Read about general May astrology, what's happening in the heavens and the ins and outs of Mercury retrograde here

Taurus

Security. Resources.

These two words are important for you Taurus and they are especially important this month. May starts off with a full moon in your opposite sign of Scorpio that has something to say about desire, attachments, loyalty, and the larger notions of family that let us know our place in the world and also bring up all the fears we have about not belonging. The Taurus-Scorpio axis is one that often fears and avoids loss, becoming stubborn, obsessive and jealous if it seems like the ground isn't so stable under one's feet. When there's loss of another person we lose an anchoring point for some aspect of ourselves, when there's loss of possession we feel our naked fragility exposed and vulnerable to everything and everyone. Your concepts of value and self-worth are up for question this month and bring up the interesting adage "if you love somebody/something, let them/it go." Finding space and generosity in our hearts when we really want to throw a tantrum is a HUGE growing up moment that many adults may never get to. You have the chance this month to monitor your inner children. They will respond well to playfulness and creative expression, they will get nastier and naughtier the more you indulge entitlement, and they will be a pure delight if they feel seen, acknowledged and given firm boundaries with room to be themselves. Giving space for your own process while also allowing and affirming others is where it's at. With Mercury turning retrograde in your second house of values later this month you might feel tested in areas of communication, particularly in ways that relate to communicating about needs: your needs and others'. Remember that communication is not just talking but also listening. And it takes guts to listen. It takes even more guts to listen when there's loss, change, and impermanence knocking on the door. This is where your ability to rest in and commit to your own self-worth are crucial. Firmly believing in one's own value is not something that is natural to most people. Usually most of us are listening from a place of insecurity and craving for external validation of some sort. This makes us feel poor, regardless of how much we have in the bank. Your gift to this world Taurus is to help us all remember how to give AND receive from deeply empowered and potently personal abundance.

Practice this month: Goddess pose. In its manifestation of the divine feminine principle Taurus is the Earth Goddess, the Fertility Goddess and the Goddess of Abundance. This pose is challenging until you figure out how to receive the support of the ground beneath your feet. If you spend your time here gritting your teeth and clenching your quads it's a good reminder to allow your lower belly to soften, open your throat and push your feet through the floor. Let out an earth-shaking yell if you dare.

Wear it this month: Secret sources of abundance. Wear your charms, tokens, and money bags in places where you can feel them but others can't see them. When you encounter others, especially those who might trigger your stinginess, let the memory and sensation of your wearable wealth trigger your sincere smiles of self-worth instead.

Gemini

Being that your sign is one that is most often referred to as communicative, you might think it's  something that you should be good at it. You probably are in many ways, but it's also something that you're constantly being asked to do. Our sun signs say as much about what we come in with naturally as they do about what we're here to learn and develop, and you my friend are here to learn how to connect. Not just with people and through words, but also how to connect seemingly disparate ideas; how to connect vision with action; how to connect your heart to your head and both to your body. Connection is a key theme this month as your ruling planet Mercury turns retrograde in the area of your life that is most directly tied to your notions of self, identity and ego. Ego is often something that many of us think about getting rid of, or somehow trying to tame, but in this context I mean your ego as in the center of your gravity. The thing that pulls you together and lets you know that you're you and not the people or things that you are connecting with. At some points this month it may feel that your ego is being severely tested, especially in your intimate, one-on-one relationships. At some points this month you may feel like the world is watching you in your messiest and most wretched moments of confusion, and in the most poignant displays of your own personal failings. Ok look... it's not so bad and you will get through this. Your job right now is to let the tests refine your natural instincts towards connection. Meet the challenge of focusing, and refuse to back down or give in to your easy distractions. If you can figure out how to stay, settle, and be with what's being asked of you it's going to be a big key in the bigger mystery of what you're here to do with your life in general.

Practice this month: Vrksasana, tree pose- this is a pose that gets harder the more you try to stay balanced. If you tense up and get rigid your pose will be like an old dead tree full of brittle  splinters... On the other hand, if you get goofy and actually try to lose your balance you'll find yourself more buoyant than you would have believed, and if and when the proverbial wind does knock you down, it's kind of fun.

Wear it this month: sentimental objects of meaning- that thing that someone gave you that one time when they were really appreciating you for you. That thing you've had since you were a kid and always kept because it felt like it was part of you. A gift from someone who really, really gets you. Whatever it is, wear it, hide it in your pocket or purse and let it remember you for you when you forget.

Cancer

Yes you. Yes you. Yes. You. May starts off with a full blown full moon lighting up the areas of your chart that have to do with fun, romance, creative play, groups of friends, and the ways in which you express your fabulously fine self. As with all things there are pros and cons in the possibility. If you feel yourself trending towards hyper emo outbursts, or freak-outs from feeling left-out, then take a step back and remember that your biggest, best friend is the one that is always with you. Your heart my dear is a rare gem of the brightest and most brilliant kind. If you can make choices that honor the honesty of your love and venerate the value of your generosity you will be fine. As I talked about in the intro to this month (read it now if you haven't yet,) self-respect is key, so act and be in the world in ways that deserve your utmost respect. The planets are aligned to help you highlight your grace this month. Ask for what you want in your relationships and in your work... not your job, but the work you are here TO DO. If you aren't sure what that is I suggest you inquire deeply into yourself and look for the places that are aching to burst out of their confines, and maybe the places that could very possibly feel risky to act on, or move towards because of your relationships. The bottom line is this, if your partners, best-friends, comrades or close colleagues don't 100% support you in becoming more of yourself, and less of their expectations, then it is time to peace out. Something that we all have to learn here on this planet is how to love each other not for "potential", or for what we want from someone else, but for the utterly unique beings that are longing to be seen. Don't hide from yourself, and don't let anyone convince you otherwise.

Practice this month: Utkatasana, fierce pose

This pose is a bitch. Or it can be until you learn to love it, then it becomes awesome, fun and kind of addictive. You have to relax your ankles so that you can really let your shins rest forward and your heels rest back. Then you have to use your butt muscles, for real. From the superhuman strength of your haunches reach your arms forward and up and let your heart lift. Watch the video here

Wear it this month: Superwoman underwear

Leo

This is a month to be thinking about your message. That thing that you want to communicate to the world, and the ways in which you want to connect to the larger social whole. It might feel like you're at a standstill or stopping point. You might have a severe case of writer's block, or the equivalent thereof. This won't last forever but it is a opportune moment to remember something, to recover something. Pay attention to where you've come from; your family, home, and whatever it is that happened back then that's still influencing you right now. Potential themes for this moment include: feelings of extreme frustration and wishing you were further along than you are: feeling stuck in the past and not sure how to move forward: seeing your family patterns at work: resolution and transformation: the urge to grow and be yourself and how that meets familial expectations... and more. The big message, the bigger picture, the masterpiece that you're waiting to deliver has some reconciling to do with the past. Your job right now is to resist infantile displays of impatience and open yourself up to receive the messages that come through opposition. The places where you're being rubbed can either surrender or separate. You either need to accept that something is part of you, or be absolutely done with it. Probably both. You won't achieve either by pulling a disappearing act though. There's a Buddhist parable about relationships being like stones tossed together until they become smooth. Remember that no one has ever achieved mastery in a bubble. We're like stones being polished, the friction, frustration, and pain of rubbing against our own and others' expectations, is exactly what we need to bring out the true, strong, and lasting beauty within.

Practice this month: chaturanga dandasana, four-limbed staff pose- this pose is a similar feeling to rocks getting polished! Try approaching it from the floor as well as plank, and do abs work in preparation. Really. Get this and you can get through anything. 

Wear it this month: what you want, not what you think I might want- don't wear anything because you're trying to fit in or please anyone else. Not this month. This month dress for yourself first and wear what you love, what makes you feel good and beautiful. If you find yourself comparing your outfit to someone else's your job is to take a deep breath, wish them well, and commit to your confidence.

Virgo

This month is about alignment for you Virgo. Alignment, at least in the postural sense, has more to do with your own internal sense of balance and the ability to sense into your body and its relationship to earth and space, then it does with someone's external perception of how you look. The inner alignment process that is happening for you right now is the same. You are recovering and refining your own perceptive ability about how, and who you are in the world. What you look like to other people doesn't matter. Let me say that again in a different way. How other people perceive you can sometimes be a useful tool for reflecting upon yourself and what you're putting out in the world, and their input can often either validate or confront your self image... But ultimately what matters most is how you feel to yourself. Are you standing strong in your own guiding principles that are meaningful and relevant to you, not your family, friends or boss? Are you moving in a direction that satisfies and soothes your spirit, that connects you to the divine mystery of your own understanding? Your path is your path Virgo, you know this in your head... Do you know it in your body? Do you know it in the cells of your being? This is a month for you to consider the small, sometimes invisible spaces where your are carrying someone else's ideals that don't really match up with your own, and to gently, lovingly, release them.

Practice this month: tadasana, equal standing pose- this pose is the foundation of all standing poses and in itself could encompass the complete intention of asana practice. The complexity is found in the simplicity of noticing how your weight is always shifting, and investigating where you can find support to relax into your own integrity. 

Wear it this month: the color white- white is often associated with your sign in its symbolic purity. White is also a color worn to dissuade mischievous spirits from paying attention to you. Wear white this month as gesture and offering to the purity of your true heart. For added cleansing fill a medicine bag with good quality salt (salt in alchemical magic is used for wisdom and crystallization of spirit to matter) and whenever you are in a moment of wondering if some energetic quality or idea of who you are is true, take a pinch of salt, put it on your tongue, and ask for guidance from your Highest Self.

Libra

Your chart this month speaks to satisfaction, reward, encouragement, abundance and gratitude. Your sign more than any other understands the value of harmonious relationship, and the investments you've made in the lives of those around you is not unnoticed. Themes of recognition and reciprocity are big this month, as are themes of fun and play. If you find yourself caught up in the midst of a swirling social scene, and if you just so happen to be the life of the party then enjoy it! That said there is also a question about avoidance tactics and how deep you can go. Your sign is one that is known for its pleasantness, easygoing nature, and dislike of conflict. So here are the questions: do you often find yourself avoiding discomfort by choosing small talk instead of deep questions? Do you find it challenging to focus and commit to your long term goals because long term goals require focus and commitment, which is often uncomfortable? Do you prefer to space out, or choose the escape route of habit (entertainment, drinks with friends, drugs, luxury time, shopping etc) rather than sit with questions of inevitability, like why are you here? If any of that sounds familiar then I'm inviting you to experiment this month with taking a slightly different approach to playtime. See what happens if you choose quiet introspection over space out/ avoidance habits. In the company of friends challenge yourself to ask meaningful questions, give enough space for response, don't freak out if the tone becomes a bit more serious or deep, and offer your earnest answers in return. The wisdom that is available to you right now is not about the small talk, and it may choose silence over song and dance. But what arises from that silence will only add richness and depth to the beauty that you love. Remember that avoidance casts a larger shadow then acknowledgement, be present, be patient, be real.

Practice this month: shamatha, calm abiding meditation- this technique is super simple. Set your timer for 10 minutes, sit comfortably with eyes gently open and gaze towards the floor just a foot or two in front of you, breathe. Create a wide open space for thoughts to arise, don't try and push them away, but also don't follow them. Practice noticing the thoughts arising and then letting them go. If you get carried away in a thought, at some point you'll notice and then just tell yourself "thinking". Come back to the present moment. Here's a longer guided instruction if you'd like 

Wear it this month: simple, elegant and comfortable. You could transition from your meditation cushion, to work, to a dance party, and then back to sit again. Natural fibers like bamboo or silk blends. Easy and complimentary tones that don't require too much thought or fussing over.

Scorpio

This month begins with a full moon that hits close to home, really close. You may feel that who you are and what you stand for is under a magnifying glass for all to see. When your heart, your instinct, your deepest vulnerability, and the indisputable you feels exposed what do you do? One possibility is to put on a show, to play if off, to put forth a big bravado and mask any insecurity that comes up. That could work for a minute, but you're too intense to be convincing for long. The best choice will be to back up and let the questions roll in. You're a sign that's much more comfortable asking questions about others than offering info about yourself, and while your curiosity for knowing others is insatiable, you also tend to be much more objective and aloof when it comes to revealing (or even acknowledging) your own motivations. Let yourself be seen, investigate the courage required for transparency, and make your motto this month, "I've got nothin' to hide." You might just find that in allowing others to see you, in fact by asking others to see you, that you can rest, relax and let down your guard in a way that is not only healing for you, but for healing for others as well.

Practice this month: Natarajasana, dancers pose- the potential elegance of this pose is attained when you stop trying for it and start breathing. Notice the different sensation that's available if you kick the lifting leg into the back hand, or if you move from your internal strength into the leg to lift it UP, and allow the back hand to just help guide you in that direction.

Wear it this month: mesh tops and hotpants- shake what your mama gave you and consider it a gift to us all.

Sagittarius

What kind of idea are you? Are you the kind that compromises, does deals, accommodates itself to society, aims to find a niche, to survive; or are you the cussed, bloody-minded, ramrod-backed type of damnfool notion that would rather break than sway with the breeze? – The kind that will almost certainly, ninety-nine times out of hundred, be smashed to bits; but, the hundredth time, will change the world.” - Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses

The way you live your daily life and attend to your chores should not be separate from your dreams; from your deep, insistent, constant quest to know. Build an altar to the dreamspace that you inhabit but rarely let yourself speak, paint pictures of your deepest desires, and write poems to the ineffable. Don't worry about making sense, or fitting in, and certainly don't water down your passion for anyone else's sense of possibility. The rebelrevolutionary force that you are capable of will not be contained, so don't even bother. While you're getting busy getting real with your dreams, this is also a month to get real with yourself about what you want in your relationships. Communication issues are up. Mercury is retrograde in your 7th house of partnership and is making hard aspects to Saturn, Lord of Reality and all of its restrictions, and Neptune, Lord of NonReality and all its fantasy and delusions. You might think that what you are saying, or what you have said, is clear. Chances are good that it needs to be reconsidered, restated, or reversed, and if you've been playing guessing games with your loved ones it's probably time to fess up. Radical honesty is radical, it comes from the root. Don't overthink what you feel. Say it, be it, do it, and be on your way. With the work you're here to do you don't have time to muck around with shady intentions- yours or anyone else's.

Practice this month: sheetali pranayama, cooling breath- if you find yourself getting agitated, worked up, or confused, take a timeout and ten breaths. Like this 

Wear it this month: Lord Of The Rings rings. Some kind of token that reminds you of your higher purpose and deepest truth. Every day. Don't let anyone else wear it. It's yours.

Capricorn

Hopes and dreams for the future are made possible by the work you do today. You know this. More than any of the other signs you understand the necessity of focusing your creative efforts towards your ultimate goals. This month's full moon illuminates the intensity of desire you have and want to work towards, and it is a siren call to your creativity as well. Are you moving towards your dreams in ways that feel grounded, pleasurable and practical or are you clutching to your dreams and insisting they stay the same, grasping at whatever is at hand that seems like it might get you there? Are you easily allowing the radiance of others to inspire your own, or is it easier to see yourself as damaged and let others lead the way? In the first chapter of the Yoga Sutra it is stated that the means to mastery are two companions, abhyasa and vairagya. Abhyasa is translated as effort, willpower, and practice. Vairagya is translated as detachment, letting go and acceptance. One without the other will lead to nowhere, both, in balance, are required to achieve what you aspire towards. The efforts you are making now are heroic, and they will for sure lead to somewhere, though this month might feel like a lot of back-and-forth. Can you let go of the destination and offer your efforts as salutations and prostrations to the gem of your spirit? The transformation process that's been working on you for the last few years isn't over yet, and right now it might feel like discomfort is going to last forever. It won't. But don't assume that anyone else will make it easier, and don't project your happiness upon acceptance or love that comes from an external source. Don't compare yourself to anyone else. Something is asking for your attention right now Capricorn, and it might take the guise of something that someone else has or can give you. If you want something really strongly take note of the feeling and ask what of that feeling can you give to yourself. What of that feeling can you take as inspiration and motivation to keep showing up for the work at hand, and building towards your dreams of the future?

Practice this month: that pose you hate- if you don't practice yoga then start going, or do the activity/exercise that you keep not doing and saying you will. Do it every day for one month, commit to it, notice what changes, and let go of any expectations that something will change. Just be with the practice of it. That is enough for now.

Wear it this month: Ylang Ylang essential oil- this oil is pacifying for the solar plexus (third chakra, personal power and ability to receive nourishment). It clears anger, frustration, and other emotionally charged or agitated states. Ylang Ylang promotes feelings of joy, peace and being lovable. Consequently it can promote enthusiasm and confidence.

Aquarius

Values are something that need to be questioned. By all of us. By society. By culture. Things that are identified as valuable typically have something do with monetary value, and that's fine, but money or wealth aren't the only things worth valuing. You know this Aquarius, you know without question that what is valuable belongs to everyone; it is the everything that we come from and return to. It is love. It is Earth. It is hope. It is the Divine of your understanding. How you communicate this to the world at large can be something of a mystery in this moment. The feelings that are so palpable and overwhelming, when you try to put them into words, fail. Part of the frustration of your sign is the need to communicate and "give birth" to new ideas, new ways of living in a world that has largely forgotten what's worth living for. This month that frustration might be increasingly intense and efforts to share the understandings you've recently come to could get lost or gummed up in feelings of fogginess. My suggestion to you is to not try to talk about it. Trust that what you know, that what you feel, is true. Trust that just by being with that feeling and paying attention to it, you are adding to your proverbial savings account. All you can do right now is show up, shine your love upon those whom you encounter, and refuse to let your values be cheapened by a substance that can't be shared with the utmost freedom and generosity.

Practice this month: loving kindness meditation- this meditation is simple, you can sit upright or lie down to be comfortable. Start by taking a few moments to just breathe and calm your mind, then call into your mind someone that you love deeply. Hold them in your mind and repeat the mantra 3 times "May you be happy, may you be healthy, may you be safe, may you be free from suffering and the causes of suffering." Then repeat this exercise with someone who feels neutral to you, someone that you don't know but have seen in passing. Then repeat the exercise with someone who is challenging for you in your life. Then repeat the exercise with yourself in mind. During each round hold the image of the person in your mind and the sincerity of your wishes for health, happiness, safety, and freedom from suffering in your heart.

Wear it this month: age of Aquarius fashion- bring out your flowered skirts, flowy shirts, and beads and braids in your hair.

Pisces

There's a certain type of sturdiness that is trying desperately to seat itself in your life right now Pisces. Your sign never was one for solid constructions of reality though, and the efforts to solidify your aims might be feeling a bit awkward these days. The planet Saturn (the solidifying and reality forming agent) is moving backwards through the points in your chart that have to do with dharma, direction, and how you put yourself out publically. This month Mercury (mental capacity and perceptive function) will also turn retrograde opposite Saturn in the space that has to do with where you come from, your root, your home, and what makes you feel nurtured and protected. This might show up as confusing conversations with family members that make you rethink your direction(s). This could look like home projects that demand attention that you might otherwise be putting elsewhere. Or maybe it's simply an inner process that's about seeking understanding from where you came from in order to more efficiently get where you're going. Regardless, your job this month is to find some ways to have fun looking for structure in instability. Make jello in jello molds, play pretend with people under the age of 6, and do yoga on a blow-up raft. This would also be an excellent month to put yourself cheerfully to the task of cleaning out your closets, basements, and brain. Get rid of stuff you don't need, organize what you'll keep, and have clarifying conversations with those who matter to you most. When Mercury turns direct next month, and by the time Saturn stations back on track later this summer you'll be cruising.

Practice this month: vinyasa yoga, movement with breath- vinyasa yoga is popularly put out as a vigorous practice involving multiple sun salutations and flow from one movement to another. If that appeals to you go for it, but my suggestion is much more simple. Choose one movement- lifting and lowering your arms for example, and link the upswing of your arms to your inhale, and the downswing to your exhale, then reverse. Complete each breath and pause for just a second at the top of the inhale and end of the exhale. Complete each movement and feel it's effect in your body. If you're doing flow yoga try not to rush your breath, deeply investigate the full potential of each breath and match the gesture of your movement to it. Allow the clarity of your breath to create your movement.

Wear it this month: stripes and striated patterns with splashes of solids- choose patterns that you like for their order and form, then interrupt them with colorful blasts.

Aries

The rapid state of change that has been your life for the past few years is just now, maybe, kind of, starting to work itself into some kind of understandable order. Maybe. The full moon this month is a kind of ringleader, mascot, best friend type of moon that wants to encourage you to keep going for gold. Do not, I repeat, do not, let pressures of conformity get in the way of your good times. Continue to ask the big questions about what you want out of life and what, or whose power you're here to serve. The issue for you is not about autonomy or independence, you've got enough of those already. The issue has to do with what you value and what you love, and how your values and love get shared in the world in ways that are meaningful and relevant to those who receive them. The "pressure of conformity", as in following the status quo and playing it safe is not the same as a good, long, honest look at those whom your work aims to impact and asking yourself if how you're doing what you're doing is coming through as clearly and as cleanly as you'd like it to. This is a great month to get back to the books and review your message(s). What were your original intentions? Have you stayed true to them? Have they changed? Allow yourself the space to look at what you've built and are building, weed out the weeds, plant the new seeds, and don't be scared to completely readjust your garden plans.

Practice this month: Anajaneyasana low lunge- this is a pose that requires you to root through the floor and find the inner stability required to lift the heart, chest, face and extend outwards and upwards. If you're feeling pain in the low back or tension in your neck and shoulders then come out and choose to practice in the pose by just concentrating on the support of your legs, pelvic floor, and lower abdomen. Opening the upper body too quickly will be at an expense, so build your foundation first. And when you do lift your torso, really reach with your arms and enjoy the abundant exuberance that arises as your breath fills the pose.

Wear it this month: clothes you don't mind making a mess in- your paint splattered work clothes and old t-shirts are a good place to start. Get out your excavation goggles too and don't be too timid to get messy!