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.

Forecast for June 24, 2012 – June 30.

The older I get the more padding I acquire, and not just on my body. I’ve accumulated a lifetime of stuff in my home as well. This padding serves as protection from the unknown. I was just going through my closet looking for potential costume pieces for a play I will perform with other astrologers this weekend. I’ve kept a lot of clothes I don’t wear anymore and was pleased to find some things that will work for a costume. This is the perfect rationalization for keeping all this stuff: I might need it someday. Mostly, that is not true. Mostly, the padding in my life just sits there collecting dust and trapping energy and giving me a false confidence that I am prepared for anything.

I’ve been thinking about what is truly necessary to have in my life as I face a world that is on the verge of radical change. We must change. Even if the stars did not support that storyline, we all know it. It is time to live more sustainably, more justly, and more consciously. And that requires change. And that scares me sometimes. But which is the really smart response—to reach for more padding and protection, or to develop a mindset that helps me to ground, acknowledge and release fear, while I create a vision for the changes I’d like to see? I know my answer, but it isn’t always easy choosing it.

This week the first of seven squares between Uranus and Pluto, occurring over the next three years, is perfecting. These planets move slowly through a cycle of aspects to each other. The current cycle began in the 60s when both came together in a conjunction. Enormous global change happened at that time in politics, economics, and culture. Now those two planets have reached the next critical moment in their cycle: the waxing square. From the model of the lunar cycle, this is the same moment as the First Quarter Moon: Manifesting.

In this phase, we meet challenges on the way to manifesting the New Moon dream. If the dream of the 60s was to topple toxic, outworn systems of all types, to claim our authentic selves, and to question everything and revitalize it, then we are being challenged to manifest that world. There is enormous excitement in this challenge and fear as well.

Every sign in the zodiac has just the right answer to a problem, twelve points of view that are absolutely necessary. And every sign has some behaviors and attitudes that keep us from realizing that stroke of genius. In other words, if the signs were people, we’d say: Everyone has issues. The sign where the Sun is now, Cancer, is no different. Cancer dearly wants to provide security and safety to those it loves. In the face of all the changes brewing, this is the perfect response and the problematic response. How fortunate for us!

A good intention for this lunar cycle would be to know the difference between padding for security, which keeps us resistant to change, and our authentic values, which encourage the confidence and capabilities to create secure, vibrant lives that welcome necessary change. With the genius of Cancer, we create a home for what sustains us and matters most to us. This home can be actual or metaphorical. This is sacred work.

Sunday, June 24. The Crescent phase of Beginning began itself yesterday. The Moon moves into Virgo and we want to get down to business in someway. Perhaps that means cleaning your house or organizing something so that you can begin aligning with the changes happening in our world—because today is the first exact square between Uranus at 8° Aries and Pluto at 8° Capricorn. These two signs are Cardinal, which means, they are the signs of taking charge and getting something to happen. Last month, while the Sun was in Gemini, a Mutable sign, there was lots of absorbing of energies around us. Now, the Cardinal focus takes over. I expect we will see more actions and plans for action now.

Monday, June 25. Saturn stations direct today in another Cardinal sign, Libra. A planet becomes stronger at its station. Today, notice Saturn’s influence in the relationship sign of Libra. This is an important moment to acknowledge the focusing, grounding power of Saturn. It has been in Libra since October 2009. With this change in direction, Saturn is on its way out of Libra, moving into Scorpio in October of this year. Between now and October, we reap the lessons and experiences of Saturn in Libra. Libra’s gift is an attunement to balance. How do you honor this force? Balance is a critical ingredient to sustainability and joy. Where do you find yours?

Also today, Jupiter squares Neptune. These two planets have a great affinity for each other, encouraging us to expand outside the narrow confines of ego and isolation. We are part of a bigger story, playing a bigger role than we know. Notice your dreams, intuitions, or synchronous events that remind you of magic. These are messages from this bigger story.

June 26—First Quarter Moon: Manifesting. Notice the challenges you face today surrounding relationships and family. The Moon is in Libra and the Sun in Cancer: we need to find a way to feel safe and in harmony. Libra’s role in this dynamic is to keep us engaged in learning from others. Cancer’s role is to anchor oneself in what matters most. It really isn’t an either or situation when we acknowledge that everyone needs safety and others matter as much as we do.

Wednesday, June 27. Another planetary station today—Venus turns direct today at 7° Gemini. To recap: Venus started her underworld journey as the bright Evening Star this spring. Remember that wonderful conjunction with Jupiter? From a place of glory, much like Inanna in her journey to the underworld, Venus left all that behind to meet her destiny—a brilliant transit of the Sun on June 5. From the end of May till the middle of June, Venus has not been visible. Now, Venus has returned as the Morning Star and rises one and a half hours before the Sun. By mid-August, Venus will rise three and a half hours before the Sun. She is on the rise! And we may feel this expansive energy too in the realms of beauty, relationship, and wealth. Have you taken your own journey into the darkness? What truth did you discover? What do you hold up for all to see?

The Moon activates the square between Pluto and Uranus today. These Venus truths are important ingredients to the changes happening in our lives.

Get ready for Mercury retrograde. This is a delightful time to notice and appreciate self-expression. Mercury reaches the degree in Leo today where it will station direct August 8.

Thursday, June 28. Until mid-afternoon * we might not feel like doing too much of anything. Or if we do, we might feel a bit of frustration because it is harder to muster the energy we need to do it. In the midst of this, we might also notice a paradox: the relationship between ego and transcendence. Paradox forces us out of either/or thinking.  Somewhere in between the notion that it is all about me and the notion that true spiritual consciousness is outside of ego, resides the middle path of possibility. What happens when you choose that path?

Feelings intensify in the evening. It is good to know what is really going on with ourselves and others. Use passion to investigate what this is.

Friday, June 29. The last day of the First Quarter phase has some gnarly bits. The Moon is still in intense Scorpio— people are either lying to you or telling you more than you want to hear. Added to that, the Sun in security-conscious Cancer now activates the square between Uranus and Pluto. I know I get scared and reactive sometimes and today, I may be especially so. Forgiveness, quiet time, and compassion might be good antidotes to that. Mercury and Jupiter are allies of talking it out and getting some clarity.

June 30—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting. The tension between our expectations and what is really showing up in our lives may be uncomfortable today. The Moon moves into Sagittarius where we are drawn to focus on the horizon. The big picture helps us align to truths that help us resolve our discomfort.  Remember the magic you noticed on Monday. Today it may return with a gift for you.

* Times are CDT.