Follow the Moon: Astrology of intention and mindfulness

y 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 30, 2014 – December 6

“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” ― Audre Lorde

I want to begin this week’s forecast with inspiration from the frontlines—even if they are the frontlines of the past. (Sadly these battles are not over.) I need to hear from someone who has challenged the status quo, whose words and life still inspire me to challenge myself. Audre Lorde did that in her work as an activist and poet. She dared to be powerful and strong as she served her vision, and she did it afraid. The fire of Sagittarius—the seed of potential for this lunar cycle*—mixes potently with Uranus, the planet of awakening in the cardinal fire sign of Aries this week. Sagittarius pursues the vision. Aries does it afraid. Each of us has a frontline, whether it is on the streets facing a line of armed police, or whether it is an oppressive work situation, or whether it is the voice of shame in our own thoughts. I believe each of us is being called to stand up in our power and strength, even when we are afraid, to serve a vision of change.

As the Moon waxes into fullness this week, the brakes come off, momentum builds. A couple of grounding days mid-week while the Moon is in Taurus is a chance to anchor to our core values and to our bodies’ wisdom, which are essential ingredients to any sustainable revolution. When the Moon moves into Gemini a day before the Full Moon on December 6, the desire to connect, share information, and broadcast the vision is palpable. Last week I shared a lunar intention inspired by the Sagittarian quest for the “truth that creates expansion, possibility, and delight. This lunar cycle in Sagittarius is an opportunity to cultivate the type of truth that frees us.” As the Moon waxes to fullness, energy builds. Skillful navigation of this energy helps us to open up to liberating truth. It is about time we were able to stand joyfully at the frontline of change. It is time to make a shift.

Forecast for November 30, 2014 – December 6

Moon enters Aries 7:14 pm CST

Sunday, November 30. Most of the day (CST), the Moon is in Pisces dissolving our barriers and boundaries. We could easily feel a bit more vulnerable but also more aware of others’ pain. The heart has essential information for us. The square between Mercury in Sagittarius and Neptune in Pisces encourages the heartfelt exchange of information but there is a caution. We could also encounter manipulation of perception. Or in other words, we could be fooled by lies or fantasies. Be discerning. The impulse to move beyond mere logic to a place of compassionate connection is a place of growth and a basis for action as the Moon enters Aries later tonight for two more days.

Moon in Aries

Monday, December 1. Caring for ourselves as much as we care for the world helps us to stand at the frontline of change. The sextile between Mars in Capricorn and Saturn in Scorpio lends depth and structure to the ways we want to push the edges today. The Moon contacts Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn by stressful aspect, providing the spark to ignite action at the frontlines. The ongoing square between Pluto and Uranus, which has influenced so much revolution around the world since 2012, becomes exact again the month. There are only two more exact squares between these two planets. Subtly and not so subtly the world is becoming ever more ready to move into new paradigms. Notice the headlines and the social media feeds. Where are the places that nurture the change you wish to see? Add your inspiration and your action.

Moon enters Taurus 11:15 pm CST

December 2—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting. This phase of the Moon (building to the release of the Full Moon) can emphasize a critical approach to manifestation. We can get caught up in sifting and sorting—trying to get everything perfect before we reach the peak of the cycle. With this week’s transits we are far less careful. A grand fire trine of planets may impel you forward to an early climax! Or will you suddenly freeze up? Grand trines offer easy access to elemental energy, but they can also be easily squandered. Pay attention to your energy. Think of your passion as a fire to be tended gently and consciously. Do you need more fuel? More space between the logs? Do you need to reinforce your fire’s container, or have some water nearby in case the flames burst out of control? We have the opportunity to mindfully tend to our passions with the long view in mind. How does this lead your to your liberating truth for this lunar cycle? The fire signs are concerned with identity, self-expression, and personal truth. These issues could spark conflict tonight as the Moon forms a square with Mars. However, the friction could help us make necessary adjustments in this perfecting phase of the lunar cycle.

Moon in Taurus

Wednesday, December 3. Bless the ground beneath your feet. The next two days, while the Moon is in Taurus, is a good opportunity to connect to your anchors and grounding cords. What this means to me is to take time to energetically appreciate and sense into your animal body, which is being supported by the earth beneath you. It also means tapping into the values that sustain your wellbeing and the wellbeing of others. Grounded in our bodies, we are better able to respond to the many changes coming our way. Grounded in our values, we are better able to discern right action when passions move us to the frontlines.

Moon in Taurus

Thursday, December 4. If we thought of energy as wealth, it will be interesting to see how we spend it today, and why. Venus in Sagittarius is trine to Jupiter in Leo. These planets are the benefics, so this harmonious aspect between them can only bring great stuff, right? Maybe. There is great potency in this connection but good outcome is not guaranteed. If you thought of your creative spirit and your personal vision as wealth, how would you spend it? With the Moon in Taurus, we really want to get value from our expenditures. Pay attention to how you use your wealth today. The impetus to expand our horizons and push the boundaries gets a super boost when the Sun in Sagittarius trines Uranus in Aries. In addition, Mars enters Aquarius today activating us to shake up complacency.

Moon enters Gemini 4:28 am CST

Friday, December 5. Although the Full Moon technically happens tomorrow, we feel it as soon as the Moon enters Gemini today. This could be an extra-stimulating Full Moon. Gemini (Moon) and Sagittarius (Sun) are both excitable, especially when it comes to knowledge. Our thoughts matter. Minds are active with the Moon forming a trine to Mars in Aquarius. Information becomes a source of comfort. Truth is personal and conflict between points of view could feel extra challenging. With this temperament as the context for the day, the square between the Sun and Chiron becomes even more significant. Chiron reminds us of wounds that cannot be easily healed, of paradox, and wisdom. Chiron in Pisces offers the heart of sacrifice to imponderable truths. The way out of conflict may not be the rational approach, but the willingness to feel deeply what others’ are feeling. Mercury in Sagittarius trines Uranus in Aries this evening (CST) coloring the Full Moon chart tomorrow. Expect breakthroughs in consciousness. Perhaps the liberating truth reveals itself.

Moon in Gemini

December 6—Full Moon: Illuminating. Full Moons give us perspective on our New Moon intentions. My lunar intention was to pursue the truth that brings freedom. For me, a liberating truth is vastly different from the kind of “truth” that imprisons. A liberating truth does not need to be forced on anyone, engenders creativity in others, and invites endless permutations. The Moon in Gemini illuminates this diversity in truth as freedom. Although a liberating truth can be hard to grasp, it can also be as easy as a good belly laugh. Another illumination of this cycle is the importance of joy in the fight for change. Notice the illumination coming from others—inspiration, courage, inventiveness, constancy—we need these to light our way.

The chart for the Full Moon emphasizes an aspect pattern involving the Moon, Sun, and Chiron. In yesterday’s forecast, I wrote about the Chiron square Sun portion of this pattern. The Moon adds our habit energy to the mix. What habits do you have in response to pain, yours and others? What habit energy do you have in response to paradox? How comfortable are you with complexity? There are no final solutions, but perhaps we learn a little bit more about expansive truth that can be coupled with compassion. A minor aspect in this chart intrigues me: a quintile between Mars in Aquarius and Uranus in Aries. Quintiles are creative and compulsive connections. Both Mars and Uranus are about action and change, awakening and experimenting. The next few days while the Full Moon phase of this cycle plays out could be extremely creative and surprising. Venus in Sagittarius is separating from a trine with Jupiter in Leo. These two have infused the week with feelings of abundance, especially abundance of fire—passion and action. Venus makes an appearance as the Evening star soon. Perhaps you’ve already seen her bright light in the west after sunset. Venus disappeared from sight in mid-August and makes a triumphant return to the visible stars. Celebrate the truths you have found in the darkness this past fall season and let them shine for all to see.

* Read about the beginning of the Sagittarius lunar cycle (November 22) on my blog

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