Your Earth Sky News for May 22: Brightest Mars in 10 years

Brightest Mars in 10 years

Tonight – May 22, 2016 – Mars comes to opposition in our sky for the first time in over two years. It’s the brightest that Mars has appeared in our sky, though, in over 10 years! Mars is now very nearly the same brightness as Jupiter, which has been the brightest starlike up each evening for some weeks. You can’t miss it! Even the drenching moonlight of the waning gibbous moon, just past full on this date and near Mars in the sky, won’t be able to wash the Red Planet from the nighttime sky.

Mars now resides opposite the sun in Earth’s sky, because on this date we are passing between it and the sun in our smaller, faster orbit.

Now opposite the sun, Mars rises in the east around sunset, climbs to its highest point in the sky at midnight, and sets in the west around sunrise.

Mars alternates between good and bad years for viewing in our sky, and 2016 counts as a very good year because it is an opposition year. In the alternate years, Mars stays on the far side of the sun from Earth and is relatively faint and inconspicuous in our sky.

Oppositions of Mars are not created equal, though, and, in 2016, Mars is closer to Earth than in over 10 years, or since the opposition of November 7, 2005.

Super-close oppositions of Mars recur in periods of 15 to 17 years. The last super-close Martian opposition happened on August 28, 2003, and the next one will occur on July 27, 2018. Extra-close oppositions happen when we go between Mars and the sun around the time Mars is closest to the sun. Makes sense, right?

This year’s opposition doesn’t bring Mars as close as it can be. But it’s a good opposition, and Mars is very bright in our sky.

An extra-far opposition took place on March 3, 2012, when Mars was farthest from the sun. Extra-far oppositions also recur in periods of 15 to 17 years. As a basis of comparison, the 2016 opposition of Mars finds the planet nearly 16 million miles (25.5 million km) closer than it was during its March 3, 2012 opposition. Meanwhile, the extra-close martian opposition on July 27, 2018, will find Mars over 27 million miles (43 million km) closer than extra-far opposition of March 3, 2012.

At present, Mars ranks as the fifth-brightest celestial object to light up the heavens – after the sun, moon, Venus and Jupiter. However, Venus is now lost in the glare of the sun, so Mars can rightfully claim the mantle of the fourth-brightest heavenly body in the nighttime sky.

This month showcases Mars at its moment of glory. What’s more, you can use brilliant Mars as your guide “star” to the planet Saturn and the star Antares, the brightest star in the constellation Scorpius, for months to come. In fact, Mars and Saturn will be having a conjunction on August 25, 2016, to stage their first conjunction since August 27, 2014. The next one won’t be until April 2, 2018.

By the way, you can distinguish Saturn from Antares by color. Saturn exhibits a golden hue whereas Antares appears reddish. And, of course, a telescope – even a modest backyard telescope – will show you Saturn’s glorious rings. Although both Saturn and Antares shine at 1st-magnitude brightness, neither Saturn nor Antares holds as candle to Mars right now.

By the way, our exact moment of being closest to Mars will come about a week after opposition, on May 30. If Earth and Mars orbited the sun in perfect circles and on the same exact plane, Earth would come closest to Mars right at opposition. However, Mars always come closest at the vicinity of opposition. The time interval between opposition and Mars’ nearest point to Earth is no greater than 8.5 days, and can be as little as 10 minutes.

Bottom line: May 2016 is the best time in over 10 years to see Mars. Earth passes between Mars and the sun on May 22, 2016 (the martian opposition). Earth and Mars will be closest on May 30, 2016.




Deborah Byrd

Published on EarthSky

Your Ancient Symbol Card for May 22nd is The Crow

Your Ancient Symbol Card for Today

The Crow

The Crow is the trusted messenger that alerts its allies to both danger and opportunity. Although they may appear playful and too opportunistic to be trusted, Crows are in fact powerful and trustworthy. The Crow sees and hears all. When The Crow reports it is best to listen as their news is always important and presented accurately.

Casting the Stones, Your Planetary Reading for the Week of May 23

Your Planetary Reading for the Week of May 23


Your Self Overall


Laguz is the feminine Rune. It denotes a deep sexuality and fertility. Laguz also represents that which is ever changing and renewal. You may be in a tremendous spiritual growth period.




Matters Concerning Your Home (The Moon Rune)


Ansuz represents mankind’s spiritual connection to God and the universe. It is often referred to as the “God Rune.” This Rune embodies reason, truth and justice. It denotes the coming of knowledge and true counsel from a higher authority.



Matters Concerning Business, Skills and Integrity (The Rune of Mercury)


Othala represents a solid, immovable home, prosperity and safety. Good fortune based on your heritage and character is yours to enjoy.




Matters Concerning Love (The Rune of Venus)


Thurisaz reversed often represents your inability to come to terms with repressed issues. It is a warning that if you do not purge past demons they may return to harm you. This Rune is also indicative of a time when you should not act on impulse.



Matters Concerning Hostility, Opposition and Aggression (The Rune of Mars)


Mannaz reversed may indicate you are in a period of depression. Be careful when making serious decisions at this time. Trust only those whom time has proven trustworthy.




Matters of Finance, Acquisition and Wealth (The Rune of Jupiter)


Naudhiz reversed may tell of needs met and harmonious relationships. Your passions for someone or something may be at their pinnacle.




Matters of the Intellect (The Rune of Saturn)


Elhaz represents your power to protect yourself and those around you. It also connotes the thrill and joy of a successful hunt. You are in a very enviable position right now, because you are able to maintain what you have built and reach your current goals. Enjoy.



The Outcome


Tiwaz is the Warrior Rune. It represents pure, masculine power and the ability to successfully fight to meet your goals. However, you must be careful that costs of attaining your goals overshadow their values.

Your Crowley Thoth Tarot Card for May 22 is The Moon

Your Crowley Thoth Tarot Card for Today

The Moon

The Moon represents those forces which remain largely hidden to us. The light of the moon provides some illumination down a path into the unknown, but not enough to brighten the landscape like The Sun, or cut through the dark shadows from which the unexpected may leap. However, The Moon is not without gifts we can use. She spurs our imagination and creativity. She can be a portal to knowledge and experience beyond the realm of our everyday lives. But Her offerings are not available to the feint of heart. To receive what The Moon offers one must have the courage to follow uncharted paths and the intelligence to find truths hidden in a bewildering setting rife with illusion. For those who can make this journey the reward may be finding the key to making their dreams come true.

Your Tarot Power Cards for the Week of May 23

Your Tarot Power Cards for the Upcoming Week

This reading represents strengths you were born with and will emerge this week.


Strength denotes an inner power, mastery of will and development of inner might. Through mastering one’s emotions and learning from both success and failure the person Strength represents has reached a place where they are influential without applying physical force, able to weather the roughest of storms, and not likely to abandon the less fortunate. Strength also denotes a large capacity for forgiveness and compassion. Strength is not as much about winning as it is about overcoming hardship, and using well crafted persuasion to ease others to your side.

When The Hanged Man is among your personal cards, the influence of Strength may be increased. Having The Chariot in your personal cards may diminish the influence of Strength.

The Fool

This card represents the dreamer in you, the idealist, the mystic. The Fool desires to do great things, but is often unaware of just how difficult great things are to do. He must always be very careful of the choices he makes, and remember knowledge is his ally. The Fool often symbolizes a new beginning, unrestrained optimism, and curiosity that hasn’t been dulled by time. While The Fool may well indicate a lack of experience or grasp of the pitfalls along the path he is taking, it is equally true that his lack of experience leads him to believe all things are possible, which brings even impossible goals within his grasp.

When The Hanged Man or The Star are among your personal cards, the influence of The Fool may be increased. Having The Devil in your personal cards may diminish the influence of The Fool.

Shuffling the Cards, Your Minchiate Tarot Card Reading for the Week of May 23

Your Minchiate Tarot Card Reading for the Week of May 23



This Week’s Theme

Sagittarius Reversed

Sagittarius reversed denotes the unpleasant qualities of a bully and a lack of self-control.










This Week’s Challenge

The Page of Wands Reversed

Bad news, cruelty and a lack of stability.











Your Ally for the Week

The Magus Reversed

This card represents the misuse of power, a weak will, indiscretion, and incompetence.

Your Daily Tarot Card for May 22 is The Sun

Your Personal Daily Tarot Card

The Sun

Only The World card of the Tarot can match the blessings that come with The Sun. While it certainly doesn’t promise a life’s path without some bumps in the road, The Sun indicates all will be well. The Sun is our Cosmic Nurturer. Life flourishes under its radiant beams. It provides the illumination to find Truths and lights one’s path so they do not get lost. To stand in the rays of The Sun is to shine. To absorb its energy promotes growth, exceptional physical and mental health, and good fortune. The Sun is empowering, elevating and fills those who bask in it with confidence and sense of self-worth.

Get A Jump On Tomorrow, Your Daily Horoscopes for Monday, May 23






Get A Jump On Tomorrow……

Your Daily Horoscopes for Monday, May 23



Aries Horoscope

While in some ways you can be feeling under a lot of pressure these days with your ruler, Mars, retrograde and challenged, dear Aries, you’re also very enthusiastic about the future. A connection between Uranus in your sign and the Moon today provides you with a nice jolt of psychic energy. Your imagination is heightened, and you might get glimpses of the future and where you want to go. You’re seeing the sunnier side of life today. Even so, make it a point to take moments to relax, center yourself, and enjoy the present.



You can be especially focused on your deeper and perhaps darker feelings and needs these days, dear Taurus. You can be hungry for emotional excitement, particularly as it relates to a feeling of being connected to someone you care about, but also in terms of getting to know your private self a little better. You may be looking for the meaning behind others’ behavior more than usual. Aim to dig deep when it comes to your desire nature instead of blindly seeking out comfort objects to fill up on, when this is really about spiritual and emotional needs.



There is stronger focus on the balance between independence and togetherness these days, dear Gemini. You seem to want both, and this is possible, but it can require some adjustments in order to work well. Be careful that you don’t make conversations all about you right now – you are considering others’ needs and agendas, but it doesn’t always come across that way. Being there for someone in need can give you a wonderful feeling now. Today, you may be recognized for your responsibility, dedication, or willingness to make some personal sacrifices in order to accommodate others.



Focus these days is on finding a better balance between work and rest, dear Cancer. Today is no exception, but a nice flow of energy is with you for accomplishing your work and filling responsibilities with less effort than usual now, and this helps speed things along. Look for ways to improve your daily habits and to reduce stress. Some of the pressure you have been feeling in recent days is coming from within, so be sure to reassess your expectations.



The Moon in your creativity sector in harmony with Uranus today can help lift your spirits, dear Leo, and you may be feeling particularly reinforced by others who are supporting and understanding your ideas, perspective, and beliefs. You can be feeling rejuvenated, even with this week’s tensions and concerns. Not everyone in your life is thrilled with your choices or the time you spend with your attention turned elsewhere, but unrest in your social life these days can motivate you to come to solutions and resolutions in the coming weeks.


Virgo Symbol/Glyph

Do your best to find comforting activities and quiet moments today, dear Virgo, with the Moon in your family and home sector encouraging the need to lay down some roots. A partner may be more receptive than usual to your plans and ideas right now, and tackling problems from their root is favored. While personal affairs are emphasized today, you can be quite focused when it comes to long-term goals, career matters, and responsibilities. Pacing yourself and focusing on the end results comes more easily than usual.


Libra Glyph-Symbol

These can be lively days, dear Libra, and this is especially the case on mental levels. Today is no exception, although there may be some reprieve from recent tensions. You are quite sharp and communicative, but also very much living in your mind right now so be sure your heart is behind whatever you commit to now. There can be a nice flow of conversation enjoyed now, particularly in one-to-one situations. Even so, you may be a little concerned about your duties today, and it would be wise to try to center yourself now. Keep in mind that you won’t get everything you want to do accomplished well unless you take good care of mind, body, and spirit.


Scorpio Symbol Glyph

You may be feeling especially creative or enthusiastic about your work and health endeavors today, dear Scorpio. This is also a strong time for research, and for putting new spins on old information. You might enjoy throwing yourself into a project or mystery to solve – you can easily get lost in a quest for more information today, and while it can eat up time in your day, it’s pleasant. In business matters, you can be innovative and and progressive right now. There can be some tension building over a financial or ownership matter again today, and this will likely peak tomorrow. Use competitive feelings to your advantage by allowing them to motivate you to up your game.


Sagittarius Glyph Symbol

The Moon is in your sign all day, dear Sagittarius, and the major theme is your emotions, as they tend to come bubbling up to the surface, demanding your attention. The feedback you receive from others right now means more to you than usual. You have charm to spare today, but keep in mind that the Moon in your sign can pull up all sorts of feelings, and it may bring out some childishness. People who don’t know you well may be seeing your best, and those who do may be seeing your worst right now!


Capricorn Symbol/Glyph

You have the tendency to retreat a little from the demands of everyday life today, dear Capricorn. On an emotional level, you may be keeping parts of you to yourself, even if you’re with company – you are not as emotionally present or accessible for the time being. This will change when the Moon moves into your sign early tomorrow, but today it is especially important to pace yourself and to treat yourself kindly. There is a lot going on under the surface of things these days, and important emotional discoveries are in order.



You can be on the same wavelength with a friend or associate today, dear Aquarius. Even with Mercury’s station, there can be a nice flow and welcome ease in your interactions. While conversations tend to be lighthearted, there can be some underlying tensions revolving around your resources, matters of respect, values, and/or money today. You’ve been dealing with friendships and feelings, but you have some more “work” to do in this regard. You might decide to throw yourself into a creative project or activity that engrosses you, possibly to escape some of the messier feelings of this time.



You can be more driven than usual today, dear Pisces, and you can bring a nice spirit of innovation to matters of business and practical affairs. The balance between responsibilities and home life can be off kilter, and demands from both camps continue to be strong. You can be quite focused on what you plan on doing in the future to fulfill obligations, but keep in mind the saying, Rome was not built in a day, and pace yourself. Overdoing is a tendency now, but should be avoided.

If Today is Your Birthday: May 22


If Today is Your Birthday: May 22

You are a person with integrity, who is forthright and intelligent. You can be somewhat of a perfectionist, and you are often hard on yourself and sometimes others as a result. Your ideas and opinions are strikingly unique and unusual. You are forever learning and sharing what you’ve learned.

Famous people born today: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Richard Wagner, Naomi Campbell, Laurence Olivier.

Your Birthday Year Forecast:

With the Sun and Moon in a waxing semi-square at the time of your birthday this year, the period ahead is one of new initiatives and action. You possess quite a bit of energy, but you must be aware that emotions color much of what you do this year. It can be hard to be objective as a result.

Until October, Saturn continues to transit in opposition to your Sun. During this transit, you may experience some form of disillusionment with regards to an important person in your life, with authority figures, with personal plans and achievements, or with aspects of your own personality. You may feel “left out”, blocked from advancing in your chosen life path, or temporarily lacking in energy and confidence. Ego boosts don’t seem to be forthcoming, or if they are, you don’t see them in such a light. Some sort of buckling down is necessary at this time, and is often perceived as limitations coming from other people or from circumstances. A general feeling of “slowdown” is likely, and if regular tasks seem more overwhelming than usual, it is likely due to poor spirits and lack of motivation. Sometimes, this transit is associated with problems with the teeth, bones in general, and the skin. It is also associated with mechanical breakdowns in your life. However, these generally happen because you haven’t been managing your life effectively, and Saturn calls upon you to identify the weaker areas of your life, and to fix or strengthen them. Take the time to sort out your life, improve your work, and to become more efficient. Taking a slow and steady approach to life is necessary now. Pushing too hard will likely lead to frustration and setbacks. Take it easy and work on self-improvement. Results are not immediate, but will eventually come and bring healthy rewards.

You may be actively involved with teamwork and collaboration with others this year. Your passions are stirred and others may be instrumental in building your confidence and going after what you want. For some, the beginning of a significant new relationship, or the intensification of an existing romance, can occur.

This is a good year in which to take steps towards making yourself feel more secure and safe, and for family or domestic activities. This is also a time when you more readily support or defend others.

This is a strong year for tapping into your inner genius or personal potential and putting it to work for you. You can be determined to take better care of yourself, and discoveries made this year can fuel or reignite your motivation to pursue a particular path. There can be a real sense of mission this year.

There can be some intensity experienced in a relationship this year, which can pull up jealousies and matters of trust. You might experience compulsive attractions and attachments, or attraction to complicated love relationships. The need for deeper intimacy is present, but fear of this closeness may be just as strong. Alternatively, there can be some tension over your personal finances this year, and/or need to make a large payment that necessitates changes in your spending habits. Finances may be complicated. For some, there can be power struggles with money.

You are likely to be popular with others when it comes to your ideas and communications, especially as you are communicating with optimism and cheerfulness, and this can bring rewarding experiences and opportunities into your life. It can be a good time for teaming up with a partner to learn together or to pursue a common project or goal. There can be a good feeling of being backed and supported.

Even so, with Mercury in challenging aspect to Neptune in your Solar Return, some difficulties with communications are likely. There can be misunderstandings, misinformation, wishful thinking, confusion, carelessness, and deception. Verify the facts before making decisions and avoid taking precipitate action. Read all the fine print before signing a contract or making an agreement.

Energy levels can be up and down this year, as you often need to feel inspired in order to feel motivated and take action. Take an objective look also at how your dreams and visions fit into the lives of others and the world in general. Watch for impracticality. Take advantage of the “high” periods in order to offset the possible loss in productivity during the low-energy stages. This could also be a year in which you are considerably more creative.

In partnerships and close relationships, you may be working together on a big project or doing a lot more together. Otherwise, excess energy could lead to some restlessness and disagreements. Overall, however, there is good energy for partnering this year.

You’re likely to focus on clearing up some old business this summer and, ideally, your life is tidier by October, freeing you up for a little more excitement. Partnering up to get something specific accomplished can be very successful. While there can be distinct opportunities on a mental level, watch your communications and pay more attention to important details. As well, conserving energy is important, as you can experience real ups and downs in the energy department.

2015 is a Number Eight year for you. Ruled by Saturn. This is a year of power and accomplishment. Actively seeking to expand, taking educated risks, and moving forward are highlighted. This is a year of opportunity, particularly in the material and business world, and opportunities need to be seized. It’s generally not a year to find a new love partner, simply because the focus is on the material world and your place in the world. This is a problem-solving year in which you can expect real, tangible results. Advice – take action, plan ahead, seize opportunities.

2016 will be a Number Nine year for you. Ruled by Mars. This is a year of completion and transition. It is a time when we need to let go of things that no longer serve their purpose, and hold on to things that have a future. It is a time of cleaning out dead wood, not necessarily for new beginnings. It can be a time when a burden has been taken off your shoulders, and it can be a year of giving of yourself. Advice – let go of things that are holding you back, give of yourself and express your sympathetic, compassionate side.


Cafe Astrology