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.

Wake up! A potent transit this week provides the opportunity to notice our awakenings. There are many types, aren’t there? Some mornings we groan and bury our heads under the covers. Some awakenings are delicious, like a cat stretching in the warm beams of sunlight. Other awakenings are shocking; cold water on the face. Others loosen the fogs of oblivion and plunge us into pain. Some awakenings are liberating, bracing, timely. Some sneak up on us, and others have to be enticed. I wonder what awakenings await this week?

Waking up can be exhilarating and terrifying. To be awake is to be more alive, aware, and engaged. This is the exhilarating part. The scary part is the sense of panic that being more alive, aware, and engaged can evoke. We’ll probably feel it all this week. Pay attention (isn’t that what being awake is all about?) to all the ways you are experiencing awakening. The instigators of awakening are a conjoining of Mars in Aries with Uranus on March 11. Mars will also make a square to Pluto in Capricorn triggering the last exact square between Uranus and Pluto, which will be exact on March 16. The energy that is being emphasized big time is Aries. In this sign Mars has energy, drive, and very little impulse control. Aries is the astrological season of emergence. Uranus and Mars both act to awaken that urge. In fast time, we are moving from a state of sleep to a state of action. We can notice this in every facet of life, the personal and the collective. Some of these transitions will be graceful and some will not be. Look out for hyper-reactivity and even violence, but also find the moments of appreciation for the awakened state.

It is time to call on the practices that help us navigate through the portals of emergence. We have the opportunity to use this moment to set intention for the new season that will begin on March 20 with both a solar eclipse in the last degree of Pisces and the Sun’s ingress into Aries. Imagine an awakening like you possibly have never had before. Here is inspiration taken from David Whyte’s poem, What to Remember When Waking:

Now, looking through the slanting light of the morning window
toward the mountain presence of everything that can be
what urgency calls you to your one love?
What shape waits in the seed of you
to grow and spread its branches
against a future sky?

Is it waiting in the fertile sea?
In the trees beyond the house?
In the life you can imagine for yourself?
In the open and lovely white page on the writing desk?

Forecast for March 9, 2015—March 15

Moon enters Scorpio 8:10 am CDT
March 9—Disseminating Moon: Sharing. Standing on the verge of change. This could be the short caption for this lunar cycle that really began between two signs, Aquarius (doesn’t that feel like a long time ago?) and Pisces*. Because so much energy right now is about moving forward, waking up, daring to begin, we may be tempted to forget that the real gift of this lunar cycle is to shed the past. The recent Virgo Full Moon was a culminating point of this process. Virgo inserted its grounding attention to wholeness and healing as we do this shedding. Where has this process left you? Sense into what else needs to be surrendered as the Moon moves into Scorpio. Scorpio’s gift is to seek the hidden remnants that keep us from truly transforming. Pisces and Scorpio both serve as excellent purifiers. What do you need to purge, especially from the shadows? Now is not the time to be stifled by shame. Releasing this and other toxic emotions will help us move forward into Spring. While the Moon is in Scorpio for the next two and a half days, use this energy to truly sense what you’ve been hiding away. Accept all your parts. Since this is the phase of sharing the wisdom gained thus far from the lunar cycle, find the right moment to support another’s transformations. 

Moon in Scorpio
Tuesday, March 10.
Mars in Aries and Jupiter in Leo lock laser beams today; confidence is boosted. What does this mean for your awakenings? The desire to dare is stronger. This could feel great, but there is an edge and a caution. The Moon in Scorpio is square to Jupiter and quincunx to Mars. These aspects provide a tension that could show up as competiveness, a need to get the upper hand, or a spilling of darker passions. All that intensity can be turned into fuel for healing and transformation or it could just be a good excuse to cause destruction. Since the fireworks really get going tomorrow, perhaps use this day to discharge those emotions that could spark bigger fires.

Moon enters Sagittarius 6:30 pm CDT
Wednesday, March 11.
Astrologers like to warn that when Mars and Uranus make a tense contact, it is time to be more careful. So, please be careful. Mars, right after getting a hyper-boost from Jupiter yesterday, conjoins Uranus and then immediately squares Pluto in Capricorn. Uranus is the force of awakening. Mars sets off the alarm. Are you paying attention? What do you need to say on your own behalf? What ways are you not being true to yourself? What things can no longer be tolerated? This is dramatic energy. Pluto makes it even deeper. Pluto adds the component of life and death to any feeling. Chances are we will overreact in some way today. What is that about for you? Can you let the energy burst teach you what you really need to listen to right now? How will you honor your awakening? These intense qualities play out in our personal awakenings as well as collective ones. We have the opportunity to let our anger move us to bold actions for justice, for change, for the world we envision. When the Moon moves into Sagittarius later today, we may be moved to become prophets for this new world.

Moon in Sagittarius
Thursday, March 12. The Moon conjoins Saturn and squares Neptune early in the day giving strength to our commitments and opening our imaginations to the dreams of a better world. This drive will influence important choices for a least a year. Adjustments to our beliefs will be made but at the end we will better know our guiding visions. Inspiration comes from planets in the fire signs today. The Moon in Sagittarius forms a grand fire trine with Mars and Uranus in Aries and Jupiter in Leo. The dead brush of winter may go up in flames. This energy can be healing, helping us to let go and move forward. Mercury’s ingress into Pisces late in the evening (CDT) opens the portal to intuition. Mercury remains in Pisces until March 30, helping us connect our words with our hearts.

Moon in Sagittarius
March 13—Last Quarter Moon: Evaluating. In the introduction to this week’s forecast, I wrote about awakening. Are you waking now? David Whyte’s poem, “What to Remember When Waking,” reminds us to be present to that moment of awakening and ask:

“Now, looking through the slanting light of the morning window
toward the mountain presence of everything that can be
what urgency calls you to your one love?”

How do you know your one love, the urgent voice that calls you into the morning? What inspires you, literally “filling you with breath,” as you step into the new day? This phase of the Moon encourages a philosophical frame of mind. The Moon in Sagittarius adds even more impetus to think “big picture” about inspiration and love. What calls you? As the Moon wanes, take the opportunity to complete the shedding processes of this Pisces lunar cycle. Is there anything keeping you from knowing what inspires you? The Moon makes a trine to Venus in Aries bolstering the desire to be bold, to find the friends and collaborators who will support our boldness, and to find the beauty in urgency.

Moon enters Capricorn 1:40 am CDT
Saturday, March 14. Something had to put the brakes on this week and we have found it. Saturn in Sagittarius stations retrograde today. From now till August 1, Saturn retraces its steps through the beginning of Sagittarius back into the last degrees of Scorpio. Saturn’s job is to get us to go “all in” concerning the really important things in life. To go “all in” is to commit to our own excellence. In Sagittarius, this excellence leads us to knowing and expressing our truths, lighting the flames of inspiration for ourselves and others, and to be accountable for our freedoms. The Moon in Saturn’s home sign, Capricorn, increases the tone of sobriety. It matters what we do and even what we think. Although we are prone to being a bit more serious today, the Moon still manages to make delightful aspects to both Mercury and Neptune in Pisces. This influence helps us enter the world of fantasies and ideals, fueling hope for our ambitions.

Moon in Capricorn
Sunday, March 15. Tomorrow the last of seven exact squares between Uranus and Pluto perfects. Today the Moon in Capricorn conjoins Pluto and squares Uranus and nearby Mars in Aries. Since 2012, Uranus and Pluto have been urging us into the new paradigm. What is this moment in history? What are the changes you’ve noticed? Capricorn brings attention to our structures, economies, hierarchies, and systems of influence. It also brings attention to integrity, legacy, and ambitions. These things are being transformed. If we are willing and able to release shadow tendencies like greed, we are empowered to bring new vitality into our Capricorn systems. Honor integrity today.


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

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