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– May 4, 2014 – May 10

I who am the beauty of the green earth
and the white moon among the stars
and the mysteries of the waters,
I call upon your soul to arise and come unto me. 

I love to read The Charge of the Goddess during this part of spring—the Taurus part—that holds the wonder of beauty and rebirth within it. After such a long, hard winter here in Minnesota, I am more than ready to answer this invitation from the Earth. What could be more enchanting? How easy it is to forget we need this beauty every day, not just when it is hitting us over the head in the middle of the spring season. Just like the soil in my garden is softening from abundant spring rain, I want to soften into the power of beauty. My cells know this is a much-needed tonic.

For I am the soul of nature that gives life to the universe.
From Me all things proceed and unto Me they must return.

The second week of the Taurus lunar cycle* is upon us. At the New Moon, I stated my intention for this cycle: to fall in love with the Earth again. This is not a difficult thing to do. The difficulty for me is remembering that love is enough. I am earnest. I want to change myself; I want to change the world. I am a hard worker. Are you? What does the Earth teach you about work and beauty? There is grace in the way the Earth allows itself to be reborn in this season. I am sure there is a lesson there for me.

Let My worship be in the heart that rejoices,
for behold—all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals. 

Here is the message: All that is required of me is to cultivate a heart that rejoices and to honor love and pleasure as sacred. That’s all. Does that push a button in you? It does for me. Perhaps all the Earth needs from us is to follow that simple plan. Maybe it seems too simple. Perhaps it will be a test to follow it. But I can’t imagine that at the end of my searching, I would regret such a journey. A very deep mystery resides in the exchange between life and death. Beauty fuels the gift-giving. Desire takes us into the Mystery.

For behold, I have been with you from the beginning,
and I am that which is attained 
at the end of desire.

As the Moon waxes this week, I hope you have a chance to spend time appreciating the Moon’s beauty as well as the Earth’s. The light reflected there speaks to our souls.

[The poem is from The Charge of the Goddess by Doreen Valiente as adapted by Starhawk.]

Forecast– May 4, 2014 – May 10

Moon in Cancer
Sunday, May 4.
The jittery feelings you may notice today are just a reminder that we are moving through evolutionary times. The Moon touched upon the planets in the grand cardinal cross while we slept (CDT). We wake with the idea that now is the time to make a change. Perhaps you are done with the old paradigms of stress and worry. What if another story was the prime directive? Home is where we restore, enjoy those closest to us, and anchor to our deepest values. It may be best to resist the urge to respond to home life with anxiety or fear. The Sun in Taurus reminds us that options exist to find the stability that will sustain us.

Moon Leo 12:55 pm CDT
Monday, May 5.
Astronomical Beltane. The Sun reaches the very middle of the fixed sign Taurus today. This potent degree is the astronomical Beltane—the celebration of spring’s fecundity. Each fixed sign is found in the middle of a season: Taurus in spring, Leo in summer, Scorpio in fall, and Aquarius in winter. The middle of the middle is where we find ourselves today. Notice the potentiality around you. What do you desire to plant in this place? The Moon in Leo encourages us to step into the joy of being. Joy sparks joy in others. Let generosity guide you. The Moon trines Venus this evening, giving support to creativity, passion, and sharing delight with someone special.

Moon in Leo
May 6—First Quarter Moon: Manifesting.
Square aspects cause friction. This friction creates potential. That, in essence, is what this phase of the Moon is all about—the manifestation of intention through some kind of conflict. The square comes from the angle separating the Sun in Taurus and the Moon in Leo. Think of it as what happens when earth meets fire. The two elements have very different qualities. We must make adjustments. Earth is slow; fire isn’t. Fire is impulsive at times; earth is deliberate. The way this conflict will feel to you has a lot to do with your own inherent nature. Are you fiery? Then you will be encouraged to contain that fire to manifest your intention. If you are earthy by nature, preferring to go slow to avoid errors, then notice how a sense of urgency is pushing you forward. Dare to take a risk. All of us will feel both of these impulses and we may be challenged to let go of a habit or two to find new growth. Taurus has a reputation for being placid until provoked strongly. Strong provocations are coming our way next week. Make peace with fire now, it could help us find productive ways to show our passions.

Moon in Leo
Wednesday, May 7.
So, what do you really think? We may find ourselves strongly sharing our opinions today. The third day of a Leo Moon has perhaps loosened our inhibitions. Passion is high and tinged with a sense that the stakes are as well. Taurus is about values. Leo is about expression. If you feel it deeply, you are going to want to do something about it. Mercury enters its own sign Gemini, adding speed to our decisions and tricks to our words. Alchemists believed that if we placed an element in a sealed container and allowed it to heat slowly, then a magical transformation would take place. Think of earth as the container, the fire sign Moon as the heat, and our thoughts as the element to slowly transform.

Moon enters Virgo 1:24 am CDT
Thursday, May 8.
The next two days are a respite. With the Moon in the mutable earth sign of Virgo and the Sun in fixed earth Taurus, we get down to work. Virgo is certainly an industrious sign; Taurus adds sensual appreciation for the process. The real gift is to take expectations for perfection or outcome out of the equation and relish the work for its own sake. Rest when you need to. Take the chore up again when you are ready. The morning (Central time zone) may start on edge; the Moon squares Mercury. Later in the day when the Moon opposes Neptune, we might turn to some kind of escapism to take off that edge. The best place to be is in your work. There, you tap into the flow.

Moon in Virgo
Friday, May 9.
See yesterday’s description and amplify it by two. The Moon not only makes a favorable contact with the Taurus Sun today, but also brings out the best in Pluto, Jupiter, and Saturn. That’s a big job. This is a great day to experience healing integration. What is your body telling you? Try to listen. Pay attention to information concerning your wellbeing. Don’t let this day go by without giving thanks to the beauty of the Earth. Take in the gentle earth support. Return the gift through acts of service, however small they are.

Moon enters Libra 12:19 pm CDT
May 10—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting.
There is an interesting relationship between the sign of Taurus (where the Sun is) and the sign of Libra (where the Moon is). Both signs are ruled by Venus, but they show very different sides of Venus. In Taurus, Venus resembles an Earth Mother; she is fertile and sensual. In Libra, Venus is more like the Justice Tarot card; she is discerning and even a bit critical. Those two sides of Venus are in evidence today during this phase of the Moon when we try to make another adjustment to our lunar intentions. Where does justice come into the scenario when the goal is to fall in love with the Earth? How must your mind get involved when you simply desire to listen to your body’s wisdom?

Venus will play a big role in the next two weeks. In the sign of Aries, Venus will move into challenging aspect with all the planets of the grand cardinal cross (Mars, Pluto, Uranus and Jupiter). Venus issues are: values, money, resources, relationships, women, and justice. Big areas of concern. What kinds of adjustments need to be made right now to bring even some of these issues into balance? We are encouraged to take greater responsibility with the Sun opposing Saturn today. This is also an opportunity to engage in the transformative process of letting go in order to make room for new growth. What we gain from this process is greater power. How will you use your power for the good of the Earth?

*The Taurus lunar cycle began on April 29 at the New Moon. Read more about the beginning of this lunar cycle on my Starsdance blog at:

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