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 for July 13, 2014 – July 19

Water fascinates me. I write a lot about it. For me water is an endless source of inspiration and wisdom reflecting from the natural realms into the metaphorical ones. During this lunar cycle (in water sign Cancer*), the starry wanderers have cooperated in encouraging my indulgent reverie. There’s been lots of water lately—symbolically through planetary transits of the water signs and literally through record rainfall in some places. Where I live in the upper Midwest along the Mississippi River, we’ve had more rain than ever. I am aware this is not true everywhere. A serious drought in California is impacting almost everyone in the U.S. as food prices go up. Although far from where I live, I sympathize with the pain of drought. It hurts to see the Earth suffer without this essential nourishment. Water is making an impact right now, both in its abundance in some places and its scarcity in others.

Perhaps there is an illuminating metaphor here for the Cancer lunar cycle too. What impact is water making in your soul at the moment? Through the abundance or scarcity of water’s sensitivity, power, and nourishment, what are you noticing? Cancer is a water sign; there are two others: Scorpio and Pisces. Last week, planets in all of these signs formed a pattern called a grand water trine. Saturn in Scorpio, Chiron in Pisces, and the Sun in Cancer joined together around the mid-degrees of the water signs to encourage a merging of soul transformation, tender compassion, and sustaining nurturance. The journey set in motion by the New Moon in Cancer has been one of sensing into all our emotions and welcoming them into the home of the true self. Water can feel slippery and formless. Sometimes it seems like nothing is really happening when we stop to notice and accept our feelings. The lesson of drought reminds me that this is far from true. The smallest welcoming home of water makes a profound difference.

The Full Moon on July 12 brought a cresting of water energy. Now, we begin to adjust to the tide moving out to see what remains on the shore. The waning part of the lunar cycle encourages assessment and surrender of the things left behind on our internal shorelines. Water encourages acceptance and can reveal hidden treasures and unexpected sources of nourishment.

Many things shift this week and early next week. Right now, both Saturn and Uranus are stationary (we feel them more powerfully). Saturn will turn direct on the 20th. Uranus stations retrograde on the 21st. These two planets are almost exactly quincunx to each other in the Mars-ruled signs of Scorpio and Aries. The tension between maintaining control and blasting away at our prison walls is very strong. It doesn’t have to be either/or. We can acknowledge the fear of change even as we invite change where it is needed. Both Mercury and Venus enter Cancer this week as Jupiter says good-bye to a year-long journey through Cancer. Comings and goings from the home front bring in new possibilities for tending the residence of our true selves. Jupiter entering Leo will bring a whole new focus where we embrace individual significance, personal creativity, and energetic charisma. Mercury finally leaves behind the retrograde zone this week. Enjoy the forward momentum of thought and travel. It won’t last forever.

Forecast–July 13, 2014 – July 19

Moon in Aquarius

Sunday, July 13. Venus and Mars in the sociable air signs of Gemini and Libra form a trine today. This is a wonderful day to gather with friends or follow the whims of inspiration. With the Moon in the third air sign—Aquarius—today and tomorrow, we notice a discernible lightening of mood after a water-drenched week. Air gives perspective. What is your big aha of the moment? We begin to move away from stagnant stalemates and find new avenues of possibility.

Moon enters Pisces 9:40 pm CDT

Monday, July 14. During most of the day (in the U.S. time zones), the Moon is in Aquarius still activating a grand air trine with Venus in Gemini and Mars in Libra. Yesterday’s airy perspectives continue. Let innate curiosity help you reflect on emotional experiences of this lunar cycle. Astrology demonstrates that the macro lives inside the micro—a smaller cycle can contain the impact of a larger one. Emotion stores memories in our bodies where we have access to wisdom. This emotion-filled Cancer lunar cycle holds wisdom about the entire year of Jupiter’s transit through Cancer. Feelings have been larger. We’ve felt the necessity of home and hearth for a secure and satisfying life. Many of us have experienced a strong need to protect and nurture beloveds. The air transits today help us see the big picture. What is the lesson you take away from this year?

 Moon in Pisces

July 15—Disseminating Moon: Sharing. Yesterday I wrote about take-away lessons for this Cancer lunar cycle and the year of Jupiter’s transit through Cancer. This phase of the Moon is about sharing what we have learned. Cancer’s focus on hearth and home brings to mind an ideal scenario of nurturance and support. What is yours? I see a table filled with the bounty of summer gardens surrounded by beloveds who are sharing and receiving from each other in ways that sustain the whole. Water (Cancer’s element) gives a particular way of knowing. Intuition and somatic memory informs our understanding about the ideal hearth. We know more without even knowing what we know. This way of understanding is fraught with potential misunderstandings and projections. Are our feelings to be trusted? Yes and no. Hopefully, we have learned something about communicating through our emotions by clarifying our own assumptions and projections as Jupiter and the Sun have been transiting through Cancer. The Moon in Pisces (mutable water) blends the edges of where your emotion ends and mine begins. The blending creates a sense of transcendent oneness but also creates confusion at times. Where do you draw the boundary? And how?

Moon enters Aries 11:07 pm CDT

Wednesday, July 16. If you are keeping track, then yes, today is the day Mercury leaves the retrograde zone. Our work is done. Not really, but with Mercury free of the past, it signals a time for thought processes, communication, and travel to speed up. Mars is about to leave its own retrograde zone next week and then we will really be sailing along. Another important event signaling forward momentum is Jupiter’s ingress into Leo for about a year. Jupiter in Cancer has turned our attention to the interior spaces of the deep self. Leo’s focus will be more external and firey. Jupiter is the storyteller/guru. The story turns from hearth to hero, from emotions to ego. Energy sources, romance, creativity, and charisma all factor into the plots to be developed. Late in the day (after 11pm CDT) the Moon moves into Aries and trines the Leo Jupiter. Perhaps you get a boost of energy that keeps you up way past your bedtime. This is only the beginning.

Moon in Aries

Thursday, July 17. Although you may not have gotten the most restful sleep last night, energy is still high today. Aries Moon aggravates Mercury in Cancer early in the morning. Breakfast conversations may not have been the most tactful or patient. Later in the day the Moon’s square to Pluto may have us hanging onto injustices, hurt feelings, or suspicions. A great way to release pent up anger is to get moving or begin something new and exciting. Embracing beginner’s mind helps us to forgive.

Moon in Aries

July 18—Last Quarter Moon: Evaluating. Cancer brings up a longing so deep for the ideal home that it is easy to slip into despair when we compare that to our realities. It never feels good to feel disappointed or hopeless, but those feelings are part of the journey and have value too. I’ll repeat the quote from Pema Chodron that I used a couple of weeks ago: “We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.” ~ Pema Chodron (From When Things Fall Apart) How do we find healing in making room for our true and whole selves, which includes disappointment and even despair? The most significant lesson of this lunar cycle may be knowing how to nurture ourselves.

Today’s disappointments could arise from conflicts. We start out with the Aries Moon triggering stationary Uranus. If we resist waking up to change we will feel uncomfortable. Be careful. Be patient. The Moon and Sun square off too. Are we giving others enough emotional space? The opposition between Moon and Mars in the evening is further provocation. The balm in this day could be Venus’ ingress into Cancer. Find peace and beauty through hearth tending, through time by water, or by finding a bit of solitude and restoration.

Moon enters Taurus 3:42 am CDT

Saturday, July 19. Yesterday’s tensions spill into the morning. But conflict and defensiveness gives way to working steadily on finding comfort, delight, and inspiration through our senses. The Taurus Moon comes to the rescue! We enjoy slowing down to smell the roses. The Moon favorably contacts Neptune and Mercury, which are both trine to each other in water signs. The harmony of peaceful communication and mental states is a balm. Anchor these feelings; take time for this type of spaciousness. We need solid support for intuitive insight.


*The Cancer lunar cycle began on June 27 at the New Moon. Read more about the beginning of this lunar cycle on my Starsdance blog.

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