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©2003 by Richard Nolle
last revised UT 17:35 APR 30, 2003

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).

The future is ever a misted landscape,
no man foreknows it, but at cyclical turns
there is a change felt in the rhythm of events.

-- Robinson Jeffers

MAY 1 New MoonThe month starts out choppy on the seismic and meteorological front, under the May 1 New Moon that's been in effect - and delivering per forecast - since April 27. From the 1st through the 7th, you may as well plan on severe storms (heavy precipitation, high winds) and moderate to severe seismic activity (Richter 5+ quakes, as well as volcanic eruptions). Between the strong Mars signature in the new moon chart (a T-Square configuration to an opposition from Jupiter in Leo to Mars and Neptune in Aquarius), and the May 6 lunar north declination maximum, these are celestial storm signals. To be sure, this new moon is comparatively weak in its own right. It's not an eclipse, let alone a SuperMoon, but it is a lunation and that counts for something. For the big stuff, hang on: this month features a couple of eclipses (one a SuperMoon) before all's said and done.

Be prepared not only for more than usual turbulence in Earth's crust and atmosphere May 1-7, but also for short tempers and short circuits in the human psyche, both individually and collectively. The latter will probably be more newsworthy than the geophysical disturbances, as far as that goes. Criminal violence of the mano a mano variety as well as terror attacks are par for the course at times like this. Accidents due to haste, poor judgment, vandalism and bad weather will also figure into the picture.

MAY 8 Mars-Jupiter OppositionSpeaking of accidents, crime and the like, there are enough notable Mars alignments at work this month to make May look like a Wild West stampede, gunfight and range war all rolled into one. Nothing like the March-April Gulf War II, mind you: less overt hostility, more posturing on the geopolitical front . . . this looks more like gangs, factions and terror attacks rather than real military conflict. (Well, I did tell you that an intefada would follow a US victory in Iraq.) At the interpersonal and personal level, however, there's an awful lot of frustration brewing around the May 8 Mars-Jupiter opposition and May 14 Mars-Neptune conjunction (within a day of Neptune's retrograde station, to boot). These alignments remain within a few degrees of exact all the way up to the 20th, so I figure the first three weeks in May rate fairly high on the risk factor scale. Be careful, stay focused and collected, steer clear of places where trouble is likely to strike. This combination of Mars and Neptune aligned opposite Jupiter bespeaks ideological fanaticism, the end justifying even the most horrible means. It augurs deception, stealth, oil, poisons and other chemicals; of fires, explosions, crashes.

MAY 14 Mars-Neptune ConjunctionThere are crashes, and then there are crashes. The June 3 Jupiter opposition to Neptune is within a few degrees of exact from May 12 onward. It signals a crisis of confidence in mass psychology, and that's bound to play havoc with major financial markets the closer we get to the end of May. Ideological conflict undermining global trade is apt to have a hand in this. Irregularities in energy markets disrupt power and other infrastructure . . .

The year's first eclipse, a SuperMoon lunar eclipse belonging to Saros Series 121, waxes full at 25 Scorpio on May 16 within twelve hours of lunar perigee, falling smack in the middle of the Moon's southward equatorial crossing on the 13th and the lunar south declination maximum on the 19th. (SuperMoon is a term I coined in a 1979 article for Dell HOROSCOPE magazine. It refers to a new or full moon which occurs when the Moon is at or very near its closest approach to Earth.) This is one of the two really extreme storm and seismic risk intervals this month, and it's in effect from the 12th through the 20th. From powerful storms with high winds and heavy precipitation, to notable seismic activity (Richter 5+ quakes as well as volcanic eruptions), nature on the rampage is bound to be the stuff of headlines in mid-May.

MAY 16 Full Moon SuperMoon Lunar EclipseVisible in totality from eastern North America and all of Central and South America plus Antarctica, portions of this eclipse can be seen in Africa, the Middle East and Europe plus western North America. Eclipses are planet-wide in potential scope, so the aforementioned geophysical shock factors could manifest virtually anywhere on Earth. Still, the maximum visibility zone and the astro-locality map for this eclipse do seem to focus on eastern South America and the very northeastern tip of Canada on up into western Greenland. Also, a north-south line from Hawaii up into Alaska and through Central Africa and Eastern Europe appear to be in the danger zone this time around.

All things considered, the May 16 eclipse shapes up to be one of the strongest geophysical stress indicators of the year, so do have your emergency kit stocked and ready for whatever nature might send your way. And given that storms and such tend to play havoc with transport and infrastructure, allow plenty of time for weather-related delays if you plan to be traveling during the May 12-20 SuperMoon eclipse phase.

MAY 20 Mercury Station (Direct)Don't forget, travel delays and scrambled communications are pretty much par for the course all month anyway, even without a natural calamity throwing a spanner into the works. What with Mercury's retrograde lasting all the way 'til the 20th, and the little planet not reaching its maximum western elongation 'til June 3rd, May is bound to be one Mayday after another. Murphy's Law, you'll recall, stipulates that whatever can go wrong does - and usually at the worst possible moment. That's a Mercury retrograde for you. So be ready for delays, lost shipments, screwed up addresses and account numbers, identity thefts and losses, etc. Do your utmost to prevent them, or at least mitigate their effects on you and yours. And figure you'll be spending a lot of time fixing up the screw-ups that escaped your notice despite your best efforts - and there'll be plenty of those. The 7th (Mercury's superior solar conjunction, square Neptune) and 20th of May (its direct station) and the 3rd of June (its western elongation maximum) are apt to be standouts in this comedy of errors routine. (By the 20th we know what's wrong, whereas before that we didn't know what we didn't know and therefore didn't have a clue what to do to set things right.)

JUN 7 Uranus Station (Retrograde)What's with Uranus transiting the Aquarius-Pisces cusp, anyway? Last time this happened, we had the Spanish flu - a pandemic that started small and mild in the spring of 1918 and then went on to kill upwards of forty million people around the globe when it came back with a vengeance six months later. The First World War didn't end because somebody won, remember? It ended because so many soldiers were sick and dying of Spanish flu that no one could get a good battle going anymore. With Uranus now transiting the same zone of the heavens (2002-2004), SARS rears its ugly head. It too seems mild in this initial appearance: although very infectious, the death rate is so far very low (about two percent). So far, so very like the Spanish flu in the beginning. Ah, but after Uranus' 1918 retrograde station, Spanish flu went from Jekyll to Hyde, transmuting from a highly infectious nuisance to a killer pandemic. Uranus is about to make its 2003 retrograde station, next month. (The actual station, when Uranus seems to stand still in the sky prior to beginning its apparent backwards motion, is June 7. However Uranus is within a half-degree of its station point throughout May.) The good news is, medicine has advanced a lot since 1918. The bad news, in case you hadn't noticed, is that those stylish little surgical masks don't do diddly to prevent SARS. Better you should wash your hands like you've got OCD before your fingers touch your face, or anything that will touch your face, OK? Incidentally, it's vexing as well as ironic that this is happening under a Jupiter-Neptune opposition - like the one in 427 BCE in the midst of the Peloponnesian War, when plague struck ancient Athens and killed a third of that city's population.

MAY 31 New Moon Solar EclipseGeocosmic stress levels remain high as May heads into the home stretch, thanks to the annular solar eclipse at 9 Gemini on May 31 (with Jupiter opposing Neptune). This is the first central eclipse in Saros Series 147, which began in 1624 (a time of rapidly expanding European colonialism, as well as the middle of the Thirty Years War, the last of Europe's great religious conflicts). Because this is a solar eclipse, its effective window is longer than the lunar variety: expect seismic and meteorological disturbances to surge May 24-June 7. (The Moon's northward equatorial crossing on May 26 and north declination extreme on June 2 contribute to this eclipse effect.) You should know the drill by now: severe storms with high winds and heavy precipitation, floods, and moderate to severe (Richter 5+) earthquakes and volcanic eruptions will make headlines during this period. Be prepared.

The full eclipse is visible only from Scotland, Iceland and Greenland; but partial phases can be seen in parts of the Middle East, Africa, and Europe; and in the Western hemisphere, from northern Canada and parts of Alaska. These areas must be considered high on the list of zones where storms, flooding and seismic activity will likely be prominent during the solar eclipse window of vulnerability, from May 24 through June 7. Astro-locality mapping suggests that particular risk zones include western Alaska, the Aleutian Islands and the Bering Strait as well as a north-south line running from Copenhagen down through Rome and into Lebanon and along the southwest coast of Africa.

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