Friday, May 25, 2012

Astrologer Teri Parsley Starnes writes about the current Moon cycle each week. "My mind is buzzing round the blue lotus feet of my Divine Mother, Divine Mother." The words of this chant are the soundtrack for this week as the Gemini lunar cycle moves from the Crescent phase into the First Quarter and Gibbous phases. There is divine purpose to this buzzing energy and we get to build on that purpose this week as the Moon waxes into fullness. As I wrote last week, a mindfulness practice is a good way to observe how we think. Since thinking is the beginning of manifesting, knowing our mental patterns is very helpful to knowing why our lives are the way they are and what we can do to change them if we desire. However, it is important not to jump ahead of ourselves. Rather than struggle to find ways to change right away after we observe these patterns, perhaps the best goal is to develop the skill of observation. Just noticing. Seeing patterns is a skill refined by astrology. It is the gift that astrology gives to the practice of mindfulness. A guiding question is, what am I noticing now and what are the astrological signatures that would describe what I am noticing? As I write this, I am in New Orleans at the United Astrology Conference, an international conference of the some of the best astrologers we have. My mind is buzzing with all that I am learning and will learn here. This week begins with the Moon still in the Crescent phase, encouraging us to begin new projects. What are you doing to engage with the Gemini mission to connect, learn, and express what you know? Forecast for May 27, 2012 - June 2 Sunday, May 27. Mercury conjoins the Sun today for a superior conjunction. This means that Mercury is on the other side of the Sun from Earth. Energetically, it feels like we've reached a point of saturation or a peak in taking in information. Next, we need to do something with all that data. Along with this conjunction of the Sun and Mercury, Uranus is sextile to Mercury too. When Uranus and Mercury are in relationship to each other, innovation is the theme. New ideas abound. This day encourages us to adopt change as our friend. There is a lot to learn and do. May 28—First Quarter Moon: Manifesting. So, possibly you've learned something new, made new connections, and even shared what you know with others during the first week of Sun in Gemini. And perhaps you've taken that experience out into the world in some way during the Crescent phase of the Moon. The First Quarter Phase is where we meet our first challenges to creating something lasting from all that new energy. The Moon is in the mutable earth sign Virgo, while the Sun is still in the mutable air sign, Gemini. Virgo asks us to get practical—something Gemini forgets in all its exuberance. Remembering the practice of observation, what do you notice in yourself when these two energies clash? Virgo has a tendency to want to fix things. What if we resisted that notion and simply let it be, come back to the center, and breathe? There is lots of energy today to observe. For instance, the Sun is now sextile Uranus, just as Mercury was the day before. The desire to innovate remains strong. Mercury makes two aspects today as well. It is quincunx (the paradox aspect) to Pluto and it is square (the challenging aspect) to Chiron. Chiron and Pluto give light-hearted Mercury a lesson in depth today. Sometimes words illuminate, sometimes they heal, and sometimes they hurt. What are you noticing about communication today? With all the Gemini/Mercury emphasis this lunar cycle, we most likely will experience periods of feeling unsettled. Mercury draws attention to those moments when shifts between states of being happen. This may be one of those days. Tuesday, May 29. Venus has graced the skies as the Evening Star for the last eight months. Although the exact day that Venus disappears from sky varies according to local viewing conditions, by today, in most places, Venus will no longer be seen in the western sky at sunset. It is moving closer to the much anticipated Venus Transit of the Sun on June 5, when Venus will move across the face of the Sun. Venus is hidden in the glare of the Sun at the moment. There is a mythic component to this part of the Venus cycle. The story of Inanna traveling to the underworld to visit her sister Erishkigal mirrors this astronomical event. We too are invited to visit an outcast part of ourselves, especialy as it pertains to our Venus nature—the part of us that we might think of as the feminine or receptive aspect of ourselves, the part that brings beauty, harmony or graciousness, the part that desires comfort and delight, as well as the part of us that hungers for more and needs to be satisfied. From now till the middle of July, Venus is gone from the sky and then appears as the Morning Star. As we take this journey with Venus, we have the opportunity to reclaim some of our projections about the Venus archetype. We get to reclaim our own desires and bring them forth as important contributions to the world. Wednesday, May 30. The Moon moves into Venus-ruled Libra today. Harnessing the energy of manifestation in the First Quarter phase, we are encouraged to use our Venus natures to integrate the information overload that we've experienced over the past week or so. Mercury squares Mars in Virgo today and it may be hard to keep things as civil as a Libra Moon may want them. Give yourself and others plenty of room to process inner conflict. Since the Sun in Gemini also squares Chiron in Pisces, those feelings may be very tender and possibily overwhelming. Thursday, May 31. Things are much more settled today. The last aspect that the Moon makes today is a conjunction with firm Saturn in Libra. As this is the phase of meeting challenges in order to manifest our potential, we may make progress today with the aid of Saturn as long as we commit to being gracious about it. June 1—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting. Trying to perfect the Gemini desire to learn, connect, and share what we know can feel like trying to hold onto a handful of dandelion seeds; they like to squirm out of our grasp and scatter to the winds. This is the challenge of this phase of the Moon this month. The Moon enters Scorpio this morning and we may notice a contrast to the hopeful, exuberant energy of the first part of this cycle. More difficult realities may come to mind now. Today Mercury and Venus are conjunct at 18 degrees Gemini. Both are invisible to us as they both are still very close to the Sun. However they are on opposite sides of the Sun—Mercury is on the far side of the Sun in relation to us on Earth and Venus is on the near side of the Sun. Deep, important and illuminating truths can come forward today. Saturday, June 2. This is another relatively mild day as the Moon remains in Scorpio, a good time for solitude if you are so minded. The Moon makes one aspect today, a sextile to Mars in Virgo. There is an urge to make good use of this day to get things done and to find some satisfying solutions to complex problems.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Astrologer Teri Parsley Starnes' weekly astrological forecast following the 8 phases of the Moon. To read previous posts visit the Starsdance blog. 

The final month of Spring, always a breezy time of year, blows in this week with the mighty winds of possibility. On Sunday, May 20, the Sun enters Gemini—mutable air sign—the same day as the Gemini New Moon and a Solar Eclipse. To add to the mix, Venus is retrograding through Gemini now, too. Gemini lessons and experiences are leading us into big experiences this year, especially if Gemini is emphasized in your chart in some way. And, there are two New Moons in Gemini this year. Next month on June 19, we get another one—astrologically, this is a Blue Moon, since it is bit unusual to get two new moons in the same sign one after another. Contributing to this story is the ingress of Jupiter into Gemini on June 11 for a stay of 12 months.

Gemini brings in the season of pollination. Looking out my window right now, I see the fluff from cottonwood trees being carried by the wind. Seeds from a maple tree are spinning down into the garden, soon to become unwanted seedlings. It is hard to believe there is room for any oxygen at all in the air we breathe, since it is so full of pollen. Everything is busy. Life force demands that we connect with others to engender new life. This incredible busyness mirrors what happens in our minds, as we also are busy reaching out to connect, learn, and express what we know—the Gemini mission.

The mind is our most powerful tool of manifestation and it is the hardest tool to master. This lunar cycle is a wonderful, and even necessary, opportunity to hone the tools that help us use our minds in the best way possible to connect, learn, and express what we know, while at the same time avoiding the pitfalls of Gemini: lack of focus, heightened stress due to being overwhelmed by input, and coping strategies of projection and over-simplification.

Forecast for May 20, 2012 – May 26, 2012

New Moon: Dreaming.
May 20. The Sun is getting a reboot today, as the Moon crosses the face of the Sun creating a solar eclipse. The light goes out and comes back immediately. What a powerful way to go deeper into our Gemini dreams. How do you want to ride out the currents of this lunar month? What practices will you follow in order to make best use of your mind? What seeds of intention are forming?

I’d like to invite you to consider the importance of love this month. Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, also crosses the face of the Sun on June 5th. [See last week’s forecast for more about this.]. To honor this occasion, I will be joining a group of folks who are working with an intention for this rare Venus transit: “We dare to open to love.” Venus in Gemini reminds us that the brain is our biggest sex organ, vitally important for pleasure and creativity. It is a good thing to include the mind in our New Moon dreams.

In the New Moon chart, Neptune and Chiron in Pisces (mutable water sign) are squaring the Sun and Moon. Mutable signs blur boundaries. They mutate old forms into something new. This energy adds to the challenge of keeping the right amount of focus and form, which helps us to be safe and happy, while allowing new forms to take shape. It is all about trust in the process. Mindfulness practices can help center us when we are overwhelmed. These two signs—Gemini and Pisces—encourage a synthesis between mind and heart.

Mars in another mutable sign, Virgo (earth), also plays a role as it is opposing Chiron. Our minds may absorb the tension between perfectionism and sacrifice, creating more stress. The impulse at this New Moon may be try and save the world. Perhaps it would be best to simply save our own sanity first. I recently read an article [Avoiding Burnout: Strategies to combat an occupational hazard, by Keith Stelter, MD in Minnesota Physician, June 2012] that outlines a simple mindfulness practice:

 “One of the best ways to practice mindfulness is to engage in the following simple exercise, described by the mnemonic SOLAR:
S: Stop and sit. O: Observe (pause, breathe, and feel exactly what arises in your experience). L: Let it be; let everything be as it is without reacting to or trying to change any of it. A: and R: Return to the present moment and turn attention to your breathing.”

The exact trine between Venus and Saturn at the New Moon encourages stability in intention. This connection can help us maintain our mindfulness practices, especially if they encourage an appreciation of beauty.

Monday, May 21. Most of the transits this week involve Mercury, the ruler of Gemini. The morning kicks off with a quincunx aspect between Mercury and Saturn. This aspect of paradox forces us to integrate unfamiliar parts. These parts: the mutability of the mind and the intensity of our responsibilities and obligations. Notice how you feel when you bring order to your mind aligned with your intentions. Notice your thoughts as your encounter limitations or frustrations today. What brings resolution?

Mercury conjoins Jupiter on Tuesday, May 22 right after midnight. I expect this transit to be noticeable both days. Whatever order Saturn asks us to create mentally, Jupiter throws off balance. Jupiter’s job is to expand; so expect big thoughts and very lofty intentions. This expansiveness can fill us with hope or create a situation of overindulgence. Mercury and Jupiter are still in Taurus, so thoughts might erupt in physical ways. What is the body telling you about mental stress or overindulgence?

Wednesday, May 23.
The Moon moves into water sign, Cancer—a good time to retreat into home projects to calm from all the mental stimulation. The Sun also forms a square to Neptune in Pisces today. This is the last day of the New Moon phase. Let your heart and intuition guide you into awareness of your own intentions for this cycle. Opening to love can sometimes hurt; this universal pain reminds us of what is precious to us and how we are all linked.

May 24—Crescent Moon: Beginning. Mercury enters Gemini today and fireworks may go off as Mercury activates the degree of the Solar Eclipse of May 20. The mind loves to move quickly and resists practices that appear to slow us down, like meditation. From my experience, meditation helps the mind be more effective, and we will crave that effectiveness as we begin the lunar phase of Beginning. What are you called to work on?

Friday May 25. Mercury squares Neptune today, mirroring the experiences of Wednesday when the Sun was at the same degree. Give expression to your heart’s longing even if it feels vulnerable to do so.

Saturday May 26. The Moon in Leo today encourages us to create, play, and show off in some way, even if we are shy. As the Moon waxes into brightness, how will you add your light to the possibilities emerging at this moment? Everyone is essential.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Follow the Moon: May 13 - May 19

Astrologer Teri Parsley Starnes' weekly astrological forecast following the 8 phases of the Moon. To read previous posts visit the Starsdance blog.

Forecast for May 13, 2012 – May 19

This lunar cycle, seeded in the rich humus of Taurus, has sprouted, blossomed, fruited, and is now forming seeds for the next lunar cycle. The Last Quarter Phase that began last week continues into the beginning of this week. The planetary allies are supporting us in reflecting on what we have learned during this cycle about the Taurus qualities of stability, steadfastness, and grace.

Sunday, May 13. This Mother’s Day is perfect for honoring our mothers and the Earth as the mother of us all. Jovial Jupiter is conjunct the Sun today in Taurus. Jupiter spends almost a year in each sign. [Jupiter entered Taurus in June 2011 and will enter Gemini in June 2012.] This annual meeting of the Sun and Jupiter is a day to honor what Jupiter’s transit of this sign has brought to us. This could include things like economic awakening as demonstrated by the Occupy movement, a renewed understanding of personal and collective values, a deeper connection to the earth, and an appreciation of our bodies.

In addition, on May 13 and 14 three planets form another Grand Earth Trine. There have been a series of these grand trines since March. This time Mercury in Taurus, Mars in Virgo, and Pluto in Capricorn create a solid connection to earth. A trine is a harmonious interplay between planets in a sign of the same element. A grand trine takes harmony to the point of complacency. Where might you push yourself to create a more solid connection to the element of earth? Earth gives us a sense of reality, groundedness, and pragmatism. Earth teaches us how to apply ourselves over time to achieve lasting results. Do you need more earth in your life? Chiron in Pisces pierces the complacency of this Grand Trine with an opposition to Mars. The Moon is also in Pisces; we are encouraged to feel a deeper connection to all beings—to crack open our hearts—and let that lead us to the ways earth helps us with our goals and intentions.

Monday is a complex day; there is another aspect that encourages us to be firm yet fair, perhaps in a relationship or with ourselves. The Sun is quincunx Saturn in Libra. The quincunx is the aspect of paradox and you may experience one today. Where there is paradox a surprising truth is waiting to enlighten.

Tuesday May 15, an important astrological event takes place: Venus turns retrograde at 24° Gemini. Venus stations retrograde every 1.6 years. Each time Venus turns retrograde, the planet is the Evening Star. Over the course of the retrograde cycle, Venus will disappear from the western sky at sunset, will conjoin the Sun midway through, and then re-emerge as the Morning Star about a month after turning retrograde. Venus will station direct on June 27 at 7° Gemini.

Energetically, Venus began the initial part of this retrograde cycle on April 12 when Venus reached 7° Gemini for the first time. The entire Venus retrograde cycle does not end until July 31 when Venus clears the 24° Gemini position where it turned retrograde.

Venus rules two signs, Taurus and Libra. We can expect that all the Taurus themes I’ve been discussing this month as well as the Libra themes of harmony, balance, and relationship will continue to be important throughout this Venus retrograde cycle. We can also expect that women’s issues, marriage equality issues, as well as issues around wealth and money to continue to be emphasized.

The highlight of this particular Venus retrograde will be a rare Venus transit of the Sun on June 5.  It will be possible to actually view the planet Venus crossing the face of the Sun. This is a powerful opportunity to set intention around Venus themes as this planet of love and beauty will shine with solar intensity and strength.

This Venus transit plays an important role in the Gemini New Moon cycle beginning May 20.
As Venus stations retrograde, trust in your intuition. The Moon in Pisces squares Venus on this day perhaps creating a sense of unease, yet Gemini and Pisces, being mutable signs, encourage flexibility and that is a clue to overcoming stress. It may be hard to pin down what this transit will mean to you. Let it unfold in beautiful and unexpected ways.

May 16—Balsamic Moon: Surrendering. We experience completion during this phase. Our intentions have produced the seeds for the next cycle. Now, the whole lunar cycle becomes compost. The balsamic phase is about allowing ourselves to experience the fallow time—the resting period that makes a new cycle possible. What do you need to replenish? What are you putting to rest?

On Wednesday, May 16 Mars makes two aspects; it opposes Chiron and trines Pluto. This is an important stage in the Mars retrograde cycle through Virgo that began in November 2011 and completes on June 19, 2012. Mars is the hero self who has taken a journey of self-discovery, confronting anger, passion, and frustration. Mars met Chiron and Pluto twice before on this journey and is now completing this conversation. Chiron transits often feel like initiations. Has the period of time from November to the present felt like an initiation for you? As you complete this process, what can you say you have learned? How have you changed? To honor your initiation, what will you give away? The trine to Pluto gives us power and strength. In the dark phase of the Moon, this strength helps us to trust the process of transformation happening in the darkness.

May 16 and 17
, the Moon is in Aries supporting the Mars desire to differentiate from others. Together we go into the darkness of this lunar phase but we each have a unique experience there finding some truth that will propel us into a new adventure.

Friday, May 18, the Moon is again in Taurus as it was at the beginning of the lunar cycle. Another Grand Earth Trine with Moon, Mars, and Pluto returns to bless us with the gifts of this Taurus season. The final day of Sun in Taurus is at the very end of this cycle on Saturday, May 19. Give thanks to the Earth and honor Her teachings.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Follow the Moon: May 6, 2012 - May 12

Astrologer Teri Parsley Starnes' weekly astrological forecast following the 8 phases of the Moon. To read previous posts visit the Starsdance blog.

Forecast for May 6, 2012 – May 12

Earth rumbles and soul grumbles—we are alive as the Earth is alive. Now we can directly experience the unfolding mysteries of our co-evolution! What are you noticing? The reverberations of the powerful Full Moon on May 5 [See last week’s column.] are still felt through the beginning of this week. The Full Moon phase of illumination and release lasts till May 9. Two weeks ago at the New Moon, a small seed was planted, consciously or unconsciously; the season of Taurus influenced our heart’s desires. I’ve been thinking of the Taurean qualities of stability, steadfastness, and grace as the unifying purpose of my New Moon intentions. What are you noticing about your own? What are the gifts you’ve received? What are the challenges you’ve experienced? It is time to make note of these things and learn from them.

Sunday May 6 begins with the Moon still in Scorpio, yet in a void-of-course status until 8:39 pm*. Void of course means that the Moon is just “hanging out” in a sign without making any major aspects to other planets until it enters the next sign. It might be harder to solidly accomplish much of anything this day or move forward in a direct way. Better to relax and let ourselves become aware of the currents around us and deep within. Even as we may be involved in projects and activities, it is good to allow for a more relaxed approach to those activities.

On May 7 and 8, while the Moon is in expansive and philosophical Sagittarius, we are more likely to be involved with exploration of values and beliefs. Have the events of the last two weeks impacted your truth?

May 9—Disseminating Moon: Sharing. As the face of the Moon empties of light, we begin to assign meaning to the lunar cycle. Part of this process is sharing what we have learned with others. This month, the disseminating phase begins with the Moon in Capricorn and ends with the Moon in Aquarius. Both of these signs belong to the universal portion of the zodiac—the signs that are concerned with humanity, culture, and collective values. We can now apply personal lessons and experiences of the lunar cycle to a larger whole.

May 9 the Moon comes into conjunction with Pluto giving the day a more intense tone. Things matter more to us. We might also feel a strong desire to act in a Capricorn way: to set boundaries or goals for the future; to put in place long-range plans; to investigate how to better establish ourselves professionally; or to confront authority in ourselves and others.

May 10 Mercury and Neptune are in an encouraging sextile aspect with each other. This transit favors inspired communication or insight. The heart awakens and we can give voice to those feelings.
May 11 finds the Moon in Aquarius. We want to share the gifts and challenges of the Taurus New Moon with community. Be open to new ideas. Broadcast the fruits of possibility.

May 12—Last Quarter Moon: Evaluating. At the First Quarter phase of this lunar cycle we felt the tension between the signs, Taurus (Fixed Earth) and Leo (Fixed Fire). Now at the waning Last Quarter phase, the tension is between Taurus and Aquarius (Fixed Air). Fixed signs are sure of their point of view. They hold form and take a bit of convincing to change that form. Taurus really values the physical realm. Aquarius really values the realm of idea. When the world of ideas and the world of form get along, anything is possible. When they do not, we get entrenched in a one-sided viewpoint, barely achieving anything. So, the battle may be between some who value practicality over others who value possibility. Or between those who need freedom over those who expect reliability and responsibility. Aquarius shakes up Taurean complacency. Taurus gives Aquarius a foundation.

In the Last Quarter Phase we are really honing the lessons and extracting the essence of the wisdom of this lunar cycle. How can the urge for freedom and authenticity collaborate with the need for stability, steadfastness, and grace? How do you experience this tension in yourself and what do you do when you recognize it in your communities?

Pluto and Chiron. Also on May 12, Pluto, the god of transformation and the underworld, and Chiron, the shamanic teacher and wounded healer, come into the first of five sextile aspects that take between now and 2014. The number of these transits and the length of time over which they occur are significant. I think of them as an ongoing conversation between these two archetypes. Some valuable information is sure to be exchanged. One relevant theme may be Initiation. Pluto encourages transformation through going deep into our shadow. Chiron says that even though we may feel vulnerable or isolated, such experiences can move us toward becoming wise healers ourselves. Perhaps this ongoing aspect between these two planets will encourage you to take on an initiatory experience over the next two years.

*All times are CDT.