Bill Jarosin Presents: Moon-Phase Astrology at Tree of Life

The Flower Moon

The second full moon after the spring equinox is called the Flower Moon or, depending on the tradition involved, any number of other names: Milk Moon, Bright Moon, Budding Moon, Hare Moon, Corn Moon, even Planting Moon (which is our name for the previous moon). The next full moon, the last before the summer solstice, is sometimes called the Flower Moon.

The month of the Flower Moon is that time of year in many northern climates when every inch of earth seems to blossom. The mood is bucolic, which is appropriate for Mays sun sign of Taurus, the bull. This is mid-spring, and the theme is “free-and-easy”: have fun, take a break, run here and there in exploration of the meadow or the hills—or the curves of a lovers body. (Annette Hinshaw, in Earthtime Moontime, calls this the Journey Moon.)

This month its time to have fun—but the deeper you follow the root of “fun,” the more long-lasting the gratification found. Traditionally, this time of year is when plantings have been made, and summer heat and the eventual harvest are still over the horizon. Dalliances are briefly the proper activity of gardens and woods, understandable when this month’s initiatory festival is Beltane, the celebration of new life and love. Beltane falls halfway between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice (about May 5), but is usually celebrated May 1—May Day. Rites on his day ensure the fertility of the land for the recent plantings and celebrate this momentary respite from agricultural toil.

Wherever you are on the globe, this is a time to use recreation as self-examination—an apparent paradox. But if you understand re-creation as a well-spring of continued enthusiasm for life, then you recognize the import of play in maintaining harmony in your cosmos. What gives you joy? What activities invite a sense of continued interest and engagement with life? Which of these sustain you and will carry you through times of hard work, by memory or lingering glow or a deep warmth within? South of the equator, as autumn dawns, the kindling of this “warmth” carries a particularly timely significance. Fun that reaffirms the spirit within you will sustain you; keep this in heart and in hand as you play.

The Phases

As mentioned in the introduction, the four quarter phases are discussed here. They are 1. new (in the heart of the dark moon, though some argue that “new” should refer to the first sign of the crescent sliver), 2. first quarter, 3. full, 4. last quarter, and 5. the dark moon. The crescent phases are incorporated, where noteworthy, into the quarter information. (Complete information about the phases and this column as a whole is in the Introduction.)

Dates given below are for the “height” of each phase, based on angle to the sun. Exact times on the 24-hour clock are given for GMT (Greenwich Mean Time: London), EDT (Eastern Daylight Time: New York), and PDT (Pacific Daylight Time: Los Angeles). In practical terms, there is no precise delineation from one phase of the moon to the next. Expect about one day either side of the date for a “coming into” that phase and a “passing onto” the next. Allow two days either side for the full moon.

May 2/3
New Moon in Taurus (13°)
06:51 GMT May 3, 02:51 EDT May 3, 23:51 PDT May 2

New moons cannot be seen; they are “held inside” the sun—conjunct, in astrological jargon. From the Earth’s viewpoint, the sun and moon are aligned (though usually not precisely with the Earth; that would be a solar eclipse). The day before and for about a day afterwards here (May 1–4), a New Moon is more specifically called the Dark Moon, a time to retrench, rest, re-imagine, and get ready. This is not primarily physical, except as our spirit and emotions are carried in energetic patterns within the body. It is a time for introspection, a retrospective upon the previous cycle. Should you actually stop the day and withdraw? No. This phase is a time or remembrance, a time to include reflection in (and on) one’s daily activities.

With the new moon both in Taurus and as dark sky to the celebration of Beltane, it’s time for some serious R&R. Taurus is earthy and desirous of tangible joys—good art, great meals, a memorable roll in the hay. The moon is hidden now, also resting, not yet resplendent as our emotional Mississippi. Even little joys mean a lot to the weary soul: a quiet garden, a candlelit dinner, a good sleep. Find time in the daily tumult for that spot of hush that is door to a great relaxation, the one that informs behavior with a clear mind, a forgiving heart, and a calm soul.

May 10
First-Quarter Moon in Leo (19°)
20:33 GMT, 16:33 EDT, 13:33 PDT

The first-quarter moon is about planning the bridge from inner to outer. Time to consider what you want and how to get it. The sun is still in Taurus, which is good, because with grounded desire you have the foundation for considerable ability with this moon’s emotional fire. What are your true pleasures? Not the passing fancy of the moment, but what do you really want? Now is the time to consider the deeper import of the R&R undertaken with the new moon and set intentions for an experience you’ll never forget (and don’t want to forget)—the full moon foretaste in Scorpio, next.

May 17 Full Moon in Scorpio (26°)
11:09 GMT, 07:09 EDT, 04:09 PDT
(Sun enters Gemini on May 21 at 02:21 PDT)

The moon takes a great journey this week—if you’re ready. Scorpio elicits the experience of being alive; no half-measures here—life to the full. Do you know what to look for, from what quarter to expect the invitation? If you had allowed yourself to have some down time under the new moon, and ridden the wave of intentional desire to new shores under the first-quarter moon, then the road to be traveled now will reveal itself—something like this, perhaps: a rich experience affording the opportunity to imagine, create, and share some driving emotional truth. Expect the expressive means to find you after the Sun enters Gemini on May 21st. Be ready for a dream at your feet.

May 24
Last-Quarter Moon in Pisces (3°)
18:52 GMT, 14:52 EDT, 11:52 PDT

Time to harvest the spring fever. What did you dream, whom did you meet, and where will you go together? This isn’t about a new love (though that’s possible), but about the inside self who takes you in hand and says, “Let’s run!” The inner child, the blossomed flower, the new you. This should give plan and ideal to set your course for the rest of the year. If you’re still floundering, well, you have lost little; relax and sleep into the dark moon’s slumber.

May 30 – June 1
Dark Moon in Taurus and Gemini
(New Moon on June 1)

Had a fun ride? We’re back in Taurus, feet on the ground. Let the reverberations ring outward like a bell being struck. The sound travels away, fainter and fainter; and then silence. Time to rest again; dreams will come (Gemini is here: the mind still talking). But the body rests, desires incubate. A new cycle lies in wait.