If you were expecting some kind of sun sign nonsense, forget it. This is real astrology. See the section above. Please note: this forecast is expressed in terms of Universal Time (UT).
May is bound to be an historic month in an epochal year. When the dates to remember for 2002 are compiled, May is bound to be home to a few - and probably more than any other month. From the May 4 Mars-Saturn conjunction at 14 Gemini, to the Mars-Pluto opposition at 17 Gemini-Sagittarius on the 8th, to the Saturn-Pluto opposition in the same degrees on May 26 and the lunar eclipse at 5 Sagittarius the same day, the whole month is full of tension and conflict in the Gemini-Sagittarius polarity. And it's heightened by Mars at 23 Gemini opposing the degree of last December 14's solar eclipse on May 17. (Why is this significant? Think back to the last time Mars opposed the degree of the previous solar eclipse. It was September 9, 2001 - within two days of the September 11 Islamic terrorist attacks on the US. Mars was still within a degree of that opposition when the hijacked airliners slammed into the World Trade Center.) While June too has its share of noteworthy celestial phenomena, and will doubtless have its historic events as well, May stands out like no other month this year.
Islamic propagandists are doing a superb job of portraying the current struggle in the Middle East as one between the virtuous Palestinians on the one hand versus the vicious Jews and their US backers on the other. But the battle for Palestine is really just the latest installment in a war between Islam and the rest of the world that's been going on for nearly 1,400 years. The emphatic Gemini-Sagittarius polarity this month points squarely at the US and the Arab world respectively as enemy camps at the heart of the conflict now. Israel comes in for its fair share of abuse as well: May 14 is the Jewish state's Declaration of Independence anniversary (a target date for terror atrocities), for one thing. For another, eclipses in the Gemini-Sagittarius polarity have in years past coincided with war between Israel and the Arabs - e.g. the October 1973 war and the October 1956 Sinai campaign. Pakistan is also in the crosshairs: the nation's constitution chart features Gemini rising, while the Musharraf coup chart has Mars in Sagittarius. Other nations whose charts put them in the Islamic target zone include Russia and Germany, just to name a couple. (China stays under the Muslim radar by playing one side against the other.)
Military and paramilitary conflict (including terrorist attacks) are bound to surge to new heights in May. Weapons of mass destruction have long been a threat Islamic terrorists have held over the civilized world's head, like some sword of Damocles. Unless some very lucky intelligence prevents it, the terror attacks due this month will up the ante of destruction as never before. This is a good month to be anywhere else but the Middle East. Americans abroad would be wise to avoid places and events frequented by their own kind. Here at home, keeping the pantry and gas tank full is a minimal precaution. The more time you can spend far away from densely populated areas and nuclear targets (power plants etc.), the better.
Military conflict and terrorist plots are not by any means the only possibilities signaled by all these celestial portents. Violence at the mano a mano level will likely surge around the 4th, 8th, 17th and 26th as well. From an increase in ordinary criminality to political assassination, to an up-tick in personal conflict and confrontation in everyday life, this is bound to be a time fraught with tension; not to mention school and workplace massacres. Steer clear of trouble as much as possible, and otherwise be prepared to deal with it. Remember that this is the very same kind of atmosphere which tends to prompt the kind of reckless behavior that makes accidents more likely, too. (Collisions, fires and falls - perhaps even all three in combination - are apt to be on tap.) Watch out for the 'other guy' and stay alert. And remember, the exact dates mentioned above are surrounded by periods of several days duration in which the risk is very high. (The planets involved can be within just a few degrees apart anywhere from several days to several weeks either side of the exact aspect. (In other words, keep your guard up instead of making a fetish over precise dates.)
May isn't just about bombs, bullets, criminal thuggery and reckless accidents. It's also about financial apoplexy. International conflict will certainly help trigger precipitous falls in the markets, but they'd be coming even if all were quiet on every front. That third and final Saturn-Pluto alignment in the series that began last year and culminates May 26 is within a few degrees of exact all month long, and until June 13: markets are a hair's breadth from falling over a precipice the whole time. Bankruptcies and bargains abound, and whoever can tell one from another will profit immensely in the long run. The Neptune station on the 13th - within a fraction of a degree of being exact all month - points to fraud and deception being exposed, and greed getting its ruinous reward. Brokers, accountants, bankers and ordinary investors who have danced to the tune and thought they already paid the piper are apt to find there's still a big balance due.
Adding insult to injury - or a comic touch, depending on your perspective - is this month's Mercury retrograde. It starts when the little Sun-grazer stations at 10 Gemini on the 15th, and continues until the direct station at 1 Gemini on June 8. During this entire period, it really pays to keep a close eye on what you're doing. Mercury retrogrades and Murphy's Law have a way of going together: whatever can go wrong readily does, all else being equal. So take nothing for granted, double-check it all and follow-up on everything. Distractions and multi-tasking that can normally be taken in stride tend to take you for a ride at times like this, and there are only three things you can do about it: focus, focus, focus. Get things out early to allow for delays, because mailing and shipping snags are par for the course. Forget your 'just in time' inventories and processes: reserve stock and supplies can make the difference between success and failure. Schedules? Promises? Rendezvous? Flex 'em or forget 'em!
Aside from all this personal and political stuff, there's plenty happening on the geophysical level as well. Although there are no SuperMoons this month, there is that aforementioned lunar eclipse on the 26th. While that's a sure sign of severe storms, flooding and moderate to severe seismic action toward the end of May (including Richter 5 and greater quakes as well as volcanic eruptions), there are more than a few risks of this sort earlier in the month as well.
It begins at the beginning, with the Moon reaching maximum declination south of the equator on the 1st. This speaks of stormy weather and heightened seismic action from April 30 through May 2, followed by a drop-off to more normal levels of disturbances in Earth's crust and atmosphere. This period of relative calm lasts until the 8th, as the northward lunar equatorial crossing of the 9th takes hold. And just as the Moon crosses the celestial equator, the new moon effect kicks in (the usual three days in advance) and carries through until the 15th. Add a couple additional days of Richter 5+ quakes, volcanic eruptions, storms and flooding to that, thanks to the Moon hitting maximum northern declination on the 16th. And finally, from the 17th to the 20th, a period of relative peace and quiet on the natural catastrophe front . . .
Luna swings down across the equator headed south on the 22nd, upping the potential for storms, floods and seismic upheaval starting on the 21st. From there, it just gets crazier. The lunar perigee (closest approach to Earth) on the 23rd keeps things jumping and then merges right into the plus or minus three day risk window centered on the lunar eclipse at 5 Sagittarius on the 26th. The most powerful storms and earthquakes and volcanic eruptions of the month are likely to fall in this period. And it continues through the 30th, thanks to the Moon reaching maximum declination south of the equator on the 29th.
Wherever you are, it's a good idea to keep an eye on the sky late in May, and particularly during the eclipse window of the 23rd through the 29th. Be ready to take cover at the earliest sign of severe weather, and check to see that your emergency kit is well-stocked with fresh batteries, candles, bottled water and the like. If traveling, allow extra time for weather delays - not to mention the Mercury retrograde comedy of errors that further complicates things. Bear in mind that the kind of seismic and meteorological upheaval signaled by this full moon eclipse can manifest practically anywhere at all. We're dealing with events on a cosmic scale, after all. But there may be some astro-locality hints as to areas of particular risk during the late May eclipse window: across the Bering Strait and down through the Rockies all the way into Argentina, and then up through Indonesia and across to the Philippines on into Japan; also along a north-south line that runs through west central Africa, across the eastern Mediterranean area and through Turkey.
SPECIAL FEATURE: This month's birthdays of the famous and infamous (with astrological birth charts)