Urania's Well: Astrology for Changing Times

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Tending the Garden: New Moon in Taurus



I made my annual pilgrimage to the Asheville Herb Festival last Friday, spent a bunch of money, then spent most of the weekend planting and planting and weeding and watering and planting some more. I finally decided to risk setting the temperature-sensitive eggplants and peppers out. It’s been a cold spring here in Western NC, but plants do best when they can stretch their roots, so I gave them a pep talk and popped them in the ground.

There’s nothing like a garden to remind one of life’s basic truths, like time, space, and the cycles of nature. Not to mention the most basic truth of all — one we modern folk tend to forget, caught up as we are in our industrial/technological dream — that our very lives depend on the health and bounty of the Earth.

Another truth from the garden is that life on Earth can be beautiful, ecstatic, awe-inspiring, creative, and pleasurable for all. Can be, but mostly isn’t. Under a Taurus Moon is a good time to consider why not. In fact, it’s a good time to consider all of these truths. Under this Moon, we probably won’t be able to avoid the reminders.

There’s a strong emphasis on the element of Earth in this chart, which sets the course for the month ahead. We’ll want to pay close attention to the structures that support our lives, and the resources we need vs. the resources we have.

Change, particularly change involving the Earth and its resources, is very much in the air and structures that may have seemed immovable will be shaken to their foundations over the next seven years as Uranus moves through Taurus. (And keep in mind that this could be a very good thing!) This New Moon chart highlights issues of stability and change over the next month. If you pay attention, you’ll get a preview of the structures in your life that you will personally be challenged to change and rebuild.

Taurus is all about our ability as humans to create things in our lives, to accumulate resources and creatively manage them to our benefit — or creatively mis-manage them to our detriment. While we can argue about to what degree our thoughts and choices influence our lives, there is no doubt that they have at least some influence and affect our health and the course of our lives.

I call this mental/emotional/spiritual influence magic. If you are not a believer (or even if you are), you might want to check out a recently-published book by Dean Radin, Ph.D., called Real Magic: Ancient Wisdom, Modern Science, and a Guide to the Secret Power of the Universe. Radin — lead scientist at the Institute of Noetic sciences and a noted researcher — gives solid scientific evidence for the reality of magic, and a few basic techniques that emphasize focus and practice, two very Taurean qualities that are foundational for magical work.

Take a close look at your resources this month. Appreciate what you have and release what needs to go. If something takes you by surprise, remember to ground and center, tune into your body to help you figure out what your instincts are trying to tell you.

If you practice magic, especially if your practice is strongly connected to Nature and the land, you may find that your relationship to the natural world is changing or being changed. Stay attuned, stick with your practice. Be reliable to your spiritual allies. Remember that one of the reasons you got into this in the first place was to encourage change, and you have a say in how things play out.

People will be going with their gut feelings a lot this month — consider that both advice and a warning. But my best advice for the month ahead is this: find and follow the path that appeals to both instinct and reason. We need all the tools in our toolbox when life takes us by surprise, and both our gut feelings and our reasoning minds give us important information about the world around us.

If you know something about your own chart, look to the house(s) that contain Taurus for some hints about the areas of your life that will be most affected this month — and the 7 years ahead. (You might want to read my post on Uranus in Taurus.) If you’d like to learn more about your chart and how to read it, go here.

Now, I’m going to look at how this chart will affect us on a national level and what we can do to mitigate the mess we are in, but first, please excuse me for a few paragraphs while I have a word with my fellow astro-freaks…

For Astrologers — what I’m looking at:

Cast the chart for May 15, 7:49 am EDT, Washington, DC. 24° 14’ Gemini rising. Ascendant and houses apply only in the USA. I’m using equal houses — adjust your expectations accordingly.

The NM is just over the line in the 12th, widely opposed Jupiter and trine Mars and Pluto. It’s also within a degree or two of the rather dire fixed star Algol, and at the MA/NE midpoint.

Venus is rising in Gemini, unaspected, within a degree of the the ascendant. Both Venus and the ascendant are on the Mars/Jupiter midpoint. Venus disposits the NM and is in mutual reception with Mercury, ruler of the ascendant. Venus is extremely powerful in this chart, and Mercury’s in pretty good shape, too. Look for a lot of Venusian/Mercurial events, probably manifesting in unusual and/or surprising ways. Also note Venus’ house rulerships of the 5th and 12th.

Mars is also working hard in this chart. It is still in the sign of its exaltation, but within minutes of moving into Aquarius, in a very, very tight approaching square with Uranus from the 8th to the 11th. Both Mars and Uranus are in the highly unstable, critical anaretic degree of their respective signs. This is the aspect that dominates the chart, and it’s an explosive one.

Mars is also square Mercury, which is hanging out with Uranus in the 11th of the legislative branch, ruling the 4th house of the land itself. Uranus rules the 9th, and is disposited by Mars, in the 8th, ruling the 11th and 6th of the military and public service.

Finally, note Jupiter’s trine to Neptune. This can be a lovely and highly spiritual aspect, if you are willing to do the work necessary to put that energy to use. But remember that trines don’t do much alone — they just reflect an easy flow of energy between the two planets.

In this case, that flow could also manifest as, for instance, some really whopping lies. Also note that Neptune is in the 10th, co-rules the MC with Jupiter, is on the midpoints of Mars/Uranus and Mercury/Mars, and in a tight semi-square to all three of those planets. Make that a big plate of whopping lies, with extra hot sauce.

On the National Stage

Taurus is often characterized as placid, comfort-loving, the epitome of pastoral calm. But the Bull has a temper, too, and we we are not living in quiet, peaceful times. This month, we’re likely see the other side of the sign manifesting in ways ranging from childish temper tantrums to wanton destruction of life and property, earthquakes, and/or ongoing or new volcanic eruptions.

Hidden things are going to be a focus of attention, and may very well become un-hidden. Focus will also be on places and institutions where things or people are hidden away, such as prisons, hospitals, spiritual retreat centers, etc. Crime and criminal behavior, hidden enemies, and espionage will be very much in the news, as will banks, banking, and currency flows in general.

But the people of the nation are going to be demanding information, and some hard, solid facts. Congress will resemble a hive of angry bees. (There may also be some actual bee-related news of importance.) Teachers and education budgets continue to be a bone of contention. Gambling (including the stock markets), entertainment, and issues around children will be spotlighted.

Epidemics are a constant background possibility as Neptune moves through Pisces, but those epidemics can be mental as well as physical. Mental epidemics are memes, fake news, and deliberate distractions. The vaccine is to think things through, consider your sources, and check your facts.

We are also likely to see a lot of spiritual warfare — anything from prayer to verbal battles to actual violence. The whole concept never fails to put me in mind of the blind men fighting over who really understands the elephant. Ugh.

What To Do About It

So what do we do while we are walking through the middle of this shit storm? How can we participate in building a better world? Figure out what you have been called to do in this lifetime (your astrology chart will help you with that), then go out and do it. No excuses about “oh, what difference will it make”.

Any contribution one person can make may seem small, but it is a necessary first step for each and every one of us to do what we can. Your work lays down an energetic pattern, a foundation or support for the work of others. Do what calls to you, what you know is right.

The inimitable Jim Wright said in a recent Facebook post decrying torture “If your values depend on the actions of your enemies, well, then you don’t in fact have any values.” In other words, you don’t get to betray your values for the sake of convenience. Figure out what your values are and have the courage to stand up for them. Your decision and determination lays down yet another energetic pattern that supports the efforts of others to do the same.

And — you knew I’d get to this sooner or later — what you can do is magic. Magic, ceremony, and intentional actions empower those energetic patterns. There’s a new book that’s all about this work, full of “tried-and-true rituals and ceremonies for communities, small groups and individuals to improve resilience and face inevitable change with courage, consideration and humor.” I’ve read it — wrote the foreword for it, in fact — and I can highly recommend it, especially if you often find yourself often lamenting “But I’m just one person — what can I do?”

The book’s called Earthworks: Ceremonies in Tower Time, by Byron Ballard. You can read more about it and pre-order it here.

And last, but far from least — get outside, plant a garden if you can, hug a tree, let Nature soothe your soul.

May the blessings of this Beltane season be with you!

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Diotima Mantineia began studying astrology in 1968, taking classes from Zoltan Mason in New York City. For the next 22 years, she practiced astrology only for herself and her friends, continuing her studies while watching an increasingly humanistic, psychologically oriented, modern astrology blossom through the work of leading astrologers such as Noel Tyl, Liz Greene, Rob Hand, Marion March, Stephen Arroyo and Howard Sasportas. In 1986, Diotima began her study of Wicca and started reading Tarot, discovering that she is a gifted intuitive. In 1991, she began practicing both astrology and Tarot professionally. She majored in plant and soil science both in college and grad school, and grows much of her own food and "materia magica" on her land in the mountains of western North Carolina. Diotima’s personal spiritual path is rooted in the Western mystery traditions, the principles of Yoga, and a profound connection with the natural world. Wicca gives structure to her spiritual journey, and she utilizes shamanic practices for healing and to live in harmony with Nature. Over 15 years of studying Chinese martial arts has given her a deep appreciation of Taoist thought which has strongly influenced her magical and personal philosophy. You can find her at www.uraniaswell.com


  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham Friday, 11 May 2018

    Last November I moved out of my apartment and into a house. For the first time in four years I can get out and garden. I've turned over a trio of gardens so far. The sod is thick with wire grass. There are also buttercups, dandelions and clover. Neither the people who had the house before me nor my neighbors seem to be putting weed killing fertilizer on the yards around the neighborhood. I can smell the clover in bloom when I take a walk around the neighborhood. Some of the neighborhood yards have little pink flowers in them that I think are oxalis. I had some potatoes that had sprouted and that I knew I would never eat, so I cut them up and planted them in the first garden I dug. It looks like most of them have sprouted. I'm kind of a lazy gardener, I don't do as much as I could, but when I do feel motivated to do something it's really nice to have a yard to go out and work in.

  • Diotima
    Diotima Sunday, 13 May 2018

    That's great, Anthony. I hope you have a wonderful gardening season!

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