Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio – The Flower Moon May 16, 2022

Odilon Redon, White Vase with Flowers, pastel on paper, France, 1916.

May’s Full Moon, also known as the Flower Moon, is a total Lunar Eclipse and is exact at 25º18’ Scorpio on Monday May 16, at 4:15 UT (May 15 00:15 EDT). The term “Flower Moon” perfectly describes this time, as the energies closely reflect those experienced by a flower opening to life after a long winter’s struggle. Watch a garden in the springtime, and you will see that Nature is ever determined to provide budding plants with the challenges they require to grow into their strongest version. This Lunar Eclipse presents us with a time of considerable potency, offering just the right amount of difficulty and inspiration we need to move forward into our best future.

Lunar eclipses are watersheds; decisions have to be made, something must be left behind, and our destination remapped. In the case of a budding flower, the state of dormancy must be left behind, and the urge for life apprehended. For us, it is similar; eclipses present us with new ideas and directions of growth, often through irrefutably important events, thoughts or interactions. What had once seemed like vague possibility becomes a point of central focus, particularly if it benefits our evolution. Things which seemed so important in the past shift out of focus, moving into the background to support the new vision which pulls us ahead into the future. And so, we evolve.

This Full Moon Eclipse is marked by a tight T-square with has Saturn at its apex. Saturn stands at a crossroads, looking left to the deeply emotional Scorpio Moon, and right to the Sun/Uranus/Mercury Retrograde conjunction in Taurus.  This is a time of heavy consideration, and the Moon in Scorpio wouldn’t have it any other way. What we value most on an emotional level, where we find security, meaning and connection is now highlighted by the undeniable urge for forward motion and growth. We cannot suppress the life force, and the Full Moon allows us to see clearly what must be shed and what must be allowed to come to life. 

Mars and Neptune are conjoined in Pisces, diffusing energy so that rather than clearly seeing what is happening, we need to intuit, reaching with senses little used.  This aspect can be very inspiring, giving us the energy to work at manifesting our dreams, but it can also be very delusory, fogging real action and perception with untruth.  Faith in the growth process is required, and a bit of caution not to get lost in the fog.

Venus conjoins Chiron in Aries, which creates a second-guessing effect for the normally demanding Venus in Aries experience.  Venus seeks to please herself, she wants beauty, adoration, peace and pleasure. As natal ruler of Taurus, currently locked in conjunction with Chiron, we find an undertone of doubt in what where we find pleasure. Something must change in what we find enjoyable, collectively, for there is a woundedness associated with what we seek.  Every time we reach for something we want, there’s a pinch involved.  While certainly an uncomfortable aspect, it allows us to collectively find a sense of true empathy as we go about chasing our desires. What we value as a society is changing – our urges for consumerism, glamor, and over-consumption are clearly no longer working out, for the economy or the planet. The “me-first” urge of Venus in Aries is being given a pause as we find other, more equitable ways of seeking pleasure and enjoyment, particularly in light of the mass suffering the world is currently experiencing.

Pluto in Capricorn stands high above it all, looking down with an unrelenting desire to see everything turned upside down.  The changes that are currently being wrought are fundamental, deep and permanent. Pluto lends support to the Retrograde Mercury, indicating just how deeply we need to dig in order to ensure that costly, time-wasting errors are not made, but this aspect also gives us a wonderful opportunity to thoroughly review old work, plans and ideas for potential breakpoints and pitfalls. Mercury Retrograde in Gemini is a tough placement, as Gemini rules our communication, our thought processes, daily interactions, business, contracts, writing – all the things we rely upon to get our point across and gather the information we need on a daily basis.  Communication is challenged during this Full Moon, but that may not be a bad thing, as the overall energy right requires us to slow down, consider, be open to inspiration and evaluate what lies ahead as clearly and thoroughly as possible. Saturn dominating the day adds a sobriety and discipline that is required, ensuring that we will take our time with this eclipse.  Envision where it is you want to be three months, six months, one year from now, and use the energy now available to put your vision into motion.

An interesting observation – the Uranus/Sun conjunction in Taurus is yielding surprises every day, it seems.  A remarkable news article surfaced just this week, discussing how scientists have discovered a black hole at the Galactic Centre, in Sagittarius.  This will certainly set theorists on the path of wild speculation for years to come, but it is these sorts of discoveries and innovations which occur during heavy Uranus transits, and in Taurus, the manifestation in concrete reality is even more evident. Read the article here: Black Hole: First Picture of Milky Way Monster


Full Moon Forecast for Each Sign of the Zodiac

Aries:  Your persona comes across loud and clear, and you are in the midst of healing what it is about yourself that causes you the most grief, Aries.  You are all about the money now, finding new ways to diversify your assets, and opening to things you had never dreamed would be important to you.  However, this Eclipse is shining light on the fact that you need to contend with how you feel about significant others in your life – particularly any friends who may be causing challenges to your overall MO.  Be careful not to escape into overindulgence as you try to escape the pressure of reality, it’s not worth it in the long run.  Listen to your dreams, and watch for Freudian slips as communication can prove challenging.  Say what you mean, say it again, and one more time for good measure, otherwise misinterpretations will be hard to unravel later on, which would be a waste of time – anathema to any self-respecting Aries.

Taurus:  Taurus, it’s pretty hard to ignore you folks these days.  You are coming into your own, and for all those who thought they had you pegged – HA.  This Eclipse, the spotlight is on how those closest to you affect who you want to be, and how you want to be perceived.  You may have a bit of trouble communicating your values right now, but don’t feel rushed. Take your time to work out the nitty-gritty.  Career plans get serious as long-term details crop up, and you need to sort through what’s best for your overall development.  Old beliefs need revamping, but don’t necessarily look to your circle of friends for answers – that bunch may seem a bit foggy right now, so take what you hear and see with a grain of salt.  Deep healing of old, gnarly wounds is highlighted right now.  Take time with yourself – meditation, ritual, prayer and grounding will be especially fruitful right now. Embrace yourself – all of it – even the bits you wish you could forget.

Gemini:  This Eclipse may feel a bit confusing for you, Gemini, as you seek to solidify your self-concept. Just who are you, anyway?   There is much subconscious material springing up at you, causing some compulsive reactions that you need to sort out later.  This is a good time to take a look at any habits that might be better left by the wayside, and tightening up routines and daily tasks will be highly beneficial.  You may feel burdened by old beliefs that you can’t seem to shake, but rather than railing against them, meditate on what holds you back. Take your time and look at this stuff.  It’s all about how you deal with power issues, what’s fair and what’s not.  Friends inspire, and you can make peace with circumstances that once seemed inaccessible.  You may just find that previously closed doors are suddenly open – it’s up to you whether you step into that new reality or not.

Cancer:  This Eclipse is a great opportunity to start seeing some positive progress on things you feel like you’ve been working on forever.  The tide is just about to shift, as you find new opportunities opening up for you in social settings, and in manifesting your dreams and wishes.  Power issues, particularly with significant others, will feel tough, but a little discipline and a hard line is sometimes just right to define much-needed boundaries.  Let your creativity come to life this Full Moon, Cancer, and open to the inspiration you feel welling up – what you create now will serve as fuel for your fire as you continue through the months ahead.  Subconscious material can crop up, and it’s a good time to review old, long-standing problems that seem to have been evading practical solution.  Mediation, journaling and therapeutic talk can be very productive now in allowing you to finally unearth those nasty old stones that have been weighing you down.

Leo:  This Eclipse, the spotlight is on your home, Leo, and how you balance home life with career.  Everyone needs a solid, secure home base, though things are emerging in your public life which require integration.  Relationships feel serious, as the lay of the land is evident to all involved.  You know what you are dealing with; either commit or quit.  The depths feel particularly heady these days, as issues of sex, death, power and control slip through your consciousness.  You are in an intense learning phase, and your horizons are broadening, allowing you to finally embrace new ideas, visions and beliefs.  It feels good to know that you are on the right track – and you are!  Don’t be afraid to revamp your approach with daily work habits, getting rid of what holds you back, and stepping up to better ways.

Virgo: The spotlight is on your daily communications, Virgo, and how your belief systems are being revamped and manifested in your day-to-day life. It’s a good time to start a new job, a new course of study, or enroll in a program that can help you with your career, or personal development. It is time to revamp how you think and talk about things – especially yourself. Are you stuck in repetitive, negative thought processes? Look to your creativity for ways to break free – deep things are welling up inside, let them out, and let yourself communicate freely. Be sure that you are meticulous in career matters – especially contracts, as things may go backwards for a while. Work habits and methods are due for a stringent overhaul. Clean out and rearrange what’s a mess in your immediate environment, and make space for something new and more beneficial to arrive.

Libra: What do you value, Libra? That’s the question you need to ask yourself this Eclipse. What is important to you? How do you define your sense of self-worth? Surprises come from power-plays, as intertwined values press upon what it is that compels you to feel good about yourself. Issues in the home, ancestral memory and the father rise up for you to evaluate. The impact of these matters runs deep, and now is a good time to see how such things influence your belief system. Communicating may feel difficult, but sometimes you need to let ideas breathe before sharing them with the world – now is one of those times. Don’t be afraid to re-evaluate what you think you believe. Creativity feels serious – you want to manifest, but it’s hard work. Habits may be somewhat undermining; you think what you do on a regular basis is inspiring, but it may actually be diffusing your energy. Relationships feel sweet, as you have power available to heal old wounds.

Scorpio:  The spotlight is on your persona, Scorpio, as it seems that how you feel is what you are.  If you were ever going to wear your heart on your sleeve, right about now would be the perfect time – this Eclipse is highlighting just how you feel about your closest relationships, how they impact your daily habits, your creativity and your home life.  Power plays are gnarly, and you want to talk them through, but now’s not really the time.  Meditate on the details, and let these things rise to the surface before sharing your thoughts, otherwise you run the risk of misunderstandings and complications which will need to be sorted out later, if at all.  This is all about how you communicate.  You want to get deep, but start with yourself before unleashing on those around you.  Work habits feel good, health is fine, and creativity is inspired, if a bit nebulous at this time.  Solidify your home base, even if it feels hard.  What you do there within the next few months will result in a holding pattern that will last at least until the end of the year, if not become a permanent state of affairs.

Sagittarius:  This eclipse is allowing you to really get into your subconscious mind, Sagittarius.  You have the capacity to drill deep into what makes you tick, and you will be able to see just how things you hadn’t quite grasped about yourself surface in your health, work and daily habits.  Compulsive behavior can undermine your best abilities – now’s the time to focus on that stuff, even if it comes as a surprise, perhaps an outburst or announcement from a work colleague, employer or employee. Your values are being reshaped, and you want to communicate, but that feels hard, especially in relationships and partnerships.  Hold those thoughts for at least a month, because what you think is important right now probably won’t be later– if you can remember the details at all.  Look out for inconsistencies in matters dealing with home life, and beware of overspending, even if that splurge seems like a great idea now.  Let yourself feel creative, your pleasure principle is at a high level, so enjoy what feels good, and let the guilt go.

Capricorn:  The spotlight is on your society this Eclipse, as you seek to break through to new forms of creativity and pleasure.  What may have suited in the past no longer serves, Capricorn, and you know deep down that it’s time to move on and unleash all that you have pent up inside.  Work issues are tricky, and your daily habits need some reconsideration, especially things that tend to obfuscate what you should really be doing.  Don’t waste precious time, and don’t bother talking about it – just make the changes you know you need to make.  Your persona is in the midst of a total overhaul, and you can’t see the forest for the trees right now as you seek to define your values, but keep doing what you are doing.  You are motivated by what is serious, and results that matter for the long-haul.  Home life supports your efforts, and feels full and sweet at this time.  Enjoy and dig deep into your foundations, for they support you all the way.

Aquarius:  The spotlight is on your career, Aquarius, and this Eclipse offers you the opportunity to do what it takes to manifest your ideals in what you do on a daily basis.  Creativity seems a little confusing right now, as you seek to root out the details which have been eluding your grasp. Don’t bother discussing, just let everything that seems like a good idea now float to the surface – you will sort out the important stuff later, once it all becomes clear – but be sure to document everything, lest that genius idea slips away.  You want to communicate, get out and be busy in your community, and this is a perfect time to do so.  You will likely find yourself very involved with short-distance travel, errands, weekend vacations and shopping, visiting friends and relatives.  Your persona may come across as rather serious at times, but don’t worry – you are manifesting your true self.  Stick to your guns!

Pisces:  This Eclipse is focused on your most deeply held beliefs, Pisces, and you may receive some surprises from your friends, relatives and daily contacts that shake things up for you.  If you have been wanting to travel, now’s a good time to put a big trip into motion.  It’s also a good time to go back to school, take some personal development courses, learn a new language or meet people from places you have never been.  Think consciousness-expanding, and you’ll get the picture.  Finances are in order, and you are happy with making a splurge right now, particularly for something big-ticket.  Home life needs a bit of communication, but the details of what’s necessary are hazy right now.  Be very clear with any plans you put together that involve home, family and health care, as you will need to repeat instructions, processes and procedures if you don’t take extra care to double check and ensure things are in order at this time.  Your long-term dreams are changing, and as such, your persona feels a bit hazy right now, but no worries, it’s a good time to enjoy yourself Pisces.


For more information about this year’s Lunations – Full Moons, New Moons and Eclipses see: Lunar Events and Eclipses 2022

See also Moon Phases and Eclipses for more information about how to work with the different phases of the Moon.

And for anyone interested in having an astrological consultation, please see my Services Page. I am taking bookings on a “pay what you can” basis, and I am happy to work with anyone who has a sincere desire to learn about themselves through study of their astrological chart.

Interview with a Poet: Reflections on the Work of Bruce Whiteman

ECW Press | A Canadian Indie Book Publisher | Publishing Curiously  Compelling Books Since 1974
The Invisible World is in Decline, Book IX is available through ECW Press, as well as through Amazon
9 (Melpomene) 

Lack of belief is the tragedy. It’s not that God’s ineffable face is gone. It’s out there somewhere like a star, like a childhood memory fated eventually to rise. It’s counting on the smaller things that come to be the hardest: poetry and its adagio truths, the tick-tock of love interminably out of reach and bound to fade away in any case, cocks and clocks and every squalid aspiration for eternity.

Bruce Whiteman, The Invisible World is in Decline, Book IX (p. 33). ECW Press. Kindle Edition. 

Bruce Whiteman lives in Peterborough, Ontario, where he is a full-time poet and book reviewer. Most recently he is the editor of Best Canadian Essays 2021 (Biblioasis). His selected essays and reviews will be published in 2022 by Biblioasis. Book IX, the conclusion to his long poem, The Invisible World Is in Decline, appears this April 2022 (ECW Press). His book reviews appear in such publications as The Hudson Review, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Canadian Notes & Queries, The Toronto Star, Quill & Quire and elsewhere.


Published this year (2022) The Invisible World is in Decline, Book IX is the last of nine books in your long poem of the same name which you began in 1981.  Congratulations on the publication, and thank you for allowing me to interview you.  As a writer who focuses on the metaphysical, particularly cycles of time and how they are expressed in culture, I find your work compelling, as it represents a concerted effort of vision which you have managed to sustain over a considerable time period.  Poetry is difficult work, as the matters of life, love, loss, hope can be onerous points of focus which many prefer to avoid. The Invisible World is in Decline represents an oeuvre of continual, concentrated self-awareness that is remarkable, and I am grateful that you are willing to share some insights. 

In Opus Posthumous (1957) Wallace Stevens says:  “The poet is the priest of the invisible.” The poet’s invocation of words charges our perception of hidden reality with power not otherwise available; through poetry, we are allowed to commune with subtleties which lie in places normally unknown.  Poetry’s precise reflectivity provides impressions of the invisible world with a power that is akin to that of visual arts such as photography, painting or sculpture, but poetry goes beyond what those arts offer, as the power of language is specifically human.  Good poetry has a visceral impact that forever changes the reader. Through the work of a skilled poet such as yourself, we are allowed to view the shape of the ethers underpinning our world, and we come away with new knowledge in apprehending a perspective not normally seen.

To be a poet takes great strength, and speaks of a love of life that encompasses a willingness to not look away and hide from tenderness of this world, but rather revel in it, transcribing impressions for the benefit of all.  I hope my questions here are not too personal, or vague, but rather represent what others may find salient in considering your poetry.  Your work and insights are deeply valuable, and much appreciated. Thank you Bruce.


#1 Define “Invisible World”

The phrase “invisible world” brings many things to mind, and as a person who tends to look at things metaphysically, I was quite struck by this concept.  For me, this phrase refers to the subtle current of energies which underpin what we consider consensual reality.  What do you mean when you use the phrase “the invisible world”?  Are you specifically referring to the world of the aesthete, the artist and musician, a world little perceived by the majority of humanity, or is it perhaps a spiritual reference? 

BW:

There have been times over the last forty years when the title of my long poem has seemed a regrettable limitation. Perhaps I should have chosen something less specific, broader, more capacious, like The Cantos or The Divine Comedy. And almost necessarily the poem sometimes strays quite far from the central armature, perhaps most especially at those times when the personal irresistibly comes back into the work, through passion or trauma or whatever is the case.

No, the title is not aesthetic; yes, it’s more spiritual. If you look back over the history of thought since the Enlightenment, it’s pretty obvious that the invisible world is in decline. Call it God, or the world of the spiritual generally speaking, its centrality to our lives has eroded. We see this in Locke, in Hume, in Nietzsche among the philosophers. In poetry, Wordsworth’s The Prelude announces the future dominance of the personal that will continue to be at poetry’s heart through Whitman and on into Modernism. Some Modernist art will aspire to be impersonal—T.S. Eliot wanting to derogate private experience, etc.—but really almost all art in every genre is personal after Wordsworth, after Berlioz, after Blake and Turner, after Freud. So the world of the spirits, as opposed to the world of the spirit, comes to be left behind or at least to decline in relevance. I chose such an idea as the central theme of my long poem precisely so I could get away from lyricism, from the ego as the source of poetry. I freely admit that over nine books and forty years, I didn’t always succeed in keeping the ego out of the poem.


#2 Is poetry confessional or impersonal?

It seems it is the poet’s task to delineate ephemera, showing us what they have retrieved while in communion with energies that ultimately transcend the personal.  The poet transcribes delicate perceptions into a transpersonal form, allowing the sharing of material which is larger than the individual. How much of your poetry has served as personal testament as opposed to representing collective considerations, or vice versa?  I understand that you have converted to the Catholic faith, and you are surely aware of the importance of confession to the life of a practicing Catholic.  How, throughout your career, has poetry served in place of that formal sacrament, if at all?  

BW:

I converted in 2019, so the bulk of my poem was composed before I became a Catholic, at one of the worst moments in Church history, I might add! As far as confession goes, both in the Christian sense and the psychotherapeutic sense, when I began to write The Invisible World, I had reached a point as a poet when confession had become boring, and it was precisely to get away from the confessional mode that I turned to the prose poem and the long poem. I suppose, now that you ask, that poetry WAS a kind of sacrament when I was young and writing lyric poetry, poems about feelings largely, the sorts of things one talks to a priest or a psychoanalyst about. The seven deadly sins writ large or secularized. With my long poem I wanted out of therapy, and into a kind of language that engages larger issues that are not at heart personal. Book IV is about light, for example. Inevitably, and even against my better judgement, personal feeling got back into the poem, especially at moments in my life when I was devastated by something–a love affair gone bad, the death of a parent, etc. I even allowed the “lined” poem back in twice, once at the end of Book VII and again in Book IX, where one whole section consists of poems—translations in fact—of conventionally structured poems. So I guess the short answer to your question is, inevitably, both.


#3 Does decline imply a fall from grace, or is it a matter of cyclical change?   

To consider that the invisible world is in decline is sad, and also somewhat alarming.  The question that comes to mind is this: why is it in decline? Is saying the invisible world is in decline a statement of hopelessness, or cynicism?  Or is it a clear-minded, objective assessment?  Does this concept of decline encompass the idea of falling from grace? Do you believe that decline is inevitable, a condition of mortality, or is there a turning point which can be found somewhere?   Is decline a permanent state, or do you believe it is a cyclical affair? 

BW:

That’s a hard question to be definitive about. The metanarrative of continual human progress is not easy to argue for, when you take a cold hard look at the planet today. The climate crisis feels like just the latest demonstration that somehow we humans have wasted our opportunity as a species through egotism. Of course, when you think about progress in concrete ways, it’s hard not to agree with the statements that we should be glad not to be forced to have dental work done in the 18th century, or that the elimination of smallpox is a wonderful thing. But spiritual progress? Not really. A geographer named Carl Sauer once pointed out that the first time humans did something really bad to the Earth was during the Renaissance, when humanism came to the fore; and in that sense, it has been downhill ever since, as far as our relationship with nature is concerned. And maybe our relationship with God too. But it’s complicated, and I’m not sure that the idea of a fall from grace is historically accurate. Emotionally, though, it kind of feels apt. It’s hard to imagine that we will ever return to the sort of integrated world view of earlier periods in human history. But hope is a very human emotion, so who knows?


#4 Are poets psychopomps?   

In Book IX, you say:

“Part of a poet’s job is to journey to hell. Seeking dear ones gone into pitch. Wanting the smell of love, the touch of a moving body. Missing hoarfrost and starshine, glabrous light, polyphonic voices.” (p. 14)

And:

“Remembering the dead, our lot is to walk carefully forward. Not to fall headlong from hour to hour, from day to day, hurled like water from edge to edge, into the darkness that yawns beneath our steps. Like a man on a wire we don’t look back and can’t look down, but focus straight ahead.” (p.16)

Your use of the psychopomp as a recurring character is fascinating. For those not familiar, a psychopomp is a divine or semi-divine being who is able to traverse the borders between the land of the living and the land of the dead, travelling back and forth to the underworld usually to fulfill a specific task, relay information or retrieve something lost.  Very few have been allowed by the gods to travel to make this journey and return to tell the tale, and success usually involves not looking back at that which we wish to bring to the surface. In looking back, we express doubt, and we scorn a divine gift, yet it is such a temptation to do what we have been decreed not to do. As a poet, how do you relate to the figure of the psychopomp? Are poets psychopomps in their own way, and should they be?  What temptations does the poet entertain in traversing the invisible landscapes of the underworld?

BW:

I took the idea of the psychopomp from Jung, for whom it is much as you say—a kind of spiritual cicerone. Some of the great works of western literature describe the visit to the realm of the dead—The Odyssey in Book 11, The Aeneid in Book 6, and of course Dante’s Inferno, the first great book of The Divine Comedy. The Orpheus myth as told by Ovid and others falls into this narrative as well. All of the seekers return to the world or rise upwards, sadder but wiser. Dante has to leave his psychopomp behind, because he—the poet Virgil—is a pagan, and not qualified to enter Paradise. Orpheus of course loses Eurydice because, as you say, he lacks faith and looks back to ensure that she is following him–just exactly what he has been told not to do. As I say in a note to Book IX, the psychopomp in one way is the master of dreams. Several of my poems engage with something I literally heard in a dream and recorded–the statement, for example, “I have an immortality problem.” I was hesitant to use dream material this literally, but decided in the end that there is so much poetry in dreams that it was stupid or ungenerous to ignore it. Dreams often do feel like an expedition to Hell, and what we can learn there, and from them, seems worth registering. Are poets psychopomps in this sense? The ancients would have answered in the affirmative for sure, and I do too.


#5  What advice do you have for the young poet?

For one last question, I ask broadly – what do you have to say to the young poet?  What advice do you have?  What would you like to say to those who would follow in your path, taking up the life of a poet?

BW:

I would try to be positive, though the real-world rewards are few. I would say, read as much as possible, poetry and other literature too. You cannot write well if you do not have a rich reading experience among the poets who came before you. Poetry doesn’t begin with Mary Oliver or Leonard Cohen. Read Homer and everything or as much as possible of what comes after him. Read translations if you don’t have other languages, though knowing another language is a very good thing for a poet. And as a poet who emphasizes the musical elements of poetry, I would recommend knowing at least something about how music works. Read aloud a lot. Read and re-read the same poems to know them well. Hang out with other creative people—musicians, painters et al. They will provoke you but also be good readers of your work. Learn about where words come from, as this will enrich the ways in which you use them. Poetry isn’t much of a living, honestly, but it’s a rich way to engage with life.