|"Iyar" by artist Toby Davis|
The Midrash in BaMidbar Rabba 2:7 relates that the stone in the High Priest’s breastplate representing Issachar, the Tribe associated with Iyar, was sappir (sapphire), and his flag dark blue, “and a sun and a moon were drawn on it, as it is written [I Chronicles 12:33]: “And from the sons of Issachar were those who knew the wisdom of the times [i.e. astronomy and calendars].”
Iyar is the only month of the Jewish year to be completely incepted by a mitzvah: Sefirot haOmer, the seven-week ritual counting of the Omer, which begins the second night of Passover (the fifteenth of the month of Nissan) and continues until the night before Shavuot (the 5th/6th of the month of Sivan). Every single day of the month of Iyar is contained within the period of the Omer count. It is fitting that “The sons of Issachar who have the knowledge to understand the times, to know what Yiarael should do” (Chronicles I 12:32). should be the tribe associated with the counting month of Iyar. Lag B’Omer, the 33rd day of the Omer, falls on May 3rd, during which the Moon will be in Sagittarius, sign of the Archer – fitting for a holiday long known for bow-and-arrow play among youth.
Noteworthy planetary activity during Chodesh Iyar include:
Venus (Noga) in her home sign of Taurus from March 30th through April 24th reminds us of the adage: when momma’s happy, everybody’s happy. When momma’s not happy: watch out! Venus in the Fixed Earth sign of Taurus is sensual, earthy, beauty-loving, bucolic bliss. Give her the work of her hands or watch her snatch it away and slap you for trying to hold on to what’s hers. Noga is a lustrous shine, and Venus in Taurus wants to adorn surroundings, indulge in sensual pleasures, roll in the grass and smell the flowers – this is the time to say yes to beauty.
Energetic Mars (Ma’adim) in steady Capricorn from March 17 through May 19th keeps things focused, forward-moving and driven desire for success. Mars in Capricorn has a strong, straight-arrow kind of work ethic and can’t abide cheating, cheap short-cuts or shoddy performance from themselves or others. This is a good time to push yourself to achieve your highest and best at workplace and cultivate the ability to ignore the (sure to be temporary) successes of those who may overshadow you or seem to be sliding by on their superficial charm rather than the quality of their work.
Communicative Mercury (Kochav) stations retrograde on March 22nd at 17 degrees Aries and goes Direct again on April 15th at 5 degrees Aries. Tempers flare and communication misunderstandings are probable for those who don’t preemptively forbid themselves from engaging in conflict: verbal or digital. This is a good time to develop mindful and not mindless communication skills. Protect your head in every way: metaphorically (stay away from images of violence) and literally: head injuries during any Aries-related retrograde are known to happen (don't go biking without a helmet). If you're already a "yeller" you'll be inclined to yell louder - maybe you should rethink that. Yelling louder won't drive the point you're trying to make home any better than a normal tone of voice.
The New Moon at 26 Aries on April 15th is especially powerful. Conjunct Uranus (Oron) at the final degrees of Aries, where the planet of individuality, uniqueness, restless erratic energy which produces both lightening-flash bursts of enlightenment and, when impeded, sporadic, unpredictable violence. Mercury stations Direct in Aries at the New Moon, which is also energized by the “Great American Eclipse” of August 2017, which occurred at 26 Leo, an exact Trine to the New Moon / Uranus / Mercury conjunction on April 15th. This kind of energies are scalable from personal to global, but anyone who has a natal Moon in the final degrees of Aries (or any other planet in those degrees for that matter) may experience abrupt changes in their relations with women (Moon). Women’s voices (Mercury) may rise from a whisper to a shout, while voices raised against women might try to drown them out.
We’ll experience some energetic whiplash as structured Saturn (Shabbtai) stations retrograde at 9 degrees Capricorn on April 17, and intense Pluto stations retrograde at 21 degrees Capricorn on April 22. There’s something entire not fun about retrograde Capricorn with any planet, especially so as Saturn and Pluto press hard against each other for power and control, producing frustration and a sense of hemmed-in energy, triggering issues of power and powerlessness. Control and chaos loom in the collective unconscious as Uranus, planet of erratic instability and unpredictable behavior, moves from Mars-ruled Aries into Venus-ruled Taurus on May 15th.
Uranus has been in Aries since March of 2011. The transit of Uranus into Taurus, where it will be until 2026, moves all that unstable, erratic energy into the grounded, Fixed Earth sign of Taurus. The result may be earthquakes: both literal and metaphorical.