Follow the Moon: Astrology of intention and mindfulness
by Teri Parsley Starnes
Teri’s with astrology lies with helping people see how following a practice of intention and self-awareness leads to a fuller relationship with Mystery. Astrology is a wonderful tool for this. Her weekly column orients readers to the seasonal energy of each month’s Sun sign in order to set magical/mindful intention for the lunar month beginning at the New Moon.
Each week she writes about the unfolding energies that support and challenge our intentions. The ebb and flow of the lunar cycle resides seep in our souls. Through following the phases of the Moon, we remember the natural cycles that guide us.
Astrologers divide the lunar month into eight phases. These are:
New Moon: Dreaming
Crescent Moon: Beginning
First Quarter Moon: Manifesting
Gibbous Moon: Perfecting
Full Moon: Illuminating
Disseminating Moon: Sharing
Last Quarter Moon: Evaluating
Balsamic Moon: Surrendering
Come follow the Moon as we practice intentional awareness together.
Forecast for April 22 – April 28, 2012
Spring—the miraculous time of the year when earth speaks with a megaphone. It takes hardly any effort at all to feel this stabilizing power. Outdoors, under new leaf canopy, on receptive living soil, breathing rain cleaned air, it is possible to receive earth’s gift of grounding quite spontaneously. All it takes is a walk outside. A “grounding” is a intentional technique used by many Pagans to center themselves, connect with the earth, and open fully to the present. It is a highly useful practice. While the Sun in is the Fixed Earth sign, Taurus, it is good idea to bring attention to this felt sense of what grounding is, soaking up the experience, helping our cells and souls to remember what grounding feels like for those future times when we will need this tool to return to ourselves and the present moment.
Walking outdoors in the Spring, I experience a natural grounding when my feet open on their own into the soft earth, my breathing slows as I listen to bird songs, trees ask me to elongate my posture to mirror their grandness. Present and open, the stress of my day falls away with ease. This is the gift of earth—stability, steadfastness, and grace. At the New Moon in Taurus, we have the opportunity to set intention around the earth qualities we need in our lives.
New Moon: Dreaming. The New Moon phase begins on April 21 at 1° Taurus. This first phase of the Moon is a time to dream about what our souls need right now.
Present in the sky is a reprise of the Grand Earth Trine of last month. Trines create harmony since the planets involved reside in signs of the same element. The allies who can help us form our earth intentions are Pluto in Capricorn, Mars in Virgo, and the Sun and Moon in Taurus. When Mars and Pluto work together, great power is possible as the planets of action (Mars) and transformation (Pluto) align.
Earth can have a calming influence, and we all need it as Uranus and Mercury approach an exact conjunction in Aries the day after the New Moon. Mercury rules the mind as well as the nervous system; as these two planets contact each other, we can experience more tension, frustration, and impulsivity, as well as sudden insight and creativity. Sometimes this energy serves in pushing us out of inaction, but it is possible to infuse our actions with intention and mindfulness if we remember the grounding cord of earth. Mental energy really heats up when Mercury passes the degree of its last retrograde station on April 23. The push and pull between acting
and being will be a primary energy to notice this month.
The opposition of Mars in Virgo and Neptune and Chiron in Pisces adds another layer to the Grand Earth Trine. If Mars is about action, Neptune and Chiron diffuse that impulse with feelings of vulnerability, compassion, and transcendence. In fact, the best way to tap into earth intention this month may be to release conscious intention altogether and let ourselves dream our way through the whole cycle!
Remember that vulnerability and grief can be powerful ways to feed the soul. If you feel out of sync with life, it may be that your soul is asking you to retreat from striving and let yourself be.
Crescent Moon: Beginning. The crescent Moon phase begins April 25. The waxing Moon at this time can be observed after sunset in the west guiding us into the first steps of manifesting our intentions. This phase feels like a breaking away from the past. The Moon is in Gemini stimulating us mentally. Notice how important communication becomes. Truthtelling will play an important role in this initial
phase of manifestation. On April 25 Mercury will square Pluto. We may have to speak or listen to uncomfortable truths at this time. How do you speak to power? What are your patterns when you have to have uncomfortable conversations? How is your truth received? Does meeting this challenge reveal something important about you?
As the Moon slips into Cancer after midnight* on April 26, the energy calms a bit since Cancer is in a favorable sextile aspect to the Taurus energy that began the month. However, there are dark undertones to this day. There may be conflicts around who is in charge or around different ways of taking care of things. April 26 and 27 are great days to work and play around the home and in the garden.
The week ends (on Saturday) with the Moon in Leo on April 28. This is the last day of the Crescent phase. The creative energy that Leo loves to contribute propels us forward. This is a great day for trying something new, having fun being creative, and seeing how this relates back to the dreams that began at the Taurus New Moon.
*All times are CDT.
Teri Parsley Starnes is a consulting astrologer doing readings in her Minneapolis office and by phone or Skype internationally. Teri has worked as a priestess in several earth-based Pagan communities, including the Reclaiming Tradition, the Tree and the Well, and Diana’s Grove Mystery School. Find out more about her practice at www.starsdanceastrology.com. She writes this weekly column found here and on her blog at www.starsdanceastrology.blogspot.com. Read other astrological musings on her Starsdance Astrology Facebook page.