We all probably remember the nursery rhyme of ‘April showers bring May flowers’.  We might feel as though our lives are flowering during this May period after a long, hard winter, autumn and late summer when the world appeared to be crashing down a bottomless ravine.  Perhaps we are just getting used to the backdrop of the world at large by now, somewhat battle fatigued, as we have had to cope with the extreme changes occurring in the world at large.  Recently, some people may have had an apocalyptic vision of economic distress, drought and famine, explosive war-like actions and pandemic influenzas, somewhat akin to the four horsemen of the apocalypse of pestilence, war, famine and death.  While a number of factors in living on the earth plane certainly seem up for all of us, May could bring an element of respite or, at least, a time to plant the seeds of the flowers of our future and a time to look back and review what we have been going through.

May begins still under the influence of the Taurus New Moon on the 24th of April, a New Moon where the Sun Moon conjunction was trine Pluto and by Sign created a Grand Trine in the Earth Element with the Taurus influence trining Pluto in Capricorn and also trining Saturn in Virgo.  This Earth Element Grand Trine, with different variations of planetary players in Taurus, continues through mid July.  Now is a time for manifestation, for putting action behind our words and seeking to make manifest our true goals and purposeful living in a pragmatic manner and a best practices approach.  This New Moon back on the 24th of April, whose influence continues to be felt to the Full Moon on May 9th, also had Mercury in Taurus sextile Uranus in Pisces.  Our ability to think outside the box, gain remarkable insights and come across the most expeditious and streamlined means to deal with our daily realities has also been enhanced.  We can be more effective with less expenditure of energy, all the while that we are prioritizing and focusing on the truly meaningful and essential in our lives.

May starts with May Day, sometimes referred to as Beltane.  May celebrates the height of Spring, the flowering of life and concurrent with the midpoint in the Sun’s transit between the Vernal Equinox and the Summer Solstice. 

Depending on where we live and where we are at the beginning of May, this month has different energies as a result of the Moon’s placement at the start of the month [in Cancer in Europe, in Leo in North America]. 

In Europe, the month begins with two planets in a Fire Sign, three planets in Earth Signs [and the Grand Trine in the Earth Element by Sign], three planets in Air Signs and two planets in Water Signs.  Four planets are in Cardinal Signs [creating a Cardinal Sign T-Square by Sign], three planets are in Fixed Signs and three planets are in Mutable Signs [creating a Mutable Sign T-Square by Sign].  Five planets are in Positive Signs, five planets are in Negative Signs.

In North America, the month begins with three planets in Fire Signs, three planets in Earth Signs [and the Grand Trine in the Earth Element by Sign], three planets in Air Signs and one planet in a Water Sign.  Three planets are in Cardinal Signs, four planets are in Fixed Signs [creating a Fixed Sign T-Square by Sign] and three planets are in Mutable Signs [creating a Mutable Sign T-Square by Sign].  Six planets are in Positive Signs, four planets are in Negative Signs.

We may be dealing with a high level of nervous energy as we start the month, perhaps wanting to fast forward but also possibly questioning our direction.  The Mars Pluto square exact back on the 26th of April is still in play joined in a square to Pluto by Venus, the Venus square Pluto exact on the 2nd.

Our energy may be staccato-like.  We may push ahead, forcing things according to our dictates and our whims.  This could have nasty repercussions in our dealings with others and might also precipitate greater expenditure of energy than is necessary.  It would be wise to keep in mind the fact that we are in process of shifting paradigms.  We are having to let go of the old mindset of controlling situations, making things happen and being the master of our universe.  Humility is called for and instead of assuming that we solely dictate our circumstances, we need to realize that the universe works.  For us to be happy, productive and successful in the new paradigm, we need to become co-creators, working with the universal energies unfolding and attune to the rhythms of these volatile and exciting times.

We can certainly move ahead with our plans and our goals.  But it would be wise to blueprint our intentions in pencil with a large eraser rather than carving them in stone.  Increasingly, we shall come to recognize that unexpected situations, unanticipated variables all are part of the mix now and demand that we be flexible and adaptable to changing conditions and shifting tides.

This month of May has two significant energy shifts — one being the second of this year’s three Mercury retrograde cycles, the other being Saturn turning direct in motion.

No matter our interest or our knowledge of astrology, everyone is becoming aware of the Mercury retrograde cycle, which I often refer to as under the influence of Murphy’s Law whereby ‘whatever can go wrong, will.’

During a Mercury retrograde cycle, communications can be off.  Misunderstandings are more prone to occur.  The mind does not work as quickly or as clearly as normal.  On the contrary, important details can be left out of discussions or agreements.  More than once during Mercury retrograde, people leave telephone messages without leaving their return phone number.  People write checks without signing them.  Important decisions made often need to be reworked or do not come to fruition as originally planned.  Problems can arise with transportation and with computer / Internet matters.  If one can put off major purchases or significant decisions during Mercury retrograde, it is wise to do so.

The first of this year’s Mercury retrograde occurred from January 11th into February 1st.  One example of the Mercury retrograde during this last cycle was the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States on January 20th.  The constitutionally-prescribed oath of office of thirty-five words was flubbed, forcing a second oath of office taken in the map room of the White House the following evening.

This May has much of the Mercury retrograde, beginning on the 7th and continuing through the 30th.

Although we might want to move forward with our plans and springtime activities and planting the seeds of our future endeavors during this month, it will be essential that we check and recheck to be certain that nothing has fallen between the cracks, that no important details have been left out and that we aren’t glossing over particulars.  Mercury retrogrades through the early part of Gemini then transits back into Taurus as of the 13th.

Communications can be off and during the second half of the month we would have to be especially clear regarding our finances and the volatility of the equity markets.  While equity markets have had a good run with the US S&P 500 up close to 30% since its early March lows, the question might be asked whether this Bull run might be somewhat long in the horn and could retrace some of its movement as more fundamental issues and continuing problems in the economy grab our attention.

Certainly, on the individual level, this Mercury retrograde would suggest we take a serious look at our financial condition and see where we might shore up our finances through budgeting, cost-cutting and asset diversification.

The Scorpio Full Moon on the 9th might allow for some of the bloom to come off the rose.  The Taurus Sun – Scorpio Moon opposition is within orb, and slight influence, of both square to the Jupiter Neptune configuration in Aquarius.  As we go through the month, and the Sun on the 16th – 17th, then Mercury on the 20th square Jupiter and Neptune, we might find that there is a greater scrutiny to perceived optimism and hoped-for wish fulfillment.  While the Jupiter Neptune conjunction, exact on the 27th, can have us focusing on the possibilities for our future, concentrating on prospects and hoping that the dark days are behind us, reality can begin to set in from the 9th on, at least through the 14th. 

The question whether actions on a macro, global / governmental, level or on a micro, personal / individual, level have been effective can be raised.  Seeing how this evaluation is occurring during a Mercury retrograde, we would have to be wary of the cheerleaders who emphasize solely that ‘happy days are here again’ and deny the ramifications of past actions and their further implications for the future.  We might also need to do a little more accounting in regard to the medium-term and long-term consequences of various relief, remedy, rectification packages.

Consequently, this month of May could prove a good month for us to take an intense review of what is going on in the world around us and how we can best prepare for the likely unfolding and unexpected contingencies along the way.  It would be especially wise to do so during the first two weeks of May, since the second half could have us reaffirming our belief in mastering the world, illusionary prospects and a ‘feel good’ attitude that might not be fully grounded in reality.

We have to avoid buying into old beliefs or wish fulfillments.  While there could be some corrections regarding equity markets this month, let’s also recognize that the old market dictum of ‘sell in May, go away’ may not hold true any longer, especially when people may be grasping at straws for good times, prosperous times and those ‘happy days are here again’.

Increasingly, we need to be MINDFUL, aware and astute in regard to what is going on and how we can best work with the energies unfolding.  Let’s always read between the lines, be wary of the spinmeisters and keep our ear to the railroad track to hear when the train is coming down the line remembering, of course, to pull our ear from the track before the train is upon us.

Saturn turns direct on the 16th and we have a greater ability at structuring and re-structuring our life’s activities.  We may feel the dawn has broken and a new day is upon us.  We do have to be wary that we don’t get overly excited, overoptimistic or overly confident in our abilities.  It is good that we get a second wind but it is also important to keep in mind that we neither can, nor truly want to, re-create the past.

While the Sun and then Mercury square Jupiter and Neptune later this month, with the Sun square Jupiter on the 16th, Sun square Neptune on the 17th and Mercury square both Jupiter and Neptune on the 20th, the 

Sun and Mercury also sextile Uranus, first the Sun on the 16th, then Mercury on the 21st.

We are looking for change, not looking to restore or resurrect past situations that no longer work for us.  We want to be more effective with less expenditure of energy, and we draw upon insights and a factor of the new paradigm to give us answers and ideas for our future.  One factor of the new paradigm is a result of the volatility of these times — that things can change dramatically without a moment’s notice.  While we might have witnessed and experienced the downside of this shift, and radical change, we can also witness and experience the upside of swift transformations with the concept of ‘magic’ and ‘miracles’ very much in play.

The Gemini New Moon on the 24th can have us back up and running full speed ahead, juggling various activities and possibly negating due diligence in regard to our involvements.  If we have done our homework and legwork during the first two weeks of this month, then we are far less likely to be hurting ourselves later in the month.

The 24th in the US is the long Memorial Day weekend, also the unofficial start of Summer.  This New Moon has a great deal of energy with Mars being in orb of a sextile to Jupiter and Neptune, Mars sextile Jupiter exact on the 26th, Mars sextile Neptune exact on the 27th, the same day that Jupiter and Neptune are exactly conjunct.

We are likely to begin the unofficial start of Summer with a bang, confident, forceful and looking to make our future happen… but it would be wise to keep in mind, even if only in the back of our minds, that the paradigm shift speaks to letting go of control, no longer mastering our universe but rather being co-creators with the universal unfolding.

May… the merry month of May…