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 November 2, 2014 – November 8

This is the sweet spot of fall. Before becoming tiresome in late November, the bare trees and moody skies of mid-fall enchant me. Now, it is easier to palpably sense the life force of trees and plants moving into the ground. I am reminded there is much more to life than what meets the eye. Wrapping this mystery around me, I love the sensation of being “between the worlds,” as the witches describe this thinning of the veils. That is, I love it when I have the resource of space and presence to really appreciate it. If my life is too busy or I’m distracted, however, the awareness of another world knocking on the door of my everyday reality can be unsettling. I suppose this may be one subtext for the horror films that go along with this season: the fear of an unexpected visit from “the other side” bursting through the door we thought was locked and safe. If I suddenly have to interact with the “other” behind that door without the usual filters that keep my reality nice and tidy, I may not be able to cope. Contact with the other can carry a charge of fear or mistrust. The Scorpio season gives us a great opportunity to notice this natural unease and let ourselves move past that barrier into new understandings of the relationship between the known and unknown, familiar and unfamiliar. That barrier is not fixed; it changes all the time.

If you live in an area of the world experiencing the falling of leaves, then you know all this apparent death is really about the fertile compost that comes from decay. This is one reason the Scorpio lunar cycle* feels so potent. We are living amidst amazing transformations and we can harness that power in our lives too if we are willing to follow the Scorpio rules. These are, for me: make your way back to source, acknowledge the shadows, let the things die that need to, and welcome in the experience of the other even when it is unsettling. I don’t mean we have to court discomfort, but neither should we turn away from it. Can you simply be present with whatever is showing up? There is so much power in that very act. It is transformative.

The Taurus Full Moon this week highlights the relationship between death and life. Taurus is the sign of mid-spring when we reap the beauty and renewal of the dying season of Scorpio. These signs on opposite sides of the year are linked together to create a whole. What do you call the relationship between decay and renewal? Perhaps it is simply the turning wheel of life. We all play a role in this turning. I believe when we follow the Scorpio rules we create the energy to turn the wheel towards rebirth. There is another set of rules connected to Taurus. The Taurus rules are: embrace the good green earth, nourish your bodies, feel the pleasure of being a human animal, and plant a seed for life. As I’ve been exploring my discomfort with the “other” recently, I wonder if these Taurus rules might create a loving connection between us. You are no longer an “other” to me when I remember we share the same needs and joys. Yes, it seems that the barrier between known and unknown is shifting all the time.

Forecast for November 2, 2014 – November 8

Moon in Pisces

Sunday, November 2. While we slept (CST) the Sun and Moon contacted the intuitive parts of ourselves. Possibly we wake with a certainty about knowing what we know, especially if it resides in the realm of emotional knowing. Pisces (Moon’s sign) and Scorpio (this lunar cycle and the Sun’s sign) are both water signs, however they come at the water’s wisdom in different ways. Notice the interplay between the power of water to probe the depths and the way water unifies us in common awareness. Personal edges meet porous boundaries. What gets exchanged? How do we find the balance that works for us? What happens when we do?

Moon enters Aries 12:53 pm CST

November 3—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting. This phase of the Moon reminds us we haven’t yet finished our work of this lunar cycle. While the Moon lulled us from the Pisces terrain, we may have enjoyed a couple of days of release and rest. It is good to wrap ourselves in the healing embrace of the water signs, but with the Moon’s ingress into Aries, we begin to feel another edge, another place to test the boundaries. That boundary could look like mistrust about others encroaching into our space. It could look like our own inconsistencies glaring at us. Aries reminds us that we are distinct from each other. The need to fight for our point of view rears its head and we have to decide what battles to fight and more importantly, how we will fight them.

Have you followed a Scorpio intention for this lunar cycle? Does it need readjusting? My intention has more feeling behind it than concrete words. The feeling I’ve been cultivating is the unwavering gaze to be with what is showing up. Even if it is the same old negating self-talk I’ve been giving myself for years, even if it is the strangeness and mistrust of the “other,” even if it teeters on great sadness that feels like it could overwhelm me. I have an innate belief that the unwavering gaze turns the wheel of life towards renewal. That is my goal. What is yours?

Venus in Scorpio trines Chiron in Pisces and makes a quincunx to Uranus in Aries. This could mean that our relationships and social behavior are impacted by the edginess of Aries, the brutal honesty of Scorpio, and the tender feelings of Pisces. Support comes from a sextile between the Sun in Scorpio and Pluto (Scorpio’s ruler). If conflict arises, breathe into the moment to see things the way they really are.

Moon in Aries

Tuesday, November 4. Election Day in the U.S. Perhaps it isn’t very civic-minded of me to admit that my favorite thing about Election Day is the fact that political ads will stop for a short time. This could be a feisty and possibly combative election. The Moon triggers the paradigm changing square between Pluto and Uranus. The siren call of revolution and transformation is driving us sometimes together, and sometimes apart. Differences between people show themselves easily today. When that happens it is easy to project onto others the face of everything that is wrong with the world. I wonder if another response would get us farther along the truly transformative and revolutionary path we need to take.

Moon enters Taurus 3:33 pm CST

Wednesday, November 5. A combination of sensitivity with impatience makes for some tricky interactions today. Maybe the best way to handle the Sun’s trine with Chiron and quincunx with Uranus is to remember that others are feeling just as sensitive and impatient as we are. There. All better? The Moon enters Taurus and we begin to feel the Full Moon expectations building. The body holds wisdom for us right now. Listen and do what your body tells you.

Moon in Taurus

November 6—Full Moon: Illuminating. In the introduction to this week I wrote something that I am going to repeat here: The Taurus Full Moon this week highlights the relationship between death and life. Taurus is the sign of mid-spring when we reap the beauty and renewal of the dying season of Scorpio. These signs on opposite sides of the year are linked together to create a whole. What do you call the relationship between decay and renewal? Perhaps it is simply the turning wheel of life. We all play a role in this turning.

How are you turning this wheel? How are you honoring the processes of death while holding onto the knowledge that it will turn to rebirth at the appropriate time? If I fight this process, I am in a losing battle. If I align with it, I align myself with the power of life and death. There are times to let go of attachment in order to give new energy to the next thing that needs to emerge. It may be possible to apply our wills to this process but I’ve found the best I can usually do is trust that the dying and renewal can happen on their own. I am a witness, sometimes in joy and sometimes in grief. Tomorrow, the Sun reaches the mid-point of Scorpio, sometimes called Astronomical Samhain. The Full Moon today heightens an awareness of worlds touching.

In the chart for the Full Moon, Mars is approaching a conjunction to Pluto and a square to Uranus. Next week, these transits becomes exact. With a recent election, which may have radically changed the face of power in our country, this placement of Mars feels inflammatory. At its worst, Mars in Capricorn encourages the fight to maintain privilege for conventional hierarchies. At its best, Mars demands that authority earns its power through responsibility. We can choose which Mars to animate (thanks to Caroline Casey for that metaphor). Jupiter has been speeding through Leo since its ingress into that sign in July. Jupiter, now, is almost at its stationary degree when it will retrace these steps through Leo. Until that time, Jupiter is in a near-square with Saturn. Just below the surface there is tension between power sources. One source is the transformative power of death. The other source is the power of creative self-expression. Watch out for lingering self-doubt around your essential worth. However, the upside is a good recalibrating of ego to better serve the turning of the wheel of life.

Moon enters Gemini 7:45 pm CST

Friday, November 7. Astronomical Samhain. For some, the most powerful thinning of the veil between the worlds is experienced when the Sun reaches the mid-point of Scorpio. We’ve started to call this the Astronomical Samhain. Following right after the Full Moon yesterday, it is likely we are noticing how much easier it is right now to contact unseen worlds, including the realm of ancestors. The Moon contacts the near-square between Jupiter and Saturn that I wrote about yesterday. The day could feel very solemn and even mournful. Take time to honor these feelings. Tonight (CST) the Moon enters Gemini, lightening the mood considerably. You may even want to write about what you’ve learned from your contact with other worlds.

Moon in Gemini

Saturday, November 8. We’re not sure how sociable we want to be. The Moon in Gemini is extraverted. However, Mercury returns to Scorpio today creating a desire to keep our thoughts to ourselves. Mercury was here once before on September 27 and then turned back into Libra for a retrograde cycle. Now, with that time to reflect under his belt, Mercury tells us to go even deeper into ourselves. There are beautiful jewels hidden from ordinary consciousness. Find yours.

* Read about the beginning of the Scorpio lunar cycle (October 23) on my blog

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