Part of astrology's power and perhaps the reason it seems to survive the tides of cultural change is its ability to contextualize life events. Astrology delineates cycles and that can be a comfort, especially if we are in a bad patch and desperately in need of reassurance that patch will not last forever. But more importantly, astrology speaks to the soul—it tells the personal story as part of a much larger universal story, and that expanded vision has the power to both soothe and inspire. Telling an individual story through a larger archetypal or mythological framework offers the possibility of connection, direction, and purpose.
It's a bumpy ride this week. The planets are in transition, and so are we. And while I don't and won't blame the stars for cranky attitudes, as most of us know, shifts—emotional, psychological, spiritual, or physical—are often uncomfortable, especially if you're feeling tired, overworked, stretched too thin, or just downright suspicious of what's going to happen next.
Separating the wheat from the chaff won't be easy this week. Planetary crosscurrents pull in different directions simultaneously, and daily life reflects that astral hodgepodge with too many situations, individual and collective, in need of attention. Expect to feel stretched, especially if you have more than one iron in the fire, more than one child to take care of, or more than one friend who is wrestling with dire circumstances. The good news is that positive occurrences are also a part of the mix.
The planets begin to align in new formations this week, and the goings-on of terrestrial life reflect the celestial shifts. Mood swings--lots of them, yours and others'—are probable, so don't be surprised if you're motivated one minute and completely without ambition the next or enthusiastic about the day when you wake up, and by the time you finish coffee, totally flummoxed about how to spend your time.
Versatility is the keyword for the week, as the line-up of planets in Gemini, the Sign of information, continues to inspire a non-stop gab fest that runs the gamut from the ridiculous and unnecessary to the sublime and essential—and all the many dimensions in between. Expect vivacious interactions with just about everyone, from family and friends to that stranger sitting next to you on the plane, train, or bus. And don't be surprised if the normally taciturn are holding forth on several soapboxes simultaneously.
It's a perfect week for data and details, so make sure the apps on your Smartphone are ready to handle the constant streaming and massive downloads of facts and figures. Four planets—the Sun, Mercury, Venus, and Jupiter—are aggregating in Gemini, the Sign of communication, and that astral assembly has the potential to turn the days and nights of the week into a watershed of information.
Monday, May 20, marks the next exact Uranus/Pluto square—the third in a series of seven squares occurring between June 2012 and April 2015. From an astrological perspective, Uranus/Pluto contacts always signal periods of great change; they symbolize cycles of political and social upheaval and upset, revolutionary cycles that seem to activate both an individual as well as a collective desire for transformation. We've been in the matrix of this current cycle since spring 2012.
For the next several weeks, the best transformational tool for conscious living is the willingness and the flexibility to embrace a kaleidoscope of perspectives. We're in the thrall of several intense astral patterns, all of which require dexterity – emotional, physical and spiritual – to shift from one point of view to another with minimal effort. Mental agility is also crucial during this phase, for as the days and nights unfold, handling certain circumstances will require moving between the many dimensions of the mind, from the practical to the ideal and back again to the pragmatic, all in the blink of the mind's eye.
A dance around the Maypole to honor the midpoint between summer and spring isn't likely this week. So don't worry if you don't feel like celebrating the start of the lusty month of May. Saturn continues to dominate the astral weather, and while some of us who chronicle the stars are committed to redefining Saturn's traditional role as the Great Inhibitor, that redefinition won't turn the significator of discipline into a sensualist anytime soon. And because Saturn always sets a somber tone, we're in for another week of earnest introspection and serious interactions.
The next two weeks unfold under the keen eye of Saturn, and as the planetary keeper of discernment and discipline culls through the details of the ordinary as well as the extraordinary affairs of daily life many of us are likely to feel as if we're under the influence of a stern Mercury Retrograde. Expect little to flow lightly. Also anticipate delving intensely into dialogues or diatribes about action and its consequence with yourself and anyone else who will listen.
The planets are moving from the tempestuous and impulsive heat of Aries into the grounded creativity of Taurus this week, and as they shift their emphasis from Fire to Earth, we experience the potential to settle down and settle into different daily rhythms. Just don't expect this transition to be instantaneous. Also don't assume that the seemingly never-ending personal and collective intensity of life is going to suddenly evaporate - no chance. It's simply going to display itself through a different lens of behavioral patterns.
The tight formation of planets in Aries persists for yet another week, and the routines of terrestrial life continue to reflect the celestial intensity. Many of us are growing weary of this militant signature. Aries is, after all, the archetype of the warrior, and for the last several weeks, the aggregation of planets in this often combative Sign has provided the potential to turn each and every day into a psychic or physical battlefield. And while it's true that Aries' aggressive attitude has the necessary power to rouse the complacent into taking a stand, eventually enthusiasm even for righteous causes starts to wane, especially if there's never a break in the "weather."
Here's the good news: Astral heat continues to insinuate itself into all the activities of daily life, but the pernicious undertones and overtones that dominated recent weeks are fading away - at least for now - and all that's left to deal with is the unbridled enthusiasm and exuberance of Aries. Some of you are sure to be rolling your eyes, thinking, "That's all? Just Aries unchained?" Yes—for the next two weeks, we are under the influence of an uninhibited concentration of spring's fire, the Sign of Aries, and the time of year in the northern hemisphere when hibernation ends and emergence from the cave begins. Expect almost everyone to be excited, eager, and earnest about something.
I always like to compare the fiery, tempestuous, dynamic energy of Aries to the excitable, impetuous, dramatic personality of Captain James T. Kirk, Starship Enterprise, who only set his course on adventure, boldly going where none had gone before, and upon arrival, suddenly realizing he had taken far too big a leap into the unknown and desperately needed support from his more circumspect cohort of Spock, Bones, and Scottie.
The planets are rambunctious this week, and because there's no "time out" for the sky, daily life reflects this unsettled astral activity through unruly moods and attitudes. Mature adults melt down like five-year olds and normally cautious individuals leap into all sorts of uncertain situations. Expect to be overwhelmed mostly by overstimulation, and also anticipate high levels of emotional sensitivity, yours or others', as the risk for impetuous behavior combines with nearly undeniable urges.