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 August 12, 2012 – August 18.
What an epic lunar cycle this has been. It began with the New Moon in Cancer on July 19.* This is not so long ago when measured by days, but a vast distance when measured by the inner experience of emotional tides. Have you sensed that too? There have been ample opportunities this month to acknowledge my emotional experience while at the same time ask myself, “What is my response to both the challenges and delights of these experiences?”
Cancer, as a Cardinal sign, is not content to simple feel emotions. It is also a sign that wants to act on them. What have you noticed about your own actions and reactions this lunar cycle? Before we begin a new lunar cycle on August 17, it may be beneficial to give ourselves time to think about what we have experienced in the realm of feelings, to honor that power, to perhaps forgive ourselves for some choices, and to congratulate ourselves for others. As I said, this has been an epic cycle.
The sign that follows Cancer is the Fixed Fire sign, Leo. Even though the Sun entered Leo on July 22 , the time to set intention following the Moon cycle isn’t until this Friday when the Sun is near the end of its time in Leo. I like to think of this as being primed for the work. We’ve also been primed by Mercury retrograding through Leo these past few weeks, giving us LOTS to unpack this next lunar cycle.
What is the work of Leo? Take a look at the Strength card in the Waite-Smith Tarot deck as a way to get at what Leo is teaching. In order to live fully authentic, creative lives that are powerful contributions to our communities and families, we need to make friends with our egos. How do you calm the raging beast within who demands affirmation and attention? How do you honor the force of being that says each individual is here for a purpose? The infinity sign over the Lady’s head indicates to me that this flow between inflated ego and balanced ego is a continual dance. Sometimes the best work is to simply notice how strong and/or needy our egos are at any given moment. From that place of awareness, can we begin to make peace with the beast and give strength to our innate gifts?
Sunday, August 12. We are building to another New Moon this week, but first let’s fully compost the current cycle. The Moon is in Gemini today and makes only favorable aspects with other planets. Mars and Saturn in Libra are nearing their conjunction that happens on Wednesday. The Moon creates harmony with both Saturn – archetype of disciplined authority and Mars – archetype of will. The day has a possibility of feeling very focused and productive, or just a relief that it isn’t as intense as other days this month.
August 13—Balsamic Moon: Surrendering. Letting go does not mean giving up, and sacrifice does not mean martyrdom. The balsamic phase of the Moon teaches how to honor the sacred as we surrender control back over to Mystery. Working with intention is a very willful process, but the will is only one part of our whole selves. The other parts are held behind the veils where Mystery takes over. The Moon returns to Cancer today where it was as this lunar cycle began. Rather than willfully continue to work with conscious awareness of emotion, perhaps the next two days are a good time to self-nurture and release, to be grateful and to heal—all actions that Cancer is quite good at.
The challenge today is that the Moon touches off, again, the square between Uranus and Pluto. Perhaps we’re getting used to this tension by now? Every week since June 24 (the day of the first exact square between Uranus and Pluto) when the Moon enters a Cardinal sign, this aspect is triggered. Acknowledging stress, let’s calm our reactivity and enfold ourselves and others in greater compassion.
Tuesday, August 14. See yesterday’s forecast. Today is more of the same, except that the trigger of the Uranus/Pluto square eases off. Hopefully, we are becoming better at releasing tension without exploding.
Wednesday, August 15. Venus reaches her greatest elongation from the Sun today—meaning that Venus rises earliest before the Sun now and is the highest she will be in the sky before dawn in her aspect of Morning Star. Sometimes getting some distance from our problems gives us a new perspective. We might get a new “aha” today coming from the goddess of love and beauty, especially concerning tensions around power and authenticity. Venus is in Cancer. If Venus wants harmony and balance and Cancer is about emotional nurturance, the tipping point that causes change may be the stress of imbalance in our homes and hearths. This feeds into the ongoing Cancer intention of this lunar cycle. Acknowledging a need for emotional health, are there any changes you need to make? Relationship plays a role in accessing what feeds you and what doesn’t.
Mars meets Saturn today in Libra, which continues the focus on balance and relationship. The Mars side of us can be pretty impulsive, the Saturn side can be a little stodgy but wise. When these two parts of ourselves have a power lunch, what gets decided?
Thursday, August 16. On the last day of this lunar cycle we are invited to gain even more perspective as Mercury also reaches his greatest elongation from the Sun today. It is unusual that Venus and Mercury reach greatest elongation at the same time; and they are both Morning Stars. Rather than force awareness, see what comes up. How is the multiverse communicating with you today? What are you communicating back? If you like getting up early, this is an excellent opportunity to see both of these planets. Mercury has recently turned direct and is today at the same degree it was at the heart of the retrograde journey on July 28. Pay attention to resolving issues around communication, especially as they relate to self-worth.
August 17—New Moon: Dreaming. What does it feel like to experience the strength of creative flow, to know one’s impact and take responsibility for it, to generously affirm the joy of existence for all? I suppose I expect a lot from a Leo New Moon, but why not go for it? Imagine inviting the Sun into your home. What would you like to ask for?
The potential of this New Moon is aided by the conjunction between Saturn and Mars. There are high hopes for laying a good foundation.
Venus is opposite Pluto and square to Uranus. If our relationships are nurturing us, we can find the capacity to meet the challenges of this changing world. What will you do to foster those nurturing relationships?
Mercury is at the apex of a Yod triangle. At the base is a sextile between Pluto and Chiron. Both of these planets are in quincunx aspect with Mercury. Since Mercury is traversing over the same degree for the third time (due to retrograde), this is the third time that this Yod has formed. The dates were around July 4, around July 25, and now at the New Moon for the last time. I’ve noticed the desire for resolution of dissonance, the tension of feeling vulnerable yet on the verge of power, and the complexity of emotional realties. I am beginning to wonder if I don’t have to resolve dissonance anymore. Things don’t have to fit into neat boxes so that I can comprehend them. Old paradigms are changing quickly. If we can’t rely on conventional explanations, what do we base our truth on? Notice what informs you.
Saturday, August 18. The Moon in industrious Virgo encourages us to work. The caution is to take the work in joyful steps and don’t over commit. A happy person is someone who knows how much to work and how much to play. When play becomes the work, and work becomes the play, then we are truly happy! Look for that fine balance today.
*See the forecast for the week of the New Moon July 19 to follow along with the developing energy of this lunar month.