The May 4 New Moon began the lunation cycle in Taurus, the Moon’s sign of exaltation. The luminaries were also nearly at the center of the sign (14º10’), the most stable degree of the sign that already carries the endurance and solidity of fixed earth. With the Moon in Taurus, we are in the only once-a-year lunation cycle where our biological rhythms (Sun and Moon) are informed by the deepest sustenance of the earth element. The physical earth is an obvious starting reference, but whenever and wherever we find sustenance, we are partaking in Taurus’s domain.
Looking at the broader context, Saturn’s long and consequential sojourn in Capricorn is ever present. (1) We’re aware of the ongoing Saturn–South Node–Pluto conjunction whose themes are on display wherever we look — from international affairs, political and business conversations, and cultural memes to mental health statistics, renewed understanding of the importance of grief, and the rising interest in and availability of ancestral healing. (2)
January 1, 2019 brought the Sun conjunct Saturn at 11º31’ Capricorn — a sense of reality pressing upon us and a certain leaden atmosphere are undercurrents to this calendar year.
Along with the essential kindness and patience of Taurus within our reach, we now have the Sun moving into a trine to Saturn and Pluto, joined by the transiting Moon in Virgo. The Sun trines Saturn on May 11; the Moon in Virgo trines Saturn on the 13th and perfects the earth trine with Pluto a few hours later (May 14 PDT).
The Sun trines Saturn and Pluto — this is a natural pause to see what we have accomplished, most specifically since January 1 at the new Sun–Saturn synod. True to Saturn’s mandate, we can be realistic about our situation, maybe with an appreciation of how far we have come. We know that we need provisions for the long trek ahead, and now is a perfect moment to stop and acknowledge what we have integrated thus far.
Saturn trine the Moon and Sun: In some important personal storyline, we may have developed more resiliency than we know. Pluto’s company with Saturn and the South Node also assures that we are working at a very deep level, a particular sphere of which might be shown by the Capricorn house in your natal chart.
Saturn in Capricorn has an echo for me of stories of Tibetan Buddhist lineages whose followers intentionally sought the highest and most severe mountain conditions for retreats, and to spend time with the teacher.
I heard a teaching about one such event (from the 16th century) where conditions were exceptionally arduous and yet concurrent with supremely life-giving teachings. I know that some of us have had difficult conditions in retreat situations — not usually survival on a mountaintop, but various struggles with sleep and loss of familiar comforts and schedules. There can be a connection between difficult circumstances and meaningful inner experience.
I sometimes think that, as a species (or maybe my particular sub-group), we are getting hardier and more able to thrive under challenging circumstances.
One thing seems certain: Once things are shaken and stirred up, we can’t go back. Uranus, now at 3º, is just starting his trek through the Taurus house for each of us; those of us with planets (or angles) in the early degrees of the fixed signs may already have an experience of expectations being disrupted and a hint of what ground is being disrupted. For some of us, a defined view of ourselves may have reached the breaking point — and the best option may be to trust the disruption, knowing that we are not stuck but open to whatever life brings next.
So, I offer a toast at this lunation cycle: May we realize the benefit and eternal sustenance that is now, and always, within reach.
(1) Saturn is in Capricorn from December 2017 through December 2020 (with a bit of time in Aquarius in the spring of 2020).
(2) Saturn, the South Node, and Pluto are in Capricorn, within 7º of each other, from now through the end of the year.