Now the bright morning star, day's harbinger,
Comes dancing from the east, and leads with her
The flowery May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow cowslip, and the pale primrose.
Hail, bounteous May, that doth inspire Mirth, and youth, and warm desire;
Woods and groves are of thy dressing,
Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing,
Thus we salute thee with our early song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.
~ John Milton 1645
The month of May is ushered in with a promise of new life as the rising Sun continues its northern journey warming the freshly planted fields with its gentle rays. The glorious Sun is at its midpoint between the Vernal equinox and Summer solstice, a celestial station called the cross-quarter in many traditions and celebrated with fire rituals and fertility rites such as Beltane. The lily of the valley is the flower of May as its spring blooms brings sweetness and happiness. In Christian lore it is associated with the tears of the Virgin Mary as well as the tears cried by Eve as she was kicked out of the Garden of Eden. This sweet flower is also known as Jacob's tears or "ladder to heaven." Strange allusions for a flower associated with happiness.
dahana shakti, the power to burn and purify.
In Greek mythology Maia is one of the seven daughters of the Titan Atlas and the ocean nymph Pleione. These mountain nymphs of Arcadia, Sterope, Merope, Elektra, Taygeta, Celeno, Alcyone, and Maia all had violet-colored hair and were immortalized in the stars as the constellation Pleiades after committing suicide upon hearing about the death of their father. It is an interesting coincidence that the lily of the valley has a cluster of white flowers that resemble little stars. Maia was the eldest and most beautiful of the Arcadian nymphs. According to Hesiod's Theogony, Maia shared the sacred bed of Zeus and gave birth to Hermes (Mercury), the messenger god. Hermes was also the god of commerce, the god of fertility, the creator of magic, and the psychopomp -- the guide to the underworld. Thus Maia, and the month May, are connected with all these themes -- but especially magic and fertility.
In Sanskrit the word maya is often described as the veil of illusion, but it is also the principal female deity that manifests, perpetuates and governs the dream of duality in the material universe: Maya Shakti.
Maya is one of those active powers: the constant movement of the universe, pervasive to the atomic level. There is no life -- no existence, even -- without Maya, but she is so powerful that we cannot see the essence of things and mistake her movement for reality. For this reason, Maya is often called "the veil of illusion," the dance of multiplicity that distracts us so that we cannot see all matter as essentially identical. Illusion, however, as the sages have stressed, is not the same as falsehood. Maya is not a negative force, but can be a mesh through which we perceive the ultimate reality of existence -- if we are not distracted by her magnificent creativeness and complexity. Unknown Author
The astrological line up for May 2012 may be full of Maya's creative distractions. There is an incredible stellium of planets in the fixed sign of Taurus which will focus a lot of energy on the illusion of material comfort and prosperity. As I have described in previous posts, Venus has been transiting the sign of Taurus since March 28, 2012. During the first week of May it will be at its brightest -- its greatest illuminated extent in the Western evening sky. Taurus is a powerful sign for Venus as its earthy energy is able to manifest the planet's creative impulse on the physical plane. Venus in Taurus brings comfort and ease to life. But as I mentioned in my last post, the luminous Evening Star has been followed by a "moon shadow," the south node, Ketu, whose energy of dissolution is unpredictable and can trigger upsets in the status quo. When the two conjoined on April 11, 2012, six (the number associated with the planet Venus) large earthquakes shook the globe, including an 8.6 and 8.2 in Indonesia.
In addition, Venus is also on her journey of transform from Evening Star to Morning Star during which time she appears to make a descent into the underworld, like the Sumerian goddess Inanna, setting in the West as the Evening Star and then rising again in the East as the Morning Star.
Although the classics consider retrograde planets to be stronger under reverse motion, they are still operating in a different mode that may cause a disturbance to their usual field of influence. Moreover, energy slows down and becomes more internalized. Astrologically, Venus represents how we get what we want and the nature of the love we receive. When this power is afflicted, relationships may loose some of their spark, communication may not be as sweet, or or we may not be able to get what we want as easily as when the planet is direct. When Venus is retrograde, it is a great time to turn our relationship radar inward and reassess any problems, differences, or unresolved issues. So as the ruler of love and material security reverses direction, our boundaries around relationships and money are tested. Venus retrograde may bring events that inspire us to re-evaluate the conditions of our relationships or revise our financial plans, but as Lynn Koiner suggests, it is not a time to make any changes:
You become readily aware of any problems, differences or unresolved issues. It is NOT a time, however, to act upon any unfavorable awareness. It is purely a time of evaluation rather than direct action. As little frictions and disagreements crop up, they serve to remind you that the relationship is not perfect. Under the retrograde influence, you must assess the severity of the problem and the “cost-benefit” of the relationship. Only after Venus turns direct should you initiate any alienation if this is deemed necessary.
Moreover, the upcoming Venus retrograde takes place under the obscuring influences of two eclipses: an annular solar eclipse on May 20, 2012 and a partial lunar eclipse on June 4, 2012.
May's new moon in Taurus receives the subtle shakti of the Pleiades from the nakshatra Krittika, but it is disturbed by Ketu's presence in the shadow released during the annular eclipse on May 20, 2012. (For a great video click here.) Its dahana shakti, the power to burn and purify, may become exaggerated under Ketu's fiery glance from Rohini. Many astrologers assert that Ketu is debilitated in the sign of Taurus as the bull's accumulating nature is counter to the south node's impulse to dissolve and release spirit from its involution in matter. Thus this Ketu solar eclipse in Taurus may cause discord in relationships, already pressed by Venus in retrograde motion, and downturns in financial markets.
Fortunately there is grace present as Jupiter enters Taurus three days before the first eclipse. Many astrologers view Jupiter's sojourn into Taurus as beneficial creating prosperity and expanding "bull" markets. Some even call Jupiter in Taurus the millionaire-maker. However, the nodes are powerful and can disturb even the most beneficial of planets. As my teacher used to say, when an eclipse occurs all the stars come out during the day, meaning that all the hidden issues that are always there beyond our immediate consciousness may suddenly appear. Eclipses magnify the shadow issues underlying our illusions and amplify the emotional drama of our misconceptions and disagreements. But an eclipse is also an opportunity to look at these hidden issues and collective denial, such as global wealth and debt issues, and shift course.
June begins with a partial Rahu lunar eclipse of a debilitated Moon in Scorpio/Jyestha with Ketu in Taurus/Rohini followed by the astronomical event of the year: a vary rare transit of Venus across the face of the Sun on June 5-6, 2012. Depending on your location you may see the transit either as her last steps as the Evening Star, or first steps as the Morning Star. Most of North America sees the beginning of the transit in the afternoon and evening on June 5, whereas much of Eurasia sees the ending of the transit in the morning on June 6. As Venus Morning Star is historically related to the goddess of war, those countries who first witness her in the morning may be the sites of future conflict.
Although Jupiter and Mercury will also be nearby, they will be hidden behind the rays of the Sun and unable to touch Venus with their direct glance. With so many planets connected with "consciousness" lined up and in combustion with the Sun, Venus is left alone to receive the Earth's full attention.
As Venus passes between the Sun and the Earth, its movement is in essence very similar to a lunar eclipse. So in a way we will be getting a double whammy of lunar and Venus eclipses within 24 hours of each other. The involvement of the nodes with this Venus Transit suggests that this astronomical moment in time will be quite significant. Because the south node, Ketu, will manifest its shadow the day before the transit, it is the only planet that will have a negative effect on Venus. Its energy of dissolution may release old karmic patterns during the lunar eclipse which may then be transformed the next day by the conjunction of Venus in the heart of the Sun, called Cazimi. When the Sun engulfs the energies of a planet in Cazimi, it is said to imbue the planet with the intensely positive and life-giving energy through the Sun, which draws its energy from the shakti of the nakshatras that it transits: Rohini where the great red star Aldebaran resides making up the eye of the bull in Taurus. Aldebaran is believed to be the abode of Brahma and when it lines up with our Sun we receive its many blessings.
Thus the thus deity associated with Rohini is Brahma, the Creator, "who can bestow everything, so we should be careful of what we want." According to David Frawley, "Rohini Nakshatra represents the gods, dharma and good fortune (Lakshmi) and is said to be the most fortunate of all Nakshatras for worldly affairs."
rohana shakti, growth -- as might be expressed in the Fibonacci sequence, phi, the sacred geometry of the pentagram that Venus draws in the heavens over the course of eight years, and the movement of Maya Shakti. As we shall soon see this Venus Transit in Rohini may herald a provocative shift in how we use our creative energy to produce material and spiritual wealth. Remember that the transformation of Venus from Evening Star to Morning Star is one from the goddess of love to the goddess of war (see my previous post on Venus Cycles). I pray that Venus becomes a warrior goddess to fight against poverty, hunger, greed and the obscene corruption in the global banking and business worlds by lifting the veil of the dance of multiplicity so that we may see that we are indeed ONE.
Namaste! Jai Ma