May begins auspiciously with both the Sun and the Moon in exalted positions. This occurrence is known as Akshya Tritiya, and happens on May 1st this year. It is considered a very auspicious time and a good day for starting something new.
We enter May only a couple of days after the solar eclipse on April 29 in Aries. To understand how the eclipse affects you personally check out the house that Aries rules in your chart. It is possible that this area of your life will undergo some transformation and changes over the next few months. It is good to be open to the fresh and adventuresome energy of Ashwini, which is the nakshatra in Aries where the eclipse took place. Remember that the effect of an eclipse can last many months afterwards.
Different expressions of power
On a global level April was an intense month with a lunar and solar eclipse and challenging astrological configurations. The exalted Sun (leaders, governments) in Aries is still in conjunction with Ketu and under the influence of Saturn, Rahu and Mars. Both Saturn and Mars are retrograde and retrograde planets have a tendency to look towards the past.
The energy from this configuration of planets can be expressed in different ways. It is reflected in the situation in Ukraine where Russians and pro-russians wants to recreate past union with Russia. Russia’s organized military build up (Saturn/Rahu in Libra and Mars in Virgo) is a threat to a break up of this nation.
Another world event with the same configuration of planets, but with a very different expression, happened on Sunday April 27, just before the solar eclipse. Pope Frances performed the canonization ceremony for John Paul II and John XXIII before a million visitors in Rome and two billion people all over the planet who watched the event on TV. Both the Sun (leaders) and Ketu (planet of renunciation) were transiting the nakshatra of Ashwini, a nakshatra associated with healing and rejuvenation. This indicates powerful spiritual leadership with transforming and healing power. Much effort and hard work went into organizing this event. Spiritual devotion is one of the best remedies for the potentially dark energy during an eclipse.
The Sun will be free from malefic energy after May 15th
The opposition between the Sun in Aries and Saturn in Libra will be exact on May 10th at about 26 degrees. On May 15th, the day after the full Moon, the Sun moves into Taurus where he is no longer influenced by malefic planets. The Sun rules Leo, and this sign will be much more at ease after May 10th. However, keep in mind that the effect of a solar eclipse can last for many months and can be triggered when a planet transits the degree where the eclipse happened. The eclipse on April 29th took place between 14 and 15 degrees Aries. Mars will aspect this degree from his position in Virgo for almost the entire month.
Good News for Virgo and Gemini
Mercury in Aries was under challenging planetary influences during April. In addition to the aspects from Saturn and Rahu in Libra, Mercury has been in a sign ruled by Mars, aspected by Mars and also been in a mutual exchange with Mars. (A mutual exchange means that Mercury is in a sign ruled by Mars and Mars is in a sign ruled by Mercury). Mars is a malefic planet that can put stress on Mercury.
Mercury under stress can cause allergies and respiratory problems. Parts of the United States have experienced the worst season in decades in regards to spring allergies. The difficult respiratory illness MERS in the Middle East has increased as well. Mercury also rules communication and computers. While Mercury has been influenced by the malefics, there have been problems with the security of the internet (Heartbleed) and major issues with internet explorer.
Mercury moves away from the strong influence of Mars when he moves into Taurus on May 5th. This will bring relief for Virgo ascendants who will now have their ascendant lord, Mercury, in the auspicious ninth house.
Mercury will then move swiftly through Taurus and will enter Gemini on May 23rd. Mercury rules Gemini and is right at home in this sign. For Gemini, Virgo, Pisces and Sagittarius ascendants this will create Bhadra Yoga, the highest expression of Mercury. Mercury will have a long stay in Gemini – until July 28th. When Mercury moves into Gemini, he will join Jupiter until Jupiter moves into Cancer on June 19th.
Venus brings an emphasis on relationships in May
Venus will be in Pisces until May 23rd. From this exalted position this planet will be in a mutual aspect with Mars in Virgo which will put an emphasis on relationships, and also on the relationship between our ideals and our actions.
Venus enters Aries on May 24th and is in conjunction with Ketu on May 25th. This will also bring relationships to the fore. Ketu is a planet of renunciation, and during this time we may want to lead a simpler life, giving up luxuries and comforts.
Hand of Destiny
Mars continues to move retrograde until May 19th when he turns direct. Mars moves very slowly, just over two degrees the entire month and stations at around 15 degrees Virgo for the last three weeks of May. From this position he will come close to aspecting the degree of the last solar eclipse in Aries. This indicates that conflicts are likely to continue while Mars aspects Aries.
Mars is currently close to earth and is very strong. He is in a nakshatra called Hasta which is represented by the palm of a hand. The palm of the hand symbolizes our efforts and our ability to see our destinies. While Mars is in this nakshatra, our actions will have an especially strong impact on the future. During this time we can make changes for both good and for bad. It is important to pay attention to our thoughts, our attitudes and our actions. This is an excellent time to pursue a physical practice that addresses both the body and the mind.