May 9

Many have felt the pinch of Jupiter's retrograde combined with the conjunction with Rahu and the aspect of Saturn. We rely on Jupiter to keep us growing in a positive direction and these heavy afflictions have blown away and broken apart some of that warm, comforting presence of Jupiter.

While Jupiter does resume direct motion on May 9, Saturn and Rahu will still be closely riding Jupiter so we can't expect this turn of direction to suddenly produce an explosion of positive trends. Let's think of it as a turn-around and a step in a positive direction.

This forward motion of Jupiter will precipitate the anticipated exact conjunction of Jupiter and Rahu on June 24, 2016. After that time, the pressure on Jupiter should begin to lighten with Saturn's aspect loosening and Rahu's presence departing. Jupiter moves forward to Virgo on Thursday, August 11, which frees Jupiter from the aspect of Saturn but keeps him in the smoky room with Rahu, who aspects the 2nd, 5th and 9th houses from his position.

Sun Transits Taurus May 14 – June 14

After enjoying exaltation in Aries, the Sun moves into Taurus on May 14, and into an opposition with Saturn and Mars. The Sun in Venus' earth sign contributes greatly to new growth processes and creative expression. This is a great time to attune your soul with others and with nature, enjoying the beauty and comfort of spring as it blossoms.

At the same time, the Sun steps into a confrontation (opposition) with Saturn and Mars who are digging deeper into the depths of the subconscious, miners seeking the precious resources beneath the surface. Saturn-Sun conjunctions and oppositions can bring our focus to how we balance our ego and express our individuality. These are the times when we get to glimpse the answer to the equation that adds together humility and self-importance. Those glimpses may only come as we are navigating situations that feature the contrast between self and other. After all, Saturn and Mars are in Mars' sign while the Sun will be in Venus' sign, highlighting that push and pull that can happen when Venus and Mars face off.

Venus Transits Taurus May 19 – June 12

Venus follows the Sun into her own sign of Taurus, gaining on the Sun as the month progresses. The exact conjunction of Venus and Sun occurs June 6, after which time Venus moves ahead and begins to appear in the western sky after sunset in late summer.

When planets get close to the Sun, we call it "combustion." The combustion state of Venus began April 30 and will last through mid-July, after which time we get to see Venus in the "evening star" phase. Venus is strong while in Taurus, its own sign, but the presence of the Sun minimizes Venus' expression somewhat. Again, this could be another study in the self vs. other theme.

Other factors that may overpower the voice of Venus during this transit are the same that affect the Sun: the opposition of Saturn and Mars from Scorpio. We could perceive this as conflict and pressure from others that may arise during this time period that Venus moves through Taurus.

When Mercury resumes direct motion on May 22, this may provide at least some help in the form of better communication and reduced frustration. A good plan to keep Venus happy may be to plan for social outlets, time in the art/music studios and other fun, creative activities. Collaboration may be a bit difficult.

Full Moon in Scorpio May 21

The Moon gets strong as May progresses. It passes through its own sign of Cancer as it waxes on May 11-13. The Moon will be strong and virtually unaffected by negative influences, so this should be a good few days.

The Moon is full at 8° Scorpio this month, opposite the Sun at 8° Taurus on Saturday, May 21 at 3:15 pm MST. Mars will also be placed at 8° Scorpio on this day, joining its energy to the Moon in a Chandra Mangala Yoga (joining of Moon and Mars.) Moon and Mars will be placed in Anuradha nakshatra, ruled by Mitra, lord of friendship.

Venus will be at 3° Taurus, giving us a rather close opposition of Sun+Venus vs. Moon+Mars. Since we'll be so busy researching and not moving forward much due to all of the retrograde motion and strong Saturn aspects, we may as well plan for a small get-together to enjoy the light of the Moon that evening (and to celebrate Mercury going direct the next day.)

Mercury Resumes Direct Motion May 22

Mercury wakes up the morning after the full Moon party and decides to turn his life around again while at 21° Aries. Give him a few days to get his footing before signing any big deals! Mars, ruler of Aries is still retrograde with still retrograde Saturn, so nothing is going to be taking off like a rocket.

Gathering speed, Mercury will move through the last third of Aries as May turns to June, entering Taurus on June 7. This period between the ending of Mercury retrograde and the movement of Mercury to Taurus should be beneficial for anything related to education due to forward moving Jupiter's aspect on forward moving Mercury in Aries. This could be a time for reigniting of studies or curriculum creation. The reality of making forward progress will begin to appear closer on the horizon.

As the month of May finishes, the only significant occurrence is the exact aspect of Saturn to Jupiter on May 26. The planets will remain in their already mentioned motion and signs through month's end, save for the waning Moon.

The Moon will pass through Aquarius May 28-30, which could be a tough time mentally as Moon is affected by Ketu in Aquarius, Rahu/Jupiter from Leo and Mars from Scorpio. It may be tough to keep your head in the game these few days, but the bulk of that time is the weekend, so take it easy.

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