Astrology Column

Belinda Dunn is a professional astrologer, trained at The Temple of Kriya Yoga in Chicago, and has more than 35 years experience. See her bio and contact info at the end of this column.

What's Up? May 2017

Mercury Direct
May 3 @ 12:33 pm

Wesak Scorpio Full Moon
May 10 @ 5:42 pm

Gemini New Moon
May 25 @ 3:44 pm

Collective Nervous Breakdown?
The birth pangs of a new world are compellingly unmistakable, but the birth canal is narrow and dark. The uncertainty of this passage is evident as one obstacle after another looms large. Meanwhile the familiar crumbles at the feet of tradition. There are those that rejoice in this uprooting, chaotic and unstable period, but the vast majority are holding on for dear life, just getting by day to day.

The planetary trends have been building for years, pointing to the current phase of collective breakdown with potential for monumental breakthroughs in the long run. Astrologer Jessica Murray writes, “It is hard to imagine a more destabilizing setup: The country's very skeleton is being shaken. It's like a collective nervous breakdown.”

I clearly recall the wake up call of the 1960's. So many social and government issues surged into consciousness, and the seeds were planted for the major transformation that is upon us. Through the decades, there was always a question of what would it take to really enact substantial change.

This wondering has given way to the reality that the time is now. The current state of affairs, no matter how grim, no matter how much dread is surging through the airwaves, is providing the perfect push back, the needed momentum to actually turn things around.

The remedy for a nervous breakdown, whether an individual or a group, is similar. It begins with letting go of external dictates and demands. Keenly evaluating what is frustrating and superfluous in light of what is necessary and essential. Relinquishing control of harried and enforced schedules can provide the optimal environment to quiet the mind and restore the spirit.

Spending time outdoors, deeply inhaling fresh air, walking barefoot, slowing down to meet the tempo of nature, reveling in the beauty of nature . . . stress automatically melts away. In a multitude of ways, nature proves to be the antidote for the stresses of modern life.

Dare to Dream
Anyone that has gone through a healing crisis knows, there is a beginning, middle and end. It is humbling not to have easy answers, and lose a sense of control. Usually it is in hindsight that purpose is revealed, and peace of mind restored. On the other side of surmounting challenges and jumping hurdles, life takes on a brighter glow in the aura of understanding and appreciation.

Grabbing at straws, the pundits attempt to make sense of current conditions, and many of us can barely imagine a just, peaceful, and compassionate global society. But, in the face of uncertainty, there is a gathering of visionaries that dare to dream, and dare to take action.

As there are many complex factors in the collective social experience, there are as many contributing factors from the planetary perspective. Change doesn't happen overnight. It is helpful, if not essential, to take the long view. Astrology points to planetary cycles, and currently there are three major planetary cycles that are in their ending and waning phase (Saturn-Pluto, Jupiter-Pluto, Jupiter-Saturn).

Our Moon completes a lunar cycle every 28 days. The final few days of this cycle are known as the waning Moon, and the “dark of the Moon.” It is a time of dwindling energy, decline and introspection. Webster's dictionary definition includes, “to fall gradually from power, prosperity or influence.”

In terms of timing, translate the understanding of the lunar cycle to the enormous cycles of these planets that affect society, namely the above-mentioned Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto.

End of a 20-Year Cycle
For example, the cycle of Jupiter and Saturn takes place over 20 years. Known as the social planets, they solidify and sustain large social trends, the context in which generations define belief, meaning and purpose. Astrologers are keeping an eye on these three waning cycles reaching completion in 2020. From the planetary picture, metaphorically and literally, we are in the “end times.”

But life goes on, and each cycle leads to the next. A new 20-year cycle is approaching, exact in December 2020, as Jupiter and Saturn join in the zodiac sign of Aquarius. This is the point of reset, and preparation is already underway for this new beginning. It is important to keep our eyes on the ball, and not lose focus in these years of dark, and waning influences.

While prognosticators were all over the map in terms of the recent presidential election, there was one overriding consensus in the astrological community. Namely, the winner of the 2016 election will not be re-elected in 2020. There is just too much breakdown going on. Vast swathes of the population are shifting perspective more in keeping with current trends.

In many cases, this means choosing more conscious engagement in the democratic process. Clearly, so much is at stake in our collective quality of life in this increasingly fragile ecosystem of planet Earth.

May Moon in 18.6 Year Cycle
This brings us to the month of May, and a significant shift in the zodiac position of the lunar nodes. On May 8, the North Lunar Node enters Leo, and the South Lunar Node enters Aquarius. The lunar nodes are part of an 18.6 year cycle, and this shift represents a tipping point in terms of Earth school curriculum.

These zodiac signs highlight the polarity between governing leaders and the masses. Leo the Lion symbolizes the authority and responsibility of leadership. We will continue to witness the extremes between truly great and magnanimous leaders, and leaders that control with an iron hand, harboring selfish ulterior motives.

Events in May can setup circumstances that may very well reach a boiling point during the eclipses in August.

In the more immediate picture, Mercury goes direct on May 3. This is always a welcome relief. This particular retrograde cycle started with Mercury conjoining Uranus, the eccentric, unpredictable planet of surprises, erratic decisions and unusual events.

You may consider conditions that came to light the last week of March. A finalization process is in affect the final week of April, continuing until Mercury conjoins Uranus for the third and final time on May 10.

Early May Breakthroughs
Uranus in Aries (2010 – 2018) continues to support experimentation and innovation on every level of society. Numerous and extraordinary breakthroughs are possible the first half of May. Some of these may be invited while others may come out of the blue, changing your life forever.

If there are burdensome conditions in your inner state of consciousness that affect the quality of your personal life, the urge to break free can surmount any resistance and tendency to hold on.

May is a fast month providing plenty of movement, and time seems to speed up even more than usual. With Venus in Aries and Mars in Gemini, this is the perfect combination of planetary influences for exploring options.

Aries and Gemini are the pioneers of the zodiac. All facets of exploration are enhanced through communication, study and travel. Expanding horizons broaden the view, and give an extra boost of hopeful enthusiasm.

The Full Moon on May 10 is especially noteworthy. Yearly, the Wesak festival occurs on the Scorpio/Taurus Full Moon. This global celebration honors the masters, in particular Buddha's birth, enlightenment and lineage. It is known as a time during which Divine guidance is easily accessed, the veils between dimensions lift, and the enlightened masters come forth to whisper in the ears of listening humanity.

A helpful honoring ritual can take place in your own consciousness. For the three days before the Full Moon consider what you are ready to release, calling upon the depths of guidance for clarification. The Full Moon day is a day of receptivity, fully accepting the gifts of Divine connection. The next three days are for assimilation and integration of these gifts as well as renewed commitment to live in alignment with the Divine Plan.

Daring to Act on Dreams
The Sun enters Gemini on May 20. Within days, the Moon closely follows for a Gemini New Moon on May 25, initiating another 28-day lunar cycle on planet Earth. According to astrologer Dane Rudhyar, the Sabian symbol for this New Moon is, “A revolutionary magazine asking for action. Every movement stressing one direction calls forth in time an equally extreme movement in the opposite direction.”

This is a poignant symbol for the Gemini twins representing the inherent duality of thought, perception and belief. There are times when people face each other in agreement, and there are times of turning away in opposition. This speaks to the horizontal nature of human relationship, and the precarious and critical step of “agreeing to disagree” when appropriate.

An unusual planetary combination is part of this Gemini New Moon. Known as a Yod or finger of fate, this alignment accentuates the need to maintain balanced individuality within the context of your relationships. It may take more awareness than usual to strike this balance, but this month is jam packed with opportunities to interact with others in a fair and equitable way.

The month concludes with energetic Mars in opposition to serious Saturn on Memorial Day. A somber mood prevails, and the serious consequences of military action loom large. While the pros and cons are endlessly debated in the boardroom of corporations, and halls of government, the common everyday person looks toward elected officials for sane and intelligent decisions.

Personal Truth Fuels All
My husband is a veteran, and our family lives with the consequences of combat every single day. I can say from experience, the nightmare of war doesn't stop when the soldier returns home. Weapons are not playthings, and war exacts a toll. The cost is enormous and devastating on so many levels.

I have been writing “What's UP” since Spring of 1992. This is the first time I have written about these personal challenges. I know from experience, it's a big step to speak up, to share one's viewpoint. Through the years, it's been so easy to talk about the planets out there, as though life can be lived in the abstract.

As I summarize the planetary picture for May, I realize my personal inclination to speak up is supported and evoked through the turbulence of these times. Turned inside out and upside down, the universe is invoking transparency, honesty and courage from each of us.

Discover your passion. What gets you up in the morning? What are you living for? Why did your eternal self choose incarnation now?

And so, dear reader, I sign off with more questions than answers in this eternal dance called life on planet Earth, trusting that all the answers you seek will be found in the treasure trove of your ancient, true and radiant being.

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 40 years experience. She is available for your personal consultation. A full listing of her services are on: Email: Phone: 828-215-2101