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.

Whole being—whole heart. As the Aquarius lunar cycle* winds down over the next week and a half, I sense it is time to call back the wandering parts of myself. We could call it soul or spirit journeying, or we could call it the fetch; whatever the name, Aquarius is a potent time to let a part of us travel afar to seek vision, to gather energy for our dreams, and to wander through lands of possibility. Planetary patterns have conspired to make this Aquarian cycle even more potent for access to these states of being. Have you recently stepped out of familiar patterns to try a completely different approach? Have you had to adjust to unexpected changes in plans, testing your patience and your faith? Have emotions seem to come out of left field to demand your attention? Although you may not be aware of it, this has been deep work, even exhausting at times. Perhaps you too, could benefit from calling yourself back to whole being and whole heart.

So, maybe you buy all this soul traveling talk or maybe you don’t. But for fun, try this on: imagine that you have been on a deep winter journey led by planetary guides whose mission is to prepare you for the future. I know, for non-believers, that’s a big ask. But if we can at least pretend, then the following questions help us find a purpose in the experiences of these last two weeks: What have I learned? How do I integrate my experience? What is my part to play? How do I go forward into the year with my whole self intact?

Planetary guides have been trainers too. Mercury has been especially active during its retrograde (begun January 21) to help us access new mental states and to locate that still place around which big change can orbit. If you’ve traveled far to seek those calm states, invite yourself back into ordinary life, especially as Mercury stations direct this week. Adaptability and finding the calm amidst a storm of change is a survival skill necessary in these times. Develop daily practices that make this an ordinary occurrence. Mars and Venus in Pisces have been conjoining Chiron and Neptune as trainers in embodied compassion. There is much pain in the world, and never before in history have we been able to see so much simultaneous suffering worldwide. One response is to disassociate or move away from the feelings. Disassociation is a really useful coping mechanism for trauma. But we aren’t meant to experience it permanently. How do we return to our bodies with hearts open and connected? Wholesome practices like exercise, human touch, honoring emotion, and the creation and appreciation of beauty are some ways to help us return. Venus and Mars are approaching a conjunction at the end of the month in the first degree of Aries. This could feel like an explosion of energy and action. Before that happens, honor the interior experience of calling yourself back. And be gentle.

Jupiter in Leo provides a counterbalance to the other planetary guides of the moment. This planet could be reminding us to return to love, the big-hearted, vulnerable, sometimes silly and sometimes noble Love (capital ‘L’). This love embraces life in the Sun-ruled way that Leos embrace life through passion and creativity. There is a temptation to think we are only good when we are selfless or only important when there is a spotlight shining on us. Living with a whole heart means rejecting these kinds of false assumptions. Jupiter says, dare to be bigger, find the spark that lights your passion. Transits this week help us to leave behind good/bad thinking about our essential selves.

This week is heavy in air, water, and fire. The missing element may be the biggest key to calling our traveling souls back. Earth. In the northern hemisphere, the waning winter means that the earth is beginning to green again, bit by bit. Even in the frozen north, the sap is stirring. Let the earth’s awakening be yours too.

Forecast for February 8, 2015 – February 14

Moon in Libra
Sunday, February 8.
This is one of those big feelings days. Venus in Pisces conjoins Chiron, the wounded healer. In Pisces Venus helps us identify with others. Beauty is sourced through merging. Venus opens the door to mystical experiences. Chiron reminds us that this can feel very vulnerable too. There is a chance for healing or at least to better understand suffering. This transit is the background for the Moon forming a triggering t-square pattern with Uranus and Pluto. On the world stage, more disruption and violence could happen. Personally, we may have a hard time maintaining equilibrium. In this week’s introduction I wrote about actively calling our souls back to us. Today is a good day to practice.

Moon in Libra
Monday, February 9.
Take note, trickster energy runs strong this week. This means expect the unexpected, be nimble as you need to make adjustments to the plan, and a sense of humor never hurts. Mercury is slowing down to turn direct on the 11th. Essentially, Mercury is just hanging out at 1 degree Aquarius all week and is making a minor but significant aspect, a quintile, to Uranus all week too. Quintiles represent creative impulses that can’t be ignored. When Mercury and Uranus create, anything can happen: scientific discoveries, visitations by alien life forms, revolutionizing ideas, really, anything. I think it is time to remind my readers about Caroline Casey’s prayer to the Compassionate Trickster: “Oh spirit of Compassionate Trickster, open up the path for each of us to do the greatest good while having the most fun.” While the unexpected happens this week, let’s remind ourselves to have fun too. 

Moon enters Scorpio 1:05 am CST
Tuesday, February 10.
Are you afraid the bottom is about to fall away? At the crossroads, we have the choice to dig in to prevent that from happening, or we can embrace the release. That doesn’t mean it isn’t scary, but the potential is to transform fear into power. Paradox is rampant. The adjustment is between Venus in Pisces and Jupiter in Leo. The extremes of this paradox could look like daring to be vulnerable about your feelings while at the same time proud of your strength and brilliance. 

Moon in Scorpio
February 11—Last Quarter Moon: Evaluating. Recently I’ve started to think of this phase of the Moon as a tribute to Sophia, the goddess of wisdom. Honor Sophia today. This lunar cycle in Aquarius is even more about wisdom and knowledge than most lunar cycles. Aquarius is seeking enlightenment and believes it is possible. What does enlightenment look like to you? Be ready to have your assumptions about wisdom and enlightenment challenged today. Mercury stations direct. Mercury is the nimblest of gods. Perhaps all the snafus he causes are just to help us attain that level of adaptability too. The lesson about wisdom could resemble this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” Today’s inconsistencies center around the differences between thoughts and emotions. Both want to claim equal authority in our lives.

Moon enters Sagittarius 10:46 am CST
Thursday, February 12. The mood lifts when the Moon enters Sagittarius. This mutable fire sign is happiest when the focus is on discovery. Notice a strong desire to share your recent discoveries. This is the fire of meaning, great for telling stories about who we are and what we want to become. Mercury, recently stationed direct, is still making that unique quintile aspect to Uranus. This connection invites us to replace fundamentalism with delight in diversity. Be ready to capture that fleeting spark of inspiration. As the Moon conjoins Saturn in the early evening, we also begin to believe that what we do right now matters a lot. Perhaps it does.

Moon in Sagittarius
Friday, February 13. A grand fire trine between the Moon in Sagittarius, Uranus in Aries, and Jupiter in Leo make for a potentially energizing day. The caution with a grand trine is to not take the gift it offers for granted. Honor fire, playing particular attention to how to make your fire sustainable. Fire is energy. Where is yours? Notice the flow of energy around you. How does fire behave? Where does it like to travel? What causes energy to sputter out; what helps to rekindle it? Everyone’s relationship with fire is unique. Affirm what works for you.

Moon enters Capricorn 4:24 pm CST
Saturday, February 14. After a fire-infused day yesterday, what are you noticing this morning? The Moon makes a square to Venus and Mars (in Pisces) very early (CST) most likely impacting our dreams. Perhaps you have a bit of a “fire” hangover. The transits this week have been noticeably lacking in earth. You might really want that solid foundation today. Good for us, the Moon enters earth sign, Capricorn, this afternoon. Capricorn reminds us of consequences. Through the exchange between Sagittarius and Capricorn, we learn about the fluctuating nature of energy and begin to make choices that allow firey exuberance to live well within responsible boundaries.


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


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