“Daphne”, by Sir Hubert von Herkomer



Here is the collective Astrological forecast for MAY 2016 by the always wise and insightful Sarah Varcas from her Astro-Awakenings.co.uk:
“May begins with five planets retrograde (Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto) and ends with three (Mars, Saturn and Pluto). Reflection and receptivity are key to how this month unfolds.
“There will be great motivation to honour the truth, make decisions that serve it well and reflect our deepest knowing, no matter the immediate cost of doing so.
“Success in those endeavours that truly reflect the deeper purpose of our lives is well aspected. This is not instant success, but progress into a more authentic life for those with the courage and resolve to take the plunge.
“Our spirits are being strengthened for the long haul. Iron woven through our soul. We may receive intense visions of how life could be and the world along with it, for good and ill.
“The veils between worlds and realms are thin this month and many may pick up on information, experience and vibration otherwise out of reach.
“If we’re used to such experiences they will be stronger and more vibrant. If new to us they may be unsettling in their accuracy and accompanied by the desire to write them off as meaningless coincidence. But they will only be meaningless if we choose to make them so.
“If, however, we decide to watch and learn, allow the breadcrumb trail of clues lead us where they do, we may discover some truly astonishing connections and unearth information that could change our life if we let it.
“Beware too much day-dreaming though! There could be a lot of it about. Our focus may subtly shift from inspired action to mere escapist fantasy. But we were not born simply to escape as soon as possible!
“Life must be embodied and lived with every cell.  The different levels of being aligned into one exquisite whole which reflects the many aspects of this infinite universe.
“We must face what we’d rather ignore, take responsibility for what we project and accept that our own perspective is just one among countless others in a world of seven billion people.
“We may have access to so much ‘data’ this month, from pure facts to other’s opinions to inner knowing, heightened perceptions and powerful intuition, that overwhelm occurs before we’ve put any of it to use. Trying to take account of everything may leave us mentally and emotionally burned out.
“It won’t all have equal weight and our task is to sort the wheat from the chaff to identify what really matters at any given time. Most important now is our ability to balance the mundane and supramundane worlds in such a way that neither rules the roost but both are afforded the time and space they deserve.
“This balance is key to moving forward, for as sensitivities escalate and veils thin, increasing amounts of information in all its forms will be available, even as we continue living our everyday lives.
“Whether we opt to live the ordinary life in an extraordinary way or an extraordinary life in an ordinary one, finding how best to accommodate those senses beyond our first five is vital to peace of heart and clarity of mind.
“The first week of May features an alignment between the Sun, Jupiter and Saturn which fosters clarity of purpose, honest but buoyant hope and the staying power necessary to endure some of the lengthier processes of realignment and healing. If you have plans to make, this week would be a good one to do so. It carries a practical but other-worldly air which can potentise our intentions with a certain heavenly ‘zing’.
“From 5th May until mid-October Pluto trines the North Node, purging unconscious obstacles which have hindered progress. This may be unnerving at times, as we lack control over what emerges from the shadowy recesses of our psyche.
“Reactions may seem out of proportion to the matter at hand. We might feel more vulnerable than usual or oddly frustrated for no apparent reason. It may be tempting to think something’s gone wrong, but rest assured that’s not the case. Far from it!
“Like a blocked pipe that needs to have the c**p blasted though to free up the flow (Pluto transits require Plutonian metaphors!), so do we! The very nature of these times liberates previously stagnant energy which has to go somewhere. The best direction is out.
“Gentler than many Plutonian events, this one encourages us to release mental and emotional detritus we don’t need anymore, thereby creating space for emergence of the new. We would be wise to take the opportunity now rather than put it off for later. Later could be a lot trickier and considerably less measured when it arrives!
“A New Moon in Taurus on 6th/7th May presents a choice: to live by the light of truth or the power of ego. In many ways this is the very crux of every spiritual path. The development of a healthy ego alongside a courageous spirit ensures we have all we need to navigate this world.
“Ego is not the demon it’s often made out to be, but a tool to be used wisely. When healthy and mature it knows when to speak out with confidence, when to remain silent in humility, when to act, when to wait, when to grasp and when to let go. It becomes a wise and trusted friend who sustains us through times of emotional and spiritual drought.
“If, however, we pursue ego transcendence before understanding its true nature, we falsely bypass a process to which we must return. Truth is as much an aspect of ego as of soul, of the mundane as of the spiritual.
“We are immersed in relative and absolute truths all the time and tasked with discerning the two, knowing which to honour, when and how. This New Moon reminds us that truth has many faces and a mature ego serves it even at its own expense.
“7th to 16th May sees a string of Grand Trines in Earth providing stability and substance. They anchor us as we process some of the more challenging emotions we may encounter, keeping us in touch with the earth and rooted in our inner space where all wisdom exists, awaiting the right moment to make itself known.
“Jupiter stations direct in Virgo on 9th having been retrograde since 8th January. Efforts made this year to live more authentically begin to bear significant fruit from hereon in. It takes often mighty courage to honour the truth as we see it, especially when it sets us apart from others or challenges the status quo.
“For those who’ve committed to doing so since January, greater freedom is now at hand. With restricting bonds broken and obstacles overcome we are liberated to better serve the agenda of awakening than ever before.
“Mercury also crosses the face of the Sun on 9th May. Known as an ‘occultation’, it further amplifies the power of Jupiter’s change of direction, reminding us that freedom – or lack of it – reverberates through all that we do and all that we are.
“This is a good time to reflect on how we express ourselves and what our behaviour says about our relationship with truth.  Spiritual-speak and positive words can be as much tools of deception as of the divine. The truth may not always be gentle and attractive (that’s why we shy from it so readily!).
“It may ask of us great boldness and actions that call down scorn upon our heads. But we will know it as truth nonetheless, by its resonance within and its quickening effect upon the journey into our own soul.
“15th – 30th May sees an alignment between Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn which supports practical action informed by honest and realistic optimism. This fortnight will provide plenty of opportunity to observe our inner dialogue and how it impacts our mental and emotional state.
“Do we speak words of encouragement to ourselves when things go wrong or are we our own worst enemy hurling criticism and abuse at the slightest opportunity? Do we acknowledge our own achievements with the same attention to detail as our mistakes and failings?
“Are we realistic in our expectations of ourselves or do we set impossible tasks with improbable goals and then collapse under the weight of our own demands? Saturn now retrograde in Sagittarius calls for balanced optimism: a steady faith in our ability to achieve and overcome alongside focused effort to manifest our most treasured outcomes in the best way we possibly can.
“Neptune chimes in between 18th and 26th May. It may be an unsettling presence if we seek security, be it physical, mental or emotional. Until, that is, we recognize that true security is found in embracing uncertainty, not striving to banish it to the outer reaches of the cosmos!
“Neptune affirms the divine is present throughout our life, in its each and every aspect. We are not more sacred when meditating than when we’re scrubbing the floor! Every moment is infused with the divine. When we fully know this as truth our search for security ends, a distant echo of times past when we thought it was all down to us to make life work.
“Now Neptune reminds us that at work and play, awake and asleep, in joy, pain and everything in-between the divine is fulfilled through and as us. Anxiety and fear arise when we forget our true nature. Peace is born when we remember and let go.
“The Full Moon on 21st/22nd May coincides with Mercury completing its retrograde passage through Taurus. It is also the first of two full moons in Sagittarius, making next month’s an astrological Blue Moon.
“This month’s Full Moon lifts our spirits and enhances our faith, no matter what may be going on in our lives. Conjunct retrograde Mars it enhances the warrior spirit, encouraging acts of spiritual daring that break through barriers previously feared.
“Marking the start of a month during which we may well have our spiritual mettle tested, it assures us we have the courage and power to prevail over even the toughest and most intimidating forces.
“But we do so not by false optimism and denial, but by embracing them with guts and guile, awake to the tricks of ego, the seductive nature of the mind, the power of thought and the dominion of fear that’s been allowed to hold sway for so long in this world.
“Spiritual warriors one and all, this Full Moon illuminates challenges ahead whilst enhancing the strength of our heart and the clarity of our mind to meet them face to face, resolved to journey through and out the other side, hand in hand with each other and all transformed.
“As Mercury gathers forward pace in the wake of the Full Moon, it’s time to put plans into action, and live according to insights and wisdom born of the past three weeks. What have we learnt about ourselves? How does this challenge previous self-beliefs? And how does life now look taking into account our new perspective?
“An opposition between Mars and Venus (as she enters Gemini) from 24th to 27th May, highlights the importance of balance and the vitality available when we can live both ends of a spectrum and know the centre point too. We can never be totally one thing, for its opposite will always lurk in the shadows. Nor can we always strike a perfect balance between two opposing states.
“Instead we must learn to make peace with our paradoxical nature, with the opposites we display at different times, our inconsistencies and confusion. This is who we are. Within this peace dwells the most creative spark of all, for the divine is all things everywhere and as such can never be a singularity.
“It is you and me, our greatest loves and most hated foes. It is our biggest mistake, deepest regret and moments of triumph. Just as it cannot be contained in tidy boxes and convenient definitions, nor can we.
“27th May sees Mars retrograde back into Scorpio for a couple of months, further enhancing our resilience and determination to leave no stone unturned when it comes to self-knowledge and the on-going raising of consciousness.
“If we tried to skirt around some thorny issues during its previous journey through the sign of the Scorpion (3rd January – 6th March 2016) now’s the time to revisit and do what needs to be done.
“This time a Grand Trine in Earth between Pluto, Mercury and the North Node keeps our feet on the ground while we descend into the depths to unearth both our god/dess-given grit and divine grace.
“Mars in Scorpio can be a tough taskmaster, unremitting in its efforts to dislodge whatever obstructs the truth. Secrets kept at this point may be best brought out in the open before Mars does it for us with his characteristic and uncompromising zeal!
“The month comes to a close with Neptune squaring the Sun from 29th May to 5th June. Beware a tendency to self-deception and conveniently overlooking that huge pink elephant in the room! And don’t be thinking that others haven’t mentioned it because they’re not aware it’s there.
“They may be in a similar state of denial hoping the fly in the ointment will quickly disappear! It won’t. Be it recognition of something about ourselves that leaves a nasty taste in the mouth, an inconvenient turn of events that threatens to scupper a treasured plan or an unexpected hitch in what looked like a sure thing, the best approach now is searing honesty and utter openness with all involved. For in responding this way the blessings of Neptune are unleashed, softening hearts, opening minds and allowing for miracles to occur where once it seemed only disaster was assured.
“How this month ends is really up to us. It could be on a high with an open heart buoyed by a new found faith. Or it could be on a low, mired in confusion and denial, fearing the next step for the uncertainty it threatens.
“Of course there’s plenty of in-between ground we could occupy too! But the important thing to remember is this: We forge the next moment with our attitude to the present one, and destiny – whatever that may be! – is held firmly, at this moment, in our hands.”
Copyright 2016 ~Sarah Varcas All Rights Reserved