Eric Francis discusses the latest in eclipses, retrogrades, and transits in your May 2012 horoscopes. For more details about the year 2012, see Eric Francis' article "2012: The Most Important Year of Your Life."
By now you may be familiar with some astrological elements of the (Northern Hemisphere) spring of 2012—a pair of eclipses in Gemini and Sagittarius, Venus stationing retrograde, and the Venus transit of the Sun on June 5. These events lead us into the first exact meeting of Uranus and Pluto in a square aspect—the Uranus-Pluto square, just past the solstice on June 24. All of these events arrive in a close sequence, and when that happens, the pace of existence picks up. Most of these are eclipse-like events, which emphasizes that sense of acceleration.
Here is a basic rundown. Venus stations retrograde in Gemini on May 15. Since Venus is retrograde least of all the planets, this is pretty special. Five days later, the Sun enters Gemini and there's an annular eclipse of the Sun on May 20. Two weeks later, on June 4, we experience a partial eclipse of the Moon. Then, within hours, the Moon makes an eclipse to Pluto (one of many this year).
Very little has been written about this series of Moon-Pluto events known as occultations. Few astrologers are even aware of the data. You have to go looking for it (and thanks to a close friend of mine in Wales, Tracy Delaney, there is a research tool for that at Serennu.com). I will come back to the Moon's eclipses of Pluto in a few moments in the discussion of Pluto.
As mentioned, on the heels of a lunar eclipse and Pluto eclipse, on June 5 Venus passes between the Earth and the Sun. This is called a transit of Venus. When it's happening, this is visible with some basic equipment anywhere you can see the Sun (unfortunately, this doesn't include most of the continental United States). It's a rare event, yet they come in pairs. This will be the second of the current pair, and then there won't be another until 2117.
Eclipse-like events typically arrive with a sense of acceleration of time and our movement in time. There's an increase in this thing described as "intensity." Events can have a karmic feeling: Everything seems more meaningful, but we don't necessarily know what that meaning is, or where it comes from.
This, in turn, can come with the sensation that we are at a crux-point in our life. "Crux" is an interesting word. It has its origins in the idea of "a point in a text that is impossible to interpret," which you can take as something like a "crossroads of interpretations," or something that has many meanings, with an accompanying sensation of importance. The modern meaning is "central point," and we are indeed at the central point of 2012, when we will start to see why this year has received so much emphasis and prediction.
Once we get past the eclipses and the transit of Venus, we go right into the Uranus-Pluto square. This has been developing for years. It's part of the "cycles of revolution" series of aspects. This particular cycle has its roots in an event in 1965-1966, which sparked what we call The Sixties. That was a conjunction between Uranus and Pluto. Now, 47 years later, the planets are at 90 degrees to one another, which is called a square. Aspects between influential, slow-moving planets take many years to develop, and influence everyone in some way.
We've been feeling the effects since late 2008, and they have been undeniable, beginning with the Arab Spring, the Wisconsin protests, and the Occupy movement. Activism is often one manifestation of Uranus-Pluto events, and astro-historians have documented that it can go as far as revolution. When we talk about a "power to the people" kind of event, that has a liberal/liberationist flavor (a la Stephen Colbert's definition, that reality has an inherently liberal bias—which is why there are so many conservatives).
What we're seeing under this square, though, is a heck of a lot of conservative activism, meaning anti-woman, anti-sex, and every new policy designed to cut taxes for the rich even more. Laws are being passed routinely that curtail civil rights. Both "liberals" and "conservatives" should be equally concerned. Much of this activism has a ghoulish, militant quality, with an unchecked indulgence in narcissism and a show of force. Currently much of politics is "all about me," and this kind of self-obsession feeds right into the hands of the darker forces that are once again trying to consolidate their grip on what they think of as reality.
The militant quality of the equation comes from the Uranus in Aries side of the square. Aries is the ancient Roman god of war, associated with Mars (whose Greek name is Ares). Uranus in this sign is flashy, impressive, and extremely distracting. It's the "big show" aspect of the news right now, and there are indeed some people who are quite adept at screaming into the echo chamber. Watch them as they get cranked up on the astrology of the next eight weeks; you'll recognize them by the slightly electrified look in their eyes.
All this flashy stuff is a kind of cover-up for something else—and that something can be described as Pluto in Capricorn. This is the other side of the Uranus-Pluto square. Pluto in Capricorn is a long transit, spanning from 2008 through 2024. We're less than four years into this event, though it's been long enough that we should be seeing some patterns.
Pluto is a potent, nearly invisible force. We feel it as obsession, inevitability, enforced growth, and the deep, urgent need to grow. Pluto is associated with Scorpio, and is a prime mover of sexual energy, which spans from the most instinctual level to the most spiritually evolved. It all depends on where you tune in (it's a good idea to scan the full frequency range that Pluto represents, so you're familiar with all of the different expressions; themes include sex, death, power, and fear). Nothing can stop the movement of Pluto, or its influence in the world. Anyone who has consciously gone through a Pluto transit can tell you this. It's the kind of thing you have to work with, like a natural force. It's not possible to stop an earthquake, though it is possible to plan for them.
Speaking of earth, Pluto is in Capricorn. Capricorn represents all things old and contains the patterns of the past. It represents the structure of society, describing business and government, and the relationship between the two. It's a fiery earth sign, since it is cardinal, a tense dynamic which helps explain the energy of many people with strong chart elements in this sign.
In consciousness, Capricorn represents what we carry from the past, including with our ancestors (beginning with our parents) and going back for many generations. We rarely notice much of this material; however, it's often what we feel traps us. If you have strong Capricorn in your chart, you may be able to notice and work with it a little better, however, much of humanity is trapped in some version of the past.
Now, Pluto is in Capricorn, which is like a herd of goats getting into a museum. They're going to take the place apart, munch on the exhibits, and lick the dinosaur bones. This sense of the Earth shaking, which we live with every day: That is Pluto in Capricorn. The feeling that civilization is being crushed under its own weight: Pluto in Capricorn. And the burning sense of urgency, coming from inside and not from any external excitement: also Pluto in Capricorn.
We can look at this transit a few ways. One way is as a subversive movement inside the halls of power. Since not much productive happens there, we can trust that Pluto is helping to free energy. Pluto is a kind of core vital force, working to rejuvenate all that has become too old, brittle, and useless. Yet deep beneath everything, something primal and natural is trying to set itself free in the human experience.
Now, I mentioned the occultation of Pluto by the Moon that happens just before the transit of Venus. This is the third of 19 events that started in April. The Moon passes directly over the disk of Pluto, blocking it out. Pluto is invisible unless you have a very good telescope, but we still feel the effects. The last time anything like this happened was between 1919 and 1934, when Pluto was in Cancer. So this series of events gets props for being both weird and rare.
Pluto is strong in Capricorn for many reasons. He is feeling good. But the Moon -- the more she tries to resist, the more she finds herself giving in. She tries to deny (occult) him but in that moment they fuse; literally come together. When denying sexual feelings, the more you try, the more you are overcome, and inevitably must let go into the beautiful surrender.
The Moon occulting Pluto feels like she's trying to hide Pluto, which is fine with him. He wears the helmet of invisibility and functions quite well in the underworld—the unconscious, which is the source of all dreams and desires.
But hide with what? The Capricorn Moon is trying to put a veil of propriety over what is coming from the most instinctual, hormonal level. She thinks it's better not to admit any of that stuff, and maintain her image as a good girl. At the same time, the relentless quality of the exact conjunction, repeating so many times, feels like something deep is trying to work out and work through one's emotional body.
Perhaps that includes your mother's emotional body that was imparted into you, as if some ancient emotional and sexual blockage is finally being softened and released. The Moon has to be "out of her element" (in the sign opposite her native Cancer) in order to experience this. It's similar to a Chiron effect, where discomfort or inconvenience is used to foster something healing and positive.
In letting go, the pleasure of resistance (which we're trained to love and worship) is released to another, deeper pleasure. The pleasure of resistance is (if you believe Freud) a product of pleasing other people with our self-control. Now, that whole thought form is being dissolved, or burned through, again and again.
Finally there is transformation—the thing that Pluto is most famous for. This is acting on emotional resistance, or the burden of over-structure, something that humans are most famous for. This can be terrifying to those whose whole notion of existence is about rigid personality armor, but the time is arriving to let it go. This may even seem to happen overnight, but if it does, you can be sure you were working at it for a long time.
Planet Waves Monthly Horoscope for May 2012
Aries (March 20–April 19)
If you've been through a crisis recently, I suggest you look at where it enabled you to go, which is someplace you might not have gone without it. Mercury has been in your sign for a few weeks, stirring things up. Yet this has clearly been a project with a purpose. Recent events have conspired to bring you up to date with the times we're living in. Even for an Aries, it's too easy for the human brain to live in the past, and to get wound up in familiar patterns. Your mind is doing its best to burst free for you; it would be fantastic if you would consciously help with the process. If you feel that anything is blocking you, the chances are it's a kind of mental block based on an attachment to something that is no longer valid in your life. Said another way, you may be turning an attachment (to someone or something) into an element of your identity, and confusing it with who you are. People do this all the time -- but you have much better options. You have, over the past few weeks, seen some glimpses of the future. You may have wondered whether the best potentials were really possible -- and I assure you that they are. You tend to become what you identify with, and if you want to become something new, I suggest you identify with that. You will distract yourself from the past, and crystallize what is real and valid in this moment.
Taurus (April 19–May 20)
Now would be a good time to realize that you cannot proceed through life with two competing sets of values. What seems like superficial confusion often masks this very issue -- that you're trying to make decisions based on deeper principles that conflict with one another. As long as you're wondering whether you want to do this or that, you're still hanging out on the surface. When you find yourself asking why you want to explore one particular option, and why you want to explore some other particular option, and how you feel about those reasons, then you're getting closer to the heart of the matter. Yet the real discovery comes when you find out that you have several programs running at the same time, which guide you in different directions. These conflicting programs will be problematic only if the conflict is ‘unconscious' -- that is, if you're not aware of the roots of the debate, or even that the debate has roots. Those can reach into many places, but the one thing they have in common will be the past. You now have the opportunity to decide what values are truly your own, and you have a bold moment to allow your life to be guided by them and nothing else. Between where you stand today and the confidence that this will give you, there's a process you'll undergo -- and it will take you into some forgotten places. You will benefit from learning, and from using what you learn to make conscious choices. This way, you will be one person, guided by what is actually meaningful to you.
Gemini (May 20–June 21)
An eclipse of the Sun takes place in your sign on May 20, then two weeks later is the Venus transit of the Sun, also in your sign. This is a truly rare conjunction of the Sun and Venus, so precise that you can actually watch it happen (with eye protection, and if the Sun is visible where you are). Visible translates to visionary, and a personal turning of the eras. Let's begin with a question. What would your life be like if you resolved much of the nagging tension that you carry around, year after year? What if your mind were a quieter place? How much more confident would you be? To understand the influence of this event, I suggest you look back to this time of year in 2004. What is the story of May and June of that year? This is one of the key ‘before and after' points of your life. Venus transits come in pairs, separated by eight years, and 2004 was the first of the current pair. Think of ‘04 as a time when you initiated changes that you didn't necessarily recognize were part of a total self-reinvention. You embarked on ‘another way of looking at the world'. This comes to full fruition during the next six weeks. You may find yourself making long-delayed decisions, finding the courage to express yourself in ways you've always hesitated to, or being released into a total rebirth. Look around and remind yourself: the end of the past is near.
Cancer (June 21–July 22)
In astrology, the 12th house is like a hidden dimension, a vast psychic closet where we keep everything we think we've forgotten, or that we were never quite aware of. Often things disappear into this realm, and sometimes they emerge -- for example as unusually potent dream imagery, or as discoveries about ourselves we make in therapy or on a vision quest. Sometimes revelations can be precipitated by astrology itself, and that's what it looks like is happening to you now. The highly unusual sequence of events of the next six weeks is concentrated in this area of your chart, as if you're being granted access to the hidden dimension of yourself. Given that this is the place most people avoid (because it's too strange, or they would ‘rather not know'), I suggest you open up your mind to self-discovery. Certain ideas you have about yourself may suddenly reverse; but mostly the theme I see is self-reconciliation. It's as if a split you've lived with all your life, but were barely aware of, is finally going to make itself known, or resolve itself. In the process, you can make peace with many things that you've denied, including the split itself. This may include divisions between your male and female sides; rational versus intuitive approaches to existence; and other competing forces in your psyche. There is a point of resolution, and you're approaching it quickly. One result will be freeing the energy that it takes to maintain the division -- energy that you will have good creative use for.
Leo (July 22–August 23)
You are only as successful as you feel. I'm sure you've noticed that many are driven by hunger and accomplish many things, only to feel like they're failures. This is in a sense the story of Western civilization; it's all about an empty kind of desire, and when the desired thing is attained, it goes into the abyss. I suggest you monitor this issue carefully this month. You are at what could rightly be one of the most fulfilling times in your life, in whatever you consider your core mission to be. Yet it seems as if there's a shadow you keep encountering. Sometimes it feels like a question. Other times it feels like your most cherished goal keeps slipping out of reach. The most meaningful thing you can do is not be distracted by what amount to mental illusions, distractions or what you might think of as self-defeating programs. Stick to your goals; stick to what you want and let any doubts you have serve to make your plan and work method stronger. One theme that comes up is what it's like to have the reputation that you do. Any public presence, even a moment in the spotlight, can cause weird feedback inside the ego. Wondering how you're perceived by others can be a strange experience. You don't need to worry what people think; trust that they respect you, and know that you've earned that respect by your dedication to service and your ability to walk in the strength of your true principles.
Virgo (August 23–September 22)
You're blessed to exist within two worlds, as far as your professional goals come. You have two distinctly different sets of talents, missions in life and leadership skills. Often these worlds seem far apart, and each seems to exclude the other. You might feel that your work or creative life would be perfect if you could only get these two different aspects of yourself working together for one goal. I would propose that they have more in common than you may think. At some point in the past, they may have existed as one body of thought or even a single goal. But the way the world divides and categorizes things, they became two seemingly separate realities. Yet they have one important thing in common: you. Over the next few weeks, you will have an opportunity to travel back into the origins of your most meaningful goals. If you follow this adventure, you may arrive at the spot before they differentiated. You're about to discover the many things they have in common, and how they support one another, mainly by allowing you the more full use of your brain. This is likely to reach the level of full synthesis, where you have the experience of being more than the sum of your parts. You have many talents, intellectual skills and perceptive abilities, and they all support one another. Yet when you encounter this as a direct experience, whether in subtle or obvious ways, your life can truly shift.
Libra (September 22–October 23)
Beliefs interfere with perceiving existence as it is. This is one reason why so much that's not even vaguely true is accepted on a mass scale; the test of whether something is valid is belief, which favors those who are more convincing. Your astrology this month vividly describes your process of testing every belief that you come across. The question is: How do you know something is a belief? First you have to be curious about the nature of your own thoughts. In a sense, you have to fact-check yourself. When you "know" something and have no basis for that knowledge, or you discover that someone told you but offered you no proof, then you're dealing with a belief. Another hint will be when you step into a world of multiple viewpoints on the same thing, something that you're a bit famous for. Looked at one way, this indicates that you're working in the realm of beliefs rather than of concrete knowledge. Yet if you are able to look at something enough ways, you will eventually begin to understand its deeper nature—and yours. It's time to penetrate through these things into something tangible. You may feel this involves making a commitment to something you're uncertain of. Really, the commitment is to finding out, to admitting that uncertainty, and discovering what's on the other side. This won't undermine your faith in yourself, or in life, or in the cosmos; a commitment to seeking actual knowledge will only strengthen your faith.
Scorpio (October 23–November 22)
Someone you love is serving as a powerful mirror. By powerful I mean emotional, intellectual, and spiritual: They're offering a full-spectrum image. You may not understand what you see, but somehow you recognize it as your reflection. It's revealing many aspects of yourself that until now have existed outside your ability to see them, or notice their significance. In relationships, we often seek our "other half," and desire self-completion in sexual experiences. The experience you're having is showing you the way that you're already complete, or at least pointing you to the compelling idea that you can seek all aspects of yourself from within. The thing about being whole is that this necessarily includes the darker shades of your emotions, including your fears, and those moments when you notice you're disgusted with yourself. There's no point blaming others for those feelings—and the more you claim them as your own, the more you integrate the cast-off parts of yourself, and heal the insults and injuries that create the situation in the first place. Far from making your relationships less fulfilling, this will put you in a position to relate to others as a whole person (which is a lot more fun than thinking you're a fraction of a person). There is confidence that emerges from self-acceptance and self-understanding that you cannot fake and that nothing can substitute for. When you are solid with yourself, you will draw solid and aware people to you—which I am sure you'll appreciate.
Sagittarius (November 22–December 22)
I feel like the Sagittarius horoscope has been the Career Advisor as far back as I can remember; I'll keep that short: whatever has happened the past three months has helped you work out the bugs in a plan that will work a lot better debugged. One of the reasons people respect you is because you can admit an error and are aware that there's strength in admitting imperfection. Moving on to the more interesting relationship angle of your solar chart, I see the cosmos offering you an opportunity and a challenge, and in order to embrace them you will need to do your best to stay in the present moment. There are forces that will try to trick you into finding some retreat in nostalgia, or past relationships, or fantasies about what is possible; stick to grounded, tangible reality. Notice when others are lost in the past, which is a way of defending against intimacy that's available right now. You may be surprised to notice how many people fit this description, and how few are willing to see eye-to-eye in the present moment. Yet they exist and if your perception is clear, you will see them. You will see a lot else. Without trying too hard to nudge you into hobbies that might not be your true devotion, what do you think about photography? I don't mean snapshots, which are more about passive observation. I mean creating pictures that express a personal vision of the world that is obviously burning like fire inside of you.
Capricorn (December 22–January 20)
Disease process is about fragmentation, and healing process is about making whole. You can also say that disease process often involves lack of awareness, and that healing process begins with raising awareness. For you in particular (though this works for many), healing starts with the mind: with soothing your mental state. Chaos is not good for you. When your mind competes within itself, or is divided somehow, or when the dialog gets out of hand, the stress can lead to your feeling physically ill. You have one of the most sensitive charts this way and, incidentally, you have to take good care of your lungs. Events of the next two months will teach you not only how you can take better care of yourself, but also demonstrate the direct benefits of doing so. Meanwhile, I suggest you take the time to go over your health history, as well as studying your track record of health-improvement campaigns. Now for the truly useful part: track this against your work history. During which jobs have you felt healthier, and which have come with phases where you were less healthy? Did the relationship involve stress, or some other environmental factor? Do you feel better when you have more or less responsibility? Knowing these things will help you adjust your plans and design your life in a way that is fully supportive of your natural state of being. That natural state is integrity -- and you seem determined to cultivate that in yourself with a deep determination right now. If so, you're on the right track.
Aquarius (January 20–February 19)
When you arrive at a crossroads, how do you decide which way to go? Though you're a devoted student of psychology, when it comes to your own self-guidance, intuition is the first and last word. Your mental process can help at times, and get in the way at others. To figure out which is in effect, I suggest you evaluate how you make your decisions. This experience will come in handy when you encounter a significant opportunity or option that is on the way. Understanding a little more about your decision-making process will help you decide what to do, especially if you discover you don't like how you tend to make decisions. Past disappointment gets too many votes; it deserves just one -- knowing what you don't want. That information is worth a lot more when you have a constructive, positive option in mind. Making a decision in the moment usually involves letting go of something in the past. Here's the point where you tend to overthink, without realizing that your thought pattern is covering up an emotional attachment. What you want is to think enough -- just enough. Once you wake up and pay attention, events this month will proceed quickly, and seem to come on with the slight sensation of disorientation. This is evidence that you're letting go of your usual moorings -- that means keep going. You know what you want, and you know what is possible; now for the matter of trusting yourself, which is not as grandiose as it might seem some days.
Pisces (February 19–March 20)
Some days it seems you need a thicker skin than you have, given the state of the world. Remember that your sensitivity is your most dependable asset. If people don't respect that, it may be inconvenient for you but in truth, it's their problem. Part of that problem is using aggression (active, ‘passive' or otherwise) as opposed to intelligence. That's not going to work with you. Your most appropriate response, if transgressed in any way, is to allow others to feel the effects of their own energy. You're sensitive to this as well; sometimes when you refuse to take on something that's being dished out in your direction, you feel like you're doing something to someone -- and this is a key piece of the game you need to master and, in a sense, subvert. You can go a long way to avoid needless confrontation (which includes nearly all of it) but if you smell it in the air, acknowledge that at the first moment. Stay alert to the fact, and lightly step out of the way. There are, however, many more creative expressions of the same astrology -- in particular, Mars opposite Chiron in your sign. In its most positive form, you'll experience this aspect as a point of creative and intellectual contact. You'll be able to tell what's going on from the sensation of either authentic passion or devotion to healing. Still, expect to use your power of refinement and the benefits of age and experience to work with a situation that may seem a bit crude at first, but which may develop beautifully over time.
© 2012 Omega Institute for Holistic Studies