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.

As the Libra lunar cycle comes to completion, I am still wondering about balance. I suspect I will for a while due to Jupiter’s transit of Libra for the next year. This lunar cycle was seeded with the need to discover what balance, justice, harmony, and relationship truly mean to us. What is balance really? How do we sense it in our bodies? What in the natural world helps us recognize balance? What practices help us align intention and action towards creating balance? What cultures show us how to live in balance?

Here is where I’ve landed with this investigation. What if every time we found ourselves saying we really need more balance in our lives, we said instead, I really need more relationship? What if we slipped out of the skin of rugged individualism where everything, including balance, is supposed to occur within the solitary experience of self and reconnect to the web that links us? This perspective shifts things. It shows me that if the whole is unbalanced, no part can be balanced. The reverse also holds: If one part is unbalanced, then the whole can’t be either. This is an interesting shift of perspective for me, both terrifying and a relief at the same time. It’s a relief that balance isn’t up to me alone. It is up to us. And by us, I mean everything that exists in a web of connection. This web is vast. It is my backyard ecosystem. It is the dance of galaxies. It is my immediate family. It is the wheel of seasons. It is the tending of rivers and the struggle for justice. It is the ancestors who made our lives possible and the descendants who inherit our choices. All actions and relationships are in the web. This is a relief because it means that Balance is a cosmic force—I can’t change it or control it. But here comes the paradox: My choices are part of the whole. My choices matter to the balance in my immediate environment. The balance in my immediate environment shapes the way Balance crafts the cosmos in each moment. If I want what I love to survive balancing forces, I need to pay attention to my relationships. That is the terrifying part.

Right now, a group of committed warriors are fighting to bring balance and wholeness back to our world. The water protectors at Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota are fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline. [See #NODAPL more information.] These indigenous people have a cultural understanding about balance and right relationship that is deeply spiritual and incredibly apropos for all of us concerned about balance and the survival of what we love. The Sacred Hoop reflects how all things want to live in balance. When this Hoop is whole, people know how to live in right relationship to the Earth and each other. After the terrible effects of white colonization, elders declared the Hoop had been broken. A prophecy speaks about mending the Hoop when all people come back into right relationship with the Earth. For me, it is an incredible gift to witness and support this commitment to healing the Hoop through prayerful ceremonies taking place in resistance to DAPL. This moment, the stars and the web conspire to bring us to the crossroads where we decide if we will join in the effort to mend the Sacred Hoop or continue the destructive path of imbalance. Each of us, as a vital part of this Hoop or web, has a choice to make. The survival of what we love is at stake. The beauty of living in balance is the hope. 

Forecast for October 24, 2016 – October 29.

Moon enters Virgo 10:16 pm CDT
Monday, October 24
. The last week of this Libra lunar cycle begins with a dive towards our depths. Mercury joins the Sun in Scorpio today. Suddenly we see to the bones and better understand how things really work in our relationships, structures, and politics. Dare to speak truth to power, to use your voice to heal toxic secrets, and own your experience. As we complete this cycle dedicated to balance and relationship, seek to right the scales that pull you off your center. The Moon in Leo adds desire to act publicly. When the Moon moves into Virgo (especially tomorrow), we turn our passions into commitment.

Moon in Virgo
Tuesday, October 25. Feel the pull to fall in love with an idea, a person, a belief, a dream. Neptune energy is strong today as Venus in Sagittarius makes a square to Neptune as the Moon in Virgo opposes it. Neptune is that pull to fall, to dissolve into, to lose yourself to an ideal. Venus is the Beloved who knows the truth and meaning of all. The Moon responds to the tides that are created by the meeting of the Beloved and the Ideal. This could be a day fraught with emotion and the struggle to pull it all together into neat, comprehensible form when we just can’t grasp all the pieces. The possibility to fall into delusion or escapism is high. Give yourself a moment to pause and think things through if you do happen to fall head over heels. 

Moon in Virgo
October 26—Balsamic Moon: Surrendering
. The Libra lunar cycle is winding down. With this darkening phase of the Moon, especially, we hear our ancestors speaking to us. The Scorpio season of Samhain parts the veils separating the worlds of the living and the dead. We can take this opportunity to seek ancestral wisdom about our relationships with the Earth and each other. The Moon in Virgo encourages acts of service and devotion. Let these acts become rituals of commitment to living in balance. Pay attention to your body’s signals about balance and imbalance. The encouraging sextile between Venus in Sagittarius and Jupiter in Libra is a potent moment of alignment between our beliefs and our relationships. These planets are in mutable reception. Venus is in the sign Jupiter rules and Jupiter is in Venus’ sign. They conspire to inspire us to know the truth of balance, justice, and right relationship.

Moon enters Libra 8:51 am CDT
Thursday, October 27. Piercing insight is a prominent feature of this day. Mercury exactly conjoins the Sun in Scorpio. I think of Scorpio as having x-ray vision. Mercury uses this gift to probe what is really behind the words we speak and hear. The Sun illuminates what we might want to keep hidden, but we can also use this secret power to expose toxic abuses of power. The Moon reenters Libra, the sign that began this lunar cycle, reminding us of the line from T.S. Eliot, “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” What have you discovered about the balancing sign of Libra? The sextile between Mars in Capricorn and Chiron in Pisces colors insight with the need to act as healers. Keep laying the foundation for better balance.

Moon in Libra
Friday, October 28.
Subsurface tensions are likely to erupt today with a square between Mars in Capricorn and Uranus in Aries. In fact, keep in mind practices of chill, because even if you are not reacting with a fiery temperament, most likely someone else around you will be. This is the tinderbox transit. If something is ready to go up in flames, it will. We can use this energy to move past blockages and transform inertia into action. With the Moon in Libra, we also want to be mindful of harmonious action and relationship. What are the pathways of change available to you as you seek to maintain your relationships? Perceived injustice is extremely hard to tolerate at the moment. Maybe that is good.

Moon enters Scorpio 9:01 pm CDT
Saturday, October 29.
It comes down to this on the last day of the Libra lunar cycle: Our choices matter and we are not alone in establishing balance in this world. Relationship is incredibly important to living in balance with the Earth. The conjunction of Venus and Saturn in Sagittarius emphasizes our commitment to staying in relationship, even when it is difficult. With the influence of Saturn on our desires for balance, tune into what the body knows about desire and resolve. Find your inner resources. Before the Moon leaves Libra, it contacts Uranus in Aries and Mars in Capricorn to spark any fires that didn’t get ignited yesterday when Mars was exactly square to Uranus. Perhaps these fires clear away the brush so we know what the bones of our relationships are. Release this lunar cycle. As we near the New Moon in Scorpio and the season of Samhain when the veils between the living and dead thin, know that deep wisdom is waiting to help us resolve our questions.

* Read about the beginning of the Libra lunar cycle here.

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