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, April 12, 2014

Follow the Moon: Forecast– April 13, 2014 – April 19


Sticking out one’s neck. Today I want to write about “doing it afraid.” My favorite description for Aries boldness comes from Cynthea Jones of Diana’s Grove Mystery School. She says that when people see Aries, they see courage and daring because Aries goes first. Aries people make a life of sticking out their necks over and over. What most don’t see is that Aries rarely feels confident about this. In fact, speaking as an Aries myself, we are often terrified. But the Aries season is about boldness of beginnings. Cynthea taught that Aries is continually “doing it afraid.” The image in nature is the first green shoot popping up above ground after winter recedes. This is literally sticking your neck out. Will the cold come back and kill me? Will a hungry animal make a meal from my tender shoot? Will I be stepped on? Where’s the guarantee that life’s daring is going to pay off? I wish I knew, because I would sign up for that guarantee.

No guarantees but a lot of potential. This Aries lunar cycle* elevates the sensation of risking one’s neck for a potentially big payoff. Yes, I’m talking about that Grand Cardinal Cross and Full Moon lunar eclipse that kicks into gear this week. I’ve been writing about this aspect configuration since this lunar cycle began. [If you are curious or want to know more, see my introduction to the Aries lunar cycle.] Other astrologers are writing about this event too. Ralfee Finn is an astrologer who isn’t prone to overstating things and has an interesting point of view. [Read what she writes about this transit]. Essentially, a grand cross looks like the planets are forming a box. Is it wrong that I keep seeing this box as a guillotine waiting for us to stick out our necks this month? Here’s the thing, in the land of metaphor, getting your head chopped off isn’t the worst thing that can happen. It just feels that way. Hence, the anticipation of something dire soon to happen may be the worst part of this transit.

What is the benefit of sticking your neck out? The obvious answer is nothing new is ever achieved without some risk. The feeling of doing it afraid, in the right amount, is stimulating, approaching the feeling of joy for some. However, there are levels of fear that are in no way beneficial. I am in the process of noticing that kind of fear response in my life right now. What are the practices that help me retain joy as I stick out my neck once again? As I await the explosion of flowers soon to come, I’m drawn to working with a flower essence. Here is what I’ve learned from Flower Essence Society about the lovely blue flower that bees love so much, borage: “Borage, as a flower essence, is for heavy heartedness and lack of confidence when facing challenges. The remedy is said to bring courage to the taker, providing a condition of 'buoyancy of the soul'. (Katz and Kaminski 1994)" That feels like a good remedy for fear of risk and for the season of new beginnings.

Let’s not squander this opportunity to stick our necks out in a big way this month. Nothing is gained from hiding. Perhaps daring is what we humans are really good at. Perhaps the interconnected web of all beings need us to stick our necks out from time to time. When we show up, exposed and hoping, perhaps we contribute to the green force of desire renewing the land.

Forecast– April 13, 2014 – April 19
Moon enters Libra 3:33 am CDT
Sunday, April 13.
The actual Full Moon occurs on Tuesday at 2:42 am (CDT). But don’t be fooled, for all intents and purposes, the Full Moon begins when the Moon enters Libra today and just gets more and more intense until the energy peaks with the lunar eclipse in the very early hours of Tuesday morning. All the Libra areas of life are key to the integration and illumination of this particular Aries cycle—relationship, balance, justice, beauty. Appreciate the mirrors in your life. By this, I don’t mean those shiny things that reflect exterior surfaces. I mean the kind of mirrors that show us what is really going on inside each of us. These can be our beloveds, our enemies, our aspirations and beliefs; even the yearning for wholeness can be a mirror. Mars retrograding in Libra is pulling us out of ourselves to get a new perspective on what is going on inside. This Full Moon promises to be surprising and illuminating.

Moon in Libra
Monday, April 14.
The actual Full Moon happens at 2:42 am CDT tomorrow. But this is the day of big balancing forces. First of all, Pluto stations retrograde today. For several years now, Pluto makes this annual station in the spring when the Earth is waking in the northern hemisphere and going dormant in the south. This means deep rumblings from the god of the underworld. Earth energy is potent. Planets become stronger at their stations. Since Pluto is also moving into position for the grand cardinal cross, we will feel the breath of the underworld on our vulnerable, extended necks (see intro to the week). Pluto gives us a choice, to stay in control but cut off from life force, or to let the wildness of transformation run through our lives so we may harness the power of regeneration. Risk is involved. Pluto is acting in the public realm as well. How do we negotiate with transformation? How do we encourage a rebalancing of power? By 11 am (CDT) the Moon in Libra will have aspected every planet in the cardinal cross—Jupiter, Uranus, Pluto and Mars. Then, even more significantly, Mercury in Aries begins to transit these same planets. We may try to release stress by communicating. Some of this communication may not be as graceful as we want it to be. In fact, we can all be a little more forgiving of misspoken passion. We could all be guilty of it. But this impulsiveness also serves a purpose—if we wait till we feel 100% confident before saying something, we may never get the idea off our chests. Before going to bed tonight, decide if you want to see the lunar eclipse that will be visible in the central time zone at 2:47 am. Here is a website to calculate when the eclipse will be visible where you live.
 

Moon enters Scorpio 11:20 am CDT
April 15—Full Moon: Illuminating. Lunar Eclipse.
This Full Moon is a day of extremes. The Moon brings illumination but also darkness. Just as we are ready to release some of the constricting energy of the grand cross that has held us in its grip, the illuminating Moon turns dark from an eclipse. The contrast between the desire to let go and the necessity to still hang on could be dramatic. How will you work with this paradox? Physical work and play could help with tension. Quiet meditation could help with impatience. Gratitude practice gives perspective and renews a sense of joy. Beauty is always a tonic and guide to return to what really matters. The signs of this cardinal cross remind us of the core areas of a happy life—knowing who we are, a home and hearth that nurtures us, relationships that support us, and work that is worthy of our aspirations. Pour blessings into these areas.

When the Moon enters Scorpio, we may need to turn inward to find restoring balance after a big expenditure of energy. Neptune encourages compassion for self and others.

Moon in Scorpio
Wednesday, April 16.
During an intense and powerful week, this day of a Scorpio Moon invites us to go deeper. Look under the surface for a source of power and transformation. People may want to spend more time alone or in more intimate settings. This isn’t a day for superficial social exchange. Be discerning. Interactions and conversations could be deep, healing, and illuminating if we are fearless about looking at ourselves and if we are able to find the right person to dialog with. Mercury in Aries is opposite Mars in Libra. This is a potentially passionate transit. Move past minor annoyance to value the mirror that is being held up for you. Mars is quincunx to the shamanic healer, Chiron. We may feel vulnerable but there is a potential to move past patterns of woundedness. In the midst of this intensity, Venus, Moon, and Jupiter encourage heart-centered feelings. We have support to be in this vulnerable place. 

Moon enters Sagittarius 4:44 pm CDT
Thursday, April 17.
As the day begins, we feel earnest about our commitments and what we have learned from the last few days. Take that in and then let it go. Trust the process of transformation. The trine between Venus in Pisces and Jupiter in Cancer encourages watery expressions. We are better able to see everyone’s sensitive edges of growth. Conventional astrological wisdom could caution us to avoid feeling over-expansive, especially in the arena of spending money or falling in love too quickly. But, after the challenging transits we’ve been having, it feels good to indulge in a little fantasy. When the Moon enters Sagittarius in the early evening (CDT), the desire to escape pressure gets stronger. Do we always have to act like grown-ups? New adventures could reveal new truths. This is a day to enjoy synchronicities of all sorts.

Moon in Sagittarius
April 18—Disseminating Moon: Sharing.
What have you learned about yourself these last two and a half weeks since the Aries lunar cycle began? The Aries mission is to discover yet another truth about our identities. Who are we? The beginning of the journey sets a pattern for the whole experience. That pattern is a layer of self. Through self-awareness we can enhance or shift the patterns. As the Moon wanes through the rest of the cycle, we develop more perspective about our patterns. This is the fruit of this disseminating phase of the Moon. We are harvesting self-awareness.

The Moon in Sagittarius encourages storytelling. Tell the story of who you are right now. The lessons we are learning are not so hard to take with an encouraging aspect between Venus and Pluto. These two make passionate love today. Let that inspire you!

The winds of spring may be strong today. Notice what happens when you let go of control and let change blow through your life as well.  

Moon enters Capricorn 8:28 pm CDT
Saturday, April 19.
Although some of the tension of this month may seem lessened by the release of the Full Moon, the grand cardinal cross is still very much in force and getting stronger. The quincunx between Venus and Mars today may ruffle our relationship feathers. The differences between us may reach an untenable stage or we may find a new way to resolve conflict. Big energies are moving through our lives. Give yourself a break if the pressure seems overwhelming. At the brink of big decisions, what actions serve your intentions? Who do you want to be as you start a new pattern in your life? Earth grounds us just in time. The Moon moves into earthy Capricorn and the Sun enters earthy Taurus this evening (CDT). The Aries lunar cycle isn’t over, but it has suddenly become more real, more grounded, and we see how our new beginnings can manifest in the world.

*The Aries lunar cycle began on March 30 at the New Moon. Read more about the beginning of this lunar cycle on my Starsdance blog at: https://tinyurl.com/ow7pd9e

Contact Teri at teri@starsdanceastrology.com and visit her website at www.starsdanceastrology.com

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Follow the Moon: Forecast– April, 6 2014 – April 12


Are we having fun yet? Last week, I declared that the New Moon in Aries* is the true beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. A week later, it is time for a check in. What have you noticed? If spring is about beginnings, a fresh start, an undeniable impulse to join with the emerging life force, then what did you notice last week? Ninety-nine percent of astrology is paying attention to the present moment. Astrology is a framework for structuring this awareness. Certainly, astrologers spend a lot of time thinking about what the future transits will bring, but the only way we have any reference at all to the potentialities of a maybe future is to spend a lot of time noticing the present.
A conundrum for me as a prognosticator (love that word, which for me hints at another word, procrastinator, something I am quite good at) is to separate personal experience from universal. I can’t help but see the present moment through my own personal lens. What responsibilities does this incur? How do I account for what may be a skewed vision, depending on my personal situation at any moment? I am constantly pondering these questions. Sometimes I feel I need to be transparent about them. Now is one of those times.

Spring is stalled for me. My personal situation is living in the upper Midwest where we just received 6+ inches of snow on the 4th day of April. I can imagine that somewhere, many other somewheres in fact, spring is really happening. There is grass; there are flowers. Not here. I also happen to be an Aries. My birthday is coming up. With my ruling planet, Mars, retrograding through Libra, perhaps I feel more acutely than others how slow things are progressing. This retrograde Mars is slowly moving into a Grand Cardinal Cross with Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto later this month. This aspect configuration looks like a cross. When we are on the cross, we are skewered by many challenges into a kind of freeze frame. If the tensions are just right, we don’t go anywhere. Until the dam breaks. This is the problem with being an astrologer. I am looking ahead to when the dam is going to break. Hypervigilance just creates more discomfort, confirming what I expected from this lunar cycle: a lot of tension and uncertainty, mixed with expectation for renewal.

So, here I am at the second week of the lunar cycle, waiting for the dam to break. This is where I am; where are you? One of my intentions for this Aries lunar cycle is to explore strategies for times of new beginnings. I’ve had a lifetime of Aries beginnings to reflect on the regrets and pleasures of being carried forward by life’s momentum. Is there a different way to still be an Aries and be more centered and mindful as life takes me for the next turn? I am still wondering.

Forecast– April, 6 2014 – April 12

Moon in Cancer
Sunday, April 6.
The metaphor of the moment for me is a dam breaking. Will something that is stuck be released today? The aspects between the Moon, Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto could very well signal that something like this happens. Are you ready to give a nudge to release the tension? The ultimate goal of this release could fall anywhere, but with the Moon in Cancer, we are particularly attuned to safety, home, and family. Cancers are also nurturers. Have you been pushed to the max in taking care of others? What has to give to bring things into more balance? How do we share responsibility?

Moon in Cancer
April 7—First Quarter Moon: Manifesting.
Notice the obstacles that present themselves to you today. And then, notice your reactions. This phase of the Moon is created by a square aspect between the Sun and Moon. Squares are about tension and challenge. What was begun at the New Moon is being tested. This test is a necessary stage of manifestation. Although it can feel uncomfortable, we know something is really happening when the discomfort forces us to make a choice, a decision, take an action. We also get to notice our patterns when these types of challenges occur. The more familiar I am with my patterns, the better I can shift them to another resolution. It is all information. I am telling myself this as I notice that today may be challenging and impulsivity may be higher too. Mercury enters Aries today. This planet is our next instigator of change. Next week, Mercury will aspect the planets of the forming Grand Cardinal Cross: Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto. Mercury’s quickness of thought and action is enhanced by being in the speed-loving sign of Aries. Isn’t faster better? This is a pattern I wish to investigate. Mercury in this sign is an ally of telling our truth. The telling may be impulsive and it could very well end by moving us farther on the path toward real change. Impatience is present. A good counterbalance to encountering the impatience of others is to take calming breaths and find the divine humor in our silly human responses. The calming influence today comes from a trine between the Moon in Cancer and Saturn in Scorpio. We may just want to hide out at home tonight. Nothing wrong with that.

Moon enters Leo 4:50 am CDT
Tuesday, April 8.
The crescendo of a Mars retrograde, if we can visualize Mars retrograde as even having a crescendo, comes at the halfway point when Mars opposes the Sun. That happens today. Mars in Libra is opposite the Sun in Aries. We are halfway through the backward journey with Mars, and today the Sun sheds light on what we have been experiencing and what it means to us. The story is a little more dramatic because the Sun is in the sign that Mars rules. The Sun is encouraging us to expand into the world through the green force of desire. Who knows where it will lead? And Mars isn’t making that easy at all. In fact, we are more reflective of our impact on others than is usual in this time of bold beginnings. Does this feel uncomfortable or just right? I am thinking about the ways we are being asked to look at privilege in our lives right now. In a sense, an unchecked Mars does represent privilege—an ability to act without having to consider the consequences. Perhaps this Mars retrograde is showing us that this privilege is a type of blindness. The Sun shines a light and Mars shines it back.

Moon in Leo
Wednesday, April 9.
The Moon in Leo helps us move forward. If you are feeling paralyzed by choice right now, consider doing the thing that brings the most spark to your life. This spark could be creativity, fun, romance, or anything that makes you feel just a little proud of yourself. Puff out your chest; toot your horn. Go where the light is shining. Life does not always have to be all sturm and drang. Hopefully, each of us finds the joy that supports the growth of this season.

Moon enters Virgo 5:07 pm CDT
Thursday, April 10.
If you are feeling a bit unambitous, don’t worry about it. The Moon is void-of course until the evening when the Moon enters Virgo (CDT), which will signal a renewed desire to get something accomplished. With the Moon in playful Leo, it may be a good day to find a bit of Sun to bask in. The fires of spring are rising; attune yourself to that warmth. Don’t let the sudden shift from driftless pleasure into earnest perfomance of tasks in the evening be a cause for self-criticism. We get plenty of time over the next two days to make use of Virgo industriousness.

Moon in Virgo
April 11—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting.
What if the last couple of days have been a respite from personal crisis? Wouldn’t that be great? If you have been able to let go of some of the cares you’ve been carrying around, then you are better poised to make good use of this Gibbous Moon phase in Virgo. If not, then don’t cave to the pressure of perfectionism. I fervently believe we accomplish more through imperfection. We need that fudge factor of chance mixed with our glorious mistakes to really get anywhere.

There are a slew of aspects today making it an interesting stew of possibilities. The Sun in Aries is quincunx Saturn in Scorpio. The quincunx aspect can be very determined to tidy up loose ends, to make sense of the nonsensical. Saturn tends to gravitate towards self-criticism, so we may feel the heaviness and pressure to be perfect. Beginner’s mind is a gift offered by the Aries season. Beginner’s mind encourages us to let go of being an expert. We are just beginning right now—a whole season of growth is before us. How do you wish to greet these possibilities?

Venus conjoins Neptune today in Pisces, giving us a great counterpoint to any sense we can create perfect order in our lives. Beauty and reverie guide us to balance. Open to your mystical side.

Moon in Virgo
Saturday, April 12.
A Virgo Moon on a weekend day has us wanting to do some spring cleaning around the house. How good does it feel to clean away the remnants of winter? I invite you to look at clearing away a remnant of winter in you deeper self as well. What has been holding you back? An adjustment can be made today to open up the channels. Perhaps the dam will not break, perhaps by steady attention and conscious release, we find ourselves flowing to a new place. Perhaps we are already doing the work.

*The Aries lunar cycle began on March 30 at the New Moon. Read more about the beginning of this lunar cycle on my Starsdance blog at: https://tinyurl.com/ow7pd9e

Contact Teri at teri@starsdanceastrology.com and visit her website at www.starsdanceastrology.com

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Follow the Moon: Forecast– March 30, 2014 – April 5


This poem:
“The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you

Don't go back to sleep!

You must ask for what you really want.

Don't go back to sleep!

People are going back and forth 

across the doorsill where the two worlds touch,

The door is round and open

Don't go back to sleep!”
by

Rumi

This poem is my perennial hope for every spring—to greet the dawning year with knowledge that now is the time to ask for what I really want, and to embrace being fully awake to the journey initiated by this desire. Desire takes us far this season. Desire plays a particular role in this spring’s awakening. This month, the story of spring becomes both intense and exciting, and Mars, the planet of desire, is telling the tale.

The New Moon of March 30 is the beginning of the astrological year. Although the Sun entered Aries on March 20, the season of emergence really begins at the Aries New Moon. The round door is open; there is activity now through the portal. People are going back and forth. Now, right now, what do you really want? Now, right now, it is time to listen to the secrets that the dawn breezes are whispering. Now, right now, it is time to finally shed winter’s protective layer. Now, it is time to greet the season with unabashed daring.

Mars the storyteller. Mars the challenger. Every two years, Mars takes a retrograde journey. During this period, Mars spends more time in a sign. Usually this fiery planet, the ruler of Aries, moves briskly through the zodiac. Mars prefers Aries because this sign also likes to speed along. Reflection is not an innate instinct to Aries or Mars, but each Mars retrograde forces us to slow down to reflect on passion, drive, and desire. It can be quite a good thing to slow these energies, not only to cool hot-headed reactions but to spend more time savoring our desires. So, Mars retrograde isn’t exactly a bad thing, just a different thing. An opportunity, like so many planetary transits are, to go deeper, to become more mindful. Another piece to consider: Mars in Libra, the sign opposite Aries, increases the introverted nature of this Mars retrograde. Something is brewing inside us. Tensions can build if we don’t allow for more flexibility during this transit. Here is where it gets interesting. Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto will form a grand cardinal cross with retrograde Mars this month. Staying cool-headed about anything will be harder. We are reaching a crescendo in April. In some way, we each are changing; the earth is changing; the paradigms of culture are changing.

But, remember that round door of awakening? That this is the time to ask for what we really want? Spring itself is asking us to risk uncertainty and exposure. We don’t want to play it too safe nor should we heedlessly embroil ourselves in turmoil when the gift of spring is a fresh start. The challenge this month will be to know when to be bold in pursuit of our desires and when to be more reflective. For now, my strategy is to practice enjoying the sensation of slowing down to savor my desire but not going back to sleep. The potential of this Aries season requires our whole attention.

Forecast– March 30, 2014 – April 5

Moon in Aries
March 30—New Moon: Dreaming.
Big energies are brewing. The spring feels like it starts today. The wonderful thing about Aries, the sign of the New Moon, is that the momentum of life takes over for us. We don’t have to try too hard to get things going—they want to go all on their own. An increasing momentum toward action and change is the theme of the lunar cycle.


The Sun and Moon are near to the tightening aspects between Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto in the chart for the New Moon. These planets of change have a mission to upset the status quo in favor of authenticity, renovated power structures, and strong places of protection and support. The tone they have been setting is one of uncertainty amidst change. Some of us can’t wait for the shift; others are wondering how to get our bearings. Transits to these planets this month will create spikes in this field of experience. The Sun and Moon begin the process.

At each New Moon I begin to set intention for the lunar cycle. Some months, I know exactly what I need, at other times I use the three days after the New Moon to dream about where I to focus next. You have those options as well. Perhaps you will want to focus on defining what you wish to begin in this season of fresh starts. Or perhaps, like me, you want to focus on the strategies of beginnings, knowing that without much effort, new growth will happen anyway. I want to explore my fear of change, which keeps me from embracing new possibility. I want to practice radical engagement with the life force. I want to find a way to dance through the uncertainty with joy and compassion. I want to open wide my arms and feel alive and awake. With that desire as my guide, I begin to search for the ways I can manifest more wholeness and aliveness in this season.

Other forces are present at the beginning of this cycle. Venus in Aquarius is square to Saturn in Scorpio. Relationship negotiation continues. Is the conflict between commitment and freedom? Is it between transparency and secrets? The struggle may be to make room for everything. Is it possible? Surely we feel the stress of trying to make it so.

Neptune, Chiron, and Mercury in Pisces continue to attune our hearts to empathic connections as the lunar cycle starts. Mercury will leave Pisces for Aries at the start of the second week of this cycle. Words happen faster than thought under this Aries influence. It will help to avoid communication problems if we remember these heart connections. When Venus enters Pisces on April 5, we are given help to remain sensitive and tuned in to each other.

Moon in Aries
Monday, March 31.
Was your yesterday overwhelming or just very exciting? Spring winds can blow both ways. At least once today, practice spontaneity. Do something without forethought. Tomorrow is actually April Fool’s day, but with the Moon in Aries today, embrace the Aries/April fool in you. One of my favorite April fools, my friend Paul, says that when you goof up, just open your arms really wide and say as loudly as possible, “How fascinating!” Hopefully, each of us finds the fascination of foolishness today.

Moon enters Taurus 12:20 am CDT
Tuesday, April 1.
Are you itching to get your hands in some dirt? Do it if you can! The Moon in Taurus is a fine time to plant a garden or at least start some seeds. The grounding of earth is a gift in tempestuous times. The Moon reinforces inspiration and belief. We feel stronger too. However, the Sun squares Jupiter and we might have a tendency to be more reactive when challenged. Sometimes a passionate response is appropriate, even desirable. Some of us will be feeling defensive, others like daredevils. Watch out for the sparks. Today, in honor of April fools everywhere, notice the times when you just don’t care what others think, and express yourself freely!

Moon in Taurus
Wednesday, April 2.
The sparks continue today from the direction of the Sun’s conjunction with Uranus. Impatience or a strong desire to upset the status quo of your life is just a super-dosed expression of what the Aries lunar cycle is all about—going into the unknown to claim a lost piece of your authentic self. Aries is impulsive. Today is especially so. Mercury in Pisces contributes a strong desire to find our commonality, to merge our heart experiences into a story of collective desire. However, there is a struggle between the instinct to be true to ourselves and the sensitivity evoked by planets in the water signs. The elements struggle to work together. Here is a cooperative image: the banks of a river holding back the rising waters of newly melted snow. Under a dramatic spring thaw the river almost floods, but if we can hold fast to our boundaries, the energies flow well and we are cleansed.

Moon enters Gemini 6:48 am CDT
April 3—Crescent Moon: Beginning.
Ah, the Moon phase of beginning in the season of beginning. Do you feel the rising energy? With the Moon in Gemini, it will be hard not to. We are ready to make connections with others on our way to embracing the transformative forces of this lunar cycle. Today the Sun is square to Pluto. The power of life emanating from the earth is palpable. Pluto is the force and god of compost. This planet rules the transformative process of death, but not to keep things dead forever. Through the power of compost, earth and life are renewed. We can notice what has finished composting in our lives. Has a past death become the start of new life? We honor both states, the mourning and the renewal. From this place, our beginnings are blessed.

Moon in Gemini
Friday, April 4.
The last three days have set a pattern for this lunar cycle and for the entire spring season ahead. Have you found the thing you are most passionate about? How has that desire shifted your trajectory? The Moon in Gemini encourages curiosity. We want to learn something. The means are varied, but something is still missing, and a new fact or a new friend just might have what you are looking for. Let the joy of the desirous quest carry you forward into the weekend.

Moon enters Cancer 4:40 pm CDT
Saturday, April 5.
Of the two weekend days, this one will be the most mellow. A bit of communication mix-up could occur this morning (CDT). There is always more than one way to get our messages across. We notice the intersection between verbal and wordless expression today. Another shift: Venus enters Pisces until May 2. Venus is exalted in this water sign and she gives us a welcome respite from the hyperactivity of this month. Venus encourages reverie—the daydream that helps us attune to the beauty around and within. This is an enticing spice to add to our spring stew. When the Moon moves into Cancer this afternoon (CDT) and forms a harmonious connection with Venus, pause to appreciate the beauty surrounding you. You may even want to create something lovely in your home to honor the Moon and Venus.

Contact Teri at teri@starsdanceastrology.com and visit her website at www.starsdanceastrology.com

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Follow the Moon: Forecast– March 23, 2014 – March 29


Spring in Minnesota. Where I live, right now, the snow is still several feet deep where the Sun doesn’t shine and there are patches of exposed earth where it does. We’ve had a hard winter, much colder than it has been for many years. They say, this too, is a result of global warming. Does it seem to you like the earth’s atmospheric systems are trying to attain equilibrium by swinging wildly between extremes? I am not a climate scientist, but this is what I am noticing and wondering about. The weather may seem like it is a metaphor for our lives right now—big fluctuations that are attempts to restore balance and stability—but I suspect that there is an actual one-to-one relationship. What happens in the weather does happen to us and inside us. We are, just like the climate, trying to find stability in the midst of change.

Because of this change and because it sometimes feels like the only way to find equilibrium right now is to be swept up in big waves of compensating energy, I’ve set an intention for this Pisces lunar cycle* to attend to self-love and self-care. I am finding that the more I care for my self, the greater my capacity to be present to whatever is happening in the moment. Being present is a state of equilibrium.

The astrological year begins at the spring equinox when the Sun enters Aries. The month before, during Pisces, we let go of the preceding year and especially the preceding season of winter, to be ready to merge with energies of expansion and growth in the new cycle. The last week of this Pisces lunar cycle is about bringing this process of shedding to an end. We notice and complete what is left in our process of softening and preparing.

Another feature of a hard northern winter is a pretty significant ground freeze. It went several feet deep this year. Now with the warming, the soil thaws slowly from the surface down as the Sun melts the snow and then begins to warm the ground beneath. The surface is spongy with water that can’t sink any deeper due to an impenetrable layer of still frozen earth. Hard and soft places are right next to each other, around us and within us. Self-care and self-love allow for a gentle softening so that emotion and energy (states of water) can flow again.

Notice the edges in your life right now. It can feel like the contrast of hard and soft, but also cold and warm. Wherever these edges of energy systems meet, a spiral is formed as a way to disperse the contrast. We don’t need to push against the change but rather need to remember to twirl and dance with it. After this final week of the Pisces lunar cycle, the spiraling winds of spring will rise. The work we do to soften and shed now is good preparation.

There is one week left before spring begins in earnest at the Aries New Moon on March 30. Transits through the water signs and the waning phases of the Moon will help us continue the Pisces process of self-care. Mercury will be in Pisces till April 7. This planet, which influences our thoughts and dreams, supports this intention. When the Moon returns to Pisces for the last two days of this lunar cycle, the 28th and 29th, we complete our preparations.

Forecast– March 23, 2014 – March 29

Moon enters Capricorn 3:03 pm CDT
March 23—Last Quarter Moon: Evaluating.
With the Moon in Capricorn, we could turn the evaluating process into the type of self-criticism that doesn’t actually help us evaluate anything at all. Where is the value in this lunar cycle experience for you? What did you notice that really helped, was really valuable, that gave you clarity or strength? With Capricorn determination we are able to incorporate this value into our lives. Our experiences become actual resources for us. Notice the fine line between substantive evaluation and needless self-criticism. Create an anchor to remembering that distinction.  

Moon in Capricorn
Monday, March 24.
Let’s continue the practice from yesterday—creating an anchor to remember the distinction between substantive evaluation and needless self-criticism. We have real work to do in the world and we need tools for those times that we doubt this or feel hopeless about our progress. The Moon contacts Neptune and Mercury while we sleep (Central time zone). Dreams are significant as we wake this morning. High energy takes off early with the Moon opposing Jupiter, squaring Uranus, and conjunct Pluto, all by 2:00 pm CDT. We notice the stressors of life. The choice is to freeze up or grab the opportunity to do concrete work. Taking small steps away from inertia are just as good as grand efforts.

Moon enters Aquarius 5:39 pm CDT
Tuesday, March 25.
The Moon doesn’t enter Aquarius until the early evening hours (CDT). Most of the day, the Moon is void-of-course with the last aspect from the Moon being a square to Mars in Libra in the morning. Tension is present, but we may not have enough energy to do anything about it. Don’t let this unnecessarily frustrate you. We have a good opportunity to notice how we habitually react to pressure or stress and choose a different path if we want. Experiment. Mistakes are good today.

Moon in Aquarius
Wednesday, March 26.
Mercury in Pisces is cordially visiting the planets in water signs until the first week in April (Neptune, Jupiter, Chiron, Saturn). The planet of thoughts and dreams is supporting our final work of self-care and preparation for the forward momentum that will begin in earnest with the next New Moon in Aries on March. 30. Today Mercury is trine to Jupiter in Cancer. Big feelings can overwhelm, but they can also cleanse us. Where does the water go? Where do big emotions go when we no longer want to hold them? The Moon in Aquarius gives us some distance from being overwhelmed by watery experience. A part of us wants to describe and evaluate these feelings. Try that approach on, and see if it helps.

Moon enters Pisces 7:10 pm CDT
March 27—Balsamic Moon: Surrendering.
Between the worlds—the Balsamic phase can feel like this. The Moon doesn’t enter Pisces until this evening (CDT), and most of the day the Aquarius Moon is void-of-course. A void Moon can invoke a state of limbo, which fits well with the energy of the Balsamic phase. When the Moon finally returns to Pisces, the surrendering of this cycle is felt strongly. Letting go of letting go. What does a clean slate feel like? What is the state of your thawing from winter? Are you ready for new growth? Be gentle with yourself during the last days of this lunar cycle. I’ve discovered that self-care can look like a lot of different things. It can look like going to bed earlier, or forgiving myself for missing a deadline. It can look like trying to eat healthier and it can look like forgiving myself for using food to comfort myself. It isn’t just one thing and I am finding self-care is less about what I do and more about how I value myself. I’ve also come to realize that self-care is a radical act. We receive countless messages every day about how we are secondary, not good enough, and need to fill the emptiness with material things. For the last three days of this cycle, refuse to believe any of this. With the Moon squaring Saturn this morning, we get ample opportunity to gently release negative self-talk.

Moon in Pisces
Friday, March 28.
Mercury in Pisces makes a favorable contact with Pluto today. Pluto is in earth sign Capricorn. The relationship between the elements of water and earth can enhance the strength of each. When we build strong containers, the water of our souls can flourish and nourish ourselves and others. Claim the power of self-love today. Notice the clarity it brings to relationships. Notice the healing it brings to you. This day is all about flow. Who are your allies in developing self-compassion? They can be human, animal, plant, mineral, or spirit. Today, if we pay attention, we see our allies encouraging us to open. The day ends with Moon joining Mercury. Evening plans could include writing, conversing, or learning about self-love.

Moon enters Aries 8:53 pm CDT
Saturday, March 29.
This is another mostly Moon void-of-course day. Exhale and release to prepare for the next phase of growth. Mercury conjoins Chiron right after midnight (CDT). Dreams could influence our journeys toward compassionate living. Water is transformative. It is essential for life, it can be supportive of work we do to release, and water can be overwhelming. Since Chiron entered Pisces in 2010 we’ve experienced the pain of death in the ocean—the BP oils spill, the tsunami in Japan, the recent loss of the Malaysian jet are a few notable events—we are linked by common experiences that open our hearts. Chiron is initiating us into increasing our capacity to hold more compassion. What are you noticing?

The watery emphasis of today’s transits is modified by planets in air signs. Venus in Aquarius is trine to Mars in Libra. Air gives us perspective when water feels too strong. Relationships of all kinds are serving to give us perspective at this time. Our relationships can feel like a lifeline. Venus is also square to Saturn in another water sign, Scorpio. We need to adjust how we are relating. We may be challenged to make room for both emotion and analysis. Some of us will make deeper relationship commitments today. Others will realize that relationship dynamics need to change. What do you need?

*The Pisces lunar cycle began on March 1 at the New Moon. See more about the beginning of this lunar cycle at: http://tinyurl.com/kcakdq7
Contact Teri at teri@starsdanceastrology and visit her website at www.starsdanceastrology.com

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Follow the Moon: Forecast– March 16, 2014 – March 22


I’ve been following an intention of self-care this lunar cycle (begun at the New Moon in Pisces on March 1*). We’re only halfway through this lunar month and it feels like it’s been four weeks instead of two. Self-care requires self-love; self-love is a hard road sometimes. You may have noticed this too.  

The self is vast. The self holds many stories and likes to tell them over and over to the self—stories of all types, some painful and some beautiful. The self is bliss—the mindful self is awake and alive to all the delights and wonders of the world. The self is small, sometimes feeling isolated and ineffectual. The self is transforming. In a world where the only constant is change, the self is always changing and noticing change. All this and more is here, inside the self, inside me. All this and more has been developing inside our selves since the spring of 2013 when the Sun entered Aries and began a new year. The astrological year, like the agricultural year, begins in spring. It is helpful to remember that our bodies still belong to the earth’s cycles and it is a big deal to let go of one entire year to make way for the next. It is a big deal to tend to the self, to empty and to cleanse from all that is held within the self so that a new cycle can begin. As the Rumi poem so beautifully says, “we wash ourselves of ourselves” in this Pisces season of letting go.

Extricating all that is held within the self through self-care is not easy. It seems like it should be easy, but it isn’t. So, if you are feeling tender, like I am feeling tender at this halfway point in a cycle of self-care, at least you can know you aren’t alone. This work is important. This spring’s energies will be high, may be intense, and will certainly require us to be gentle with ourselves. We are not purging. We are releasing. The flow of water through planetary transits this week may help us remember that.

Forecast– March 16, 2014 – March 22

Moon enters Libra 7:46 pm CDT
March 16—Full Moon: Illuminating.
Pent up energy is often released at a Full Moon. Often, that is where the illumination comes from. With the energetic release, we suddenly understand something new or we are in new relationship to something old. We are at a culminating point for the intention of this lunar cycle of release and self-care. We need Virgo’s help (the sign of this Full Moon) to help integrate our Pisces experiences. These two signs complement each other by offering another side to the work of self-love. Both Virgo and Pisces are signs of devotion. In devotion, Pisces bends towards salvation; Virgo bends towards service. Pisces is good at losing the edges of self. Virgo is good at organizing them. Both can help us practice self-care. And done to the extreme, both can be destructive to self-care. Every Full Moon invites us to balance extremes.

Big feelings may be present at this Full Moon. If you notice too much self-criticism, let Pisces remind you that the self if small and is redeemed through a larger perspective. If you are feeling disappointed in your ability to practice self-love, let Virgo help you place your feet back on the ground to take that next small step toward your goal. What we are doing now to create such balance in our lives will help with the transits of the coming spring. The aspect pattern between Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto is getting more exact over the next month. We may notice our own stress or the stress of others increasing. Pragmatic compassion helps us to stay grounded in our lives and hearts.

There’s a possibility we cross wires with someone we care about today. The Pisces Sun and Mars in Libra create a little friction. We may be angry that the other person isn’t more present or that our feelings are not being respected. The solution may be to remember you both want the same connection and just have different ways of getting there.

Moon in Libra
Monday, March 17.
Relationships continue to be a little touchy today. The Libra scales are being used to weigh the pros and cons in our partnerships. It is hard to compromise if you feel the other person isn’t doing the same. Venus in Aquarius makes a quincunx aspect to Jupiter in Cancer. This aspect heightens a sense of being from different planets. In reality, not everyone thinks the same way or wants the same things. We get to practice appreciating differences today. Take time to think over any rash responses you might want to make because Mercury enters Pisces and that can diffuse our ability to focus clearly. Mercury stays in Pisces for the next three weeks; use this time to release old thought patterns as we practice self-care in this Pisces lunar cycle. Another stressor today is that the Moon is triggering the aspect pattern between Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto. What are you noticing about our changing world? What are your strategies for self-care?

Moon in Libra
Tuesday, March 18.
Look for people who delight you today—the odder, the better. Venus in Aquarius is happily interacting with Uranus (the ruler of Aquarius). Embrace difference! Find the comrades who support your causes. Form alliances that bring your visions forward. Break some rules and get away with it. You could feel the urge to break free of a confining relationship. Give yourself space to listen to what you really think.

Moon enters Scorpio 4:13 am CDT
Wednesday, March 19.
Today is the last day of winter (in the northern hemisphere). Are you ready to let it go? With the Moon in Scorpio, we could feel a little resistant to shedding winter layers even if we are tired to death of it. These layers can be metaphorical as well as literal. Winter is a time to go within; the movement back out can be disorienting. A good way to support this shift is to honor the internal experience you have had. It has transformed you. The Moon creates a Grand Water Trine with Mercury in Pisces, Neptune in Pisces, and Jupiter in Cancer. Go with the flow. Let water bring you the place of self-love. Cleansing and nourishing, water makes the way for Sun’s ingress into spring tomorrow.

Moon in Scorpio
March 20—Disseminating Moon: Sharing. Spring Equinox.
The momentum towards spring’s renewal kicks into gear, even though the lunar cycle asks us to continue to work the Pisces journey of self-care. Remember the goal is to release the old forms, to learn compassion for self in order to hold compassion for others, to tend our souls so we may have more strength and resilience as we begin a new astrological year. Under this phase of the Moon, we share the merits of our practice of following an intention. Whatever self-love we’ve remembered to shower upon ourselves, we now are able to share with others. What has the journey been like for you? What are the gifts? Our souls are like a prepared field waiting for the seeds of this practice to take root. How will you continue to tend these seeds, which still need so much before they begin to show the green of new life?

The chart for the vernal equinox is an important one for astrological purposes. This is the chart to consider when looking ahead at the upcoming challenges for a nation. The chart for the equinox, set for Washington, D.C. shows Jupiter on the Ascendant opposed by Pluto on the Descendant. These planets showing up in this position mean that we will experience these two planets strongly over the next year. On the one hand, Jupiter can bring good fortune, on the other, being opposite Pluto, we also may experience big transformations. In addition, the Ascendant is at the exact degree of the Sun in our nation’s own birth chart. This same degree will be transited by a grand cross of planets in April, reinforcing the idea that big change and big energy is in store for us this year. The best way to work with Pluto transits is to honor our shadows, to be willing to look at our deeper issues, and to engage in the soul work of transformation. All this is possible for us collectively too. It is time to see with clear eyes and to affirm the right use of power—to apply ourselves to transforming culture so it can be more whole and more life sustaining. All this is possible with a Pluto transit. As we stand on this day, balanced between light and dark, let us invite the courage and clarity we need to see within the shadows and into the light of our visions.

Moon enters Sagittarius 10:39 am CDT
Friday, March 21.
We are in the foggy zone of Mercury approaching Neptune, and the Moon today doesn’t help as it is square to these two planets. We feel flashes of insight that may just as suddenly disappear. With that in mind, give yourself a lot of extra time and space to get things done. It is a good idea to be extra careful when driving. On the other hand, we can enjoy activities that are less focused on productivity and more focused on enjoyment. Your imagination wants to roam. Let it have a vacation. You might be surprised what it brings back from its travels.


Moon in Sagittarius
Saturday, March 22. Yesterday’s imagination journey supports spiritual states of mysticism, transcendence, and ecstasy today. You are getting messages. I can’t say they will all be correct. Remember the lessons of the Full Moon. What illumination did you receive about balancing pragmatism with compassion? That discernment could help you sort out fantasy from enlightenment today. Venus reaches its greatest elongation from the Sun in its current cycle as the Morning Star. That means Venus is as high in the sky as it will get before sunrise during this part of the Venus journey. If you get up early, look for the bright light of Venus. In Aquarius, Venus is adding hope to relationships that create more freedom, more authenticity, and more possibilities. She blesses our visions for the future.

*The Pisces lunar cycle began on March 1 at the New Moon. See more about the beginning of this lunar cycle at: http://tinyurl.com/kcakdq7
Contact Teri at teri@starsdanceastrology and visit her website at www.starsdanceastrology.com