Stargazer – astrology for May 2023
Image: Sleeping goddess statue in MaltaAstrology for May 2023: Sirius and the sacred temples of Malta | eclipses | Mercury retrograde – get organised | Mars in Leo – dramatic and charismatic, and more...
by Stella Woods
"Humans have had to rebuild many times over, and we are simply the latest version of a story that is tens of thousands of years old. As we move into the Age of Aquarius, it is time to expand our version of human history to include the stories, mythology, and oral history of all cultures and nations."Sirius and the sacred temples of MaltaMalta is a tiny archipelago in the Mediterranean, perched between Sicily in Southern Italy and the northern coast of Africa. The islands have always been a crossroads and melting pot for cultures from the Middle East, Europe and Africa, with a history stretching back thousands of years.

My reason for visiting Malta was to explore its ancient temples. Built thousands of years ago during the Neolithic period (new stone age) they are some of most ancient religious buildings on earth, and are part of a UNESCO World Heritage site.

According to Mark Amaru Pinkham, author of The Return of the Serpents of Wisdom:
The Serpent People who built the temples of Malta designed them to reflect the body of their beloved Mother Goddess. They covered them in Goddess spirals and then set 'fat lady' images of her inside for worship. Their temples were calendars in stone, perfectly aligned with many solar and stellar positions, as well as chambers for initiation into the Goddess Mysteries.
Equinox alignmentOur group visited the Mnajdra temple complex at dawn on the March spring equinox and watched the first rays of sunlight passing through the temple doorway illuminating the altar of the southern temple. A truly magical experience.
Golden dawn at Mnajdra Temple, Malta - spring equinox March 2023Equinoxes for death and rebirth
The Maltese temples originally had roofs or windows, so were like dark wombs with side alcoves, built in the shape of the body of the Mother Goddess. The doorway of the Mnajdra temple has been positioned so the sun lights up the altar on the spring and autumn equinoxes. The spring equinox represents rebirth, while the autumn equinox is the gateway to winter, season of death and decay.

Conventional archaeology dates the Maltese temples to between 3600 and 2500 BC. But stone cannot be carbon dated, only organic matter found at the same location, such as pottery and bones. No-one knows exactly who built the temples or what happened to their civilisation.
Twin goddess statue, one with baby, representing birth and one (headless) with votive offering, representing death.
Xaghra Hypogeum, Gozo, Malta.
So how old are the temples?
Dutch author Lenie Reedvijk, one of our tour guides, has studied the Maltese temples for over a decade, trying to unlock their secrets.

Starting with the premise that all ancient temples are built in alignment with important cosmological events, like solstices, equinoxes or the rising/setting of particular stars, Lenie used computer mapping of the heavens to go back in time to find out which star or stars might be connected to each of the 66 known Maltese temples.

She and other researchers were puzzled by the fact that the central axis of temples at the same site pointed in different directions (see image below). Why were two, three, and sometimes four temples built in the same location, but hundreds or even thousands of years apart?
Mnajdra Temples in the shape of the Mother Goddess showing different alignmentsSiriusUsing the tools of archeoastronomy, Lenie eventually made the breakthrough discovery that ALL the Maltese temple sites were originally aligned to either the rising or setting of Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky and symbol of the mother goddess.

Sirius played a prominent role in the legends of ancient Egypt as a symbol of their great goddess, Isis.

The reason for their different orientation is that the temples were built over an incredible five-thousand-year period, tracking Sirius through the millennia as its position slowly shifted, due to the precession of the equinoxes.
Lenie Reedvijk's temple datesBut how old is civilisation..?If Lenie’s findings are correct, it means the Maltese temples predate monuments like Stonehenge; Crete’s Knossos Palace and the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. The oldest Maltese temples at Hagar Qim and Tarxien are contemporaneous with the temples of Göbekli Tepe and Karahan Tepe in Turkey, meaning they are more than 11,000 years old!

Lenie documented her research and conclusions in a book, Sirius, The Star of the Maltese Temples, a publication that has rattled the archaeological establishment by challenging the academic version of European history. In Australia, we are fortunate enough to have an unbroken cultural tradition that stretches back 65,000 years or longer, so you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. What difference does it make if a temple is 6,000 or 11,000 years old?

Europeans and other Westerners were taught at school that the “civilised” world began (or at least the European/Mediterranean/Middle Eastern civilised world) around 4-5000 BC, with the rise of agriculture and trade in Mesopotamia. And this led to the marvels of Egypt, then Crete, then Greece, then the Romans, the Middle Ages, and so on. The revised dating of the Maltese temples blows this timeline out of the water, suggesting European history is much, much older than previously thought.
Tarxien Temple spiral carvings  – Photo from Wikimedia Commons, photographer Berthold Werner.Tarxien TempleThose of you who follow my work know that I believe human civilisation, or at least most of it, has been wiped out several times by natural disasters – comets hitting the earth; ice ages; floods; rising sea levels; tsunamis etc. I have spent the last 15 years researching and visiting parts of the planet with signs of these lost civilisations – Tiwanaku and Puma Punku in Bolivia; Ollantaytambo and Sacsayhuaman in Peru; Easter Island and Hawaii in the Pacific; the sunken pyramids of Japan and India; the nuraghe and sacred wells of Sardinia; the Osirion and Valley Temples of Egypt; and now the Maltese temples. I remain in awe of the incredible and sophisticated knowledge of astronomy and cosmic cycles these civilisations possessed.

Humans have had to rebuild many times over, and we are simply the latest version of a story that is tens of thousands of years old. As we move into the Age of Aquarius, it is time to expand our version of human history to include the stories, mythology, and oral history of all cultures and nations.

And in Australia we would do well to listen to our own indigenous wisdom keepers whose culture and cosmology date back to way before the Maltese temples.
Animal relief carvings at Tarxien temple – Photo from Wikimedia Commons, photographer Berthold Werner.Mother goddess statueTal-Qadi sky tablet showing Orion, Taurus, & the Pleiades
April / May eclipses – committing to changeEach year we have two solar eclipses and two or more lunar eclipses as the sun, moon, and earth align energetically, bringing change, evolution, endings, and new beginnings.

At the beginning of May, we find ourselves dealing with the fallout from last month’s solar eclipse (20th April), and preparing for a lunar eclipse on 5th May at the Scorpio full moon.

The Scorpio full moon is known as the Wesak Moon, a celebration of Buddha’s birthday and enlightenment. The sun in Taurus will oppose the moon Scorpio with the moon turning blood red, eclipsed by the earth’s shadow.

The April solar eclipse (with four planets in adventurous and pioneering Aries) invited us to act boldly and to focus on our own projects, dreams, and ambitions, without being swayed by the opinions or judgements of others. The May lunar eclipse is tied in with Uranus, inviting change and a fresh perspective. There could be revelations and completion around a theme from early 2021, connected with your emotional attachments and deep desires.

These two eclipses ask us to take a radical look at our own lives and commit to change. The key is to consider what we truly value, whether that be possessions, lifestyle, relationships, or activities. Have the courage to make sweeping changes, aligning yourself with people and activities that make your heart sing, and leaving behind things that no longer serve. The energy generated by the eclipses will bring change and growth with any important themes arising during this period resonating for the next six months.
Samhain – celebrating the change of seasonSamhain, the ancient Celtic fire festival, is celebrated by nature lovers and pagans at the beginning of May. The Celts divided the year into two seasons, the light half and the dark half, with this mid-autumn festival heralding the darker days to come. Samhain marks the end of the harvest season and the last days of warm weather. A time to let go of all unwanted baggage, fears, and attitudes, just as the trees let go of their leaves.

Historically, Samhain was seen as a time when the future could most easily be predicted, and was a favoured time among Druids for ritual fortune-telling. The veil between this world and other dimensions is supposedly very thin, and those born at this time of the year are said to have the gift of clairvoyance.

Samhain is a special time to remember loved ones who have passed. It’s also a great time to go within and meditate and then – literally and metaphorically – get rid of dead wood. A bonfire followed by a feast with warming seasonal food and spiced cider or mulled wine is a great way of doing this.
Mulled wine recipe
  • One bottle or cask of red wine
  • Grated zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
  • Remainder of 1 orange and 1 lemon cut into slices
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 100 g sugar (or honey to taste)
  • 2/3 cup brandy/cognac
  • 1 cup water or orange juice
Combine all ingredients in a large pan. Gently warm the ingredients on low to medium heat on the stove (avoid boiling), for 20-25 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure that the honey or sugar has completely dissolved. When the mixture is steaming and the ingredients have blended well, the mulled wine is ready to serve. Ladle into mugs (leaving seasonings behind) and drink around the fire.
Mercury retrograde – get organised
Communication planet Mercury has been travelling backwards through practical and grounded Taurus since 21st April, pushing us to deal with unfinished business, delivering home truths, and alerting us to hunches and gut feelings. When Mercury is retrograde, our unconscious and intuitive sides are extremely active, and the best laid plans often come to a halt as events take on a life of their own.

Mercury in Taurus is helpful for tackling overdue tax returns, updating accounts and spreadsheets, checking finances, and clearing out old paperwork. It is also a good time for a physical health check-up.

On 15th May, Mercury comes to a halt and will start moving forwards again, helping us make sense of the events of the past three weeks… and you never know; that missing credit card or document could well turn up!
Taurus new moon – stay calm and grounded
The May new moon falls on the 20th in the final degrees of earth sign Taurus. With no less than five planets in Taurus (Jupiter, Mercury, Uranus, Sun, Moon, and the Moon’s North Node) the theme is 100% Taurean.

After the volatility of eclipse season, calming and grounding activities are recommended – sleeping, eating well, gardening, hanging out with friends and family, camping, walking in nature, deep breathing, and anything that keeps you connected to your body. And Taurus is all about sensual pleasure too – massage, sex, delicious food, potions and lotions, hot baths, and anything that makes you feel nurtured, safe, and supported. Enjoy!
Mars in Leo – dramatic and charismatic
Action planet Mars leaves Cancer on the 21st May and will be travelling through dramatic and charismatic fire sign Leo until10th July in what might just be a match made in cosmic heaven.

Mars describes our sex drive, energy, and ambition. Leo rules the heart and adores performing, creativity, and fun. Generous and fearless, Leo is always ready for a party. And given that love goddess Venus will be Mars’ travelling companion for the second half of this period (6th June – 10th July) there is certainly no excuse for idling on the sidelines.

Those with personal planets in Leo can expect a few surprises, while Leos looking for love and romance could definitely get lucky. The rest of us should feel an increase in playfulness, passion, and desire. If something or someone catches your eye or arouses your interest, just go for it! What have you got to lose?

Mars will be in Leo for a full seven weeks – plenty of time to get creative, declare your love, spice up your relationship, and/or indulge that inner child!
All photos above taken by the author, unless otherwise labeled.

About the author:

Stella Woods is an astrology teacher, writer, and consultant. Contact Stella at or or

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