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– April 20, 2014 – April 26

Laying down new patterns. Astrology theorizes that something incredibly significant happens with our very first breath. For thousands of years, astrologers have been looking at charts based on that moment and telling meaningful stories about how a whole life is influenced by it. In that moment of the first breath, a new pattern is laid. I am not sure why this is so, but I have a theory that part of the power comes from the power of beginnings. That first breath is a potent moment. The irony is that most of it is completely out of our control. The impulse to join life occurs outside the realm of knowing what we are doing or where it will lead. It is truly a Fool’s journey. We are in the dark one moment, and the next we’ve been pushed into a new place where patterns are laid, which will impact the rest of our lives. I find this awe inspiring and incredibly scary at the same time.

Every year during the Aries lunar cycle*, we re-experience the potency of beginnings. This year, the feeling of risk and uncertainty is stronger than usual. A planetary dance is reaching a crescendo this week. Pluto, Uranus, Jupiter and Mars perfect the grand cross aspect pattern on April 22 at 13 degrees of the cardinal signs: Capricorn, Aries, Cancer, and Libra. Drawn in a chart, this square looks like a portal stretching open. Just like at birth, we can move through into a new beginning. The cardinal signs represent core areas of life—identity, home, relationship, and aspiration. They are the signs of initiation. They are the signs of beginnings.

Beginnings happen all the time. Important ones create more impact upon the web of life. Imagine that April 22nd is a time of birth for you. Indeed, babies will be born on that day and their lives will be laid with this dynamic pattern. In spite of a seeming fatedness about all this, we still have choice about how we use the original patterns of our lives. Even though we do not have control over what the pattern will be, our relationship to this pattern is one that will grow and change as we continue to make choices. Every choice changes the possibilities inherent in our patterns. Nothing is fixed by, yet everything is influenced by, original patterns.

The gods of change are active right now. Pluto invites us to experience deep transformation. This god shows us how death is a part of life. In Capricorn, we have the opportunity to bring this healing force into our hierarchies and our aspirations. Uranus invites us to risk the type of radical change that leads to more authenticity. This god encourages a new approach, a fresh solution, to old problems. In Aries, we have the opportunity to be bolder about our beginnings. Jupiter invites us to expansive belief. What truth fills your soul with meaning? What do you treasure? In Cancer, we have the opportunity to treasure the deep seat of self—our homes. Mars invites us to acknowledge the importance of passion. This god is the prime instigator of beginnings. What do you desire? Mars is moving retrograde in Libra; we get a chance to review (retrograde) all the prime motivators of our partnerships. We have the opportunity to re-pattern how we do the dance of relationship and how we express our passions. Because these planets are in challenging relationship with each other, none of this is simple, but all of it is important. A pattern is being set in motion. How will you breathe into it?

Forecast– April 20, 2014 – April 26

Moon in Capricorn
Sunday, April 20.
The Moon joins the grand cross of planets (see intro to this week’s forecast). But today, we don’t need the Moon’s nudging to realize that big stuff is going on. Uranus and Pluto started making exact squares to each other in June of 2012. When they are finished with this particular transit in 2015, they will have formed a total of seven exact squares. Tomorrow the fifth one happens. Astrologers seem to agree that this one could be the most significant of them all. That’s because Jupiter and Mars have also moved into the aspect pattern. Jupiter makes things bigger. Mars can make things more impulsive; except this Mars is retrograde and in considerate Libra, so all bets are off about how much passion and anger will play into the paradigm change we are undergoing right now. Revolution is still necessary, but perhaps we are learning from past dead ends to do it differently. Will we shake off slumber and get angry about injustice? Capricorn rules our aspirations but not the aspirations based in fantasy. These goals are hard won and take a long time to manifest. These aspirations can truly change the world. How will you be part of that new beginning? Today, Jupiter squares Uranus and opposes Pluto. It will be hard to be complacent. Significant heart opening can occur too. Venus in Pisces conjoins Chiron, the shamanic healer. When we unlock our hearts, we discover a potent source of power.

Moon enters Aquarius 11:18 pm CDT
Monday, April 21.
My astrologer friend, Heather Roan Robbins, pointed out to me that on the day Vladimir Putin was born, the Sun was at 13 degrees Libra. It isn’t surprising that he is acting erratically now that the Uranus/Pluto square, which is exact today at 13 degrees of Aries and Capricorn, is transiting his Sun. The other interesting piece is that the Sun of the United States is at 13 degrees of Cancer, also being exactly transited by these planets. (We shouldn’t forget that Mars and Jupiter are also at 13 degrees of Libra and Cancer.) There are lots of pressures on Putin and on Obama. The world stage is a mirror for personal experiences. On some level, each of us is feeling the pressure too. How do you bring your best self to the table? May that be true for world leaders as well.

Moon in Aquarius
April 22—Last Quarter Moon: Evaluating.
This Aries lunar cycle began on March 30.* We begin the last week of this cycle today. What have you noticed about the spring thus far? Perhaps action happened in stops and starts creating self-doubt. Perhaps you noticed your own fears around sticking out your neck into life. Did you take a risk? How did it turn out? Do you find yourself on the shores of this month of change with frustration, self-criticism, or anger about the obstacles you encountered? A lot of life happened in these last three weeks. Can you approach the evaluation of these experiences with appreciation for your mistakes in equal measure to your successes? I declare that this is a good time to applaud all the daring new things we risked this month, regardless of how they turn out. Can we appreciate that even the smallest actions on behalf of personal integrity are an act of amazing courage?

Sometimes we don’t feel very graceful when we are in the midst of creating great change in our lives. Sometimes creating change feels awkward or not well thought out. Today may feel awkward in that way. The Moon in Aquarius encourages a new point of view. We are more willing to change things. Mars in Libra forms a square to Jupiter in Cancer. Notice what lies buried deep within. It is trying to make its way to the surface. Passions are stronger.

Moon in Aquarius
Wednesday, April 23.
If yesterday dislodged something for you, the transits today may very well complete the process of transformation. Mars completes the grand cross with an opposition to Uranus and a square to Pluto. Find the calm center in your life. Use those practices that help you ride the waves of reactivity. And if you are being challenged by this transit, sometimes the best way to survive the giant wave is to dive right into it. The currents of evolution are moving through us. We can come through more alive and ready to be part of the action. A shift in communication happens today as Mercury leaves Aries for Taurus. How can our words plant the sustainable seeds of tomorrow? Careful self-expression is called for, if we can muster it.

Moon enters Pisces 1:55 am CDT
Thursday, April 24.
Astrologer Caroline Casey says that “to ‘for give’ is to give energy for change.” We are living in potent times of change and may have experienced a lot of it this week. With the Moon in Pisces making gentle aspects with the Sun, Neptune, Pluto, and Jupiter today, we could feel a strong desire to forgive ourselves and others. Possibilities for innovative and sustainable change come from laying aside our hurts and shame and remembering ways we share the same dreams. Venus in Pisces trines Saturn in Scorpio. The impulse to feel more deeply in our relationships is supported by concrete commitment. The heart really is telling us something important.

Moon in Pisces
April 25—Balsamic Moon: Surrendering.
The Disney movie got it right this time: Let it go. The Moon in Pisces helps us to take the wider view about our fitful efforts to make new beginnings this lunar cycle. The new astrological year, which begins in Aries, is well underway. The pattern for the year has been laid. Sweet gifts and unexpected challenges lie ahead. That is always true. There is a wistful tone to the day. Take time to honor all your feelings. The Sun and Mercury meet in a superior conjunction. This means Mercury is on the far side of the Sun from Earth’s perspective. This is a seed moment in the sign of Taurus. Pay attention to the yearning for simplicity and stability. This yearning becomes part of the next lunar cycle in Taurus.

Moon enters Aries 5:01 am CDT
Saturday, April 26.
The Moon returns to Aries for the last couple of days of this Aries lunar cycle. We get a different look at the desire to emerge into life’s new beginnings. Are you any wiser than you were at the beginning of this lunar cycle? How do you feel about uncertainty now? Is there more clarity about what is pushing you to stick your neck out? The delightful aspect between Mercury and Neptune invites us to do a little daydreaming. Answers come from approaching the questions indirectly.


*The Aries lunar cycle began on March 30 at the New Moon. Read more about the beginning of this lunar cycle on my Starsdance blog at:

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