The cross-quarter holidays (commonly called Beltane, Lammas, Samhain, Imbolc, and by many other names) are celebrations of their Elements — Earth is the Spring/Summer Midpoint in Taurus, Fire is the Summer/Autumn Midpoint in Leo, Water is the Autumn/Winter Midpoint in Scorpio, and Air is the Winter/Spring Midpoint in Aquarius.
Magically, these holidays are the perfect time to re-connect with the season’s featured Element and work with it to effect change, both in our own lives and in the world. We’ll be getting plenty of help with that from the planets this month. I would suggest using these next six weeks to focus on changing what needs to be changed in preparation for working creatively with the intense energies of this year’s Summer Solstice.
Yes, it’s been a stormy year already, but if we work with our spiritual allies — Elements, Ancestors, whatever deities and spirits we are connected to — we can use this upcoming astrological weather to clear the air and move forward — although many of us may end up someplace we didn’t expect.
Because it’s so hard to plan the future these days, spending time increasing our personal strength and flexibility will give us the best chance to thrive wherever we find ourselves and become effective agents of positive change in a world that desperately needs them.
Here are some thoughts about working with the planetary energies of the Spring Midpoint in the upcoming weeks to increase our agency in the world. (If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, some of these suggestions will work well for you at the Scorpio midpoint in early November because they are based on the season, others can be used now, while the Sun is in Taurus.)
This midpoint — the moment when the Sun reaches 15 degrees of Taurus — falls on Monday May 4th at 8:52 p.m. EDT this year (it’s always right around the 5th). This puts us under the influence of Earth, so checking and re-establishing our energetic connection with the planet and focusing attention on re-aligning our physical bodies towards health is a great place to start. (If you’re not sure how to do this, I have detailed rituals and explanations in the chapter on this holiday in my book Touch the Earth, Kiss the Sky
Of all the signs, Taurus is the most focused on appreciating the gifts of physical existence. A holiday closely tied to this midpoint is Beltane, which is often associated with sex, and for good reason — here in the Northern Hemisphere it’s happening all over. For many plants and animals this the best time to reproduce or give birth, because light and warmth are increasing. So pollen fills the air, mothers nurse their young, birds lay eggs, and — lest we forget — our food supply is restored.
But as Druid priest John Beckett notes in his excellent post on the topic, this idea that humans “should” be having sex at this time is not in tune with reality — either the reality of the season, or of the current time of the pandemic. Humans can reproduce any time of the year, after all. We just need to be in the mood, not “in season”, and we are often in the mood.
Obviously, those who want to celebrate this holiday with sacred sexuality should absolutely have at it, but to my mind, the thing to keep in mind if you want to align with the seasonal energy is the concept of embodiment, and the pleasure it can bring. We can sense our connection with the Earth, with Nature. We can pay closer attention to our bodies, and use the growing light and warmth to loosen what is frozen within us, to connect with the burgeoning green force of life and growth that Nature models for us now.
Think about what gives you pleasure, and how you feel about that. Look deeply into your own experience of your body and your beliefs about physical pleasure. If we shut down our experience of pleasure, we cut off an important connection to our bodies, and that has not only physical, but mental, emotional, and spiritual implications.
Our bodies are not “meat bags” that our poor souls and spirits have to drag around as we trudge through physical existence. They are remarkably complex, finely-tuned instruments through which our spirit manifests in this deeply creative — if currently somewhat f*cked-up — world.
We are not here by chance. We are here to grow and create and live fully. Sure, our bodies can give us all kinds of trouble, and the whys of that are worth discussing. But treating our bodies poorly, ignoring their needs, thinking of them as adversaries instead of allies in our current incarnational adventure does not lead to a fulfilling life.
Our bodies have their own knowledge of the world around us. They know all kinds of things that are ignored by our conscious minds. What our bodies know is important, and they’ll tell us if we just learn to listen.
Get past the reflexive Puritanical pearl-clutching around the idea of physical pleasure that is so prevalent in our culture, get past the methods you use to numb your feelings that you mistake for pleasure. Dig deeply into your beliefs around pleasure, check for conflicting ones, and rethink them all. Change the ones that need to be changed for you to have a healthy relationship with your body — even if your body doesn’t seem to be cooperating. It’s the only one you have. Make the best of it.
I know this work around dealing with your body can be hard — I also struggle to consistently practice this excellent advice I’m giving you. 🙂 . But I’ve been doing it long enough to know how much it helps, so I keep at it. The time between Beltane and Summer Solstice is a fine time of year to do this work, so do what you can, when you can.
Over these next few weeks, do what you can to strengthen yourself physically, emotionally, mentally, while also increasing your flexibility — particularly mental and emotional flexibility. Explore the pleasure your body can bring, do whatever helps you find joy and connection and ecstasy, and honor the creative life force within you.
There are reasons I emphasize strength and flexibility. It’s not just the season, but the current planetary climate that will demand these qualities from many, if not most of us.
I’ll look at what this sky predicts for us on a global and national level, but first I’ll explain what I’m looking at to the astrologers among you. Feel free to skip ahead if you don’t speak the language.
There’s a lot going on up there, and this is just a quick overview. Taurus is especially strong for the next couple of weeks with Uranus, Sun, and Mercury holding court there. Mercury is also in mutual reception with Venus, the ruler of Taurus, until it moves into Gemini on May 12. That shift into its own sign strengthens its influence with Venus, which will turn retrograde the next day and stay in Mercury’s sign until early August.
Both Mercury and Venus are relational planets, and Gemini is a relational sign, so they are currently bringing a focus on communication and information in relationships of all kinds. They will both square both Mars and Neptune in Pisces over the coming weeks with Venus stationing on the aspect and so in orb for some time. Watch this interaction carefully — it’s a potent one.
The second week in May will be intense. Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn all turn retrograde. Mars moves into Pisces. Jupiter will once again conjunct Pluto, and Saturn is still well within orb of their conjunction.
Keep in mind that Venus, Jupiter, and Pluto all are connected with money and finance. The combination of Jupiter and Pluto in Capricorn particularly speaks to big business, big money, oligarchs and other parasites. But Jupiter is concerned with socal justice, and Mars in Pisces will fight for the underdog. Consider how this current lineup might set the stage for the Grand Mutation of Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius in December.
Note the shift of the Moon’s nodes into Sagittarius/Gemini in early June. Also note Mercury’s shift into Cancer late May, and then into its shadow a few days later. I’ll look at that retrograde next month.
Before I get into what all this means for us on a community/national/global level, I want to emphasize that each person’s chart is different, and we’ll all be influenced in different ways by the current astrology. If you want to know what’s going on with you personally, contact me for a consultation.
Collectively, I doubt our attempts at reopening are going to go all that well. As I’ve noted elsewhere, I don’t think we are going to get this pandemic situation fully under control for a while. Nonetheless, I have hopes that the seismic shifts and changes our society is undergoing will eventually lead to more effective and inclusive government, business, and social structures in the years to come. But it’s going to be a fight — and there will be many fights.
We’ll be seeing a lot of news that relates to martyrs and martyrdom. Keep in mind that true martyrs are leaders, and do not present themselves as victims. They point the way, they inspire and exhort, they stand up for their beliefs, they make personal sacrifices for the collective good. We’re also going to be seeing a lot of “poor me” posturing. Don’t mistake self-declared victims for martyrs.
The financial restructuring we are currently undergoing is unprecedented. The big question is whether or not the obscenity of a few individuals hoarding vast amounts of wealth while so many are suffering will continue, or whether the majority will take matters into their own hands and demand an equitable distribution of resources. I’ll take a closer look at this issue a bit later in the year. Meanwhile, I suggest a careful conservatism in your personal finances.
It’s going to get even harder to tell the conspiracy theories and The Onion articles from what’s really going on. There’s so much being hidden, not only from the public but from people who need to know (What *did* happen to all those PPEs and masks the federal government confiscated? What does the Mueller report really say? Are those demonstrations genuine or astroturfed? And so many other important but unanswered questions).
While I don’t think we’ll get a real breath of fresh air until next year (and that may show up as damaging winds or Arctic blasts rather than refreshing breezes) I do think a lot of government and big business crimes are going to be exposed, or at least investigated over the remaining months of this year. The scandals and attempted cover-ups should be epic. I am hopeful that process will start soon.
The second week in May heralds a lot of change. If you practice magic, you’ll want to intensify your grounding, centering, cleansing/uncrossing, and protection work now. Clarify your intentions for your life — know where you’re going, or at least where you want to be, so you can use the energy of change to move in that direction, rather than being randomly tossed around.
If you do road-opening work, do it with clarity and help from your spirit allies. Don’t just toss some magical dynamite out there and see what opens up. You want to make sure the roads you travel aren’t crossed by a large crack in the earth.
Things are changing rapidly. Our work is to help direct that change in pathways that lead to a stronger, healthier society. All these changes bring with them tremendous opportunities for growth and expansion. Find the ones that are yours and take full advantage of them.
Blessings of the Beltane season to you!