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

What's in the sky this month?

A total eclipse of the Moon! On the night of the Full Moon, Thursday May15, the Moon will be in "deep eclipse" at 10:40 pm CDT (add one hour forEastern time, subtract two hours for Pacific time-and if you're on theother side of the globe you can calculate from GMT at 3:40 May 16). Ifyou've ever watched a lunar eclipse, you probably noticed that when theMoon is immersed in the "umbra," or fully in Earth's shadow, she isn'tcompletely black. She's a dark rusty red, from the light of all theworld's sunrises and sunsets, reddened by Earth's atmosphere, and refractedinto the eclipse shadow. If you're in the Central or Eastern time zones,you'll be able to see the entire eclipse show from its inception at 9:03 pmCDT to its end at 12:17 am. If you're in the Pacific Northwest, the Moonwill be rising in total eclipse in the twilight sky. Happy viewing! Thisis a special opportunity to observe Earth's shadow. and may coincide withthe need to observe an aspect of your life that has been hidden and nowrequires your full attention. If you're concerned about the eclipse'sastrological impact you might reflect that an eclipse occurred at thisdegree in May of 1985. The intensity (or lack of it) and themes may besimilar.

Remember the circus clown riding a unicycle, while spinning a plate on eachhand, on the top of his head, even on the tip of his nose? And how, tokeep it interesting, other clowns jived chaotically in front of his path,waving a fire hose, honking ear-splitting horns? That's how it feels whenan eclipse season meets Mercury retrograde: like you're in a balancing actthat might be just beyond your abilities. Thank goodness this turbulenceoccurs during Taurus, which holds out a promise of endurance, balance andgrounding. We're called to stay on the bike, shrug off the distractions,and emerge from this cycle wiser and stronger. Collect your energy intoyour belly and root chakras. Establish your connection to earth. And keepyour eyes on the values that matter to you.

The New Moon chart puts it this way, offering a fixed T-square, with Sunand Moon conjunct retrograde Mercury and squaring an opposition betweenJupiter and Neptune/Mars. The best way to balance a T-square (or releaseits tension) is through its opposing "empty" degree, or the one fixed signnot involved, in this case Pluto-ruled Scorpio. We're reminded of thestory of Persephone, who one Spring was happily, quite innocently pickingflowers, and was suddenly grabbed by the ankle and pulled into Pluto'sunderworld. Scorpio's message is "Go to the depths." This is the way tosustain your balance this cycle: Understand what lies beneath your currentsituation, how it was created by what came before, and how you will emergericher for what is happening now. See the soul's hand in your currentcircumstances. As the kids on MTV often say, "It's all good."

Don't believe it? Remember, Persephone became a queen. And though it'snot often talked about, she enjoyed delicious fruits, wild sex, royalhomage, and wealth beyond belief underground. Think of this when yourhands are digging into the earth this month.

(The lunar eclipse occurs on May 15; there's a solar eclipse on May 30.Because an eclipse's influence can be felt in the prior month, botheclipses will influence this cycle. Mercury will be retrograde until May 20.)

** What should you grow this cycle?

Astrology typically answers "what" questions by looking at houses. Look tothe house of your birth chart where the New Moon falls: here's yourpersonal seed bed. This is the place you usually "do Taurus." It's thehouse where your personal Rock of Gibralter resides. There is something inthis house that stabilizes you, that acts as an anchor when your life seemsunsteady. This is also the area of life where the energy to persevere isstrong. And it may be where your senses are most alive, where youinstinctively tune into the pleasures of earth. During this New Mooncycle, you have a unique opportunity here. but you must tune in.

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