This article first appeared on Mooncircles. It is reprinted here with permission of the author.

Sun and Saturn in Gemini opposite Moon and Pluto in Sagittarius: As these planetary positions indicate, the Sagittarius lunar eclipse takes place just hours after the third and final Saturn-Pluto opposition; (Saturn at 16.36 Gemini opposes Pluto in Sagittarius at 16.36 Sagittarius at 7:26 PM PDT May 25). These two titans - the mythic heavyweights of the zodiac - have been in a tense stand-off since August 5, 2001. But like the last act in a Greek drama, a catharsis is near and the end is in sight. The creative, chaotic restructuring underway for the last nine months is about to reveal the new shapes and forms of the future.

Indeed, it is the Saturn-Pluto influence that has cast a long and fearful shadow over the collective mood since the fateful day of September 11. But oppositions, like Full Moons, bring things to a head. Secrets are revealed. A critical stage is reached. Affairs peak, come to fruition, light up, reach fullness. Thus it is that a memo warning of terrorist attacks that reached President Bush's desk August 6th, 2001 came to light this past week. Authorities say the World Trade Center site will be completely cleared by May 30. The Enron debacle has shown the rotten core at the center of American capitalism. And suddenly, it appears doubtful that America will go to war against Iraq.

Indeed, the forces of fate figure strongly during this potent lunar eclipse, as Saturn and Pluto are each within one degree of the North and South nodes. (The North node is at 17.49 Gemini; the South node is at 17.49 Sagittarius.) Astrologers often interpret the nodes as destiny points; thus this month's alignment emphasizes the "axis of destiny" that is at work in the heavens during these fateful days. Unlike Bush's "axis of evil" with its clear-cut good guys and bad guys it is difficult to say in whose favor the Fates will spin the world wheel of destiny.

Mercury the Messenger has a role to play, too. Moving backward in the zodiac, Mercury at 6 degrees Gemini is within one degree of conjuncting the Sun, an aspect that marks the "New Mercury" or turning point in the retrograde cycle. Traditionally, Mercury delivers a message or instills a new seed of creativity at this time. With the New Mercury occurring at the same time as the Full Moon and the Saturn-Pluto opposition, the gods are faxing us a message - but we may not "get it" until Mercury turns direct on June 8. Some astrologers predict that the final resolution of the Saturn-Pluto stand-off will not come until the June 10th New Moon solar eclipse in Gemini, two days after Mercury stations direct. (On June 8th, Mercury stations direct at 1.21 Gemini; the New Moon eclipse occurs at 19.54 Gemini).

One clue to the new direction opening up out of the current impasse is revealed by the North Node conjunct Saturn in Gemini, along with Mercury and Mars. As the North Node shows the direction of growth, one possible interpretation of this alignment may be that it is the Gemini-ruled area of communications that can launch us on the pathway to peace. Indeed, there can be no doubt that one result of the Saturn-Pluto face-off has been an evolutionary leap in awareness of the religious and cultural differences that divide us. Likewise, all are agreed that more open and clear channels of communication - between federal agencies, between the government and the people, between the nations of the world and between individuals of different religious beliefs - are vital to humankind's survival. Now, with Gemini Mars in a perfect trine to Aquarian Uranus, the flow of information and energy moves with lightning-like smoothness, unimpeded by obstacles.

But with sweet Venus newly visible in the skies nearing a conjunction to expansive Jupiter in warm-hearted Cancer, (Venus at 7.05 Cancer is nearing a conjunction to Jupiter at 15.28 Cancer, exact on June 3rd) the triumph of love over hate may be the surprise gift of the Saturn-Pluto opposition. As the chill cast by the tension of the planetary opposition between Saturn and Pluto begins to ease, hearts may melt and feelings may warm. Humanity may remember its common ground in the heart-center of unity. For those who wish, a doorway of devotion between worlds swings wide this Full Moon, allowing seekers to both send their prayers for the highest good - and to receive back heavenly blessings in rich return. As we send our vizualizations and meditations on wings of hope, let us pray that the axis of destiny tilts in the direction of world peace.

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