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.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

New Moon September 18, 2009: Inner Landscapes, Outer Expressions

“This is the reason that so many astrological predictions fail to come about, simply because they are based on the assumption that the chart shows ‘what is going to happen.’ The truth is that the chart inevitably shows ‘what one is going to experience.’ “ Stephen Arroyo in “Astrology, Psychology, and the Four Elements”

I recently found this quote by one of my favorite astrological authors while researching for a class I am teaching. Prediction is one of astrology’s philosophical conundrums. Current astrological practice swings between the poles of thought that astrology is about prediction of events to the opposite idea that astrology is better used to describe inner states of being and the paths open to us for evolution of consciousness. However, the truth is probably somewhere in between. Inner states do influence events. Arroyo suggests that we can look at the planetary aspects and predict an experience. Perhaps it is our inner experiences that actually create the events around us. If that is so, knowing the outer influences upon our inner landscape is extremely important to creating better events. This is why I study astrology and why I write this blog.


Fall begins during this lunar month. Astrologers study the seasonal charts cast for the moment of the Sun’s ingress into the new season to gain insight into the inner landscape of a nation. The Spring chart is the most important of these Ingress charts since it sets the pattern for the year. The subsequent seasonal charts show progression of that pattern.

Health care is a huge issue right now for our country. The 6th house rules health. In the Spring chart, the Sun rules the 6th. So, we consider the condition of the Sun in that chart to look at 6th house issues for the year. Also important is that Saturn in Virgo, the sign of health, was located in that 6th house. This Sun, located in the 12th house of hidden agendas and square to the planet of power, Pluto, shows us some of the problems we have had to confront in transforming health care. Saturn has its hands all over this issue too. It will not let us give up and also indicates that the struggle will not be easy. The inner experience of this is frustration, fear, paranoia and a sense of high stakes, yet there is also hope (the nature of the Sun) and commitment (the nature of Saturn). 

In the Summer Ingress chart, Mercury rules the 6th. In Gemini and conjunct the Moon in the 2nd house of values, the inner experience of the nation is colored by strong emotional reactivity (the Moon) combined with a need to express (Gemini/Mercury) values (2nd house). Saturn again is in the 6th house this season—still not giving up.

In the Fall Ingress chart, the Moon rules the 6th and the South Node in Cancer is located there, with Mars on the cusp also influencing these matters. The Moon shows the emotional level of the situation, which is quite strong. This Moon is in Scorpio in the 9th house of expansive truth and is square to the triple conjunction of Jupiter, Chiron, and Neptune—cultural change agents. Inner experiences will be dramatic and will most likely include dogmatism, power dynamics, reaction about loss of ideals or disappointment, and a strong tendency to be very reactive and defensive about the issue. With Scorpio emphasis, perhaps hidden agendas of power players will surface. The South Node tells us there are karmic patterns involved. We have the opportunity to re-pattern them. Saturn is no longer in this 6th house. I wonder if this will help us to make breakthroughs or if it signals giving up.


The inner landscape of this lunar month. The quincunx aspect is a major theme this month. Aspects are relationships between the planets. Each aspect has its own energy. The quincunx is the aspect of adjustment to strange or contrary forces. This aspect occurs between two signs that have nothing in common. Under a quincunx, we may want to ignore the relationship between the planets but can’t.  Like sand in the oyster, we have to deal with the annoyance. Currently, we need resolution, a way to integrate and balance. It would be lovely to have a clear way forward in solving our problems. We may even feel that we are on the verge of such resolution. But we are not quite there yet. So quincunxes can feel stressful. However, there is always an opportunity with every challenge. Quincunxes present the opportunity to really stretch and grow, so that when resolution does come, we’ve reached a new place, a new understanding.  This lunar month, we are in that stretching place.

In the New Moon chart, Sun, Moon, Saturn and Mercury are blending forces in Virgo. They are in quincunx aspect to the triple conjunction of Neptune, Chiron and Jupiter. The Virgo planets are also receiving a square from Pluto and an opposition from Uranus, so there is quite a lot of pressure on the goals and values of Virgo this month (see last month for more about Virgo). For the last few months, it seems that the Saturn in Virgo story has not been truly integrated into the Aquarian story. On one hand, Saturn has been asking us to perfect our practices, pay attention to health issues, refine our intentions. The planets in Aquarius have been slowly eroding old cultural forms without promising anything concrete to take its place. Neptune never promises anything concrete. It has been hard to create the forms that Virgo demands, while something really big, but very nebulous has been going on in the collective unconscious. If you’ve felt like you were going crazy over the past few months, I don’t blame you. It is hard to know how to move forward under these strange and contrary forces. Is everything going to hell, or are we on the verge of amazing new breakthroughs? What inner landscape do we need to cultivate in order to create the experience we desire?

The quincunx transits this month may be turning points as we strive to answer that question.


In addition to the quincunx aspect between planets in Virgo to planets in Aquarius, there is another set of quincunx aspects between Cancer and Aquarius. Together, these aspects form a Yod configuration in the Full Moon chart. This triangle of planets points, again, to the triple conjunction in Aquarius. The base is formed by an agreeable relationship between Saturn and Mercury in Virgo and Mars in Cancer. These Virgo/Cancer planets want us to be industrious, focused on tending others, creating order and security, yet strange Aquarian energy may create a disconnect. How disconnected do you feel? Celebrate the ways you reconnect with your sense of purpose this lunar month. Congratulate yourself on the practices you have developed while Saturn has been transiting through Virgo these past two years, which help you maintain health and equilibrium. It isn’t too late to begin new practices, or resolve to get back to old ones this month. Taking such action may help create an outer expression of harmony during a stressful time.

Although Uranus in Pisces is not part of the quincunx aspects this month, transits involving Uranus will play into the very same themes of possible stress or anxiety since Uranus invites change.

During this month of stretching, we can all endeavor to contribute to the outer expressions of peace and resolution. May these outer expressions, influence our inner realities.



Dates important to our stories *
September 23 Sun 0° Libra squares Pluto 0° Capricorn
September 23 Mercury retrograde 24° Virgo opposite Uranus 24° Pisces
September 23 Mercury retrograde 24° Virgo quincunx Neptune 24° Aquarius
September 23 Mars 17° Cancer quincunx Jupiter 17° Aquarius
September 27 Mercury retrograde 21° Virgo quincunx Chiron 21° Aquarius
September 29 Mercury stations direct 21° Virgo
September 30 Mercury 21° Virgo quincunx Chiron 21° Aquarius
September 30 Mars 21° Cancer quincunx Chiron 21° Aquarius
October 4 Full Moon
October 4 Venus 17° Virgo quincunx Jupiter 17° Aquarius
October 4 Mercury 23° Virgo quincunx Neptune 23° Aquarius
October 4 Mercury 23° Virgo opposite Uranus 23° Pisces
October 4 Mars 23° Cancer quincunx Neptune 23° Aquarius
October 7 Venus 21° Virgo quincunx Chiron 21° Aquarius
October 9 Venus 21° Virgo opposite Uranus 21° Aquarius
October 9 Venus 21° Virgo quincunx Neptune 21° Aquarius
October 12 Jupiter stations direct 17° Aquarius

* This list is not a complete list of all transits for the month but the significant times during the month when it would be a good idea to survey the inner landscape.

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