Vintage zodiac constellation

Stellar Stuff – 1st – 15th May 2016

In Astrology, Insight and Experience by Stella WoodsLeave a Comment

May is a month of heinous hybrids… of awkwardness, distortion and mismatch, so better brace yourself so you can roll with the punches and keep that sense of humour!  With communication planet Mercury retrograde until the 22nd May and action planet Mars retrograde throughout the month, progress is unlikely to be smooth.

The Incongruous Quincunx

May is a month of heinous hybrids… of awkwardness, distortion and mismatch, so better brace yourself so you can roll with the punches and keep that sense of humour!  With communication planet Mercury retrograde until the 22nd May and action planet Mars retrograde throughout the month, progress is unlikely to be smooth.

Now what exactly is a quincunx you may ask?  Astrologers are obsessed by the angles between planets in the skies – if planets are opposite each other (180 °), they clash; if they’re conjunct (next to each other) they work together; if they’re trine (120 °) their energies blend in a delightful way, but if they are quincunx (150 °) they irritate the hell out of each other. With a quincunx, the wants and needs of the two zodiac signs involved have no easy affinity or resonance. We’re talking about trying to reconcile the irreconcilable where a creative leap or lateral approach is required to blend two completely different sets of needs and traits.

When we look at the astrological energies for May, there are quincunxes between planets, virtually every day of the month. Here are the main players:

  1. Retrograde Mars and Retrograde Saturn in fire sign Sagittarius
  2. Sun, Venus, Retrograde Mercury and New Moon in earth sign Taurus
  3. Uranus in fire sign Aries
  4. North Node and Jupiter in earth sign Virgo

Take the Sagittarius-Taurus combination for instance. Sagittarius is a wilful mutable fire sign interested in adventure, excitement, learning, travel, philosophy and freedom. Taurus is a practical fixed earth sign interested in pleasure, material growth, stability, peace and slow, steady progress. The only thing these two zodiac signs have in common is a love of nature and enjoyment of the physical senses. Sagittarius tends to find Taurus boring, unimaginative and slow, while Taurus sees Sagittarius as unreliable, impractical and prone to exaggeration. Normally they would try to avoid each other, but throughout May a series of quincunxes (150 ° angles) between planets in Sagittarius and Taurus will force them to work together. Taurus definitely has the upper hand with the Sun, ruling planet Venus, retrograde Mercury and the new moon all in Taurus in the first three weeks of May. The push will be to work hard, get things done and have something to show for all that effort. Meanwhile Mars in Sagittarius will be pushing equally hard to break free, do something adventurous and avoid routine at all costs. But because Mars is retrograde (moving backwards) and close to restrictive Saturn and therefore handicapped, he’s unlikely to be successful, but like a guerrilla fighter or activist he’ll strike the occasional fatal blow against the sensible and practical plans of Taurus.

It’s a similar story with Uranus in Aries (fire) quincunx the North Node and Jupiter in Virgo (earth). Aries, like Sagittarius wants freedom, new growth and excitement, while Virgo, like Taurus is risk-averse and likes to keep things running smoothly and predictably.

What this means in real terms is that whatever you have planned for May is likely to encounter some obstacles. The part of you that wants to achieve something concrete will be challenged by the part of you that wants more excitement and freedom in your life. The best advice is to proceed firmly with a clear plan of where you want to go, but be prepared for unexpected setbacks. These obstacles may come from within, whereby you suddenly lose interest in a project that had previously seemed very important; or alternatively, you may find people around you chopping and changing their plans, forcing you to change yours.

Another possible scenario is that you know you should be working hard (Taurus/Virgo), but you want to cut loose and ignore your responsibilities (Sagittarius/Aries). Try to maintain a sense of perspective and avoid getting angry or irritated when things don’t turn out as you had hoped. Look after your health and don’t push forward too quickly. This is a month of adjustment and re-adjustment and who knows, by the end of it, you may find yourself on a completely new path.

May New Moon

The May new moon falls on the 7th in fertile earth sign Taurus conjunct Mercury and Venus forming an earth grand trine (equilateral triangle) with transformational Pluto in Capricorn and generous Jupiter and the karmic North Node in Virgo. This promises to be an especially abundant and blessed new moon, so make sure you plants dreams and intentions in early May and share your blessings and good fortune with others. The Sabian Symbol for the new moon (16-17 ° Taurus) shows a battle between torches and swords, symbolising the fight between good and evil. With retrograde Saturn in Sagittarius quincunx the new moon, we could be forced to examine our own ideals and beliefs around abundance, money, property, food and the current local and global situation between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’.

Mercury Retrograde

With Mercury retrograde in Taurus for the first three weeks of May (until the 22nd) we will be re-examining all aspects of our physical lives and making any necessary changes. Are we happy with our health and the food we eat? What about our physical appearance, clothing and possessions?  Do we feel financially secure and does our outer life reflect our inner values?  The 10th May marks the midpoint of the Mercury retrograde cycle, where there is often an ‘aha’ moment as messages from the unconscious are understood by the conscious mind. As always with Mercury retrograde, pay particular attention when driving, travelling, signing contracts, negotiating agreements and in all types of personal and business communication. Mercury will be forming a quincunx with Saturn from the 16th-29th May meaning that any attempt to put your life in order will require meticulous planning and hard work. The sheer scope of your goals may require more effort than you think, so break large tasks into segments and work on them one at a time.

May Moon Calendar

Launch projects at the New Moon, bring them to completion in the period from just before the Full Moon to the Third Quarter phase and wind them down and reflect on developments in the week before the next New Moon. Important events such as parties, conferences and weddings are best held close to the Full Moon or when the Moon is in the same sign as your Sun (or Star) sign.





Moon Phase













New Moon 7th










First Quarter





Stella Woods is an astrology teacher and consultant based in St Kilda, Melbourne.

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