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©2011 by Richard Nolle
last revised APRIL 30, 2011

If you were expecting some kind of sun sign nonsense, forget about it. This is real astrology for the real world, not some mystical mumbo-jumbo word salad. 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.

We are tomorrow’s past.
-- Mary Webb

MAY 1, 2011 Mars-Jupiter ConjunctionMay will be amazing. In some ways, it will feel almost as if time slows down to a near standstill. It’s nice for time to stand still when things are good. But this is not a time of unmitigated goodness. There’s lots of lust and passion and avarice about, and plenty of scheming to get in on the action: that’s what this whole panoply of Mercury and Venus and Mars and Jupiter adds up to, for sure. Parties, honeymoons, vacations and all pursuits of pleasure and profit are definitely a big part of what May is all about, and it behooves us all to make the most of them. If only that were the whole story!

Neptune spends the whole month within a fraction of a degree of its June 3 retrograde station, and throughout May Saturn lingers within just over a degree from its June 13 direct station. But these things are invisible. In addition, Saturn is involved in a loose, sliding T-Square configuration with Uranus and Pluto, so there’s lots more "whiff of revolution in the air" and financial crisis stuff breaking out here and there this month: debt panic, shortfalls, niggardly austerity. I don’t expect a major crash by any means: the Venus Max momentum, as I have already indicated, should carry us through until August.

Saturn spends the whole month within a few degrees of squaring Pluto, which in turn is within a few degrees of squaring Uranus, so you end up with a not so obvious T-Square. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto aren’t naked eye planets in the first place; and as for Saturn, it’s always a slow-mover anyway. So these things are more or less a stealth operation in the sky. Everybody knows they (and the things they point to) are out there, but everybody more or less looks the other way or otherwise manages not to notice (much).

The real story is plainly visible, if you just look up at the night sky. Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter never stray too far from each other all month. May features a rare double conjunction of Mercury and Venus (on the 9th and 16th), and the two inner planets end up spending the whole month within just a few degrees of each other – and Mars too, for the first few weeks or so. (Mercury’s exact alignment with Mars occurs on the 21st, while Venus follows suit on the 23rd.) The Red Planet over that same period is likewise no more than a few degrees from Jupiter, following the exact alignment of these two planets on May 1. So if you look up, you’ll see what I mean: the sky seems partially frozen this month. (Early risers, don’t miss the quadruple-conjunction in Aries - Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter - rising in the east in the pre-dawn hours of the first few days of May.)

MAY 17, 2011 Full MoonConjunctions of Mercury and Venus are not uncommon. They happen a few times in the average year. Pairs of Mercury-Venus conjunctions, such as we see this month, often happen fairly close together in time - days or weeks apart, for example: the one on May 9 at 22° 23' Aries is followed a week later by the one on May 16 at 0° 34' Taurus. This pair, incidentally, happens with both planets in normal (direct) motion, which is the most common variety of Mercury-Venus conjunction. Look for increased solar and geomagnetic activity (including auroral displays) during any Mercury-Venus alignment. On the geophysical level, this is very likely to be a harbinger of increased storm and seismic activity; particularly if reinforced by a new or full moon. That’s exactly what happens in the case of the May 16 Mercury-Venus conjunction, which comes just a day after the lunar perigee and a day before the full moon at 26° Taurus – which is in turn just a day before the Moon’s south declination peak on the 18th. While hardly in the SuperMoon or eclipse class, the May 17 full moon does anchor a period of enhanced storm and seismic potential (a spate of magnitude 5+ quakes and volcanic eruptions) that runs from the 14th through the 20th. (Don’t miss the Moon-Saturn conjunction on the night of the 14th – look to the east after sunset.)

Of course the whole of Planet Earth is in the crosshairs at times like this, which are by definition planetary in scope. Astro-locality analysis points to a few particularly vulnerable regions, including the Bering Strait and just about the entire Pacific coast of North America; the US Great Plains states fall under a Sun-Moon horizon line that crosses the Gulf of Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula and Central America down through the Peru and Chile, emerging on the other side of the world to cross Indonesia, the Indochina Peninsula and the eastern third of China. There’s also a longitudinal arc from western Scandinavia down through Italy and central Africa . . .

The mid-month full moon is hardly the only storm and seismic signal this month – nor the only pointer to increased solar and geomagnetic activity (including unusual auroral displays). Given the solar rotation period of approximately 25 days – the actual time depends on latitude north or south of the solar equator – I’m wondering if the period a couple days either way of the 4th of May (roughly one solar rotation after the Sun-Mercury-Earth-Jupiter line-up of April 9) might bring a spike in solar and geomagnetic disturbances – perhaps even a CME aimed at Earth. This happens to fall during the April 30-May 6 new moon geophysical shock window, which in and of itself ups the ante for increased storm and seismic activity (magnitude 5+ quakes and volcanic eruptions). Here again, there’s a rich potential target list, because these alignments are planetary in scale and therefore planetary in scope. India, Pakistan and western China fall in the hot zone in this case, along with the central zones of Canada, the US and Mexico; also eastern Australia and westernmost Africa.

JUN 1, 2011 New Moon Partial Solar EclipseThe June 1 partial solar eclipse at 1° 11’ Gemini is in effect as May draws to a close. This one belongs to Saros Cycle 118, which began on May 24 in the year 803 – a time of great migration (due at least in part to changing climate) and the conflict it engendered. (Think Vikings and Moors in Europe. Now look around you.) A couple of things are notable about this eclipse. One is that it makes no major aspects to anything else in the sky. Usually that means that it’s a big newsmaker in its own right – in terms of geophysical effects, in other words. The other is that something else is very much in focus in the skies as the eclipse lines up: a Saturn-Uranus opposition, and a Venus-Mars conjunction. This suggests a familiar theme hits the headlines again around this time: "panic in the markets, panic in the streets, people in need of rescue, just a whiff of revolution in the air". A good time to be on the sidelines, rather than in the thick of the fray – whether it’s the markets or the streets. Not a good time to be in line at your bank.

Visible mainly in the Arctic, across Alaska, northern Canada, Greenland and Iceland, the June 1 eclipse happens within a half-day of the Moon’s northern declination peak. The geocosmic shock window for this particular alignment runs from May 24 through June 10 (extended by the southward equatorial crossing on June 9). The most intense action during this period is likely around May 26, June 1-2, and June 9. Powerful storms and moderate-to-severe seismic activity (including volcanic eruptions) associated with this eclipse will likely focus on the area of visibility mentioned above. But they will not be limited to this zone, due to the planet-wide scale of the geocosmic shock window associated with each and every eclipse. Astro-locality analysis shows a number of possible target zones. There’s a longitudinal meridian running from the Pacific Ocean across Alaska and over the pole down through Russia, the Middle East and East Africa; also a horizon arc sweeping across Great Britain and northern Europe, down through China, the Philippines, New Guinea and Indonesia, on across Australia (and just off the New Zealand coast), to emerge in South America (arcing over Chile, Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil and out across the Atlantic).

JUN 1, 2011 Partial Solar Eclipse Astro-Locality MapLast but not least, and bringing things full circle, don’t forget that the month opens in the tail end of the March 23-May 7 Mercury Max period, with a Mars-Jupiter conjunction thrown in on the 1st for good measure. (This Red Planet stuff keeps shifting but never really goes away – and neither do the uprisings that began under the Sun-Mars conjunction back in January.) The early May storm and seismic turbulence aside, these Mercury and Mars factors tossed in point to a hard start for the month. Criminality, fires, crashes, clashes and explosions make for plenty of dramatic news through the 7th. A lot of this is due to misunderstandings, mistakes and haste - some of it to outright malice. An excellent time to be safety-conscious, to keep your cool as best you can – or else strike a devastating blow right from the start, if conflict can’t be avoided. Think things through, plan them out, prepare for the unexpected – assume nothing! If you have travel plans for the first week in May, be sure to have some kind of backup, insurance or alternatives just in case. At the very least, pack some extra patience for weather delays.

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