This is the second transit article in a very busy astro week! You can read about Mercury's station on May 14th and Jupiter's ingress on May 16th here if you haven't already. On May 19th, there was an incredibly refreshing New Moon in Taurus, you can listen to my analysis here if you are wanting to understand the themes that might be showing up for you over the next two weeks and in a larger cycle, over the next 6 months.
On May 20th, Mars enters Leo and on May 21st, the Sun moves into Gemini adding to our collective shift in focus.
In the first article of this week, we talked about a planet's "story" as each planet encounters a certain theme when it moves into a particular sign and house. We can think of the planets taking on signs as character roles, the surrounding planets are their scene partners, the aspects that they make to other planets show the relationship between them, and the house they settle into in your personal chart is the environment that it has to work within your own life.
Let's talk about the Mars in Leo and Sun in Gemini stories and what these might look like:
The Mars in Leo Story:
To review, Mars entered its fall in Cancer on March 25th after being in Gemini for 7 months. We only have lengthy Mars transits like this if there is a retrograde and this one was particularly taxing on our poor nervous systems. Personally, I was just happy to get Mars out of Gemini, but moving into its fallen sign directly afterwards wasn't exactly the relief we may have been desiring.
For the last two months, the Mars in Cancer story has been stirring up our emotions, creating tension within our family units, and has likely made everyone feel a bit crabby (pun intended).
On May 20th, Mars is moving into Leo until July 10th beginning a new story that will likely collide with this summer's Venus retrograde themes. While Mars may move out of Leo on July 10th, our Leo sector is active until October 8th, so pay attention! Mars rules our action, drive, anger, and response. You'll notice most of your energy is fueled towards the sign themes that Mars transits and the house it inhabits in your chart.
The sign that Mars is in fuels him with drive and a destination. Unfortunately, Mars is mostly peregrine in Leo, though being in a fire sign is helpful. Mars has access to lesser forms of dignity in the latter part of the transit as it is on its own terms from 24º-30º of Leo (June 30th-July 10th) and will inhabit its own decan from 20º-30º (June 23rd-July 10th). These are time periods that may feel like you've finally harnessed this energy. The last time Mars transited Leo was from June 11th 2021 to July 29th 2021. Look back to this time period to understand themes that might resurface, but understand that the astro weather was very different that year. This year there are no aspects to Saturn (a relief).
So, what is Mars in Leo? This transit talks about effort. Leo is a sign that garners attention and anytime we deal with "a Leo story" we are dealing with matters of the ego. We start with Leo fighting to be seen with Saturn ruling the first 10º of this sign. Thinking of actors, or any kind of creative, and how they typically spend years fighting their way to glory, striving for that moment in the Sun. Through this experience, creatives learn about paying their dues and finding what it is that makes them stick out. Though, as much as we would like to think that our hard work is what earns the spotlight, someone's "big break" is almost always random and accidental.
This is why the second decan or 10º of Leo is ruled by Jupiter and therefore, luck. You'll notice many famous people aren't necessarily the most talented, but rise to fame accidentally, because of who they know, or simply because they look a certain way. There are thousands of overwhelmingly talented people of all races, status, and statures, but there are biases and barriers to the spotlight. The second part of the story is random success, overnight success, a moment in the spotlight, but no apparent reason as to why you and not someone else. Everyone is obsessed with you– but it doesn't always last.
The last 10º of the story is ruled by the Mars decan. All three of these stages are relevant, but these are the themes that will be felt the most over the next two months: You know when someone rises to fame and we're obsessed with them, but then it's only a matter of time before they are torn apart by the public?
Leo is the opposite of Aquarius meaning that when people rise to fame? They lose their claim to humanity. The public is who lifts you up to the spotlight and it is the same public who will tear you apart. Deserved or not, they will find something they don't like about you. The public does not see you as a human being (and this is even louder with Pluto in Aquarius).
The Mars decan of Leo is that moment that you have to fight for your success. Others have turned their back on you. This is where we meet the price of ambition and the price to protect the glory that we received from Jupiter.
If we go back to the idea that Leo is about ego, we can also infer that Leo is about survival. Ego can look like the need to protect. We have to have confidence to protect insecurity, we have to think about ourselves (making perceived egotistical actions) in order to survive. You can't think about others (Aquarius), when your life (Leo) is on the line. Though, Leo can have a hard time remembering what is actually essential. This is the difference between success and failure. Your reputation? Perceived as essential. Food on the table? Actually essential. Leo gets in trouble when it tries to prove itself instead of remembering and appreciating the things that really matter.
Mars in Leo will likely draw awareness to what we are actually striving for. Not the reason we give out loud, but the authentic, underlying motivation. It will show us the true cost of this. Thinking about warriors who only fought wars for glory– is glory worth the potential of dying to you? Time to find out. The secret to thriving instead of striving under this transit? Realizing that there is a gentler way of accomplishing things. Instead of trying to prove yourself, let your actions speak for themselves. It would be wise to remember that there is a Venus retrograde coming up and she will retrace Mars' steps after he's moved on, so the themes that come up now will become relevant to that story.
Mars in Leo is going to ask us to be gentle and assertive, proud and humble, in our power and yet, our power won't come from dominance alone. Leo squares Taurus and Scorpio because it is a sign that evokes jealousy, yet it depends on the attention and resources of others. It must shine and yet its light might attract moths– it is important to know that your attention is a currency– don't spend it on the wrong things at the risk of dimming your own light.
Drama is possible at this time, but how we handle this will determine whether we are a victor or one of the three potentials in the triangle of drama. If you cannot handle conflict with integrity, you are becoming the victim, the persecutor, or the rescuer. Self awareness and compassion is key to breaking unnecessary, dramatic cycles (Stephen Karpman, 1968). You can learn more about this concept here.
This transit is great for an energy boost, for allowing yourself to be seen despite opinions from others, and focusing your positive attention on the things you are wanting to grow. A star will be born by the end of the Venus retrograde transit and it all starts now with a little bit of pressure.
Major Aspects: We won't go over all of Mars' aspects, but here are the important ones.
Fixed T-Square (Mars, Pluto, Jupiter)- 5.20
Something that all of these planets have in common? Power, but there is also a tendency to be reckless, indulgent, and power hungry. I see a huge potential for success and achievement, but ask yourself, "At what cost?"
A Plutonian kind of faith may be necessary at this time. Any contact with Pluto is one of intense change and transformation that often feels more like a sacrifice. It does usually start subtly, thinking of Persephone picking the oh, so simple flower that lead to her confinement to the underworld, but it can also lead to eventual wealth.
Mars square the North Node- 5.26
Mars will act as a nodal bender (as it is 90º away from the North Node in Taurus). This may bring up esteem issues of all kinds. Taurus and Leo have superiority and elitism in common. Taurus realizes its purpose as an authority figure and spends its time distributing something to the public (often knowledge or resources), while Leo realizes its purpose to perform and lead in a public setting, distinguishing it from others. The bending is a critical and fated moment, one of crisis, or a trajectory for change. This could be a call to action or a call to build a sense of security in yourself even while we may diverge from others (South Node in Scorpio, Pluto in Aquarius). Trust yourself and what you feel you must do.
Mars and Venus co- presence in Leo- 6.06
This is where we need to pay close attention. The sign Leo is very revealing and pure, it doesn't hide its intention too well (it can't, it shines too bright). We can truly start to see the things that must be severed during the Venus retrograde cycle. Something is building now that will begin culminating as Mars leaves Venus to fend for herself. I see Mars almost leading the way and helping her as much as he can before he has to leave this sign.
Rising sign predictions for this transit will be at the end of this article after breaking down...
The Sun in Gemini Story:
To review, the Sun has been in Taurus since April 20th bringing a general awareness to our Taurus houses. Every 30 days our celestial spotlight shifts to another area of our lives, on May 21st, the Sun will move into Gemini where it will stay until the Summer Solstice.
We also have to remember the Mars in Gemini story that began on August 20th 2022 and completed on March 25th 2023. It seems as though Mars helped us sever harmful mindsets in our Gemini houses during that transit and now, the Sun is coming out! The Sun in Gemini seems to be a new era in this sector of our charts where we are able to choose differently.
I was just advising a client of mine on their next steps within a long term project. After Mercury retrograde, a season of ironing out the confusion, we've finally reached a point where it's time to make real decisions. Everything has been on paper and in the ethers for this person (and for many of us) up until now, but Gemini season is a time of curiosity, learning, researching, and eventually, deciding. It just so happens that this client needs to make a lot of decisions soon, but specifically by trying out a variety of things before honing in on the final details.
The Sun in Gemini is weird because Gemini wants to focus in on the details, while the Sun's light is more of a general hue. It's the imagery of reading a book under the "big light" in the room. You may be looking for a specific sentence, but the whole page is illuminated making it challenging to find what really matters. This is why the Sun is almost entirely peregrine in Gemini, save for the last 10 degrees.
There is a finality to this season because it ends with the Summer Solstice where the harvest begins. Right now, there is still time to sow, to think, to change your mind, but the Sun is still a timekeeper. He will move into Cancer season on June 21st whether we've made up our minds or not.
The great thing about Gemini season? We learn a lot, downloading so much information at once we almost become a different person, changing our minds about things that we were adamant about before when we couldn't see the whole picture. This must be why the 10 of Swords is ruled by the Sun decan of Gemini. We die every time we learn something new. Death to the old way of thinking, death to the person who thought those things, and what emerges is usually different than we thought too.
The things we need to watch out for? A case of analysis paralysis, becoming so definitive there is no room for another idea to co-exist, and general nervousness that seems to press us to act before we've really thought it all through. We will receive a bit more support when Mercury ingresses Gemini on June 11th, a dignified Mercury will help us with fluidity, but still making room for the best possible route to find us. The Sun will be within its own decan by then, adding to this momentum.
From May 21st until June 11th, we may find ourselves feeling a little stuck or searching for the right key that fits into the lock– except there's like, a thousand keys to choose from. It's important to keep in mind that this is simply a part of the process. The Land of Gemini favors changeability so, be as open as you can and remember that urgency almost never leads to the right decision. Take it day by day and allow big picture thinking to collide with your attention to detail. Is there something you've missed?
This could be a time of hanging out with friends or siblings, reading book after book, thinking logically, getting in trouble for "chit chatting", and writing until your hand hurts. Gemini season is always a toss up between the archetypes of The Clown and The Logistic- no need to pick a side, embrace the fickle nature of this time period and don't forget to have FUN! Planets occupying Gemini and Leo makes for invigorating amusement. There is always deeper healing work to be done, but laugh your way through it all.
Sun trine Pluto- 5.21
Immense power is available to us now. Investigations lead to answers, but they might create more questions too. There may be someone in a position of power supporting you at this time or you may create your own powerful position through asking the right questions. Something is being transformed. Have you ever noticed that the Sun and Pluto are each noted as separate gods? Each will yield to the other as the Sun cannot exist in darkness nor can darkness exist under the glare of the Sun, yielding to another may tarnish your own unique power at this time.
Sun square Saturn- 5.27
Ah, responsibilities seem to ruin possibilities. With the Sun in Gemini and Saturn in Pisces– a challenge is presented. We are needing to be more realistic about our big dreams, gathering the details that will make it a reality. This aspect can be used productively if you can let go of disappointment. Ultimately, limits exist as catalysts for results. If you feel confused or like something has eluded you, it's supposed to be this way. Turn this knowledge into wisdom. Gemini season will be revealing stark Saturnian lessons.
Sun-Mercury co-presence begins- 6.11
The Sun gets a new ruler today. Instead of answering to a peregrine Mercury, it answers to Mercury in his own domain. Things get clearer from here on out, we now have the proper directions to ensure our arrival.
Sun square Neptune 6.18
Our awareness is clouded by something even with Mercury, the god of direction, taking over as navigator. Even the most skilled wayfarer can run into fog sometimes. This is not a good day for decision making, playing with substances, or doing anything you are unsure of. In my experience, it's better to wait it out and do something trivial and creative with your energy instead. Be safe, not sorry.
The Rising Sign Predictions:
* This advice is based on the Drama Triangle Theory by Stephan Karpman. It is important that we are escaping the archetypes of the Rescuer, the Persecutor, and the Victim while Mars is in Leo.
With Mars transiting the 5th house, your energy is geared towards what is fun to you, but don't forget that this will be part of your Venus retrograde story. Being reckless with your fun will not bode well for you in the future. Drama arises in the realm of passions, children, romance, and sex. Eliminate drama with effective conflict resolution. Remember, there is always a gentler approach.
With the Sun transiting the 3rd house, you are focused on learning, thinking, and exploring your local environment. Your attention is enwrapped in social media, your text messages, the books you promised you'd read, and in endless conversations with others. Think about the kind of communicator you want to be– could you be more open? You are allowed to change your mind about what you think.
With Mars transiting the 4th house, your energy is geared towards the home base. You could be feeling some pressure from your family or from your place residence, don't forget that this will be part of your Venus retrograde story. Drama arises in the realm of family, ancestry, and your living situation. Eliminate drama with effective conflict resolution. Remember, there is always a gentler approach.
With the Sun transiting the 2nd house, your focus is on your money moves, your skills, and the values you uphold. Your attention is enwrapped in skillfully prepared meals, the style of clothing you wear, the information your beliefs are based on. Is there a mindset that better encapsulates your values? You are allowed to change your mind about what you value.
With Mars transiting the 3rd house, your energy is geared towards the mind, communication, and learning (more than usual). Don't forget that this will be part of your Venus retrograde story. Drama arises in the realm of transportation, your local environment, school, siblings, and the way that you communicate. Eliminate drama with effective conflict resolution. Remember, there is always a gentler approach.
With the Sun transiting the 1st house, your focus is on your identity, autonomy, your personality traits, and who you want to become. Your attention is enwrapped in yourself and who that person really is. New information may lead you to adopt new personality traits. You are finding out who you really are this month– remember that you are allowed to change your mind about who that is in the first place.
With Mars transiting the 2nd house, your energy is geared towards the ways you make money, the food you eat, and the values you uphold. Don't forget that this will be part of your Venus retrograde story. Drama arises in the realm of finances, time, priorities, self esteem, superiors, and skill level. Eliminate drama with effective conflict resolution. Remember, there is always a gentler approach.
With the Sun transiting the 12th house, your focus is on surrender, your mental health, and the big unknowable answers. Your attention is enwrapped in your alone time, the dream world, and spirituality. Make sure that you are not getting too lost in your fears right now, your own mind is the only real trap. You are allowed to change what you are feeding your mind.
With Mars transiting the 1st house, your energy is geared towards your general personal identity. Don't forget that this will be part of your Venus retrograde story. Drama arises in the realm of autonomy, personal pride, confidence, individuality, and who you are choosing to become. Eliminate drama with effective conflict resolution. Remember, there is always a gentler approach.
With the Sun transiting the 11th house, your focus is on the future, your goals, and your community. Your attention is enwrapped in your personal interests and fascinations, your friends, the groups and labels you are a part of. You may be making some decisions about how you intend to reach the future and what (and who) is included in it when you get there. You are allowed to change your mind about the direction you are headed.
With Mars transiting the 12th house, your energy is geared toward surrender, the unseen, the big unknowable answers. Don't forget that this will be part of your Venus retrograde story. Drama arises in the realm of confidence, mental health, and the hidden– is it possible you are not seeing the full picture? Eliminate drama with effective conflict resolution. Remember, there is always a gentler approach.
With the Sun transiting the 10th house, your focus is on your career, your parents, and your public identity. Your attention is enwrapped in your goals, your legacy, your sense of authority, and the sensation of being "seen" for the work you put out into the world. You are allowed to change your mind about the path you'll take no matter how long you spent walking in a different direction.
With Mars transiting the 11th house, your energy is geared toward the future, your goals, and your community. Don't forget that this will be part of your Venus retrograde story. Drama arises in the realm of friends, the groups and labels you are a part of, and any future goals you have in mind. Eliminate drama with effective conflict resolution. Remember, there is always a gentler approach.
With the Sun transiting the 9th house, your focus is on writing, teaching, and traveling. Your attention is enwrapped in foreign affairs, different cultures, sight seeing, politics, and the ways in which you believe. You are allowed to change your mind about what you believe when a new experience is contrary to an old way of thinking. Let yourself travel to new heights.
With Mars transiting the 10th house, your energy is geared toward your career, your parents, and your public identity. Don't forget that this will be part of your Venus retrograde story. Drama arises in the realm of superiors, your legacy, your sense of authority, and the sensation of being "seen" for the work you put out into the world. Eliminate drama with effective conflict resolution. Remember, there is always a gentler approach.
With the Sun transiting the 8th house, your focus is on investments, shared resources, and intimacy. Your attention is enwrapped in other people's business, the financial and emotional debts you are paying and have paid off, and your own internal transformation. You are allowed to change your mind about what you want to share with others.
With Mars transiting the 9th house, your energy is geared toward writing, teaching, and traveling. Don't forget that this will be part of your Venus retrograde story. Drama arises in the realm of foreign affairs, other cultures, politics, and the ways in which you believe. Eliminate drama with effective conflict resolution. Remember, there is always a gentler approach.
With the Sun transiting the 7th house, your focus is on your relationships with others. Your attention is enwrapped in the connections you keep, the relationship you have to your mind, perhaps questioning if another person's mind truly compliments yours, and the karmic contracts you participate in. This month, you are allowed to change your mind about the kinds of people you want to have relationships with.
With Mars transiting the 8th house, your energy is geared toward investments, shared resources, and intimacy. Don't forget that this will be part of your Venus retrograde story. Drama arises in the realm of other people, the financial and emotional debts you are paying and have paid off, and your own internal transformation. Eliminate drama with effective conflict resolution. Remember, there is always a gentler approach.
With the Sun transiting the 6th house, your focus is on your health and daily rituals. Your attention is enwrapped in your workout routine, your pets, your co-workers, the daily fuss of life, the work that feels tiresome, but the work that is necessary to a healthy life. This month, you are allowed to change your mind about your routine– you may find one more aligned with who you are now.
With Mars transiting the 7th house, your energy is geared toward your relationships with others. Don't forget that this will be part of your Venus retrograde story. Drama arises in the realm of the connections you keep (personal and business), the karmic contracts you participate in, and diplomacy. Eliminate drama with effective conflict resolution. Remember, there is always a gentler approach.
With the Sun transiting the 5th house, your focus is on what is truly fun to you. Your attention is enwrapped in your passions, art, performance, your children, your personal childhood or inner child, romance, and sex. This month, you are allowed to change your mind about what is truly pleasurable to you. Explore the things you didn't have the wisdom to find pleasurable before.
With Mars transiting the 6th house, your energy is geared toward your health, job, and daily rituals. Don't forget that this will be part of your Venus retrograde story. Drama arises in the realm of coworkers, routine, your pets, your physical health, and daily duties. Eliminate drama with effective conflict resolution. Remember, there is always a gentler approach.
With the Sun transiting the 4th house, your focus is on the home base. Your attention is enwrapped in your family, your ancestry, the past, your living situation, the physical home you reside in, and your personal feeling of safety. This month, you are allowed to change your mind about what, where, and who makes you feel secure.
Chang, T. Susan. “No Guts, No Glory | 7 of Wands: Leo III.” Essay. In 36 Secrets: A Decanic Journey Through The Minor Arcana of The Tarot, 95–103. Anima Mundi Press, 2021.
Chodipilli, Krishna. “The Drama Triangle Explained.” Leadership Tribe US, August 22, 2022. https://leadershiptribe.com/blog/the-drama-triangle-explained.
*Cover Image by Elena and Olivia Ceballos @ELIOLIArt