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– June 22, 2014 – June 28

If it is true that the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces) loosen the screws so that the cardinal signs can initiate the building of new structures, then next month should contain interesting developments. Screws have been loosening a lot during this Gemini lunar cycle.* Have you noticed yourself scrambling to adjust to the unexpected? Spending more time gathering information to keep a handle on things? Redoing and redoing only to surrender expectations anyway? Many of us aren’t comfortable with long periods of dismantling. It can feel too vulnerable to let it all hang out for too long. The discomfort is shown in how much astrologers talk about Mercury retrograde. You’d think the world just ended because our computers aren’t working properly, or someone misunderstood what we were trying to say, or travel plans got mixed up. The more uncertainty during mutable times, the more likely people will respond reactively to regain control when the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn) kick in. It is good to be mindful of this stress and this possible response when Sun and Moon join together in Cancer at the next New Moon on June 27.

Cancer dives under the surface of our discomforts. As a water sign, Cancer touches upon the deep recesses of the sub-conscious where very old memories wait to activate very old patterns. The overarching mission of this Cancer instinct is to create safety and provide nurturance. Cancer calls upon every ounce of instinct, whether it comes from the sub-conscious or the latest Good Housekeeping magazine, to insure that we are cared for. This is an instinct to be cherished, as many of us do. Without Cancer, we are unmoored. Having just spent a month of loosening screws, we are ready to find home base again. That desire is primal and will influence actions and reactions during the next lunar cycle.

But first, we need to complete the Gemini lunar cycle. Although it can feel painfully disorienting, more screws may need loosening before we restructure. Practices that help us cope mindfully with this discomfort will move us forward with intention. Dismantling forms is a little like death. There is a period of time when what we used to understand and rely upon no longer functions. Things pass away. As grief-filled as this can be, we need this process. I once read a fantasy story that imagined what would happen if Death didn’t exist. It was a mess. There is a reason to dismantle and undo. If nothing else, it builds resiliency for change. This could be the greatest benefit of a Mercury retrograde period—to learn new skills for adapting to the unexpected. What is your take away from this mutable cycle?

Forecast– June 22, 2014 – June 28

Moon in Taurus

Sunday, June 22. If the prime directive of this Gemini lunar cycle and Mercury retrograde period (Mercury turns direct on July 1) is to dance with grace through the unexpected, then today’s Taurus Moon gives us pause. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could rely on at least a few things? As fixed earth, Taurus helps us orient to the immutable things of life. What are these for you? Everyone needs a pivot point around which the carnival of life can spin. Find yours today. A clue: Your body knows the answer. Give yourself the gift of pleasure. Return to the world of the senses. Take in art. Bake a pie.

Moon in Taurus

June 23—Balsamic Moon: Surrendering. I am noticing the dynamic tension between being in control and going with the flow. That’s a good way to describe the difference between the mutable energy still present in this lunar cycle and the fixity of the Moon in Taurus. The Balsamic phase of the Moon is the time of letting go. In a way, this is the mutable portion of the whole cycle. This pattern repeats in many ways through the beginnings, middles, and endings of our lives. I am wondering what it means to be good in the end. What is most helpful? Is there anything left to be undone and surrendered into the process of completion for this lunar cycle?

Tomorrow the Moon will reenter Gemini. That shift helps us notice the ways mutable air energy moves in our lives. Learning, conversation, connecting the dots …. all these things represent the Gemini gift of pollination, adaptability, and breezy curiosity. Today, Venus leaves Taurus for Gemini. Notice how the sociability quotient goes up. It doesn’t last long, however, Venus leaves Gemini on July 18. With Mercury moving backwards through Gemini as it continues to retrograde, expect synchronicities and strange coincidences to increase.

Moon enters Gemini 6:05 am CDT

Tuesday, June 24. The screws are loosening; forms have already mutated and continue to do so. Expectations are shifting. We’ve each had to redo at least one thing since this mutable lunar cycle began. Most likely, if we thought about it, we’d see a lot of things we’ve had to do over. No big deal. But after a while, something shifts inside us. Without knowing it, we’ve cleansed ourselves of over-used patterns and we wait for the next imprint to begin a new one. I characterize this state as between the worlds. Not quite in the old, not quite yet in the new. As the Moon in Gemini contacts Venus in Gemini and Neptune in Pisces, how are you noticing this in-between space? How are you using it?

Moon in Gemini

Wednesday, June 25. This is a firecracker of a day. Mars opposes Uranus (for the third and final time since December). Mars has a way of animating Uranus. Or perhaps it is the other way round. When both of these planets connect in this way we can expect shorter fuses. More booms. But we may also experience a release of tension through dramatic action or decision. Sometimes we need a push. What can you mindfully change in your life to honor the Uranian desire to be free? Slow down and be a little more careful today. Hopefully this aspect will not manifest as more violence in conflicted areas of the world. Here’s a question to ponder, how do we help cool down these situations without creating more conflict? That is an experiment worth pursuing.

Moon enters Cancer 4:05 pm

Wednesday, June 26 After contacting retrograde Mercury early this morning (CDT), the Moon drifts into a void-of-course period until it enters Cancer in the late afternoon. We drift a bit today as we let go of an entire lunar cycle. The New Moon tomorrow is an opportunity to begin again. I think of the Gemini lunar cycle as the season of pollinators. Give thanks for the real and metaphorical pollinators in your life. These pollinators bring in new information, new ways to connect and share. Honor the possibilities that have opened before you. Let go of having to grasp it all.

 Moon in Cancer

June 27—New Moon: Dreaming. The Cancer New Moon calls us to step into the ease and flow of summer (in the northern hemisphere). Summertime is when “the living is easy,” but that doesn’t mean it is easy to let ourselves embrace ease. Even so, I believe magic happens when we align intention with the call from the Moon. With this magic we can better see what we need. We can mindfully and lovingly invite a change in the way we treat ourselves. We can receive the blessing of water, the elemental signature of Cancer, to release patterns, tenderly wash our pains and wounds, and quench our thirsty souls.

 Water is an ally for gentle as well as powerful transformation. I’ve been thinking recently about rivers, currents, and oceans as three symbols for the water signs. Cancer’s affinity for family reminds me that a river is a family of many streams. Each time a stream joins the river, the river becomes more powerful. Its flow increases. The strong current gorges out deeper channels through the earth and becomes, like Scorpio, transformative. Finally the river meets the ocean at the river delta, where all these many streams and powerful currents diffuse into a broad area of swamp and marsh to join the Pisces ocean of being.

So, to join the river is the beginning of a powerful journey—a Cancer journey. The time of Cancer invites us to recognize where we have come from and where we belong. The river is built upon our pasts, is changed by present choices, and carries us all into possible futures. The magic of the river is to be in the flow of this becoming.

The chart for today shows the stressors we’ve been living with for a while—Mars opposes Uranus, with Pluto squaring them both. This t-square of planets in cardinal signs impels us to take action, especially around the issues of power, justice, and authenticity. After a cycle of mutability, which has not entirely gone away since Mercury is still retrograde in Gemini along with Venus in Gemini and Chiron and Neptune in Pisces, we’ve still got plenty of new information to integrate as we prepare to take action. The Sun and Moon in Cancer along with Jupiter in Cancer play a big role in guiding these actions. Jupiter is significant because it will leave Cancer during this lunar cycle to spend about a year in the next sign, Leo. After a year of transiting Cancer, Jupiter has expanded our capacity to know what we care about, to recognize the importance of home and family, and to investigate the ways we nurture. When under stress, one Cancer response is to get protective. The root cause of this protectiveness is a desire to help the river flow strongly to the sea. Can we be both protective and open to the flow? We get to explore such things this lunar cycle.

 Moon in Cancer

Saturday, June 28. Cancer is one of those signs that get typecast into one thing—nurturing. Then, we dismiss the importance of nurturing and Cancer is left with one note, and not a very respected one. What is the awesome power of the cardinal water sign? Take a moment to think again about Cancer. Don’t underestimate the tenacity and ability of Cancer to get it done, whatever needs doing. We’re feeling a little activated today after the New Moon yesterday. The Moon squares Mars and contacts Jupiter. Big feelings are present, and why shouldn’t they be? How will you use Cancerian strength to get your needs met?

*The Gemini lunar cycle began on May 28 at the New Moon. Read more about the beginning of this lunar cycle on my Starsdance blog.

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