Today is May Day, an ancient Spring festival. May Day, always under the sustaining light of Taurus, is the Celtic (Gaelic) festival of Beltane, a Sun festival. May Day is also International Worker’s Day and a cross quarter day—halfway between spring and summer.
Within our microcosm, there are immeasurable cycles within cycles. These cyclic series, composing our universe, are centered around the life-cycle of the Sun. Beltane, in pre-Christian times, was celebrated as a fertility festival following the waxing powers of the Sun. It was also the festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers.
As Beltane marked summer’s beginning, cattle were driven to summer pastures (this still occurs), doorways and windows were strewn with yellow May flowers (primrose, rowan, hawthorn, gorse, hazel, marigold, nasturtiums, etc), ribbons and crosses. Flowers were also placed around cows for better milking and butter-making. There was a Maypole (tree or bush decorated with flowers, ribbons, shells, garlands, summoning the blessings of the tree-spirit) to dance around. And a young woman was chosen to be May Queen, crowning Mary with wreaths of flowers.
Beltane was also a fire festival. Bonfires on mountains and hills were kindled, the smoke and wood ash thought to have protective powers, especially for crops. Rituals included visiting “holy wells” (drawing the first morning waters), walking “sun-wise” (east to west), rolling in morning dew. Morning waters were thought to contain special potencies from the Sun.
Beltane is a Celtic word signifying “bright and shining fire from the Sun.” These festivals continue today. A next major (esoteric) Spring festival is Wesak, the Buddha/Taurus solar festival (at the full moon). The New Group of World Servers is preparing for the Buddha’s yearly visit. It occurs Wednesday, May 14, in two weeks.
Aries-March 21–April 20
Although considered rather unpredictable, you also have traditional, stable, responsible and detailed aspects and these help you maneuver the outer world. Few, except astrologers, may know this about Aries. Those qualities are being internally recognized so you can recognize your value and worth. You know it’s not how much money you have. It’s more about perseverance, reliability and being steadfast in adversity and challenges.
Taurus April 21–May 21
Patience and deliberateness help you assess anything new, thinking everything through with step-by-step care. You’re also visionary, continually developing an illumined mind, influenced by the Pleiades, Aldebaran and Alcyone (stars in the Pleiades) to bring forth the wisdom of the Buddha. When faced with a monetary situation you instinctively choose the right path. These are your gifts. Recognize them with gratitude.
Gemini May 22–June 20
It’s most important that your work in the world aligns with your sense of values. Gemini is a complex, dual sign. You have a fluid mind. Much information must be filtered through your emotions. Therefore that field (astral, emotional) must be clear, pure, no judgments or opinions. This must be developed. You’re the sign of hidden treasures. Security for you isn’t wealth. It’s who and what you love.
Cancer June 21–July 20
There’s a challenge now for you to emerge from under your Cancer shell, have a sense of adventure, step beyond comfort and focus upon things more cultural. What would that be for you? Build your greater sense of love, heart to heart, with others. It will expand self-expression and creativity, what you really seek. Then you must also have a sense of fun. What is fun for you?
Leo July 21–August 22
Most Leos are charming. Some are hidden. But all are magnetic—an important quality to understand because it attracts others to you. When aware of this you’re either kind and compassionate or you misuse your power if your power doesn’t include Love. What are people seeking when encountering you? Light, intelligence, playfulness, vitality, discipline, direction and the willingness to Love. Do you have (and understand) these qualities?
Virgo August 23–September 22
While you display order, discipline and lists of new ideas, you must add diplomacy. All Virgos are also learning tact, refinement, and how to relate with ease, compassion, right timing and Right Relations. It’s good to know these are deliberate seeds planted within all Virgos leading later to the art of cooperation and conciliation through negotiation. You’re learning the arts of Libra.
Libra September 23–October 22
Your smile invites others to talk about themselves, share joys and sorrows, be friends with you. Libra when directed by the Soul brings Right Relations, fairness, justice, openness and kindness to all interactions. Visualize yourself stepping into the Soul’s light. The results will strengthen all resources and the ability to be more loving, which attracts more love and resources to you.
Scorpio October 23–November 21
As your life ceaselessly challenges you to transform and regenerate, you also ask (quietly demand) this of others. Because your life has such intensity, you must schedule consistent times for rest and retreat—times to gather strength, rediscover inner meaning and purpose. That time is now. Vision is here, too. Only a few know that as you die each day to the past, you’re also a visionary.
Sagittarius November 22–December 20
Although you usually view life with optimism and a broad hopeful vision and because you’re an imaginative thinker who sees signs and reads oracles in every situation, you also have a sense of being duty bound, responsible, traditional and conservative. This hides behind constant enthusiasm. Therefore, working under rules and regulations, you have a very serious side. Value this, as it’s your discipline and your wisdom.
Capricorn December 21–January 20
You exhibit great control, discipline, structure and reserve, often playing the role of the eldest child or wise parent. Traditions, following or creating them, are therefore most important. But there’s another valuable part to you—being progressive and inventive. Aware of the future, you’re quite different than most. Often people can’t quite figure out who you are with your abilities to change quickly and to offer everyone freedom to be (you and me).
Aquarius January 21–February 18
It’s important to acknowledge that, ruled by Uranus, you’re different than most. Why? Aquarius streams through Uranus, which is tipped on its side, its atmosphere arranged in layers of clouds, its magnetic-tail twisted into a long corkscrew, the source of its magnetic field unknown. Uranus is blue/green, has a moon, many rings and satellites, seventh planet from the Sun and third largest planet in the solar system.
Pisces February 19–March 20
The two signs most misunderstood are Scorpio and Pisces. Often the fish is seen as wandering about, too idealistic and sensitive. Pisces can seem lost, dreamy and confused. But there’s more to Pisces. They’re brave and courageous when someone’s in danger. They’re seers, rewarding others for their innate gifts, which other signs cannot see. Pisces must always take action. It brings forth freedom.
Risa is Founder & Director of the Esoteric & Astrological Studies & Research Institute, a contemporary Wisdom School in Santa Cruz, CA.