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.

“The fire signs exemplify high spirits, great faith in themselves, enthusiasm, unending strength, and a direct honesty.” Stephen Arroyo in Astrology, Psychology, and the Four Elements.

When fire is unencumbered, well-fed, and at the same time, well-contained, our spirits soar. When fire isn’t supported or is burning too hot, our spirits can take a nosedive. The fire element represents a major theme of this Aries-fueled lunar cycle.* The opportunity is to shift or refine the way we “run our energy.”

The chakra system tells us a lot about our energy natures and our relationship to the elements. The third chakra or the solar plexus area of the body is associated with the fire element. When this energy center of the body is well balanced, it helps us to be vital and purposeful. This energy center connects us to our wills. With a strong will center, we can access our ability to say No as well as Yes. When we are deficient in this chakra, we may notice poor self-esteem or fearfulness blocking our ability to act on our own behalf. When our fire centers are excessive, we may try to dominate or blame others and we could simply burn out from too much activity or anxiety. Tending our wills through the third chakra is a conscious way to tend our flames. The transits this week provide a great opportunity to tune into the third chakra. 

Where there is fire … Not only is the entire lunar cycle dedicated to the first fire sign, Aries, but several planets occupy all the fire signs this week. The Sun, Mercury and Uranus travel together in Aries (Cardinal Fire), forming quick conjunctions to spark fiery reactions. Jupiter in Leo (Fixed Fire) stations direct, unblocking the fire response of self-expression. And the Moon spends two and a half days in Sagittarius (Mutable Fire) joining Saturn in the sign of the Seeker to create a Grand Fire Trine configuration on April 8th and 9th.

Encouragement/discouragement. This potent Aries lunar cycle began with a Solar Eclipse at the very last degree of Pisces and culminated at the Full Moon with a Lunar Eclipse. My guiding image for this month has been: Emerging through the portals of change. Big change has been happening on the personal and global levels. Choices have been made with Aries gusto, which means we may have acted first before fully considering the consequences. As the Moon wanes, we now take a more critical look at the choices we’ve made and the energy state we are left in. Are you feeling burnt out or renewed? Encouraged or discouraged? Your answer may help you take better care of your third chakra center of will and power.

Fire needs containment and a steady source of fuel. Venus and Mars in Taurus (Fixed Earth) provide access to these qualities. Will is supported by steady consistent effort. It may mean we have to scale back the speed or the scope of the changes we want to manifest, but it will help us get our overloaded and discouraged behavior patterns in better balance. This is critical because the triple conjunctions of Mercury, Sun, and Uranus in Aries is going to spark some big ideas this week. Thoughts (air) can be inspiring but can overwhelm the balanced fire we are trying to maintain. Venus will move into Gemini (Mutable Air) on the 11th further moving energy into our heads. We run the risk of discouragement about the changes we are making right now if we suddenly find ourselves with diminished will. Look for the balance between taking in more information and taking on achievable action.

Forecast for April 6, 2015—April 12

Moon in Scorpio
Monday, April 6.
The waning Moon in Scorpio might bring out the shadow side of will and power. Fire could show up as passion or as domination. The trine between Mercury in Aries and a stationary Jupiter in Leo should encourage bold thoughts and actions. We feel confident but may also need to look under the surface of things that seem too good to be true. Take a break from information overload. Physical movement can discharge excess thoughts. The Sun in Aries conjoins Uranus, giving an almost electric feel to the day. If you’ve been resistant to change, you might be pushed over the edge. The fire energy of will can be protective if we pay attention to how we manage our energy. The quincunx between Mars in Taurus (Fixed Earth) and Saturn in Sagittarius (Mutable Fire) helps us set firmer boundaries if we accept that change may not happen as fast as we’d like. Hearing, “no” can sometimes be a relief.

Moon in Scorpio
Tuesday, April 7.
Sharing power is a real skill. Most of the time we are forced into it by conflict. The Moon in Scorpio opposite Venus in Taurus gives us the opportunity to hone our skills at sharing power. The source of conflict could be around values. Everyone feels passionate about theirs. If we can acknowledge the charge we have around our own values then we may be better able to accept that same passion in others. Needing to speak truth to power is further emphasized by Mercury in Aries square to Pluto in Capricorn. Mercury in this sign is not very patient and with Uranus nearby egging him on, we may say something we could regret later. But don’t let this stop you from having important conversations. We need to get the truth out there. 

Moon enters Sagittarius 12: 08 am CDT
April 8—Disseminating Moon: Sharing. We’ve passed the expansive Full Moon stage of this Aries-inspired lunar cycle. Ordinarily, this would be a time to start slowing down to reflect on what we have experienced and learned from the Aries (Cardinal Fire) task of emergence into a brand new world. However, we are still on the verge of breakthroughs and may not feel particularly wise or thoughtful yet. Imagine that everyone is a dandelion seed cluster of ideas, experiences, hopes, and fears from this lunar cycle (indeed the last two months or so) and a big wind comes to scatter us into a wild, whirling mess of dancing seeds. Sometimes dissemination can be chaotic and uncontrolled. Let fly your seeds. Things will be sorted out later when the Sun enters Taurus.

We are sharing collective experience and connections even when we are yet unaware of the real lessons or gifts from this lunar cycle. It is good to remember our impact and connection, something that all fire signs may forget but secretly long for. The Moon in Sagittarius (Mutable Fire) makes a solid conjunction with Saturn and we get the barest glimmer of grounded insight and long-range planning. Then Mercury’s conjunction with Uranus blows through and gets us all dancing around once again. Mercury and Uranus connections encourage brilliant and unexpected insights and discoveries. With Jupiter in Leo (Fixed Fire) stationing direct today, we may feel an extra release of pent up energy. The directive is to create brilliantly and be noticed for it. Be generous with your light. The Moon makes a square to Neptune in the afternoon (CDT). Don’t be surprised if you have a strong need to nap after a very busy morning. Try to relax the mind as much as possible.

Moon in Sagittarius
Thursday, April 9.
The Moon in Sagittarius (Mutable Fire) completes a Grand Fire Trine aspect pattern, which includes Uranus, Sun, and Mercury in Aries (Cardinal) and Jupiter in Leo (Fixed). In the introduction to this week’s forecast I wrote about the qualities of a healthy third chakra, our energy center of fire and will located around the solar plexus. What do you notice in this region of your body? What is the state of your will and power? This fire trine is activating this chakra. It may be time to make adjustments in the way we use and manage energy. Mercury and the Sun come together in a superior conjunction on the far side of the Sun from Earth’s perspective. Imagine the Sun (conscious intention) meeting creative ingenuity (Mercury) to make healing fire available to us. This is an important step in this lunar cycle’s intention to emerge with the life force of Spring.

Moon enters Capricorn 7:47 am CDT
Friday, April 10. Expansive fire energy of the last few days is focused into realistic plans for the future. What concrete step will you take today? With the Moon’s entry into Capricorn (Cardinal Earth) there is a distinct change in willful expression. In order to manifest sustainable change, we need to think long-range and strategically. This is an excellent day to get back in touch with your body, both its joys and limitations. The earth chakra belongs to the root where we gather sustaining energy to maintain our wills (third, fire chakra). Say goodbye to Venus’ transit through Taurus (since March 17). This is the last day we get to enjoy her sensual embodiment through this sign until she returns next Spring.

Moon in Capricorn
April 11—Last Quarter Moon: Evaluating. At the previous phase of the Moon (Disseminating) we weren’t really ready to reflect on the lessons and experiences of this lunar cycle. That is a bit different now. The Moon in earthy Capricorn encourages evaluation and judgment. We might even be feeling a little more self-critical. Try to resist self-hate and shame. If you are feeling depleted right now from a surplus of willful action, make a conscious effort to accept limitations. The earth signs are good for regrouping and recharging our physical forms. We might notice uncertainty, anxiety, and insecurity today as the Moon contacts Pluto and Uranus. Tension between dependable consistency and radical change fuels the dilemma. Venus enters Gemini (Mutable Air), to remain until May 7. Here, Venus needs social connections based on communication and learning. We become less content to draw comfort from our bodies and need to stimulate our minds.

Moon enters Aquarius 12:44 pm CDT
Sunday, April 12. Mars in Taurus (Fixed Earth) makes a supportive contact with Neptune in Pisces (Mutable Water). This may have the effect of softening a stubborn stance. Yes, we still want to fight for the things that really matter to us but we are a little more open to compromising when we empathize with another. Water issues are becoming important. The connection between Mars and Neptune may reveal more about the need to change our attitudes and behaviors with this precious resource. When the Moon moves into Aquarius (Fixed Air) we could turn this awareness to the things we need to learn and teach others. How we treat water reflects how we value the Earth and ourselves. Our choices matter. Educate yourself!

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

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