Today the Moon in Virgo makes trines to both Pluto and Jupiter in Capricorn before ingressing into Libra. Pluto and Jupiter are both retrograde, and as the Moon completes these trines, we will be invited to reflect on the ways in which power had been used, misused, and abused within the worlds we are inheriting, as well as the forms of power we want to affirm in the worlds that we are building. As the Moon moves into Libra with reception from Venus retrograde in Gemini, we turn our attention to connections and the pursuit of justice in solidarity with others—which is always a collective process emerging throughout shared histories. Angela Davis writes, “Our histories never unfold in isolation. We cannot truly tell what we consider to be our own histories without knowing the other stories. And often we discover that those stories are actually our own stories … This is a dialectical process that requires us to constantly retell our stories, to revise them and retell them and relaunch them. We can thus not pretend that we do not know about the conjunctures of race and class and ethnicity and nationality and sexuality and ability.” The Moon then makes a trine to Saturn retrograde in Aquarius. As we live through this time of concentrated struggles for justice and demands for more livable futures, how might we revise, retell, and relaunch the histories that show that struggles for justice have been and must continue to be sustained through solidarity? The Moon makes a square to Mercury in Cancer, suggesting that we may be challenged to account for these histories and futures; if we do not know how, then we are being challenged to educate ourselves, because we can no longer pretend that we do not know.
Today the Moon in Virgo makes an opposition to Mars in Pisces, a square to Venus retrograde in Gemini, and an opposition to Neptune in Pisces. These are all hard aspects, indicating confrontation and struggle, and with the Moon in Virgo, these aspects relate directly to the organization and distribution of material resources for supporting the basic needs of bodies and lives. Mars in Pisces challenges us to act with bold and courageous compassion; Venus retrograde in Gemini pushes us to review the ways resources and responsibilities are negotiated in all levels of relationship; and Neptune in Pisces demands distinction between our dreams and aspirations and the actual material conditions of our lives. As Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor writes in How We Get Free, “…the actual state of the country [the United States] has never been measured or determined by the wealthiest and most powerful … The ability to distinguish between the ideology of the American Dream and the experience of the American nightmare requires political analysis, and often struggle.” The nationalist dreams of success and accomplishment we have been sold in the United States have depended upon the willful denial of suffering on which such dreams are built and through which they are sustained. Justice demands disillusionment, the refusal of fantasies that have only ever been possible for few, and that have always been systematized through ongoing oppressive conditions for others. These challenging aspects compel us to wake ourselves from the stupor of an American Dream in order to get to work creating change within the material conditions of the American nightmare.
Today the Moon ingresses into Virgo, forming a sextile with Mercury in Cancer and moving into mutual reception with one another. Virgo is the mutable earth sign, where we transform the materials that are available into their most efficient and useful forms. With Mercury ruling the Moon from Cancer, our approach to resource distribution and adaptation must be motivated by care for the basic needs of all. The Moon then makes a trine to Uranus in Taurus. Uranus empowers us to contribute to revolution. In a speech in 1980, Pat Parker declared, “The reality is that revolution is not a one step process: you fight—you win—it’s over. Long after the smoke of the last gun has faded away the struggle to build a society that is classless, that has no traces of sexism and racism in it, will still be going on … It’s not neat or pretty. It is a long dirty process … Another illusion that we suffer under in this country is that a single facet of the population can make revolution. Black people alone cannot make revolution in this country. Native American people alone cannot make revolution in this country. Chicanos alone cannot make revolution in this country. Asians alone cannot make revolution in this country. White people alone cannot make revolution in this country. Women alone cannot make revolution in this country. Gay people alone cannot make revolution in this country. And anyone who tries it will not be successful.” As the Moon makes a square to the Sun in Gemini—entering the waxing quarter phase of the lunation cycle—we enter into a crisis of action, a pivotal turning point at which we are challenged to put that which we think, believe, and say into deliberate, ongoing, material changes. No one person or group of people can create revolution alone. It will be a long, dirty process. And it must begin and persist—today, tomorrow, and every day.
Today the Moon in Leo makes a sextile to Venus retrograde in Gemini. How might you show up within your relationships with more of your heart illuminated and exposed? How might we practice abiding, constant love, even when we may not feel certain or fully capable of being what we think of as our best selves? Then Mercury ingresses into Cancer. We can ask: how might we mobilize a critical analysis of care—caring for one another in ways that are thoughtful, intentional, and strategic? Mercury in Cancer asks us to attend to our emotional intelligence and seek the insight of experts who hold advanced understandings of care. In “Crip Emotional Intelligence,” Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha describes ways in which disabled folks “have cultures, skills, science, and technology,” knowing things that the abled do not. One insight she offers about crip emotional intelligence: “It’s not assuming. Anything. It’s always asking: if you can touch, what you call your body or your sick, what you need, if you even want suggestions for your issues or if you just want listening. It’s understanding that each disabled person is the expert on their own body/mind.” What if we could all learn how to offer care in these ways, benefitting from the expertise of disabled communities? Assuming nothing, trusting one another—disabled and abled in all kinds of ways—as experts of our own body/minds? How much more able might we be to both give and receive support?
Today the Moon ingresses into Leo, with reception from the Sun in Gemini. Leo is the fixed fire sign, steady and enduring in its courage and fierce authenticity. The Moon opposes Saturn moving retrograde in Aquarius. Here we confront our fears, those deeply internalized structures that limit or constrain our capacities to show up in wholehearted ways. Brené Brown writes in The Gifts of Imperfection: “If we want to live and love with our whole hearts, and if we want to engage the world from a place of worthiness, we have to talk about the things that get in the way—especially shame, fear, and vulnerability.” This invitation to give voice and put into words the experiences that prevent us from living and loving with our whole hearts is amplified when the Moon makes a sextile to the Sun in Gemini. Gemini thrives on dialogue, communication, and exchange, suggesting that whatever internal resistance may have been described in the Moon’s opposition to Saturn, talking about our fears and naming what is resisting are ways of illuminating those places that we might otherwise ignore. The Moon then makes a square to Uranus in Taurus, propelling us into more authenticity, even if that requires breaking down old, established patterns and breaking from the conventions we’ve made for ourselves that limit our own illumination. The Moon is waxing, increasing in light. All of us no doubt carry formations that we developed in order to survive; Uranus demands that we liberate ourselves from those survival strategies that are now preventing us from coming into more illumination.
Today the Moon in Cancer makes a trine to Neptune in Pisces. What are the dreams we need to nurture and protect in order to remain in alignment with our well-being? The Moon then makes an opposition to Pluto retrograde in Capricorn. In order to dream and vision for new possible worlds, we must actively confront the hidden and even unconscious ways in which we are still invested in our own oppression: the perpetuation of empire, the ongoing conditions of colonization, the persistence of white supremacy, misogyny and sexism that is rooted in despising the feminine—even our own femininity—which is also the rot in which homophobia and transphobia flourish, our attachments to capitalist exploitation, our insistence on the human as distinct from and more important than everything else on this planet. We must do the work that Audre Lorde gives to us in “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House”: “I urge each of us here to reach down into that deep place of knowledge inside herself and touch that terror and loathing of any difference that lives there. See whose face it wears. Then the personal as the political can begin to illuminate all our choices.” As the Moon then makes an opposition to Jupiter retrograde in Capricorn, we have the opportunity to grow, to integrate that terror of difference, and to move from fear and loathing toward more substantial justice in whatever ways we can.
Today Mars in Pisces makes a sextile to Uranus in Taurus, then the Moon in Cancer makes a sextile to Uranus and a trine to Mars as they separate. Together, Mars and Uranus can describe the moment when we snap, the breaking point, the volatile breaking away and separating, the sudden propulsion toward other possibilities. In describing the “Feminist Snap,” Sara Ahmed writes, “When we snap, we do not always know what we are doing. And when we snap, we do not always know where we are going. And yet we snap because of what we have been doing; we snap because where we have been is no longer where we can be.” Today you might find yourself at a breaking point, an occasion of snapping, because where you have been or what you have been doing is no longer bearable to sustainable. SNAP. Without knowing what you are doing or where you are going, something inside you impels you toward the possibility of something else. Ahmed describes this as “an optimism without a future, an optimism that makes a break of something the start of something without knowing what this something is, or what it might be.” With the Moon, Uranus, and Mars all in receptive water and earth signs, this snappy optimism, this breakaway that becomes a beginning, might be something we feel on the inside, within the felt body, that then demands some form of externalization. It may feel as if it comes out of nowhere, but the breaking point never comes out of nowhere. It is just finally making itself known.
Today the Moon in Gemini makes a square to Neptune in Pisces. Our thinking may feel clouded and the directions of our thought may feel circuitous or indirect. The more precise we try to be today, the more frustrated we may become. Try instead to cede to the influence of intuition and find what thoughts present themselves if you allow the mind to wander. The Moon then makes a conjunction to its ruler Mercury in Gemini. Mercury is well-resourced in its domicile, so consider what resources are available to support you in translating ideas into articulable forms. Finally, the Moon ingresses into its domicile of Cancer, where it has all the resources it needs to provide safety, security, comfort, and care. What does it mean to care well? Audre Lorde famously wrote in A Burst of Light, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Caring for ourselves—especially if we belong to communities for whom survival is a marginal concern for those with the most power and privilege—is self-preservation and that is political. But care must also be collective. adrienne maree brown writes in Emergent Strategy, “We are realizing that we must become the systems we need—no government, political party, or corporation is going to care for us, so we have to remember how to care for each other. And that will take time, and commitment, a willingness to step outside of the comfort of the current and lean into the unknown, together. To listen to each other across all real and perceived divides.” Collective care may require discomfort and unknowing. It invites us into commitment and deep listening, holding one another across and within our differences.
The only major aspect today comes in the final hour of Saturday: the Moon makes a conjunction to Venus in Gemini as Venus continues its retrograde journey. Venus turns our attention back to revisit and review what we have called love and what we believe love to be. This conjunction with the Moon may draw out feelings that have gone unexpressed, our fears and doubts about our own lovability, our uncertainties as we practice love with others and ourselves. Judith Butler writes in “Doubting Love,” “One finds that love is not a state, a feeling, a disposition, but an exchange, uneven, fraught with history, with ghosts, with longings that are more or less legible to those who try to see one another with their own faulty vision … Love always returns us to what we do and do not know. We have no other choice than to become shaken by doubt, and to persist with what we can know when we can know it.” Love is never only what we know. It returns us again and again to what we do not know, our uncertainties, our doubts, our ghosts and illegible longings. To love then cannot mean to act with certainty; it is rather the choice to persist in loving even when we are not certain, even when we are shaken by doubt. To love is to do so with what we can know and also with all that we do not know.
Today is the New Moon in Gemini, nested in time within a dense cluster of aspects and other celestial movements. Before entering Gemini, the Moon in Taurus makes a trine to Jupiter moving retrograde in Capricorn. There are lessons for deliberate, intentional growth in the slowness, in taking our time. Mercury makes a conjunction to Venus moving retrograde in Gemini, and we may find ourselves reviewing and revisiting the words we have and have not said, the commitments we have made and kept and broken, inspiring us to ask how we might best express our love today. As the Moon moves into Gemini and into its conjunction with the Sun, both luminaries form trines to Saturn moving retrograde in Aquarius, another invitation for slowness and intentionality. At this New Moon, we might ask: what is preventing us from thinking in new ways? What is prohibiting the transmission and exchange of ideas that can lead to substantial connections? Throughout this lunation cycle, can we commit “to explore connections that are not always apparent” and “to think about things together that appear to be separate”—which Angela Davis describes as feminist methodologies? As Mercury, the ruler of this New Moon, makes a square to Neptune in Pisces, the conditions for misunderstanding and miscommunication are thick. We may easily lose track of what we think we know. Try as best you can to not assume, and if you must proceed on some kind of assumption, assume you do not fully understand and that you have not yet been fully understood. Finally, the Moon in Gemini makes a square to Mars in Pisces, suggesting that conflict and emotional aggression may arise out of the misunderstandings of the day.
Today the balsamic Moon in Taurus makes a sextile to Neptune in Pisces. This is a day for rest and dreaming, for drifting through fantasies and roaming gently through our imaginations. These are not idle practices; they are vital and necessary for softening and opening toward other possible worlds. As Judith Butler writes in Undoing Gender, “Fantasy is what allows us to imagine ourselves and others otherwise. Fantasy is what establishes the possible in excess of the real; it points, it points elsewhere, and when it is embodied, it brings the elsewhere home.” And as adrienne maree brown writes in Emergent Strategy, “A visionary exploration of humanity includes imagination … How do we create and proliferate a compelling vision of economies and ecologies that center humans and the natural world over the accumulation of material? We embody. We learn. We release the idea of failure, because it’s all data. But first we imagine.” As the Moon eases through this sextile to Neptune, allow yourself the diffuse space and time to access fantasy, to vision, to imagine ourselves and others otherwise, and to bring the elsewheres of our dreams, visions, and fantasies home. The Moon then makes a trine to Pluto moving retrograde through Capricorn. Deep transformation is underway when we allow ourselves these opportunities to feel and embody other possible ways of being. Again, these are not idle practices; these are parts of how we rework the ways in which power operates in our psyches, across our emotional landscapes, and throughout the hidden places of our bodies.
Today the Moon in Taurus makes a square to Saturn retrograde in Aquarius. Slow down, perhaps even retreat, and set clear boundaries for how you are directing your energy. If you do not set your own structures and limits, you may find yourself colliding with resistance that will be established for you. The Moon then makes a sextile to Mars in Pisces. Within the parameters you have established for yourself, how do you want to channel your intentions and your actions? The Sun ingresses into Gemini, joining its ruler Mercury and Venus moving along its retrograde journey. The Moon makes a conjunction to Uranus, reconnecting our corporeal awareness to the sedimented ground in our lives that is undergoing overturning during Uranus’ long transit through the Taurus areas of our charts. The ground that has been stable in supporting us until now needs to be tilled up and broken apart in order to create possibilities for new ways of living to emerge and grow. Today we may feel the emotional and physical reverberations of this process. Finally, Venus in Gemini makes a square to Neptune in Pisces. Neptune can describe both our fantasies as well as the dissolution of boundaries. As Venus moves retrograde into Neptune’s rays, we may be confronted with disillusionment when what we thought or believed we had experienced in love turns out to be a projection of our own fantasies. We may find that our boundaries have been crossed or perhaps were never even established. The question today becomes: how can I engage more honestly with the realities of the relationships past and present in my life, and how can I articulate the boundaries—what is and is not okay—that need to be in place in order for me to love well?
Today the Moon in Aries makes a sextile to Venus moving retrograde in Gemini. Ruled by Mars, the Moon in Aries may feel inflamed by anger or aggression that has gone unexpressed. As we continue through this Venus retrograde journey, reviewing our beliefs and practices of love, we must be willing to process and release our anger. bell hooks writes, “Much of the anger and rage we feel about emotional lack is released when we forgive ourselves and others. Forgiveness opens up and prepares us to receive love … Forgiveness is an act of generosity. It requires that we place releasing someone else from the prison of their guilt or anguish over our feelings of outrage or anger.” The Moon then makes squares to Pluto and Jupiter, both retrograde in Capricorn. Moving through forgiveness has the capacity to uncover and transform deep, old wounds and injuries, to bring back together parts of ourselves and others that have felt broken or shattered. Then the Moon ingresses into Taurus, the sign of its exaltation, where we can ground deep into the stability available within our own bodies. Listen to your bones, the bedrock of your flesh. As you move through and release the anger or rage that Aries may have described, feel into these patient, earthly parts of yourself—the parts that know how to abide, the parts that have always been supporting you.
The only major aspect today is the Moon in Aries making a sextile with Mercury in Gemini. Mercury is in its domicile in Gemini, with access to all the resources it needs to gather information, think critically, translate and transmit what it relevant, and facilitate effective communication. The Moon in Aries may feel urgent or impulsive, driven to act first and ask questions later. Together this can describe an insistent desire to take action on whatever limited information is available or to act from a singular perspective as if it holds the truth of the situation. But as bell hooks writes, “The heartbeat of critical thinking is the longing to know—to understand how life works … Keeping an open mind is an essential requirement of critical thinking … Much intellectual work embraces the art of the possible; it is like an archaeological process where one goes deep in search of truths that may constantly change as new information comes to light.” Gemini is a mutable sign, and part of the dignity that Mercury here offers the Moon is the capacity to remain open and responsive to multiple perspectives, changing situations, and the intellectual embrace of the possible as a source of vital information. Today, how might we guide our impulse to do something right now with these archaeological processes of longing to know how life is working, remaining open and adaptable, and committing to considering the possible?
Today the Moon in Pisces makes a sextile to the Sun in Taurus then a sextile to its ruler Jupiter moving retrograde in Capricorn. As the Moon wanes in light, this is its final aspect before the New Moon in Gemini on May 22. What could you let go of today that would support you in more emotional ease? What if this is no longer yours to carry? With limited resources in high demand, deciding what is worth investment and care is a way that we can stay in abundance rather than scarcity. Then the Moon ingresses into Aries, without reception from Mars. Aries is cardinal fire, the impulse to act, but perhaps without the support to follow through. The Sun in Taurus makes a trine to Jupiter, fallen and retrograde in Capricorn, a reminder of the expansive illumination of consciousness available even in what may seem limited. Gurumayi Chidvilasananda describes, “As you free yourself from everything and everyone, every place and every time, every moment and every year, every planet and every star, you feel this incredible rush of ecstasy. In fact, you enter into another realm, an expanded realm, a realm of light, a realm of understanding. It is inside. Even though we feel it is an out-of-body experience, it is within this body.” What if you turn toward your body not as a source of limitation or struggle, but a realm of light, a realm of expansive understanding? How much more might you encounter, experience, recognize, and celebrate? Finally, the Moon in Aries makes a sextile to Saturn in Aquarius, reminding us to approach even our most fiery impulses with patience.
Today the Moon makes a conjunction to Neptune in Pisces. This is a time for surrender, for letting go of that to which we are clinging, for softening our own edges and dissolving any rigid sense of distinction. We were never so separate in the first place. As Judith Butler writes, “As bodies, we are always for something more than, and other than, ourselves … Let’s face it. We’re undone by each other. And if we’re not, we’re missing something … One does not always stay intact. It may be that one wants to, or does, but it may also be that despite one’s best efforts, one is undone, in the face of the other, by the touch, by the scent, by the feel, by the prospect of the touch, by the memory of the feel.” How might you find yourself undone by the other, by sensation, by all the ways in which your body is opened out onto a world? The Moon makes a square to Venus moving retrograde in Gemini. If we are undone by the other, perhaps we know this most acutely in love and other forms of relation. How have you found that you are no longer only your own, precisely because you are no longer on your own? How can we hold the truth that we belong to one another, precisely be we are in one another’s hands—whether such hands commit violence or care? As the Moon makes a sextile to Pluto moving retrograde in Capricorn, we may become aware of the ways in which power is never simply something we have or do not have; it is always a relation in which we are implicated.
Today the Moon makes a conjunction to Mars in Pisces. The Moon describes our instinctual needs for safety and security, for nurturing and caretaking and mothering—both self-care and care for others. Mars is the archetype of the warrior, willing and ready to pursue that which we desire and fight for what we believe in. Together, this can describe a fiercely protective approach to care, as well as bringing us back to wounds we carry from having not been defended or protected within our primary care relationships. Audre Lorde wrote in Essence Magazine in 1983, “We can learn to mother ourselves … Mothering. Claiming some power over who we choose to be—and knowing that such power is relative within the realities of our lives—yet knowing that only through the use of that power can we effectively change those realities. Mothering means the laying to rest of what is weak and timid and damaged, without despisal, the protection and support of what is useful for survival and change, and our joint explorations of the difference.” The Sun in Taurus makes a trine to Pluto moving retrograde through Capricorn, shining light into shadowy places, revealing the hidden sources of power that may have been repressed within existing social systems. Finally, the Moon makes a sextile to Uranus in Taurus and Mercury in Gemini—all at 7º. In order to practice revolutionary care, we may be challenged to think and speak in new ways, clearly communicating our intentions, and saying what needs to be said in order break old patterns of harm and break open new opportunities for repair. We may be challenged to make words like “mothering” and “care” take on new meanings as we do the radical work of care for one another and ourselves.
Today the Moon in Aquarius makes a trine to Venus who just stationed retrograde in Gemini yesterday. This trine reminds us that how we practice love in our intimate relationships scales up to how we practice community in our societies. bell hooks writes, “When we see love as the will to nurture one’s own or another’s spiritual growth, revealed through acts of care, respect, knowing, and assuming responsibility, the foundation of all love in our life is the same … While we will necessarily behave differently depending on the nature of a relationship, or have varying degrees of commitment, the values that inform our behavior, when rooted in a love ethic, are always the same for any interaction.” In order to live well with one another, we must behave in ways that are rooted in a love ethic, whatever the relationship or form of interaction—prioritizing care, respect, knowing, and assuming responsibility. The Moon then makes a square to the Sun in Taurus, entering the waning quarter phase. This is a time of re-evaluating and letting go of that which no longer serves us, potentially breaking from the familiar in order to move in the direction of intuition. Jupiter in Capricorn stations retrograde—the third planet to station retrograde this week. As Jupiter moves backwards through Capricorn, we may be reviewing and assessing what resources are available to us, how we have made use of those resources, and how to better utilize that which is available in order to support our long-term growth. Finally, the Moon ingresses into Pisces, with reception from Jupiter. In Pisces, we may find ourselves awash in feelings that are bigger than ourselves, coasting on waves of empathy and compassion that bring us into deeper connection with others.
Today marks two major shifts in the astrological tone of the season: Mars ingresses into Pisces and Venus stations retrograde in Gemini. Mars has spent twelve weeks not only in signs ruled by Saturn but also co-present with Saturn—first in Capricorn then in Aquarius. Saturn can be a rigid, heavy, restrictive ruler. As Mars moves into the mutable water sign of Pisces, with reception from its fallen ruler Jupiter in Capricorn, more movement and change may feel possible. Resources may be limited, so be intentional with your adaptations. As adrienne maree brown writes in Emergent Strategy, “How we live and grow and stay purposeful in the face of constant change actually does determine both the quality of our lives, and the impact that we can have when we move into action together.” Venus stations retrograde still within a tight square from Neptune in Pisces. This retrograde cycle will ask us to review the ways in which we are communicating in our relationships, but also the ways in which we are loving in alignment with our ideals for what love could and should be. bell hooks writes in All About Love, “Undoubtedly, many of us are more comfortable with the notion that love can mean anything to anybody precisely because when we define it with precision and clarity it brings us face to face with our lacks—with terrible alienation. The truth is, far too many people in our culture do not know what love is. And this not knowing feels like a terrible secret, a lack that we have to cover up.” What if we use this Venus retrograde to not only confront the lack of clear definitions of love but also to research and refine the ways in which we want to practice loving? As the Moon in Aquarius makes a square to Uranus in Taurus, we may feel shaken by these shifting tides, and compelled to let go of that which is no longer allowing for authentic embodiment.
Today is a busy day for the Moon: first it makes conjunctions to both Pluto and Jupiter in Capricorn before ingressing into Aquarius and making a conjunction to Saturn and a trine to Mercury in Gemini. Pluto draws us into our own corporeal depths, and Jupiter encourages the fullness and cohesion of the body. What practices will support you in moving into your inner underworlds and becoming more wholly your own potentialities? Alkistis Dimech suggests, “My practice reaffirms the authority of the body: it is first of all the body that communicates, revealing its inner life, its affectivity, its vulnerability, as well as its strength … For me, to dance it to initiate myself into the body’s mysteries; to know myself in the process of becoming and to know the world in its becoming.” Whether through dance or ritual or some other process, these conjunctions suggest an initiation into the mysteries of your own body. As the Moon moves into Aquarius and into conjunction with Saturn, now moving retrograde, we may encounter the drag of old ways of being, structures of embodiment that limit or restrict our becoming. But then the trine to Mercury invites the body to speak, to communicate and transmit the wisdom and insight that it holds. Finally, Mercury in Taurus makes a trine to Saturn in Aquarius. We may be called upon to advocate for our own boundaries, to articulate the parameters of what is and is not permissible. Remember, as adrienne maree brown writes, “Your strong and solid no makes way for your deep, authentic yes. I was taught this late in life: ‘No is a complete sentence.’” As you become an initiate of the authority of your own body, be prepared to clearly convey your no in order to trust and affirm your deep, authentic yes.