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.

Forecast for May 4, 2015—May 10

Thrive: to grow or develop successfully; to flourish or succeed. The word comes from an Old Norse word that means to grasp, get hold of.

We talk about plants and children thriving. We talk about things that are established and happy in their places as thriving. Thriving is better than merely surviving, which feels like just getting by. To thrive is to flourish. To flourish is to grab hold of one’s place and be supported by that environment. If we were plants, we’d be talking about enough water, enough light, enough nutrients, and the mysterious element of relationship—the right co-habitants. To thrive, we need to grab hold of physical reality; we need the Earth.

Earth is what we are here to learn about in this lunar cycle,* which is inspired by the edge between Aries fire and Taurus earth. This edge reminds us that initiative alone is not enough to thrive. Daring to change, sticking our necks out into new life is not enough by itself. We need the grounding of our bodies and our senses to grab hold of the earth beneath us to ensure our beginnings will flourish. This is why the Fixed Earth season of Taurus, which immediately follows impulsive Aries, is such a godsend. We need the container that Taurus provides to help us thrive.

This week, the Sun reaches the mid-point of Taurus (15 degrees) on May 5. Some call this Astronomical Beltane, the moment when the Sun anchors the Earth’s fertility to the wheel of the year and we are invited back into our bodies and senses so we may thrive in the growing year. Mars has been transiting through Taurus since the beginning of April. The coming week is the final week of this transit. Mars enters Gemini on May 11. As the planet of our wills, Mars in Taurus has been a strong ally of grabbing hold of what we desire. Let this ally guide you to take actions that support your thriving, however be mindful to avoid getting caught up in fears of scarcity or needing to compete for resources. True thriving happens in relationship. 

In the next lunar cycle we will explore the edge between Taurus (Fixed Earth) and Gemini (Mutable Air). This week we begin to attune to this edge when Mercury in Gemini enters the “shadow zone” of the next retrograde period for this planet of mind, travel, mimicry, and tricks. The shadow zone is the first pass that a planet makes through the portion of the zodiac it will transit during the retrograde. The first pass alerts us to themes and issues that will be important to the retrograde experience. Gemini’s genius seeks new ways to connect with others, share information, and form consensual realities. Since Mercury rules Gemini, this should be an interesting retrograde period, perhaps offering more unexpected moments than usual to reweave our left- and right-brain approaches to life.

Forecast for May 4, 2015—May 10 

Moon in Scorpio
Monday, May 4
. Yesterday’s Full Moon illumination is still felt today. The Moon in Scorpio (Fixed Water) is in a challenging relationship with the Sun in Taurus (Fixed Earth) and Jupiter in Leo (Fixed Fire). The opposition between Taurus and Scorpio digs deep into our psyches where we notice fear-based attachments, which can show up as needing to be in control, getting the upper hand, or oppositional, as well as avoidant, behaviors. Think, “fixed,” and then ask yourself, what could go wrong, and you get an idea. The square to Jupiter enhances the touchiness we could be feeling. The elemental forces at work are seeking a way to work together. Fire gives energy, earth a solid container, and water can help us release and transform emotion. The choice to remain stubborn or to transform is up to us. Mid-evening (CDT) the Moon opposes Mars. This may set off any tension we didn’t deal with earlier in the day.

Moon enters Sagittarius 6:13 am CDT
Tuesday, May 5. Astronomical Beltane. Every Fixed sign is followed by a Mutable one. The difference between the two energies will be particularly noticeable today. The Full Moon in Fixed-sign Scorpio may have triggered emotional responses that felt intense and unyielding. The Moon’s movement into Sagittarius today changes that. We now begin the shape-shifting dance that Mutable signs love so much. One moment, we know what we want and are certain of what we think, the next moment we’ve changed our minds, focus is lost, and we aren’t sure at all of what we want. This Mutable dance of certainty and uncertainty repeats throughout the day. Considering that this is also the day that the Sun reaches the important mid-point of Taurus (Fixed Earth), we may be uncomfortable with this amount of fluidity. This paradox increases the potential for breakthroughs or important insights if we let go of attachments. As the Moon contacts Saturn, Mercury, and Neptune today, notice expectations and invite serendipity. How does the dance of consciousness inform your New Moon intentions for this cycle*? What is your anchor as life spins around you?

Moon in Sagittarius
Wednesday, May 6. This day is a microcosm of this lunar cycle’s potential. We’ve been given the opportunity to mine the wealth that comes from the edge between Aries (Cardinal Fire) and Taurus (Fixed Earth). This edge helps us to thrive by giving our new beginnings a place to take root and grow. Today, Earth’s solidity is reinforced by the powerful trine between the Sun in Taurus and Pluto in Capricorn (Cardinal Earth). Pluto represents the power of transformation. Taurus represents the power of regeneration. With these two energies in alignment, we can grab hold of the power to thrive. The fire of inspiration, life force, and creativity is present today with the Moon in Sagittarius (Mutable Fire) making trines to Jupiter in Leo (Fixed Fire) and Uranus in Aries (Cardinal Fire). Because we are anchored by earth, the creative potential of this day is magnified. 

Moon enters Capricorn 12:51 pm CDT
May 7—Disseminating Moon: Sharing. The Moon is waning. We now receive and share the gifts of this earth-focused lunar cycle. Look around you. How does the Earth support your thriving? What have you learned about your body? About sustaining the changes you wish to manifest in the world? With the Moon in Capricorn (Cardinal Earth), we are motivated to apply these lessons to creating even firmer foundations. Don’t skimp on your dreams. Capricorn dreams are worthy of hard work and commitment. The expansive quality of this phase of the Moon also encourages us to share what we have learned. Right before the Moon moves into Capricorn, it makes an opposition to Venus in the last degree of Gemini, creating a strong desire to reach out to others, share information, network for the future. By the evening (CDT), Venus moves into Cancer for the next four weeks. Nesting instincts kick into gear. Gather friends and lovers around the hearth. We feel wealthy when we share with others.

Moon in Capricorn
Friday, May 8.
In March the last exact square between Uranus and Pluto set off a chain reaction of change. In many ways, it feels like there is no turning back now. Although that aspect between these planets is separating, the Moon in Capricorn (Cardinal Earth) makes contact with both planets today reminding us that indeed these changes are well underway and necessary. The Sun in Taurus (Fixed Earth) reinforces stability amidst change with a trine to the Moon. Earth can support transformation through helping us slow down to the speed that our bodies need from us. Slowing down is not the same as going backwards. Listening to our bodies is not the same as ignoring the larger world we live in.

Moon enters Aquarius 6:22 pm CDT
Saturday, May 9.
Get ready, Mercury, the Trickster, is preparing to turn retrograde in nine days. Mercury begins this process by making a square to Neptune and entering what astrologers call the “shadow zone.” This is the zone that Mercury will pass through three times in the course of the complete retrograde period. During this period, Mercury will square Neptune for a total of three times. We could say that this aspect between Mercury and Neptune is the signature transit of this particular retrograde. Considering that Neptune likes to play around with reality too, this should be an interesting seven weeks (total amount of time to complete the three passes). These two planets have us questioning our perceptions. We’ll be more susceptible to delusion but also moments of enlightenment. The journey will include navigating between these states. Be willing to clarify and re-clarify communications. 

Moon in Aquarius
Sunday, May 10. Spend time on relationship today. The quincunx aspect between Saturn in Sagittarius (Mutable Fires) and Venus in Cancer (Cardinal Water) could set up a situation where we really don’t understand the other at all. Venus encourages nesting right now. Saturn encourages broadening our horizons, perhaps taking us far from home. Do you feel the contrary pull? Fortunately, the Moon in air-sign Aquarius is making a favorable contact with Mercury in air-sign Gemini. Talk out your differences, but be aware that ideas alone will not create peace. The Moon’s opposition to Jupiter in Leo (Fixed Fire) reminds us that each of us needs to feel that we matter. Enjoy the last day of Mars’ transit through Taurus (Fixed Earth). This planet of will and passion has been a firm ally of feeding our roots so we thrive in this season of growth.


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


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