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.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

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


Have you found your liberating truth during this Sagittarius lunar cycle? Have you broken your silence? Have you found a way to tell your truth? This has been my guiding intention for the Sagittarius lunar cycle*—to cultivate the liberating truth. This intention has been pulled and pushed, formed and reformed like a lump of clay since the New Moon. I suspect this forming and reforming will continue for a while. Here is the paradox: I am seeking a reliable truth that can help me anchor my visions for a more just world. Truth with a capital “T” feels like it should be eternal and immutable, but Sagittarius, the truth seeker, is a mutable fire sign. The mutable signs are good at trying on new ideas and weaving temporary threads of meaning. They’re also good at obfuscation, playing the trickster role, putting a mirror before us to get us to question what we are seeing. In other words, although the mission seems to be to find the Truth with a capital “T”, I might just have to accept the changeable, revelatory, small “t” truths I encounter everyday. Small “t” truths can trick us out of fundamentalism or places we are stuck. Small ‘t’ truths could teach me to laugh, wonder, and try again as I reach for and fail to grasp the ultimate capital “T” Truth.

Where are we now? In a hilarious twist of absurdity, we could be asking ourselves, “But what does it mean?” Exactly. Is it the journey or the destination that we need to be paying attention to here? Are either/or questions just another dead end? Should we stop this silliness or keep going down the path? Is truth, then, not a guide, and if not, what is? The Online Etymology Dictionary says this about the source and meaning of the word truth: Old English triew├░ (West Saxon), treow├░ (Mercian) "faith, faithfulness, fidelity, loyalty; veracity, quality of being true; pledge, covenant." Keep these words in mind; they will come in handy later. They are a good collection of keywords for Sagittarius. How do you feel about these words? They can provoke a lot of feelings. These qualities, which are loaded with cultural messages, say a lot about fundamental beliefs and ways we think things should go. Judgment resides in these words. Wars have been fought for these words.

We are about to begin two and a half years of redefining what these words mean to us. Saturn will enter Sagittarius on December 23. [There will be shuffling back and forth between Scorpio and Sagittarius; Saturn returns to Scorpio June through September 2015, and then stays in Sagittarius until October 2017.] Saturn travels through a sign in about two and a half years, a good amount of time to do the work of recasting reality. Saturn likes to take things apart, access the value, discern what is working and what isn’t, and ultimately asks us to achieve a new level of mastery through hard work. This Sagittarius lunar cycle is a good opportunity to look at what we may be reassessing and redefining for the next few years. This is important. As we move past the revolutionary sparks flying from the Uranus/Pluto squares, which end in March 2015, we are encouraged to manifest the liberating truth that really works. Along the way, we will undoubtedly encounter the capital “T” truths that don’t get us any closer to liberation. If you’ve found a worthwhile vision this lunar cycle, you may reasonably expect to be working hard on that vision for the next few years. This is the long haul. Saturn is the planet that promises true success if we keep working. Will you?

Forecast for December 14, 2014 – December 20

Moon enters Libra 10:05 pm CST
December 14—Last Quarter Moon: Evaluating. I’ve heard some people frame the Black Lives Matter protest movement, sparked into new actions when the police officer who killed Michael Brown was not indicted at the beginning of this lunar cycle, as the beginning of a new civil rights era. Today’s Uranus/Pluto square is the beacon calling us into new revolutionary action. This movement feels different under this transit. Things are shaking lose and most importantly people are waking up. Today’s square between these two gods of change is the sixth of seven exact transits, which have occurred since June of 2012. That this transit happens during this Sagittarius lunar cycle is significant. At the New Moon in Sagittarius a seed was planted for the truth that frees us. Fires of change and visions of truth infuse this revolutionary time. All cycles have their ebbs and flows. Rather than be deterred by these inevitable shifts, we can begin to notice how the shifts can help us to manifest lasting transformation. This phase of the Moon is a time to step back and evaluate. If you find it is a time to rest and recharge, then listen to that message. What creates a lasting transformation? What have you learned? What is missing?

The Moon in Libra encourages our desire for justice. The next two days, this desire is strong. The trine between the Sun and Jupiter, both in fire signs, is a boost to energy and passion. A sextile between earthy Venus in Capricorn and transcendent Neptune in Pisces opens heart and intuition channels in a productive way. Notice how important it is to continue to keep these channels open during times of big change. Perhaps this channel was closed when Greenpeace activists decided to put a huge sign on the Nazca plains in Peru damaging a sacred site

Moon in Libra
Monday, December 15.
The Moon in justice-loving Libra is encouraged by rebellious Mars in Aquarius to not back down in the fight for a new world. The Moon opposes Uranus in Aries and squares Pluto in Capricorn this evening (CST). We may see the affects of this triggering aspect today and tomorrow. What happens when you are triggered by someone else’s anger? Notice this response. We can step back and let this anger be expressed without feeling that it is being directed at us. Injustices have built for a long time. A necessary step to correcting those injustices may be to allow the rage to break like a wave hitting the shore. The long-term vision can still be for peace. Temporary imbalance could help us move toward more sustainable states of justice.

Moon in Libra
Tuesday, December 16. Mercury enters Capricorn today. While Mercury was in Sagittarius the last two and a half weeks, words have been flying across the Internet and wherever else we’ve wanted to share our truths. While Mercury is in Capricorn, words take on weight. Perhaps the quality of what we share becomes more important than the quantity. Time to turn inward or listen to our elders and build a foundation for belief.

Moon enters Scorpio 8:52 am CST  
Wednesday, December 17. The waning energy of this lunar cycle is noticeable when the Moon enters Scorpio today. Waning energy is a time to rest and reflect. The sextile between the Moon and Mercury in Capricorn adds to the introverted nature of the next few days. What is the essential thing to share right now? This is a good aspect to use for thoughtful communication. Go deeper and listen more. The trine between the Moon and Neptune supports empathy.

Moon in Scorpio
December 18—Balsamic Moon: Surrendering. The square between the Moon in Scorpio and Mars in Aquarius is a picture of the struggle between powers that want to control us and the powers that want to free us. On the surface, the choice seems obvious but astrology teaches me that every sign has an authentic desire that compels us to act. Scorpio uses its ability to operate behind the scenes and under cover to get its needs met. Aquarius uses intellect and an ability to lift everyone to a place of equality to get its needs met. As the Moon wanes into the last phase of this lunar cycle we are looking at power and politics in a new way. Truth is mutable but essential. What do you think now about the truth you seek? The Moon gets a boost from Pluto. We learn a lot by looking below the surface and it pays to wait and understand more before we act.

Moon enters Sagittarius 3:55 pm CST.
Friday, December 19. A big weekend for holiday parties gets off to a wonky start. The Scorpio Moon is not as outgoing and the contact of the Moon with Saturn has us feeling somber. When the Moon moves into Sagittarius, the main desire may be to blow off steam. This Sagittarius Moon is not the same Sagittarius Moon that began this lunar cycle. Notice the difference. Big experiences this month has made an impact. However, one of the great Sagitttarian gifts is an ability “to shake it off” as Sagittarian Taylor Swift sings and get back on the saddle. Forward! Be aware that the square between the Moon and Neptune could provoke overindulging in alcohol or other mood-altering substances. Be alert for drunken drivers.

Moon in Sagittarius
Saturday, December 20. What happens when Venus in Capricorn triggers the Uranus/Pluto square? We will find out today. Venus as the ruler of social interactions as well as wealth may impact relationships and/or the economy today. Women’s issues take center stage too. Venus becomes the instigator of revolution today. Mercury’s sextile to Neptune provides lovely, spiritual inspiration. Change is in the air; Mars in Aquarius forms a sextile to Uranus in Aries, and the Moon makes favorable contact with both Mars and Uranus. Truth and passion move us to action.

* Read about the beginning of the Sagittarius lunar cycle (November 22) 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, December 7, 2014

Follow the Moon: Forecast for December 7, 2014 – December 13


“May truths be told, and accountable amends delivered, with humble and earnest commitment to face and compost the pain into a life sustaining love.”
From Full Moon Magic in the realm of Whole Time: a spell-poem-prayer by Rain Crowe

The line above is from a longer spell-poem-prayer written by a friend and powerful magic worker for the recent Full Moon in Gemini. The spell-poem-prayer is part of a larger intention being held and worked in my spiritual tradition, the Reclaiming Tradition, in response to racism, the threat to Black lives and livelihood, and to a broken justice system. We live in a time of activism. More and more people are realizing that change needs to happen and are willing to do something about it. Not everyone will show up in the same way or about the same issues, but as I wrote last week many of us are standing at the frontlines, “whether it is on the streets facing a line of armed police, or whether it is an oppressive work situation, or whether it is the voice of shame in our own thoughts.” The tide of change has been building for quite some time. A wave is breaking this month with another square between Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn on December 14. This is the sixth of seven times this transit will take place. The first of these paradigm-changing aspects occurred June 2012; the last will be March 2015. Many astrologers have written about this signature transit of the early 21st century. The Uranus/Pluto exchange is part of a much longer cycle, which began in the mid-sixties when these planets came together in a conjunction. The entire cycle won’t end until the next conjunction of Uranus and Pluto, which happens in 2104. Within this big evolutionary cycle, smaller cycles move us along the path of transformation. The lunar cycle in Sagittarius* is a pivotal influence just at the right moment to move many more of us into action.

"May truths be told." The current Sagittarius lunar cycle is emphasizing the need to seek and express liberating truths. Some truths are hard to hear. Some are ripe for hearing. The Full Moon of this lunar cycle was a time to break through barriers, find authentic curiosity, and learn from a greater diversity of perception. As the Moon wanes this week and next, we have the opportunity to use these discoveries to make new inroads into outmoded ways of thinking. Collective ingenuity is at a highpoint. Transits involving Mercury this week create a fertile field of new solutions and new ways to approach old problems. Jupiter in Leo stations retrograde, making the impact of this expansive planet even stronger. As the ruler of Sagittarius, Jupiter’s station has a significant impact on this lunar cycle. In Leo, Jupiter asks us to tap into solar creativity. The Sun is the source of liberating truth. We are invited to let our lights shine. Acknowledge the brilliance of those who inspire you. Feed the life-affirming stories that create “life sustaining love”. If fire is a resource of energy, this week we have the opportunity to harness more of it and learn to use it wisely.

Forecast for December 7, 2014 – December 13

Moon enters Cancer 11:34 am CST
Sunday, December 7.
Did the Full Moon ruffle your feathers? As we shiver and shake our way through this cycle’s illumination, notice where your learning edge is right now. The Full Moon in Gemini emphasizes the ways we learn and communicate. The breakthroughs are around perspective. When the Moon moves into Cancer today we tap into how we are feeling about this. Our attention moves inward and this change in focus helps us attend to our whole selves. Conceptual leaps need to be balanced with emotional self-care. A trine between the Moon and Neptune invites us to slow down and listen to the wisdom of the heart.

Moon in Cancer
Monday, December 8.
This is a day of contrasts. It can become a day of wholeness if we can balance exterior and interior experience. The Moon in Cancer stresses emotional needs. This can provoke short tempers or a need to tune out discord. Spending time at home with those who feel like family can help to even things out. On the other hand, Mercury joins with the Sun today in Sagittarius offering more insight and illumination from shared truths. Jupiter in Leo stations retrograde today. The quest for meaning is strong, especially in the realm of personal gnosis. Conflicts could arise based on differences of opinion. To make things even more interesting, the Moon triggers the nearly exact square between Uranus and Pluto. This could be a day of tipping points. What are you noticing at your frontline of change?

Moon enters Leo 9:14 pm CST
Tuesday, December 9. Bring order to your home. You could even extend that intention to those parts of your life that you want to feel more homey and supportive. The trine between the Moon in Cancer and Saturn in Scorpio is the only significant aspect. After a few days of big energy, this is a perfect opportunity to chill and recoup. Notice what you need from the “home place.” Saturn helps us create more structure to support those needs.

Moon in Leo  
December 10—Disseminating Moon: Sharing. In regards to personal truth, where do you stand right now? Being uncertain is not a sign of failure. It might even be a sign that things are shifting for you. The Sagittarius lunar cycle is a chance to observe the motivating force of belief. Beliefs can be dangerous and can be liberating. How do we discern the difference? This phase of the Moon is the beginning of turning our insights into concrete forms. If you’ve discovered your guiding star this lunar cycle, ask yourself how you will share it with others. Truth is like a brilliant fire. It can be incredibly appreciated and incredibly destructive. Yet, the tide of change that is moving us quickly forward may be asking us to act before we have perfect visions, perfect flames. If this is so, what is the essence of truth that will guide you?

The Moon in Leo opposes Mars in Aquarius. Impatience may be high. The conflict could be between the personal truth and collective truth. Balancing between these forces keeps us listening and growing. Venus enters Capricorn and takes her place in the sky as the Evening Star. Venus now adds a touch of pragmatic sociability to this cycle. We can use this influence to help us make connections with the right people who can help us achieve our goals. The emphasis in relationship will be on what works.

Moon in Leo
Thursday, December 11.
The fire signs are concerned with identity and self-expression. Fire as an element gives instinctual awareness—the gut feeling when we know what we want and what we need to do to get it. Fire is creative and essential to life. When fire is strong in our charts, we have the ability to shake off failure and setbacks, to begin again. Sometimes fire is foolhardy, sometimes reactionary, and sometimes forgets to include others in the picture. All these fire qualities are strong today. The Moon in fire sign Leo made a trine to Uranus in fire sign Aries last night (CST). Today the same Moon trines the Sun and Mercury in fire sign Sagittarius and forms a conjunction with a stationary Jupiter in Leo. Tend to your flame; honor this essential element and its influence in your life.

Moon enters Virgo 9:19 am CST
Friday, December 12.
A final firework (after the last two days of the Moon in Leo) comes from a trine between Mercury in Sagittarius and Jupiter in Leo early in the day. This agreeable aspect between these two planets gives a lot of energy to communicating our truths. Get you message out there. We are less cautious under this influence, take a risk on speaking out. The energy shifts into Virgo mode as the day goes on. We become more interested in sweeping up the messes after firey exuberance. Nothing is ever perfect, but how can we make things just a little bit better? Pay attention to health. Fire signs can burn out. You may be feeling this just about now. Crafting and quiet contemplation could be a lovely way to end the week with the Moon in Virgo making a trine to Venus and seeking balance from Neptune.

Moon in Virgo
Saturday, December 13. The mutable sign emphasis today (Moon in Virgo/ Sun in Sagittarius) has us pondering the meaning of it all. Mutable signs are concerned with meaning and integration. Today’s aspects are quiet, tomorrow’s are not. Spend as much quiet time as you can today, seeking to understand what is happening in the world, in your life, and in your soul. What helps you center? What helps you release anxiety and excess energy? The holistic nature of a Virgo Moon asks us to focus on what supports wellbeing. The alchemy of that focus—an integration of mind and body—will help us know our next steps in this time of changing realities.

* Read about the beginning of the Sagittarius lunar cycle (November 22) 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.