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 25, 2015—May 31

We could call this the week of the FOs—the fear of(s). Mutable sign emphasis (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces) and mutable sign stressors start off the week with a strong inclination to experience: FOMO (fear of missing out), FOFS (fear of forgetting something), or FOBW (fear of being wrong). In this Gemini season of pollination and connection, we are busy as bees working to experience, learn, and integrate as much as we can. It’s difficult to know when to stop. Recently, my clients with mutable sign emphasis in their charts have been reporting a higher level of anxiety and overwhelm. In actuality, we don’t need to have a mutable emphasis in our natal charts to feel the mutable “fears” creeping up on us. Have you? Everyone, right now, is subject to more agitation and unrest, but we don’t have to cave in to the “FO”s. Noticing the overwhelm, we can make another choice.

The mutable signs are the Magicians of the zodiac. Each, in its own elemental style, is able to transform raw material into an alchemical treasure. That’s the genius of the mutables. The difficulty for them is around focus, dependability, and filtering extraneous noise and distractions. With so much information coming at us right now, we need strategies for dealing with it. Meditation, physical exercise, getting enough sleep, are all good for high levels of stress, but another idea may inspire mutables to let go of the pressure—the lesson of the hologram universe. A hologram is a 3-dimensional image created with lasers, which has the quality that even when divided into parts, the whole is still present. Fractals also display a similar relationship between the whole and its parts. Scientists and philosophers have suggested that our universe might itself be a hologram where we find the whole in every part. This idea helps me relax. I don’t have to understand it all, experience it all, or fix all of it. I just need to focus on one part, bring my best self to that piece, and trust that I am doing my part to improve the whole.

Here is the situation impacting mutable sensibilities this week: In addition to the Sun transiting through Gemini (mutable air), Mercury in Gemini is retrograding, increasing the unpredictability factor by a lot. A peak time in every Mercury retrograde period occurs when Mercury conjoins the Sun at the inferior conjunction. That happens on Saturday, May 30. To start the week, the waxing Moon in Virgo (mutable earth) earnestly contacts Saturn in Sagittarius (mutable fire); Sun, Mercury, and Mars in Gemini (mutable air); and Neptune in Pisces (mutable water). This is a lot of input to our nervous systems. A predominant response to overwhelm may come from Neptune as this planet is square to the Sun, Mercury, and Mars this week. Neptune’s goal is to connect all of us through the heart. These big feelings may result in burn out, needing to pull back from helping others, or discomfort from blurred boundaries. A really good practice for the week: Secure your oxygen mask first before helping others nearby. Personal resiliency helps us to be compassionate and effective.

Forecast for May 25, 2015—May 31 

Moon enters Virgo 3:52 am CDT
May 25—First Quarter Moon: Manifesting. This lunar cycle* began in the liminal zone where Taurus (fixed earth) handed over the reins to Gemini (mutable air)—on the edge between earth and air. Each sign is a season that adds to the momentum of the year. Aries season is when life springs back, then moves to Taurus, where that life is given roots to thrive, and then diversifies in Gemini so that life can generate new life. The natural world models the process but this pattern plays out in our intentions too. An intention needs the Aries fire to push itself out into the world, but then must become rooted in reality to have a chance of thriving. Once we feel secure, we need to let it go into the world to be influenced by others. This hardening process is important for all our dreams. Have you had to let go of attachments so your dreams can fly? At this phase of the Moon, we consciously work on manifestation. The transits of the moment are providing important lessons and opportunities to help us make our dreams real.

All the mutable signs offer their gifts and challenges today as we take our next steps in manifesting this lunar cycle’s potential. Dream big and act in small, concrete ways. Lots of energy is moving around us and through us. Remember those Taurus roots? Be sure to tap back into your grounding cord so you know which influences to yield to and which to let float on by. The Moon in Virgo (mutable earth) helps us get serious about taking care of our bodies, our business, our environments. The urge to be perfect is a reminder to take these projects in small sustainable steps. The square between Venus in Cancer (cardinal water) and Uranus in Aries (cardinal fire) may impact our relationships if we can’t soften the edge of criticism. There is a strong desire to nest, to nurture, to soothe our wounds in a harsh world. Give yourself that gift. In the evening (CDT) Mars in Gemini (mutable air), Neptune in Pisces (mutable water), and the Moon are in a stress-producing t-square pattern. Neptune’s influence is important. We want to act pragmatically yet with great heart and idealism. Notice the range of emotion. This helps us find balance.

Moon in Virgo
Tuesday, May 26. Can’t things go as I planned just once? Is that too much to ask? When this thought occurs to you today, take it as an opportunity to reframe what it means to have things run smoothly. The Moon squares retrograde Mercury today. It isn’t that this transit causes the unpredictability of life; it just means that we are more annoyed by it than usual. Our expectations influence everything that happens to us. How can you broaden what you expect from life? Other transits (Moon trine Pluto and Moon sextile Venus) are supportive. Temporary setbacks are just that. We can easily recoup what may have been lost. 

Moon enters Libra 4:42 pm CDT
Wednesday, May 27. As retrograde Mercury conjoins Mars in Gemini (mutable air) early in the morning (CDT) be ready to seize the day, but also be ready to be nimble as we need to maneuver around setbacks and surprises. Mars rules our will and our tempers. Both are triggered by trickster shenanigans. The trine between Venus in Cancer (cardinal water) and Chiron in Pisces (mutable water) helps us to empathize with others. The Moon moving into Libra later in the day helps to lighten the perfectionism pressure of the last couple of days. Fairness and harmony rule our moods for the next two days.

Moon in Libra
Thursday, May 28. Planets in the air signs help us reach balance and perspective. The Moon in Libra (cardinal air) works well with the Sun in Gemini (mutable air) and even retrograde Mercury. The Moon may also soothe jangled nerves when it contacts Mars in Gemini this afternoon. Notice how much you are getting done, especially in the realm of thought and words. This positive flow may hit a bump this evening when the Moon makes a square to
Pluto in Capricorn. The issues of fairness and power come to a head.

Moon in Libra
May 29—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting. The signature transit of the current Mercury retrograde period is the square that Mercury makes to Neptune three times in the course of the cycle. On May 9, Mercury in Gemini (mutable air) made the first square to Neptune in Pisces (mutable water). Today, Mercury makes the second square. (Mercury completes this encounter with Neptune on June 23.) Mercury’s retrograde periods are times to unravel attitudes, thoughts, or methods of working. This contact with Neptune, the universal solvent of the solar system, makes this unraveling more potent. If we resist this action on our thought processes, we may become confused or wander off into escapist fantasies. Discernment between illusion and truth becomes more difficult. Perhaps there is a lesson there. At this phase of the Moon, we are often planning and working harder to reach a goal. This strategy may not be successful under Neptune’s influence. It is good to remember the White Rabbit’s lament: “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get. “

Slowing down may not be easy as the Moon in Libra (cardinal air) opposes Uranus in Aries (cardinal fire). This is an agitating energy. Venus in Cancer (cardinal water) gets in on the action as well. The mutual reception between the Moon and Venus may help us soothe anxiety by creating beauty in the home, tending to important relationships, and finding the harmony of the well-tended nest.

Moon enters Scorpio 4:34 am CDT
Saturday, May 30.
The Sun and Mercury always meet in the middle of a Mercury retrograde period. Assigning mythic qualities to the Sun and Mercury, we could imagine this scenario: the messenger arrives at court to deliver messages to the king. What important conversations will they have? A seed is planted to give meaning to this journey of Mercury through Gemini. Since this lunar cycle is about the Gemini mission to fertilize our intentions with new experiences, this could be a significant moment in letting our dreams fly. Just like growing children, we have to let them go off on their own at some point. With the Moon in Scorpio, don’t be surprised if this triggers a desire to hang on even more.

Moon in Scorpio
Sunday, May 31.
Yesterday, the Sun in Gemini (mutable air) connected with retrograde Mercury. Today, the Sun makes a square to Neptune in Pisces (mutable water). At the core of these transits is a need to surrender logic and rationality. The heart knows the world is stranger than we can ever comprehend with our minds alone. Sometimes this process of expanding awareness is filled with sorrow and grief as we suddenly understand there is no separation between us. This is that kind of day. Be gentle with yourself yet be bold in your expansion into deeper connection.


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

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