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.

Let’s think about Venus this week, shall we? That is not a bad invitation. Who doesn’t like to think about love? Even those who’ve experienced loss and hardship in love may be able to soften a bit when Venus enters. That is one of her jobs. To soften our hearts so we may invite others in. Venus helps us connect to our helpers, our lovers, our compatriots on the journey. Reciprocal exchange is her mantra. Beauty and balance are her offerings.

This week, Venus completes her journey through Leo (fixed fire) and returns to the beginning of Virgo (mutable earth), where she stationed on her retrograde journey, which began on July 25. We had an extra-long period of time to integrate Venus in Leo. Imagine lions enticing other lions to be in partnership. Lions actually do work well in prides, but there can also be a period of time when these proud animals need to know where they fall in the hierarchy, where they fit. Humans have a hard time with this. Maybe you’ve had a hard time too. We’ve had to learn how to balance a desire to relate with a desire to be significant. These desires are not mutually exclusive but sometimes feel that way. Have you sorted out your ego needs in relationship? Have you learned to be generous with your attentions? Even harder, have you learned to accept praise and pride in yourself? Venus would be pleased. There is no sign that Venus cannot make more beautiful. Leo rules the heart. How has your heart softened and become more beautiful?

Venus turns her discerning eye towards Virgo (mutable earth) this week and she stays for only a month. This lunar cycle* that began in the sign of Virgo has been an opportunity to focus on wellness, wholeness, devotion, and service. Virgo is an industrious sign. Leo is a noble one. In the wheel of the zodiac, we first don the robes of nobility before we put on the servants’ garments. There is a profound lesson in this sequence. First, we must believe in ourselves and then we are able to do the work of healing and devotion. Self-love begets selfless service. Not the other way round. It isn’t too late to let the Leo light of self-love soften our hearts. Then, we will naturally turn towards helping others. Venus invites this kind of devotion.

Other important influences on this week: Mercury stations direct on October 9 in Libra (cardinal air). Venus plays a hand here too. Venus rules Libra. Mercury in Libra points out the ways we need to find reciprocal exchange. Fairness and balance may have been missing during this retrograde period (since September 17). Now we revisit those feelings to find a way to even out the bumps. Mars in Virgo opposes Neptune in Pisces (mutable water) on October 6. Mars adds another flavor to the strong Virgo theme of this lunar cycle. (Don’t forget Jupiter is in Virgo, too). Mars rules our wills. Virgo loves efficiency, usually. Mars can take this drive to produce results and really go with it. Under this influence, we get off on systems. We want order. We are willing to put some muscle behind that desire. And then Neptune comes and destroys all that focus with dreams and fantasies. Frustration may be present if we can’t allow Neptune influences to soften (just like Venus) the edges around Virgo’s expectations. Service needs inspiration. Devotion needs ecstasy. Work needs meaning. Neptune may provide these things. Mars returns the favor to Neptune by invigorating our visions into action. Sometimes we just have to get down to work.

Forecast for October 5, 2015 — October 11

Moon in Cancer
Monday, October 5.
The Moon is void-of-course (VOC) for most of the day after making an agitating square to Uranus in Aries (cardinal fire) in the early morning (Central Time). VOC periods can feel like we’ve lost the drive to our motors. This can be a good thing if you’ve been going full throttle, lately. The Moon in Cancer (cardinal water) encourages a quiet day, some self-care, and perhaps a home-cooked meal at the end of the day to remind you of the value of hearth and home. 

Moon enters Leo 3:31 am CDT
Tuesday, October 6.
The day starts with pep and vigor. The favorable aspects between the Moon in Leo (fixed fire), Saturn in Sagittarius (mutable fire), and Mercury in Libra (cardinal air) help spark an industrious bout of creativity. Grab hold of this inspiration early in the day. The square between the Sun and Pluto may throw up obstructions. Entertain the idea that those who are challenging you are actually doing so because you are powerful and worthy of the battle. Let the word “dare” guide you to new edges. Later in the day (almost 10 pm in the CDT), Mars in Virgo (mutable earth) opposes Neptune in Pisces (mutable water). Although this aspect is exact at this time, we’ve been under the influence of this transit for a few days. The balancing/integrating opportunity offered by this opposition infuses our wills with empathy and strengthens our compassion with boundary and form. Perhaps you notice that you can’t maintain focus for very long or you get frustrated when the plan goes awry. Mystery is operating behind the scenes. Maintain curiosity. 

Moon in Leo
Wednesday, October 7.
In the introduction to this week’s forecast, I pointed out that in the zodiacal wheel, Leo’s (fixed fire) impulse for self-love precedes Virgo’s (mutable earth) impulse for selfless service. That natural order of things, from pride to devotion is good to keep in mind today at the end of this Virgo-inspired lunar cycle with the Moon still in Leo. The aspects for today say, Go for it! The source of getting things done comes from Leo self-appreciation. Don’t fake humility. Go for it. 

Moon enters Virgo 12:29 pm
October 8—Balsamic Moon: Surrendering. The next four days are dedicated to summing up and letting go of the lunar cycle that began on September 13 with a solar eclipse. I’ve listed the celestial events of this lunar cycle before: a solar eclipse, lunar supermoon eclipse, Mercury retrograde, Mars and Venus moving into Virgo, Saturn re-entering Sagittarius … It has been a time of subtle and not so subtle shifts. There has been a lot of mutable sign emphasis in these shifts. Mutable signs are strongly affected by energy shifts. Mutable signs, and especially Virgo (the sign of this cycle’s New Moon) is attuned to energy and wants to do something pragmatic about it. The problem is, that isn’t always possible, so we have to develop strategies for de-stressing our lives, releasing what we cannot change. As the Moon moves back into Virgo today during the waning phase of the Moon cycle, it is a perfect time to practice letting go of the things we cannot change.

Venus and the Moon conjoin in Virgo during daylight hours in the central time zone of the U.S. However, if you are so inclined you could see the two nearly conjunct before dawn today and tomorrow. The sight is inspiring and we can take that inspiration into devotional intention. Venus’ job is to soften our hearts. The world is big and full of pain. Opening to Venus feels vulnerable. The square between the Moon and Saturn in Sagittarius increases a sense of duty and needing to fix the world. Is it possible to release this burden and open to the vulnerability? Notice.

Moon in Virgo
Friday, October 9.
The days that Mercury stations, both retrograde and direct, have a greater potential for disruption of the flow. Normal doesn’t really exist. Mercury stations direct today, so we can expect the unexpected. Because the Moon in Virgo (mutable earth) contacts both Mars and Jupiter in Virgo, our reactions may be expanded. Our fuses, a little shorter. However, Virgo is not usually a very rash sign. It is more likely that we will internalize the stress and have stomach pains. Don’t do that either, if possible. The regular flow of thought, travel, and words will return soon. It always does.

Moon in Virgo
Saturday, October 10. Venus, newly clothed in Virgo’s robes, makes a square to Saturn in Sagittarius (mutable fire) today. These signs treat idealism in different ways. Virgo (mutable earth) is pragmatic. Sagittarius is visionary. These points of view struggle with each other today. Saturn is obstinate about truth. Venus wants things to work beautifully, elegantly. We might be feeling unloved and misunderstood as we try to find a compromise. The solution is out there. Keep trying.

Moon enters Libra 3:45 am CDT
Sunday, October 11.
I’ve been talking about the Virgo (mutable earth) influences of this lunar cycle the last few days. However, with the Moon’s re-entry into Libra (cardinal air) for the last day of this cycle, we recall that this lunar cycle was really about the cusp between Virgo and Libra. Virgo’s devotion gives way to Libra’s attention to harmony and partnership. We go from an earth sign to an air sign, and so things get a bit more abstract and theoretical. The Moon contacts a newly direct Mercury this morning and then makes a self-assured contact with Saturn. We know what we think. Later in the day, the Sun in Libra makes a paradoxical aspect with Chiron in Pisces (mutable water) inviting the question can we think and feel at the same time? It is always good to try. The earthy trine between Jupiter in Virgo and Pluto in Capricorn (cardinal earth) provides the strongest influence on the day. Jupiter is optimistic and Pluto is strengthening. Let this boost of energy help you to get some things accomplished today. The Sun opposing Uranus tonight increases a sense of agitation. We may be antsy to change. Maybe that is not such a bad idea.


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

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