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 September 23, 2012 – September 29.

 “Gender is one of those things everyone thinks they understand, but most people don’t. … Gender isn’t binary. It’s not either/or. In many cases, it’s both/and. A bit of this, a dash of that.” – Sam Killermann at It’s Pronounced Metrosexual  The adorable graphic of the genderbread person found on this website shows how complex gender really is. Lots of factors play into how we see our own gender and how others expect us to live up to the gender they see in us. This complexity can be overwhelming sometimes. Other times, it is incredibly liberating to realize that we don’t have to be so simple—we don’t have to fit into an outfit that doesn’t really fit who we are. Complexity is the friend of reality; it eases cognitive dissonance. Complexity makes sense.

And it also pushes our growing edges.

Have you been pushed lately?

I’m thinking about gender today because Venus and Mars are doing a dance this week. Perhaps those parts of us that want to fit into binary expressions of gender will be challenged to find the third, “queer”, way between. Perhaps this will be a good thing.

In astrological terms, Venus and Mars can symbolize gender; after all we find their symbols on binary-gendered bathrooms. But the planets also represent other qualities that don’t have anything to do with gender. On the most basic level, Venus is the force of attraction and Mars is the force of pursuit. Venus, as the ruler of Libra, represents partnering. Mars, as the ruler of Aries, represents individuation. These are two opposing impulses. Venus and Mars rule two other signs as well. Venus in Taurus represents the force of attracting stability. Mars in Scorpio represents the pursuit of transformation. Both of these pairs of signs are opposite each other in the zodiac, representing potential splits in experience. These polarities, however, can form a whole that is stronger than their parts. This week, as Venus and Mars square each other, we have an opportunity to experience strong polarities and ways to resolve them. I’m suggesting that the resolution may be found in the queer way, the way that challenges assumptions and can be incredibly complex.

The Moon waxes into fullness this week. There is a strong urge to see results for the things begun in the New Moon phase. This lunar cycle,* we feel especially industrious. Virgo must create systems that serve the whole. And it isn’t about being the big wheel either. We find our place in the system and plug away. The small steps, the day-by-day progress toward a better world, are the work of the Virgo moon cycle. Tensions felt this week may be the tension of not quite finding that perfect system, the perfect work, the perfect expression of what we are meant to do to make that better world.

Sunday, September 23. Once again, the Moon in the beginning degrees of a Cardinal sign (Capricorn) is triggering the ongoing square between Uranus and Pluto. This morning is a good time to spend noticing tensions within and around you. What are the conscious choices that serve your intention? Is there a third, queer, path that shows you a way to deal with these tensions?

The Sun, having just entered Libra the day before, is quincunx Neptune today. There is a tug of war between wanting to feel connected to everyone and wanting justice. Notice the ways you think having both are impossible.

Monday, September 24. We may wake up this morning feeling quite capable of pursuing solutions. We earnestly feel that even the small steps we take today can produce results. Later in the day, expect insights that give your plans more shape.

Tuesday, September 25. Aquarius never did like to follow the rules. Today’s Moon in Aquarius welcomes queer solutions. Letting your “freak flag fly” may bring opportunity or a renewed sense of optimism. This is good, because Mars at 21° Scorpio today reaches the same degree of the upcoming solar eclipse that will happen on November 13. Not only that, but Venus at 21° Leo is squaring Mars at this sensitive degree too. (The exact square between Venus and Mars actually takes place this Thursday, so the aspect will be felt all week.). Today may feel like an eclipse day where the light goes out and comes right back, setting us on a new path. We pay attention to these “triggers” in astrology because they can play a role in releasing pressure. The pressure might be related to Venus and Mars issues. Perhaps the tension will be between the desires to “make nice” or to “make war.” Perhaps it will be between the desires to find stability or find release. We might be asking ourselves, why is everyone around me acting like ….? Perhaps that’s a sign of projection and denial of those qualities within us too.

September 26—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting. Watch out for dogmatism today, especially your own. We may think we’ve got it all figured out. We probably don’t, even though it can be fun to try. Most of the day is oriented towards the mind. As we enter this perfecting part of the lunar cycle, the pressure to come up with solutions is high. The Moon, still in Aquarius, will oppose Venus and square Mars. Pay attention to the desire to get things out in the open where you can deal with them fairly. Getting everything on the table can bring clarity and sometimes just more conflict. There isn’t a right and wrong, just notice how you feel about it.

Thursday, September 27. It is good to be reminded of the whole when our minds are busy trying to sort out the many parts. The Moon guides us into the wisdom of connection and wholeness as it enters Pisces. Pisces is the opposite sign to Virgo, the guiding energy of this lunar cycle. A missing piece is revealed to us through dreams, reverie, or expansive connection. The heart can guide us. The square between Venus and Mars is exact today. As you expand into the heart, does a way forward through conflict arise? Is it possible to love your worthy opponents? Can you challenge your all-too-comfy relationships to make room for change?

Friday, September 28. This could be an extra-sensitive day. It may help to spend time alone or in quiet, intimate spaces tonight. Honor your journey, the challenges and rewards. Restore.

September 26—Full Moon: Illuminating. If we can carry the quiet, reflective energy from yesterday into today, we will be doing very good. This Full Moon almost exactly lines up with the Uranus/Pluto square. This closeness increases the potential for this Full Moon to be explosive in some way, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We might surprise ourselves in good ways. The Moon in Aries conjunct Uranus gives courage to be true to our selves. The square of the Sun and Moon to Pluto challenges us to claim our power. We are worthy of the life-renewing gifts of this mighty dwarf planet. Venus and Mars are still square each other too. The themes of this interaction between these two planets are echoed in the opposition of the Sun in Venus-ruled Libra and the Moon in Mars-ruled Aries. Do you see value in the approach of “both/and”? We don’t need to be afraid of fluidity. Gender fluidity teaches us that complexity is a solution not a problem. The possibilities are expansive. None of us is only one thing. No one of us is wholly Venus or wholly Mars, we are fascinating manifestations of both, combined in unique ways, fluid and changing at all times.

There is a fluid and dynamic way to approach complexity and a rigid and constrained way to approach it. Every one of us moves along this continuum at all times, sometimes fluid, sometimes rigid. To notice this reaction in ourselves, without judgment or attachment helps in attaining a state of equilibrium where we are able to honor the ways we are doing our work. The small steps become meaningful. We are helping to make a better world. May that equilibrium come to all.

* See the forecast for the week of the New Moon September 15 to follow along with the developing energy of this lunar month.
** All times are CDT.

Contact Teri at teri@starsdanceastrology and visit her website at http://www.starsdanceastrology