If you were expecting some kind of sun sign nonsense, forget about it. This is real astrology for the real world. If it's real astrology for yourself that you want, you can get it by phone or in print. And if you need help deciphering the astrological glyphs in the graphics accompanying this article, see Astroglyphs: Astrological Symbols Guide. Please note: this forecast is expressed in terms of Universal Time (UT). Also please be aware that, while I never change a forecast once it's published, I do post errata to acknowledge typographical errors and the like.
This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
-- Psalm 118:24
May is another month with no SuperMoons and no eclipses; a kind of celestial dispensation with regard to the very most threatening storms and seismic events, but no absolution. Let us enjoy this respite while we can, because June starts up a string of several months filled with extreme soli-lunar alignments. But in all candor, were close to a lunar extreme around the time of Mays new moon, which occurs within a day of the Moons maximum declination north of the equator; and just a day and a half from the May 26 lunar perigee.
If May brings the worlds worst earthquake, storm or volcanic eruption of the year, Ill be surprised. But Ill be shocked if there arent some powerful and dangerous storms and quakes and such later in the month; say, from the 21st on into about June 2nd. The risk potential is worldwide of course, but astro-mapping points out a few target zones for strong storms and seismicity. These include China and Indochina, eastern Mongolia and Siberia, the Pacific Northwest and Southwestern US, Mexico and the southwestern coastal and offshore region of South America. Other periods of enhanced risk for damaging storms and dangerous seismic activity (magnitude 5+ quakes and volcanic eruptions) include May 3-12 and 18-20.
The real fixation lately is of course influenza, which is replacing the economy as the global mania du jour. This is a relatively healthy pardon the pun development. We all need money, but it cant buy good health. I remember a three-way conversation when a friend was sharing bad news on the job front, and my wife Maria reminded us that real bad news is "when the doctor calls, and the test results are not good." Of course the various media earn their keep with bad news, because thats what it takes to get the attention of their audience.
Media hype is keeping the latest (H1N1, aka swine) flu outbreak center stage all day, every day since the current outbreak went pandemic last month. Thats how the media sell their wares to us: get us fearful, get us to tune in all day, every day. Great for their ratings. Great for sales of Purell hand sanitizer and face masks too, I see. Which is exactly what one would expect, based on the theory that generating hysteria via the media is perfect marketing both for the media, who benefit from increased advertising, and for the producers of products prominently featured in the news cycle.
The Saturn-Uranus opposition, as I pointed out in my 2008 World Forecast Highlights, has an historical association with epidemics: "Look it up in my table of Saturn-Uranus oppositions: the signature alignment of 2008 was there at the birth of Saros 133 too, back in 1557. It was the year of an influenza epidemic in Europe, as well as a great financial crisis." More immediately, consider a Saturn-Uranus opposition that changes signs during its set, which is happening in the 2008-2010 set of five alignments (beginning in Virgo-Pisces, ending in Libra-Aries). The last time there was a change of sign during a set of Saturn-Uranus oppositions was the 1918-1920 set of five, which began in Leo-Aquarius and ended in Virgo-Pisces. In that last set, H1N1 pandemic peaked in 1919, during the Mars perigee pass - which will be coming up again this winter.
These celestial parallels between the 1918-1920 H1N1 outbreak and its 2008-2010 redux suggest that the current pandemic will fade late this spring and then return far stronger this winter.
The good news is that 21st Century medicine has a great many more tools at its disposal than WWI medicine, including antiviral drugs (e.g. Tamiflu, Relenza) as well as immunization. So the odds of having an apocalyptic pandemic this time around are reduced; which is a very good thing, given that the 1918-1920 pandemic killed anywhere from 50 million to 100 million people worldwide. On the other hand, no flu virus is to be taken lightly: ordinary seasonal flu kills about a half-million people around the world each and every year.
The current H1N1 flu, like the 1918-1920 incarnation, has been most lethal to healthy young adults. This is very unlike the normal seasonal flu, which is deadliest to the very young and the very old. The WWI H1N1 was a versatile killer, taking peoples lives by way of pneumonia as well as hypercytokinemia an immune system disruption that was also observed in the 2003 SARS epidemic; which, like 1918-1920 H1N1 peak, coincided with a Mars perigee pass the very same phenomenon coming up in the fall/winter 2009-2010 period. Hypercytokinemia can culminate in hemorrhaging, resembling the Ebola virus in that respect. I havent seen any reports of hypercytokinemia in the current H1N1 outbreak yet, but I wouldnt expect any until late fall into winter 2009-2010. By then, with a little luck, there may be sufficient vaccine to head off a pandemic.
May marks the first month this year without any major Mars activations other than a carry-over of the April 26 Mars-Pluto square that hangs on through the first few days of the month. Humans being humans, this hardly means the lion will lay down with the lamb. But the most heinous criminality, the biggest military clashes, the worst terrorist attacks I know, I repeat myself these should ease somewhat in comparison to the first trimester of 2009. Accidents there will be aplenty however, so its not as if we can let down our guard completely. Accidental fires, crashes, explosions and the like are far from rare during the kind of Mercury intersolar cycle that holds sway throughout May (including the May 7-31 retrograde and the May 18 inferior conjunction with the Sun); and on into June, coming to an end at last on June 13, when Mercury reaches its greatest elongation west of the Sun.
Ive described Mercurys intersolar cycle many times before, so Ill just refer you to the relevant passage in my 2009 World Forecast Highlights for details. Practically speaking, what it means is that the whole of May is contained within a cycle when all things Mercurial become crucial; infrastructure, commerce, information, communication and transport being prime examples. Absent careful investigation and planning, and conscientious follow-through, all such things are apt to go off track during these cycles.
Mercury's intersolar phase is a time for focus, concentration, planning, follow-through and communication - all the qualities of the active and involved mind, in short. In case you haven't noticed, most people are not especially alert and focused most of the time. When this kind of sleepwalking runs into Mercury's intersolar cycle, with its focus on mental acuity, it doesn't take long for things to go awry. If you're sharp and focused and alert, you can avoid a certain amount of this mess. In fact, you can even prosper by concentrating on tasks that center on thought, planning and communication. But you'll still have to dodge all the chaos created by the people who are sleepwalking. So be ready.
Among the developments you can pretty much plan on tossing a spanner into the works this month: strikes and other disruptions affecting transportation and communication (e.g. postal, phone, mass transit, trucking, airline, shipping, dock and warehouse workers, teachers and all manner of media). Weather both terrestrial and solar (including geomagnetic storms) can play a role in the kind of breakdowns described here, but human effort (and sometimes malicious action) is a part of the mix as well. Power failures due to infrastructure breakdown and computer network disruptions caused by hacker attacks, software vulnerabilities and the like are also just a crossed wire or a keystroke away from a major mess during Mercurys intersolar phase. Make sure your security software is current and updated!
If I had to pick a day to have a backup generator all fueled up and ready to go, a contingency plan in place in case the scheduled or expected didn't come to pass, a day to be especially sharp and steady and focused, it would be during an intersolar Mercury cycle and most especially on or about the critical dates within the cycle, which this month includes the 7th, 18th and 31st. Note these dates; be ready with a fallback plan just in case. It's not so much that disaster is destined to strike when Mercury is in its intersolar phase. Rather, it's that everything pertaining to Mercury becomes crucial; and unless it's treated as such, then it goes awry. More and more, we live in a "just in time" world - and if the slightest delay holds up just one single thing, then a whole process screeches to a halt. Unfortunately, few people keep their eye on the ball with any consistency and diligence. And that's the reason these Mercury cycles tend to turn into Murphy's Law festivals. Practically speaking, this means that having a "just in time" inventory of essentials is risky business at times like this. Don't say I didn't warn you!
May is the final full month of Venus 2009 intersolar cycle, which ends on June 5 when Venus as evening star reaches its maximum elongation west of the Sun as seen from our home planet. (The dynamic of this cycle is explained in some detail in my 2009 World Forecast Highlights.) The 2009 Venus intersolar cycle is neatly bookended by the two signature alignments of the year as a whole. It started on January 14, with Saturn and Uranus within just a couple degrees of their February 5 opposition. And its June 5 culmination comes with Jupiter and Neptune still within just a fractional degree from their May 27 conjunction.
I summarized this period in my 2009 World Forecast Highlights by saying that "I see the January 14-June 5 Venus intersolar cycle of 2009 as arguably the most positive part of the year, as far as financial markets and economic development go. They dont go very far, alas: I see hopeful signs and encouraging fits and starts, but not enough underlying strength and stability to get any lasting traction. The macro trends dominating the year as a whole remain deflationary until they turn dangerously inflationary, and thats not a good place to be. But thats where we are, and its better to know it than not."
Now that were coming to the end of Venus intersolar cycle, the bloom is probably off the rose. Ive already indicated that I expect major equity markets to be in "a trading range with a slight upward bias until we come to about middle to late July. From that point forward into the Saturn-Uranus opposition of mid-September, Humpty-Dumpty is teetering on the wall: the slightest vibration could prompt a downfall and a crack-up." If youve followed my forecasts so far this year, you know that the March 6 bear market rally came right on schedule, as did the April 17 peak. As I pointed out last month, "missing a peak in April doesnt mean you cant be there again in May, June or July. But the sooner you lock in your profits, the sooner you can move onto the next thing and avoid taking losses by lingering after the party has peaked."
We all want this mess to be over with, so we can get on with our lives. But as Ive been pointing out in my forecasts these past several years, this is an historic turning point in civilization itself. The fix isnt just money, because the problem isnt just money: its much deeper and more profound than that. By the same token, the fix wont be in this year or next (although the bottom of the current crisis is probably in 2010-2011, under the aegis of the Jupiter-Saturn opposition and the waning of the Saturn-Uranus opposition). And the fix will entail setting up an international reserve currency to replace the US dollar in that role; a currency that will have a commodity backing, as pointed out in my 2008 World Forecast Highlights.
Its nice of course that the Venus intersolar cycle makes for an easing of the fear in mass psychology, a sense (delusion) that things will work out fine after all. But dont be fooled by it, and be aware that its ending soon. The "Freaky Fridays" Ive been warning about for so long now will continue including the multiple bank closures in a single day that occurred on several Fridays in April. So far, so good . . . but what will we do if the bank that gets shut down on Friday doesnt re-open the following Monday? Or would we prefer that the bank does re-open, even if the money is worth less with each passing day? Ah, Procrustes!
SPECIAL FEATURE: This month's birthdays of the famous and infamous (with astrological birth charts)