It’s time to settle into Spring 2018. There is a saying that we all reap what we sow. If every life is a metaphorical garden, some of us have been planting our seeds and tending the ground dutifully and with hope. Some of us have not. Sometimes even the best-kept garden does not prosper due to weather or blight. Sometimes the most vacant and neglected lot is fecund and lush. Then what’s the point? Every person brings their unique perspective to their “lot” in life. Everyone has to deal with uncontrollable circumstances and fate. It is the unique and individual perspective that we each bring to this gardening task that really matters. That’s why I love astrology. It’s just another way to look at the circumstances that everyone is being given and how each individual chooses to navigate through those circumstances. The transits this May bring gifts for some of those that have tended their gardens, and unforeseen surprises and challenges for others. It’s flowers and showers and magical powers…stay tuned for the show!
April 20- May 20
“Electricity is really just organized lightning.” - George Carlin
Happy Birthday, Taurus! We love our bullish Taurus friends, especially in Spring. They love baby humans, baby animals, baby plants, baby anything really. They are typically known for two modes: on or off. There is no in between with a Taurus. They are about physical action or inaction and less about mental quickness, mercurial reasoning, sporadic change or surprises. This month brings a very rare electricity to Taurus with a flash bomb strike of lightning on May 14-15. Fast change, invention, brilliance, unbearable brightness, inspiration, metamorphosis, and verbal fireworks could ensue…shocking everyone …most especially the Taurus at the center of this event. Be open to change and the ability to channel parts of you that you didn’t know were there. May 9-11 Your life is a box of chocolates.
May 21- June 20
“Ready, set, go!”
You’ve felt some heaviness lately. You feel the burden of responsibility more acutely and a tight schedule seems to never let up. There is an old saying that the more you have to do the more you get done. This is the perfect mantra for you this month, especially after May 17th when the action planet Mars moves into Aquarius to trine your Sun. Take advantage of the extra energy boost and focus it towards something productive. May 16-17 Go fly a kite.
June 21- July 22
“Getting into your rhythm”
I’m not going to candy coat how hard the last couple of months have been for you, especially April. May will not be easy but it will be very productive. You will feel like you have stopped running uphill. The pace becomes more manageable and you have a plan to stick to. After May 20th you will be attractive to others and sought out for your aesthetic opinions. After May 14…people finally hear what you have been telling them for months! May 27-28 Become a passenger on the Love Boat.
July 23- August 22
“A lion at the zoo”
Ever wonder what those lions at the zoo are thinking about all day? I like to think that they have been rescued from a worse fate and that their monotonous and yet safe life is better than the alternative that they came from. Many of our Leo friends will be feeling a little like animals in the cage of their duties to family and job this month. Headstrong Leos do not like to lose any autonomy. This is a temporary situation but very real. The remedy? Your creative inventive ideas are flowing and after May 17 you will have the motivation to put them into action. May 12-13 Crush your opponent.
August 23- September 22
“Building your empire”
I love Virgos but sometimes they can be a little smug. They believe that they know how everything is supposed to be. The irritating thing is that most of them actually do. This is such a career building time for Virgos. They just know how things should be and what to do, and everyone notices. You may feel a little frazzled around May 17th and watch that temper May 15-16. May 18- 19 Make special time for your children.
September 23- October 22
“Keep your eye on the horizon”
Libras like Cancers have had it rough for a couple of months, especially in April. Unlike our crab friends, Libras find the month of May keeps the demands at work at a high level. Authority figures just won't cut you a break and feel more oppressive than usual. Your saving grace this month is doing anything to break you out of your routine. Travel is always good medicine for a Libra. Remind yourself that the world is a big place full of new opportunities. May 29-30 Plan a trip out of the country.
October 23- November 21
King and Queen of the realm
You have the power and the vision. You also have the ambition. After May 17th it will be time to delegate. You simply can’t do everything yourself. Stop being a control freak…let some things go and watch them multiply. May 14th ushers Mercury into Taurus which reminds you to be careful of your tone. It’s not what you say it’s how you say it. May 9-10 Date night.
November 22- December 21
I haven’t known many Sagittarians who would rather practice than be on the field in battle. They will put the time in if they know that it will help them win or be more competitive. This month is all about preparation and delaying gratification. It’s not time to play in the game yet. Your glory days are coming. Be patient. And just trust me…buy your lottery tickets before May 16th. May 20-21 Lead the charge.
December 22- January 19
“Tell it to the judge”
It’s a strange predicament that you find yourself in…you are the judge, jury and magistrate taking in all of the fines. It’s not an easy place to be and can cause all kinds of jealousy and resentment in your colleagues. After May 20th your family commitments will be calling you. Take time away from all of your responsibilities towards the end of the month and spend time with loved ones. May 14-15 Check your investments.
January 20- February 18
“Running on a treadmill”
You have so much on your side right now but you are frustrated that you don’t see the results that you are working towards. You are communicating well, full of ideas, attracting followers and brimming over with energy to go after your dreams. Do yourself a favor and avoid judging the outcomes. Revisit your plan and tweak it if necessary. This season is about enjoying the journey and not worrying so much about the destination. May 25-26 Get a makeover and change your look.
January 20- March 20
This is a difficult time for so many. The difference between you and them is that you have a choice. Do you want to do it the hard way or the most efficient way? The key words for you are accountability and discipline. If you are self-reflective and responsible you will slowly but surely get to where you desire to be. If you try to take shortcuts or indulge yourself in folly, all hell breaks loose. Up to you. May May 27-28 Flashes of insight are yours.
March 21- April 19
“Fire in the hole!”
You still have many of the same transits of last month except there are a few big shifts. After Mayou will have an amazing energy to start new projects concerning inventions, new companies, software, technology, and/or anything on the cutting edge of the current culture. You will still have a big workload and feel the tiredness of sustained pressure, especially if you are born between March 21- 29. My big warning is regarding the grenade that may be dropped into your foxhole May 11-16. Do not sit and study or try to fight a potentially volatile situation that could arise suddenly. Have your exit plan ready and leave. It is not your nature to run from the action but this month it is imperative. May 20-21 Honor the queen in your life.
Gender divisions in sports have primarily served to keep women out of what has always been believed to be a male domain. The idea of women participating alongside men has been regarded with contempt under the belief that women were made physically inferior.
Within their own division, women have reached new heights, received accolades for outstanding physical performance and endurance, and have proven themselves to be as capable of athletic excellence as men. In spite of women's collective fight to be recognized as equals to their male counterparts, female athletes must now prove their womanhood in order to compete alongside their own gender.
That has been the reality for Caster Semenya, a South African Olympic champion, who has been at the center of the latest gender discrimination debate across the world. After crushing her competition in the women's 800-meter dash in 2016, Semenya was subjected to scrutiny from her peers based upon her physical appearance, calling her gender into question. Despite setting a new national record for South Africa and attaining the title of fifth fastest woman in Olympic history, Semenya's success was quickly brushed aside as she became a spectacle for all the wrong reasons.
Semenya's gender became a hot topic among reporters as the Olympic champion was subjected to sex testing by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). According to Ruth Padawer from the New York Times, Semenya was forced to undergo relentless examination by gender experts to determine whether or not she was woman enough to compete as one. While the IAAF has never released the results of their testing, that did not stop the media from making irreverent speculations about the athlete's gender.
Moments after winning the Berlin World Athletics Championship in 2009, Semenya was faced with immediate backlash from fellow runners. Elisa Cusma who suffered a whopping defeat after finishing in sixth place, felt as though Semenya was too masculine to compete in a women's race. Cusma stated, "These kind of people should not run with us. For me, she is not a woman. She's a man." While her statement proved insensitive enough, her perspective was acknowledged and appeared to be a mutually belief among the other white female competitors.
Fast forward to 2018, the IAAF issued new Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification (Athlete with Differences of Sexual Development) that apply to events from 400m to the mile, including 400m hurdles races, 800m, and 1500m. The regulations created by the IAAF state that an athlete must be recognized at law as either female or intersex, she must reduce her testosterone level to below 5 nmol/L continuously for the duration of six months, and she must maintain her testosterone levels to remain below 5 nmol/L during and after competing so long as she wishes to be eligible to compete in any future events. It is believed that these new rules have been put into effect to specifically target Semenya given her history of being the most recent athlete to face this sort of discrimination.
With these regulations put into effect, in combination with the lack of information about whether or not Semenya is biologically a female of male, society has seemed to come to the conclusion that Semenya is intersex, meaning she was born with any variation of characteristics, chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals. After her initial testing, there had been alleged leaks to media outlets such as Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper which stated that Semenya's results proved that her testosterone levels were too high. This information, while not credible, has been widely accepted as fact. Whether or not Semenya is intersex, society appears to be missing the point that no one is entitled to this information. Running off their newfound acceptance that the Olympic champion is intersex, it calls into question whether her elevated levels of testosterone makes her a man.
The IAAF published a study concluding that higher levels of testosterone do, in fact, contribute to the level of performance in track and field. However, higher testosterone levels have never been the sole determining factor for sex or gender. There are conditions that affect women, such as PCOS, in which the ovaries produce extra amounts of testosterone. However, those women never have their womanhood called into question, nor should they—and neither should Semenya.
Every aspect of the issue surrounding Semenya's body has been deplorable, to say the least. However, there has not been enough recognition as to how invasive and degrading sex testing actually is. For any woman, at any age, to have her body forcibly examined and studied like a science project by "experts" is humiliating and unethical. Under no circumstances have Semenya's health or well-being been considered upon discovering that her body allegedly produces an excessive amount of testosterone. For the sake of an organization, for the comfort of white female athletes who felt as though Semenya's gender was an unfair advantage against them, Semenya and other women like her, must undergo hormone treatment to reduce their performance to that of which women are expected to perform at. Yet some women within the athletic community are unphased by this direct attempt to further prove women as inferior athletes.
As difficult as this global invasion of privacy has been for the athlete, the humiliation and sense of violation is felt by her people in South Africa. Writer and activist, Kari, reported that Semenya has had the country's undying support since her first global appearance in 2009. Even after the IAAF released their new regulations, South Africans have refuted their accusations. Kari stated, "The Minister of Sports and Recreation and the Africa National Congress, South Africa's ruling party labeled the decision as anti-sport, racist, and homophobic." It is no secret that the build and appearance of Black women have always been met with racist and sexist commentary. Because Black women have never managed to fit into the European standard of beauty catered to and in favor of white women, the accusations of Semenya appearing too masculine were unsurprising.
Despite the countless injustices Semenya has faced over the years, she remains as determined as ever to return to track and field and compete amongst women as the woman she is. Her fight against the IAAF's regulations continues as the Olympic champion has been receiving and outpour of support in wake of the Association's decision. Semenya is determined to run again, win again, and set new and inclusive standards for women's sports.