Astrology 5/16 – 5/22: The Arrow’s Path

Astrology 5/16 – 5/22: The Arrow’s Path

The first half of the week plods along the same cobblestones we’ve been walking since May began. Yet as the weekend approaches, that road becomes a runway, and the jet engines start to fire.   A flurry of changes then quicken the pace and raise the temperature.  The Sun enters tropical Gemini on Friday and then on Saturday night, the Full Moon and red Mars both rise together to set the skies afire.  Finally, Mercury stations direct early Sunday, the final pivotal shift during a busy weekend.

Hello Again

This week Mercury emerges from his underworld journey, becoming increasingly visible in the East during the minutes before dawn.  Although the messenger creeps back into visibility early in the week, he remains retrograde until Sunday morning (6:20 AM PDT).

This return to sight sees Mercury bring to light the strange facts uncovered during his underworld expeditions.  The results and consequences of fact-finding missions and research wormholes become increasingly clear throughout the week.  Lost keys make an appearance and blocked channels open.


On Friday, May 20th (7:36 AM PDT) the Sun leaves Taurus, bidding goodbye to the sign’s pleasant pastures and the secret vaults buried beneath it.  Here the Sun enters Gemini, and its spotlight shifts to the wild winds which race across and above terra firma.

With the Sun’s entrance into Gemini, we enter the last third of the season.  As is appropriate for a sign whose symbol is defined by duality, Gemini will bring us to the point of maximum polarization between day and night, the solstice.   The height of darkness in the South and the zenith of light in the North, it is, regardless of hemisphere, the point where the powers of day and night, and thus the ratio of yin and yang, are most unequal.

Enjoy the speed and magnificent aerial maneuvers possible during this unsustainable race, but remember the difference between a journey and a sprint.  The Sun will be in the Twins’ sign until June 20th, the solstice.

Fire In The Sky

The week’s main event is the Full Moon in Sagittarius this Saturday (2:14 PM PDT).  Although every Full Moon places an exclamation point on the surrounding days, this one is considerably more potent than your average lunation.

Let’s start with the visual.   The bright silver Moon will rise in conjunction with red Mars, the Red Knight and Silver Queen both ascending as the golden Sun cedes the heavens.   This year, Mars’ opposition with the Sun, which always sees Mars rise at maximum brightness at sunset, coincides perfectly with the Moon’s cycle, providing us with quite a spectacle.   This is the dead-center of Mars’ retrograde, and also marks the red planet’s closest pass to the Earth in its two-year cycle.

Mars is most incendiary at this point in his cycle and the Full Moon which accompanies him is in Sagittarius, a fire sign, which cranks up the heat up even further.  This decidedly intemperate lunation will thus bring simmering kettles to boil and light fuses both long short.

According to my colleague, astrologer Nick Dagan Best, the last time Mars and the Full Moon rose together was on September 25th, 1988.  This lunation began a fortnight of violent uprisings and brutal crackdowns in several parts of the world.  The Moon is considered an indicator for the people, and Mars the military, so it is unsurprising that the last this alignment occurred, violent clashes between citizens and the military took place.

It is worth taking a second to consider the image of the sign Sagittarius, for the signs give form to the planets’ energies.  Sagittarius is not raw fire, but instead fire used as a propellant.  Sagittarius is the only sign whose imagery involves missile weapons. The ancient image of the archer shows us the conversion of potential energy (the drawn bow) into unidirectional kinetic energy (arrow.)  Although this contains part of the essential formula of the sign, it is unlikely that this lunation will coincide with a rash of archery-related incidents

Indeed, we must look to the modern equivalents of the bow and arrow.   This is not difficult, as modern armed conflict is dominated almost entirely by projectile weapons.  Guns, missiles, rockets.  Our centaurs have wheels and racks of surface-to-air missiles.  As such, it is difficult to believe that this lunation will not describe a fortnight of heightened friction in those parts of the world already wracked with conflict.   Yet let us hope that the martial significations of this Full Moon remain wholly metaphoric, and that the two weeks over which this lunation presides be free of literal missiles.

Shots Fired

Mars and the Full Moon are also sure to launch a number of incendiary verbal salvos.  This fact is further attested to by Mercury’s nearly simultaneous direct station.  Allegations take to the air like a swarm of fighter jets.

Among these verbal missiles there will certainly be important truths.  Yet truths are rarely well-received when paired with explosives. As the Arab proverb goes, “When you shoot an arrow of truth, dip its point in honey.” Though fury is sometimes inevitable, it rarely solves problems.  Violence, whether mental, emotion or physical, tends to beget more violence. You may want to institute a decree of mandatory calm this weekend, and perhaps skip that wild, drunken night out you had planned.  People relaxing in bathtubs tend not to catch fire.

The Tides of Power

It is interesting to note how this inflammatory lunation falls in the charts of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, both of whom were spotlighted by the two previous Full Moons.  The lunar eclipse at the end of March fell directly on Sanders’ Mercury and kicked off a huge winning streak.  The subsequent Full Moon in April took place on top of Hillary Clinton’s Sun, and signaled a similar winning streak for her.  This lunation strikes both candidates’ charts equally, stressing the synastric opposition between Bernie Sanders’ natal Uranus in Gemini and Hillary Clinton’s Jupiter in Sagittarius.  Though friction between the two, and their supporters, has become a constant, this lunation suggestions a conflagration of novel proportions.

Alchemical Fire

Although the intemperate heat of this very martial Full Moon may prove dangerous to relationships and bodies, it can be put to productive use.  There are many processes of change which require extremes of heat, chief among them the transformation of metal.  So usher this lunation’s heat into the blast furnace of your personal workshop, where it can be contained and directed.  Let the flames set your dull metal aglow, and make malleable what has become brittle.  This is the midpoint of Mars’ retrograde, and thus a critical moment in those areas of life which you and the red planet are re-engineering.

To Be Continued…

The changes which occur over the weekend are only the first installment in a series of shifts at the end of May which will change both the tempo and tone of the season.  Look for next week to serve as the second half of this weekend’s mid-season finale.

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Horoscopes are not a real chart reading by an experienced astrologer. They are fun and can be reasonably accurate, however. In addition to referring to your Sun sign, read from your Ascendant and Moon if you know them. If you don’t, find out! I’m a long time fan of the free chart generation software at
Aries: The Ram
Taurus: The Bull
Gemini: The Twins
Cancer: The Crab
Leo: The Lion
Virgo: The Virgin
Libra: The Scales
Scorpio: The Scorpion
Sagittarius: The Centaur
Capricorn: The Goat
Aquarius: The Waterbearer
Pisces: The Fish
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Austin Coppock is a writer, esotericist and astrologer based in Ashland, OR. He published paperback Almanacs from 2011-15 but began posting his prognostications online last year, referring to his collection of weekly, monthly, yearly essays and daily delineations as “The Online Almanac”. This work is made possible by his supporters on Patreon. Austin was President of the non-profit organization “Association for Young Astrologers” from 2012-2016. His most recent book is “36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans”, published by Three Hands Press.


  1. Anne 7 years ago

    It’s interesting that you mentioned the lunar influences affecting the fortunes of Sanders and Clinton. Have you looked at the aspects for Election Day (Nov. 8th) and the candidates’ charts? That would be fascinating to read!

  2. Eric 7 years ago

    Let the annealing begin

  3. Cheryl 7 years ago

    And it’s the year of the Fire Monkey. So much movement, twists and turns. I hope everyone is proficient at juggling.

  4. Jennifer L Metro 7 years ago

    Love the way you speak “…probably going to need bread, but whatever.” The “duderang” thing from weeks passed, gunna use that.

  5. Beth 7 years ago

    Nailed it.

    This has been a week full of silly little debates including one that popped up this morning with a former Sensei that I’m still carefully pondering the words to respond with. I was invited to a Krav Maga class yesterday, where I was tempted to debate the effectiveness of other martial arts when I was told jujitsu doesn’t work, but managed to avoid that. Did debate Chinese medicine with someone till 2am last night, and just as a side observance to add to the martial stuff I went to an Enshin karate tournament last Sat and have Jujitsu tonight.

    I’m also heading to ‘Red’ Rocks on the 21st with an Ex and his newly pregnant girlfriend that I haven’t seen in forever, right on the mark of the Full Moon. Thinking it’s going to be an interesting night. So far it’s been an interesting week to navigate.

  6. Victoria 7 years ago

    I wonder if the military will come out with a new type of weapon. Not only is the Moon on Mars but the Moon is on Kornephoros which is has to do with weapons and Venus is on Algol.

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Astrology 5/16 - 5/22: The Arrow's Path

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