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 21, 2012 – October 27.

 The trees outside my window are barely clothed in a few remaining leaves. Their twisting exposed branches beckon like the arms of dancers. They seem to say, “Come with us. Come closer. Let’s go down. Let’s fall together into this season of release.”

The Sun enters Scorpio this week. We have the opportunity to join in this dance of death—a beautiful dance that actually affirms life. I love this season of paradox and wistfulness. The contradictions make everything more real, which is Scorpio’s ultimate goal. Scorpio rejects the pleasing façade, anything that wants to put a pretty face on what is really going on under the surface. When we dare to look beyond that face, fears and shadows arise to deter us. However, when we surrender to the dark, we see the seeds of life waiting there. This is the potency of the depths. How can we not be excited about that?

The Scorpio season is magnetic. There may be a pull to forget the intentions we set at the Libra New Moon.* But we can use this force to give our Libra visions a dose of gritty reality. I am working with liberation this cycle. This is the freedom of being in balance. One key to balance is an enhanced sense of self-awareness. If we move past fears we acquire the power of seeing ourselves more clearly. In this work, I notice deflection, defensive shielding, escapism, and shame. But I also need to notice strength, openness, worthiness, and courage. The scales ask us for balance. We have to see and accept everything.

October 21—First Quarter Moon: Manifesting. If you are like me, you’ve got the skill of self-criticism mastered. So, what do you really need to do to manifest your heart’s desire? Perhaps the balance to self-criticism is a good, solid practice of self-acceptance. Today, with the Moon in goal-oriented Capricorn, we can commit to doing what it takes to bring about what we long for, even loving ourselves fearlessly. Mercury, the ally of thought, and Venus, the ally of beauty, have been working together this last week to bring about a useful merging of these two qualities. The Moon is helping too. Let’s use this energy to open to creativity, insight, and pleasure. Secretly these are the resources of manifesting our New Moon intentions. The challenge may be to take our creativity and enjoyment seriously enough.

There’s another influence to notice today. The next New Moon on November 13 will be a Solar Eclipse at 21 degrees Scorpio. Today, Mercury reaches that triggering degree of Scorpio. Eclipses heighten our experiences, making them more dramatic and more significant. This is an invitation to follow Mercury’s lead into new terrain. Open with inspiration. The source of insight may come from the depths, from the dead, from the places of transformation.

Monday, October 22.  The Sun enters Scorpio today, while the Moon looks on from Aquarius. Both of these signs are Fixed and have strong opinions about how to do things. Scorpio prefers the hidden places; Aquarius wants everything out in the open. We might feel uncomfortable when our own secrets are revealed but pleased when the toxic secrets of others see the light of day. Will you accept exposure so that truth can be revealed? This tension between Water and Air may be felt strongly. Feelings and ideas could battle each other, but what if we welcomed both of these pieces of ourselves?

Tuesday, October 23. The dance between Water and Air continues today. When these forces combine, our ideals are strengthened by expansive feelings. Pay attention to your heart as you go about your business. Take time for solitude, meditation, or art. Your soul is trying to tell you something.

Wednesday, October 24. And suddenly Water is everywhere. The Moon enters Pisces, conjoins with Neptune, trines the Sun and Saturn, and sextiles Pluto today. Let yourself go with the flow. To get in touch with your feelings, what do you need? Solitude or close companionship? Watery states of being are more reactive, have a greater need for safety, and sometimes blur boundaries, however when we risk intimacy, truly caring about others, we heal from the heart out. Let this healing help you find the freedom of balance.

October 25—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting. The Moon has waxed into its Gibbous phase. I always see a pregnant belly when I look at the Moon at this time. Something is getting ready to be born. What longing fills you to bursting? If it is the freedom of the balanced scales, what do you need to do to make that longing a reality? Feelings have been washing over us the last few days and continues today. Memories may surface that you are ready to acknowledge and compost.

The Sun conjoins Saturn for the first time since Saturn entered Scorpio. We may get information about what our Saturn work will be for the next two and a half years. Saturn is the Great Teacher. His lessons are both difficult and worthwhile. What is the teacher asking of you?

The delicious connection between Mercury and Venus perfects today. Here are some keywords to inspire your communion with these allies: beautiful, pragmatic, soul-knowing. Add that to your recipe.

Friday, October 26. Today, Mercury reaches its greatest elongation from the Sun as the Evening Star. This means that Mercury is the highest it gets in the west at sunset and so is the easiest to see. If you have a clear western horizon at sunset, look for Mercury. Go to EarthSky  to find out how to locate Mercury. We can commune with the planets. Viewing them with the naked eye is a powerful way to develop your own relationship.

There is another significance to this stage of Mercury’s cycle. After greatest elongation in the evening sky, Mercury rapidly sinks closer to the Sun getting ready to turn retrograde (on Election Day). The retrograde portion of Mercury’s cycle is perhaps the most mystical segment. We turn off the rational and open to the intuitive. Synchronicities are telling us something. It is time to pay attention.

Mercury, also known as Hermes in Greek myth, plays the role of the psychopomp, guide of souls, while it is in Scorpio. Right now, I am wondering what our ancestors want to tell us about the U.S. election. There is a great probability that the results of the election will be impacted in some unexpected way due to this retrograde of Mercury. If you are inclined to do magic or visualization about this election, how would you use this information?

Saturday, October 27. Very early this morning** the Moon in Aries contacts Uranus and Pluto. We’ve been communing with Air and Water for most of the week. Fire bursts on the scene today. Move your body to release excess energy. Let your passions guide you to the action you need to take. You might want to use this energy to learn something new, take a class, read a fascinating book, or have a transformative conversation. Energy builds in the Gibbous phase of the Moon. Sometimes we need to know when to focus that energy and when to release it. This awareness feeds our sense of balance, creating the freedom to make conscious choices. Do not feel bad if all this Fire isn’t energizing for you, some of us will feel the Water trine between the Sun and Chiron more strongly. Listen to your heart if you are feeling vulnerable.

* Read the forecast for October 15 to follow along with this lunar cycle.

** All times are CDT.

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