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–July 27, 2014 – August 2

Energy—what is it? A quick search for a definition came up with ideas involving the capacity for vigor, available power, intensity or forcefulness, a capacity to do work. In physics, objects are thought to have energy three ways: by virtue of their motion (kinetic energy), by virtue of their position (potential energy), or by virtue of their mass (see E  = mc 2 ). Mystics of all kinds sense energy as hidden forces that infuse all things with power. As an astrologer, I am using a language of planetary movement and seasonal experience to give language to energy—the capacity of all things to exert power and effect change. It is time to dive deeper into the mysteries of energy. I realize I can look up all the definitions in the world, but there is still something hard to pin down about energy. This exploration is timely right now under the influence of the current Leo lunar cycle* and Jupiter’s recent ingress into Leo for a year-long transit.

Leo is ruled by the Sun, an awe-inspiring example of energy. The season of Leo in the northern parts of the Earth is a golden-tinged time of first harvests. The gifts imparted by the Sun are in our gardens and bodies, which have fed on Sun-ripened food and spent more time under the rays of the Sun in summer activities. The Leo season invites us to honor the life force energy that the Sun literally is and also symbolizes. Each of us is born with a Sun in our charts—our own source of life energy and purpose—the season of Leo is a time to expand into that energy.

Power and energy are closely connected and this is where I begin to notice trouble with my relationship to life force energy. The question that arises for me: How comfortable am I with power? When I equate power with life force, the question tinges on the absurd: How comfortable am I with being alive? If I’m not comfortable with power, I’m not comfortable in my own skin. This is a problem. The Leo lunar cycle, amplified by the expansive energy of Jupiter, provides an opportunity to set intention around my relationship with power and energy to claim my birthright of life force.

As the Moon waxes this week, it is time to initiate the work of stepping more fully into life force. In the upcoming month there will be challenges of the best kind, the ones that strengthen our resolve and deepen our capacity—Mars and Saturn in Scorpio are by sign square to the Leo Sun. We wrestle with the relationship between dark and light. The invitation is to embrace both. Following an energy pattern of last month’s lunar cycle, the fire energy is complemented by strong water energy. This week, Venus in Cancer will create another grand water trine with Scorpio and Chiron. The relationship between fire and water seem antagonistic at first, but support each other in the right circumstances. I like to think of the creation stories that begin with the ocean in darkness as the primary force of creation. Fire and sky come from this source. We can invite the water to be our source of emotional and compassionate connection, which then encourages the fire of life force to flow. Perhaps this will inform our compassionate use of power and help us expand from that place into a larger capacity for energy.

 Forecast–July 27, 2014 – August 2

Moon in Leo

Sunday, July 27. The day after the beginning of this new lunar cycle in Leo, we are still feeling the expansion. As you step into this new adventure, ask yourself what does the Sun’s energy give to you? What would it be like to let that gift expand just a little bit more into your life? Notice the edges where you might want to push back from these gifts and ask yourself, Why? Fear lives close to expanded power. As the Moon squares Saturn in Scorpio, notice where fear is a helpful teacher and where it is an old and outdated pattern. Let that discernment give you energy to move forward.

Moon enters Virgo 10:37 pm CDT

Monday, July 28. Venus hovers opposite Pluto. We may be encouraged to ask ourselves hard questions about the nature of our relationships. Do we feel supported or undermined? If the Leo intention is to more fully embrace life force energy, today’s interactions may show us where we give away power and need to take it back. With the Moon void-of-course in Leo until late tonight (CDT), the day may take on a mythical tone. Perhaps you will notice the between-the-worlds feeling. Let this be an opening to what this lunar cycle holds for you.

 Moon in Virgo

Tuesday, July 29. The progression from Leo to Virgo is one of service to the energy that is released from the seeds of fire. How do you serve the sacred in your everyday life? There is plenty of energy and passion today to notice what your heart longs to serve. The Moon favorably contacts Mars and Pluto, two planetary guides who encourage our searching for passion and power. The Moon also opposes Neptune today. This aspect, which can cloud our minds if not used well, can inspire us if we stay grounded in the necessities of life. Late tonight (CDT), the Sun forms a quincunx to Neptune. We may wake from dreams tomorrow with a puzzle to solve. Can fire and water unite?

Moon in Virgo

July 30—Crescent Moon: Beginning. Paradox increases capacity. And since energy can be defined as the capacity to act, then welcome the paradoxes that show up for you right now. The day dawns with the energy of the Sun in Leo paradoxically interacting with Neptune in Pisces. The energy signature of this interaction is fire and water co-existing, finding a way to support rather than annihilate each other. How do these energies dance through your life? This phase of the Moon is expansive. We may not really know where we are headed but the adventure sounds like fun and away we go. With that sense of joy, can you begin to wonder about your life’s paradoxes? The Virgo Moon encourages discernment and pragmatism. How does that fit in with this adventure of stepping more fully into expansive life force? Holding both the exuberance of Leo and the grounded humility of the Virgo Moon, we can increase our capacity. Say yes to this.

Moon enters Libra 11:09 am CDT

Thursday, July 31. Mercury joins the Sun in Leo giving our words more energy. Does this bring more joy? More mistakes? More conversations about ourselves? Perhaps, but notice how energy affects our interactions. The energy flows more profusely as we communicate. What are you dying to say? The Moon in sociable Libra favorably contacts Mercury and Jupiter making these interactions sparkle even more. Too bad the geniality doesn’t last. Later this evening (CDT), Venus in Cancer squares Uranus in Aries. Who is infringing on your territory? Does this cause enough tension for you to do something about it? Some people have just about had it. Tomorrow’s transits push some closer to their trigger points. Give yourself space too.

Moon in Libra

Friday, August 1. One of the problems with opening up to more energy is the lack of preparation for running that energy through our hearts, minds, and bodies. It’s easy to get tripped up on inflated ego demands. Reactivity seems to crash our capacity to hold more energy. Notice reactions today. There are complex influences. Venus in Cancer forms another grand water trine with Saturn and Chiron. We might feel stuck in our emotions. However, there is an option to let emotional awareness increase our capacity for more energy. The courage of compassion helps when the more stressful transits of the day are noticed. The Moon triggers Pluto and Uranus. These two planets have been pushing us toward paradigm change and this may not feel comfortable today. The biggest energy may be a square between Mars in Scorpio and Jupiter in Leo. There is passion and a strong potential for mistrust and misunderstandings under this transit. What needs to be acknowledged and accepted?

Moon enters Scorpio 9:57 pm CDT

Saturday, August 2. Lughnasadh (or Lammas). Pagans celebrate our first harvests at this seasonal holy day. If possible stand in the light of the Sun and give thanks for all that the Sun bestows upon you. Enjoy a piece of fruit that has been sweetened by the rays of the Sun. Share your blessings with others. Energy needs to flow to stay alive. What energy will you share and what energy will you receive to preserve the flow of life force? What gifts are you harvesting? How are you the gift to be harvested?

The Moon in Libra for most of the day encourages exchange. Let beauty guide you and notice the energy that comes from this. Mercury in Leo joins Jupiter and squares Mars. Bitter words contain more sting than usual. Speak from your depths, but also speak from your heart. Generosity is a tangible energy that creates healing.


*The Leo lunar cycle began on July 26 at the New Moon. Read more about the beginning of this lunar cycle on my Starsdance blog.

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