May 1 is May Day, an ancient spring festival in many cultures. May Day, always the sustaining Taurus Sun, is the Celtic (Gaelic) festival of Beltane (lasting all week long). It’s also International Worker’s Day, dedicated in solidarity to the work and labors of all humanity around the world.
Beltane is also a cross quarter day, meaning we are halfway between spring and summer. All cycles of life in our universe are centered around the life and light of the sun. Beltane in pre-Christian times was celebrated as a fertility festival. Beltane was also the festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers.
As Beltane marked summer’s beginning, doorways, walkways and windows were strewn with garlands, ribbons, crosses, and yellow May flowers (primrose, rowan, hawthorn, gorse, hazel, marigold, nasturtiums—a May garden to plant) in celebration. There was a Maypole (tree or bush decorated with flowers, ribbons, shells, garlands, calling forth the tree-spirit’s blessings) to dance around. And a young woman was chosen to be Queen of the May, crowning the Virgin Mary with wreaths of flowers.
During Beltane, bonfires were kindled, the smoke and wood ash having protective powers for crops. Oatmeal cakes (bannock or Beltane cakes) were made over fires and offered in friendship. Rituals included visiting holy wells, drawing the first waters of dawn, walking “sun-wise” (from east to west), and rolling in the morning dew just after dawn broke. The morning waters were thought to contain special devic potencies from the sun.
Beltane is a Celtic word meaning “bright shining fire from the Sun.” The festival continues today. Saturday is the new moon (14 degrees Taurus) preparing us for Wesak. And last Monday, Saturn retrograded in Capricorn. We turn inward, assessing our responsibilities, integrity, seriousness, standards, and steadfastness. The Dweller on the Threshold appears.
ARIES: 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. You’re learning.
TAURUS: 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: 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, criticisms 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: 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 artistic and 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: 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 these qualities to give?
VIRGO: While you display order, discipline and list after list of new ideas, you must now add diplomacy—along with tact, refinement, and how to relate with ease, compassion, right timing and Right Relations. Be aware that these are seeds planted within all of humanity. For Virgo, they lead later to the art of cooperation and conciliation through the art of negotiation. You’re learning the qualities of Libra.
LIBRA: Your smile invites others to talk about themselves, share joys and sorrows, be friends with you. Libra, when directed by the Soul, brings forth Right Relations, fairness, justice, openness and kindness to all interactions. Visualize yourself stepping into the Soul’s light. The results will strengthen all abilities, especially your tasks of creating harmony and loving more—which then magnetically pulls even more love and resources your way.
SCORPIO: As life continuously 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 solitude, contemplation, rest and retreat—times to gather strength, rediscover inner meaning and self-purpose. That time is now. Vision is here, too. Only a few know that as you die (metaphor) each day to the past, future visions also come forth.
SAGITTARIUS: 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 dutiful, responsible, traditional, and conservative. These can hide behind unwavering enthusiasm. Working under time limits, rules and regulations, you have a very serious side. Value this, as it’s your discipline as well as your wisdom.
CAPRICORN: 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. Sometimes people can’t quite understand your abilities to change quickly and to offer everyone freedom to be (you and me). Remember?
AQUARIUS: 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. The atmosphere of Uranus is 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. This unusual planet rules your entire life. Value your differentness. It’s unique and precious.
PISCES: The two signs most misunderstood are Scorpio and Pisces. Often the fish is seen as wandering about, too idealistic and sensitive, seemingly lost, dreamy and confused. But there’s more to Pisces. They’re also brave and courageous when someone’s in danger. They’re independent, seers of potential, rewarding others for their innate gifts, which most cannot see. When spontaneous, a light fills the air. When sad, there’s despair. Pisces observes, then acts. It brings them freedom and it saves the world. Pluto rules Pisces on the Soul level.