Western Astrology

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by Lynda Hill May 22, 2009 10:04 PM EST
Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.Calvin Coolidge 
May's new Moon falls on Sunday May 24 on Gemini 4: the Sabian Symbol for which is Holly and Mistletoe Bring Christmas Spirit to a Home. It is to be noted that the recent Mercury retrograde occurred on Gemini 2: A Nervous Gentleman, Dressed in an Elaborate Santa Claus Costume, is Filling Christmas Stockings Secretly. What's with the Christmas theme? you may ask. Well, it appears to me that we're being asked to invite more and more love, kindness, caring for loved ones and family members and generally more sharing and caring into our lives. Obviously, these values are not just reserved for Christmas, but, hopefully, should be played out on a continual basis. 
Holly and Mistletoe Bring Christmas Spirit to a Home is a wonderfully warm and inviting image. The ancient Druids of Britain regarded mistletoe as sacred and believed it had both magical powers and medicinal properties. They referred to it as the "heal all," although now we know the berries can be poisonous, so care needs to be taken with them. "Kissing beneath the mistletoe" is a tradition that has developed over the years as we have built barriers to more spontaneous expressions of affection. It is almost as though the mistletoe and the "Spirit of Christmas" have become an excuse for us to be able to show our feelings. We have developed these types of rituals to compensate for what has truly been lost. Mistletoe was so sacred to the Druids that if two enemies met beneath a tree on which mistletoe was growing, they would lay down their weapons, exchange greetings and observe a 24-hour truce. 
For pagans and witches, the red holly berries represented the menstrual blood of the Queen of Heaven - the mistletoe's white berries represented the semen of the Sun God. Holly was used to drive away evil spirits. Holly and mistletoe would be hung in the entrance ways of pagan temples, which would cause the gods and goddesses of fertility to enter into those who stood beneath the mistletoe, embraced and kissed. In England, mistletoe was brought into cathedrals and placed on the altar in order for sins to be forgiven. Mistletoe was also hung over doorways as protection against thunder, lightning and other evils.

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The fact Mercury went retrograde on Gemini 2 - which has the Santa Claus theme, and Gemini 4 this new Moon, it seems that the major theme for us to focus on now is love, embracing others, forgiveness, fertility (I would say in all its forms) and acceptance of others and opening our hearts. This is completely backed up by the current Chiron, Jupiter, Neptune conjunction on Aquarius 27: An Ancient Pottery Bowl Filled With Fresh Violets- kindness, softness, caring, remembrance, gifts of the spirit - these images support each other beautifully.
Curiously, and amazingly, Pluto is on another Symbol that equates with "Christmas". It's on Capricorn 3 and each year, on December 25, the Sun is on Capricorn 3. The Symbol is The Human Soul, In It's Eagerness For New Experiences, Seeks Embodiment. This is very much the Jesus story, but it is far more than that. This degree Symbol speaks very loudly of wanting to be heard, inner motivation, being born again, the creative urge wanting to burst out into conscious recognition, the need to drop into the body or into reality, the urge to create. The urge to create, is, I believe, the strongest of the above keywords as it covers so many things. 
This new Moon is quincunx Pluto - meaning it's not in total harmony, and work needs to be done. It can be seen as the "itch that's hard to scratch"- not impossible, mind you, but this aspect (the quincunx, or inconjunct) often asks us to come up with creative ways and solutions. I believe it is saying that we have to be prepared to look a little around corners for solutions to problems - they are not necessarily easily got at - it's like finding a coat hanger and straightening it so one can scratch that itch way down a plaster encased leg; creative solutions are everywhere, but we have to be prepared to think outside our usual parameters.
This aspect from Pluto is asking us, amongst other things, to see where we sabotage friendships, relationships, family dynamics, or let others do this around us, it's about forgiveness and love and caring and sharing. May your gifts and goodies stockings be full of all the good things you could wish for yourself and your loved ones!
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Sherene Schostak
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