Dear Friend and Reader:
TAURUS AND SCORPIO present us with the most basic images of vitality, prosperity and the cycles of life and death. These two signs are represented by Venus and Mars, fundamental polarities for understanding life on Earth: male and female, and the delicate, absolutely unique inner balance of the two that every person possesses.
Taurus is about abundance, gathering prosperity, working the land, and mankind’s astonishingly complex, dependent relationship with cattle. The crescent in the Taurus symbol is the Moon. The Moon is exalted in Taurus: the ancients passed it onto us as one of that sign’s ruling planets.
It’s also the season of Beltane, a holiday traditionally celebrated by having sex in the fields for the sake of creating abundance for the year ahead. Many modern-day Pagans skip this part of the ritual: Christianity has made it so that sex is too embarrassing to even talk about. This kind of ritual is so fundamental to understanding and cultivating wealth that it is amazing our society functions at all without it.
Yet we are beginning to pay a high price for our tendency to deny the body, stuff our shadow material and consequently run from the wisdom and benefits of Eros. In short, our economy is organized around taking rather than giving: in particular from the Earth.
Scorpio, the sign opposite Taurus, takes the cycle of life to a cosmic level. It is the sign representing emotional and erotic surrender, humanity’s long journey down the generations and the transfer of DNA as part of that process. Taurus is about what we possess; Scorpio is where we share, bond and exchange. Taurus is where we sow the fields and Scorpio is the harvest.
Neither sign is particularly useful without the other. All of the signs and all of the houses work this way. Two of the most significant pre-Christian holidays are held in these signs — Beltane during Taurus, and Samhain (pronounced sahwen) during Scorpio. One is the celebration of new life; the other is an encounter with death. Note that of the two, Beltane is the most often ignored. Many Western cultures have big Halloween festivals right at Samhain, including Days of the Dead.
Where we tend to fall asleep is celebrating the rebirth of life. As usual, we want the harvest without working the land. Sex is very much a question of working the land, particularly when you exit from either obligatory or drunk mode. To embrace sex and sexuality consciously you need to do a few things: one is to admit your true needs; another is to take back stolen inner territory. Another is to challenge the definitions that were put onto you that have no bearing on who you actually are.
Hence, we live in a death-obsessed culture that lies to itself about both sex and death. And we live in a culture that pretends to be sex-obsessed but is really obsessed with the lack of sex, which expresses itself as glamour. This is a bigger paradox than it seems on the surface. In order to balance out the elements in yourself, you would need to go against the widely prevailing cultural grain. This makes it challenging on the immediate level — it’s difficult to even start the conversation, or to move toward someone or let them in. Then, the deceptions of our culture make it difficult to maintain a value on what we learned or enjoyed from doing so.
It’s never too late (or too early) to allow the deeper elements, the underlying truth about existence, to work together and have some authentic expression in our lives.
The Sun and Moon are getting ready to align across the Taurus/Scorpio axis, not once as usual for this time of year, but twice. The Sun enters Taurus on Sunday, April 20, followed by the Moon entering Scorpio less than 24 hours later. When the Sun and Moon align in opposite signs, we have a Full Moon. Because they happen to be aligning when the Sun is in the very first degree of Taurus, we will have another alignment with the Sun in the very last degree of Taurus.
Then there is a New Moon exactly on Beltane, traditionally celebrated May 5 (sometimes considered to be the entire month of May, known as The May). The New Moon occurs when the Sun and Moon are in the same sign, in this case, Taurus.
Then on May 19, the Scorpio Moon opposes the Taurus Sun, this time in the very last degrees of these signs, and we have the second Scorpio Full Moon. Then 12 hours later, the Sun enters Gemini and we begin the third and last month of the spring season.
The Full Moon is the time to express, celebrate, drum, dance and make love. In the next few weeks, we get two of them in what is for most people the deepest, sexiest sign of the lot. If you’re not feeling it, you might want to ask yourself why. There is a difference between being virtuous and being uptight. And if you are noticing — well then, light that fire.
Here are some May planetary highlights, with help from Serennu.
Mercury retrograde in its own sign, Gemini
Mercury entered Taurus April 17, then Gemini May 2.
Shadow (or echo) phase begins at 12+ Gemini on May 11.
Mercury stations retrograde May 26 (same day as Neptune!) at 21+ Gemini.
Mercury stations direct on June 19 at 12+ Gemini.
Echo phase ends July 4, one day after the Cancer New Moon.
During this Mercury retrograde, there is a triple conjunction of Mercury, the Sun and Venus on the midpoint day of the Venus transits of the Sun. Remember I said that — I’ll cover it shortly. We are approaching the midpoint of the two Venus transits of the Sun (one occurred June 8, 2004 and the next occurs June 6, 2012). The midpoint of the two transits is June 7, 2008.
Vesta enters Aries, conjoins the Aries Point
Vesta enters Aries Saturday, April 19. She is one of the more poignant symbols of our era: she is the Goddess manifesting as fire, representing our need to tend the inner creative and erotic fire rather than attempt to extinguish it. Her archetype is a mix of the virgin and the whore; she can manifest as both simultaneously, sometimes in the form of the chaste prostitute, the sexual healer, one who offers himself or herself in service. When she’s not working right, she represents work as a substitute for relationship.
Mercury, the Sun, Amor, Venus & Pallas all pass through Taurus in April.
They will all make conjunctions to Sedna. By the time Pallas arrives on May 20th, Mercury has already left. The chart for, say, May 1 has the other 4 in there, including Venus conjunct Amor.
Asteroid Eros enters Gemini
This occurs May 8 and is shorthand for “let’s talk about sex.” With Mercury about to station retrograde, this is an excellent time for the truth to come out. Gemini is the sign of talking. For whatever reason, it has a tendency to be ashamed of very little, kind of how siblings (in particular, twins) know everything about one another. Retrograde Mercury is conjunct Eros on May 31.
Ixion Conjunct the Great Attractor
This aspect will continue through 2010. Will be exact again December 1. First exact pass was January 17.
The timing of this (it only happens about every 250 years — the last time was in 1761) reminds me of the way the actions of our governments (Ixion) bring about the polarity, the reaction against, which brings up the whole idea of “what you resist persists.” Anti-war is a lot different than pro-peace. The 60s were definitely more on the pro-peace end of the spectrum; our current era is characterized by many forms of aggression without grounding in a sense of abundance, true sensuality or exploration. Polarity is a necessary stage, but not an end in itself.
Weekly Horoscope for Friday, April 18, 2008, #710 – By ERIC FRANCIS
Aries (March 20-April 19)
Vesta’s arrival in your birth sign this week signals a time of renewed devotion to yourself, to your creative gifts, and most of all to making those gifts available to the world. People who hold back giving what they have miss the opportunity to discover what they have. In one of those typically upside-down teachings of the world, we think we can keep what is ours by not sharing it. Let’s put it this way. Any gift you lose by giving it away either does not exist or was not yours to begin with. Vesta’s message is to organize your whole existence around your core fire: creative, sexual, intellectual, healing — however you define it. This will set you on the path of tending that fire. Though there is plenty of room for things to go wrong on our little planet, what we tend to regularly tends to grow, and grow strong.
Taurus (April 19-May 20)
Certain changes that have been developing in your life for weeks, months or longer may suddenly come to a head over the next few days. Take the opportunity to make the choices that you want, while using the added leverage you now have to work out a deadlock that you seem to be caught in. You still run a significant risk of “forgetting yourself” or, put another way, failing to assert yourself. You may do so on the basis of being confused or not feeling like your psyche is fully intact. But you do manage to get up every day, brush your teeth and do most of what you’re expected to do; you can use this same momentum to focus on what you want and need. Yet if you hold yourself to a standard of perfection (which I don’t believe exists anywhere but in high theory), you risk missing an excellent opportunity: indeed, many of them.
Gemini (May 20-June 21)
Cultivate good habits while you can. Right now, you absolutely can. One of the most vivid details of your chart involves establishing not just routines but the pattern your life will follow for the immediate future. You have an unusual opening to make an impression on yourself and create a specific direction of flow. That direction by all rights would be specifically toward what matters the most to you, what you value, and drawing from your best talents and resources. If you establish this pattern now, you will have something solid to stand on when your values are challenged by unexpected circumstances or by people with less integrity than yourself.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
You are about to encounter evidence of how easy it is to make a decision when you need to. After deliberating over the pros and cons for a while, the direction you choose will involve your sixth sense, not something you can necessarily account for rationally. But between not knowing and knowing, or between hesitating and taking action, the difference may be as little as one to two hours. Therefore, you have no need to push the issue, or push yourself for better information or a stronger sense of commitment. For the moment, commit to being undecided, and have faith. As sure as the Full Moon follows the New Moon, you will soon know where you stand, and you will act on it.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
With planets aligning in rare form on your career and reputation angle, you now have the confidence to make your mark on the world. Do it in a big way. Push your reputation out a little further than you think it ought to go, and if you get out on stage, go for two spotlights pointed at you, not just one. Whether you represent yourself or a special interest of some kind, now is the moment to make solid gains, and to create something strong enough to build on in the future. There is no doubt that you are at your best when you are visible, when you face a significant challenge, and when you feel appreciated. At the moment, all three are showing up in the same place and time. While you’re at it, focus on solving problems that have tended to persist: they will give way if you so much as push them with one hand.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
You are being called upon to negotiate an arrangement that will summon the best of your intellectual resources. What you are working out is not child’s play. It is a meaningful transaction both in terms of what is specifically being negotiated, and also how you learn to present yourself. Enter the situation with a conscious strategy. This will ensure that you go in knowing where you stand with yourself. If you know that, you will have an excellent chance of getting the results that you want. In the process, you’re going to learn something about yourself, but that which you learn will come in proportion to the confidence you bring in. In sum, it is better to have the wrong strategy and be confident about it than to have the right strategy and be hesitating. That, and think big.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
You may be confronting a certain relationship situation with more intellect than is necessary, which is giving an aura of being defensive. Start with your feelings and you will make a lot more sense to people. Ask them about what they think is the right way to handle the situation, and then modify their strategy. If they think they wrote the first draft, the corrections or modifications to the plan will seem like an afterthought when they are, in fact, the main event. Anyway, whether you choose leadership or leading passively, what someone close to you wants to know is that you are listening. And if you happen to slip between the sheets with them, make sure you take off your suit of armor. It is not only dangerous. It gets in the way.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
A certain individual may seem to have it all figured out, which may or may not be true. At least they are making an effort, and they are willing to apply their intelligence to the question. Where you come in is with a blast of creativity. That is the totally instinctual level of expression, where there is no right or wrong, and where if there is a thought process, it’s just a loose outline with every third word edited out. The result may involve some turbulence, some friction and some unpredictability, but out of those sparks some new elements will be created. And be aware of one thing: even if today you think that no meeting or exchange is possible; if it all seems like a lot of wishy-washy idle chatter or dumb meandering, keep your faith. The moment of contact cometh.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
You are about to meet your match. I don’t know if you’ve met this particular one before; perhaps not, but the cosmic wheels are putting you directly in alignment with someone who has your intensity, passion and willpower. Will you notice? Will you respond? This is the part that is uncertain. One clue I can offer is that the person will present themselves with certain contradictions; they may seem to be out of character, displaced, or out of accord with him or herself. There may be an element of inner conflict or, in the alternate, you may feel a bit more emotional conflict than you’re comfortable with. These things are circumstantial. They do not have any bearing on whether you will get along, or how good the contact will be. Therefore, whoever you meet over the next few days, get to know them over the next few months.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
After going through a healthy amount of emotional drama, a door is opening that will let you step calmly to a new phase of your life. You are not the kind of person who does well unless you’re confronted with an authentic challenge, so on some level this may feel too easy. There is always another adventure around the next corner, so you don’t need to worry about that. What you can focus on are the details that can really only be attended to once you have set aside the turbulence that is so common to most of existence. These details involve a continuing series of refinements to what you believe, and what you allow yourself to have faith in. If you are going to involve yourself with such religious matters as faith and belief, I suggest you do something odd and make sure that those factors are guided by one thing only, which is practicality.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
You may not feel that an opportunity you’re being offered is big enough, meaningful enough or pays well enough, but don’t let that stop you. Unlike other similar circumstances in the past, what is coming your way now is based on substance more than it is on appearance. Your movement in the outer world is merely a reflection of the progress you’ve made in your inner life. Therefore, a small development can lead to a series of larger ones, primarily because you are building on solid ground. This is much more likely to evoke solid responses from people which, in turn, will lead to more progress. Think of every development as being a door to somewhere else. Go through the door and immediately ask where you are.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Now is the time to push your luck. You have plenty of it, and you will invoke it through a process of taking creative risks. These may be social in nature, or artistic; you may have a chance to pursue an increase in income, but not with the predictability of a two dollar per hour raise. If you allow a little element of so-called danger into your life, you’re creating an opening for positive developments, rather than what you may perceive as fearful ones. If you look back at your life over a long period of time, such as 10 years or so, you will notice that you have been involved in a gradual awakening from a sleep you often did not know you were in. Your dreams were not entirely pleasant, but you’ve learned something about yourself that you can apply now that you are fully awake.