Astrological Viewpoints by Debrah Burnight

The May 2000 Alignments 

The alignment of planets on May 3, 2000 in the sign of Taurus is the most outstanding planetary pattern of the year and is highly activated near the time of the New Moon. This alignment continues the concentration on the fixed signs that was triggered during the last two eclipse cycles of August 11, 1999 and February 5, 2000 on the Leo/Aquarius axis. Each of these three charts activates a Gate of Power (see Aug. 11 eclipse article) through which cosmic energy enters our planetary energy field. This can be seen from the viewpoint of basic physics of how electromagnetic energy leaves and enters a closed system, in this case, our planetary biosphere. These three charts energize a process that sets the stage for a period of intensified transformation, activated by planetary alignments on the Gates of Power.


The greatest changes will occur within  each individual according to the Soul's need. I consider these three charts to set the tone for entry into the new millennium. Any of these charts is more powerful than the actual New Year's Eve 2000 chart. The most significant aspect from that chart is the Pluto/Chiron merger.

Seven planets, including the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, all of the personal and societal planets, are closely aligned in Taurus, the sign of abundance. These are all of the planets known to the ancients before the invention of the telescope, and all can be seen with the naked eye. This gathering of planets, called a stellium, consists of multiple conjunctions which are always about new beginnings. Conjunctions are the completion of one cycle and the initiation of a new one. Here are opportunities to step out of old patterns and move forward on another turn of the spiral. Stelliums are a consolidation of enormous power and bring an intense, concentrated focus on specific issues. Some people have voiced concern about the gravitational and tidal effects on Earth with all these planets lined up "against us". Jean Meeus, in Sky and Telescope magazine has done extensive research on such alignments for a period between 72 C.E.and 1976 C.E.(1)  Using mathematical formulas taking into consideration each planets' mass and distance, the tidal effects can be calculated. The effects are so minuscule as to be completely negligible. The effect is many thousands of times less than our normal tides. This is a rare occurrence, but there are grouping of 6 or 7 planets coming closely together approximately once a century, but not on a regular periodic cycle. Such alignments are a natural process in our solar system and are opportunities to focus on a certain area of growth and development.

This grouping coincides with the monthly New Moon, occurring later in the evening at 11:12 PM CDT. There is some confusion over the exact date to focus on. May 3rd is the New Moon in Taurus and several hours before this all seven planets are in Taurus. By the time of the exact New Moon, Mars has moved into Gemini. The May 5th date is the day the seven planets move into their closest formation. Minimum separation is 25 degrees 53 minutes of longitude at 4:08 AM. CDT., by which time both the Moon and Mars have advanced into Gemini. Essentially the alignment covers a several day period. I chose to focus on Taurus and the New Moon for purposes of this article. New Moons are times of initiating activity, making intentions for the coming month, and invoking the energies of the moment into future manifestation. We have an opportunity here to make multiple intentions across a wide spectrum of activities from the most personal and outward to include sweeping social changes for our entire planetary population. The Taurus influence suggests a time of re-evaluating our spiritual values and coming into a new alignment with the resources on our planet. This is a key issue focused through the energy of this stellium.

Comparable Historical Alignments

The last time these seven planets formed such a close grouping was in February, 1962 in Aquarius. It was a time of intense social, political and technological development and change. People thought of it as the dawning of the Age of Aquarius and the early stages of hippies and flower children began in California. Politically, the leaders of the former USSR and the US brought us to the brink of nuclear annihilation with the Cuban Missile Crisis. Technologically, there was a huge growth in computers and telecommunications. Telestar, the first commercial communications satellite was launched in July, 1962 and was later permanently disabled by solar radiation.(2) This was also the year that Y2K based problems were written into computer programs. Rachel Carson's book, Silent Spring was published informing the general population about potential ecological/environmental disasters caused by pollution. And scientists first noticed global warming. This was the first time that humans realized that we could actually destroy ourselves as well as our whole planet. With this knowledge came a growing awareness, a new awakening of social consciousness that set humanity on a new path towards healing ourselves and our planet.

There were also tight groupings, (less that 30 degrees) in two signs in 1821 in Aries/Taurus; in 1662 in Scorpio/Sagittarius; 1624 in Leo/Virgo; 1524 in Pisces/Aries; and 1483 in Libra/Scorpio. The last time these same planets came together in Taurus was May 21, 529 C.E. with 6 planets in Taurus and the Sun at 2 degrees Gemini. There was also the added correspondence of Pluto in Sagittarius and Neptune in Aquarius, as is the case today. This was the time when King Arthur was fighting to unite Britain after the Romans were defeated. Arthur also created a new model of government with the Knights of the Round Table. The Fall of the Roman Empire was complete by this time and the first Benedictine monastery was founded that year. This was also the year the Byzantine Emperor Justinian, who codified Roman law, closed the two universities founded by Plato and Aristotle, out of fear of pagan beliefs and knowledge. "This event is now regarded as an archetypal victory of ignorance over knowledge, and is considered to be the beginning of the Dark Ages in Europe."(2) This pattern can be seen coming full circle as we now enter the Age of Light and empower ourselves with both new and ancient knowledge and wisdom. The Dark Ages are behind us and we are at a new stage of evolutionary creation. The hierarchical structures that held masses of people in bondage for so long, are passing out of phase with the emerging consciousness empowered from within each one of us. To highlight this shift is an item right out of the evening news. On March 15, 2000 a multimillionaire opened a university on the Internet free to everyone on the planet who has access. Getting access for everyone is a very Aquarian, egalitarian concern of social justice and equality for all.

The Taurean Impact

Taurus is a field of energy concerning the budding, sprouting and flowering of Spring's first growth. Stability is required to nurture the young plants and a sense of permanence is cultivated during the growth process. The early part of the sign brings the two most feminine planets together, Venus and the Moon. The energy of Venus is greatly strengthened in Taurus as she is at home in this sign. The Moon is exalted and here she is free to fully express her highest nature. Venus adds the full flowering of her artistic beauty and sensuality, her sense of values and abundant resources for the benefit of all beings. The Moon is the Celestial Mother and gathers energy for everyone to grow and prosper in abundance and to ground visions in tangible ways. Here we have an image of plenty, where all are received and nurtured, motivating a sense of compassion and being sensitive to the needs of others. This constellation has been called "rich in maidens" as it is the home of the Pleiades; the seven sisters, and the Hyades; the seven mythological daughters of Atlas and Aethra. This emphasis on the feminine opens possibilities for intentionally bringing imbalances into resonance concerning the extreme focus on the masculine in our current cultural climate. Venus at the beginning of the stellium and Mars at the end offer an opportunity to cultivate a new rapport and the creation of right relationship with love and money on a personal as well as planetary level. Mars also gives the ability to persevere on a practical and determined course of action. The Sun in Taurus has a strong inner drive to build a firm foundation, usually based on financial security. With the Sun at the center point of the group, the central issues are values and resources, essentially balancing material values with spiritual values. 

Environmental concerns take on additional prominence in Earthy Taurus. New laws may be passed in this area or old ones more aggressively enforced. Personally, it's a good time to take on a new gardening or landscaping project. Get out in Nature and feel Her presence. All financial matters are emphasized and the Taurean influence is generally good for business. Many people will be especially interested in expanding their finances. See the reference and notes section for an article on financial astrology (3). The arts get an added boost so follow that inspirational idea and let it materialize. Spend extra time with a special loved one and good friends.

Taurean energy from a more spiritual perspective is about bringing illumination into the physical plane and uplifting it and it's about transmuting physical desire into spiritual will. Taurus is the sign that most practically demonstrates the link between the spiritual and material planes. Taurus has an instinctual understanding of how Spirit manifests itself in Nature and an innate comprehension of creative processes.  As we move beyond the see-saw effect of bringing opposites into balance, we come into a field of awareness beyond polarity, beyond duality. We come to a place of harmony where opposites merge into a unified resonance, creating a new tone. The coming together of so many major and minor cycles of growth inherent in this stellium, bring abundant opportunities to move readily into new patterns of thought, action and awareness.

The New Jupiter/Saturn Cycle

This stellium includes the planets most closely associated with the socio/cultural climate impacting us on  larger scales. Jupiter and Saturn conjunct each other every twenty years and are considered to be strong indicators of changes in our collective culture. The merging of Jupiter and Saturn will bring challenges in basing economic choices on environmental resources. Jupiter can bring wisdom and knowledgeable perspective giving a deep understanding of the true value of life. Saturn can bring the determination and perseverance to build a firm foundation guiding us into the future. With this conjunction in Taurus there is a tendency towards political conservatism. This sector of politics has a generally poor environmental record so we can expect challenges in this area. This can be seen as a way of bringing issues into focus that have surfaced for resolution.

The exact conjunction takes place on May 28, 2000 at 23 degrees of Taurus. This degree is a hot spot in individual horoscopes and any planets or angles (1st, 4th, 7th, or 10th house cusps) located here (+or- 3 degrees) is highly activated throughout the entire 20 year period. Now is a time to create a new sense of social purpose and direction that will evolve in stages over the next twenty years. Whatever house this degree (23 degrees Taurus) falls in in a natal chart is the area of life where the greatest growth and development will occur. Jupiter/Saturn together will manifest through each house in a specific way. 

The following journey of this pair through the houses of a horoscope are indicative of general themes which will be modified in individual charts according to natal aspects:

First House  The area of greatest growth and development is in creating a new social identity. This represents a new beginning of internal growth where you will feel more secure about who you are as an individual and what you can accomplish in the world. It is a time of understanding the deeper dimensions of life in tangible and concrete ways. You will draw resources and learning experiences to you that can lay the foundations for restructuring your inner life.

Second House  The general themes of Jupiter and Saturn in Taurus is doubly amplified in the 2nd house. You will be greatly impulsed to actualize whatever you value in your life. If it's money and material possessions then this is the area you will want to increase. If your values are tending towards the spiritual realm or areas of social justice, these dimensions of your life will expand and become more tangible. This is a time to bring your inner values into alignment with material rewards. Are you charging enough for your services, or cutting yourself short? Is greed or self-indulgence blocking a deeper understanding of your inner values and needs?

Third House  The area of greatest growth and development is expanding your ability to communicate what you have learned in practical ways. Your unconscious mental patterns, attitudes and habits of daily life are broadened and expanded now. You can more easily break out of limitations in thinking that have bound you in the past. Your day-to-day activities and associations will bring experiences necessary to restructuring your thinking processes.

Fourth House  The area of greatest growth and development will come by focusing on your home, family and core essence. You will be seeking inner peace and security. If you are ever going to put down roots, do it now. Buying that house or land at this time can become a great source of support and comfort. This is the area of your most personal life and all aspects of your innermost self can be accessed more easily now. You will be able to handle inner truths about yourself that you may have been reluctant to see before. Get in touch with your shadow. This is the root of your chart where you are sourced into the Great Mother and can invoke Her assistance and insight directly. Here you build the foundations of your whole life.

The first four houses are a time of being concerned with redefining and restructuring your inner self. The fifth through eighth houses define a period where you give form to that self through interacting with others.

Fifth House  The area of greatest growth and development will be in bringing your creative self-expression out into the world. Let the sunshine in. Expanding your creative potential will be a serious matter to you now. You will have a much more disciplined and structured approach to your creativity. A child's educational needs may be a prominent issue. A romantic encounter will likely be more of an important learning experience than a long-term commitment, depending on natal aspects. You may have tendencies toward gambling and speculation.

Sixth House  The areas of greatest growth and development will concern your health, diet and all self-enhancement projects. You may decide it's time to clean up your diet or get serious about an exercise routine. You may decide to see a professional body-worker on a regular basis. This is a good time for further job-training or you may take on added responsibilities at work. Essentially, this is the time to restructure your day-to-day activities as a foundation for future goals. It's about creating a lifestyle that accurately reflects your inner reality.

Seventh House  The area of greatest growth and development will be through your interactions in all close relationships. Experiencing yourself in intimate relationships, close friendships, confidential consultations as well as business partnerships will be paramount to self-understanding and  awareness. All close associations will have a consciousness-raising effect as you come to understand the true role of this person in your life. It's a time to be committed to meaningful relationships and to let go of those that are no longer for your best and highest good.

Eighth House  The areas of greatest growth and development will come through understanding yourself in relation to other people's values and resources. Also brought into question are the greater transformations you have been going through in relating to others and understanding basic psychological patterns at work within you. This is a time of coming to terms with and gaining perspective on other people's values and constructively incorporating them into your life. This time is also about learning the limitation of your own resources and to what extent you need to cooperate with and depend on others. This house deals with transformation, regeneration and metamorphosis on all levels. Sweeping changes are possible now that can bring a richer and more fulfilling life in the long run.

Ninth House  The area of greatest growth and development will come through stabilizing your spiritual and philosophical belief structure through higher learning and/or long distance travel. You will likely be attracted to metaphysical subjects which expand your higher mind and you will want practical results. Perhaps learning a specific meditation technique, breathing exercises or workshops along these lines will attract you. Traveling to sacred places or study abroad are also possibilities. Whatever you do, your approach to learning will be pragmatic as you seek to gain a firmer grasp on the world around you. Profiting from your knowledge in such ways as international business or publishing a book are possible as well.

Tenth House  The area of greatest growth and development will come through commitment to career advancement and your status in the eyes of others. If the groundwork has been properly laid, this can be a time of harvest, a high point in establishing yourself and making an impression on the world. You may have added responsibility at work or come into leadership positions of more power and authority. Getting in touch with your highest potential and expressing that in personally fulfilling ways will be a high priority. Essentially, it's about external recognition of inner self-worth.

Eleventh House  The area of greatest growth and development will be to integrate your individual self within some kind of group expression. Cooperation with others in expressing shared hopes, ideals and visions of the future is the next step. You may become involved in fund-raising or consciousness-raising in social, environmental or political groups. This is a time of expanding your perspective on larger issues affecting large groups of people and in ways that bring tangible and concrete results.

Twelfth House  The area of greatest growth and development will be in commitment to self-understanding in relation to greater spiritual or religious dimensions. This is the inner journey of discovering the mysteries of life. Your may feel a need for the formation of goals around your spiritual development. As always, when Saturn is involved, there is a need to ground these new consciousness-expanding experiences in practical physicality. Seeking wisdom and knowledge of the hidden meaning of existence is also about bringing support and comfort to all aspects of your life.

Whichever house is activated by this new cycle will require a commitment in order to be fully actualized. Saturn, in particular, is noted for bringing the lessons to us that we most need to learn.


Challenges to the stellium come from hard angles (squares) form both Uranus and Neptune in Aquarius. Neptune squares Venus and Mercury indicating tendencies towards extreme idealism and exaggerated emotional responses. Extra effort is required to keep ideas and perceptions grounded. Clear communication is a must as either intentional or inadvertent deception is possible. Prioritizing and keeping focused on major issues is paramount. 

The square from Uranus to Saturn is more problematic and is one of the major features of our passage into the new millennium. This transit has been going on since July of 1999 and continues through June, 2000. This powerful aspect is about the irresistible force meeting the immovable object. Saturn is form and Uranus is re-form. These planets symbolize the power  struggles between rigid hierarchical structures and the freedom of individuals; nationalism and globalization; conservatism and progressive ideals.

Uranus is the planet of electricity and technology and the square from Aquarius to Taurus suggests disturbances along these lines. This year is a peak of sunspot activity with huge solar flares. This is a well known activity that creates geomagnetic storms that have in the recent past cause power outages by interfering with power grids. Again, this is only one possible manifestation of Uranian energy.(4)

Overall, this chart can be considered to be quite a powerful image for focusing on positive change. All of the benefics, Sun, Jupiter and Venus are involved and closely aligned with each other. Even the square from Uranus implying sudden changes, may bring unexpected good fortune. Many things need to change to bring our world into harmonic resonance for the good of all beings. Uranus brings change, gets us out of our ruts, throws the switch to new tracks and sets us upon a path of new awareness and insight. Just what we've been working for. The Pluto/Chiron unity in Sagittarius in the New Year's Eve chart gave us a jump start for healing our wounded power by re-sourcing us to our innate healing wisdom and knowledge. New frontiers are opening us to regenerate our knowledge, technology and science to harmonize with our resources and spiritual values.

References and Notes

(1) Jean Meeus, "Planet Groupings and the Millennium," Sky and Telescope, August 1997, pp.60-62.

(2) Thanks to Valerie Vaughan for some of the historical information. Valerie Vaughn, "The Y2K 'Millennium Bug' and the May 2000 Alignment", The Mountain Astrologer, Dec/Jan 1998-99, pp.9-17.

(3)  Raymond A. Merriman, "The May 2000 Astrological Lineup and the Global Economy", The Mountain Astrologer, Dec. 1999/Jan.2000, pp. 19-23.  A longer, more detailed version of this article will be posted through June 2000 at;

(4) For more information on solar cycles see the following website:

Copyright, 2000. Debrah Burnight.

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