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©2001 by Richard Nolle
last revised UT 23:16 MAY 1, 2001
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 11 Mars Station (Retrograde)Although lacking any SuperMoons or eclipses - generally a good sign where seismic and meteorological storminess is concerned, although not entirely an all clear - May does have some newsworthy planetary action. It's bound to make April look a little sleepy in comparison. If you think the US-China reconnaissance plane flap was dicey, May will really put you on edge. Mars starts its two-month retrograde on the 11th, a cycle last seen when NATO bombed Serbia in 1999. Culminating around the time of the Sun-Mars opposition (June 13, when Mars makes its closest approach to Earth), this particular Mars retrograde promises the usual accompaniments of such a cycle: tension, aggression, competition and all manner of conflict are whipped up above and beyond normal levels. This time around, however, I think we're in for a bigger than usual hornet's nest. That's because the Sun, Mars and Jupiter are all so tightly aligned when the Red Planet makes its June 13 closest approach to Earth. (Mercury's right in the alignment too, as far as that goes.)

All things considered, the entire May 11-July 19 Mars retrograde period shapes up to be more than a little on the tense side; although the worst of this is probably passed after the June 13 Sun-Mars opposition. If you're the type who craves conflict and challenge, this ought to help get your juices flowing. But as you plunge into the fray, remember to keep your guard up - and to choose your battles with care. (The best victory is won without a fight.) Be ready to block or duck trouble, steer clear of places and situations where it can arise needlessly and senselessly.

Remember: these are planetary configurations, and so they apply to everyone here on Planet Earth. If you don't think this means you, you're in way over your head. That said, the sign and planet combinations involved in this year's Mars retrograde do seem to point at a few targets in particular. The US, Spain and the Middle East are among the indicated focal points: domestic crime and terrorist attacks are likely to be on the increase in these areas, unfortunately. (This comes at a time when the US Declaration of Independence chart is experiencing multiple major alignments from the planets in space around us.) Astro-locality special risk zones for this alignment include Mexico and Central America, the upper part of the Indochina peninsula and western central China, as well as northern Japan. Islamic fundamentalists are bound to be at the bottom of some of the most notable terror attacks to happen during this cycle. But they are far from being the root of all evil at times like this.

MAY 6 Jupiter-Pluto OppositionMay's other major celestial phenomenon is the Jupiter-Pluto opposition on the 6th at 15 Gemini-Sagittarius. It's been building (within a couple degrees of exact) since late April. This looks like a bit of choppiness in major equity markets, worldwide but particularly here in the States and especially where communication and financial as well as transport-related stocks. Nothing catastrophic yet: this is savvy profit-taking rather than outright panic. (Panic comes next month, but even that's just a passing phase.) US trade relations are strained somehow around this time, but deft negotiation should be able to save the day. Whatever this alignment is destined to usher in should pretty well be over and done with by the 11th. This is the third and final geocentric opposition Jupiter makes to Pluto in its current cycle. The other two occurred in September and October 2000 and were part of the dot-com meltdown phenomenon. The one heliocentric opposition to Pluto in the current cycle occurred a little earlier this year (in February). Once we get this May 6 opposition behind us, not only the bursting of the dot-com bubble but the bubble itself will be pretty much a thing of the past. And you'll be glad you did what I recommended last year: dumping the dot-com e-tailer types in favor of solid blue-chip issues.

A combination of geocosmic factors points to an up-tick in storms and seismic events (volcanic eruptions and Richter 5 or greater quakes) almost from the moment May gets underway. It starts 30 hours ahead of the lunar perigee on the 2nd, and continues from there through early on the 13th. If you're a regular, you know the drill: watch for severe storms with heavy precipitation and strong winds. Flood risk will be higher than usual as well, due both to high tides (especially three days either side of the full moon on the 7th) and heavy precipitation. Other cosmic factors contributing to the elevated storm and seismic risks during this period include Luna's southward equatorial crossing on the 5th and maximum south declination on the 11th.

After a few days' respite, another storm and seismic risk cycle sets in starting on the 18th, as the Moon crosses the celestial equator northward on the 19th. Immediately thereafter the May 23 new moon effect kicks in, and continues in force through the 26th (the day after the Moon reaches maximum north declination). May's second lunar perigee (on the 27th) extends this latter half storm and seismic risk window to the 28th. And after only a couple days' relative calm, the month closes on an increasingly disturbed storm and seismic note as the Moon's June 1st southward equatorial crossing makes its presence known starting on May 30th.


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