Kate Arbon is an astrologer, writer and spiritual teacher. Living in West Cork for over 20 years she gives personal consultations locally and internationally using traditional natal and Horary astrology.
May brings us the fire festival of Bealtaine, which is one of the cross quarter days, half way between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. It’s celebrated as May Day on May 1 but the actual astronomical date is May 5. It marks the beginning of the summer season with its counter point Lughnasa, falling in early August. During these months, and beyond into September and October, we have Pluto and Saturn in their retrograde phase together in Capricorn close to the south node. Pluto appeared to turn on April 24 and Saturn on April 30. People with important points or personal planets between 13 and 23 degrees of the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) in their birth charts will be more strongly affected by these transits. Retrograde phases give us the opportunity to re-evaluate and reconsider themes associated with the planet involved. This is a time to release ourselves from the past and prepare for a new way forward.
Saturn is often felt as a difficult planet and it certainly has a sombre presence. As the furthest planet visible to the naked eye, it represents the boundary and limitation of our physical experience. It can indicate where we feel inadequate and limited, our fears and insecurities. Self-esteem and trust are developed over time. We build confidence in our abilities by recognising our achievements gained through consistent personal effort. Also known as the Lord of Time, Saturn is associated with the past and patterns, habits and agreements that are consolidated or binding. These things can serve us by creating consistency, endurance and contracts but the same things can become restricting and limiting when times have changed and needs differ.
Pluto represents hidden power and the dynamic forces, which lie below the surface of of our conscious recognition. Pluto’s ‘job’ is to dismantle the physical world and restructure it over and over to create something new. We can align with this energy source through self-awareness and exploration and utilise it to empower our own creativity as a positive force in the world, or we can ignore it and allow our basic drives to be powered by its impetus and so create in a destructive way. We disempower ourselves when we blame people or events for our circumstances or feelings. Pluto offers us the option of power through personal authority, so we can make conscious choices instead of feeling helpless to external forces.
With both these planets retrograde in Capricorn this summer we will find that events and circumstances that hold us back, restrict or control us, will be up for review. They are both connected to the South Node by just a few degrees, which adds to the theme of revisiting the past. The Nodes represent a path in life and the South is where we have been and also what we need to leave behind if we are to develop new skills and have new experiences. We can use what we have learned as the framework to move forward. Questions need to be asked about how well the structures, contracts, relationships and commitments are standing up to the test of time. We are evolving and have new expectations. Different criteria and values are emerging to reflect a new era in our lives. During this retrograde phase we can undo the ties that bind us to the concepts, habits and belief systems that were formed in the past but now simply recreate conflict, anxiety or lack.
It can be a challenging time, but it is time now to overcome the fears and limitations that have kept us in the dark. Set your intentions for the Taurus New Moon, then the Full Moon in Scorpio mid month will highlight the stress and strain in any area of life we still need to attend to so it can be released and transformed.
This month New Moon is at 15° Taurus on May 4 at 11.45pm and Full Moon is at 28° Scorpio on May 18 at 10.11pm.
Aries: During this time you can make an impression on others by making a strong statement to the world about who you are. People recognise you and are likely to follow your lead, or at the least they stay out of your way. You are likely to feel more confident and vital now. However, you may be so preoccupied with yourself and your own desires that you unintentionally ignore other people and their needs. Include the ones you love in your plans and things will get progressively better. You should be able to strengthen the bond with someone who has been an influence in your life.
Taurus: You’ll be torn between what you want to do and what you have to do. Retreating from the world for a while and spending some quiet time alone to relax and rejuvenate appeals strongly to you now. You may feel like you are at low ebb and as if nothing is happening or you may simply not want to be ‘where the action is’. Don’t overreact, overdo or over-indulge to compensate for things not going according to your plans. Sometimes it’s best to do what you must, get it out of the way now. You’ll get your turn to please yourself. Competitive ambitions and ego drives are on hold now.
Gemini: Get involved in charity events or social action groups that interest you and you will make headway in many different areas of your life through the people you meet and the information you discover. You may be asked to take responsibility or even a leadership role or to contribute and participate more fully than you have in the past. You will enjoy being part of a team or group effort now. Being part of a community or circle of friends and building your social network is important to you at this time.
Cancer: Over the New Moon don’t mix business with pleasure if you want to avoid trouble. Not everyone will be on your side over the next few weeks so you may want to choose your friends carefully and keep your personal thoughts and opinions to yourself. With your career and reputation very important to you at this time, you can make significant gains regarding your ambitions. Recognition for your efforts and receiving credit for your accomplishments are likely now, but only if you’ve ‘done your homework’. This is an excellent time to ask for a promotion, or to engage the support of those in positions of higher authority.
Leo: This is a time to lift yourself out of your usual mundane concerns in order to get a larger perspective on your life. Although it may all seem overwhelming for a while remember that as long as you keep plugging away you will make gains. You really can get things up and running if you try. A chance to do things a little differently will make all the difference in the world. Don’t slow down because someone can’t keep up with you. You have to maintain the momentum. A teacher or mentor who appears this New Moon may be particularly important to you later.
Virgo: Don’t push your luck now. Joint financial affairs and investments are likely to be an issue at this time, and it is a good time to clarify each person’s expectations and to take care of any legal business, insurance, wills, and so on. On a personal level, there is a desire to intensify the level of intimacy and honesty in your closest relationships and to clear away anything in yourself, which is impeding that deeper union you seek. Any temptation to make abrupt decisions and changes could lead to additional problems that you can do without. Stick to what’s clear and avoid taking on other peoples responsibilities.
Libra: Partnerships, marriage, and one-to-one relationships take your attention now and you are called upon to cooperate and perhaps to relinquish some of your own personal interests for the sake of harmony and mutual benefit. You may end up questioning yourself as well as the motives of the people around you. Get to the bottom of things before it’s too late. Once you have all the facts you will be in a much better position to make a decision. Don’t let anyone pull you in a direction you don’t want to go and do what’s best for you but the emphasis is on ‘we’ rather than ‘me’.
Scorpio: Doing your best work and taking pride in it are a focus for you now. You should be able to make some worthwhile career moves or at least secure your current position so that you don’t have to worry about your financial future. This is a good time to examine how you use your time and energy, with an eye to improving your efficiency and productivity. Watch out for health matters, as you are concerned with your body now, and you may be inspired to begin a self-improvement program, create better habits, or begin a new diet or fitness plan.
Sagittarius: You are energised and inspired creatively and emotionally coming up to this New Moon time, and you want to bring forth all that’s deep within you. You express yourself more freely, playfully, and spontaneously and are more willing to take chances. You will have Lady Luck in your corner so be sure to look for good deals. Social activities, travel and attending different cultural events will all lead to meeting people who can help further your goals. The dramatic and performing arts, sports and games, or other forms of self-expression and entertainment appeal strongly to you now. You can accomplish much if you set your mind to it.
Capricorn: From the beginning of this month you will have been enjoying the success that you worked hard to achieve. Don’t be too quick to put your energy into new projects as you approach the New Moon, wait until the end of the month. All kinds of creative work are favoured and you might find yourself more closely involved with children at this time. Don’t be surprised if there is some conflict between your personal enjoyment and what others think you should be doing for kicks. Those things that need to be discussed and settled with the family can be dealt with in the next few weeks.
Aquarius: Take a trip back into your past and you will find the answers you are looking for. Now it’s time to make changes instead of doing a repeat performance. Taking time to talk with neighbours and folks you cross paths with daily may result in more positive and smoother-running relationships generally. You’ll want to fritter away your time on fun and social events over the New Moon, but this may not be at all bad, things have been serious enough for you to want to take a break now. This is a good time to participate in or contribute to any community events in your area
Pisces: Money, possessions, financial security, and practical matters are a focus for you now. You can make some very interesting professional or financial moves this month. Be ready to put your money on the table in order to get ahead. If you have tended to be generous or extravagant with your resources, you may begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. At the least, it should become clear to you what your next steps should be regarding your finances. Your astute vision will enable you to correctly assess the right investment, job or any other money matter that arise after the New Moon phase.