Sunday, June 24, 2012

Follow the Moon: June 24, 2012 - June 30.

Forecast for June 24, 2012 – June 30.

    The older I get the more padding I acquire, and not just on my body. I’ve accumulated a lifetime of stuff in my home as well. This padding serves as protection from the unknown. I was just going through my closet looking for potential costume pieces for a play I will perform with other astrologers this weekend. I’ve kept a lot of clothes I don’t wear anymore and was pleased to find some things that will work for a costume. This is the perfect rationalization for keeping all this stuff: I might need it someday. Mostly, that is not true. Mostly, the padding in my life just sits there collecting dust and trapping energy and giving me a false confidence that I am prepared for anything.

I’ve been thinking about what is truly necessary to have in my life as I face a world that is on the verge of radical change. We must change. Even if the stars did not support that storyline, we all know it. It is time to live more sustainably, more justly, and more consciously. And that requires change. And that scares me sometimes. But which is the really smart response—to reach for more padding and protection, or to develop a mindset that helps me to ground, acknowledge and release fear, while I create a vision for the changes I’d like to see? I know my answer, but it isn’t always easy choosing it.

This week the first of seven squares between Uranus and Pluto, occurring over the next three years, is perfecting. These planets move slowly through a cycle of aspects to each other. The current cycle began in the 60s when both came together in a conjunction. Enormous global change happened at that time in politics, economics, and culture. Now those two planets have reached the next critical moment in their cycle: the waxing square. From the model of the lunar cycle, this is the same moment as the First Quarter Moon: Manifesting.

In this phase, we meet challenges on the way to manifesting the New Moon dream. If the dream of the 60s was to topple toxic, outworn systems of all types, to claim our authentic selves, and to question everything and revitalize it, then we are being challenged to manifest that world. There is enormous excitement in this challenge and fear as well.

Every sign in the zodiac has just the right answer to a problem, twelve points of view that are absolutely necessary. And every sign has some behaviors and attitudes that keep us from realizing that stroke of genius. In other words, if the signs were people, we’d say: Everyone has issues. The sign where the Sun is now, Cancer, is no different. Cancer dearly wants to provide security and safety to those it loves. In the face of all the changes brewing, this is the perfect response and the problematic response. How fortunate for us!

A good intention for this lunar cycle would be to know the difference between padding for security, which keeps us resistant to change, and our authentic values, which encourage the confidence and capabilities to create secure, vibrant lives that welcome necessary change. With the genius of Cancer, we create a home for what sustains us and matters most to us. This home can be actual or metaphorical. This is sacred work.

Sunday, June 24. The Crescent phase of Beginning began itself yesterday. The Moon moves into Virgo and we want to get down to business in someway. Perhaps that means cleaning your house or organizing something so that you can begin aligning with the changes happening in our world—because today is the first exact square between Uranus at 8° Aries and Pluto at 8° Capricorn. These two signs are Cardinal, which means, they are the signs of taking charge and getting something to happen. Last month, while the Sun was in Gemini, a Mutable sign, there was lots of absorbing of energies around us. Now, the Cardinal focus takes over. I expect we will see more actions and plans for action now.

Monday, June 25. Saturn stations direct today in another Cardinal sign, Libra. A planet becomes stronger at its station. Today, notice Saturn’s influence in the relationship sign of Libra. This is an important moment to acknowledge the focusing, grounding power of Saturn. It has been in Libra since October 2009. With this change in direction, Saturn is on its way out of Libra, moving into Scorpio in October of this year. Between now and October, we reap the lessons and experiences of Saturn in Libra. Libra’s gift is an attunement to balance. How do you honor this force? Balance is a critical ingredient to sustainability and joy. Where do you find yours?

Also today, Jupiter squares Neptune. These two planets have a great affinity for each other, encouraging us to expand outside the narrow confines of ego and isolation. We are part of a bigger story, playing a bigger role than we know. Notice your dreams, intuitions, or synchronous events that remind you of magic. These are messages from this bigger story.

June 26—First Quarter Moon: Manifesting.
Notice the challenges you face today surrounding relationships and family. The Moon is in Libra and the Sun in Cancer: we need to find a way to feel safe and in harmony. Libra’s role in this dynamic is to keep us engaged in learning from others. Cancer’s role is to anchor oneself in what matters most. It really isn’t an either or situation when we acknowledge that everyone needs safety and others matter as much as we do.

Wednesday, June 27. Another planetary station today—Venus turns direct today at 7° Gemini. To recap: Venus started her underworld journey as the bright Evening Star this spring. Remember that wonderful conjunction with Jupiter? From a place of glory, much like Inanna in her journey to the underworld, Venus left all that behind to meet her destiny—a brilliant transit of the Sun on June 5. From the end of May till the middle of June, Venus has not been visible. Now, Venus has returned as the Morning Star and rises one and a half hours before the Sun. By mid-August, Venus will rise three and a half hours before the Sun. She is on the rise! And we may feel this expansive energy too in the realms of beauty, relationship, and wealth. Have you taken your own journey into the darkness? What truth did you discover? What do you hold up for all to see?

The Moon activates the square between Pluto and Uranus today. These Venus truths are important ingredients to the changes happening in our lives.

Get ready for Mercury retrograde. This is a delightful time to notice and appreciate self-expression. Mercury reaches the degree in Leo today where it will station direct August 8.

Thursday, June 28. Until mid-afternoon * we might not feel like doing too much of anything. Or if we do, we might feel a bit of frustration because it is harder to muster the energy we need to do it. In the midst of this, we might also notice a paradox: the relationship between ego and transcendence. Paradox forces us out of either/or thinking.  Somewhere in between the notion that it is all about me and the notion that true spiritual consciousness is outside of ego, resides the middle path of possibility. What happens when you choose that path?

Feelings intensify in the evening. It is good to know what is really going on with ourselves and others. Use passion to investigate what this is.

Friday, June 29. The last day of the First Quarter phase has some gnarly bits. The Moon is still in intense Scorpio— people are either lying to you or telling you more than you want to hear. Added to that, the Sun in security-conscious Cancer now activates the square between Uranus and Pluto. I know I get scared and reactive sometimes and today, I may be especially so. Forgiveness, quiet time, and compassion might be good antidotes to that. Mercury and Jupiter are allies of talking it out and getting some clarity.

June 30—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting. The tension between our expectations and what is really showing up in our lives may be uncomfortable today. The Moon moves into Sagittarius where we are drawn to focus on the horizon. The big picture helps us align to truths that help us resolve our discomfort.  Remember the magic you noticed on Monday. Today it may return with a gift for you.

* Times are CDT.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Follow the Moon: June 17, 2012 - June 23

Around 4 am every morning, I hear the first birdsong of the day outside my bedroom window. Man, those suckers like to get an early start! Most days when I hear their bright, bold melodies my heart sings along as I try to drift back to sleep. This birdsong captures the season of Gemini so well—the airy, lilting song that beckons the world to wake up and be glad.

Gemini, the sign of the Twins, holds a mirror up for us. What we see in that mirror is simply what we have to show. Our experiences, hopes, dreams, and thoughts become the songs that fill the Spring morning. Though not everything in the mirror is always bright and happy—each of us holds pain there too—we have the opportunity this season to notice just what is showing up. Brightness, sadness, stress, or fear, everything is meaningful and can be understood in a deeper way when we take the time to be mindful.

The lunar month that began on May 20th in Gemini, comes to an end this week. Usually, the next new Moon would be in the next sign of the zodiac, Cancer. This year, however, we get another Gemini New Moon. Think of this as a bonus from the stars. This past lunar cycle saw a solar eclipse in Gemini, the rare and beautiful transit of Venus retrograding in Gemini, and the ingress of Jupiter into Gemini for a year-long journey. Something is up.

Gemini is ruled by Mercury, known in Greek myth as Hermes. This god has many roles. One of them is the herald. The infusion of Gemini into the world this past month can be framed as a message about the changes that are coming our way. Most notably next week Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn perfect their first of seven squares that will occur over the next three years. If this is a signal of The Great Turning, as Joanna Macy calls it, how does Gemini teach us to weather this shift? How does Gemini model the things that are helpful and not so helpful about embracing change with mindfulness and intention? How can we greet this dawning with our own heartsongs?
Sunday, June 17. Moon in Gemini stirs up the unsettled mutable energy that marks this lunar cycle. Yet, we are in the balsamic phase of the Moon and that means we have the capacity to apply a greater sense of wisdom to the jittery nerves that can come from too much Gemini. Sometimes what we love about a sign, gives us the ability to see beyond its challenges. I love Gemini’s youthfulness, curiosity, and optimism. These qualities help me to embrace possibility. As you reflect on the meaning and value of this lunar cycle, what have you noticed about the expression of Gemini in your life?

Monday, June 18. This last day of this lunar cycle may challenge our intentions. The Moon in Gemini squares Mars in Virgo at the same time that it trines Saturn. The Saturn aspect supports staying grounded and focused today; the Mars aspect gives us a short fuse. Mars has almost reached the exact degree where it turned retrograde in January (exact tomorrow on the new Moon). Since November 2011, when Mars entered Virgo for an extended retrograde stay, we’ve been challenged to apply our wills to the Virgo values of service, work, and discernment. At times, this has felt like indentured servitude, at other times like productive application of our energy. Have you noticed a greater expectation for perfection within and around you? How has this pushed you to make changes in your life? The relationship between Gemini and Virgo can be a stressful one, but these signs encourage us to integrate both mind and body. When we pay attention, we are able to feel the holistic relationship between these two parts of ourselves and achieve greater wellbeing.

June 19—New Moon: Dreaming. One more seed to plant in Gemini’s soil and then the Sun moves into Cancer tomorrow for the Summer Solstice. During this month, I’ve notice how mutable my own emotions are, changing not only day to day but sometimes minute to minute. If emotions are like summer clouds, is it necessary to attach so much significance to them? Perhaps this awareness can help us step consciously and joyously through this summer season.

The New Moon chart shows the drama of this season. Pluto and Uranus are squared at 8 degrees of Capricorn and Aries. All indications say this is a time of big change and transformation. Mars at the degree of its station in January is square to the Sun and Moon in Gemini. Breath, exercise, eating well—all these are tools to help with stress. What helps you under the stress of high expectations and a rapidly changing world? Neptune in Pisces is square to Jupiter in Gemini—when overwhelmed, do you just want to check out sometimes? Everyone needs to escape from time to time, but notice when this is happening to you. Perhaps this is an indication that you can also choose to meet this new world with greater compassion and connection, not just in the human realm but with all beings. Chiron, the shaman and healer, is square to Venus—perhaps it is time to make sure our relationships serve our spiritual journeys and that our spiritual journeys serve our relationships. In addition, there is an interesting configuration that emphasizes Saturn in Libra. This is a triangle of Venus square Chiron with each of these being sesquiquadrate to Saturn. Forget the crazy word, this means that there are some important adjustments going on around the theme of balance. We all need it, desperately and we have to work for it. Saturn wants us to focus and invites us to the balance between distractions and intentions. To add just one more stressful aspect, because of course everyone wants to play this month, Mercury is square to Saturn. We have the urge to make our words matter. The conversation could very well be about security and taking care of hearth and home.
The Dreaming phase of this lunar cycle lasts four days this time. Since so much is going on energetically, we may want to take a couple of days to reflect and notice our true hearts’ desires and needs before setting intention for this month. Another option is to engage in a spiritual practice that helps us stay grounded, aware, and flexible as the challenges of this month unfold.
Wednesday, June 20.
Summer Solstice happens at 7:08 pm EDT today. The chart for the solstice describes influential energy for the entire summer season. Much of the aspects described in the new Moon chart apply for the whole season. We celebrate the strength of the Sun on this day and acknowledge that now the Sun’s rays begin to diminish here in the Northern Hemisphere. The sign of Cancer reminds us of the importance of nurturing self and beloveds. We take comfort in our familial connections. After the expansiveness of Gemini’s season, we need a chance to relax and recharge.

Thursday, June 21.
How important is your home to your wellbeing? Today, notice how you feel about your home. The Moon makes supportive aspects to Mars, helping us to take action to improve our surroundings. Mercury aids communication. Watch out for feelings of hopelessness, even small acts can make a difference.

Friday, June 22. The Moon in Leo encourages us to let our light shine. Leo helps us to know our gifts and invites us to the playground where we explore, develop, and share those gifts.
June 23—Crescent Moon: Beginning.
The Moon remains in Leo today. Creativity helps us begin something new. Dare to know that you are important and gifted. Allow the strength of the Summer Sun to fill you and bless you in this journey.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Follow the Moon June 10, 2012 - June 16

The waning phases of the Moon are a good time to evaluate and assess our experiences of the waxing phases. We’ve got a lot to unpack from the first two weeks of this lunar cycle: a solar eclipse, a lunar eclipse, and a Venus eclipse. All these events happened in the mutable signs of Gemini (air) and Sagittarius (fire). If you feel like a lot of energy has been stirred up these last two weeks, you are right!

In my own spiritual practices, I often set a conscious intention in the New Moon phase of the lunar cycle, but not always. Having a fair amount of mutable energy in my own chart, I don’t like to saddle myself with too much form. And through years of working with the lunar cycle as a way to hone my awareness, I’ve noticed that sometimes the really important lessons of a lunar cycle are not around my intention at all. Sometimes my mysterious allies have another intention for me. With so many momentous astronomical events happening, it may be that your mysterious allies had another plan for you too.

Right now, it is time to breathe and reflect on what we are learning. It is still too early to decide for sure what it all might mean. The areas of life that are ripe for renewal may be:
         Relationship—Venus is moving retrograde and this invites us to go deeper into our patterns of relating.       
         Learning—all the emphasis on Gemini invites us to experience our minds in new ways, to notice the impact of mind on body and soul, and to seek wholeness through a piece of truth or insight.           
         Meaning—the lunar eclipse in Sagittarius stimulates the desire to enfold our diverse experiences into one big story of Truth. Have you found yours?           
        Compassion—Underneath the stimulating energy of Gemini and Sagittarius, Neptune and Chiron in Pisces have asked us to traverse the terrain of the heart. Opening to feelings is not a safe experience, but we have the opportunity to develop our heart muscles for the future.

Forecast for June 10, 2012 – June 16
Sunday, June 10. I invite you to get in touch with the real sky. Tracking the appearances and disappearances of the planets deepens our experience. In mid-May, Mercury disappeared from the morning sky as it was overtaken by the rays of the Sun. Just like Venus, Mercury has been changing positions in the sky. Today, Mercury returns to being visible in the evening sky at sunset. This transition signals a change in how and why we use our minds. Morning star Mercury has a more logical focus and evening star Mercury, a more intuitional focus. How are you noticing this shift in yourself? Mercury will be climbing into greater visibility at sunset over the next few weeks. Astrologer Gary Caton  says this phase of Mercury is about seeking meaning for what has occurred since Mercury disappeared. Tune into your intuition now. The Moon is in Pisces from today thru most of Monday, June 11, helping us to do just that.

June 11—Last Quarter: Evaluating. This could be a mind blowing day. This phase of the Moon is about adjusting our attitude. The Moon in Pisces squares the Sun in Gemini and this invites us to adjust our mind/heart balance, or what we might call the air approach and the water approach to life. Often we put these qualities on different sides of the fence. What happens when we remove the fence? Two planets*, Jupiter and Chiron, pull us in each direction today. *Chiron is actually more like a minor planet.

Jupiter enters Gemini today and remains there for the next 12 months. This particularly potent Gemini Moon cycle has seeded Jupiter’s transition into Gemini. The Lovers card in the Tarot corresponds to Gemini in the Golden Dawn system. This card shows polarity and unity. The pulsation back and forth from these two points of view is a strong Gemini theme. Over the next year, we are invited to notice this pulsation. This dynamic colors the world and forms much of what we think is true. We get a chance to look at our styles of thinking and perceiving.

The ruler of Gemini, Mercury is activating the square between Uranus and Pluto today. As the forces of change and transformation kick into gear, perhaps we can take this day to notice how our mental attitudes play into the possible fear of or desire for radical change.

To counter this mental action, Chiron stations retrograde today in Pisces. This shamanic energy takes us deeper into our hearts, patiently waiting to receive what we are ready to heal. Mercury plays a role here too in a harmonious trine to Chiron’s position for the next two days helping us to integrate this broad range of expression and understanding.

Tuesday, June 12. The Moon in Aries today joins with Uranus in the very nearly exact square to Pluto in Capricorn. Whatever Mercury stirred up the day before continues into today. Here’s an interesting polarity to investigate: action and reaction. When are you most aligned with your own values—when you dare to take action, even if you are afraid, or when you are reacting to others? What feels better to you?

Wednesday, June 13. The Sun and Moon contact Saturn in balancing Libra today. How do you regain your balance? What takes you out of balance? The Moon in Aries opposes Saturn. The actions and reactions of yesterday come home to roost. The Sun supports building firm foundations that encourage balance in our lives.

Thursday, June 14. Let’s take this day to listen to our bodies. The Moon is in Taurus and there is a pause in the action of the transits earlier this week. While still in the “evaluating phase” of this lunar cycle, remember to listen to the wisdom of your body. What physical adjustments help you to make the attitude adjustment you need to make to really move forward?

June 15—Balsamic Moon: Surrendering. With the Moon still in Taurus, we move into the letting go phase of this cycle. Are you resisting letting go of an idea, a truth, a way of understanding your world? This is pretty mystical stuff. What is left when you surrender your assumptions?

Saturday, June 16. This week began with Mercury emerging from the Sun’s rays into the evening sky. It ends with Venus emerging from the Sun’s rays as the morning star. There is beautiful symmetry in the sky right now. Venus will be quickly climbing higher and higher in the morning sky before sunrise. Mythically, Venus has traveled through the underworld into a seed moment when she transited the face of the Sun. Now, she returns with news to share! Significantly, the news is colored by a square between Chiron and Venus today. Chiron is the initiator. Venus has journeyed far, and right before her return, she meets the shaman. Many transits this week emphasize the relationship between mind and heart. Today’s meeting takes us back to that terrain.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Follow the Moon: June 3 - June 9, 2012

In true Gemini fashion, as I sit down to write this week’s forecast, I’ve got about four things going at once. Dandelion seeds are a wonderful metaphor for Gemini energy. The barest movement of mind sends the seeds dancing into the air. This is the dance of life, Shiva’s dance—spinning and weaving invisible potentiality into concrete manifestation, then back into invisible potentiality, and so on and so on without end. The world is in transition right now. Many sense that things cannot go on as they have but there is not yet consensus on where we need to go next. Ideas, states of being, emotions are all up in the air, like those seeds. Some people really like this kind of energy, the mutable types, others have a harder time with it, the more fixed types of people. There is no right or wrong, but it is good to be aware of your type and tend to your needs as Shiva dances us through change.

A lot is happening this week in the skies—important things to note and integrate in the ways that work for you. But be aware: overload is possible. It is good to simplify our lives and minds so that we can invoke joy, balance, and compassion into them.

Forecast for June 3, 2012 – June 9
Sunday, June 3. Early this morning,*  the Gibbous Moon moves into Sagittarius, preparing us for the partial Lunar Eclipse that occurs the next day. In a sense, that is what the Gibbous Phase of the Moon is all about, preparation for the illumination and release of the Full Moon. How do you work with anticipation? What is coming next? Will I like it or hate it? Perhaps that type of attachment diminishes what we can experience at this time. How do we stay present and unattached to outcome? That may be the clue to reaping the most benefit from this day. Mercury in Gemini and Saturn in Libra are the allies to call upon for this intention. They are in a strong, harmonious trine with each other. If Mercury represents the mutability of mind and desire, Saturn represents the firmness of intention, especially in ways related to balance and relationship.

June 4—Full Moon: Illuminating. Lunar Eclipses happen at the Full Moon phase when the plane of the Moon’s orbit and the plane of the Earth’s orbit line up with the Sun. An eclipse intensifies the already dynamic relationship between the Sun and Moon. There is a lot of aligning this week, as Venus, Earth, and Sun also align for a rare Venus transit of the Sun on June 5. This week you may want to use this image as you open to your own alignments.

The chart for the Full Moon shows a mutable grand cross. This means every mutable sign in the zodiac has a planet in a challenging relationship with each other. The wonderful things about mutable signs are their flexibility in tough situations and their desire to understand everything. There is potential for a lot of this at this time. However, the challenge comes from the difficulty we may have in letting these qualities mature into focused action and stability.

The primary axis of this lunar eclipse is Sun in Gemini opposite Moon in Sagittarius. We are called to align with the concepts of microcosm and macrocosm—what happens in the immediate environment is mirrored by what happens in the big story of what we think it all means, and vice versa. This alignment says, “Pay attention to all coincidences.” The cosmos is alive and communicating with us, and we too, are able to communicate back. Remembering your New Moon intentions, what is being communicated to you? Become aligned with this meaning for the good of all.

Venus is also right there with the Sun. “Become what you love,” was the theme of Caroline Casey’s talk about Venus at the United Astrology Conference last week. I could get more complicated than that, but why? It is more than enough. Let us all shapeshift (Gemini) into what/who we love and use this to help us in our alignments.

Gemini and Sagittarius are the yang mutable signs of mind and spirit. The yin mutable signs of Pisces and Virgo emphasize heart and dedication. Today, Neptunein Pisces is stationing retrograde giving a very watery and open feel to this Full Moon. From this open place, we sense the qualities that Chiron in Pisces adds to the energy, which is a sense of dedicating ourselves to helping everyone transition from wounds to wisdom. 
Mars in Virgo (dedication) is opposite Chiron (compassion) and is exactly square to Venus (shapeshifting into love). We will need all our tools to refine this energy into the alchemical elixir of bliss, but it is possible and worth trying.

Tuesday, June 5. There has been a lot of anticipation for this day among those who follow the dance of the stars. The Venus transit of the Sun happens today. [To find out more about what this is.] In the CDT zone, the core of the transit happens at 8:27 pm, begins at 4:04 pm, and ends after sunset at 11: 49 pm.

We are still within the energy of yesterday’s Lunar Eclipse with its mutable grand cross. It is as if Venus is the secret ingredient to the alchemical working. This planet of love, justice, wealth, and desire intercepts the Sun’s rays to give us the gift of wholeheartedness—wholehearted love, justice, wealth, and desire. Whew. It is even making my spine tingle!

The Moon is in Capricorn at this time conjunct Pluto, further heightening the potential for transformation of base desires like greed into elevated desires like responsibility and stewardship.

Wednesday, June 6. The Moon remains in Capricorn on a much quieter day than the previous ones this week. This is a good day to take care of business, climbing a little closer to your own mountaintop.

June 7—Disseminating Moon: Sharing.
In yoga practice we often dedicate any merit we have accumulated in our practice to others. This describes the urges of the Disseminating Moon—a desire to share the fruits of what we’ve experienced in this lunar cycle. Over the next three to four days, let yourself share some inner truth you’ver recently realized. Today the Moon moves into Aquarius, the sign of community. How do you share your visions in community?

The Sun squares Mars today. This waning square was described by astrologer, Dane Rudhyar, as a crisis in consciousness. Today we might be challenged to think our way to perfection. If you are like me, that won’t get you far. Perfectionism is a mental construct that leads to shame. Recently, I’ve adopted the practice of telling myself “good enough” when I spiral into defeated thoughts of inadequacy. Mars in Virgo has been asking us to investigate how and why we serve and how and why we dedicate ourselves to a greater mission. Does perfectionism serve you in that work?

Friday, June 8. Mercury in Cancer trines Neptune in Pisces today. I can’t imagine a better day to go for a swim. Let the waters take you.

Saturday, June 9. The water theme of Friday continues today as the Moon moves in the mutable water sign, Pisces. Notice the relationship between mind and heart today and notice what you do when you feel over stimulated by mental activity. Water helps us to let go of doing and relax into being. This might be a wonderfully rejuvenating day if you allow yourself to be.

* All times are CDT.