*Eleditor’s note: Astrology isn’t a religion. We’re not sure it’s a science, either. It’s magic, maybe. But, as with feng shui, say, things affect things. So as long as we don’t go blaming our problems on the stars, as long as we assume responsibility for our own actions…well, hell, a little auspicious coincidence and applicable wisdom can’t hurt. And so, with that grain of salt…enjoy!
There’s a silver lining in every dark little astrology cloud.
There are five planets in retrograde for the first time in 10 years, slowing things down to a snails pace.
When planets go retrograde, they seem to appear to be moving backward to the eye, although in reality, this is not possible. They simply slow down their orbits, which, when viewed from Earth going at a normal speed, looks to us as if they are moving backward. This means that the energy or qualities signified by the planets are weakened, or twisted in some way, usually bringing with them a time for us to reflect, refresh, review, revive and reevaluate.
When planets are retrograde, we often have to deal with old things from the past—usually not so pretty.
But, this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Yes, we are digging up old, icky, dark, yucky stuff that we’d rather not deal with, especially since three of the planets presently in retrograde are mischievous bad boys. Saturn, Mars and Pluto are giving us a run for our money and we have probably, more than once, surprised ourselves with the behavior we’ve displayed recently—a reaction to the feelings that have been stirred up by all this digging and fighting going on.
Mars at his worst causes aggression, fighting and division. Saturn at his worst makes us fearful, insecure and pessimistic. Pluto at his worst is traumatic, controlling, destructive and intense. These are all recent themes and if we look carefully, we can see these behaviors playing out in various areas of our lives—from relationships, to our self-worth and careers.
Two wonderful things are happening though—there is a light approaching.
Firstly, Venus is moving into her own sign (meaning, a sign she rules), Taurus, on 1 May, balancing out the nastiness and malevolence of the Bad Boys we spoke of earlier. It’s always a beautiful woman bringing some loveliness and peace to a volatile situation. Venus steps in to halt everyone in their brawling and realize that there is still beauty, softness and joy in the world.
Aphrodite (Venus) in her greatest glory walks into a bar, where Ares (Mars), Cronos (Saturn) and Hades (Pluto) are having it out. She switches on some music, lights some candles and sweet smelling incense and begins to sing and dance—bedecked in beautiful jewels and expensive silks. She’s magical, captivating. All the Gods can do is stop, sit down and be transfixed.
Mercury then walks in (backward mind you, he has just joined this retrograde party), he too sits down and begins to join in the singing. He knows what Taurus is all about—sensuality, enjoyment, pleasure, sweetness. Everyone has a beer and realizes that there’s no point in fighting, that we may as well sit and wait it out.
In the meantime, we have Jupiter in the wings, who’s been slightly helpless in the sign of Virgo and also retrograde, thus being unable to bestow his gifts, begins taking tiny, eensy weensy steps forward. Jupiter is a Kindly Planet—yep, you guessed it—a good guy. Jupiter signifies luck, growth, optimism, fortune, joy, generosity, benevolence and expansion. He’s finally ready to start using his powers for good again, and in May, he stations direct (which means he starts moving “forward” again—hence, just going back to his normal speed) and gathers speed, gaining full momentum in June and starting once again to bless us with his good fortune, growth and optimism.
We’ve missed him, but sometimes it’s important for us to have everything stripped from us, to be thrown to the ground, raw in vulnerability, so that we may gather strength from within and stand up by ourselves, able to fight and endure, without the cushioning of anybody or anything else. For that is what we’ve been experiencing. Each of us has been fighting a dire battle, sometimes from within and sometimes from without. We’ve been lonely, naked, cold, helpless.
The Gods have never fully deserted us though, and with Venus bringing her sweet gifts in Taurus, and Jupiter starting to move ahead once again, we can start to hope, start to dance again, sing, enjoy life. This doesn’t mean Mars, Pluto or Saturn will let go, we still have a good battle to wage, at least until June, when Mars stations direct (moving at his usual speed again).
But it does mean we can temper our aggression with love, soften our blows with compassion and raise ourselves up again, confident that times will start getting better.
With both Venus and Mercury in Taurus over the month, much focus is going to fall on our material security and resources, as these are the things that Taurus signifies. Venus here creates a sensual enjoyment of earthly pleasures, which we have every right to enjoy in our human incarnations. It’s time for pleasure, sex, food, comfort and sweet nothings. Mercury may ask us to be cautious in these things and ensure that we are not overstepping our budget, not overdoing things. We may decide to review our finances, what we own, how we feel about ourselves and what our personal value systems are.
It’s not a scary Mercury retrograde, rather an opportunity to rest from the battle and count our wins, as well as our losses.
Sure, communication will be all over the place, we shouldn’t sign contracts, travel by airplane or take our cars in for service—if we do, we can expect delays. During Mercury retrograde we can welcome the opportunity to slow down and take the time to smell the roses, as Venus in Taurus would agree. Now is the opportunity to tie up some loose ends, review what’s been working, and what’s not, and begins making plans to put things in motion once Mercury has gone direct again on 25 May.
It’s a materialistic month. We will have to learn patience, practicality, realism and how to create security for ourselves, within and without. It’s important that we don’t hold onto anything, and be flexible as Taurus may tempt us to attach to what we own. With Mars and Saturn in Sagittarius, the sign of the truth-seeker, we are urged us to pursue our spiritual truth and what we stand for. Venus and Mercury in Taurus will urge us toward an Earthly security.
There is a wonderful balance between the two, for we are both human and spiritual.
With our roots reaching down into the core of Gaia, and our spirits touching the heavens through our crown, we have the wonderful gift of enjoying the best of both worlds. The key is detachment, balance and moderation.
May is a month to let our hair down:
Relax: step out of the rat race and go into nature.
Revive ourselves: and find peace.
Mercury retrograde is a wonderful opportunity and Venus is blessing us with her sensuality and beauty. Jupiter stationing direct on 10 May is about to bring us optimism once again and respite from these battles.
A silver lining indeed.
Author: Margarita Stoffberg
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock