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 October 7, 2012 – October 13. 

We are only halfway through the Sun’s transit through Libra but an emphasis this week on Scorpio draws attention to the world below us. The veil is thinning. The season of Scorpio is about death. In the northern hemisphere, leaves are falling—the vital energy of plants either goes into the seed or retreats into the root for next year’s growing season. This pull downward is a major component of Scorpio energy. The thinning veil is the separation between the living world, above ground so to speak, and the world of the dead below. At this time we call on and honor our ancestors. We remember that we have many allies and guides as we journey through life. I want to use the last week of this lunar cycle to seek this wisdom and honor this connection to my beloved dead.

Last week Mercury and Saturn entered Scorpio together. (See last week’s forecast for more about this.) Mercury holds our attention through word and thought. Saturn tells us to get more serious about how the underworld of death and transformation completes an important piece of our personal journeys. We could describe this work as soul retrieval. Something is missing, and the way to get it back is to open up that box of fears we’ve been sitting on. We learn that fear is more debilitating than whatever is hidden in that box. We are stronger than we think. A commitment to seeing our shadows with open eyes and hearts will yield incredible power and vitality over the next two and a half years.

The last week of a lunar cycle is about evaluation and release. We admit to our failures and our successes. Which is harder for you to acknowledge? The evaluation returns us to the intention of the Virgo New Moon*. Virgo, the sign of the helper, the worker, the servant seems so humble yet is so important to our daily lives, giving them structure as well as meaning. When Virgo’s attention to daily practice joins with Scorpio’s commitment to transformation, we have the potential to make significant changes in our lives. Two planetary allies help us with this work over the next few weeks. Until the beginning of November, Venus in Virgo and Mercury in Scorpio are in a close sextile aspect with each other. Venus invites us to experience the beauty of order, practice, and service. Mercury piques our curiosity to see what has been hidden away. This week Venus and Mercury form aspects with Chiron, Uranus, and Pluto. The agendas of these planets contribute to the sense that we are in a significant period right now. Chiron in Pisces—to carry collective pain till it heals. Uranus—to awaken to the actions we must take to be authentic. Pluto—to transform toxic structures of authority and oppression.

Mid-week, Saturn in Scorpio trines Neptune in Pisces for the first of three times over the next nine months. These two planets in water signs are in a supportive, harmonious relationship that emphasizes the capabilities of intuition, compassion, surrender, and transformation to create lasting structures. Neptune often leads us into fantastical states of unreality, but it also has the potential to help us heal from grief and despair. With help from Saturn, we may glimpse the grounded side of Neptune. It is time to believe that the work we do can make a difference. We can serve a greater vision.

Sunday, October 7. Venus in Virgo opposes Chiron today. There is a pull between the extremes of sacrifice and service. Can a sense of panic be sustained? Will it help in the long run to give our all until we have no more left to give? We get to feel deeply the pains of the world and at the same time honor the small contributions we make to ease that suffering. Mars in Sagittarius in a challenging relationship to Neptune only increases the possibility of impulsive action to save the world. Where does the panic come from? Can it be acknowledged and then let go? Some of us may react to the tension by running away. Even those journeys can lead us back to ourselves. Because the Moon is in Cancer today, the square between Uranus and Pluto is triggered too. Notice what you want to protect with all your heart. That is your home.

October 8—Last Quarter Moon: Evaluating. Is your cup half full or half empty? What does it feel like to say that it is both? Nagging paradox rules over the next few days. A Yod aspect configuration of Venus sextile Mercury with both in quincunx aspect to Uranus calls for an adjustment in perception and action. We are itching to go our own ways, perhaps ending relationships, quitting jobs, or moving to a new place. However, there are no simple solutions. The energy is the dissonance between immediate, bold action and quiet, sustainable practice. The excitement is we get to lose faith and recover faith very quickly. What does this prepare us for?

In addition, the Sun and Jupiter throw a party about ideas, connections, and inspiration. This breath of hope, amid dissonance, can be shared with those who have made our lives possible–our ancestors. A prayer of gratitude is beautiful gift that benefits the giver.

Tuesday, October 9. This is a busy, energetic day. The Moon enters fire sign, Leo. Everyone wants to feel valued. Perhaps you are trying to figure out where you and your gifts fit in and this might lead to a realization that the group you were trying to impress just isn’t the right group for you. Regardless of the audience, our gifts are inherent; we are valuable when we stay true to those gifts. It feels more comfortable to spend time with the people we really value and trust. You might learn something really important from a close relationship.

Wednesday, October 10. This is one of those days we are able to reach deeply into our souls and high above into the cosmos. Deep and expansive both. Considering that the Moon is waning into its dark phase, it is a good time to travel the inner pathways to receive vision and make connection with those on the other side of the veil.

October 11—Balsamic Moon: Surrendering. The Moon returns to Virgo today, almost completing the circuit of the zodiac that was begun at the New Moon. Rituals of release are powerful. We may benefit from releasing attachment to perfection. For the last few weeks, the song, Anthem, by Leonard Cohen has been giving me a lot of comfort.

Ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack, a crack in everything,
that’s how the light gets in.

Honor the work, honor the imperfection, honor the allies and guides who help us along the way.

Friday, October 12. It feels good to know we have tried our best. To honor yourself, find time to return to your center. Notice how good it feels to bring a little more order into your life, whether it comes through cleaning your house, organizing your files, or returning to a spiritual practice. Another poem, this time by Rumi, helps me to begin again.

            Come, come, whoever you are.
Wanderer, idolator, worshipper of fire,
come even though you have broken your vows a thousand times,
Come, and come yet again.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.

 Saturday, October 13. Most of the day, the Moon is in Virgo and void-of-course. Consult poems, honor the work, release expectations. The Moon moves into Libra in the evening.** This is a wonderful night to experience the beauty that creates meaning. We appreciate our partners. Remember also those partners who are no longer living. We are related to them too.

* 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