On 10 May 2022 at 12:25 pm EDT, the Sun enters Taurus III, the third decan of Taurus called The Prayer Beads (by Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces). Although ruled by Venus as the overall sign ruler, Taurus III is administered by Saturn from the square at 24° Aquarius 44′, preparing us for a showdown with authorities and running us through the wringer: what duties do we owe others? What rights and honors do we reserve to ourselves? Inconjunct Venus is unlikely to be of much help — she sits in her own term in Aries, like that Internet story of the woman in the conference room asked to make coffee before the clueless guy has his meeting with the CFO… “I am the CFO,” she replies coldly. We feel for the guy in the story, perhaps… but she still has to meet with the idiot, and still has to risk the chance that she may not be able to run the company without his product or service — and Venus’s authority in Aries only runs so far.
Ancient worshippers gave the third decan of Taurus to the Litai, less an individual deity than a class of semi-corporeal spirits, the prayers of mortals ascending on clouds of incense and the drops of lustral waters flung in arcs of blessing from gathered spring branches full of blossoms. The spring planting in progress relies upon an invisible magic, this early in the process: digging up the just-buried seeds hinders their growth. It may be weeks before any of us know wether what we began will yield flowers — much less fruit! Accordingly, the work of monitoring the safety of our crops and our processes must be given into the hands of our prayers — we will not know anything for a while yet, as seeds take root underground and birth the future in silent invisibility.
Continual prayer is the work of a professional, of course — and it’s no wonder that this decan is under Saturn’s administration. The overlapping terms (of Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars) reveal the risks that most spiritual professionals face, though — first being generous and kind, then gradually slipping into a haughty aloofness, and finally becoming a raging and angry guardian of orthodoxy. Similarly, the dodecatemoria or twelfth-parts of the Zodiac reiterate Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces, and Aries: a somewhat different walk through the practical and intellectual work of priestcraft, followed by a heightened holistic approach to holiness, which still ends in the ferocious and hidebound position of fundamentalism. Saturn stands for both perfection of contemplation, and decline from perfection toward disorder, and in Taurus III we’re reminded that perfection is beautiful but unsustainable; we always drift away from it toward a violent defense of its potential, not realizing that we ourselves have lost that perfection already.
Let’s take note that the next ten days will include a Lunar Eclipse on May 16, 2022 at 12:11 am EDT. The Sun as the initiating factor will be in Taurus III (Saturn’s term and decan, Pisces’ dodecatemoria, and Mars’ triplicity rulership) and nearly conjunct the Imum Coeli (Ic) in the fifth house, indicating something like “the delectable prayers of the serious old men.” What’s eclipsed? The Full Moon will be blood-red and visible over most of the Americas from the eleventh house, representing “the gathering of crows at the feast of offal.” At 25° Scorpio 16°, the Moon will be in a chain of hierarchies beginning with Mars’s rulership and her own triplicity, before passing through Venus’s decan the Crow, Virgo’s dodecatemoria, and Saturn’s term — the powers of women young and old making their presence known in anger, the land and the nation’s political framework.
The overall length of the eclipse in hours and minutes resolves to longstanding effects lasting until about October 25 of this year, within the longer arc of the Solar Eclipse from April 30 whose effects last until May 2026. It’s hard to know exactly what to say about this, except to note that a flock of crows is called a murder of crows — and that in the middle ages, monks often reported a curious absence of crows and ravens from their territories, not knowing that hundreds of miles away a great battle had occurred, and their local corvids were now plucking the eyeballs and feasting on corpses. The Sun’s midnight eye may be glaring balefully at the Moon at home… but the Moon is in the seat of legislatures in the chart; women may well have the last laugh here, despite some short-term setbacks.
The Ascendant in Leo’s third decan is square to the Sun, creating a kind of physical tension between public actions and personal desires. The decan is called The Banner and it often represents people rallying to a cause or a plan or program that is larger than themselves. However, there’s a sympathy by dodecatemoria between the position of the Ascendant and the Sun in Taurus — a recapitulation of the connection between a relatively laid-back and indolent public power, and the cause of the people who matter.
The Moon in the second house represents the people who don’t say much — by and large, they’re concentrating on their money, and the condition of commodities markets is particularly of concern based on the Moon’s presence in Virgo. Rising inflation issues and gross corporate profits are affecting this part of the populace much more than usual. The position of 9° Virgo 13′ is in The Wings, the celebrated Thirteen Mansion of Virgo, indicating both prosperity and increase, and the freedom of prisoners — but most well-known for its indicators of copulation, eroticism, and sexuality. In the house of money, trine to the Sun, and waxing toward fullness, it would ordinarily be a favorable indicator for fun times in the bedroom and the joyful outcome of such acts, such as a desired pregnancy — and we’re in the period between a Solar and Lunar Eclipse. This may be quite a difficult time for those of you in romantic or even just ‘friends with benefits’ relationships, as financial questions play into your more sensual liaisons.
The Nodal Axis with North Node in Taurus and South Node in Scorpio is likely playing out in board room and breakfast nook all over the country and the world. The number of workers returning to full-time employment in office spaces has risen to, and is sticking, at about 47% of the wage-earning workforce in the US, and about 31% of the salaried workforce (we’re not talking about jobs in restaurants or gas stations or grocery stores where you have to be physically standing there, where the numbers are much higher). Taurus in the tenth house represents the office, the physical place where your boss is and its environment; Scorpio in the fourth house represents the emotional home where your heart is and where your secrets are kept. The hunger for getting people to return to working in physical offices is strong, but it appears that there is not yet sufficient incentive for people to depart from home for another location, especially with high travel costs and continuing risks (here in the Northeast US, at least) from COVID.
The Lot of Fortune in the fifth house indicates that most people are looking for play time and seeking opportunities to tell their stories and relax with friends in entertaining and joyful companionship. The fires of people’s social lives have burned low and slow over the past two years. The trine to Venus and the asteroid Chiron promises both beauty and healing from these occasions which we make for ourselves to enjoy ourselves — but the inconjunction to both the sixth house and the tenth suggests that we still don’t want to make these social appointments with work-colleagues.
At the same time, Pluto In Capricorn III The Throne in the sixth house indicates that there’s a shift beginning — a shift away from bosses and supervisors and toward ordinary working folk. The sixth house is the place of employees, servants, hired hands, and laborers; and The Throne is the place of fulfillment and leadership. We can and should be on the lookout for shifts that recognize that they may not wear the crown… but they are the ones who carry out the king’s plans. So it’s not just that “the boss” doesn’t have control over the levers of incentive to bring employees to their desks, it’s that some of the negotiating power has shifted from him to other voices, in other rooms.
Saturn stands in a similar position in relationship to the important others in our lives — in Aquarius’s third decan The Knot in the seventh house, a place where complicated situations and ties are unbound and released. Supervisors and direct-reports, bosses and workers, employers and employees, these are hierarchical relationships — but Saturn in The Knot speaks to a different kind of disentanglement, namely the disconnection of peer-to-peer relationships.
Mars, Jupiter, and Neptune in Pisces in the eighth house (affected by sextiles to Uranus and the Sun in Taurus) are telling a different story, a story of new kinds of connections occurring between militant, juridical and visionary powers — not necessarily promising or promoting desirable outcomes for ordinary folks, but committing to something rooted in obligation and fulfilling one’s duty to the ancestors, or at least their memory. Whatever is built here is unlikely to last, swept away almost as soon as it’s created.
Venus, normally in detriment in Aries, nonetheless occupies her own term, a condition called “in the chariot” — I’ve described Venus in Aries as being akin to being the Chief Financial Officer of a company, and being asked to make coffee by a youthful male vendor coming in for an important meeting with the CFO. Despite having great clarity about what she wants and how to get it, Venus here is nonetheless beset on every side by mediocre men who second-guess her and delay carrying out her directives and edicts. In the chariot, though, she’s feted and lionized, honored and recognized — ignored behind the scenes, perhaps, but very publicly on display. Be on the lookout in the next ten days for women who are supposed to occupy the stage for a smile and a wave — but suddenly seize the microphone for their chance to say something important. And don’t discount that opinion as irrelevant: it may bring unexpected clarity to an awkward situation, or rouse long-silent forces.
Uranus and the Sun are in Taurus in the tenth house, in position for the coming lunar Eclipse within the 12° of each other and the North Node. The tenth house is associated with government and its functions, with supervisors and bosses and bosses’ boss’s boss — people who seem so far above your level in wealth and influence. Uranus indicates upset and reinvention and revolution — the Sun promises a higher vision. Between them, it suggests new plans and programs are being initiated at the highest level — and are still likely to fail for lack of support and leadership from the bottom. We tend to forget that kings and princes, whether of the political or economic or cultural variety, have big dreams and big goals, but there’s a layer of flunkies and loyalists, courtiers and clerks, who put those plans into action and deliver results. Sometimes the prince finds himself surrounded by these layers of functionaries… and sometimes those functionaries abandon them. As I write this column on May 6-9, I’m reminded of a similar layer of defenders, the Papal Swiss Guard, who in 1527 defended the Pope almost to the last man — but in 1857, May 10 was the day the Sepoy Mutiny began, a broad rebellion against corporate rule in India; although brutally crushed, it led to the fall of the East India Company and the development of the British Raj… and Uranus was also in Taurus then, at the same degree the Sun will be in on the day of the lunar eclipse this year. Unpleasant surprises may be in store for those who push their own narrative too far.
Finally, Mercury is retrograde in Gemini in the eleventh house in the chart. You may find that your communications with friends are wonky or difficult, as you all work out your various comfort levels around COVID and meeting up indoors in large groups — yet you may also discover that your friends are harder hit by communications difficulties than you yourself are. After all, you’re reading an astrology column and you know not to read too much into every text message during a retrograde; you know to back up your data; and save your work in ways that keep your name and credit on it, right?
Over the next several weeks Mercury will review the early degrees of Gemini and scout their shadow periods until June 3. Mercury will hit the interior/inferior Cazimi on May 21 at 3:17 pm EDT, just a few bare hours after the Sun’s ingress to Gemini I, before moving into the latter degrees of Taurus during the last week of May and the first few days of June. We’ll see what’s going on there, in our next two columns.
Horoscopes by Rising Sign
Horoscopes of the second decan are available to Patreon subscribers or Ko-Fi subscribers at the $3 tier and above; while Horoscopes of the first decan are free to all readers and the third decan horoscopes are available to email subscribers and Patreon members.
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I use iPhemeris for my charting software, and screenshot it to make charts. I want to thank the team that develops iPhemeris for the addition of Terms and Decans to their charts, appearing here for the first time! I use Hugh Tran‘s Physis typeface to craft logos for this blog, as well.
I use Christopher Warnock‘s The Mansions of the Moon as the basis of my Moon placement delineations, and Austin Coppock‘s 36 Faces as the basis of much of my planetary delineations. Neither gentleman endorses me. My own book, A Full Volume of Splendour and Starlight, is now available as PDF download from my Etsy website, as is my Almanac for 2021. Any errors in these columns are my own.
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If you want to read some of my other astrologically-oriented poetry, To the Mansions of the Moon is a collection of hymns to the angels of the Mansions mentioned in these columns. For the Behenian Stars is a collection of hymns to the first/brightest sixteen stars. The Sun’s Paces are hymns to the thirty-six Hellenistic-era deities and ascended souls of the Greco-Egyptian Decans-calendar. While not astrological, Festae contains hymns to some of the older Roman gods and spirits from the calendar created by Numa Pompilius, the second ancient King of Rome.