May begins, happy Beltane, full moon, and Mercury retrograde
From my rotting body flowers shall grow, and I am in them and that is eternity.
May begins with a spicy Scorpio full moon on the 3rd. As you probably know a full moon is made when the sun and the moon are opposing one another from our view here on Earth. Symbolically the sun represents consciousness. The sun in Taurus represents consciousness of wealth and the accumulation of resource. Taurus is abundance, fertility, and the desire to just be and enjoy. The season of Taurus includes the ancient holiday of Beltane, or the halfway point between the spring equinox and summer solstice when the fertility of the earth and animals are at their peak. In the season of Taurus flowers bloom and the world is full of sensual delight. The urge of this season is to indulge in all things sensory: food, flowers, your body, others' bodies etc. The light of the sun in Taurus is reflected by the moon opposing it in the sign of Scorpio. Scorpio is at the opposite time of year, autumn, when what has bloomed and flowered has been harvested and is now left to die, decompose and return to the soil. The axis of polarity between Taurus and Scorpio is one that holds the beauty and challenge of life and death. The pleasures of life are impermanent and will one day cease, life eats itself to live.
This full moon, which happens to coincide with Beltane is in a tight square to the planet Jupiter, currently in Leo. This angle speaks to the necessity of creative expression in the face of the inevitable; it is the you only live once call to action; it is the reminder that if you don't live from your heart no one else will live from it for you; it is the choice between giving all that you have with every ounce of enthusiasm you can muster or feeling stingy and throwing a fit because things change, and you're scared that what you have to offer doesn't matter.
Mid month our favorite trice-yearly event will happen again, yes, Mercury. Mercury goes retrograde three times a year, this year in air signs all three times. Mercury is the planet of the perceptive function, which often has something to do with communication. When it turns backward it's a time that our perception often wants to turn inward and when it's in our best interest to do all the words that start with re, as in remain, restrain, refine, redefine, revise and review. Our go! go! go! culture freaks out with the idea of slowing down and going backwards over something, but that fear and constant compulsion to be moving forward actually keeps a lot of us stuck, wheels spinning, overtired, and totally confused as to what direction we want to be heading. Letting ourselves pause and look back to make sure that we've accounted for everything is not only smarter, it's also healthier. So hear ye, hear ye, hear ye all... Mercury retrograde is not the big bad wolf. Calm down.
However, this Mercury retro cycle is made a bit more challenging with its opposition to Saturn (restricting, maturing function, also currently retrograde) in Sagittarius and the square (conflict) that both are making to Neptune (dreaming, transcending, escaping function). Mercury opposite Saturn feels like working through some seriously stuck thinking patterns. It feels like digging through your vocabulary, realizing that you don't even know the language of the word you want to use, and then getting to work on the monumental task of not only learning how to speak the word you want, but also to understand its context and various meanings. Mercury opposite Saturn and square Neptune feels like things that just don't make sense, no matter how hard you think about them, or how many points of view you get. It feels like logic does a back-flip and then ejects itself from your life. It feels like a Jim Jarmusch movie. It feels like trying to run in water, or chop firewood with a jump rope, or deliver a speech with pudding in your mouth.
All three things together do not make a good month for trying to be well-ordered, planned, logical, or efficient. They do make a great month for dream-journaling, for speaking gibberish, for going on vision quests, and for doing media fasts... In fact, you could fast from all technology for a while and just try to take in the language of nature.
The fact that Mercury is retrograde three times this year in air signs says something about our collective thinking patterns. There is a leap in understanding we can make, there is a graduation from learning to knowing, there is an acceleration of our communicative ability towards greater perception and less projection. The ways in which we are taught to think, at least in Western cultures, are predominantly linear, rule-based, very much stuck on the material plane, and utterly non-magical. If you know any children under 5 or 6, you know that people come into the world with awesome imaginations, a great sense of adventure, and willingness to laugh at themselves. Let's take this transit as an opportunity to explore different ways of thinking. Get out of your head and into your heart, into your body, and into some fun.
So happy May! I wish you all the most sensuous of sensory loves, the most delicious and satisfying meals that last forever, and the supreme indulgence of this moment right now without worrying about what comes next.
Are you interested in what this year's springtime astrology means for you? Our seasonal class is coming up next weekend and is a great opportunity to learn more about astrology in general, as well as for you personally. We will discuss all three springtime zodiac signs (Aries, Taurus and Gemini), learn yoga, meditation and energy medicine for working with them, look at your charts, journal and have fun. Everyone has all signs and planets in their chart so even if one of these signs 'isn't you' you'll still learn more about you!
Saturday, May 9th 1:30-4:30pm Be Space, 2111 SE 11th. Portland, OR $15-$30 sliding scale