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© 2010 by Richard Nolle
last revised APR 30, 2010

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.

All things change, nothing is extinguished. There is nothing in the whole world which is permanent.
-- Ovid

MAY 23, 2010 Jupiter-Saturn OppositionIt’s time to pay the piper this month: that’s a good part of what May is all about, judging from the major alignments happening out there in the heavens. (No, it’s not universal foreclosure. But there are some missed payments in the picture, I suspect.) You may recall that my 2010 World Forecast Highlights – published last year – foretold "a major credit event in January-February, under the auspices of the next Saturn-Pluto square that takes down industries, banks and maybe even a country . . . for a time, this will likely strengthen the dollar and depress US equity markets, as investors seek a safe haven." We saw it happen in January: the markets dropped as the dollar rose. Once the immediate crisis faded from view, the markets resumed their climb because they had to: "central banks have created trillions of dollars worth of liquidity in the form of fiat currency – another name for debt. From an investment perspective, all that extra money has no place to chase returns but to go but into equity markets, driving the latest bubble – which manifests as a rising market in a sinking or at best artificially and temporarily stimulated economy."

Bubbles, by definition, cannot inflate forever. The next settling of the soufflé is scheduled for the second coming of the Saturn-Pluto square; which, as mentioned in my annual forecast, will be in August. And that Ringed Planet redux starts lining up again in the sky when Saturn’s retrograde concludes at the end of May. What triggers the next shock to the financial system? Probably another credit default, as described in my January forecast: "a big bank, maybe even the central bank of an entire country, is certainly a possibility. Also large government agencies and corporations, local and regional governments, a sovereign wealth fund perhaps . . . you get the picture." (As I write this, the focus is on Greece, but it won’t stop there and it won’t culminate this month either.) The immediate impact will probably look a lot like what happened in January: equity markets drop for a time, and investors run for safe cover - which strengthens the dollar at least temporarily. Meanwhile, look for any slip in precious metals prices as a major buying opportunity.

Late May (the first Jupiter-Saturn opposition) into summer (particularly July and August, as the Jupiter-Pluto-Saturn T-Square forms up) suggest the outlines of the next political and financial crises. This is a scare, a geopolitical event conducive of panic attacks more than actual apocalypse . . . terrorist attacks, military and paramilitary skirmishes, threats to international commerce and financial stability fit the pattern, which stops short of actual Armageddon.

MAY 30, 2010 Saturn Station (Direct)There just about isn’t a single day all month that doesn’t border on socio-economic crisis. Pluto remains within a degree of its April 6 retrograde station all month, and the April 26 Saturn-Uranus opposition is likewise still potent throughout May – with the added emphasis of Jupiter’s opposition to the Moon-Saturn conjunction as Venus opposes Pluto on the 23rd and the aforementioned Saturn direct station at month’s end. These are some of the signature celestial configurations of the entire year, and here they are all rolled up into May. Think "panic in the markets, panic in the streets, people in need of rescue, just a whiff of revolution in the air." If you’ve still got a roof over your head and money to keep it there, count your blessings. And keep an eye on the calendar, because the turmoil now building doesn’t come near climaxing until this summer. A well-stocked pantry and some cash to tide you over a bad week or two wouldn’t hurt . . . on the other hand, don’t go looking for Mad Max and the Road Warriors to take over the whole wide world.

The long Mars Max cycle finally concludes this month, and the Red Planet recedes from its prominence in our skies and our lives. I’ve already described the astronomy and history of this cycle in some detail, so I won’t repeat myself here. Suffice it to say that the current Mars Max began on September 23, 2009, when the Red Planet’s daily motion through Earth’s sky dropped below its mean motion for the first time since April, 2008. This relative slow-down was the precursor to the Red Planet retrograde that began on December 20, 2009 and ended on March 10, 2010; as well as the beginning of the biennial Mars perigee phase, as Mars and our home planet made their close approach during the full moon Sun-Mars opposition on January 29, 2010.

President Barack ObamaWith Mars bigger and brighter in the sky, all things pertaining to Mars loom larger and larger in human experience during this period: haste, heat, fire, danger and conflict - literally and figuratively – make for lots more "if it bleeds, it leads" headlines than usual during the Mars Max cycle that holds sway until May 25. This means a spike across the whole spectrum of violence, from the individual to the collective, from school and workplace violence to mass murder and spree killings all the way to suicide bombings and other terrorist atrocities. Criminality, terrorism and military conflict are never rare, but they’ve been looming larger and larger in the news since late September 2009, and will continue apace into May of 2010.

As I’ve said, the lion doesn’t lay down with the lamb the day Mars Max ends – far from it. After all, there’s a Mars-Saturn conjunction coming up this summer, when the major alignments of the year all happen at once. Mars Max doesn’t produce violence and tension, nor do these things vanish from human experience as the Red Planet recedes from Earth. All I’m saying is, while Mars is in its close approach phase, it behooves us to watch our step and beat our swords into plowshares – holding a few in reserve just in case. This isn’t over until May 25, so stay sharp: be alert and focused, safety-conscious and cautious. Perhaps the reddest of the Red Planet days this month extend from about the 20th (the Moon-Mars conjunction) through the 23rd (the Moon-Saturn conjunction).

MAY 11, 2010 Mercury Station (Direct)This applies to all of us, and perhaps especially to those born with significant natal placements in Leo and Virgo. I’ve already mentioned President Obama as a case in point, and suggested in last month’s forecast that his "security detail might want to be extra vigilant around late April into early May, what with the Mars Max transit across the Sun in his natal chart then." Indeed, during the Obamas’ late April trip to Asheville, NC, an armed man who "wanted to see the President" was arrested at the airport where Air Force One was taxiing on the runway. As described in my Facebook note a few months ago, similar ominous Mars transits to the President’s natal chart occur from "late May into early June, plus around June 20 and July 17."

In addition to the Mars Max, May also sees out the current Mercury Max cycle, which ends on the 26th. Mercury’s close approach cycle began back on April 8, when the little planet reached its maximum declination east of the Sun. The April 18-May 11 retrograde is part and parcel of this cycle, which concludes with Mercury’s May 26 western elongation maximum. Mercury's intersolar (Max) phase is a time for focus, concentration, planning, follow-through and communication - all the qualities of the active and involved mind. 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 Max 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 all the sleepwalkers whose lunch you’ll be eating.

So until the 26th, make provisions as best you can for things like 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 part 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 at these times.

MAY 14, 2010 New MoonWhat’s the worst that can happen, if you don’t take the Mercury Max into account? Look at the chaos last month, when Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted again and stranded millions of airline travelers – right on schedule, I might add, within a day of the April new moon (and the 6.9-magnitude Qinghai, China quake) during the "April 10-19" geocosmic shock window called out in my April forecast. "And since this occurs after the start of the Mercury Max cycle," my forecast added, "it behooves us all to make arrangements as best we can for disruptions that play havoc with airline schedules, highway traffic, shipping and infrastructure."While the whole Mercury Max thing isn’t over until the 26th, I figure that a few days either way of the 11th (when Mercury’s retrograde ends) and 12th (Moon-Mercury conjunction) may be the most extreme part of the cycle.

Speaking of volcanic eruptions and such, May opens up in the tail end of a series of geocosmic shock signals following the April 28 full moon at 8° Scorpio, merging into the Moon reaching maximum declination south of the equator on the 1st. While the level of atmospheric and seismic disturbances during this period looks to be higher than normal, it’s probably not catastrophic on the scale of a Hurricane Katrina or a Haiti earthquake. Expect strong storms (high winds, heavy precipitation and the resultant damage including flooding), plus moderate-to-severe earthquakes (magnitude 5+) and volcanic eruptions to make the news, and be ready just in case. As always, the configuration is planetary in scale, and planet-wide in scope. That said, astro-locality suggests a focus on the Pacific Ocean (centered along the longitude of New Zealand) and the western part of Europe and Africa; as well as a pole-to-pole line from Chicago in the New World to Bangkok in the Old, and a horizon arc that sweeps northeasterly through Tibet, along the Pacific coast of Canada down through Mexico City and the southern tip of South America. (Burma, Bangladesh and Tibet as well as western China are emphasized by the parans of Mars, Mercury, and the Sun and Moon.)

MAY 27, 2010 Full MoonAnother and rather more diffuse set of storm and seismic signals sets in on the 8th as the Moon crosses the celestial equator southwards, and muddles along past the new moon on the 14th and the lunar north declination extreme on the 15th, finally winding down on the 17th. The 14th and 15th in particular look like they pose the greatest risk of severe storms with high winds and heavy precipitation as well as moderate-to-severe seismic activity (magnitude 5+ quakes and volcanic eruptions), but it’s a good idea to have your emergency kit handy just in case throughout this period. Something about this particular new moon suggests that having extra drinking water on hand wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Sun-Moon-Earth alignments like this are always planetary in scale and scope. Extreme weather, after all, can strike anywhere. But astro-locality mapping does suggest some longitudinal risk zones that may be in the crosshairs at mid-May: one such arc runs from eastern Greenland down through Iceland and just off the west coast of Africa to cross Antarctica and run between Australia and New Zealand through the north pole. There’s also a horizon arc running northeasterly from Mexico City through Chicago and eastern Canada, traversing southern Greenland before turning southward to pass along the northern coast of Iceland and then through Scandinavia, Russia and the Middle East. It’s not as if there’s no storm or seismic risk outside these zones – just a special risk along them.

A brief up-tick in newsworthy storms and seismic activity (including magnitude 5+ earthquakes and volcanic eruptions) is due around the 21st (give or take a day or two), followed by a longer and likely stronger such shock window from about the 24th through the 30th. This latter one is probably the biggest geophysical shock window of the month.

As always, alignments of this type are planetary in scale and scope; so no place on Earth is invulnerable during this period. Some areas of special vulnerability may be suggested by astro-locality mapping, but these are at best zones of special rather than exclusive risk. For example, there’s a horizon zone arcing southeasterly through India, Indochina, Indonesia and western Australia; turning northeasterly from there to swing across western South America, Hispaniola, Iceland, Scandinavia and Russia. There’s also a longitudinal risk zone running from Central Europe down through Afria in the western hemisphere, and through the Pacific to split the Bering Strait in the east.

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