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 October 12, 2014 – October 18

The waning days of a lunar cycle invite reflection. What are we learning about Libra,* the sign of this month’s lunar journey? This cycle, so far has been infused with the dynamic flow of fire through a grand fire trine of planets feeding our passions, the quirky qualities of Mercury stationing retrograde, and the mystery of an enchanting lunar eclipse. There is a lot to process, which leads me to this Libra question: Does the force of Balance nudge us into forming relationships or does the dance of relationship evoke the powerful balancing forces of nature? This is a trick question. Even if we could answer such a question, it doesn’t much matter. Balance and relationship are intimately connected and seem to lead us to the same places. Places where we make adjustments, get new perspectives, and find wholeness. Balance and relationship are core qualities pursued by Libra. The celestial events of this month so far have created an opening; I am more receptive to Libra’s lessons and I am noticing how the Other—the being standing opposite me, both in my mind and in physical reality—is my teacher of Balance.

The balancing forces of nature act upon us all the time. We don’t have to do anything and we will still experience the push against our pulls and the shadows from our lights. Nature’s law: Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. It just is. Balance may be another word for wholeness and it is already everywhere. I notice that relationship serves as a balancing force when I need to adjust, compromise, look again at an issue through the lens of partnership. Relationship’s function for the evolving self just may be to bring us to wholeness. If this is true, what is the Libran desire for balance directing us to do now?

Mercury has reentered Libra, moving retrograde until October 25. This is an excellent to time to reflect on our relationships and notice the benefit of respect (looking again) in them. This week, Mercury joins the Sun—the core event of every Mercury retrograde cycle—in the inferior conjunction. This meeting, hidden from sight in the brilliant rays of the Sun, represents a transmission between the illuminating forces of the Sun and the clever, inquisitive, and inventive nature of Mercury. And it can be when we most want things to go another way and need to adjust to way it really is. Another meeting a few days later between Mercury and Venus will expand our learning curve concerning the nature of relationship and balance. Venus is the Libra expert. Both Venus and Mercury are so close to the Sun, they can’t be seen. Next week, in fact, Venus will join with the Sun in a superior conjunction—Venus is on the opposite side of the Sun from Earth’s perspective while Mercury is on the near side of the Sun. An electrical humming pervades throughout the week. Things are lining up. Feel that inevitable force of balance moving through, both in ways we desire and in the unexpected ways that a Mercury retrograde presents. If we are open to the change in plans, we might find the detours to be just what we need to bring balance and wholeness to our lives.

Forecast for October 12, 2014 – October 18

Moon in Gemini

Sunday, October 12. Zippy. The aspects today encourage speedy connections and openness to new experiences and new ideas. The caution is not to get ahead of your self. Mercury’s retrograde motion means that even though we want to speed up, it may not always be in our best interests to do so. The great thing about today is that conversation sparkles. We feel creative, expansive, and social. Air and fire are the predominant elements for the tone of today. Perhaps a good counterbalance, if you are feeling too scattered, is to invite in earth as a solid foundation and water as compassionate connection. How does this balance of elements feel to you?

Moon enters Cancer 6:30 pm CDT

Monday, October 13. Moon opposes Mars right around midnight (CDT) perhaps disturbing our sleep and getting us off to a cranky start this morning. However, this could be a great morning to get up early and work out. Releasing tension through activity is a good way to begin the week. Later, the air trine between the Moon and Mercury encourages verbal processing. What do you want to say? What are you hearing? By the early evening, we notice a shift into self-nurturance when the Moon enters Cancer. Make a soup. Warm your home.

Moon in Cancer

Tuesday, October 14. The two benefics, Venus in Libra and Jupiter in Leo, encourage the better parts of those two signs—the give and take of partnership and the expansive creativity of the secret self. Venus is the muse that makes beauty. Jupiter is the optimist that sees truth in self-expression. What must be expressed today? Here is the warning: with so much enjoyment and expansiveness running through the day, we may overextend ourselves by spending too much or overindulging in some way. The Moon making a trine to Neptune doesn’t help an intention to stay grounded either. Fantasy wants to come forward. This is the starting point for what could be a rude awakening later in the day when the Moon sets off the square between Uranus and Pluto. There’s another edge to all this: For the next month and a half, Jupiter and Saturn are nearly square each other, but not quite. Saturn reigns in the exuberance of Jupiter. Jupiter creates impatience with Saturn’s slow progress. Notice the tension. We can use it to realistically move forward in our creative pursuits when we make realistic choices.

Moon in Cancer

October 15—Last Quarter Moon: Evaluating. What are you learning about balance? The transits of this Libra lunar cycle have pushed and pulled us in contrary directions. On the one hand, the grand fire trine of Mars in Sagittarius, Jupiter in Leo, and Uranus in Aries set the stage for reduced inhibitions, increased action, and an expansive approach. In contrast, Mercury’s retrograde has presented us with reasons to cool our jets as things move forward more slowly, especially in the realm of communication. Isn’t this what balance is all about, being able to sense into opposing forces and find the place where we feel equilibrium? The Moon in Cancer may have stirred up conflicts around the best way to approach differing styles. With fire and air being the most emphasized of signs this lunar cycle, some of us are left wondering how to incorporate emotional experience into the mix. Are you feeling unseen, unheard, and basically unfelt? If that is your experience what will it take for you to begin to find the balance you need? The Sun, Mars, and Mercury are joining forces today and tomorrow. This combination encourages the pursuit of truth and learning. Relationships bring us new horizons and perspectives. We are learning. We are doing. The urge is to act spontaneously now. When Mercury turns direct after October 25, we may need to return to these choices and reassess.

Moon enters Leo 5:29 am CDT

Thursday, October 16. With the Moon’s entry into fire sign Leo, we have less reason to inhibit acting on our desires. While the Moon was in Cancer, we at least needed to consider emotional input, now we know what we want and we want to move forward. Mercury joins the Sun today in the inferior conjunction. This is the core portion of each Mercury retrograde journey. The retrograde through Libra has us rethinking what partnership, dialog, balance, fairness, and beauty really mean to us. Mercury is also contacting Mars through an energizing and supportive sextile aspect. The will to be free may be stronger than the desire to have equilibrium. If that is true for you, you might find yourself cutting some cords today. Be aware, drastic decisions we make during a Mercury retrograde period may need to be reworked when Mercury turns direct.

Moon in Leo

Friday, October 17. Mercury joins Venus today right after its meeting with the Sun yesterday. Both Mercury and Venus are near the Sun and can’t be seen. Both of these lights have left the sky to take a mythic journey. Mercury is transiting the Sun on the nearest side to the Earth. Venus is on the opposite side of the Sun, yet Mercury and Venus are at the same zodiacal degree. The illuminating force of the Sun is joining with these planets to send us a powerful Libra message. These words: Balance, Beauty, Exchange, and Justice may best describe what this message could be. Set your internal antenna to receive the messages from the goddess of love and beauty, the messenger god of ingenuity, and the mysterious one of solar life force. The contact of the Moon in Leo with Jupiter just makes this all the more resonant.

Moon enters Virgo 6:08 pm CDT

Saturday, October 18. We’ve had a week of encouraging contacts between the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter. Not every choice we made under this influence has been perfect, some choices will need to be reconsidered or refined later. We may even be a little shocked by some decisions and actions we took. However, this isn’t a sign of doing the wrong thing. It can be about what we are learning too. This is a good time to reflect on balance. What creates sustainability? What helps us act when the time is ripe for action and wait when the time is ripe for patience? By the evening (CDT) when the Moon enters Virgo, we could find the answer to balance through creating more order around us. Clean the house, organize a closet, or focus on your diet. It is good to refuel. As the Moon wanes into its last phase, it is easier to burn out if we don’t pay attention.

* Read about the beginning of the Libra lunar cycle (September 24) on my blog

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