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.

A Taurus friend of mine recently explained how he benefits from talking to his body. It is helpful, he says, to think of our bodies like animals or small children who take in the experiences we give them—the emotions, body messages, ways we use our bodies to numb pain—without full understanding. Bodies absorb a lot and we can help our bodies integrate our experiences better by talking to them, explaining ourselves, asking forgiveness, or consulting with them about how we are feeling and what we want from our bodies in response. Seriously, when have you last sat down with your body to gently talk things over in a compassionate and sympathetic way? They do such good jobs for us, don’t they deserve more connection with us? With a strong emphasis on Taurus this week, we have the opportunity to devote ourselves to this kind of conversation with our bodies and have it transform our lives.

Mercury, the communicator planet, entered Taurus (Fixed Earth) on April 14th and this week will be making influential contacts with Jupiter in Leo (Fixed Fire), Mars in Taurus, Pluto in Capricorn (Cardinal Earth), and Chiron in Pisces (Mutable Water). The way is being opened for a heart to heart talk with our bodies. My Taurean friend says that our bodies are eager to cooperate with us when we take the time to include them in our hopes and dreams. The conversation between Mercury and Jupiter on April 20th may be about insecurities or unrealistic expectations we have of our bodies. Imagine that your body gets its feelings hurt too when we give them nearly constant messages about not being pretty enough, dynamic enough, or energetic enough for our egos. What kind of gentle conversation could we be having between our egos and our bodies? Mars, Mercury, and Pluto come together on April 21 and 22 to really drive the message home: We can renew our living vitality by attuning to our bodies in a respectful way. We may experience body rebellion if we don’t slow down to listen to what our bodies are telling us.

This lunar cycle* that began on April 18 is asking us to explore the edge between Aries initiative and Taurus stability. Our bodies are precious. Not only because they help us stabilize the newly emerging dreams of Aries, but because they remind us why we want to emerge in the first place. Although we can play around with the idea of talking to our bodies as if they are separate from ourselves, this is only a trick of imagination. We are our bodies. As we fully inhabit our senses, our limitations, and our desires, we find a gift. The gift of being in alignment, grounded in the here and now, living lives of fullness and beauty. Have that conversation this week with your body. As the lunar cycle waxes to the First Quarter phase on April 25, live through the hopes and realities of being in your own vital body.

Forecast for April 20, 2015—April 26

Moon enters Gemini 6:28 pm CDT
Monday, April 20.
Monday morning kicks off with the Moon and the Sun in Taurus. Honor your hungers, your senses, even your body’s aches and pains as a reminder that our bodies are allies for stabilizing our emergent Spring dreams. It is time to let our roots grow a little deeper and to open to conversation with our bodies. Try this: Write a letter to your body as if you are catching a friend up on what has been happening for you lately. Last lunar cycle was a doozy. The Aries season was full of dramatic choices and daring leaps. Of course, your body was there for all that, but perhaps it would like a little more conscious communication about it. Tell your body how grateful you are for listening and promise to do more listening yourself. I am going to try this experiment myself. Later in the day when the Moon enters Gemini and the square between Mercury in Taurus (Fixed Earth) and Jupiter in Leo (Fixed Fire) starts to heat up, notice how easy it can be to forget our bodies as thoughts speed up and as an internal battle gears up to pit our bodies’ wisdom against messages about being important, admired, or loved.

Moon in Gemini
April 21—Crescent Moon: Beginning. By this phase, the Moon has separated enough from the Sun to be visible in the sky, appearing bright and hopeful at sunset in the west. The glittering crescent Moon encourages our small steps toward manifesting our intentions of the lunar cycle. With the emphasis on Taurus and stabilizing our dreams of Spring, we may be drawn to laying foundations by making lists, plans, and investments to help us be more committed to this process. It is important to stay within our means, which includes money, time and energy. What really helps you to ground the emerging momentum of last lunar cycle? Adjustments need to be made to stay within our means. This brings satisfaction and confidence that we won’t burn out. We are slowing down, but we aren’t going backward. The body is our wise companion on this journey. Be sure to let your body know what is going on for you and listen for your body’s guidance.

The Moon in Gemini contributes to optimism but we need to be aware that we can become too busy and too excited about the new things in our lives. As we begin the day with the Moon opposing responsible Saturn, it is good to moderate “thought energy.” The morning is complex, however, the Moon also squares Neptune in Pisces (Mutable Water) and conjoins Venus in Gemini (Mutable Air). Keeping grounded may be the last thing on our minds early in the day. Open to inspiration in the morning so you can feel the powerful, earthy energy of Mars (Taurus) trine Pluto (Capricorn, Cardinal Earth) in the afternoon. Stubbornness may be a sign that you need to slow down and get clear about what you really want.

Moon enters Cancer 11:25 pm CDT
Wednesday, April 22.
This just may be the rare day when mental activity is easily balanced with grounded embodiment. Often our minds and bodies are disconnected from each other. Today with Mercury in Taurus forming a trine to Pluto and a conjunction to Mars, we have groundedness to spare. In fact, this is the best day the week to have a sit down with your body. Tell your body what you need and honor the ways your body has been there for you. We may need to make adjustments, but we feel more capable of doing what we need to take care of ourselves. The Moon is in Gemini (Mutable Air) most of the day and Venus in Gemini makes a favorable connection to Jupiter in Leo (Fixed Air). We feel like social butterflies, but with a body to enjoy all the connections we are making.

Moon in Cancer
Thursday, April 23.
All of the work we did getting grounded and embodied during the first part of the week begins to yield benefits when the Moon moves into Cancer (Cardinal Water) for the next two days. If we’ve done the work of honoring and listening to our bodies, then when the feelings start to come (and they will), we have a container to hold them. Holding emotion is not the same as squashing our feelings. In fact, solid containers help us to feel them in safety and with resolution. The Moon’s connection to the Sun in Taurus and Neptune in Pisces is helping us open to memories and feelings. The body needs to know that we are responsible for our emotions. We honor them and we promise not to abuse them by flooding others with them. Emotional health is the name of this day. The Sun makes a quincunx aspect to Saturn in Sagittarius (Mutable Fire) towards the end of the day. Taurus’ natural impulse is to go slower and slower. Saturn in Sagittarius will go along for a while and then worries arise that we are sinking into inertia. Use Saturn’s commitment mojo to make sure you aren’t.

Moon in Cancer
Friday, April 24.
Home, security, family, and childhood memories are a major focus today with the Moon in Cancer. If home base doesn’t feel solid, then worry, anxiety, and fears show up. The Moon is supported by planets in Taurus (Mars and Mercury), but is being challenged by Cardinal planets of change and power (Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn). This is a great day to notice what grounding practices work for you when feeling overwhelmed. Breathing, feeling our connection to gravity and the Earth, enjoying the outdoors, touch and conscious sensual pleasure (not escapism) helps us reconnect to the ground beneath us. Mercury’s connection to Chiron (sextile) helps open our hearts to each other but without getting overwhelmed. Venus in Gemini (Mutable Air) makes a quincunx to Pluto. Expressing your truth may be hard but empowering. Take this courage into tomorrow too. 

Moon enters Leo 8:13 am CDT
April 25—First Quarter Moon: Manifesting. At the New Moon, I named this lunar cycle influenced by the end of Aries and the beginning of Taurus: Grounding our beginnings into sustainable manifestation. The challenge presented at this turning of the lunar cycle will help us see how far we’ve gotten and how far we may need to go to find that solid support to help us continue along the path. The previous Aries lunar cycle brought big change and risk taking. Fire fueled the action. Now, the earth of Taurus encourages the creation of firm foundations to sustain the forward momentum. The Moon enters another fire sign today, Leo. We have the opportunity to notice the dynamic tension between earth and fire. Leo is a Fixed sign, as is Taurus. Fixed signs are fierce guardians of their elemental resource. Leo is the guardian of self-expression. Taurus is the guardian of physical realities. Scarcity thinking about either of these elements will have us shutting down any cooperation between the two. When we know there is enough physical and energetic support for our heart’s desires, we harness the power of manifestation.

The Moon makes a trine to Saturn in Sagittarius (Mutable Fire), helping us feel more secure about our creativity and impact.

Moon in Leo
Sunday, April 26. Delight is in abundance today. The Leo (Fixed Fire) Moon is the key to unlocking opportunities, creative connections, and social fun. Be a child at heart. Stop to smell the Spring flowers. Give praise to another and let yourself bask in appreciation extended to you. Feed your fire today. Joy is the antidote to despair. Refill your storehouse of joy today. Tonight, the Moon makes a square to Taurus Mars. Notice the source of any conflict that may arise. Are you judging yourself or another too harshly for needing carefree, creative joy? Where does that judgment come from?

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


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