01.05.2016 Astrology

Fruitful Inner Work

Five planets in retrograde means a slowing down, allowing us time to go within, says Daniel Sowelu

We start the month with five planets in retrograde motion - Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto. Of course, the planets don’t actually stop in their tracks, turn around and go backwards; it’s an illusion created by the movement of the earth in relationship to these other plants. The energetics and symbology of it is important though, as retrograding planets tend to operate more internally while their outer manifestations are rather subdued.

So when you have the more energetic and forward moving planets like Mercury, Mars and Jupiter going retrograde, the pace of them slows down; getting things moving in the outer world meets more resistance and, especially with Mercury, normal operations of the planet go a bit skewed. Many people are aware of the reputation of Mercury retrograde for communication difficulties - mixed messages, lost mail, and the feeling that gremlins are going to town inside the machine.

There is something fitting however that all this retrograding is happening while the Sun is in Taurus, as the Bull can be a great advocate for taking it easy, doing things a bit more slowly and getting some rest while planting new seeds.

On a psychological and spiritual level, retrogrades are both opportunities and demands that we go within for dealing with our issues, allowing things to be fallow and sharpening out tools in preparation for forward movement to open up. This is particularly the case when Saturn is in retrograde motion, as well is Pluto. Much fruitful inner work can happen at these times if we don’t avoid it.

We also start the month with Venus, the Sun, Mercury, Persephone and Vesta all in Taurus, while the Moon is at third-quarter station in Aquarius. The Sun starts the month very well, with a sextile to Neptune bridging the earth and the spiritual domains, and forming a grand trine of free-flowing energy between Jupiter in Virgo and Pluto in Capricorn - a potent mix of earthy grace and slow progressive evolutionary transitions. While the former is great for earth and nature-based spiritual practices, the latter adds grace and power to these proceedings. It also supports the physical manifestation of ideas and projects (despite Saturn and Mars retrograding in Sagittarius).

In the second week of the month the Sun joins and activates the second grand trine, one between Persephone, Hygeia in Virgo and Pluto. At the same time it sextiles Chiron in Pisces to form a kite formation that brilliantly and powerfully links the Greco-Roman God and Goddess of transformation and rebirth with Wounded Healer and the kundalini goddess of healing. This is incredibly potent support for deep and often miraculous healing, for the purification of our lower chakras and wholesale flushing and opening of our entire chakra systems.

In the third week, this grand trine is joined by Venus who is usually in particularly lovely form in the sign of Taurus, a very sensual, juicy and fertile passage of the goddess of love, beauty and creativity. It’s good to know that this is coming as her initial placement is rather diabolical! On May the first at 1° of Taurus, she is in a grand cross involving the same three dark goddesses that have pressurised the collective psychic environment since January - the Black Moon at the end of Libra, the Lilith asteroid now in Aquarius and the Kali asteroid in early Leo. It would be an understatement to suggest that our relationship experiences might be rather challenged!

Interactions from Venus to any of these three will bring out shadow areas in our relating and experience of our sexuality, by activating issues to do with inequality and disempowerment, unreleased resentments, unhealed trauma and betrayals. So three is going to be exponentially intense but represent great opportunities for purifying psychosexual toxicity, cutting through denial, dishonesty and unconsciousness and really getting down to the raw truth of things so that real liberating change can happen in our love lives.

Each of these dark goddesses is a warrioress for truth, for tantric transformation and the deepest experiences of love and heart fullness. While they are active it is good to find safe places spiritually and therapeutically where you can go a little crazy. Allow the wild inner woman out to scream and dance in pain, rage and in ecstasy (especially with Kali in Leo, how fiery is that?) This intensity will be most apparent in the first third of the month but the movement, while not lessening in depth, will become more fluid and gracious by the third week.

This process, in fact, constitutes one of the major overriding themes of the month; of the evolution and refinement of our capacity for love and the creation of authentic bonds with others. This theme is most reflected by the position of Juno, the goddess of marriage, commitment and tantra, in Scorpio at the highest point of the month’s chart.

This includes opportunities for the reclamation of the figure of Mary Magdalene in our collective consciousness. The asteroid named after her is travelling with transiting Saturn. While on the surface this challenges the role of the patriarchy in keeping her disowned and suppressed, the underlying wisdom layer of Saturn challenges each of us to get to know more fully within as an act of tremendous healing personally. She is more beautiful and more powerful than many of us have been allowed to believe!

Daniel Sowelu

Daniel Sowelu (BSc Dip Ed) is a therapeutic astrologer, primal therapist and groupleader in his 35th year of private practice.