Taurus (Shor) is this month's ruling sign. (Illustration/Jehoshaphat Aspin, 1825)
Taurus (Shor) is this month's ruling sign. (Illustration/Jehoshaphat Aspin, 1825)

Month of Iyar: Healing and second chances amid the isolation


April 24-May 23

The month of Iyar is associated with Taurus the Bull (aka Shor in Jewish astrology), the planet Venus (Noga), and the Tribe of Issachar. Issachar discerned the times; he received Divine wisdom to understand celestial portents. His month will require us to have the legendary patience of Taurus the Bull and to wisely judge fact from fantasy during an escalating information war between cautious pragmatists and panicky risk-takers. Tension between reliable evidence and sparkly promises dominates the month. The May 7 full moon in Scorpio (aka Akrav), the sign associated with death and rebirth, illuminates our collective loss. The full moon of Iyar is on Pesach Sheini, the holiday of second chances, giving us the opportunity to review and revise choices we made during less fully informed times. Impatience is the greatest danger; restless energy combined with data vetted through an ideological rather than scientific lens is our biggest challenge.

The week of Lag Ba’Omer features the retrograde of Saturn (Shabbtai), Jupiter (Tzedek), and Taurus’ ruling planet Venus, while Mercury (Kochav)’s square to Mars (Ma’adim) points the arrow at this single irrefutable fact: It is our individual behavior informed by our personal choices which determines the outcome of this global crisis.

Lag Ba’Omer commemorates the halting of the plague that killed 24,000 of Rabbi Akiva’s students for the sin of disrespecting one another. The Hebrew letters that spell Iyar can be read as an acronym for “Ani Hashem rofecha — I am the Lord, your healer.” The plague kills the body; disrespect damages the soul. We can avoid infection by the spiritual sickness of baseless hatred by constant cleansing of our hands and hearts. Individual humility mingles with shared grief, fueling the healing energy of a collective resolve. May our common traumatic experience build powerful bonds of unity, respect, and love — bonds not easily broken when the crisis abates. May healing abound this month!

Aries / Taleh

The energy of your tribal ruler, Yehudah, makes you good in an emergency; and risk-taking is your specialty, but now is the time to play it safe. Channel your natural heroic instincts into creative solutions to our communal crisis. Planetary ruler Mars (Ma’adim) enters Pisces (Dagim) May 13, prompting your wise warrior self to seek a deep insight into the source of conflict with others. Understanding the root of your fears becomes fuel for cathartic integration of your hidden feelings of vulnerability. The bravest thing you can do now is be there for those who depend on you.

Taurus / Shor

Planetary ruler Venus (Noga) channels restless energy into vigorous home-improvement projects, inspiring you to build a solid a fortress of solitude. Mercury (Kochav) in Taurus through May 11 favors solid, practical ideas of what can be done right now to alleviate gnawing financial fears. Every small but meaningful action helps to build resilience. The full moon in your solar opposite Scorpio (Akrav) May 7 illuminates the gap between need and desire, which must be bridged by your ability to accept ambiguous realities. “Good enough” becomes “just right” when you accept human vulnerabilities and imperfections in yourself and others.

Gemini / T’omim

Venus (Noga) lingers in Gemini this year: April 3-August 7, including her retrograde May 13-June 24, stimulating creativity and empowering a new and surprising revenue stream tied to your communication skills. The nodal axis (of particular import in Jewish astrology) shifts into Gemini and Sagittarius (Keshet) May 5; the next 18-19 months is a truly transformative time with the north lunar node (called T’li, the Dragon’s Head, in the Jewish mystical text Sefer Yetzirah) transiting your sun sign. Even if you’re starting out sequestered and solitary, you’re destined to shine. The sun in Gemini May 20 and the new moon in Gemini May 22 double down on that promise.

Cancer / Sartan

The lunar nodal axis (of particular import in Jewish astrology) leaves your sign on May 5, after a year and a half of transformation and trauma. You’ve made an enormous amount of progress, which is evident around the full moon in Scorpio (Akrav) May 7. Tribal ruler Reuven’s lessons about family, loyalty and identity may now be integrated. Share your hard-earned and experiential wisdom with others. By being real you inspire others to be courageous with their own feelings. Find new ways to tell an old story on the new moon in Gemini May 22.

Leo / Aryeh

Your sense of the dramatic is getting a workout during our common crisis, but you can use that to your advantage. The sun is your ruling planet; Leo must shine, even in this present darkness. This time is weirdly productive for you despite social isolation, or maybe because of it; you find yourself working harder to stoke the fires of intimate connection at the full moon in Scorpio (Akrav) May 7. Rack up bossy I-told-you-so points by reminding everyone you meet after May 20 that they should have listened to you when they had the chance.

Virgo / Betulah

Mercury (Kochav) in Gemini (T’omim) May 12-28 gives you a bully pulpit; use it wisely to cast the widest possible net, reeling in those to whom you may offer service and solace. You touch (from afar) more people than you can imagine with your message of practical help and public hope. Tribal ruler Gad’s organizational talents are yours as you soldier up supplies and call in favors for the support you need. Chaotic disruption and reconnoitering of resources after May 20 remind you that you too need tending, your boo-boos need kissing and your heart needs holding. Take care of yourself.

Libra / Moznayim

The full moon in Scorpio (Akrav) May 7 reinforces your core values — love and harmonious relationships. With ruling planet Venus (Noga) in Gemini (T’omim) and sun in Venus-ruled Taurus (Shor) through May 19, you’re chafing against social isolation and longing for connection and intimacy. Turn all your charm and charisma on the world by making good use of available technologies. Your superior people skills can be shared and even taught. Save your own sanity by contributing to the health and wellbeing of others by holding space for them. Compassionate listening and supportive silence are better than words.

Scorpio / Akrav

It’s your personal full moon in Scorpio May 7, empowering deep compassion and sacrificial care for others. Taking a page from tribal leader Menashe’s playbook, you demonstrate your ability to sacrifice both status and ego for the greater good from May 13 onward. New insights and understandings of old issues begin to blossom around May 25. Head-on confrontations with your deepest fears yield tremendous opportunities for personal growth. Wrestling with the unknown produces a storehouse of riches, which will come in handy when our collective crisis passes, as it surely will. Even trauma is fuel for personal growth now.

Sagittarius / Keshet

Planetary ruler Jupiter (Tzedek) goes retrograde May 14. His backwards motion through mid-September rewinds you to a crucial point in time: mid-February 2020, when doors, options and the future seemed wide open. Restless Sagittarius hates confinement, and isolation takes its toll. Protect yourself by staying in your own lane and taking unusually tender care of body and soul — starting with the body. Solutions both practical and surprising surface May 9-11. Though you’re famously independent, reuniting with family takes priority after May 17. Patience, which has never been your favorite virtue, is your most important asset now.

Capricorn / Gidi

Saturn (Shabbtai) goes retrograde May 11, but that doesn’t mean you’re going backwards. You’re probably far more productive and engaged during this stressful time than most, but maintaining all that steely self-control takes a tremendous toll on your nervous system. Excellent self-care is not self-indulgence; it’s literally lifesaving, especially May 10-14. Connecting to tribal leader Dan empowers you to explore the boundaries of your relationship to power and control May 15-17. It’s time to decide where you can gracefully take a step back for the sake of your own well-being. Setting limits enhances your vitality.

Aquarius / D’li

Mars (Ma’adim) in Aquarius through May 12 inspires you to fight for your ideals. Last quarter moon in Aquarius May 14 reconnects you to your emotions; that uncomfortable feeling you’re avoiding is grief. Allow your trusted friends to hold space for your emotions May 20. Though you’ve never been a fan of the status quo, the lack of normalcy gives you little to rebel against. Historically a champion of the marginalized and suffering, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of which battle to fight first. Trust your gut when it comes to prioritizing where to aim your righteous indignation.

Pisces / Dagim

On one hand, beware of beautiful delusions and fickle fantasies when Venus (Noga) in Gemini (T’omim) squares Neptune (Rahav) in Pisces May 3. Though you swim the rapids between illusion and delusion better than most, charlatans dressed as cheerleaders and wolves in sheep’s clothing sense your vulnerability, making you an easy target. On the other hand, best usage of this time is personal creativity; if you paint, sing, write, dance, or otherwise create via any medium, you may bring forth astonishing work. Stay on your own path, avoid negative influences and trust your own instincts rather than the distracting smoke and mirrors.

Lorelai Kude
Lorelai Kude

Lorelai Kude began her career as a professional astrologer in the 1980s. She holds a BA in Journalism from San Francisco State University and a MA in Jewish Studies from Berkeley’s Graduate Theological Union, where her thesis topic was astrology in Jewish cultural history. Find more of her work at astrolojew.com.