Follow the Moon: Astrology of intention and mindfulness

My 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. My 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 I 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.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Follow the Moon: Forecast for September 21, 2014 – September 27




The Great Exchange happens this week. Here is how I imagine it: At the equinox, the two hemispheres of the Earth give gifts to each other. We, in the north, pass the light of the Sun to those in the south. They in turn, pass the fertile darkness back to us. There is order and balance in this exchange. I remember how much I longed for the light of spring at the end of the last winter and am happy the other half of the world will enjoy the growing light now. Even though winter can feel very long, I’m ready to welcome back the quieter, lengthening nights. Here is a blessing the southern folks: Enjoy the gift of Sun; may you grow wonderful things in your time of expansion. And a prayer for the northern folk: May we dream the winter dreams that feed the world’s soul. It’s now our turn.

The Great Exchange at the equinoxes is when I most powerfully feel whole-Earth awareness. I can sense this moment of equal light and dark acutely through my body. Do you as well? Perhaps this why we are able to balance eggs on end at the equinoxes. Sure, we probably could do this experiment at other times, but the equinoxes invite us to try. I think there is a reason for that. Being in exchange is a powerful linking between two sides, gift-givers and gift-recipients. The equilibrium of exchange blurs the lines between these sides and opens a channel helping me to feel the balancing of the world as a whole. The work of Virgo* (the lunar cycle that is ending this week) has been to create practices of wholeness. The work of Libra (the next lunar cycle to begin on the 24th) will be to use those newly honed practices to open to exchange.

Pay attention to the channels that are opening this week. A square between Mars in Sagittarius and Neptune in Pisces sets up diffused awareness and thinning of the boundaries between everyday and extraordinary realities. Pluto stations direct on the equinox on the 22nd creating another powerful exchange of energy from the underworld to the above world. The New Moon in Libra on the 24th invites us to work mindfully with the energy of exchange and balance. A trine between Jupiter in Leo and Uranus in Aries activates creative revolutionary forces. Waking up is fun to do. Mercury nears its retrograde station by the end of the week when the quicksilver messenger enters moody Scorpio. We will be uncovering deeper channels of exchange.

Forecast–September 21, 2014 – September 27

Moon enters Virgo 10:54 am CDT
Sunday, September 21.
The day begins in wisdom. Venus in Virgo is in a favorable aspect to Saturn in Scorpio. The wisdom is centered in supporting our souls. What does this work look like to you? The purifying aspects of both Virgo and Scorpio allow us to let go of another layer of stress, or shame, or overwhelm if we are ready. The Moon moves back into Virgo today. By the evening (CDT) the Moon forms a challenging aspect pattern with Mars and Neptune. We may experience a pushback of anger or a sudden release of tension from the purifying work of the morning. Neptune lulls us. Mars energizes us. The Moon calls our attention to the intersection of dream and action. 

Moon in Virgo
Monday, September 22. Fall Equinox. Here comes the Great Exchange. This is how the equinoxes appear to me. The Sun is changing sides, moving from the northlands to the southlands. Whole-Earth awareness is strong during this shift. Pluto stationing direct today, after five months of retrograde motion, strengthens our awareness of Earth energy even more. Though no longer considered a planet by astronomers, Pluto has no problem making itself known to us. In truth, the Lord of the Underworld doesn’t need to be acknowledged at all. He rules the potency of death and transformation. Rebirth depends on this. The Moon is in harmonious relationship to Pluto as it stations. This intensifies grounded pragmatism and clarity. However, another aspect challenges that clarity. A square between Mars and Neptune could present problems this fall. The problem is a tendency to not think clearly about conflict, which could influence decisions about escalating wars. We’ll need to question the predominant fantasies about the warrior archetype and find the real nobility in action that is life affirming. Other influences this fall include a Mercury retrograde journey that will have us reviewing our partnerships, which will include alliances between nations. There also will be a lunar eclipse in Aries and a solar eclipse in Scorpio. Eclipses move destiny forward quickly. Mars in Capricorn will be triggering the ongoing square between Pluto and Uranus. The friction moves us farther along the path of paradigm change. Then in December, right before the winter solstice, Pluto and Uranus form the sixth of seven exact squares. With this list of transits, the fall doesn’t appear to a quiet time for the world. Practices and intentions we set in place now will help us remain mindful through it all.


Moon enters Libra 11:59 pm CDT
Tuesday, September 23. On the last day of the Virgo lunar cycle the desire is to turn inward, rest, and release for the new lunar cycle that begins tomorrow. Do not be surprised if you have low energy. Follow what your body is telling you. It isn’t time to engage the mind or will. Jupiter in Leo quincunx to Chiron in Pisces has us feeling the edges between ego and selflessness. Too much selfless compassion isn’t healthy to a thriving and effective identity. Too much attachment to self-importance and we lose connection with others. This is just one of the balancing acts we will be asked to perform this Libra season.

Moon in Libra
September 24—New Moon: Dreaming. The Moon in Libra joins the Sun. The invitation is to dream about this next lunar cycle, aligning our intentions with the energy of the season. Libra is the sign of balance. Over the years, I’ve made a lot of commitments to finding/having/learning more about balance. It is as if balance itself is the goal, and a not very easily attained one, I might add. But is balance in and of itself what we need? Or is balance a tool that helps us to act powerfully, magically, with presence and effectiveness? If we think of the astrological year as a story that begins in spring, once we have reached Libra, we are halfway through a year of development. At the halfway point, we are finally able to see across the span of the year with perspective. This perspective is one component to acquiring the tool of balance. Libra shows us that every part of ourselves and every part of our journeys require the mirror of perspective and relationship to attain completion. It isn’t enough to journey alone through the adventure of life. At some point we need partnership—a balance of perspective between what we know and what we have yet to learn.

Thinking over your life at this moment, what is giving you perspective, even if it is hard to accept? What type of perspective would be good to invite into your life right now? How would the tool of balance help you? Dream on these questions during this phase of the Moon.

With Pluto recently stationing direct, we still feel the opened gateway to the underworld. The power of transformation is flowing. Venus has a few more days of transiting through Virgo, and we continue to find beauty in order and elegant practices. The separating square between Mars and Neptune has influenced our fantasies. What helps you to know what dream is worthy of your next adventure? Take extra time to discern. Mercury is slowing down to turn retrograde on October 4. This will affect our goals to hone the tools of balance since Mercury will be moving backward through the sign of Libra. Jupiter in Leo gives an extra dose of confidence and daring. Take a risk to be more childlike. Develop your sense of wonder while Jupiter is here.

Moon in Libra
Thursday, September 25.
Yesterday I wrote, “Jupiter in Leo gives an extra dose of confidence and daring. Take a risk to be more childlike.” This pertains even more to today. Jupiter gets a kick in the butt from Uranus. Both these planets are in fire signs, trining each other and amping up the energy to dare, to discover, and to change. These two planets will trine each other two more times while Jupiter is in Leo (until August 2015). If we have been stuck or hesitating over a decision, this transit gives us the sudden certainty to just do it. Know what you need before you respond to this energy—is it a kick in the pants or another moment to reconsider the implications of hasty actions?

Moon enters Scorpio 9:29 am CDT
Friday, September 26. Yesterday was a firecracker, today the energy deflates a bit and that is OK. The Moon moving into Scorpio gives us a reason to retreat. The sidelines can be a comfortable place to observe others. The Moon and Neptune make a watery connection. Tears could be closer to the surface. Let yourself feel.

Moon in Scorpio
September 27—Crescent Moon: Beginning. Have you been thinking about the tool of balance? Over the last couple of days, big fire energy was followed by quieter water energy. Was that shift easy or difficult for you? Could the tool of balance help you make these kinds of transitions with more equilibrium? What is your tool of balance? What gives you perspective? Begin a journey with those tools today. Dedicate yourself to noticing when balancing occurs, what caused it, what effect did it have?

Mercury moves into Scorpio for a few days before retrograding back into Libra. The questions we ask are more penetrating and may even push some buttons. What do you really need to know?

* Read about the beginning of the Virgo lunar cycle (August 25) on my blog.

Contact Teri at teri@starsdanceastrology.com and visit her website at www.starsdanceastrology.com to learn about booking a reading of your chart.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Follow the Moon: Forecast for September 14, 2014 – September 20

Reading Tara Brach’s “Radical Acceptance” this morning I came across a good insight about Virgoan perfectionism and striving. Although the root of Virgo’s desire is to be of service to self and others, it is easy to get sidetracked by perfectionism—continually striving to be better and do more. Brach writes: “When I feel insecure, producing—whether it is a finished article, a stack of paid bills or a clean kitchen—is my most readily accessible device for feeling worthwhile.” Have you noticed turning to some kind of busy activity during this Virgo lunar cycle* to avoid feelings of worthlessness or fear? This has shown up for me strongly. Even spiritual practice sometimes takes me away from being present with what is—including the fears and the self-judgments I carry. Last month, during the Leo lunar cycle, I worked with building capacity for energy. Now, in the waning phase of the Virgo lunar cycle, I need that increased capacity to help me witness, without flinching or causing myself harm, that it is sometimes uncomfortable to be me. Being perfect won’t change that.

The waning phases of the Moon are ripe with the fruit of our desires, practices, achievements, and failures—all produce of Virgo’s attention to the details. I am inviting myself to walk in this garden without overwhelming judgment this week. I wonder if I can unlearn just one way that I use striving to distance myself from worry and fear. I wonder if I can unlearn another level of self-judgment as I relish the garden as it is right now. The Moon gradually lets go of its light this week, what will you let go of in your life to support your wholeness?

This week, the Moon moves through the signs of Gemini, Cancer, and Leo. While in Gemini, mental activity increases. During this time we notice how actively are minds are working to understand, communicate, and sometimes distract us from being present. What are you noticing about the realm of ideas? When the Moon moves into Cancer, emotion becomes the predominant influence. Feelings of vulnerability can throw us off. This is an opportunity to practice compassion and forgiveness and to find the root of desire. What does that part of you need? When the Moon moves into Leo, we dance with the forces of ego. Ego can overwhelm intention when it is hungry, but the other side to Leo is creative delight. Liberating self-love lies in this dance. How will you share your brilliance?

The end of summer is a sweet and wistful time to savor the fruits of our harvests. The bounty and blessings of Earth’s beauty are reminders that we dwell in beauty. Virgo’s gift is to see the beauty as it really is without romantic gloss. Imagine your garden, all the experiences and choices that have led to the present. How will you mindfully walk through your gardens this last week of summer?

Forecast–September 14, 2014 – September 20

Moon in Gemini
Sunday, September 14.
A strong thread of pragmatism fights with a desire to get away from it all. Let me know if you find a way to satisfy both urges. Venus in Virgo trines Pluto in Capricorn. This powerful alignment is not in the mood to suffer fools. We want order, a goal, and a plan. It is important to acknowledge this desire for productivity. And if you have any tasks to accomplish, you will be supported by this no nonsense alignment. However, the Moon in Gemini is highly distractible. Give yourself room, or at least tolerance, for losing track of the details, getting lost in daydreams, or unexpected diversions from the plan. Serendipity may help us achieve what we lost track of in the first place.

Moon in Gemini
September 15—Last Quarter Moon: Evaluating.
Is there a light bulb going off over your head right now? Today, gongs may ring, eurekas may be shouted, and final pieces of the puzzle may be found. This phase of the Moon encourages the mindset of taking things apart so we know how they are really put together. With the Moon in mental Gemini being supported by quicksilver Mercury and revolutionary Uranus, we want to tinker with what we know. Thought processes speed up. It is possible that a big aha comes from this excavation process. If we are unsatisfied with the progress we are making, we could get a little agitated. Gemini is an air sign and those signs are good at giving perspective. With the Virgo mission being about all the details, it can feel good to remember the big picture. How is your work of this lunar cycle coming? What surprises did you discover? What could it mean for the rest of the cycle? That is what we want to know today, and if we pay attention, we just might get some answers.

An interesting journey with communicating these insights begins. Mercury in Libra moves into the “shadow” zone for the upcoming Mercury retrograde (October 4 – October 25). Today Mercury reaches the degree where it will station direct on October 25. This is the first of three passes of Mercury over this segment of the zodiac. Soon Mercury will leave Libra, move into Scorpio for just a few days, and then spend the majority of its time retrograding through the balancing sign of Libra. It’s time for adjustments in thought and speech. Communication issues like net neutrality may come under review. Diplomatic alliances and messages will also see problems. Many decisions made from now till October 4, whether by the government, businesses, or individuals, will need to be reconsidered while Mercury moves retrograde. Libra is good at asking for the opposing position. We will be weighing all the data and needing to change our minds along the way. In the end, Mercury’s retrograde through Libra may encourage nimble mindsets and a need to listen better.  

Moon enters Cancer 10:24 am CDT
Tuesday, September 16. Water signs encourage the inner experience. The Moon in Cancer invites us to pay attention to our souls. However, it is just as easy to let the autopilot take over and ignore our deeper feelings, so pay attention. Are you willing to sit with your emotions without managing them? Extra sensitivity can have us licking our wounds. What is the source of your emotional experience today? Cancer Moon and Virgo Sun have a special affinity for each other. They can help us be healers. Perhaps the best outcome of the work encouraged by these signs originates in self-awareness and forgiveness.

Moon in Cancer
Wednesday, September 17. Venus in Virgo is busy today. I suggest you get out of her way. We suddenly are inspired to sweep out the mess we’ve been living with and get it together. The Moon kicks up sensitivity and vulnerability. Venus quietly takes charge and tells us how to get over it. Pay attention to the goddess of beauty and love as she directs you to bring order and wholeness into your life. As we align with a renewed sense of wellness, thanks to the Virgo lunar cycle, we feel ready to inaugurate change into the world. On the 21st, the People’s Climate March will happen in New York City. As organizers and activists prepare for what is hoped to be the largest climate march in history, let us direct this Venus get-it-done energy towards cleaning up our acts in relationship to the Earth.

Moon enters Leo 10:10 pm CDT
Thursday, September 18.
Did yesterday feel like an important day to you? The indications were good for getting down to business. Don’t lose track of new resolves to bring wholeness and healing into your homes and the world. Perhaps we get a better sense of how wellness in our homes is connected to wellness in the world. Perhaps all it takes is to realize we are connected and our actions do make a difference. Take advantage of the Moon in Cancer for most of the day to finish up home projects, whatever that means to you. What kind of environment best supports your wellbeing?

Moon in Leo
September 19—Balsamic Moon: Surrendering. The Virgo lunar cycle is nearing the end. We have the opportunity to practice “good in the end”—a dedication to ending our practices as well as we began them. What is the best way for you to acknowledge the efforts, the lessons, the blessings, and the mistakes of this cycle? Virgo nudges us toward perfectionism but really wants us to find what else is behind our desire to do a good job. There is a paradox here. Good in the end acknowledges that we want to do our best even until the very end. During the Virgo season, we get a taste for how we can improve, but also how much we need to accept ourselves as we are. The Virgin archetype invites us to strip to our essential selves so we may build again from a state of purity. How have you experienced this over the last three weeks?

The Moon in Leo invites playfulness in spite of diminished energy. The last few days of a lunar cycle are often not very lively. We’re in the shedding phase. Perhaps it will be a good day to shed inhibitions and let yourself step out in front of others. Perhaps, it is a good day to support the creative endeavors of your friends. Notice how your creative spark is vital to others.

Moon in Leo
Saturday, September 20. Trust your instincts. The Moon in a fire sign helps us get in touch with energy. Sensing energy helps us to know what activities, people, and dreams hold life force for us. Experiment with letting that awareness lead you. Enjoy the last weekend of summer. The Fall Equinox on Monday, the 22nd, marks the day when darkness begins to exceed daylight until the shift at Winter Solstice. The Moon in Leo encourages us to honor the Sun, the ruler of Leo. There’s a little bit of revolution in the air and a little bit of working through accountability and responsibility as well. The ideal would be to spend some time changing the world through commitment to a cause that inspires you to expand into the joyful moment of now.

* Read about the beginning of the Virgo lunar cycle (August 25) on my blog.

Contact Teri at teri@starsdanceastrology.com and visit her website at www.starsdanceastrology.com to learn about booking a reading of your chart.