Calendar Page

Special Days and Aspects for May 2005

May 2005

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


May 1, 2005

Moon Phase
Last-quarter Moon in Aquarius, 6:24 Universal Time.

Sun at 10 degrees Taurus inconjunct retrograde Jupiter in Libra
Lots of hard work without obvious immediate rewards can make people a bit sullen, and that’s the vibe that is prevalent under this transit. Hang in there.

Mars enters Pisces
This is the planet of ego, will and energy immersed in the impersonal waters of Pisces, where ego is negated and movement is slowed. This is a good time to engage in selfless acts to benefit others. Selfish acts may well backfire.

Holy Pascha: This is Easter for Orthodox churches. On the western calendar, Easter is the Sunday following the first full Moon on or after the vernal equinox and was celebrated on 27th March this year. Eastern churches figure in some additional elements, including the timing of Passover, in setting the date for Easter.

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. For more about May, and the spirit of young femininity honored during the month by cultures past and present, please see The Honored Maidens of the Merry Mary Month in the May 2004 issue of Metamorphosis and Celebrating Beltane in the current issue.

Last Day of Passover: The eight-day celebration of the Jewish exodus from slavery in Egypt concludes. The holiday period is celebrated with retellings of the story and with special meals, called Seders, incorporating many foods that symbolize the experiences of slavery and freedom.

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May 2, 2005

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, 2005

Venus at 21 degrees Taurus sextile Saturn in Cancer
This is the time to handle sticky business or financial situations where tact and diplomacy are called for, because both will be at your disposal. While you may feel somewhat inhibited, this is not a bad thing; it is more in the way of conservative restraint that prevents excesses and allows you to express good judgment.

Mercury at 17 degrees Aries sextile Neptune in Aquarius
With Neptune’s dreamy out-of-this-world energy making a lovely visit to the man in charge of the mind, there are apt to be some pretty meaningful dreams and many messages from the other side streaming through the consciousness. This is an excellent day to pray, meditate, or gaze thoughtfully off into the distance.

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. In the Philippines, Santacruzan is celebrated with parades.

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, 2005

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, 2005

Venus at 24 degrees Taurus inconjunct retrograde Pluto in Sagittarius
If the inconjunct between the Sun and Saturn that opened the month brought with it a vibe of too much work with very little reward, this inconjunct brings a similar vibe to emotional relationships. Don’t let your longing for a deep relationship lead you into an alliance where your partner takes advantage of you. Such mistakes can happen under this aspect. On the other hand, if you’re in a committed relationship and feeling put-upon, it might be wise to consider that your partner may also put up with a lot dealing with you! This is a stressful aspect, but with an opportunity for wisdom and learning.

National Day of Prayer (U.S.): 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.

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.

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, 2005

Yom HaShoah: The first Nazi concentration camp to be liberated by the Allies when the war against Germany ended in 1945 was the camp at Buchenwald, Germany, liberated on the 27th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan. Israel’s government established the anniversary as Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Day. The holiday, which technically begins at sundown the evening before, has a threefold meaning: it memorializes the 6 million Jews killed in the Nazi holocaust, honors the survivors, and reminds humanity what human beings are capable of doing to one another. This day is also observed by many non-Jews.

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May 7, 2005

Mercury at 22 degrees Aries square Saturn in Cancer
Precise, practical, insightful — today that’s you, as Mercury teams up with Saturn and creates an aspect that offers an excellent day for business and planning. Better to plan alone however, as Saturn’s eye for detail may come across to others as critical nitpicking, and the Aries-style cowboy diplomacy won’t be enough to circumvent hurt feelings.

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May 8, 2005

Moon Phase
New Moon in Taurus, 8:45 Universal Time.

Sun at 17 degrees Taurus square Neptune in Aquarius
Your vital energy is sapped today by this square from watery Neptune. You feel physically drained and emotionally exhausted, and that’s OK! Not every day can be filled with abundant energy and penetrating insights. Listen to your body and obey its need to relax. Slowing down today may open you up to a beautiful Neptunian dream or make way for new ideals to be born.

Mercury at 24 degrees Aries trine retrograde Pluto in Sagittarius
This heady trine combines the best of Mercury’s mental sharpness with the profound insight of Pluto, the planet that rules some of life’s greatest mysteries. Mercury’s been teasing you all week long, and today’s the day to reap the rewards. You have the ability today to unlock deep revelations about your own truth and the state of your inner life.

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 9, 2005

Birthday of Rabindranath Tagore: Rabindranath Tagore (1861 - 1941), won the Nobel for his collection of poems named Gitanjali. A poet and a dreamy idealist (besides being a philosopher, social reformer, playwright, musician and creator of dance dramas), he set up an open university in Bengal, India when such a concept was unheard of. Vishwabharati, as the university is called, was meant to be cultural meeting place of the east and the west. He is probably the only poet in the world whose lyrics are honoured as the national anthems of two different countries : “Jana gana mana adhinayak” for India and “Amar sonar bangla” for Bangladesh. He is the one who said, “Hope is the bird that sings though dawn is yet to break.”

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, 2005

Venus enters Gemini
The earthy and steadfast expression of love that we felt with Venus in Taurus shifts today to an intellectualized emotion, based on friendship and conversation. In Gemini, Venus expresses herself verbally, through a shared love of literature and travel. Passion is replaced with playfulness and love grows from friendships and in places where we go about our daily activities; school, work and the community.

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, 2005

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 12, 2005

Mercury enters Taurus
The quick-thinking, fast-talking style of communication so prevalent while Mercury was in Aries slows down today as Mercury starts his turn in Taurus. Communication and thinking during this time are characterized by a slow, steady and even-handed approach, with an emphasis on subject matter that is practical and down-to-earth.

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.

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, 2005

Sun at 22 degrees Taurus sextile Saturn in Cancer
A bright and orderly transit, creating ideal conditions for getting things planned and accomplished. It’s also a favorable day to seek input from those older and wiser, more established or in positions of authority.

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, 2005

Mars at 9 degrees Pisces inconjunct retrograde Jupiter in Libra
It’s Saturday, and it would not be a bad idea at all to just spend the day in bed. Mars, the active will, dissipating in the Piscean waters, would love to please the higher-ups and receive their blessing, but the path is unclear and stressful.

Sun at 23 degrees Taurus inconjunct retrograde Pluto in Sagittarius
This slave-driver aspect adds to the day’s anxiety-producing potential, as it makes people feel as though they’re forced to keep moving in accordance with someone else’s decisions. Yet in the face of such planetary tensions as today presents through both inconjuncts, it is still best to try to stay relaxed and centered and do what you can to release the sense of internal pressure.

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May 15, 2005

Mars conjunct Uranus at 10 degrees Pisces
Rebellious, unfettered and unabashedly self-centered — this conjunction pulls us towards a form of self-expression that is all about innovation and self-assertion. Traditional astrology would call this aspect accident-prone, even dangerous. However, the danger isn’t random or without cause. People who feel hemmed in and constrained will often injure themselves under this influence as a subconscious rebellion against the restrictive challenges in their lives. The trick is to use this energy consciously — refrain from directly challenging authority and instead go your own way. You won’t be disappointed.

Pentecost Sunday: Just as the Christian Last Supper comemorates a day when Jesus was celebrating a Jewish holiday, Passover, so the Christian holiday of Pentecost hearkens back to a day, 50 days after Jesus’ Easter resurrection, when Jerusalem was filled with Jews from many lands who had come to the holy city to celebrate Shavuot. As the Bible tells it, the resurrected Jesus had spent 40 days among his followers. Then he instructed the apostles to remain in Jerusalem to await the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and he ascended into the heavens before their eyes. On the 50th day, when the apostles were together praying, the sound of a strong wind filled the sky, the Holy Spirit descended upon them like tongues of fire, and they began speaking in tongues they didn’t know before, which allowed them to communicate with the international crowds in the city.

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, 2005

Moon Phase
First-quarter Moon in Leo, 8:56 Universal Time.

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May 17, 2005

Venus at 9 degrees Gemini trine retrograde Jupiter in Libra
A hedonistic delight — the planet of love and attraction forms a flowing easy aspect with expansive and jocular Jupiter. Pleasure today can take many forms, from indulging your senses in the physical expression of love, to tantalizing your taste buds with fine dining, or pandering to your material desires to feather your nest a bit. Take your pick and run with it. The true hedonists will find time to manage all three and still have room for desert.

Mercury at 9 degrees Taurus inconjunct retrograde Jupiter in Libra
This downright ineloquent aspect ensures that the day’s hedonistic Venus-Jupiter pleasures are unlikely to be interrupted by bursts of pure-genius poetry.

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May 18, 2005

Mercury at 10 degrees Taurus sextile Uranus in Pisces
Mercury, communicator of ideas in our daily lives, forms a sweet aspect with Uranus, communicator of ideals on a much grander scale. Contacts between these two intellectual powerhouses often conjure up genius of some variety; quirkiness and hilarity are present too.

Venus at 10 degrees Gemini square Uranus in Pisces
Uranus the rebel strives to help us forward with our lives by daring us to challenge the status quo. Today, as he squares the planet of love and relationships, expect some bumps in the road. Look for freedom and control to be the touchy words and remember the clichés about loving someone enough to let them go. A good relationship is strengthened, even invigorated, by these periodic tests of fortitude. A bad one may indeed crumble.

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, 2005

Neptune goes retrograde at 17 degrees Aquarius
Review your dreams and hare-brained schemes. What were they missing before that you can see in them now?

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May 20, 2005

Mercury at 13 degrees Taurus sextile Mars in Pisces
Healthy debate rules the day as communicative Mercury sextiles combative Mars. You’ll want to talk about your opinions today and you’ll feel passionate about others hearing your views. But this energy isn’t a license for argumentative show-downs. Instead, remember all those old-fashioned debating society rules and make your case, listen for the merit in the position of others, and practice a little give and take.

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.

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 21, 2005

Have a great day!

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May 22, 2005

Mercury at 17 degrees Taurus square retrograde Neptune in Aquarius
Mental clarity is diminished at this time, and a heightened imagination may add confusion and make it difficult to distinguish reality from fantasy. Right brain (intuitive) thinking dominates, making logical/analytical reasoning difficult or impossible. Our minds tend to wander, and it is up to us whether this is a time of creative insight or idle daydreaming.

Holy Trinity Sunday: Christians honor the belief in one God of a threefold nature.

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, 2005

Moon Phase
Full Moon in Sagittarius, 20:18 Universal Time.

Venus at 15 degrees Gemini square Mars in Pisces
A short-lived transit that re-creates all the tensions of the age-old battle of the sexes. Today the odds are stacked in favor of Lady Venus, who is strong and logical in Gemini. Mars, diminished in Pisces, learns a lesson about who really does wear the pants in the family.

Saturn at 23 degrees Cancer inconjunct retrograde Pluto in Sagittarius
If you’re the kind of person who ever feels stricken by a sense of obligation to the general community, today is the kind of day that such concerns are likely to strike.

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.

Buddha Purnima: On this Full Moon day of the Hindu month of Vaishakh, a prince called Siddharth was born (B.C. 566) in a kingdom on the foothills of the Himalayas. He went on to attain enlightenment and be called “Buddha.” His original teachings have long since been transformed (some would say beyond recognition) in what one sees as Buddhism these days, but what he preached was, essentially, a Middle Path — something that eschews both deprivation and excesses and places a high premium on the eight “Rights” — (1) right speech, (2) right action, (3) right livelihood, (4) right exertion, (5) right-mindedness, (6) right meditation, (7) right resolution, and (8) right point of view. He vociferously debunked ritualism and strictly forbade idol worship. On this day, Buddha also attained his enlightenment and, some years down the line, left his mortal body on the same day. To read about his life, please see the article Gautam Siddharth: The Prince Who Would Be Buddha in the May 2003 issue of Metamorphosis.

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May 24, 2005


Happy Birthday to
moonglow!
 

Moon Phase
Full Moon in Scorpio, 10:06 Universal Time.

Venus at 17 degrees Gemini trine retrograde Neptune in Aquarius
There’s a peaceful sense of spirituality in the air today. Venus, the planet of personal love and attraction, makes a beautiful aspect to her higher octave, the deeply empathetic Neptune. The airy quality of the trine means that declarations of love and devotion come easily at this time and feel as good to say as they do to hear. The occasionally illusory nature of Neptune does bring with it its own cautions. While you’re likely to feel powerfully and deliciously in love, avoid making any permanent decisions until later in May. If it’s the real thing, its worth waiting for.

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, 2005


Happy Birthday to
Spiritua!
 

Mercury at 23 degrees Taurus inconjunct retrograde Pluto in Sagittarius
Under a transit made for nitpickers, it pays to sweat the small stuff. Check the details of any important work done today, and then double-check.

Mercury at 23 degrees Taurus sextile Saturn in Cancer
This aspect encourages the ability to find practical resolutions to problems.

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May 26, 2005

Corpus Christi: Catholic religious celebration of the presence of Christ in the sacrament of the Eucharist (the bread and wine of Communion).

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May 27, 2005

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 28, 2005

Mercury enters Gemini
Writers — on your marks, get set, go! Mercury in a sign he rules (and one where the Sun is also shining) favors quick thinking and snappy communication. Mercury moves quickly through the signs, so this influence is short, but sweet, lasting only until June 12.

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May 29, 2005

Venus at 23 degrees Gemini opposed retrograde Pluto in Sagittarius
This is a strong and sometimes dangerous transit that can fuel feelings of jealousy, obsessiveness and compulsion. The trick here is to remember that love does conquer all; despite the apparent authority of negative feelings or events, the only lasting strength is the power of love. Powerful forces are at work today, as this karmic influence echoes events that happened in a significant relationship this time last year.

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, 2005

Moon Phase
Last-quarter Moon in Pisces, 11:47 Universal Time.

Sun at 8 degrees Gemini trine retrograde Jupiter in Libra
The cerebral Gemini Sun forms a gentle angle with noble Jupiter as he works through high-minded Libra. Sun trine Jupiter is considered to be one of the most pleasant of all astrological influences and today’s airy energy only serves to heighten the experience. Enjoy everything today has to offer — you’ll feel enthusiastically optimistic, buoyed by feelings of goodwill and generosity.

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.

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, 2005

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, celebrated as The Visitation. 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 Terri Smallwood and Maria Barron
Holidays compiled by Maria Barron, Anindita Basu and Sucheta Shetty
Birthday graphics by Maria Barron for Metamorphosis

For an astrological look at the month as a whole,
please see May Star Watch in this issue.