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 December 28, 2014 – January 3, 2015

At the doorway of the year, we pause to gaze back and forward into Time. Janus—the two-faced Roman god who inspires the name for the month of January—is the guide for this exploration. The weeks spanning the end of the year and the beginning of the next a liminal space of time to look both ways: into the past to take stock of ourselves and the world and into the future to visualize what we desire to manifest. Capricorn is the sign best suited for this meditation. With its focus on foundations and aspirations, Capricorn supports the best possible outcome by thoroughly understanding what brought us here and what is realistically achievable. This solid basis for dreaming into our futures is both reassuring and sobering because we see the work ahead. However under Capricorn, we aren’t meant to be overwhelmed by the enormity of the tasks but to refocus our efforts to support our dreams.janus copy

 Liminal spaces that invite us to pause, reflect, open, and imagine are rare and precious. Take advantage of this space in the next week as 2014 ends and 2015 begins and as we build to a feisty Full Moon on January 4. We live in a time of awakening. Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn have been engaged in the work of exposing tired, dysfunctional, and frankly, dangerous systems of power and then asking us what we are going to do about it. This question, this exploration, will not relent until well after the last of these squares in March 2015. Looking back, what have you learned this year? Looking forward, what will you commit to? I’ve personally never liked New Year’s resolutions, even though I understand the Capricorn impulse behind them. I know I have a tendency to overstretch what I want to commit to and then fail within a short time to live up to. The ensuing disappointment in myself is a hindrance to my wellbeing and keeps me stuck. So, I wonder, how might I find a new approach to Capricorn industriousness? How might you? What invites curiosity and sustainability? What attitude, what practices, what built-in rewards will help me keep to my New Year’s visions?

We are in a time of change and I want to be part of that change. My intention for this Capricorn* lunar cycle is “to redefine my vision of success to create a system that sustains beauty, liberation, and truth.” How convenient, within this intention are the tools I need to approach my efforts with sustainability and even joy. Beauty invokes presence. I can’t appreciate beauty without being present in my body; this helps both with the built-in reward system and the sustainability needed to keep to my vision. Liberation invokes a joy in change and helps me release fear. Truth invokes meaning and curiosity, giving me perspective and delight when I experience setbacks. And I will. We all will. That is the nature of the climb up the Capricorn mountain. What invokes sustainability and curiosity for you? How will you incorporate these qualities into your work ahead?

Forecast for December 28, 2014 – January 3, 2015

Moon enters Aries 12:35 am CST

December 28—First Quarter Moon: Manifesting. A week ago, the Sun and Moon joined in Capricorn to plant a seed in the realm of form. True to the cardinal earth nature of Capricorn, the aspiration is for structures that serve a purpose. Now, the Moon has separated from the Sun by 90 degrees, entering the next cardinal sign of the zodiac, Aries. True to the fiery nature of Aries, we chaff a little at the solid determination of that Capricorn seed. The struggle becomes: When to slow down and when to speed up? When to be careful and when to be daring? When to keep the focus on long-term progress and when to focus on the very next leap? This is an appropriate conflict to investigate further. The tension between Capricorn and Aries is part of the ongoing square between Pluto and Uranus in effect since at least 2012. Sometimes this tension feels frustrating and sometimes exhilarating as we continue to push forward toward lasting change. Emotions will fluctuate today. We begin the day under a solid connection between the Moon and Saturn. The fire of inspiration can serve our long-range goals. Later in the day, the impetuous nature of this Aries Moon becomes more uncontrolled. This type of energy can take us in unexpected directions, enticing us to try a new approach. The Moon comes into contact with Uranus and Pluto late in the evening (CST). Because of that, tomorrow may be as unexpected and volatile as today. Notice the dance between earth and spirit. Invoke the spirit of possibility into the forms of life.

Moon in Aries

Monday, December 29. Yesterday’s conflicts become a call to action today. Be active to discharge frustration. The Moon in Aries makes a favorable contact with Mars (the ruler of Aries). Inhibitions are low as we are enveloped by desire to break through constraints. The Moon’s square to Mercury in Capricorn puts the brakes on for a time. Mistakes may come from moving too fast or when you fail to think things through. Pause and then move ahead with your inspirations. The trine between the Moon and Jupiter boosts confidence and maybe more recklessness. Calming influence can come from the square between the Moon and Venus in Capricorn. Relationships and fiscal responsibility help us to focus the momentum on worthy goals.

Moon enters Taurus 4:56 am CST

Tuesday, December 30. If we were hoping that the ingress of the Moon into Taurus would bring some calm, we might be disappointed. The transits of the next couple of days could bring out the argumentative side of Taurus. How do you stand your ground and what will you not budge for? Digging in, we notice what is really important to us. The paradoxical relationship between Mercury in Capricorn and Jupiter in Leo has us mistrusting the messages. Personal expression is important and we could feel censored by others’ opinions or by our own self-criticism. Perhaps there is an important critique to reconsider. The overall emphasis with the Sun and Moon both in earth signs is on pragmatic progress.

Moon in Taurus

Wednesday, December 31. The stubborn nature of the Taurus Moon can be felt today, but we still have the ability to make good use of this energy if we are mindful of it. The last day of 2014 is an opportunity to reflect on the year and lovingly accept ourselves for doing the best we could at the time. The Taurus Moon can help us embody this intention. Track your emotional responses today. Ground fears and frustrations. Take care of yourself, especially through the physical senses. The Moon is square to an opposition between Mars in Aquarius and Jupiter in Leo (which will be exact tomorrow). This opposition encourages drama. Is your sense of righteous outrage over the top? Anger has a purpose, especially when we can focus it on changing systems. Notice if you are taking things personally, however. The issues are much larger than that.

Moon enters Gemini 11:09 am CST

January 1—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting. New Year’s Day. The doorway to the new year is open. As you step through, bring your best self forward. The Gibbous phase of the Moon has an expectant quality to it. We are on the verge, pregnant with the New Moon seed of intention. Perfectionism is a hindrance to true liberation. Rather than use this energy to make unreasonable resolutions, take a moment to acknowledge your heart that cares deeply regardless of whether you ever attain the mountaintop before you. Remember that the journey, not the final destination, is the gift of aspiration.

The morning (CST) starts off with the Moon in Taurus. We may feel the strongest dissatisfactions with our physical surroundings or our bodies. Resist the temptation to beat yourself up about these things. The Taurus Moon can help us set goals that are sustainable and pleasurable. Two oppositions encourage integration and balance. One is between the Moon (after entering Gemini) and Saturn in Sagittarius. This is the first time the Moon opposes Saturn since Saturn entered this new sign on December 23. We have an opportunity to observe what Saturn’s mission in Sagittarius might be for each of us. Saturn asks for a more disciplined approach. There are also potential obstacles and self-criticism to overcome. How much do you value your freedom and your truth? How will you apply yourself to learning? To teaching? These desires can seed a year of growth.

The other opposition is between Mars in Aquarius and Jupiter in Leo. We felt this aspect strongly yesterday too. The integration is between the personal and the collective. Is there imbalance of these qualities in your life? You might notice this imbalance as a tendency to take things very personally, to need affirmation from others, or even as a distancing from creative risk-taking. Balance between Mars and Jupiter gives energy and confidence to creative efforts and helps a collective vision.

The symbolic image that resonates through the first day of 2015 is the weaving of diverse threads to create a strong yet supple cloth. The mutable signs of Gemini (Moon), Sagittarius (Saturn), and Pisces (Neptune) weave strands of thought, spirit, and emotion, encouraging a holistic approach to the year.

Moon in Gemini

Friday, January 2. Today could be a brief respite before the fireworks of the next two days kick in. The sextile between the Moon in curious Gemini and Uranus in daring Aries has us feeling confident about new ideas and experiences. Curiosity is an antidote to conflict. It also helps us inaugurate change without dogmatism. A mantra for today: What if…..?

Moon enters Cancer 7:07 pm CST

Saturday, January 3. Tomorrow is technically the Full Moon, but today the energy begins. The real drama of this Full Moon will be a t-square aspect pattern composed of the Moon in Cancer opposite the Sun conjoining Pluto in Capricorn, and all this being square to Uranus in Aries. Pressure is on to expose corrupt systems and to demand that things change. Today, the Sun first squares Uranus followed a few hours later by joining Pluto exactly. The Sun brings illumination. What are you seeing that needs to change? Even small steps will feel powerful today. Before entering Cancer tonight (CST), the Moon in Gemini is sparking Jupiter expansion and Mars action. Read, converse, explore, make new connections. All this activity can feed the ways you will take change out into the world. Venus leaves behind Capricorn today for the diverse arena of Aquarius. Inspiration pours out. Think of the image of the Star card in a Tarot deck. Let that inspiration soak into dry fields. It will be a resource for future challenges.

*Read about the beginning of the Capricorn lunar cycle on my blog

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