Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Follow the Moon: Forecast for February 6—February 20

“A real love letter is made of insight, understanding, and compassion. Otherwise it's not a love letter. A true love letter can produce a transformation in the other person, and therefore in the world. But before it produces a transformation in the other person, it has to produce a transformation within us. Some letters may take the whole of our lifetime to write.”
-Thich Nhat Hanh, Your True Home: The Everyday Wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh

When the world looks bleak; when events conspire to force us into resistance and change; when the realness of threat to beloveds, to the Earth, to human goodness cannot be denied, love leads us forward. At the New Moon in Aquarius I planted the seeds of this intention: To lead with the love that unmasks, transforms, and liberates.

Love is transformation. The writers* I’ve consulted for my inspiration this month all stress that love is telling the truth. James Baldwin wrote about removing our masks. bell hooks takes up the same theme and encourages us to tell the truth about ourselves to ourselves and others. Communication is key. For love to transform, I must speak truth. Thich Nhat Hanh (above) asks us to write a love letter that will transform the world. But, he says, we have to write the letter to ourselves first. Self-love is hard. Just like self-honesty is. Shame silences. Breaking the silence of shame is worthy work. If we don’t speak up, we lose out on the transformative power of love.

Mercury is the planetary ally of communication. For the next two weeks, Mercury helps us communicate passion in its connections to Venus and Mars, vision in its connect to Uranus, and truth in its connections to Jupiter and Saturn. Mercury enters Aquarius on February 7. As the fixed air sign, Aquarius inspires vision and desire for authenticity. The balance this Mercury needs comes from water and earth—compassion and stability. When we remember these qualities, our minds are free to roam. Possibilities abound. We connect with like-minded instigators of change. If we dare, we can unmask ourselves in the pursuit of freedom. Perhaps, we learn a bit more about transformative love.

Aquarian revolution is tricky. This air sign is big on concept, and struggles to bring in the balance of heart and compassion. When the Sun enters Pisces on February 18, it is easier to feel the suffering of others and the ways we are more alike than different. The last week of the lunar cycle, which was seeded with Aquarian ideals of love, gives us a chance to feel what love means when we surrender control. A sensing into vulnerability completes the journey of the lunar intention to lead with love as we transform the world.

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.” — Brené Brown

We don’t know where this kind of love will take us. The Full Moon in Leo on February 10 is a lunar eclipse. The next New Moon in Pisces on February 26 will be a solar eclipse. Eclipses increase a feeling of uncertainty. Both the fears and the hopes we invest in the present moment seem bigger than normal. Another key component to vulnerability is self-love. Thich Nhat Hanh says it can take a lifetime to know how to write a love letter to ourselves. If we want to possess the kind of love that transforms the world, we will need to transform ourselves first.

Forecast for February 6—February 20

Moon in Gemini
Monday, February 6.
Jupiter in Libra stations retrograde today. Jupiter has carried the banner of justice since entering this sign in September 2016. Today it is appropriate to pause and consider what has transpired since then. Jupiter represents belief and hope. It fills our questing hearts with a deep desire for truth. All beliefs and truths benefit from reflection and reconsideration during the retrograde cycle. Mistakes get to be reworked. We hone our skills at sharing our truths. This inward motion can strengthen our resolve and help us adapt. Jupiter moves retrograde from now to early June. Do not lose hope just because things are complicated.

Moon enters Cancer 1:02 am CST
February 7—Gibbous Moon: Budding. Mercury enters Aquarius today for only two and a half weeks. This spurt of Aquarian vision may be brief but it will be intense, and not necessarily in a bad way. Think: jolts of insight, new pathways of consciousness, sudden inspiration, and strong desire to speak truthfully and transparently. The lunar intention seeded at the New Moon in Aquarius on January 17 is almost ready to blossom. At this budding stage, we feel pregnant with possibility. Air and fire qualities are getting the green light right now. For some, this speeding up of thought and action is exciting, for others it can be overwhelming. As we make our adjustments to the lunar seeds we’ve planted, we learn more about our intentions. The Moon in Cancer (cardinal water sign) challenges us to slow down to tend to self and others. Where are you rooted? What will you defend? This sense of protectiveness runs through the day with the Moon making a square aspect to Venus and Mars in Aries (cardinal fire sign).

My intention for this cycle, offered to you as inspiration, is to lead with love. Today, we are reminded of those we love and cherish like family. Can we expand our notion of family to include those who are different from us? Mercury and Sun in Aquarius push us to erase divisions. The Venus and Mars in Aries are quick to anger, quick to action, but they also give us courage to break patterns of exclusion.

Moon in Cancer
Wednesday, February 8. The Moon in Cancer completes a tense grand cross aspect pattern today. The planets in challenging relationship are Pluto in Capricorn, Uranus in Aries, and Jupiter in Libra. The least skillful of Cancer qualities may be hard to avoid due to intense feelings of oppression (Pluto), impatience (Uranus), and injustice (Jupiter). Cancer can feel defensive, victimized, and focused on managing others. Skillful Cancer encourages us to create supportive environments and is sensitive to the needs of others. Use this energy to focus on making everyone stronger by making the most vulnerable stronger.

Moon enters Leo 3:41 am CST
Thursday, February 9.
This lunar cycle was seeded in the sign of Aquarius at the New Moon. As the Moon enters Leo today, we get the full perspective from the opposite side of the zodiac. Tomorrow, this opposition culminates in a Full Moon lunar eclipse. Oppositions are expansive; we get the whole picture from a broader perspective. We are encouraged to account for opposing points of view, desires, and impulses. The Leo/Aquarius impulse is to find our authentic places in community. Leo seeks to know personal impact. Aquarius seeks to manifest collective visions of authenticity and freedom. Ego meets collaboration. Creativity meets revolution. This energy is electric. Because of the air and fire emphasis of these signs, the energy is also unsettling and impulsive. Other transits only emphasize these qualities. The Sun in Aquarius is sextile to Uranus (the co-ruler of Aquarius). We may have a hard time discerning the usefulness of our ideas today. Everything seems brilliant and we want credit for our ideas! The Moon is trine Venus and Mars in Aries, encouraging a desire to break down barriers and forge ahead. Leo rules the heart center. This is the heart that gives courage, the heart of loyalty, the heart of passion. Notice this fire and let it feed your creative endeavors.

Moon in Leo
February 10—Full Moon: Blossoming. Lunar Eclipse. This lunar cycle is about love, the fierce love of truth and transformation. Love awakens the sleeper. It clarifies what is important. It grounds us into life. To lead with love through tumultuous times is to be a warrior of the heart. This warrior will not be deterred by distractions or anything else that obstructs a clear vision of the beloved. This Leo Full Moon presents an opportunity to feel more deeply into whole-heartedness. Clear-hearted vision arises from the darkness that briefly crosses the face of the Moon. Shadows and light play together to reveal what matters most. Passions are high.

There are six “planets” occupying a narrow range of degrees from 21 to 25. These planets form a team, a cohesive force for change. All but one are in fire and air signs. Things could unfold quickly before we know what is happening. The key to tempering this momentum is Chiron at 22 degrees Pisces. Chiron as the wounded healer, the shaman who mediates the mysteries, stands at the apex of a yod aspect pattern involving the Moon in Leo and Jupiter in Libra. Chiron erases the division between self and others. As our hearts open to love, we are vulnerable to the pain and suffering around us. As Brené Brown reminds us, “Vulnerability is the birth place of love …” Creativity (the Leo Moon) and truth (Jupiter) develop soul and power when this vulnerability is welcomed.

The other planets on the love warrior team are the Sun in Aquarius shining a light into the future. Science, not alternative facts, helps create accountable relationship on Earth. Uranus in Aries is impatient for change and dares us to be fearless truthtellers. Saturn in Sagittarius asks us to be committed to uprooting the lies we tell ourselves so we may love who we are as much as we love the world. The Moon in Leo insists we stand up for ourselves, our identities, our love. The brighter we shine, the more we have to share. Many have been feeling depressed and overwhelmed by the political realities in the U.S. and around the world. Leo is here to reinvigorate. The mystery of energy is: the more we share generously, the more we have for ourselves. Test this formula for yourself. Love feeds love.

Venus in Aries is preparing for her retrograde journey beginning on March 4. At this time Venus is high in the western sky at sunset, inspiring us to bold actions. In this sign, Aries is ready to fight for beauty and justice. In this sign, Venus has an edge. We need to be careful in our intimate relationships to tamp down the flames of reactivity but in our struggles for justice, this Venus is an ally. She carries a torch, a lot like the Liberty Statue’s torch, illuminating the truth we stand for. Mercury in freedom-loving Aquarius strengthens this Venus by sextile. Love and truth are married.

Moon enters Virgo 7:52 am CST
Saturday, February 11
. When the Moon enters Virgo, our feet finally touch the ground. The last two days have been fiery. Now it is time to clean the house and organize the pantry—literally or metaphorically—you choose. Every prayer, every desire of defiance or intention, needs to be supported by action. What will you do today to support your dreams? The Sun in Aquarius makes a trine to Jupiter in Libra. Our dreams are large. Our hopes are enormous. Pragmatic action will help ground them into reality.

Moon in Virgo
Sunday, February 12
The Virgo Moon continues to help focus our passions in a pragmatic direction. Strength and support come from a trine to Pluto in Capricorn. Balance between fantasy and reality come from the opposition of the Moon and Neptune in Pisces. Pay attention to your health. Pull back from over-commitments.

Moon enters Libra 2:43 pm CST
Monday, February 13.
Brief roadblocks from a square between the Moon and Saturn in Sagittarius this morning (Central time zone) may discourage us, but optimism builds later in the day as we commit to working harder to overcome those setbacks. The Sun in Aquarius is approaching a sextile to Saturn. This aspect fuels our thoughts and visions for the future. The Moon in Libra for the next two days, reminds us that beauty and balance are vitally important to manifesting our dreams.

Moon in Libra
February 14—Disseminating Moon: Fruiting. Contrast the sentimental love of Valentine’s Day with the fierce love of transformation. This lunar cycle, I’ve been growing the seeds of love. This love reveals my true self, encourages self-love, and speaks the truth no matter how vulnerable it feels to do so. This love is the force that can change the course we are on right now. Do you feel it? This love includes complexity; acknowledging anger, frustration, and fear is part of the truth we feel. There is also compassion and desire for justice, as well as commitment and daring. This phase of the Moon bears the fruit for this lunar cycle. What have the seeds of love grown in your life?
Every day seems to bring new and alarming information. The Moon in Libra makes tense aspects to Mars in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn making it easier to see the cracks in the system and the need for action. Our nervous systems are suffering and yours may be crashing. Chiron in Pisces opens our gentle and traumatized selves. Jupiter in Libra bolsters our hope for better balance and justice. These two planets are in a paradoxical relationship that is hard to resolve. We may feel like giving up. Take the long view and step back from unrealistic expectations. How does love support you? What radical act of love is needed right now?

Moon in Libra
Wednesday, February 15.
As the Moon conjoins Jupiter today, try not to let problems become larger than they need to. Jupiter can push us over the top, but it can also remind us of our values. In Libra, we value balance, we value justice, we value beauty. Let these values guide you. As the Moon opposes Uranus, we may be tempted to panic or push ourselves too hard into change. One of the lies we are told is that if we don’t do it now, we will never get another chance. Whatever it is for you, there will be more chances. As we immerse ourselves in love, may our choices and actions gain power and wisdom.

Moon enters Scorpio 12:41 am CST
Thursday, February 16
How much do you want change? How far will you journey to create lasting change? The Moon in Scorpio asks us to commit passionately to our deepest desires. The journey through this desire will transform us. Today, Mercury in Aquarius, the instigator of awakened change makes a favorable contact with Mars in Aries, the willing warrior. We feel a sense of momentum building. The willingness to change ourselves is the first place to start.

Moon in Scorpio
Friday, February 17.
Messages come from many sources and in many styles. With the Moon is Scorpio, these message could seem dark, soulful or even frightening. Emotional awareness is communicating with us. With Mercury in Aquarius, the messages might contain brilliant insight and abstract analysis. With the Moon making a square to Mercury in Aquarius, the friction may be between our feeling natures and our intellectual natures. This friction creates the possibility for fascinating and meaningful synthesis.

Moon enters Sagittarius 12:52 pm CST
February 18—Last Quarter Moon: Setting seed. The seeds of intention planted at the New Moon on January 27 now yield seeds of their own. What wisdom has been gained from this journey? This phase of the Moon is about evaluating what we’ve learned and how we’ve evolved. As we continue to adapt to crisis and change, the pace of incorporating new information and responding to it is accelerating. Our bodies cannot keep up with a constant state of arousal and alarm. At this turning point in the lunar cycle, what are we learning that will help us maintain equilibrium as we continue to resist tyranny and injustice? The questing nature of the Sagittarius Moon encourages the search for meaning. The Sun’s ingress into Pisces shifts the focus from the cerebral understandings of Aquarius to the felt sense that our emotional experiences are shared. It is possible to feel another’s pain and joy as our own. This enhanced sense of connection is heart-opening. From this open state, what do we know now about the love that transforms? This question, and our answers to it, will only deepen as the Moon wanes through the last week of the Aquarius lunar cycle.

Moon in Sagittarius
Sunday, February 19.
The Moon in fire sign Sagittarius sets off Venus and Mars in fire sign Aries. This Venus is a warrior for love. She may be a little coarse and lacking in grace, but she is fierce when it comes to the love that transforms. We’ve been experiencing this daring Venusian energy since early February when Venus entered Aries. Venus will spend more time here than usual since Venus will retrograde back through Aries on March 4. During this time, we develop a better relationship with this ally of resistance and rebellion. Because Venus usually governs our instinct to smooth over the rough edges and play nice, this Venus in Aries tells us that we need to develop new instincts. It may not be easy, but love can include authentic anger, especially if it is the anger that motivates us to lead more boldly with love. Think of Mars in Aries as an amplifier for this energy. The Moon also contacts Neptune in Pisces by square. Perhaps today’s fire will illuminate confusion and allow our hearts to feel more fully the complexity and wonder of life.

Moon in Sagittarius
Monday, February 20
Events today seem to lead to one shining moment. Mercury in Aquarius makes an encouraging sextile aspect to Uranus in Aries. This is the planetary influence of eureka moments. Find a way to anchor your insights and breakthroughs. The Moon in Sagittarius adds sparkle and zip. Fire and air signs have predominated this lunar cycle. There have been pluses and minuses with this energy. Notice how quickly information is traveling right now. Notice how easy it is to inflame passion and anger. Fires can illuminate, purify, and transform. They can also burn out, just like our bodies and our wills, if we do not tend them carefully. With appreciation for fire and air, use the positive aspects today between the Moon and Uranus, Jupiter, and Saturn to assess and sustain your energy.

* To read about the beginning of the Aquarius lunar cycle visit Follow the Moon.   Contact Teri at teri@starsdanceastrology.com and visit her website at www.starsdanceastrology.com to learn about booking a reading of your chart. "Like" her Starsdance Astrology page on Facebook to receive these forecasts daily and learn of other offers and events.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Follow the Moon: Forecast for January 23, 2017 – February 5

“Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. I use the word "love" here not merely in the personal sense but as a state of being, or a state of grace - not in the infantile American sense of being made happy but in the tough and universal sense of quest and daring and growth.”
― James BaldwinThe Fire Next Time

What is the love we need now? James Baldwin was born in the season of Leo, fixed fire. He brought this fire into the discourse about race and sexual orientation. His brilliant book, The Fire Next Time, continues to inspire those who work to end racism. Baldwin’s notion of love was radical and transformative. I believe it is an instruction for living through our current challenges. The U.S. has not yet truly embraced the kind of love Baldwin wrote about. Perhaps now we may. Perhaps now we choose to try.

Leo plays the counterpoint role in the Aquarius lunar cycle that begins on January 27. Leo expression peaks on February 10 when the eclipsed Full Moon occurs in Leo. An eclipse is an opportunity sometimes chosen, sometimes forced on us, to re-pattern our stories. The light goes out and comes back. What new story about love and fire will come through this opening?

Baldwin speaks about masks. Aquarius represents the drive to be authentic and transparent. Our masks become intolerable and confining under the influence of Aquarius and especially under the influence of Uranus, the co-ruler of Aquarius. Uranus represents the desire to blast away falsehoods and blow apart façades. At its best, Uranus encourages love that is tough and true. The planets provide the energy and opportunity but it is up to each of us to choose the ways we will use that energy and move forward through this opportunity. Uranus is a perfect example. Uranus in Aries has provided the spark for the Tea Party’s revolution as well as the fierce commitment behind the Black Lives Matter movement. Astrology helps to clarify our choices. The Aquarius lunar cycle asks us to get clear about the “masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.” Love itself, even the fierce love of “questing and daring and growth” helps us know how to choose.

This is why my lunar intention for the Aquarius cycle will be “to lead with love.” The world is too complex and dangerous to use any other guidance. As the Aquarius lunar cycle incites further change in our world, love reminds me to respect—“to look again” at the person I am relegating to otherness. Aquarius as an air sign, can be quite open-minded, but as a fixed sign, can also be closed to contradictory points of view. Love that reveals and liberates reminds me to look again at my own fixed ideas. In a lunar cycle that promises to be very passionate and heady, due to a preponderance of fire and air influences, a commitment to leading with love is a counterbalance to the abstraction that creates distance and misunderstanding.

What kind of love encourages us to take off our masks? How might this love bridge the gulf that seems to separate us? How might the world change if we dared to love in this way? Aquarius is a daring sign. It is willing to push past previous boundaries. Other transits encourage this sense of daring this month. Mars enters Aries on January 28, followed by Venus’ entrance into Aries on February 3. For the first week of the new lunar cycle, Mercury in Capricorn will agitate the cardinal planets that are in tense relationship to each other: Uranus in Aries, Pluto in Capricorn, and Jupiter in Libra. No one is happy with the status quo and ideas are flying. I suspect the intention to be led by love may help us communicate better. In the midst of the Mercury transits, Jupiter stations retrograde. This may feel like the brakes being applied to self-gratifying feelings of righteousness. If the thrust of Jupiter’s transit is about justice, we might need to turn our focus inward to see patterns of injustice in ourselves. Around the Full Moon, the Sun in Aquarius makes encouraging aspects to Uranus, Jupiter, and Saturn. The Full Moon eclipse could bring breakthroughs that give hope and direction. These planets are in air and fire signs. Remember, even when things seem to be going your way, to lead with love brings in our hearts.

Forecast for January 23, 2017 – February 5

Moon in Sagittarius
January 23—Balsamic Moon: Surrendering. A strong lineup of planets in Pisces reinforces the feeling of needing time to yourself as the Capricorn lunar cycle wanes into darkness. Mercury in Capricorn starts off the introspection by making a sextile aspect to Neptune in Pisces. This connection encourages insight and self-reflection. Be gentle with yourself. The past weekend was a big one and as a good friend of mine reminded me, the next four years will be a marathon not a speed race. It is a good idea, today, to honor your emotions as much as your desire to better the world. The work we do in the Capricorn season to assess our lives and set intention will help us as we prepare for the next lunar cycle seeded by Aquarius’ desire to join with others to envision the seeds of possibility for the year ahead. The expansive Moon in Sagittarius might make it hard to listen to the need for quiet reflection today. Notice the push and pull in both directions.

Moon enters Capricorn 4:23 pm CST
Tuesday, January 24.
Don’t take the bait. Some are looking for a fight. The Moon in Sagittarius makes a square to Mars in Pisces today. Philosophies don’t jibe with our emotional experiences. We might want to fall into the trap of making everything about logic and forgetting the part about heart.

Moon in Capricorn
Wednesday, January 25.
The Moon returns to Capricorn at the end of the Capricorn lunar cycle. We come full circle to see our patterns around self-expectation. Yes, we want to keep working, but have you found a way to be easier on yourself during this lunar cycle? (It began way back in 2016 on December 29.) Venus in Pisces conjoins Chiron. We are meant to open our hearts and feel the world’s suffering during this transit. Empathy could be painful, but it also increases our capacity to connect. The Moon conjoins Mercury in Capricorn later in the day. Make a plan—a simple plan—to bring more compassion to the world. When we act together, it doesn’t take much effort.

Moon in Capricorn
Thursday, January 26.
It could feel like we’re making one missed connection after another today. Venus in Pisces makes a puzzling quincunx to Jupiter in Libra. These planets are in mutual reception (in each other’s signs) so we assume we are being understood by others on a deep, intuitive level. But we could very well be wrong about that. Something is obstructing the flow. Take time to check in on the important relationships and don’t take it personally if someone just doesn’t get you. Caution in communication could be a good strategy with the Moon setting off the tense t-square of Uranus in Aries opposing Jupiter in Libra (both square to Pluto in Capricorn). This t-square eggs on the fight response and a desire to expose abusive power.

Moon enters Aquarius 2:36 am CST
January 27—New Moon: Seeding. The New Moon in Aquarius gives the opportunity to plant seeds of openness and authenticity. This fixed air sign is good at conceptualization, is willing to break rules and patterns, and is happy to tinker with social organizations to ensure the freedom of each individual in the group. The sign can be a little cold and clinical. But not always, sometimes it can be charmingly radical and hopeful. Fixed signs anchor a season. In this case, in the northern hemisphere, Aquarius anchors deep winter. The fertile darkness inspires vision and dreams for the unfolding year. In this soil of possibility, we can plant the dreams for a more just and awake world. Aquarius also desires authenticity and transparency. These qualities, combined with love, are a powerful force for transformation.

“To know love we have to tell the truth to ourselves and to others. Creating a false self to mask fears and insecurities, has become so common that many of us forget who we are and what we feel underneath the pretense.”
- bell hooks in All About Love.

We are too used to hearing and telling our own lies and it is obvious that we will be hearing many more of them during the Trump Presidency. The price of accepting these lies is too high. James Baldwin tells us that “love takes off the masks … [and is] quest and daring and growth.” Perhaps love is the revolutionary force that turns this world around. The tough love that insists on truth.

For the seeds of this Aquarian lunar cycle I offer this intention: “to lead with love.” I am envisioning the radical and transformative love that dares me to remove my masks and insists on telling myself the truth. Recently, Saturn in Sagittarius made an important square with Neptune in Pisces. This particular transit (waning square) only happens every 36 years and asked us to look at the stories and truths that govern our choices. Out of this period of time, we’ve ended up with a lying president and fake news. So, now it is time to turn that around. This year we are in another planetary cycle—the one between Saturn and Uranus. These planets, co-rulers of Aquarius, are trine one another. This flowing aspect encourages us to be smarter and braver about our truths. The act of removing our masks holds even more potential this year because of this transit.

 A defining feature of the New Moon chart is the exact square between Saturn in Sagittarius and Venus in Pisces. Sometimes, Venus represents women and this association surely resonates with the call to action that millions of women across the world are sending out. Venus in Pisces is breaking down the barriers. Saturn is challenging a tendency to blur too many lines. Women are learning about our common oppressions, at the same time needing to hear the truth of those who bear greater burdens. This aspect, though challenging, represents a will to work it out. Our relationships feel like the core of our work right now. How do we lead with love as we face uncomfortable truths?

Jupiter in Libra (the relationship sign) is stationing retrograde soon. In the chart, this Jupiter is in a t-square aspect with Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn. This aspect pattern continues to fuel revolt, demands for justice, and exposure of lies and secrets. Mercury approaches conjunction with Pluto (exact on January 29). Mercury should force a confrontation with power. The press will play a role in exposing lies. The people must demand it.

Notably, later on this day, Mars moves from Pisces to Aries. Action and anger are directed outward. What a perfect opportunity to remember that love is the transformer. Violence isn’t nearly as effective as the love that liberates.

Moon in Aquarius
Saturday, January 28
. Remember that a growing preponderance of air and fire influence can make us reactive and removed from our emotions. This will be an ongoing concern this lunar cycle. The Moon in airy Aquarius makes favorable contact with Uranus in Aries (fire), Jupiter in Libra (air), and Saturn in Sagittarius (fire). Try not to listen only to voices you agree with or speak only to those who agree with you. Broaden the signals. Remember love sends a strong signal too.

Moon enters Pisces 10:10 am CST
Sunday, January 29.
Ahh, the Moon moves into a water sign. Notice how this feels on your nervous system. What do you need for self-care? Mercury in Capricorn conjoins Pluto. Perhaps you notice the stress of all the lies. Mercury desires to speak truth but will have to fight against power to do so. Don’t cave to your own lies. If that seems like the only option, remember to hold yourself tenderly. Wonder about the power of love to unmask the lies.

Moon in Pisces
Monday, January 30.
Venus influence is strong this lunar cycle. At the New Moon, Venus made a square to Saturn, setting the tone of working hard on relationships. Soon Venus will move into Aries (February 3) and will take on an even more militant energy of assertion. This may be hard on relationship too. With a lunar intention to “lead with love,” we learn how to be on that tough quest for the love that unmasks. On March 4 Venus will station retrograde in Aries and station direct on April 15 at the same degree in Pisces it reaches today. Prelude to this journey begins today. Love is way more complex than the common ideas of harmony and pleasure. Perhaps we attain a more realistic vision of love during this cycle. The Moon contacts Neptune, Pluto, and Mercury today. That’s a lot going on. Monitor how much you interact with others if you are feeling overwhelmed by the emotional atmosphere around you.

Moon enters Aries 3:46 pm CST
January 31—Crescent Moon: Germinating. The seeds of possibility sown at the New Moon begin to germinate in this phase of the lunar cycle. All the action is still below the surface, however. Aquarius is a season of imminent change. We naturally feel this time of year as a quickening that leads to the rebirth of Spring. Things are brewing. When the Moon enters Aries, that sense of needing to act will really kick in. This is an excellent time to refer back to the intention you set for this lunar cycle. What is seeking expression? I have chosen the intention to be led by transformative love, the kind of love that demands I tell myself the truth. As Mercury in Capricorn makes a square to Uranus in Aries today, truth telling is high on the list of ways we want to instigate change in the world. At the same time as this agitating energy is happening, the Moon conjoins Mars in Aries. We could feel like we are ready to blast off. I recently attended a concert/community sing-a-long led by Melanie DeMore. In fact, one of her songs inspired this month’s intention. At this event she described herself as a weapon of mass connection. That is a just about perfect way to think of Mars in Aries moving us towards liberating love.

Moon in Aries
Wednesday, February 1.
February, the month of love, is here. If you’ve been following along, I am pursuing a lunar intention of being led by love, but not in the sweet, sickly way love is portrayed in Valentine’s Day cards. The love I seek to be led by is inspired by James Baldwin and bell hooks, two authors who write about the transformative power of love that removes masks and demands truth. The Moon in Aries is fiery and bold. You might want to step clear of the lies you tell yourself and the lies you hear from corrupt power and dare to love openly. Mercury’s sextile to Chiron in Pisces is a heart opener, especially in the realm of communication.

Moon enters Taurus 7:50 pm CST
Thursday, February 2.
Traditional Imbolc. Today is the traditional date of Imbolc, the cross-quarter holy day celebrating the quickening year and our intentions for that year. Tomorrow, the Sun reaches the midpoint of Aquarius, and that is celebrated as astronomical Imbolc. The meaning for both dates is the same. The association of this sabbath with the goddess Brigid invites us to ceklebrate poetry, art, and justice. Some Pagans honor the day by making pledges for the year. The square between Mercury in Capricorn and Jupiter in Libra could create a desire to be very expansive in our pledges. The desire for justice and honorable power is strong. Before the Moon moves into stable Taurus this evening (central time zone), the Moon in Aries touches off a cascade of agitation by conjoining Uranus, squaring Mercury, and opposing Jupiter. Our souls sense this is not a year to be tame. How do you claim your wildness?

Moon in Taurus
February 3—First Quarter Moon: Sprouting. Astronomical Imbolc.  See yesterday’s entry for more information about astronomical Imbolc. The midpoint of Aquarius anchors air as one of the elements of life. (Aquarius is the fixed air sign.) What qualities of air do you value? Which qualities do you need? Which are problematic? Air represents our ability to see clearly, to voice our truth, and to envision new possibilities. At this phase of the Moon, new Moon seeds are sprouting asking us to tend to our intentional gardens. How can air be an ally for your lunar intention? My intention is to be led by love to tell the truth of myself and to hear the truth of others. Air brings clarity. May you feel that clarity too. Venus enters Aries today. Venus spends an extra long time in Aries due to an upcoming retrograde journey through the sign (also moving back into Pisces for a while.) The kind of love that Venus values is courageous and a bit reckless. Under this influence we may be tempted to burn away the lies that keep us from truly loving each other. The caution is to temper the flame with compassion. Taurus Moon values solid grounding. That helps too.

Moon enters Gemini 10:44 pm CST
Saturday, February 4.
Most of this day gives solid relief to all the air and fire influences recently. The Moon trines both Pluto and Mercury in Capricorn. We’ve been pushing through the lies and fighting for love. Today, perhaps we hear a truth we can trust. Notice how this feels in your body. This is important information.

Moon in Gemini
Sunday, February 5.
The jumpy, jittery Gemini Moon may very well put us over the edge if we aren’t careful. This energy is great for social connectivity, discovery, and learning. It is hard on the nervous system if we are already taking in too much information. The Moon makes a very energetic contact with Mars in Aries and that doesn’t much help us settle. Later, the Moon makes a square to Neptune in Pisces. The oceanic feelings of Neptune may be more than we can handle. It is OK to go against the grain and spend quiet time alone, if you can.

Contact Teri at teri@starsdanceastrology.com and visit her website at www.starsdanceastrology.com to learn about booking a reading of your chart. Like her Starsdance Astrology page on Facebook to receive these forecasts daily and learn of other offers and events.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Follow the Moon: Forecast for January 9, 2017 – January 22

So, comrades of change, have you been girding yourself for the coming battle? Do you feel ready to engage in the joys and struggles that 2017 is sure to bring? How marvelous that we stand upon this precipice of creation—for change is creation, isn’t it? Destruction is its other face. Something ends and something else immediately begins. There is opportunity here. We are in the middle of the first lunar cycle of 2017 and it feels like we’ve been preparing for this moment our entire lives. Heck, this moment has been in the works for all time—brought to us by every choice ever made past and present. Now. This moment. A precipice and an opportunity. It is dire and delightful. Perhaps this moment feels too full. Perhaps we don’t feel ready. I think that is okay. I am learning some things in this Capricorn-inspired lunar cycle that are helping me get through the doubts:
  •        I am not alone;
  •        I do not need to be perfect, or even brilliant;
  •        and the descendants need me to do the best I can.

We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

The Capricorn season is a good time to check in with Saturn. Saturn rules Capricorn. On bad days, Saturn is the inner judge we will never please. We can get caught up in over-expectation during the Capricorn season. How many New Year’s resolutions have you failed at? But, you’ve got to hand it to us over-achievers for trying, right? Saturn also represents the best side of ourselves, too. The side of integrity. The side that works hard. The side that keeps an eye on how well our descendants will be at the end of our efforts. The side that won’t back down from hard choices. I think it is this good side of Saturn that motivates us to set these goals for ourselves. But something happens along the way. Saturn is the potential for authorship—what we will make of our lives. Unfortunately, many of us give that authorship to an external authority and must learn to take it back. This is also a good reason that the Capricorn season is the right time to take on systems of oppression.

That brings us back to the precipice of change. Saturn has been transiting through Sagittarius since late 2014 (retrograding back into Scorpio for three of those months). The external authority Saturn has been telling us what to believe and where to place our hopes. External Saturn has been shifting the stories through a square to Neptune in Pisces. External Saturn under Neptune’s illusions has given us “fake news” and false leaders. This year, Saturn is energized by rebellious and impatient Uranus in Aries through a trine aspect. Perhaps this rabble-rousing influence will shake up dependency on external authority. Perhaps it will help us reclaim our own.

On January 19, the day before the Inauguration, Mars in Pisces makes a square aspect to Saturn. Mars in Pisces is the fighter who feels for their opponent. We have some thinking to do about how we frame the fight. Strength comes from compassion, and the ways of water teach us how to use this strength in our battles. The days from the Full Moon on January 12 up to the Inauguration are brimming with Piscean influence. Venus in Pisces conjoins Neptune; Mars in Pisces conjoins Chiron and makes a quincunx aspect to justice-seeking Jupiter in Libra. Pisces is good for mass movements and mass consciousness. We are able to feed into this energy of connection wherever we are.

The first lunar cycle of 2017 is an opportunity to reclaim our own authority through the indirect methods of Piscean awareness. Self-care, compassion, intuition, and ecstatic states of connection and inspiration are the secret weapons. Here’s another thing that a Capricorn/Pisces conspiracy could hatch—self-forgiveness coupled with accountability. Holding onto our failures doesn’t ensure we won’t repeat them. Completely forgetting them won’t either. We are meant to be awake, whole-hearted, and imperfect as we face this monster of a year. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

Forecast for January 9, 2017 – January 22

Moon in Gemini
Monday, January 9
. “Stir it up, little darlin’, stir it up.” This Bob Marley song popped into my mind when I looked over the transits for today. The Moon in air sign, Gemini, is really good at stirring up the pot, adding ideas, new directions, and new associations. This busy Moon is challenging all the planets in Pisces today: Venus, Neptune, Mars, and Chiron. Watery influences open our hearts but also can create a muddle of emotion. If you find yourself in stuck places or despairing places, then use the gift of curiosity to stir it up.

Moon enters Cancer 4:49 pm CST
Tuesday, January 10.
The Sun in Capricorn makes a square to Uranus in Aries. Since Uranus entered this sign in 2010, we’ve been on notice that things have to change. Aries has contributed a sense of urgency and willingness to throw out the rulebook. Aries is really good at going in new directions without much of a map. Embrace that feeling. Feel the willingness of it. Then pay attention to Capricorn influence, which is much more strategic and focused on the long haul. This is a conflict and paradox, but it can also be incredibly powerful. Uranus goes along with the desire to create new territory. Resistance meets wisdom. Dare to compost perfectionism. Dare to dare. This very jittery day calms down (a bit) when the Moon enters Cancer. We are building towards a Full Moon in two days. Take moments of calm whenever you can.

Moon in Cancer
Wednesday, January 11.
Full Moon energy begins today, even though the actual Full Moon is tomorrow. Read both days of forecast if you are curious. The influences are complex. The cardinal sign planets (Sun - Capricorn, Moon - Cancer, Jupiter – Libra, and Uranus - Aries) are asserting themselves. Cardinal signs want to be in charge, they drive us to assert ourselves too. We might encounter open enemies and those who want to take our power from us during this influence. We might want to give up because the obstacles are too high. We might also over-extend ourselves, forgetting that micro movements are powerful. Strong passions invite us to find our ground of being. The Moon in watery Cancer finds allies in the Pisces planets (Venus, Neptune, Mars, and Chiron). Emotion and empathy may help us through the conflicts and into our strength.

Moon enters Leo 6:08 pm CST
January 12—Full Moon: Illuminating. The urge to create something lasting is strong in a Capricorn season. This desire creates expectations. Over-culture messages creep in to thwart our efforts and just plain bum us out. What are you noticing about your own expectations? How do you keep going in spite of the obstacles and messages that can feel overwhelming? Full Moons are illuminating. We have the opportunity to see our desires and patterns with clarity. This lunar light can be a blessing, releasing the things we can’t control and bathing in the soul light of self-love.

Contractions become opportunities at this Full Moon. A dynamic grand cross aspect pattern may force us to break through inner and external sources of contradiction. When push to comes to shove, are you going to listen to the voices of external authority or your own soul’s longing? This is a good time to stand up for your dreams and desires for the world, especially if you feel isolated and alone. The Capricorn season is a good opportunity to notice the messages that systems of oppression send to those who would challenge the system. One of these myth/messages is the idea that we must do our important work alone. The Capricorn season is also a good opportunity to dismantle these messages. A grand cross square represents a crossroads and a turning point. The planets involved are Sun in Capricorn (with Pluto nearby), Moon in Cancer, Jupiter in Libra, and Uranus in Aries. The significant, new influence in this planetary line-up is Jupiter, which entered Libra in September. Jupiter will be squaring Pluto and opposing Uranus two more times this year, so we get multiple tries to integrate this influence. Jupiter brings fresh energy. Sometimes it pushes too much, but probably right now, we need this influx of resource. The burning issues for this Jupiter are justice and balance. Imbalances in power and in the ways we live on the Earth motivate us to fight for change. Just as the Pisces planets of the moment are encouraging self-care and empathy as tools for change, Jupiter encourages a sense of equilibrium and harmony as we continue to be active creating the world we desire.

Saturn, the ruler of Capricorn, and an important teacher in this season, is finding a way to get along with Uranus and Jupiter. Change is possible, even at the darkest hour. We haven’t exhausted all our options. Innovation and hope are working with the desire to make a lasting difference.

Moon in Leo
Friday, January 13.
What happens when a lot of energy encounters a vacuum? What if the vacuum has a Leo flavor? These are the questions I am pondering for today’s forecast. There really isn’t a vacuum in today’s transits but nearly so. There are no aspects. The Moon in Leo makes no connections with any other planets. However, the Moon is not Void of Course, which means it truly has no direction until it changes signs. Tomorrow, the Moon will kick things off with a trine to Uranus in Aries. But today, nothing much changes from yesterday. The Full Moon energy still resonates. The Leo flavor could manifest as playfulness, need for attention, creative ideas, or willingness to burn everything down. It is Friday the 13th, a wonderful time to claim your witchy powers.

Moon enters Virgo 9:52 pm CST
Saturday, January 14
. A grand fire trine of Moon in Leo, Saturn in Sagittarius, and Uranus in Aries infuses the day with energy. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any conflicts. That could happen too. Egos could be tender. False assumptions could derail relationships. Hurt feelings could surface. If you find yourself in such tricky waters, do the courageous thing and confront the issues head on. Fire is resilient if we air our grievances. Joy is the reward.

Moon in Virgo
January 15—Disseminating Moon: Sharing. At this phase of the Moon, I like to encourage people to stop and look at what they’ve learned or accomplished through following intention from the New Moon. This is especially important to do in a Capricorn lunar cycle, for a couple of reasons. A) Capricorn wants to achieve. How do we know we’ve achieved anything if we don’t step back and look? B) Capricorn can encourage the voice of the inner critic. To disarm this messaging, give yourself a pat on the back. Be your own millennial Mom. No matter how little you actually achieved, tell yourself it was great. Really, we all need that from time to time. It helps dismantle systems of oppression.

So, how have things shifted since the New Moon on December 29? The Moon in Virgo is looking for pragmatic, concrete benefits. Be mundane. This helps balance the Pisces influences of Venus and Neptune, which tempt us with fantasies and feelings. These feelings are not necessarily wrong, but we could all use a reality check.

Moon in Virgo
Monday, January 16.
Now, more than ever, we need to return to the strategic activism employed by Martin Luther King. He made an impact because he was pragmatic, strategic, and inspired. He was also human. Let’s remember we don’t have to be perfect to change the world. Today, the Moon opposes Mars conjunct Chiron in Pisces. Notice the impulse to make big sacrifices. Perhaps you do join the Peace Corps, or just feel like you should. Relish the balancing influence of the Virgo Moon. It makes it safer to give way to our feelings, knowing there is a tether to the real world. The square between the Moon and Saturn tells us something important about the obstacles we face. A blend of faith and pragmatism is called for. Pluto enters new Capricornian territory today. From now till it stations retrograde in April, Pluto is turning over fallow fields. Be willing to look at your shadows.

Moon enters Libra 5:16 am CST
Tuesday, January 17.
Three days till the Inauguration. How are you feeling? The Moon in Libra invites a moment to pause. Recognize fleeting sensations of equanimity. Yes, the crisis feels imminent but we are in it for the long haul. Resist panic. Breathe, center, and move on.

Moon in Libra
Wednesday, January 18.
OK. Now panic (see yesterday’s forecast). No, I really can’t recommend panic, but today we may feel pushed to the edges. The Moon in Libra sets off the t-square pattern of Jupiter in Libra opposite Uranus in Aries and squaring Pluto in Capricorn. Remember, so many things happening right now are not normal and not satisfactory. We must believe a better world is possible. And from that belief, act. Mars in Pisces makes a quincunx aspect to Jupiter on top of it all. This introduces an element of mystery and synchronicity. We can’t control everything. Chance plays a role in leading us to the right place for the right choice, although we may have a hard time believing it.

Moon enters Scorpio 4:09 pm CST.
January 19—Last Quarter Moon: Evaluating. Sun enters Aquarius. Back on December 29, we planted some seeds into the Capricorn soil of this lunar cycle. I believe this happens whether we consciously engage with the lunar cycle or not. We can’t help but be impacted by the cycles and seasons we live in. The year turned over. Many of us looked behind and in front and set New Year’s resolutions based on the way we wanted to live in 2017. We confronted our own expectations. Perhaps we did some work dismantling the voices of external authority telling us we better not try to change anything, much less the world. Somewhere along the way, perhaps you confronted your mortality or personal limitations. Perhaps you decided to act anyway because the work is about future generations and we must do something. Hopefully, you remembered you are not alone. Perhaps you took stock of your successes and failures. Perhaps you learned something useful. At this phase of the Moon, we gather the seeds of wisdom that these successes and failures have produced. Capricorn is the season of high expectation and lofty goals. Perhaps you’ve noticed that you are stronger than you thought. What brought you that awareness? That is a true gift. Keep hold of it as the Sun enters activism-oriented Aquarius. In a week, we plant the Aquarius seeds at the next New Moon. Now, we reap the work of Capricorn.

The square between Mars in Pisces and Saturn in Sagittarius contributes to the serious tone of the day. You might even want to give up. If Mars is the will, this Mars has a hard time knowing what it wants. Complexity comes from identification with others’ suffering. Add to that the ways Saturn throws up roadblocks, we may be feeling discouraged. Take inspiration from water to keep flowing past these blocks. The Moon in Scorpio helps us to go under the surface. Be sneaky. Be true to life.

Moon in Scorpio
Friday, January 20.
First of all, the Moon in Scorpio begs us to be as snarky as we want to be today. Do not pretend you are happy about anything, if you are not. Purge any sense that you should be good or take the high road. Wallow in your bitter disappointment, if you must. But don’t stay there. The Moon moves on and we have other emotions and visions to honor. The sextile aspect between Venus in Pisces and Pluto in Capricorn creates alliances of beautiful resistance. My secret desire at this moment is that women take the reins of activism and that white feminists learn to be truly intersectional in vision and action. Pluto gives strength to connections. Venus in Pisces asks, Where is our common struggle? Let’s feed the vision of a new world.

Moon in Scorpio
Saturday, January 21.
Protests today fall under the beams of a waning Scorpio Moon. Expressions of raw emotion seem like a good way to honor our true feelings. The aspects today favor not holding back. The Moon makes a sextile to Pluto in Capricorn and a trine to Venus and Mars in Pisces. Expressions that evoke empathy and common connections will have a bigger impact.

Moon enters Sagittarius 4:45 am CST
Sunday, January 22.
The Moon in Sagittarius is a good motivator to let off some steam and get out of our heads. Whatever you do, make it an adventure. Expand personal horizons. Get fresh perspective. This is a renewing day. There is a square aspect between the Moon and Neptune in Pisces, so we might not know when to pull back from escapism. Keep your explorations within manageable dimensions and it should be a positive experience.

To read about the beginning of the Capricorn lunar cycle see Follow the Moon.

Contact Teri at teri@starsdanceastrology.com and visit her website at www.starsdanceastrology.com to learn about booking a reading of your chart. Like her Starsdance Astrology page on Facebook to receive these forecasts daily and learn of other offers and events.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Follow the Moon: Forecast for December 26, 2016 – January 8, 2017

I am racking my brain to find the key to the Capricorn lunar cycle that begins on December 29. It feels important to start 2017 in a good way. Capricorn is the winter sign in the northern hemisphere. It’s true that half the world experiences Capricorn as summer’s sign, and though I want to incorporate that counterbalancing piece into my astrology, I am also aware that right now, where my feet stand, it is dark winter and things look dim. Perhaps this is when I most need to remember the light of summer from the other side of the Earth. It is there. Remote. But there. I can connect to that.

The Capricorn season invokes the slow climb in search of the key, the glimmer of light, the reason we toil. As folks in the southern hemisphere uncoil into the warmth of summer, perhaps they too are aware that for them the dark increases every day until the next solstice. For them as well there is a search. What is the key, the glimmer, the reason we toil?

Capricorn is a serious sign. As cardinal earth, it can experience the weight of the world on its shoulders. It takes the mission of collective survival with utmost commitment. This is heavy. But thank goodness, Capricorn is up to the challenge. There’s a lesson here about strength and determination, even when I doubt that most in myself. I am not a Capricorn, but I do have a Saturn (the ruler of Capricorn) in my chart, as do all of us. This Saturn indicates how I at times carry the weight of the world on my shoulders, and shows the reason I toil. Saturn represents a key, won through commitment and determination, to mastery.

So, I’ve been thinking about Saturn’s key lately. Is there more to discover about this climb through life? Can I unlock a different relationship than burdensome oppression in regards to Saturn’s wisdom? Here are my thoughts as I approach my New Moon intention. In my search for Saturn’s key, may I embrace:

  •        Good in the end—accepting my mortality, and with that, my limitations.
  •        I am not alone—no one can carry the weight by themselves. It isn’t my heroism or my sacrifice that makes the work useful.
  •        Work as legacy—acting on behalf of future generations.

These intentions may seem glum on the surface, but that is the way of Saturn. We may want to avoid work and mortality. But the secret is that life is richer and more pleasurable when we fully embrace that our work matters and we are finite. Something bigger is in play when we realize we are part of a greater whole that carries on beyond us. I hope to find inspiration in that realization this month.

The astrological highlights of the next lunar cycle are:

A change in direction for the agent of change—Uranus in Aries stations direct on the day of the New Moon. Look for a surge of action as we engage in the realities of the new year.

Momentum increases—Mercury in Sagittarius stations direct on January 8.

Inspiration to action—The Sun forms t-square aspect pattern with the opposition between Uranus and Jupiter in Libra on January 11. Tension creates desire for action. Use this transit to shine a light on injustice and understanding about balance in relationship to change.

Empathy increases—Venus and Mars will both be transiting through Pisces after January 3. Right before the Presidential Inauguration on January 20, Mars will contact Chiron, Jupiter, and Saturn. People may be more suggestible, impacted by emotion, desire for justice, and a fight for hope. Venus makes the same transits the week following the Inauguration. Our relationships take on importance. We seek connections of the heart. These connections may be necessary for the changes to come.

Forecast for December 26, 2016 – January 8, 2017

Moon in Sagittarius
Monday, December 26
. With the energy of the waning Moon, we step into that in between place. We are on the threshold between the old and the new. Take this time to sink into your ground of being. It is hard to deny that change is coming, even if we aren't quite ready to engage. The opposition between Jupiter in Libra and Uranus in Aries reminds us the fight for justice is far from over. Jupiter helps us ready for the changes ahead, especially if we are mindful of balance. Retrograde Mercury in Capricorn makes a dreamy connection with Neptune in Pisces. Open to the messages from unseen sources. Be mindful as you travel. Distraction is strong.

Moon in Sagittarius
Tuesday, December 27.
How strongly do you trust your gut? Spend some time discerning what it feels like to listen to your instinctual self. The psyche’s voice is strong today with the Sun in Capricorn making a sextile to Mars in Pisces. The messages may come in metaphors or in waves of emotion, but they are coming if we are available to listen and trust. As the Moon conjoins Saturn today, we want to get the right answers, but that isn’t how our souls communicate. Sometimes we have to surrender to the journey without any guarantees. That may be what we are meant to know at the end of 2016.

Moon enters Capricorn 9:12 am CST
Wednesday, December 28.
Mercury meets the Sun today. This is the peak of a Mercury retrograde period. Yesterday, the Sun made favorable contact with Mars in Pisces. Today, Mercury makes the same sextile aspect to Mars. The message comes in loud and clear in a sort of fuzzy way—we are supposed to open to unexpected sources for inspiration. The clue to whether to trust the source is this: Does it open your heart? Saturn in Sagittarius continues the focus on feelings as it makes a square to Chiron in Pisces. These heart-centered insights aren’t easy. We may want to curl up and hide from them, but it doesn’t really feel any better under the covers. Dare to come out and connect. Others are scared too.

Moon in Capricorn
December 29—New Moon: Dreaming. Here it is folks, our chance to plant some magical seeds for 2017. That feels so portentous, doesn’t it? The thought of 2017—a year that feels huge, alarming, confusing, and all the things—has been kicking me in the butt. I‘ve been dragging my feet writing this forecast because of the weight I am feeling about magic right now. It feels so big. Whew. Time to lighten up. Starhawk, one of my first and primary teachers about magic, has a great insight about disarming the feeling that everything surviving and thriving is up to my own personal magic. She says (parphrased) that if any one of us was that powerful, we’d have already changed the world. No one is that powerful, thank goodness. But—paradox alert—each of us, especially in connection with others, is vitally important to changing the world. None of us get to sit this one out, which does not mean we are supposed to succumb to incapacitating over-expectations of what our personal magic can do for 2017.

Crippling over-expectation is one of the hallmarks of Saturn influence when we haven’t fully integrated this planet’s lessons. Saturn rules Capricorn, the sign of this next lunar cycle. If nothing else, it would be tremendously helpful to use this lunation to release the grip of over-expectation and self-judgment. It is time to release the children! Let me explain. Cronus is the Greek version of Saturn. It was prophesized that Cronus’ children would kill him. So when Rhea, the mother, gave birth, Cronus swallowed each child. Rhea grew tired of losing her babies. This is the important moment! She gave Cronus a stone to swallow when Zeus was born and hid him away to grow up, give his father a potion that made him vomit all the children up, and then they killed him. Yay. This celebration isn’t about killing Saturn. We need a vital and alive Saturn to help us create masterful legacy. This is about stopping the swallowing of the children—our creative gifts. It is time to get fed up like Rhea did and do something about our incapacitating fears. It is time to accept our capabilities as they are, not as we think they should be. I’ve been thinking of this kind of realism as Saturn’s key and it is what I most want to discover during this lunar cycle.

Dismantling over-expectations for our value, our work, our impact on the world is radical work that also questions the over-culture programming that tells us if we can’t be perfect, we shouldn’t try at all. I suggest we all become more radical in 2017 by embracing our limitations, acknowledging that we can’t act alone, and holding fast to the work being about future generations. Now, more than ever, we need the magic of intention, mindfulness, imperfection, and vulnerability. We need wholehearted magic. What magic will you create?

The chart for this New Moon has a radical opposition between Uranus in Aries and Jupiter in Libra. Uranus stations direct on the New Moon and is raring for change, ready to ignite the Aries fires of daring and imperfect action. Jupiter in Libra is teaching that balance is not compromise. Balance, too, is a radical act that dismantles constant cultural messages that we must suffer to turn this world around.

The Sun and Moon are conjunct retrograde Mercury. What do you want to turn around? What fresh perspective would help you discover Saturn’s key this year? Be sure to sow an open mind that can pivot quickly and joyfully through the year ahead.

Mars in Pisces conjoins Neptune and the South Node of the Moon. Time and space are liminal. We are sure to follow after fantasies and get lost on our quests. But that doesn’t mean we’ve gone astray. What are you learning? Our hearts play a big role in guiding us. This can feel vulnerable. The North Node in Virgo reminds us to be discerning about the sources of our fantasies. Saturn in Sagittarius, the key of this lunar cycle, insists we learn the limitations of truth. Anyone can be lured into believing the over-culture stories that keep us incapacitated. Be Rhea. Release the children!

Moon enters Aquarius 7:29 pm CST
Friday, December 30.
How do you define the word “radical?” The square between the Moon and Uranus early this morning, along with the Moon’s ingress into radical Aquarius later today, maintains the pulse of radicalism felt throughout the day. The Online Etymology Dictionary says this about the word: “from Late Latin radicalis ‘of or having roots,’ from Latin radix (genitive radicis) ‘root.’ Meaning ‘going to the origin, essential.’Rootedness fits in well with the Capricorn themes of this lunar cycle. Today, while dreaming of the change you wish to see in the world, remember our roots are just seeking radical reconnection. Change can be nourishing and stabilizing. The sextile between the Sun in Capricorn and Neptune in Pisces encourages dreams of such wonder.

Moon in Aquarius
Saturday, December 31.
The temptation to lose yourself in the moment has a strong influence on how we greet the new year tomorrow. Jupiter in Libra contacts Chiron in Pisces through a paradoxical quincunx. On one had, we value logic and rationality, and on the other we value unexplainable experiences of connection and compassion. The heart is not an interruption but is telling us something we need to know. The first aspect of 2017, right after midnight tonight (Central U.S. time zone), is a conjunction of Mars and Neptune in Pisces. This conjunction will influence some to overindulge in alcohol and drugs. It might feel good to escape the cares of the world, but another approach is to open even wider to complex emotions. There is grief, pain, wonder, joy, and love all mixed together. Be tender.

Moon in Aquarius
January 1—Crescent Moon: Beginning. We start the new year under a Crescent Aquarius Moon. Somehow, in this moment, things do not seem as bleak as they did at the end of the last lunar cycle. Beginnings have a way of infusing life with hope. Perhaps the challenges of this year will be just what we need to make lasting and effective change in how we live on this Earth. Perhaps we will discover Saturn’s key to staying in the work without being overwhelmed by it. The Moon mediates any stress we’ve been feeling between Uranus in Aries and Jupiter in Libra. There is a way to embrace change and balance at the same time. The puzzle creates new options. Be open to new paradigms. The encouraging sextile between the Moon and Saturn lifts our burdens briefly.

Moon enters Pisces 3:57 am CST
Monday, January 2.
The Moon flows into Pisces today creating a sensation that we have not quite landed yet in the new year. Go with the flow and be adaptable to shifting states of being. Mercury is still retrograde in Capricorn. Are we done with set backs and waiting for things to get back on track? Don’t give in to the frustration. The flow can be delightful if we can let go of those expectations. The Moon conjoins Neptune this evening (Central U.S. time zone). Let dreams and visions feed your desires for the coming year. You may get new insight, still, about what you wish to manifest.

Moon in Pisces
Tuesday, January 3.
Today, Venus joins the Moon, Mars, South Node, Neptune, and Chiron in Pisces. All this watery influence just snuck up on us, didn’t it? If you feel like having a good cry, then go for it. However, Pisces isn’t just about the tears. This sign’s gift is the ability to midwife our transitions. Pisces merges with the suffering as well as the joy in others. This sign gives the gift of recognition and understanding to those who may feel completely alone. Even if you have no Pisces in your chart, you get to tap into these gifts in your relationships as Venus enters the flow. Mercury (albeit retrograde) makes a favorable contact with Venus today. You can’t go wrong if you surrender to the tides.

Moon enters Aries 10:19 am CST
Wednesday, January 4.
Get out of your metaphorical bed, stretch, yawn and put on some clothes. It is time to get this year in gear. The Moon moves into Aries. We might surprise ourselves with unexpected decisions and actions. We can vision and hope all we want and then eventually, we will have to make a choice. Mercury, still on its retrograde journey, re-enters Sagittarius. Did you forget something really important to you? Perhaps it was a guiding belief. Perhaps you took a detour and needed to backtrack to find it. Perhaps that happens today.

Moon in Aries
January 5—First Quarter Moon: Manifesting. A challenge for this lunar cycle so far has been a tendency to drift off and lose focus. Rather than berate ourselves for dropping the ball, what if we reframed it as needing this time to check in with our souls. Perhaps we haven’t lost track of our New Moon intentions at all. They are ready to resurface today. The Moon in Aries makes firey contact with Pluto in Capricorn, Uranus in Aries, and Jupiter in Libra. These are in a t-square pattern that provides the jolt to wake us up. What will you do upon awaking? That is the question.
This lunar cycle I am tracking the question, How do I embrace Saturn’s lessons of mortality, limitations, and legacy? Remembering that the systems of dominance don’t want me to be comfortable with my imperfections, I must find ways to thwart that voice that tells me to give up before I’ve even started. The tense line-up of planets today reminds me that the stakes are too high to simply cave to false messages about my personal impact. I can do something, and it doesn’t even have to be brilliant. Will you join me?

Moon enters Taurus 2:18 pm CST
Friday, January 6.
After waking up, what are the first things you do? Coffee is usually on my list. My body needs it. We are waking into a new year, new challenges, and new energy for action. What does your body need to get that work on track? The Moon in Taurus today reminds us that our bodies are very important to the work ahead. Keeping with the theme of the Capricorn lunar cycle, we don’t have to be perfect about it either. Honor the living body, however it is showing up.

Moon in Taurus
Saturday, January 7.
Feel the boost of power as the Sun conjoins Pluto in Capricorn. Once a year, the source of life meets the dark, icy realms of death. Rather than repelling each other, both realms are infused with power by this contact. I find it ironic that Trump has been talking about draining the swamp. That is just what Pluto in Capricorn has been doing in the arena of toxic leadership and systems of governance since 2008 when Pluto entered Capricorn and the stock market crashed. Although Trump himself is making the swamp murkier, Pluto is still at work. Perhaps Trump is part of Pluto’s plan. The Sun today illuminates where we need to truly drain the swamp and let the regenerating light of the Sun grow new paradigms of leadership and governance. When you see it, send it support.

Moon enters Gemini 4:06 pm CST
January 8—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting. I’ve considered changing the keyword I use for this phase of the Moon. Perfection is such a trap. With the Saturn influence of this lunar cycle, it is a radical act to claim our imperfections and still show up to our work, our lives, our dreams. I keep the word as a reminder that there is a difference between incapacitating over-expectation and a desire to keep working until fruition. Let’s keep going. And let’s change what that looks like. Perhaps it means choosing once again the small step to go to the gym to work out, or to sit in meditation, or to eat something that makes our bodies feel good, or to be with a friend who supports us, or send an email to an elected official, or do something kind for another person. There is something we can do, that isn’t about perfection but is just perfect for today.

Mercury stations direct. That might make staying on any kind of plan more challenging. Then the Moon moves into Gemini. If you need joy, call up a friend who likes to talk. If you need a new perspective, open up to learning. There are many sources of wonder.

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