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 29, 2015—July 5

“Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.”
― James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room

Home is a core value of the Cancer season (the primary influence of this lunar cycle*). The extreme seasons of high Summer in the northern half of the world and deep Winter in the south are reminders of how important Home is to each of us. I know I appreciate my home in times of extremes, the times of great joy and great need. Home is an anchor and a container for big experiences. Home helps us understand our lives in a larger context, from the earliest times of our lives to our final departure. Home is soulful. As Baldwin suggested in the quote above, home seems irrevocable. It is the essential place of self.

What home means to each of us can vary a lot, but that it is essential and vital doesn’t. In this lunar cycle, we have the opportunity to bring mindful attention and intention to our homes. Since the lunar cycle began at the end of Gemini (an air sign) before transferring to Cancer, the purpose of this cycle seems to be a little more about understanding home than being at home. It is important to get clear vision and to find the conceptual anchor to home.

With the illuminating Full Moon coming this week, we get more perspective on this theme. Considering Home, what are you noticing about the irrevocable places in your life? In the life of our nation? In the life of the world? How do you see the notion of home defended? Nurtured? Defined? The notion of Home, related closely to nationalism and patriotism, can be the cause of war. It can also be a way we find commonality, even through great differences. This is one of the choices we have to make as humans. Can we recognize each other across divisions? Can we recreate the world so that every person may thrive at Home?

Recent events in the U.S.—the tragic massacre in Charleston coupled with the joyful assertion of marriage equality—show us we live in transformative times. We need to pay attention. The will to continue fighting for change continues this week. Venus and Jupiter in Leo (fixed fire) are trine to Uranus in Aries (cardinal fire) all week. Expansive love can fuel the changes we want to make. A dynamic Full Moon on July 1 features a grand cardinal cross of the Moon in Capricorn (earth), the Sun and Mars in Cancer (water), and the nodes of the Moon in Libra (air) and Aries (fire). Karmic shifts are happening. Emotions are up. People are taking sides, defending “homes”. The week is so active, we may have to wait till the waning days of the lunar cycle to return to another Cancer theme: the restoration of body and soul.

Forecast for June 29, 2015—July 5 

Moon in Sagittarius
Monday, June 29.
Fire sets the agenda today. Venus in Leo (fixed fire) is trine to Uranus in Aries (cardinal fire). And with the Moon in Sagittarius (mutable fire) there should be ample energy to get fired up. Trines need attention in order to activate the flow. So, think of today as an opportunity to ignite passion around Venusian issues like relationships, money, justice, women’s rights, the cause of beauty. We can turn on the charm to initiate revolution (Uranus). The desire to wander a bit, seeking the next great adventure in your life, is a possible pull on your attentions. With the Moon square Neptune, fantasy is threaded throughout the day.

Moon in Sagittarius
Tuesday, June 30.
What are you aiming for? Think lofty, big thoughts today. Elevate your dreams. Give them passion. Animate them with energy. The Moon in Sagittarius (mutable fire) forms a grand fire trine with Jupiter and Venus in Leo (fixed fire) and Uranus in Aries (cardinal fire). After a morning of cerebral activity with the Moon opposing Mercury in Gemini (mutable air), instinct and passion take over. What is your gut telling you? In the afternoon (CDT), Venus and Jupiter make a quincunx aspect to Chiron in Pisces (mutable water). It may feel like our fires are suddenly squelched by our hearts. Things may not be as clear as we thought. Egos may be bruised. The message is not that you are wrong, but that you can always learn more about the other’s viewpoint. 

Moon enters Capricorn 4:11 am CDT
July 1—Full Moon: Illuminating. The Full Moon in Capricorn is always the first Full Moon after the Summer Solstice (Cancer ingress) providing illumination about this season. The seasons of extremes—Summer and Winter (Capricorn ingress)—naturally turn our attentions to home and protection. Cancer is the heart of the home. Capricorn is the structure. Every Full Moon is a time of balancing opposites and illuminating our work for each lunar cycle. We need structure, boundaries, and a sense of responsibility if our homes are to be a true refuge for our souls. As the sign of Winter, Capricorn understands the stakes involved. This sign values discipline and tradition to ensure survival. These qualities can serve our homes and the structures of our lives that house the things we love most.

The chart for the Full Moon includes a grand cardinal cross, which is comprised of Mars conjoined the Sun in Cancer (water) opposite the Moon in Capricorn (earth). This axis is square the Nodes of the Moon—south node in Aries (fire) and north node in Libra (air). Astrologers describe the squares to the nodes as the “the bendings” of the Moon’s path around the Earth. When planets are at this point, karmic events may occur. The idea is that we are releasing old patterns from Aries and growing towards Libra. The skillful integration of Libra with Aries is the goal of this nodal position. That means integrating our war-like natures (Aries) with our diplomatic natures (Libra). It isn’t so simple as good/bad. There are ways we need to stick up for ourselves and follow a path of individuation (Aries), just as there are ways we need to cooperate with each other and create harmony and balance in our lives (Libra). The adjustment could be tempestuous since Mars, Sun, and Moon are activating these nodes. In other words, given recent events, we may see further disruption and reactions that could thwart our desires to find Home.

The really beautiful part of this Full Moon is the exact conjunction of Venus with Jupiter in Leo (fixed fire). We can see this pair of bright planets in the western sky at sunset. Astrologers term Venus and Jupiter as the benefics, bestowing blessings on all. The blessings come from the field of Leo, a noble, generous, but sometimes self-absorbed sign. If you are feeling unappreciated or over-shadowed, try shining a light on someone else. Fire is the element of energetic flow. It is easier, and perhaps better, to pass along the energy than to try and keep it all to ourselves. What we send out does return. At this Full Moon, tune into energy’s flow in your life. Where might it be stuck and where is that flow going? Open to receiving this fire. Be a conduit for love and creativity.

Moon in Capricorn
Thursday, July 2. With the Capricorn Moon (cardinal earth) encouraging a sense of responsibility and determination, we can ask ourselves what we plan to do about our dissatisfactions. The Moon conjoins Pluto and squares Uranus in Aries (cardinal fire) during the course of this day. You may remember reading about the square between Pluto and Uranus (began in 2012 and completed in March 2015) as being the signature of our changing times. One instance of profound paradigm change is that gay marriage is legal everywhere in the U.S. now. Yet people are still fighting for their rights. We get a sense today that the work of change is far from over. The sextile between Mercury in Gemini (mutable air) and Uranus encourages creative, innovative thought. We discover intriguing new information that helps us with the work ahead.

Moon enters Aquarius 7:21 am CDT
Friday, July 3.
Aquarius is a fitting sign placement for the Moon on this 4th of July weekend. The Moon was in Aquarius in 1776 when independence was declared for the U.S. Aquarius has made an imprint in our national mythos: a belief in freedom above all else, the right of the individual to go against the collective, and the valuation of technology over human connection. The Aquarian promise, however, can also value the collective over the personal and support equal rights for all. Mercury in Gemini (mutable air) sextile to Jupiter in Leo (fixed fire) increases the sociability of this holiday, but also the desire to detach and theorize about life. The square between Mercury and Chiron in Pisces (mutable water) reminds us, perhaps harshly, that we need to empathize too.

Moon in Aquarius
Saturday, July 4.
U.S. Independence. See yesterday’s forecast for thoughts on the Aquarian U.S. Moon. With the Moon still in that sign, we see evidence of some of our most unconscious behavior as a nation. What is unconscious is often expressed as a myth. What are the stories you are hearing about our country? We can choose the stories we wish to animate. The Moon triggers the fire trines between Venus and Jupiter in Leo (fixed) and Uranus in Aries (cardinal). We may be feeling fired up about our beliefs. Reflection on who we are as a nation may strike up conflict. The Moon’s trine to Mercury in Gemini (mutable air) means we are more likely to distance ourselves from emotion and discuss things from an abstract perspective.

Moon enters Pisces 9:23 am CDT
June 28—Disseminating Moon: Sharing. At the beginning of this lunar cycle, I suggested that a good intention to follow this month would be to invoke the Gemini gifts of clarity and curiosity to seek a resting spot to gestate this season’s potential. The signs of Gemini (mutable air) and Cancer (cardinal water) have influenced this cycle. We have yet to truly experience the calm restful gestation that Cancer invites us to experience. Instead, the Gemini impulse to know more seems to have opened up the dark chambers at the roots of our personal and collective identities to reveal the ways we need to heal the place we call Home. As the Moon wanes into Pisces (mutable water), perhaps we can slow down and reflect more about those roots.

Mercury in Gemini (mutable air) and Venus in Leo (fixed fire) are exchanging energy and information. A conspiracy of creativity and joy is possible. It might still be hard to slow down entirely, but that is OK. This aspect allows the right people to come into our lives with just the right message or gift. Invite that serendipity while at the same time opening to the flow of emotion, compassion, and vulnerability inspired by the Moon’s trine to Mars in Cancer (cardinal water) and conjunction with Neptune in Pisces. Notice the ways you have been holding on. Take comfort in the support of Home.

*I am focusing on intentions inspired by the cusps between signs for each New Moon this year because the lunar cycles begin near the end of a sign until the end of the year. Read about the beginning of the Gemini/Cancer lunar cycle on my website


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