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 May 15, the Moon will be in "deep eclipse" at 10:40 pm CDT (add one hour for Eastern time, subtract two hours for Pacific time-and if you're on the other side of the globe you can calculate from GMT at 3:40 May 16). If you've ever watched a lunar eclipse, you probably noticed that when the Moon is immersed in the "umbra," or fully in Earth's shadow, she isn't completely black. She's a dark rusty red, from the light of all the world's sunrises and sunsets, reddened by Earth's atmosphere, and refracted into 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 pm CDT to its end at 12:17 am. If you're in the Pacific Northwest, the Moon will be rising in total eclipse in the twilight sky. Happy viewing! This is a special opportunity to observe Earth's shadow. and may coincide with the need to observe an aspect of your life that has been hidden and now requires your full attention. If you're concerned about the eclipse's astrological impact you might reflect that an eclipse occurred at this degree in May of 1985. The intensity (or lack of it) and themes may be similar.

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

The New Moon chart puts it this way, offering a fixed T-square, with Sun and Moon conjunct retrograde Mercury and squaring an opposition between Jupiter and Neptune/Mars. The best way to balance a T-square (or release its tension) is through its opposing "empty" degree, or the one fixed sign not involved, in this case Pluto-ruled Scorpio. We're reminded of the story of Persephone, who one Spring was happily, quite innocently picking flowers, and was suddenly grabbed by the ankle and pulled into Pluto's underworld. Scorpio's message is "Go to the depths." This is the way to sustain your balance this cycle: Understand what lies beneath your current situation, how it was created by what came before, and how you will emerge richer for what is happening now. See the soul's hand in your current circumstances. As the kids on MTV often say, "It's all good."

Don't believe it? Remember, Persephone became a queen. And though it's not often talked about, she enjoyed delicious fruits, wild sex, royal homage, and wealth beyond belief underground. Think of this when your hands 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, both eclipses 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 to the house of your birth chart where the New Moon falls: here's your personal seed bed. This is the place you usually "do Taurus." It's the house where your personal Rock of Gibralter resides. There is something in this house that stabilizes you, that acts as an anchor when your life seems unsteady. This is also the area of life where the energy to persevere is strong. And it may be where your senses are most alive, where you instinctively tune into the pleasures of earth. During this New Moon cycle, you have a unique opportunity here. but you must tune in.

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