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.

What’s the best way to bring a high-flying Aquarian back to earth? Tell them that someone else already had that idea. Growing-edge vision is terribly exciting to this Fixed Air sign. Aquarians get electric thrill from innovation and discovery, putting together puzzle pieces, or understanding abstract patterns. From this, do you get an idea of the rarified brilliance of this sign, which also needs an anchoring cord to the real world? Then, you have a picture of Aquarius, the sign of the current lunar cycle* (begun January 20). It’s important to acknowledge the tone and character of Aquarius as we move through this lunar cycle. It will influence the challenges and potentials we face at this time of great change. Every one of us, regardless of whether we are Aquarians, could fall into the Aquarian trap of rebelling for the sake of rebellion, changing things for the sake of change, and forgetting that those fascinating patterns are actually people with feelings and vulnerabilities. The other side of Aquarius is possible for each of us, too. This side of Aquarius is focused on solutions, networking people and ideas, and being an instigator of change through visionary imagination. This lunar cycle is a powerful opportunity to make adjustments in how we approach change. The things we learn this month may help us navigate changes ahead and help us hone our skills of discovery and innovation.

One of the biggest influences on this Aquarius cycle is the retrograde of Mercury for most of it. During this influence it is easy to get tripped up by the difference between the speed of thought vs. the speed of physical/emotional reality. My approach to Mercury retrograde is to embrace this time as an opportunity to look at my patterns, habits, and assumptions about thought, communication, travel, and commerce, to name a few of the things that Mercury rules. The retrograde period may feel disruptive and annoying but it can be an opportunity to clear the desktops of our bio-computers and reboot the systems. The hardest thing about this is that we are not in control of the process. Mercury opens the door for the unconscious to bubble up into everyday life. Because of this we can find ourselves in situations that takes some work to undo. That is exactly what astrologers mean, I think, when we say Mercury retrogrades are good times to do all kinds of “re” activities, like review, reflect, redo, and reorganize. Sometimes we have to retrace steps to see what got us here and that can be very illuminating.

Mercury turns retrograde three times a year and follows a pattern of elemental emphasis. For instance, in 2015 all three Mercury retrogrades take place in the air signs: Aquarius, Gemini, and Libra. Mercury is about thought and so are air signs. Mercury even rules one of them, Gemini, so this year of Mercury retrogrades will emphasize reflecting on thought patterns. With this awareness, the opportunity is to integrate our minds with our hearts and bodies. This Aquarius lunar cycle is the opportunity to review our attachments to thoughts. The Fixed nature of Aquarius reveals stubborn thought patterns. We may want to soar into concepts and find ourselves crashing ungracefully back to earth when we forget that our hearts and bodies have information too. I am telling myself, that there is no hurry. It is wonderful that thought can travel so quickly, yet I want to make sure that my body and my heart are along for the ride too. As the Moon waxes this week, it could be time to take affirmative action to integrate our thoughts. The gift is the anchoring cord that helps us soar even more.

Forecast for January 25, 2015 – January 31

Moon in Aries
Sunday, January 25.
Early this morning (CST) the Moon contacts Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn. This contact could be a trigger that releases pent up tension or illuminates oppressive systems. This is a fire Moon and fire is speedy when it has enough air. The Sun, retrograde Mercury, and Venus are all in Aquarius providing that oxygen. Ideas are coming fast and furious. We may be tempted to act alone or to just feel that we are all alone as the visions for a new world keep coming. I wonder what would happen if decided to change that feeling and connected with others instead? Compromise and collaboration may open all kinds of new possibilities. This is an edgy day that could also bring breakthroughs. 

Moon enters Taurus 10:37 am CST
January 26—First Quarter Moon: Manifesting. The movie poster for today could be titled: When Fixed Signs Collide! I am imagining a drawing of a swamp giant fighting off alien spaceships. Why not? This is one way to describe the “battle” between the Fixed Earth Moon in Taurus and the Fixed Air Sun in Aquarius. If we accept that sometimes, just maybe, Aquarians need a little more grounding (as in visions of invading aliens), then today’s Moon is trying its best to provide that grounding (as in slow-moving giants who can’t be ignored). The first quarter phase of the Moon is a feisty exchange between the conscious intention held by the Sun and the unconscious material we must deal with in order to follow that intention. We are forced to make adjustments. These adjustments help us manifest intention and is a necessary step in the lunar cycle. What we are dealing with today is the reminder from earth that ideas alone are not enough to manifest a new vision. This could feel frustrating to airy types of people and a relief to the earthy types. My intention for the lunar cycle is to cultivate a balance between intellect and emotion while maintaining curiosity and open-mindedness. Feelings and thoughts are emphasized in this intention, but what about my body? You too may be reminded over the next couple of days that your body needs your attention. Listen, and then do what the swamp giant says. The giant and the aliens might become friends in the process.

Moon in Taurus
Tuesday, January 27. It will be a mixed-bag day. Contrary influences could catch us off guard. The water signs are boosted by the Moon’s early morning (CST) sextile with Mars in Pisces followed by Venus moving into Pisces as well. We’re feeling good about our emotional connections to others. We want to trust our feelings and intuition. All that is good and then the Moon goes and makes a square to retrograde Mercury in Aquarius. Perhaps we misinterpreted the signals. A miscommunication could have us doubting our ability to read them. Later in the day, the Moon makes another square, this time to Jupiter in Leo, which could have us taking the misunderstanding very personally. So, we are all humans and not perfect. Yesterday, I advised you to listen to your body above all else. That holds for today too. Our bodies have an early warning system for taking the edge off those times we end up saying or doing the wrong thing. If only we’d listen more. Agitation and inspiration increase by the evening. Tonight and tomorrow, we might have a hard time calming our minds as retrograde Mercury makes an energizing connection to Uranus. New ideas abound.

Moon enters Gemini 4:36 pm CST
Wednesday, January 28. Last night brought inspiration or at least mental agitation. Today, we take off running with those thoughts. The Moon moves into Mercury-ruled Gemini, enhancing the effect of the current Mercury retrograde shenanigans and giving us a good opportunity to observe thought patterns and habits. A good practice for today could be discharging over-amped mental energy. However, if you’ve been a little down, you might really appreciate an influx of curiosity into your thought patterns. The Moon makes a square to Venus in Pisces and opposes Saturn in Sagittarius later in the day (CST). Moods are all over the place, from light-hearted to heart-felt emotional to philosophical, and even, judgmental. These mutable signs are asking for integration of mind, heart, and purpose. There are many ways to pay attention.

Moon in Gemini
Thursday, January 29. Notice how the moods shift today from brooding to sunny and back again. The Moon in Gemini encourages quick fluctuations between thoughts. It may be hard to focus on just one. One source of agitation may be from the emotional messages you are picking up. Our boundaries are less distinct than we realize and this sets up the possibility of losing track of ourselves. This is not altogether bad and could even help with making breakthroughs of some kind. The Moon encourages the connection between Mercury and Uranus. When these two planets connect, all kinds of innovations and discoveries are possible. Mars in Pisces asserts itself early evening (CST). Don’t forget, emotions are valuable information too.

Moon in Gemini
January 30—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting. We aren’t done with the Gemini Moon yet (the Moon entered Gemini two days ago), and that is a huge influence on this stage of the lunar cycle. Although energetically, the Sun and Moon are in agreement that our thoughts are what matter right now, by aspect the Sun and Moon are tensely questioning whether we are doing this dance of mind in the best way possible. The Gibbous phase of the Moon is about fine-tuning our intentions for the lunar cycle. We might be pleased with the progress we’ve made so far but have a sense that the work isn’t over. We aren’t ready for prime time yet. What are you learning about your mental patterns and habits? Are you following the directive to integrate mind and heart? What instructions has your body given you? Another important influence is that the Sun and Mercury (which is still retrograde) come together in the Inferior Conjunction today. This is an important “seed time” for the relationship between the Sun and Mercury. With the Sun in Aquarius, we may be seeded with thoughts about the future, changes we want to make, and ways to bring these changes to the world. The square between Venus in Pisces and Saturn in Sagittarius emphasizes the importance of human relationships. One of yours may need some work today. The connection between Mars in Pisces and Pluto in Capricorn provides an extra dose of confidence and strength. With the warrior planet in heart-centered Pisces, we want to act fearlessly and compassionately.

Moon enters Cancer 1:08 am CST
Saturday, January 31. The Moon lands in its home sign, Cancer. You might want to retreat a bit to recharge from what probably was a high-energy week. Even if all the effort was mental, it took its toll. The Cancer Moon says, stay home and make a soup. No, really. Stay home and make a soup. The Moon is also making favorable connections to Venus and Neptune in Pisces. Water sign emphasis of this sort says, Don’t ignore your emotions or the feelings of others you care about. Heart-centered connections are healing. Mars also makes contact with Chiron in Pisces. We are more open to sensing the pain of the world. Take care of yourself. Did I say that enough?


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

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