Every year, Taurus season presents a hefty dose of grounded energy you can use to create slow, steady, rock solid movement on big-picture goals. At the same time, it falls in the middle of rejuvenating springtime, which tends to inspire fresh starts and encourage growth. All of those themes are at play as we approach May 2021's new moon in Taurus.
On Tuesday, May 11 at 2:59 p.m. ET/11:59 a.m. PT, the new moon will fall at 21 degrees of down-to-earth, sensual fixed earth sign Taurus. Here's what it means and how you can make the most of this inner peace and pleasure-bolstering new moon.
What New Moons Mean
First, a few new moon basics: As the astrological opposite of full moons, new moons occur when the moon is not illuminated by the sun from our perspective on Earth, meaning it's not visible to us at all. And that deep, dark, blank-slate sky that can function almost like a vision board on which you can paint and pin your intentions. Traditionally, new moons present an opportunity to get clear on long-term intentions, goals, and projects. To seal the deal, you can practice a ritual like opening up to a therapist or loved one, journaling, lighting a candle, or doing a visualization practice.
Think of it as our monthly — and very rarely, twice monthly — astrological cue to zero in on something you want to accomplish, then land on a game plan for getting there.
New moons could also be thought of as the first page of a whole new, six-month chapter in your life. Pro-tip: Write down what you've been reflecting on around the new moon, and then circle back six months down the road when the corresponding full moon is happening. You can note how far you've come and quite possibly notice that you've hit a culmination point. FYI, this May 11 new moon is linked to the the full moon happening on November 19, 2021, which also happens to be a lunar eclipse — both in Taurus. (You can also do this retroactively: Think about how 2020's moons in June and December on the Gemini-Sagittarius axis affected your life.)
Themes of the May 2021 Taurus New Moon
Earth sign Taurus, symbolized by the Bull, is ruled by Venus, the planet of beauty, love, pleasure, and money. The sign also serves as the ruler of the second house of income, material possessions, and the concept of value. For this reason, Taureans are all about luxury, art, comfort, aesthetic appeal, and building security one calculated, practical step at a time. The earthy, Venusian-influenced sign is also intensely in touch with all five senses, tuning into touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound to interact with and understand the world around them. And because they really do want to get their bearings in this way, they'll take their time with just about everything. (More here: A Guide to the 12 Zodiac Signs and Their Meanings)
That's why, in clear contrast to April's new moon in speedy, aggressive Aries, this lunar event is all about slowing down, reflecting on what you really want, and immersing yourself in how that feels before making any major moves. That molasses-like pace goes hand-in-hand with soaking up all the beauty of this verdant season and loving, heartfelt, sensual feelings it can inspire.
It's also helpful to note that Taurus is a fixed sign, known for being incredibly dedicated and resolute but also digging their heels in — even if the moment calls for shifting gears. Paired with earthy pragmatism, you know that when the Bull sets their mind on something, they'll be able to get it done. But that fixed energy can also make it tough to adapt when necessary.
Two key planets — Pluto and Neptune — are closely interacting with this new moon. Transformative Pluto, the planet of power, control, destruction, and rebirth, is at play, thankfully in a harmonious way, forming a positive trine to the new moon from its current placement in 26 degrees of fellow earth sign Capricorn. This match-up can amplify your determination, sensitivity, and self-awareness — especially around any deep-rooted psychological, emotional scars. And magical Neptune, which oversees dreams and spirituality, forms a friendly sextile to the new moon, turning up the volume on your intuition, emotional intelligence, and maybe even psychic ability.
That may all sound dreamy, but this isn't to say that there isn't some tension around this new moon as well. Lucky Jupiter and taskmaster Saturn, both currently moving through fellow fixed air sign Aquarius, are located at fairly wide orbs (aka points in their orbit), but the midpoint between them is square the new moon, bringing their energy into the mix as well. Jupiter expands everything it touches, so you can expect it to intensify whatever emotions the new moon is bringing up for you, and Saturn likely wants to make this a "teachable moment," given the responsibility-fostering planet's M.O.
Given its interactions with four big transpersonal planets, this new moon is fertile ground for creating concrete change — in a mindful way that honors where you've come from and what feels right intuitively.
Who the Taurus New Moon Will Affect the Most
If you were born under the sign of the Bull — approximately April 20 to May 20 — or with your personal planets (the sun, moon, Mercury, Venus, or Mars) in Taurus (something you can learn from your natal chart), you'll feel this new moon more than most. More specifically, if you have a personal planet that falls within five degrees of the new moon (21 degrees Taurus), you could feel especially driven to take advantage of its practical-meets-magical vibes. (Related: What Your Moon Sign Means About Your Personality)
Similarly, if you were born in a fixed sign — Scorpio (fixed water), Leo (fixed fire), or Aquarius (fixed air) — you'll likely feel the determination-boosting effects of the moon, particularly as they relate to your partnerships (Scorp), career (Leo), and home life/security (Taurus). Try to stay as open-minded as possible, and pick which battles are worth standing your ground.
The Pleasurable Takeaway
Regardless of where they occur in the sky, new moons offer you a chance to get clear on your desires, then create a step-by-step action plan for heading down whatever path you've chosen to take. Thanks to its practical, earthy energy, May's new moon was made for sensible planning, but given its Venusian-ruled vibes, it's also presenting you with a moment to revel in indulgence. It's a reminder that even seemingly "lazy" moments — for example, spent soaking up a blue, springtime sky, trees bursting with blossoms, and a warm breeze — can be hugely beneficial and restorative. And thanks to powerful Pluto and spiritual Neptune's involvement, you can tap into both willfulness and imagination to make the progress you've been dreaming about.
The Sabian symbol (a system shared by clairvoyant Elsie Wheeler that illustrates the meaning of each degree of the zodiac) for 21 Taurus is "a moving finger [that] points to significant passages in a book." This new moon is all about soaking in the present moment (the whole book) before allowing your intuition, your heart, and your subconscious to guide you toward whichever "passage" is most crucial. From there, the sky's the limit.
Maressa Brown is a writer and astrologer with more than 15 years of experience. In addition to being Shape's resident astrologer, she contributes to InStyle, Parents, Astrology.com, and more. Follow her Instagram and Twitter at @MaressaSylvie.