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 June 8, 2015—June 14

Reconsidering certainties. Reseeding possibilities. Going forth in freedom.

The current lunar cycle* that began near the end of Taurus and the beginning of Gemini has felt a lot like a meandering journey through various states of perception and being. It’s been a little trippy. You may have thought you knew where you were headed and just exactly what you wanted when it all began, but it would take a strong will indeed to have maintained that certainty through evolving situations. Taurus obstinacy may have been a hindrance to easy navigation, but not necessarily. Each of us needs the grounding cord provided by that solid earth sign. The trick has been when to let out more rope and when to rein it in. Mutable sign influence has been very strong with Mercury retrograding through Gemini (mutable air) joining Mars and Sun in Gemini, opposing Saturn in Sagittarius (mutable fire), and squaring Neptune in Pisces (mutable water). This shapeshifting influence continues this week with some significant transits and transitions. This last week of the lunar cycle is a chance to take a short journey through the previous three weeks. What have you learned about yourself? Gemini loves to learn. Show this sign what a good student you are and make a list of the ways you have had to retract, rethink, readapt, reassert, and release your hold on certainties. The gift is flexibility and perhaps, even wisdom.

The experiences of this lunar cycle—letting go of certainties and learning not to sweat the small stuff—has laid the foundation to plant new seeds surrounding will and life force. The Sun and Mars conjoin in Gemini on June 14. Mars joins the Sun every two years to begin a synodic cycle that is much like the lunar cycle. This is the “new moon” phase of the Sun/Mars relationship. We plant this seed in Gemini. If you could imagine the best use of this mutable air sign for yourself, what would it be? Some possibilities: being led by curiosity; being more flexible in word and thought; or a commitment to writing, speaking and learning for the next two years. Mars gives energy and passion to our conscious choices. Gemini yearns for completion, even if it never fully finds it. The journey to seek completion is as important as the destination. This lesson is Gemini’s genius.

Mercury shows the way to freedom. The most critical times of a retrograde period are at the stations, when the planet changes direction. Mercury reaches such a critical point on June 11 when it stations direct (Mercury turned retrograde on May 18, the day after the New Moon.) In a sense, the season of Gemini (current lunar cycle) is made for such shenanigans. Mercury rules Gemini and is modeling a kind of normal for this sign. However, mutable signs carry an added weight of anxiety if they can’t turn off stimulating information. Perhaps you’ve felt that tension yourself. Adaptability means knowing when to let go of the pressure too. The climate for such adaptability is better this week than when Mercury stationed retrograde earlier. We are bolstered by planets in air and fire signs making sextile aspects. The sextile is encouraging. However, be aware that Mercury is still throwing monkey wrenches while we step into this positive flow of energy. Be nimble as you go forward with renewed freedom and optimism.

Forecast for June 8, 2015—June 14

 Moon enters Pisces 3:16 am CDT
Monday, June 8.
While the Moon is in Pisces (today and tomorrow), the ley lines of mutable energy get tweaked a bit. Remember that Mercury is stationary in Gemini (mutable air) and that the Moon will oppose Saturn in Sagittarius (mutable fire) and conjoin Neptune in Pisces (mutable water). Perhaps we reach the end of capacity for dealing with Mercury retrograde. It isn’t that everything is dreadful, but it takes energy and focus to stay on top of changes. Water signs, like Pisces, are often looking for release and restoration. Our bodies are mostly water. Water responds fluidly to each new bit of information. Our bodies are dealing with a lot and we may need to recover from over stimulation today. Quiet activity may be a hard choice to make since the Sun in Gemini is sextile Jupiter in Leo (fixed fire). Tap into your intuition as you find yourself saying yes. A great opportunity could result. It is easier to believe we can have it all. 

Moon in Pisces
June 9—Last Quarter Moon: Evaluating. There is a big difference in how fixed and mutable signs go about life. This lunar cycle has been about the shift from a fixed approach (Taurus) into a mutable (Gemini) one. Each of us will react differently to this movement. However, this is the way it always goes. Every fixed sign is always followed by a mutable one. The wheel of the year follows this form. We instinctually follow it too. In this sense, astrology isn’t telling us anything we don’t already know. I tend to think astrology’s real gift is the lens it offers for seeing these patterns with new eyes and a bit more patience. How have you done with this cycle? There has been plenty of opportunity to rethink and redo this month. What did you learn through that? After all the adjusting, changing, and adapting, what remains solid and certain to you? Take note of the core values, hopes, and dreams that survive. Perhaps these are closer to what is eternal for you. 

Mars in Gemini (mutable air) forms an encouraging sextile to Uranus in Aries (cardinal fire). We are likely to feel energized and excited about the new things in our lives. Expect to learn something new and fascinating today. Who knows? It could even change your life. Physical activity and social connections are emphasized. With the Moon in sensitive Pisces, we could experience unexpected outbursts of emotion and overwhelm. Be tender with yourself even as you embrace life wholeheartedly. 

Moon enters Aries 6:14 am CDT
Wednesday, June 10. With the Moon’s entry into Aries (cardinal fire), it feels like all systems are go. Be mindful that Mercury is stationing direct tomorrow, and so its ability to disrupt plans is powerful. However, if we take that into account, there is a lot we can get done today, and we will want to. Stationary Mercury in Gemini (mutable air) forms a sextile to Venus in Leo (fixed fire). Social and romantic interactions could be surprising and delightful. Just keep in mind, Mercury has its own agenda. Approach others with curiosity and joy. The feeling will spread. The Sun in Gemini is forming a sextile to Uranus in Aries (cardinal fire) too. This is zippy energy, encouraging innovation and enlightenment. Be aware of a tendency to over do it and enjoy a fire-fueled day.

Moon in Aries
Thursday, June 11. Here we go: Mercury in Gemini (mutable air) stations direct today. Momentum has been building this week with so many sextile aspects between planets in air and fire signs. Pow and wow. Where has all this combustible fuel taken you? Don’t be discouraged by temporary setbacks. We are developing ninja skills at flexibility. The Moon contacts Pluto in Capricorn (cardinal earth) and Uranus in Aries (cardinal fire), perhaps provoking outbursts of anger or revolution. But with support from Jupiter and Mars, the anger could be productive. Change wants to happen. Be part of the change you want to see. The Sun and Mars are conjoining in Gemini. The exact date of this aspect is June 14. A new two-year Mars/Sun synodic cycle begins. This is the time to plant a seed to align our wills (Mars) with life force energy (Sun). In Gemini, we animate the search for wholeness within complexity. A hero’s journey to seek the missing pieces begins. Possibility blossoms. An added twist is that Mars and the Sun are square to Chiron in Pisces (mutable water) as this new cycle begins. The journey will be an initiation into compassion and connection.
Moon enters Taurus 9:16 am CDT
June 12—Balsamic Moon: Surrendering. This last week of the Taurus/Gemini lunar cycle has been dynamic, fueled by a lot of encouraging sextiles between air and fire planets and a potent Mercury station (direct yesterday). The Sun and Mars conjoining in Gemini (mutable air) added even more buzz. Contrast this with the dive into introspection that this phase of Moon offers. It is time to surrender the forms, even if they are just energetic forms. Fire and air signs are expansive, outwardly focused. Without support from earth and water, we tend to burn out after a few days of this type of energy. Earth and water come to the rescue today with the Moon’s re-entry into Taurus (fixed earth)—where it was at the beginning of this lunar cycle—and with Neptune’s retrograde station (in Pisces, mutable water). The Sun’s square to Chiron in Pisces contributes to the shift, opening our hearts. After a big expression of action and energy, releasing into silence and stillness can bring profound moments of insight and integration. We might have to remind ourselves that this quiet time is as valuable as the expansive time that proceeded it, but trust the turn inward. The Moon in Taurus activates desire for sensual experience too. Healing baths, healthy food, heavenly music sooth the soul.

Moon in Taurus
Saturday, June 13.
Slow down and savor the moment. The Moon in Taurus (fixed earth) returns us to the embodied awareness of what we need and what we love. The Moon makes a favorable connection with Neptune in Pisces (mutable water), which just turned retrograde yesterday and so is stronger than usual. This signature is vast and opens us to the mystery communicating with us through everything. The Moon’s trine to Pluto in Capricorn (cardinal earth) creates a strong connection with the transformative powers of death and rebirth. The square from the Moon to Jupiter in Leo (fixed fire) challenges us to know our own importance and impact on the world.

Moon enters Gemini 12:51 pm CDT
Sunday, June 14.
The conjunction between Mars and the Sun perfects today at 23 degrees of Gemini. With the Moon’s re-entry into Gemini at the end of this lunar cycle, we feel both wistful about endings and eager for new beginnings. The Mars/Sun cycle is the beginning of a two-year process of aligning our wills with life force energy. The transmission comes from Gemini. In the Tarot, the card that corresponds to Gemini is the Lovers. Through the Lovers we see Gemini’s yearning for completion by union with the other. This yearning keeps us moving in the Gemini way, from flower to flower to flower. We continue to learn, connect, and pollinate the world. The Moon’s opposition to Saturn this morning sets a tone for serious commitment, not always apparent in Gemini. Not long after, Saturn retrogrades back into soulful Scorpio where it remains until mid-September when it returns to Sagittarius for two more years. Leave no stone unturned to reclaim your power. The Moon’s conjunction with Mercury in Gemini tonight encourages social interactions.

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

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