Serious Questions

The Sun enters Taurus and Pluto goes retrograde.

“It’s the greening of the trees that really gets to me…

Patient, plodding, a green skin growing over whatever winter did to us, a return to the strange idea of continuous living despite the mess of us, the hurt, the empty.”

—Ada Limón, “Instructions on Not Giving Up”

When astrologers say it will be “an interesting week,” I promptly roll my eyes. Rather than sprinkle stevia all over this astro forecast, I’ll instead warn you that we’ve got a real “hold on to your butts” week ahead of us (thanks, Jurassic Park). On the 17th Saturn went retrograde and comet-like Chiron moved into Aries, setting the scene for somber moods and painful pangs of gloom this week. Saturn continues to test our grown-up goals, pressuring us to crank up the responsibility so we can achieve more. And on Sunday, Pluto turns retrograde. That means harsh Plutonian themes like power, secrets, and psychological mysteries are all bubbling up from the deep. The good news is Pluto also brings transformation: not a mere haircut, but a radical overhaul from the inside out. Because Saturn and Pluto are both in Capricorn, the self-reflection may seem stark. We’re viewing reality without a soft filter.

That’s not all! Planet Mars is squeezed between Saturn and Pluto, feeling trapped and volatile. So don’t be surprised if you encounter rageful reactions from others or throw a tantrum of your own. Before the Sun enters Earth-sign Taurus on Thursday, it makes one last firecracker bang in Aries when it touches (conjuncts) Uranus on Wednesday. This startling aspect between the Sun and unpredictable Uranus is like opening a vigorously shaken soda that sprays foam everywhere. We may experience a situation that makes us remark, “Whoa! That came out of nowhere!” Escalation energy. While a Sun/Uranus conjunction can certainly shock, it also prompts quick self-change, building on last week’s personal-growth lessons. This week, Chiron has its first “conversations” with other planets since it shifted into Aries mode. Because Aries also represents the military and defense, we might see war-related events in the headlines. On Tuesday, Venus enters Gemini, where love becomes more verbal. Hot texts and flirty wordplay rule while Venus is in Gemini (until May 19). Yes, this week unloads challenging puzzles to solve. We’re asking ourselves serious questions and facing adult decisions. The way through the maze, though, is to use the new Taurus energy. Ground yourself by preparing food, gardening, and indulging in visual beauty.


It’s fitting that Earth Day falls during Taurus season, because Taurus is the first Earth sign of the Zodiac. Like fellow Earth signs Virgo and Capricorn, Taurus (whose constellation is a horned bull) cares about what’s tangible: shelter, material possessions, houseplants, and dollar bills. More than any other Earth sign, Taurus is especially delighted by food and drink. Ruled by sensual planet Venus, Taurus enjoys the perks of inhabiting a human body: sexual pleasure, intoxicating scents, fine fabrics and textures, makeup, and art. It wants all the senses stimulated! Famous Taurus Cher said, “When you think you look beautiful, you come out with a kind of glow and a confidence, so it’s a tool.” To a Taurus, even beauty can be practical. Unlike Aries the daredevil, Taurus avoids unnecessary risks. Sensible Taurus prefers to spend money on insurance rather than slot machines. The sign rations its energy by only pursuing surefire endeavors that will eventually bear fruit.


On Wednesday the 18th, the Sun and Uranus unite and spark sudden change. Ready or not, you can’t keep doing things the same way. It’s time for reflection and quick plans of action. Because the Moon is in Gemini until Friday morning, the next two days will present choices for your consideration. On Thursday the 19th, the Sun enters Taurus. Farewell, Aries season! Even if you’re tempted to tell someone off today, hold your annoyed tongue. By evening, Chiron makes its first aspect as an Aries planetoid when it forms a “quintile” with Mars. You may have to dive into old wells of pain, but the voyage is necessary. On Friday the 20th, it’s wise to give people space instead of blowing up bonds out of frustration. You can make small progress, especially on home-related goals. The Moon is in tender Cancer until early Sunday morning. On Saturday the 21st, the Cancer Moon makes delightful aspects with both Neptune and Jupiter. Strengthen relationships today and spend time at home or with family. Sunday the 22nd is Earth Day! A quarter Moon phase means you have to leap over obstacles to achieve what you desire. Pluto stations to go retrograde in the morning. Soon after, Venus and Neptune form a lovely angle that sweetens partnerships of all kinds. On Monday the 23rd, Venus (love and money) must evolve. Whatever decisions you’ve been mulling all week may require you to make a choice today. Lead with your heart. On Tuesday the 24th, Venus enters Gemini. In the evening, Venus and Chiron cook up a love spell that delivers healing. The Sun and Moon create a supportive “trine” aspect that can bring you solutions.

Correction: Last week I wrote that Chiron left Aries in May 1976. In fact, Chiron returned to Aries during a retrograde that lasted from October ’76 to March ’77.