May 2003 A Conscious Evolution Newsletter
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Gautam Siddharth:
The Prince Who Would Be Buddha
Revisiting Atlantis: Past Lives – Present Reality
Spiraling with Yeats
on a Borderline in Time
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Metamorphosis
Index of All Articles
Volume 2, Number 5

Opinions presented in Metamorphosis are those of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of others associated with the newsletter.

Calendar Page
Special Days and Aspects for May 2003

May 2003
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  

Welcome to May! Click on a date in the calendar to see the current aspects and events for that day.


May 1, 2003

Moon Phase
New Moon in Taurus.

May Day: From fertility and flowers to productivity and politics, May Day has been used for it all. Those who celebrate it as the ancient Celtic festival of Beltane would call it a good night for bonfires - and for making love in the garden to bless the land. But watch out for the faeries and other supernatural folk, who roam at this time just as they do at Samhain/Halloween, the opposite point on the wheel of the year. In ancient Rome, the festival to welcome in the merry month of May was known as Floralia for the flowers. Traditional activities, still practiced around the world today, include gathering flowers, crowning a May Queen and dancing around a tree or Maypole. In Hawaii, it’s Lei Day. In icy Finland, at the end of a long winter, May Day is a raucous festival called Vappu, and all the businesses close down for the holiday. In the United Kingdom and much of Europe, the day is also Labor Day, and in communist countries, the workers’ holiday has been used as an opportunity to display military might. To counter that, the U.S. Veterans of Foreign Wars in 1947 declared the day Loyalty Day, a celebration of American patriotism. In a similar effort to promote democracy over communism, the American Bar Association had the day declared Law Day. In France, it’s Premier Mai, a day with political overtones but also with a tradition of wearing and wishing on lillies of the valley. In Catholicism, May is a month for honoring Mary the mother of Jesus, and May Day is a feast day in honor of her husband, St. Joseph, patron saint of carpenters and builders.

National Day of Prayer: A moveable holiday in May, the day of prayer was established in 1952 by the U.S. Congress, which asked people of every faith to gather and pray together for the country and for guidance for its leaders. In many cities, large gatherings are held in public parks or arenas, led by clergy of many religions.

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May 2, 2003

Venus at 13 degrees Aries sextile Neptune in Aquarius
Venus, the planet of beauty and love, is inspired by visionary Neptune to see the value and goodness of life even through the challenges that many of us are experiencing now. As the ruler of Taurus, where the Sun resides for most of this month, this gentle aspect provides an especially welcome perspective on the confusion and uncertainty that will characterize much of May. Romantic ideals may be stirred today, but more likely as a “romantic sense of life” than as a passionate encounter with the opposite sex.

Ridvan concludes: The 12-day festival of the Baha’i faith, which teaches the unity of all religions and all people, concludes with a holy day on which no work is done.

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May 3, 2003

Día de la Santa Cruz: On the Day of the Holy Cross in Mexico, carpenters, masons and other construction workers decorate crosses elaborately and place them at their work sites. Anyone constructing a new building throws a party for the workers. Miners also participate in the custom and the workers are toasted in celebration.

Japanese National Foundation Day and Constitution Memorial Day: This celebration dates to 660 B.C. and the crowning of Jimmu Tenno. Believed to be descended from the gods, he became Japan’s first human emperor. The May 3 holiday was abolished after World War II but has been revived as a celebration of the founding of a new Japan and adoption of a democratic constitution.

Tako-Age (Kite Flying Day): In Japanese cities, competitions are held. The object is to cut down other people’s kites with your own, with glass embedded in its tail.

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May 4, 2003

Sun at 13 degrees Taurus square Neptune in Aquarius
Our sense of self-worth may be challenged, and we’re likely to feel especially vulnerable to criticism. We may feel called on to defend our values or our station in life, even though no one has really challenged them. A bit of a “what’s it all about?” mood might dampen our spirits, but it won’t linger for long.

Rhode Island Independence Day: On May 4, 1776, Rhode Island declared its independence from Great Britain two months before the rest of the American colonies did so.

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May 5, 2003

Cinco de Mayo: A national holiday in Mexico and also celebrated in many American communities with large Mexican-American populations, the day commemorates the Battle of Pueblo in 1862, when Mexican troops commanded by General Ignacio Zaragoza defeated the invading French forces of Napoleon III against great odds. The Mexicans completed their triumph against the French on April 2, 1867.

Napoleon’s Day: Commemorates the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte as emperor of France from 1804-1815. The date is the anniversary of his death in 1821 at the age of 51.

Dutch Liberation Day: Celebrates the Netherlands’ liberation from Nazi occupation in 1945, five years after the country was invaded.

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May 6, 2003

Have a great day!  

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May 7, 2003

Sun at 16 degrees Taurus conjunct Mercury
The clear vision of Mercury focuses on self-awareness, and with Mercury still retrograde this could take the form of identifying values or habits that we’ve held onto for too long. Perhaps it’s time to set them aside and move on.

Venus at 19 degrees Aries trine Pluto in Sagittarius
Interactions with others may be intense today, and expectations are high in romantic relationships. If there are relationship problems this is a good day to undertake constructive changes, which are likely to be successful.

Birthday of Rabindranath Tagore: A poet, philosopher, social reformer, playwright, musician and creator of dance dramas, Tagore was born in Calcutta, India, in 1861 and died in 1941. In 1913 he became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. His birthday is celebrated in India with festivals featuring his work.

Yom HaZikaron: Beginning the previous sunset, Yom HaZikaron is Israel’s Memorial Day, a day to remember those who lost their lives fighting for the State of Israel, including civilians killed by terror attacks.

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May 8, 2003

Mars at 10 degrees Aquarius opposite Jupiter in Leo
Combative Mars runs afoul of the expanded sense of self-importance represented by Jupiter in Leo. You could find yourself arguing with a know-it-all ... or you could be the know-it-all yourself, impatiently telling those around you what to do and where to get off! On the positive side, if you can hook the raw energy of Mars up to Jupiter’s social influence and ease, this could be a great time to launch a new project with public appeal.

Yom Ha’atzmaut: Israel’s Independence Day, scheduled by the Hebrew calendar, commemorates the proclamation of independence by Palestinian Jews and the establishment of a provisional government in Israel on May 14, 1948.

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May 9, 2003

Moon Phase
First-quarter Moon in Leo.

Lemuralia: In ancient Rome, the first of three days (the others being May 11 and 15) to make ghosts go away. To work the magic, people walked barefoot, washed their hands three times and threw black beans behind them nine times.

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May 10, 2003

Golden Spike Anniversary: A celebration of the day in 1869 when work was completed on the first railroad to reach across the United States. The Southern Pacific Railroad built eastward from Sacramento, California, and the Union Pacific built westward from Omaha, Nebraska. The railroads were joined with four special spikes at Promontory Summit, Utah. Two of the spikes were made of gold, one of silver, and one of iron, clad in silver and topped with gold.

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May 11, 2003

Mothers Day: Celebrated in America on the second Sunday in May, Mothers Day grew out of the love that Anna M. Jarvis of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, held for her mother. After five years of promoting the idea of a special day each year to honor mothers, Jarvis’ dream came true in 1914, when President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Mothers Day a national holiday. Get your mom some flowers.

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May 12, 2003

Birthday of Florence Nightingale: The day celebrates the life of the famous nurse and public health activist, who lived from 1820-1910. Nightingale made great changes in the way hospitals were run. The day also is celebrated as National Hospital Day in the United States.

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May 13, 2003

Mercury at 13 degrees Taurus square Neptune in Aquarius
In the words of a popular Jewel song, “only words can lie,” but today even non-verbal communications like body language and facial expressions are likely to be confusing and deceptive. Even innocent remarks can spur a suspicious response. When your friend says “good morning,” you may wonder what he really meant by that!

Our Lady of Fátima Day (first) : May 13, 1917, was the first day that a group of children in the village of Fátima, Portugal, reported seeing a vision near the top of a tree. The same thing happened on the 13th of every month until October 13 of the same year, when the Lady appeared before 70,000 onlookers and revealed herself to be the Virgin Mary. On May 13 and October 13 of each year, large groups of people travel to the shrine built at the place of the appearances.

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May 14, 2003

Mercury at 13 degrees Taurus square Mars in Aquarius
Yesterday’s confusing communications take a turn for the worse today and can become downright combative if you let them. Folks are likely to snap at each other for no good reason, and simple disagreements can quickly escalate to full-fledged verbal warfare. Try to curb your tendency to complain and find fault with others, and if you are on the receiving end of harsh remarks, try not to take them personally ... there’s an agitated energy in the air that everyone is reacting to.

Venus at 27 degrees Aries sextile Saturn in Gemini
A breath of calm sanity in an otherwise martial and conflicted day, Saturn’s gentle inhibition combines gracefully with Venus’ natural leaning toward calmness and harmony to cool heated interactions and promote diplomacy over aggression.

Mars at 13 degrees Aquarius conjunct Neptune
When expressing positively, this union can produce good works based on strong faith. With the aggressive side of Mars and the deceptive side of Neptune at the forefront it is more likely to show passive-aggressive hostility, covert attacks, or manipulative behavior.

Mawlid an-Nabi: Also called Id-e-Milad or Milad-ul-Nabi, this is the commemoration of the birth of Prophet Mohammed, founder of Islam, in Mecca in about A.D. 570 on the 12th day of the Islamic month of Rabi al-Awwal. Not all Moslems observe the occasion, but those who do treat it rather solemnly; for instance, as a good day to read the prophet’s teachings, although some also exchange gifts and set off fireworks. According to Islamic belief, Mohammed, a shepherd and trader, began to have revelations from God at age 40 and went on to establish the religion that has unified most Arabs ever since.

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May 15, 2003

Aoi Matsuri (Hollyhock Festival): This Shinto day of parading in Kyoto, Japan, came about because nearly a thousand years ago two Kyoto shrines had fallen into neglect - and so disaster came in the form of plague and flood. Imperial messengers were sent out to tend the shrines afterwards, and today’s celebrations recreate that procession in period costume, using ox-drawn carriages, with everything and everyone adorned in hollyhocks.

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May 16, 2003

Moon Phase
Full Moon in Scorpio.

Lunar Eclipse at 25 degrees Scorpio
Scorpio’s secretive intensity and otherworldly preoccupation shakes the Taurus Sun’s down-to-Earth stability and need for security. Interactions with others are likely to be unsettling and possibly overwhelming. See May Star Watch for a more detailed discussion of this eclipse.

Venus enters Taurus.
The entry of Venus into the Sun sign it rules brings calmness and stability to our personal outlook just when we need it most on this Lunar Eclipse day.

Buddha Day: Also known as Wesak, Visakha Puja and Buddha Jayanti, this is the holiest of Buddhist holy days and a public holiday in some countries. The holiday is always on a full moon in Buddhist countries that follow the Theravada form of Buddhism, including India and Singapore. In Japan and other Mahayana Buddhist countries, it is observed April 8 instead. It celebrates the birth, enlightenment and death (attainment of Nirvana) of Lord Buddha. To read about his life, please see the article Gautam Siddharth: The Prince Who Would Be Buddha in this issue.

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May 17, 2003

Sanja Matsuri: Kannon, the goddess of mercy, is honored by this Shinto festival in Tokyo, Japan. Also known as the Three Shrines Festival, it features a Friday through Sunday carnival and a huge parade with portable shrines through the streets of the city. The goddess it honors, known as Kuan Yin in Chinese, is revered in China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and elsewhere. In Buddhism, she is known as the Bodhisattva (Buddha-to-be) of infinite compassion and mercy. She is sometimes portrayed as both female and male, able to look in every direction and also able to appear in any form needed to relieve suffering.

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May 18, 2003

Venus at 2 degrees Taurus sextile Uranus in Pisces
This mild aspect stimulates artistic creativity and may spark a taste for new and unusual experiences, especially experiences shared with others.

Sennin Gyoretsu (Procession of 1,000 Warriors): In Nikko, Japan, this weekend procession honors Japan’s first Shogun, who was buried at Toshogu Shrine in 1617. More than 1,000 people dressed in traditional Samurai armour parade through the streets in a re-enactment of the famous Shogun’s burial procession.

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May 19, 2003

Mercury at 11 degrees Taurus square Jupiter in Leo
Excessive talk without much real communication; too many words and too little meaning. With Mercury nearing the end of its retrograde period, this aspect will occur again on May 24 after Mercury goes direct.

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May 20, 2003

Mercury goes direct at 11 degrees Taurus
With the passing of Mercury’s retrograde period, transportation and communications issues are likely to be less troublesome. Don’t look for an instantaneous change, as some issues with their roots in retrograde Mercury will still take time to unwind.

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May 21, 2003

Sun enters Gemini
The focus of personal and collective experience shifts from Taurus’ emphasis on the physical senses, stability and the earthy pleasures of beauty and art to Gemini’s airy intellectual and analytical concerns. In the coming month, words and ideas take center stage, with conversation and logical analysis assuming a greater importance than gut-level feelings. Clear thinking and effective communication lend a sense of objective transparency to the world around us. Carried to extremes, this can result in a kind of “living in our heads” that may distance us from the sometimes messy and disorderly real world.

Lag B’Omer: Beginning the previous sunset, this is the Jewish observation of the 33rd day in the traditional counting of the Omer, the seven-week period linking Passover and Shavout, the upcoming June holiday that celebrates the giving of the law to Moses.

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May 22, 2003

Anastenaria: Fire walking! A ceremony featuring barefoot dancing on red-hot coals takes place in certain Greek communities in honor of Sts. Constantine and Helen. The festival runs from May 21-23.

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May 23, 2003

Moon Phase
Last-quarter Moon in Pisces.

Declaration of the Bab: The Baha’i faith traces its beginnings to this day in 1844, when Mirza Ali Mohammad of Persia (now Iran) declared that he was the Bab, or the gate, to unite religions. The faith grew out of Shi’ite Islam.

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May 24, 2003

Mercury at 12 degrees Taurus square Jupiter in Leo
Excessive talk without much real communication; too many words and too little meaning. This aspect also occurred on May 19 before Mercury went direct.

Sun at 3 degrees Gemini square Uranus in Pisces
Expect the unexpected with this volatile aspect that can usher in sudden unexpected changes. Rebellious thoughts and actions challenge established authority with protests and dissent, and revolutionary sentiments seek to tear down the old to make way for the new.

Sts. Cyril and Methodius Day: The saints were brothers and missionaries in the ninth century in what are now the Czech and Slovak Republics and in Bulgaria. St. Cyril is believed to have invented the Slavonic, or Cyrillic, alphabet that is still in use in Slavic countries. In 1980, Pope John Paul II declared the brothers patron saints of Europe.

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May 25, 2003

Mars at 19 degrees Aquarius sextile Pluto in Sagittarius
A productive and energetic wind of change is in the air. Folks unite in common cause to bring about needed transformations in public economic and political institutions, or to rectify social injustices through idealistic but practical works of charity or cooperative joint ventures.

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May 26, 2003

Venus at 12 degrees Taurus square Jupiter in Leo
An outgoing, sociable influence that can tend toward excess. We may feel like it’s time to “party hearty” to the extent of overindulgence, or make dramatic gestures of generosity that we can’t really afford. Another round for everyone at the bar, Joe!

Memorial Day: Most Americans get the last Monday in May off from work in observance of Memorial Day, and the three-day weekend it creates marks the unofficial kick-off of summer. Officially, the day honors those who have died in war. The holiday stems from the American Civil War and from an order given in 1868 by Gen. John A. Logan, commander in chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, to decorate Union soldiers’ graves on May 30. In 1950, the U.S. Congress added the request that the day be used to pray for permanent peace.

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May 27, 2003

Mercury at 13 degrees Taurus square Neptune in Aquarius
The fuzzy, confusing and deceptive side of Neptune makes communication difficult. Trust is hard to grant, and we ourselves may not be totally straightforward with others. This influence and the Venus-Neptune square today might be much more serious and damaging to our relationships but for the positive influence of a Mercury-Venus conjunction the same day.

Venus at 13 degrees Taurus square Neptune in Aquarius
Once again Neptune’s illusory influence confuses us, this time in the realm of romantic or emotional relationships. We’re likely to be overly sensitive and easily wounded by unintentional slights. Conversely we may also have poor judgment blind-spots in our relationships, failing to see what is in front of our faces.

Mercury at 13 degrees Taurus conjunct Venus
Today’s saving grace, a spirit of social connection and goodwill, disposes us to easy cooperation and communication with others. We are equally comfortable sharing thoughts and feelings, making this an ideal time for intimate conversations. We are eager to accommodate others and more inclined to compromise than butt heads if there are differences of opinion.

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May 28, 2003

Have a great day!  

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May 29, 2003

Ascension of Christ: Also known as Ascension Thursday, this is the Christian observance of the departure of Jesus from Earth after the resurrection, and it is celebrated 40 days after Easter. It is one of the oldest Christian holidays, documented as far back as A.D. 68. The Bible says the risen Christ appeared to his followers many times after his resurrection, assuring them that he had returned to life and encouraging them to spread his teachings. On the 40th day, his disciples went with him to the Mount of Olives, where he was taken up to heaven “before their very eyes.” They watched him rise into the sky until a cloud obstructed their view, according to Luke’s account in the Acts of the Apostles.

Ascension of Baha’u’llah: The founder of the Baha’i faith died in Palestine on this day in 1892, and his followers observe it as a holy day in honor of the ascension of his spirit. Baha’u’llah, whose title means Glory of God, was born Mirza Husayn Ali in Persia and was raised Islamic. He became a follower of a new sect begun by a fellow Persian known as the Bab. The Bab declared himself a gate through which religions could unite. The Bab was executed. But several years later, Baha’u’llah announced that he was God’s messenger whose coming was foretold by the Bab. He went on to found the Baha’i religion.

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May 30, 2003

Feast Day of St. Joan of Arc: The amazing achievements of France’s teenage heroine, Jeanne d’Arc, continue to intrigue storytellers and moviemakers nearly 600 years after her brief life. A country girl, she obeyed the voices of saints she heard speaking to her and set out on a mission to win France back from the British. She led men into battle, rescued the city of Orleans and paved the way for the coronation of France’s King Charles VII. She was captured by the king’s enemies, condemned as a heretic and a witch, and executed May 30, 1431. The anniversary is now her feast day as a saint of the Catholic Church and one of France’s patron saints.

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May 31, 2003

Moon Phase
New Moon in Gemini.

Solar Eclipse at 9 degrees Gemini
The Solar eclipse in Gemini highlights the importance of information and communication. It also initiates a new cycle of experience that opens up the possibility of becoming more conscious of how we think and communicate, thus better able to understand and relate to others despite our differences. See May Star Watch for a more detailed discussion of this eclipse.

Jerusalem Day: The Israeli holiday Yom Yerushalayim, beginning the previous sunset, celebrates the day in 1967 when the newly re-established land of Israel gained possession of the Old City of Jerusalem during the Six-Day War against Jordanian and other Arab forces. The victory took place on June 7, 1967, but under the Hebrew calendar, the anniversary is May 31 this year.

Feast of the Visitation: Only a matter of days after Christians celebrate Jesus’ ascension to heaven, the story of his life on Earth starts over with news of his impending birth. After learning from an angel that she was to be the mother of Jesus, and giving her consent, Mary went to the mountains to visit an older cousin, Elizabeth, who was thought to be unable to have children. But Elizabeth was already pregnant with the child who would become John the Baptist. It was said that Elizabeth’s baby leapt in her womb in gladness at the sound of Mary’s voice.

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Astrology by Gregory Ellison; holidays compiled by Maria Barron