Let all thy joy be as the month of May
— Francis Quarles
April’s promise is fulfilled in May! The air is scented with the fragrance of new grass, spring rain and fresh flowers; peonies, lilies and the heady perfume of lilacs and hyacinth. Everywhere you look is a painting to rival Matisse or Renoir; flowering pear trees with their pillowy white petals, extravagant cherry blossoms trees in full bloom, lavish gardens and parks with their lush green lawns and the evening sky splashed with mauve, crimson and sapphire blue. May is the dessert of months!
Listen, whatever it is you try to do with your life, nothing will ever dazzle you like the dreams of your body. –Mary Oliver
A New Moon is a conjunction or alignment of the Sun and Moon; both are in the same sign and degree. Every New Moon is a new beginning, a fresh start, a time to move forward. The Sun and Moon are in Taurus, the sign of warm scones (with crème fraiche and homemade jam), raw silk, French lilacs, and fine wine. Taurus is a sensual sign; it celebrates the body, Mother Nature and the physical world. This is the perfect time to renew our relationship with the earth and our own body.
It’s time again. Tear up the violets and plant something more difficult to grow. –James Schyler
Venus is prominent in the chart of this New Moon. The goddess of love and ruler of Taurus, in caring Cancer, makes a positive trine to Neptune, often described as the higher octave of Venus. This union supports us opening our hearts, deepening our spirituality and experiencing compassion for the earth and everyone on it. Venus is also approaching an opposition to intense Pluto (exact on May 21st) and a square to that maverick Uranus (exact on May 25), reminding us that in order to have light we must be willing to confront the dark. Years ago, at my house on Long Island, I had tons of lilac bushes which I loved; lavender, deep purple and white. Every year I would cut the “sucker growth” that strangled them so they would remain healthy; it was a big job but very satisfying. We all have our own form of weeds or “sucker growth” that threatens to impede our progress. Periodic pruning is necessary in order to eliminate what is dead and dying in our life so that what is strong can thrive.
Mercury turns retrograde on May 18
Brainy Mercury is the planet of information and communication and it’s currently in its home sign, Gemini, the sign that rules communication, media, travel, and technology. It will be retrograde (appearing to be moving backwards) until June 11 but will remain in Gemini until July 8. Mercury retrograde isn’t bad; it’s just not great for launching big plans or making major purchases – especially Mercury ruled items such as phones, cars, or computers. Mercury is taking a vacation while retrograde; in a sense we’re on our own during this period. So, back up your computer, double check travel arrangements and take extra time and care with things, especially all forms of communication. On the other hand, it’s great for buying and selling used or vintage items and perfect for clearing out clutter. Mercury has its own magic while retrograde and can often bring old friends, lost items or forgotten projects back into our life.
We’re not supposed to live a horizontal life on the surface of things. We’re supposed to live the entire gamut, from the heights of thought and imagination all the way down to the depths of woundedness and the deeper capacity to love. –Michael Meade
These days we’re surrounded by cell towers, skyscrapers and a tsunami of Wi-Fi; the amount of information we deal with is rapid and unrelenting. We are attached to our machines (computers, cell phones, and iPads) as if on life support, even while walking, driving or dining. Taurus is the antidote to that; this earthy sign reminds us that we are more than our tablets and technology. Taurus brings us back to our senses and invites us to honor our bodies and the natural world. Take a digital holiday and get out into nature; walk barefoot in the wet grass, spend some time near water, plant something. Make your home a sanctuary, bake bread, make soup from scratch, or treat yourself to a healing massage or reflexology session; experiment with flower essences; lavender, lemon, bergamot, sweet orange and rose.
“Why should self-nurturing be so frightening for most women?” Sarah Ban Breathnach asks in her beautiful book, Simple Abundance. “Perhaps we are all Scrooges when it comes to self-nurturing because if we were kind to ourselves, our creativity might begin to blossom like a plant moving towards the light.”
Taurus is allied with the second house; the domain of money and values but this area of the chart is not simply about wealth and what we own; it governs self-worth and how we “value” ourselves. When was the last time you did something fabulous and frivolous for yourself? How often do you allow yourself to rest without feeling guilty? What about a Bathrobe Day or a nap? How much pleasure do you have in your life? This season is sensual, soft, and luxurious which calls for some serious self-nurturing. Use this Taurus New Moon and the Mercury retrograde period to slow down, pamper yourself, and listen to the wisdom of your body; listen loudly. And ask yourself, as Mary Oliver does in her poem, Peonies: “Do you love this world? Do you cherish your humble and silky life? Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?”
There is a connection between self-nurturing and self-respect. – Julia Cameron
Celebrate this delicious and glorious season; celebrate yourself! Feel good, be happy (for no reason) and love yourself; not just ordinary love but radical self-love, radical self-forgiveness and radical self-acceptance. You are worth it! Love, Virginia
There is a sweetness of May verging on June that no other time in the whole year can equal. And by sweetness I mean more than flower fragrance or honey taste; this is the sweetness of understanding and emotion, the glow of pleasure in being. –Hal Borland (Borland County)