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.

Another tragedy has occurred to remind us that the world is in a tenuous and painful place. The attacks in France captured the attention of western media, but this event is by no means the only or even the most significant tragedy of recent times. Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq have also suffered. Indigenous people of the Earth are struggling to save their lands. Black people are struggling to change systemic racism and violence directed at them. Transgender people are struggling to be heard and given the safety and recognition they deserve. Immigrants are called criminals. The wealthy 1 percent still control governments and markets. The world is heating up. The question for many is, what should we do? There are many, many ways to work towards change. There are many, many tools. I offer the lens of astrology as a way to align with symbol and nature. The outer planetary cycles offer crucial information in the ways we are being challenged and the ways we can respond to shift these challenges to a greater wholeness. The most important planetary cycles of the last few years are presenting the opportunity to awaken and break the spells of toxic belief enchanting us.

Waking up. Over the last three years, astrologers have been discoursing about the planetary cycle between Uranus and Pluto. This cycle represents profound change, and has been marked by a global awakening to the problems facing us. Check out this new film being produced based on Richard Tarnas’ brilliant analysis of historic changes that have occurred under this cycle. . Even though the exact transits of the square between Uranus and Pluto have completed, we are still very much under the influence of this transit. Tarnas considers this influence to last into 2020.

Breaking the spell. The Saturn/Neptune cycle is another important planetary dance coming into focus now. These two planets will make three waning squares over the next 11 months: November 26; June 17, 2016; and September 10, 2016. This transit activates the tension between reality and fantasy. The potential offered is the motivation to break the spell of infatuation, lethargy, or escapism. The spell of despair, greed, and fear may be broken by rejecting these influences in favor of beliefs that create right relationship to all beings of the Earth. With these two important planetary cycles co-occurring, the mission is clear: To wake up and demystify the forces controlling us in order to re-enchant the world with beauty, joy, and love.

Coming back to the Scorpio/Sagittarius lunar cycle. Right now, these major planetary influences are being felt within the Scorpio/Sagittarius seasons. The current lunar cycle* began in the depth-probing sign of Scorpio and moves up into the expansive season of Sagittarius next. Important work right now is to remember the soul messages of the last few weeks, especially those messages that come from beyond the veils separating this world and the unseen world. Like waking up from a dream, we need to take a moment to anchor and remember this wisdom so that we are supported in our expansions into the wide world around us. This week, the Sun moves into Sagittarius, where Saturn is. As Saturn is the planet of boundaries and limitations, we may encounter obstructions around belief. Though this can be frustrating, good lessons of tolerance and compromise are here too. During this last week of Scorpio influence we may remember that people share similar passions: the need to have agency, the need to be safe, the need to be with loved ones, and the need to be connected with those who have gone before. These Scorpio needs are universal, and we develop more tolerance when we see these same needs in others.

Forecast for November 16, 2015 — November 22

Moon in Capricorn
Monday, November 16.
Yesterday and today, the Moon contacted Pluto in Capricorn (cardinal earth) and Uranus in Aries (cardinal fire) reminding us of the paradigm changes we are undergoing. Volatile days follow the attacks in France. Authorities will want to look like they are taking charge. Although favorable aspects between the Moon in Capricorn and Jupiter in Virgo (mutable earth) and Mercury in Scorpio (fixed water) should bring ease and flow, these transits may also expand the possibility of feeling too confident about our choices. Jupiter in Virgo is offering the lessons of discernment, but we will have to slow down to get them.

Moon enters Aquarius 1:24 am CST
Tuesday, November 17.
Today’s superior conjunction of Mercury and the Sun in Scorpio (fixed water) is perhaps the final Scorpio transit of this season. Mercury and the Sun come together to plant a seed influenced by Scorpio messages. What have you been hearing from beyond the veils that separate the seen and unseen worlds? What have you been hearing from your soul? We have the opportunity to remember and anchor that wisdom as the Messenger God contacts the illuminating Sun. The Moon in Aquarius (fixed air) prompts a desire to expound on ideas. The Internet will most likely be humming with opinions, although that is nothing new. Slow down a moment before posting that comment. We will want to consider the long-range impact on our goals and relationships since the Moon makes favorable contacts with Saturn and Venus. 

Moon in Aquarius
Wednesday, November 18.
In this week’s introduction I wrote about the influential cycle occurring between Saturn in Sagittarius (mutable fire) and Neptune in Pisces (mutable water). This transit influences the relationship between reality and fantasy. An imbalance here leads to fundamentalism or projections of fantasy onto others. We could respond by deadening any hope for beauty and connection. The potential is to find a balance between reality and fantasy. Today, Neptune stations direct. When planets station, their influence is stronger. We have the opportunity to notice our tendencies to fantasize or fall under the glamour of a thought or feeling. We also have the opportunity to notice how Neptune’s influence can fill our hearts with compassion helping us to dissolve the boundaries that separate us. Discernment is necessary to navigate these waters. As Jupiter transits through Virgo (mutable earth) until September 2016, we have the opportunity to develop our discerning skills. Notice complexity. Pause before leaping. 

Moon enters Pisces 6:21 am CST
November 19—First Quarter Moon: Manifesting. If this lunar cycle is about maintaining good relationship to the unseen world, then we reach an adjustment point for that intention during this phase of the Moon. Since for most of the day, the Moon is in Pisces (mutable water) and forms a conjunction with stationary Neptune, the major adjustment could be to keep one toe grounded while flowing into all the nooks and crannies of unseen worlds. We could be feeling so fluid and suggestible, that we need to ground and focus on the here and now, too. The Moon squares Saturn right before it conjoins Neptune, thus reminding us of the influential Saturn/Neptune square that colors our growing edges the coming year. The potential of this Saturn/Neptune cycle is to break the spell of illusion and despair. We have real work to do in the world. The purpose of good relationship with the unseen world is to anchor that wisdom in the choices we will need to make. How will you flow and anchor today?

Moon in Pisces
Friday, November 20.
It’s been building all week. Perhaps we noticed it before today’s exact transit, but notice it we will. What it is, is the last straw. Venus in Libra (cardinal air) squares Pluto in Capricorn (cardinal earth) today. A part of us that usually strives to be harmonious, considerate, and diplomatic just reaches capacity and breaks that code of behavior. Expect women’s issues and the voices of women to be exclaimed in some way. What happens when a veneer gets stripped away? Pluto is asking us to drop the niceties and be real with how we feel. Core issues are justice and power. The Moon in Pisces (mutable water) reduces discernment. The opposition between the Moon and Jupiter in Virgo (mutable earth) forces us to find it. Intuition and empathy can be balanced with pragmatism and boundaries. Let’s give it a try. Mercury leaves Scorpio today for Sagittarius (mutable fire). Words become philosophical. We want to talk about meaning and truth. With the fluid and volatile aspects of the day, it is good to be aware that “truth” can cause destruction too.

Moon enters Aries 9:12 am CST
Saturday, November 21.
This is the last day of Sun in Scorpio. Are you ready to come out from underground yet? Chances are with the Moon in Aries (cardinal fire), we are. We may even come out fighting. The ingress of Mars into Libra did not offer the peaceful harmony that this signature often promises. Unfortunately, that was the day of the attack in France. However, with Mars moving away from the critical 0 degrees of Libra, we now can focus on finding more balance between aggression and peace. That reminder may come in handy today. Belief is such a strong motivator and manipulator of emotion. We continue to notice the extremes of belief and reach for a new way. 

Moon in Aries
November 22—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting. The lunar cycle shifts from a Scorpio (fixed water) influence to a Sagittarius (mutable fire) one today with the Sun’s ingress into Sag. This is the moment we take the deep interior experiences of the last month into the wide world around us. It is good to remember that deep experiences, though they feel universal, may only hold personal truth. You will see me write a lot about discernment this year as we have a strong amount of mutable influence coming up. Mutable signs integrate experiences and synthesize meaning. Jupiter in Virgo (mutable earth) is blaring a message about how much we need to integrate our experiences using discernment about impact and relevance to others. The environment, our relationships, and wellbeing will give us immediate feedback if we go too far astray. Under this phase of the Moon, notice the desire to broadcast truth. It feels terribly important to get this right. The Moon in Aries (cardinal fire) makes a challenging t-square aspect pattern with Uranus in Aries, Pluto in Capricorn (cardinal earth) and Venus in Libra (cardinal air). People are fired up about injustice. Uranus and Pluto again remind us to wake up.

* Read about the beginning of the Scorpio/Sagittarius lunar cycle on my website

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