Follow the Moon: Astrology of Mindfulness and Intentio

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.

If you’ve been congratulating yourself on handling this Mercury retrograde/eclipse lunar cycle* with aplomb and finesse, you might want to think again. The upcoming week could try even the coolest of cucumbers amongst us. There is nothing earth shatttering about the transits this week, but little annoyances keep building, our resiliency is tested, and if there is mounting pressure in your life, it may suddenly release. The purpose of telling you (and me) this is to suggest we come up with strategies to re-center, re-ground, and realign with intention and mindfulness when the stress gets overwhelming. Strategies of mindfulness and wholeness fit in well with Virgo’s higher purpose. This lunar cycle began in the sign of Virgo (mutable earth), and though we have transitioned into Libra (cardinal air), the Virgo imprint is on this cycle. The ironic thing about Virgo is that it can be the most high-strung of signs while at the same time the most likely of signs to have a strategy for finding wholeness and healing. I guess Virgo needs its own medicine.

The prime directive this week is to find the medicine that works for each of us. As I mentioned, already, Mercury is retrograde and this influence can be incredibly annoying when all we want is pristine perfection (Virgo again). Mars is in Virgo now until mid-November. Mars in this well-tempered sign can be industrious and dedicated, but can also be impatient and highly-critical. Some of this frustration can be channeled into sexual release (yes, its true). And some into healing. Lots of t-squares sneak into this week. This is the aspect configuration that is most likely to blow our stacks. There is challenge, there is tension, and there is enormous potential. We probably wouldn’t be tempted to lose our cool if there wasn’t.

An interesting current runs through the tension of the week. Neptune in Pisces (mutable water) is quincunx the Sun and Mercury, both in Libra (cardinal air). If the Sun and Mercury are seeking dispassion, clarity, fairness and exchange, Neptune is seeking to blur all the boundaries, diffuse awareness, and remind us of both grief and the beauty around us. The paradox is between hard edges of thought and rationality coexisting with the squishy edges of feelings and hopes. Something beautiful might happen. But it might also be provocative if all you want is solid information and action while someone else wants connection and empathy.

Through all this tension, I like to remember my own personal rubric: If I feel polarized—like I am completely right and the other person is completely wrong—then I am missing an opportunity to integrate. I‘ve missed the opportunity to find the wholeness and healing that will help me in times of stress. I’m going to try this strategy for this week.

Forecast for September 28 2015 — October 4

Moon in Aries
Monday September 28. We are still very much under the influence of yesterday’s supermoon lunar eclipse in Aries (cardinal fire). Eclipses are wild cards. Some bring welcome change, others bring upheaval. Today, the Moon forms a t-square aspect pattern that only heightens the uncertainty surrounding us. The Moon opposes retrograding Mercury in Libra (cardinal air). We want to go our own ways and could find it hard to connect and compromise with others. Give yourself room to reconsider snap decisions. Find the extra dose of patience that keeps you centered. Breakthrough, liberation, and transformation are the potential gifts of the the conjunction of the Moon to Uranus and the square of the Moon to Pluto. This is not a docile day. Events may push us toward change.

Moon enters Taurus 1:57 pm CDT
Tuesday September 29. We get a chance to regroup today. The key to finding inner harmony may be to appreciate the beauty surrounding us. We are primed for this search by a harmonious trine between the Moon in Aries (cardinal fire) and Venus in Leo (fixed fire) in the early part of the day. Next, the Moon moves into Venus-ruled Taurus (fixed earth) suggesting that we could all benefit from slowing down and enjoying the present moment. There is a chance of being productive, too, with the trine between the Moon and Mars in Virgo (mutable earth) contributing focus and drive. Under it all, the desire to fantasize and daydream is strong with a quincunx aspect between retrograding Mercury in Libra (cardinal air) and Neptune in Pisces (mutable water). Body wisdom trumps conceptualization. Find your ground, and go with the flow.

Moon in Taurus
Wednesday September 30. Mercury reaches the heart of the retrograde journey today. The inferior conjunction is the point when Mercury and the Sun conjoin during retrograde. This point is the point of all the mix-ups, snafus, and realignments we’ve been experiencing the last two weeks. What are you learning about diplomacy, relationship, fairness, and balance? In Libra (cardinal air), Mercury has been suggesting we take a new approach to harmony. Don’t sweat the small stuff, find your guiding vision and let it lead you out of stress. A grand earth trine helps ground us. The Moon in Taurus (fixed earth), Jupiter in Virgo (mutable earth) and Pluto in Capricorn (cardinal earth) provide the anchor for insight and shifts. Earth is pragmatic, ambitious, and action-oriented. Apply your intuition to tapping this Earth energy in your life today. The Sun in Libra is quincunx Neptune in Pisces (mutable water). Insight does not come from the obvious places.

Moon enters Gemini 3:03 pm CDT
October 1—Disseminating Moon: Sharing. Shame is not really a very effective way to get anyone to grow or succeed. Yet, many of us continue to pile on the shame, in hopes of curing whatever deficiencies we think we may have. I hope you’ve been learning how to do that differently this lunar cycle. There have been so many opportunities to surrender expectations of perfection during this lunar cycle, which began in Virgo and now completes in Libra. The Moon is waning, time to take stock of what we are learning. It is also time to share some of that wisdom with others. This phase is most like the harvest season of fall. Share and celebrate what you know about pursuing your dreams. Are you harvesting a new way to forgive and love yourself? We need more of that, please.

We get a chance to practice self-acceptance today. The Moon in Gemini (mutable air) forms a t-square aspect pattern with Saturn in Sagittarius (mutable fire) and Mars in Virgo (mutable earth). If over-stimulated or overly self-critical, mutable signs can really stress out. Saturn influence can crush forward momentum as we often must slow down, solve problems, or take on more responsibility. In the end, Saturn helps us achieve mastery but we get to choose the methods we take to improvement. Shame is a dead-end. The potential is better communication, better planning, better maintenance of our wellness plans, better ways to express our truths.

Moon in Gemini
Friday, October 2. If you’ve been following along with the week’s forecasts, you will notice a repetitive theme of challenging t-square aspects throughout the week. Today is another one. The Moon in Gemini (mutable air), Neptune in Pisces (mutable water) and Jupiter in Virgo (mutable earth) are the partners of transformation today. Focus can be challenging to maintain. We tend to jump all over the place mentally and emotionally. Avoid high-pressure situations if you can and if you can’t, take extra care to go through the details more than once. Notice when you want to tune out or numb out. Those moments may reveal what you really need right now for your own well-being.

Moon enters Cancer 7:22 pm CDT
Saturday, October 3. After a week of tough transits, this is the day to regroup. That may mean sleeping late and taking it easy or it could mean cleaning house and checking off your to do list. Whatever works for you. Later in the day, the Moon moves into Cancer (cardinal water) and we will want to tend to tender feelings. Perhaps you are feeling bruised by misunderstandings. Perhaps the stress is getting to you. Really, really listen to what you need. Take care of yourself before tending to others.

Moon in Cancer
October 4—Last Quarter Moon: Evaluating. Think back to the beginning of this lunar cycle on September 15. We’ve experienced a solar eclipse, Mercury stationing retrograde, Saturn entering Sagittarius, the Equinox, Mars entering Virgo, and a supermoon lunar eclipse. These are celestial symbols for a lot of transitions in our personal and collective lives. The general theme of a Virgo-inspired lunar cycle is of working industriously to keep our lives in order and make the best of all these influences. It can be overwhelming. That is when the Virgo-inspired themes of wholeness and devotion come in to help us cope, soothe our nerves, and center us upon the Earth.

What have you experienced this lunar cycle? What have you learned pro and con about stress and solutions? The Moon in Cancer reminds us about the importance of the hearth and the impact that stress has on our hearts. Cancer can feel vulnerable (sometimes), but is often fiercely protective. Both responses may be in evidence today. If feeling weepy and sensitive, go with the flow of emotional release. The Moon makes favorable contacts with Mars and Jupiter in Virgo (mutable earth) and Neptune in Pisces (mutable water). These transits could bring out emotions that need expressing and will support doing something about situations that don’t support you or your beloveds. Later the Moon opposes Pluto. That is when the claws could come out in defense of what is precious to you.

* Read about the beginning of the Virgo/Libra lunar cycle on my website

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