Astrological Beltane occurs when the sun reaches 15 degrees Taurus. During the period from Beltane to summer solstice, the sun passes through the second half of the sign Taurus, and all of Gemini, sign of commerce and communication. Although the Bull (Taurus) might seem at first to be just as aggressive a symbol as the Ram (Aries), they are as different as night and day. While Aries moves fast, Taurus is careful where they step. While Aries might be described as blunt and outspoken, Taurus is more likely to keep their secrets and smile a lot. Taurus is, after all, ruled by lovely Venus, which likes to see everyone happy. Aries, being a fire sign, is likely to be fired up and ready for action at a moment's notice. Taurus, an earth sign, needs prompting before it will leave the comfortable situation it has established for itself. But if you're the one who disturbs Taurus' comfortable environment-watch out!

A ceremony that takes place under the sign of the bull has all the substance of everything related to Taurus. Taurus rules the second house of money and values. Beltane rituals down on the farm involve blessing the crops and the livestock, so that they can grow and you can prosper. It's no coincidence that Wall Street chooses the bull as symbol of a thriving, growing stock market. It's the bull, not the ram, that is usually portrayed as a sex symbol. Aries is just too aggressive, and somewhat impatient; Taurus, lover of flowers, knows how and when to be gentle, has staying power, and can wait patiently. "Sensual" and "practical" are words that describe Taurus.

Many years ago, I took a trip with a friend to the ocean. My friend had a grandmother who lived on a farm near Aberdeen, and on the way we visited her. She was beaming ecstatically when we arrived. When we asked her how she was doing, she said, "Wonderful, just wonderful! Fourteen cows, and fourteen calves!" That's the spirit of Beltane.

Condensed ephemeris

For those who do know astrology, you can find a list of major upcoming aspects at astroprofile.com.

All times are given in Pacific Daylight Time.

May 2, 1:00 pm Mercury enters Gemini Mercury, planet of swiftness and communication, comes home. Any rituals or meditations asking for help from this planet will receive the best of its energy. It's best to act before May 26, when Mercury goes retrograde again. Color: bright yellow or silver.
May 2, 8:07 pmSaturn Direct (Retrograde since Dec 19, 2007) 01:41 Virgo The planet of karma stops nagging you about unfinished business, and moves forward again. Virgo is a sign of precision, appropriate for this naturally critical and discriminating planet. While Saturn is in the sign Virgo, use its energy to examine the finer points of difference between two or more options. Virgo loves attention to detail, and Saturn reinforces that practical activity.
May 5, 4:18 amNew Moon

The sun and moon intersect, in the sign Taurus. This is a good time to begin projects related to art or finances.

One of the lessons we can learn from Taurus revolves around comfort and contentedness. We might examine our lives to see where we have been complicating our lives by our love-hate attraction to predicament and conflict. When was the last time we felt truly content and comfortable? Considering our personal needs and wants is not over-indulgent or selfish unless we take it too far. Knowing what makes us feel comfortable and pleased can improve our intimate relationships. Suggested color for meditation: green.

May 9, 5:11 am Jupiter Retrograde (until Sept 7, 2008) Any rituals or meditations asking help from the planet of philosophy and generosity should focus on finishing past issues. While Jupiter is retrograde, its energy is not as predictable as when it's moving forward.
May 9, 1:20 pmMars enters LeoMars in Leo gives energy, will power, and creativity, with a flair for the dramatic. If you aspire to a position of leadership, use this period of time to ask Mars' help. Colors: red or orange.
May 14, 8:50 amSun square Neptune Your idealism may come back to haunt you. Be extra careful making decisions today, to make sure your perception isn't hindered by what you'd like to think (as opposed to what really is). This aspect makes self-deception very easy. Beware of people who flatter you today, they probably have ulterior motives. With Mars in self-confident Leo, you are particularly susceptible to being deceived.
May 19, 7:11 pmFull Moon

Use this Scorpio full moon to release attachment to old pain and rise like a phoenix from the ashes of burned off karma. Free yourself from narcissistic self-obsession and prepare to help others heal their pain. You have the power to change. Visualize yourself as a snake, shedding its dead skin to reveal gleaming new colors.

This is also a good time for couples to tackle trust issues, especially if a secret has been coming between you. This can be an intense night to reveal secrets and deal with the consequences, but the planets in water signs provide enough empathy and love to get through it. Scorpio can bring destruction or relief, and most times a bit of both. Know that no matter what happens, change is essential for evolution and growth. Radical change done appropriately can lead to more solid relationships built upon openness and unconditional love. The Taurus/Scorpio polarity requires that we learn about our power and then discover how to deal with it effectively.

May 20, 9:01 am Sun enters Gemini The period of time when the sun is in the sign of communication is a good time to explore, and to engage in activities that involve other people. Gemini loves to communicate, but you can't communicate very well when you're alone! It's a time to work on versatility, adaptability, and mental agility. Patience is not a virtue of Gemini, so you may need to force yourself, during the coming month, to settle down and do something about the dozens of ideas that present themselves. On the other hand, it's a lesson for the earth-bound to escape into the airy world of ideas and flights of fancy once in a while. Color: bright yellow.
May 21, 11:04 am Jupiter sextile Uranus Make constructive use of new conditions, new opportunities and technologies. The planet of generosity is in harmony with the planet of the unexpected, supported by the moon in the sign of adventure and travel. Try out something new and different today.
May 22, 11:25 amSun square Saturn Two earthy influences (Moon in Capricorn and Saturn in Virgo) slow down the impulsivity of the Gemini sun. Today is a good day to meditate to get in touch with the reasons behind a scattered or unfocused life style. Suggested colors for meditation: brown, leaf green, black.
May 24, 3:52 pm Venus enters Gemini Meditate on attracting flexibility and mental alertness. If you want to draw Gemini qualities to yourself, or simply understand the sign better, do a Venus ceremony and ask for her help. Venus is in Gemini until June 18. Suggested color for meditation: pale blue.
May 26, 9:14 am Neptune Retrograde (until Nov 1) This is a period to review your goals and ideals and revise them if necessary. Neptune energy during this time is directed toward introspection, more so than usual. It's time to reassess the guiding vision of your life.
May 26, 8:48 am Mercury Retrograde (until June 19) Expect the best-laid plans to change. Don't invoke Mercury energy while it's retrograde, unless it's for introspection, or to review previous plans or decisions. Don't make important decisions while Mercury is retrograde.
June 2, 12:22 pmNew moon Begin projects relating to education, computers, or technology, or communication and marketing. Suggested colors for meditation: bright yellow, or electric blue.
June 12, 10:24 pm Sun square Uranus

During this period, you could experience feelings of restlessness and nervous energy, desiring independence and freedom from all social restrictions. You can feel undisciplined, hating predictable routines, finding it hard to act responsibly and with full commitment. You react against conforming to social rules, feeling that they constrain your freedom, and you often follow your choices, irrespective of the repercussions and costs of doing so.

Unexpected events can disrupt you today. The conflict is between the analytical (sun in Gemini) and intuition (Uranus in Pisces). Watch how you communicate today, especially since Mercury is retrograde--try not to offend. The best use of this transit is to examine how you have been restricting yourself, and what you need to let go of in order to feel more free.

June 13, 10:13 pm Pluto retrograde enters Sagittarius

Pluto is retrograde until September 8, in Sagittarius until November 11.

Pluto cycles are lessons in letting go. Most of us identify strongly with things, people, and ideas that really have nothing to do with who we really are. Pluto strips away these false identifications, helping us discover our authentic selves. Sometimes there's a tendency to get a little power-crazed during these cycles, but it's always best to operate in the most selfless manner possible. Trying to manipulate people or situations for personal gain now will invariably produce some kind of backlash in the end. Prepare yourself to be remade to your depths.

Invoke Pluto energy, while it's in Sagittarius, to bring about transformation in the areas of higher eduction, long distance travel, or to invite the Sagittarian qualities o optimism and generosity to you. Scent: lavender; color: purple or deep red.

June 17, 11:46 pm Venus opposes Pluto Venus is about love, and Pluto is about power. The opposition of these two planets causes emotional intensity and passion that can be out of your control if you are not careful. Today is a day to meditate on power, and how people can misuse it in relationships. The full moon is tomorrow, so conflicts could be intense. Protect yourself, particularly so for women. This is not a day to be passive.
June 18, 1:48 am Venus enters Cancer The sign Cancer brings out Venus' extreme sensitivity. Venus in the sign Cancer loves security and domesticity, and wants to be married. Venus in Cancer is a homebody. If you're the kind of person who is typically restless and wants to love home more, do a Venus meditation to center yourself and get in touch with your sense of security. Suggested colors for meditation: clear blue, amber, silver.
June 18, 10:30 am Full Moon

The farsighted Sagittarius moon energy is directed toward solitude and freedom of movement. The inquisitive Gemini sun energy is directed toward interacting with other people. The best use of this full moon is to focus on helping others, teaching them what you have learned, and to understand the need for balance between social interaction and your private life.

This could be a very intense period, since many planets are opposing or nearly opposing Puto. This would be a good day to visualize peace anad harmony spreading through the workd. This can be done up to two days before a full moon. Colors: purple for Sagittarius, yellow for Gemini.

June 19, 7:31 am Mercury goes direct (Rx since May 26) Whew! The time for re-examining old commitments and previous projects is at an end. Move forward with new plans, new projects.
June 20, 12:42 pm Sun opposes Pluto

The negative side of Pluto is always associated with manipulation, domination, and deceit. The positive use of Pluto's energy is to clear your house (both your physical and spiritual one), getting rid of ideas, relationships, and behaviors that no longer work. Use today's energy to meditate on how you can be more cooperative with others, and to release your desire to control others. Since both the sun and Pluto are in mutable signs (Gemini and Sagittarius), flexibility (and the related themes of unpredictability and fickleness) are key issues.

June 20, 4:59 pm Summer Solstice (Sun enters Cancer) Celebrate the longest day of the year (in the northern hemisphere, at least)! The sun is at its most potent today; afterwards, it power begins to wane.
June 21, 8:32 am Mars opposes Neptune Mars represents energy and aggression, while Neptune represents intuition, idealism, but also deceit. The opposition shows a conflict between those energies. An opposition can be seen as a type of balance, though, so use the energy today to find balance between rest and activity, between directness and subtlety, between selfishness and compassion.

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