Follow the Moon: Astrology of intention and mindfulness

by Teri Parsley Starnes

Teri’s interest 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 Teri will write about the unfolding energies that support and challenge our intentions. The ebb and flow of the lunar cycle resides deep 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.

The final month of Spring, always a breezy time of year, blows in this week with the mighty winds of possibility. On Sunday, May 20, the Sun enters Gemini—mutable air sign—the same day as the Gemini New Moon and a Solar Eclipse. To add to the mix, Venus is retrograding through Gemini now, too. Gemini lessons and experiences are leading us into big experiences this year, especially if Gemini is emphasized in your chart in some way. And, there are two New Moons in Gemini this year. Next month on June 19, we get another one—astrologically, this is a Blue Moon, since it is bit unusual to get two new moons in the same sign one after another. Contributing to this story is the ingress of Jupiter into Gemini on June 11 for a stay of 12 months.

Gemini brings in the season of pollination. Looking out my window right now, I see the fluff from cottonwood trees being carried by the wind. Seeds from a maple tree are spinning down into the garden, soon to become unwanted seedlings. It is hard to believe there is room for any oxygen at all in the air we breathe, since it is so full of pollen. Everything is busy. Life force demands that we connect with others to engender new life. This incredible busyness mirrors what happens in our minds, as we also are busy reaching out to connect, learn, and express what we know—the Gemini mission.

The mind is our most powerful tool of manifestation and it is the hardest tool to master. This lunar cycle is a wonderful, and even necessary, opportunity to hone the tools that help us use our minds in the best way possible to connect, learn, and express what we know, while at the same time avoiding the pitfalls of Gemini: lack of focus, heightened stress due to being overwhelmed by input, and coping strategies of projection and over- simplification.

Forecast for May 20, 2012 – May 26, 2012

New Moon: Dreaming. May 20. The Sun is getting a reboot today, as the Moon crosses the face of the Sun creating a solar eclipse. The light goes out and comes back immediately. What a powerful way to go deeper into our Gemini dreams. How do you want to ride out the currents of this lunar month? What practices will you follow in order to make best use of your mind? What seeds of intention are forming?

I’d like to invite you to consider the importance of love this month. Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, also crosses the face of the Sun on June 5th. [See last week’s forecast for more about this:– of-intention-and-mindfulness-3/]. To honor this occasion, I will be joining a group of folks who are working with an intention for this rare Venus transit: “We dare to open to love.” Venus in Gemini reminds us that the brain is our biggest sex organ, vitally important for pleasure and creativity. It is a good thing to include the mind in our New Moon dreams.

In the New Moon chart, Neptune and Chiron in Pisces (mutable water sign) are squaring the Sun and Moon. Mutable signs blur boundaries. They mutate old forms into something new. This energy adds to the challenge of keeping the right amount of focus and form, which helps us to be safe and happy, while allowing new forms to take shape. It is all about trust in the process. Mindfulness practices can help center us when we are overwhelmed. These two signs—Gemini and Pisces—encourage a synthesis between mind and heart.

Mars in another mutable sign, Virgo (earth), also plays a role as it is opposing Chiron. Our minds may absorb the tension between perfectionism and sacrifice, creating more stress. The impulse at this New Moon may be try and save the world. Perhaps it would be best to simply save our own sanity first. I recently read an article [Avoiding Burnout: Strategies to combat an occupational hazard, by Keith Stelter, MD in Minnesota Physician, June 2012] that outlines a simple mindfulness practice:

“One of the best ways to practice mindfulness is to engage in the following simple exercise, described by the mnemonic SOLAR: S: Stop and sit. O: Observe (pause, breathe, and feel exactly what arises in your experience). L: Let it be; let everything be as it is without reacting to or trying to change any of it. A: and R: Return to the present moment and turn attention to your breathing.”

The exact trine between Venus and Saturn at the New Moon encourages stability in intention. This connection can help us maintain our mindfulness practices, especially if they encourage an appreciation of beauty.

Monday, May 21. Most of the transits this week involve Mercury, the ruler of Gemini. The morning kicks off with a quincunx aspect between Mercury and Saturn. This aspect of paradox forces us to integrate unfamiliar parts. These parts: the mutability of the mind and the intensity of our responsibilities and obligations. Notice how you feel when you bring order to your mind aligned with your intentions. Notice your thoughts as your encounter limitations or frustrations today. What brings resolution?

Mercury conjoins Jupiter on Tuesday, May 22 right after midnight. I expect this transit to be noticeable both days. Whatever order Saturn asks us to create mentally, Jupiter throws off balance. Jupiter’s job is to expand; so expect big thoughts and very lofty intentions. This expansiveness can fill us with hope or create a situation of overindulgence. Mercury and Jupiter are still in Taurus, so thoughts might erupt in physical ways. What is the body telling you about mental stress or overindulgence?

Wednesday, May 23. The Moon moves into water sign, Cancer—a good time to retreat into home projects to calm from all the mental stimulation. The Sun also forms a square to Neptune in Pisces today. This is the last day of the New Moon phase. Let your heart and intuition guide you into awareness of your own intentions for this cycle. Opening to love can sometimes hurt; this universal pain reminds us of what is precious to us and how we are all linked.

May 24—Crescent Moon: Beginning. Mercury enters Gemini today and fireworks may go off as Mercury activates the degree of the Solar Eclipse of May 20. The mind loves to move quickly and resists practices that appear to slow us down, like meditation. From my experience, meditation helps the mind be more effective, and we will crave that effectiveness as we begin the lunar phase of Beginning. What are you called to work on?

Friday May 25. Mercury squares Neptune today, mirroring the experiences of Wednesday when the Sun was at the same degree. Give expression to your heart’s longing even if it feels vulnerable to do so.

Saturday May 26. The Moon in Leo today encourages us to create, play, and show off in some way, even if we are shy. As the Moon waxes into brightness, how will you add your light to the possibilities emerging at this moment? Everyone is essential.