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.

I’ve been exploring the Cancer theme of Home this lunar cycle.* For personal reasons, Cancer’s attunement to this symbol has been particularly resonant for me. I am searching for my “true home.” Some of you are searching too. Some of you are already anchored in your true home. Regardless of where each of us is in relation to the concept and actuality of Home, I believe every one of us benefits by having a place we call Home. The wheel of the astrological chart supports this: The area relating to Home is the fourth house, the very bottom and root of the chart. This deepest place of sky, immediately below our feet extending to the heavens on other side of the earth, represents the deepest parts of ourselves. The fourth house corresponds to the sign of Cancer, hence all the associations we have for this sign with the issues of home and the deep self.

The inner world and outer world can be viewed through the Cancer lens of Home. Home should be for everyone a refuge of self-recognition, support, and comfort. It should especially be a place to exchange these core qualities with our beloveds. Family is important. Home feels so personal, but becomes political so quickly. We see the shadow side of this need when people defend their homes by threatening the homes of others, when we monetize homes and restrict access to this core human requirement, when we use the family to isolate and shame individuals, and when we exclude others to maintain “family” purity.

Last week, Donald Trump exposed his Cancer shadow side when claiming that Mexican immigrants were all drug dealers and rapists. Trump has Mercury, Saturn, and Venus in Cancer. A theme of his presidential candidacy will most likely be attached to the concept of homeland defense. Although he has taken some hits about his comments from the business community, he obviously hit upon a value that many in the U.S. share. This troubling shadow is a real part of U.S. culture. Every sign offers a treasure. Each of us has a choice in how we honor and manifest that treasure. One way to honor the treasure hidden within a sign is to explore the shadows of that sign in ourselves. The rest of this lunar cycle offers that opportunity.

This week, the Sun in Cancer opposes Pluto in Capricorn, giving us the opportunity to see and transform toxic associations of Home. It may feel very political. But also very personal. In addition, Mercury leaves Gemini this week to join Mars and the Sun in Cancer. This will enhance personal intention around Cancer themes but will also activate the ways that Cancer is a reactive energy in the world. Things could heat up next week when Mars and Mercury oppose Pluto next week on the New Moon on July 15. Cancer issues are not going away anytime soon.

Forecast for July 6, 2015—July 12 

Moon in Pisces
Monday, July 6.
The Moon in a water sign today supports the Cancer (cardinal water) theme of soul restoration. Take care of yourself even though the urge may be to take care of everyone else first. After a holiday weekend, we notice we need a social break. The waning Moon supports turning inward. Notice the feelings that bubble up as you quietly contemplate the issues around your home life. The Sun in Cancer opposes Pluto in Capricorn (cardinal earth). The shadow side of Home is illuminated. We may notice extremes of patriotism, defense of the homeland, and exclusionary behavior in the world around us. When the shadow is revealed we have the opportunity to transform that energy to life-affirming vitality.

Moon enters Aries 11:37 am CDT
Tuesday, July 7.
The Aries (cardinal fire) Moon may stir up anger and action after an emotional day yesterday. The realm of communication is fraught with difficulty. Mercury in Gemini (mutable air)—hopeful that pure intellect and clear communication can solve problems—stumbles into undercurrents of emotion. We may have to take two steps back in order to clear communication miscues. Since, tempers may flare over the littlest things, remember to take calming breaths. The effort to talk about it pays off in the long run with the quincunx aspect between Mercury and Saturn in Scorpio (fixed water). 

Moon in Aries
July 8—Last Quarter Moon: Evaluating. Since Home is such a core need, it makes sense that threats to our homes can hit us in our deepest places. The work to recover, heal, and thrive within our homes can be hard. We may be feeling that vulnerability quite strongly today. This phase of the Moon encourages a mindset of looking at the ways we are not satisfied about the status of our homes or the ways people are acting from their own vulnerable places. Cardinal signs (Sun and Mars in Cancer, Moon and Uranus in Aries, and Pluto in Capricorn) can become martial and defensive, jostling for position, competing for who gets to be in charge. That tone informs this phase of the Moon cycle dedicated to finding the restoration and support of Home. There is plenty to be unsatisfied about and plenty that we may be moved to fight about today.

Mercury joins the other planets in the cardinal line up when the communicator planet enters Cancer. The themes of this lunar cycle are amplified. We need to hear and express the soul truth of Home. Next week, Mercury and Mars will oppose Pluto in Capricorn on the next New Moon on July 15. This last week of this lunar cycle is a time to release the distractions that may have kept us from getting these messages. Tune in to what you need for your home.

Mars in Cancer (cardinal water) is trine to Neptune in Pisces (mutable water). Let emotions come. Honor their strength and wisdom. If there is a deluge, they may be telling you that you need to listen more often.

Moon enters Taurus 2:49 pm CDT
Thursday, July 9. If yesterday was a tense one for you, take heart. Things go better today. The Aries Moon (cardinal fire) makes a trine aspect to Venus and Jupiter in Leo (fixed fire) in the morning (CDT). Venus and Jupiter encourage creative ways to dispel tension. Doing something to break up your routine helps. Social feelings give way to seeking home comforts when the Moon moves into Taurus (fixed earth). Exhale and ground.

Moon in Taurus
Friday, July 10.
What is wrong with just chilling on a summer day? The Moon in Taurus tells us to slow and relax enough to enjoy the sensual pleasures of the day. A lot of transformation has been going on. By supporting our bodies, we support that work. Really, that’s all.

Moon enters Gemini 7:16 pm CDT
Saturday, July 11.
OK, there is a shadow side to Taurus too. We may notice that side today. Yesterday’s call to relax and enjoy the sensual pleasures of life extends into today too, but with a difference. From the late degrees of Taurus, the Moon makes square aspects to Jupiter and Venus in Leo (fixed fire) and opposes Saturn in Scorpio (fixed water). The shadows may look like stubborn refusal to lighten up or like an over-attachment to physical comforts. Notice your scarcity fears and what you do when you have them. Venus and Jupiter encourage letting wealth flow energetically rather than hoarding it. Try that.

Moon in Gemini
July 12—Balsamic Moon: Surrendering. There is a distinct contrast to the energy of the Balsamic phase of the Moon (turning inward, letting go) with the Moon in Gemini (turning outward, being social and curious). This contrast could set up agitation, which could provoke unexpected outbursts. The Sun in Cancer (nurturing Home) makes another contrasting aspect with Uranus in Aries (revolutionary action). Just what are we surrendering about this lunar cycle and what are we still highly engaged with defending? Paradox may reveal hidden and important insights about the meaning of this lunar cycle for you. This lunar phase lasts until the next New Moon on July 15. If possible, try to find those quiet moments that are restorative. Activism isn’t only about external actions but also about the ways we know and tend our souls. One good thing about a Gemini Moon is that this sign understands that polarities like activism and passivity are not absolute. We can embrace both sides of any duality.

*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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