May New Moon
Something opens our wings. Something makes boredom and hurt disappear. The cure for pain is in the pain – Rumi
The new moon on 18th May (4.14 GMT) in earth sign Taurus challenges us to be present in a very special way. We may be still processing fall-out from the intense emotional cleansing of the last full moon in Scorpio, inhabiting a space between building up and breaking down, holding on and letting go. Hold on to this paradox, while both the beauty and pain unfold to reveal the root of what we are dealing with so that the leap into new territory through the second half of June can be empowered by clear seeing rather than by wishful thinking. We are creating the new out of the yet to be discovered, not out of the already known.
A religious mind is a mind that is utterly free from all attachment… When there is a division between ‘what is’ and ‘what should be’ there must inevitably be conflict. - Krishnamurti
This new moon brings a radical potential for perceiving the impact of attachment which normally catches our awareness before we can catch it. We are being shown again where attachment creates pain as the new moon falls exactly on the fixed start Algol, the eye of Medusa. Algol consists of two rotating stars, one being eclipsed by the second darker one every three days so giving the appearance of blinking. It seems that this point of the Zodiac has a resonance with the memory of collective pain, the role of the victim, especially the rage and disempowerment of the feminine. In Chinese astrology its name means ‘piled up corpses’, in Arabic ‘the head of the demon’.
According to myth, Medusa was a beautiful woman seduced by Neptune in the temple of Athena. For this she was punished by Athena and turned into a monster. Twice a victim, her gaze created a new victim every time anyone looked at her. Only Perseus finally managed to cut off her head by using his shield as a mirror, avoiding her gaze. Eventually Athena herself placed Medusa’s severed head as an icon on her own shield to give protection, uniting finally the power of the uncontrolled rage of Medusa with her own warrior detachment. The myths are like feedback loops which keep replaying through the collective psyche, making people behave in uncharacteristic ways as if possessed by the archetypal energies. There is a pain which turns beauty into a monster and turns others to stone. This Moon offers a chance to heal pain we may have been carrying for lifetimes. Also to see how suffering arises. Radically transforming suffering into power and beauty is its gift.
We revisted the Medusa energy the last time at the May full moon and June lunar eclipse of 2011, so reflection on processes from that period may bring fresh insights now. We need immense power of detached observation so as not to create re-imprinting of old pain; to use a mirror as a shield like Perseus did to retrieve our power and wholeness. Perhaps as we look deeply into the reflection and dissolve any remaining sense of disempowerment we can finally glimpse beyond the duality of ‘them and us’, into the suffering of the Medusa herself:
If we could read the secret histories of our enemies we should find sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility – Longfellow
At the new moon Mercury (the mind and communication) turned retrograde in its own sign of Gemini, making a ‘yod’ or finger of God with Pluto and Jupiter. This creates a kind of held-back mental leap towards anticipated expansion. While Mercury backtracks over the next weeks our mind can enter the in-between intuitive spaces that were missed in the too swift forward momentum of expectations and agendas. It may be a time of confusion, definitely a time for listening twice as attentively as usual:
We have two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we speak. – Epictetus
Mercury turns to move forward again on 11th June, and realisations may start to clarify, but it will not return to its current position until 27th June so stay attentive, listening to all the subtler levels of inner and outer information before putting forward your ideas. Watch out on the 27th May for Mercury’s meeting with Mars so the new energy doesn’t explode into expression. The retrograde period of Mercury involves various ongoing connections with Neptune; this can bring deep visions and spiritual realisations, an increased sense of presence, or if we flip to the shadow side, intensified confusion, disillusionment, spacing out. This is not just randomly being lost - we are in a specifically creative twilight zone.
During the last week of May we will need all our clarity and magnanimity to manifest the best fruits of this period of incubation.
Taurus represents our connection with the earth and this new moon is also a call for healing for the earth itself. We plant the seeds of our perceptions deeply in our senses and patiently wait for them to grow. As we release the grasp of our own pain we naturally tune into a healing flow with the Pachamama. When Medusa was beheaded two mythical beings emerged, Chrysaor, a giant who became a king, and Pegasus the winged horse. Out of the transformation of pain comes a kingly power, our own rootedness in the earth, and a new magical being who can travel between the earth and sky, visible and invisible worlds:
All things arise, suffer, change, and pass away. This is their nature. When you know this, nothing perturbs you, nothing hurts you, you become still. It is easy - Ashtavakra