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–August 17, 2014 – August 23

Fragile. Who would have thought that following an intention of expanding capacity for life force this month would bring up so many feelings of fragility? Vulnerability has been part of my experience this Leo lunar cycle.* I say only a part because, there have been other experiences too, the ones I would have expected from a focus on life force: expanded confidence, expanded engagement with creativity, and expanded appreciation for others who risk living more fully. But the force of the fragility has surprised me. And I don’t think it should have.

Leo is a fire sign, not water. Why all the emotion? Well, Leo isn’t the only influence this month; there is considerable influence from Scorpio (water) too, but really fire and water share a lot of characteristics when it comes to describing people. Both elements feel like they can take over our whole beings. There is no refuge from water or fire when they are strong. Both are necessary to sustain us and both feel like they can annihilate us when out of control. Vulnerability is the state of awareness that what I am reaching for may also overtake me. Can I want too much? Will this fire become too strong? How do I trust the container for these feelings?

Expanding capacity for fire energy means to burn away the smaller container I previously had built around this force and trust that my bigger container will hold it. It is a natural response, I think, to believe that a stronger container means a more invincible one. Ironically, and somewhat painfully, that isn’t so. Allowing myself to feel more vulnerable—to care more, to risk more, to love more—is exactly what having expanded capacity for life force is. Oh, no wonder it is scary.

What is your strategy when you feel this kind of vulnerability? I am encouraging myself to lean into the discomfort while also affirming the expansive life energy that wants to come in with the uncertainty. This week, we have an opportunity to look at these paradoxical feelings. Venus and Jupiter come together to elevate the possibility of living with expanded capacity for life force. These two planets are the benefics, and they invite us to dare more greatly (recommended book by Brene´ Brown, “Daring Greatly”). They also encourage gratitude practices as we take note of our blessings. Venus makes a quincunx aspect to Pluto this week as well. This is not a simple contact between these two planets and so we are encouraged to become more complex ourselves, especially in relationships. Let us expand what it means to be full of life force energy. Can we also be more accountable? More aware of collective complexity? More willing to feel uncomfortable as we hold more?

Another complex aspect forms at the end of the week between Mars in Scorpio and Uranus in Aries. Both of these planets are passionate about change and truth. What makes passion more trustworthy? How do we know we are acting in alignment with our highest values? The way we go about changing the world is as important as how we change the world. As we expand into more life force we can learn to trust the actions that feel both vulnerable and hopeful.

Forecast–August 17, 2014 – August 23

Moon in enters Gemini 5:41 pm CDT

August 17—Last Quarter Moon: Evaluating. It is sometimes the case that we don’t know the value of an experience until we get some distance from it. This may be particularly true of this lunar cycle. With Jupiter’s recent ingress into Leo (Jupiter will be traveling through Leo for the next year), the significance of the Leo journey is greater than usual. We are absorbing more about this sign, and from my perspective, we are absorbing more information about life force energy itself. This phase of the Moon asks us to evaluate the experience of this lunar cycle thus far. Without drawing firm conclusions, what experiences of life force will you put away into your backpack of Leo observations? Today is a great day to observe life force energy. Venus in Leo makes two important contacts over the next two days. Today Venus is quincunx Neptune; tomorrow Venus conjoins Jupiter in Leo. The aspect to Neptune invites us to evaluate our fantasies about life force. It is easy to fool ourselves, to project onto others a way of being that looks more engaging than our own. The other side of Neptune invites us to erase the barriers that separate us. There is no scarcity of life force when someone else’s brilliance inspires our own.

Moon in Gemini

Monday, August 18. Gemini’s superpower is curiosity, which is no lightweight power. Curiosity opens doors. The Moon in Gemini can help us enhance this power. The day sparkles with possibility. Venus and Jupiter are joined together in Leo infusing social situations with pizzazz, especially early in the day (CDT). I know, Monday mornings are not usually the time we want to sparkle socially. However, the good vibes can take us through the day. In contrast to this extraverted energy, Mercury in Virgo, ruler of both Gemini and Virgo, makes an opposition to Neptune in Pisces. Mercury helps us ground into pragmatic approaches to mysticism. Remember that curiosity? Approach the day with your own questions about how you can bring it all together: life force, pragmatism, and a sense of wonder.

 Moon in Gemini

Tuesday, August 19. Yesterday sizzled with doors opening, profound insights, and just plain old fun in the right circumstances. There isn’t much going on today that will disrupt that flow. Continue asking questions and finding serendipitous answers.

Moon enters Cancer 3:45 am CDT

Wednesday, August 20. The mood shifts today and we really begin to notice the waning energy of this lunar cycle. With the Moon in Cancer, we are more likely to want to spend time at home or around those folks who feel like family. The Moon in Cancer soothes away any friction caused by the opposition between Mercury in Virgo and Neptune in Pisces. This friction may have felt like frustration with someone else who either wants you to be more practical or more inspired. From the resting place of Home, you find the right balance for yourself.

 Moon in Cancer

August 21—Balsamic Moon: Surrendering The Moon, Venus, and Mercury aspect Pluto today, giving us the perfect energetic support for beginning to put this lunar cycle to rest. What needs to be done before you let go of this cycle? I’ve been noticing that as I expand my capacity to feel more life force energy, I am also feeling more vulnerable too. Feeling more energy also brings up more emotion. With the waning Moon in a water sign and with all these contacts with Pluto, the planet of death and transformation, these feelings may be strong today. I’m telling myself that this is a good thing. When I let down my shields, I can hold more of the radiant energy represented by Leo. Mars is right in the middle of Scorpio, giving support for going deep into our fears. Mars in Scorpio is fierce. When the Moon squares Uranus today, we may fiercely desire to make change happen, Now! I wonder how standing in our radiant life force energy will impact this passion? The final transit today brings us back to accountability and integrity. Saturn and the Moon form a trine. You can trust your honest emotions.

Moon enters Leo 3:49 pm CDT

Friday, August 22. Sun enters Virgo. Just as the Moon returns to Leo for the last few days of this Leo lunar cycle, the Sun moves into Virgo. Although we may want to get busy cleaning out the closets, buying school supplies, or generally going into worker bee mode, it may be best to put it off until the New Moon in Virgo (August 25) gives us the signal to go full steam ahead. Now, let the Virgo balsamic Moon help you to discern how the experiences of this lunar cycle have impacted you. What, if anything, feels a little raw still? What, if anything, feels healed? The middle of summer is over (in the Northern Hemisphere). We are headed into the fall before too long. What final piece of summer Sun do you wish to invite into your soul?

Moon in Leo

Saturday, August 23. We are being asked to go deeper in order to move ahead with the changes we need to make. That can feel frustrating, but when we are sure we know what we want, why we want it, and what we are willing to do for it, then we have the pleasure of moving ahead quite quickly. Mars in Scorpio is the force of looking underneath the surface before we impulsively act (energy furnished by Uranus in Aries). These two reactive planets are quincunx to each other. Watch out for short fuses and lots of frustration. The Moon’s contact with Jupiter and Venus in Leo may lighten things or make them more volatile. Leo is a fire sign after all. Take a breath into your expanded capacity for life force energy. How does that shift the situation? Keep doing it.

*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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